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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.

Summary

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.


Computer Animation Video: This Does A Great Job Showing How Both An AR and M16 Operate

Folks, I always tell people you need to understand the basic mechanics of how your weapon operates. I’ve posted some slick videos in the past on how the AK-47, Dragunov. Glock pistol, AK-74, and AH-94 rifles operate [by the way, clicking on their names will take you to the blog post for each] and now I just found this one that very clearly illustrates how an AR-15, M16 and M4 operate. The author, Thomas Schwenke, goes through everything and explains both the semi-automatic and fully automatic mechanisms.

The video has some amazing detail such as this illustration of the M16’s full-auto fire control group.

One thing I like is that there is a narrator explaining what is going on plus they also label key parts – many animations just show the components without either a narrator or labeling.

So if you like AR rifles and pistols, you really need to watch this exceptional video. Kudos to the author for doing a seriously great job!

Here’s The Video


I hope you found it informative – I sure did.


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.

Please note the photo was extracted from the video and remains the property of its respective owner(s).


Video: Max Popenker Discusses the History of the Russian SVD Designated Marksman’s Rifle

Folks, the number one firearm at the top of my bucket list is a Dragunov. I’ve wanted one for years and years and maybe if I get lucky and a firm either decides to make or import them, I’ll finally get to own one. In the mean time, I enjoy reading articles and videos about them.

Ian McCollum of Forgotten Weapons recently interviewed Max Popenker, a noted Russian small arms researcher, about the history of the Dragunov. The video goes into great detail about the historical context that led up to the design contest that resulted in the original Snáyperskaya Vintóvka sistém’y Dragunóva obraz’tsá 1963 goda (SVD-63). It’s really the best I’ve seen in terms of history and includes the modern SVD-M.

The three prototype designs competing for the Soviet sniper rifle from Simonov, Konstantinov and Dragunov. The SVD’s principle designer was Yevgeny Dragunov and he was a notable target shooter and this undoubtedly gave him significant insight into what was needed.
The SSV-58 model from 1959 compared to the accepted 1963 SVD. Note the removal of the diopter sights, addition of a muzzle device and bayonet lug.
Max explained there were bout 5=7,000 SVDs made each year and sometimes over 10,000.
And this is the current model – the SVD-M. Note the heavy shorter barrel, modern optics rail, adjustable scope and adjustable side folding stock.

And Here’s The Video

I hope you enjoyed the video as much as I did!


Please note that all photos were extracted from the video and remain the property of their resective owner(s),


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.


Video: Kalashnikov Concern Releases the Civilian Version of the AK-12: The AK TR3 Rifle

Because of the import restrictions of the Russian firm Kalashnikov Concern, Americans will not get a chance to see a cool new rifle just released by them. Their AK TR3 rifle is a civilian version of the modern AK-12 and will be available in both 5.45×39 and 7.62×39 cartridges. [Click here for a previous post that goes into the AK-12 in more detail.]

The AK TR3 is identical to the military AK-12. Note that it has three fire control group pins.
The AK TR3 is chambered for both traditional Russian cartridges, the 5.45×39 and 7.62×39

Here is the Video

In this short video, Kalashnikov gives you a brief overview of the TR3:

Yeah, I sure wish I could buy an AK TR3 but given the political issues between our countries, that is not going to happen. Regardless, it looks like a very slick rifle and I’ll just have to ogle it from afar.


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.


All images were extrated from the video and remain the property of their respective owner.


Great Animated Video That Shows How A Glock Pistol Operates: It Really Clarifies Things!

As the saying goes, a pictures is worth a 100 words. Well, this video is worth a few thousand. I am very, very impressed by the fire control group that Gaston Glock created with the three integral safeties. In talking with a lot of Glock pistol owners, they aren’t very clear on how the pistol operates and now I can share this video with folks.

This example screen shot from the video shows how a case is extracted and then ejected. The level of detail is exceptional. Note how the creator of the video shows you a faint ghost image of the pistol around the components he is demonstrating.
In part of the video, the creator shows you how all three safeties work. The above screen shot is from the part of the video where the firing pin safety mechanism is explained.

Matt RIttman created this animated video and really did a service to the firearms community. The computer animation is excellent and the operation of a Glock 19 Gen 4 is very clear. This is a must see for any Glock or Polymer80 owner. I’m not a huge fan of Glock pistols but I am of pistols with the Polymer 80 frames/receivers because of the grip angle. I’ve now built two and legally registered them in Michigan.

Here’s the Video

It’s only 2:54 long and totally worth your time:

I hope you find this as interesting as I did.


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.


Great Video On How to build a Galil AR, ARM, SAR Or R4 By BFGMovies

The Israeli Galil rifles have long fascinated me. As part of my journey, I do hope to build one so I keep my eye out for videos. While on Youtube the other day, I stumbled across this build video done by BFGMovies – Flandre Scarlets. For those of you who have not seen his work, he is a very talented young man who has posted some amazing videos on building AKs, how to convert a Tiger into a SVD and more.

In this video, Flandre steps you through a Galil build including how to install the bullet guide, barrel, extractor notch, gas tube, trigger guard and more. It’s top notch work and well worth watching.

Here, Flandre is inserting the barrel getting reading to thread it into position. He explains how he had to cut flats on the barrel for the torque wrench and how to adjust headspace.
Here, he has inserted a “go” headspace gage and is getting ready to test the rifle.
Flandre is wrapping up the build – you can see the fire control spring sticking up.

Here’s The Video


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.


Video of Spectre, Spooky II and Stinger II AC-130 Gunships – Both internal and External Views. So Cool.

I’ve always found the gunships of interest and always like videos that show the AC-130s. This is the first time I have seen this particular high definition video that shows three models: The AC-130H Spectre, AC-130U Spooky and AC-130W Stinger.

The AC-130s pack a serious punch with their firepower. For the three models in this video, here is an armaments list:

AC-130H Spectre From 2000 onwards

AC-130U Spooky II

AC_130W Stinger II

Here’s the Video


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.


Details on the armaments were obtained from Wikipedia where there is a great page that outlines the AC-130 gunships. Click here to visit it.