U.S.A. -(AmmoLand.com)- When it comes to AKs, I’m a practical purist; I prefer mil-spec furniture, but can appreciate the functionality of modernized guns like the PSAK-47 GF4. So I wasn’t as excited to put rounds through it as I was the new PSAK-103 or PSAK-74. That all changed the second I had a chance to get behind the gun and sling some lead.
Even before I dropped the hammer on the first round, the quality and attention to detail on the gun was very evident. Between the FN barrel, side scope mount, and ribbed dustcover, the PSAK-47 GF4 puts other American avtomats to shame – doubly so at its affordable price point.
Just like the GF3 that came before, the PSAK-47 GF4 features a hammer-forged barrel trunnion and 1mm hardened steel receiver but replaces the nitride-treated barrel with a military-spec chrome-lined one for even greater longevity. But unlike many chrome-lined barrels, the PSAK-47 GF4’s doesn’t sacrifice accuracy for increased durability. Additionally, it features a forged bolt and carrier, as well as a polished single-hook trigger that puts the old Tapco G2 triggers to shame.
And if you’re like me and don’t find the aesthetics of the Magpul MOE AK furniture appealing, PSA also offers the GF4 in both a traditional polymer furniture and classic red-stained high-polish wood set. Additionally, these guns feature the iconic slant-cut muzzle brake threaded to mil-spec 14x1LH and a bayonet lug if you want your PSAK to look as Russian as vodka.
While admiring the features and craftsmanship of firearms is a great way to pass the time, lobbing 7.62x39mm 123gr FMJ rounds downrange is far more engaging – so that’s just what we did. Full disclosure, I didn’t have enough time with the gun to make a definitive call on its longevity or reliability, but in my abbreviated time with the gun, it ran like a scalded dog. Firing a mix of Geco brass-cased ammo and steel-cased Wolf, the PSAK-47 GF4 encountered no issues whatsoever relating to the gun itself. But in the interest of complete transparency, we did have some feeding issues with a bad Magpul magazine because its follower would completely bind when loaded past 10 rounds. This is especially odd given that I literally opened the magazine’s blister pack, and loaded it up without introducing any debris, lubrication, or anything else that could potentially affect its functionality.
That said, the other five magazines tested had no issues whatsoever, and this is the first time I’ve ever seen a Magpul magazine of any pattern have issues from the factory. But, nobody is perfect, and every company puts out a lemon on occasion.
With that out of the way, how did the PSAK-47 GF4 perform?
In a word, exceptionally.
With a massively over-powered Vortex 5-25 power scope mounted with an excellent RS Regulate mount, A-zone hits at 100 yards was laughably easy, once I managed to obtain a proper sight picture with the comically-oversized optic. But for a more appropriate test, we took the optic off and ran the iron sights to get a better feel for the balance and handling of the gun. Unsurprisingly, the PSAK-47 GF4 felt exactly like an AK with polymer furniture installed. Which is to say, centrally balanced with a slightly longer than Warsaw Pact standard length of pull due to the Magpul Zhukov stock.
Again, this isn’t a definitive test, but so far, so good. The PSAK-47 GF4 Rifle was perfectly reliable, more accurate than most mil-spec AKs, and incorporated all the features AK guys expect from a quality AKM carbine. If you love AKs, you’ll likely love the GF4. If you’re an AR guy, it might not be your cup of tea – but it certainly can hold its own as a ranch gun, home defense tool, or inexpensive range plinker.
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.