Gun Review: DRD CDR-15 Take-Down AR-15 Rifle

Alex C.
by Alex C.

Right now in the US, the market is so flooded with AR type rifles and accessories that prices are low, stores are stocked, and most consumers (myself included) aren’t as taken with the platform as they once were. AR fatigue is running pretty rampant, and to be honest it takes a lot to get me to raise an eyebrow and nod in approval at any new AR related “innovation” (a new color finish is not innovation in my books).

So what do we have here?

Well, it’s an AR15 in a very compact case made by DRD Tactical that takes down at the barrel rather than just the upper receiver.

According to DRD:

“CDR-15 Rifle


CALIBER: 5.56 Nato
RECEIVERS: Lower/Upper machined from US sourced 7075 T-6511 Billet Aluminum
WEIGHT: 6.9 lbs.
BARREL: Hammer forged, chrome lined, 1/7 twist, parkerized finish, mid-length gas
MAGAZINE CAPACITY: 2-30 Round Magpul Pmag
TRIGGER: Standard AR type
OPTIC MOUNTING RAIL: DRD Tactical Patented QD 13″ Rail, MIL-STD 1913, Uses Magpul L-4 Rail Panels
OPERATION: Direct Gas operated, Semi-Automatic
FINISH: Hard Coat Anodize Type III Black
HARDCASE: Custom cut high density foam with pistol foam insert

CDR15 is a patented quick take down semi-auto rifle, chambered in 5.56 Nato or 300AAC. The most compact rifle/pistol transport brief case size unit, allows you to carry a 16″ carbine, 4 carbine magazines, suppressor (NFA item), Trijicon size scope, full size pistol with 12 full size pistol magazines. You can replace the pistol foam insert with our 2nd barrel foam insert, which allows you to carry another caliber barrel with more magazines.”

The case is nice and there is a cutout for your rifle’s optic:

And below the lower receiver group is a 300 Blackout barrel assembly:

Of course on top you have your 5.56 assembly and some additional mags:

The takedown system is neat and relies on an interesting barrel nut in addition to a pin on the hand guard that is further retained by a lever:

Assembly is easy and it all comes together to make a handsome rifle:

Here you can see part of the retention mechanism:

So let’s get down to business. How does this little guy shoot? Well I put on my serious gloves and got to shooting.

I put several mags worth of M193 ball and a few boxes of miscellaneous steel cased ammo through the gun to test its reliability and it worked fine with no malfunctions to note.

Patrick gave it a go as well and gave it his nod of approval (the highest praise the man is capable of delivering):

So accuracy test time. I grabbed up some nice Hornady stuff and shot four 5 shot groups with it in the usual TFB fashion:

And I was impressed as hell. It has been a while since I have shot an AR pattern rifle with an optic for accuracy testing.

Worst group of the 4:


So it shoots well and has an interesting gimmick, but is it worth it?

Well, at an MSRP of $2,091 I would say no for me personally. While DRD is a relatively new company, the people behind it have extensive experience providing weapons to the special forces market. This firearm designed for some very specific Law Enforcement and Special Operations use-cases. I am just a home enthusiast, collector and vlogger.

I would rather pay the extra $200 Tax and get a Short Barrel 10.5″ AR-15, if I needed an AR that would fit snugly in a small case, but there are definitely people who want to avoid all the NFA nonsense. In that case, this rifle might be a good option.

That said, the DRD worked perfectly, was accurate, and is a very well made gun.

Alex C.
Alex C.

Alex is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and Director of TFBTV.

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2 of 36 comments
  • Quint Quint on Dec 12, 2015

    Great write-up! It was especially interesting to hear you mention AR fatigue. I'd love to hear you fully flesh out those thoughts in a stand alone post. I really like my AR (Stag), but still don't fully understand all the hype. Thanks for your great work.

  • Disqus_B71aIc56lI Disqus_B71aIc56lI on Dec 15, 2015

    Duke Togo aka Golgo 13 uses a take-down version of the AR-15 or the M16A1 variant stored in a typical business attache case for his usual hit jobs but he couldn't do full auto on his rifle because when the regular rifle is reworked into a take-down rifle, the rifle's metal alloy's integral strength is comprised to the point and the rifle breaks apart after hundreds of rounds. This version is what he may want if he's in tight jam in very nasty firefight that blocks his usual escape routes and full-auto fire is his only way out.