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,