OK, 1st off, I must tell you I own a STAG Model 1 AR and love it...I served 9 years in the Army and love shooting the M16, so I had to get a rifle that reminded me of those days and operated the same...
Well a few months back, my buddy bought a DTI AR-15, I had never heard of them before, I believe they are somewhat of a new company, we went to the range like 3 times a week I brought my STAG he brought his DTI, he let me fire his and vice versa, they both shot great, 1 1/2 inch groups at 100 yards with Sellier & Bellot 55 gr. ammo.. I was really impressed at the similarities of the 2, both are Forged Aircraft Aluminum lowers, very well made, STAG has a more popular name, I mean sheez, they have TV commercials on Outdoor Channel and whole segments on them on American Rifleman, so for that they are much more popular in the AR community...
so I did some research, on rifle forums about DTI, most owners said they were the bees knees and wouldn't own anything else, the parties who spoke ill of them, well, had never shot one, nor held one, so I take their comments with a grain of salt...So I was impressed again with owner satisfaction, so I made a jump, and bought a complete DTI M4 in 5.56 from my local gun dealer, about $800 out the door, $250 cheaper than my STAG, and have been really happy with it...
I have discovered, just because you haven't heard of a rifle maker, the best thing to do is research it, take the bad talk about the item at face value unless the person speaking has real life experience, and the good talk a little more to heart, because ownership loyalty is something special these days...But then, find out about the company, and if possible have a buddy that owns one and let him let you shoot it!!!
I would put my DTI right up to my STAG as equal in every way, shape and form, as a functioning AR, just as pretty and just as durable, both with chrome lined 1 in 9 inch twist barrels..The DTI's resale value is less, but who said I would ever sell it?! Ha !
I think DTI maybe the AR worlds best kept secret...
If you are looking for an AR...seriously, STAG is top of the line as is Bushmaster & DPMS & Yankee Hill & many others, but don't let the lack of a famous name, at least in Del-Ton's case, to make you spend more money for the same quality. Cheers,
P.S. I have 2 DTI stripped lowers on order and will customize those myself.
When you get right down to it most of the manufacturers simply assemble componets. They get most of there parts from the same sources or from each other. There are exeptions to this, but most uppers, lowers, and barrels come from the same sources.
You may have read my story about my father's Del-Ton AR-15 (I posted it a while back). I won't get into all the details here, but I will say that the outcome of that story is that Del-Ton is a company with very good customer service. In short, they stand by their product.
Admittedly, there was an issue that came with the rifle kit we ordered, but Del-Ton fixed the problem, and the only thing we were asked to do was to ship it back to them, which we did gladly.
Today, that 20" Del-Ton AR-15 is shooting very nicely. Pops doesn't get out to shoot often, but when he does, he's happy with his rifle.
The best way I would describe Del-Ton is "high value for the money". The fit and finish are good, the accuracy is good to very good, and the cost is extremely competitive.
BTW, I was just on the Del-Ton's website and they basically have a "one price fits all" approach. They have TEN rifles all listed for $750.00 (USD). Now, that's having some options!
Moreover, at $750 that's a very good price for a complete rifle. Why do I say this? Well, I as you will see in my "A NEW AR-15 challenge!" thread, I am in the process of trying to build the most economical AR-15 that can shoot decent groups at 50 yards.
Well, I'm sort of spilling the beans at tad early here, but before shipping/taxes the overall cost came in slightly over $750. (I'll detail it in the other thread).
Here's the point, you can buy a fully assembled Del-Ton rifle for essentially the same cost it takes you to build an AR-15 rifle, provided you go with the "standard" configuration (i.e. no "mods") that is offered. Sure, if you like to build your AR-15 rifles, then you don't get that aspect of the purchase. But, most guys/gals want something that's "turn-key". And, Del-Ton delivers!
In the end, I agree Del-Ton rifles are a good choice, and can maybe even be classified as a "best kept" secret.
PS: Spike's Tactical is another option to consider...a tad bit pricier, but not much.
Yeah, my last, I mean my latest, hopefully not my last, is a Spike's piston upper that I bought last year. They don't sell the piston's anymore, I don't know why, but mine has been flawless to date. Shot it today, as a matter of fact.
I have a DTI 20" upper. The basic upper was $415, and that's with the tax and shipping. I have not shot it yet. I don't have a stripped lower because I am not 18 yet haha (only about a week and a half left). But when I get it assembled, I'll post some pics of the targets.
I've built a few AR's from DelTon kits.
They did have a problem a few months back with a batch of bolts that were not properly hardened. But they took care of the customers that received them.
I just had an issue with a barrel I bought from them a few years back.
The index pin fell out when I removed the barrel to install it on another receiver.
I spoke with Laura. She sent a new pin out, offered to let me send it in for inspection, and I'm sure they would have installed it and mounted it to the receiver had I sent the whole upper in.
And this is with a barrel I've had for a period of years. That's just how good they are.
You can buy in confidence from DelTon.
I installed the Hogue grip. You're right; I like it! Great improvement over the skinny little standard one. I actually could stand for the Hogue to be a bit bulkier. I guess I've got big hands.
I agree....the standard pistol grips are rather small. I upgraded mine to a MIAD, using the largest of the interchangeable backstraps, and found that it fits my hand much better. I have Hogue grips on my Para Carry-12, and love it. Maybe I'll try one on my next AR build.
Del Ton is a small, family owned business. They have excellent customer service and good parts for an entry level build.
I've used a few of their kits to build rifles and have always been satisfied.
Del Ton is GTG.