Here's an exclusive first look at the new DRD Tactical Paratus-- a take-down rifle in 308win that assembles in seconds and comes in a compact, waterproof case. Calling the Paratus innovative is an understatement. The rifle was built from the ground up to impress the military's Joint & Special Operations Program, which is shopping for a "clandestine break-down semi-automatic rifle." Today, we received our first unit and I had time to explore the DRD Paratus in depth. Here are my observations:
First, the presentation is dramatic. It's hard to believe the 16"x10"x6" SKB case contains such massive firepower. Opening the case piqued my interest. The Nickel-Boron finish is stunning and immediately made me think of the practical maritime application for such a rifle. Imagine this rifle in an orange case with a "first aid kit" sticker. You couldn't ask for a lower profile on the high seas.
Next stop was the instruction manual-- though I usually bypass such formalities. DRD Tactical isn't kidding when they say the Paratus can be assembled in seconds. My first attempt took less than a minute-- and I was being extra careful. It was a simple matter of locking back the bolt, sliding the barrel and gas tube into the receiver, tightening the barrel nut, slipping the rail over the barrel, pushing in a detent pin, and closing a lever. It's such a captivating process, I'll bet this rifle will be featured in one of Hollywood's next blockbusters. Both Jason Bourne and James Bond could appreciate the covert lethality of the Paratus rifle system. [click here for the photo Paratus photo gallery]
Everything about the DRD Tactical Paratus is super-premium 93 octane, including its $5500 price tag. Paratus boasts a 16" match grade 1:10 Walther barrel, capped off with a Noveske thread protector. There's also a Geissele two-stage trigger-- widely recognized as one of the finest available. Its Magpul buttstock is borrowed from the Remington ACR, which is folding and collapsible, with an adjustable comb. The pistol grip, vertical grip, flip-up sights, and magazines are also by Magpul. Weighing in at just over 9lbs, it's right in line with other rifles in this segment such as the SCAR 17S Heavy, HK417, LWRC REPR, LaRue OBR, LMT MWS, and the venerable AR10. The non-reciprocating charging handle is on the left side, not unlike the LWRC REPR. The action is slick, thanks to precision machining and its lubricious Nickel-Boron finish.
Field stripping the Paratus is almost as easy as putting it together for the first time. You'll find the takedown lever at the rear of the upper receiver where traditionally a charging handle appears. Push out the rear detent pin on the lower receiver and push in the takedown lever and the upper and lower swing apart-- similar to standard ARs. The recoil rod and spring are then removed, allowing the bolt carrier to slide out. The carrier is about half the size of traditional AR10 platforms, but shooters will be familiar with its disassembly. Three TORX screws must be removed to allow full access to the bolt-- the only operation that requires an actual tool.
The DRD Tactical Paratus is quite adept at capturing the imagination, as well as the paychecks of shooters. However, that's money well spent for such an innovative and forward-thinking piece of gear-- especially if you've got a million dollar yacht to protect in international waters. If nothing else, it's an ideal accessory for luxury boaters. Although the Paratus has just launched, it already has its critics. The price is too high, they say. That is true, but there is nothing like the Paratus on the market-- and that demands a premium. Also, there have always been naysayers when it comes to new types of firearms. Remember: there was fierce opposition to the Gatling and Maxim when they were introduced. In that era of arms development, an English officer named Major Fosbery said, "the invention in its present state is a comparatively new one, and like all new things will find many opponents simply because it is so, whilst the status quo will never want an advocate." Translation: there will always be haters. I think the same could be said today of the DRD Tactical Paratus. Remember, the Gatling and Maxim both earned places in firearms history, unhindered by what early critics had to say. [click here for the photo Paratus photo gallery]
That's all for today. Have a good 'un and God bless. -- Evan