With a flooded AR-15 market it’s easy to ignore models that have been out there for a while, and even easier to ignore them if they haven’t been recently seen on a magazine cover cradled by some full-sleeve-tattooed gym rat with a perfectly-groomed operator beard. Add to that the increasingly affordable options for home builds and you may have found yourself skipping over factory guns entirely. Meanwhile there are some rifles you may not be familiar with simply because the owners of them are hoping others won’t catch on to the gems they’ve found. The Midnight Dragon by DoubleStar may just be one of those gems. If you’re only interested in the end results watch our shooting impressions video to see how the rifle performed with various factory loads:
Packed with features usually reserved for custom builds, the Midnight Dragon is a purpose-built precision rifle for those looking to maximize the accuracy potential of the AR-15 platform without taking out a second mortgage. Before you start piecing together a build that might let you save a couple bucks in the short run, ask yourself if that build will be covered by a limited lifetime warranty. The answer to that question is one of the reasons I considered the Midnight Dragon. The MSRP is $1,114.55 and online prices hover around a grand. Let’s take a look at what you get for that money. Direct from the DoubleStar website:
|OPERATION SYSTEM||Direct Gas Impingement|
|OVER ALL LENGTH||42.25|
|BARREL TYPE||Bull Barrel|
|BARREL MATERIAL||Stainless Steel|
|BARREL FEATURES||M4 Feedramps, Free Floating, Spiral Fluted, Black Nitride Finish|
|SIGHT / GAS BLOCK||Picatinny Rail Gas Block|
|HANDGUARD||Spiral Fluted Free Float (Rifle Length)|
|UPPER RECEIVER TYPE||Flattop|
|UPPER RECEIVER MATERIAL||Forged Aircraft 7075 T6 Aluminum|
|UPPER RECEIVER COATING||Anodized to Mil-Spec|
|UPPER RECEIVER FEATURES||Brass Deflector, M4 Feedramps, “T”-Marks, Forward Assist, Dust Cover|
|LOWER RECEIVER MATERIAL||Forged Aircraft 7075 T6 Aluminum|
|LOWER RECEIVER COATING||Anodized to Mil-Spec|
|LOWER RECEIVER FEATURES||Billet Winter Trigger Guard|
|FIRE CONTROL GROUP||2 Stage Trigger Group|
|PISTOL GRIP||Ergo Grip® Tactical Deluxe|
|OTHER FEATURES||Enhanced Extraction System|
|ACTION||Direct Gas Impingement|
|COUNTRY OF MANUFACTURE||United States|
The complete package is not only visually impressive, but also makes for an excellent and comfortable rifle. Aesthetics and shooting sensations reminded me in a way of some of the more exotic sports cars. Sure, there are some features that have a bit of extra visual flair, but that flair also helps one realize and appreciate the extra details that were put into the overall design and performance potential. Is a thick rubber recoil pad necessary on a heavy rifle chambered in 5.56x45mm? No, but it’s a nice feature to have and one that I would leave in place on the Midnight Dragon as it also afforded a comfortable length of pull.
In keeping with our standard test and review methods, the rifle was taken from the box, inspected, and then out to the range. No extra lubrication or special treatments given aside from the removal of packing grease when required. The Midnight Dragon did not disappoint, and most definitely performed by providing sub-moa accuracy with factory loads. The best of which was obtained with Fiocchi 77gr Exacta Rifle Match. Sensitivity to projectile weight was also tested with loads as light as 45gr having no disparaging impact on groupings at 100 yards. It should also be noted that we obtained sub-moa results with a combination of ammunition, scope, mount, and rest that all paired well to the Midnight Dragon’s accomplishment of
providing excellent performance at a reasonable price. The Nikon Black X1000 4-16×50 has an MSRP of $499.95, Warne XSKEL mount for $136.49, and Caldwell Stinger Shooting Rest for $119.99. While none of these components could be considered cheap they certainly provided great value and arguably perform just as well if not better than more expensive options.
The Midnight Dragon looks good, shoots great, and does all of this for just a slight bump in price over a standard quality AR-15. Out of the box the Midnight Dragon will tell you if you’re having a good shooting day or a bad one. It won’t make you a sniper, but will show you your own shooting potential.
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