by American Rifleman Staff - Wednesday, January 10, 2018
Over the years, there have been numerous attempts to hot rod the 5.56x45 mm NATO-chambered AR-15 platform in an effort to push its ballistics closer to those of its big brother, the AR-10 and its 7.62x51 mm NATO cartridge. The 6.5 mm Grendel, 6.8 mm SPC and .300 Blackout are examples of cartridges developed to fit within this envelope. Frank DeSomma, owner and founder of Patriot Ordnance Factory, instead decided to give people exactly what they had been asking for—an AR-15-size platform chambered for the .308 Win. cartridge. Called the Revolution, POF-USA’s newest piston-driven rifle weighs a scant 7 lbs., 4 ozs., and possesses all of the fast-handling characteristics of an AR-15, while boasting the hard-hitting energy of an AR-10.
The Revolution is not simply an adapted AR-10; it is, in fact, closer to an AR-15, sharing many of the same dimensions and parts of the smaller rifle. At first glance, the only indication that the gun is anything other than a .223 rifle is the pregnant-looking magazine well, designed to take Magpul .308 Win. magazines—and yet the distance between the rear takedown pin and the front pivot pin is the same as on the smaller rifle.
DeSomma spent nearly two years developing the Revolution, and what he found was that numerous .223 parts could be used. The charging handle, bolt carrier, fire control group, barrel nut and buffer all carry over from POF’s AR-15 line. The bolt and the barrel extensions outwardly share the .223’s dimensions, but with changed geometry to accommodate the larger .30-cal. cartridge. The gas plug, piston and operating rod of the Revolution remain unchanged from POF’s .223 Rem.-chambered guns.
The company also uses the same 14.5" free-floating M-LOK handguard on the Revolution as it uses on its .223 rifles. It is an extremely rigid platform that anchors at the barrel nut and also has a tail piece that extends over and attaches to the top of the receiver. Steel inserts are embedded in the top of the receiver to prevent its threads from stripping.
The rifle’s bolt carrier group (BCG)uses a roller cam pin designed to eliminate scoring on the inside of the upper receiver. Compared to the traditional rectangular steel cam pin, the roller cam pin design minimizes the stress the BCG imparts on the receiver and enhances the service life of the rifle. The Revolution also possesses the patented E2 (E Squared) dual-extraction system, which involves four shallow grooves cut into the neck area of the chamber. Gas is vented rearward through these channels and pushes against the shell’s shoulder, breaking the seal and easing extraction. It’s a simple solution that reduces stress on the extractor, extending the part’s life and enhancing reliability.
Heat can destroy accuracy and shorten the life of any firearm, and POF has an answer for that threat in the form of its heat sink barrel nut. Machined from aluminum, the part features radiating fins and provides more than three times more surface area than a steel, mil-spec part—POF-USA claims its part is 18 times more effective at dissipating heat.
The manufacturer uses its Gen 4 lower receiver design on the Revolution. Machined from billet aluminum, the lower features an integral, enlarged trigger guard and is completely bilateral. The magazine release, bolt lock and safety/selector can all be operated from either side of the receiver, and receiver tensioning screws eliminate any play between the upper and lower receivers. POF-USA also uses its own drop-in trigger on the Revolution to give the rifle a consistent 4-lb., 8-oz. pull.
POF’s patented anti-tilt “Carrier Cradle” buffer tube eliminates the bolt tipping common to piston-driven ARs and ensures the bolt carrier is always supported even while in battery. The Revolution uses a standard buffer and a mil-spec rifle receiver extension, however, the buffer spring is heavier than the standard AR-15 part. POF-USA outfits the Revolution with a Mission First Tactical Minimalist buttstock that can be adjusted to seven positions.
The company mounts the Revolution’s gas block in the rifle position rather than carbine or mid-length locations, which increases the dwell time and lowers the bolt carrier’s velocity. There are five positions on the gas system, allowing the user to adjust for specific loads or suppressor use. It can also be adjusted and disassembled for cleaning without removing the handguard. A standard-profile barrel, rifled with a 1:10" twist, is used. It is 16.5" in length and is nitride-treated for corrosion and wear resistance. POF-USA outfits the rifle’s fluted barrel with a three-port muzzle brake designed to control gas dispersion and reduce muzzle rise. During our trips to the range this device proved to be very effective.
For the accuracy portion of our evaluation, we mounted a Trijicon 5-20X AccuPoint scope on the rifle. POF-USA offers a one-m.o.a. accuracy guarantee on the Revolution, and our results proved the rifle is capable of surpassing that goal. The single best group was fired with Federal Premium’s 175-gr. BTHP ammunition, and measured just 0.48".
Undoubtedly, folks will wonder how significantly a lightweight .308 Win. recoils. We were pleased to discover that, in this case, the answer is not badly at all. In a single range session, we fired more than 200 rounds from the bench, and were none the worse for wear. One evaluator opined that, more than anything else, the Revolution shot like an over-gassed 5.56 mm NATO rifle. Firing from the bench, we were able to watch bullet impacts at 100 yds. The test sample also functioned flawlessly during our 300-round function testing.
POF-USA’s Revolution possesses all the accuracy of a heavier, harder-kicking, bolt-action rifle in a trim, lightweight, autoloading package. Its numerous innovations and well-executed manufacture make it an appealing option for anyone in the market for a .308 Win.-chambered semi-automatic rifle.
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