BUILDING A REVOLUTION
.308 WIN. POWER IN AN AR-15 PACKAGE
POF-USA’s revolutionary new Revolution rifle gives fullsized .308 Win. power in a standard AR-15-sized package.
It is no secret that Eugene Stoner’s AR platform is the best-selling rifle in the United States, with numerous manufacturers jumping on the bandwagon in recent years.
In general terms, ARs come in two sizes—AR-15 and AR-10. The AR-15 is most associated with 5.56mm/.223 Remington and the AR-10 with 7.62 NATO/.308 Winchester. Many would characterize the AR-10 as an AR-15 on steroids because of its larger size, larger caliber and heavier weight. It is taken for granted the AR-10 will be of greater size due to the need to accommodate the larger .308 Win. Cartridge.
Challenging this assumption is the purpose of this article.
The AR-10 actually predates the AR-15. Eugene Stoner first introduced the AR-10 in 1956 in a hasty effort to compete against the M14 in the U.S. Army weapon trials. Stoner
designed the AR-10 around direct-impingement gas operation combined with innovative straight-line barrel/stock design using composite and forged alloy parts. In 1957, the basic AR-10 design was scaled down and substantially modified by ArmaLite to accommodate the .223 Remington cartridge and was given the designation, AR-15. The rest is history.
Without a doubt, the Patriot Ordnance Factory (POF-USA) Revolution AR rifle will change users’ thoughts about how a 7.62 NATO/.308 Win. AR rifle can be configured.
While we will focus specifically on the POF-USA Revolution for this article, POF offers numerous models—direct impingement and piston driven—as well as multiple caliber chamberings. From the beginning, POF charted its own path in enhancing the AR platform with innovative features.
What separates the POF Revolution from other .308 Win. AR-10s? Often, the AR-10 is associated with an unwieldy profile weighing substantially more than 9 pounds. POF-USA has made a conscious effort with the Revolution to harness .308 Win. power within an AR-15 frame, thus offering the user superior terminal ballistics while maintaining svelte handling. The Revolution is not merely a reduced-scale AR-10 rifle: it uses the samelength bolt carrier assembly, handguard, barrel extension, charging handle, upper/lower receiver, etc. as the AR-15 while being chambered in .308 Win.
CHALLENGE THE NORM
POF features that have created a cult-like following are present on the Revolution, along with some new ones; for example, fully ambidextrous billet receivers, a high phosphate nickel-coated bolt carrier group, five-position adjustable gas piston and a single-stage match-grade trigger. The POF Revolution measures 34 inches with the Mission First Tactical stock collapsed and weighs 7.3 pounds.
The Revolution rifle tested for this article features a Burnt Bronze finish (black and NP3 are also options). It features a 16.5-inch, 1:10 twist, fluted chrome-alloy barrel that is nitride heat-treated for full corrosion resistance. A POFdesigned triple port muzzle brake aids in recoil management and flash suppression.
Magpul PMAG LR/SR 7.62 magazines are included with the POF Revolution. In my opinion, this is a huge plus. Magpul’s PMAG LR magazine is quickly becoming the standard .308 Win. AR magazine. A quality magazine is a linchpin for a reliably functioning semiautomatic or select-fire weapon.
POF-USA will never be accused of being stagnant or resting on the designs of others. It was quite the engineering feat to attain the impressive weight/frame dimensions of the overall rifle, but in addition to that, POF-USA has a number of patented improvements it incorporates into its rifles.
First, POF’s patented E2 dual-extraction method consists of four small channels cut into the walls of the chamber, allowing a small amount of gas pressure to push against the neck of the spent case. This pressure assists in extraction by breaking the seal between the chamber and case, as well as pushing the spent case to the rear as the extractor is pulling to the rear. This removes a tremendous amount of work that would otherwise be left up to the extractor.
Next, the POF-patented, oversized, 3-inch-long heat sink barrel nut is another significant improvement. The POF barrel nut is much more efficient at heat dissipation than the standard AR barrel arrangement. Additional benefits are that the operating rod is better supported to the bolt carrier; and it strengthens the upper receiver—especially when an accessory or vertical foregrip is mounted to the forend.
The POF-USA bolt carrier is one-piece, high phosphate nickel coated, with the mechanical key built into the body and positioned behind the cam pin. This patented design helps reduce carrier tilt. The bolt, extractor and firing pin are all chrome plated. Both finishes are corrosion resistant and introduce lubricious characteristics into the action.
Innovation does not stop here. The patented roller cam pin was created to reduce friction and drag in the action. Standard AR cam pins have square steel heads that can literally grind and carve away at the inside of the receiver. POF-USA’s NP3-coated roller head actually rolls inside the channel of the upper, thus eliminating friction and prolonging the life of the upper receiver.
POF calls its Modular Railed Receiver (MRR) its “crown jewel for precision and extreme rigidity.” This is a two-piece upper assembly with a free-floating monolithic handguard that slides on and interfaces directly to the upper assembly—not the barrel interface—using POF’s reinforced “backbone.” This keeps all the weight of the grip and accessories off the barrel for a true and secure free-floated barrel. The handguard has more than six points of attachment to make sure the rail doesn’t move, even under the most rigorous use. The forend is full M-Lok compatible with top and bottom sections of the rail at the front, for sights and a bipod, or other accessories. Four QD sling mount slots round out the forend.
The POF-USA Revolution rifle utilizes a self-regulating, shortstroke gas piston operating system, ensuring reliability in the harshest of conditions. The principal improvement comes from eliminating the venting of hot, carbon-laden gasses into the receiver and bolt carrier group. This reduces the cleaning requirements associated with direct-gas-impingement ARs. It also means the bolt carrier group and associated springs are not subjected to the searing heat of the trapped gasses—this being one of the major causes of small parts failure. The POF five-position gas setting further ensures a user can adjust to fine-tune performance with different ammunition and with changing environmental conditions, not to mention better employ a suppressor if mission/use dictates this.
The final touches that set up the POF Revolution for success are the triple-port muzzle brake and POF drop-in trigger. The POF muzzle device is nitride heat-treated to control gas dispersion and reduce muzzle rise, allowing the shooter to have faster follow-up shots and dampen felt recoil.
A nice touch that helps set both aesthetic and martial tone are the blunt strike prongs on the end of the brake. The trigger is a single-stage, non-adjustable, 4.5-pound-pull-weight, dropin trigger. KNS Precision Anti-walk pins are used to secure the trigger into the lower receiver.
RUNNING AND GUNNING
My guiding thought for the POF Revolution evaluation was to treat it similarly to an AR-15 in terms of setting up scenarios that put it to the test to evaluate its handling and ability to send multiple rounds downrange quickly and effectively. Working in and around vehicles provides this type of realistic feedback.
In an effort to maximize the POF Revolution’s potential in terms of accuracy and flexibility, a Trijicon AccuPower 1-8x28mm
WITHOUT A DOUBT, THE PATRIOT ORDNANCE
FACTORY (POF-USA) REVOLUTION AR RIFLE WILL CHANGE USERS’ THOUGHTS ABOUT HOW A 7.62 NATO/.308 WIN. AR RIFLE CAN BE CONFIGURED.
The Trijicon AccuPower 1-8x28mm 34mm tube optic was mounted on the POF-USA Revolution’s railed upper receiver. The 1-8x power range offered by the AccuPower solves any conundrum posed by other, morelimited optic magnification options.
The barrel extension is the same diameter as the M16 barrel extension. Only the feed ramps are changed to handle the large, .308/7.62x51mm cartridge. 34mm tube optic was mounted on the railed upper receiver. The 1-8x power range offered by the AccuPower solves any conundrum posed by other, more-limited optic magnification options. I have come to rely upon the Trijicon 1-8x for many of my recent rifle reviews, thanks to its magnification range. This allows for close-range training evolutions with a 1x illuminated reticle, as well as engaging targets with greater precision at distance, because of the 8x.
Initial accuracy testing involved a Trijicon AccuPower 4.5-30x56mm optic and a Champion pedestal rest and bags, combined with premium .308 Win. ammunition in the form of Federal 168-grain Match, SIG Sauer 168-grain Match, Winchester 168-grain Match, Black Hills 168-grain Match and Hornady TAP 168-grain. FMJ Winchester (147 grain) was used for high round-count drills. The Revolution produced MOA groups with the Federal 168-grain and only slightly larger with the SIG Sauer, Hornady and Black Hills.
While the Revolution was more than capable of connecting with various steel targets arrayed along Echo Valley Training Center’s (EVTC) stepped berm out to 330 yards, working with it inside its 360 range and Hesco Shoot House would be the true measure of whether the Revolution delivered on its promise of a different sort of .308 Win. AR.
Drills started out with working around simulated cover while engaging designated targets in and around EVTC’s
vehicles to allow evaluators to get a “feel.” Scenarios were then set up to force magazine changes, as well as moving to various firing points.
Eventually, the POF Revolution was moved to within vehicle confines, where evaluators fired on targets from the range vehicles, as well as quickly exiting the car while maintaining rounds sent downrange (steel targets are struck with awesome authority when 150-plus grains smack into them, especially from close range. It is easy to tell the difference between 5.56mm and .308 Win. impacts at any distance).
BEWARE OF THE MAN WITH ONLY ONE RIFLE
For a rifle to be considered truly versatile, it must be able to satisfy multiple roles with equal aplomb. A definite candidate for this title is the POF-USA Revolution chambered in .308 Win. Ballistic and terminal effect potency makes the .308 Win. a favorite among our troops and law enforcement personnel in more-rural environments. A look at the resurrection of the
THE REVOLUTION IS NOT MERELY A REDUCEDSCALE AR-10 RIFLE: IT USES THE SAME-LENGTH BOLT CARRIER ASSEMBLY, HANDGUARD, BARREL EXTENSION, CHARGING HANDLE, UPPER/LOWER RECEIVER, ETC. AS THE AR-15 WHILE BEING CHAMBERED IN .308 WIN.
M-14 and most AR manufacturers maintaining an AR-10 in their model lineups support this observation.
In many users’ minds, the added weight of most AR-10 platforms compared to the smaller AR-15 negates inherent AR qualities of handling. The combination of the great-handling AR-15 platform with the increased power represented in the .308 Win. cartridge is the key to the Revolution’s allure. This is in relation to the Revolution’s lethality and effective range, while still allowing for multiple rounds sent quickly downrange if needed, in a closerange mêlée. In training courses involving law enforcement, military and private security contractors, the mantra of “one mag, one kill” is often repeated when referring to the M16/AR-15. While the 5.56mm round is often chided regarding lethality, the .308 Win. does not suffer from this reputation. POF-USA HAS
MADE A CONSCIOUS EFFORT WITH THE REVOLUTION TO HARNESS .308 WIN. POWER WITHIN AN AR-15 FRAME, THUS OFFERING THE USER SUPERIOR TERMINAL BALLISTICS WHILE MAINTAINING SVELTE HANDLING.
The Revolution’s standard-length AR-15 charging handle and bolt group. POF-USA provides a onepiece, high phosphate nickel-coated bolt carrier with the mechanical key built into the body and positioned behind the “roller” cam pin.
Years of experience and dozens of training courses have given me strong opinions about what constitutes an effective fighting rifle. To me, that means a return to AR basics, such as great-handling rifles with potent firepower. The POF Revolution’s ability to maintain a functional weight of 7.3 pounds while featuring .308 firepower is hard to deny as a potential candidate for “all-around” performer.
The Revolution proved reliable throughout this evaluation. Approximately 550 rounds were fired, many of them rapidly, without cleaning the rifle during multiple range visits. When considering handling and maneuvering, the Revolution is superior to other AR-10 rifles I have tested.
The Revolution equally covers the gamut of likely situations encountered by law enforcement or security-conscious civilians. This reflects the POF’s design and use of the .308 Win. chambering. POF-USA’s thought process was to create a lightweight, simple-to-operate AR rifle similar to Eugene Stoner’s original concept while accessing the .308’s power.
The Revolution is not merely a reduced-scale AR-10 rifle: it uses the same-length bolt carrier assembly, handguard, barrel extension, charging handle, upper/lower receiver, etc. as the AR-15 while being chambered in .308 Win. GW
There is a plethora of AR-10-style rifles vying for consumer attention, whether they are individuals,departments or other entities. The POF-USA Revolution is worthy of consideration based on innovative design, attention to detail and the quality of materials used in its manufacture.
The POF-USA Revolution could be the answer to fulfilling a multitude of roles—precision rifle, general-purpose patrol rifle or entry weapon. This is a positive reflection on the rifle’s accuracy, reliability, handling and ergonomics.
POF’s triple-port muzzle brake is nitride heat-treated— designed to control gas dispersion and reduce muzzle rise. Note that the adjustable gas valve is easily accessed in front of the forend rail.
The Revolution features fully ambidextrous billet lower and upper receivers.The POF Modular Railed Receiver(MRR) system is a two-piece upper assembly with a freefloating, monolithic handguard that slides on and interfaces directly to the upper assembly—thanks to the POF-reinforced “backbone.”
The POF’s trigger is a single-stage, non-adjustable, drop-in trigger with a 4.5-pound pull weight.
Drills involving the tight confines associated with working around vehicles were used to evaluate the POF Revolution.I
There is no doubting .308 Win. punch. Many consider a .308 Win. AR, such as the Revolution, the perfect balance of firepower effectiveness.
POF-USA’s patented E2 dual-extraction method consists of four small channels cut into the walls of the chamber that allow a small amount of gas pressure to push against the neck of the spent case. Note the lines formed into the case necks in the photo.
POF-USA Revolution’s innate accuracy results shown. These groups were fired from the bench using a Champion front pedestal and rear bag and with a Trijicon 4.5-30x scope mounted.I
The Revolution bolt carrier group (left) next to a “normal,” full-sized AR-10 POF bolt carrier (Photo: POF-USA)