PTS PDR-C AEG Review by Booligan
Basic Gun Information
Magpul, manufacturer of a myriad of ubiquitous firearm accessories, has designed several real steel firearm prototypes, and one of their newest designs is the PDR, or Personal Defense Rifle. Their airsoft arm, PTS, has designed and produced an airsoft version which matches most of the functions of the real prototype. This is an extremely compact AEG platform, well set up for CQB, sniper secondary, or vehicle based use. This review will be covering every aspect of this gun, inside and out, so keep reading for more information!
The PDR-C was sent to me through Airsoft Extreme, who has it available HERE, priced at $379.99 at the time of this review. The gun is under a MAP pricing program, so you'll likely find it for the same price at almost every retailer. It arrived a few days after ordering via UPS Ground.
Basic Gun Information:
The PDR-C is an extremely compact AEG, smaller than a P90 in pretty much every dimension. It uses a custom designed metal gearbox to give you full size AEG internals in a slim receiver that's less than 1.5" wide. Featuring fully ambidextrous controls, the PDR is set up for shooters of pretty much any shape or size. With a bullpup layout, you have a relatively long barrel in this tiny package.
The PDR comes boxed up on a brown cardboard box with orange and black details letting you know that you got a genuine PTS product. The box has an integrated plastic carry handle for convenient transport. Inside, a black high density foam liner has cutouts for the gun as well as its accessories.
Click on the individual thumbnails to see the full size photos
Hey, it's a box!
Along with the gun itself, you'll find a single 70 round capacity short PMag with dust cap, metal flashhider, warranty card, manual, and a plastic replica 5.56 cartridge. There is no included speedloader, so you'll need one to load up the included midcap magazine. Noticeably absent are any iron sights, so you should plan on getting an optic or irons if you want to actually be able to aim with this thing.
Weight: 4.6 lbs
Sight Radius: N/A
Length of Pull: 13.4"
The PDR is constructed almost entirely out of a high strength polymer and features a split receiver design for easy access to the internals. The color is matte black and the overall feel is VERY sturdy. It's not a heavy gun at all, but it feels incredibly solid. The bullpup layout makes it very short but with a decent inner barrel length, almost CQB M4 length.
Overview, right side
Overview, left side
Being that this is a bullpup gun, there's no real stock, but there is a rubber buttpad for comfortable shouldering. The top of the receiver acts as a cheek rest which is removable to access the hop-up. The bottom of the butt portion has a sling mounting hole which is slightly off sized for most QD sling clips I've tested.
Rubber butt pad
Push this little button to open the cheek rest, accessing the hop-up
The pistol grip is a very short design which is connected to the funky angled front grip using the trigger guard. The front grip looks uncomfortable, but it really is quite comfy to hold. The pistol grip is quite short, and is one of my only complaints about the gun as it limits your battery space and the bottom of my hand hangs off the bottom. There is a guy that 3D prints a grip extension for more battery space and a more comfortable grip.
Grip, left side
Grip, right side
There is no selector switch or manual safety on the PDR at all. The trigger itself acts as the safety, due to the split design, similar to a S&W pistol. The trigger also acts as the selector switch, with a half pull giving you semi auto and a full pull giving you full auto. There's a noticeable difference between the two spots, but I still yank it too far and get a burst sometimes. The magazine release is ambidextrous and is a simple push button unit located above the trigger unit.
Semi auto trigger pull
Full auto trigger pull
Above the grip, PTS replicated the real gun's ambidextrous forward ejection system, which is switchable from side to side by pushing the button in front of the port. It's purely a cosmetic feature, but it does look cool.
Ejection port, left side
Ejection port, right side
The outer barrel is hidden away inside the gun, but it is made of metal. It is terminated in a 14mm- threaded muzzle which is recessed inside the body of the gun, making mounting some muzzle devices tricky. The gun had an orange plastic tip installed, but came with a properly designed metal flashhider in the box.
Very unique muzzle device
Recessed threaded muzzle
There are no iron sights located on the gun at all, however you can aim down the gap in the top rail if you hold the gun kind of funkily. I'd advise getting an optic on there ASAP. Due to the short rail in relation to the cheek rest, you'll want something with a medium-high mount.
The PDR-C is awash with Magpul and PTS markings, including on both side of the receiver, on the magazine, and the grip surface is made up of a bunch of tiny Magpul logos. There's also a serial number plate located on the right side of the gun, and I believe the serial numbers are unique to each gun.
Left side markings
Right side markings
Handful of Magpul
The included magazine is a replica 20 round Pmag which actually holds 70 rounds. It's very well made and fits and feeds very well in the PDR. I had some issues with a few magazines fitting in securely, and I fixed this by slightly loosening the two screws on the transfer bar. Once I did this, I didn't have any issues with magazine fitment aside from one mag that got stuck due to a bent catch hole on the mag itself.
Slightly loosen these screws if you have issues with some magazines
Performance after a 500 round break-in, and Airsoft Elite .20g ammo is as follows:
High FPS: 380.2 FPS
Low FPS: 371.6 FPS
Average FPS: 374.9 FPS
Range and accuracy were pretty standard for a short barreled AEG, giving me 150' torso accurate range. The side to side deviation is very minimal due to the great hop-up design, you just run out speed at ranges past 150' in my testing. Short range groupings are quite tight as well, so in a CQB scenario, you should do quite well.
Rate of fire is kind of low with my standard Tenergy 11.1v 20C 1000 mAh LiPo battery, only coming in at 16 RPS. An upgraded motor will do a lot of good here. It does sounds quite smooth when firing though, so things inside are obviously running quite smoothly
Accessing the gearbox isn't too difficult, and I followed this guide by Airsoft Fix. A few screws here and there and the gearbox and barrel assembly pop right out.
Gun split open, you can swap the spring out from here without further disassembly
Gearbox and inner/outer barrel assembly
The gearbox is a full metal unit in a custom layout to allow for fitment into this tiny little gun. It is fitted with what appear to be 8mm ball bearings, metal quick change spring guide, steel gears, short type motor with soldered tabs unfortunately, clear piston with 2 port head, type 0 unported cylinder, and a polymer cylinder head. The air nozzle is short and has an internal O-ring installed. The cylinder head looks like a V6 mounted upside down, but I don't have another one on hand to test it. The airseal is great, even with the measly 2 ports on the piston head. The shim job is actually very well done, but there is an overabundance of grease on several parts inside the gearbox.
Gearbox, right side
Gearbox, left side
Tasty ball bearings
Quick change spring system
Spring and guide
Gearbox opened up
Other side of the shell
Microswitch trigger system
Steel gears with built in sector chip
One weird feature of this gearbox is the BB channel that is build into the front, which docks up with the hop-up system to allow it to feed. Make sure this BB tube is smooth without any casting defects.
Feed tube at the bottom of the gearbox
The inner barrel is 260mm long and is made of brass. It features a nicely designed hop-up window for consistent application. The hop-up bucking is a standard design with a split inner surface, but there is no rubber nub. The gun instead uses a plastic, 2 pronged nub that fits directly in the rotary adjuster.
Outer barrel unit
Shot of the split bucking design
Plastic 2 pronged nub thingy
I won't be doing too many modifications to this gun as frankly, I think it's absolutely gorgeous externally. I threw a CMore type optic on the top rail which gives me a perfect height without coming down too hard with my cheek weld. Internally, I'll probably downgrade the spring a bit, which is very simple with the quick change spring system.
Extremely compact size
Full metal gearbox with relatively standard internal parts
Split bucking hop-up design for accuracy
Very solid build, not too heavy but it feels sturdy
AR mag compatibility
Totally ambidextrous controls
Skirmishable performance out of the box
Great internal components
Short pistol grip gives you limited battery space, pretty much LiPo only
I'm not a fan of the 2 stage trigger
Recessed outer barrel makes adding some barrel accessories tricky
Sling hole too small for many sling clips
Motor tabs are soldered in place
I love to use funky little AEGs, especially when they share compatibility with a common platform like the M4/16. This is a very cool AEG that looks, feels, and performs quite well. It does have a few small quirks like the need to loosen the magazine catch, but overall, I'm really pleased with how the PDR turned out. The ability to use M4 mags means that if you already have an M4/16 in your arsenal, you won't need to go out and buy a whole new set to run this gun. My only real performance complaint is the low rate of fire, but a new motor will likely help out in that department. PTS did a good job with the PDR, and I know I'm keeping my eyes open for what else they can come up with!
Many thanks again to Airsoft Extreme, and of course, Airsoft Retreat!