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Daniel Defense “Build Your Own M4” SITREP

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About this time last year I reported that the Daniel Defense ‘Build Your DDM4' program was back in operation. Late last August I looked over the program and decided I wanted to order one for review. On 23 September I pulled the trigger (metaphorically speaking), logged in and ordered one. On 24 September I received an e-mail from an “inside sales” tech named Matthew to talk about what I wanted on the rifle. We talked over some of the various options. The next day he e-mailed me back and suggested 2 minor changes to my build. I don't recall now what they were (I've crashed a computer, slept a few times and have seen several SQUIRRELS! since then) but it was an extremely educational conversation and I wound up making one of the 2 modifications he suggested.

On 14 October 13 Matthew e-mailed me to advise the rifle had been built and shipped, indicating he estimated delivery by Wednesday the 18th. That is when it arrived.

Since that time I've run a lot of ammunition through it under different conditions. This weekend will be my last “range weekend” with it, after which I'll wrap it up and go over my review. Watch for that next week.

In the meantime I'll reiterate my initial impression (which was very favorable – this is, not unexpectedly, a very nice rifle). I would also like to give Daniel Defense serious kudos for their customer service. I've had someone call them four times over the last 6 months, intentionally being abrasive each time I made contact (without identifying myself). Each time I had the caller (a male each time) ask idiotic questions, once as though they  were both stupid and uninformed. They asked questions ranging from how to take the gun apart to questioning whether the order they received was the correct one, and once I instructed the caller to become adversarial and accuse them of sending a “bolt carrier grouping” that was “out of tolerance because it wouldn't reassemble”. Daniel Defense Build Your Own DDM4 -2

On three occasions those callers were treated politely and with patience before the caller ultimately hung up on them. The last time was last week, when I called myself. Unfortunately a recorded message (customer service, not technical support) advised me they were closed for Independence Day. I was given the option to leave a message but chose not to.

They are similarly engaged and responsive in person. At last year's AUSA and this year's SOFIC I sent someone by their booth to talk to them (now having dealt with DD marketing HMFIC Jordan Hunter myself several times I couldn't do it myself). Both were male, both were instructed to act like a dumbass and ask stupid questions to test the resolve of the people at the booth. On both occasions they were courteously received and their questions were answered. Daniel Defense Build Your Own DDM4 -3

Overall, hands down a great experience from an interaction standpoint. I'm confident you can call and talk to someone there to have any questions answered, though I would not encourage you to be an asshole for no reason (apologies to the DD staff for that). While your interaction with someone at the manufacturer should not be the greatest factor in selecting a firearm, it's certainly something to consider. While I cannot say all of the attention paid to me early on is SOP (after I placed the order they knew I was acting on behalf of RECOIL), the followup experiences were clearly genuine and uninfluenced.

More to follow on the actual shooting part next week. Note – I am aware the selector switch in this image is on fire, as I am aware the rifle is dirty. This is because 1) I'm used to leaving my rifle “rack safe” after 2 decades of turning it into an armory and 2) I haven't cleaned the weapon since I received it except to rinse some mud off once with a hose.

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