December 01, 2022
Scientists tell us that, over the course of millions of years, lighter, smaller mammals displaced the great dinosaurs of prehistoric times. That’s the basis of evolution—the better equipped and more capable outcompete other candidates in the struggle for survival. Those that are better suited to the environment always do.
I can’t think of a more apt analogy for today’s AR market. With new guns seemingly coming from everywhere, it’s a race for survival. Only the best and most advanced will be successful, and that’s precisely why Patriot Ordnance Factory’s Revolution rifle was so successful when it was released in 2017. This award-winning piston-driven AR offered features not found on other guns, and it did so in a lighter and nimbler package than the competition. Shooters fell in love with this gun, and they wanted more.
To answer that call, POF released the Revolution DI two years later. It offered many of the same features as the Revolution PD but utilized an advanced direct impingement gas system. It was also notably lighter than the original Revolution, which weighed 7.35 pounds. That’s exceptionally light for a .308/7.62x51 rifle, but the Revolution DI, available in .308 Win and 6.5 Creedmoor, weighs just 6.8 pounds. The result is a rifle with an AR-10 punch and AR-15 weight. It was also an evolutionary step forward in AR rifle design.
The Sum of Its Parts
Light rifles are nice, but the quality of components is critical when building a premium AR rifle. Luckily, none of the Revolution DI’s weight savings came at the cost of quality parts. That starts with a premium chrome alloy barrel. Available in lengths of 16.5 or 18.5 inches, the Revolution DI’s barrel is fluted for maximum heat dissipation and is nitride heat treated for maximum corrosion resistance. These rifles are topped with POF’s superb Triple Port muzzle brake with blunt strike prongs. Multiple ports are designed to reduce recoil impact, reducing shooter fatigue and allowing for faster follow-up shots. Like the barrel, the brake and collar jam nut are nitride heat treated. The .308 barrel comes with a 1:10 twist rate, allowing the shooter to take full advantage of modern match bullets.
One feature that sets POF rifles apart is their patented Oversize Heat Seek Barrel Nut, which comes standard on the Revolution DI. At three inches long, the barrel nut encompasses the entire chamber and throat, where gas temperatures peak. The oversized aluminum barrel nut design effectively dissipates heat, which is crucial for longevity and durability. The POF barrel nut design dissipates 17 times more heat than traditional ARs, providing an increased guiding surface for the operating rod while offering constant positive contact with the bolt carrier.
Surrounding the barrel is POF’s 14.5-inch Renegade forend. To compete in today’s crowded AR markets, rifles must be equipped with forends that offer plenty of mounting space for accessory options like lights, bipods, vertical grips, and more. With M-LOK attachment points at the e, 6, and 9 o’clock positions, this handguard offers all the real estate you’ll need for attaching your favorite accessories. It also features a five-slot Picatinny rail at the forward 6 o’clock position and a full-length top rail suitable for forward-mounted optical equipment. Removable QD attachment cups are also on the right and left rear portions of the forend.
In addition to offering many attachment points for such a wide array of gear and providing a landing spot for your non-shooting hand, the Renegade serves an essential practical purpose. The design ensures that the recoil lugs engage with the forward surface of the barrel. In turn, this eliminates forward handguard translation after heavy use.
It’s simple to make fast, accurate gas system adjustments on this rifle. The Dictator Adjustable Gas Block offers nine different positions, which allow the operator to fine-tune operating speed. This is more than competing adjustable gas blocks, meaning this rifle can be modified to run suppressed or unsuppressed with a broad range of ammunition. Best of all, adjustments can be made quickly using the included tool or a flathead screwdriver.
Revolution DI rifles come with POF’s Key-Lock DI 5.56 bolt carrier group. The nitride heat-treated carrier and stainless steel gas key are regarded as among the industry's best. The rifle’s roller cam pin is nickel coated and rolls against the receiver as opposed to more traditional square designs that, over time, cause significant wear. The gas key is held with a staked screw and dovetailed to the carrier. The anti-tilt design, high-quality precision-machined components, and lubricity help keep these rifles running smoothly.
One of POF’s most impressive designs is its E2 Dual Extraction system. The chamber features four small channels that, upon firing, allow just enough gas to escape rearward to release the cartridge seal in the chamber. This release ensures reliable extraction each time. Simple in concept but challenging to execute, the E2 design is just one feature that sets POF rifles apart from their competition.
Mated to the billet upper receiver is a POF billet GEN4 lower suitable for left and right-handed shooters. The bolt release with enhanced bolt catch, safety selector, bolt hold open, recessed finger rest, and mag release are all ambidextrous, which makes this gun efficient to operate even under stress. The oversized, flared mag well simplifies magazine changes, and the oversized trigger guard accommodates gloved finders.
The trigger itself is exceptional. The drop-in design is housed in hard-coat anodized aluminum with rubber urethane feet. The trigger, hammer, and disconnect are all made from American A2 steel and heat-treated for durability. It isn’t adjustable, but the crisp 4.5-pound break is smooth enough for competitive shooting and long-range hunting.
The Revolution DI’s impressive feature list is rounded out with Mission First Tactical furniture, including an MFT Battlelink Minimalist Milspec adjustable buttstock with multiple sling attachment points mounted on POF’s anti-tilt buffer tube. The Tomahawk ambidextrous charging handle offers plenty of gripping surface for fast and consistent operation. The single-mount receiver end plate comes with a QD cup for single-point attachment.
The Revolution DI is available in either .308 Winchester or 6.5 Creedmoor with 16.5 or 18.5 inches with a choice of anodized black or Cerakote Burnt Bronze finishes. Collapsed length is just 34 inches, making this rifle very maneuverable. MSRP is $2,699 for the black version and $2,831 for the Burnt Bronze version. As with all Patriot Ordnance factory products, these rifles are made in Arizona.
At the Range
With a Leupold VX-3HD 2.5 to 8x36 optic in place, the lightweight Revolution DI proved to be an accurate, versatile all-purpose carbine. These rifles come with a 20-round PMAG, and reloads are fast and simple. Even with the optic in place, the Tomahawk charging handle was easy to access and operate.
POF promises MOA accuracy from their rifles, and the Revolution DI managed that with Black Hills 152-grain Dual Performance Match ammunition. What’s perhaps even more impressive is the minimal recoil this rifle produces. A lightweight .308 AR rifle has enough setback that it’s challenging to maintain sight picture while shooting multiple rounds quickly. Still, the POF brake does a good job managing the recoil and allowing you to put shot after shot on target.
I shot multiple steel and paper targets from standing and prone positions. The forend’s short front rail provided a solid attachment point for an M-LOK bipod that could be quickly and easily removed when taking standing shots. With many attachment points throughout, this gun is easy to customize to your likes or mission. The fully ambidextrous control layout is easy to operate with either hand, and the trigger is excellent, much better than the trigger in many competing ARs.
This light all-purpose rifle proved reliable throughout testing, thanks in large part to POF’s E2 Dual Extraction system. This feature alone is reason enough to purchase a POF rifle, and the system has proven itself over the years. The Dictator adjustable gas system makes fine-tuning in the field simple, and it was easy to match the operating speed to the ammunition. It should be noted that despite its broad range of adjustment, the revolution DI is not a particularly finicky rifle. Over time you’ll likely need to make adjustments to fine-tune for optimum performance. This rifle makes that easy.
The Revolution DI’s accuracy, reliability, and minimal mass make it suitable for various applications. It’s superb for hunting large and small game, but it’s also a great competition rifle, home defense weapon, or target gun. The Revolution DI is simply a rifle that works.
.308 AR rifles have been around for a long time, but the Revolution DI is a modern weapon with all the features shooters need and less mass than competing guns. It’s lighter but more refined, and that’s what makes it so successful. The AR rifles continue to evolve, and the Revolution DI is ahead of the pack. And that makes it a rifle with a bright future.
POF Revolution DI .308 Win Specs
- Action: Direct Impingement Semiauto
- Chambering: .308 Win (tested), 6.5 Creedmoor
- Capacity: 20
- Barrel: 16.5” (tested), 18.5”
- Muzzle Device: POF Triple Chamber Brake
- Collapsed Length: 34”
- Forend: POF Renegade 14.5” with M-LOK and Rails
- Bolt Carrier: POF Key-Lock DI 5.56
- Lower Assembly: Billet POF GEN4 Ambi
- Trigger: 4.5 lbs
- Furniture: Mission First Tactical
- Finish: Black anodized 9tested). Burnt bronze Cerakote
- MSRP: $2,699 as tested
- Contact: Patriot Ordnance Factory, pof-usa.com, (623) 561-9572