Editor’s Be aware: This evaluate of the brand new POF Tombstone lever motion rifle was initially printed by our sister publication RECOIL. For extra in-depth gun opinions and information, go to RECOILweb.com.
Ever since Frank DeSomma based POF-USA over 20 years in the past, the corporate has marched to the beat of its personal drummer. They began with the AR platform, turning into well-known for his or her line of piston-driven weapons amongst a sea of direct-impingement weapons. Furthermore, not solely did POF incorporate a gasoline piston design, they developed extra distinctive options to reinforce operate and reliability, corresponding to their dual-extraction fluted chamber, outsized warmth sink barrel nut, and curler cam pin within the bolt service. For its subsequent magic trick, POF squeezed a .308 right into a .223-sized bundle with its short-stroke gas-piston Revolution rifle — a lot of its elements are interchangeable with an AR-15, and the barrel extension, bolt meeting, higher, and decrease receiver are precisely the identical dimension.
Since then, they’ve launched numerous iterations and refinements on their AR-platform weapons, in each gas-piston and direct-impingement flavors. And in 2022, the corporate launched the Phoenix 9mm subgun. The following gun in POF’s pipeline is a little bit of a departure from the others. You most likely wouldn’t be shocked that they’ve been creating a operated by hand firearm. And also you may count on that they’d construct a bolt gun subsequent, as have many different producers. Not POF.
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Above: POF’s new Tombstone lever motion PCC is prepared for the O.Okay. Corral, with 20 rounds of 9mm on faucet and trendy building and tactical facilities.
Jeremy Selting, their vice chairman of gross sales and advertising, advised us that POF “determined to take a step again and say, ‘What hasn’t been accomplished earlier than, and the way can POF-USA do it first?’ Whereas lever weapons have been round for over 100 years, we spun it round and used AR expertise with a number of the receiver parts, added a modular rail, and better of all, had a removable 20-round journal in one of the crucial accessible ammunition sorts out there in 9mm.”
Moreover, a lever gun is authorized in ban states and worldwide markets that prohibit semi-auto weapons.
Lever Me Timbers
Lever-action working techniques function a cocking deal with with a pivot in entrance of the set off; the deal with sometimes incorporates a set off guard and a loop for the shooter’s hand. Once you rotate the lever ahead, hyperlinks within the motion retract the bolt and extract the spent case. At full extension, the hammer will likely be cocked, and as you pull the lever again residence, a contemporary spherical is fed and pushed into the chamber.
Whereas early examples of weapons with lever-operated actions appeared within the late seventeenth century and early 18th century, it was the 1860 Henry rifle that first noticed widespread use and should pop into most individuals’s minds.
In the meantime, the Spencer rifle was the primary repeating lengthy gun adopted by the navy, and each lever-action rifles made their presence identified on Civil Conflict battlefields. The effectiveness of their journal capability and fee of fireside led to the broadly identified phrase, “It’s a rifle that you possibly can load on Sunday and shoot all week lengthy.”
Above: The aspect plates come off for upkeep, offering a pleasant view of the lever-action mechanism. The lever engages a toggle hyperlink and different connecting hyperlinks to maneuver the bolt and firing pin forwards and backwards.
The following important lever-action evolution was the Winchester 1873, primarily based on the Henry rifle and improved with a metal receiver, wooden forearm, and tubular journal with, importantly, a loading gate. Certainly, the Winchester is essentially the most iconic lever motion rifle, the “gun that received the West” featured in numerous Westerns.
You might say the lever gun was the fashionable sporting rifle of its age.
In truth, there’s been a resurgence in reputation of lever weapons lately, with extra trendy supplies and tactical options being added, in addition to hard-hitting big-bore fashions (see RECOIL Concern 39) getting a lift from a dinosaur-hunting look in Jurassic World. Nonetheless, they’re largely conventional in design, not that totally different from their progenitors.
POF’s new Tombstone is a lever-action rifle with a 16-inch barrel chambered in 9x19mm. In contrast to all of the tube-fed weapons available on the market, it feeds from a removable field journal, the 20-rounder that POF developed for its Phoenix subgun. It’s a proprietary polymer design that appears like a curved MP5 magazine; it’s a double column however tapers right down to a single feed level like a pistol, which POF says works higher for a handbook motion.
Working from tip to tail, the 4150 metal, 1:10 twist, fluted barrel is topped off with a muzzle brake secured with a lock nut. On the opposite finish of the barrel, it’s mounted with a barrel nut.
The AR-ish handguard consists of the cantilevered prime rail, which attaches to the highest of the receiver, in addition to M-LOK slots at 3, 6, and 9 o’clock on the forend. On the muzzle finish, there’s a brief piece of Pic rail on the highest and the underside, like an underbite. The highest piece consists of an integral blade entrance sight with a white stripe.
On the aft finish, above the receiver, is an XS ghost ring rear sight, adjustable for elevation and windage by way of set screws on both aspect.
Above: The Tombstone handles properly and factors very naturally.
Made from 7075-T6 aluminum, the receiver has a barely flared magwell; mixed with the tapered single-feed magazines, this makes it straightforward to insert contemporary mags. Nonetheless, the magwell is farther ahead from hearth management than shooters could also be accustomed to with different platforms, so it takes some reps to get used to it.
There are magazine releases on each side, similar to POF’s ambidextrous AR receivers — button on the fitting and lever on the left. In case you have fingers like E.T., you may be capable to attain them in your robust aspect. In any other case, we discovered it simplest to carry out magazine adjustments like with many different subguns — seize a contemporary magazine together with your assist hand, push the magazine launch on the off-side together with your thumb to eject the previous one, then insert the brand new magazine.
The angular-shaped lever shrouds the set off; shooters with enormous gloved meat hooks may really feel a bit claustrophobic within the set off guard. The cross-bolt security is reversible, and the hammer has a half-cock place.
Above: The crossbolt security is reversible. Be aware the AR-derived ambidextrous journal launch lever.
POF mates the Tombstone with Magpul’s glorious SGA 870 shotgun inventory, contouring the lever to suit completely. Consequently, you possibly can faucet into Magpul’s numerous colours and equipment, corresponding to cheek risers, QD sockets, and spacers, as desired.
Subject-stripping the gun for cleansing and upkeep entails a Torx driver, small elements, and a few finesse, so we’d classify it extra as a bench-stripping process that you just’d relatively not do within the area. After clearing the gun and guaranteeing it’s protected and unloaded, take away the aspect plates — paying homage to these candy previous Winchesters.
Hold the rifle oriented vertically as when you have been on track, or else small elements could fall out of the gun, and presumably to be misplaced eternally in your cluttered storage.
We used Midwest Industries’ PCC vise block; whereas it’s designed for Glock-compatible lowers, the large-frame aspect labored high quality to carry the Tombstone. A single Torx screw secures the aspect plates; when you take away them, take an in depth take a look at the connecting hyperlinks, toggle hyperlink, and pins. You’ll want to take an image when you want a reference when reassembling the gun.
Take away the hyperlinks and pins, in addition to the pin connecting the hyperlinks to the bolt. Decrease the lever, push within the firing pin, and take away the firing pin retaining pin. Now you possibly can pull the firing pin out of the rear of the receiver; push down on the hammer to clear it. Slide the bolt out to the rear and angle it downward to take away it from the receiver. Reassembly is the reverse of the above.
A Fistful of Ammo
The Tombstone may be very nimble, at simply 5.5 kilos, and with the normal buttstock, it factors very naturally, as any skeet or lure shooters on the market will perceive. It mounts shortly, proper on track, and snaps effortlessly from goal to focus on.
So whereas the integral XS ghost ring sights are good, that is 2023, and the Tombstone begs for an optic. A reflex sight could be an ideal match for the spritely rifle, so we mounted Atibal’s CRD purple dot sight — not solely does it have a roomy window, its angular housing matched the Tombstone’s aesthetics. Name us slaves to style. The dot is vivid, has 40,000 hours of battery life, and it got here with a Pic rail adapter for its RMR footprint.
Above: The Atibal CRD red-dot sight has a roomy window, vivid heart dot, and 40,000 hours of battery life.
Moreover, any critical rifle ought to have a weapon-mounted gentle. Consistent with the slim, light-weight theme, we fitted it with SureFire’s Micro Scout Mild Professional. Powered by a single AAA battery, it’s tiny, however nonetheless places out 300 lumens (1,045 candela). Plus, its slick, pivoting, built-in low-profile mount sucks it proper up towards the handguard. One other nice match for the Tombstone.
Above: SureFire’s diminutive, AAA-powered Micro Scout Mild Professional is an ideal match for the nimble Tombstone, providing 300 lumens and a smooth, low profile mount.
There’s not much more fastened Pic rail actual property for different equipment, however there are many M-LOK slots for extra goodies. The muzzle is threaded ½-28; we had deliberate to connect JK Armament’s new micro-sized CCX suppressor. It might’ve been one other good match for the Tombstone, however alas, we missed our tight publication window.
On the bench, we put the rifle on baggage to chronograph and group some masses. Sellier & Bellot 115-grain FMJ clocked at a mean of 1,361 fps however delivered the most important teams at over 4 MOA. Ranger SXT 147-grain HP and Winchester white field 115-grain FMJ turned in teams of two to 2.5 MOA and muzzle velocities of 1,096 and 1,409 fps, respectively.
Norma’s 124-grain FMJ and 108-grain MHP dialed it up a notch, with finest teams of two.1 and 1.6 MOA, at 1,237 and 1,480 fps, respectively. Lastly, lowly aluminum-cased CCI Blazer 115-grain FMJ drilled out a formidable 1 MOA group, with common velocities of 1,336 fps.
The set off breaks cleanly at 3 kilos, although it has fairly a little bit of overtravel. Nonetheless, it’s not a giant deal as this can be a lever-action rifle; it’s not such as you’ll be working the reset.
The Tombstone handles exceedingly properly; it presents on track shortly and is maneuverable in tight areas like hallways.
The lever is easy, and there’s even a magnet on the underside of the receiver to make sure it pulls up and stays tight once you convey it residence. It’s a blast to work the lever furiously, like an Earp, ringing metal throughout you.
Talking of working the lever, make sure to rack it with authority. As a operated by hand weapon, this ensures dependable extraction and ejection. At our first vary session, we skilled a number of nose-up and nose-down feeding points — these turned out to be because of a nasty journal. However with new mags in hand, we found one different factor to pay attention to. With sure ammo, the final spherical within the magazine would typically bind within the chamber when you didn’t shut the motion shortly.
Above: The Tombstone makes use of the identical proprietary polymer 20-round magazines as POF’s Phoenix subgun. They function a single-feed design, sometimes seen in pistol mags.
It diversified by ammo kind; for instance, on one hand, you possibly can work the motion gingerly like a frightened newspaper journalist, and S&B would feed all day lengthy. However, the final spherical of Norma MHP needed to be slammed residence to make sure it fed.
The remainder of the journal would feed high quality for us, so if that final spherical does bind, take it as a sign to reload (there’s no last-round-bolt-hold-open on lever weapons). In any case, finest follow is to all the time work the lever as shortly and effectively as you possibly can, and to make sure to take a look at your required masses, being attentive to the final spherical within the journal, for any mission important duties like residence protection.
The Magnificent 9
The Tombstone isn’t for everybody, and that’s OK. The worth alone takes it out of mass-market consideration. Essentially, some could scoff on the idea of a lever-action gun in 9mm; if we had to decide on, we’d take a semi-auto over a lever-action too. In truth, POF would fortunately provide you with certainly one of their Phoenix semi-auto 9mm weapons to fill that function.
However when you’re behind enemy strains in a ban-state or in any other case want a operated by hand PCC — or when you merely desire a distinctive, nimble, and correct carbine which you could rack and clack to your coronary heart’s content material whereas consuming your stash of 9mm — POF’s Tombstone is a cool, trendy interpretation of the gun that received the west.
POF-USA Tombstone Specs
- Caliber: 9x19mm
- Capability: 20
- Barrel size: 16 inches
- General size: 35.6 inches
- Weight: 5.5 kilos
- MSRP: $1,962
- Atibal CRD purple dot sight: $315
- SureFire Micro Scout Mild Professional: $299
- Value as TESTED: $2,576
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Disclosure: These hyperlinks are affiliate hyperlinks. Caribou Media Group earns a fee from qualifying purchases. Thanks!
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