Daniel Defense M4 Carbine

Daniel Defense, known for manufacturing AR-15 parts, have produced their first complete rifle.

Picture 5-23
Daniel Defense M4 Carbine

The carbine features:

* their own in-house manufactured lower receiver
* 1:7 16″ barrel
* Daniel Defense Omega X 12.0 FSP rail that extends forward of the front sight / gas block
* Daniel Defense A1.5 rear sight.
* Magpul stock.
* Daniel Defense forward grip

Daniel Defense, Inc | Browse | Rifles | M4 Carbine
I like the look of the A1.5 rear sight.

Promotional video:

No word on pricing.

More info at DDM4.com

UPDATE: MSRP seems to be $1600. See randomhero58’s comment below.

Hat Tip: Tactical Life

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Cadpat Carnage

    Not too sure what to think of this “product”, can’t say I’ve heard of Daniel Defense until today. It depends on the price but as far as I can see it’s a purchase for those who don’t have a few extra magpul stocks laying around or for those who aren’t wanting to mod their rifle with their own hands.

    I wonder who their target consumer is with the upgraded iron sites as a “feature”. I know the first thing I do when I get a new gun is attach a EOTech or Trijicon, unless of course it’s an AK…

    From their website it appears they have some well build products. And maybe introducing a rifle will bring their name forward. Because I am a geardo & gun nut but I have never heard of them. I will definitely look into ordering a few of their products to test them out.

  • Eddy Alvarez

    i just picked up a DD lower for an SBR build i’m working on. its an extremely nice lower and everything is of visible quality. the mag well flaring is very nice as well. And the new magpul MOE stock is very nice. Just like a CTR but it feels more sturdy and just lacks the “memory” settings.

    btw, does anyone know what type of muffs the guy is using? they look very low-profile for electronic hearing protection.

  • AIM Surplus has them listed for $1549 (not currently in stock).

    Looks like a nice carbine. It is interesting what they have done with the forearm rail. It certainly makes for a different look for a gun with a carbine-length gas system. Makes me wonder why they didn’t just go for a midlength gas system, which I have always preferred for 16″ barrel AR’s, in terms of both functioning and aesthetics.

    • Gun, thanks for the price. I don’t think they are ready to ship yet.

  • SoloTwo

    Quite a few places have been selling them for a few weeks lately. Apparently pretty slowly and people are blaming there rail design that goes forward of the front site base. Though I love that design and I’ve been looking to replace my current rail with that model on my carbine.

  • Other than some spiffy accessories what makes this AR15 platform different form all the others?

    If it still shit’s were it eats I’ll pass.

  • Eddy Alvarez

    @ Cadpat

    Daniel Defense is actualy a really well known company. if you go with nice, high-end, “tactical” sling mounts and other mounts, you would most likely use Daniel Defense. they have traditionally stuck to these markets. I personally only owned a couple of sling mounts from them until a few weeks ago when i bought their lower as I stated up there. my primary AR is a s&w M&P15, and it hurts me to say but the DD lower is a fair bit better build quality than the M&P15

  • Cadpat Carnage

    Yah I feel a little odd not recognizing the brand, maybe it’s because of my geographical location. It does look like some real quality work & hope to pick a few things up.

  • Ken

    Another clone for the clone wars I see. This AR trend seems to be like the SUV thing….everybody is making em. When will it go bust? See my previous gripe:


  • randomhero58

    They’ve been on sale for at least a month or so from what I’ve seen. ADCO has it: http://www.adcofirearms.com/itemdetails_.cfm?inventorynumber=3415 , PK Firearms has it: http://www.pkfirearms.com/store/get_items.aspx?type=0&term=142 , Rainier Arms has it: http://www.rainierarms.com/?page=shop/detail&product_id=1283 , AIM has it too (but not in stock at the moment): http://www.aimsurplus.com/acatalog/Daniel_Defense_.223_5.56_M4_Rifle.html

    Haven’t heard any negatives about it so far.

    • randomhero58, thanks for the links.

  • jdun1911

    DD primary business is AR15 accessories. They are well know in the AR15 community. Their Omega 12 rails is popular. I’m not sure if they were the first one to introduced extended forward front sight rail. Many other companies have similar products in the market.

    I prefer a low profile gas block with rife length rail on a 16 inch barrel then the extended forward front sight rail tho.

  • Lee Huggins

    Great Product! Daniel we are all very proud of you and your team! Best regards, Lee

  • Steve

    Purchased my DD M4 a couple of weeks ago, chose between 6920 Colt, i love my DD M4, lightweight, rail system, 30 round clip.
    Sweet shooting machine.
    I recommend it.
    Clyde Armory in Athens GA has them for $1495.

  • Bobby

    Can the DDM4 free-float rail be removed and attached to another AR-15 (or MR556) or is it proprietary?

    If it’s proprietary I will be heartbroken.

  • Aaron

    DD is great for the cash, quality and fit is great and its just a trigger job away from a real knocker.

  • tim

    What is a good optic for this weapon?

  • Jason

    After having done several weeks of research as well as looked at a dozen or so AR’s, I have concluded that the DD M4 is the gun to get. Its versatility is significant offering the buyer many options to add everything from front grips to red LED’s to flashlights to a bayonet. If you are taller, the longer rail is also VERY nice offering the shooter a more comfortable and stable forward grip. The gun also comes with the forward vertical hand grip, which would be at least $100 to add with any other gun.

    The 1:7 twist ratio is also nice, although I’m not convinced that it’s necessary. But, having it means that if I want to fire an 80 grain bullet with any accuracy, I can.

    The sights are simple and one can easily and quickly sight a target and shoot. The weighting of the weapon is excellent and it sits well (comfortable) in your hands (better than almost every other gun I looked at in any case in my opinion).

    Having multiple positions available for the adjustable butt stock is nice. One thing here that would be nice would be to have a metal stock although I was unable to find a metal stock on any gun that was under several thousand dollars.

    Again, in my opinion, the next closest AR is the Smith and Wesson M&P15T. The S&W is also a very nice gun, but there are several things about it that I believe make the DD M4 the gun to get. The S&W has collapsible sights, where as the DD does not. I’m not sure what the benefit of collapsible sights other than storage or perhaps moving through rough country. I don’t plan on trekking through the jungle and I also don’t think I need to protect the sights. I’d rather have them set like they are on the DD.

    Although the rail on the M&P15T is a lot longer than the rail on the M&P15X, it’s still shorter than the DD. Also, the S&W does not come with the forward vertical hand grip. Getting it adds a minimum of $100 to the price, making the total cost of the Smith and Wesson the same as the cost of the DDM4

    Finally, I simply think the quality of the DD M4 is better than the S&W M&P15T. The DDM4 looks better and it feels better in my hands.

    My guess is both guns fire close to identical (I have not fired the DDM4). But I suspect the DDM4 is more durable and thus will last longer.

    Since the price of both guns (as I would equip them) is identical, the M4 is a no brainer for me.

    Other guns I looked at include:

    Colt AR15 LE – $1600, 20 round mag, shorter rail, weighting not as comfortable as the DD or the S&W. Pass

    Bushmaster Modular Carbine AR15 – $1400, 1:9 twist, shorter rail, also the rail is slightly more limiting in what you can use with it. I liked this gun, but for $200 I can get the forward vertical hand grip, the longer rail, the more adjustable stock and the better weighting feel, all which come stock on the DDM4. If you don’t need the vertical grip nor do you care about the longer rail and you want to save $200 but still get a metal rail, then this is probably a good choice. For me, pass.

    SIG 556 Classic Swat Diopter – $2,100 – This is an awesome gun! If you can easily spend the extra $500, then this gun is worth it. You get the 1:7 twist ratio, the 16″ barrel with Swiss style hinged stock that is collapsible. The diopter sights are also very cool. The gun “feels” super comfortable in your hands. It is weighted perfectly. The only other gun that is comparable, in my opinion, is the Daniel Defense M4 Carbine.

    Unfortunately I can’t tell you what all of these guns are like to fire (other than the Smith and Wesson M&P15T) but after extensive conversation and research, I believe the Daniel Defense and the SIG to be the best performing guns. The Smith and Wesson M&P15T and the Bushmaster are also very nice guns. But, taking everything into consideration, I believe the gun to get is the Daniel Defense M4 Carbine.

    In any case, these are all my opinions.

    Jason, Phoenix, AZ

  • Anu

    Its awesome gun. The best price I found was with bmc tactical. $1299. Cant beat that price

  • jeremy

    I’ve had this gun for about a week now. I’ve put roughly 200 rounds of a mix of standard 223 and m855/ss109. The gun is built very very well! That is one point on which dd thrives. In addition, this gun functions flawlessly. A really great shooter. I will tell you though, that if you are going for accuracy, steer clear of 55grain bullets. They fire safely and are great for plinking but the 7:1 twist seems to “overspin or over stabalize” them causing more fliers and a really spread out group. The m855 with a 62 grain was very accurate. So my advice would be 62 grain or heavier, and you’ll have one of the top carbines on the market today! Happy shootin!

  • LarryT

    bought the ddxv version which has less bells & whistles. exact same rifle. the look and feel is much better quality than others. this is the first rifle i’ve ever fired. after sighting in with laser bore sighter my grouping was within 1 1/2 inch. very accurate rifle once sighted in considering i have never fired one before. this is a very good rifle.

  • ChadT

    Just bought my DD M4 today! Going to the range in the morning. I own a DPMS M4A2 but was looking to buy another rifle. Like Jason, I did the research and the DD M4 was definatley the best choice. A 1/7 twist ratio and the cold hammered forged barrel plus the Omega X rail you cant beat it for the price!

  • DougW

    Just shot the DD and I have to say, it is DEADLY accurate, VERY light, and extremely well-made. Even with the stock sight I was able to bury all of the rounds from the first clip square in the middle of the target at 25 yards. I am very impressed and am going to buy one tomorrow. If you haven’t tried it, take one for a test-spin. You will be very pleasantly surprised!

  • ChadT

    I have run my DD rifle through the paces and it ran flawlessly. I have about 500 rnds through it with only 1 malfunction. I have done malfunction drills, reload drills, shot at high rates of fire, and ran a 3-gun competition with no problems. The rifle is light, accurate, and easy to maneuver in room clearing drills due to the low profile of the Omega rail system. I am getting 1 inch groups @ 100yrds from a bench and was hitting steel plates @ 300 & 400 yrds w/ an Eotech consistently. Overall I really like this rifle and for the money you cant beat it!

  • BobZ

    I purchased my M4 about 6 months ago and it has run flawlessly. Gone through 2500-3000 rounds with no misfires or jams.
    Added an Ecotech and a green laser. Just purchased a 3x magnifier to have a little longer range. Very pleased with my purchase. Paid $1499 in Loveland CO.

  • yerhuckleberry

    Any responses to or experiences differing from jeremy re: bullet weight?

    “…if you are going for accuracy, steer clear of 55grain bullets. They fire safely and are great for plinking but the 7:1 twist seems to “overspin or over stabalize” them causing more fliers and a really spread out group. The m855 with a 62 grain was very accurate. So my advice would be 62 grain or heavier…” (on 03 Oct 2009 at 1:48 am)

  • Rich Reinauer

    I just looked at the DD M4 at a local shop in Fort Worth. Aside from everything said above I was impressed with the absolute 100% satisfaction guarantee on the DD. “The Daniel Defense M4 Carbine carries a 100% satisfactions guarantee against defects in original materials and workmanship.” (from their website) On the down side, the gas keys on the one I looked at did not look properly staked. Granted the ones on the pictures on their website do, but the ones in the shop barely touched the keys ridged outer edge.

  • DDM4

    Same story with my DDM4. Everything feeds, but 55 grain bullets of all types shoot 4-5 in at 100 m… switching to 63 grain soft point tightened the group up to 1inch or less. happily, eagle 63 grain bullets are the cheapest available locally so everybody wins.

    “…if you are going for accuracy, steer clear of 55grain bullets. They fire safely and are great for plinking but the 7:1 twist seems to “overspin or over stabalize” them causing more fliers and a really spread out group. The m855 with a 62 grain was very accurate. So my advice would be 62 grain or heavier…” (on 03 Oct 2009 at 1:48 am)

  • aaron

    just purchsed DDM4 with upgrade kit, havn’t got to shoot yet, but the rifle is a dibuilt very well compared to other AR platforms, i purchased from a distributor who provides law enforcment and military nationwide,they said it is new but very high end, i got their last one but they can order them, they have a complete kit for $1879, rifle itself is 1500$,comes with rifle,case, 5 30rnd mags and an Eotech 512 holgraphic sight…great prices on everything, i just happen to live 10 min from 1 of their 2 locations…check out their site, gtdistributors.com

  • Tom

    Wow, this rifle is the most complete M16/Ar-15 package on he civillian market, I had been doing research on all M16/ar-15’s for about (2) years before I finally purchased the DD M4 based on my extensive research. NO ONE, I repaet NO ONE makes a better out of the box rifle, not even for a higher price in my opinion. I just cannot say enough about this rifle, out of the box I was getting sub MOA at 200 yards with very little tinkering (I do have eagle eyes though!)!

    Heres the complete breakdown:
    -MPI Bolt
    -PRessure tested (HPT) bolt
    -Shot peened Bolt
    -extractor spring insert
    -properly stacked gas key
    -M16 bolt/carrier style
    -4150 CHF Barrel Steel
    -MPI Barrel
    -Pressure tested (HPT) Barrell
    -Chrome Chamber and bore
    -1:7 rifle twist
    -5.56/.223 wylde chamber
    -M4 style feedramps
    -F- MArked front sight base
    -pins at FSB: Taper
    -Finish under FSB: Parkerized
    -Handguard Shields: Single
    -Receiver Extension diameter: 1.14
    -Staked Castle Nut
    -Heavy Buffer
    -FCG Pins Diameter: .154″
    -Rear Sight: DD A1.5 (Beautiful simplistic approach to sight system out of the box, love it!)
    -Warranty: Lifetime! Your Colt LE6920 is only a year warranty, and from what I have heard from special forces guys is that you will be spening money to service it after that year warranty has dried up.

    Average Street Price: $1150.00!!

    With the Omega 12.0 Rail system you can actually mount your light in front of your barrel eliminating the “barrel” shadow from the light being mounted behind the barrell. Not to mention you have room for any rail system add on you could ever imagine, shit you got room for 2 of every rail system add on you can imagine!!!!!!!

    Easiest rifle I have ever sighted in.

    Yep, as evidenced by it’s factory included features and it’s exacting mil-spec design, for a lower than normal top tier rifle price; this is by far the best value and MOST COMPLETE M16/AR-15 available to civilian markets.
    I have fired over 5000 rounds through my DD M4 with not one malfucntion of any sort, I even stress tested her at 2000 rounds of Prvi 62 grain match down the tube without so much as a (1) patch through the barrel after the first 1000 rounds and no problems what so ever. Tightest (In the good way) tolerances of any AR I have ever handled including Saber Defence, Noveske, Larue, Colt 6920, RRA, Olympic arms, Stag, CMMG, DPMS, Armalite, CDD, BCM, LMT, S&W, and bushmaster; none come close to a “complete M16/AR-15” Platform as the DD M4 does.
    Not only the best bang for your buck, but the best bang period, wihtout getting the tax stamp and getting a real M16 for multiple thousands of dolars (And I would still take my DD M4 over those!!!!!! I have some sepcial forces buddies that couldn’t put the DD down, and hated going back to the military platform from there, seriously they all went out and bought the DD M4 in the next week after shopoting mine, and these are some old school hard-core guys!)
    Comes with MAgpul 30 round p-mag, plastic case, sling swivel mounts in front (ambi) and rear.
    My brother in law bought an olympic arms upper with DPMS lower for $1,000.00 the same day I bought my DD M4, and he has been hitting himself in the head ever since, I got ten times the gun at just about $500.00 more than his piece’o’crap batch tested non mil-spec Olympic/DPMS. Oh and he had to spend more than $500.00 to get the same accessories standard on my DD M4 (He really couldn’t stand to look at me me for a few months after this! Poor guy! Buyer beware! Research research research!) Sure you can get rifles for cheaper that will shoot, but do you really want to spend $700.00 to get a nice looking pile of shit that may jam up when you need it to save you or your families lives???, or spend the extra $700.00 to get a rifle that will outshoot you for he rest of your life?
    Go with the DD M4, you CANNOT be dissapointed!!!!!!!

    I got mine with (13) Extra P-mags, (1000) Rounds of match grade 62 gr. Ammo, and (200) Rounds of Black tipped M955 AP (actual AP ammo, not just mild steel swagged green tip ss109/m855 crap!) ammo for a total of $1,550.00! Best deal I have ever seen on anything, and I was oh so glad to be the buyer!!!!!!! Especially with the REAL M955 AP ammo included, that shit is hard to find, and overly expensive when you can!!!!!!!! Whatever M955 ammo is out there is pretty much “grandfathered” to its owner now-a-days; sure you can get the green tip ss109/nm855 crap, but why? it has almost exact ballistic capabilities of regular ball ammo anyways, but on average at $1.00+ a round, no thanks!!!!!!!!!.
    Best purchase I have ever made, period.

  • Tom

    A few forgotten notables:
    -Amazing Balance, better than any other rifle I have handled (including the Sig 556, and any other caliber rifle as well)
    -light as a feather, but not TOO LIGHT!

    You can just pick this rifle up and know that it will perform.

    For all you guys saying, “who cares, just another AR, blah blah blah…”
    Yes they are VERY VERY PLentiful, but is quantity such a great thing to have over quality? I think not, this is the highest quality M16/AR-15 platform for the moeny by FAR!!!!
    The fact of the matteris, and I implore any and everyone to do the research (And you will come to a similar conclusion believe me) the majority of AR-15’s out there are not mil-spec, are not fit for combat and are only fit to take to the range, not SD, not combat, nothing but plinking!!!!! I’ll buy a $150.00 .22 LR for plinking and stick with a quality AR for SD & potential Combat situations.
    Do the research, your rock river arms is a piece of crap range gun, your olympic arms is a piece of crap range gun, your dpms is a piece of crap range gun, stag bushmaster, crap range gun crap range gun.

    YES, these are MY personal opinions based on MY personal research (based on facts provided by each manufacturer), so settle down if you own one of the crap ar’s I mentioned above, if you’re happy with your rifle, great, that is what matters for MOST…

    The only AR’s I would trust with my/family lives is #1) DD M4, #2) COlt LE6920 (Although they are less bang for your buck and have some rediculously small pins and odd mag wells), #3) BCM M4 (Bad customer service, rated grade F from BBB, and just look on the net G&R tactical has got bad press all over from customers), #4) Noveske N4 Light Carbine (Still batch tested!), #5) LMT Defender, S&W M&P 15a (Still batch tested), sabre defence 90244 (Batch tested),, Charles daily defense D-M4LE (Batch tested!) and armalite m-15a4c (Still batch tested).

    If you look at purchasing weapons from a tactical point of view, the DD M4 tops the list with few TRUE contenders.

    Just to clarify, I originally started out wanting to buy a RRA AR1252X for $900, but then found the doublestar M4 Car 16 for $700.00 from buds gun shop to be the same gun for $200.00 less; so I started to do research seeing as those guns were out of whack price/quality wise to see if all ar’s are similar, and most of them are sadly, what I found was a lot of crap AR’s and very few true mil-spec combat ready weapons systems that had been actually tested for TDP, or TPD mil-spec tolerances and HPT pressure tested, not batch tested, but every single rifle fully tested to insure quality and functionallity.
    I am not biased towards Daniel Defense as a company (although they have such great customer service and they are miles ahead of the competitors in the R&D to engineering real life platforms deparment!) in fact I hadn’;t even heard of them before I started my research. The fact is I just spent the man hours literally deducing each individual rifle with a lot of help from different AR forums and borrowed information from many other researchers out there; as well as direct facts from the manufacturers.
    Daniel Defense is the best, and the best price.
    Thats my 2 thousand cents!

  • DJ

    I have spent several months researching AR15’s. I have had the good fortune of having to save money up while researching otherwise my impulse buying would have kicked in and I would be the owner of an RRA by now. Not that RRA isn’t a good AR but through my searching I had originally narrowed my first AR down to either a BCM/Spikes, BCM complete, or the Spikes complete.

    I had originally wanted something around the quality of LMT or DD but could not justify the cost differences. BUT last night while being my OCD self searching through forums and such I ran across a forum that a guy posted on his DD that was just ordered from http://www.smartgunner.com/DanielDefenseLiteURG.aspx .

    I am able to put a DD custom upper together to compliment my Spikes lower for $710 w/o BUIS. Now the total cost of my entire rifle will still be under $1000 with quality iron sights included. I am finally sold on the DD due to the affordability with excellent quality.

  • Armaund

    Hello everyone,

    It’s been informative reading so many comments. I have just purchased my first AR15 Platform with the DDM4 V7 a couple of weeks ago. I haven’t taken it to the range yet but I’m scheduled to take it out for a spin the day after Christmas. I do my research before buying anything. I spent over 6 weeks researching high quality AR15’s to gain information needed to make an informed decision. Before this, I haven’t heard of Daniel Defense not because there were unknown, but because I didn’t know very much about guns, gun makers, current technology advances etc. I wanted to make sure I didn’t buy an over priced high end AR15/M4/M16.

    After extensive research I ran into a Daniel Defense 12.0 rail system mounted on a different manufacturer. The rail system stood out because I thought it didn’t belong. This is when I discovered the upper and lower was not Daniel Defense. The rail design and quality didn’t match the gun itself. This drove me to research Daniel Defense itself. As mentioned earlier in another post, I too discovered they previously primarily manufactured high end accessories for the AR15 platform and had recently moved into making complete rifles. Because of the DDMV Rail system I began researching Daniel Defense and Daniel Defense M4 Carbines compared to other manufacturers for low, mid and high end. If there rails where so nice and of high quality, their rifles must be too.

    I was impressed that they use heavy and light weight, chrome lined, and cold hammer forged barrels with a 1:7 twist. The 1:7 twists means I can shoot heavier grain projectiles. Customer Service ratings where high which is a must when having to resolve issues. Life time guarantee…absolutely unheard of nowadays. The craftsmanship of the rifle and every part and accessory were mind blowing.

    We all purchase firearms for different reasons and within the price ranges we can afford. I will not criticize any man or women’s decision based on these criteria. I do stress the importance of research prior to making a purchase that will fit your needs. The AR15 platform is history, fun to shoot, own, and I’m glad we as civilians have manufacturer of many kinds making attempts to target all sorts of consumers.

    For me it’s the DDM4 V7 12.0 Modular Rail Carbine in 5.56 NATO. I love this rifle. Once I held it, I had to have it.

    Thanks Daniel Defense.

    Happy Holidays everyone!

  • Chris

    Ok I’ve been researching for the past 3mo on ar platforms and from what Ive seen I’m either going for a DD or LMT I know both are of high quality n cash isn’t a problem… But what is the better of the two rifles ? I haven’t seen a match up of the two or a comparison. Any words of advice?

  • Cody

    I’ve had my DDM4 V4 for about 4 months now and love it. Like most of y’all I did my research n concluded that its worth the money to go to a top of a line product like Daniel Defense. But I was wondering about a couple things and haven’t been able to find the answers on the Internet so maybe y’all can help me out.

    1) Is it worth it to install a custom trigger? I mean I love the trigger now but I’m always looking for ways to improve my gun and make it truly custom. And if so what trigger would you recommend.

    2) I’m currently shooting Hornady 52 grain V-Max, is a step up n grains worth the adjustment if I’m only using this gun for varmint/deer/hog hunting?

    Thanks and god bless