Daniel Defense Delta 5 Rifle: On-Point or Pointless? ~ VIDEO

AmmoLand News Editor, Jim Grant, gives us a video range report on the Daniel Defense Delta 5 Rifle.

U.S.A. -(AmmoLand.com)- When Daniel Defense announced the introduction of the Delta 5 Rifle, my first question was why?

It’s like hearing that Ferrari is getting into pickup trucks. Doesn’t mean they won’t make a great one, but it’s not exactly their core market. Don’t get me wrong, all the marketing material, glamor shots, and massive billboard ads at SHOT Show 2020 definitely got me salivating, but there are plenty of great, established bolt-action rifle designs on the market.

Daniel Defense Delta 5 Rifle

Which begs the question, why would a shooter take a chance on an unproven design when there are dozens of designs with decades of performance?

Daniel Defense Delta 5
The Delta 5, delivers lead beyond 1,000 yards – rain or shine! IMG Jim Grant

Indeed, the Daniel Defense Delta 5 will have to beat out several designs with decades of experience and proven track records of reliability under combat conditions if it wants to be successful in the civilian market. So, does it? We stretch the Delta 5’s legs and find out.

Daniel Defense Delta 5 Rifle Chassis
The Daniel Defense Delta 5 Bolt Action Rifle may look like a traditional rifle, but the action sits in an ultra-rigid mini-chassis that clamps to the stock. IMG Jim Grant


The Daniel Defense Delta 5 is a magazine-fed, bolt-action precision rifle available in both .308 Win and 6.5 Creedmoor. The .308 version sports a 20in barrel, while the 6.5cm rocks a 24in one. For the review, we tested the 6.5cm model. All versions of the gun feed from detachable, single-column AICS magazines and ship with a single 5-round polymer Magpul example in the box.

As for features, the Delta 5 is slam-packed with so many that it would be very easy to miss some if mentioned or laid out a la carte. So, we’ll start at the stock and move our way forward.


The Daniel Defense Delta 5 ships with an injection-molded, high-strength polymer stock. At the rear, it includes a length of pull adjustable buttpad that uses spacers, and a tension-secured adjustable comb to allow shooters to get behind their favorite optic no matter how large it is.

But the rifle itself doesn’t just sit inside the stock. It actually resides in a small aluminum, two-piece mini-chassis which allows the action to be clamped into the stock securely without the need for traditional bedding of the rifle. This combined with the rigid material used in the stock’s construction ensures the barrel is perfectly free-floated for maximum consistency/accuracy.

Daniel Defense Delta 5 Bolt
The Daniel Defense Delta 5 uses a three-lug, push-feed bolt. IMG Jim Grant

Above this, the bolt itself is a three-lug, push-feed design with a short, 60-degree throw. This is an ideal combination of features for strength and rapid operation. Beneath this, the magazine well is cut for AICS-pattern magazines, and the gun features a slightly over-sized ambidextrous paddle release for quick magazine changes.

Above all that, the Delta 5 ships with a 20 MOA Picatinny optics rail that is secured directly to the recoil lugs to ensure that it never rattles loose even with powerful magnum chamberings potentially available in the future. This rail is also ideal for the Delta 5’s role as a long-range, precision weapon, as it affords the shooter extra elevation adjustments for those really long-range shots.

Forward is the heart of any precision weapon – the barrel. And Daniel Defense didn’t skimp on it at all. The Delta 5 has a hammer-forged barrel built by Daniel Defense themselves, and it ships threaded from the factory to standard 5/8x24in. The 6.5 Creedmoor model tested has a 24in barrel, but the 308 model includes a slightly shorter 20in barrel.

Under the barrel, the Delta-5 includes three strips of M-Lok slots at the three, six, and nine o’clock positions.

Daniel Defense Delta 5 M-Lok
The Delta 5’s stock features M-Lok slots on the forend for mounting lasers, range-fingers, and bipods. IMG Jim Grant

Daniel Defense Delta 5 Rifle Put to the Test

Since the Delta 5 is supposed to not only be a precision rifle but one capable of hard field use under a variety of conditions, I wasn’t content to just punch paper from a bench. So instead, I ventured out to a friend’s property in sunny South Carolina and we set up some steel targets at various distances ranging from 200 to 750 yards. For glass, Vortex loaned me a Vortex HD Razor Gen 2 Rifle Scope so I could get enough magnification and clarity to maximize the Delta 5’s potential.

Additionally,  I utilized an Atlas bipod from Accu-Shot mounted on a Magpul polymer M-Lok Picatinny rail segment.  This is an extremely durable, well-made bipod that even huskier shooters can feel comfortable doing push-ups on – yeah, it’s really that sturdy.

Daniel Defense Delta 5 Rifle Jim Grant
The author sights in the DD Delta 5 Rifle at 500m, preparing to engage his steel adversaries. IMG Jim Grant

Throughout the test, the Delta 5 never failed to be capable of hitting five-inch steel swingers provided the shooter did their part, while engaging man-sized targets out to 750 yards was fairly effortless. In fact, I’d argue that every miss was shooter-error. Because of COVID, this shooter hasn’t been able to do much long-range shooting in a long time.

But since this is a precision weapon, so it’s equally important to test it at a known distance under conditions that are as controlled as possible. So before I headed out to the farm to shoot at long range, I tested the gun at 100 yards with three different loads of 6.5 Creedmoor. Normally, I like to do three sets of five-round groups, but given the sky-high price and limited availability of ammo at the moment, I decided to just do a single five-round group for each after the gun was zeroed and allowed to cool for five minutes.

The results were very impressive, with the Delta 5 achieving groups slightly above half MOA, or half an inch at 100 yards. But given Daniel Defense’s history of making quality, accurate firearms, this should come as no surprise.

Daniel Defense Delta 5 Rifle Pros and Cons

From the previous paragraph, it’s obvious the Delta 5 is capable of incredible feats of accuracy, but there is more to the gun than that. So let’s dig in.

Personally, I really enjoyed the stock’s adjustable length of pull and the adjustable comb. The stock itself felt durable, rigid, and all-around well-made. That said, I wasn’t a huge fan of the pistol grip palm swell, though this isn’t something that Daniel Defense screwed up, just a personal preference for guys like me with small-to-medium-sized (schmedium?) hands. That said, I was still able to get behind the rifle comfortably, and engage targets with ease.

Another minor qualm I had with the gun was the bolt design philosophy – It’s a push-feed design. Most people don’t care either way, but if I was going to build a gun designed for a TEOTWAWKI scenario, it would be a control-fed design. For the uninitiated, the difference is that control-feed bolts retain the cartridge until pulled all the way back, where push-feed simply slides the round from the magazine, up the feed ramp, and into the chamber.

Daniel Defense Delta 5 Rifle With Vortex HD Razor Gen 2, Atlas Bipod and Innovative Arms sound suppressor
Daniel Defense Delta 5 Rifle With Vortex HD Razor Gen 2, Atlas Bipod, and Innovative Arms sound suppressor provided by SilencerShop. IMG Jim Grant

When everything works, the difference between the two is academic. The problem that can occur is when a shooter is hastily working the bolt it’s possible to double-feed the gun and cause it to malfunction. That said, I never encountered any reliability issues stemming from the bolt, so make your own decision.

Speaking of reliability, there was one odd issue with the gun when I received it. Occasionally, the supplied magazine would fail to sit high enough for the bolt to strip a round from it. I confirmed that it was a magazine issue by testing a different capacity AICS-pattern Magpul magazine in the same gun with the same ammo and encountered no issues whatsoever. That said, the gun tested was a review/loaner gun from Daniel Defense. So I’m definitely not the first one to run it hard, probably more like the 15th. So it’s certainly possible that a previous reviewer at some point man-handled the magazine or damaged it in some way.


So, what’s the verdict?

For me, the Daniel Defense Delta 5 Bolt Action Rifle is a very solid choice for shooters who want a precision rifle capable of making 1,000-yard shots but don’t want a tacticool chassis gun. It’s by no means inexpensive, but with the recent price cut, the Daniel Defense Delta 5 goes from a good deal to a great one. So if you’ve been on the fence about buying a precision bolt-action rifle, and either loves Daniel Defense or simply rugged, unique designs, the Delta 5 will absolutely scratch that itch.

Daniel Defense Delta 5 Rifle Price Check
Daniel Defense Delta 5 Rifle Price Check as of 09/15/2020

About Jim GrantJim Grant

Jim is one of the elite editors for AmmoLand.com, who in addition to his mastery of prose, can wield a camera with expert finesse. 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.

Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, Ammoland will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
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Instead of arguing about whether any firearm is relevant over another. Time should be better spent defending their use. Long guns such as this will be next on the list for “Assault” weapons status because of the ability to shoot great distances accurately. Don’t dismiss the idea because it’s already on the radar of Gun Grabbers. Keep Your Powder Dry..

Dogma Factor

DD is entering a crowded field with an unremarkable short action in two very predictable calibers. Nothing stands out as special or custom, just more of the same of what’s already out there. Only time will tell if DD can compete with their bolt gun. I for one will pass on this one and so far their advertising campaign doesn’t match its intent. It’s no stalking or hunting rifle and showing someone running around in the woods with a silencer is ridiculous. If you’re looking for a stalking rifle it’s all about weight not gadgetry.


I doubt it can out-shoot my Ruger Precision Rifle with the Vortex glass on top.


I took my 6.5 creed RPR from the box, mounted a scope, fired 3 rounds to set the scope on paper, and fired a 3 round .286″ group (from a lead sled) at 100 yards using Hornady American gunner ammo. My jaw about hit my chest.


Have done the same with the same weapon/caliber using a Harris bipod and a 6-24×50 Riton scope from the picnic table, I LOVE IT !!!!

Matt in Oklahoma

So what sets it apart from all the others out there?


I can only speak for myself and why I chose it as my SHTF/WW3 rifle. Mini aluminum chassis in my preferred stock format (tactical). Quick, idiot proof barrel changes so I can get whichever of the two cartridges is available (6.5 or 308). Both of these features, at a very high quality. The combination of these three things is what made it unique to me.


Doesn’t Howa offer pretty much the same thing ? And for half the price.




$1799.00. Now if I can find an equivalent optics for double that price, I’ll have a new way to spend ALL my time and money.

WI Patriot

Pointless…my Howa will shoot just as well right out of the box…
And I’ll put my Ruger GSR up against it any day…

Last edited 2 years ago by WI Patriot

“That said, I never encountered any reliability issues stemming from the bolt, so make your own decision.”
Layman translation is
And I’ve never won the power ball lottery but obviously some one does.


All that, and they went with push feed instead of controlled feed. Disappointing.


If the push feed is good enough for Brrett MRAD and Sako TRG, rifles that cost 2-3 times more, why wouldn’t it be good for Delta 5?


How many years is AmmoLand “News” going to keep showing us this same old review? It isn’t “news” when the product has been on the market for several years.

k larry

I have the same problem with 10 round Magpul AICS mags in my Delta 5 6.5CM. Called Magpul and they stated that the follower in the 10 rounders aren’t designed for 6.5CM. Instead, they said only their 5 rounders are guaranteed to feed properly. Confirmed this by taking the spring and follower out of the 5 round Magpul AICS magazine and putting it into the 10 round body. Even though the spring is shorter and thereby weaker, never had a feeding issue afterwards. You can see that the followers, including the color are different between the two. Just FYI.



Back in January, 2019 DD was offering this rifle in multiple calibers, but now only in .308. MSRP is currently $1871.00. Thanks, Jim, for the up-to-the-minute report.


I would like to read about the 308 cal after your test that rifle in that caliber . The 6.5 has become the go to round for precision shooting competitions. I prefer 30 cal for it is hard to hide behind something and not get dead a proven battlefield caliber. That said the aluminum block and free floating barrel is old school stuff and very effective. The price tag is up there if your competing you need a good rifle and there are a lot of good ones for less money , and a lot of better ones for lots… Read more »


How many cup holders are in your 75,000 dollar pick-up?

WI Patriot

More than I’ll ever use…


Until it is in 30-06, I don’t care.


Why .30-06? It is minimally more potent than the accurate .308.

WI Patriot

Because he like long action…


Or a hell of a stash of ammo. lol


Recalls an adage…..”Just because something can be done, does not mean it should be.”


To show that it is water resistant. It has feet so when fire is required, it refuses to lay down.


Give me the 308 in a 24 inch barrel or go away

WI Patriot

The optimal barrel length for the .308 Winchester is 18.5 inches, there are minimal gains in anything passed that…


What was pointless, was mounting the optic using a mount designed for gas guns and not the proper height rings.


Since it has an adjustable check rest the scope mount and ring set seems appropriate. It is not like the scope sits abnormally high.


With this design, I can’t think of an optic/ring combination that wouldn’t fit on this rifle.