Desert Design & Development D3-9SD Suppressed Carbine ~ Review

By Norman Gray
Gun writer Norman Grey removes his hearing protection for this review of the Desert Design & Development D3-9SD Suppressed Carbine.

Desert Design & Development D3-9SD Suppressed Carbine has engineered to be flexible and adaptable and they are constantly working to keep it on the cutting edge.
Desert Design & Development D3-9SD Suppressed Carbine has engineered to be flexible and adaptable and they are constantly working to keep it on the cutting edge.
AmmoLand Gun News
AmmoLand Gun News

USA -(AmmoLand.com)- As a Professional Freelance Writer in the firearms industry, the most commonly asked question seems to be, “What do you think of this {xxxxx enter name here} firearm?”

As much as I would like to believe I’m a walking encyclopedia on the subject, it’s a full time job keeping track of all the new firearms and accessories hitting the market, almost on a daily basis.

To keep abreast of the ever changing industry, I’m constantly reading press releases and scanning the website like AmmoLand News. On occasion, I also hear of a new manufacturer who just opened their doors for business.

Anyone taking in that challenge and trying to make their mark in the shooting industry has to go up against some stiff competition, and if they’ve made it, they will tell you it was well worth the fight.

Any business must have a solid business plan, great customer service skills and high quality products people want, only then will customer beat a path to your door. Every now and then, I have the opportunity to jump in on the ground floor of a new business that keeps these things in mind and this one just happens to be in the same place I call home, Phoenix, Arizona.

Desert Design & Development, LLC

Desert Design & Development, LLC located in Glendale, Arizona is owned and operated by James Seto and business partner Michael Lamb. These gentlemen bring with them over 40 years of combined experience in concept design, engineering, machining, manufacturing, sales, marketing and customer service.

Their moto is simply: “We are not trying to be the biggest, just the best.” And they are off to a great start.

Desert Design & Development D3-9SD Suppressed Carbine : The D3-9SD can be configured to meet your needs and mission requirements with optics, rails and stocks, and since it utilizes an AR lower, you can upgrade those parts as well.
Desert Design & Development D3-9SD Suppressed Carbine : The D3-9SD can be configured to meet your needs and mission requirements with optics, rails and stocks, and since it utilizes an AR lower, you can upgrade those parts as well.

If you ask them what their product is, they will humbly tell you, “The DEFCON 4SD 9mm Suppressed Barrel System that you add to your existing AR upper.” Easy enough, but if you’re not much of a gun smith, they will be happy to complete the work for you at reasonable fee. If popping out a couple of receiver pins is more your speed, then they are happy to provide you with their complete 9SD 9mm Suppressed AR Upper that just mates with your existing lower. But, if you don’t want to do any of the above and just want a complete system that you just need to feed, shoot and clean, they will sell you their complete Desert Design & Development D3-9SD Suppressed Carbine, or as it has come to be known at their, “The Ultimate Urban Carbine.”

  • DEFCON 4SD 9mm Suppressed Barrel System MSRP $1,400.00
  • Complete 9SD 9mm Suppressed AR Upper MSRP: $1,999.00
  • Desert Design & Development D3-9SD Suppressed Carbine, “The Ultimate Urban Carbine.” MSRP: $2,699.00 
  • Complete Pistol MSRP $ 2,599.00
Desert Design & Development’s bread and butter and the heart of their D3-9SD, the DEFCON 4SD 9mm Suppressed Barrel System.
Desert Design & Development’s bread and butter and the heart of their D3-9SD, the DEFCON 4SD 9mm Suppressed Barrel System.

Desert Design & Development D3-9SD Suppressed Carbine

The D3-9SD is the model that started it all and it utilizes Desert Design & Development’s own DEFCON 4SD 9mm Suppressed Barrel System. The D3-9SD is a much improved version of Heckler & Koch’s MP-5SD, which is also an integral suppressed system.

Integral suppressed basically means the suppressor and barrel work together to make the suppressor perform better, it reduces the speed of the bullet to below the speed of sound. (The speed of sound is about 768 miles per hour at sea level) and for the record, James Seto has been heard many times saying, “It’s as quiet as a mouse fart.”

For the lucky few, LEO (Law Enforcement Officers) and Government Agencies, the Desert Design & Development D3-9SD Suppressed Carbine is available in a select-fire, fully-automatic version. For the rest of us non-law enforcement types, a semi-automatic version is available for purchase. Now before you turn those smiles upside down, let me tell you the semi-automatic versions are crazy fun to shoot and without hearing protection, may I add. How about length, well Carbine comes from the French word Carabine, “a long arm with a shorter barrel,” and if you thought their standard carbines were short, they make them shorter, oh you like pistol short, will that be cash or charge?

HPR Ammunition Company

A firearm is only as good as it’s ammunition source and Desert Design & Development is working with and are supported by HPR Ammunition Company in Payson, Arizona. HPR Ammunition is well known for their precision, consistency and high quality ammunition. Along with HPR's line of TMJ (Total Metal Jacket) and HP (Hollow Point) ammunition for pistols and rifles, Desert Design & Development will be utilizing HPR's new EMCON line of subsonic ammunition designed to work with suppressed firearms like the D3-9SD. The EMCON line currently includes 147 gr. 9mm TMJ, 147 gr. 9mm HP, 230 gr. .45 ACP, 180 gr. 40S&W TMJ and 220 gr. 300 AAC Blackout HPBT ammunition.

I had the honor of touring their facility and to say their commitment to quality is bordering on fanatical is an understatement, they won’t let it go if it’s not shiny enough! Nothing leaves HPR unless its 100% perfect and that is their guarantee to you on each and every round they make. This ends my shameless plug for HPR, now back the guys at Desert Design & Development.

The Product line does not stop at the D3-9SD, the D3LLC Dissent Pistol is their integrally suppressed .22 caliber handgun built on the Ruger Mark II/III upper.
The D3LLC product line does not stop at the D3-9SD, the D3LLC Dissent Pistol is their integrally suppressed .22 caliber handgun built on the Ruger Mark II/III upper.

James and Michael of D3LLC gave me the opportunity to get in on the ground floor and follow the progress of their business and that included firing their select fire version of D3-9SD with HPR’s EMCON 9mm subsonic ammunition WITHOUT the burden of hearing protection, the decibel level was akin to firing a high pressure pellet gun, comfortable. As I expended HPR’s ammunition, the guys explained to me how the magic happens. Much like the design of the HK MP5-SD I mentioned earlier, the barrel ports bleed the appropriate amount of gasses off to prevent the projectile from reaching supersonic speeds. Thus, everything you feed it comes out subsonic.

Unlike the HK MP5-SD, their barrel and suppressor system are more modern and based on a considerably improved design.

Since almost everyone on the planet is familiar with the AR-15 platform, the Desert Design & Development D3-9SD Suppressed Carbine is like shooting your dads rifle when you were a kid. The only difference is the lower receiver has a magazine well adapter so it will accept high capacity 33 round 9mm Glock style magazines and for civilian, LEO and Government Agencies, it offers a fast transition from duty/carry pistol to suppressed carbine that will also work with your standard 9mm Glock duty/carry pistol magazines. The suppressor is both user friendly and serviceable and requires very little maintenance. It also features a locking system to prevent it from loosening or backing out during sustained fire. If, for some reason it does come lose, or you remove it (a pinned version is available that cannot be removed) make sure it is tightened back up before you fire it again, escaping gasses will burn you.

Desert Design & Development D3-9SD Suppressed Carbine barrel options : Short and shorter, and rumor has it a pistol version may be coming in the very near future.
Desert Design & Development D3-9SD Suppressed Carbine barrel options : Short and shorter, and rumor has it a pistol version may be coming in the very near future.

Sounds great right, it gets better!

Now you have a choice to make, the original Desert Design & Development D3-9SD Suppressed Carbine in 9mm or the new 2016, D3-45SD chambered in .45 ACP, D3-40SD chambered in .40 S&W or the potent D3-10SD chambered in 10mm. For the 300 AAC Blackout fans, Desert Design & Research offers you their D3-BLKRD, a dedicated suppressed 300 AAC Blackout. They use their DEFCON 2 suppressor, which is rated for the powerful 300 Winchester Magnum. The suppressor works extremely well in reducing the subsonic 300 Blackout down to hearing safe levels and that was what the round was designed for. How would you like to go plinking without hearing protection? Desert Design and Development’s DISSENT is a Ruger MKIII .22 Long Rifle pistol that has been modified by adding an integral suppressor. By design, this pistol will take high velocity CCI Mini-Mags and drop them down to subsonic levels. When using subsonic ammo, it's outrageously quiet. While they suggest using a Ruger MKIII Target as the host pistol for better balance, they can build it with the lighter model 22/45 Target as well. Just a few days ago they just announced they are adding an integrally suppressed Rugger 10/22 as well.

CHRONOGRAPH RESULTS | DESERT DESIGN & DEVELOPMENT D3-9SD:

CHRONOGRAPH RESULTS | Desert Design & Development D3-9SD Suppressed Carbine
CHRONOGRAPH RESULTS | Desert Design & Development D3-9SD Suppressed Carbine

Notes: Velocities figures are from a ten shot average recorded on a Caldwell Ballistic Precision Chronograph G2 placed 12 feet from the muzzle.

My first time experiencing the Desert Design & Development’s D3-9SD on the Jim Jones Shooting Range in Payson Arizona with HPR Ammunition. Notice my hearing protection at my feet, using HPR’s 147 grain EMCON 9mm ammunition and the DEFCON 4SD 9mm Suppressed Barrel System it was mouse fart quiet.
My first time experiencing the Desert Design & Development’s D3-9SD on the Jim Jones Shooting Range in Payson Arizona with HPR Ammunition. Notice my hearing protection at my feet, using HPR’s 147 grain EMCON 9mm ammunition and the DEFCON 4SD 9mm Suppressed Barrel System it was mouse fart quiet.

For their civilian customers: The Desert Design & Development D3-9SD Suppressed Carbine incorporates a suppressor and can be delivered as a SBR (Short Barreled Rifle), you are required to fill out the appropriate ATF forms which allows you to own a suppressor and/or short barreled rifle legally in states which allow their civilian ownership. When you’re approved you can take possession of your new rifle and head directly to the range, and you will. For purchases outside of the State of Arizona, the firearm will be transferred from dealer to dealer and you will be required to complete the ATF forms in your own state. Please contact your local Class 3 dealer for more information on this process. This System is currently available in several NFA configurations.

  • Dual tax stamp SBR/Suppressor starting at $2,350.
  • Single tax stamp Suppressor/pistol. Starting at $2,300.
  • Single tax stamp Suppressed upper w/ bolt carrier and charging handle. Starting at $1,760.
  • Select-fire or full-auto SBR/Suppressor for LEO. Starting at $2,500.

I am very impressed by the craftsmanship, not only exhibited on the Desert Design & Development D3-9SD Suppressed Carbine, but everything they manufacture, that’s why if you have the means, you should already have something on order. I should also mention that along with their base offerings, you can upgrade stocks and accessories to customize any D3 carbine to your wants and needs. Desert Design & Development will install a KeyMod or Quad Rail at your request. For even more compactness, Desert Design & Development offers the LWRC UCIW (Ultra-Compact Individual Weapon) stock and the MBV ARC stock. They will also offer the more traditional Magpul MOE, CTR and ACS-L stocks as options. As with everything, change is inevitable, so contact them and they will update you on what’s available for your carbine. They are all about you the customer and will do whatever (within reason) they can to accommodate you and your build. More importantly they are made right here in the USA and covered by their five year limited warranty. Just remember silence is golden, but you can’t experience it if you don’t visit their website or Facebook page.

I can’t show you how quiet the D3LLC Dissent Pistol is in an article, but the ability to shoot without hearing protection is so refreshing, now I can see why suppressors are so popular among shooters.
I can’t show you how quiet the D3LLC Dissent Pistol is in an article, but the ability to shoot without hearing protection is so refreshing, now I can see why suppressors are so popular among shooters.

Desert Design & Development D3-9SD Suppressed Carbine :

  • MODEL: D3-9SD (TESTED) and variants
  • ACTION TYPE: Semi-automatic for civilian / Select fire for LEO and Government Agencies
  • CALIBER: 9mm Luger (Tested) 40S&W, 45ACP, and 10mm available
  • CAPACITY: Up to 33 Rounds
  • BARREL: 6.75” match grade free floated barrel
  • SUPPRESSOR: 12” High volume integral suppressor
  • WEIGHT: 7.25 lbs. depending on configuration
  • OVERALL LENGTH: 23.5” Depending on stock options
  • FINISH: Matte black
  • SIGHTS: Iron sights or optics ready
  • SAFETY: Manual selector lever
  • PRICE: $2,699.00 MSRP

MANUFACTURER: Desert Design & Development – PO BOX 11352 Glendale, AZ 85318

E-Mail: [email protected] – FFL Address: 7500 E. Deer Valley Rd., Unit 181 Scottsdale, AZ 85255 – FAX: 602-942-0630 – Owners: James Seto: 623.256.1827 / Michael Lamb: 928.978.1517 Website: www.d3llc.com – Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/d3llc.

Desert Design & Development D3-9SD Suppressed Carbine Options include:

  • Caliber choice of 9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP and 10mm
  • M-LOK, or KEYMOD rails.
  • Semi, 3 round burst or full auto trigger groups.
  • Magpul MOE, CTR, STR, ACS or MVB ARC stocks.
  • Standard, extended or ambidextrous charging handles.
  • Magpul MBUS Pro Sights / Optics.
  • Rail covers and hand stops.
  • Vertical grip.
  • KNS Anti-rotation pins.

Contributors:

Photo Credits: No Stone Unturned Photography (www.nsuphoto.com).

About Norman Gray:

Norman Gray has been involved in the shooting sports for well over 30 years. He has served in both active duty and reserve component of the United States Army as an Infantryman and was honorably discharged at the end of his service. Moving to Arizona, he began assisting his long time friend and mentor Bob Shell, an accomplished writer and author in his own right. Norman is freelance contributor with Handguns Magazine, Canadian Firearms Journal and Manzano Valley Outdoors. He is also a member of (POMA) The Professional Outdoor Media Association, the (NSSF) National Shooting Sports Foundation and a Life Member of the (NRA) National Rifle Association.

Visit: http://www.unleaded-ink.blogspot.com/ for more information.

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    John BuonannoJimmyDr. Jim ClaryJohn in AZ Recent comment authors
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    John Buonanno
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    John Buonanno

    That is one badass little carbine for lots of money, is it legal in California ? Maybe if I use a ballpoint pen to write my phone number on every fucking round , no probably not . I was one of the first Marines to get an AR at Camp Pendleton.
    I really like the stock and the suppressed barrell , short and sweet .one could light up a knife wielding Islamic bastard with it for sure. Hope big T wins this election.

    Jimmy
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    Jimmy

    What kind of comparison is that John in AZ? Apples and oranges, my friend. That’s like comparing a home made 49cc dirt buggy to a Honda Civic to a Ferrari. All three have 4 wheels, a motor and gets you to point A to point B, but not the same way. You’re comparing a home made $300 22LR suppressor to an integrally suppressed 9MM “complete” carbine. The 9mm AR stripped lower and upper is over $300. Your statement is ridiculous.

    Dr. Jim Clary
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    Dr. Jim Clary

    A very nice in-depth review…. Good Job, Mr. Gray.. Good Job!

    John in AZ
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    John in AZ

    You can build a very decent Form 1 .22 suppressor for just about a hundred bucks. Add the unjustified, unconstitutional tax stamp and your looking at $300 out the door.

    Can’t imagine shelling out over $2k for the same result. It’s a damn metal tube with some baffles.