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I mentioned in my recent review of a Daniel Defense PDW, that I had requested a Daniel Defense DD5 V5 rifle. I am glad that DD’s Joe Marler modified my request and sent the PDW my way. In short, the PDW was a hoot-to-shoot. But Joe sent the DD5 V5 modern sporting rifle along as well.

The DD5 V5 in 6.5 Creedmoor (it’s also available in .260 Remington) gives longer range shooters the benefits of 6.5 CM’s improved ballistic coefficients in a semi-auto AR platform rifle with all of its inherent modularity and customization options.

The rifle comes equipped with a Daniel Defense buttstock that is constructed using a glass-filled polymer with their “soft touch” overmolding. Regardless of the so-called soft touch, I expected this type of stock to be uncomfortable on the shoulder and face. I was wrong. Frances and I both shot the rifle extensively and the design makes it very easy on the shooter.

The mil-spec extension tube is made from 7075-T6 aluminum.

The pistol grip is made from the same overmolded material as the buttstock.

The trigger is DD’s mil-spec model. I’m not a fan of the two-stage trigger’s mushy feel, but neither Frances nor I could seem to miss even the farthest (700+ yards) targets when firing the DD5, so I guess my preferences didn’t affect my accuracy.

The DD5 V5 is a fully ambidextrous firearm. It has Daniel’s GRIP-N-RIP charging handle.

Likewise, it has a safety located on each side of the receiver.

The DLC-coated bolt has what Daniel Defense describes as “enhanced extractor geometry” and comes with dual ejectors for reliable cycling.

The DD5 V5’s 20-inch barrel is cold hammer forged in the Daniel Defense factory from a DD proprietary steel. The 6.5 Creedmoor has a 1:8 twist. The barrel is chrome lined and has a heavy mil-spec phosphate coating. It’s threaded 5.8×24 for attaching a suppressor.

While we’re focusing on the barrel, the muzzle break is DD’s ‘Superior Suppression Device‘, made from 17-4 PH stainless steel with a nitride finish.

Finally, the DD5 V5 comes equipped with a user-adjustable gas block. The block is machined of 4140 hardened steel with a phosphate coating

The handguard is yet another Daniel Defense component – DD5 Rail 15.0.

The handguard is CNS machined using 6061-T6 aluminum with the extremely tough and thus abrasion resistant Type III Hard Coat anodizing. It comes with M-LOK attachment points.

Daniel Defense uses the 4-Bolt Connection system to improve the accuracy of their rifle.

We tested the rifle with a Kahles K525i, 5-25×56 scope.


Government Training Institute…again

When Daniel sent me the DD5 V5 rifle chambered to 6.5 Creedmoor, I knew Frances and I would need a venue where we could shoot at longer ranges. I contacted Chris Lux at the Government Training Institute and asked if we could use the range where they had held the Precision Rifle course I had attended (see TTAG article). Chris agreed and, soon after receiving the rifle, we headed to GTI’s Barnwell, South Carolina facility.

We brought plenty of Hornady 140 grain ELD Match and 140 grain BTHP American Gunner ammunition.

We began by ranging the various targets; they were located at (excluding our 100-yard sight-in target) 420, 454, 550, 706 and 711 yards. The targets were all metal and were no larger than 12 x 18 inches, with some much less than 12 inches in either dimension.

Once ranged, we turned to sighting-in the DD5 V5 using both types of ammunition. We quickly determined that the ELD-tipped cartridges were the most accurate. The target below shows the first two rounds fired and then two more after dialing in windage and elevation.

The mean muzzle velocity for the ELD Match ammunition was 2596 fps.

With all of our data gathered for the ballistics solutions, we were ready to start walking the rifle out to the farthest distances. The only step left before firing was to enter the values from the Kestrel and dialing them in.

The following video includes me shooting a number of rounds at the 711-yard yard target. If you listen carefully, you will hear the delayed ‘ping’ from the bullets striking the target as well as Frances calling the impacts.

As I said earlier, I would change the trigger on the DD5 V5, but Daniel’s mil-spec version was no hindrance to the inherent accuracy of the rifle we saw during our testing. The combination of the 6.5 Creedmoor’s accuracy and Daniel Defense’s build quality makes the DD5 V5 a very attractive option for the long range shooter looking for a semi-automatic rifle.

Specifications: Daniel Defense DD5 V5 Rifle

Caliber: 6.5 Creedmoor
Weight: 8.9 pounds
Length: 38 3/8″ – 41 5/8″
Action: Semi-Automatic
Twist Rate: 1/8″
Muzzle Break: DD ‘Superior Suppression Device’ (Barrel Threaded 5/8 x 24 TPI)
Barrel: 20″, threaded 5/8×24
Handguard: Daniel Defense DD5 Rail
Bolt Carrier: DLC-coated
Buttstock: Daniel Defense Glass Filled Polymer with Soft Touch Overmolding
Gas System: adjustable
Trigger: Mil-spec
Grip: Daniel Defense, Glass Filled Polymer with Soft Touch Overmolding
Magazine: Magpul PMAG 20-Round
MSRP: $2499 (about $1990 retail)


Ratings (out of five stars):

Style and appearance * * * 
I am still a Luddite when it comes to preferring beautiful wooden stocks and blued, sometimes case-hardened, metal parts. That’s the problem with having a qualitative/subjective category, but there it is. The DD5 V5 is an AR platform rifle and looks every bit of one. Those who love the look of a finely-made AR will probably find it attractive, but it’s an AR all the way down.

Reliability * * * * *
The rifle was perfectly reliable through all of our testing.

Accuracy * * * * *
“Frickin’ amazing accuracy.” Yep, that’s what I wrote in our range book. We couldn’t seem to miss. The 100 yard sight-in shots – the first four shots fired – were well below 0.5 MOA. The percentage of impacts at ranges from ~400-715 yards on targets no larger than 12 x 18 inches exceeded 90%.

Overall * * * * 1/2
Though I’m not fussed with the looks of the AR platform, I am in a vanishingly small minority. But, for things that really count – mechanical dependability, comfortable to shoot and superb accuracy – this rifle is at the top of the heap. Half a star off for a less than stellar trigger, but the folks at Daniel Defense obviously know how to build products that check all the right boxes.


Mike Arnold writes for a number of outlets; links to other articles can be found here.

[All photos and the video courtesy of Frances and Mike Arnold.]

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  1. 6.5 creedmoor is real? It’s not just a meme for bored POTG?

    A 6.5 in an AR platform must be the pinnacle of human civilization.

    • “6.5 creedmoor is real?”

      Maybe not. My “Comment by the Gov. in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…” was *erased* by someone at TTAG master control.

      *Sobbing pitifully*… 🙂

    • Only when it’s made of pure meteorite from Cabot, and polished internals from Wilson Combat. Top it off with a coating of pure diamond extract and a grip shaped like a 1911, with ivory handles. Then a 4 grand trijicon scope thats cerakoted diamond FDE, polished with the tears of the poor.

      Then a cheap 27$ grip pod made by UTG just to be outrageous.

    • 6.5 CM with a 20-rd mag. How many long shots does one wish to make? Deer rifles typically come with smaller capacities (e.g., my Browning BARs have 3- and 4-rd mags, and my bolt actions are 5-rd). Unless someone is planning on setting up an eagle’s nest to snipe an enemy position at distance and provide overwatch for a team…but then, wouldn’t .308 be the usual choice?

      FWIW, I watched a video last year from an old master hunter & reloader, and he hated hearing stories from others bragging about shots further out than 400 yds. His reasoning was that super long shots are great for pushing holes through paper, and conceded that 6.5 CM is ideal for targets out to 1000 yds. But beyond 200 for most loads (and 400 for nearly all), the bullet has lost much of its initial muzzle energy and will only pierce an animal, not mushroom upon impact. The result is a wounded, bleeding, and frightened animal that is too far away for you to properly track and kill, when a closer shot would have mushroomed and dumped its kinetic energy into the wound channel to increase the chance of a quicker and more humane kill.

      • I agree with him. I still want 6.5 Creedmoor to make my shorter shots more accurate. I need all the help I can get.

      • One thing to keep in mind is that the DD5V5 is designed as a ‘battle’ or ‘long-range’ competition rifle. I am certain that Daniel Defense would sell it to someone who wanted to use it for hunting, but that’s not its core purpose. You can check out my interview with Joe Marler where we discuss this very rifle: (We discuss this rifle about 2 minutes into the video.)

        Also, though I know there are proponents of extreme long-range shooting at game animals, I am not one of them. I am not confident to take shots past 400 yards. But, there are experts out there who could/can make such shots (e.g. Elmer Keith, Jack O’Connor, Craig Boddington).

        • Thx for the comment. I personally like this rifle very much, and wouldn’t at all mind having one (albeit at a lower price – cough, cough – darn you Daniel Defense). I’m just a bit surprised at the inclusion of 20-rd mags as standard, instead of typical 5- or 10-rounders, considering it apparently is intended for target shots and not hunting. 6.5 CM aficionados on various gun forums mention how they strive for those magical 1000-yd kill shots, when the combination of this bullet and that range is much more likely to result in a slow, painful death for the animal instead of a humane kill.

          But for targets or as a SHTF eagle’s nest sniper, this is a beaut.

        • I Haz,
          You mentioned “this rifle at a lower price”

          That’s where Palmetto State Armory comes in. I’m sure the Daniel Defense rifles are better, but the PSA ones are generally pretty good and are very affordable. I really like mine, and were I to get a Creedmore AR10, it would almost certainly be a PSA build.

        • I believe Daniel Defense made this rifle to get into the AR-10 / REPR / SR-25 / LR-308 tactical/competition rifle market; not for hunters to try 800 yd kill shots. It definitely benefits from a 20 round magazine due to the faster rate of fire (versus a bolt action/hunting style rifle) and preventing constant reloading. Most people will (or at least have the ability to) shoot at a faster pace, or simply want the added firepower for competition, range time, or LE/Military applications. A 5 round magazine in a bolt action hunting or PRS rifle works all day long because of the philosophy behind a precision bolt action rifle or hunting rifle. However, the reason for the 20-round magazine in the DD5 is the same as the KAC SR-25, Armalite AR-10, SCAR 17s, LWRC REPR, etc. all having 20-rd magazines. Personally, I’d find it odd (outside of CA), if one of these rifles came with a 5 round magazine. It kind of runs contradictory to the idea of buying a tactical gas gun over a bolt gun. Not saying you can’t hunt with a gas gun, but I believe this is a direct competitor to the M110’s, REPR, AR-10’s in the tactical/competition world and not made for a general purpose hunting rifle, although, you can definitely use it for that. Happy shooting!

  2. Nice , I’ve been checking out the 6.5 creedmoor’s lately anyway’s, my boy wants one for our collection.
    I’ll ad this one to my list to check out.

    • I’ve been looking at building a long range rifle, but I am still on the fence between going with a 6.5mm Creedmoor or a 7mm-08. Tending toward the 7mm-08 for bigger game like elk, bear, or maybe one day for that safari hunt.

  3. 6.5 CM and Grendel were two calibers that I’ve seen stay on the shelves during this virus buying frenzy. Along with .22lr. Many 300winmag left behind too.

  4. From a hunting aspect, the 6.5CM makes sense but for just putting holes in paper and listening to PEW-PING at distances…wouldn’t the 6.5 Grendel make more sense? Swap the upper on your AR-15, get a couple Grendel mags, and you’re good to go.

  5. Too old and infirm for that game, if this were 20 years ago I’d have one ordered by now. Nice report.

  6. I have a ton of DD rifles in both 5.56 mm and 7.62 mm. Top notch. Never had an issue. Great finish and functionality. BTW, note the hydrogen bomb detonation in the upper left corner of the video. Hopefully you are far enough away…

      • My cousin who recently passed (of cancer) worked at the sister site of Hanford, on the Columbia river.

        Those reactors at Savannah River made many tons of fissile material, and Tritium gas…

        • All that tritium gas should make the place much easier to find, especially at night; just from the glow alone.

        • No, you won’t see it, the ‘glow’ comes from the alpha radiation striking the phosphor particles in the glass vial. Different color phosphors, different glow colors.

          If the tritium gas ever leaks out, it;s not a problem. Being an isotope of hydrogen, it’s only direction is straight *up*, at over 30 MPH. It will stick to your ceiling (if one), and rapidly move its way through your roof and then to the top of the atmosphere where the solar wind will strip it away.

          You don’t want to deliberately inhale radioactive gasses of any type, if you can help it. But the tiny bit in gun sight vials ain’t gonna hurt you…

  7. I like my Rock River LAR 8 Predator HP .308. Not as badazz as the Creedo, but damn thing thumps 175 grainers out farther than I can see and accurate as Hell!

  8. An AR in 6.5 Creedmoore. A mistake compounded. Won’t take long until it’s recognized. 6.5 is already fading.

    • Agreed. A lot of new rounds come and go. In 100 years everyone will still be shooting 5.56, 7.62, .308, .45, 9mm, and .22. No one will have any recollection of 6.5 this or 6.8 that or 5.7 something or other.

      • litle interest in ar/ 6.5 here but, do you really think long range competitors (and hunters) will be glad to return to less aerodynamic projectiles that are more affected by windage?
        i know folks all excited about this round. seems sustainable; (some of) these new rounds (.260 isn’t really new) have advantages.

        • Truthfully I believe they’ll move on to a new round. And after a while, move on yet another new round again. I only say this because I’ve seen this happen a few times now over the decades.

      • I don’t have a Creedmore, or a dog in the fight, but I think this cartridge has a solid niche and will likely stick around. You are right about most new rounds, but I have the impression that 6.5 CM is a bit of an exception.

        It is a great round for longer range semiautomatic “battle type” rifles, namely the AR10.

        6.5 Swedish still has a pretty strong following.

        The real question I keep asking myself is this: Do I really have any use for an AR10?

        I can hunt just fine with my .270, and can defend the homestead with my AR15, AK, or Shotgun.

        I’d still kinda like to have an AR10, but can’t really justify it to myself.

        • I completely agree with you. The 6.5 Creedmoor, in my opinion, has already proven to be a cartridge that, if any stay around, will be around for the long term in terms of competition and even military applications. Of course you’ll still have your 5.56, 7.62, 9mm, .45, etc. However, I believe something like the .224 Valkyrie or the 6mm Dasher are cartridges more likely to be forgotten. So many manufacturers make 6.5 Creedmoor now, and at the moment, it is literally cheaper than .308/7.62. There’s a reason companies are producing so many rifles in 6.5 Creedmoor now, and not something like .243win. The 6.5 has been around since the late 90’s, and I don’t see it going anywhere. Also, yeah the .260 (essentially the same bullet and similar ballistically), has been around just as long. They are all the based similarly on the 6.5×55 Swedish Mauser, which dates back to pre World War I. We did not start looking at until after WWII, and didn’t get into reloading until the 90’s. Obviously, 5.56, 7.62, 9mm, .45 aren’t going anywhere because of the military ammo availability, but I don’t believe just because 7.62NATO exists, that it will prevent any other caliber from continuing to grow. It fills a good void between 7.62 and calibers like .300winmag. If it were such a niche cartridge, every competitor and rifle company wouldn’t be using and producing AR’s and bolt actions in 6.5 Creedmoor. Like I said, I see things like 6mm dasher, 224 valk, 6.5 PRC, etc. being hot for a few years and people going back to the 6.5 Creedmoor. The Creedmoor provides less recoil and a substantially higher ballistic coefficient to the 7.62NATO / .308 cartridge. Plus, if you’re trying to shoot 1000 yds or further, .308 is going to be a struggle.

  9. I’m sorry but I cannot call am MSR a hunting rifle. Fuss no, call it what it is, if it’s full auto then it’s assault and a U.S. citizen should not be denied through the use of money from keeping someone from owning one. This MSR/AR , hunting rifle assault rifle crap crap on a crap cracker covered in shitty sauce stinks

  10. I heard you don’t even have to fire the gun. Just holding up a single round of the Most Holy Creedmoor will cause your target to die of fright on the spot.

  11. “The DD5 V5’s 20-inch barrel is cold hammer forged from a proprietary steel that Daniel Defense.”

    Well don’t leave me hanging.

  12. Just got one..matched it up with the Vortex Viper PST Gen 2 5x25x50 The DD5V5 is an extraordinary rifle!
    If you ever wanted one, this sharp dialed in rifle right out of the box is made to persuade, this one is it.Sleek and affordable for the serious minded alone! Thinking about adding a serious suppressor to complete this kit. My next AR will be from the Wilson Combat line…Gotta get me 1 of them too.

  13. Yeah, I would like to have one, but the local big box store has one at 2399.99 plus tax ( no sights ), it’s the only one around. they also have R.E.P.R. at $4k, but nope, no way. As far as mags are concerned, the only ones I can find are 10 rounders and then to get a 5 rd mag, you have to use round limiter. No 5 rd mags are listed on the mag-pul web site, just the limiter.


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