Photoshop Tutorials  
Home Forum CGC Links Random 

PSL Build & Handloading Page

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, I 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 handloading.

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.

The 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 clean up.

Complete 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. 

Now 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 started.

After 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:
1) Barrel
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 it hurt?

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 the PSL.

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 changing 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". 

LINKS:   Come on folks, learn how to use your scope. - 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. - Parts. - Super good forum on PSLs. - Optics for this rifle, and then some. - 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 or two. - 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. - This person has forgotten more about ballistics than I will ever know.

Website template provided by Photoshop Tutorials

Copyright © 2010 LostLegions