POF Puritan in 5.56 Review

POF Puritan in 5.56 Review


Over the years I have had opportunities to examine and shoot POF-USA rifles belonging to friends or acquaintances, but my timing was never right to get one in for testing until Patriot Ordnance Factory came out with its new POF Puritan Rifle. POF does not make bland or inexpensive mil-spec rifles — its guns are known for having many proprietary features — so I was curious about the POF Puritan rifle because it is designed to be entry level.

Clearly, POF has a much different idea as to what constitutes "entry level" than most companies. While this is an M4-style rifle with a collapsible stock, it definitely does not look like a government-issue M4.

For a rifle marketed as "entry level," the Puritan is packed with features: flattop upper, ambidextrous controls and a cassette match trigger. Also, it ships with a 30-round PMag.

The POF Puritan has a 16.5-inch barrel chambered in 5.56 NATO. It's a medium-contour barrel finished in black nitride and tipped with a standard A2 flash hider. The rifle does not come with sights, but the front gas block has a Picatinny rail along the top for mounting sights. The front sight rail is the same height off the bore as the receiver rail. The bottom of the gas block has not only a bayonet mount, but also a QD sling socket.

The most obvious departure from mil-spec on the POF Puritan is its furniture: Magpul MOE stock, grip and mid-length handguard. It also comes with a 30-round PMag. The upper and lower receivers have a standard AR configuration, which, admittedly, is different for POF. POF is known for billet-machined receivers with custom contours, including one-piece, oversize trigger guards. But those are time-consuming and costly to make and are a bit superfluous on a long gun aimed at the entry-level user. The POF Puritan simply has standard GI lines on the receivers, with a Magpul Enhanced Trigger Guard.

The Puritan's charging handle is beefier than standard handles and sports aggressive serrations for sure operation in any conditions.

POF's short-stroke regulated gas piston system has been around for years and has been thoroughly torture-tested by gun writers and police agencies. It has three settings: Normal, Suppressed and Off. The gas plug and piston components can be removed without tools or removing the handguard. On Normal setting you'll see an "N" at the top of the piston plug, which to me was a bit disconcerting at first, as I equate a big "N" with "No."

Piston parts add a bit of weight as compared to a direct-impingement gas gun, but this rifle weighs only 6.7 pounds empty, which is not bad at all for a piston gun. One reason many people prefer piston guns is because they run cooler and cleaner, and the POF Puritan does, but that didn't stop the company from adding such extras as a bolt and carrier that are nickel-boron coated. The NiB coating provides the ultimate not just in lubricity but also cleanup.

POF uses a unique roller cam on its carrier, and the bolt and carrier group have been nickel-boron coated for better lubricity and easier cleanup.

And the nice extras don't stop there. The rifle also features one of POF's match cassette triggers. It is a single-stage trigger advertised as having a 4.5-pound pull, although mine tested out at a crisp 3.75 pounds. With drop-in cassette triggers there is usually no tension from the hammer and trigger springs on the receiver pins to hold them in place and keep them from "walking," so POF has installed KNS "anti-walk" pins on the POF Puritan.

The selector switch is a POF ambidextrous design. Even the charging handle is an upgrade from the original and has aggressive serrations.

Many of the reliability issues experienced with the AR system have to do with extraction because the .223/5.56 is a small case operating at high pressures. To address this, POF recently came out with its E² Extraction system, which features four tiny grooves cut into the chamber neck. When a cartridge is fired, a tiny amount of the expanding gas bleeds back along the neck and pushes back on the shoulder of the case, aiding extraction.


I looked into the chamber with a flashlight and found that the E² neck flutes are small — so small that I couldn't see them at first. Anyone who has ever seen fired cases from an HK91 knows that POF isn't the first company to develop neck or chamber fluting, but to my knowledge, this is the first attempt to bring this design feature to the AR platform.

Between the crisp, light trigger and soft recoil from the mid-length gas system, this rifle was a joy to shoot. I actually chose it to take to the range when a female friend wanted to learn how to shoot rifles. It ran without a hiccup no matter what ammo I fed it or how sloppily my new shooter shouldered it and was impressively accurate for an "entry-level" rifle.

POF rifles are generally heavier and more expensive than I prefer, but the POF Puritan is neither. My only complaint is the lack of iron sights, but that's a small issue.puritan-usa-pof-6

Recommended for You


3 Great Takedown Survival Guns

David Fortier - March 19, 2015

When I decided to review three different rifles chambered in .22 LR and geared toward survival...


Review: Hi-Point 1095 TS 10mm Carbine

James Tarr - April 04, 2019

The Hi-Point 10mm carbine, technically the 1095 TS, sports a 17.5-inch barrel, is 32 inches...


Rifle Shooter Father's Day 2019 Gift Guide

J. Scott Rupp - May 07, 2019

Rifle Shooter editor Scott Rupp provides a comprehensive list of ideal Father's Day gifts.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Delta 5 - Daniel Defense's New Precision Bolt Action Rifle

Those looking to explore precision rifle shooting without going broke will be well served by Daniel Defense's new Delta 5.

Tactical Solutions Introduces New X-Ring Takedown SBR Rifle

Keith Feeley of Tactical Solutions sat down with Michael Bane at SHOT Show 2018 to talk about the new X-Ring Takedown SBR .22LR rifle.

Steyr Arms Announces Sniper Rifle in 6.5mm Creedmoor

Scott O'Brien from Steyr Arms sat down with Michael Bane at SHOT Show 2018 to take a look at Steyr's new tactical heavy barrel sniper rifle in 6.5mm Creedmoor.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories


Review: Performance Center-Thompson/Center LRR

Alfredo Rico - April 09, 2019

Thompson/Center and S&W's Performance Center team up to build an entry-level long-range...


Thompson/Center Arms Adds Stock Options to Rimfire Line

Rifle Shooter Digital Staff - April 16, 2019

Thompson/Center Arms rimfire rifles are available with Traditional Hardwood and Flat Dark...


New Browning X-Bolt Hell's Canyon Long Range McMillan Rifles

RifleShooter Online Staff - November 07, 2018

Big game hunters in search of an accurate, long-range rifle need look no further than Browning...

See More Stories

More MSR


Review: Springfield Armory Saint Free-Float 5.56 NATO

James Tarr - September 21, 2018

The Springfield Armory Saint Free-Float 5.56 NATO is still a reliable, accurate rifle for a...


The Big Bad "Wulf"

Patrick Sweeney - January 08, 2018

Alexander Arms trots out a new version of its .50 Beowulf rifle, and it's literally a blast.


Savage Introduces MSR 15 Competition

RifleShooter Online Staff - October 12, 2018

The MSR 15 Competition is fitted with an 18-inch carbon fiber wrapped stainless barrel built...

See More MSR

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction.


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.