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Thread: Long Term Review: PSA Barreled AR-15 Upper (Part 1)

  1. #1
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    Long Term Review: PSA Barreled AR-15 Upper (Part 1)

    Welcome to the first part of a long-term review of my new Palmetto State Armory AR-15 barreled upper. This review has no deadline, other than the upper breaking or wearing out, me running out of ammo, or the downfall of society as we know it. Since I already have enough reloading components to produce 10k+ rounds of .223 Remington, it probably won’t be the middle option.

    I’ve been using Palmetto State Armory products for several years and have generally been happy. They generate both good and bad reviews, as should be expected by a major producer in the firearms market at the budget level. My review will be a sample of one, but it will be extensive.

    This first post is about what the barreled upper is, and my inspection of it straight out of the box.

    PSA.jpg

    What I bought

    I was interested in a fairly basic AR upper, and for the most part, that’s what I bought. The only real upgrade over the most budget of barreled uppers available is the free-float rail. Compared to what is available on Palmetto State Armory’s website as I write this, the free-float rail cost me an additional $30 over a barreled upper with plastic handguards and mid-length gas, and $70 over a barreled upper with plastic handguard and carbine gas.

    In the other direction, for $150 more I could have bought a similarly equipped Premium barreled upper with a CHF barrel made by FN. It would have lacked a bolt carrier group and charging handle, which probably would have added approximately $100 more to the total cost.

    PSA 2.jpg

    Unboxing and Initial Impressions

    https://www.bitchute.com/video/rqsts0nMXBXp/

    Methodology of Testing

    The goal of this test is to be “real world”. As such, I plan to shoot the gun a lot and maintain it like I normally would an AR-15. With this in mind, here are the basics of what I plan to do:

    -Shoot the gun in both practice and competitions
    -Keep a log on the round count, accurate within a few dozen rounds
    -Maintain the rifle as I would any of my other AR-15s
    -Correct any minor problems and document them here
    -Contact Palmetto State Armory for any major problems that come up during the first 1000 rounds
    -Document any jams and stoppages during practice sessions with pictures
    -Perform a detailed cleaning at least every 1000 rounds and document the condition of major components with photographs
    -Accuracy testing will be performed every 3000 rounds, approximately

    Here is a list of the things I do not plan on doing:

    Here is a list of the things I do not plan on doing:

    -Extreme weather or conditions testing that don’t crop up naturally
    -Video record every round fired (though some shooting will be recorded)
    -Indiscriminately waste ammo
    -Conforming to the demands of every random person on the internet

    Up Next: Function Testing and Accuracy with Bulk Ammo

    The plan is, next week, to go out and shoot 300 rounds (10 magazines) of ammo to test the upper for basic function. Since these are the first rounds fired out of the gun, they will be recorded. I will then test the accuracy of the barrel with four FMJBT ammo choices that commonly get used for practice ammo.

    All Photos and Embedded Video can be Found at:

    https://gringogunblog.com/2022/01/14...pper-unboxing/

  2. #2
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    will be interested in following this as I love these type of threads.

  3. #3
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    This will be interesting since the upper receiver group parts are PSA's "bread and butter" - the receiver, barrel, and BCG seem to be the same items as the Nitride Freedom line, with a different gas block and handguard.

    One suggestion - contact PSA if there is a major problem regardless of the round count. It is a lifetime warranty.

    Andy
    Last edited by AndyLate; 01-15-22 at 07:45.

  4. #4
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    I've reviewed PSA's warranty and while they do cover defects, they don't warranty a part against "normal wear". I'll play it by ear after the 1000 rounds.

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    Thanks for taking the time to do this. I'm looking forward to the updates.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by NWcityguy2 View Post
    I've reviewed PSA's warranty and while they do cover defects, they don't warranty a part against "normal wear". I'll play it by ear after the 1000 rounds.
    Thanks for this. I also would appreciate hearing how this goes.
    I perfer black coffee in the morning, bourbon in evenings and spending money on sh*t I probably don't need.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by NWcityguy2 View Post
    I've reviewed PSA's warranty and while they do cover defects, they don't warranty a part against "normal wear". I'll play it by ear after the 1000 rounds.
    I think that is the most reasonable approach. I mean if you have to replace gas rings at 2000 rounds that may be normal wear, but a broken bolt wouldn't be.

    Andy

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    I looked through the pictures and the gun looks great.

    I have 2 PSA build kits that have cases under each of them. They are fine.

    One thing I do on my PSA build kits is replace the buffer, buffer spring, and extractor springs with proven known parts. For buffer its usually an H2 or A5, and for the buffer and extractor springs I always use springco. Doing this has made my guns stupid reliable.
    Tactical Nylon Micro Brewery

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    Will be following this. Thanks for doing it

  10. #10
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    When PSA first got started, I decided to buy a cheap lightweight rifle to use as a back up for 3 gun and to carry predator hunting. It is a pencil barreled 16 in gun. I did put a CMC trigger in it, but it is stock otherwise. It is a loaner I give to people on occasion and it has seen many thousands of rounds. It has never had a problem.

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