The initial attempt to repurpose the Daniel Defense DD5 V1 as a night time hog gun proved to be a disaster. To make matters worse, I wasn’t overly impressed by the ATN X-Sight 4K Pro 5-20x Smart Day / Night Riflescope I slapped on it. Nevertheless, I wasn’t ready to call off the project.
Given the rifle was not in condition for field use, I started by calling Daniel Defense to ask for suggestions to correct the cycling issues and malfunctions I was experiencing while shooting suppressed. Daniel Defense insisted I send the rifle in for warranty repair since it should be able to shoot suppressed without modification. I followed their advice. Apparently, they were unable to repair the DD5 V1 and ended up replacing it with a V3 a couple of weeks later. There are some really amazing upgrades and interesting things about V3 they sent in replacement, but I’ll save those details for a future review in the near future.
With a replacement rifle in hand, the next order of business was mounting the ATN digital scope and finishing setting it up. Mounting took very little effort. It was simply a matter of reusing the rings that were provided with the ATN and confirming the scope was level. In the process, I did make one minor change. I ended up replacing the scope ring top with the 90º picatinny sections with another provided plain ring top. I made this chance because I picked up a 5 slot Magpul M-LOK aluminum picatinny accessory rail to attach the ATN IR flashlight on the side of DD5 V3’s M-LOK handguard while waiting to receive the replacement rifle.
Predictably, I struggled with finalizing the setup of the ATN scope. However, my struggle was compounded by another problem unrelated to the ATN scope. You see, I managed to obtain a used Oehler-Research 35P Complete System chronograph at a fair price a short while ago. I figured it would be great to get some velocity measurements from the DD5 V3 to input into the ATN scope profiles to make better use of the built in ballistic calculator as part of the sighting in process. Unfortunately, the 35P printer was busted and I couldn’t get that data. The exercise in futility took up valuable range time and indirectly made the rest of the process more frustrating.
I have to be honest. I’m still not a fan of the one-shot zero feature on the ATN scope. After conversation with other night vision scope aficionados, it’s come to my attention that ATN’s approach to sighting in a digital scope is quite good compared with methods used by other products on the market. That leads me to think that my issues with the feature are more about me and my lack of familiarity with digital scopes. I’m trying to learn to like the feature, but I’m struggling. Regardless, I managed to get the profiles for the two likely night hunting .308 Winchester loads zeroed at 100 yards with a little help from a friend and expending more ammunition than I would have liked.
On a positive note, I accidentally left the ATN scope powered on for more than half the day and was happy to find the battery still had more than half of its charge remaining. It felt a bit odd leaving the rifle out while the ATN scope was recharged via a USB-C cable plugged into a wall charger. I’m not a fan of leaving an unsecured rifle unattended so I found myself stuck sitting next to the rifle while waiting for the scope battery to recharge. However, I was able to take advantage of the time to write this post and scour online retailers for a quick detach cantilever mount with enough space between the rings to hopefully fit the battery and control box between them. I hope the quick detach mount fits and allows me to recharge the scope while the rifle remains secured in the future. More importantly, I can’t wait to replace the manufacturer supplied rings because the base screws keep came loose again after shooting no more than a couple 20 round boxes of .308 Winchester to finish setting up the scope.
At this point, I’ve got a reliable rifle with a configured digital optic that I believe is ready for the field. At least, that’s my belief. As such, I’ve taken it out to the field and given it an initial go. I’ll follow up with a post very soon that will include updated opinions and field notes from my experience with it.