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Old 08-20-2011, 05:14 PM
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Default THE Palmetto State Armory AR-15 Review



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Ok, I finally got my rifle built completely so here is the review. First, some pictures of the rifle, the parts I used to build it, and then a range report.






It is, a Palmetto State Armory upper and lower. The upper is completely PSA built. They do all the cool tests and inspections to the parts. The gas key is properly staked. The barrel is a 416 Stainless steel 1/8 twist .223 wylde chamber 16" barrel made by Wilson Tactical. The Free Floated tube is the very light (although arguably not as good as Troy tubes) Midwest Industries SS12. The compensator is an Arredondo nXg comp. Finally, it has a Vortex Viper PST 1-4X24mm 30mm tube milrad adjustment scope mounted in a one piece YHM scope mount and Magpul MBUS buis.

I built the lower half myself using a stripped PSA lower.

It has an VLTOR A5 stock, Daniel Defense Lower Parts kit, Magpul MIAD pistol grip and JP single stage adjustable match trigger.

So how does all that work together? Well, first, some groups to test for accuracy. First I will show what it CAN do, using high quality factory ammo, then I will show groups using more value ammo. I still want to try out some M855 to see how it likes that and some more high quality larger grain stuff like 75gr Hornady TAP and 77gr Fed Match Gold but here is what I have so far:

Using 69gr Fed Match Gold which uses SMK bullets:


yes, that is 5 shots, from an AR-15, into a nickel

more typical groups from the 69gr Fed Match Gold look like this:


60gr Hornady TAP:


And finally, cheaper 62gr Fed Am Eagle


I haven't taken any pictures of groups using cheap 55gr ammo yet but if anyone is interested I can. The 55gr Am Eagle and Fed Value Pack 55gr groups pretty similar to the 62gr Am Eagle stuff. So with this rifle and 30 cents a round ammo you CAN shoot around 1MOA. I'm sure many are a better shot than I am so they can squeeze tighter groups out of the rifle, YMMV.

Anyway, that is the stuff that has to do solely with PSA's contribution. I've put approximately 300 rounds through it so far, and I only use good magazines. No feeding issues, no failures to fire or eject, no malfunctions at all yet.

Additional details: I used an Arredondo compensator and an VLTOR A5 stock kit to have an AR that NEVER leaves the target when shooting and I have been happy. You can watch the rounds impact. It is LOUD and blasty compared to an AR with a standard Flash Hider but the recoil and muzzle rise is comparable to a .22lr rifle. The A5 kit makes the cycling MUCH smoother. Between the comp, the stock kit, the mid-length gas system, and the single stage 3lb trigger, you can empty a mag into a target, put every shot on target, never leave the target, and do it quickly.

Anyway, this concludes the initial review of my Palmetto State Armory AR-15. I will be happy to answer anyone's questions about it and provide more pictures or video for anyone who is interested. I am pleased with this rifle, the quality that PSA uses and I WILL buy from them again. To buy an upper capable of this and is 100 bucks cheaper than a BCM AND comes with the BCG sweetens the deal even more.
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Old 08-20-2011, 05:20 PM
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fine looking weapon.
Old 08-20-2011, 05:27 PM
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fine looking weapon.
Thanks, I put a lot of work into it!
Old 08-20-2011, 08:00 PM
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lookin good! I plan to start building a PSA lower in the next week or so. Glad to hear yours is functioning flawlessly.
Old 08-20-2011, 08:50 PM
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NICE!
thanks for the info and range report.
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Old 08-21-2011, 09:49 AM
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LR,

I just got around to doing an initial range try-out (my backyard range), on my PSA SS upper (same as yours, but with the Magpul handguard option). I've had it for several weeks now, and finally had a little time to do so.

My try-out was more to test for function using iron sight (and checking for that accuracy).

I put my PSA upper on a Double Star lower. I have added a few items to both the upper and lower, so far.

The rifle, with the PSA upper, functioned flawlessly and was super accurate (1" groups with iron sights - I have above 20/20 vision - tested and confirmed).

NICE PIECE OF EQUIPMENT!
Old 08-21-2011, 10:01 AM
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great looking and shooting weapon, good job on the project, how much money for the weapon
Old 08-21-2011, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by 223shootersc View Post
great looking and shooting weapon, good job on the project, how much money for the weapon
Lets see...here's a breakdown:
Arredondo Comp: 120
Upper half: 530
Lower receiver: 80
DD LPK: 80
JP Match Trigger: 120
VLTOR A5 Stock Kit: 224
Magpul MIAD grip: 35
If you add all that up it comes to 1189.00

Not bad for all the high end accessories. I could have NOT used the Arredondo comp and JP trigger (it had a standard flash hider on it and the DD LPK comes with a trigger group) and that would have shaved 240 off the price making it 949. I could have put a Magpul CTR stock kit on it instead of the VLTOR A5 kit which would have made it about 860.

I am happy with the accessories I chose though. Because of them, the rifle is at least competition capable. I don't know How capable but it will shoot very fast and stay on target the whole time. I will shoot a video demo next weekend if I have time and post it in here to demonstrate why I think the additional 444 dollars was worth it.

As it is, it came out to 1189.

Add the Vortex scope: 500
and the YHM one piece scope mount: 115

and that brings the total, WITH optic (and a good one) to just over 1700.

That is a little more than I like to spend on an AR but I was going all out on this build. I sold one of my other ARs and some other stuff that was lying around that I didn't need so I basically only paid for the scope and the mount.


Thanks to everyone so far on the compliments and the review. If you think there is anything I could have done better on the review please let me know.
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Old 08-21-2011, 03:06 PM
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thanks for the info, not bad for that quality of rifle
Old 08-21-2011, 09:29 PM
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AE value .223 seemed to group good when I first got my rifle. Haven't used that particular ammo in awhile.
Old 08-25-2011, 12:30 AM
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I am going to the range either Friday or Saturday so I will post more pictures with some other ammo and I will TRY to post a video, assuming I can get someone to accompany me.
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Old 08-25-2011, 02:20 AM
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Excellent looking rifle, great range report, thanks for sharing.
Old 08-28-2011, 01:23 AM
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Ok, got back from the range, new groups and a video. I used IMI 55gr (5.56mm), Hornady 75gr TAP (.223) and Fed Match Gold 77gr SMK

First the IMI:


Hornady 75gr TAP:



And Fed Match Gold 77gr SMK



Also, here is a video to see how it looks when shooting (note lack of recoil and muzzlerise:


My conclusion is that this particular rifle likes 69gr SMK the best, however still does pretty well with the 75 and 77 gr bullets. Although it was far from my tightest group, I was most impressed with the IMI stuff. I bought this stuff 1200 rounds for 320.00 so for being cheap I thought it did exceptionally well.
Old 08-28-2011, 09:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lone Ranger View Post
Thanks, I put a lot of work into it!
Looks great, and looks like the results were worth the effort. My current AR has a PSA lower, I bought while visitting there store in Columbia on a day trip. I was so inpressed, I'm saving for a PSA upper now. Will probably use a PSA lower as well.
Another, el Cheapo build ahead of that project though....LOL, too much time, not enough AR's!
Old 08-28-2011, 12:25 PM
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Lone Ranger: Have you any idea what the rifle weighs? It's exactly what I want but weight is a consideration.
Old 08-28-2011, 12:34 PM
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Very nice. What range are these targets at?
Old 08-28-2011, 01:55 PM
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Very nice. What range are these targets at?
The range I am a member at by where I live

I got the targets at Academy.
Old 08-28-2011, 02:02 PM
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Lone Ranger: Have you any idea what the rifle weighs? It's exactly what I want but weight is a consideration.
It weighs right at 9lbs with the scope. You could shave off a pound by getting a lighter scope (I am glad I went with this scope though) and a different stock (I was initially going to get the IMOD stock but DSGarms is the only place that offers the A5 kit parts NOT in the kit with the EMOD and they were sold out of the buffer springs so I had to get the whole kit which had the EMOD stock in it which weighs about 6oz more than the IMOD stock. You could make it even lighter by going with a Magpul CTR stock (7 or 8 oz I think))

Anyway, let me know if that helps. It sounds heavy but it is balanced pretty well. Basically,

use rings instead of one piece mount: -2 oz
use CTR stock instead of EMOD stock: -7 oz
use flashhider or smaller muzzlebreak: -1oz
use a lighter scope: -6 oz
that comes out to a 1 lb difference
(those weight differences are approximations BTW, I haven't verified this, Im just going off of part specs)

Let me know if that doesn't answer your question fully.
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Old 08-28-2011, 05:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lone Ranger View Post
It weighs right at 9lbs with the scope. You could shave off a pound by getting a lighter scope (I am glad I went with this scope though) and a different stock (I was initially going to get the IMOD stock but DSGarms is the only place that offers the A5 kit parts NOT in the kit with the EMOD and they were sold out of the buffer springs so I had to get the whole kit which had the EMOD stock in it which weighs about 6oz more than the IMOD stock. You could make it even lighter by going with a Magpul CTR stock (7 or 8 oz I think))

Anyway, let me know if that helps. It sounds heavy but it is balanced pretty well. Basically,

use rings instead of one piece mount: -2 oz
use CTR stock instead of EMOD stock: -7 oz
use flashhider or smaller muzzlebreak: -1oz
use a lighter scope: -6 oz
that comes out to a 1 lb difference
(those weight differences are approximations BTW, I haven't verified this, Im just going off of part specs)

Let me know if that doesn't answer your question fully.
That's about as full an answer as I've ever got, Thanks very much.
Old 08-28-2011, 05:41 PM
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The range I am a member at by where I live

I got the targets at Academy.
I think he wanted to know the distance of the targets you were shooting.
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