Short-barreled rifles (SBRs) chambered in .308 Winchester/7.62mm NATO have always been popular among military operators. While the chambering offers significant stopping power at distance, a shorter barrel makes such a rifle more conducive for CQB operations, providing the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, getting the 7.62mm NATO AR platform to operate reliably has been problematic. Gas piston operating systems have changed that, however, and every year the industry is getting better at building them. I recently tested another solid contender, the 12.5-inch-barreled P308 from Patriot Ordnance Factory, or POF-USA.
Patriot Ordnance Factory has long been at the forefront of piston-driven AR-platform rifle manufacturing. In fact, the company’s patented piston design is one of the most proven in the industry. Early on, the company focused on making short-barreled variants often at the request of military and law enforcement personnel.
My test P308 featured billet-crafted upper and lower receivers coated in NP3, which provides excellent protection along with a self-lubricating surface. The handguard is free-floating, the bolt carrier group is nickel plated, and all of the lower receiver controls are ambidextrous. The lower also has an oversized triggerguard, which makes the rifle easier to operate while wearing gloves.
At the range, the P308 SBR proved to be one of the most reliable 7.62mm NATO-chambered ARs with a short barrel I’ve ever used. It worked with pretty much everything it was fed, even during rapid-fire strings. The rifle was also incredibly handy for its chambering. I fired it from several positions, on the move, and around my truck without a single problem.
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