When I was asked to take a look at a new company in the tactical rifle market, primarily the AR-15, I thought, “Oh man, not another one.” But I said, “Sure.” After contacting AdeQ Firearms, I was told that a Paladin Patrol Rifle would be headed my way.
Later, a box arrived, and inside was a short, light AR-15 in the “civilian M4” configuration. The second I examined the carbine, it struck me that it had everything it needed and nothing it didn’t. In fact, it seemed an ideal little tactical patrol carbine for an LE officer. As most readers know, the AR platform can be “Barbie for men” with all of the accessories available for it, but this slick little gun came with the accessories that would be perfect for LE patrol duty. Things were certainly looking up, and I was now looking forward to heading to the range with the AdeQ Paladin Patrol Rifle.
The folks at AdeQ have obviously taken note of the popularity of Magpul accessories—they make liberal use of them. This is fine with me because Magpul makes great stuff. The company’s gear is ergonomic, efficient and truly enhances the performance capability of any AR platform. Magpul accessories are also reasonably priced, so a manufacturer can equip its guns with their useful kits and help the operator save money. The first thing I noticed were the two Magpul PMAGs included in the box. I have become so impressed with these magazines that I use nothing else. I then noted the MOE grip that adds material to the area where the web of the hand meets the gun for better trigger finger placement. Next was the MOE collapsible stock that not only is lightweight and streamlined, but it offers a decent cheekweld surface to get on the sights quickly with consistency. The rubber buttplate also helps hold the stock in place during rapid fire for faster follow-up shots.
Another nice addition was the Magpul handguard, part of the company’s MOE (Magpul Original Equipment) series, which combines the light weight of a standard plastic handguard with the capability of adding a rail interface system only where you need it. I must admit that many of the rail systems today offer enough rail surface to open a railroad, and since all I place on my gun is a weapon light, most of the rail goes unused and offers a sharp edge—even when rail “ladders” are in place. Rail guards also make the forend too wide for my hands. But this isn’t the case with the Magpul MOE version; it stays trim and easy to use even with small hands. The last piece of Magpul kit added to the Paladin was one of their polymer flip-up rear sights that can be released from either the top or side of the unit. While the current training trend is to keep the irons up even when using a reflex sight, I just can’t do it. Maybe I could when I had 20-year-old eyes, but these days it can make the sight picture too “busy” for me, so I keep the rear down and deploy it when needed. It’s slower, but it works, and being able to hit a button and have the sight pop up is worth noting.