Magpul PTS PDR-C – The Next Bullpup Personal Defense Rifle
February 19, 2013
The Magpul PDR-C is one of the most unique firearms produced to date. Although the PDR never left the prototype stage never went into mass production, it was still highly anticipated. The Magpul PDR had been in development since 2006 and at S.H.O.T. Show 2008 it was announced at the Magpul USA booth. Although the bullpup rifle design is not really a new and innovative design, the features on the PDR are very unique and very innovative. Chambered in 5.56mm NATO cartridge, the PDR has a smaller size than most sub machine guns, but it can deliver deadly hot lead out to far distances.
Designed primarily for personal defense (hence the name Personal Defense Rifle), and vehicle operators, the PDR is a compact machinery. Less than 20 inches long overall, the PDR-C is perfect for VIP protection personnel and vehicle personnel. The gun is small enough to be concealed underneath a coat, and to be maneuved inside of a vehicle or a confined space. If this gun was ever in mass production, I am sure the United States Secret Service, along with other government protection details around the globe, would not hesitate to adopt this rifle.
Although I have never seen or fired the real Magpul PDR-C, research has shown me the thought behind this rifle, and all the unique features on this rifle which set it apart from the rest. To start off, it is a bullpup design which means the fire mechanism and the barrel are further back in the body, which shortens the overall length of the rifle. With only less than 20 inches overall length, the PDR still has a 10.5 inch barrel, which can deliver a bullet down range with deadly accuracy. The PDR can accept standard AR-15 magazines, including the P-Mags series of magazine.
As I have mentioned before, the fire mechanism of the rifle is located at the rear of the gun. Therefore, a lot of its weight is located in the back, which makes the rifle perfectly balanced when shouldered. Since the weight is rested on your shoulder, your support hand is less likely to fatigue. Most of us would expect that the empty casing would eject at the rear of the rifle, but Magpul Industry designed the PDR to have a mid ejection. The empty casing is ejected at the middle of the rifle, and not above the magazine like traditional firearms. Another firearm with this design I can think of is the FN F2000, which ejects casings at the front of the rifle.
The entire PDR is fully ambidextrous. The ejection port can be quickly switched from left to right, or vice versa, by simply pushing a button. The charging handle and the magazine release are accessible from either side of the rifle. Both sides of the rifle look and feel identical. A unique fact about this rifle is that there is no selector switch and no safety, with the exception of a trigger safety. The trigger safety is designed very similarly to the Smith & Wesson M&P, where the trigger is separated into 2. Only the bottom half of the trigger can be pulled in order to fire the rifle. The trigger is a 2 stage trigger, which half pull is semiautomatic, and full pull is fully automatic.
If I remember correctly, all bullpup rifles’ magazine release button is located where the magazine is, which is in the rear of the rifle. This slows the reload time and is one of the main reason why a lot of militarys around the globe do not like it. Bullpup rifles such as the British L85, Austria Steyr Aug, Isreali Tavor, etc, all have the magazine release located in the back of the rifle. The Belgium FN P90 magazine release is located on the top of the gun. All these guns require the operator to release the magazine with his support hand, then grab the new magazine with the support hand and insert it in to the gun. Compared to a standard M4, which operator can drop the magazine and grab the new magazine simultaneously, the bullpup designed rifle reload time is much longer than a standard M4 / AR15 series rifles.
Magpul saw this as a potential problem for the modern battlefield and designed the PDR differently. Magpul designed the magazine release button at the front of the rifle, which allows the operator to release the magazine with his fire control hand, while his support hand grabs the new magazine simultaneously. This speeds up the reload time, and the operator can reload the rifle as fast as the M4 / AR15. This is a huge plus, because to my knowledge, this could not be done on bullpup rifles, until now.
The texture on the pistol grip and the forward grip is specially textured by Magpul. It feels a little bit aggressive, which is a good thing in my opinion. When the operator is sweaty, oil and sweat could make his hand slippery. By adding an aggressive texture on the grip, it can enhance the grip of the rifle. Traditional stippling texture is holes or lines, but Magpul stippling is actually their own logo, which adds uniqueness to the Magpul P.D.R.
Enough said about the real PDR, let’s talk about the PTS Version. The Magpul PTS PDR-C is the latest addition to the Magpul PTS line of AEG. It has all the features which the real PDR-C has, even the ambidextrous ejection port. Although the ejection port serves no function on airsoft guns, this shows the attention to detail Magpul PTS (Professional Training Series) has when creating a new AEG. Without a magazine, this AEG weights in at 4lbs 9.5 ounces. This gun is super light weight due its compact size, and the fact that most of the gun is made with high durable strength polymer. The internal gear box is full metal, just as expected from Magpul PTS.
Featured with a full 1913 Picatinny rail on top, you can put virtually any optics and/or iron sights on the PDR. There is a sling loop hole located behind the magazine, perfect for running a 1-point sling. The hop up adjustment is located where the cheek piece is. There is a button located behind the top rail, which when pushed releases the cheek piece, exposing the hop up adjustment. The overall ergonomics of the PDR are great, very comfortable when shouldered.
The PDR-C is a solid performer on the battlefield. Chronoed at 360 to 370 FPS, I highly recommend downgrading this gun with a lower power spring so it will be CQB legal. However, as good as I made this gun sound; there are a few things that I do not like. First, the magazine computability could be an issue. After testing it at Our Golden Cobra Sales, I have found out that Mag M4 Mid Capacity magazines do not work with the Magpul PTS PDR-C. It simply does not lock into the gun. So before purchasing magazines for this gun be sure to test them prior. Second, the pistol grip was a little bit short and small for my hand. Lastly, since the battery is located in the pistol grip, only small LiPo batteries could be fitted into the grip. This is a potential problem since LiPo batteries are expensive, you are limited on battery option, and small batteries equal less time on the field.
Despite with the cons of this AEG, the Magpul PTS PDR-C is still a solid performing AEG. Priced at $380 is expected since it is from Magpul PTS If you want something unique, functional, and truly ambidextrous, then look no further than the Magpul P.T.S. PDR. Fully and truly ambidextrous, ultra ergonomics, and a very unique look, the PDR is truly a one of a kind. Check it out at www.airsoftgi.com. I am Andrew, Stay safe, and get out and play airsoft.