(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.
I’m not one of those people who thinks you need rails everywhere, but for what this thing is supposed to be it has enough rail space just not in the right places for my use.
I have that stock on my AR and I love how solid it is. It does loosen up after some use.
I agree. It is very solid and difficult to move and I think that is by design. I’ve never been one to adjust it in and out on a regular basis. If you want a stock that glides back and forth with ease then get an A2 or MOE you just get the annoying wiggle and slop that goes along with it.
*shrug* My Minimalist stock (on a Colt 6920) moves easily and locks up tight. It’s great.
Good review. I would love to try out one of their rifles.
Nice review, I have their P308 and P415, both are great rifles.
I’m thinking about adding the Puritan and Renegade+ at some point.
Chris, have you ever had any issues with your P308? I have one as well and I have maybe put 100 rounds through it. If I use quality ammo it works perfectly but I bought some cheap ammo that was on sale. I believe it is MagTech CBC 7.62 x 51 NATO. It was 19 bucks for a box of 50 so I bought 6 boxes.
The P308 has a lot of failures to cycle when using this ammo. Sometimes the bolt stays and I have to force it to eject and load the next round. Other times it will attempt to eject but a stovepipe happens. I thought the rifle was junk but it works fine with all other types of ammo. I have read that these rifles need to be broken in and that can take 200+ rounds. I did use a lot of extra lube once and it cycled this ammo pretty well, only had a few issues.
Just wondering if you experienced anything like this or had any advice for me.
When it works I love this rifle. It has an amazing design with the extra large heat sink, the roller on the bolt, piston operated etc…
Neither of my rifles liked cheap ammo at first, I ended up switching to Federal until both were around 500 rounds and then tried the cheap stuff again, not a single issue since.
Could have maybe switched back sooner but didn’t try. Stick with it, you’ll be glad you did.
Sounds like your cheap ammo options don’t have enough powder to cycle the action. I would bite the bullet and shoot something with a little more punch to it, at least until the 500 round mark (see above comment) and try the cheap stuff again.
Defiant, do a few searches on Magtech 7.62×51 and you’ll find many folks have issues with more recent batches getting stuck in chambers, FTEs, etc.
I have old batches and new batches of Magtech 7.62×51 and the older batches work just fine…the new batches are a nightmare. After having to dissasemble and rod-clear my DPMS pattern upper 5 different times I finally got smart and did a search and found the various forum posts on issues with newer batches.
Heck, even in a bolt-action getting the brass out of the chamber requires some elbow grease.
Sadly, I have about 800rnds of a newer batch still sitting around. It has been relegated to the one bolt-action I can reasonably get it to eject from.
Here are a few samples:
There were several reviews on the ammo at Cabela’s that talked about this issue, however, these reviews have been deleted for that item (had the link and went to attach it and saw that all the reviews were now gone…how convenient)
I never understand why on $1500 plus Ar-15’s companies cannot spend five minutes polishing the trigger so the trigger is at least usable.
Because they want you to buy their upgraded drop in trigger, of course 😉
Just bought the POF Renegade and my stock adjustments moved like butter. Mounting a Vortex Razor HD Gen 3 1-10×24 scope(won this scope from Euro Optics 2020 vision contest).
Sweet setup and the rifle shoots great. My first AR and will be my last. Not a big gun collector but just need the right tool for the job.
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Here I am, browsing the internet, looking at forms for people who also own a POF. I scroll down and immediately recognize the range as the one of my home town. Small world. Quite incredible!