Gun laws are a bit odd in most countries. Gun control legislators usually legislate with emotions rather than logic, and the resulting laws are frequently all over the place. The most awkward laws are frequently those that attempt to ban “assault weapons”, a made up term to gun control activists use to describe a wide range of scary looking guns. States like California, New York, and Massachusetts have enacted somewhat restrictive laws and Canada has restricted AR-15’s by name. As a result, gun manufacturers have filled the gap with oddly shaped semi automatic rifles to fit the bill. Others, like Troy, have gone a different route to get AR-15-like rifles to customers: by going with a pump action instead of semi automatic.
Video Review of Troy PAR 308
The Troy PAR is extremely similar to a midrange AR-15 in quality and features. It comes with a Troy Alpha free-float aluminum forend that’s been modified to work with the pump action. I really like the Troy Alpha rail and have one on my AR-15. On this rifle, it has a bit less utility because you can’t really use most of the mounting points because the pump forend will interfere. Still, it looks great and grants you a full top picatinny rail.
Troy PAR’s come with folding stocks or with buffer tube mounted stocks. The one on this rifle was an inexpensive Troy plastic stock. It offers storage in the rear of the butt and adjusts for length. It’s not a really fancy unit but most people end up replacing the stock anyways, so I don’t see this is a major issue. It did catch my beard hair a bit, a frustratingly common problem with AR stocks. How am I supposed to operate without an operator beard??
The trigger on the PAR 308 was a pretty run of the mill mil spec feeling unit. A bit of grit and take up as well as about a 6 lb trigger pull. Upgrading the trigger would be a help to add to practical accuracy.
The Troy Pump Action Sporting Rifle
The pump action itself comes with some pros and cons. Right off the bat, the 308 version that I had was somewhat tight and got really gritty after a range session of about 50 rounds. To resolve the grittiness and smooth things out a bit, I vigorously pumped the forend while it was off the lower and then took it all apart, cleaned, and oiled it. That really smoothed out the action.
Running this rifle off bags at the range is considerably slower than running a semi because you have to take it right off the bags, pump the action, and then replace it and re-align your sights.
Because the pump uses simple polymer panels overtop rails that use the pica tinny interface, you can replace them with simple ladder covers, or run a hand stop, or AFG, or vertical grip, or whatever. That bit of flexibility was a nice touch, though it would have been nicer if the entire rail was pica tinny instead of having blank rail in the middle.
Use Cases & Competitors
Here in Canada, this somewhat competes with with our other non restricted black rifles in 223 and 308 rifles like the XCR-M, Tavor, and ACR. Where I think the PAR has a big advantage is in accuracy. Many of the PAR’s out there are seeing 1-2 MOA accuracy, which is considerably better than the 2-5 MOA that most of those other rifles are capable of producing. Because the Troy PAR shares more components with the AR platform, it’s also more customizable and inexpensive to customize. Adding a new trigger to your PAR in 223 will be considerably cheaper than buying one for your Tavor. The rifle itself is also incredibly reasonably priced compared to those other non restricted black rifles. With the Tavor at around $2800, XCR at $2800 and ACR at $3000, it’s a lot cheaper. It’s more expensive than something like the T97 or CZ858, but I’d argue that it’s in a different quality class than those rifles.
The Troy PAR in 223 is a fantastic choice for a coyote/varmint rifle. Light, accurate, with fast follow up shots is exactly what you need in a varmint rifle. The 308 version can be used for deer and larger game, but it’s not really the best choice. It’s bulkier than a bolt action rifle and will likely come in a bit heavier. Quick follow up shots are also not necessarily as important on deer because you’re not doubling up like you can on a pair of coyotes with the PAR in 223. Still, if you want a cool 308 rifle that is fun at the range and can do a deer in a pinch, the Troy PAR in 308 is a pretty tough package to beat.
Optics for the PAR line up exactly with optics you’d choose for any AR platform and should reflect the type of shooting you want to do with it. If you’re up close, irons or a simple red dot will do the trick. A 1-4 scope comes with more flexibility and extends the distance that most people will be able to make hits with. With the accuracy that the rifle is capable of, you could always go with more magnification as well. A 2-7 or 3-9 would work fine for longer range work. Just make sure to use a standard AR-height scope mount if you go with an optic.
Troy PAR Disassembly
Troy PAR Accuracy
There are many users out there reporting superb accuracy with their Troy PAR’s. I will say that the first few boxes out of this 308 were very disappointing. I saw closer to 5 MOA groups at 100 yards. But, after running a few boxes through, the barrel fouled and groups tightened up considerably with the ammo that it liked. I will note that some people have had accuracy problems from theirs and that this particular rifle was VERY picky. With the right ammo it turned in nice tight groups under 1 MOA, but it shot like total trash with other types of ammo even after being worked in.
Within the Canadian context of things, there aren’t very many non restricted black rifles to choose from, and they’re all very pricey. Getting a fast-firing black rifle with a rail top, excellent ergonomics, and great accuracy at around $1000 used to be impossible. Now with the Troy PAR in Canada, it’s easily within reach. While the trigger could use replacing with another model, and the stock could be better, those are both items that the user can easily address later with the incredible selection in aftermarket parts. And if you want to go hunting deer with a black rifle, the PAR is absolutely the best option at this point.