PSA Carbine Pistols| Definitive Guide For 2020

 

Palmetto State Armory (PSA) not only makes AK-47 and AR-15 rifles, but they also manufacture their own rifle caliber pistols. As you watch the videos and read their specs, you’ll be left astonished with how incredible these pistols are. Many people might be wondering how a pistol can have a 10-12″ barrel and be more than 20″ long and still be called a pistol. Before we get into the ATF and how they are involved in you owning a carbine, we want to focus on the top 3 carbines from PSA. I chose to review carbines in 5.56mm, 6.5 Grendel, and .300 ACC Blackout. These rifles are all more than capable of shooting targets at ranges up to 300 yards with precision and are close to 7-9″ shorter than an M4 (AR-15).

National Firearms Act

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) enacted the National Firearms Act in 1938 to regulate the amount, size, and calibers allowed for each gun. To keep this law short, the federal government wanted to ensure they could tax any carbine or shotgun with a barrel less than 18″ at a higher rate then they would tax pistols. As the ATF states on their website,” its underlying purpose was to curtail, if not prohibit, transactions in NFA firearms. Congress found these firearms to pose a significant crime problem because of their frequent use in crime, particularly the gangland crimes of that era such as the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.” The National Firearms Act allows Congress to tax the buyer $200 for owning a carbine with less than an 18″ barrel. By heavily taxing and regulating the type of carbines that are legal, the government believes it will help avoid such mass shootings from guns that are easily concealed and have a high fire rate.

PSA 10.5″ Carbine-Length M-Lok MOE Shockwave Pistol

The PSA 10.5″ Carbine-Length Pistol is chambered in 5.56mm NATO and is built around a shorter gas-system, M4 barrel extension, and has an A2 flash hider for shooting in low light. The barrel extension and the heavier 5.56mm bullet gives this carbine incredible range for a carbine and improves the accuracy over extended ranges. Just like every other PSA gun, this one features Magpul M-LOK accessories. The Magpul grip is designed to give the shooter the best possible grip in any environmental condition (rain, snow, sleet, humidity, and heat) you will come across. The free-floating rail allows you to customize the carbine with scopes, lights, lasers, and extended grips, without having the accessories absorb the shock of the operation. This model is also built with the KAK Industries Shockwave stock and buffer tube for enhanced stabilization with firing rapidly.

Specs:

  • Barrel Length: 10.5″
  • Gas System: Carbine-length
  • Barrel Profile: A2
  • Barrel Steel: 4150V Chrome Moly Steel
  • Barrel Finish: Phosphate
  • Chrome Lining: None
  • Muzzle Thread: 1/2-28
  • Chamber: 5.56 NATO
  • Twist Rate: 1 in 7″
  • Barrel Extension: M4
  • Diameter at Gas Block:.750″
  • Gas Block Type: Low-profile
  • Muzzle Device: A2 Style Flash Hider
  • Receiver Material: Forged 7075 T6
  • Receiver Type: M4
  • Handguard Type: PSA 9″ M-Lok Free Float
  • Bolt Carrier Group Included: Yes
  • Bolt Steel: Carpenter 158
  • Bolt Carrier Profile: Full-auto
  • Charging Handle included: Yes
  • Lower Receiver: Forged 7075 T6 Aluminum
  • Receiver Finish: Hardcoat Anodized
  • Fire Control Group: Single-Stage, Mil-spec style
  • Grip: Magpul Grip, Gray
  • Buffer Tube: KAK Industries Shockwave Pistol Buffer Tube
  • Adjustment: Fixed
  • Pistol Brace: KAK Industries Shockwave Blade, Gray
  • Magazine: 30 Round Aluminum

 

Where Should I Buy The 10.5″ Carbine-Length Pistol?

  1. Palmetto State Armory
  2. Gun Broker

PSA 10.5" Carbine-Length 5.56 NATO 1/7 Phosphate M-Lok MOE Shockwave Pistol, Gray - 516447251

 

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PSA 10.5″ Pistol Length 300AAC 12″ SBA3 Pistol

The  PSA SBA3 Pistol chambered in .300 AAC Blackout is one of the most accurate carbines on the market today, including from the major manufacturers. The carbine has a 1:8″ twist rate, which allows it to fire heavier loads without sacrificing power and range. The 5.56mm bullet has a higher effective range, but the .300 Blackout has more power and is better for hunting applications. The barrel is heavier in this carbine versus the 5.56mm carbine because the round has more power and needs a heavier barrel to withstand the force. The Enhanced Polished Trigger (EPT) is touted as a new and improved trigger, but it’s still very heavy for a carbine and I only notice that it’s made of a better quality metal than traditional mil-spec (Nickle). Regardless, this carbine is an incredible opportunity to own a unique carbine that is capable of carrying with you as a backup gun in your bag just in case or as a primary hunting carbine for a smaller game (it will kill up to a deer).

Specs:

Gas System: Pistol Length
Barrel Profile: Heavy
Barrel Steel: 4150V Chrome Moly Steel
Barrel Finish: Phosphate
Chrome Lining: None
Muzzle Thread: 5/8-24
Chamber: 300AAC Blackout
Twist Rate: 1 in 8″
Barrel Extension: M4
Diameter at Gas Block:.750″
Gas Block Type: Low-profile
Muzzle Device: Fluted Flash Can
Receiver Material: Forged 7075 T6 Aluminum
Receiver Type: A3
Handguard Type: PSA 12″ Slant End Lightweight  M-Lok
Bolt Carrier Group Included: Yes
Bolt Steel: Carpenter 158
Bolt Carrier Profile: Full-auto
Charging Handle Included: Yes
Lower Receiver: Forged 7075 T6 Aluminum
Receiver Finish: Hardcoat Anodized Black
Fire Control Group: Single-Stage, Enhanced Polished Trigger
Grip: Magpul MOE Grip, Black
Buffer Tube: 7075 T6 Aluminum
Adjustment: Fixed
Pistol Brace: SB Tactical SBA3 Adjustable Pistol Brace, Black
Magazine: 30 Round Aluminum

 

Where Should I Buy The 10.5″ Carbine-Length M-LOK EPT Pistol?

  1. Palmetto State Armory

 

 

PSA 10.5" Pistol Length 300AAC 1:8 Phosphate 12" Slant M-LOK MOE EPT SBA3 Pistol - 5165448816

 

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PSA 10.5″ Pistol Case

I included this carrying case because it’s the most affordable logical carrying case for your 10.5 PSA pistol. You can get this case along with your pistol for only $15.00, which includes the foam to ensure you don’t stretch any of the metal. This carrying case is not FTA approved though, so you won’t be able to carry it on a plane, but you can safely carry it anywhere else that is legal to have a firearm.

PSA 10.5" Pistol Case w/ foam

 

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PSA 12″ Carbine-Length 6.5 Grendel M-LOK MOE EPT Pistol

The PSA 12″ barrel that is chambered in 6.5 Grendel is my favorite of all the PSA carbines because it offers the best in recoil control, accuracy, and power. This carbine is the most versatile carbine PSA offers because it can be used as a hunting rifle to replace a traditional bolt-action rifle or be used in competition shooting. The 6.5 Grendel is made with a shorter, but wider casing to accommodate more gun powder for the increase in power. This carbine is longer than the other models to ensure that you can get a better range versus the 5.56 and .300 Blackout. It has a free-floating front rail system to accommodate scopes, optics, lights, lasers, and other attachments without absorbing the shock. Many people ask why should I buy this carbine over a standard long rifle? My answer would be based on your specific situation and how you want to use it. For example, this is an incredible gun for hunting in dense forests of Virginia where we don’t normally take shots longer than 300 yards.

 

 

Specs:

Barrel Length: 12″
Gas System: Carbine-length
Barrel Profile: A2
Barrel Steel: 416R
Barrel Finish: Stainless Steel
Chrome Lining: None
Muzzle Thread: 5/8-24″
Chamber: 6.5 Grendel
Twist Rate: 1 in 8″
Barrel Extension: M4
Diameter at Gas Block:.750″
Gas Block Type: Low-profile, Adjustable
Muzzle Device: A2 Style Flash Hider
Receiver Material: Forged 7075 T6
Receiver Type: M4
Handguard Type: 10.5″ Lightweight M-Lok Rail
Bolt Steel: Carpenter 158
Bolt Carrier Profile: Full-Auto
Lower Receiver: Forged 7075 T6 Aluminum
Receiver Finish: Hardcoat Anodized
Fire Control Group: Single-Stage, Enhanced Polished Trigger (EPT)
Grip: Magpul Grip, Black
Buffer Tube: PSA 5 Position Buffer Tube
Adjustment: 5 Position
Pistol Brace: SB Tactical SBA3 Adjustable Brace, Black

 

Where Should I Buy The 12″ Carbine-Length M-LOK EPT Pistol?

  1. Palmetto State Armory

 

full view of carbine length pistol

 

 

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PSA M4 VS. PSA 12″ Carbine-Length Pistols

I wanted to give our readers a chance to compare the standard M4/AR-15 model to the 6.5 Grendel Carbine because it will help you in your decision on which you’d rather buy. For starters, the M4 is obviously going to have a better range and less recoil because the barrel is 4″ longer and almost 5″ longer in overall length. The PSA M4 is going to be almost $200 cheaper than the carbine, as well. The advantages of the carbine, however, outweigh the benefits of the M4, because it’s less than %50 of the weight of the M4 and has a slightly better trigger than the M4 model. If I had to choose which gun I’d want in a 3-Gun Competition or to use hunting in forests, I’d choose the lighter, more powerful, and mobile carbine.

 

PSA M4 PSA 12″ Carbine-Length Pistol
Barrel Length 16″ 12″
Overall Length 32″ 27.5″
Caliber 5.56mm 6.5 Grendal
Twist Rate 1″7″ 1:8″
Receiver Finish Hardcoat Anodized Hardcoat Anodized
Barrel Finish Nitrate Stainless Steel
Trigger Mechanism PSA AR-15 Mil-Spec Fire Control Group Single-Stage, Enhanced Polished Trigger (EPT)
Weight 7 lbs 3.31 lbs
Muzzle Thread 5/8-24″ 5/8-24″
Handguard Style PSA 15″ Lightweight M-Lok Free Float Rail Lightweight M-Lok Rail
MSRP $670.00 $829.00

 

full view of psa 16" pa 15 rifle

 

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Fiocchi Subsonic .300 Blackout 220 Gr HPBT Ammo

Fiocchi often gets a bad reputation from know-it-all gun owners who mistake affordable ammo for quality ammo. However, I wanted to highlight the SubSonic .300 Blackout Hollow-Point Boattail bullet (HPBT) for its incredible accuracy and range. A 220 Grain bullet is relatively heavy for a pistol caliber gun, but this bullet allows you to use this gun at ranges further than any other pistol caliber gun I’ve ever seen. The MatchKing Hollow-Point ensures the bullet expands immediately upon impact, creating a wide entry wound that will stop any prey you are hunting or any intruder willing to test your security. The Boattail design is tapered in the brass casing to provide self-loaders an easier opportunity to reload their rounds. Thi design also increases the accuracy and range of the bullet by improving the aerodynamic of the bullet.

Fiocchi Subsonic .300 AAC Blackout 220gr Sierra Matchking HPBT Ammunition, 25 Round Box

 

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Hornady 5.56mm Superformance Match Ammo

If you’ve never shot the Superformance bullet from Hornady, you’re missing out on a chance to see the newest technology in the ammo industry. Hornady uses what they call “progressive propellants” to improve the overall ballistics of your bullet without adding anything extra to your gun. For example, the propellants used in the Superformance is at least 100-200 feet per second (fps) faster than any other brand of ammo. This ammo will ensure you always get perfectly made primes and never have a misfeed from an issue with the bullet. It only weighs 75 Grain and is specifically designed for target shooting or hunting animals with thicker skin, such as Elk, Wild Boars, Moose, Coyotes, and Wolves.

 

5.56 Rifle Ammo

 

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Hornady 6.5 Grendal 123 GR SST Ammo

Hornady has made a name for themselves for pushing the envelope on what technology can be included in a bullet. I love the idea that a company is always trying to improve their product to stay ahead of the competition. The 6.5 Grendel was specifically designed to be better than 5.56mm in accuracy over range by incorporating a shorter casing with a wider diameter. This wider diameter in the casing allows for more powder to be placed in the round, thus improving the terminal velocity and range. The Hornady 123 Grain Super Shock Tip (SST) is built with a polymer tip to penetrate deep into the soft tissue of your prey. This polymer will expand rapidly while the cannelure keeps the jacket and core together while in flight. Hornady separates itself from the competition with its interlock ring, which locks the core and jacket together during expansion to maintain weight and increase damage.

Hornady 6.5 Grendel 123 gr SST 20 Rounds Ammunition

 

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