Patriot Ordnance Manufacturing facility: The American Spirit Lives On
Last June, the firearms world lost its own when the founder, owner and president of Patriot Ordnance Factory (POF-USA), Frank DeSomma, died of a traffic accident in the company’s hometown of Phoenix, Arizona. He was a passionate firearms enthusiast, proponent of the second amendment, and a true patriot who went out of his way to support military personnel and veterans.
As a weapons manufacturer, DeSomma was also, in many ways, a small arms pioneer of the 21st century, whose name has made a name for itself among others Samuel Colt, John Browning, and John Garand. More importantly, during his career, DeSomma refined and enhanced the work begun by Eugene Stoner and the AR-15 platform.
The weapons pioneer of the 21st century
The Brooklyn-born engineer didn’t want to be a gunsmith or a firearms designer. He had worked as an engineer in the aerospace industry for twenty-eight years, and brought that technical experience to the world of weapons manufacturing after relocating his family to Arizona. He founded the Patriot Ordnance Factory in 2002.
The company grew rapidly, and DeSomma had earned more than a dozen firearms-related patents in a career that tragically ended.
However, his innovations will have a lasting impact on the design of automatic rifles (AR).
DeSomma was known for solving the two common problems of carbon pollution and the short cylinder timing problems associated with popular gas impingement systems AR-15 advanced sports rifle platform when used in dusty conditions. Rather than injecting the operating gases directly into the upper receiver – which is the core operation of most AR-15s – DeSomma’s design resulted in the piston being pushed over an actuating rod that acts on the bolt carrier and sets the extraction and reloading in motion . The action resulted in an almost complete reduction in carbon pollution while at the same time solving the timing programs with short gas pipes used in some ARs.
Thanks to DeSomma’s innovations, POF-USA-ARs have rightly earned a reputation for being among the best on the market in less than two decades. The designs are also widely recognized.
The POF Revolution AR-15, with which ballistics should be brought closer to the AR-10 and used for the .308 Winchester cartridge, won the American shooter “Golden Bullseye Award” for 2018.
Last year, at the Firearms Industry Choice Awards 2019, the company was honored with the Rifle of the Year Award for Revolution DI (Direct Impingement), which shared many of the features, advances and technologies of the previously award-winning Revolution PD (Piston Driven). The DI operation was characterized by a hand guard with a smaller profile, a lower weight and nine adjustment positions thanks to the Dictator gas block.
This was the third year in a row that a POF USA rifle won the award.
The Phoenix-based company has continued to bring out innovative firearms. Its offerings include the AR-15 style Minuteman, available in rifle and pistol configurations in calibers 5.56 NATO and .350 Legend. and this year even the .22LR Rebel was introduced, which has already achieved the reputation of the “ultimate plinker”.
As the industry mourns DeSomma, it is clear that he left a legacy of firearms that will keep the POF spirit alive for generations to come.
Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites. He is the author of several books on military headgear, including A gallery of military headdresses available on Amazon.com.