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Which version of DDM4 Mid-Length?

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Hi all,

I'm looking for an AR-15 for home defense and that I could take with me on a SHTF/bugout situation. I don't currently own a rifle and never have. This will probably be the only rifle I ever own. I'm drawn to the Daniel Defense M4 mid-length because it seems like the perfect all-around talent, but I don't know which version to get. There are four versions: v3, v5, v9 and v11. All except the v3 are also available in lightweight. Which would you get and why?

Please only respond if you have knowledge about the differences between the versions.

Thanks.
 

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You really can't go wrong with any of them. V3 will have the FSP/gas block pinned in 2 spots, something about that gives me great piece of mind, so despite being likely the least popular of the rifles you listed, I'd probably opt for that.

You didn't list the V1 which has a longer rail, comes in carbine length and lightweight barrel option. This is my favorite of the 16" Daniel Defense rifles even though Mid Length is generally more popular and preferred from a company like DD that knows how to make them. Actually a DD with a mid length gas system, fixed FSP with rail cut out and full length picatinny rail with LW barrel would be bad ass I think, but that doesn't exist. The. Again, so would a properly based Mk18 with fixed FSP (DD made a very limited number of these long ago and they were properly gassed).
 

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Having owned 3 dd rifles and still having 2 I'd say go with the v11 lightweight. The rail is long and light and you can really reach out and get a good grip. Now I will tell you that the rail will get hot if you going to use it for extended shooting so get some silicon grips for it. Add a nice set of flip ups and your good to go.

The v3 is my favorite ar. Mine is set up like the patrol rifle I was issued. Its got the fixed front sight and I've never been able to heat up the quad rail. The down side is the rail is short and the rifle is a little heavier then the v11. But this thing is a tank and has the traditional look.

V1 this was my first rifle. Its got a long rail but the down side is that rail is heavy. The carbine lenght gas system is also gonna be slightly rougher than the mid lenght. I'd rule this one out due to the v11 having better features.

V9 good full lenght quad rail almost the same as the v11 in specs and features.
 

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V1 is my favorite version as well PAGunner. I tossed a Vortex Spitfire II on top it and I have a great M4 set-up for $1550-1600. Don't know if you are set on the versions you mentioned OP but the V1 may be worth looking at.
 

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I would get the v9 or v11, really don't see the difference between the two, but I've also really never looked into it. But as far as being your only rifle.... they tend to be a disease.
 

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I've worked through this myself, so here's how it went for me...

I have little interest in the V11... if I want a KeyMod handguard, it'll be a KMR, and at that point, a BCM RECCE gets my vote. **Also wouldn't recommend a 14.5 pinned for a first rifle. Too much hassle if you're going to ever change muzzle devices or even handguards (and most folks do... more power to you if you're content leaving stuff alone).

So between the V3, V5, and V9, it's going to come down to how you'll run it. Your general method of holding the rifle, your preferred light placement, optics setups, etc.

Like I said, this is just my thought process and how I do things, but might help you pick out the nuances.

I like having my support hand out to right around the gas block of a mid-length, and my light either at 12:00, or at 45° to the left. So, as much as I love an A2 FSB, I don't want it on a mid-length. If that's what I were married to, it'd be a V1 for me, with DD's fantastic Lite Rail III FSP. If I were going irons-only, an A2 FSB would be preferable.

So the V3 is out for me. Now V5 or V9? It'll be the V5... A 12"-13" handguard is perfect for the way I shoot. I won't make use of that extra 3" of space on the V9, and I don't need the extra ounces.

And lastly, lightweight or standard? Either one. There's a 6oz difference between the two. Personally, I'd want the LW, but if I found a standard profile for the right price, I'd be fine with it.

So that's my take on the DD lineup. The way I shoot and my preferences point me towards either the V1LW or V5LW. I tend to prefer mid-length and am perfectly fine with using a rail-mounted front sight in conjunction with a quality optic, but like I said, if I were going irons-only, a V1 with the A2 FSB would be my pick. Your mileage may vary, but I hope this is somewhat helpful to you.

**Edit - I was looking at the V11 SLW with the 14.5 barrel... so scratch the muzzle device bit. Comment still stands on me preferring a KMR to the SLiM, though.
 
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