I'm stuck at home for four weeks as part of the Covid 19 lockdown so figured it was a good time to post this. I've had a Troy PAR for a few years now. I recently wrote an article on it for NZguns.co.nz the original article was written for a NZ audience so I have tweaked it a little for LF.net. I know its a little out of place on this forum but these rifles have been mentioned here a few times, I know a few others also have them.
I dont pretend to be the best writer so if I have missed anything put your questions down below.
This is the old style optics ready rifle with a collapsing stock for the NZ market (under NZ law the firearm must meet an OAL of 762 mm or 30in)
The Troy Pump Action Rifle (PAR) is an interesting firearm, the pump action tends to have a Marmite effect on people. Folks tend to get it or hate it, there's not a lot of middle ground. It combines the ergonomics and quick handling of an AR, along with a lot of its accessories, with a rifle that is subject to less restriction.
I purchased my Troy PAR about two years ago and have about 800 rounds through it, its proved itself in the field on goats many times at ranges from 5-200m and at the range out to 250m.
People thought it was a little odd that I got a pump over a semi, some of the reasons I went with the Troy over one of the neutered semi autos available at the time were;
- Adjustable stock, this can be quickly adjusted to fit different shooters and positions.
- Cost, Troy is one of the better manufacturers out there and at the time the PAR cost the same as a budget AR.
- Ban resistant, it didn't take a genius to see semi autos would be banned as soon as there was a suitable tragedy to exploit and sure enough that's exactly what happened.
Another advantage that folks might appreciate is that these work with a lot of AR specific sights and mounts like the ACOG or Elcan as well as other accessories eg VFG, lights and lasers.
ARs are successful for a reason and the PAR shares a lot of the great handling characteristics and ergonomics. The safety and mag release are in the same place but there's no bolt release or hold open or charging handle as they are not needed. The Troy has four attachment points for QD sling swivels and there are storage compartments in the pistol grip and stock. The full length picatinny rail provides plenty of space for sights and accessories.
Older versions have a pump fore grip with another three sections of picatinny, newer versions have a more ergonomic pump. Troy recommends only using brass ammo but I know one guy that only shoots steel cased with no problems.
These rifles are available in differant calibers so you could have one lower several uppers just like an AR.
This is an interesting rifle I really like mine and have had a lot of success with it but it does have some unique handling characteristics that can cause problems. The rifle has performed well for me and I have only had three stoppages, one from bad ammo and two from faulty magazines although I have short stroked the rifle a number of times shooting from supported positions when at the range. I even went so far as to stick a bit of picatinny rail on the fore end to act as a reference point which helped a little. The other problem is cycling the pump in the prone position at the range can be awkward for some people, I say the range because in the field about 60-70% of my shots on animals are from the prone and I never had a problem. Before the ban I would monopod the rifle off a 30 round magazine with great results.
To be clear all the problems I've had shooting with it have been at the range, once your out on the hill dealing with all the different things going on you just don't notice them as much or at least I dont. I think the largest mob of goats I have taken at one time had 8 in it and another time I took 12 in about 10 minutes. Which I couldn't have done with a regular bolt gun, Ive cleaned out a few mobs on my own with this rifle, combined with the suppressor and good tactics its been devastating. I also used the rifle in this years NZ Manual Action IPSC match, firing 80 rds over 4-5 stages with no problems. I like to use IPSC as a testing ground but its important not to 'game' it.
I interviewed R, who won the Manual Action Open division at last years IPSC rifle match (he came 9th overall, beating a lot of AR shooters). Being experienced with pump action shotguns through IPSC and 3 gun he hasn't had problems short stroking the action although his son has, like me this only happened when shooting from support or over barricades. Rod said he thought it was the fastest action for sure but there was definitely a knack to shooting it well and it can be awkward to shoot from the prone. His also has a terrible trigger, long and gritty, as does mine, but liked the rifle enough he purchased both the .223 and .308 versions. He reported accuracy of 1 ½- 2 MOA with factory ammunition which is what myself and those I've spoken to have also been getting. He has had no problem reloading brass marked by the fluted chamber, the latest versions have normal chambers.
I showed the rifle to a friend, he wasn't too keen on the pump action to begin with but soon warmed up to it once he started using it. One point he raised was how it would compare to a bolt gun in the prone. So we decided to have a bit of a shoot off, his ruger ranch .223 vs the Troy PAR. Unfortunately my shot timer app failed, so there is no data to back up our conclusions. My impression was that the bolt was slightly quicker in the prone (using the Lee Enfield technique) and the pump was quicker overall but honestly I don't believe there's that much of a difference if you take the time to master your rifle. The technique that works best for me; is to grip the pump as far back as you can, so your hand is moving the minimum distance and to pivot of your forward elbow as you cycle the action. One thing I like about the pump is that you dont have to change your hand position to cycle the action like you do with a bolt, once you get the technique right it feels smoother.
Users have reported two potential issues. The first being the top of the slide release breaking, Steve from Burley Arms sells a replacement part that's easy to put in. He says the problem has only appeared in .308’s, so far the .223’s are fine. The second problem is the action bar can break, some pump shotgun shooters will pull back on the pump before taking their shot so that as soon as the shot is taken and the action released the gun will start to cycle, this allows for a quick follow up shot. Shooters that have done this a lot on the PAR are reporting that the action bars are breaking, quite quickly. This technique may work on a shotgun but on a rifle there's no way to correctly “follow through” your shot for proper accuracy. It's not something I have ever thought of doing as it goes against the fourth principle of marksmanship “The shot must be released and followed through without any undue physical disturbance to the position.” I’ll let the reader decide for themselves how much of an issue this is.
These issues aside my only gripes are the long and gritty trigger that it comes with although they are easily replaceable it can be tricky depending on what ammo you are using. I had to remove a JP Industries trigger because it didn't work with the PMC Bronze ammo I was shooting. I have heard the ALG QMS triggers and the Trigger Tech drop ins work well but your mileage may vary. Also the hand guard is longer than it needs to be, there is only 70mm from the handguard to the muzzle which pretty much limits you to a muzzle forward suppressor.
Something else Ive noticed is that not all magazines block the bolt after the last round allowing you to close the action on an empty chamber. The 10 rd Magpul P mags (3rd gen) will block the bolt but after reloading you need to pull the pump fully to the rear before pushing it foward or the bolt will pass over the top round in the magazine without chambering it.
Operation and layout
The controls on the Troy PAR are laid out the same as for an AR with a few notable differences. The trigger and mag release are in the same place and work the same way. Because it's not semi auto there's no cocking handle at the rear of the receiver and no bolt release instead there is a pump disconnect between the magwell and the trigger guard, like a pump action shotgun this allows the shooter to open the action without firing it.
There's a misconception that the PAR upper can be put on a standard AR lower but this is not possible as the back of the receiver is a different shape also the lower lacks a buffer tube so you cant put an AR upper that either.
The shooting sequence is as follows;
Load a magazine as you would an AR, pull the pump rearward then push it forward like a pump shotgun to chamber a round now the action is cocked you can apply the safety catch (like an AR the safety only works when the action is cocked). Disconnect the safety and shoot as you would a pump action shotgun.
Hosing the rifle down after getting it covered in mud. When the rifle gets wet I give it a detailed strip and clean otherwise I just oil it and leave it.
I really like this rifle, they are a lot of fun to shoot and make very capable field and competition rifles. They do come with some potential issues though and there is definitely a knack to shooting them well. In the authors opinion they are a viable replacement for those that had to give up their semi autos especially if they have a lot of now useless AR accessories. These rifles aren't for everyone but they work well in their niche. I see them being very popular at IPSC matches and with pest controllers, others must agree as they don't stay in stock with retailers for long. While the Troy PAR isn't a replacement for an AR15 it is the next best thing.