Del-Ton Echo 316 MOE OD

Del-Ton sent their Echo 316 carbine for T&E review.  This model features an A3 upper receiver, carbine-length direct gas impingement system and a 5.56 NATO chamber.

DTI MOE OD1

Included in case:  Basic maintenance kit, nylon sling, and two OD Magpul PMAG 30-round magazines.

DTI MOE OD3

DTI MOE OD2 The DTI Echo is outfitted with Magpul MOE olive-drab products.

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Rifle specs:

.                                                                                          Manufacturer:  Del-Ton Inc.
.                                                                                          Model:  Echo 316 MOE OD
.                                                                                          Caliber:  5.56 x 45 mm
.                                                                                          Capacity:  30 rounds
.                                                                                          Weight:  6 lbs.  14.2 oz.
.                                                                                          Length – collapsed: 32.8125 in.
.                                                                                          Length – extended: 36.625 in.
.                                                                                          Barrel:  16 in.
.                                                                                          Twist:  1:9 in.
.                                                                                          Trigger:  5 lbs.  10.5 oz.

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DTI MOE OD4     DTI MOE OD5

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MOE carbine stock & 1.169 in. dia. “commercial” lower receiver extension (buffer tube)  -   MOE grip with storage core capability.
DTI MOE OD6     DTI MOE OD7

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Hard coat anodized forged aluminum upper & lower receivers   –   Mil-spec trigger   –   MOE trigger guard
DTI MOE OD8     DTI MOE OD9     DTI MOE OD10

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Carbine-length MOE handguard   –   Carbine-length gas system & heavy profile barrel   –   F-marked M4 type front sight
DTI MOE OD11     DTI MOE OD12     DTI MOE OD13

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Manganese Phosphated 16″ barrel   –   1 in 9″ twist non-chrome lined bore and chamber   –   A2 flash suppressor (1/2 x 28 tpi)
DTI MOE OD14     DTI MOE OD15     DTI MOE OD16

.
Extended M4 feedramps   –   Single stage trigger group   –   Trigger pull average (Lyman digital gauge): 5 lbs. 10.5 oz.
DTI MOE OD17     DTI MOE OD18     DTI MOE OD19

.
Bolt carrier group
DTI MOE OD20   DTI MOE OD21   DTI MOE OD22   DTI MOE OD23

DTI MOE OD24BCG disassembled.

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DTI MOE OD25After opening the case and a brief external inspection I noticed the lack of a rear sight.  This is not uncommon as more manufacturers are leaving it to the end user to select their own rear sight; I personally believe a rifle should include both.  The Magpul MOE furniture is an improvement over the standard equipment.  The handguard is more ergonomic than the round carbine or oval M4 type.  The stock is six-position adjustable for length of pull, its lever is protected against inadvertent adjustment and the butt is fitted with a thin rubber pad.  Both fit and finish are excellent with the anodizing and parkerizing uniformly applied to all surfaces and with minimal play between receivers.  All controls are in the familiar AR-15 locations.

To address the absence of a rear sight I contacted Magpul, who sent me their OD MBUS.  The MBUS is easily installed, folds flat to accommodate an optic, and is windage adjustable.  With a rear sight now installed it’s time to go shooting.
DTI MOE OD26   DTI MOE OD27   DTI MOE OD28   DTI MOE OD29

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Range report:

Temperature was 65° F.  Wind: 20-25 mph North.  Elevation approx. 470 ft.  Federal, Black Hills, Ultramax and Double Tap ammunition was acquired for the test.

DTI MOE OD30     DTI MOE OD31

DTI MOE OD32

Velocity results were first priority.

Shooting Chrony F-1 Master set at 12 ft.   –   Primer strikes appear sufficient.
DTI MOE OD33     DTI MOE OD34

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Velocity results:

.                                                                    Federal American Eagle AR223 55 gr. FMJ…..2819 fps
.                                                                    Black Hills .223 Rem. 55 gr. SP…………………2963 fps
.                                                                    Ultramax .223 Rem. 68 gr. HP…………………..2544 fps
.                                                                    Double Tap .223 Rem. 69 gr. HPBT Match……2637 fps

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50 yds:

50% scaled B-27  Silhouette
5-round groups – supported, with iron sights.
DTI MOE OD35Head:  Federal
Left:  Black Hills  -  Right:  Ultramax
X :   Double Tap

100 yds:

Five-round groups – benched.  Bushnell LRS 2.5-16x42mm w/ADM Recon S mount.
DTI MOE OD36     DTI MOE OD37

Federal 55 gr FMJ: 1.031″  -  Black Hills 55 gr SP: 1.977″  -  Ultramax 68 gr HP: 0.759″  -  Double Tap 69 gr BTHP Match: 1.200″
DTI MOE OD-38    DTI MOE OD39    DTI MOE OD40    DTI MOE OD41
Note:  Targets’ Bullseye – 2″ dia.; outer – 8″ dia.
.

DTI MOE OD42At the range with winds of 20 mph and gusts up to 25 I wasn’t expecting good results – I was pleasantly surprised.  After a few rounds and some sight adjustment the irons were on at 50 yards.  Moving out to 100 I affixed the Bushnell Elite Tactical LRS with the ADM Recon S mount to the upper receiver’s picatinny rail to aid in accuracy.  The optical clarity of this scope is exceptional and the quality of the mount is renowned. With some rounds downrange and a few clicks it was dialed in.

Of the ammunition brands tested the DTI Echo 316 showed a noticeable preference for the 68 gr. Ultramax, consistently producing groups under one inch.  Both the 55 gr. Federal and the 69 gr. Double Tap hovered slightly over one-inch groups while the Black Hills softpoints averaged about two.  The accuracy can likely be attributed to the quality of construction and heavy-profile barrel.  The trigger is on par with your average mil-spec.  Additionally, I took along a 100-round bulk pack of 55 gr. Federal FMJ to increase round count and run some drills. Through approximately 250 rounds the carbine suffered no malfunctions or failures.

Overall my impressions of the Del-Ton Echo were highly favorable.  The heavy barrel gave it a slightly nose-heavy feel, however this does not detract in the least from its fine handling characteristics.  It is accurate and reliable, lightweight and maneuverable.  Unlike that of a traditional black rifle, Magpul’s OD furniture disrupts its lines and allows it to blend in with the natural environment.