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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