The POF-USA Puritan Family of Weapons
By Christopher R. Bartocci
There are many different options of external piston operated AR-platforms on the market today. Perhaps boutique black rifles are more of a specialty item than the standard. They have been made in many ways. Some just add a simple push rod and others have a completely overhauled system to deal with the complications of adding an external piston to a rifle that was designed for a direct gas impingement. If you think about it, the receiver is meant for a narrow gas tube and an in-line construction bolt carrier group. It is not designed with guide rails to direct the off center impact of an operating rod which tilts the carrier downward. There are a few companies out there which have really redesigned the mechanics to counter these issues. Of all of them, nobody has made more effort than Patriot Ordnance Factory. Frank DeSomma opened the doors of POF-USA in 2002. This was a start-up gun manufacturer from Brooklyn, New York. As you may imagine, living in New York City, DeSomma had little to no experience with firearms. DeSomma’s background is more than 28 years in the Aerospace industry as a manufacturing process engineer. Like many, Frank got introduced to the AR15 and got hooked. He wanted to get into the AR-manufacturing business but he knew he could not compete with the big companies such as Colt, Bushmaster and DPMS to name a few. He knew if he was to succeed in this venture he would have to do something different, something the other guys were not doing. By doing this he would open a new niche in the industry where his company could thrive. Not really competing because what he was to offer was significantly different from what they were offering.
What POF-USA entered the market as, was a company which would specifically manufacture external piston operated AR-based rifles. At the time POF-USA was incorporated there was one other company working on such rifle. At SHOT Show 2003, only POF-USA and Heckler & Koch displayed external piston systems. They were different. The...
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