The PV-13 rifle by Head Down Products
I won this PV13 (13″ Provectus Rail system) rifle from Head Down Products, LLC. through the ShootersLegion.com contest. My first thought was “Holy crap, I just won a rifle!” My second thought was, “Who the hell is Head Down Products?”
There wasn’t a lot of info about them online so I wasn’t sure of what to expect from the Provectus rifle. When the team at Head Down called me to confirm my FFL’s info, I asked them if I could pay for expedited shipping as unless it arrived by Friday, I’d have to wait until Tuesday when my FFL would be open again to pick it up and I had a trip planned for Monday. They offered to personally go to UPS to drop it off to make sure it got out in time, since UPS had already picked up for the day – that’s after they checked to see if there was any way to get it to me in time without me having to pay extra. That says a lot about Head Down Products.
When I opened the case at my FFL, the two guys browsing came over to check it out. One whistled, and the other went “Wow! Wow that’s nice!” I couldn’t agree more. Now, to me, the A-10 Warthog is both the ugliest and prettiest plane ever made and that’s kinda what this rifle reminds me of. The hard lines of the billeted upper and lowers, the sleek stock, the perfectly sized hand guard… Yeah, it’s a good looking rifle and there’s no mistaking it as anything but a serious piece of hardware.
Specs from Head Down’s site:
- Caliber: 5.56 NATO
- Barrel Length: 16″ HDP Profile, Melonite coating inside and out
- Rate of Fire: Semi-Auto or Select Fire (LE/GOV Only)
- Rifling: 1/7″ RH (5.56)
- Handguard: HD Provectus 13″ Rail System
- Stock: HDF Stock (A TI-7)
- Pistol Grip: ErgoGrip.net Rubber Ambi Grip
- Magazine: 1x 30 Round Gen 2 Magpul P-Mag
- Muzzle Device: A2 Flash Hider
- Overall Length: 36.6″
- KNS anti-walk trigger and hammer pins
- NIBX (Nickel Boron) coated bolt carrier group
- Geissele 2-stage trigger
- Melonite coated steel barrel
- Precision milled billet upper and lower receiver
- Intregal trigger guard
- Type III hard coat anodize finish
- Flared magazine well
- Upper receiver & bolt carrier treated with Froglube®
- Lower receiver is marked “CALIBER: MULTI”
- Standard with a hard rifle case
In the case Head Down Products included a couple tubes of Frog Lube because they treat all their rifles with it, which is actually pretty darn cool. They also included a single gen 2 Magpul 30rnd P-Mag, which is standard. I’ve been spoiled by my pistols all coming with multiple mags so it would have been nice to have received 2, but such is life.
When I got the new boomstick home, I took another good look at it, but something was different. I could see a number of blemish spots on the stock not, the brass deflector and other spots . All cosmetic but still annoying. Included are pictures of the spots. UPDATE: I heard back from Head Down about this — The blemishes were from the test fire of the rifle before it shipped, which makes sense for where they are and how they look.
I tossed a Leupold VX-R 1.25-4x scope and a bipod on it, grabbed the dirtiest Wolf .223 ammo i had and hit the range. It took about 10 shots to get the rifle zeroed at 50m and then we moved out to 75m to play on the paper. Even with Wolf our shots were grouping nicely. It was after about 200 rounds of playing on the close paper that we realized the club had put steel plates out at 150m. This was new. Tom and I grabbed our gear and moved over to the end lanes to try the plates.
At 150m, with1.25x magnification, and me not wearing my prescription glasses, I had no trouble thwacking the plates. The Geiselle 2-stage trigger is so incredibly fast that you can burn through ammo stupidly fast – and yet accurately. And let me tell you, this trigger is one of the crispest triggers I’ve ever diddled.
30 rounds in maybe 8 seconds, all on target. I’m sure with better ammo this rifle will fire sub-MOA and hit whatever you can see.
This rifle just feels awesome. The TI-7 stock gives a great cheek weld, the ErgoGrip.net pistol grip is decent, the hand guard is outstanding.
I would like to change out the pistol grip for a Hogue over molded one, with battery storage. Not that this ErgoGrip doesn’t feel nice; it does. It’s not that its storage compartment isn’t functional; it is. It’s not that the rubber overmold isn’t grippy enough; it grips. But it just doesn’t excel in those areas compared to the Hogue. If I wasn’t used to the Hogue, I probably would be happy with the stock grip though.
The 13″ scalloped railed Provectus hand guard, on the other hand, is damn near perfect. It’s the perfect diameter for my hand to fully grip it (about 1/4″ short of being able to fully enclose it in my hand, and I don’t have big hands) and yet still has built in rails at the ends: the top is a full length rail, but the bottom and sides have short rails with ramps to the rear. Not only are they in the perfect spots to mount your gear like bipods or lights, but the ramped backs give you natural indexing points so you don’t grab too far forward and burn yourself on your barrel. Considering how I like to have an attached indexing handstop, this turned out to be an excellent alternative. The only issue is that you can’t mount rails elsewhere on the sides or bottom, but the tradeoff is worth it for the smooth comfort of the handguard. The short rails do have non-rotating points to mount QD Sling mounts, which is really nice. They hold my Troy and UTG sling mounts tight without any slippage. Nice. The handguard also has a 1.8″ inside diameter, which allows a supressor to slip inside if needed. The handguard can get pretty warm after a couple hundred rounds, but the cutouts greatly help the cooling.
We’ve put about 1000 rounds through the rifle and haven’t had a single malfunction, even without cleaning. Not one.
And speaking of cleaning, the fact that all rifles from Head Down Products, LLC. are treated with Froglube, cleanup is a BREEZE — it’s that extra attention to detail that makes me love this company.
This rifle is just plain awesome. Light, fast, accurate, pretty, runs smoothly — if you’re looking for a new AR, you won’t go wrong here. I can’t wait to get over to Pelham to go play on the 600m lanes!
UPDATE: I went to replace the retention plate on the stock with a DD sling plate adaptor. I found that Head Down had staked down the castle nut, which is great as it shows that attention to detail that makes this rifle stand out.
FIT AND FINISH:
ATTENTION TO DETAILS: