September 05, 2017
Patriot Ordnance Factory (POF-USA) is known for its innovative approach to designing and building AR-style rifles. The company sources all its raw materials from the United States, and every step in making every part is done in the U.S. POF-USA guns have earned stellar reputations.
Now the company has unveiled a 7.62 NATO/.308 Winchester AR that's the same weight and size as a 5.56mm/.223 Remington AR. It's appropriately named the Revolution.
Inside the Revolution
Shooting Times received a sample of the new gun right off the production line, and I put it through a rigorous review. It lived up to POF-USA's high standards.
The new Revolution is a short-stroke piston-driven gas-operated AR and uses a rifle-length gas system with a five-position gas block. The finger-adjustable knob that controls the amount of gas that flows rearward into the action is located at the front end of the gas block where it can be accessed easily.
The top of the gas-control knob has a notch and is marked with an "N." For "NORMAL" function, the "N" and the notch face up and the detent button faces 90 degrees to the right (looking at it from the muzzle). This is the recommended position for most commercial ammunition. For "ADVERSE" function, meaning reduced gas, the knob should be turned 45 degrees. In this position the knob's detent button is facing 45 degrees to the right. For use with a suppressor, the knob is rotated until the smooth side of the knob is facing up (the smooth side of the knob is the exact opposite side from the notch and "N").
This is "SUPPRESSED" mode, and gas is restricted to compensate for the added backpressure from a suppressor. In this position the button faces 90 degrees to the left. There's also a "SUPPRESSED2" setting, in which the smooth side of the knob is turned 45 degrees (pointing to the right). This increases gas flow, which may be necessary with some suppressors. And if you want to shut the gas off completely and turn the Revolution into a single-shot carbine, place the knob with the button facing straight up and the smooth side pointing 90 degrees to the right.
By the way, POF-USA states that the Revolution can be safely loaded in single- shot mode by manually inserting a cartridge directly into the chamber. That's different than other semiautomatic .308 rifles, such as the M1A, that shooters are specifically warned against loading in that manner. Those guns are to be fed a single cartridge from the magazine rather than manually inserting one into the chamber.
The Revolution also uses a matchgrade, 16.5-inch-long, chrome-moly barrel with a 1:10-inch twist. The barrel is fluted, nitride coated (to resist corrosion), threaded at the muzzle, and fitted with a three-port muzzle brake. Actually, the muzzle brake has three large oval-shaped ports on each side and three small round ports on top.
The barrel also has POF-USA's patented E2 chamber. According to the company, E2 dual-extraction technology 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. This pressure assists in extraction by breaking the seal between the chamber and the case as well as pushing the spent case to the rear as the extractor is pulling to the rear, removing a good amount of work that would otherwise be left up to the extractor.
The Revolution wears POF-USA's 15-inch-long, free-floated aluminum handguard that's monolithic in design with a portion of it extending rearward over the top of the upper receiver.
It has three integral rail sections, and it accepts M-LOK-compatible accessories.
One of the handguard's built-in rail sections is a 7.5-inch-long section that extends from the rear of the upper forward, and it provides ample optic-mounting surface. The other two rail sections are at the front of the handguard, and both are 2.5 inches long. One is on top of the handguard and the other is on the underneath side, and together they make for easy mounting of folding back-up iron sights, a bipod, a flashlight, or a laser. Additionally, sections of rail can be attached to the handguard at just about any position.
The upper and lower receivers are machined aluminum and are black anodized and NP3 coated. On my sample they are beautifully matched. They have a number of very nice features, including an integral oversize trigger guard and fully ambidextrous bolt catch, magazine release, two-position safety, and charging handle.
The carbine has a very nice single-stage match-grade trigger. According to my RCBS trigger pull scale, my Revolution's trigger pull averaged 4 pounds, 11 ounces with very little variation over a series of five measurements. It had very little take-up and is one of the best AR triggers I've squeezed.
All of that is great, but to me the really exciting news is the 7.62 NATO/.308 Win. lower receiver is the same length from takedown pin to pivot pin as the lower receiver of a 5.56mm/.223 Rem. AR. The distance between pins measures roughly 6.44 inches, center to center, same as for a 5.56mm POF P415 I had on hand for comparison. Typically, a 7.62/.308 lower receiver is longer and the pins are farther apart. For example, the pin holes for a Smith & Wesson M&P10 I've been shooting are 6.88 inches apart, center to center.
Of course, the mag well of the Revolution is wider than a 5.56mm mag well. But that's to be expected so it can accommodate 7.62/.308 magazines.
In addition, the Revolution's bolt carrier and bolt are the same length as the carrier and bolt for a 5.56mm AR. Again, a typical 7.62/.308 bolt carrier is substantially longer than that of a 5.56mm AR.
The Revolution's bolt carrier group is NP3 coated, as is the cam pin roller. The roller cam pin is the same as used for POF-USA's 5.56mm ARs. Actually, POF-USA uses an AR-15 lower parts kit except for the ambidextrous magazine button. The heat-sink barrel nut is also the same as on POF-USA's 5.56mm AR-15s. Other features of the Revolution are the Mission First Tactical (MFT) pistol grip, the adjustable MFT BMSMIL stock, and the 20-round Magpul PMAG magazine.
The barrel extension, upper receiver, lower receiver, buffer tube, buffer spring, and bolt assembly are proprietary parts.
The Revolution at the Range
For my shooting session with the 7.62/.308 Revolution, I installed a brand-new Nikon BLACK FORCE1000 1-4X 24mm optic, and I banged away with 10 different .308 Win. factory loads — first for accuracy at 100 yards and then for fun at targets set up at various random distances.
The BLACK FORCE1000 scope is designed to deliver fast targeting speed, repeatable precision, and superior accuracy for AR-type rifles. It features true 1X magnification and 4X zoom, rugged construction with metal-capped turrets, lead-free and arsenic-free multicoated glass, an aircraft-grade aluminum-alloy 30mm main tube, Type-III hard anodizing surface finish, and a glass-etched illuminated double-horseshoe reticle located in the second focal plane. It was perfect for use on the new Revolution.
POF-USA says no break-in period is required for the Revolution's barrel, so I quickly got to work. However, before the shooting commenced, I made sure to generously lubricate the bolt carrier group and sparingly lubricate the buffer tube. The piston system is supposed to run dry, according to the manufacturer, so I didn't lube it.
As for the accuracy results, the details are listed in the accompanying chart. Briefly, the load with the best accuracy turned out to be the HSM 165-grain GameKing. It averaged 1.29 inches at 100 yards. Five out of the 10 loads tested averaged less than 1.50 inches.
The load with the highest velocity was Hornady's 150-grain InterBond. It averaged 2,725 fps. The load with the best extreme spread (9 fps) and standard deviation (3 fps) was HSM's 165-grain TSX. Single-digit extreme spread and standard deviation are pretty unusual in my experience and indicates that the loading was extremely consistent.
A couple other factory loads I fired in the Revolution deserve a mention. One is Federal's brand-new Tactical Tip MatchKing load that features a 168-grain tipped Sierra MatchKing bullet, and the other is HSM's Low Recoil loading that is loaded with a Sierra 150-grain polymer-tipped GameKing bullet that was developed exclusively for HSM.
According to Federal, the Tactical Tip MatchKing bullet's polymer tip provides excellent accuracy and the tapered jacket allows rapid yet controlled expansion on impact to maximize the terminal effect. The bullet's ballistic coefficient is 0.490. This new ammo is specifically designed for use in semiautomatic rifles and utilizes low-flash propellants, the best Federal brass, and crimped primers. As you can see from the chart, it was nicely accurate in the Revolution, and it generated a velocity of 2,549 fps out of the 16.5-inch barrel.
The HSM Low Recoil ammo was pleasant to shoot. It had a low velocity (averaging 2,117 fps), which makes for mild recoil, but it was not so low that it caused functioning problems with the Revolution's gas block set for "NORMAL" ammunition.
Using an online recoil calculator, I determined its recoil is somewhere between 7.5 and 8.0 ft-lbs. The other low-recoil load I fired (Federal's 170-grain SP) was even lower in velocity, averaging 1,748 fps, and it functioned fine as well. I did have a couple of light firing pin strikes with the Federal load, but both of those cartridges fired upon a second try.
With the shooting for accuracy complete, I put the Revolution through several informal drills, shooting at distances ranging from 15 yards to 200 yards. While the recoil was noticeably greater than that generated by a 5.56mm AR, it was manageable because of the muzzle brake, and double-taps were fairly fast to make on the close targets. The Revolution was as responsive and easy to transition from target to target as any of my 5.56mm carbines.
The Revolution was quite loud, due no doubt to the muzzle brake and the short 16.5-inch barrel. Even with foam plugs inserted into my ears and a set of muffs over them, it still made my ears ring. That was not unexpected because excessive loudness is, in my experience, common to all sub-18-inch unsuppressed .308s.
POF-USA's motto is "Relentless Reliability and American Innovation." With the 7.62 Revolution, the company has certainly lived up to the innovation part. Time will tell if the Revolution will provide relentless reliability, but it did in my limited experience.