PSA Jakl

PSA Jakl

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  • Design Features
  • Build Quality
  • Recoil
  • Fun Factor
4.1/5Overall Score
Specs
  • Caliber: 5.56
  • Action: Long Stroke Gas Piston Operating System
  • Twist Rate: 1:7
  • Thread Pitch: 1/2x28
Pros
  • Gas Piston Driven
  • Smooth Shooting
Cons
  • Price
  • Weight

The PSA Jakl is a long-awaited gun by many and while it seemed to have taken forever to make it to market, it’s here and time to give a hands on full run-down review!

PSA Jakl Stock Photo

PSA JAKL

• Caliber: 5.56
• Action: Gas Piston
• Barrel Length: 10.5″
• Twist Rate: 1:7

History of the Jakl

The Jakl was originally teased at Shot Show in 2020 and after some development delays, it was finally released in 2022.

The Jakl was teased long before some of the other latest products from Palmetto State Armory, such as the PSA Dagger.

The Jakl’s are in stock more of the time and are offering in a number of new configurations. You can even purchase just the Jakl upper to put on any AR-15 lower.

The Jakl is now offered in several different configurations including as a full 16″ rifle and two calibers. This gun is definitely worth SBR’ing.

It also comes in two different calibers 5.56 Nato or 300 Blackout.

My PSA Jakl Setup

Magpul SL

Streamlight ProTac HL

Cloud Defensive LCS

Primary Arms 5x MicroPrism

my psa jakl build
my psa jakl build

PSA Jakl Overview

The PSA Jakl is an extremely interesting gun in its own right. It has a unique look and also functions using a gas piston-driven system vs a normal blowback design.

Jakl on the Byte Case

The premise of the Jakl was to be the ultimate truck gun essentially. We’ll touch more on that in a bit, but I think Palmetto did a decent job making a solid trunk gun.

Two notable features of the Jakl are a 10.5″ barrel and a folding stock, during the crazy “pistol brace rule” fiasco they stopped selling the braced guns for a while but you could still buy the braceless pistol model.

Palmetto has started to sell just the uppers for the Jakl in a variety of cerakoted colors and lengths.

Buying the upper allows you to slap the Jakl upper on nearly any standard AR-15 lower.

The factory Jakl has a standard forged lower with the Jakl logo on the right-hand side of the magwell and the other parts of the lower are essentially the same.

I’ll talk about this gun in the standard configuration from Palmetto, starting with the safety.

Safety

The safety is a run-of-the-mill, mil-spec safety. It doesn’t get much more plain, Jane, than the standard mill spec safety.

PSA Jakl Lower

Also, since this is a standard AR-15 lower platform, it will take a Radian Talon safety or any type of safety you like, such as the Battle Arms Development safety.

It’s very easy to take down and you would do so in the same way you would if you were looking to change your AR-15 components.

PSA Jakl Stock Photo

PSA JAKL

• Caliber: 5.56
• Action: Gas Piston
• Barrel Length: 10.5″
• Twist Rate: 1:7

Pistol Grip

One thing I do have a little beef with Palmetto on is they put a standard A2 pistol grip on Jakl, and I’m sure those are the cheapest, most inexpensive grips known to man.

Pistol Grip of the PSA Jakl

I hate the little bump on the front of the grip and I had to change it immediately. But with the number of new configurations PSA has added, you can avoid the A2 pistol grip altogether.

I immediately threw a Magpul SL grip on this thing, and it’s perfect from there.

The JAKL will take most of the standard Magpul grips because this is a standard AR-15 lower.

Magazine Release

The magazine release is in the standard mil-spec spot, which is nice for familiarity’s sake.

You could put a bad lever on here, or any of the standard aftermarket AR-15 magazine releases that you so desire.

This one comes with a standard mil-spec mag release and seems to work perfectly fine.

Magazine Well

The magazine well is what you would expect from a forged AR-15 lower, nothing great, nothing bad.

The Jakl comes with the standard Magpul, 30-round mag, and it funnels and feeds just fine. There’s unfortunately not much to say about the magazine well

Keep in mind you can always get as crazy with the lower as you would like, I’m simply covering the base model Jakl.

PSA Jakl Stock Photo

PSA JAKL

• Caliber: 5.56
• Action: Gas Piston
• Barrel Length: 10.5″
• Twist Rate: 1:7

Bolt Release/Bolt Hold Open

Now, the bolt release/bolt hold open is a little different because of the way that the upper was designed.

psa jakl bolt release

The upper is a bit wider than the lower, which is different than a standard AR.

Typically, the lines of the upper and lower are pretty much in line, so to speak, with the upper and the lower.

In this case, the bolt hold open/ bolt release is in the same spot as a standard AR-15, but the paddle that you use to release the bolt is actually recessed into the upper.

It’s just a little different and takes some getting used to. The Jakl doesn’t have a standard charging handle, which I’ll discuss next.

Charging Handle

The charging handle on the Jakl is ambidextrous and can be switched from the left side to the right side with minimal effort.

While I haven’t done it because I am right-handed, and I likely won’t do it unless there’s a demand to see this done, that’s a pretty awesome feature for the wrong-handed people of the world.

Jakl Charging Handle

I do believe some YouTube videos cover how that Jakl charging handle swap is done.

The position of the Jakl charging handle is about halfway up the hand guard in the forward position.

You can pull the charging handle back relatively easily but there is some resistance on this bolt.

I don’t want you to think that this is a very light pull-charging handle but it’s probably equivalent to most AR-15’s.

Keep in mind that the PSA Jakl is a long-stroke piston gun. So there is resistance, but it’s not like you can’t overcome it.

The cool thing about the charging handle is you can actually pull the charging handle back and hit the bolt hold open with one hand in one swoop.

So you can actually pull to lock your bolt back with one hand and make it happen. You don’t have to move the gun around and do all kinds of crazy acrobatics to make it lock back.

Overall, I really like the charging handle. There’s nothing special about the knob other than to say it works easily with and without gloves.

One thing that took me a little while to find the answer before I purchased the Jakl was that it has a non-reciprocating charging handle, which means the charging handle does not move when you shoot this gun.

So you can put your finger on it, or however you hold your firearm and get your hands around the rail, you don’t have to worry about the charging handle coming back and pinching your finger.

PSA Jakl Stock Photo

PSA JAKL

• Caliber: 5.56
• Action: Gas Piston
• Barrel Length: 10.5″
• Twist Rate: 1:7

Trigger

We’re going to touch briefly on the trigger. This is a standard stock trigger from Palmetto, which is a standard AR-15 trigger.

PSA Jakl Trigger

You can switch these out with literally any trigger that I’m aware of. There’s nothing all that special about the stock triggers.

It functions in the same way as a standard AR-15. Even though the bolt is different, the trigger assembly and the entire lower is the same.

Barrel

The barrel on the Jakl is currently a 10.5″ long and chambered in 5.56. There are a number of new models including a 13.7″ Pin & Weld model that makes it legal to put on a stocked lower.

The barrel features a 1:7 twist, which is the going twist rate for 5.56 barrels in 10.5″.

The muzzle brake has a thread pattern of 1/2×28, so you can add any muzzle brake or muzzle device you want.

Gas Block

Let’s go ahead and move on from there and let’s talk a little bit about the gas block.

psa jakl gas block

The gas block sticks just ever so slightly out of the front of the rail. It’s a very clean and easy adjustment.

The gas block is exceptionally important if you plan to suppress this gun.

You are going to want to lower the gas pressure to make this gun a little softer shooting once you add a suppressor, which I will do.

Issues

Some of the issues that Palmetto had with the Jakl at release were with this gas block.

The gas block came out in a certain position that wasn’t intended, you could twist it to a fifth position, which is the takedown position, and when shooting it with a suppressor the knob would shoot forward.

Here’s a video of the gas block and them providing an update to fix this.

I ordered mine quite sometime after this update.

Anybody reading this who’s pondering purchasing the Jakl directly from PSA will not have to worry about this issue.

So you don’t have to worry about it unless you are buying a very early release model pre-owned, but it’s just worth noting they had a couple of issues with the knob early on, but it’s been rectified.

Stock/Brace Attachment

The nice thing about the Jakl design is the lack of a buffer tube so any stock or folding brace attached using a 1913 Picatinny rail adaptor will work on the Jakl platform.

Jakl 1913 Attachment

Companies like JMAC Customs make a handful of stocks and braces that would work well on the Jakl.

Folding Brace

PSA includes an SB Tactical folding brace that works great and does a solid job. If you have ever gotten one of PSA’s AK-P, you’ll be familiar with this style of SB Tactical Brace.

I plan to update this after I make it a short barrel rifle and add the MFG MSS stock that resembles an ACR/SCAR stock.

PSA Jakl Stock Photo

PSA JAKL

• Caliber: 5.56
• Action: Gas Piston
• Barrel Length: 10.5″
• Twist Rate: 1:7

Weight

One of the few areas that the Jakl is a bit disappointing is the weight. The weight is a bit on the heavy side.

To me, the weight is somewhat unsurprising, given the overall construction of the upper and the piston design.

Pison guns are typically a bit heavier because there is more to the piston system than a direct impingement system.

Configuration

The configuration of the Jakl was really designed to be a truck gun and, as it turns out, it actually IS a really solidly built truck gun.

It feels really solid in the hand. It is a little heavy, which is one of the few cons I have with this gun but the form and function as a truck or vehicle gun is there.

But overall, setting it up has unlimited possibilities with the six, nine, and three o’clock MLOK positions and also the two available QD mounts that are in the handguard and one in the rear stock attachment.

Sights

You can put whatever optic you’d like on this gun.

Personally, I went for the Sig Romeo 5. It’s just a very simple red dot setup for me and am currently running the Primary Arms 5x MicroPrism and RS-10 on top seeing how I like that setup.

I won’t be putting any backup irons on this gun. Although if this is your main truck gun, I highly recommend putting some backup iron sights on them.

In fact, if you want to look at all of the available options for backup sites, we did an article on the best backup flip-up sights.

Optics Mounting

Optics mounting is very easy because of the top 1913 rail system.

So if you wanted to go LPVO you could, but this gun is ideal for a red dot

I would choose a red dot option simply because this is a 10.5″ barrel 5.56 rifle and not really meant to shoot range or distance.

PSA Jakl Stock Photo

PSA JAKL

• Caliber: 5.56
• Action: Gas Piston
• Barrel Length: 10.5″
• Twist Rate: 1:7

Accessory Mounting

The accessory mounting for this gun is as good or better than any MLok-based AR-15 rifle.

The three standard (3,6,9 o’clock) positions are available on this 9-10″ handguard.

psa jakl accessories

Mounting your Surefire, Modlight, or other weapon-mounted light or laser combination won’t be an issue on the Jakl.

But keep in mind when trying to use a cant that you are dealing with uncommon measurements and angles on the jakl handguard.

Shooting the Jakl

It’s time to talk about the bread and butter: shooting the Jakl.

psa jakl shooting

So here’s my little critique of shooting the Jakl.

It’s relatively soft for a piston-driven gun, but it will never be as soft shooting as a gas gun. The mass of the piston is the culprit for that little factoid.

It shoots pretty dead on the money and doesn’t have a lot of muzzle rise, and overall, it’s a fun gun to shoot.

But, this gun was designed to be suppressed. I have since added a Dead Air Sandman and have shot a few mags through it. Next, I’ll be tinkering with the gas block to get it as smooth and clean shooting as possible.

But for now, I’ll just tell you in writing that this gun is loud but fun, there are some downsides.

To me, the massive fireball is somewhat of a downside just because it impedes your view and distracts you from your target a little bit, but as far as shooting it, the gun’s great.

It’s smooth; I have had no ejection problems, no rapid-fire problems. The non-reciprocating charging handle on the gun works great, reloading, a fresh magazine is easy.

The side charging handle takes a little bit of getting used to because most people are not used to an AR platform having the charging handle in the front unless you’ve been shooting like the Brownells BRN-180 or the CZ Scorpion.

Overall, I really like the Jakl, and in fact, I recommend it, especially if you plan to suppress it. I wholeheartedly believe this gun was made to host a suppressor.

Shooting Suppressed

I recently decided to finally fit my Jakl with a muzzle device that will allow me to attach my Dead Air Sandman.

Carrying the Jakl

If you have a Jakl, you need a range bag, this wouldn’t be a Lynx Defense article if we didn’t recommend our range bags.

Jakl in the Lynx Defense Byte Case

Any bag of ours would work great for this rifle. Personally, I would go for The Byte simply because the Byte is purpose-built for a 10.5″ gun with a folder.

It is its bread and butter and claims to fame. It’s right there in that size range and it is extremely modular.

In fact, if you want to check out the Bite, here’s a video with the Jakl.

PSA Jakl Ammo

The Jakl is now available in 5.56 and .300 blackout. Here is some 5.56 ammo that works great:

If you are running the .300 Blackout Jakl, here are some good options for you.

PSA Jakl Final Thoughts

My final thoughts on the Jakl are this: this gun is fantastic, and while the price point was a little disappointing for Palmetto, I can understand why it is that price.

You can tell a lot went into the development design of this upper. The metal, construction, and features that come with it justify the price point.

I know a lot of people were hoping that this gun would come in at about $700 to $800 but it ended up coming in right at $1,300.

I think Palmetto will have sales, blems, etc. but even at $1,300, I don’t think you can beat this price.

PSA Jakl Stock Photo

PSA JAKL

• Caliber: 5.56
• Action: Gas Piston
• Barrel Length: 10.5″
• Twist Rate: 1:7

The one thing I will say is if you go for the Jakl and its configuration from Palmetto, using their lower with their upper, instead of just waiting for them to drop the uppers, you will want to upgrade their lower.

One thing I would like to see is PSA release a custom billet style lower that they make specifically for the Jakl, I think it would be really cool.

It could be a nice upsell and I would definitely go for it if they offered a billet lower of some kind with a little bit more styling and design than just a standard mill spec lower, just like they did with the SABRE AR-15 line!

I can’t say this enough: the PSA JAKL shoots well. I do recommend this gun. I think it’d be a good truck gun.

I would definitely throw this into my vehicle as a primary truck rifle and I’d have no problem with that.

PSA Jakl Stock Photo

PSA JAKL

• Caliber: 5.56
• Action: Gas Piston
• Barrel Length: 10.5″
• Twist Rate: 1:7

If you want one of the best side charging AR-15s on the market today, be sure to pick up the Jakl.

PSA Jakl Questions

Since the JAKL is such a new firearm, many people have questions about the various ins and outs of the gun. Here are a few of the most common questions thus far.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below so we can help you!

How much will the PSA Jakl cost?

As of this, writing the PSA Jakl price is $1,299.99.

What is the PSA Jakl?

The PSA Jakl is a piston-driven purpose-built truck rifle. The gun features a collapsible arm brace and has no buffer system.

Is PSA Milspec?

No, but the forged lower of the rifle is. However, no one should be caught up on the term “Milspec” to determine a product’s worthiness in 2024.

Civilian market firearms are developed far beyond military specifications and are often much better quality products overall.

Does PSA have a lifetime warranty?

Yes, their lifetime warranty also extends beyond the original purchaser. So you can buy a PSA product from an individual and still retain the lifetime warranty.

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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10 Comments

  1. I’ve been contemplating a piston upper and have been reading multiple reviews. I’m currently torn between the Wolf T91 and The Jakl. This was a very well written review and very helpful. One thing I noticed is under the mag release section you mentioned adding a BAD lever – BAD lever connects to the bolt release. Doesn’t look like it’d work w this upper though

  2. Well, I just pulled the trigger on a complete Jakl 10.5″ 556 for just under $850. They sold out of the stock i was originally wanting, and went with a Magpul ZHUKOV less $100. So I don’t feel too bad. The stocks are easily changed over if I can’t live with the magpul. The magpul had great reviews however. Just have to wait and see I guess. The upper was on sale as well. Everything is in FDE.

  3. I’m slowly getting sucked into this 10.5″ piston-driven pistol. Since the ATF is on the defense about their latest BS Infringement and I need another piston-driven firearm in 556 this time. I have one in 9mm and 5.7 x 28mm and am VERY happy with the dependability, robustness, smoothness. etc. They are all just a joy to shoot! IMO, the Russians and Europeans found a superior gas system than our ARs. There, I said it! I have a large collection of firearms that will be getting sold piece-by-piece and replaced by more firearms like these. I promised my wife! I’m a man of my word, damnit! But there will ALWAYS be a place for our ARs in my heart and the hearts of every-gun-owning American! -Hoosier Carry

  4. Does the PSA Jakl use regular AR barrels? Meaning, if I removed the 10.5” barrel, could I replace it with a 16” 5.56 barrel or a .300 AAC barrel? Or, are the barrels for the Jakl proprietary? Thank you for your attention.

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