by Jay Chambers


Palmetto State Armory (PSA) makes really affordable guns. And, they’re one of the few American manufacturers that makes AK-47 rifles. But, are Palmetto State Armory rifles any good?

There’s been some dissent around the internet about whether or not Palmetto State Armory makes reliable rifles. Who’s right? The fans or the haters?

The truth is somewhere in between. There are pros and cons to buying firearms from Palmetto State Armory. Here’s what you can expect.

Pro: great deals

If you head over to their site, you’ll notice that they have lots of daily sales and limited time discounts. So, there’s plenty of opportunities to get gear at great prices from PSA.

They’re also very selective about what they put on sale. Most models and products that are on sale are in stock in their warehouse. So sale items ship quickly. That may not be the case with every order (but we’ll get to that shortly).

Also, the Palmetto State Armory components and rifles are really well priced. You can get complete PSA rifles for around $500, which is a legitimate deal.

But, if the prices make you skeptical…

Pro: excellent quality

Palmetto State Armory does make some of their own components. However, many of their parts are sourced from other manufacturers.

The third-party components are usually unmarked. But they buy rifle parts from manufacturers like FN Herstal, Midwest Industries, and other companies.

Palmetto State Armory uses bulk pricing to reduce their manufacturing costs and offer better prices to their customers. If you’re concerned that the price looks a bit too low for quality components, worry not. They’re not cutting corners.

In fact, a Palmetto State Armory AR-15 was one of the first AR-15s to pass the AK Operators Union 5000 round torture test. And, it was one of the most basic PSA AR-15s.

That’s not to say that you’ll never have a problem with a Palmetto State Armory rifle. But, any issues are probably anomalies, not the standard.

But, if you do have a problem…

Pro: solid customer service

So far, reports from the field say that Palmetto State Armory’s customer service has been top notch.

Whenever there’s a problem, the company has never hesitated to replace parts and send them in a hurry. Most of the time, customers aren’t even asked to send the defective part back.

The company certainly stands behind their products. And, will make things right if you have a problem.

There are some legitimate complaints about the customer service, though.

Con: slow customer service

Although the customer service is excellent once you get in touch with them, Palmetto State Armory isn’t a huge company. And, it can take some time to get on the phone with a customer service representative.

Some PSA buyers have recommended using the vendor contact page on AR15.com.

The slow customer service is likely a byproduct of the time that they take with each customer. It helps to remember that if you find yourself aggravated by the slow response time.

Con: slow shipping

For most of the daily deals, things go out pretty quickly. And, customers have gotten their gear within a few days.

However, most buyers have noted that, if you order on a Monday, you won’t get your stuff by the weekend. It usually takes five days or more for Palmetto State Armory orders to arrive.

The shipping time isn’t unreasonable. But, if you need your stuff fast, you may have to get it somewhere else, or pay for the quick shipping.

Con: fairly basic rifles

This is only a con for those who want a really sweet rifle right out of the box. But, the complete PSA rifles are fairly simple models. They’re effective, to be sure.

However, they don’t come with a ton of bells and whistles. Most PSA rifles are essentially mil-spec rifles with a few upgrades. Most of the base models are equipped with A2 pistol grips and mil-spec M4 stocks.

So, there are plenty of reasons to upgrade a few bolt on parts, if you get one of the PSA budget rifles.

But, if you want something that’s a little more high end right out of the box, Palmetto State Armory does offer a few models with stainless steel barrels and Magpul MOE furniture. They’re not super custom rifles like you might get from a company like LWRC or Daniel Defense. But, the more expensive PSA rifles are still capable guns.

There’s a range of options. But, the overall trend is that Palmetto State Armory generally makes affordable, reliable rifles, not super custom rifles. 

Conclusion

You may have noticed that none of the cons are related to product quality. That’s because PSA guns are well-made. Quality isn’t an issue.

Many Palmetto State Armory rifles are fairly basic models. So, PSA rifles may not be for everyone. But, you could easily use a Palmetto State Armory rifle as a foundation for building a super tactical rifle. And, it would be a cost efficient method.

In the end, the complaints about Palmetto State Armory are probably overblown. And, the PSA superfans may be exaggerating how awesome Palmetto State Armory rifles are. But, if you buy a rifle from Palmetto State Armory, you’ll get a quality firearm. You may not get it quickly. But, you’ll be happy with it once it arrives.