Daniel Defense DDM4 v7 Pistol – is this Premium AR Worth the $$$? ~ VIDEO

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U.S.A. -(AmmoLand.com)- Prior to the introduction of stabilizing braces, AR-15 pistols like the DDM4 V7 were of questionable usefulness; They sacrificed ballistic efficacy and shoot ability in exchange for a more compact, handy package.

But once these braces took off, the market reacted by exploding with various AR pistols. At this point, there are nearly as many pistol variants of AR-15s as there are carbines on the market. So while this made Daniel Defense’s introduction of AR pistols a logical one, it also presented a unique challenge for the company. How to carve out a niche for a high-end AR pistol in a market saturated by inexpensive blue-collar-priced options.

After all, why would the average consumer buy something like the DDM V7 when they could buy a no-name alternative for a quarter of the price? Well, let’s take a closer look and find out.

DDM4V7 Pistol
The DDM4V7 Pistol in all its glory. IMG Jim Grant

 Daniel Defense DDM4 v7 Pistol

To start things off, the Daniel Defense DDM4 is a direct-impingement semi-automatic pistol chambered in either 5.56mm or .300blk. Regardless of caliber, all DDM4 pistols and rifles feed from standard AR-15 magazines and include one 32-round Daniel Defense magazine in the box.

In a nutshell, the DDM4 V7 is your standard AR-15 pistol – lightweight, soft-shooting with solid ergonomics. So what makes this gun worth the difference in price?

Features and performance.

DDM4V7 Grip
Like all Daniel Defense ARs, the M4V7 pistol includes an incredibly comfortable Daniel Defense grip. IMG Jim Grant

DDM4 Features

The gun’s unique color is one of the first things shooters notice about the DDM4 V7. The majority of ARs follow Henry Ford’s old mantra of being available in “any color so long as it’s black.” with FDE coming in a close second. And while the DDM4 V7 is available in these colors, the one standout option is MilSpec+. While that might seem like some sort of marketing-speak, this MilSpec+ finish is an extremely hard dark brown (almost like Patriot Brown) Cerakote that, in my testing, is more even than most Cerakoted firearms and definitely more durable.

How exactly is that beyond Mil-Spec? It’s physically harder and more durable than what is required from the military. Basically, it’s just a very tough finish whose color seems to blend in well in virtually any environment except white-out conditions.

DDM4V7 LAW Folder
The DDM4V7 Pistol lacks a stock per NFA regulations but includes this awesome LAW Tactical folding mechanism to keep it compact. IMG Jim Grant

Other instantly noticeable features of the Daniel Defense carbine include the extremely comfortable pistol grip and buttstock. Both are unique to the Daniel Defense series of firearms but are 100% compatible with any mil-spec AR-15. What makes them so comfy is the combination of hard, durable plastic and soft rubber-like Santoprene panels. Providing a nearly perfect balance of grippyness with strength – and in my highly unscientific testing, every shooter who handled the rifle went to buy a set of the furniture for their own guns within a few weeks.

That said, the gun reviewed is a pistol, so while it has the excellent Daniel Defense pistol grip, it lacks a stock to make the gun NFA-compliant. In its place, the DDM4 V7 pistol features a combination LAW tactical folding mechanism and SB tactical gen one brace.

While I would have personally preferred an SBA3 brace because it makes the gun fit me better, this combination is still pretty solid – provided the shooter isn’t especially tall.

DDM4V7 Brace
While the Daniel pistol includes a very capable SBA1 brace, the author would have preferred the SBA3. IMG Jim Grant

Beneath this, Daniel Defense utilizes its proprietary pistol grip that includes the awesome Santoprene panels and features an integral trigger guard.

Other features include one of my favorite AR-15 charging handles on the market today: the GRIP-N-RIP ambidextrous charging handle. As the name implies, the GRIP-N-RIP handle is made for fast-action and aggressive use. For example, clearing a malfunction in a competition – or God forbid – a gunfight. It gives the shooter much greater purchase on the charging handle without being so oversized that it snags on gear or bangs into the shooter while they’re carrying it on a sling.

DDM4 V7 Performance

OK, so the DDM4 V7 pistol has some solid features, but what about performance? How did the little handgun perform?

DDM4V7 Muzzle Brake
The included muzzle brake tames the already mild felt recoil. IMG Jim Grant

In terms of reliability, I encountered no malfunctions across 600 rounds of ammo fired without any sort of lubrication – though this is to be expected from a high-end brand like Daniel Defense. Ammo used in the test ranged from 55gr Monarch (re-branded Tula) to SIG’s excellent 77gr match grade ammo. The gun was run both as it ships from the factory and with the addition of a SilencerCo Saker ASR 762 suppressor provided by SilencerShop.com, and in both instances, the gun just ran flawlessly.

Accuracy too, was excellent from the DDM4.

I fired the DDM4 V7 pistol off of a Lyman Bag Jack at an NRA scaled rifle target 25 times in 5-shot strings allowing the barrel to cool two minutes between groups. While the Monarch ammo grouped somewhat poorly at three inches, (which makes sense as the chronograph showed up to a 5% swing in velocity between shots!) with premium SIG ammo and mil-spec Federal/Hornady 55gr FMJ, the DDM4 V7 achieved groups as small as 1.73 inches. Given the relatively short barrel length, and lack of a stock to properly stabilize the gun, this is very good.

DDM4V7 Pistol Will
Even combat-veteran shooters like Will here really enjoy the DDM4V7 pistol. IMG Jim Grant

Daniel Defense DDM4V7 Verdict

Bottom line: is the Daniel Defense DDM4V7 Pistol worth its $2,229 MSRP?

For the sort of shooter who visits the range twice a year and fires 100 rounds through their gun, objectively no. Sure, if they decide to splurge on the purchase, they won’t be disappointed. Still, the extra cost over a more affordable option would likely be better spent on training courses and practice ammunition.

But for shooters who need a gun that they can 100% rely on for home defense, competition, or survival use, Daniel Defense’s series of firearms will not disappoint.

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About Jim Grant

Jim is one of the elite editors for AmmoLand.com, who can wield a camera with expert finesse in addition to his mastery of prose. He loves anything and everything guns but holds firearms from the Cold War in a special place in his heart.

When he’s not reviewing guns or shooting for fun and competition, Jim can be found hiking and hunting with his wife Kimberly and their dog Peanut in the South Carolina low country.

Jim Grant

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“for shooters who need a gun that they can 100% rely on for home defense, competition, or survival use, Daniel Defense’s series of firearms will not disappoint.”

Nor will any number of other less expensive ARs. And if you shop around a bit or build one yourself, you might just be able to wind up with two (calibers) that are equally as reliable.


I’m curious why this variant was chosen to be tested? It’s difficult to see a demand for a pistol with such an outdated brace from either potential new firearm customers, ammoland readers or successful firearm focused journalists.

Wild Bill

Good question. Maybe it is more advertising than testing.

Last edited 6 months ago by Wild Bill
Bob K

Would have been nice to have a comparison to a less expensive brand. They’re just giving results from the 1 gun they tested.
Many lesser brands results would compare pretty well I think. Not knocking DD at all though


I have their 11.5 ddm4v7 s sbr and I love it. I have it with a swampfox 1-10 and a holosun offset red dot. Very lightweight and fun to shoot


Radom thought here. Firearm ads from MSR manufacturers still advertise and sell pistols with braces. Does the AFT still have a legal claim these are SBR’s? If these pistols don’t fall in the “common use” category, l don’t know what does!


You know what’s not worth the money? Buying a gun from a Fudd like Marty Daniel.

Wild Bill

Ok, I’ll bite. Why is Marty Daniel a Fudd?


Bill, Marty Daniel is about as far removed from being a Fudd as it can get.


He advocated for FixNICS until he received so much backlash from his customers that he had to issue a letter saying he no longer supports it and how much of a 2A advocate he is. Then he went before Congress and said they took a step in the right direction when they enacted the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. This act makes various changes to federal firearms laws, including to expand background check requirements, broaden the scope of existing restrictions, and establish new criminal offenses.