[Review] Palmetto State Armory (PSA) AK-P GF3

Do you love the AK-47 but wish it were shorter?

Man, are you in luck!

An American made AK that made with forged parts is hard enough to find, but finding one that is ALSO a pistol is almost impossible — until now.

dry akp
Palmetto State Armory AK-P

The Palmetto State Armory AK-P is forged, American made, affordable, and a complete blast. We’ve looked at the full-sized rifle version of the PSAK-47 before, but now we’re looking at its little brother the PSA AK-P Gen 3.

Johnny has a great video review of the AK-P for us also, take a look! If you like the channel, subscribe for more content every week.

Table of Contents

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Who, What, Why

If you don’t know who Palmetto State Armory is, you should by now. Based in South Carolina PSA is primarily focused on the AR platform. From budget-minded AR-15s to AR-10s plus a retailer for a LOT of firearm gear, they’re one of the best places to shop for anything modern firearms related.

PSA 5.56 & .223 Wylde
PSA 5.56 & .223 Wylde

They also are a massive manufacture of their own lines of AR-15, AR-10, AR-9, AK-47, and odd-ball guns like the AK-V and KS-47.

We’ve tested just about every rifle and pistol they produce and have always been impressed with the quality and price they offer. But their entry into the AK platform is in a whole new league.

The Sad State Of American AK-47s

Americans have been trying to produce a decent AK for longer than most of us at PPT have been alive. But competing with state founded factories overseas is a tall order when you’re looking at a milled and hammer forged rifle that has been greatly misunderstood in the West.

PAP M92 and WASR 10
PAP M92 (Serbia) and WASR 10 (Romania), two awesome AK-47s made not in America

Until the last few years or so, there really hasn’t been an American produced AK that has been worth anyone’s hard-earned dollars. From quality control to using the wrong caliber barrels to headspace issues, the story of American made AKs is a sad one, to say the least.

Palmetto State Armory set out to change that.

Already a powerhouse in the AR world, PSA turned their eyes toward the AK platform knowing they could do better because they could control the manufacturing at every step along the way.

akp on a tree
PSA AK-P

Like any new endeavor, it took a moment for PSA to find their sea legs. But with the introduction of the Gen 2 PSAK-47, they had something impressive! We tested and reviewed that generation of AK and loved it, it passed our tests and the long endurance tests of others with flying colors.

But there was something missing… Forged Parts.

Hammer Time

Hammer forged parts are a major component of the original AK design. It is also expensive. The start-up costs and production costs of making things like forged bolts, trunnions, and more is not cheap. But if you want to build the best AK you can then it requires forged parts.

Gen 3 AKP
AK-P with the Gen 3 Forged Parts

PSA stepped up to the plate with their Gen 3 PSAK-47 introducing the use of a cold hammer forged barrel, hammer forged bolt and bolt carrier, and hammer forged trunnion.

forged trun
Gen 3 AK-P

And that is why this is the best American produced AK on the market, period.

Range Report

The AK-P is exactly what you would expect it to be, the PSAK-47 but… smaller.

It’s louder, more flame thrower-y, and compact. The recoil is more stout and the concussion a little oppressive.

AKP
Johnny and his AK-P

But that’s what makes it awesome.

Brace

Our rifle had the SBA3 brace on it and pairs great with the AK-P for being a solid brace that does exactly what you need it to do.

sba3
SBA3 on the AK-P

That’s why it’s on our list of Best AR and AK Pistol Braces!

Best Braces Overview
Best Pistol Braces!

Muzzle & Forend

It also comes with a Mini Krink muzzle brake that really helps tame the recoil and blast of the short-barreled 7.62×39 AK.

akp krink 2
Mini-Krink!

It is accurate enough. This isn’t designed to drill targets at 1,000 yards, but it is more than good enough for minute-of-man out to at least 250. That is great for a pistol AK!

The forend is the Magpul MOE line. We’ve used this forend on a lot of AKs in the past and like it for several reasons, the heat protection is great, it gives you M-LOK to mount accessories on, and it feels good in the end.

magpul akp foreend
Magpul MOE forend

But it does lack on the aesthetics side. Plastic is plastic after all.

Sights & Optics

But not everything on the AK-P is straight out of the Soviet military. Since this is America — we need a way to mount optics!

akp innawoods
AK-P in the woods with optics

The AK-P has a full-length Picatinny rail along the top of the dust cover, this provides a solid platform for red dots or other optics. Our tested red dot held zero without a problem.

But the AK-P also has irons, if that is your thing. A fixed rear sight and adjustable front sight provide a sight picture akin to the normal Russian AK sights.

akp irons
Rear iron on the AK-P

Trigger

Frankly, the trigger isn’t anything to write home about. It’s an AK trigger. Not bad, but not match grade either.

akp 2

The reset is very positive, the break is clean, but the trigger is still long and heavy with a bit of slap to it.

For a great plinker or even defensive pistol, it works just fine. If you do want a new trigger though, you’re in luck since the AK-P takes any standard AK trigger — such as the ALG AK Enhanced Trigger or CMC AK-47 Elite Trigger.

Best AK Drop-in Trigger
225
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

More Flavors Than Baskin-Robbins

What else comes on your AK-P depends on the exact model you get. PSA has come out with some really cool variations that deserve a look.

If you haven’t seen PSA’s triangle folding brace, you’re in for a treat. Sure the SBA3 is good, but nothing beats the classic look and feel of a triangle stock brace. If you do go with the triangle brace, I highly recommend getting it in Plum!

750
at Palmetto State Armory

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

If wood is more your style, the AK-P also comes in a beautiful red wood model with furniture made by Boyds’ Stocks. This is bright and really pops out on the range.

700
at Palmetto State Armory

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Lastly, if you want a tactical AK-P (great if you plan on using this as an HD gun) PSA has a railed model feating the triangle brace and enhanced aluminum M-Lok upper/lower handguard with Picatinny on the top rail.

900
at Palmetto State Armory

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

These are just a few of the options though, there is a lot of models offered and deserve a look!

By The Numbers

Accuracy: 4/5

An AK normally isn’t the most precision of tools and a really short barreled one a bit less so, but for what it is we’ve been impressed seeing good hits on torso targets to 50 yards.

akp kit

Ergonomics: 4/5

Missing some of the nice features found on an AR, the AK can feel a bit clunky to some shooters. But really it’s nothing out of the norm for the platform. These can be improved a bit with a Krebs Custom Enhanced Safety giving you an easier to manipulate safety AND a bolt hold open.

Best AK Safety Lever
62
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Looks: 5/5

A short-barreled AK just makes me happy, really. Even the basic models of the AK-P look great, but the red wood or triangle folders kick it up to a whole other level of looking badass!

wet akp
Base model AK-P getting wild

Customization: 4/5

Lots of great aftermarket options are around for the AK now including handguards, optics, safeties, and triggers. For the AK-P getting a smoother trigger, an enhanced safety, and a solid red dot turns it into a very respectable HD or truck firearm.

Bang For Your Buck: 5/5

American made, lifetime warranty, durable, and reliable. For the cost you’re putting into it, you really get a lot back on your dollar.

Overall: 4.5/5

Conclusion

The Palmetto State Armory AK-P is an American AK, but smaller and a pistol. It’s durable, reliable, and great for a range of uses. Accuracy is more than necessary for 50 yard shots and there’s plenty of aftermarket upgrades and furniture to make it more ergonomic and pretty.

We’ve been very happy with all of the PSA AK rifles and pistols and it feels great being able to finally have an American made AK that is worth our time and money to shoot.

What is your take on pistol AKs? Do you run one for HD? Let us know in the comments! For some more 7.62×39 goodness, but in a more AR-ish platform, take a look at the Palmetto State Armory KS-47!

PSA KS47 with EOTech
PSA KS-47 with EOTech

4 Leave a Reply

  • Smittybangbang

    Thread pattern? Are the threads concentric to the bore? Gimme that 5/8x24!

    1 second ago
  • KrebsCustomFail

    Caution!!! The Krebs Custom Enhanced Safety Lever will cause an AD if it is allowed to over travel upward. One guy cheekily called it a "back up" trigger. There is a tab that needs to be severely ground away in order for it to miss the trigger assembly. Always check the function of your new part before inserting live rounds.

    3 days ago
  • Paul

    Hi, just curious how that pic rail on top of the dust cover holds zero with a red dot or scope mounted? I am pleased that PSA has upped their game with quality in their sights. The fact that they are using 4150 steel for their barrels with nitrided finish, as well as the forged trunnions is a huge plus for me, and the lifetime warranty seals the deal. I intend to add a half dozen PSA rifles and pistols to my collection soon. Keep up the good work PSA.

    3 days ago
    • Chris J

      The dust cover is a hinged design much like the Texas Weapons Systems unit.

      3 days ago
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