PSA AKV on Rock
  1. PSA AKV on Rock

Palmetto State Armory AKV

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  • Design Features
  • Build Quality
  • Recoil
  • Fun Factor
4.3/5Overall Score
  • Barrel: 10.5” 4150 Steel
  • Twist Rate: 1 in 10" Twist
  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Receiver: Stamped 1mm Steel
  • Last Round Bolt Hold Open
  • Oversized Safety Selector
  • Large Magazine Capacity
  • Can be Expensive for a PCC

The Palmetto State Armory AKV 9MM is a firearm held in high regard in the pistol caliber carbines (PCCs) world.

Particularly for use with new covert rifle cases. The PSA AKV, also known as the Palmetto State Armory AK-V, is a semi-automatic pistol caliber carbine that resembles the AK-47 in design but is chambered for the 9mm Parabellum round.

This choice of caliber makes it a potentially more cost-effective option for shooting than larger caliber rifles.

Having owned the AK-V for a few years and putting in several thousand rounds shooting it, I have some insights about its performance and features.

AK-V Stock Photo


• Caliber: 9mm
• Forged Bolt/Carrier
• Stamped 1mm Steel
• Forged Front Trunnion

AK-V Features

PSA AK-V in Tactical Rifle Case
PSA AK-V in Classic Rifle Case

The Russian Vityaz inspires the AK-V, but unlike the Kalashnikov USA KP-9, it’s not an exact copy. PSA kept the American consumer in mind when building this pistol and tailored it with key features in mind.


First, the PSA AK-V safety is a selector switch you would normally find on any AK-style rifle.

akv safety

But there’s one important difference – it has an index finger tab. Much like the Krebs Custom AK safety, this feature allows the shooter to engage and disengage the gun’s safety with their index finger.

This is a big improvement over the standard option because, unless you’re Shaq, you typically have to remove your hand completely from the grip to disengage it.

The AK-V’s design allows most shooters to maintain their grip, or at least most of it. This a major improvement, so kudos to PSA’s design team.

AK-V Stock Photo


• Caliber: 9mm
• Forged Bolt/Carrier
• Stamped 1mm Steel
• Forged Front Trunnion

Pistol Grip

While unremarkable, the AK-V is equipped with a Magpul AK grip that is standard for most firearms of this kind.

ak v grip

However, it will accept any AK-style pistol grip, so you can up the gun’s cool factor with a retro-bakelite grip, wood, combloc polymer, or any other modern style grip if you so choose.

Since the gun is made in the USA, changing the furniture won’t affect 922R compliance like a parts kit build would. PSA offers multiple furniture configurations depending on the model you buy.

This is one of the few stock grips I don’t feel I need to run out and scoop up a replacement to make the grip bearable, looking at you AR’s manufacturers.

Magazine Release

The magazine release is paddle-style and works well for right- and left-handed shooters.

AK-V Magazine Release

Its positioning is that of a normal AK rifle – directly in front of the trigger guard. One disadvantage to it, though, is you can’t reach it with your trigger finger.

It’s still straightforward to use and if you’re buying an AK derivative gun, sub-second reloads probably aren’t your priority. I can’t tell if the magazine release is metal or plastic, but it feels sturdy.

I don’t think it matters what the material is because I believe it will withstand extended use.

9mm AK with PSA Banana Magazine
PSA AKV w/ PSA Banana Mag in front of Bronx Rifle Case

Magazine Well

In the world of extremely flared mag wells, this probably ranks low. It’s somewhat beveled, so it’s not going to funnel your magazine into the magazine well like a modern sporting rifle flared magazine well, especially on a billet AR-style lower.

ak v mag well

The magazine well is made of metal, which gives the gun a higher-quality feel.

Also, the AK-V accepts the CZ Scorpion magazine pattern magazines. This allows owners to get magazines from multiple sources, including my favorite – the PSA AK-V banana magazine.

Not only do PSA and CZ make compatible magazines, but Magpul makes magazines for them.

If standard capacity magazines aren’t enough, several drum-style magazines fit the PSA AKV and are available from X-Products, Magpul, and PSA.

AK-V Stock Photo


• Caliber: 9mm
• Forged Bolt/Carrier
• Stamped 1mm Steel
• Forged Front Trunnion

Bolt Release/Hold Open

One major advantage of using CZ Scorpion magazines is allowing the gun to lock the bolt back after the last round. This is not the case for the competing Kalashnikov USA KP9.

The bolt release is positioned on the left-hand side of the magwell in case you don’t want to use the charging handle to release the bolt.

This is one of my biggest complaints about the AK-V. Functionally, the bolt release works just fine. It’s low profile and easy access for a right-handed shooter to access the release with their left thumb after inserting a magazine.

However, it seems like this part of the design was an afterthought, and it could have been an opportunity to tie the whole piece together.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s functional, and it works. It just seems out of place on this gun.

Charging Handle

The charging handle is one of my favorite things about the PSA AK-V!

ak v charging handle

It sticks out far enough to grab it on the fly without feeling awkward or off balance.

There’s not much resistance when you pull the charging handle, so chambering your round and releasing the bolt lock is a breeze.


One of the most difficult things about buying a PSA AKV is the number of options PSA gives you.

You can pick a different brace, color, and handguard. The customizations alone make selecting the right AK-V for you difficult, not to mention availability during 2020’s Gunpocalypse.

plum crazy purple 1

But if you are like Joe Dirt and dig that plum crazy purple gear shifter handguard, PSA has you covered!

I got the triangle folding brace, and I love it. But it is tough to unlock from either the folded or the extended position, thanks to PSA’s unlocking mechanism.

Now that I have gotten used to folding stock, it has become easier, but initially, it wasn’t user-friendly.

While the triangle stock is the more stylish option, I suggest another brace option if you are looking for something you can quickly deploy. But I love the way it looks.

AK-V Stock Photo


• Caliber: 9mm
• Forged Bolt/Carrier
• Stamped 1mm Steel
• Forged Front Trunnion

Iron Sights

I’m a big irons-as-backup-sights-only kind of guy. Because the benefit of fast target acquisition and ease of use with red dot sights is hard to overlook.

The P iron sights are on par with any other AK variant. The fixed front sight allows for a decent target picture and target acquisition, but there’s nothing to write home about with them.

Optics Mounting

The rear cover features a 1913 rail that allows you to mount any optic you want, making your options for AK optics limitless when it comes to 1913 optics.

ak v 1913 rail

But a warning to any AK geeks out there, you won’t be able to use your com bloc side rail-mounted optics, like the Kobra.

Recently, I reached out to the PSA AKV owner’s Facebook group to see how everyone was mounting their AK-V red dot sights. My favorite was the lower 1/3rd co-witnessed red dots like the Sig Sauer Romeo 5 or even mounting a pistol optic like the Trijicon RMR’s.

If you go the RMR route, remember you’ll need an RMR Picatinny mount to mount it.

Accessory Mounting

Mounting accessories on the AK-V comes down to what furniture options you choose. Mounting things on the front of the gun, such as lights, slings, or other accessories, becomes more complicated.

ak v mlok

Your PSA AK-V setup will largely depend on what handguard you choose, but you can switch out your handguard if you want more accessories.

AK-V Trigger Pull

The trigger on the AK-V is comparable to that of any standard AK variant.

ak v trigger

While its take-up is smooth and the wall only lightly defined, the break is crisp and clean.

I picked up an ALG trigger for the AK-V and may report my findings after installing it. This single-stage AK Trigger should be a nice upgrade for the AK-V.

But I didn’t buy the ALG trigger because I’m dissatisfied with the stock PSA AKV trigger. Rather, I enjoy customizing my guns.


The best part of the AK-V is shooting it. That’s true of any firearm, but the AK-V is a dream!

The break allows the AK-V to shoot with negligible muzzle rise. Like most competitors, the AK-V uses a blowback recoil system, but it’s much lower recoiling than the rest of the field.

Keeping the gun on target is as easy or easier than a compensated 5.56 AR without the concussion that typically comes with compensated rifles. Most blowback 9mm sub-gun clones have a lot more recoil than a standard AR15 in 5.56.

The gun also lacks the concussion of the shorter barrel 9mm carbines where the muzzles don’t extend as far from the face (Yes, I’m talking about you Sig Copperhead!). This makes the AK-V an ideal gun to start newer shooters on if you want them to have something more exciting than a .22LR.

AK-V Stock Photo


• Caliber: 9mm
• Forged Bolt/Carrier
• Stamped 1mm Steel
• Forged Front Trunnion

Shooting the AKV Suppressed

I finally got around to putting on the 3-lug mount onto my AK V!

I’m not sure what I was waiting for… but I have been busy, so let’s go with that excuse.

Shooting the PSA AKV suppressed is great. It seems to be gassed great running the SilencerCo Octane 9 2.0.

The crack of the 9mm is extremely reduced but still shooting 115-grain supersonic 9mm ammo.

Carrying the AK-V

When transporting your Palmetto State Armory AK-V, you must ensure it’s secure and protected.

psa ak v bag

Using one of our discreet carry cases is perfect for this 9mm carbine. You can even use our backpack PDW insert with the AKV.


The PSA AKV is currently in flux in that the price varies from model to model, you can expect to pay around $1,000-$1,100 for any AK-V configuration from Palmetto State Armory.

This is extremely dependent on supply and demand, so the price is subject to change at a moment’s notice.

PSA AKV on Concrete

In Conclusion

Buy the PSA AKV.

The only regret you’ll have is how much you’ll have to spend on ammo to get your fix shooting this fantastic firearm.

If you want to take a look at other PCC’s check out the Aero Precision EPC.

If you are into classic sub guns chambered in 9mm, the Century Arms AP5 is a classic. If you want to see another great PSA product, take a look at our review of the PSA AR-10.

AK-V Stock Photo


• Caliber: 9mm
• Forged Bolt/Carrier
• Stamped 1mm Steel
• Forged Front Trunnion

If you are looking for something more 7.62 x 39 but still compact, take a look at our PSA AKP review, which is their 7.62 x 39 version of the AKV. Take a look at our guide on the best AK-47s on the market.

psa ak v inbag

Is the PSA AKV automatic?

No, the PSA AK-V is semi-automatic meaning for every trigger pull one round is fired.

Is PSA AK-V any good?

Yes, I have had a ton of fun with my PSA AK-V. Having an AK that shoots the less expensive 9mm round is having a small compact package makes this a great gun to have.

Are PSA AKs stamped?

Yes, they are stamped receivers.

If you liked our review we would appreciate a share!
Michael Savage
Michael Savage

Michael is the President of Lynx Defense and an avid gun owner and outdoors man. He's passionate about helping find the best bang for your buck and helping others learn about firearms and the industry as a whole.

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