The DTI Echo 316 and M&P 15 Sport are both AR-15 models manufactured by two different American manufacturers, namely Del-Ton Incorporated and Smith & Wesson. While these two rifles have major differences (which will be listed later on in this review), both rifles have almost similar configuration since they belong to the same AR-15 model.
While AR-15 type rifles have been around since the late 20th century and have also been mired in controversy in the past few years due to incidents involving some of its users most especially in the United States, this type of rifle still remains a favorite pick among American gun users and enthusiasts for its versatility, ergonomics, design, and recoil.
The AR-15 has also been very popular for being an accurate rifle compared to the esteemed AK-47 and the rifle is used by both the police, the military, and by civilians alike.
The Del-Ton Echo 316
Del-Ton Incorporated is a North Carolina-based company that was founded with an enthusiasm for all things related to AR-15 rifles. Initially, they only sold custom rifle kits, rifle parts, upgrades, optics, and accessories. Soon, they began manufacturing their own rifles as demand for AR-15 rifles constantly grew and the craftsmanship of their products showed their expertise when it came to AR-15 models, and the Del-Ton Echo 316 is no exception to such expertise.
This rifle features a 16” barrel made of chrome moly vanadium with a manganese phosphated finish and a 1×9 twist. The Del-Ton Echo 316 also comes with one magazine and a CA-approved gun lock. This rifle can be purchased directly at Del-Ton Incorporated’s online store for about $675.00 although take note that this rifle is not available in some US states such as California and New York due to local state gun laws.
Key Features and Specifications:
- The Del-Ton Echo 316 comes with a lifetime warranty for the original purchaser and it is made in the United States.
- This semi-automatic rifle also has a 5.56 NATO/.223 Remington caliber and a 5-position collapsible stock.
- The rifle has a 30+1 capacity and a CAR handguard with a single heat shield.
- The upper receiver of the Del-Ton Echo 316 is hard-coat anodized and also made of forged flat-top, mil-spec 7075 T6 aluminum with an ejection port cover, round forward assist, and right hand ejection.
- The lower receiver of the rifle is also hard-coat anodized and made of forged 7075 T6 aluminum with an A2 Pistol Grip.
- The Del-Ton Echo 316 has a weight of about 6.55 lbs and a length of about 36.37″ when fully extended and 32.62” when collapsed.
- Aside from a 30-rd magazine, the Del-Ton Echo 316 also comes with a gun lock and a front sight tower with no rear.
- The rifle also features an M4 5 Position, mil-spec sized tube, and H-Buffer buttstock.
Pros and Cons:
- The Del-Ton Echo 316 is a cheap, entry-level AR-15 rifle perfect for newbies who want to purchase their first rifle and looks for a rifle that has multiple features for an affordable price point.
- The firearm can be used instantly right out of the box without oiling or cleaning.
- The rifle is also easy to customize and it is compatible with different AR-15 accessories.
- The Del-Ton Echo 316 is not as accurate as other models, especially when used with the handguards attached to the barrel of the gun.
- There is a difference between the front and the rear rail, where the front rail could be lower by ½” than the rear rail.
The Smith and Wesson M&P 15 Sport
Smith & Wesson has been a well-known manufacturer of firearms in the United States ever since it was founded in 1856, and has continued making guns in the present. In fact, the M&P initials in M&P 15 Sport mean “military and police,” and these initials were used to pay homage to the Smith & Wesson .38 Military & Police revolver.
While the Smith & Wesson M&P 15 Sport, first produced in 2006, is used by police, and government units in the United States such as the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and the West Virginia State Police, Smith & Wesson prides the M&P 15 Sport as the “ideal modern sporting rifle built to perform multiple uses for various conditions” and this rifle could also be purchased for civilian use, such as home defense and hunting.
Just like the Del-Ton Echo 316, the M&P Sport features a 16” long barrel with a 6 groove, 1×9 barrel twist. The M&P Sport 15 can be purchased directly from Smith and Wesson’s online website for about $752.00 although its availability depends on state and local laws and regulations.
Key Features and Specifications:
- The M&P 15 Sport is covered by Smith & Wesson’s lifetime service policy and the rifle is manufactured in the United States.
- The rifle comes with a Magpul® MBUS® Rear Sight as well as an Adjustable A2 Post front sight
- It also features a 5.56mm NATO/.223 caliber and comes with a 30-round magazine or a 10-magazine for the Compliant model designed for the California market (this model also comes with a CAR-15 stock fixed in the open position with an overall length of 33.75 inches)
- This gas-operated, semi-automatic rifle weighs about 103.2 oz/2,925.7g and has an overall length of about 35”.
- The M&P 15 Sport has a 6-position collapsible stock with a polymer grip.
- The barrel of the rifle is made of 4140 Steel and has an Armornite® finish.
- The M&P 15 Sport also features a forged, integral trigger guard, a forward assist & dust cover, and a chromed firing pin
- The firearm’s frame material is made of aluminium alloy and has a matte black finish.
- This rifle also comes with a manual safety on the lower
Pros and Cons:
- The M&P 15 Sport is a great entry-level rifle for those who are new to using firearms and even long-time AR-15 users.
- The rifle is also extremely and reliably accurate thanks to its wide range of stock scopes.
- The M&P 15 Sport is also easy to customize and just like many AR-15s, which are often called “Barbies for Men,” different accessories can be used with the rifle.
- The M&P 15 Sport is relatively more expensive compared to other models from different manufacturers, including Del-Ton.
- The rifle could also be extremely noisy while being used and the barrel is also not chrome-lined.
- The firearm also has no forward assist or dust-cover, which would make using this rifle difficult under hostile conditions, such as deserts.