New Aptus Weapon System from DRD Tactical

Aptus 5.56

DRD Tactical announced a new weapon system called the Aptus. Aptus, meaning “suitable” or “fit for a particular function” in Latin, is a rifle platform that uses the company’s recoil and quick barrel change systems. With this system, you can swap from any of the configurations to any of the others in less than a minute.

Guns can be user configured in one of three barrel lengths and one of two calibers (5.56 NATO and 300 BLK) very quickly. The PDW versions use a 7.5″ barrel while the carbine systems use a 16″ barrel. At the long end, you can plug in the 20″ barrel for a DMR.


These guns are direct gas operated and use a non-reciprocating charging handle. A typical buffer tube is not used, so the guns are fitted with folding stocks from Magpul.

Although these guns are not AR-15 spec rifles, they do share parts compatibility with them. The Aptus can use standard milspec lower receiver parts, barrels, magazines and some parts of the bolt carrier group.

Guns will be available in the spring. Aptus guns will be offered in two finishes: hard coat Type III anodized black or NiB Battle Worn finish. The anodized gun will have a MSRP of $1,695 while the Battle Worn gun will have a suggested retail price of $1,995.

Richard Johnson

An advocate of gun proliferation zones, Richard is a long time shooter, former cop and internet entrepreneur. Among the many places he calls home is


  • Uniform223

    This looks like an interesting rifle. I hope to read and hear more about it. Other than the company website is there anywhere else I can read about it?

    • yodamiles

      The first thing that come to my mind was that it was a short stroke piston gun since that is the trend and the handguard looks pretty large. And then I saw the gas tube…….DI system without buffer tube! Hell yes!

      • Uniform223

        Personally the buffer tube on the AR-15 never bothered me at. Perhaps it’s because I am so accustomed to it. Compared to other rifles and/or carbines I have shot before, the buffer tube and recoil of the AR-15 feels much smoother. Of course that’s when I am really making an effort to notice the difference.

        • James Young

          It’s just nice to have a folding stock, that’s my dislike of buffer tubes

      • User

        Is the receiver open at the side at the charging handle or closed? Thanks for answers

  • Big Kat

    Looks neato but I think an MLOK or other style of rail would be better than their proprietary version.

  • Harry’s Holsters

    So the same as their 308 and 338 platform but in 5.56?

  • AC97

    You’d seriously have to be an idiot to be willing to pay $300 more for the battle worn finish.

    • noob

      New In Box “battle worn” finish? I guess the battle was in the box.

      • Cal S.

        I drew the line at the $150 pre-shot target ‘upgrade’.

        • noob

          A pre-shot target makes my groups look amazing

      • Martin frank

        Nickel Boron which is coincidently what you rhyme with.

      • Gary Kirk

        Maybe the rifle is like a cat.. Try shoving one of those in a box it don’t wanna go in..

    • Harry’s Holsters

      I must be an idiot then. To get a gun that will impress most anyone that sees it is well worth the extra three hundreds.

      • Xtorin O’hern

        they only impress until whoever your impressing gets a closer look and realizes the rifle has never seen anything but a shooting range

        • Harry’s Holsters

          I hope the guns I have never have to see anything but a shooting range or a hunt. The worn finishes are works of art. They look way more worn than anything that occurs naturally.
          Nothing more, nothing less. The circles I feel comfortable enough to show guns to aren’t idiots who think a guy who has never been in LE, Military or a contractor has taken a personally owned rifle to battle zone.

        • Dan

          I like the look of the finish of the battle worn just not the name. It’s different enough at least in pictures for me to like it. I’d just feel like a tool for buying something called battle worn.

      • gordon

        I generally don’t care what other people think of my guns. I don’t play “show and tell” and I don’t go to the the range to show off. This isn’t to say that I don’t care what my guns look like but rather that I am the only person who’s impression of them that I care about.

        • Harry’s Holsters

          That’s your prerogative. If someone doesn’t like one of my guns I don’t get upset in the slightest. I’m a glock guy so that problem doesn’t effect me. I like nice things and I like sharing them with others I also enjoy having others share their nice things with me. That simple.

          • gordon

            Yeah, my comment seemed more caustic to you than I intended and than it should have. I apologize for that. I meant it to be more about my antisocial bent than any vanity on your part.

          • Harry’s Holsters

            The one thing that sucks about written communication is that it’s much harder to communicate your message than it is in person.

          • Greg Kelemen

            Yeah 90% of communication is non-verbal, apparently.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        I agree, theres nothing wrong with having something you think looks cool.
        Half the crap hanging off most peoples guns will never be used for its intended purpose.

        • Harry’s Holsters

          Dead on! I’d say it’s way more then half. I saw or heard a stat recently that 60% of guns are never fired by their owners. I don’t know anyone who lives their life surrounded by only utilitarian items. I’ve never under stood why people would put down others for wanting or buying something they don’t want.

    • Ryfyle

      I’ll pay 298$ for a Polka Dot Clown Finish. Who’s gonna argue against Tactical Clown Skin finish?

      • Greg Kelemen

        Not me, as I suffer from a debilitating case of Coulrophobia..
        The ‘creepy clown’ epidemic of 2016 hasn’t helped matters either.

        • Ryfyle

          I remember the good old days before folks made Clowns edgy. Sucks to hear about your Clown fear. I wonder which company is capable of zany cerocote-ing?

          • Greg Kelemen

            Hmm, I thought the limiting factor to that was ones imagination or maybe a Duracoat job would be more economical lol.

  • Greg Beals

    A little similar to a SCAR. It looks odd where you have the big chunky metal receiver and then the little tiny polymer grip. Maybe its just me, just looks oddly proportioned, although I would love to have this with the 20″ and 7.5″.

  • Gary Kirk

    Please correct me if I am wrong please, but is that a cheap Chinese knock off ACOG on a $2000 solar rifle again??

    • Sephy

      That’s a battery powered acog, that ta02. Love mine.

      • Gary Kirk

        I’ll take your word for it, just didn’t recognize the triangular shape mark on the battery cover.. Only use the dual illumination AGOGs personally. How do the battery powered units handle hard use?

        Edit, it’s an ACOG.. meant compared to the dual illumination ones..

  • Vitor Roma

    The bcg has a quite interesting design, looking like an iron, the clothing type

  • JumpIf NotZero


  • noob

    are all .300blk 16″ barrels endowed with such short gas system lengths?

    • kyphe

      The ideal length of a gas system is governed by the pressure curve of the ammunition. Given that the blk uses a small charge of pistol powder I would guess this requires the gas port to be close to the chamber.

  • Worm

    I’ll stick with my Robinson XCR.

  • Cal S.

    Why pay $300 for a finish you can get with $5 in Scotchbrite pads?

    • iksnilol

      Maybe because you want to have the look of a worn finish without having the finish compromised?

    • Marc

      Scrubbing anodizing won’t turn it into NiB.

      • Anonymoose

        He’s talking about the “battleworn” crap.

  • Basil Sever Moulds

    The Msrp is what interests me the most. Msrp of the ACR? Maybe this will have potential?

  • ShootingFromTheHip

    What’s with the stupid contouring of the 16″ 5.56 barrel? I’m sorry, has this new “platform” ever been designed for the use of a grenade launcher? I can’t stand m4 and a2 profile barrels — they’re retarded.

    • Richard

      It’s a hold over from when they found out that the grenade launchers needed a thinner barrel to fit on the rifles. The civilian rifles kept that feature because enough people wanted as many military looking features as possible. I’ve never seen a real m16a2 with a grenade launcher cut in the barrel, only airsoft rifles.

      • ShootingFromTheHip

        Yeah, I understand, but that speaks to my point about why I hate M4 profiles so much. The AR barrel preference by most people for historical accuracy vs. functionality is so dumb.

        • mig1nc

          The article says they can use standard AR15 barrels. I wonder if maybe they are trying to illustrate that fact? But if its true, you could just use any different barrel you want.

      • Gary Kirk

        The M16 series have 20″ barrels, so the thin portion under the handgaurds is long enough to accommodate the 203.. Hence, no notch, but the 14.5″ barrel of the M4 put the front mounting bracket of the 203 right in the middle of the thicker part of said barrel in front of the fsb

      • Gus Butts

        M16A2s do not need the M203 cut but since this rifle takes AR-15 barrels it’s not really surprising that the barrel shown has one. It doesn’t grind my gears.

  • tb556

    Great idea that’s 15 years too late. No one is going to buy this in volume over a standard AR, SCAR, or MCX unless the price is much less. It will probably be a good collectors item for the future as I doubt they sell more than 1000.

  • RSG

    How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…. out of all the AR rifles I own, the only thing missing that I want very badly is a side charger. Quick barrel change to a caliber I’m already heavily invested in is also a huge plus. Aesthetically, between the BW finish, the “steam punkish” handguard and the stock, is incredibly appealing to me. And a list price of under $2000 is also nice. Depending on the cost of additional barrels, or complete uppers, and whether the rifle is junk or not, I may be FORCED, against my will, to take a good look at this. (This comment is also directed at Savage and their failure to only introduce a side charger in 308 and not 556. I would’ve been interested otherwise).

  • Steve

    1700$ aint too bad

    Scar’s and ACR are both north of 2k. And ditch the M4 profile…pencil or heavy

  • William Elliott

    is it just me, or does that pistol grip interface look…uncomfortable? I do hope this is just a prototype and not the finished product. That seriously screws the ergonomics of the AR without the interfacing curve at the top of the grip [imagine gripping it]

    Note, the curve is THERE, its just an inch or two further back, so either the grip needs to be moved back to match the receiver curve, or the receiver needs to machined so that curve moves forward

    • disqus_PDmXLtTxJj

      Wow good eye! I went back and yea that looks like it would suck if you didn’t wear gloves.

      • Gary Kirk

        Don’t you know anything??? To operate operationally to full tacticality you always wear Oakley gloves

        • iksnilol

          I thought it was Mechanix?

          • Drew Coleman

            All the cool op8ers wear Magpul gloves now.

          • iksnilol

            But they don’t got that cool white lettering.

    • VanDiemensLand

      Yeah, I missed that, thanks for pointing it out. It looks very uncomfortable.

  • NotMrRobotHands

    Dat flat area above and behind the pistol grip looks like it might be a tight and uncomfortable crevice (where p-grip meets lower at the back).

  • Eddie Haskell

    Looks interesting, but another $2k AR from another boutique firearms builder, that uses “some” proprietary parts. Not saying it’s not nice, but this company has a very limited history. Where am I going to get parts or service for my $2K paperweight when the company is no longer around?

    • Josh

      This company is a lot less limited than you think. They’ve been around for close to 8 years now, and they’ve been kicking a new product out the door nearly every year or so despite being small. They started with an AR-ish rifle that’s much like this, just that it can disassemble in very little time to fit into a briefcase, which despite being a rather niche item, they managed to sell a significant number of. Because it was good for the people that wanted it. Hint hint.

    • roguetechie

      Like the guy below says this company has been around for 8 years in this guise and if I remember right some of the employees were even involved in the Cobb MCR way back when!

      Basically, these guys are not only here to stay but the products they put out have had much longer than it appears to evolve into what you’re seeing offered here.

      Apparently they’ve also went out of their way to ensure that the truly key parts are obtainable from the huge AR aftermarket supply chain.

      Truthfully they’ve done more than any other company I can think of to ensure that their customers don’t get stuck with an orphaned platform.

      • Eddie Haskell

        I didn’t know they were responsible for the MCR but that sorta makes my point. I owned one of those back in the day sold it after the parent company was sold to Bushmaster and the model was not carried over. If I still owned that $2K rifle where would i get parts as some of them were proprietary? I thought that the MicroTech rifle was the best thing since sliced bread but a few years later people were stuck with a rifle that used proprietary parts and nowhere to buy them. I’m not saying people shouldn’t buy these rifles, I’m just saying I don’t make enough money to take that kind of chance.

        • roguetechie

          Oh I am right there with you man!
          There’s all sorts of stuff I’d love to buy but won’t because I can see the product winding up an orphan a mile away!

          I guess I’m lucky though in some ways since this fear is rapidly starting to fade away for me as I acquire more tooling and learn more about how to just make what I want for myself…

          As a particularly funny example since you brought up MSAR… I’m actually working up a sort of upgraded and altered Steyr AUG 2.0 version that is heavily altered and tweaked in ways that will allow as many parts from the AR world as possible into it specifically to try to avoid having something that no more parts are available for!

          Granted though, in my situation there’s obviously going to be quite a major amount of parts I will have to make for myself when I need more…

      • DRD’s Skip Patel was the president of Cobb Mfg. and the designer of the MCR and FA50. In 2007, Bushmaster bought Cobb Mfg. and hired Patel as Executive Vice President for R&D. Patel left a while afterwards, but was hampered from re-entering the industry due to a 3 year non-compete clause in his contract. Once it expired, he started DRD.

        • Quest

          Is this Rifle open at the side of the receiver at the charging handle or not? Thanks for answers.

          • On their other models, the non-reciprocating charging handle covers the receiver slot as long as the charging handle is forward.

        • roguetechie

          Thanks Daniel!

          As always you pop in behind me and flesh out all the names and important details that I either forget or am too lazy to add… LOL

          honestly Daniel I very much appreciate your interjections of the very relevant stuff that can shed light on subjects I blithely gloss over.

  • I was wondering where the AR platform rifle from the new XXX movie comes from… Thanks guys!

  • disqus_PDmXLtTxJj

    This whole new “battle worn” paint job trend is stupid. Kind of like buying jeans that have holes in them. If you want a “battle worn” rifle, buy something from WWII or buy parts from a Rhodesian FAL.

  • Sjambok1

    I actually…am happy to see something new at a good price

  • JumpIf NotZero

    Kewl. Nickel boron, hello 2009’s bullet points.

  • thedonn007

    I would like an AR upper with a self contained recoil system to put on my stanard AR lower and a folding stock.

    • Spike

      Sig MCX would be first to spring to mind (among others).

  • Luke

    So how do you manage the zero’s of all these barrels with just one optic?

  • MPWS

    Battle worn? What a BS. I have seen plenty “training worns” and they do not impress me either. Best is brand spanking new finish.

    Btw, how those guys managed to get rid of (stupid) buffer tube? That is success on its own.

  • Ark

    I’d rather have an AR and just swap uppers as necessary…or separate rifles, since lowers are so cheap to build.

    Besides, wouldn’t you have to re-zero every time you swapped in a different barrel?

  • Greg Kelemen

    They need a Dracos Straight-Jacket barrel option, barrel whip and hot bores should be 20th century problems.

  • Doug Snodgrass

    Ha! Comments about the finish, like it’s the most important thing about this gun..! The Funny hang ups people have..

  • CavScout

    Looks like a FN SCAR that uses the LMT MRP barrel system, mixed with a sawed off BCG and maybe Sig MCX recoil system?
    Could be cool, but odds are it’s an incomplete system. Find me one they were seeking mil and LE sales with and then I’ll look. Until then, LMT MRP still wins in every regard except the use of a receiver extension.

  • Wow!

    At the price I’ll just buy the superior ACR. You can turn your own barrel inserts so at least you will still get 5.56 and x35 adaptability, but in a much nicer form factor.

  • Gordon

    The ACR would be close to the bottom of the list for me. In no particular order I would rather have a BREN 805, Robinson XCR, FN Scar, Sig MCX, Faxon XRS ARAK and Beretta ARX before the ACR. Maybe even the DRD Aptus but I’ll wait and see….