Daniel Defense Delta 5

    What’s in a name? For Daniel Defense’s new Delta 5 bolt action rifle, quite a bit actually! In mathematics, the delta symbol signifies change, and in that sense, this new rifle is aptly named.  Let’s get into this new offering from Daniel Defense by the numbers, shall we?

    So, why build a bolt action rifle? Well, why not? The market has clearly seen an uptick in long-range shooting and precision bolt actions. With the Precision Rifle Series competitions being the fastest growing firearm sports segment, it’s a no-brainer really. Daniel Defense is offering the Delta 5 as a competition gun and a hunting gun.  They hope it will find a home in the hands of military and law enforcement operators as well.

    The Delta 5 has been built from the ground up and is a complete “in house” project.  Daniel Defense didn’t want to build yet another Remington 700 clone, they wanted something unique to them. Unique is a cold hammer forged barrel. Daniel Defense uses this process in all of their AR15 rifles, but it’s out of the ordinary for a bolt action. Speaking of the barrel, the 6.5 Creedmoor test rifles are getting four thousand rounds of life before showing signs of accuracy degradation. That should impress you since most 6.5’s top out around 2500 rounds in my experience.

    The Delta 5 has been designed as a user-serviceable platform. What this means is that the consumer can now change out the barrel and swap the bolt face and change the caliber of the weapon without needing special tools or a gunsmith. They wanted the Delta 5 to have the modularity of an AR15.

    Features include:

    • A polymer and carbon fiber stock that has a metal mini-chassis.
    • The cheek riser and the shoulder pad are adjustable for height, length, and angle.
    • The Delta 5 will ship with one five round magazine from Magpul, but will accept any AICS style single feed magazine.
    • The recoil lug is integral instead of being pinned.
    • The scope base doesn’t merely screw into the top of the receiver, it is actually “clocked” precisely with a raised portion of the recoil lug. This ensures that even if the 10/32 screws come loose, the base will not shift rendering your optic useless.
    • The barrel of the Delta 5 has a recessed target crown which is a neat way to protect the muzzle during hard use.
    • There is a recessed area on the back upper grip that promotes proper thumb placement.
    • The Delta 5 weighs in at approximately twelve pounds with a scope and will initially be chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor, 308 Winchester, and 7mm.
    • The bolt on this rig has three small holes drilled in which serve as gas pressure vents in case of an overpressure situation. The gas would travel down the barrel of course, but would also move back into the bolt and out these vents down into the magazine of the firearm.  Daniel Defense stated that the magazine would most likely be destroyed, but the individual running the gun should be kept safe.

    I bet you’re wondering how it shoots. I was invited to a media event where the Delta 5 was introduced and allowed to put hundreds of rounds down the tube. (thousands if you count the other media members)  Daniel Defense claims a half minute of accuracy at one hundred yards and I can verify that it performs to that level using Hornady factory match ammunition. I shot the 6.5 Creedmoor Delta 5 out to 1000 yards and had no trouble getting impacts at that range.  I also had the opportunity to shoot the rifle in various “tactical” scenarios. These included 800-yard shots from a six story sniper tower, 400-yard head shots from a rooftop, and a simulated hostage situation through a window and around vehicles.  The rifle performs as intended.  I was impressed with the quality, the accuracy, and the performance of the Delta 5.

    Author with the new Delta 5

    The only negative and I’ll preface this by saying Daniel Defense was already in the process of solving this issue while we were still at the media event, is the bolt handle. It was initially made out of MIM and was prone to failure during hard and extended use. They are machining the bolt handle now out of a solid piece of metal, and don’t expect any failures or issues to arise.

    The MSRP of the new Delta 5 bolt action will be around $2199.00 and you can find more information through the Daniel Defense website.

    Joel W

    Ex Law Enforcement. Security consultant. Owner of the Precision Rifle Network. Long range shooter and competitor. Husband. Father.