Tag Archives: AK-V

First Range Visit For the PSA AK-V

I’ve written a number of posts about the Palmetto State Armory’s second generation 9mm AK-V pistol and how impressed I was. After about a week,I finally got a chance to take it to the range with my daughter and a friend of her’s. Boy, did we have fun!

First off, I cleaned and lubricated the AK-V before we went to the range. This is something you should always do with a new firearm. While cleaning it, I noticed how heavy the bolt assembly was and decided to break it in with 124 grain Sellier &Bellot (S&B) 9x19mm ammo.

The AK-V’s bolt assembly does not have a separate bolt and bolt carrier like you would see in a rifle caliber AK, meaning 7.62×39, 5.45×39, etc. It’s surprisingly heavy and that led me to using 124 grain ammo to break the AK-V in.

The reason for this decision is that 124 grain ammo is used in a lot of submachine guns (SMGs) to generate enough of a recoil impulse to reliably cycle the weapon. I figured the AK-V would need to break in and I had a ton of S&B 124grain FMJ ammo from work I had done with UZIs and MP5s. It also should be mentioned that the S&B ammo is loaded to the 9x19mm CIP spec and not the lighter US 9mm SAAMI spec. Note, 9mm NATO is hotter than commercial 9×19 CIP or SAAMI. I did not have any otherwise I would have used it.

The loose ammo is 124 grain Sellier &Bellot 9mm full metal jacket. It worked great during the break in process. Not one single feed or extraction problem!

To save time and ammo, I used a MidTen brand 9mm laser bore sighter to dial in the Vortex Crossfire Red Dot to be more aligned. I’ve never had a boresighter achieve dead-on accuracy but they do tend to get you close enough on paper so you can more easily make the final adjustments based on actual rounds fired.

The Range

It was a beautiful afternoon when we loaded up the car and headed to the Berrien County Sportsmans Club. My favorite lane was open and we set up at the 25 foot mark.

We loaded up four of the 35 round PSA magazines with the 124 grain S&B ammo, two magazines with 115 grain CCI/Speer ammo that PSA had on sale, and one last magazine with 10 rounds Hornday Critical Duty ammo. Note, I’d heard of guys having some small issues when trying to use Scorpion magazines so I avoided them and only used PSA’s own brand of magazines for the AK-V.

To do the first test firing, I loaded two rounds of the S&B 124 grain in a mag. I had aready function tested the AK-V with the dust cover off to make sure the fire control group operated the way it should. By loading just two rounds, I could safely fire one, make sure the bullet hit the target and then fire the second. The last thing I wanted was a run away gun where a geometry error might cause the whole magazine to dump uncontrollably.

The AK-V ran just great without one single problem. It fed and ejected everything just fine. I was very impressed by the accuracy and reliability. I’m definitely not the only one saying this either – tons of guys are reporting how much they like their AK-Vs.

The Vortex Cross Fire Red Dot on the American Defense quick release base worked great. It’s a tad too high to co-witness but you can get it off the weapon in a hurry if need be.
This is the first 37 rounds fire free hand from about 25-35 feet away plus I was dialing in the red dot as I went. I’ll take the AK-V out again and fire from a rest to see what kind of accuracy I can get.
I’m very happy with our quick takedown pin. Everything was secure and held zero with no visible wear of any kind. Click here if you want to order one.

In conclusion, we had a lot of fun. The AK-V ran great! Note: I’ve read posts from a ton of guys who shot just 115 grain 9mm from their AK-V to break it in so that’s an option for you as well. Also, I was toying with replacing the trigger but after shooting the AK-V, I really do not see the need. The trigger’s actually pretty decent.

So, that’s it for now. I definitely recommend the AK-V to anyone who is interested. It would appear to be accurate and reliable. Kudos to PSA for listening to customers and creating this second generation.

Other AK-V Posts:

If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon. With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated. Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.

PSA AK-V Part Four: Lubricating and Picking a Carrying Case

At this point, the AK-V is almost ready. As you may have noticed in the first post about impressions out of the box, it shipped pretty dry with just some oil to prevent rust and that’s just fine. In this post I’ll outline what I did to lubricate it and also the cool US Peacekeeper it will be carried in.

Here’s a good view of the inside of the receiver. Everything is clean and appears solid. However, it definitely needs lubrication.
The bar you see in the middle with the circle on its left is the bolt hold open or bolt catch mechanism. On the PSA AK-V magazines, you will see a red tab at the back that only protrudes when the magazine is empty. That tab pushes this bar up and it holds the bolt open. A slide release lever is in the non operating side and simply moves this bar down allowing it to close.
That red tab in the back of the magazine is what pushes upwards and lifts the bolt hold open bar into position.
Here’s the fire control group. It comes with a retaining plate, which makes me happy since I really do not care for the traditional wire retainers.
This is not really a criticism and more of an observation – PSA installed a sheet metal shelf just forward of the hammer and just above the center support rivet. Don’t dry fire the weapon without the bolt present or the hammer will hit this shelf. In most AKs, the hammer would be beating up the center support if triggered without the bolt assembly so really the same need to manually move the hammer forward when the bolt assembly is not installed in order to protect the two surfaces still exists.

Cleaning the AK-V

On any new weapon, you need to run a bore snake or whatever your preferred method is to get any remnants from machining, dust, etc. out of the barrel. I ran a RamRodz tip down the length of the barrel coated in CLP and it came out fairly dirty. I did this four times with two RamRodz and was set. Note, I usually use the RamRodz on my 9mm pistols and happened to have them sitting there. The wood push sticjs were too short for the AK-Vs barrel so I used a small nut driver to push the wood stick down. I would normally use a Hoppes 9mm Bore Snake.

Here’s what the two normally white RamRodz looked like after running down the bore two times each with CLP on them. Note, I broke one removing it from the mag well in a rush.

Lubricating the AK-V

To lubricate the weapon, I pretty much did what I normally do with any AK and I follow and old saying “If it slides, grease it. If it rotates, oil it”. My grease of choice these days is Super Lube. It works great on weapons in a wide range of temperatures, is a synthetic grease and includes very fine particles of PTFE (Telfon) in it. I apply it to the bottom of the bolt carrier, rails, fire control group (FCG) surfaces and a light film in the hole for the recoil spring in the bolt group. I wanted to say bolt carrier but in the AK-V, the bolt is a one piece combination of the traditional bolt barrier and bolt body.

I then used Super Lube oil on the FCG pins plus a drop on each end of the firing pin. Technically, I tried to put a drop in the hole on the bolt face and a drop on the exposed firing on on the rear. I also made sure the extractor was oiled as well.

I’m using Super Lube grease and oil on everything these days – rifles, pistols, shotguns, stuff around the house, etc. You can see the acid, or flux, brush that I use to lightly coat parts. I buy them by the bag off Amazon and keep the current one in use in a baggie between uses — that’s the purpose of the Bondhus zip loc bag to the left.
It’s not pretty but you get the idea – any surface that slides has a think layer of Super Lube grease. All surfaces that rotate have the oil.
You can see I brushed Super Lube on the bottom of the bolt. It looks heavier than what it is thanks to zooming in and the lighting. I put a drop of Super Lube oil down the front firing pin hole and on the exposed firing pin in the back.

After lubricating the AK-V, I function tested it. Wow. What an amazing difference. We’re talking night and day difference. It was incredibly smooth and hadn’t even been broke in yet!

US Peacekeeper 28″ Rapid Assault Tactical Case

Ok, so after measuring the rifle, I ordered the US Peacekeeper case and it fits like a glove. Often you have slop at the ends but here the butt and muzzle go right up to the cushioned ends.

The case is rather discrete and very well made in terms of materials, zippers and stitching. Inside the outer pocket is MOLLE straps for securing pourches and accessories. To hold the magazines, I opted for a three cell pouch made for AR magazines – you can get two of the AK-V 35 round magazines in each and just barely close the flap.

Here’s the case. I had to add the Punisher swag patch to it.
That is a Midway USA brand three AR magazine pouch mounted with MOLLE straps. It’s a pretty good pouch and the as you can see the mags just barely fit. I have three mags laying in the pouch for moment along with an Outdoor Connection one point sling. I don’t think I will keep the other three magazines in there. I do want to keep at least one spare battery for the red dot and a Mag Lula loader in there. I may add one more AR magazine pouch to hold a total of eight magazines and still have room for the batteries and sling.
You can see the AK-V magazines just barely fit. I’m perfectly fine with the fit. The purpose of the pouch is really to organize the case and I don’t need to worry about how securely they are retained vertically.
As you can see, it is a nice snug fit. The AK-V and Vortex Crossfire Red Dot sit in there just perfect. It will not fit with a magazine in case you are wondering.
This is the back of the bag. You can see the sling attachment points plus the fact that they ran the handle webbing all the way around the bag. Cheap bags don”t do this. The reason it matters is that this bag will weigh a lot once the magazines are loaded and you want the weight as evenly distributed as you can – looped under the bottom even. Cheap bags that have handles that only go part way risk the material separating over time under the load. Now there are designs that compensate for this but I thought it worth pointing out that US Peacekeeper thought this through.

That’s It For Now

I will try to get this to the range at some point and will report back when I do. I hope you found these posts useful. Please note, none of these groups sponsor me or gave me their products – I had to buy everything so please consider buying something off one of our Amazon links so we can get a small bit of sales commission.

This is a four part series on the PSA AK-V 9pmm:

If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon. With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated. Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.

PSA AK-V Part Three: Changing the Brace, Adding a Red Dot and Installing A Quick Takedown Pin For The Dust Cover

Out of the box, the AK-V is impressive. The trigger is decent, the grip and handguard are functional but there were three things I really wanted to do – move to a SBA4 brace, install an optic and create a quick takedown pin so the dust cover could be removed (the big reason I bought the AK-V from a business perspective). So let’s step through each.

Replace The SBA3 Brace With An SBA4

Yes, they are both adjustable braces but that comparison ends there. The SBA4 is much more sturdy and has five length of pull adjustment positions. The SBA4 does go on sale and that is the time to buy one. I got mine for $99 at PSA’s July 4th sale and there was free shipping!

The SBA4 is the top brace and the SBA3 is the bottom. You can instantly see the SBA4 has more bracing and is bulkier. The back end does not flop around either unlike the SBA3.

Now PSA did something with the SBA3 that is a best practice. They staked the castle nut to the receiver end plate. Now, I started thinking about what would be my easiest option and it dawned on me that if I was SB Tactical and wanted to control cost and complexity, I would try and have as few inventory parts as possible and that means as few buffer tubes. Guess what? The SBA3 and the SBA4 both use a Mil-Spec 6 position buffer tube. Problem solved. You can remove the brace just like most AR/M4 stocks – lift up on the locking pin and slide it right off.

The Castle Nut has two real solid stakes in it. Kudos to PSA.
Ta-da! Under the brace is a Mil-Spec buffer tube or “receiver extension” depending on who you talk to. The SBA3 and SBA4 use the same tube!! Note, the weapon is upside down for this photo.
Here’s a good shot of the receiver. See that small vertical slider switch just above the mag catch? That’s the bolt release. The M4 buffer tube / receiver extension they are using is rock solid. If it is made by someone else, I don’t recognize it.
Here’s the tail end of the SBA4 on the left vs. the SBA3 on the right.
The SBA4 uses the same buffer tube and slides right on in place of the SBA3 brace.

The result is a very sturdy brace. After comparing the two, I will only use SBA4 braces going forward.

Vortex Crossfire Red Dot Optic and American Defense Mount

I doubt I will ever go past 100 yards with the AK-V and a much more likely engagement distance is 50 yards so a red dot is perfect. I’m a huge Vortex Optics fan and this was a perfect situation for their Crossfire Red Dot mounted on an American Defense AD-T1-L STD quick detach mount. They are my favorite combination of price and performance these days.

By the way, be sure to keep a couple of spare 2032 Lithium batteries in your case or range bag. Nothing dampens a range trip like dead batteries. It’s also why I use a quick detach mount – if the batteries are dead or that optic fails, I am yanking that optic off.

With the AD-T1-L STD mount you are a tad higher than the AK-V’s sights. I plan to watch how they relate at the range so I can ballpark where to aim if the battery is dead and am in a rush. Practice, practice, practice and not just when everything works.

Here’s the Vortex Crossfire Red Dot on the American Defense AD-T1-L STD mount. If you wonder why I use American Defense, it’s for the quality. Cheap Chinese/import quick detach rings shoot loose, don’t return to zero and bend/break over time. AD stuff is rock solid made from aerospace aluminum. Note, you can see our Quick Takedown Pin just above the handguard and I’ll cover that next.

The AK-V Dust Cover Quick Takedown Pin

I had to look up — I built my first Yugo M92 in 2012 and instantly hated the hinged dust cover. I drilled out the rivet and came up with a stainless pin with a ball detent and pull ring to secure the cover. The rest is history. I wound up making pins for the M92/M85, Tula and Bulgy Krinks use the same pin, Vepr shotguns and now the AK-V.

The reason for wanting a quick takedown pin is plain and simple, when you want to clean the weapon or work in the receiver, the hinged dust cover is in the way. To remedy this, you can install our AK-V quick pin and it’s about a 10 minute job if you know how to strip down an AK. This is a quick overview:

  1. Ensure the weapon is empty.
  2. Field strip the weapon like you would any AK, remove the gas tube and the lower handguard so they are out of the way. 
  3. The AK-V’s hinge is simply a 5/32″ roll pin that needs to be tapped/punched out so use something like a bench block to support the weapon and create a hole/gap for the pin to exit into.
  4. Use a 5/32″ roll pin punch and a hammer to tap the roll pin out.  You can save it for the future in case you ever want to use it again for some reason. 
  5. Put the dust cover back in place with the hinge holes lined up and slide in our quick takedown pin.
  6. Re-assemble the weapon.
  7. Done
Here, I have the rear sight block fully supported by the bench block behind it and am using a 5/32″ roll pin punch and hammer to drive the roll pin out.
What makes a roll pin punch different from a normal punch is the dome in the middle that centers the punch on the pin and makes driving the pin out very easy. It also reduces the risk of a regular punch slipping off what you are working on an scratching the finish.
So this is what you wind up with once the roll pin is removed.
This was my first attempt because I am right handed. Having the pull ring there right next to the gas tube locking lever was just too much. I flipped it around and had the pull ring on the other side of the gas block.
This is how I am running it now. The pull ring is on the left / non-operating side and the ring is tucked just behind the handguard.

We have the pins up for sale on our website now. Click here to order one.


Looking good!

The AK-V was almost done at this point. I still needed to lubricate the weapon and put it in a suitable case. I’ll tell you about that part of the journey in the next post.

This is a four part series on the PSA AK-V 9mm:

If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon. With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated. Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.

PSA AK-V Part Two: First Thoughts Out Of The Box

A tad over a week from when I ordered my AK-V via the PSA website, Scott Igert, of Modern Antique Firearms, called and told me that the pistol had arrived. Let me give you a tip, there is such a huge backlog of people signed up for the “email me when it is in stock” feature of the PSA website, you will never hear when they show up. I have a huge tip for you – check at 9am and 4pm Eastern manually. I did that for a week or so and that is how I snagged my AK-V. I My logic was real simple – if I were them, I’d add inventory either first thing in the morning or at the end of the day. Bingo. Maybe it was just luck but it worked.

Okay, so this post is really a collection of photos to show you the AK-V. The next post will get into the modifications that I did.

Here’s the AK-V still with the PSA tag on it. You can see the SBA3 brace, Magpul grip and handguard. Note, Magpul makes some very solid stuff. If that works for you, great. It will take any AKM grip and handguard. That means you can put Russian AK furniture on it, Bulgarian, etc. The good news is that it is not custom.
I have mixed feelings about the big Palmetto logo at the rear but what can you do? It has an enhanced safety lever. And you can see the mag release just behind the magazine.
Here’s one reason I bought the AK-V – the hinged top cover. When I saw the AK-V was taking off in terms of popularity, I knew a good chunk of folks would not like the hinged cover and want to replace it with a quick takedown pin. What is nice is that hinge is just a 5/32″ roll pin and it pushes/punches right out. The gas tube cover lever is separate.
Just so you know, this is our quick takedown pin for the AK-V. Click here to open a new tab to order it. In the next post, I’ll get into the installation.
In one photo you can see why I don’t like the SBA3 brace. The rear rubber is too flexible and slides into weird shapes. You’ll notice that not only are the top and bottom (the sides really) of the brace not lining up but the whole shape is slightly cupped upward. The SBA4 is a far better design.
Top down view of the front half.
The hinged top cover is nicely designed and executed. This is a close up of the hinge area. You can see the rear V sight just to the left of the center of the photo.
It is a solid albeit unique top cover design. The rear sight block (RSB) does not have a groove to retain a normal dust cover. This weapon is a pretty unique design – it’s not just AK parts slapped together with a magwell adapter – there’s a lot more to it. I am impressed.
When you lift the top cover, you immediately notice an interestingly shaped spring, a rubber recoil buffer and a spacer made from machined aluminum.
A view of the hinge with the dust cover open.
A closer view of the recoil buffer and spacer.
This is the recoil spring assembly removed. The length looks pretty much like that of an AKM but I did not measure it.
Wow – now the bolt carrier and bolt are one piece and it is surprisingly heavy. This thing is packing some inertia to be overcome. Notice how the gas pistol is both short and fixed/solid? No wobble like you would see on an AK. Notice there is no out of battery tail on the carrier/bolt either.
Now look at it flipped the other way.
Here’s a close up of the bolt face. Notice there is no sign of the firing pin – it’s spring loaded and being pushed backward. The extractor looks beefy. This is what I am talking about in terms of AK-V being an interesting design.
Another view of the non-op side of the bolt. You can see the bolt handle towards the top left.
This is the rear of the firing pin being pushed backward by a spring.
Things look pretty normal. Definitely needs to be lubricated before the first use.
View of the bolt hold open mechanism and the interestingly shaped ejector.

In summary

The AK-V is a very interesting design. Rivets and the finish were well done. Everything looked well machined and assembled. You could tell it was dry. There was a very light coat of oil but the action felt rough just like most new AKs do. In the next blog post, I’ll actually step through what I did in terms of changing to the SBA4 brace, adding a Vortex Crossfire Red Dot and installing one of our Quick Takedown Pins.

This is a Four Part Series on the PSA AK-V in 9mm:

If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon. With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated. Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.

PSA AK-V Part One: Good Reviews Really Raised My Interest After They Fixed Initial Problems

Well, I bought a Palmetto State Armory AK-V in 9mm. I’ve been a PSA AR fan for years and years. I’m not even sure how many rifle and pistol kits of their’s that I’ve built. On the other hand, reports about their AK attempts kept me away from that product line until recently.

PSA responded to the market and brought out a 9mm pistol caliber carbine (PCC) using the AK platform that they called the “AK-V”. In a ways, they took the Russian ideas behind the 2004 Vityaz-SN as inspiration and created their own unique weapon.

Now, they did have some bumps when they launched. Guys identified a number of weaknesses and then PSA did something that not a lot of folks expected – they went out and fixed them and improved the AK-V design. Kudos to them – seriously. What has resulted is a red hot product that is pretty hard to find.

So, before I get into what I did, here are some videos that started me down my journey including some updated videos.

AK Operators Union, Local 47-74

Rob Ski has fired 3000 rounds through his as of July 11th with no major problems. He reported one CZ magazine not a PSA magazine. My response – just use PSA’s magazines. He was dropping it on rocks too! The bolt, buffer, chamber and internals all looked fine. No deformations or marks. Rob doesn’t mince words and likes what he is seeing.

Military Arms Channel – PSA AKV9 Relaunch

They did a lot of shooting and said they are extremely happy with the performance of the gun now.

I did a lot of lurking reading reviews and comments on Facebook and what not. Watch these videos – these guys are impressed. My next post will have a bunch of photos and first impressions.

This is a four part series on the PSA AK-V 9mm:

If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon. With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated. Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.