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Get ‘PAR’mped with a TROY Pump Action Rifle

By Kelvin Dixon

The TROY Pump Action Rifle (PAR) is an interesting firearm. Folks tend to like 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, but in a rifle that is subject to less restriction.

 

I purchased my TROY through Burley Arms two years ago and have put about 600 rounds through it. It’s proved itself in the field on goats many times at ranges out to 200 metres and at the range to 250m. Recently I used the rifle at the 2020 IPSC Rifle Championships in the Manual Action Rifle Match, firing 80 rounds with no problems in seven stages from field positions including prone. The winner of the match (not me!) also used a TROY.

 

At the time of purchase people thought it was odd to choose a pump-action over a semi but I wasn’t interested in the hassle of E Cat. Among the reasons I went with the TROY over an A Cat semi-auto were:

 

Adjustable stock - this can be quickly adjusted to fit different shooters and positions.

 

Standard magazine - I liked being able to rest the rifle on its 30rd magazine in the prone position. (Ed: 30 rounds magazines of course are no longer an option). Bipods may be better but they aren’t worth the extra weight, bulk and cost for the type of shooting I do. Also the 30rd magazine was pretty handy for dealing with mobs of goats.

 

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 what happened. (Although I wouldn’t be surprised if pumps like these are banned soon as well. If you value firearms ownership please get behind COLFO or SSANZ and the Fair & Reasonable campaign).

 

Another advantage the folks who have lost their ARs might appreciate is that the TROY works with a lot of AR specific sights and mounts like the ACOG or Elcan.

 

The truth is that after years overseas being issued all kinds of firearms, now that I have to buy my own ammo semi-autos just didn’t interest me as much as they used to. 

 

“Another advantage the folks who have lost their ARs might appreciate is that the Troy works with a lot of AR specific sights and mounts like the ACOG or Elcan.”

 

ARs are successful for a reason and the PAR shares their 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. 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 standard pump fore-grip with another three sections of picatinny, newer versions have a more ergonomic pump with an accessory handle. TROY recommends using brass ammo but Steve at Burley Arms has had no problem shooting steel-cased. 

 

The TROY disassembled - barrel length is 16” and overall weight 6lbs.

 

Another advantage these rifles have over an AR is that they work well suppressed - you don’t have to worry about getting gas blowback in your face or problems with cycling. They work best with muzzle-forward suppressors as there’s only 70mm of barrel between the hand-guard and muzzle and not many over-barrel suppressors will fit.

 

Hopefully as these rifles become more popular the suppressor companies will start making products for them. For me this has been one of the most frustrating features of the rifle. The thread pitch is ½ x 28 UNEF and accepts standard AR muzzle devices.

 

I really like my TROY and have had a lot of success with it, but it does have some unique handling characteristics that can cause problems. I have had only 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 at the range.

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I even went so far as to attach a section of picatinny rail on the fore-end to act as a reference point which helped a little. Cycling the pump in the prone position can be awkward for some people. In the field about 60-70% of my shots on animals are from the prone and I’ve never had a problem. Before the ban I would monopod the rifle off a 30-round magazine with great results. 

 

As indicated the problems I’ve had shooting the TROY have been at the range, but once you’re out on the hill you just don’t notice them as much. Which leads me to IPSC and/or 3-Gun type events. I think these rifles will do well in this type of event provided the shooter has mastered his rifle.

 

Short-stroking the pump-action in some of the unconventional shooting positions these matches force you into could be a problem for those who don’t take the time to practice. 

 

The TROY and a Ruger Ranch Rifle (both .223s) were run alongside each other to find out which cycled the fastest overall (see text). 

 

I interviewed Rod, who won the Manual Action Open Division at the IPSC rifle match in 2019 (he came 9th overall, beating a lot of AR shooters). His thoughts mirrored my own. He was also attracted to the PAR with its adjustable stock and 30-rd mags on a A Cat licence, which meant he could shoot it with his son, unlike an E Cat rifle (E Cats were registered to the individual and couldn’t be used by non E Cat 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 shooting from support or over barricades. Rod thought it was the fastest action for sure but there was definitely a knack to shooting it from the prone.

 

His rifle also has a terrible trigger, long and gritty, as does mine, but he still liked the rifle enough to purchase both the .223 and .308 versions. He reported accuracy of 1 ½- 2 MOA with factory ammunition which is what I have been getting also. He has had no problem reloading brass marked by the fluted chamber, although the latest versions have normal chambers.

 

It takes practice to shoot the TROY quickly from the prone position because the shooter’s fore-arm must move with the action.

 

I showed the rifle to a friend who wasn’t too keen on the pump-action to begin with but soon warmed to it. One point he raised was how it would compare to a bolt gun in the prone, so we decided to have a shoot-off, his Ruger Ranch .223 vs the TROY PAR.

 

The plan was 3x15 rounds at 25m. Unfortunately my shot timer app failed, but my impression was that the bolt-action was slightly quicker in the prone (using the Lee Enfield technique) but the pump was quicker overall. Honestly I don’t believe there’s much difference if you take the time to master your rifle.

 

On my rifle I have located the relocatable pump handle as far back as is comfortable so my hand doesn’t have to move further than necessary. I pivot off my forward elbow as I cycle the action.

 

POTENTIAL ISSUES

TROY users have reported two potential concerns. The first is the top of the slide release breaking. Steve from Burley Arms sells a replacement part that’s easy to install. He says the problem has only appeared in .308s, so far the .223s are fine.

 

The second problem is that the action bar can break. Some pump shotgun shooters will pull back on the pump before taking their shot so that the action releases immediately, allowing for a quick follow-up shot. Shooters who have done this repeatedly with the PAR report that the action bars are breaking. This technique may work on a shotgun but it’s not something I have thought of trying in a rifle.

 

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 how much of an issue this is. 

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These issues aside my only gripes are the long and gritty trigger the TROY comes with although they are easily replaceable, 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 that the ALG QMS triggers and the Trigger Tech drop-ins work well. Also the hand-guard is longer than it needs to be - as mentioned there is only 70mm from the hand-guard to the muzzle which pretty much limits you to a muzzle-forward suppressor. 

 

Although there’s not a lot in it, Kelvin believes that shooting off-hand the TROY is slightly faster to cycle than a bolt-action rifle.

 

OPERATION & LAYOUT

The controls on the TROY PAR are mostly the same as an AR with a few notable differences. The trigger and mag release are in the same places and work the same way. As mentioned there’s no cocking handle at the rear of the receiver and no bolt release, instead there’s a pump disconnect between the mag-well and the trigger guard that 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 - the back of the receiver is a different shape. Also the lower lacks a buffer tube so you can’t put an AR upper on that either.

 

“The TROY is a lot of fun to shoot and makes a very capable field and competition rifle. They are a viable replacement for those who have had to give up their semi-autos, especially if you have a lot of now useless AR accessories.”

 

The shooting sequence is as follows; load a magazine as you would an AR, pull the pump rearward and push it forward to chamber a round. With the action cocked you can apply the safety catch (like an AR the safety only works when the action is cocked).

  

The TROY is a lot of fun to shoot and makes a very capable field and competition rifle. They are a viable replacement for those who have had to give up their semi-autos, especially if you 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 because 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.

 

I would like to thank Rod A, Brad M and Steve Burley for their help with this article.

 

Kelvin

 

Check out Kelvin's video of shooting the TROY PAR in the prone position.

 

 

TROY Pump Action Rifle (PAR)
Calibre:  .223
Type:  Pump-action
Weight:  6 lbs
Length:  Stock open: 37”
Length:  Stock collapsed: 34”
Capacity:  10 round magazine
Safety:  Manual lever with indicator markings on both sides of receiver
Trigger:  Standard trigger
Barrel:  16” Melonite barrel
Rifling:  1 turn in 7” right hand twist, 6 grooves
Receiver:  Billet machined lower receiver, M4 feed ramps, MIL-SPEC hardcoat anodized finish
Stock:  TROY Lightweight six position BattleAx CQB Stock
Fore-end:  TRX2-style hand-guard with full length top rail, integrated pump-action
Pistol Grip:  TROY BattleAx Control Grip
RRP:  .223/$2399, .308/$2550 (prices may vary depending on supplier) 

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