The DRD Tactical Paratus-16 7.62x51mm rifle is designed to fit into a covert 16x10x6 inch case. Shown equipped with an L-3 EOTech EXPS2-2 holographic weapon sight and G33 3.25X magnifier unit, a SureFire SF3P-762 flash suppressor, and a Magpul RVG foregrip

When it comes to military small-arms design, there seems to be a constant pursuit of the right balance of power and compactness. Understandably, those going into harm’s way want as much power as possible in as small a package as is manageable. For the everyday soldier, the parameters of such a rifle or carbine are roughly 6 to 10 pounds with an overall length not exceeding 40 inches. For those with tighter space constraints (or more covert roles), those parameters tighten up significantly.

The mid-length gas system has a low-profile gas block forward of the forend

The current solution to this issue is, primarily, the personal defense weapon (PDW), a hybrid that combines the compact dimensions of a submachine gun with the increased power of a bottlenecked cartridge (such as FN’s 5.7x28mm or HK’s 4.6x30mm). In addition to weapons being designed for these proprietary cartridges, there has also been an effort to radically cut the size of traditional rifles and carbines down to ultra-compact packages while retaining the original, full-power rifle chambering. Good examples of these ultra-compacts are the FN SCAR PDW in 5.56mm and the LWRC M6A2 UCIW in 5.56mm or 6.8 SPC.

However, there is another approach from one of the newer names in the firearms industry. Enter DRD (Defense Research & Development) Tactical’s Paratus-16, a semi-automatic 7.62x51mm rifle that breaks down for extremely compact storage and transportation. This is a full-featured rifle that offers the power and capabilities of a frontline military rifle with the ability to collapse into a size smaller than the tiniest PDW. Undoubtedly, this platform would appeal to those who must travel into dangerous locations and maintain as low a profile as possible.

The author equipped the rifle with an L-3 EOTech EXPS2-2 HWS and backed it up with the company’s G33 3.25X magnifier unit.

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The DRD Tactical Paratus-16 7.62x51mm rifle is designed to fit into a covert 16x10x6…