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.

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