Daniel Defense Delta 5 Pro
- By Chris Parkin
- 114 Comments
- Last updated: 23/08/2021
The Daniel Defense Delta 5 Pro sets out with bold claims of a half MOA accuracy guarantee at 100 yards, using quality factory match-grade ammunition. ‘If we can do it, so can you!’
DD’s barrel is cold hammer forged and shows an external spiral twist to the heavy profile. It measures 22.3mm at the muzzle and is capped with a 6-port muzzle brake with a left-hand thread and a lockring to index on the 5/8-24” TPI thread. This 6.5 Creedmoor shows a fully free-floated 26” barrel with a 1:8” twist rate. The stiff forend shows masses of M-LOCK slots on the left, right and upper quadrants of its quasi-hexagonal profile. A 38mm RRS compatible rail is machined along the full length of the underside to a barricade stop.
The aluminium chassis is beautifully made and Cerakoted, with detailed machining to complete complex shapes and relieve weight. The fasteners are T25 Torx and although built in modular sections, you struggle to detect the joints throughout.
A 10-round AICS compatible magazine well is machined into the chassis with an ambidextrous release lever positioned ahead of the trigger guard. No loading or unloading hang-ups occurred during testing, with the mag slotting in easily up to a solid click each time, and dropping free under its own weight at changeover.
The AR-15-type, ambidextrous textured rubber grip, fills the hand and offers a 72mm reach from its throat to the trigger blade. An additional thumb rest can be moved to either side and it can be adjusted 11mm forward/ back for customised comfort.
I’m critical of stock ergonomics and I have to say, the ‘Pro’ chassis is exceedingly competent. The cheekpiece can be adjusted 7mm horizontally by loosening the two screws on top, or 47mm vertically, by using a single fastening knob that can be swapped to either side. The mounting posts included grooves that can accommodate a C-clip to save the position, but I never found it in the box. Two grub screws can lock position if desired and you do not need to take the cheekpiece out to remove the bolt.
There’s plenty of underside space cut-out for the non-firing hand’s wrist and relief of material to balance the rifle slightly ahead of the barricade stop. Quick detach sling stud anchors are provided. The hand stop is just big enough to grasp with the web of the hand, all edges are chamfered, and its bag rider is slotted for accessories. The length of pull and vertical position of the recoil pad are both adjustable with two locking dials, again with opposing grub screws for a permanent lock. The central threaded bar shows a spinning nut for fine length control from 13.5” to 15”. The butt pad’s dovetailed aluminium rail enables vertical travel 20mm below or 55mm above flush position and it locks 100% solid. Only fingertip force is needed on any of the dials that all show clean-cut, free-spinning threads. Everything you need, done well!
The bolt shows three lugs and operates with a 60° lift to cock. The push-feed bolt face shows an extractor claw and sprung plunger. After hundreds of rounds, there was no trace of any brass swarf or combustion residue on the bolt face, which is impressive and rare. This is certainly a factor of the smooth surface finishing standards and linear cartridge feed from the magazine. The cylindrical action has a 35mm external diameter, so the bolt looks skinny at 17mm in comparison. The bolt’s head is interchangeable for alternate cartridge sizes if desired, although all three of the chamberings currently available for the Delta 5 Pro will use the same 0.473” diameter face anyway.
A barrel nut controls headspacing, with four screws adjacent fixing the forend. Everything fits snugly, with the joint drawing tapered wings into an even firmer fit, another small detail that gives the modular stock assembly a truly homogenous feel. Twin T30 screws spanning the magazine well anchor the action in place, with no appreciable stress when seated. A small recoil lug on the underside of the action mates into a recess in the chassis.
No limiting threadlock
A Timney trigger is fitted, which is adjustable for pull weight, sear engagement and overtravel, with clear engraved markings and no threadlock or anti-tamper seals in sight. It broke crisply on the test rifle at 1620-grams, with no discernible creep. Although sounding heavier than many think a target-oriented rifle needs to be, I liked the broad 10mm grooved blade. The consistent application of growing pressure to somewhat ‘time’ shots when faced with relatively unstable positions is something I like. Tastes change as do circumstances, so trigger adjustability is a great factor to consider for a long-life rifle that can be re-barrelled and theoretically outlast you.
Bolt travel is 102mm with a 73mm ejection port showing radiused corners. Interestingly, the brass leaves no characteristic golden ‘dink’marks to the rear of the opening as is common on many guns. Feed and function from the single-column magazine were effortless, and single rounds dropped into the port would chamber smoothly as the bolt closed.
The 70mm bolt handle features a replaceable teardrop handle. I didn’t really like the one fitted because it had a central groove that seems to be positioned exactly where you don’t want it, but each to their own. At full extension, there was approximately 6mm of lateral play at the bolt’s shrouded rear extreme and this is perhaps a little more than ideal. Bolt operation was reliable but it was possible to jam it when rushed, something I always deliberately initiate and notice because I change rifles so often. Some are more prone than others to a lesser or greater extent, a delightful few are almost immune.
A 20 MOA Picatinny rail comes securely fitted and with a scope mounted, I was off to the range. I wanted to check out that accuracy guarantee.
First praise goes to the ‘419 HELLFIRE’ muzzle brake that’s made from ‘17-4 PH stainless steel’. The higher Chromium content improving corrosion resistance in its hot, gaseous environment. Brakes generally fall somewhere between volume and effective recoil reduction and this one was pleasantly mannered, with almost zero felt recoil and no muzzle rise. The stock layout with impulse directed centrally into the recoil pad and its heavy weight are also significant factors but most importantly, there wasn’t any irritating concussive resonance transmitted through the chassis. The bag rider was plentiful in size for a soft bag with a hand stop that filled my hand.
In use, it was one of those guns that didn’t feel like you needed to physically aim very hard, it was a natural extension to the body when prone, seated or standing. It rode well and with a slightly forward centre of balance beyond the barricade stop, it was certainly one of the best rifles I have ever used straight from the box. Plus, the M-Lock rail and Arca assembly enables personalisation of the balance point using additional weights on what is a very neutral rifle with excellent ergonomic fit and perhaps most importantly to me, no harmonic concussion transmitted through the chassis to tire and aggravate the user during a long day of shooting.
A half MOA claim focuses buyers on a group size obsession which is hard to prove with factory ammo and the endless variables in the real world, however, the rifle is one I really enjoyed shooting. The stock geometry is excellent, with great adjustability, a superb trigger and well-damped recoil and noise control. I’d rather have a gun I can shoot in extreme comfort all day than one that might do a single group before overheating and ruining its reputation. The ‘Pro’ is defiantly a reliable all-day gun I was happy to spend extended trigger time with, it maintained its average!