U.S.A. -(AmmoLand.com)- When Palmetto State Armory shocked the gun world by unveiling more new AKs at SHOT Show 2020 than most shooters even knew existed, some of their other products didn’t get the exposure they rightfully deserved – like the PSA AR-V Pistol Caliber Carbine.
For the uninitiated, the AR-V is a direct blowback, semi-automatic carbine chambered in 9mm parabellum that feeds from CZ Scorpion EVO magazines. Think of the PSA AR-V as the AR equivalent to the super-popular AK-V.
Basically, it’s a lightweight, soft-shooting carbine that fires rounds that are normally in-expensive when people aren’t in a massive, pandemic-fueled panic buying spree. The idea behind it was to give AR-15 lovers their own version of the AK-V while retaining almost total parts commonality with normal AR-15s. Though word of warning, that does exclude receivers, magazine releases, and of course, magazines.
What’s the big deal?
Well for many years, shooters who wanted a pistol caliber carbine in the AR-15 format and firing 9mm, basically had to settle for magazine adaptors or inserts that allowed them to use Colt SMG, Sten, or Glock magazines. Two things all these magazines have in common aside from caliber is that they’re all straight as an arrow, and fairly expensive (with the exception of the Sten magazines).
The latter being an obvious issue, but the former, their linear design, makes them unsuited to larger capacities than 30 rounds and makes them very awkward-looking in an AR platform. But for a long time, all appropriate-looking SMG magazines were too expensive to be practical – at least until the introduction of the CZ Scorpion EVO carbine, and later on, PSA’s own rendition of that gun’s magazines.
Now, shooters can buy cheap, stack deep, and have spare, quality magazines for their AK-V and AR-V for the foreseeable future. Which sounds great, but how did the gun actually perform?
Just like the last two videos, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that my time with the AR-V was far too limited to make a definitive statement on the gun’s quality, reliability or viability as a defensive tool. That said, I did get to run a dozen magazines through the gun during my time with the folks from PSA at the Clinton House shooting center in South Carolina, so I do have a pretty good impression of it.
With that disclaimer out of the way, the PSA AR-V’s performance was fantastic. Over the course of roughly 200 rounds fired, the gun only encountered a single malfunction and that was due to this shooter’s attempts to fire the gun as fast as possible. I out-paced the trigger and it causes the hammer to fail to fully reset. And after a few dozen dry-fires, no one at PSA managed to replicate my issue – and neither could I.
You might be thinking, wait, one jam in 200 rounds fired?! That’s terrible!
It would be if this were a full production gun – which it wasn’t. In fact, it was hastily assembled the morning of the event at the last possible second because I had mentioned that I wanted to get a chance to shoot it the night before.
As for accuracy, I was able to make one ragged hole at 15 yards shooting off-hand with a 3 MOA dot and a mix of mystery ammo. Sure, that’s by no means a scientific test, but the guns’ action and design lend itself to accuracy, plus if previous 9mm PSA guns are any indication, this is completely normal for these guns.
Again, I can’t make a definitive statement on the gun with so little time behind it, but thus far I’m very impressed with the quality and accuracy. To be honest, I didn’t give the gun a second glance at SHOT because I was more interested in the AK-V. But after blasting through a few magazines, I’m starting to seriously consider the PSA AR-V 9mm Pistol Caliber Carbine for PCC competitions, home defense, or plinking at the range – that is, once the price per round of 9mm drops below the cost of gold.
About Jim Grant
Jim is one of the elite editors for AmmoLand.com, who in addition to his mastery of prose, can wield a camera with expert finesse. He loves anything and everything guns but holds firearms from the Cold War in a special place in his heart.
When he’s not reviewing guns or shooting for fun and competition, Jim can be found hiking and hunting with his wife Kimberly, and their dog Peanut in the South Carolina low country.