Palmetto State Armory has a self-professed goal of producing quality guns at an affordable price. They want to put as many guns in law-abiding citizens’ hands as possible. However, that low price sometimes causes people to write them off as unreliable. There’s a reason for the old “you get what you pay for” aphorism. But that doesn’t seem to be the case with this manufacturer; I’ll use this PSA PX9 review to explain why I think so.
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PSA AR9 Specs
- Caliber 9mm
- Overall length 24″
- Barrel length 8″
- Rifling 1:10″
- Weight 6.5lbs
PSA PX9 (AR9) Background
The AR15 is the most popular rifle platform in the United States. An extremely wide array of calibers can be carried in a single configuration the owner is used to, and with just a few exceptions, the manual of arms is consistent across all of them.
PSA has created a whole line of 9mm platforms that are based on the AR15 design and have several models to pick from. While there were reports of feeding problems in the early models of PSA’s AR9s, those complaints are becoming ever fewer and far between.
The PSA X9 is designed to use Glock-compatible mags; as many of you reading this already know, this is significant because of Glock’s popularity. Glock pistols have become the most popular and widely sold handguns on the planet. There are many tactical, logistical, and financial advantages to using the same magazine in your handgun and long gun – the ready availability and low price of Glock-compatible mags is a big one.
PSA PX9 Features
1 Lightweight handguard
PSA 7″ lightweight M-LOK.
2 8620 Bolt Carrier Group (BCG)
The BCG is one of the most important parts of an AR style rifle. 8620 is military specification for M4 and M16 rifles.
3 Mil Spec. Fire Control Group (trigger components)
The X9 uses mil spec. trigger components allowing for easy trigger upgrading.
4 Adjustable SBA3 Stabilizing Brace
One of the best stabilizing braces available, the SB3 comes standard with the PSA X9.
PSA AR9 Models and Colors
Palmetto State Armory’s AR9 series offers many choices of style, features, and colors, including:
PSA X9 Shockwave Pistol Caliber Carbine
PSA Gen4 AR9 Classic Rifle
PSA PX9 Review – Our Take
The PSA is built on the classic AR-15 platform. This has several benefits to me because it allows the owner to customize the X9 to their taste. The finish and quality of PSA’s guns are hard to match in their price range. They often rival guns that sell for much more than the asking price from PSA. I am in my third year with my PX9 and have put thousands of rounds through it. I’m very happy with how it has performed.
Let’s start with the basics and then move on to its performance on the range.
What parts are military specifications?
Because the PX9 is chambered in 9mm, there are, of course, some major differences between it and AR15 configurations chambered in rifle carbines. Most PCCs are blowback rather than gas-operated weapons.
This keeps them simple and reduces the number of parts. The BCG (bolt carrier group) is also different (and simpler). However, despite these seemingly major changes, anyone familiar with the AR15 will be completely comfortable running the PX9.
The PX9 has plenty of room for customization. Here are some of the parts on the X9 that are interchangeable (mil-spec) with any AR-15 rifle.
- Pistol Grip
- Charging Handle
- Fire Control Group (trigger components)
- Fire/Safe Selector
- Picatinny Rail
- Buffer Tube & Stock/Brace
These are some of the most commonly upgraded parts on AR-15 rifles and leave room to individualize your PCC however you like. The upper receiver accepts standard AR-style 9mm barrels and muzzle devices as well.
A major difference between this PCC and a typical AR- and on of my only complaints about it – is that the bolt does not lock open on the last round. The mag release is extended, bring it within easy reach of the index finger, but without a bolt hold-open mag changes will take longer.
The quality of any gun starts with the type of metal it is made from. A flashy, cool-looking gun isn’t worth a lot if made from cheap materials. When you’re looking for a gun, don’t just look at the price to determine its quality. Look at the specs. See what it is made from. PSA uses billet 6061-T6 hard coat anodized upper receivers and forged 7076 T6 aluminum hard coat anodized lower receivers for their PCCs. These are solid, proven choices.
Barrels are 4150V Chrome Molly steel with a nitride finish -4150 is one of the better steels you can get for a barrel. They also use nitride treated 8620 steel bolts with an enhanced firing pin. These metals are some of the same materials used in high-end guns. This does not mean there isn’t a difference in quality when it comes to treating and producing parts from the metal, but it does let you know what they started with.
Reliability & Accuracy
I have used the PSA X9 on the range a lot. I’ve been shooting it for three years. I’ve had it so hot the handguard couldn’t be touched without gloves, and I have fired more rounds through it than I care to reckon the cost of without stopping to clean it. I always keep it oiled, but cleaning…well, that is only done when I get around to it.
The PSA X9 is a smooth shooter. It makes running drills fun.
I have never had a single malfunction, though admittedly, most of the ammo I put through it has been FMJ target ammunition. I have put some Hornady critical defense through it without issue, but I’d want to do further testing on how it runs defensive rounds before I relied on it for protection.
One thing that makes the PSA stand out from some of my other PPCs is its accuracy compared to the recoil and ease of operation. Compared to my Stribog, FX-9, and some custom build PCCs, the PSA is relatively dead-on. It’s at the top of the list (of my PCCs) when it comes to accuracy and ease of shooting. With a simple red dot sight, I can easily hit 8” targets at 100 yards.
For what you get out of the box, the PSA PX9 is hard to beat. The finish on the upper and lower receivers is not the smoothest I have seen, but it’s not terrible. The upper is slightly rougher than the lower. The lower has that matte finish that looks like it is one birthday away from starting to shine.
I upgraded the original stabilizing brace on my PX9 with an SB Tactical SB4 brace, a Strike Industries charging handle and a 3” KAK flash can on the muzzle. A Crimson Trace red dot and some backup iron sights have made this low-budget PCC one of the best and most used guns I have (regardless of the price point). And that’s why we’re adding it to our best pistol caliber carbine lineup.
PSA AR9 Pros and Cons
- Familiar- AR15 manual of arms
- MilSpec Commonality- Many interchangeable AR parts
- Extended mag release – Helps with the reloads
- Accepts Glock mags- There’s a reason so many PCCs do this
- Affordable- The price is within just about any budget
- No hold- No last round bolt hold-open
- A little rough- Upper receiver finish could be smoother.
- PCC (SBR?)- This *could* be an issue considering current legislation
Easy to handle, very low recoil.
I never had a malfunction with this weapon.
No last round bolt hold-open.
For a short barrel PCC, accuracy was pretty good.
The PSA PX9 can be had for around $600, making it a good price for what you get.
PSA PX9 Pistol Caliber Carbine
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Reviewed by Jason Mosher
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PSA’s PX9 Pistol Caliber Carbine Gun Deals
Palmetto State Armory
PSA AR9 Ammo
I’m a big fan of Maxx Tech for range ammunition, and my preferred self-defense ammo is Hornady Critical Defense. Some other options include:
Winchester 115gr FMJ
Rainier Munitions Remanufactured
MagTech 9mm 115 GR FMJ Ammo
Cost Per Round
|Natchez Shooter’s Supply
|Palmetto State Armory
Self Defense Ammunition
Hornady Critical Defense 115 GR
Cost Per Round
If you’re going to shoot, you’ll need some targets. We have ’em for you. You’re welcome.
PX9 PCC Accessories
I accessorized my PX9 with a few things, including
- Strike Industries Extended Charging Handle
- SB Tactical SBM4 Stabilizing Brace
- Crimson Trace CTS 25 Compact Red Dot
- Nebo Protec 6109 Rail Mount Light
Some more options are:
33 round factory Glock “Extendo”
KCI 50-round Drum
Magpul MS1 Sling
Thorntail light mount
Surefire M640U Scout Light Pro
Streamlight ProTac HL-X Rechargeable Long Gun Light
Paragon Optic Cleaning Lens Cleaner
The first half of “Eyes and Ears”
|Compare top eyepro
The second half of “Eyes and Ears”
|Compare best earpro
Appropriate cleaning kit
|Compare top kits
Dark Angel D.A.R.K. Trauma Kit
More About Your AR9
Need a guide to breaking down and cleaning up your PX9?
Important Links And Manuals For Your PSA AR9
For more info regarding the Dissent, and some ways to train, check out the following resources:
- PA9 Owners Manual
- How much ammo do you need?
- Check out the Maine Urban Rifle Qual Course
- Hope you don’t need to know, but..cover vs. concealment