The PSA AKP GF3 is a gun I’ve had my eye on for some time so when I finally got my hands on it not only was I excited to finally give the gun a try but I was immediately impressed with its aesthetic, quality, and price.
PSA AKP Product Details
|Barrel Twist Rate:||1:9.5|
|Barrel Material:||4150 Steel|
|Barrel Finish:||Gas Nitride|
|Muzzle Device:||Mini Krink Brake|
|Muzzle Thread: ||M24x1 1/2 RH|
|Front Trunnion:||Hammer Forged|
|Handguard Type:||Enhanced Aluminum M-Lok Upper/Lower Handguard with Picatinny Top Rail|
|Grip:||Magpul MOE AK Grip, Black|
|Brace:||PSA AK Picatinny Adapter with Triangle Side Folding Brace|
|Fire Control Group:||ALG AKT Enhanced Trigger with Lightning Bow|
|Sights:||90 Degree Combo Sight/Gas Block, Fixed Rear Sight|
|Magazine:||30 Round Magazine (1); Where Allowed by Law|
|Includes:||Picatinny Optics Mount|
An American AK-47?
Growing up in the 90’s sure was different than it is today. As a child, I distinctly remember standing for the Pledge of Allegiance before school started each day, at ball games, and even hearing the Star-Spangled Banner played on the bedside radio when I woke up each morning or on the TV at the end of the regular broadcast.
Those words and verse meant (& still do) a whole hell of a lot to me. I recall learning about WWI, WWII, Vietnam, Korea, and even the Cold War in history class while in primary school and being damn proud of what my country had done for so many overseas and all the sacrifices that had been made to fight the evils of this world. In learning about these wars and conflicts, I began to develop an interest in the small arms of each conflict that would blossom and eventually lead me to where I am today.
At the time of my adolescence, there was no such thing as YouTube or anything that closely resembles what the gun community has grown into today. There were a few paper magazines and of course movies made that were often very one-sided when it came to the portrayal of the participants of each conflict and their weapons.
The typical cliche was always that the Americans and their equipment, including their guns, were vastly superior to the Soviet or other Com-bloc countries.
Growing up a red-blooded American, I never questioned this stance. However, deep down inside of me I felt an almost primal attraction to the cold, stamped sheet metal and redwood that adorned so many of the weapons that were in the hands of the bad guys in these movies.
The most common of these weapons was the AK-47. Its roughness and primitive design beckoned to me and even more so because it was like the forbidden fruit in the garden.
Soon after I turned 18 and was able to purchase a rifle I found myself to be the proud(ish) owner of a Century Imports WASR-10. If I recall correctly, I paid roughly $299.00 out the door.
Once home I tore that thing apart and put it together so many times I felt like I could do it in my sleep. The design was so basic, and the finish was so rough there were burrs and tool marks all over the rifle. I remember comparing it side by side to my friend’s new AR-15 and wondering how this was the rifle of the other half of the world.
I also opined on the possibility of finding an American-made AK-47, and wondered if the roughness and barbaric construction would be any better… it would HAVE to be. We are America after all.
AKP GF3 Development
The PSAK-47 GF3 was designed from the ground up to be a new standard in AK-47 rifles, utilizing all new precision manufactured parts. Thoroughly tested in development, we tortured tested to 10,000 rounds to ensure a quality product.
Not to be satisfied with just a good AK-47, we kept improving and now are proud to announce our PSAK-47 Gen3 Hammer Forged (GF3) rifle with a hammer forged bolt, carrier, and front trunnion.
The 4150 barrel is nitride treated for accuracy and durability and is pressed into a new hammer forged front trunnion to ensure the longevity AK-47’s are known for. The hardened steel 1mm receiver features a mil-spec style single hook trigger, and side rail mount.
The front trunnion and bolt carrier are engraved with GF3 to designate the GF3 hammer-forged model. The rifle is finished with a Magpul polymer handguard, Magpul AR-15 stock, AK/AR Buffer tube adaptor, PSA 6-position buffer tube, and AK-47 polymer grip; Rifle ships with 30 round magazine (where allowed by law).
AKP GF3 w/ALG Features
The included muzzle Device that comes standard on this GF3 AKP is actually a Krinkov style booster. This booster helps build back pressure to reliably cycle the long stroke piston found above the shorty barrel of the AKP.
The Krink booster is threaded M24x1.5 RH. This is pretty standard for Krinkov styled AKs no matter their chambering.
The booster is held in place by a detent that interfaces with a recess that is cut into the booster itself. This is a standard feature across all platforms of the AK.
Replacement muzzle devices exist, however not in the abundance of the ones found for the AR15 family of rifles.
I have plans to suppress this AKP with a Dead Air PBS-1 Wolverine, so I will only be using the included muzzle device until my whisper pickle is handed over to me by my SOT once approval is so graciously granted by the ATF.
FSB/Gas block combo
The front sight base and gas block are combined into one unit for this design. For those who are unaware of the reasoning, there isn’t but so much real estate available on the short barrel that this thing is packing.
Combining the two achieves several things, one of which is saving space and therefore leaving enough room to use traditionally sized AK furniture if you choose.
Part of the design process for the American-made GF3 AKP was to beef up the strength of the front trunnion.
This is where the barrel and the receiver meet on the AKP. This union is vitally important to the safety and operation of any AK, and by using a hammer forged trunnion PSA upped their quality over several competitors who were using cast parts in this area.
Castings are just not as strong and will show signs of wear and tear far sooner than forged parts.
When you dive into the world of AK’s you will find that there are two main divides when it comes to receivers.
First, there are milled receivers. These types more closely resemble the original AK47 as it was made from its inception in Russia. These types of receivers start their life as a solid block of steel and are milled out to the spec of the manufacturer.
Obviously, these types are going to be stronger, but they are also a lot heavier than their AKM styled counterparts.
The second type of AK receiver is stamped. This type of receiver construction was made for the AKM and requires a front trunnion to bridge the connection between the receiver itself and the barrel.
The advantage to stamped receivers is multifold. They are more simple to make, thus being cheaper and quicker to manufacture. Stamped receivers also are a lot lighter than their milled brethren.
As the GF3 series is based on the AKM design, therefore the AKP GF3 has a stamped receiver.
The PSA-made receiver is 1mm thick and made of hardened steel. This is more than enough to withstand any abuse you may throw its way.
The rivets that are used to attach the front and rear trunnion to the receiver are well made and installed correctly.
The magwell is dimpled to assist in minimizing side to side play of the magazine. These dimples are a common feature of the AKM platform, but not all manufacturers use them.
The markings for Safe and Fire are clearly marked on the side of the receiver.
The finish used on the GF3 AKP receiver is a deep mat black color and seems to be of high quality.
The telltale safety scratch that is synonymous with the AK platform is present. For those that come to the AK platform from the AR may be concerned, but the safety scratch should be viewed as a badge of honor and nothing less.
Barrel & Chamber
Palmetto State Armory decided to put a gas nitrided 4150 steel barrels on their PSA AKP GF3 series.
This steel is a good choice for durability and keeping the price to a manageable level.
The length of these barrels is 10.5 inches. This is obviously shorter than the 16 inches that is required by the ATF to be qualified as a rifle, so users beware of all the stipulations that come with a pistol with a brace. We won’t go down that rabbit hole here.
The chambering on the AKP GF3 is the classical 7.62×39.
There’s nothing special to talk about with the chamber itself of an AK. The interface with the mag is simple, and does not require complex angles like that found on the AR. There are no feed ramps to speak of; just straight in, lock and then back out to eject and start the cycle over again. It’s simple and part of what contributes to the AK being a reliable platform.
Not much can be done to fancy up a safety on the AK. The standard AK safety requires you to break your shooting grip and flip down on the long end of the lever.
The safety that is included on the AKP has an extra protrusion located further back that allows the user to keep their shooting grip and reach up with the pad of their trigger finger to swipe the safety lever down into one of the firing positions… yes I said one of.
PSA decided to include the position and marking for the full auto selector, but obviously this only works as a second semi-auto position without a lot of paperwork and some internal changes to the trigger group.
When you are perusing the website looking at all the different models, and selections you will notice that some of the AK’s listed come with an upgraded trigger.
The ALG AK Trigger Enhanced with Lightning Bow (AKT-EL) is a single stage trigger designed for the AK47 and AK74 variant platforms. The AKT-EL features a smoother and shorter trigger pull than the stock trigger and is ideal for combat and home defense use. It is machined from gun quality alloy steel and has a corrosion-resistant Manganese Phosphate finish.
The AKT-EL features the Lightning Bow®, which produces a very comfortable feel to the user over the stock trigger while enhancing trigger control.
Here you will also find a wide variety of selections to choose from. Anything from OG wood, to fakelite to more modern iterations such as Magpul or other polymer selections.
Really can’t go wrong here, but this particular pistol came with a Magpul MOE AK grip.
I found it to be very comfortable, much more so than a traditional AK grip, but I quickly replaced it with a US Palm grip instead. I just prefer the aesthetic the US Palm provides.
I also ended up choosing the bakelite-colored option for a little flair.
It’s an AK, so that means that the mag release is just a piece of metal that leverages on a pin and applies upward and forward pressure on a lug located on the to lock the magazine into the magwell.
Compared to modern western designs, this is an extremely primitive way to accomplish this goal, but it does.
This allows for more loose tolerances than would be acceptable in a western rifle.
The included magazine with the PSA AKP can vary. PSA has begun making their own magazines that simulate Bulgarian slab side mags. PSA also includes a Magpul AK Pmag from time to time.
The diversity of magazines for the AK47 platform may be greater than that of the AR15.
As there were so many countries that fell under the old banner of the USSR, and even more under the Warsaw Pact, most of which made AK’s and magazines for it.
See all the best AK-47 magazines available in our full article.
Palmetto State Armory also forges their bolt and charging handles for the PSA AKP GF3.
This ensures that these essential parts are strong and are well made to work in conjunction with the rest of the firearm that has been put together.
There are no major tool markings and certainly no rough edges or burrs located on these parts.
The finish is immaculate and the color matches with the rest of the pistol.
Pending on which model you select at checkout will determine which rear trunnion and brace you wind up taking home.
This example comes with a 1913 railed rear trunnion and a PSA branded triangle folding brace.
The one area that I can find to complain about (if you can really call it that) is the bottom corners of the 1913 rail of the rear trunnion. It is sharp as hell.
After playing with the pistol for only a few moments after removing it from the box I began to notice the knuckle area of my right thumb was raw. This is from the extremely sharp corner of the pic rail rubbing my hand.
This is very nitpicky, I know. I plan on taking a file to the sharp corner and angling it off so it will no longer become a problem.
The brace is made for PSA by SB Tactical. Anyone who is even a little gun savvy should recognize that name.
They have started a wave in the gun community that several other manufacturers have jumped on with their wide range of braces made for several different platforms.
Besides the rear trunnion, there are two other places where 1913 rail can be found on the PSA AKP. The second location is the dust cover. Traditionally, the dust cover is not a captured component on an AK-style rifle.
It usually is attached by wedging the front of the cover into a groove and then clipping the rear of the cover down onto the protrusion of the recoil spring assembly.
PSA decided to attach the dust cover to where the rear sight would traditionally be located on an AK (just in front of the charging handle and above the chamber). By doing this you can now open and close the dust cover on a hinge.
This makes the dust cover solid and able to use the once unusable space as an optics mounting platform. Obviously, this system isn’t quite as effective as a flat-top AR, but it still gets the job done nicely.
The third location where you will find the 1913 rail is the top of the handguard. This particular AKP comes with PSA’s Custom Series Billet Aluminum Handguard. The pic rail is located up top at the 12 o’clock position with Mlok rail being available at the 3, 6 & 9 o’clock spots.
The finish and fitment of the Billet handguard are high quality, and it goes well with the rest of the pistol.
If you want to learn more about some other AK optics take a look at our best AK optics article which covers mounting solutions as well as the best optic options for your AK.
Optics for the PSA AKP GF3
Traditionally you were very limited in ways to mount optics to an AK platform. You essentially had two options. I covered this topic in more depth in the best AK Optics and mounting solutions article.
One, replace the front handguard with one that supports the MIL-STD-1913 rail or use a side-mounted picitanny rail that goes up and over top of the dust cover.
I have found that I prefer to place a small red dot or even a micro style dot at the very front of the railed dust cover for my shooting style with the AKP.
By placing the optic so far forward, it minimizes any little bit of play that may be present in the dust cover.
I have opened and shut the dust cover with the optic attached several times and have yet to see any shift or change in the zero for this pistol.
Shooting the AKP
Goodness, gracious great balls of fire! Immediately after loading up a magazine with my favorite 7.62×39 out of a surplus olive green spam can and rocking that big 30 round mag into the mag well, I turned the pistol on its side and pulled the charging handle back, and sent one of those commie 7.62 freedom seeds into the chamber.
After flipping the safety lever to the fire position and lifting the pistol up to a line the sights I then placed my finger on the ALG trigger and smoothly sent three shots downrange quite quickly.
The very first thing I noticed was the absolutely MASSIVE fireball that came erupting out of the 10.5-inch barrel of the AKP after the ALG trigger was pulled.
The short barrel on the AKP lends to its overall handiness and keeps weight down, but if you were trying to take accurate, quick shots you would be at a severe disadvantage having to wait for your eyes to refocus after each flashbang goes off a few inches from your face.
The booster that comes equipped on the PSA AKP does nothing to help with this, but to be fair it was never intended to.
Besides the fireball, the pistol is very pleasant to shoot that packs a powerful punch.
Uses for the PSA AKP
Every gun should be evaluated for its possible uses and the PSA AKP is no different.
Breaking down the possible uses for this American Made AK47 wasn’t difficult. As an AK, most people in the States will not look at it as a viable duty firearm.
I can see this AKP landing in the hands of someone who either wants to get into the AK platform for the first time and doesn’t know where to start, or possibly someone that has a more expensive AK that wants a hard use, reliable AK to shoot and abuse at the range without feeling bad about abusing a rare Russian example.
Can this Palmetto State Armory GF3 AKP be a tactical consideration when it comes to the AK market? I think so.
The quality materials used and attention to detail lend this AKP to be a suitable firearm to use in a tactical situation would you choose to do so. I can’t see any reason to not trust this firearm for this purpose.
PSA AKP Price & Conclusion
The PSA AKP GF3 with ALG trigger as seen in this review is currently listed for $1,099.00.
Every once in a while PSA will have a blem sale. What this means is they will have a few guns that have minor cosmetic blemishes that they will then sell at discount.
If you don’t mind a scratch or two on your gun this is a good way to pick up a quality firearm at a substantially discounted price.
Overall, the AKP impresses in a big way. Along with the forged components, the included ALG trigger lifts this particular AK above the rest when it comes to high quality for an affordable price. It’s hard to find another American Made AK that has this set of features and high quality for this price.