LOCATED in Black Creek, Georgia, Daniel Defense opened its doors for business in 2000 producing small arms parts. The company quickly grew under the tutelage of founder Marty Daniel and was soon winning contracts from the United States Special Operations Command (SOCOM) and foreign militaries alike. Daniel Defense recently won a sole source contract for SOCOM’s SOPMOD program, as well as another
contract from the UK Ministry of Defense to produce the rail for the SA80 rifles.
These contracts are good for business and indicate that the sun is shining on Daniel Defense. But the best news for law enforcement and civilian applications is Daniel Defense’s ever-growing line of ARs. The DDM4 is the first model offered to the public. It represents almost a decade of experience in AR manufacturing and draws on the wealth of knowledge that Daniel Defense has acquired as they have paid their manufacturing dues.
Daniel Defense makes almost the entire rifle in house. They manufacture the upper receiver, lower receiver, barrel, handguard and almost all of the small parts and pieces that go inside of the lower receiver (not including the springs). By doing the majority of the heavy lifting themselves, Daniel Defense is able to have greater influence over their quality control and supply. When AR companies subcontract their manufacturing to others (a common practice in the AR world), they place themselves at the mercy of the manufacturers. Remember the Obama Gun Sale of early ’09 when nobody had ARs in stock? That occurred because a lot of the AR companies were ordering their parts from the same manufacturers. Once the manufacturers got backed up, AR companies had to wait for the parts to build the guns we all wanted. Daniel Defense has structured itself to avoid many of those headaches by doing the manufacturing in-house. This way they control what and how much they make, and by cutting out a middleman they also pass along the savings to the consumer.
Daniel Defense found a way to retain the use of the carbine length gas system while offering more rail space by extending the rail past the front sight post.
ARs are probably the most configurable firearm ever devised. I’ve heard the description of “an erector set for men,” and can’t say that I disagree. The problem for many of us then becomes having too many options. We purchase a basic AR because we want one now and figure we’ll add features once we figure out exactly what we want the end product to look like. This becomes a very expensive endeavor.
Daniel Defense recognizes that we all have different tastes and that we all consider different features essential, depending on how we use our rifles. As a result, they offer a line of ARs that encompasses the needs of expert and neophyte alike. The DDM4 is their maxed out model that offers everything a professional wants or needs in their AR.