Monday, December 31, 2012

Second Amendment, Part Two

In our last post, we discussed the importance of the Second Amendment as well as its purpose and intent.  It is imperative to understand why our "Founding Fathers" included this right.  Because it is so difficult to remove or even alter Constitutional Amendments, those who are against this right desire to weaken it by changing its purpose and intent.  Patriotic Americans must defend this right because it provides a defense for every other freedom that we enjoy afforded by this document.  If we allow the purpose and intent to be questioned and altered, there is really no limit to what can be done to any other part of our Constitution.  Brave, courageous citizens gave much (some gave all) to provide these freedoms for their posterity.  It is our responsibility to ensure their sacrifice  is valued in our generation.  To be concise, we'd like to offer a couple of ways in which the average person can help defend this valuable right.

First, there is strength in numbers.  Even simply signing up for an annual membership in the National Rifle Association is beneficial to making our political representatives aware that gun owners are a strong and "voting" segment of their constituency.  If you have the ability, become more involved by contributing time or financial resources to organizations like this that work hard to defend not only this right, but our Constitution as a whole.  Being informed of the possible threats to this right is something anyone can do... we have listed some links here that will take you to websites where you can get more information on how you can help defend and strengthen the Second Amendment.

National Rifle Association:
Cato Institute:
Second Amendment Foundation:
National Association For Gun Rights:

I don't know of a better or easier way to defend this right than to simply be a responsible gun owner.  Those who wish to assault this right love to portray firearms owners as illiterate idiots who are a threat to the safety of the general public.  Of course this is false, and we must make this caricature impotent.  This can include making sure the things we say and how we act cannot be used to strengthen or give the slightest legitimacy to their argument.  It also requires that we pass on a love for this right and how we "enjoy" it to our children and future generations.

Make a resolution this year to become more active in supporting and defending the Second Amendment by being informed, joining with other firearms owners, and teaching someone about the importance of this right and how to enjoy it.  Pass on your love for firearms and the shooting sports to the next generation.  Teach them about the purpose of the Second Amendment.  It is likely their generation will have to support and defend it too. Thanks for reading our blog.  If you have any questions about Del-Ton AR-15 rifles or the products we sell at, please feel free to contact us.

Monday, December 24, 2012

The Second Amendment, Part One

"A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

Proponents of gun control call them "assault weapons".  Other specifically designed terms are also used in describing AR-15 rifles, such as "military-style, automatic weapons".  I suppose the purpose in choosing these terms is to place the weapon in a negative context.  The possibility of new gun control legislation has once again caused a "run" on semi-automatic weapons, magazines, and the ammunition related to these weapons.  In the last five years, demand for firearms and related products has risen due to concerns about the right provided by the 2nd Amendment of our Constitution being altered, weakened or even removed. There is a definite "assault" occurring, on the Constitution in general, and this Amendment in particular.

In this two-part blog post, we will take a concise look at what the Amendment says, why it was created, and how we can protect and strengthen it now and in the future.

The Amendment quoted at the beginning of this post seems pretty clear, when taken literally.  The second half of the sentence informs us that the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.  It is a right, just as the other rights guaranteed by the document are rights.  In fact, if we look at the first part of the sentence, it is likely the most important right because it protects the other rights provided...but more on that later.  It is when one views this document as dated, fluid, or open to interpretation that it becomes less clear what was meant by the authors, those who signed it into law, and the states that ratified it.

"A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball, and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be your constant companion of your walks."  Thomas Jefferson (in a letter to his young nephew)

"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." Thomas Jefferson (1 Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334) 

"The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference-they deserve a place of honor with all that's good." George Washington 

"The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them."  Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story (of the John Marshall Court)

"That the said Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United states who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms..."   Samuel Adams (in "Phila. Independent Gazetteer", August 20, 1789)

"I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."  George Mason ( co-author of the Second Amendment during Virginia's Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788)

It is clearly stated that it is a right provided to the People.  Just as the other rights in the document are afforded to individuals, so it is with this one.  Gun control advocates attempt to alter this right by saying the "militia" (mentioned earlier in the sentence) means that it is not a right for the general populace or citizens, but only for an organized military force (a national or state army).  This does not coincide with all of the other rights provided by this document which pertain to individuals...the People.  This thought does bring us to the purpose or intent of the Amendment, though.

The basis for this Amendment is not so we can enjoy hunting, the shooting sports, or the aesthetic art of a fine firearm.  It was designed to ensure the security of a free state and protect it from those who would prefer it not be free.  This is important to comprehend.  The citizens of Colonial America were not relegated to keeping and using firearms designed solely for hunting or target sports.  No distinction was made because there was none to make.  These individuals used their weapons for multiple applications.  The weapons were the most modern and advanced that technology and their financial affairs allowed.  Defending the state and ensuring its freedom begins with individuals having the capability to defend themselves and ensure their individual freedom.

The AR-15, like any gun, is a tool.  An inanimate object is not good or evil.  It is the user of the tool that determines whether it will be used for good or evil purposes.  While the design of the AR-15 is similar to what it currently being used by our military forces for the defense of freedom, owners of AR-15 rifles use the weapon for defense, hunting, shooting sports...various applications.  It performs in an outstanding manner in all of these ways.  That favorite deer hunting caliber, the .30-06, was a military round designed for use in the "Great War" and used to defend our nation against tyranny by our soldiers in WWII.  The Mauser bolt action, used by many current hunting bolt action rifles, was originally designed and refined for military purposes.  There is a long and valuable history of most of our favorite firearms being originally designed for military purposes, yet later employed for other applications with great success. 

So anti-gun individuals can use whatever misnomer they desire to attempt to influence the minds of individuals that there exist "good" or "bad" guns...what remains is a clear and precious document provided for us for such a time as this.  The 2nd Amendment, as written, is invaluable in forming a strong basis to defend this right and the other rights provided to us by those who risked everything to ensure liberty.  It is our responsibility to enjoy our rights by first protecting and defending them.  Our next blog post will offer ways that we can do this and links to help us inform ourselves and others.  

Thanks for reading our blog.  If you have any questions about any of the products we offer at, please contact us.

Friday, November 30, 2012

The New DTI Evolution AR-15 Rifle!

In the last couple of blog posts, we highlighted two of our newest rifle models. The ECHO 316-OR and DT Sport-OR are simply variations of their "standard AR-15" counterparts.  Instead of the front sight base, we built these models with single rail and low profile gas blocks that provide additional optic and mounting options.  With low magnification optics, or when an optic is mounted low on the upper receiver rail, the front sight base on a standard AR-15 can be visible in the "sight picture" and some users may find this distracting.  If the application in which you intend to use your AR predominantly requires optics, a configuration like this is preferable. 
This post will be dedicated to describing our new, premium AR-15 offering, the DTI Evolution.  It really is an amazing function, feel, performance, and aesthetics.  The beauty of the AR-15 is the versatility and adaptability it provides.  Since it's creation, this weapon platform has "evolved" according to the requirements of the mission in which it will be used.  The DTI Evolution is the apex of that progression.

While the DTI Evolution is an exclusive Del-Ton offering and has a DTI core (receivers, bolt, and barrel), it also has been configured using premium parts from some of the most sought after AR-15 manufacturers. This exciting new rifle is the perfect choice for any defense or sporting application, including 3 gun competitions.  The DTI Evolution's features include:

• 16” CMV, chrome-lined, lightweight barrel with a mid-length gas system  and a 1x9 rifling twist rate. 

• HPT/MPI tested Carpenter 158 steel bolt. The bolt carrier and key have a chrome lined interior and the key is installed with grade 8 screws and properly sealed and staked.

• Samson Evolution 12.37” free float rail, a lightweight handguard with versatile picatinny rail placement options. This free float handguard extends past the Samson low profile gas block for a longer sight radius and increased support hand position options.

• 7075 T6 aluminum upper and lower receiver; upper receiver with t-marks and M4 feed ramps.

• Samson Quick Flip Dual Aperture rear sight and Samson folding front sight-perfect BUIS options that can get out of the way quickly for uninhibited optic use, or be deployed when back up iron sights are needed.

• Two-stage, Mil-Spec trigger; Magpul MOE+ grip (the MOE+ grip features a soft exterior for enhanced grip, but a standard MOE polymer bottom for snag-free performance).

• Magpul CTR Mil-Spec buttstock (the CTR offers a positive locking lever to provide absolutely no stock movement), mil-spec buffer tube and heavy buffer.

• Weight: 6.5 lbs, Length: 35 5/8" (stock extended), 32 3/8" collapsed.  MSRP: $1300

Link-Gunblast Performance Review:

The DTI Evolution will begin shipping in first quarter, 2013.  Thanks for reading our blog. If you have any questions about the DTI Evolution, any of our AR-15 rifle models, or the parts we sell at, please contact us.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The New DTI Echo 316-OR Rifle!

Del-Ton is currently manufacturing 3 new AR-15 configurations for release late this year and early next 2013. In our most recent post, we highlighted the DT Sport-OR which is being shipped to distributors already.  The DT Sport is our "entry level" black rifle; the new OR model (optics ready) offers the same quality for which DTI rifles are known, but with a low profile gas block instead of the standard front sight base. This design allows additional flexibility for optic choices (low mounts or low magnification optics). 

This post will focus on the new carbine, heavy-barreled, OR rifle that offers some additional upgrades from the 2 DT Sport models.

The Echo 316H OR is a solid, mid-priced carbine ready to be mounted with the optic and/or BUIS (back up iron sights) of your choosing.  Key features include:

  • 16” chrome moly vanadium barrel with a 1X9 twist (allowing a wide range of ammunition options). The "heavy" profile barrel (.750 diameter) has M4 feed ramps for more reliable feeding.
  • Single rail gas block for mounting flip up front sights designed for gas blocks (sight not included).  No fixed front sight to affect target acquisition with low mounted or low magnification optics.
  • HPT/MPI tested Carpenter 158 steel bolt. Carrier features a chrome lined interior. Carrier key has a chrome lined interior and is properly staked and sealed.
  • A3 flat top upper receiver with T marks and M4 feed ramps.
  • Upper and lower receivers are hard coat anodized, Mil-Spec, forged 7075 T6 aluminum.
  • M4 6-position buttstock with a Mil-Spec buffer tube and H-Buffer.
  • Weight: 6.4 lbs, length-collapsed (32.625"), length-extended (36.375")
  • MSRP: $864.00

If an AR-15 primarily dedicated for optic use would fulfill your typical mission requirements, the Echo 316-OR is a top quality choice to consider.  Like all DTI rifles, the  Echo 316-OR offers a lifetime warranty to the original purchaser and comes with industry-leading customer service to ensure a a lifetime of service and enjoyment. 

Thanks for reading our blog. Our next post will highlight our newest offering, the DTI Evolution! If you have any questions about this weapon, or any of the AR-15 rifles or parts we sell at, please feel free to contact us.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The New DT Sport-OR (Optics Ready)

Del-Ton DT Sport OR (Optics Ready)
The DT Sport has been one of our most popular rifles. With features found on rifles with a significantly higher pricepoint, the DT Sport is guaranteed (literally) to provide a lifetime of reliable, enjoyable service. A new configuration of this rifle is now available with a low profile gas block for those who desire more flexible optic mounting options.

Del-Ton, Inc. offers an entry-level AR-15 in two configurations with amazing features at an unbelievable price point! (MSRP: 699.00) The perfect entry level AR-15..where performance and value definitely meet.

The Del-Ton DT Sport AR-15 Features:

  • 16", 4140 Steel, 1x9 twist, lightweight profile barrel
  • Chambered in 5.56 X 45
  • 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 sight or optic of your choosing
  • Mil-Spec Hard coat anodized 7075 T6 aluminum upper and lower receiver
  • M4 six position collapsible buttstock
  • Includes (1) 30 round magazine (unless restricted by law) and gun lock
  • DT Sport laser engraved logo on magwell
  • Available with a standard front sight base or a low profile gas block for increased optic mounting options
  • Weighs only 5.7 lbs. and has an overall length of 32.625" with the buttstock collapsed (36.375" extended)
  • DTI rifles are 100% made in the USA & offer a LIFETIME warranty to the original purchaser

If you have any questions about the DT Sport, any of our rifle models, or the AR-15 parts we offer on our website, please contact us.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Del-Ton Extreme Duty Torture Test, Part Two

In our previous blog post, we introduced some fairly rough treatment one of our rifles was to receive and focused on function-related "abuse".  Over 400 rounds of steel cased TulAmmo was fired without a malfunction or any type of cleaning, and then we "buried" the rifle in sand with the ejection port cover open.  After shaking the large clumps of sand off, the weapon functioned just fine.  For detailed information on this phase of the test please read last month's blog entry found below this one. 

While most owners do all they can to take care of their weapon, there are surely to be occasions when it may not receive the careful treatment it deserves.  Things happen.  The weapon may be dropped or subjected to some sort of fall, and this post will illustrate that the DTI Extreme Duty Rifle, and for that matter, any of the rifle models available through Del-Ton can withstand rough handling that any typical AR owner is likely to allow.  We must state that treating your AR-15 in this manner may cause dangerous and deadly malfunctions and purposeful abuse of this nature would certainly void the rifle's limited lifetime warranty.

We decided to drop the rifle from about waist height on to cement pavement (an actually realistic scenario for an owner), and then we began tossing and throwing it with increased force and distance. The flash hider and back of the buttstock received some abrasions from the toss shown in the video above, but that's about it.  In the video below,  the rifle was thrown/slid on the pavement for about 10 yards, and the handguard came off at the end.  It was an easy fix; after pulling back on the delta ring, it went right back into place.  This time there were visible scratches/abrasions on the flash hider, one side of the handguard, the charging handle, and one side of the back of the stock. 

While on the pavement, we decidecd to drive over the rifle with a truck.  Yeah, its a small truck-a Toyota Tacoma, and yes, we drove over just the upper/lower receiver part.  Standard, two-piece, M4 handguards WILL likely crack and be unusuable if we ran over that area of the weapon.  The result of the "vehicular abuse" phase? Nothing.  The gun received more damage (abrasions to the finish) in the various drops and throws.  I was impressed that the basic, aluminum magazine remained perfectly functional (especially since it was unloaded) after being driven over by a vehicle.
So we decided to increase the distance thrown and then subject the weapon to the "buried in sand" test before firing it.  As shown in the video below, the rifle was tossed higher into the air and for a greater was done on the sand/grass/weed surface near the range.  The rifle did not receive any damage other than sand and pine straw being packed into the stock/castle nut area.  It was at this time that the sand test detailed in our previous blog entry was performed, and the rifle fired as it should without any malfunctions. 

As stated earlier, we sure don't suggest you treat any weapon in this manner.  One goal of these two test phases was to illustrate that the AR-15 rifle, even in "rough" circumstances, is much more durable than many people comprehend.  Another goal was to show that the Del-Ton AR-15 is a modern sporting rifle of performance and AR-15 constructed of quality parts by quality-conscious people. This weapon can withstand abuse that is likely never to occur and still perform when you are counting on it.  Thanks for reading our blog, and if you have any questions about DTI  rifles or the parts we sell on our website, please feel free to contact us

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Del-Ton Extreme Duty Torture Test, Part One

Earlier this year, Del-Ton introduced the DTI Extreme Duty Rifle.  This weapon was designed with hard, duty-type use in mind and is assembled with premium, mil-spec parts.  One key component of this weapon is the Fabrique Nationale (FN), HPT/MPI, chrome lined 4150 CMV 1X7 twist barrel.  Apart from this feature, it is fairly identical to other rifles in the Del-Ton product line. All DTI rifles (except the DT Sport) include an HPT/ MPI bolt, and all but the DT Sport have CMV barrels.
DTI chose to use the next few blog posts to detail some "testing" we did on our Extreme Duty Rifle.  First, some "legal" considerations we must state: these activities should never be done by DTI owners and can result in dangerous or deadly malfunctions.  Purposeful abuse of this nature would void the lifetime warranty on your DTI rifle. 
This initial post will detail some fairly abusive function-related testing.  It all began with test firing.  This exact weapon showed "sub-moa" accuracy when it was featured in a recent magazine publication, so we decided to focus on "quantity" of rounds fired first. While the exact number of rounds fired by the author of the article is unknown, it was likely over 100 (if we include the test firing done at the factory, before it was sent to the author). 

Without cleaning, 300 additional rounds of TulAmmo, steel cased ammunition was sent downrange. Though quality ammunition is in short supply and at a high price point now, I would not normally have any desire to use steel cased ammo...especially that which is not domestically produced.  The steel case does not expand like a brass case does in the chamber and it can allow more fouling to make its way back into the upper and bolt and carrier assembly.  Was there a lot of fouling in the weapon?  Yes.  It was not "clean" to the standards in which I prefer to keep my weapon ready to go after each shooting session.  Were there malfunctions of any kind?  None at all.  A new, aluminum, domestically produced magazine with a green follower was used for the entire test period.  But now it was time to do something that caused me more than a little nausea...                    

"Clean" Weapon Before Test
Upper Buried-Ejection Port Cover OPEN!
Most Sand Removed Only From "Shaking"
Del-Ton is located in SE North Carolina near Fort Bragg, in an area known as the "Coastal Plain".  At one point, this area was under oceanic water and it has a VERY sandy topsoil.  I dug a "M4-length depression" about three inches deep in this sand and then proceeded to drop 3 shovel-fulls of moist sand over the receiver...ejection port cover open. I was careful to not allow any material to enter the muzzle or bore.  After lifting the rifle out of the sand, I simply gave it a couple of shakes to remove the packed sand from the ejection port area and immediately fired the round in the chamber and the subsequent four rounds left in the magazine. 

I wondered if this was really "enough" or proved anything, so I removed the upper assembly from the lower, and removed the bolt and carrier assembly for inspection.  There were sand particles inside the barrel extension, between the bolt and the carrier, between the cam pin and the carrier, in the upper, and inside the forward assist area.  Indeed, sand made its way into the action even from the small amount placed on the receiver. The weapon functioned without a problem.  No "real" cleaning was done-the sand was removed via compressed air, and an additional 10 rounds were fired after reassembly.  Extreme Duty Torture Test, Part One...Pass.
In our next post we will drop, throw, slide, generally abuse, and continue to fire the same ammunition through the weapon without cleaning. So, STAY TUNED! Thanks for reading our blog. If you have any questions about DTI rifles and parts, please feel free to contact us.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Deer Hunting with the AR-15

In recent years, many states have begun to allow hunters to use the AR-15 (or modern sporting rifle) in .223/5.56 for firearms season deer hunting.  It makes sense since it is currently one of the most popular weapon platforms and is well suited for hunting medium size game animals.  Since the season is quickly approaching, we will use this post to give information on products from DTI and other manufacturers that can help make using your AR for hunting a successful endeavor.

Expanded Barnes TSX
Online blogs and forums are full of debates regarding the practicality of the this caliber for deer hunting. Making a quick, accurate, humane "kill" should be a priority for anyone who hunts.  Ammunition manufacturers produce cartridges that will ensure this goal is acheived with proper shot placement.  "Solid" bullets like the Barnes TSX and Hornady GMX are great choices and can allow hunters to use an even lighter weight bullet than is typically used for deer in this caliber because of their reliable expansion and very high weight retention.  Older, but proven bullets with reliable expansion (like the Nosler Partition) are also a good choice for hunting with your AR-15.  Shot placement and knowing the limits of range for your weapon and skill set are more important than ammo choice, but ammunition selections like these are a great contribution to confidence in the field.

Any of the rifles in the DTI product line can be successfully used as a quality deer hunting rifle.  Even economical, "base" models like the DT Sport have the features necessary for filling your tag.  Clicking on the highlighted "DT Sport" above will take you to a related article from a recent, major periodical about hunting with the DT Sport model.

Depending on the environment in which you hunt, "iron sights" may be all thats needed, but an optic will allow you to confidently extend the range of your rifle.  DTI offers optics from EOTech, Aimpoint, and Trijicon that have been proven useful in both tactical and hunting applications.  If you choose to use a magnified scope, keep in mind that it may be necessary to use a riser or taller rings on the flat top picatinny rails in order to have a sight picture with which you are comfortable.  The standard AR front sight base might be visible in the optic's sight picture (depending on the position of the mounted scope and its magnification) and some hunters may find this distracting.  Most "red-dot" or holographic optics are designed so that this is not problematic; they position the dot on the front sight and tend not to disrupt target acquisition.  Purchasing and installing a "gas block" to replace the front sight base can alleviate this concern completely. Gas blocks with a rail or flip up sight on them will still allow use of iron sights, should that be necessary.

If you would like to add a dimension of "camo" to your hunting AR-15, alternate color choices for stocks, handguards, and grips are available at DTI that can make the "black rifle" a little more subtle in the woods.  These parts are available in colors like Olive Drab and Flat Dark Earth and can help your AR blend into most hunting environments. 

It is important to check the laws in your state regarding the minimum caliber for deer hunting, magazine capacity restrictions, and for other regulations that may determine if or how you can use your AR-15 rifle for hunting deer and other animals. Thanks for reading our blog.  If you have any questions about the parts and rifles we produce and sell, or anything about the AR-15 in general, please contact us.  We hope you have a successful and safe hunting season!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Flash Hiders, Compensators, & Muzzle Brakes

Its a very small part on the rifle, but a proper muzzle device can enhance your weapon in practical and aestheic ways.  There are three main types of muzzle devices for the AR-15: Flash Suppressors, Compensators, & Muzzle Brakes.  While there are some differences of opinion on what qualifies a muzzle device to "fit" in the mentioned categories, and manufacturers sometimes blur the defining line even more, we will use this opportunity to define each category as best we can and show what DTI offers for those interested in selecting the best device for their weapon.  As with any part you choose for your rifle, your application (how you will use the weapon most of the time) should be the determining factor.

Vltor A1 Flash Hider

Flash hiders or flash suppressors do reduce the muzzle flash in comparison to a plain muzzle or most muzzle brakes.  Depending on the style, they may or may not offer benefits in reducing "muzzle climb" (when rounds are fired, the muzzle of the barrel tends to rise off target).  Models with vents on the top of the device would be best at providing this benefit. A1 flash hiders have vents all the way around the device, while A2 flash hiders have vents only on the top of the device. DTI offers these standard flash hiders as well as popular models from manufacturers likeVltor and Yankee Hill Machine.

YHM Phantom 5C2 Compensator

Compensators almost always have features like a heavier weight or vents positioned to fight muzzle rise.  Due to their design, they may not reduce the flash signature as well as flash hiders, but they still reduce it better than a plain muzzle or a muzzle brake.  Their main benefit is to reduce muzzle rise and keep the weapon on target for fast follow up shots.  Some people consider the standard A2 flash hider to actually fall more into the compensator category of muzzle devices, and there is some merit to this when one considers the design.  Like many current muzzle devices, the YHM Phantom 5C2 compensator pictured here has a crenulated end for use as an impact weapon.

Troy Medieval Muzzle Brake
Muzzle brakes are designed to reduce recoil.  This is typically accomplished by venting the gas that follows the bullet out of the muzzle in a sideways or rearward direction.  The vents or ports are designed to direct the gas in this manner and as a result, flash signature and noise are significantly increased with most muzzle brakes.  This directing of the gas or blast can also provide the benefit of fighting muzzle rize and keeping the weapon on target. 

Some states are still "under" the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban, and a muzzle brake is the only allowed device.  It is usually required that these be pinned and welded (permanently attached) as well.  Local gun retailers or your state's Department of Justice website should have information as to what is required in your locality.  Many muzzle devices like most in the YHM line are also long enough to make a 14.5" barrel a legal 16" if pinned and welded so a prospective owner can have a shorter barrel without violating NFA laws and registering the weapon as a SBR (short barreled rifle).

Thanks for reading our blog. If you have any questions about muzzle devices, the parts and weapons we sell, or anything about the AR-15 rifle please feel free to contact us.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Simple Barrel Break-In Procedure

Our customers have requested a suggested procedure for the 'break in" of the barrel on a new DTI rifle.  While opinions on the necessity of this and the steps involved vary, performing the following tasks on a new weapon will not cause any harm and may increase initial and long term accuracy. 

DTI rifles, rifle kits, and complete upper assemblies are all test fired at the factory.  Like any new weapon, it is always a very good idea to perform a general cleaning of the upper, bolt assembly, and barrel before using it the first time. Before starting break in, 20-40 rounds of jacketed ammunition and a cleaning kit (including solvent and lubricant) should be obtained. Using a solvent containing ammonia that does not have any oil in it will aid in removing any oil from the barrel and properly prepare the steel for the "break in conditioning".  These cleaning products may have a strong odor, but break in cleaning should be done while at an outdoor range so this will aid the dissipation of the scent.  Popular solvents from manufacturers like Montana Xtreme, Butch's Bore Shine, or Sweet's 7.62 Solvent will prepare the barrel and remove carbon and copper from the barrel left by the fired rounds.

Step One: Cleaning the barrel with this same type of solvent should also be done after each shot for the first ten shots. Whether you use only a solvent soaked patch or a patch and a brush, a dry patch should be passed through before firing the next shot. In the interest of safety, always make sure there is no foreign material in the bore before firing the weapon.

It is suggested to allow the barrel to cool in between shots so that, in the future, it will be less likely for shots fired in succession to "move" dramatically as the barrel warms.

Step Two: Once the initial 10 shots have been fired and a cooling period/cleaning with solvent has been performed in between each shot, two shots may be taken with the same type of cleaning done previously for another 10 rounds.  Once this series is finished, a thorough cleaning (including a light lubrication of the inside of the barrel, if it will not be used for a period of time) should be completed.

Various or more extensive break in procedures similar to the one described in this post may be beneficial, but following these two steps will ensure that the "burnishing" process is complete.  Proper maintenance of your DTI AR-15 (cleaning after each shooting session, and intermittently when stored for long periods of time) will provide longevity of service and enjoyment of your weapon.  Always make gun safety a priority when shooting or even handling firearms. Thanks for reading our blog. If you have any questions about DTI rifles, the products we offer, or anything related to the AR-15 rifle, please contact us.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

AR-15 Gas Block Options

DTI sponsored 3 gun competitor Michael Chambers with PRI adjustable gas block

Depending on your application, the standard or F-marked front sight base found on a "stock" AR-15 may not be the best option.  It works, and does it well. However, if you want to install a low magnification scope-low on the upper receiver or desire to increase the sight radius on a carbine or mid length, a different gas block may be the better choice.  In this post, we will discuss gas block types (we will put them in 3 categories) offered at Del-Ton and which ones would best fit the way you use your rifle.

The first type we will discuss is the low profile gas block.  These are typically a small, steel cylinder that mounts with set screws or clamp screws at the bottom of the part. DTI carries a couple of models from brands like PRI, Daniel Defense, and YHM.  There is also an adjustable model from PRI that can help ensure the proper amount of gas is channeled for cycling with supressors or different ammunition types. One of the main benefits of this style of gas block is that it allows for the use of a longer free-float handguard on the particular gas system.  If you have a carbine gas system, a mid-length or rifle-length handguard can be installed that runs well past the gas block.  This allows additional room for mounting accessories and a longer sight radius if a flip up front sight is used on the handguard.

Railed gas blocks can be beneficial in that they provide  M-1913 picatinny rail space for the addition of sights or accessories directly to the gas block. Because heat can be transferred to the gas block, only accessories made of metal should be attached.  It is important to remember to select a front sight designed for a gas block so that it will properly align with rear sights (typically, the top rail on gas blocks is a bit lower than those on railed handguards).  DTI carries single rail (one rail on the top), two rail (one on top, and one on the bottom), and four rail gas blocks in this style.  Again, the main advantage here would be no fixed front sight to disturb the sight picture of optics with low magnification or a low mounting profile.

The final type of gas block we will discuss is those that come with a flip up sight on the part.  This can be a definite money saving opportunity.  DTI carries models from YHM, PRI, Vltor, and A.R.M.S. that allow you to use the iron sight when it is in the up position or folded down so that a clear, unobstructed view can be obtained.  They may cost a bit more than the models with rails, but with the sight included they end up being more cost effective. 

Installation of these is simply a matter of removing the muzzle device and the front sight base.  DTI front sight bases are installed with taper pins and these should be driven out from the bolt assist aside of the weapon. A larger punch should be used first to get the pins "moving" and then a smaller punch can be used to finish tapping them out.  A front sight base bench tool, like those sold at Brownells, is extremely handy for this task. Be sure to remove the gas tube roll pin and gas tube gently so that they can be reused if needed in the gas block (however, this is an excellent time to install new parts if you are concerned about their condition). It is typically easier to install these in the gas block before mounting the gas block on the barrel. It is also important to note that a low profile gas block may not cover the mark in the barrel where the front taper pin was installed.  Most of the railed and flip up front sight gas block models will cover both of the marks left by the taper pins for a more aesthetically pleasing appearance. Finally it is imperative to make sure the gas block is properly aligned over the gas port and in line with the upper receiver to ensure proper functioning. 

Thanks for reading our blog. If you have any questions about the gas blocks we carry or any other AR related questions, please feel free to contact us.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

AR-15 Handguards

Troy 13" Alpa Rail

One of the most popular "upgrades" AR-15 owners make to their weapon is to install a different handguard than the basic two piece one that came on their rifle.  While the standard handguard is comfortable and functional, choosing a handguard that better serves the application in which you use the weapon can be of great benefit.  There are two main types of handguards for the AR-15: two piece, standard handguards and "free float" handguards.  In this post we will discuss these options and how they can help you enjoy using your rifle to its full potential.

Two Piece Handguards:                  
Magpul MOE Carbine
The standard, two piece, plastic handguards that come on the weapon may be just fine for many uses.  Even if you desire to attach various accessories to the weapon, a free float handguard with picatinny rails may not be necessary.  With the basic two piece handguards, a strip of picatinny rail can be placed underneath the bottom handguard for accessories like a vertical grip.  However, Magpul's MOE handguards offer slits at the 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock position as well; rail sections can then be mounted in these positions for accessories like lights, lasers, etc... The MOE handguard also has a "ledge" on the bottom of the handguard for use as a hand stop for those who prefer an extended support hand position.  Manufacturers like ERGO and Magpul offer strips of polymer or aluminum picatinny rail in various lengths to accomodate a set-up like this.  If more rail space is needed for the attachment of accessories, it would be wise to choose a 2 piece, 4 rail handguard.  These are not "free-floating", and attach the same as standard, 2 piece handguards, but provide unlimited space for whatever you need to mount on the rails and still have room for comfortable support hand positions.

Free Float Handguards:
Samson Star R
The main benefit of the free-float handguard is that it does not contact the barrel in any place; this can prevent inaccuracy caused by stress of parts put on the barrel and barrel harmonics.  Most free float handguards attach to the barrel and upper via a jam nut that replaces the barrel and delta ring assembly on a standard handguard system.  There are some manufacturers, like Daniel Defense, that still use the delta ring assembly on some models of free float handguards. Many free float handguards have 4 rails that run the full length of the handguard, while others have a smooth tube that has attachable rail sections near the front.  These can provide more comfort than handguards with four rails running the entire length, and still allow important accessories to be attached where they are most likely to be used.  For target shooting or hunting applications where lights and lasers are not beneficial, a completely smooth free float tube without rails may be the best choice.  For handguards that do have full length rails on all sides, rail covers can help mitigate any discomfort from the sharp edges of rail sections where accessories have not been mounted.

Installation of standard two piece handguards and some "drop-in" free float handguards is easy and requires no special tools.  By simply pulling the delta ring assembly to the rear, the two piece handguards can be seperated and removed.  Installation of the new ones is typically easier if the top handguard is intalled first, with the front being inserted under the endcap before placing the rear of the handguard under the delta ring.  Many free float handguards will require removal of the front sight base, existing barrel nut, and installation of the free float jam nut-this does require having some AR gunsmithing specific tools.

Having options to best meet your weapon's intended use is what makes the AR-15 such a popular weapon.  If you have any questions about handguards, options, or anything related to the AR-15 rifle please feel free visit our site via the highlighted links or contacts us.  We would love to assist you in choosing the best parts to outfit your rifle so that it provides you with service and enjoyment!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

AR-15 Bolt and Carrier Basics

It is important to have some basic knowledge about the AR-15 in order to enjoy the weapon and keep it functioning to its full potential. The AR-15 is a fairly simple weapon to keep clean and maintain, as far as semi-automatic weapons go.  In this post, we will go over some very basic information about the bolt and carrier assembly, including dissassembly and maintenance. 

Most AR-15 rifles will have either an AR-15 or M-16 bolt carrier.  The bolt will be the same in either instance, but the M-16, or "full-auto" carrier is a bit heavier than the AR-15 model due to its design.  There is a larger "cut-out" at the bottom of the AR-15 model.  While an M-16 carrier alone will not make the weapon full-auto capable, some AR owners believe that having the heavier M-16 carrier is beneficial in carbine gas sytem rifles; it is thought that the extra weight can slow down the cycling of the weapon.
carrier and key assembly

The standard, mil-spec carriers sold at DTI have a chrome lined interior. A fully chromed model is also available. Coatings like chrome, titanium nitride (TiN), nickel boron, etc... can make the parts easier to clean and provide lubricity and wear resistance.  A standard, phosphated, mil-spec carrier will work fine and can provide the average owner with a lifetime of service if it is properly maintained.
Atop the carrier (3), is the carrier key (2) that also has a chrome lining.  The carrier keys used in DTI products are attached with grade 8 carrier key screws (1) and the key is "staked" according to military specifications.  This involves making an indentation in the metal of the key on both sides of each screw in order to preven the screws from easily backing out during normal operation of the weapon. 

At DTI, we use bolts machined from carpenter 158 steel. Each bolt is then high pressure tested and magnetic particle inspected (bolts used in the DT Sport line of rifles are not individually HPT/MPI tested, but are made of the same material on the same machines as the bolts that do undergo this testing). The bolt is used to fire a high pressure round of ammunition (HPT) and then closely inspected (MPI) to search for any fissures or imperfections in the steel that may have resulted from the force of the excessive pressure.  Factory ammunition is loaded with powder that creates pressures well below the those created by the HP rounds, so a DTI AR owner can feel confident that our bolt has the quality and integrity to provide functional and long-term usage. 
There are many opinions on what is necessary in regard to cleaning and maintenance of the bolt assembly, but it is definitely important to remove the bolt from the assembly for cleaning each time you clean your weapon. Doing so will only help keep things functioning right. 

To remove the bolt from the carrier, first remove the firing pin retaining pin (1) from the carrier. Once this is done, the firing pin (2) can slide out toward the back of the carrier, and the cam pin (3) will rotate properly for removal from the bolt. The bolt (4) is then free to slide out of the front of the carrier (5). 

While the entire bolt should be gently cleaned, the "face" of the bolt, the tail end of the bolt, and the firing pin will likely have a fair amount of fouling and carbon build up that may require extra attention.  Any solvent or solvent/oil cleaning solution can be used for cleaning.  A firm, nylon bristle brush or dental pick may even be required depending on the amount of fouling that has built up.  The pick can be used to ensure there is not a build up under the extractor as well.  All external and internal surfaces of the carrier, carrier key, and cam pin should also be cleaned.  Cotton swabs or pipe cleaners can be useful to get into the small areas, but there are some manufacturers like Iosso that make specialized nylon brushes for this use as well.  The exterior of the bolt and exterior sides and bottom indented rails of the carrier should be lightly oiled before the entire assembly is inserted into the upper receiver.
Iosso AR-15 cleaning kit

Cleaning after any shooting session or prolonged storage is always a great way to provide a long life for your AR-15.  For additional information on this post's subject matter, please visit our retail, you can also view exploded diagrams of these parts. If you have any questions about AR-15 bolt and carriers, DTI rifles, or anything about the AR-15 in general, please feel free to contact us.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

AR-15 Grips: An Easy Upgrade That Can Make A Difference.

Whether you call it an AR-15, black rifle, or modern sporting rifle, the AR-15 is one of the most popular firearms.  A major reason for this is the adaptability it has for any application in which you desire to use it.  This weapon can be used for anything from hunting to shooting sports to home defense. It performs well in all of these categories because there are so many ways you can specifically modify it to excel in one or more of these applications.  While some modifications can require special tools or an in-depth knowledge of the operation and design of the weapon, replacing a handguard, stock, or grip is something just about any AR-15 owner can do with a little research and understanding.  In this blog post, we will discuss various "after market" pistol grip upgrades that are offered at and how they can help you enjoy shooting your weapon even more.
Magpul MOE Grip
Most AR-15 rifles will come with a standard "A2" pistol grip.  The grip is well designed to make the weapon "shootable" for a very broad range of hand sizes and shooting styles.  Many companies have designed grips for specific applications like hunting, combat, or accuracy-focused precision shooting that may be more beneficial for these particular applications than the basic A2 grip.

Magpul MIAD Grip
Magpul has an extensive line of AR-15 accessories, and the DTI product line offers their MIAD (Mission Adaptable) and MOE (Magpul Original Equipment) grips in three popular colors: black, flat dark earth, and olive drab green. The MIAD grip has replaceable frontstraps & backstraps to accommodate different hand sizes and includes a core insert that will hold three 5.56 rounds. Other core inserts that hold a spare bolt, batteries, etc... are also available as separate parts.  The MOE grip also has internal storage, but does not come with any of the core inserts.  The MOE grip does not have the interchangeable front and backstrap pieces of the MIAD grip.  Both grips have a textured yet comfortable surface to help you maintain a good grip. The MOE+ grip is the same as the standard MOE grip, but with a rubber-like exterior for those who prefer the feel of a softer pistol grip.  The Magpul grips also extend in the rear where the "web" of your hand is, for additional comfort.

TangoDown Battle Grip
The TangoDown Battle Grip has an exterior much like the Magpul grips, but is slightly more thin and has a more "aggressive" angle.  This can be beneficial for applications requiring quick, moving target acquisition.  While the rear of this grip does not extend past the web of the hand, there is an extension in the front of the grip to cover the gap between a standard grip and the triggerguard.  This is a nice feature as the gap can be abrasive on your fingers after a long day of shooting.  The TangoDown grip also has internal storage capability, and is available in black and olive drab green colors at DTI.

Ergo Sure Grip
Ergo brand grips are appropriately named...they are VERY ergonomic and comfortable.  They come in  "rigid" (a harder plastic-but softer than the Magpul and TangoDown grips) and "sure" (softer-like the MOE+ grip) styles.  They are also available in right hand and ambi models.  The back of most Ergo grips, like the Magpul grips, extend past the web of the hand and include a "gapper" for the space between the front of the grip and triggerguard.  The Ergo grip also has an internal storage capability, but the plug for the cavity may have to be purchased separately depending on the model.  The Ergo Tactical Deluxe Grip is slightly shorter in length, but with a fairly large "palm swell" that some users prefer for more slow, precision shooting applications.

The most difficult part of upgrading your grip can be deciding which model to choose.  Removal of the old grip & installation of the new one can usually be done with a screwdriver or socket (depending on the fastener used).  Just be sure to secure the selector detent and spring (these parts are held in place by a hole in the top of the pistol grip) when removing the old grip and replace it accurately when installing the new one.  It is best to perform this task with the weapon upside down (grip facing up).

While upgrading a grip is not a major change, it is amazing how much difference the grips mentioned in this post can make in the comfort, performance, and even appearance of your valued weapon.  Thanks for reading our blog; if you have any questions about the parts mentioned, DTI rifles, or anything about the AR-15 rifle, please feel free to contact us!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Feeding Your AR-15

The AR-15 is a similar design to the M16 "family" of military weapons.  To some AR owners, the term "mil-spec" is important, and it makes sense in that the military has stringently tested the quality and reliability of the weapon and laid out specifications to ensure these characteristics.  If a high value is placed on a weapon being "mil-spec" in every way, why not choose ammunition that is of the same level of quality as the weapon?

DTI AR-15 rifles are chambered in 5.56X45 NATO, so both 5.56 and .223 Remington ammunition is safe to use in them.  5.56 ammunition typically has more velocity and higher chamber pressures than .223 ammunition. This potentially higher chamber pressure and size differences in the leade (throat) of the  two weapons are reasons it is dangerous to use 5.56 ammunition in a weapon chambered only for .223 Remington. The selection of 5.56 ammo is a bit more limited, though recent military activities and developments have increased available options.  Not long ago, almost all 5.56 ammunition was loaded with "ball" ammunition/FMJ (full metal jacket).  There are now a few different manufacturers that produce 5.56 ammo with "open tip match" or expanding bullets.

Ammunition in .223 is also fine to use in your AR-15 and the available ammunition options are much greater in this caliber.  From FMJ to expanding solids to various hollow point designs, a perfect option for just about any shooting application can be found. 

Both 5.56 and .223 ammunition is available in a variety of bullet weights (grains).  Typically, the lighter grain bullets are more suited for varmint hunting and target shooting/plinking, while a heavier grain bullet will perform better in situations like deer hunting or self defense.  There is a line of thought that the lighter weight bullets are more accurate with slower twist rate barrels (1X9), while heavier bullets perform better in a faster twist rate (1X7).   DTI rifles with 1x9 twist barrels that were featured in recent publications/tests achieved sub MOA accuracy with bullets as heavy as 77 grains.  Each individual weapon is different and can show a propensity to favor one type/load/weight of ammo over another in terms of accuracy as well as reliable functioning so it can be beneficial to try some different brands and types of ammunition to see what offers the best performance in your weapon.

It is always our suggestion to use quality American made ammunition. Some brands produced elsewhere may be manufactured with lower quality components such as powder that does not burn consistently (creating lower pressures) and can affect the reliable functioning of a semi automatic weapon.  Not all ammunition produced in other countries is bad, but it is wise to research user reviews and other information before purchase/use. In this economy it can be tempting to select a cheap brand of ammo, but do so with caution. Whatever you do, don't buy it in large quantities until you're sure of its performance.

Treat your weapon well.  Feed your valued gun ammo that will allow you to enjoy the shooting sports without concern. Clean your weapon after use, and always remember to practice safe weapon handling.

Thanks for reading our blog. If you have any questions about the DTI rifles and the other AR related products we sell, or even about the AR-15 in general, please contact us.