Romanian PSL's, still worth it today?
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    Romanian PSL's, still worth it today?

    I've been looking at the next AK variant I want to purchase and the PSL caught my eye. It's like a cheap SVD (I know they're super different, and the psl is just a long ak, it just looks like one). Only problem is, all of the reviews i've seen for them is from years ago when they were pretty cheap. If i'm going to be spending roughly $1500.00 on it, is it really worth it nowadays? I've heard bad stuff about it's accuracy. Compared to other things you can get for that price does it hold up? The only thing that makes me attracted to it is the look without a $3000+ price tag.

    How is the value going to stick up, are they not being imported anymore? Why are they so expensive now compared to years ago?
    Last edited by schavox; 02-22-2017 at 08:07 PM.

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    Importation did stop which is why they are priced way they are. I don't think there was a whole lot made so it could simply be that there was no more surplus to be had. Either way they are not coming in any more.

    I had one years ago. If you want one to round off a collection go for it. If you want one for practical reasons I think there are better options for that price range. Accuracy is not bad, not great either but they are NOT sniper rifles, just Marksman rifles..... DMR. You won't be doing any clover leaf shots at 100 yards unless Mars and Venus align properly and you tailor a load that this particular rifle happens to love. I was able to keep all shots in a nice, smaller than palm size group at a 100 yards. Rapid fire or prolonged fire heats up the thin barrel pretty quickly and it starts to string shots. If you take your time it will probably do better but im not know for my patience.

    Then you have the ammo problem. Cheap surplus is gone. And even when it was widely available and you can spend all day shooting a crate of 880 rounds for $100 the quality and accuracy varied from year to year and country to country. Sometimes even lot to lot. What's left now is at least $0.50 per round. Typically that's Bear, Wolf and Red Army Standard, which can be from a few different countries. Or PPU brass for about $0.75. There is also S&B but now you're getting into over a dollar per round in a rifle and caliber that doesn't justify the price for the performance.

    Another problem....I've heard this a lot but never tested the theory .... is that you should only stick to 150gr or less. I believe that limits you to 150, 147 and I believe I saw 145. Anyway, prolonged use of heavy ball ammo will crack the receiver in the rear. Too much recoil and the rifle was not designed for it. It basically beats itself up. You can try a buffer but it can just as easily cause more problems than it solves. Now this could all be an internet myth based on someone's lemon of a rifle. I don't know but I don't have an armory to grab another one out from so I didn't test that theory. Which reminds me that cheap commercial ammo is damn near impossible to find in 150gr or less. When they come in people snatch them up fast.

    Mags have also gone up in price, if you manage to find one..... obviously!

    I'm not trying to shit on the rifle, it's a cool collection piece and while I wouldn't trust it to reliably put someone's eye out at 200 yards and further I have full confidence it will put a round center mass at those distances. And this was great when the rifle was $650. Not so much when it's $1500

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    Last edited by Arik; 02-23-2017 at 06:20 AM.
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    I passed on one for $800 years ago. Came with the entire package and like four extra magazines. Always kick myself for doing so... but I did get a PU sniper and a Yugo SKS. Figured I'd be able to shoot more loads through the Mosin Nagant, and I think I still have a can or two of heavy ball.

    I don't have $1,500 laying around now, but I'm at a point where I'm looking for other investments in regards to firearms. I built an 18" AR, which should do better than the PSL in accuracy. I have a Remington Model 7 (.308) that I need rings and will have performance (caliber wise), in a more accuracy platform. My N/M M1A also goes into the realm of a PSL, so it isn't worth it to me to get one.

    I like the design of the PSL over the Dragunov. More familiar with the AK system, so lends itself to easier to work on. But can't forget the price difference.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arik View Post
    Importation did stop which is why they are priced way they are. I don't think there was a whole lot made so it could simply be that there was no more surplus to be had. Either way they are not coming in any more.

    I had one years ago. If you want one to round off a collection go for it. If you want one for practical reasons I think there are better options for that price range. Accuracy is not bad, not great either but they are NOT sniper rifles, just Marksman rifles..... DMR. You won't be doing any clover leaf shots at 100 yards unless Mars and Venus align properly and you tailor a load that this particular rifle happens to love. I was able to keep all shots in a nice, smaller than palm size group at a 100 yards. Rapid fire or prolonged fire heats up the thin barrel pretty quickly and it starts to string shots. If you take your time it will probably do better but im not know for my patience.

    Then you have the ammo problem. Cheap surplus is gone. And even when it was widely available and you can spend all day shooting a crate of 880 rounds for $100 the quality and accuracy varied from year to year and country to country. Sometimes even lot to lot. What's left now is at least $0.50 per round. Typically that's Bear, Wolf and Red Army Standard, which can be from a few different countries. Or PPU brass for about $0.75. There is also S&B but now you're getting into over a dollar per round in a rifle and caliber that doesn't justify the price for the performance.

    Another problem....I've heard this a lot but never tested the theory .... is that you should only stick to 150gr or less. I believe that limits you to 150, 147 and I believe I saw 145. Anyway, prolonged use of heavy ball ammo will crack the receiver in the rear. Too much recoil and the rifle was not designed for it. It basically beats itself up. You can try a buffer but it can just as easily cause more problems than it solves. Now this could all be an internet myth based on someone's lemon of a rifle. I don't know but I don't have an armory to grab another one out from so I didn't test that theory. Which reminds me that cheap commercial ammo is damn near impossible to find in 150gr or less. When they come in people snatch them up fast.

    Mags have also gone up in price, if you manage to find one..... obviously!

    I'm not trying to shit on the rifle, it's a cool collection piece and while I wouldn't trust it to reliably put someone's eye out at 200 yards and further I have full confidence it will put a round center mass at those distances. And this was great when the rifle was $650. Not so much when it's $1500

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    Nailed it. I bought one for all the same reasons, it's just a COOL gun. Everything about it. One of those you can't open the safe without grabbing it out and playing with it. At the range was another story. Accuracy was about on par with any of my other AKs and ARs, just swung the steel a lot harder at 100. Granted, much of the lack of accuracy can be attributed to cheap surplus ammo that is hardly match grade. Even so, still a blast to shoot and always an attention getter. Bottom line is it had no real practical use. So if a fun toy is worth $1500 to you, absolutely go for it.

    I sold mine a while back when I started getting into Class III stuff, and I still regret it every time I see one. Just not enough to spend current prices on a replacement.

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    I had an AK54R with the 16" barrel and AK furniture and while it was great at making fireballs there are better rifles to be had for the current price point.

    Then again, my above point is moot since I bought a KBI SVD a few years back that was a five figure purchase, haha. While it's much more accurate than the chopped PSL, it still isn't as accurate as a number of modern semi autos in the circa .308 overall cartridge length category. Fun as hell to shoot and compete with though, so more dollars than sense can still be a fun thing to be afflicted by from time to time.

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    Thanks for the feedback, after some thought I just decided to skip on the PSL. If it was back when it didn't cost so much I would have been more interested, but there's alot I can do with that much money (for other guns). Either way though they're damn well pretty and i'm jealous of anyone who owns one.

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    Keep your eyes open for a $1200 PSL and jump on it. These will only go up in price, IMO. Buy one a little below current market, play with it for a few years, and if you don't like there's a good chance you can get at least what you paid for it.
    The switch from gunshots to injections is a sign that China "promotes human rights now," says Kang Zhongwen , who designed the Jinguan Automobile death van.

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    I love the look of these rifles. I almost picked one up back when they were relatively cheap. The 2+ MOA killed it for me, like a hot rod with a six cylinder.

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    Damn it I almost started in on another tired "BACK IN MY DAY" post...

    There's a parable about a group of guys that go into a cave. A voice tells them to pack their backpacks full of rocks. Some are like 'lol no' and don't pick up any, others put a few in, and a couple fill their bags to the brim. After a long walk, they leave the cave and the place collapses. They hear the voice again telling them to look in the bags. All the rocks are gold. The people that didn't pick up any are pissed, the ones that played it safe are glad they picked up some but regret not picking up more.

    I probably horribly botched that story and i have no idea where I heard it, but it stuck with me somehow. You can fill your bag with as much as you want and can comfortably carry... we tend to go "man I wish i would have bought ____ by the crate!" but there's no way of knowing what's going to come up that requires priority attention.... you can buy it, but can you keep it?

    Sorry for the ramble.
    Last edited by 10Gauge; 02-23-2017 at 06:25 PM. Reason: Where's my lawn!?
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    SVD and NDM-86 rifles really aren't that much better, at least in my testing. Maybe 1.5 MOA with good military surplus. I have a PSL54C that will do 2 MOA or slightly under with the right Czech light ball ammo. If you just want accuracy, there are TONS of cheaper options. These rifles really aren't about that...
    The switch from gunshots to injections is a sign that China "promotes human rights now," says Kang Zhongwen , who designed the Jinguan Automobile death van.

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    I've only ever shot one SVD. Using unknown to me surplus ammo. The rifle was slightly more than 1moa. I was surprised. Also had more recoil then I thought it would

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    The recoil is more pleasant on a PSL than SVD/NDM-86 in 7.62x54r. Both will leave a mark on your shoulder after a range trip, but the PSL impulse feels a bit slower, more like a push. The SVD/NDM-86 feels recoil is very snappy, just like an SVT40. It's kind of like the difference between a .45 pistol and a .40S&W pistol, if that makes sense.
    The switch from gunshots to injections is a sign that China "promotes human rights now," says Kang Zhongwen , who designed the Jinguan Automobile death van.

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    I have two. They are definitely the ones that folks want to shoot at the range. Got mine back when they were cheaper. They are rifles that are not for sale. Not real practical but certainly are enjoyable.
    Let us deal with things the way they are;
    Not the way we want them to be!

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    I could easily double my money on mine, yet it's still in the safe

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    I don't shoot this PSL very often, but I enjoy it when I do. It was built by Tim at Two Rivers using an unissued matching kit on a Romanian receiver, done up as it would look in an Saddam-era Iraqi Army arsenal. Has the military's acceptance stamp engraved on the forward left side of the receiver and a rack number on the stock. I put on a LimbSaver buttpad to increase the length of pull if I'm going to use the scope.

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