Is there such a thing as an "Entry Level" AR-15 platform bearing the Patriot Ordnance Factory brand? Yes, there is: it's called "The Puritan", and it's quite a baseline model... let's have a look at it!
How can a company such as Patriot Ordnance Factory – well known for its high-tier product line – offer a firearm that would classify as an "Entry Level", providing the versatility that many shooters ask from their modern sporting rifles, which would need to be highly customizable to suit every shooter's needs?
Well, the Puritan is just that: an entry level AR-15 based semi-automatic rifle offered by Patriot Ordnance Factory and distributed in Europe by the Prima Army company, matching the quality level of the P415 and P416 models with the versatility of a design that's just as plain basic as it gets.
Of course, that's it, we are talking about a firearm that's an "Entry Level" by P.O.F. standards; which means that for the normal industry standards, we're looking at a gun that's much, much more than that.
An entry level rifle... or is it?
First introduced in 2015, the P.O.F. P-15 Puritan is a short-stroke piston driven gas-operated semi-automatic rifle. The P.O.F. gas piston system is unique in that it isn't only the key component for the rifle's semi-automatic operation, but is also part of the Company's proprietary, patended E² Dual Extraction Chamber extraction and ejection system.
Four small channels cut into the walls of the fluted chamber allow a small amount of gas pressure to bleed from the gas piston area and to push against the spent case neck. This pressure assists in extraction by breaking the seal between the chamber and case as well as pushing the spent case to the rear as the extractor is pulling to the rear. This removes a tremendous amount of work that would otherwise be left up to the extractor.
Since the workload of the extractor is dramatically reduced, the service life of that specific component increases dramatically; plus, the rearwards movement of the bleeding gases assisting in the extraction, as small as it could be, helps preventing overall fouling of the chamber area.
The gas piston system comes with a front key that is adjustable on three positions: a "Normal" position for daily operation; a "Suppressed" position that improves the performance of the weapon when equipped with silencers or sound moderators; and an "Off" position that turns the rifle into a bolt-action, straight-pull design for high-accuracy bullseye shooting. The gas block is railed on top to install a front sight, and comes with a QD sling swivel slot and a bayonet lug.
The upper and lower receivers of the P.O.F. P-15 Puritan semi-automatic rifle are machined out of a solid billet of 7075-T6 aluminum alloy. The upper receiver is an A3 design – meaning that it is a flat top, Picatinny railed receiver without a factory-issued rear sight or carrying handle and comes with a forward assist and a case deflector located right behind the ejection window.
The Puritan rifle barrel is a 16.5" long, medium contour model, button-rifled out of a bar of 4150 Mil-B-11595 machinegun-grade, Chrome-Moly-Vanadium steel. A Birdcage-style flash hider is screwed on a 1/2-28 TPI threaded muzzle, allowing its easy removal and replacement. The barrel is nitride heat-treated for full corrosion resistance and features a 5R rifling – a peculiar rifling type with five lands and grooves, with the lands having sloped walls rather than straight walls.
Although it's become vastly more popular lately, the 5R rifling has for a long time been mainly a feature of Benchrest rifles; not only it is inherently more accurate than a standard rifling, but is also less prone to fouling.
A heart of steel
The pistol grip, handguard and six-positions collapsible stock on the P.O.F. P-15 Puritan rifle are black MagPul MOE products. Gun enthusiasts and shooters worldwide need to know no more: MagPul's MOE is by far one of the most popular furniture and accessories line on the market, and definitely one of the most popular.
The stock is mounted on a MIL-SPEC, hard anodized black machined aluminum "Anti-Tilt" buffer tube that features what the company calls "Carrier cradle" extensions, ensuring that the bolt carrier is always supporter by and within the buffer tube, all throughout its rearwards and frontwards travel during the cycle and even when it's fully forward in the locked position. The carrier cradle extensions prevent carrier tilt and premature buffer tube wear.
The buffer detent also doubles as a lock, inhibiting the buffer tube from rotating and becoming loose under adverse conditions. The anti-tilt buffer tube also features three drain holes.
The entire system, as described up to here, is called the C.R.O.S.™, or "Corrosion Resistant Operating System": the barrel, gas plug and single-piece gas block, are Nitride heat-treated; the gas piston is chromed, and the one-piece bolt carrier assembly is Nickel-Boron coated. This means that all components are basically corrosion-proof. The gas plug can be removed to clean the gas system without having to strip the handguard,
The bolt carrier group of the Puritan rifle is machined out of a single piece of Ni-Cr-Mo 8620 steel, heat-treated and Nickel-Boron finished to military specifications; Nickel-Boron finish prevents fouling (particularly carbon fouling) from sticking and is more effective against corrosion if compared to normal Parkerized finishes. The gas key is not screwed on to the receiver but directly machined to it.
The roller cam pin is NP3-coated and the rotating bolt head is chrome-plated and heat-treated to military specs.
Another feature of the P-14 Puritan rifle is the proprietary single stage, non-adjustable drop-in trigger boasting a crisp 4-to-4.5 lbs weight, and is assembled in a red aluminum housing complete with urethane feet. Wire EDM cut from American A2 tool steel and case-hardened to Rockwell 70, the trigger, disconnect and hammer are all nitride heat-treated for ultimate strength and corrosion resistance. All POF triggers come with KNS Precision stainless steel non-rotating anti walk pins specifically designed for the P.O.F.'s ambidextrous lower receivers.
Not only is the P.O.F. P-15 Puritan extremely light at around 3 kg (6.7 lbs), but it's also extremely accurate. With good ammo, the Puritan is capable of MOA accuracy – and that is possible thanks to the 16.5" high-quality barrel and the 5R rifling. What tells the Puritan apart from any other entry-level AR-15 variant is the uncompromising reliability: the Puritan will run flawlessly regardless of the load; the E² extraction system keeps the P-15 Puritan 100% dependable even when fed with low-priced steel case ammunition.
Patriot Ordnance Factory has definitely its own, somewhat "twisted" idea of what an entry-level rifle should be. By the industry standards – and by the standards of most shooters out there – the P.O.F. P-15 Puritan is all but you run-of-the-mill, baseline model. Hence why it is more expensive than average. But, if our opinion is worth anything at your eyes, then take our word for it: the sheer technology level and construction quality alone are worth every single penny of that price tag.
P.O.F. P-15 Puritan - Specifiche
Prima Armi S.r.l.
5.56x45mm / .223 Remington
Gas-operated, rotating bolt, adjustable gas piston driven
Proprietary single-stage Match-grade trigger
Ambidextrous manual safety located on the lower receiver
STANAG 4179 (AR-15 type) magazines of any make, model, and capacity
419 mm / 16.5", button-rifled Chrome alloy nitride heat-treated medium contour barrel
5R rifling, 1 turn in 8"
None from factory: MIL-STD 1913 Picatinny railed upper receiver and gas block for iron or optical sights
– 813 mm / 32" (stock collapsed)
– 895 mm / 35.¼” (stock open)
3,041 kg / 6.7 pounds
Hard anodized upper and lower receiver, machined from aluminum billet
Nickel heat-treated alloy steel barrel
Machined, Nickel-Boron treated steel bolt group, gas block and gas piston
MagPul MOE black polymer stock, pistol grip and handguard
Consult your dealer for availability and pricing