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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

Picked up my first AK this week and went to the the range today. Fired Serbian belom brass ammo and experienced a few malfunctions. The bolt will fail to go into battery every couple of rounds. It happened during chambering and live fire cycling. At first it was every other round almost then it reduced to a handful per mag. I'm guessing since the rifle is new and tight it's breaking in idk. I cleaned rifle and lubed it with oil and Lucas gun grease before firing. The action is fairly smooth and will hold the bolt back if i ride it back slowly as normally expected.

I also experienced a couple of light primer strikes. However fired cases have nice strikes. I disassembled the bolt after firing. The firing pin was binding and not moving freely. A few brass chunks fell out of the firing pin channel. I polished the tip and now floats nicely. On top of my issues the range session was cut short after 120 rounds because a brass separated at the lower 1/3rd. It's now is stuck in the chamber. I didn't even feel it. I found out when the next round got jammed in the chamber.

Any feedback will be appreciated. I'm considering changing out the recoil spring because new one is probably to weak and swap for a NOS surplus firing pin. I'll buy a surplus shell extractor if anyone has them or the parts referenced above. Please don't criticize me for passing on an import. I wanted to give an American made product a chance. I want to just fix it myself without having to go through warranty process.

Here the pics after 120 rounds.

 

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Could be weak or shitty ammo. Could be a bad extractor. Could be a shitty gun. My recommendation is try different mags and ammo. If it still runs like a turd after that then send that thing back to PSA and get your money back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
OP, have you run it since you cleaned out the debris near the firing pin?
Not yet unfortunately. When I took the firing pin out a good chunk of brass came out followed by some smaller bits. Out of 120 rounds fired. Maybe 10 we’re light strikes early on. It’s possible a piece of brass got inside later shifted and did not affect operation. I’m placing an order for a shell extractor as we speak.
 

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As others have suggested, change out the ammo. Get some steel cased ammo and see if that runs better. If you're getting bits and pieces of brass clogging up the bolt, that to me sounds like an ammo issue more than a gun issue.
 
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When you say brass chunks in the firing pin channel, were you able to reclaim all of your brass and check for damage? Otherwise, I'm wondering if that was left over from PSA test-firing before shipping...As for case head separation, that could be a few things, the easiest being shitty ammo. I know they aren't too cheap, but it can't hurt to get a set of go/no-go gauges and check headspace. If headspace and ammo aren't the problem, then the chamber tolerances might be off.

Truthfully, that's a lot of troubleshooting for a new rifle and I agree with the recommendation to send it back. Let the manufacturer eat the cost of fixing it and sending it back to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
When you say brass chunks in the firing pin channel, were you able to reclaim all of your brass and check for damage? Otherwise, I'm wondering if that was left over from PSA test-firing before shipping...As for case head separation, that could be a few things, the easiest being shitty ammo. I know they aren't too cheap, but it can't hurt to get a set of go/no-go gauges and check headspace. If headspace and ammo aren't the problem, then the chamber tolerances might be off.

Truthfully, that's a lot of troubleshooting for a new rifle and I agree with the recommendation to send it back. Let the manufacturer eat the cost of fixing it and sending it back to you.
I was firing at an indoor range. I wasn't able to recoup all my brass. However they looked normal. When I chambered a round or shot a round many times the bolt would stop at the cartridge. The extractor was having issues sliding over the case. The brass rim was buggered up. Since it was a new rifle I figured it was minor burs that would go away. Now actually thinking about my malfunctions. It could very well be the case that the extractor was abusing some cases intermittently. Causing small brass flakes to make their way into the firing pin and the chamber. Most likely causing my stuck case. Now this isn't 100% provable.

I placed an order for nos polish extractor, firing pin, and broken case extractor. After watching many videos and threads on similar PSA issues. I'm all for warranty but I want to give it a try first before losing my rifle for several weeks. Since the upgrades with soviet parts usually happens with most new PSA AK's anyways. Now for the ammo part I'm going to try to fix the mechanical issue first then try fiocchi brass next. I do have steel case but don't have an outdoor range access yet. I've heard nothing but good things from Belom a PPU sister company. This all occurred with 4 different mags that are commercial Bulgarian polymer steel reinforced.

Thanks for the input so far. I will post an update when new parts are in and tested.
 

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Going with the simplest option, I would suggest trying different ammo. I have never shot the Belom brand and can't comment on it. The majority of my 7.62x39 ammo fort is made up with TulAmmo, the Russian zoo animals, Chicom, DDR and some S. African. So that's what I use.

One of my best friends just picked up a PSA "stock ready" 103, https://palmettostatearmory.com/ak-103-barrel-assembly-furniture-ready.html. I know it's not really a proper AK-103 because of the lack of folding stock trunnion and some other details. This purchase was meant to be used in more of a HD, truck gun or "beater" role to save use and wear on his more collectable and pristine foreign AK builds.

Anyway, my friend defers to me to have his parts installed and likes me to help sight his stuff in. Here it is after installing a mixed bit of parts to get it shooting,


It took about 10 rounds to get it sighted in with irons, then it was steel targets and reactive targets from up close and out to 300yds. Less than 100 rounds were shot but no malfunctions, ejection was typical AK and hitting man sized targets was no problem. Wolf and Tulammo was used.

After looking at fired cases I think the primer strikes were less defined than my military AK parts kits builds but they all fired on the first strike.

I don't want to clutter up the OP's post with my thoughts on the pros and cons of PSA's AK builds. I'd be happy to post something of an average home building AK guy's review of this PSA AK, with detailed pics and without the paid gun tuber hype if anyone is interested.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Going with the simplest option, I would suggest trying different ammo. I have never shot the Belom brand and can't comment on it. The majority of my 7.62x39 ammo fort is made up with TulAmmo, the Russian zoo animals, Chicom, DDR and some S. African. So that's what I use.

One of my best friends just picked up a PSA "stock ready" 103, https://palmettostatearmory.com/ak-103-barrel-assembly-furniture-ready.html. I know it's not really a proper AK-103 because of the lack of folding stock trunnion and some other details. This purchase was meant to be used in more of a HD, truck gun or "beater" role to save use and wear on his more collectable and pristine foreign AK builds.

Anyway, my friend defers to me to have his parts installed and likes me to help sight his stuff in. Here it is after installing a mixed bit of parts to get it shooting,


It took about 10 rounds to get it sighted in with irons, then it was steel targets and reactive targets from up close and out to 300yds. Less than 100 rounds were shot but no malfunctions, ejection was typical AK and hitting man sized targets was no problem. Wolf and Tulammo was used.

After looking at fired cases I think the primer strikes were less defined than my military AK parts kits builds but they all fired on the first strike.

I don't want to clutter up the OP's post with my thoughts on the pros and cons of PSA's AK builds. I'd be happy to post something of an average home building AK guy's review of this PSA AK, with detailed pics and without the paid gun tuber hype if anyone is interested.
By all means post your findings. It’s going to be a while before I get my parts anyways lol.
 

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By all means post your findings. It’s going to be a while before I get my parts anyways lol.
Cool.

I don't intend for this to come off as overly harsh towards PSA. I like their AR rifles and accessories. I think they are really trying to expand into AKs with the bonus of listening to what AK buyers want and making it.

First the "stock ready" 103 kit my friend bought was actually this one, https://palmettostatearmory.com/ak-103-gf3-barrel-assembly-furniture-ready.html not the one I linked before. My mistake.

If you are wanting a direct clone of an AK-103 this rifle is not it. Think of it more like an AKM with a 90-degree gas block, a 100 series FSB and muzzle device. I would suggest a KUSA AK-103 rifle to get something closer. This PSA AK and its price makes it a good option if you don't want a near clone.

Overall, for the build, the things I liked were straight front sights, gas block and rear sight block. It has pretty good looking rivets, nice pins and seems like a solid build.

Some of the rivet, pin work and parts fitment.




The scope rail is nicely done and fits every optic I have tried on it so far.


The rear sight looks like a Russian sight leaf. I just used paint to highlight the numbers.


After the short range trip and with less than 100 rounds some headspace pics,

You can see more of the rivet work but more importantly this is a pic with my go gauge in the chamber. Tight and about how I set my builds.

A pic with the firing pin removed and a live round of Tulammo chambered, just right.


As a bonus all of my bayonets I tried fit well with no wobble. Stabby steel is good. Plum -74 bayonet pic,


I also liked that it came with an enhanced safety lever, it had a smooth action and whatever the finish it has seemed good enough.

What I did not like was for the price you still need to buy a FCG which I wish PSA would highlight in their ads, besides that you have to buy a stock set. The front sight post was a bit loose and too easy to turn. It also came oil soaked. Not as bad as cosmo soaked but it really took some time to remove it.

Overall, for the price, not bad at all. Like I mentioned ejection was good, accuracy was good and I had no problems with various mags or the ammo I used. With the low round count I can't comment on durability.

I build rather than buy and I have my preferences. Considering that a century build is shit tier, waste of money level US made AK, I would put PSA builds at a solid recommend for an entry level and upgradeable AK. From what I gather this one will probably end up with a red dot, a light, better trigger, and maybe a coat of baked on AE. It's just going to be a shooter, HD, truck gun.

I probably missed some things and the above is just my opinion based on my experience. It's out of my possession now but I can still answer questions on it.
 
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