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Ever since I saw the PSA SABRE AR-15 line at the Palmetto booth at the National Rifle Association annual meeting in Indianapolis, I have wanted to get my hands on their SABE line of rifles.
I’m extremely excited to test and report my findings in this PSA Sabre review, which will explain why I wanted to get my hands on this gun in a second.
History of PSA
Palmetto State Armory has been in the business for quite some time now and have a history of making guns and gun parts for affordable prices.
PSA Sabre AR-15 Features
Features are really what make or break and rifle configuration and how it comes from the factory is always a tell-tell on if you got a good value.
I often joke with my buddies about how the rifle is the cheap part of the purchase, and that’s still the case. The more a company can include in accessories and features, the less you’ll have to dish out to complete the gun.
Palmetto went out of its way on the SABRE line to give you a gun that has features at a great value.
The SABRE upper is extremely well done and has some great lines the upper has a unique design to match that of the lower.
The SABRE series includes a unique forward assist design on the billet uppers.
It doesn’t resemble that of a forged upper forward assist. This one has a matching block-style design, while the forward assist button is what you’d expect.
The dust cover is a polymer dust cover but also features a design that compliments the rifle’s overall look and feel.
The lower is where all the magic happens on the PSA SABRE. Both the billet and forged receivers have a unique design that you haven’t seen before by PSA.
Both the upper and the lower merge nicely together. The lines are flowing and the overall look of the rifle feels extremely high-end.
I don’t want to dive too much into the lower receiver outside of the aesthetics because I will cover the controls and features individually later.
The trigger guard is built into this lower and has a strong dip in it to make it easy to get a gloved finger in the trigger guard.
Boy, did PSA really go all out on the SABRE controls. The full-featured, fully functional Radian Talon safety selector.
These 90° safeties are my all-time favorites. Their look and feel are about as good as it gets in the AR-15 accessories world.
Radian’s Talon functions as expected and is the stock option on the entire SABRE lineup.
You are missing out if you have never felt the B5 Systems P-Grip 23. I have long been a Magpul loyalist but ever since I established a master grip on one of these P-Grip 23 masterpieces, there’s no turning back.
I like the overall texturing on the grip and the grip angle, which is a slightly increased virtual grip angle to enhance ergonomics.
But if you don’t like the P-Grip, no worries, just swap it out for your favorite grip.
This PSA SABRE features a Hiperfire RBT Trigger with JP-reduced powered springs.
It’s a very smooth trigger and works great. It’s essentially an enhanced mil-spec trigger.
Barrel & Chamber
The SABRE line currently only comes chambered in 5.56 NATO, but be sure to check the PSA website because the offering is subject to expansion at any time.
An AR-10 version of the SABRE line is available and comes in .308 Winchester and 6.5 Creedmoor.
Most of the barrels are 13.7″ Pin and Welded barrels, meaning the muzzle device is pinned to 16″ to meet silly NFA laws.
One thing you might not expect from a $1,000 gun is truly ambidextrous controls.
The magazine release can be used on both the left and right sides of the gun. On the right side, you have the traditional button release for the magazine.
On the left side of the gun you have a pivot button system that sits just below the bolt release/hold open.
It functions well on both sides of the gun, and I like the quality of the components.
Magazine / Mag Well
The magazine well doesn’t have a lot of flare but what it doesn’t have in flare it makes up for in chamfer.
The chamfer cut allows magazines to funny into the magazine well with ease.
The billet version looks fantastic and, more important, works well.
Bolt Release / Hold-Open
The bolt release/hold-open is ambidextrous, but it’s important to note that you can only manually lock the bolt back with the left-side control.
The right-side control is simply a bolt release. While it works perfectly, it would be nice if they had complete ambidextrous control.
With that being said I’m so used to locking the bolt back with the left side control it will take some training to even use the right side control to lock the bolt back.
PSA outdid itself on the controls on this gun. Opting for a version of the Radian Raptor charging handle specifically made for Palmetto.
The only major difference I can tell between this Raptor and the ones sold by Radian is the handles.
The body of the charging handle is aluminum like any other charging handle but the handles are a polymer material.
They still feel extremely durable and function the exact same way as the regular Raptor charging handles.
Rail System / Handguard
The SABRE offers two types of rail systems the ever-popular MLok system and classic 1913 Picatinny rail.
I opted for the classic 1913 Picatinny rail system because it’s the only rail system I didn’t already have. Plus, something about having a 1913 rail and putting an ACOG on top felt nostalgic.
The rail system meets up and locks up really well with the upper and I have zero complaints about the handguard fit and function.
The only thing to consider when selecting which handguard to go with is the weight. If you want a liter gun the MLok is a no-brainer. If you want maximum attachment options, the 1913 has tons of attachments.
The MLok system has made huge strides in recent years, adding tons of accessories.
Choosing an Optic
Nearly any 1913 mounted optic will work on the SABRE rifle but more importantly than what will work is what you want to do with the gun.
I personally want to set mine up as a throwback to the GWAT days and top it with an ACOG but for now, I’ve got my other trust Trijicon product, the Trijicon MRO on it.
Shooting the PSA SABRE AR-15
You might be saying, well, all that is great but the proof is in the shooting. You’re right and you’re in luck; this gun is smooth.
The mid-length gas system is fantastic and makes this gun ridiculously smooth.
Out of the Box
One of the great things about this gun is that it is right out of the box; it’s feature-packed and works flawlessly.
This gun has turned a page on PSA’s past, where they had a reputation for mass production and low cost.
This gun has put round on round and has a surprising number of features. I had to go right to my Sandman suppressor and see how this gun did.
The SABRE comes with an adjustable gas block and to get the perfect gassing the first thing I did was crank the adjustable gas block closed.
I took my first shot and the gun didn’t cycle so the gas block was confirmed closed and worked as expected.
Then I started turning the glass block one click at a time, it has a very tactile and audible click on each turn.
By the third turn, it was cycling perfectly and throwing brass at exactly at the 4 o’clock.
So then it was time to get on this thing and when I did it was a nail driver. I dropped about half a mag in just a few seconds and nearly gassed myself out of this world. #suppressorprobs
The only thing I wish the SABRE offered was a piston model, but this gun is fantastic to shoot.
Uses for the SABRE
The number of different configuration options and possibilities with the SABRE is nearly endless, making this rifle’s uses vast.
Of course, this is a great gun for the range. It’s crazy fun and you can customize it to meet your wildest ideas.
But it’s more than “just” a range toy and can do a lot but it is a gun that’s a lot of fun to shoot and toy around with.
If you hunt with a 5.56 rifle then surely this gun can meet your needs. With the option to add MLok attachments or go with the classic 1913 rail like I did this gun can be set up for any type of hunting.
Throw on your favorite rifle bi-pod and get in the woods with the SABRE; you won’t be disappointed.
Last but not least, duty and/or tactical applications, does it make the cut?
Absolutely. While you should do your own testing and evaluation on the SABRE line of AR-15’s. I’m convinced.
These guns will hold up with all of the best AR-15s on the market today, and frankly, I consider it one of the best AR-15’s on the market.
Ammo for the SABRE
I’m impressed so far with my SABRE because I’ve shot reloads, factory reloads, and factory new ammo and it’s functioned perfectly through it all.
So I’m confident the SABRE will cycle whatever you have unless it’s inert.
Price & Conclusion
The SABER price is just right for the features and overall build quality. It has an extremely high-end feel with the fit and the finish is well done and no play in the handguard lock up or the receiver.
What really makes this gun different than the normal PSA AR is the enhanced features. Palmetto State Armory really went out of its way to make this gun different and feature reach for a great price point.
It’s a very good gun right out of the box.
Magpul XT Rail Panel
Are PSA Sabre good?
Yes, the SABRE is a good gun and comes with lots of fantastic accessories. For the price, it’s hard to get this many upgrades and features packed in one gun.
What is the difference between AR-15 and AR-10?
The AR-15 is chambered in 5.56 NATO (or sometimes .300 Blackout) while the AR-10 is chambered in .308 WIN or 6.5 Creedmoor.