Category Archives: Reviews

What Are Good Commercial AKs You Can Buy In The USA?

If you ever want to start an argument on the Internet, ask what is the best AK brand you can buy in the US or at least ask what is good a good brand. You’ll get a ton of opinions, hear say and even a few people with real experience will chime in.

Paul Popov is the admin of the AK-47 Group on Facebook and an avid AK hobbyist and industry tracker. He also runs a website called the Kalash Connection where he maintain information about AKs.

The other day he sat down and took the time to create what I will refer to as “Paul’s List” to try and answer that question above:


Current 12-12-20
Question one: What new Ak do I buy?
Current new production mass market AKs that are proven and a safe bet.
Alphabetically
· Arsenal,
· Century imported WASR or Draco
· IWI Galil ACE,
· K-USA KP9p/r,
· M&M Cugir AKs,
· Palmetto State Armory GF3 – up, GF4, 103, AKv, 74 (the only 74 in new prod),
· Riley Defense is hammer forged where it counts, should be ok? (test is not completed, ammo is expensive currently for just putting rounds through one for testing)
· WBP Poland. Still pretty new, hard to say on this one. Maybe ok
· Zastava should be ok, the ones Century imported were hit and miss. New ones have chrome lined barrels (yay and about time) and lets hope better metallurgy than Century imports.
o Atlantic firearms often have decent kit builds to purchase, but are not mfg. new AKs. So do many kit builders, we have a list in announcements along with a list of where you can buy kits from.
o Please let me know if I forgot any.


·Question two: What are good used AKs to buy?
This is a great list Darryn Eugene compiled.
AK variant buyers guide (models and variants G2G)
7.62×39 AKm/47 Variants
· Mitchell Arms Imports, M-90/m-70
· Mitchell Arms Imports, M-72
· Zastava M-92 (inspect due to varying QC)
· Zastava NPAP/OPAP (inspect due to varying QC)
· Cugir/Romarm/Century AES-10B not to be confused with AES-10 (basically a long barreled wasr)
· Cugir/Romarm/Century Sar-1
· Cugir/Romarm/Century Cur-1
· Cugir/Romarm/Century Wum-1 (check for “moon cuts” meaning a dish shaped portion cut out of the rear of the receiver to dissuade the use military stocks.
· Cugir/Romarm/Century WASR-10 variants (only upon inspection)
· Cugir/Romarm/INTRAC Romak-1
· Cugir/Romarm/INTRAC Romak-991 (dimple-less single stack pre WASR import.
· FEG/Hungary/KBI/Kassnar Sa-85 variants post and pre ban.
· FEG/Hungary/TGI Amd-65 builds (not to be confused with Clearview Investments builds)
· Valmet, Literally any of them they’re all excellent.
· Arsenal of Bulgaria/Las Vegas/Legion SLR 107 variants, SAM-7 Variants, SLR 101 Variants, SGL-21 Variants
· BlueRidge/GordonTech/INTRAC SLR100h builds (Hungarian Type3 AK-55 kits on Bulgarian Receivers)
· Norinco/Polytech AK47S series.
· Norinco/Polytech MAK90 series milled and stamped models. (on stamped models identify whether it is slant cut or straight when figuring your price to pay.
· Norinco/Polyech NHM-91
· Norinco/Polytech MAK-91 (20-inch barrel milled receiver rifle, neutered Polyech legend national match).
· Norinco/Polytech Hunters. (great for galil/valmet conversion)
· GSAD/Kengs/Siles Type 56, AK47S
· Molot Vepr 1&2 models (model 2’s being the integrated front sight gas block set up)
· Robinson Arms Molot Vepr Conversions
· IWI Galil Ace series.
· Izhmash Saiga series.
· Intrac Maadi ARM
· Century Maadi MISR SA (avoid MISR 90)
· Intrac Maadi RPM, RML
· Steyr Maadi
5.45×39 AK-74 Variants
· Cugir/Romarm/Century SAR-2
· Cugir/Romarm/INTRAC MK-2
· Cugir/Romarm/Ratmil WUM-2
· Cugir/Romarm/Ratmil CUR-2
· 1st Gen Waffen Werks (identified by Nodak Spud receivers and Bulgarian barrels)
· Arsenal of Bulgaria/Las Vegas SLR 105-104 variants
· Arsenal of Bulgaria/Las Vegas/Legion FIME SGL 31 variants.
· Marcolmar/InRange Ak-74/AKS-74
· Molot Vepr 1&2 Series
· Robinson Arms Molot Vepr Conversions
· Interams Tantal
· Izhmash Saiga Variants
AK-101/5.56 Ak variants
· Romarm/Cugir/Century SAR-3
· Royal Tiger/FB Radom/ Beryl Archer
· Arsenal Of Bulgaria/ Las Vegas SLR 106 series ( research serial number prefixes to identify potential problemed models)
· Izhmash Saiga Variants
· Norinco/Polyech 84S
· Norinco/Polytech NHM-90
· Norinco/Polytech BWK-92
· Zastava/Century M85 (cannot verify quality of m85NP series)
· Mitchell Arms M-90
· Arsenal USA (not to be confused with KVAR) K100 model. (Bulgarian milled receiver assembled with Bulgarian 5.56 barrel on 74 parts.
· Arsenal Of Bulgaria SAM-5
· IMI/IWI Galil and Galil ACE variants
· TENN Galil builds.
· Valmet M72/65 variants.
· Valmet Bullpup. M82? Can’t recall model during time of this list. And yes i know i could use google. Don’t judge me…


So for all you folks new to AKs, take a look a the above. The last AK I bought was an IWI Galil Ace and they are superb.

Also, be sure to check out Paul’s site at: https://thekalashconnection.com

I hope this helps!


If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.


PSA AK Webstore Links

Interested in an American made AK? Consider Palmetto State Armory (PSA) as a source. Click on the following links for the associated webstore categories for AK-related rifles, pistols and parts at PSA:

Simplify The Installation of AK Triggers With Our Slave Pin

The typical semi-auto AK trigger has four parts – the trigger body, disconnector, disconnector spring and pin. Installing it can be a challenge because you need to properly align the disconnector while sliding the pin through from one side of the receiver to another. For me, with big hands, this task takes more effort than I want.

This is your typical semi-automatic AK trigger group. On the left is the trigger body, top right is the disconnector, under the disconnector is its spring and at the bottom right is the trigger pin. The challenge is getting this all assembled inside of the AK receiver as the pin needs to pass from one side of the receiver, through one side of the trigger, through the disconnector to capture it, out the other side of the trigger and finally out the other side of the receiver. Trying to get it all to align inside of the trigger takes some patience.

The Solution – Use A Slave Pin

There is an easier approach. We can slide a properly sized dowel pin to serve as a “slave pin” during assembly to secure and properly align the disconnector and trigger outside of the receiver. This simplifies life tremendously. The unit is assembled outside where you can see what is going on, is lowered into the receiver and then the actual trigger pin is pushed through and it displaces the slave pin – the slave just exits the other side of the receiver.

This is the slave pin. Note how one side is beveled more than the other. That is the side that is inserted first. The bevel helps move things around during insertion and then the 5mm body provides the actual alignment for the trigger pin.
This is the assembled trigger group with the slave pin holding it all together.
Normally this would be in the receiver but I want you to see what is going on. As the trigger pin is inserted, it pushes the slave pin out of the way and it exits via the opposite receiver hole.
This photo shows how when the trigger pin is fully inserted, the slave simply drops out.
This is an ALG semi-auto trigger and you can see how slave pin is exiting the receiver as the trigger pin is installed.
So there’s the end result. A slave pin makes a world of difference. Note, that is one if our fire control group plates retaining the trigger and hammer pins.

Click here to order one of our AK Trigger Slave Pins

Click here if you are interested in one of our Fire Control Group Retainer Plates

In Conclusion

If you’re like me and want an easier way to install AK triggers, these new slave pins are the way to go!


If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.


The Vortex UH-1 Sight and V3XM Magnifier Are An Amazing Combination On A Galil Ace Pistol

Well, the pandemic threw all my plans right out the window including having time to go to the range. I bought and customized my 7.62×51/.308 Galil Ace Pistol in the Fall of 2019 and just recently was able to take it to the range with my daughter and good friend Niko.

Niko having fun with the Ace and optic combination.

When I was planning the customization of the Ace, I wanted a holographic sight for rapid target acquisition in close, parallax free viewing and also a magnifier to help me out to a hundred yards or so. By the way, tons of guys go further even without a magnifier but this is just me.

Being a Vortex Optics fan and having read good reviews of their Razor AMG UH-1 optic, I bought one plus the V3XM Micro 3x magnifier. I have to admit that I was nervous. Years back I built an AR-15 and installed both a full size red dot and a full size 3x magnifier and honestly did not like it. The combination used a ton of top rail space due to the size of the two parts and it was heavy. To be honest, I found myself wishing I’d just bought a 1-4x or 1-6x optic at the time.

Why Bother With A Magnifier?

In case you are wondering why I even wanted the 3x magnification, it’s s a simple answer. As I get older,I find myself needing more magnification for any degree of target shooting as I get closer to 100 yards and beyond. Yeah, make fun of me but in talking with a lot of 50+ year old guys, I’m not the only one. I tend to favor 1-6 and 1-8x Vortex Strike Eagles for relatively close in optics – they are light, rugged and allow me to trade off field of view and magnification.

The optics combo fits nicely on the Ace. I like the quality quick release levers they used. The levers clamp very well and have a repeatable zero when removed and re-installed.
Here the magnifier is swung out of the way for 1x viewing through the UH-1. All controls are very easy to use.

At any rate, back to the UH-1, the UH-1 itself weighs about 11oz and the Micro 3X (V3XM) magnifier adds 9.55oz. So you are looking at about 20-21oz or just over 1.25 pounds for the combination. A 1-6x Strike Eagle weighs 18.5oz and then you need to add at least a basic cantilever mount at 1.3oz, you are totalling 19.8oz.

Why am I bringing this up? Some situations really require variable magnification optics and the 1-6x and 1-8x Strikefires are hard to beat. In other cases, you are expecting situations where you will need little to no magnification then the UH-1 wins hands down. Why? Target acquisition is screamingly fast and you don’t have parallax. No parallax means that no matter how you look at the projected recticle (the hologram), the recticle is on the target. With regular scopes, as your eye position changes relative to the recticle, the point of impact changes. This is one reason why a good consistent cheek weld is so important with a traditional optic. Bottom line is that holographic sights seriously rock when it comes to speed of target acquisition.

A 7.62×51 Galil Ace Is Not A Distance Weapon

Another thing to point out is that this weapon is not a target rifle by any stretch of the immagination – it’s for close in work. The 7.62×51 Galil Ace pistol has an 11.8″ barrel and that short length is really going to limit the weapon to less than 200 yards and that is just my opinion because that short length will reduce the velocity of the bullet and there will be more bullet drop at a given distance. The reason is simple – the 7.62×51 and .308 cartridges are still burning powder, generating more pressure and bullet speedwhen the bullet exits the muzzle – all that burning powder makes for an impressive muzzle flash but that’s actually a waste of powder and why it will have less velocity than a weapon with a longer barrel.

How far do I intend to shoot the Ace? Now that’s the real question and is what drove the selection of the optic. I honestly plan to shoot it under 50 yards the majority of the time. I can flip the magnifier out of the way if I don’t need it.

A Bit Of Range Time

How did it work at the range? It was fantastic. The Ace itself ran great with PPU M80 FMJ ammo and the optic pairing was way better than I expected. The recticle was nice and bright even during mid-day son and it was easy to swing the magnifier in and out of position. All three of us liked the Ace and optic combination. After shooting the Ace for the first time, I can definitely see why they have such a excellent reputation.

Even in close the magnifier worked nice. It still has a pretty wide field of view — 38 feet at 100 yards. I went from being cautiously hopeful to really liking the combo.
In this photo, Niko is getting ready to shoot with the magnifier swung out of the way.
I’m still trying to learn the art of getting a decent photo of a recticle. With the UH1 you have 1- brightness levels to select from and I really like it.

In Summary

I really like the pairing of the UH-1 optic and the V3XM magnifier on my Galil Ace. The pairing works really, really well and I am already planning on getting one of the new second generation UH-1 optics for a new build I am planning – a 7.25″ 12.7×42 (Beowulf) pistol 🙂


If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.


PSA AK-E: First Range Trip

Well folks, we finally had a chance to go to the range for the first time this year. It was a beautiful day and the only shortcoming was that we had a number of rifles and pistols to test and not enough time to shoot a ton of rounds through each. To be honest, we had a blast 🙂

One of the rifles that went was my PSA AK-E. It was the smoothest cycling AK out of the box that I have encountered and I think it’s due to a combination of pretty good fitment and their nickel-boron coating of the bolt and bolt carrier. I’ve written a number of posts about my journey with the AK-E so click here to open a tab/window and see those posts.

We were shooting 124 grain 7.62×39 FMJ ammo by Golden Tiger. This is great ammo and my favorite to use. For AK bulk ammo, it’s relatively accurate, reliable and consistent — notice that I say relatively. It will hold its own with any of the bulk steel case ammo or even do better. I’m not comparing it to hand loads or specialty ammo.

Niko is a heck of a shot and is familiar with AKs as well. He had to do Slavic Squat shot 🙂

I wish I could tell you that we shot hundreds of rounds but there just wasn’t time. We shot three mags through it – 90 rounds and did not have one problem. Yeah, it’s not many rounds but I figured some of you would like an update and I’ll post again after the next range trip.

Observations:

  • The little Vortex Crossfire did a great job and we had fun punching paper. The scope and the RS!Regulate optic mount worked out just fine. I’ve used the combo before and expected such.
  • The rifle functioned just fine with no feed or ejection problems
  • The rounds were grouping pretty well – we were not shooting for accuracy – more for function testing
  • The trigger was very nice – ALGs are great in general and what I like to use these days.
  • The brake did a decent job. I think a JMAC RRD-4C brake would have reduced recoil further but out of the box the recoil was not bad at all. When you think about it, even an AK with no brake is surprisingly pleasant to shoot during semi-auto fire
  • I definitely liked the feel – the weight and balance – of the rifle – the RS!Regulate handguard, our AK-12 grip and a Magpul ACS stock worked very well together
Me with my favorite AK shooting shirt 🙂

When we were done, I did take the rifle apart and did not see anything concerning. So, I definitely want to shoot it more and the rifle is off to a good start.


If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.


Introducing 1/2″ and 3/4″ Pull Rings For Our Quick Takedown Pins

When I originally designed our Quick Takedown Pins for the Yugo M85/M92 and then also the Bulgy/Tula Krinks, PSA AK-V and Vepr 12 shotgun, I used my hand size as a gauge for making a pull ring big enough. Guys have asked me repeatedly over the years for smaller pins but I could never find them made well enough that I felt good about carrying them — until now!

This is my AK-V with its quick takedown pin with the standard size 1″ ring installed.

This last time when I placed an order with the machine shop that makes my pins, I asked if they could do custom heavy duty 1/2″ and 3/4″ pull rings from stainless steel with a black oxide finish and they said they could! It cost a fair penny because I needed to order a boatload of each but here they are as an accessory if you want to purchase them … please purchase some 🙂

Here are the three rings side by side. The pins all come with the 1″ standard ring installed.

The 1″ and 3/4″ rings are very beefy. We had to go to smaller gauge wire to do the 1/2″ rings but they should work just fine – it’s really the pin itself that does all the work.

Click here to go to the page with all of the pins and rings if you would like to place an order.


If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.


PSA AK-E Part 5: The End Result

This is the final post of the series. Here are the previous AKE posts listed so you can view them if you so wish:

In this final post, I want to share a series of photos of the end result:

By the way, the sling you see is from S2 Delta. I have a number of their slings now and they are nicely done.

Conclusion

This is it for now. Hopefully when the Corona Virus stuff calms down I’ll be able to take it to the range. I’m betting it’s going to run real nice based on how it feels.


If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.


PSA AK-E Part 3: Tear Down and More Detailed Observations

In my last post, I showed you a bunch of photos with my observations of the AK-E right out of the box. In this post, I am going to take it apart and see what I see. Like the last post, I’ll post photos with my thoughts in the captions.

I’m going to be upfront and tell you what I found in terms of flaws or things you ought to be aware of. With that said, this is the smoothest cycling AK with the best trigger out of the box without any lubrication at all that I have ever felt – my IWI Galil Ace was this way also.

So, let’s get to it…

You push in the protruding button of the recoil spring assembly to do the takedown. Note the proprietary jigsaw puzzle piece rear tang that PSA uses. It allows them to have one trunnion and the flexibility to support different types of stocks. Note the slightly bent edges of the screw’s slot. I really wish guys would use the proper sized screw driver to switch to a different type of fastener. This one’s not too bad but the inside ones are worse.
It has a basic stamped dust cover with beading to stiffen it.
Here’s the top of the dust cover. The beading definitely stiffens the cover up.
Here’s our first peek inside. Note the marking on the shoulder of the front trunnion. You have a clear view of the top of the Nickel Boron (Ni-B) coated bolt carrier and the bolt is sitting just in front of the ALG AKT hammer.
Good view of the characters on top of the trunnion. The AKE-0393 is the SN. Note the Ni-B coating is very consistent. You can see the hammer is solidly engaging the bolt and firing pin.
The recoil/operating spring is captured on a two-piece wire assembly just like other AKMs.
The wood is fit nicely. I mentioned earlier the external screw head was messed up just a bit and now you can see the internal two that have their slots messed up more. This happens from using two small of a screw driver. The assemblers need to use the proper sized driver. Note the split rear trunnion where the forward rivets are.
Close up view of the ALG EKT-EL trigger. You can tell this is the enhanced trigger vs the ultimate because the trigger does not have the Ni-B coating that the ultimate does. Note that is has the auxiliary trigger spring installed – that is the single wound spring at the top of the photo. According to ALG, it adds 10-14oz of pull over the normal AK spring by itself. Also note that the select/safety lever can sit fully on trigger without needing the optional roll pin that ALG includes with the aftermarket trigger to allow builders to accommodate different lengths of selector stop bars.
Here’s the hammer in the cocked position held by the hook. The manganese phosphate (parkerized) finish is notably smooth. If it wasn’t, there wold be a grittiness. It’s a very nice trigger. You can see the leg of the auxiliary spring pushing down on the top trigger leg in the photo – it’s the single would spring just forward of the double wound spring.

In case you are wondering, I collected a sample of 10 trigger pulls using my Lyman Digital Trigger Pull Gauge. Weights varied from 4lbs 1oz to 4lbs 12oz. The average was 4lbs 5oz. If someone wanted a lighter pull, then you could remove the auxiliary spring located on the trigger and probably be down in the 3 pound range. I like the feel of the trigger currently and am going to leave the spring in for now.

Boy it looks gorgeous from the top. I like that I can see the gas piston rivet easily – they are a bear when you have to hunt for them. The Ni-B treatment is consistent. The bolt and carrier have serial numbers that match the receiver and trunnion. For those new to the AK platform, the barrel is pressed into the trunnion to the point that the headspace is correct with the bolt that is matched to it. Once the headspace is correct, a hole is drilled and cross pin installed to lock the barrel in place. In the old days, this had to be done because loose manufacturing tolerances could not guarantee that all barrel, trunnion and bolt combinations would headspace correctly. Reliability issues would happen if parts were mixed from different rifles so this led to serializing the parts. By putting a serial number on the parts, an armorer could be sure to put the matching parts back in the correct rifle.
Here’s a view of the bottom of the bolt carrier with the bolt fully forward.
You can see the machining marks very clearly. This did surprise me – I would have expected it to be smooth but the action itself seems to not have any issues. I very carefully watched the bolt head cam travel in the carrier’s channel and it does not hang up anywhere. So, it might not look very good but it does not appear to harm functioning at all.
Here’s another view of the tool marks.
Here’s the best photo I can get with my phone. Everything clears. Time will tell how the Ni-B coating holds up. It appears to be well implemented.
First view of the bolt
Second view of the bolt body
The gas piston’s face is slightly concave.
Here’s the famous Fabrique Nationale Herstal (FN) barrel that everyone is ogling over. As I understand them, the markings mean: HF=Hammer Forged MP=Magnetic Particle tested CL=Chrome Lined 7.62×39 is the chambering and 1/9.45 is the twist rate.

Now you may be wondering, how on Earth did FN pick such an odd twist rate. In short, that is the conversion of “1 turn in 240mm” that is the Russian military spec for 7.62×39. Actually, the metric conversion of 240mm to inches gets you “9.44882” and with rounding we get 9.45. If we rewind the clock, it was also the twist rate they used in the Mosin Nagant and they wanted to save money and use the same barrel making machines. [There’s a real cool write up – click here]

The front and rear sights are just what you’d expect.
By applying the bead to the ejector tab, they stiffened the unit. It’s a nice touch that you don’t always see people address.

So, thanks to the quarantine, I can’t take it out and shoot it. My impressions overall are favorable but the proof will be at the range. I think you are getting a solid rifle for the price. Time will tell how they hold up compared to the premium AKs – Veprs and custom builds.

I hope this helps you out. In the next post I’ll write about the customizations I did to fit my tastes.


If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.


PSA AK Webstore Links

Interested in an American made AK? Consider Palmetto State Armory (PSA) as a source. Click on the following links for the associated webstore categories for AK-related rifles, pistols and parts at PSA:

PSA AK-E Part 2: Out Of The Box Observations and Photos

After researching and deciding to buy the AK-E, I ordered it and then waited about a week. The trick with any of PSA’s AKs these days is finding them in stock. Here’s my tip to you – the email notification is broadcasting the news to a ton of people and anyone may buy before you do. I’d recommend checking their site manually between 10am to 3pm Eastern. Just leave your browser open on the page and hit refresh when you can – say every half hour or hour. It took me a week or two but that’s how I was able to get both my AK-V and AK-E. This approach works for any of their hard-to-find because everyone is buying them AK-series weapons. Click on the below to go straight to the PSA page in a new tab:

For me, it’s really interesting how PSA has jumped with both feet onto the AK bandwagon and are offering different grades and styles to appeal to different levels of shooters.

Getting back to the AK-3, I only waited about a week and Scott Igert, my good friend who owns Michigan Gun Exchange, called me up when the AK-E arrived and I went and got it.

Opening The Box

For this post I took a bunch of pictures to share first impressions and will put them in the captions of each photo.

It’s a good looking rifle. The red furniture is brighter than I care for but I bought the rifle with the knowledge that I literally planned to replace everything so my strategy was to get the first AK-E that I could get and move ahead from there. Note, PSA packed it well. It comes in this foam lined box and note the little buffer on the end of the charging handle to keep it from poking through the packaging.
Yeah, it’s really red! Note the AK-74 style lightening cut on the stock. The wood is really light. I’m not sure what they used but when you pull the stock, it is surprisingly light.
You can see the little orange chamber flag they include. The front sight block (FSB) is a combination unit that includes the gas block. Because it is now set back, the brake is secured with a jam nut rather than the traditional detent pin that protrudes from the FSB. The rifle ships with one Magpul 30 round magazine. PSA has been teasing they are going to sell their own line of inexpensive AK magazines and I’m going to keep an eye out for that. Magpul is now on their third generation of AK magazine based on lessons learned for reliability and feedback/desires from the AK community.
You can see the handguards have a slight hand swell. An AKM-style optics rail is ready to go. The grip is basic but functional.
I could have done without the Palmetto logo on the side but at least it is relatively small. Note the good job they did on the rivets and the magazine stabilizer dimples. The bluing is nicely done. Fitment of the handguard is good as well.

The muzzle device has two ports on each side and is secured by a jam nut. PSA reports the thread is the standard 14mm x 1mm left hand thread that one would expect on an AK. That means you can use other muzzle devices if you want. I’m going to try and the supplied brake out first before I change anything.

Here’s a closer look of the combo front sight block (FSB). It’s pinned in place and looks good. Note there are no additional vent holes in the gas tube. Some AK variants have them and some don’t – it’s just an observation
Closer view of the side mount optics rail. You can also see the ALG AKT trigger and more of the nicely done rivets. By the way, the AK-E has the best out of the box trigger I have encountered. I’ve been an ALG fan for a few years now and am happy to see PSA use them.
Here’s a closer view of the trigger, selector stop, trigger guard and the magazine catch. Note the cracked pistol grip. I contacted customer service and they offered to either send me a replacement grip with the risk of the shade of red not matching or a $30 credit back to my card. I opted for the $30 credit as I did not plan on keeping it anyways.
Here’s the selector lever. You can also see the nickel-boron (Ni-B) coated bolt carrier. Folks, the rifle arrived unlubricated but it was one of the slickest actions I have felt out of the box. My Galil Ace was that smooth and my Vepr was after I lubricated it. Point being is the Ni-B coating definitely aided lubricity as one would expect.
Definitely a good looking AK.
The manufacturer info is forward of the mag well. You can see the Ni-B coated bolt carrier and part of the bolt itself. Also note that they dimpled the ejector to reinforce it.
The pistol grip is attached via a screw with a washer.

The rear sling mount. You can see the metal butt cap wrapping around the end.

Note the FSB does not have any provision for a cleaning rod. No big deal to me. I have never actually used the supplied cleaning rod on any of my AKs. I either use a Tipton cleaning rod or a bore snake. I honest prefer bore snakes at this point.

So those are my out of the box impressions. In my next post, I’ll begin tearing down and making much more detailed comments about the internals.

I hope you found this post interesting.


If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.