PSA Dagger
  1. PSA Dagger

PSA Dagger Compact

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  • Design Features
  • Build Quality
  • Recoil
  • Fun Factor
3.7/5Overall Score
Specs
  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Capacity: 15+1
  • Frame: Polymer
  • Weight: 22.4oz
Pros
  • Lots of Aftermarket Glock Parts
  • Look and Feel
  • Price/Value
Cons
  • Trigger
  • Holster Compatibility

Palmetto State Armory has really been pushing the envelope lately with the release of the Jakl, SABRE, and Dagger lines.

The Palmetto State Armory Dagger, also known as the PSA Dagger Compact, was created to compete in the compact pistol market against the Glock 19.

What makes the PSA Dagger so different is that it comes at a great price point. This price point makes it extremely attractive, considering Glocks can be $500+.

The Dagger shines in terms of MSRP, but does it hold up to Glock’s reputation for quality and performance?

After having this dagger for over a year and putting hundreds of rounds through it, I think I can speak to its overall design and reliability.

In this comprehensive, complete review of the PSA Dagger, I’ll go over everything the Dagger is and isn’t as well as where it shines and any drawbacks.

I think it’s important to preface this by saying I purchased this PSA dagger outright at the MSRP, and I have both the compact and the full-size dagger now.

PSA Dagger Stock Photo

PSA Dagger Compact

Action: Striker Fired
Caliber: 9mm
Frame: Polymer
Weight: 22.4oz
Barrel Length: 3.9″

PSA Dagger First Impression

First of all, the PSA Dagger comes in a cardboard box with the foam cut out for the gun. This is the case if you buy the complete gun but not the case if you buy the slide and the frame separately.

psa dagger box gun

Upon opening it, you take the gun out, take the chamber flag out, and the lid holds all of your manuals and other information.

The foam comes out, and that’s where you’ll find the magazine and other materials from Palmetto, including the required gun lock.

PSA did a good job with the box; the opening and the presentation are all very good.

When I held the PSA Dagger, my first impression was, is this a Glock, or is this a Sig?

It’s very interesting because it has the Glock frame, but I think what threw me was the texture of the grip.

So, when I held it, I was like, Oh man, this feels like a SIG. But the more I held it, the more and more I was like, Okay, this gives you a Glock feel with a SIG texture.

The gun has a very interesting feel to it, and I like it. So, I was impressed with a $300 gun in the overall initial feel.

Now, the overall aesthetics and look are pretty much like Glock with a bit of aesthetic difference in the slide cut.

The finish is a bit different than you would find on a Glock or other pistols. It does come with a Magpul magazine. So, no proprietary mags, and you can run standard Glock mags in it as well.

PSA Dagger Stock Photo

PSA Dagger Compact

Action: Striker Fired
Caliber: 9mm
Frame: Polymer
Weight: 22.4oz
Barrel Length: 3.9″

PSA Dagger Features

The features of the PSA Dagger include pretty much everything on the Glock 19 Gen 3.

You have the standard takedown method, the magazine release, which is done almost just like a Gen 3 with PSA’s slight touch to it.

Left side of PSA Dagger with Slide Locked to Rear

There is a hump in the middle of the grip like the Gen 3’s are known for. The slide has a unique design, but it doesn’t have any of Palmetto State Armory’s markings on it. It is just a clear, clean-cut slide.

Now, Palmetto State Armory does have all their information on the grip. The serial number for the gun is located in the same spot it would be on a Glock, and the sights are just standard, three white dot sights with no night sights.

With no PSA markings on the slide, it does have front and rear cut serrations.

Overall, the gun feels good. The slide reminds me somewhat of the blocky design of the SIG P320, but at the same time, still looks like a Glock.

Grip and Ergonomics

As I mentioned in my initial impression of the gun, the grip really struck me.

It definitely has the same texture, that the SIG P320s have. It has the ergonomics, however, of a Glock Gen 3.

PSA Dagger Grip

I really like what Palmetto did with the grip texture. It has a little Palmetto State Armory logo in the bottom right-hand corner of the grip, on the left side and on the right side, it would be in the bottom left-hand corner.

It’s definitely visually appealing and it’s also very nice and porous and allows you to get a good grip on the gun.

Establishing your master grip is very easy, and overall, I think they did a great job on the grip.

PSA Dagger Stock Photo

PSA Dagger Compact

Action: Striker Fired
Caliber: 9mm
Frame: Polymer
Weight: 22.4oz
Barrel Length: 3.9″

Sights

The sights on the PSA dagger are a little disappointing, but at $300, I’m not sure what exactly I was expecting.

psa dagger sights

I guess I’ve just become so used to sights on guns coming with night sights. So when I realized the PSA Dagger didn’t have night sights, I was a little surprised.

But again, I thought to myself, “This is a $300 gun. What did you expect?”

The good news is you can change these out to any Glock sights, they haven’t changed their design in years. But if you get an optics cut slide, you probably won’t care about the stock sights anyway.

The one thing I would say I would have done, had it been in stock, is buy the red dot cut slide.

It’s only $80 more, and I definitely would’ve gone that route if that was an option at the time I ordered this gun.

The stock sights aren’t, particularly my favorite type of sights. I prefer no rear dots on the rear sight and just a singular dot on the front sight.

I’ve had no problems with these though. I took it out and shot it, and I’ll get to the actual shooting of it later in this review. But as far as sights go, they’re accurate, they were on, had no problems hitting targets.

Magazine

The magazine of this gun is nothing to write home about, it’s just a Magpul Glock 19 magazine. There’s nothing wrong with it.

There’s only one of them, but again, you’re buying a $300 gun. This is in the realm of Taurus prices and a lot of other low-quality guns, but you’re almost getting a Glock-quality product for $300.

Magpal Magazine

Now, if you have a Glock 19, and have carried a Glock 19 since they released the Gen 3 version, you have a ton of Glock mags that are already compatible.

I personally have an undisclosed amount of Glock mags, nice try ATF, which will work in the PSA Dagger.

So, I’m okay magazine-wise. I don’t have any issues with the Magpul magazines, and so far, they have functioned perfectly fine.

Optics Ready Model

As I mentioned, under the sight section, this is one thing that I think everybody should know about.

When I purchased my full-size Dagger I got the optics cut slide with the threaded barrel.

I think you should definitely consider getting the optics-ready version. The pistol world is likely going all red dot and I don’t blame it, since pistol dots are fantastic.

If you haven’t done it, try it, you might not like it at first, I didn’t. But give it a shot because it’s actually a really, really, nice way to shoot a pistol.

Once you get used to it, your accuracy is going to increase tenfold and I don’t think you’re ever going to turn back from not owning an optic mountable pistol.

With that being said, get the PSA cut slide from the factory, for $80 more dollars. You’re not going to be able to save any money getting it milled somewhere else.

Even some of the cheapest slide millers I know, charge a minimum of a hundred dollars to cut a slide. So, don’t try to save some money here. PSA’s already done that for you. Go ahead and get the RMR cut slide.

Controls

So, let’s talk about the meat and potatoes of any gun, and that’s the controls. The controls of this pistol are, once again, similar to that of a Glock Gen 3.

There is the magazine release, the takedown in the middle of the slide, to where you can field strip the gun and take it apart.

As well as the slide release and that’s pretty much the basics of the gun. You also have your trigger. So let’s dive in, starting with the magazine release.

Magazine release

The magazine release in this gun does stand up relatively high. It’s fairly easy to depress and does have the same texture as the Glock.

The grip frame does have a spot cut for it, to where your thumb can fall in.

It drops the mag clear, about what you’d expect from this gun, given the fact that the frame is based on the Glock.

PSA Dagger Stock Photo

PSA Dagger Compact

Action: Striker Fired
Caliber: 9mm
Frame: Polymer
Weight: 22.4oz
Barrel Length: 3.9″

Slide Stop

So the slide stop/slide release is the same as a Glock Gen 3.

They’re not, however, like the Glock Gen 5. So, this is only on the left-hand side of the gun.

PSA Dagger Slide Stop

I prefer the ambidextrous style slide stop slide release as it makes it easier to pull the slide release down.

There’s nothing to catch your finger. It’s about as stock as you can get, but it does work.

There are no issues with it, you can lock the mag back easily. You can drop it free, easy.

It does function well but just know that it’s a stock part on a very afforable gun. It’s not going to wow you.

Trigger

The PSA Dagger trigger is probably the only part of this gun that disappointed me, but they have come a long way since the initial release.

That’s one thing you have to give credit where credit is due to PSA, they are always improving their products.

Trigger of the PSA Dagger

Everything else is pretty much on par with what I expected. The first trigger I had on my Dagger was very gritty and not smooth at all.

It’s probably the worst stock trigger I’ve ever felt. They use a Smith and Wesson M&P trigger design, which bends in the middle, versus the Glock trigger with the safe action in the middle.

I don’t know the rationale behind this, but I can tell you it feels like sandpaper when pulling the trigger. It’s pretty bad.

I don’t want to harp on this too much, as the gun overall is great and the trigger has improved substantially since 2022.

The take-up travel is good, and the break is clean. It’s not very crisp, but it is clean and not spongy.

PSA Dagger Ammo

If you are in the market for some ammo for your PSA Dagger, the options are endless.

Accessories

The nice part about the accessories for the PSA Dagger is the fact that pretty much any Glock Gen 3 accessories will work.

PSA Dagger Slides

Looking for a baller pistol on a budget? Turn to the PSA Dagger because the number of available slide options from Palmetto is incredible.

SW5 RMR Slide

psa dagger sw5 black gold

I’ve always liked the TIN barrels and bolts on guns, so forgive me for being a sucker if these aren’t your thing. But for just $329, you can get the SW5 RMR Slide, which features a milled slide with an RMR cut and a threaded barrel.

That is a crazy good deal considering Glock threaded barrels typically start at $119 and go up.

SW1 RMR Slide With Copper Threaded Barrel

psa dagger fde slide

With a number of different slide cut options, you can really get the look you are going for with your pistol. The SW1 RMR Slide With Copper Threaded Barrel is definitively a looker.

One of the great things about Palmetto is that they offer different colors and don’t cut styles and even better features like threaded barrels and optics-ready cuts.

PSA Dagger Holsters

Now, the only exception to that is holsters. They’ll fit in some Glock 19 holsters, but not well.

It’s very tight and it’s extremely hard to get out. I think that has a lot to do with the slide, but I believe the retention point on the frame is the same.

The slide is thicker and has a slightly different profile so it doesn’t slide into the holster as easily as a stock Glock 19.

So if you want a Kydex holster for your PSA Dagger you might want to grab one that’s available on their website. But keep in mind it’s slim pickings right now, but hopefully, the selection will grow.

PSA Dagger Flashlight

I grabbed an Inforce Wild 2 flashlight for the PSA Dagger, and while it’s a polymer flashlight, I don’t even have a holster that will fit my Dagger yet, so it’s more or less a light that wouldn’t see a lot of action outside of the range.

Personally, the light is fantastic, but it still has its limitations, namely, it’s a polymer flashlight.

But output wise it’s fantastic!

The dagger is nice because the rail will allow nearly any pistol flashlight to be mounted to the gun.

PSA Dagger Stock Photo

PSA Dagger Compact

Action: Striker Fired
Caliber: 9mm
Frame: Polymer
Weight: 22.4oz
Barrel Length: 3.9″

Aesthetics

The overall look and feel of this gun are fantastic. Starting with the bottom of the grip frame features a nice little cut-out that allows you to grab and rip your magazine if it is ever stuck for any reason.

dagger rightsidelocked

The DLC slide with carry cuts looks fantastic and gives a unique picture from behind the gun with the blocky design of the slide. This side is great and I like what PSA did with it.

PSA Dagger vs Glock 19 Gen 3

The PSA Dagger is a revamp of the Glock 19 and the most notable differences are the aesthetics.

Glock 19 Gen 3 vs PSA Dagger

The internals do feature some slight differences namely the slide rails.

Glock 19 vs PSA Dagger
Glock 19 Gen 3 pictured left vs PSA Dagger pictured right

The PSA Dagger also has a different grip and grip texture as you can see below.

glock19 vs psadagger grip
Glock 19 Pictured Top vs PSA Dagger Pictured Bottom

The slides are nearly identical with the spring guide rod being the biggest difference.

psa dagger slide

Lastly here’s a side-by-side picture of the complete internals.

psa dagger internals

As you can tell, these two pistols have some clear differences and similarities, and I think each has its place in the market.

PSA Dagger Durability

North Carolina finally produced some snow for the first time in several years so I figured I might as well use such a fine day!

So, I put the dagger through a quick and short test for function. By no means do I think these were comprehensive or even a true torture test but it’s more than most people would likely ever put their gun through.

psa dagger snow

I put the Dagger through various things and it never skipped a beat. The misses were all me being it cold and seldom shooting with gloves on, and I accept them as my fault.

I also dropped it from roughly waist height and shot it one-handed so I could video the results. I racked the slide on my boot, and other than my misses, it functioned fine.

Overall, I’m happy with how the Dagger did in the mild snow test I performed on it.

Shooting the PSA Dagger

Now, shooting the PSA Dagger is a little different. It does feel like a SIG texture in your hand, but this thing shoots like a Glock 19, all day long.

Shooting this side by side with a Glock 19, you’re not going to notice much difference and for better or for worse, that’s a plus in my opinion.

I had no flaws, no malfunctions, and nothing bad to say about shooting this gun. I didn’t have any pins walk out on me.

I haven’t had any problems with this gun so far. It’d be hard for me not to recommend this gun.

While triggers are changeable, by the time you throw a new trigger in this gun, you’re getting dangerously close to Glock prices.

If you don’t like the Glock trigger either, and you’re going to replace that trigger anyway, this gun is a value.

Overall, shooting this gun is very smooth, very crisp, and clean and I enjoyed it. The slide and the sight picture are fantastic.

Final Thoughts

My final thoughts on the PSA Dagger are this: I don’t think that this is a Glock replacement.

PSA Dagger Stock Photo

PSA Dagger Compact

Action: Striker Fired
Caliber: 9mm
Frame: Polymer
Weight: 22.4oz
Barrel Length: 3.9″

The Dagger is more of a reason not to buy a Polymer 80 Build. If you’re worried about a serial number, that’s one thing.

But as far as cost savings or building a cheap Glock, there’s no reason to build a Polymer 80 build, when the PSA Dagger is available at this price point.

Now, if you’re looking for night sights from the factory, the nice clean trigger, or something of that nature, you might default to a Glock.

The Palmetto State Armory Dagger gives a solid run for the money, and for $300, it is a bargain. It fits exactly in the niche it’s trying to fill and will be a great carry gun for many people.

The Dagger, PSA Jakl, and PSA AK are hands down my favorite guns from Palmetto.

Is the PSA dagger a Glock?

No, while it can be considered a Glock clone of sorts the PSA Dagger is in fact its own gun and not all Glock parts are interchangeable with the Dagger.

How much is the dagger pistol?

The current MSRP of the PSA Dagger pistol is $299. This is a very reasonable price considering everything you get with this pistol.

Does the PSA Dagger take Glock mags?

Yes, the PSA Dagger takes Glock magazines. Depending on the model, the Dagger will take either the Glock 19 or Glock 17 magazines.

Will PSA Dagger slide fit Glock 19 frame?

Yes, any of the Dagger compact slides will fit on a Glock 19 frame.

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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6 Comments

  1. Picked up my Dagger yesterday and after all the horror stories I heard about the trigger, I was pleasantly surprised. No gritty takeup, clean break, short reset, very similar to my G45. Also, the trigger reach is shorter than my G45 so while the frame is similar in appearance, they may have changed the grtip angle

  2. I have the full size s model. It’s a Glock 45 size gun with a holosun 407 and it’s my edc after 500 rounds. I think I’m going to buy another to train with. I have a few discontinued cz’s and this gun fits perfect in my huge hands. I think these guns are underrated and everyone should buy one. Reminds me of the ruger 9e. Reliable and durable.

  3. GREAT GUN FOR THE MONEY. PUT IN SOME POLISHED GLOCK 19 TRIGGER PARTS AND TRIGGER. IS MUCH BETTER. MINE CAME WITH 10 15 ROUND MAGAZINES INSTEAD OF 17 ROUND MAGAZINES WHICH ARE CURRENTLY BEING SWAPPED OUT FOR 17 ROUND ONES.

  4. Great Review. I went to most of the hyperlinks. One thing to note about PSA is they are even a better Value if you search their website for Blem (insert PSA Pistol or Rifle of choice)… and you will be amazed at the deals they offer. Im considering the Dagger for my next Pistol purchase. Im glad I found this Review.

  5. Carefully inspect your Dagger™ barrel! PSA acknowledged a Dagger™ barrel rifling manufacturing defect on January 12. PSA put all Dagger™ barrels on hold January 19. PSA is shipping a free replacement barrel to anyone concerned with their barrel’s rifling. You don’t need to return your defective barrel. Join the PSA Dagger Facebook group for further updates.

    http://palmettodagger.com/BarrelIssues

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