Since the rifle arrived lacking a BUIS, and I needed something with which to aim, I simply bolted on an EOTech sight to do drills and added an Insight ATPIAL to check sight tower clearance and function. The EOTech bolted right on (no surprise there) and the ATPIAL cleared the sight tower, so I was good to go. In blasting a bunch of ammo through the Del-Ton carbine, I found only one problem: one of the magazines was not happy with a match 52 grain hollowpoint load I find to be quite accurate.
To be fair, this is a varmint load, designed to be a prairie dog tactical nuke and not what you’d use in a defensive carbine. It is also far too expensive to be used simply blasting in a defensive carbine class. Plus, only one of the magazines had problems, and then only occasionally. Everything else fed flawlessly. A definite case of “if it hurts, don’t do it.”
If I were to use the Del-Ton carbine as a defensive rifle, I’d certainly make sure it worked 100% with whatever defensive load I was using. If I really had to use the 52 grain varmint load, say on varmints, I wouldn’t worry about occasional malfunctions. I have never read yet of a shooter being charged by varmints.
For formal accuracy testing I clamped a 30mm Famous Maker 4-12X scope in a LaRue mount on top of the receiver. What I found was that this particular rifle loves, to an excessive degree, Hornady TAP 55 grain ammo. I would have to seriously over-indulge in coffee to give myself the shakes sufficient to shoot a group over 1.5 inches in size. Most hovered right under one inch.
The rest of the ammo I tried shot equally gratifying groups. One detail I wanted to check was the accuracy with one of the new heavy bullet loads. Some 1/9 barrels shoot the 75 and 77 grain loads fine, others aren’t so happy with them. The Del-Ton carbine showed a bit of accuracy drop-off, but still shot well. I would have to spend some time with it to see if the accuracy improves as the barrel breaks in, or not.
I didn’t have a chance to go out to the National Guard base and thrash the little plastic “ivans” on the computer pop-up course, but I have no doubts that with it I could easily post more clean scores. Del-Ton, I should have looked at your rifles earlier, but I’m glad I finally did.
Now, if someone tells you that Del-Ton isn’t as good as something from the ABC tier, well, maybe, maybe not. The real questions are these: Does theirs work better? Does theirs shoot more accurately? Can they shoot theirs faster and more accurately than you can shoot yours? Unless the answers to all of these is an unequivocal “yes” then pay no attention and keep on shooting.
This article is an excerpt from the Gun Digest Book of the AR-15, Vol. 4.
If you liked this article you’ll love Gunsmithing The AR-15
It’s Perfect If:
- You own an AR-15 and want to learn how to fix or upgrade it yourself
- You’re a professional gunsmith or are studying to become one
- You want to maintain your AR-15 for years of rugged, dependable use
About the Author: Patrick Sweeney is the author of many of Gun Digest books' best-selling titles, including Gun Digest Book of the 1911, Vols. I & II; Gun Digest Big Fat Book of the .45 ACP, Gun Digest Book of the AR-15, Gun Digest Book of the AK and SKS, Gun Digest Book of the Glock and Gunsmithing: Pistols and Revolvers, among other titles. A master gunsmith, Patrick is also Handguns Editor for Guns & Ammo magazine.
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