Featured P-40 Warhawk POF Revolution Frank Plumb April 7, 2022 Join the Conversation A One-of-a-kind Tribute to the Late Frank DeSomma — the P-40 Warhawk POF Revolution On June 18, 2020, Frank DeSomma, the 57-year-old entrepreneur and former aerospace engineer of Patriot Ordnance Factory fame, tragically passed away in a car accident. This industry lost a stalwart defender and unabashed advocate. Frank was a close mentor of mine. I loved and respected Frank, and he lived life on his terms and without reservation. The elements that drive business management success are often different from those needed for innovation. Management is about predictable and profitable outcomes. Effective business management often involves efficient operations and controlling resources very tightly. Innovation, on the other hand, is about inspiration and imagination — leveraging your resources to create new and often unpredictable outcomes. Very rarely, a person comes along who can do both. They can both manage and imagine. One such man was Frank DeSomma. Frank was a bit of a maverick. He was driven to do the right thing, not just to do things right. Exceptionally patriotic, Frank was outspoken like none other. Frank went from being ready to fold it all up and in, to being tremendously successful. He blazed a path for others to follow. The core fundamentals of a man and his experience as an aerospace engineer became unencumbered when he started POF. Frank’s drive, dedication, and innovation were about to be unleashed on this industry. Some early and painful business challenges nearly put him out of business, but he subsequently brought POF products to the top of the mountain. Frank wasn’t willing to just fall in line and grind it out. He bucked the system, balancing innovation and tight production management. He didn’t go completely “rogue,” but he threw aside the conventional AR orthodoxy. The cost to your reputation and brand could very easily suffer. If you get it wrong, you’ll be blown out of the water. It’s called risk for a reason, but Frank knew it was a price worth paying to be able to create, innovate, and succeed. The handguard sports the iconic WWII Flying Tiger’s shark mouth. PATRIOT ORDNANCE FACTORY POF started manufacturing piston AR-style rifles in 2004; they always focused on improving performance of the AR series of rifles. Specifically, they advocated for piston-driven systems in dry and dusty conditions. POF is largely known for these systems, such as the P415 and Piston Revolution. But it wasn’t all piston guns; Frank brought out several direct impingement guns such as the Rogue, Revolution, Minuteman, Wonder, and Renegade. The penultimate rifle, and the subject of this article, is the Revolution. The POF Revolution platform squeezes a 308 into the same dimensions as a standard AR-15. THE INSPIRATION If you look through some of POF’s marketing materials, you’ll find the WWII-signature “Shark’s Mouth” nosecone from time to time. Frank was really into WWII aviation, so this direct-impingement Revolution is painted to match the Flying Tigers. In particular, this Flying Tiger represents the Curtiss P-40C Warhawk piloted by Robert Lee Scott Jr. WWII ace pilot and Brigadier General in the USAF, Scott ended up taking command of the Flying Tigers after they were assimilated into the U.S. Army Air Force in 1942. Scott is best known for his memoir God is My Co-Pilot, written in 1943. This book and subsequent movie are about his time with the Flying Tigers in China and Burma. Originally a cargo pilot, Scott convinced the commander of the Flying Tigers, General Chennault, to let him fly the Warhawk. As you may expect from a fighting ace, Scott was known for being innovative and aggressive in his aircraft, and his P-40 is a worthy theme for this rifle celebrating Frank. The POF Revolution is adorned with the iconic Flying Tiger’s shark mouth. Also shown on both sides are Imperial Japanese flags that represent Scott’s 11 verified combat kills. On the left side of the magazine well is Flying Tiger pinup art from Andrew Bawidamann. The B5 stock has the U.S. 1942 roundel, appropriate for the time when Scott took command of the Flying Tigers. The stock also has Scott’s No. 7 tail number. The livery for this build is based on the Curtiss P-40C Warhawk piloted by Robert Lee Scott Jr., a WWII ace pilot and Brigadier General in the USAF. THE POF REVOLUTION One element routinely overlooked about the Revolution is its dimensions. It’s the exact same size as a standard AR-15. As a matter of fact, to highlight this point, a standard AR-15 upper receiver can be mounted to the Revolution’s lower receiver. This required some clever innovation on the design front, and the end result has even caught the eye of the Department of Defense. In 2019 and 2020, POF made some efforts into the Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiments. POF had submitted a rifle for the Interim Combat Service Rifle, a program for which I initially helped lay the groundwork. While that program was eventually replaced with the Next Generation Squad Weapon and the CSASS, the DoD’s interest in POF’s weapon never went away. A rifle with high parts commonality with the M4 series of rifle and could fire the NGSW 6.8 ammunition, in a 7-pound configuration, has a lot of appeal. The Revolution is lightweight, coming in at 6.8 pounds and chambered in 7.62x51mm NATO. The chamber features POF’s E2 dual extraction technology, relief cuts in the chamber itself that allow for heat expansion of brass cases during heavy use and easier extraction. The barrel is 16.5 inches long, a match-grade nitride heat-treated part that allows for an overall length of 34 inches. It has a 1/10 twist, rated to shoot 1 minute of angle at 100 yards with Federal 168-grain National Match. I verified this with True Velocity polymer-cased 168 NM rounds. At the end of the barrel is POF’s triple-port muzzle brake. The handguard is specific to the Revolution, with small tabs that help index to the upper receiver. Also, it has QD points at the rear of the handguard, which is secured to the heat sink barrel nut POF is known for. This rifle is the direct-impingement version, with a 9-position adjustable Dictator gas block. This allows the user to alter gas flow for best operation based on cartridge selection and/or suppressor use. The trigger is POF’s 4.5-pound drop-in trigger system with KNS anti-walk pins, which breaks cleanly with a crisp reset. The Revolution also features fully ambidextrous controls, including the bolt release, safety selector, bolt catch, and magazine release. Another nice feature is these parts use small screws rather than roll pins. I highly appreciated this during the rebuild. Features like this, and how each assembly has tracking numbers for quality assurance efforts, attests to Frank’s rigorous aerospace background. OUTFITTING On top of the Revolution is Steiner’s radical CQT optic — a red-dot scope with an integrated thermal imager. Turn the power knob one click, and you’ll see a standard red dot. Flick it just one more click to the right, and you’ll then see a thermal image as well. Many of us early GWOT types still live the “clip-on lifestyle” when it comes to optical accessories. For rifles meant for close work and for those who want to use non-emitting targeting methods, it’s a big step forward. It has several modes, but many find themselves gravitating to the thermal outline with red dot. On this POF Revolution it even evokes the early reflective sights found in WWII fighter planes. We’re much more likely to be engaging wild pigs than A6M Zeros, which is why the magazine of choice for this build is the Magpul D50 drum. High-capacity drums are very useful in aerial operations. Frank would’ve loved to help eradicate the vermin problem in Texas, hanging out of a helicopter with this rifle. The Revolution’s size and weight are perfect for this. Steiner’s radical CQT optic combines a red-dot sight with an integrated thermal imager, perfect to top off a rifle dubbed the Revolution. LEGACY I last spoke to Frank on the day that he died. He stressed that there was a path for all of us to climb. We need to help the shooting community to get stronger. To become a more cohesive and professional culture. To purge the scammers and frauds, while elevating the ideals we all espouse. Frank liked to regularly discuss what he thought it took to be a better business leader. I’ve dubbed it the DeSomma Doctrine. It’s 5 C’s: Creator, Children, Constitution, Customers, Conscience. Creator: keep yourself accountable to God; only He and you really know the truth. Children: leave a legacy for your children; leave them something so they can follow their dreams. Constitution: protect the values this country stands for. Earn it; America is special, so keep it that way. Customers: care for your customers like they were you; it might not always work out, but damn they’ll know you tried. Then, above all else, do the right thing. Keep a clear conscience. Before I hung up the phone with him on June 18, 2020, this is what he said, “The only guarantee is that one day we all die. You can spend your time allowing yourself to be held back … or you can drive forward and climb up to where you belong.” It was only fitting to feed the POF Revolution innovative new polymer-cased ammo from True Velocity. Frank’s success at POF-USA is an example that the American dream is still very much alive — that hard work, determination, and innovation are still rewarded. His support for the Second Amendment remained unwavering and always on display. He donated his time and resources to many military organizations, supporting active duty and veterans of all branches. Our community and industry are lesser now that he’s gone. We now face threats that Frank continually warned us all about. Anyone who knew him would know that he stood defiantly against the leftist overreach so obviously displayed now. We must take up the cause of vigorously defending our most cherished rights. It’s what Frank would want us to do. I can only hope we can do it half as well as he did. It’s the best way to honor a man who spent his life bringing his best to this community. An innovator, a father, a husband, a friend, and no greater patriot, Frank will be dearly missed. 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