Patriot Ordnance P415

The P415 takes AR reliability to a whole new level
Suppose we told you that we had extensively tested an AR-based carbine that didn’t need lubrication? And suppose we told you that it really didn’t need regular cleaning, either? Finally, suppose we told you that this new AR would run over 20,000 rounds without regular maintenance or a single malfunction?
You’d probably think that Cutshaw needed to turn himself in for a drug test. Such an AR upgrade exists as either a “drop on” upper receiver or a complete carbine. Don Alexander, Co-Director of Training at SHD Consulting and Special Forces personnel in Afghanistan have used it extensively.
The figures that follow are Alexander’s, not mine. Alexander set out to shoot the P415 upper receivers he got from Patriot Ordnance Factory (POF) without cleaning or lubing them until they started to malfunction. He never made it.
Alexander’s rifle was cleaned for the first time after 16,000 rounds, not because the P415 needed it, but because he was teaching a course for the State Department that mandated a class on cleaning and maintenance. In a memo to Frank Desomma, President of POF, Alexander stated that he had yet to experience a single malfunction except one that was attributable to a faulty magazine very early in his use of the P415 upper. Alexander, a retired US Army Special Forces Chief Warrant Officer with 26 years’ experience, is not one to make statements such as these lightly or in jest.

Our experience with a P415 matches Alexander’s – our long-term test P415 that we have used extensively since 2006 has yet to require cleaning or lubrication other than an occasional wipe down with a dry shop towel. Since Alexander’s testing, US Army Special Forces units have used POF carbines extensively in Afghanistan and have found them to be totally reliable, not to mention accurate. There have even been reports of troops putting over 100,000 rounds through their POF carbines without significant maintenance.
POF’s AR-type carbine is unlike any other. Externally, the most obvious difference between the P415 and others is the patented P-4SX upper receiver that not only features an uninterrupted full length MIL-STD-1913 top rail and rails at the handguard sides and bottom, but also free floats the barrel, enabling mounting accessories without affecting the carbine’s zero.
The latest POF carbines have a “spine” atop the upper receiver rather than a MIL-STD-1913 rail that allows the one piece P-4SX receiver/handguard to be slid into place and retained with bolts, essentially making for a rigid two-piece upper receiver. The P415 barrel is fluted along its entire length for rigidity and heat dissipation. The flutes offer a greater surface area, so heat is more rapidly dispersed than with standard heavy barrels. Flutes also stiffen the barrel and improve accuracy by reducing barrel vibration as the rifle is fired.
The barrel bore is nitrided, which makes for a surface that approaches diamond hardness and prevents fouling because nothing can adhere to it. Fit and finish of the P415 are excellent. We were particularly impressed with the mating of upper and lower receivers with absolutely no “play” whatsoever. POF’s P415 is one of the best-assembled AR-type rifles we have ever seen.
One of the major differences between the P415 and any other is the patented gas system that eliminates the inherent problems associated with Stoner’s original design. The original AR direct impingement gas system not only blows large amounts of fouling and particulate matter back into the receiver, but also causes excessive heat to be transferred to the receiver area in rapid semiautomatic or full automatic fire.
There have been attempts to solve the AR’s gas system issues in the past, but POF is one of the most innovative and successful. The P415 gas system consists of a FAL-type gas cylinder plug, a chrome-lined gas cylinder with a chrome-plated stainless steel piston and operating rod that impinges against a reinforced bolt carrier key.
Unlike some other “op rod” systems, there are no springs on the P415 rod. Heat from sustained firing may damage springs that surround op rods that are in close proximity to the barrel. This is especially true in select-fire rifles. The P415 gas system is self-regulating, so any type of ammo can be used. The P415 system can be easily and quickly disassembled by simply pressing in on the gas cylinder plug button while rotating the plug clockwise.
Once the plug is removed, the piston and operating rod fall out when the muzzle is pointed down. Reassembly is accomplished simply by dropping the rod and piston back into the gas cylinder with the muzzle pointed up. The plug fits only one way and cannot be incorrectly reassembled. All that is necessary is to push the plug into place, press the locking button and rotate the plug counterclockwise.
Another notable feature is that the P415 is completely ambidextrous. Most ARs require the use of both hands to change magazines and get the carbine back into action because the magazine release is on the right side of the receiver and the bolt release is on the left. Not the P415. While the P415 has the standard magazine release and bolt stop, a separate bolt release has been added on the right side just above the magazine release.
All that is necessary to change magazines and get back in the fight is to drop the empty mag, insert a loaded one and press the bolt stop located just above the magazine release using the trigger finger. The bolt release is slightly to the rear of the mag release as well, so the chance of inadvertently dropping the mag instead of the bolt is minimized.
After using ARs with the original direct gas impingement system, P415 maintenance is a true revelation. While conventional AR receivers fill with fouling and particulate matter after a few rounds, the P415 remains relatively clean even after extensive firing. There is no carbon fouling or caked carbon to be found on the bolt or in the bolt carrier recesses.


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