Daniel Defense DD4 RIII S: The Perfect Short Barrel Rifle Configuration? By: Andy Grossman


The AR-15, America’s rifle, and one of my favorite parts of the Athlon Outdoors Rendezvous event. I just love all the new AR-15s that showed up at the event, and this year did not disappoint at all. So naturally, when I walked into the Daniel Defense tent, I was immediately drawn to the DD4 RIII S. The newest configuration of the RIII line and SBR.

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The Daniel Defense DD4 RIII S

I have had a little experience with the RIII line already, and I absolutely love it. But as a short barrel rifle configuration, it is perfect.

If you are unfamiliar with the DD4 RIII line, let me tell you, it is one of the best AR-15s money can buy. Daniel Defense took an AR-15 and said, “what can we do better?” And they did it all in this package.

It starts with their fully ambidextrous lower, which is designed to satisfy the needs of both right- and left-handed shooters. The fully ambidextrous lower allows a shooter to operate the bolt catch, safety selector, and magazine release without having to move their dominant hand from the Daniel Defense pistol grip, which I absolutely love.

Their grip uses a polymer design with a soft rubber ergonomic wrap that feels amazing and works just as well. Daniel Defense keeps the ambidextrous theme going with their GRIP-N-RIP Charging Handle. The handle is oversized and can easily be manipulated with either hand.

The all-new RIS III rail system was modeled after their infamous RIS II system that was developed and adapted directly for SOCOM. The RIS III is M-LOK rather than a Picatinny quad rail and features the 6-bolt lock-up design found on the RIS II.

The Daniel Defense DD4 RIII S.

The rail also features the same two-part design as the RIS II, so you can remove the bottom section if you want to run a free-float M203 grenade launcher. Because, you know, everyone has one of those lying around to mount to their AR-15.

At the rear of the gun, you will find the Daniel Defense 6 position adjustable buttstock that matches the design and feel of the pistol grip.

Running the DD4 RIII S

This short-barreled version comes with an 11.5-inch chrome moly vanadium steel, cold hammer forged government-profile barrel. The barrel features a 1:7 twist and standard 1/2×28 thread pitch. As a result, you can easily mount the stainless-steel Daniel Defense flash hider or a suppressor if you want to run it suppressed.

The gas system is a carbine-length pinned system. This setup maximizes maneuverability and creates a very well-balanced tactical platform.  The rail is shortened to 10.5-inches to match the barrel length, as well.  The package allows for less recoil impulse while adding to the rifle’s overall accuracy by allowing for quick shots with unmatched precision.

Shooting the Daniel Defense DD4 RIII S is a pleasure. The recoil of the RIII S is surprisingly extremely manageable. Being a short barrel rifle, I fully expected a bit more of a violent recoil and thought I would be making a whole lot more noise than I did.

The gun is very well-balanced and honestly just feels right. The SBR configuration has an MSRP of $2324. And obviously, you will have to give your $200 donation to the ATF as well. But if you are looking for an AR-15 SBR with more control, incredible ergonomics, more options, and less weight, you want to check out the DD4 RIII S.

For more information, please visit DanielDefense.com.

Daniel Defense DD4 RIII S Specs

Caliber: 5.56
Barrel Length: 11.5 inches
Barrel Material: 4150 Chrome Moly Vanadium
Rifling Twist: 1:7 inches
Barrel Type: Cold Hammer Forged
Barrel Profile: Government
Gas System Length: Carbine
Muzzle Device: Flash Suppressor
Overall Length: 27 7/8 – 31 ¼ inches
Weight (unloaded): 5.92 pounds
Rail System: RIS III 10.5 inches
MSRP: $2324

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