Friday, July 31, 2015

DT Sport Lite Quality Test, Part 2

In our previous blog post (DT Sport Lite Quality Test, Part 1), we put an "off-the-shelf" rifle through some pretty rough conditions.  It was dropped on pavement, slid across pavement, and more than 1000 rounds of ammunition were fired through it in under 4 hours.  Through all of this, the rifle never malfunctioned.  We also test fired the rifle for accuracy before, during, and after all of this was done  (specific details for all of this can be read and viewed by clicking the highlighted blue link at the top of this paragraph).

Sometimes a weapon can fall into water and be submerged, so I wondered how this might affect the DT Sport Lite.  WARNING: do not perform any of the described or illustrated actions portrayed in this test. They can be dangerous and will void the warranty on a DTI rifle.  The same test rifle from the previous blog post was submerged twice in a small pond.  The first time was with the bolt and carrier assembly retracted and locked back (ejection port cover open), and the second time was with the bolt and carrier assembly forward (as seen in video above).  While it was underwater the rifle was pulled back and forth in an attempt to allow sand and other particles to get inside various parts of the weapon.  It did...the sand between the buffer tube and stock made it difficult to change positions on the stock at first.  Walking in from the pond to the test firing room, I worked the stock back and forth continually and it eventually returned to a normal feel, though it still sounded "gritty" during movement. Notice in the video, that the bolt and carrier was retracted to allow any water to run down the barrel and prior to test firing, a visual inspection was performed to eliminate any danger from a foreign object being in the barrel. After these two safety checks, the test rifle was immediately taken inside to a test firing room and an entire magazine was fired without malfunction.

After the submersion test, the rifle was lightly cleaned with a spray cleaner/lubricant/preservative and compressed air.  One more accuracy test with a fairly inexpensive red dot style optic was the final thing I desired to do with this rifle.  The optic was a Bushnell TRS-25  red dot; it is a slightly older model with a smaller 3 MOA red dot.  As in the previous accuracy tests with iron sights in Part 1, specific time and distance parameters were used for consistency.  The optic was "sighted in" using a military grade laser boresight tool before a round was fired.  Below is an image of the 4 rounds, fired at a distance of 33 yards in under 30 seconds from a seated position with the rifle's handguards resting on a deck railing.  Still under 4cm, and the rifle (now with more than 1300 rounds fired in less than two months) is still going strong.

At the end of the last blog post, we asked, "So, what do these tests prove?"  The intent in all of the tests in Part 1 & 2 was to mimic/replicate extreme conditions of real world use.  If you happen to drop your weapon on the ground (hopefully not over 100 times), are forced to fire a high quantity of rounds without being able to clean the weapon, or it experiences submersion in dirty water (ALWAYS ensure the chamber and bore are clear of any obstruction before loading and firing) your weapon should still work...even if it is a basic, standard AR-15.  The DT Sport Lite did.
The DT Sport Lite, the DT Sport, and ALL the rifles in our product line are quality, dependable, and useful tools.  Thanks for reading our blog, if you have any questions about the rifles we manufacture or the AR-15 parts and accessories we offer at, please feel free to contact us.



Sunday, June 14, 2015

DT Sport Lite Quality Test, Part 1

A few years ago, we did a torture test on one of our rifle models: the DTI Extreme Duty AR-15.  There is probably a better term than torture test, because the tests we did were designed to mimic "real-world" circumstances that may happen to the weapon.  At any time, if we wanted to break or disable the weapon we could have (or any weapon from any manufacturer for that matter). That rifle functioned without any issues and is still going strong.  This time we will do a quality test on a randomly selected weapon from one of our most popular lines of AR-15 rifles.


Two factors gave me a desire to test a rifle from our DT Sport line of AR-15 rifles.  First, they are our most popular rifle in terms of consumer demand.  Pricepoint definitely is part of their popularity, but if there is substandard quality in the rifle, demand/popularity is not going to last very long. The second reason has to do with that quality.  The DT Sport rifles have features like a commercial buffer tube (not mil-spec), standard (not M4) feed ramps in the upper and barrel extension, a standard A2 (not f-marked) front sight base, and a 4140 (not 4150 mil-spec) chrome moly barrel.  They share these features with a number of other AR-15 rifles from other popular manufacturers.  The rifle tested in this blog post is actually a DT Sport Lite, so it also is without ejection port cover, forward assist, and brass deflector. 

So, popularity/demand and certain features/components of this rifle (that some individuals may consider less than perfect at best and substandard at worst) combined to drive me to purposefully treat a DT Sport Lite rifle in a manner which is not suggested or encouraged, will definitely void the lifetime warranty, and may cause personal injury or worse (WARNING: do not perform any of the described or illustrated actions portrayed in this test).   For purposes of integrity in this test, the DT Sport Lite tested was not preselected when built and inspected; it was purchased from a local gun store.

2 Initial 4 Round Groups With Flip Up Rear Sight

Day 1: I took the rifle home and installed a Samson flip up rear sight (the back up iron sight we include on many of our more expensive rifles).  This sight doesn't have elevation adjustments, but the distance on my short "range" at home happens to be exactly 36 yards, so it is perfect for a basic USMC style sight-in, and elevation adjustments would be made with the front sight.  I fired a total of 8 rounds of Winchester 5.56X45 NATO 55 grain FMJ ammo in 2-4 round groups.  Each 4 round group was fired in less than 30 seconds from a seated position with the rifle resting on a railing.  The first group is slightly under the standard 4cm, the second group is just slightly over the 4cm standard.  I would have loved to see things a little bit tighter and could probably have achieved better accuracy, but I really wanted to move on to other areas of testing.

Day 2:  I took it out to the parking lot and began to do some drop/impact testing.  The rifle was dropped 101 times.  Sometimes, I just let it fall from resting on its buttstock; sometimes there was more than a gentle toss.  I dropped it over 20 times from about waist level on the commercial buffer tube, and slid it about 10 times a few yards.  My intent in doing both of these actions was to focus in on the "weaker" commercial buffer tube, and to see if impact-type abuse would cause any damage to components that project from the rifle (the bolt catch, charging handle latch, front sight base). 

There was no damage to the buffer tube or stock (other than serious scuff marks on the plastic stock components).  The charging handle was bent down near the latch at about a 45 degree angle, but was still operational in doing what a charging handle does.  I did take it home that evening and hammer it back as best I could so the latch would actually catch and release when used.  The plastic grip and handguards were also scuffed. The impacts from drops and slides also caused scratches through the anodizing on the delta ring and lower (near the magazine well).  The flash hider and top of the front sight base also had heavy abrasions.  The video shows the last couple of drops/slides.  No damage was experienced that caused malfunctions; the damage was purely cosmetic.

Day 3:  Now it was time to focus on functioning/trying to cause a malfunction.  The DT Sport Lite has no forward assist and no M4 feed ramps.  A heavily fouled weapon may create some potential problems for a rifle without these two features so it was time to heat it up.  More than 1000 rounds of ammo were fired in 4 hours.  The first 300 rounds were fired in the first hour. The weapon was not cleaned at any point (not even when brought home from the local gun store). Here are the types of ammunition used during this part of the test:
Winchester 5.56X45 NATO 55 grain FMJ-about 60 rounds
PMC XTAC 5.56X45 NATO 55 grain FMJ-about 60 rounds
Georgia Arms .223 Remington 55 grain FMJ-about 880 rounds

The weapon got dirty.  Crazy filthy dirty.  Every fiber of my being wanted to stop and clean it simply because that is what I was taught to do and that is how a rifle should be treated.  If you shoot it, you clean it...if you aren't doing anything, you are cleaning weapons.  Heavy carbon fouling was in the barrel extension area, in the upper receiver, and had created "mountainous terrain" on the tail of the bolt.  Most rounds were fired in a double tap type of mode out of 30 round magazines, but enough mag dumps were performed to permanently change the color of the gas tube in the first hour.

5 Round Group After 1000+ Rounds Fired

Day 4: The following evening, I took the rifle home and test fired it again to see if the impact tests or 1000 round test would alter the pre-test accuracy.  I fired one group of five rounds with the same ammunition and under the same circumstances (Winchester 5.56X45 NATO 55 grain FMJ ammo, all 5 rounds fired from rested/seated position, in less than 30 seconds).  The group opened up considerably, almost double.  It was time to clean the weapon and see if that changed anything.  I spent a few hours cleaning the barrel, and all night soaks were necessary for the bolt parts.  I thought I had the bore of the barrel pretty clean using my standard strong stuff, but the following morning I ran a couple of patches of VERY strong bore cleaner down the bore and a whole new type of fouling came out.  That gun was REALLY dirty.  Once I got home again, I test fired the freshly cleaned rifle under the same conditions and groups were back under 4cm.  A clean gun is an accurate gun.

Post-Cleaning 4 Round Group

So what do these tests prove?  People drop their weapons from time to time, it happens.  Usually not 101 times.  The DT Sport Lite and its commercial buffer tube had no functional related problems from the impact tests.  Could I have broken it? Sure, but the point of these tests is to mimic "real-world" types of abuse.  The functioning/firing 1000 rounds in less than 4 hours test was to simulate the weapon getting excessively dirty from not being cleaned or someone using this gun in a class environment or prolonged defensive environment where cleaning cannot occur.  The DT Sport Lite doesn't have M4 feed ramps or a forward assist to aid feeding in a dirty weapon, but it didn't need it, not once.  In regard to these scenarios, it passed the tests so far. 

I think that is enough for "Part 1" of this test.  In next month's post, we will update the round count, relay any changes in accuracy, and describe and include video of the test where we repeatedly submerged the weapon in a filthy pond then fired it, so stay tuned!  There is a meaningful purpose behind the testing of this rifle.  The DT Sport Lite, the DT Sport, and ALL the rifles in our product line are quality, dependable, and useful tools.  We will keep putting this DT Sport Lite through rough circumstances and keep updating you with honest results.  Thanks for reading our blog, if you have any questions about the rifles we manufacture or the AR-15 parts and accessories we offer at, please feel free to contact us.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

The New Del-Ton Echo 316M Rifle

In our last blog post, we highlighted some new models offered in our DT Sport Line of entry level AR-15 rifles; in this post we announce another entry level rifle choice that has also been recently released through distributors, available to customers through their local gun stores: The Del-Ton Echo 316M. 

At a glance, the Echo 316M looks very similar to our standard Echo 316.  Both rifles are basic, carbine AR-15 rifles, but the Echo 316M differs in barrel twist rate and accessories. 

The Echo 316M has a CMV (chrome moly vanadium) 1X8 twist barrel; this twist rate is favored by many AR-15 enthusiasts as it provides accuracy with the greatest variety of 5.56X45 NATO and .223 Remington bullet weights.  Typically, barrels with a faster twist rate (1X7) offer better accuracy with heavier grain weight bullets, while lower grain weight bullets (those in the 35-55 grain category) perform better with a slower (1X9) twist rate.  The 1X8 twist in the Echo 316M rifle is a great option for providing accuracy with the most wide range of bullet weights in this caliber.  Unlike the standard Echo 316, this model has a mid-weight profile under the handguards to keep the rifle light and well balanced.

The Echo 316M also comes with a Samson flip up rear sight, a 30 round Magpul PMAG, chamber flag, and gun lock...everything you need to immediately begin enjoying this new AR-15 rifle.  Technical specs are listed below:

Chrome Moly Vanadium, mid-weight, 1X8 Twist with M4 feed ramps
Carbine length gas system
Threaded muzzle with A2 flash hider
F-Marked front sight base with taper pins

Upper and Lower Receivers:
Forged 7075 T6 aluminum
M4 feed ramps, T-marks, and dry film lube on upper receiver
Ejection port cover and forward assist assemblies on upper

Bolt & Carrier Assembly:
HPT/MPI tested Capenter 158 bolt
Phosphated 8620 Steel AR-15 Carrier
Chrome lined interior in carrier and carrier key
Properly staked and sealed carrier key

Carbine, single heat shields, with aluminum delta ring assembly

M4 6 position, with a mil-spec buffer tube

Samson flip up rear sight, chamber flag, 30 round Magpul Pmag, gun lock

Weight: 6.4lbs. (without magazine)
Length: 36.563" with buttstock extended
              32.313" with buttstock collapsed

This rifle is a great choice for individuals looking for a "ready to go" AR-15 that will provide the greatest level of accuracy with the widest range of ammunition choices.  Thanks for reading our blog.  If you have any questions about the rifles we manufacture or the AR-15 parts and accessories we offer at, please feel free to contact us.

In the next few blog posts, we will feature a quality/torture test/review currently being performed on one of our best selling and most popular rifles:  The Del-Ton DT Sport, so stay tuned!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Del-Ton DT Sport Rifles

The AR-15 rifle is an excellent choice for so many applications.  One of the weapon's greatest strengths is its modularity and adaptability to a variety of uses.  With so many options available to accessorize the weapon, it can be a bit overwhelming trying to decide what options are necessary or beneficial for the AR-15 rifle you want to purchase.  A basic, "standard options" AR-15 is not a bad place to start, and you can always modify the weapon throughout its life to best serve how you use it most of the time.
Del-Ton DT Sport AR-15

Del-Ton, Inc. now offers 3 entry-level AR-15 rifles:  The DT Sport Lite, DT Sport, and DT Sport OR (optics ready).  Here's the major difference between the 3 models...The DT Sport Lite rifle is our most lightweight rifle.  It does not have a forward assist or ejection port cover.  The DT Sport and DT Sport OR rifles do have these two features.  The absence of these two features provides a slight weight reduction in the DT Sport Lite, and also allows for an MSRP below $500.00.  For those who desire a forward assist and ejection port cover, the DT Sport and DT Sport OR rifles still give you a quality, standard AR-15 at a still incredible price point (below $700.00 MSRP).

The Del-Ton DT Sport AR-15 Features:
  • 16", 4140 Steel, 1x9 twist, lightweight profile barrel
  • Chambered in 5.56 X 45 NATO
  • Mil-Spec Bolt constructed of Carpenter 158 steel
  • Bolt carrier & carrier key with chrome lined interior, carrier key with grade 8 screws, properly staked
  • Flat-top upper receiver with T-marks, ready for the rear sight or optic of your choosing
  • Mil-Spec Hard coat anodized 7075 T6 aluminum upper and lower receiver
  • M4 six position collapsible buttstock (commercial)
  • Includes (1) 30 round magazine (unless restricted by law) and gun lock
  • DT Sport laser engraved logo on magwell
  • DTI rifles are 100% made in the USA & offer a LIFETIME warranty to the original purchaser

The DT Sport is constructed of quality, key components that will offer you an AR-15 rifle at an incredible price, backed by a lifetime of enjoyment and service.  The Del-Ton DT Sport line of AR-15 rifles is available through fine firearms retailers, nationwide.  Here are a few links to  recent articles on the benefit of the DT Sport line of AR-15 rifles:

Thanks for reading our blog.  If you have any questions about the AR-15 rifles we produce at DTI, or the parts and accessories we offer at, please feel free to contact us.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

AR-15 Magazines

There are many components to an AR-15 rifle, and a lot of attention is placed on selecting the best options or configuration for essential parts such as bolts, sights, stocks, and handguards.  But one component, the magazine, is an important part that shouldn't be overlooked.  As such a vital component for reliable operation of a semi-automatic weapon, quality and durability are must-have features in a magazine.  Del-Ton, Incorporated (DTI) offers quality AR-15 magazines from a number of different manufacturers.  In the AR-15 marketplace, there are plenty of available choices...selecting which one is right for you, like all choices you will make in the configuration of your AR-15 rifle, comes down to application (how you will use your weapon).

Magpul PMAG GEN M3
Magazine capacity is one thing to consider.  Certain states and even some cities or municipalities have legal restrictions on magazine capacity, so it is important to know what the laws are where you reside.  But it is also important to consider how magazine capacity and size will affect your application.  The 30 round magazine is popular with many AR-15 owners, but state hunting regulations may prevent you from hunting with an AR-15 rifle that has a magazine over a certain capacity.  Even where it may be legal, most people would not want to be carrying a fully loaded 30 round magazine in the woods all day.  If you plan to use your AR-15 for target shooting from a bench, even just for sighting in, a magazine with reduced capacity/overall size would be a more functional selection in this application as well.  A similar scenario where a shorter magazine can be beneficial is when shooting from the prone position; a 10 or 20 round magazine will allow you to remain close to the ground without having to cant your rifle.  In summary, it is important to know your application (how you will primarily use your weapon, most of the time) when selecting which magazines to use with your AR-15.  Del-Ton currently offers AR-15 magazines in 10, 20, 30, and 40 round capacities.  The 60 round Magpul D60 is scheduled to be available during the summer of 2015.

Magpul D-60 (60 Round Drum)

D&H Aluminum 10 Round Magazine
Magazine construction is another thing to keep in mind.  Metal (aluminum and stainless steel) magazines are durable and have a proven track record with this platform, but there are many durable polymer magazines as well.  Metal magazines have a very slim profile and fit well in magazine pouches that hold multiple magazines. Many polymer magazines have a floor plate that is wider than those of metal magazines, and this can cause them to "fan out" and not fit as well when stacked together in such a manner.  The polymer Magpul GEN 3 PMAG has a slimmer floor plate than most polymer magazines, and the Troy Battlemag has an extremely slim body and flush floor plate; manufacturers and innovation/product design have begun to make things more equal in this regard.  Metal magazines are usually black or grey, but polymer magazines are available in other colors like flat dark earth or olive drab green.  This may seem like a purely cosmetic feature, but in a hunting or military/LE application it can be a feature that is of some importance.  Most modern magazines of metal or polymer construction feature no tilt followers and quality springs.  Accessories like mag couplers and pull tabs that either attach to or replace the floor plates are available for both styles of magazines as well.

There are many things to consider when deciding which magazine is best for your particular application, but quality, durability, and dependability should be your first priorities.  As stated earlier, this is an essential and important part in a functioning AR-15 rifle.  DTI offers quality aluminum magazines from popular manufacturers like D&H, and only the best polymer magazines from leaders in the AR-15 industry like Magpul and Troy Industries.

Troy Battlemag

When selecting parts for or planning the configuration of your AR-15 rifle, don't overlook the importance of this essential component.  Research which brand and model will best fit your shooting style, and objectively read plenty of customer reviews on a particular magazine before a final decision.  If you have any questions about AR-15 magazines, the AR-15 rifles we manufacture at DTI, or parts we offer at, please feel free to contact us.


Sunday, February 22, 2015

Mobile Device Ballistics Calculators For Your AR-15

Many things have contributed to the popularity of the AR-15 rifle platform. The weapon's modularity, value, and prevalence of aftermarket parts to allow you to customize the rifle to your own specific applications are all benefits that the AR-15 provides.  The AR-15 is also a very accurate weapon platform, especially for a semi-automatic type of rifle.  Installing a magnified optical sight on your weapon will enhance the accuracy of the rifle and that of the individual using it, and there are a couple of different mobile device applications that can help you get the most accuracy out of your AR-15/scope combination.  We will use this blog post to highlight a few of them, and provide links at the end of the post for you to check them out.

Strelok Pro Reticle Screenshot

The Strelok application is available for iphone and Android devices.  There is a free and a paid version (Strelok Pro).  Both versions are free of advertisements, and the free version is actually incredibly good and useful.  The paid version of the app has a much greater selection of reticles in its menu, and offers a very high degree of customizable data (imperial/metric measurements, MOA/MRAD/inches/clicks, weather conditions, target type/size, ammunition variables) to ensure your bullets are on target.  It is also very user friendly; you can become quite familiar with how the app works and what it can do within a few minutes of installation.  Be it the free or paid version, this app is pretty amazing.

Nikon SpotOn
If you have a Nikon scope, the Nikon SpotOn application is a very good app for getting the most accuracy out of your rifle and optic.  It is also available for iphone and android mobile devices.  The online device is free, but the mobile apps are paid (though comparatively inexpensive). The app has a very user friendly interface; you don't have to be an honor graduate from a military sniper school to use it and receive the benefits it provides. While it does allow you to choose from a large menu of ammunition variables and atmospheric conditions data, the app is limited to Nikon optics and their reticles...if that is your brand of scope, it may be the app for you.

There are a few other apps I have used that are worth checking out.  Lapua and Norma have free mobile device ballistic calculator apps, but both are limited to their product lines in terms of ammunition.  If you use Lapua or Norma ammo, or ammunition with bullet designs and loads comparable to theirs, these free apps may be of use.  MIL Sistemika has a free and Pro (paid) version of their Sniper Calculator app for Android devices; the free version has a fair amount of customizable data, and the paid version has about the same features as the Strelok paid version described earlier in this post.  I have found the Strelok app a bit easier to use/navigate, and it has a significantly larger reticle selection.  You can find out more information about all the mobile device ballistic calculator apps mentioned by clicking on the links below.




MIL Sistemika:

Enhancing the accuracy of your AR-15 with a quality optic, and your marksmanship capability with the knowledge and instruction these apps can provide will help you enjoy and get the most performance out of your AR-15 rifle.  Thanks for reading our blog. If you have any questions about the AR-15 rifles we manufacture or the parts and accessories we sell at, please feel free to contact us.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

New Products From Magpul Industries

While Magpul Industries may have gotten their start in the industry with a clever way to make AR-15 magazine changes quickly and easily with their namesake invention, the company has routinely introduced innovative and dependable products that have become favored by shooters who use the AR-15 platform.  They have always offered their products at a sensible pricepoint and the company has taken a positive stand when the Second Amendment to the Constitution is under threat.  DTI is proud and thankful to be able to carry their products and to offer some of our rifle models with their quality products factory-installed.  In keeping with their history of offering innovative and truly useful products, Magpul has once again designed and released some new AR-15 parts and accessories that promise to be in demand with owners of AR-15 rifles.  In this blog post, we will describe and highlight a few of these new offerings.

Building an AR-15 or modifying one you currently own is much easier with the proper tools.  Magpul has designed a multi-tool Armorer's Wrench and a device to hold your upper, the BEV Block (Barrel Extension Vise).  To keep it concise, the wrench will do everything-from muzzle device to stock and everything in between.  The BEV Block securely holds your upper in a vise, so that you can use the wrench to perform any necessary modifications.  The wrench and the area of the BEV Block that is inserted into the barrel extension are constructed from solid steel.  The rest of the BEV Block is made from the near indestructible Magpul polymer, so it wont harm any other metal surfaces with which it comes in contact.

Magpul MOE-K2 Grip
Magpul offers more styles of pistol grips than any other AR-15 parts manufacturer.  Having a comfortable grip that enhances your individual shooting style preference is essential.  The MOE and MIAD grips have been best sellers for years; with the recent prevalence of more AR-15 style rifles, a more vertical/less angled grip style is usually necessary for comfort and proper trigger finger placement. Magpul answered that need with the new K2 and K2+ grip.  The grips have a more vertical orientation and still have the internal storage capacity of the MOE and MIAD styles.  Having one in hand is about all you need to convince yourself this will be a positive part of your AR-15 rifle.  Like the MOE+ grip, the K2+ grip has a soft coating that can enhance weapon control if your hands become damp, yet the bottom of the grip is free from this exterior to prevent any snagging during use.

Magpul also has introduced a new MOE SL Handguard that is more slim than the original MOE handguard and offers extended pieces that surround the front sight base.  This carbine length handguard is beneficial for shooters who use a support hand grip that is extended, and prevents the support hand from coming in contact with a hot front sight base.  Installation of this handguard does necessitate the removal of the front sling swivel, but most current "sling use positions" require a side mount anway.  Magpul offers a number of different ways to install a side sling attachment point on the handguard to remedy this.  One way is through the new M-Lok attachment system. The SL handguard is ready for any of Magpul's new M-Lok rail sections or other parts.  At the end of this post, there is a link to the Magpul page where installation and use of this new M-Lok system is described.
MOE SL Hanguard-Flat Dark Earth
These are just a few of the new products from a company that can be counted on to deliver quality and necessary products for making your AR-15 rifle more useful and fun to employ.  All of these new products are on order, and many are already in stock at

Thanks for reading our blog.  If you have any questions about these products or the AR-15 rifles we manufacture or the parts we sell, please feel free to contact us.