Right now, AR-15 type guns are the kings of tactical home defense. When most people discuss getting an “assault rifle,” they are talking about getting a tactical .223 or 5.56. Because of the ease of use, the safety, and the well known name of the AR-15 model, this is one of the most popular guns in the United States. Del-Ton’s pistol version, the LIMA, of this classic firearm is an excellent representation of how great an AR-15 can be.
The Del-Ton Lima is a pistol with an arm brace. For those of you curious about the difference between a “stock” and an “arm brace,” the difference is simple. A stock is a part of a gun that is meant to be shouldered to stabilize the aim of a firearm, while an arm-brace is an addition which can be strapped to the arm or shouldered for stabilization. According to the ATF, currently an arm-brace can be shouldered, but they do go back and forth on that.
That being said, some states still are a little wiggy about arm braces, so always check your local laws before purchasing a firearm. The Del-Ton Lima is an excellent personal defense firearm because of its small size. It’s lighter weight means that the use is slightly easier, and the heavy profile helps reduce the already minimal recoil of the weapon. I would recommend this firearm for both sexes, though holding it a the ideal firing position for a pistol (not shouldered) can be a bit tiring. (8 of 10)
Ease of Use
The Del-Ton Lima is built on the AR platform, so the ease of use is there for anyone who has used any other AR in the past. There is not much to be said other than that this is an AR platform, which is the standard for ease of use. 6 of 10.
|Del-Ton LIMA M-LOK|
Type of Use (Usability)
The Lima is a versatile firearm. As a pistol, it can be used in several capacities which are common for new users and gun enthusiasts alike. To start off, the LIMA is excellent for a personal defense firearm. The ability to use 5.56 or .223 rounds (it is chambered as 5.56 NATO) gives you a little more freedom in what you would want to use for home defense. While 5.56 rounds are mostly FMJ, you can find .223 soft-tips regularly, which have slightly more stopping power.
When it comes to the use of the LIMA as a hunting firearm, it is a pistol, so it does not have the accuracy at range that some of the longer barreled AR-15s have. To complicate hunting further, many states still prohibit the use of semi-automatic firearms or firearms with detectable magazines for the taking of game. Personally, I agree with the former in most cases. This can create a situation where – while the firearm would function well as a short range hunting weapon (similar distance to a crossbow in accuracy) – it is prohibited by local laws. So the moral of the story is always check your local laws before using any firearm for hunting.
For target practice, this firearm is a pleasure to shoot. The minimal recoil keeps you from having a sore shoulder at the end of practice. The fact that it is safe to fire 5.56 and .223 (remember a 5.56 can shoot .223, but you should not shoot 5.56 out of a .223) makes it easier to buy whichever is cheaper ammo (in my area, .223 FMJ is about $3.00 per 20 count cheaper than .556). I do not like that it does not come with any optics; I did place some peeps on it and it fires quite accurately at pistol distances. As you can expect, as you stretch down the range, the short barrel just does not have the accuracy at the longer distances.
Overall, this is a great, multi-purpose gun. This could even be a “battle rifle” for a bug-out bag because of its light weight (4.8# unloaded). As noted, check your local laws before trying to hunt with it (still not a big fan of semi-auto rifles for hunting), because laws vary by state. This firearm earns a 8.5 out of 10 for types of use, because this gun is a jack of all trades.
I do not know if there are any guns on the market with more accessories than an AR platform chambered in 5.55 NATO. From mags to rail attachments, you can find almost anything. With an optics rail and a tri-M-LOK built onto the barrel, there are lots of places to put all the cool stuff that you want on your AR Pistol, you just have to choose from the options out there.
When it comes to the optics rail, this is a full size optics rail, not a pic rail. This means that you can put rifle optics on your pistol. I tried a hologram sight first, but settled on the peeps because of the shorter barrel. Red-dot sights work excellently on this platform, though they do look a little hokey because of the size. The same can be said for a traditional scope (I use a redfield tracker when non-comes with), which left the gun looking like a Bond villain who was overcompensating, or even a night-vision set up (which generally is almost the same size as the gun). The peeps look simple and classic, and like they say, “if you cannot shoot straight with peeps, you should not have a gun.”
For magazines, you have all the options of the AR-15 platform. I did all the testing of the gun with the factory magazine and two aftermarket (generic) AR-15 magazines. All fed and fired quite well. I did notice on the aftermarkets that there was one misfire (out of hundreds of shells) when the pin hit just off center of the primer. I do not know if this was a problem with the round, or what happened, but I could not get the problem to repeat. Additionally, you could use barrel magazines, but a 45 rd AR-15 mag is more reliable and doesn’t add the weight. Since barrels cap out at 90, taping two together seems to be much more reliable as a way to have to take less time to reload.
When it comes to the front rails, the three rails give you a lot of options. First of all, DO NOT USE A S*SSY STICK OR FOREGRIP, as either of these turns your pistol into an SBR under the NFA. If you are caught doing this you can be arrested, fined, and have your weapon taken from you by the nice people at the ATF. Other than the foregrip, you have many options what you can put on the front rails. My favorite combo is a flashlight on the right and a laser on the left. I also like having a swivel just behind the flashlight so I can connect a strap. You can also put a brace/stock on the unit, but make sure to check with the local laws. 9 of 10.
|Del-Ton LIMA M-LOK|
|Upper||Forged 7075 T6 Aluminum|
|Lower||Forged 7075 T6 Aluminum|
|Optics||None (rail included)|
|Barrel||7.5” Heavy (with A2 Flash Hider)|
|Length||Length 23.125” with standard arm brace|
This is an AR platform, so it starts off being pretty eye catching. I have had several people who wanted to take a look at it because of its length (including one officer of the law who wanted to know how it was registered). If you like attention at the range, then this is a nice little gun to have. How you accessorize it also determines how it looks. If you want to go “wish-crazy” and deck it out with every accessory known to humankind, then you will end up with a clownish looking firearm. Del-Ton stuck with the classic look for the LIMA; you should keep that look. Optics, a flashlight, a laser and a strap can make this even more useful. 7.5 of 10.
So where does this hand cannon fall on the “must have” gun list? She comes in with a score of 39 of 50, this firearm is a great pistol to have for a variety of reasons. Looking at stocks around the country, this one can be tricky to find right now; but if you do find one, I think you will be happy with it. It is light weight, easy to use, and fun to shoot; if these are all the things that you are looking for in a firearm, then this may be the right gun for you. 5.56 and .223 seem to be plentiful and only about 30% over pre-pandemic prices, so it is expensive but not super expensive to shoot. I am definitely proud to have this firearm in my case.
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