We are always told not to judge a book by its cover. That’s a lesson for today. I know this POF P415 Edge looks like your average AR-15, but let me assure you, it is not! 

Every inch of it has been upgraded, and you can feel it when you shoot it. It’s one of the smoothest and best shooting AR platforms I’ve ever tried. So let’s dive right in to see how POF did this.
 

Table of Contents

Video
In-House Parts
Short-Stroke Gas System
E2 Dual Extraction System
The Bolt
Ambi Controls
Rail System
Performance
Pros & Cons
Conclusion

Video

 

 

In-House Parts

 

Patriot Ordnance Factory P415 rifle
The stock is one of just three parts on the gun that aren't proprietary... (Photo: Don Summers/Guns.com)


The only parts that aren’t proprietary are the stock, pistol grip and charging handle. Everything else has been souped up by Patriot Ordnance Factory, from POF's very own drop-in trigger to the seven – not six – position buffer tube designed specifically to eliminate carrier tilt.
 

Patriot Ordnance Factory P415 rifle
...and the charging handle is another. (Photo: Don Summers/Guns.com)


This is POF’s fourth generation of rifles, so the design has been refined. I can’t talk about every upgrade, because that would make this article just too long, but there are five technical improvement I want to highlight.
 

Short-Stroke Gas System

 

Patriot Ordnance Factory P415 rifle
THe P415 uses a short-stroke gas system instead of the standard AR-15 direct impingement system. (Photo: Don Summers/Guns.com)


First, the biggest departure from the AR-15 design is the gas system. The P415 uses a short-stroke gas system. 

Standard AR-15s use a direct impingement gas system, which uses the expanding gas after a round has been fired to “directly” push the bolt carrier back in order to extract the empty case and load a new round. This system produces an accurate gun with a smooth feel. However, it also makes the gun dirtier because the gas is going directly into the chamber.
 

Patriot Ordnance Factory P415 rifle
POF has engineered the P415 to run cleanly with low recoil. (Photo: Don Summers/Guns.com)


A piston system eliminates the gas entering the chamber. Instead, the gas pushes on a piston, which in turn pushes on the bolt carrier to cycle the system. It’s a cleaner operation but it can have more felt recoil because there are more, and heavier, moving parts. This is especially true of long-stroke gas piston systems such as the AK-47, because the long piston is integral to the carrier and adds a lot of weight.

Short-stroke gas systems such as the HK G36, HK 416, SCAR, SIG MCX, and this POF 415, kind of split the difference. You get the clean-running system, but the piston is separate from the carrier and is just used to hit the carrier. This makes the system lighter and smoother feeling. I was pleasantly surprised when I felt the recoil. I don’t think it’s very far off from a standard AR-15.
 

E2 Dual Extraction System

 

Patriot Ordnance Factory P415 rifle
POF's E2 dual extraction system uses added grooves in the chamber to funnel gases back around the case and unseal it from the chamber. (Photo: Don Summers/Guns.com)


The next big change from a DI gun is the extraction system. In the AR-15, the extractor is one of the most common failure points. 

You see, when a round is fired, the expanding gases push on the soft brass of the case and seal it in the chamber. The extractor’s job is to pull that sealed, spent case out of the chamber. That’s a tough job for a little, hooked piece of metal. Inevitably it wears down and/or breaks.

POF’s solution to this issue is the E2 dual extraction system. To assist the normal extractor, four small grooves were added to the chamber. These grooves channel some of the gases back into the chamber to unseal the case from the chamber, thus assisting in extraction. POF says with this system, the extractor is only doing 20 percent of its normal workload. It’s an ingenious solution.
 

The Bolt

 

Patriot Ordnance Factory P415 rifle
The bolt assembly wears a high-phosphorus nickel coating that is so slick it can almost be run without lubrication. (Photo: Don Summers/Guns.com)


Now, moving on back along the gun, we get to the bolt carrier group. There are a few improvements here. The first thing one notices is that the piston striking surface is not bolted on, but is an integrated, machined-in part, making it nearly impossible to break off.

The entire assembly has a high-phosphorus nickel coating that is very slick and can almost be run without lubrication.
 

Patriot Ordnance Factory P415 rifle
The ball-bearing cam pin design helps the rifle last longer, with less wear on the aluminum upper. (Photo: Don Summers/Guns.com)


Finally, POF uses a proprietary rolling cam pin. On standard ARs, the steel cam pin wears on the aluminum upper every time it rubs against it. This ball-bearing, rolling design drastically reduces the wear for a longer lasting rifle.
 

Ambi Controls

 

Patriot Ordnance Factory P415 rifle
Controls are fully ambidextrous... (Photo: Don Summers/Guns.com)


Next, we move on to the user controls. Everything has been made ambidextrous. This is great for left-handed shooters, but even right-handed shooters will benefit, because standard AR-15 controls have never been well thought out. Now, you can completely manipulate all the controls while maintaining a firing grip.
 

Patriot Ordnance Factory P415 rifle
...and positioned for easy access while maintaining a firing grip. (Photo: Don Summers/Guns.com)

 

Rail System

 

Patriot Ordnance Factory P415 rifle
The P415 gets another edge from its rail system, which runs the entire length of the upper receiver. (Photo: Don Summers/Guns.com)


Finally, the P415 has one of the toughest rail attachment mechanisms on the market. In the 90s, handguards gave way to forend rails to increase modularity. Soldiers were running grips, lights, laser, etc. However, not every forend mounting solution was able to withstand the torque operators were putting on the rail.

POF’s solution was to mate the rail to the entire top of the upper receiver. The Picatinny rail on top of the upper is actually part of the rail. All this metal surface engagement makes for a very ridged connection.
 

Patriot Ordnance Factory P415 rifle
There's plenty of real estate for accessories. (Photo: Don Summers/Guns.com)
Patriot Ordnance Factory P415 rifle
POF's modular railed receiver features a screw system that makes for the "most secure free-floated barrel on the market," according to POF's website. (Photo: Don Summers/Guns.com)


Now, as I said before, these are just some of my favorite improvements. I haven’t even touched on the nylon screw system that takes play out of the upper and lower connection, or the barrel nut heat sink that has 17 times more heat dissipation than standard ARs. Addressing everything would make this review just too long.
 

Performance

 

Patriot Ordnance Factory P415 rifle
This rifle was a dream to shoot... (Photo: Don Summers/Guns.com)


Now, enough of the specs – how did it shoot? In one word, amazing! This rifle is chambered in .300 Blackout, and I shot both supers and sub-sonics in it. I was pleasantly surprised at how soft-shooting it was, and how predictable the recoil impulse felt.
 

Target with .300 BLK ammo
...not to mention accurate. (Photo: Don Summers/Guns.com)


The common thought is that piston actions increase felt recoil because there is more mass moving. I don’t think I could tell the difference between this gun and a normal AR shooting .300 Blackout. POF definitely did something right.

I also love ambi controls. They are a luxury, but I always look for them if possible. Overall, the rifle is light and nimble – very easy to shoot fast and accurately.
 

Pros & Cons

Now, let’s go over some things I think you should be aware of before buying. First, theoretically, piston systems are supposed to be less inherently accurate. This is because there are more moving parts that can induce error. I did not experience this and got great groups.

Also, the E2 system is new to me. I love the thought process behind it. But it seems to me, one of the primary benefits of a piston AR over a direct gas AR is that the piston runs cleaner and therefore more reliably.

The E2 extractor system re-introduces dirty gas back into the chamber. Does that defeat the point of going piston? Is the 415 less reliable because of the E Squared system? I have no evidence of this. This rifle ran flawlessly for me. This is just my conjecture. All reports suggest that POF rifles gun great.
 

Pros:

  • Reliable – ran flawlessly
  • Accurate
  • Smooth shooting
  • Soft recoil
  • Ambidextrous controls

Cons: 

  • Gas valve difficult to adjust
  • System uses spring in buffer tube, so it can’t be fired when folded. 
  • Expensive – but you get a lot of bang for your buck!
     

Conclusion


In conclusion, the POF P415 Edge is a revolutionary AR design. You are paying for the engineering and attention to detail. And, you can feel it in the end result. If you want something different but in a familiar platform, the Edge might be a winner.

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