(This is a reader-submitted review as part of our gun review contest. See details here.)
By Justin Stasiowski
In the “dry” heat of central Arizona sits POF-USA, a small batch AR company that represents perhaps the pinnacle of design for the trendy piston AR crowd. The company makes exceptionally accurate, expensive, and outfight heavy battle rifles for the most demanding of end users. Lately, they’ve decided to chase down some AR purists and those who’d like a rifle that isn’t downright fat. Enter the Renegade.
It is important to note that POF offers both the Renegade and Renegade+. In other words you get an incredibly accurate rifle PLUS a Geissele trigger. Also, if you’re a southpaw, opt for the plus as it has all the necessary accoutrements for left-handed operation. Being more of a pistolero and noticeably poorer than POF’s target market, I opted for the standard model.
First and foremost, when unboxing the rifle, one notices its handsome simplicity and utilitarian design. Three years ago, everyone and their brother had to have a quad rail on their AR to be sufficiently tacticool, or so they could have a cameo in a MattBest11X Youtube video. Gladly POF shipped this rifle with an M-LOK compatible rail and just enough Pic to be used for mounting lights, lasers, or a fore end. These design elements help POF achieve a svelte 6.3 pounds of unladen weight.
Fit and finish is absolutely outstanding as one should expect from a $1499 MSRP rifle. I was however slightly annoyed at how rigid the “adjustable” stock was. It took an incredible amount of force to move the Battlelink minimalist stock, so much so that I half suspected this rifle to be a “state compliant” version.
I decided to complement the rifle with a basic set of Magpul irons (plastics) and a Vortex Viper PST 1-4 and hit the range.
As this is my first foray into crafting witticisms for TTAG I haven’t introduced myself to the Armed Intelligentsia, but suffice it to say I jumped ship from the commonwealth of Massachusetts to a proverbially much greener pasture in the heart of Big Sky country.
The timing couldn’t have been better given the second coming of General Thomas Gage for the citizen’s battle rifle. In this modern rendition Attorney General Healy’s vendetta against the AR platform makes for a good time to not reside in Massachusetts if you have any affinity for the shooting sports and intent to remain felony free.
I ventured down to my local club in my new home and “free state” of Montana and shot the rifle at 50, and 100 yards, and then included some “spray and pray” when I was annoyed with my sloppy trigger discipline.
The POF shoots like a dream. I imagine the rifle is capable of sub MOA in the hands of a more proficient shooter and per their lauded reputation for reliability, I ran steel, brass and a variety of bullet weights through the 1/8 twist barrel.
I did have one failure to eject using 55 grain Fiocchi .223. The case looked normal and I can’t necessarily blame the ammo because I have never had issue with it in past rifles. Nevertheless, it happened. Also, as my range trip wore on it became more evident that this gun needs a proper trigger. The “MILSPEC” of the standard Renegade proves heavier than I’d like to see in rifle of this caliber. That being said the Renegade is amazingly soft-shooting, and easy to keep on target.
As with any firearm review it comes down to this, should I buy it Mr. Editor? In this case it’s an unequivocal yes.
Specifications: POF-USA Renegade
Barrel: 16.5” (1:8)
Weight: 6.3 lbs (empty without optics)
Length: 33″ collapsed
Finish: Black aluminum
Rail: 14.5″ M-Rail
MSRP: $1499 ($1300-1350 street)
Ratings (out of five stars):
Accuracy: * * * *
The gun is capable, but handicapped by a heavier than desired trigger. That being said you ought to be able to achieve MOA at 100 yards
Ergonomics: * * * * *
Soup to nuts AR platform, we hope you like em! Bonus points for ambidextrous everything on the Plus model, subtract points for the Battlelink stock. It really does not like to move.
Reliability * * * *
One FTE, however I haven’t run enough through the gun. Copious “torture tests” exist for POF rifles including their infamous 68,000+ round test done on a full auto 308. But I’m not quite there yet.
Customization * * * * *
If an AR can’t get a five-star customization rating, we might as well all move to Massachusetts where bolt guns are the only available flavor of rifle as of July 20th.
Overall: * * * *
The POF renegade sits perfectly between entry level and second mortgage on your house territory and has everything you’d expect on a much higher end rifle. Want to run suppressed? Adjustable gas block. Want to outshoot your buddy’s LWRC? Check. And do you want a company that has dedicated 100% of its effort to piston designs until now? Well, wait for that to be determined. I’ll get back to you after 68,850 rounds.