For about a year now I've been looking to get into a larger caliber
rifle, been stuck in the .223 arena long enough, and have been sitting
on the fence for quit a few other excellent cartridges that are
available. Namely the .308 Win, 6.5 Grendel, 6.8 SPC, 6.5 Creedmore,
and others that were just extensions of the same old AR-15 platform.
Then one day I was looking through an Apex Guns advertisement in
Shotgun News and found
a Romanian PSL kit for $180. I finally jumped off the fence into a
cartridge that I had never considered. The 7.62X54R, after some quick
research would prove to be one that doesn't have a lot of support,
doesn't have seemingly unlimited choices of bullets, very limited
handloading data, limited brass manufacturers and expensive,
could go on and on. Which brings me to the rifle that will be shooting
this "red headed bastard child" of a cartridge.
Much like the cartridge, the rifle has a really bad reputation. It
seems that folks either love the cheap plinker, hate the poor accuracy,
love the looks, hate that it shoots only light ball (147 grain or less)
and on and on, also.
I told a few of the guys about my winter project and the range of
responses were right in line with what has been said above. All I
really have to say is thanks for the encouragements to both the
detractors and protractors. This is the page I'll use for the
documenting of my, no doubt, rocky journey of the PSL build and
Before I jump into this with both feet, I need to give a shout out and
big thanks to Eric at Tactical Weapons and Supply from Crawfordsville
Indiana for loaning me an excellent example of an UN-fired, years old,
safe queen Cugir PSL for comparison.
gun parts came in a very thick
plastic bag with the words "Good Matching" written in grease pencil on
the outside. After inspecting the contents I was more than a little
flabbergasted at the crud and grit that was over all of the parts. Easy
disassembly was done using a combination of a hand grinder, Drake arbor
press, Bridgeport mill, drill index, hammer, punches, and some elbow
grease. I first ground off all the rivet heads, some came out with the
punch and the others had to be drilled out. If you have to drill out
the rivets please be very careful NOT to exceed the diameter of the
hole the rivet is in.
would be a good time to mention that there are 3 different types of
builds someone can do. The first is a "rivet build", were one basicly
assembles the kit as it was originally done at the factory. The second
is a "bolt build" and let me say some of these can look like a
jack-legged blacksmith has put it together, while others can look very
professional if the builder takes there time drilling and tapping for
"button head" screws. As this second method is the one that will be
used on this build the need for a soft touch will be paramount. The
third method is welding, I'm sure there are some very skilled welders
out there that could do this but as I'm a tool maker/machinist, the
brotherhood forbids me to give welding and welders kudos;). Bottom line
is It just seems to permanent IMHO and would be afraid that
if disassembly would be necessary one would have to destroy the
receiver, not to mention that as time passes and rounds go down range
the welds MAY crack and then you have an unsafe rifle and back were you
complete disassembly all the parts were soaked overnight in 2 gallons
of that purple degreaser and then brushed vigorously with one of those
stainless steel toothbrushes to remove any corner muck. I did not wash
the parts of the purple cleaner as they need to be sand blasted before
going to the parkerizer and did not see a reason to give rust a head
start, so that is were I'm at now with the parts.
Now comes more studying and looking for small parts that make the rifle
just that much better.
Things that will be needed:
2) Trigger group
3) Muzzle brake/flash suppressor
4) Butt stock and hand guard
5) Scope and scope mount
6) Handloading equipment
7) Adjustable gas block
1) I started looking for a barrel a couple months ago, they are
expensive! Even for a barrel blank. I got on a few surplus email lists
and just kept my ear to the ground, something was bound to show up and
it did. TG International had gotten some Mosin bull target barrels so a
quick call to see if one would be of sufficent diameter to be turned
down on the lathe to fit the front trunion. The salesman said it would
so I got my barrel for $80.
2) The trigger group is one of the Red Star adjustable ones.
3) I was thinking about making my own, how bad can i do over all the
ones out there?
4) Black Horse Arsenal. The rear stock is without pier, the forearm is
another matter. The SVD look would be best.
5) Probably one of those POSP 4-10's, anything else would look silly.
6) The only thing that has be purchased is a 3 die set for 7.62X54R. I
did read some chatter about useing a .303 seater die but I'll cross
that bridge when I get there.
7) Was thinking of make one but then found one from DEZ Arms, and then
a PKM gas block came up on GunBroker, but $99 and $80 respecivly, I
don't think so. Maybe that PKM one will come down in price or just back
to plan A.
Some other things worth mentioning are the recoil spring and
recoil buffer . I plan on replacing the recoil sping with one
from Wolff Gunsprings, the exrta power spring. The PSL doesn't have a
recoil buffer from the factory and I have read some posts from
detractors of the use of them for this application but I feel, what can
Bottom line is that having the ability to shoot bullets over 147 grains
without damaging the rifle, or myself for that matter, would be great.
As always, a very good friend of mine asked me, rather sheepishly, if I
was going to post pics. The answer is yes.
I do have real life duties and responsabilities so updating this web
page and the work on the PSL itself will be sporatic.
Links will always be at the bottom, for those that can't go to google
and look it up for themselves.
Updated Links at bottom. Emailed Madwulf about an old link I had about
Recieved headspace gauges from Okie today and was pretty confused about
what I had just spent $40 on. They are a flat disk with a small notch
cut in them. My expectations were of the style that loo sorta like a
bullet, these are the ones that I have used in the past and am very
comfortable with.The enclosed instructions are pretty straight forward
and "rimmed" bullets are kind of an animal unto themselves so I'm
chocking this one up to"read the discription, dern it!" Don't get
frustrated, get educated. You humans tend
to dislike what you don't understand, Americkans more so.
Now that I have your attention on self education, a few sentences on
"Internal Ballistics." One could spend a life time studying ballistics.
I'll admit that I'm not a graduate of any high falute'in university or
even a crappy state one but I do know what makes sense, i.e. hitting
the bullseye every time. The way I understand it is there are 2
impulses you get when the trigger is pulled.
The first impulse is when the gun powder ignites and sends a "shock
wave" down the barrel.
The second one is the bullet travalling down the barrel.
These shock waves each have have 2
charactristics, the length and the height. Idealy, you would want your
bullet to exit the barrel at an intersection of the length at the
bottom (chamber end) of the height. Handloaders the world over try
different powder charges and bullet weights to find just that, you see
it is in the timing. A lighter bullet might move faster down the barrel
and a lighter powder charge may give a longer impulse length therby
when the bullet exits. You get the basic idea; powder charges up - down
/ bullet wieghts up - down changes the length and height of both shock
waves and hopfully some where along the way you find the sweet spot.
Thats the short of it.
The long of it can be found at "fr frogs pad".
Come on folks, learn how to use your
- Second best info site.
- Best single source info site.
- Psl Parts.
- PSL's for sale.
- Info and some parts.
- PSL Parts.
- Wooden furniture with SVD look.
- Parts, kits, rifles.
- Ginsboy2003's channel w/ 5 part PSL Build. Great video!
- Forum on soviet firearms.
- Parts, and yes some AK parts are exchangable with the PSL.
- Great info site on Romanian Kalashnikovs.
- Super good forum on PSLs.
- Optics for this rifle, and then some.
http://www.lauerweaponry.com/index.cfm - Duracoat
sales. Protect that Ol'Girl from rust, durn-it!
- Found this forum and post from a search for "internal ballistics" and
Tony QCIS may be on to something. It is worth at least a consideration
- DEZ Arms adjustable gas block.
- The infamus "BlackJack Recoil Buffer."
- Wolff Recoil Spring.
- A few Russian scopes.
- Replacment Hammer Springs, USA made! They also have an exended mag
release button that looks promising and recoil buffers.
- Don't be confused about this style of headspace gauge.
http://www.frfrogspad.com/index.htm - This person
has forgotten more about ballistics than I will ever know.