PSA AK GF3 Review: Field Tested
The PSA AK GF3 rifles are Palmetto State Armory’s latest Kalashnikovs. They seem to me to be the best large-scale American-made AKs on the market. In this PSAK 47 GF3 review, I’ll tell you why I think so.
PSA AK GF3 Specs
- Caliber 7.62x39mm
- Sights Std. 800-yard rear sight leaf
- Barrel Gas Nitride 4150 steel treated barrel
- Twist Rate 1 in 9.5″ Twist
- Barrel Length 14.7 inches
- Overall Length 34.5 inches
- Weight 7.5 pounds (unloaded)
PSAK GF3 Background: The American Kalashnikov
The AK market has gotten considerably smaller as of 2015ish. Mil-Surp parts kits began drying up, and the prohibition on imported Russian AKs was enacted. The American hunger for Kalashnikov rifles wasn’t going anywhere, and a number of companies stepped up to fill the gap. In 2016 Palmetto State Armory released its first AK. It was a good showing, but I had issues.
Since then, PSA has made it to its third generation of AK. The GF3 has seemingly become the best American-made AK on the market. Respected AK expert Rob Ski of the AK Operators Union took a GF3 through his 5,000-round torture test, and if I recall correctly, it’s the first American AK to pass the test.
Palmetto State Armory produces dozens of variants of their AK rifles in many configurations. When PSA offered to send an AK to test as a loaner, I couldn’t help myself.
I sought out the fanciest model on the market. They said Ok, and here we sit with a decked-out, high-speed GF3.
It’s complete with a JMAC Keymount Brake, a JL Billet M-LOK handguard, and a 14.7-inch barrel with the muzzle device pinned and welded to stay out of NFA territory.
The rear is finished off with Magpul furniture, including an AR-style stock and the Magpul AK pistol grip.
On the inside, we have a wonderful ALG trigger that really cleans things up.
It’s a from-the-factory fancy option with more bells and whistles than I ever thought I’d need. Sure, while ‘rifle is fine’ is a fair enough thing to say, I can’t help but like something a bit more modern, and when I’m borrowing it, I want the most expensive weapon they’ll send!
PSA AK GF3 Features
1 M-LOK Extended Handguard
Provides an excellent, modern platform for accessories
2 Keymount Muzzle Brake
The JMAC Keymount muzzle brake devours recoil.
3 ALG Trigger
Very smooth, no grit or slap.
4 Magpul furniture
An excellent assembly of furniture for comfort and ergonomics.
5 Easy access safety
The safety is easy to manipulate. Still gotta deal with the charging handle.
PSA AK GF3 Models
The PSA AK GF3 is available in several models, including the “Classic,” the “American Bastard,” and more, all in various materials and finishes.
PSAK 47 GF3 Review – Our Take
The PSA AK GF3 series comprises fairly standard AKs, with the various models coming with different furniture and barrel lengths.
Meat and Potatoes AK
The GF3 series stands out in several ways with its high-tech furniture, but the two that made the most significant difference to me on this model were the trigger and muzzle brake.
Let’s talk about recoil and control.
AKs are shoulder-slapping battle rifles that won’t chew you up with their recoil. However, we can all admit they tend to throw more force rearward than your standard 5.56 AK, right? Well, with the JMAC Keymount muzzle brake, that changes. It eats up a ton of recoil, a crazy amount that makes this 7.62 AK feel like it’s shooting 5.56. I was shocked at the first shot and impressed immediately.
You can feel it on a slow shooting basis, but the practical effect is controlling the rifle during rapid fire. It barely moved, and I could easily keep my gong swinging at 50 yards. The front sight barely moved between shots, and I was plenty impressed with the gun’s lack of recoil and easy-handling nature.
What About Accuracy?
AKs won’t ever be sniper rifles, but their reputation for inaccuracy is overblown.
I took the rifle out to 100 yards, used the M-LOK handguard, and attached a bipod. I locked the gun down enough to take the human factor out of the equation and began shooting three-shot groups. At this range, the gun appears to shoot a little more than 3 MOA with Wolf 123-grain steel case. That’s not bad for the cheapest ammo I have to throw through it.
For all my purposes, this is accurate enough. The trigger is crazy smooth and provides a very nice trigger pull that lacks the grit, slap, and disgust I typically have with AK triggers.
ALG produces an impressive trigger for the gun. Where I did have a problem is with the stock and its height.
An AR stock on an AK can create too high of a comb. I have to get low and on the gun when using iron sights. Getting low enough and behind the rear sight is tough and a little painful. This makes accurate shooting challenging.
It also ties into the ergonomic issues you’ll find with the gun. Most AKs have the ergonomics of a 1940s SMG, but at least the stock doesn’t cause discomfort. In the gun’s defense, the handguard places a short optics rail across the top of the gas tube. A red dot on this tube makes the comb the perfect height.
Although speaking of ergonomics, the PSA AK GF3 tries, but it’s still an AK. The safety moves smoothly and has a thumb shelf to make manipulating it easy. You still have to deal with the reciprocating charging handle, right-side charging handle, lack of an LRBHO, etc.
I only use the cheapest AK food for my AKs. It’s Wolf, Tula, or Red Army Standard only. If it doesn’t work with steel-cased ammo, then it’s not worth the dinero. Luckily, the use of cheap ammo didn’t stop the AK from going bang. Even with a mixture of polymer and steel mags from various Communist countries. Reliability is surely not a concern.
On the value front, a thousand bucks is a lot of money, but let’s look at the price of the extras tacked on.
Count ’em up.
• JL Billet M-LOK Rail – 220 dollars
• ALG Trigger – 100 dollars
• JMAC Brake – 135 dollars
That’s nearly half the cost in high-end accessories. The value is there as far as I’m concerned.
PSAK 47 GF3 Pros and Cons
The pros outweigh the cons by a large margin, as you can see below.
- Light recoiling – The muzzle brake WORKS.
- All that potential – Many aftermarket accessories available
- Value filled – Ships with numerous upgrades built-in
- No bolt lock-back – In true AK style; still a Bad Thing
- AK ergonomics – I mean, it’s still an AK
The brake at the end really rips the recoil out of the gun and makes the gun very easy to control and shoot. It’s the lightest recoiling AK I’ve ever shot.
The GF3 has been proven by hardcore AK enthusiasts and experts. In my experience, the gun goes bang every time the trigger is pulled.
It’s still an AK, and on top of that, the comb of the stock makes it tough to use the iron sights it comes with. That brings it to a C.
It’s an AK, so it’s no sniper rifle and never will be. For an AK, it’s not bad, and the ALG trigger helps a lot.
The extra parts are not cheap, and their inclusion increases the value of the gun substantially, in my opinion.
Reviewed by Travis Pike
Based on 16 Reviews
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The PSA GF3 AK with the fancy ALG trigger, M-LOK handguard, and excellent muzzle device makes the gun a refined example of what an AK can be. It’s fun to shoot, reasonably accurate, and capable of modern accessorizing. There is a reason we chose to put a model of these in the GU roundup.
Best Ammo for your PSAK47 GF3
I shot several kinds of ammunition while testing the GF3, including the 122 gr FMJ Arsenal by Global Ordnance and 122gr Wolf FMJ.
123gr Wolf PolyPerformance
|Palmetto State Armory||$0.21/round|
124gr American Eagle
|Palmetto State Armory||$1.15|
PSAK 47 GF3 Accessories
The best part about accessorizing your GF3 is the stuff that’s already on there. You can skip the stock, trigger, and rails and go straight to other goodies!
Keep something in mind when choosing your accessories, upgrades, and furniture: apart from the basic necessities (e.g. a sling, a light, and possibly an optic), you should always budget time, resources, and money for training. All the “Gucci kit” in the world won’t help if you cannot run the gun effectively.
How to Care for Your Firearm
Whether you’re new to the AK platform or you just want to brush up on your fundamentals, check out this video. It’ll show you a couple of different AK variations (and how to field strip them).
Important Links and Manuals
Need more info on this firearm? Don’t worry. There’s plenty out there. We recommend you get started with the following resources:
- Read the US Military’s official AK47 instruction manual.
- All about the Palmetto State Armory GF3 series.
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