Del-Ton 5.56mm AR-15 Carbine


by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

July 31st, 2008




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Del-Ton, Incorporated of Elizabethtown, North Carolina is in the AR-15 parts and accessories business. They sell quality parts from most of the name-brand manufacturers through their online store. They carry just about anything that someone might need for an AR-15 from the smallest spring to complete rifle kits. Now, they have added complete rifles as well.

Shooters today have a seemingly endless selection of AR-15 rifles from which to choose. I get requests every day from readers asking me to recommend an AR-15 rifle. The simple truth is that just about every maker of AR-15 rifles builds a good product. It depends greatly upon just which features that a person wants on his AR. There is also the consideration of the cartridge for which the AR is chambered. However, most buyers just want a good, reliable, and accurate AR-15 chambered for the 5.56mm NATO cartridge. I have fired ARs from just about every maker, and I certainly own my share of quality AR-15 rifles. I have AR-15 rifles chambered for the 5.56mm. 6.5mm Grendel, and .50 Beowulf, as well as the larger AR-10s chambered for the 7.62 NATO (.308 Winchester). I love ARs. While they are not as warm to hold as a vintage Winchester made of blued steel and walnut, a good AR has qualities that endear them to me; mainly that they shoot accurately, function reliably, and are easy to shoot well. While I have several bolt actions that shoot well, my most accurate rifles are ARs.

One of the latest AR-15 rifles to arrive here at is a sixteen inch carbine from Del-Ton. The test rifle has a medium-heavy barrel that measures .725 inch diameter in front of the gas block/front sight, and wears the latest style closed-bottom flash suppressor. The barrel has a one-in-nine rifling twist. The front sight is the standard current mil-spec style that is adjustable for elevation. The upper receiver is the A3 flattop style with an integral Picatinny rail with T-marks, and the test rifle has an optional detachable carry handle that houses a standard M2 style fully adjustable rear sight that has both close range and long range apertures. The upper receiver has both a case deflector and forward assist. The upper and lower receiver halves fit together snugly, with no discernable play between the parts. The buttstock is the six-position adjustable style. The handguards are mid-length CAR style, and there are sling attachment loops front and rear. The bottom of the gas block/front sight has a standard integral bayonet lug. The entire weapon, except for the buttstock, handguards, and pistol grip is finished in a black phosphate treatment. The trigger pull on the sample rifle was typical AR and measured five pounds, four ounces on my Lyman digital trigger pull scale. The carbine weighed in at seven pounds, eleven ounces with an empty thirty-round magazine in place. The overall length measures between thirty-two and five-eighths inches to thirty-six and three-eighths inches, depending upon the position of the buttstock. The carbine balances very well, and is probably the most popular style of AR on the market right now, with good reason.

A short AR-15 is a very handy weapon for fighting in confined spaces, yet the sixteen inch barrel is also long enough for good medium range target engagement out to several hundred yards, depending upon the target. An AR is very easy to shoot well. What little recoil there is comes straight back, and the weapons are easy to control and a delight to carry. I recommend that everyone own an AR-15 for defense. Parts and extra magazines are cheap and plentiful. Ammo is easy to find, and an AR owner should lay in a good supply. A carbine with an adjustable buttstock is an excellent platform with which to teach a young shooter the fundamentals of shooting a centerfire rifle, and the buttstock can adjust to fit as the young shooter grows. A good portion of proper parenting in the United States should include rifle training with an AR-15, as there is a good chance that someday they might be called upon to carry a similar weapon in defense of our nation. There are many well-meaning folks that disagree with me on this, and think that no one should own such a rifle. The man who will most likely be our next President has vowed to ban the possession of semi-automatic weapons. He believes that US citizens have no need to own fighting weapons. There are many who agree with him. Just for the record, John McCain was definitely not my first choice, but he will get my vote. Obama has pledged to raise my taxes and ban my weapons. He is wildly popular, and likely to win. I havenít seen anyone who could excite a crowd like he does since Adolph Hitler. Also, the US Congress is expected to be overwhelmingly staffed by Democrats after the next election, and even if McCain wins, I do not think that we could count on him to veto a weapons ban bill if sent to him. If you ever plan to buy an AR-15, or any semi-automatic weapon, now is the time. Next year might be too late.

Back to the Del-Ton rifle. I tested the carbine with several brands and types of military 5.56mm and commercial .223 Remington ammunition. The Del-Ton functioned perfectly; feeding, firing, and ejecting flawlessly. Accuracy was very good as well, with most ammunition grouping well under two inches at one hundred yards. The best accuracy performer was Winchester white box sixty-two grain full metal jacket ammunition. It was very accurate from the test carbine, and clocked 2905 feet-per-second from the sixteen inch barrel, measured twelve feet from the muzzle. The Del-Ton could keep three shots under one inch with that ammo, fired from a Target Shooting, Inc. Model 1000 rest. For accuracy testing, I mounted a Leupold 6.5 to 20 power target scope, as it is a scope that has served me well. I trust it. For general plinking and shooting at targets of opportunity, I mounted a 3.5 power Trijicon ACOG atop the Picatinny rail, as it is a tough, reliable, and highly useful scope, and one that is serving admirably with our fighting forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. It has tritium illumination, and never needs batteries.

The Del-Ton comes in a hard case, and is supplied with two thirty-round C-Products magazines, which is a fine choice. I also tried the carbine using several different magazines, including some old Vietnam era twenty-round mags, which I always use when shooting from the bench.

The Del-Ton is a fine example of a good, reliable, and accurate AR-15 carbine. As you know, there are plenty of good AR rifles on the market, but one very good thing in favor of choosing the Del-Ton is the price. They are priced below any other AR of which I am aware. Usually, for a lower price, you have to give up something. With the Del-Ton, you give up nothing. You still get a high quality weapon, you just donít have to pay as much for it. In some cases, the Del-Ton is hundreds of dollars cheaper than similar models from other makers. Del-Ton has several different configurations of AR-15 rifles, but will also customize a rifle with various options to suit the buyer. Del-Ton sells through the normal firearms distribution channels, like your favorite gun store, or you can order one online at, where you can also look at various options and prices.

The Del-Ton AR-15 is one of several products distributed by American Tactical Imports. Check out their entire line at

For the location of a Del-Ton dealer near you, click on the DEALER FINDER at

For a closer look at the Leupold and ACOG rifle scopes, go to and

Jeff Quinn

For a list of dealers where you can buy this gun, go to:


Ten-year-old Megan (top) knows how to run an AR-15 better than most grown men. Her parents have had her shooting for years, and the adjustable buttstock (bottom) is ideal for young shooters.





Sling attachment points.



C-Products magazine.



The Del-Ton AR-15 proved to be very accurate and 100% reliable.



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Click pictures for a larger version.


Del-Ton's 5.56mm AR-15 Carbine.



Forward assist.



Case deflector.



Bayonet lug.



Thumb safety.





Optional detachable carry handle.



Flash suppressor.



Trigger & hammer.



Sights are protected post front and adjustable flip-aperture rear.



Picatinny rail.



Trijicon's ACOG is simply the gold standard in an optical battle sight.