Review: POF-USA Revolution: 7.62 Power in a 5.56 sized Package

In recent years, “compact” .308 AR-style rifles have come onto the scene.  I say “AR-style” rather than AR10/SR25 being that the rifles I’m referring to are a blend of both, or in the case of the Colt 901, a system unto itself.  The most widely known may be the DPMS GII series, but there are also offerings from higher quality manufacturers, one of the newer ones being from POF-USA: The Revolution.  I must admit, I was pretty excited to see what POF-USA would bring to the table with their version of a compact .308 AR.  Here are the quick facts on the Revolution from POF-USA

Caliber: 7.62×51 NATO

Chamber: E2 Extraction Technology

Action: Semi-Auto, short stroke gas piston system

Weight: 7.3lbs/3.31kg

Barrel: 16.5″/36.83cm match-grade nitride heat-treated

Rifling:  1:10, 5/8×24 barrel threads

Length: 34″/86.36cm collapsed

Finish:  Black Anodized

Gas Block:  5-position adjustable

Handguard:  14.5″ M-LOK MRR free-floating rail

Muzzle Device:  Triple Port muzzle brake

Trigger:  4.5lb POF-USA drop-in with KNS anti-walk pins

Furniture:  Mission First Tactical

Accuracy: MOA with proper ammo and shooter ability

Fire Control:  Gen4 Billet Lower receiver, ambi bolt release, safety, bolt catch, mag release

Maintenance:  Remove gas plug to clean gas block and piston system without removing handguard. No tools required.  Standard receiver/carrier group field strip procedures

Includes:  High phosphate nickel coated bolt carrier group, Chrome plated bolt, 7-Position anti-tilt buffer tube, Magpul 20-round magazine, Teflon receiver tension screws

First Impressions:

The POF-USA Renegade came in a nice enough plastic hard case.  Upon opening, it was immediately apparent this wasn’t just another .308 AR.  The rifle had the heft and balance of most of the AR15s on the rack at my local FFL.  I have two ARs chambered in .308, a LWRC REPR and a JP LRP-07.  This rifle in comparison made the REPR feel like a boat anchor, and was even lighter than my LRP-07 by a full pound! The rifle was properly lubricated right out of the box, and pulling back on the ambidextrous “Tomahawk” charging handle smoothly racked the bolt.  The trigger (a drop-in unit) broke and reset crisply and consistently at an average of 4lbs 7oz over 10 pulls.  I was already familiar with POF-USA’s adjustable gas piston system, having a very early version of their P416 5.56 piston upper that was sold by DSA, Inc. back in the paper catalogue and telephone days.  It’s a quality system that’s easy to adjust without any tools, and cleans easily without having to remove the handguard at all.

Notice lighter grey tensioning screw on top of lower receiver above rear takedown pin.  This is how clean the lower was after 240 rounds of various manufacture.  The piston system keeps it pretty clean.

There were no marks or blemishes on the rifle, and the fit and finish looked perfect from every angle.  There was no wobble or rattle between upper and lower receiver.  While this is usually the case due to POF-USA’s attention to detail, the Revolution ensures consistency in this attribute by fitting the rifle with receiver tension screws.  POF-USA’s tension screws are located on top of the lower so they are easily accessed and adjustable by the end user without having to remove the pistol grip.  The handguard was properly fitted and indexed, and featured M-Lok slots, which I’m sure will please Patrick R.

The key to the Revolution’s reduced size is the use of an AR-15 sized bolt carrier.  I compared its bolt to that of the LWRC REPR, a .308 piston AR, and another Piston AR-15 carrier from Barrett.  The size is far smaller than that of the REPR, and bolt head wall thickness was far thinner, at .0445″ for the POF vs .0930″ for the LWRC.  Potential buyers should note:  The Revolution did not come with any iron sights.  The selection of sights and/or optics is completely up to the end user.  Overall, the Revolution was extremely well-put together and fit and finish was excellent out of the box.  It was time to take it to the range and see how it all fit together.

Bolts, top to bottom: Rec-7, Revolution, REPR

Revolution bolt head on the left, REPR on the right

Range Report:

Set for testing with various ammo, optics, and magazines

I brought the Revolution to the range along with 5 different loads of ammunition, a long range optic for accuracy testing, and a mid-range optic for rapid target engagement and 3-gun style shooting.  Accuracy testing went well.  POF-USA touts the Revolution as a 1MOA capable gun, and I found that to hold largely true with the best performing load, Black Hills’ 168gr BTHP.  Most other loads were in the 1-2″ range.  The worst performer, however, was Federal Fusion 165gr at 4.21″.  Many ARs do not like soft point bullets.  The Revolution didn’t do so well with Federal Fusion SPs, but printed a respectable 1.9″ group with Nosler Partition bullets, proving itself to be a viable hunting rifle.  I was impressed by the Revolution’s repeatable cold-bore accuracy, however.  The 168gr BTHP load would hit within 1/2 MOA of zero every time I let the barrel cool for a long while between strings.

Cold-bore shots were on-point!

Accuracy results, 5 shot groups fired from a bench with bipod and rear bag, groups measured center-center with a micrometer:

  • Black Hills 175gr BTHP: 2″
  • Black HIlls 168gr BTHP: 1.2″
  • Winchester 147gr FMJ: 2″
  • Federal Premium 180gr Nosler Partition: 1.9″
  • Federal Fusion 165gr SP: 4.21″

Firing the Revolution off the bench was a pretty pleasant experience, even though it is a relatively light .308.  The muzzle brake more than offset the light weight.  As long as I kept the bipod “loaded”, there was no “hop”, and I was able to require sight picture rapidly.  Once I was done shooting groups, I mounted the short to midrange optic, rezeroed, and started rapidly transitioning targets from various positions.  This was to simulate 3-gun style competitions.  The light weight made it easy to control the rifle well, and offhand shots out to 300 yards were not fatiguing.  Off a barricade, braced shots on the 500 yard plate were easy to control as well.  I am a big fan of MFT’s Battlelink Minimalist stock, as I find it is light weight and sits very securely in my shoulder pocket.  The Revolution was very easy to shoulder and snap onto target quickly due to its light weight.  I did find that the muzzle brake had a tendency for a recoil impulse that drives the sight picture up and to the right a bit while shooting offhand, but it was not insurmountable.  Recoil to the shoulder was not bad from any position, despite the light weight.

The Revolution was rock-solid reliable, with no malfunctions in all 240 rounds fired.  It fed, fired and ejected cartridges from Magpul, DPMS, and Promag magazines.  The handguards never got too hot to hold, and I saw no evidence of impact shift due to the barrel heating up.  The Revolution does use an oversize heat sink barrel nut that does cover the chamber and throat, aiding in ameliorating excess heat buildup.  The piston system also kept the action pretty clean, though I did not have a chance to shoot the rifle suppressed.  Cleanup of the nickel coated bolt carrier and chromed bolt head was a snap, and the only place I actually needed solvent was the bolt face itself.

Time for the Revolution?

I’ve handled examples of “compact” .308 ARs from DPMS, Colt, and now POF-USA.  I can say definitively that the Revolution is the most well fit, finished, and balanced of the three.  It is lighter than many AR15s, yet is perfectly viable for hunting most big game species in the lower 48.  It handles well and, in my experience, was 100% reliable.  While not a sub-MOA gun like its DGI little brother, the Renegade, it is reasonably accurate and can hold its own in everything from a hard-hitting patrol rifle to 3-gun to home defense (I’d recommend throwing a can on it for indoor use) to hunting.  At about a grand more than a DPMS GenII, it is expensive, but the quality, features, and reliability are there for the money.  The only thing I didn’t like about this rifle?  It didn’t exist back when I purchased my LRP-07.

Pros:

  • 7.62×51 firepower in a 5.56×45 package
  • Lightweight without excessive recoil
  • Well built
  • Great trigger
  • Adjustable, easily cleaned piston system
  • Ambidextrous Controls
  • Cleans easily
  • Uses most AR15 Parts
  • M-Lok handguards(which we now know is definitively a pro, thanks Patrick!)

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • 16.5″ Barrel does give up some velocity of the 7.62×51
  • Top rail is not full length, precludes the use of some day/night optic setups
  • Does not come with any sights from the factory

Thanks to Hughston Shooting School for Technical assistance and range time!

For more information on the Revolution, please visit POF-USA.

For an in-depth look at the Revolution from POF-USA’s own Frank DeSomma, feel free to watch the video below.





Rusty S.

Having always had a passion for firearms, Rusty S. has had experience in gunsmithing, firearms retail, hunting, competitive shooting, range construction, as an IDPA certified range safety officer and a certified instructor. He has received military, law enforcement, and private training in the use of firearms. He is fortunate enough to have access to class 3 weaponry as well.


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  • Jared Vynn

    Interesting, so could you use the bolt in another ar15 carrier? For something like a 460 Roland rifle or a 308 based wildcat?

    • Rusty S.

      I imagine you could. Call POF-USA with your specifics to make sure.

  • neckbone

    Can you get barrels in 7mm08? Seems it would make this rifle about perfect.

    • 22winmag

      Palmetto has been putting out 308AR complete uppers and complete rifles in that caliber the last year or two.

  • CJS

    Would be interested in seeing long term reliability given the reduced size of some parts.

    Also, one con was “no full length top rail”, from other videos I’ve seen this is an add on part. The space is to help lower the height over bore with larger optics.

    • Harry’s Holsters

      The small bolt face is my biggest concern.

      • Anonymoose

        They’ve had .473 bolt faces in AR15s for decades without issue. CMMG are heretics for creating that MKW thing just to handle a low-pressure cartridge like .458 SOCOM.

        • Mark Are Reynolds Ⓥ

          So you are claiming that the .458 SOCOM is as powerful as the .308? Totally different bird.

        • LilWolfy

          The CMMG rifle has a much larger bolt carrier, bolt, and chamber wall thickness than the Revolution.

          • Anonymoose

            Yeah, because it’s a .308-sized AR shortened and chambered for .458, just like the Mutant. .458 ARs have been around since 2001, and were only really different from normal, run-of-the-mill AR15s by having .473 bolt faces and enlarged ejection ports.

      • CavScout

        Recoil using a flash hider instead of a comp would be my concern. I don’t use comps.

      • LilWolfy

        He used AerMet 100 on the bolt, like LMT’s enhanced BCG.

        Biggest concern is the diameters of the chamber wall, which he is reinforcing with the heat sink/barrel nut, and handguard. Hoop strain and FoS are what I am concerned about more than the bolt.

        They’ve doen a lot of testing with it using Wolf Steel Case ammo, not full power 7.62 NATO and commercial .308 Winchester loads that push well above 55,000psi.

        I would like to see long-term fleet testing across 10 rifles with a full diet of 7.62 NATO.

    • CavScout

      That doesn’t make any sense. The height over bore part. It’s still going to be 2.5″ probably. And if you did a full length top rail at that height, it would mean scopes need a much smaller objective size. That’s probably why it is like it is. Even still, no real way to get lower than 2.5″ with like a 50mm objective.

  • RSG

    I still regret buying my DDM4V11 instead of their Renegade DI gun in January. Don’t get me wrong, the DD is a great rifle, but everything POF does is revolutionary. Everything from their gas tube, barrel nut and chamber is unique. For me, it strictly came down to price and it was like they were giving away the DD gun @ $1369 OTD. My next rifle will be a POF. Frank is a wonderfully patriotic American, too. He deserves my business.

    • Rusty S.

      I hear you, I loved getting to test the renegade, and was blown away by its weight, accuracy and ergonomics. Yet another rifle I wish existed back when I was building my personal ARs for competition shooting.

  • Vitor Roma

    Damn, considering that this gun has a piston and a heat sink, it is extremely light. Make it DI, remove the heat sink and put a smaller handguard and we are talking about under 3kg.

    • CavScout

      The barrel nut is the ‘heat sink.’ Not sure it’s a good idea to get rid of it. 😉

      But it’s just aluminum, and is even on their Renegade 5.56 guns. It’s long for a more rigid home for the handguard.

  • Slab Rankle

    I’m not imminently in the market for an AR308, but I wish companies would offer more choices in terms of barrel length. I don’t like the extreme ballistic compromise of a 16.5″ barrel.

    Are most of their customers doing door-kicking, where a shorter barrel is rational? Somehow I doubt it.

    20″ barrel for me. That does not produce an extremely long or unwieldy gun.

    Unfortunate tactical trend!

    • Vitor Roma

      Extreme compromise? Extreme really? 16.5 ain’t 11 inches.

      • Slab Rankle

        I’m assuming a 150 grain FMJ-BT at 2350 fps, which would be very typical for NATO ball ammo with a 16.5″ barrel, versus about 2650 fps for a 20″ barrel.

        That means an additional 5.5″ drop at 300 yards, and an additional 11.9″ drop at 400 yards.

        Pretty extreme, and what do you get in return? A negligible improvement in packaging. It wouldn’t cost them anything to give us choices. That’s all I’m asking for.

        • Vitor Roma

          Go for heavier 168-175 rounds that performs quite well with little velocity loss.

          • Anonymoose

            It’s still not optimal. Match rounds are meant for even longer barrels (22″-26″). The Mk319 7.62 NATO round is made for short barrels and it’s only 130gr. You also have to contend with the current trend in tacticool barrel manufacturing, which is 1/12 twists that can’t stabilize anything over 168gr.

        • iksnilol

          People use 150 grain .308?

          • Dougscamo

            Deer hunters….

          • iksnilol
          • jonp

            Yeah, hunting Whitetail its all you need.

          • iksnilol

            Feels like awfully much round for such small game.

            You could take whitetails with a 5.56 or something (or .270 if you absolutely have to use a long action).

          • Dougscamo

            In a majority of the states the ammo caliber must be .23 inches or larger or have a designation in the states where specific cartridges are mandated….not that a 5.56 won’t take them out if hit right.
            That being said, a whitetail can be a mighty tough critter if your shot isn’t exactly perfect….trailed too many of them after they were shot to think otherwise….

          • jonp

            Not really. Up my way whitetails can push 300lbs. The 308 is a very common round. Our deer season also crosses into black bear so there is a chance at both. Many guys only have one rifle to do it all and also might get a moose tag. The 308 is very sensible with those conditions in mind.

          • iksnilol

            Meh, 6.5×55 ruins less meat/pelt than 308 and kills stuff gooder.
            Here in Norway both are used for moose (which are around 400 kg).

          • jonp

            The Swede is my favorite round and preferred by me. In the far NorthEast where I’m from it’s pretty rare to see it while the 308 ammo is sold in grocery stores. It comes down to availability, price and all around do the job. The 30-06 and 308 are the most common in use up there.

          • Dougscamo

            The fact that you cannot walk into any store for ammo is the reason that I have never purchased a 6.5X55 for hunting….though it is a great round and I love to shoot them….TSA and fate can separate you from your ammo on a hunting trip! Iksnilol would be shocked to see how many guys are using .300 Win Mags for deer that don’t have to shoot over 100 yards….

          • mikebike

            But AR’s in 6.5×55 are a bit rare….

          • iksnilol

            6.5 Creedmor tho?

          • mikebike

            Yes, but they are harder to find in a Norwegian or Swedish hardware store.

          • iksnilol

            Why would I buy creedmoor in Norway?

            Just get a BAR in 6.5×55 and enjoy.

          • DaveGinOly

            There are jurisdictions in which it is illegal to hunt deer with any of the .22 caliber family of bullets.

          • FarmerB

            You’d be amazed at the size of gun many hunters use in parts of the US.

          • iksnilol

            I’ve heard that whitetails are the reason 300 winmag survived on the civilian market.

          • Dougscamo

            Those and elk….

          • iksnilol

            y’all really use too much gun.

          • Dougscamo

            In the eastern forests of the US, yeah, 300 Win Mag is a little much but in the West….might have to take a poke a LONG way out there….my son uses a Sako in .300 Win Mag and it is a sweet shooting rifle! Like a company slogan that used to be common here…Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it….

          • Ben Pottinger

            I tend to agree. I really don’t understand how a bow is perfectly fine for killing deer, people happily use 357 mag and 10mm on deer, and yet for some reason 5.56 isn’t powerful enough for deer? I’m sure someone will come along with some “magic” ballistics about how the big wide bullets or big wide arrow knock the animal off its feet and fling it through the air like a john woo movie.

          • Slab Rankle

            150 grain surplus ball ammo is the cheapest and most readily available.

            No one is buying a 16.5″ barreled rifle for long range competition. Surplus ball will be the preferred load 95% of the time.

          • iksnilol

            Well, if you’re using surplus ball then you ain’t shooting that far either.

            Then the extra handling is worth it

          • FarmerB

            Au contraire – i regularly shoot German surplus NATO ball out of a semi-auto at 800-900m. Makes for an interesting challenge.

        • FarmerB

          Exactly. And how figure out what it will be like at 600-1000m where I shoot mine.

        • Dan

          I get more than 2350fps out of a 16 inch barrel.
          Federal XM80 CL 149grain averaged out to 2668fps. 150grain handloads 2695fps

        • Mark Are Reynolds Ⓥ

          I think if I want a light rifle, I’ll go with the 7.62 x 40 Wilson Tactical round. It should have no problem taking deer or an advesary down with the 125 grain Nosler BT ballistic tip with specs like this out of a 16″ barrel… 25.6 grains of AA 1680 at 2,463 FPS. developing 1684 pounds of KE.

        • Gregory Peter Dupont

          I agree. I have always felt that something along 18.5 inches was a decent compromise length(if one doesn’t prefer a 20 inch barrel as I do)in .308. .. even the 5.56 does better in a barrel with more length than the trendy 14.5-16 inchers… Or ,for that matter the pistol lengths-7.62×39 seems more efficient in those lengths.

    • supergun

      My Colt CRX AR 15 shoots bullets in the same hole at 100 yards. It has a 16″ barrel.
      Can you not put a longer barrel on this DPMS?

  • Pete Sheppard

    Like CJS below, durability of such a light for the caliber rifle was one of my first questions, after shootability. Is it considered a light/moderate use rifle, or can it really stand heavy, long-term shooting?

    • alex archuleta

      I’m sure given that POF has some of the best quality control in the market that their new rifle could easily handle heavy long term shooting.
      Have you seen the test of their full auto P16? As far as ammo count goes in one shooting session it was able to go toe to toe with a squad automatic weapon!
      And a sheriff’s department in California tested one of their off the self .308 to failure. After something like 60k rounds it’s still going. Lol the agency had to put the test on hold cause they ran out of money for ammo.

      • Pete Sheppard

        Thank you! That’s good to know. 🙂

        • alex archuleta

          Sure! I went ahead an researched for about six months before I bought an AR and every time I kept going back to POF Renegade plus.
          My only complaint (and it’s a small one) is that I wish they were sold in 14.5 & 16in barrels.
          Go on their website and look at the torture tests that were independently done. It’s pretty amazing how much technology goes into their builds.

  • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

    7.3lb is ridiculous for a semi .308

    Ill take one for each hand.

  • Christopher Wallace

    Great article. Wish the accuracy was better.

    • Vitor Roma

      1.5 moa for a light semi-auto is great. People are going nuts expecting that all guns are 1moa or less.

      • Christopher Wallace

        dont think its nuts to expect a gun that fires under an inch with match ammo at that price point.

    • Rusty S.

      Some people have gotten 5 shot groups as good as .78 MOA. It’s all about finding the load that the rifle likes best. I just don’t have that huge of a selection of .308/7.62×51 available to me.

  • thedonn007

    I think I would rather have a SCAR 17 for almost the same money.

    • Vitor Roma

      Not sure. This gun comes with a good trigger out of the box, a long handguard and it’s easier on the optics.

    • Rocky Mountain 9

      The SCAR is clunky; designed for extremely cheap manufacturing but without passing any cost savings to the consumer. I’d take this POF any day.

  • Raptor Fred
    • Rusty S.

      Is that your personal rifle? Look awesome!

  • JumpIf NotZero

    So… a POF DPMS G2

    • Rusty S.

      I addressed the similarities but there are a lot of differences. There is an extreme difference in materials, quality control, bolt head, chamber, trigger and operating system.

  • jonp

    Expensive as in how expensive and seriously, “E2 Extraction Technology”? WTF is that supposed to mean?

    • Rusty S.

      Usually found in this configuration for $2569, though MSRP is $2669. As for the extraction technology, per POF-USA:
      “POF’s patented E2 dual-extraction technology 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.”

      • CJS

        Or in English, the chamber is semi fluted. 😂

      • jonp

        Thanks for the info, rusty but for that price I cant think of a reason why I would get one and that fancy extraction gimmick solves a non existent problem. Ripping off case heads isnt a problem im aware of in the 223. Have you heard differently?

  • Anonymoose

    >We’ve worked Patriot magic into the Revolution by using a 5.56 bolt carrier and other 5.56 parts
    >Patriot magic
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f98529a9c968aeb9853601ac1f888848078ece38c5c3d046653043e5adbd1a6e.jpg

  • Tracy DeSomma
  • Tracy DeSomma

    Shot by Mike Detty (gunwriter) for another article
    7.62 Revolution
    5 shot group
    .175gr Serria Matchking BHTP
    .48″ group https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/eea8bcc415d732f0b68e9667ea312ad9628365f8a85556040df36f1f5ab0168d.jpg

  • mikebike

    Barrel: 16.5″/36.83cm
    -That doesn’t match. 16.5″ equals 42 cm.

    I prefer 20″ for .308W. I acually got a comment the last time at the shooting range that my Tikka looked short.

  • Mark Are Reynolds Ⓥ

    That tiny bolt head with that powerful cartridge…time will tell. I don’t like that idea. And if you’re that weak that you can’t carry a “normal” sized 308, go to the gym. Or carry a 300 Wilson Tactical.

  • rdsii64

    When they have a 20 inch barrel, sign me up!

  • LilWolfy

    The author might want to look up The Black Rifle, Volume I, for the first small frame AR10A, made at the end of ArmaLite’s days, which was handed over to Colt for mass production. Colt began tooling up for the AR10A in 1959-1960 timeframe, but foreign military sales potential customers were ready to start filling orders for the AR15 right away, so a wire message was sent to Colt, telling them to cease tooling and manufacturing infrastructure for the AR10, and switch over to the AR15.

    The Colt 901 is the first dust-off of the old Colt AR10A, followed by the DPMS GII, Mega SF MA-10, and Savage MSR-10. Small frame ARs capable of firing .473″ case head cartridges that fit the form factor of the .308 Winchester family of cartridges are the new trend in Stoner design self-loading rifles.

  • d s

    Too big for the average person.

  • Jason Lewis

    Need to see it go thru a 1000 round class.