When the PSA AK-47 released yesterday afternoon, the reception among enthusiasts was surprisingly mixed. Many were excited to see what appears to be a quality US-made AKM clone, but others expressed disappointment at the hefty $750 price tag that accompanies the Magpul-equipped initial release. With Arsenal rifles fetching a mere $150 more than the MOE Edition of the PSA AK, it is difficult to find fault with this latter group’s complaints. It was not until later in the evening, when PSA posted the barreled receiver and MOE build kit as separate SKUs that the whole picture began to develop.
While the complete PSA AK with MOE furniture comes out at $750, purchased separately as a barreled receiver and build kit, the total package sells for just $600 ($250 for the barreled receiver and $350 for the kit). For anyone who is willing to take on a (very easy) project, this second option carries substantial savings over the complete rifle. Even so, the price can be brought down even lower. Instead of purchasing the MOE kit, buyers should be able to find mismatched Polish or Hungarian (the PSA AK resembles a Hungarian rifle) AKM parts kits for between $250 and $300. These kits come with several parts that would not be needed to complete the PSA AK, including the front and rear trunnions, front sight block, gas block, and rear sight block. All of these parts could be sold to other collectors and a complete rifle would be possible for $500 or less, depending on fire control group (FCG) choice.
While the complete MOE Edition AK might not be revolutionary, the barreled receivers present an interesting new option for those looking to do semi-custom builds at a very reasonable price. I expect that these will be very popular choices as soon as availability stabilizes.