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Main Battle Rifle for Wife? Del-Ton Echo?

3226 Views 22 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  JustInCaseTX
Backstory- My wife's current main "bug out" or "SHTF" rifle is a surplus Universal M1 Carbine with iron sights. Mine is an almost exact Bushmaster semi-auto knock-off of the Colt USMC M16A4, with a rifle length heavy walled barrel, full stock, Knight's Armament Rail Adaptor System, and ACOG sight. My wife loves her M1, and it fits her well, but I am striving to move her over to the 5.56 battle rifle side so we can share ammunition. I also want her to have something that will accept an optic, because I don't want to mess with the M1's classic appearance. She claims my Bushmaster is too heavy, which it is pretty stout, and she's fired a Stag Arms M4 knock off and seemed to like it, so I think this is the route to go.

I'm looking to invest in a carbine length AR with a 16" barrel and a collapsible stock, but I don't want to go all out on a Daniels Defense or a Colt just yet. I am not a M4 fan, I prefer the full M16 style. So, it's not like this is a "well, if she doesn't like it, I'll use it" situation. I've done some research, and stumbled upon the Del-Ton Echo Series. I can snag one for about $550, this is with a forward assist and dust cover, in 5.56mm, not just .223. They are apparently built in North Carolina from American parts. I'm honestly surprised they are as reasonably priced as they are. I was going to buy a Bushmaster Optics ready AR and throw an EOTech 512 I've got sitting in the closet on the rail, but if Del-Ton is everything they claim to be, I can get the gun, an upgraded stock, and a quad rail for probably less than the price of the Bushmaster.

Has anyone had any experience with Del-Ton? If so, do you like it, hate it, can't live without it? I consider myself a pretty major gun enthusiast, but I don't even know anyone that has ever even fired a Del-Ton. If I do end up buying it, I'll probably do a full review on it here so others can know if it's worth the minor investment or not.

Thanks in Advance,
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what's wrong with the .30 carbine not fancy or cool enough?
it is a good weapon dude.
so why not get her a mini 14?
Nothing is wrong with the .30, I personally love it. But, it can't share ammunition and magazines with my AR, or any other popular weapon system. As for the Mini-14, for the price, I'd just purchase an AR. Nothing against Ruger, but it defeats the purpose because they're about the same price.
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I appreciate all the insight from everyone. Definitely have given me some things to consider. I'm glad I joined this forum, because it definitely gives me completely different views than anything I'd come up with on my own. Whichever I decide, I'll do a full review on it.

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I think you need to change quickly.
I am in the gun business, never heard of the one you describe.
There are so many makers out there today riding the wagon.
The universal is a commercial carbine, there are no interchangeable parts with the USGI model unless it is a 1960's model.
The internals are completely different, They do use GI mags.
There are no parts available for them. They have been out of business for over twenty eight years.
I refuse to work on any customer owned ones, and have told the store not to take any in trade or repair.
The gas systems fall apart from soft parts.
The new commercial Khar ones made 15 miles from me and are pretty good, if you wish to stay with them, USGI are better.
The point is, you want to make the change, do it. Trade it in and be happy with what you get for it.

Smith, Stag, Windham, Bushmaster, Colt are all top names in AR's.
I would suggest, regardless what make, get a chrome lined barrel with it.
You probably know way more about this than I do, being in the industry, so any more insight would definitely interest me. So, I was under the impression that once Universal made their big change in the early 60's, they were no longer interchangeable with USGI parts, aside from like the trigger housing. Mine is a "first generation" 1957 model (I'll have to recheck the "gen"and the date) which I believe was back when they were under another name, and I was under the understanding they used mainly USGI parts. This isn't the first time I've heard about them not being interchangeable with US surplus parts, but I've never had to replace anything on the carbine.

Perhaps I was not clear enough, I did say 60's I don't off the top of my head remember exactly when the changeover date was.
More or less, I was giving you an advisory, some people have no clue, think they are GI.
Those prior to that time would have USGI parts, It would be up to you to find the details on your personal piece.
No, on the later ones even the trigger housing is not the same cast aluminum junk.
I have not seen an early one for 25 years at least.
One of the most common failures I have had in here is the gas block breaking off.

Real USGI carbines in good condition are great little pieces for defense.
I have six of them, daughter has one of the inland m1a1's in her bedroom.
I'd love to eventually get my hands on a Winchester or a Rock-Ola jukebox Carbine (mainly because that seems pretty cool), I just haven't been able to find one at a semi-decent price without purchasing it from somewhere like GunBroker. And I guess I'm too cautious to buy a used firearm sight unseen haha. Maybe one day. I guess on the same note, what are your opinions of the new Auto Ordanace Kahrs I've seen floating around? Decent or sub par?
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