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Old 02-11-2009, 02:52 AM   #1
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Default My PSL Experience

I'm an ex-Marine grunt that's always had an interest in military small arms (naturally). When I first started putting together my small collection of arms a Dragunov was on the list, though at the bottom due to cost (this being the mid 90's...little did I know). I had handled an old Russian military issued example while in and had found it to be the most ergonomically perfect rifle I had ever shouldered.

Fast forward to 2007 and I was kicking myself in the ass for not having made a sacrifice and purchased a Drag then. A search began for an alternative, and I briefly fancied building a "Saiganov." Having joined a Saiga forum to learn more I came across a few good reports and recommendations on the PSL. Lurking this place and others for some time has come up with some good info as well. After having sold a perfectly good Remington 700VS, by early 2008 I'd come across and finally brought home a reasonably priced PSL from Gunbroker. I believe the reason it sold low (for GB, anyway) was for not having any pictures, but the description was right and to the point so I wasn't too worried about it.

I ended up with this:

The rifle was a '78 that looked great, with matching wood in perfect shape and all numbers matching except the spring guide. The guys at the gun shop told me it was the best looking furniture they'd seen on one. The only annoyances were that it only came with one rusty magazine, had a slightly canted front sight, a slightly loose upper hand guard, and was missing the grip screw/hole.

Additions are a POSP 2-6x24 scope, an ITC railrest cheek piece, an AK grenade launcher butt pad, and a four mag set with pouch. A screw was also purchased and a hole drilled in the receiver for it. The stock was already drilled, with the washer and nut still in it, so what the hell.

Some features of this "poor man's Dragunov" I like...such as the simple and robust AK-style long stroke gas system, the spring loaded buttstock, the muzzle brake, and the auto bolt hold-open.

Earlier this year after getting a hold of a moderately priced spam can of 7N1 I set out to see what it could do.

I hadn't shot a rifle for groups but once in many years, and had only shot off a bench a few times (I hate it), but was doing fairly well rather quickly. Most shots at 25 yards were clover leafing so I felt pretty confident moving to 100. Ignoring all the reports of 3-5 MOA accuracy, the stories of having to keep the barrel at very moderate temps to get good groups, the reports of poor accuracy off a bipod, and all the chatter behind me, I got these groups with my second magazine, with the last of five rounds and a hot barrel (all my shots were fired after only a few seconds pause...I don't have the patience to wait minutes...I don't know how people do that). The light yet annoying strike from the rubber eye piece and the jaw weld take some getting used to.

First three shots

Last two

While this was my best, I believe I could've done better. My right elbow shifted on the bench with every shot, disturbing my natural point of aim. The gritty two-stage, 6.5lb trigger, while fine for a battle rifle, really sucks for precision shooting. The rest of the groups were not far off. I'd like to try a nice prone position with a better trigger to really see what it's capable of.

There were a couple of stoppages in 150 rounds. I let another shooter fire a magazine through it, and he had one stovepipe jam. I had a mag related stoppage where the rim of the preceding round got behind the other and did not allow that round to feed.

For a crudely assembled thin barreled big AK with a crappy little scope on a flexy receiver mount and a shitty trigger shooting surplus military grade ammo it does better than it should, and I was pleasantly surprised.

The felt recoil is very mild, and it is just plain a lot of fun. I'm going to have to get some surplus that's a bit more readily available before I shoot it again. Although it's admittedly not nearly as pretty, I don't regret passing up the Drags so much anymore.

Most impressive was that my wife shot a ~3" 10-shot group, having only shot a rifle once before in her life, and not being a rifle fan to begin with.
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Old 02-11-2009, 10:49 AM   #2
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Nice shooting. My first trip out got .75 MOA on a 3 shot group @ 100m, and 20 rounds faster than I should have fired @ 200m within 3" with a few flyers.

Second trip, not so good, I am blaming myself. I am sure I made some errors, and was probably overconfident.
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Old 02-11-2009, 11:11 AM   #3
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Nice rifle and great shooting.I also have a PSL.I have owned 2 and both functioned perfectly.I traded one on here for a VERP 308.I have found all the ammo I have bought functions great(Bulgarian-1 tin,Russian-2 tins,Hungarian-4 tins)of the 3 the best results came from the Hungarian.I have just ordered a case of Czech ammo to try out as well.I have heard some bad things about the PSL,bad rivets,ftf,fte,broken firing pins.I condsider myself lucky to own one without any issues.I am picking up another 91/30 and hope to find another M44 or M38 to add to the collection,then I will have another excuse to order more ammo td
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Old 02-11-2009, 11:19 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by tdbrown1969
then I will have another excuse to order more ammo td
No excuses needed TD. We all share your affliction.
"To my mind it is wholly irresponsible to go into the world incapable of preventing violence, injury, crime, and death. How feeble is the mindset to accept defenselessness. How unnatural. How cheap. How cowardly. How pathetic."
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Old 02-15-2009, 12:19 AM   #5
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Thanks. It's my only AK/com block rifle. I guess I've gone kinda backwards in that an AR15 is the short range carbine and an AK derivative is my long range rifle.
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Old 02-16-2009, 11:41 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Rick_A
Thanks. It's my only AK/com block rifle. I guess I've gone kinda backwards in that an AR15 is the short range carbine and an AK derivative is my long range rifle.
I am in the same situation as you
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