Take-Down AR-15: The Head Down Products “Deceptus”

The DRD Paratus is cool, but the Head Down Products “Deceptus” takes the take-down rifle to a new, more elegant, level. The Deceptus uses a specialized barrel nut, upper, and handguard; the rifle is otherwise AR-15 compatible. The break-down design allows the barrel to be removed from the receiver in under 30 seconds without tools. The take-down system is sourced from the makers of the Paratus, DRD Tactical.


We reached out to Head Down products asking about the rifle and a few features. Interestingly, the break-down action allows the rifle to change calibers quickly and easily. Head Down mentioned that they will sell custom caliber kits so long as the caliber is AR-15 compatible (300 BLK, 6.8, 6.5, 7.62×39, 5.45×39, etc.)

Image courtesy of OMG Custom Guns of NJ.

Image courtesy of OMG Custom Guns of NJ showing the barrel nut. Photo is of a forged receiver (billet is included with the Head Down offering). 

The Deceptus retails for $1999.00 The rifle comes complete with a discreet case. It can fit the rifle, a suppressor, and a few standard AR-15 magazines. Head Down includes a Lancer Advanced Warfighter Magazine and warranties the rifles for life.

Until we get our hands on one for a TFB review, Sootch00 has an excellent “breakdown” of the rifle (see what I did there?):

 Caliber: 5.56 NATO

Barrel Length: 16″ HDP Profile
Gas: Carbine Length
Rate of Fire: Semi-Auto
Rifling: 1/7″ RH (5.56)
Handguard: DRD Tactical Quick Detatch Handguard
Stock: 6 Position Stock
Pistol Grip: Plastic Grip
Magazine: 1 x 30rd Lancer Magazine
Muzzle Device: A2 Flash Hider
Length (Overall Length): 36.6″
– Mil-Spec Carpenter 158 bolt carrier group HPT & MPI with properly staked gas key
– Standard Mil-Spec GI (6lb) trigger
– Phosphate & Chrome Lined 4150 Steel Barrel
– Precision milled billet upper and lower receiver
– Integral trigger guard
– Type III hard coat anodize finish
– Flared magazine well
– All of our rifles ship with Modern Spartan Accuracy Oil and Carbon Destroyer
– All 5.56mm lower receivers are marked “CALIBER: MULTI”
– Custom hard rifle case (24″x16″x10″)
– Rifle For Life Warranty

MSRP: $1999
UPC: 854303004520
SKU: DEC-556-B

Photo courtesty of C.O.P.S.

Photo courtesy of C.O.P.S.

Nathan S

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


  • NotoriousAPP

    $2k and they couldn’t do any better than a standard mil spec stock….wtf? Head Down was at one time making their own stocks, what happened to those?

  • Manimal

    Isn’t every AR already a take down?

    • 360_AD

      Take down without use of tools?

      • Manimal

        Yes. Only 2 pins you should be able to remove with your thumb to take off the upper barrel assembly.

        • 360_AD

          You clearly didn’t read the article.

          • schizuki

            I did. So, isn’t every AR already a take down?

          • By the pure technical definition, yes you are right. This adds a new option to remove the barrel from the receiver instead of the two receivers from one another.

            I love any quick caliber change system and this allows you to use any barrel that fits standard AR platforms.

          • To Tin Fung

            Barrel change isnt a takedown. Conventional AR15 designs have the barrel nut which needs a tool because it is tightened down.

    • Hunter57dor

      True, but the AR fans must feed their fetish for throwing away money.

    • dubbs

      Yup Manimal! I own a bcm midlength with spiked lower. Total cost was $1,075.00. Saw this “$2,000 innovative AR carbine”, and said, hmmm.. Guess what? Pulled out an old tough case pelican, and my Franken gun fit in it ( about the size of a brief case!) . Like you said, but for the price, I can do the same and have an EXTRA carbine……

  • 360_AD

    Linked video is incorrect; custom Glocks.

  • SP mclaughlin

    Decept us ?

  • rockojb

    All these guys are doing is re-branding DRD’s CDR-15. Hell, they even list handguard as DRD’s. The Paratus isn’t the only takedown rifle DRD makes.

  • BigusDickus

    Why would anyone pay $2000.00 for a cheap imitation (standard furniture and a $65.00 barrel). For the same money you can buy the original DRD CDR15 with a Hammer Forged barrel, Magpul furniture and a pistol tray in the box.

  • JumpIf NotZero

    I have one of these fancy take down ARs, mine is about 7″ longer when broken down… But on the upside, uses all normal AR parts…

  • Rush

    So does this particular model come with that shitty forged upper or the billet one?

    • I’m in the process of trying to get one for review. Hopefully we’ll be able to give you some facts. Nathan S will be doing this review.

    • Comes with the billet upper.

    • Have you even seen one in real life or is this another rumor. I’m betting you haven’t seen one up close.

      • KristopherBryan

        Have you seen one in real life, Phil? I’m betting you haven’t, or you wouldn’t be letting one of you staff writers embarrass this blog by trumping up a copycat product by an assembly company with a less than stellar reputation.

      • Rush

        How is your question even relevant? To further explain my comment, most of these pictures are of forged uppers & the one gun in the video is billet. Why say such an insulting thing about Me seeing the rifle Phil? seems kinda rude. Glad to see a senior writer with “TFB” has such class

  • Geoff a well known Skeptic

    But, how much do you gain over an AUG with the barrel removed for the same money? Geoff Who sees some advantage.

  • Geoff a well known Skeptic

    http://www.drdtactical.com/rifles.htm $6,000 vs $2,000 might be seen as advantageous. Geoff Who has no current need for that much stealth.

  • KristopherBryan

    I don’t understand why the writer is comparing this ar-15 to the DRD Paratus. If you look at DRD Tactical’s website, you’ll see that the Paratus is chambered in 7.62 NATO, has a patented internal recoil system, and a Magpul folding stock. It appears that this Heads Down “Deceptus” is nothing more than a lame attempt to copy DRD’s CDR-15 model, not the Paratus.

    • I reached out to Head Down. It is a OEM re-label of some of the DRD parts (namely upper, nut, and handguard). The rest of the parts are Head Down manufactured or supplied through other OEMs.

      In reference to the comparison, I was looking at the elegance, which is a personal opinion on aesthetics, the system, and weight. It is well understood that the Paratus is a 7.62, but the full rifle system almost entirely proprietary (not to mention ugly, in my opinion). The Head Down (or DRD CDR-15) uses only a few proprietary parts and accents an existing system.

      • Rush

        Please give me a list of parts head down actually manufacturers? As far as I can tell they use DRDs upper, rail, barrel nut and “C3’s” lower. Just with their name & logo on the side. And do they even “manufacturer ” As in to say that they make it in house? Or is made by some other company? So what about this gun is actually original? It appears you need to do more research before you write an article.

        • BigusDickus

          I’m a little confused, the itemized list states that the rifles come with a billet upper and lower receiver as well as a phosphate & chrome lined barrel. The pictures appear to have a forged upper receiver and melonite coated barrel, what gives? Is this some sort of bait and switch or a lack of research?

        • Why not give the company a call and ask them. Nathan has given a complete overview.

  • dp

    This is first clever takedown system I see on AR15 based rifle. However, maybe some faster type of connection (multi-start thread or even interrupted thread) would be helpful.

  • NotoriousAPP

    I hope their quality control on this rifle is better than the products I received from them in the past which were missing parts. As many times as I gave them a chance to make it right and as many time as they said they would take care of it (when I could get a response from them) I’m still missing pieces, they never made good. File Head Down Products under “just another company with poor customer support that will never see my business again”.

  • Ghost930

    My standard AR platform with 16.5 barrel and captive takedown pins actually takes down in to a package as small or smaller, goes together and is ready to shoot faster, and cost 1K less. Unless you want the quick change caliber ability (my Robinson XCR can do this and breaks down to upper and lower for about 1500.00 and the SBR version is even smaller than the deceptus) not really sure this is worth the money unless you just want the “cool” factor.

  • JT

    So deceptive it come in a f***ing gun case!

  • Austin

    this thing is stupid, i can get a standard ar for less than half the price,
    if you want to carry this with you there are plenty of “covert” cases you can use
    but if you really want a smaller package- ar pistol with a brace
    or file for a sbr
    its stupid to justify $1000 for a barrel nut that i can tighten down with my hands and a proprietary handguard that helps tighten it down (so i can’t ever change a handguard)