PSA JAKL 5.56 Review: A Solid Truck Gun? By: Chris Linville


When it comes to truck guns, versatility, reliability, and ease of use are paramount. The PSA JAKL 5.56 Rifle has been hailed by others as an excellent choice for these criteria, and I was eager to put it to the test. Designed for quick-action defensive scenarios, I was curious if this rifle would shine in dynamic environments where rapid deployment and maneuverability are crucial.

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PSA JAKL with folding stock

Table of contents

  • Setting the Stage for Practical Training
  • The PSA JAKL in Action
  • Training Drills and Scenarios
  • Design and Features
  • PSA JAKL Real-World Reliability
  • PSA JAKL Practicality and Ease of Use
  • Value for Money
  • PSA JAKL Specifications
  • Conclusion

My testing ground for the PSA JAKL was an expansive ranch in Texas, where I could simulate various defensive scenarios. Using my trusty Toyota 4Runner, I set up multiple drills to evaluate the rifle’s performance. These drills included rapid deployment from the vehicle, engaging targets from different positions, and practicing quick transitions between shooting and driving.

The importance of a truck gun cannot be overstated. In rural areas like the vast expanses of Texas, having a reliable firearm readily available in your vehicle can mean the difference between life and death. Whether facing wildlife threats, potential criminal encounters, or simply needing to protect property, a truck gun is an essential tool.

The PSA JAKL 5.56 I tested features a 14.5-inch nitride-treated barrel, making it compact enough for easy maneuvering in and out of the vehicle. Equipped with a Rearden muzzle device and F5 MFG PSA JAKL Modular Stock System, the rifle balances perfectly between compactness and stability.

One of the standout features of the JAKL is its monolithic upper receiver, which enhances its durability and rigidity. This design allows for a more consistent rail alignment and ensures that the rifle can withstand the harsh conditions of rapid deployment scenarios.

The first drill involved simulating an ambush situation. Starting with the rifle secured in the passenger seat, I practiced quickly exiting the vehicle, retrieving the JAKL, and engaging targets positioned around the vehicle. The compact size and well-balanced weight of the rifle made it easy to handle during these rapid movements.

As I exited the vehicle, the JAKL was ready in an instant. The monolithic upper receiver construction gave it a solid feel, and the rifle transitioned smoothly from the passenger seat to my shoulder. Targets were positioned at various distances, from close quarters to 100 yards away. The rifle’s accuracy was immediately apparent, with each shot landing precisely where I aimed.

Next, I set up a scenario where I had to engage targets from within the vehicle. This drill tested the rifle’s ability to be used effectively in tight spaces. The collapsible stock and ergonomic design of the JAKL made it easy to shoulder and fire accurately even while seated. Practicing these maneuvers revealed the rifle’s versatility, as I could switch from a defensive position inside the vehicle to an offensive stance outside with ease.

In another drill, I practiced transitioning from driving to shooting and back. This involved quickly stopping the vehicle, retrieving the rifle, engaging targets, and then resuming driving. The smooth action and reliable performance of the JAKL were evident, as it cycled flawlessly and provided consistent accuracy throughout the drill. This scenario simulated a real-world situation where quick, decisive action is necessary.

One of the key aspects of these drills was to ensure that the rifle could be deployed rapidly and effectively under stress. The compact 14.5-inch barrel, combined with the rifle’s overall balanced design, allowed for swift movement and precise aiming. The nitride treatment of the barrel not only enhanced its durability but also contributed to its reliable performance during rapid fire sequences.

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The PSA JAKL boasts several features that enhance its performance as a truck gun. The adjustable gas block allows for fine-tuning the rifle’s cycling, which is particularly useful when using different types of ammunition. The full-length Picatinny rail provides ample space for mounting optics and accessories, and the rifle’s overall construction feels robust and durable.

One of the aspects that impressed me the most was the rifle’s recoil management. Despite its compact size, the JAKL handles recoil exceptionally well, allowing for quick follow-up shots and maintaining accuracy even during rapid fire. This is crucial in defensive scenarios where every second counts. The Rearden muzzle device also played a role in mitigating recoil, making it easier to keep the rifle on target.

The rifle’s ergonomics are another highlight. The F5 MFG PSA JAKL Modular Stock is adjustable, providing a comfortable fit for shooters of different sizes. The stock’s design also facilitates quick adjustments in the field, which is essential during dynamic scenarios. The pistol grip is comfortable and allows for a firm hold, even in stressful situations.

The monolithic upper receiver design is a significant advantage for the JAKL. This construction method enhances the rifle’s overall rigidity and durability, ensuring that it can withstand the rigors of being a truck gun. The consistent rail alignment provided by the monolithic design is also beneficial for maintaining zero on optics and accessories.

In terms of reliability, the PSA JAKL did not disappoint. Although, in my case, it did take some tuning of the gas block to get it to cycle correctly. Throughout my training sessions, the rifle performed well, handling a variety of ammunition types without any malfunctions. This reliability is a testament to PSA’s commitment to quality and ensures that the JAKL is a dependable choice for any defensive situation.

The monolithic upper receiver, combined with the robust construction and nitride-treated barrel, means this rifle can withstand the rigors of being a truck gun. Whether it’s bouncing around in the vehicle, being exposed to the elements, or enduring the heat of rapid fire, the JAKL proved it could handle it all.

During my training drills, I subjected the rifle to various environmental conditions to test its reliability. From dusty roads to humid environments, the JAKL continued to perform without a hitch. This is crucial for a truck gun, as it needs to be ready to function reliably in any situation it might encounter.

The adjustable gas block is another feature that enhances the rifle’s reliability. By fine-tuning the gas system, I was able to optimize the rifle’s performance with different types of ammunition. This flexibility is particularly useful for a truck gun, as it ensures the rifle can handle a variety of loads without compromising reliability.

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One of the reasons the PSA JAKL excels as a truck gun is its practicality. The rifle’s compact size makes it easy to store in a vehicle without taking up too much space. Whether mounted on a gun rack or secured in a case, the JAKL is always within reach and ready for action.

The rifle’s ease of use is another factor that makes it ideal for quick action defensive scenarios. The controls are intuitive and easy to operate, even under stress. The ambidextrous charging handle and safety selector are particularly beneficial, allowing for seamless operation regardless of the shooter’s dominant hand.

The collapsible stock and adjustable gas block further enhance the rifle’s practicality. These features allow the shooter to customize the rifle to fit their specific needs, whether for comfort or performance. The ability to make quick adjustments in the field is a significant advantage in dynamic scenarios.

While the PSA JAKL may not have the same prestige as higher-end rifles, it offers exceptional value as a budget option. For a fraction of the price, you get a reliable, well-built rifle that performs admirably in defensive scenarios. This makes it an excellent choice for those looking for a dependable truck gun without breaking the bank.

The JAKL’s features and performance make it a standout option in its price range. The combination of a monolithic upper receiver, nitride-treated barrel, adjustable gas block, and ergonomic design provides a level of quality and functionality that is hard to beat. For those who need a reliable and versatile truck gun, the JAKL offers an outstanding balance of performance and affordability.

  • Long Stroke Gas Piston Operating System
  • 8620 Front Trunnion
  • 4340 Carrier
  • 7 Lug Shot Peened Carpenter 158 Bolt
  • Monolithic 6105 Rifle-Length Receiver
  • Rifle-Length Handguard
  • 13.7” 5.56 Nato Nitride 4150V Chrome Moly Steel Barrel
  • Twist Rate: 1 in 7” 
  • Thread Pitch: 1/2×28″
  • Pin & Welded Rearden MFG R2
  • F5 MFG Modular Stock System (MSS) For PSA JAKL, Flat Dark Earth
  • Magpul MOE SL Grip, Flat Dark Earth
  • Flat Dark Earth Cerakote Finish
  • Black Knurled Charging
  • Magpul 30rd PMAG (1)

The PSA JAKL 5.56 Rifle is a standout option for anyone in need of a reliable and versatile truck gun. Its compact design, reliable performance, and ease of use in dynamic scenarios make it a top choice for quick action defensive needs. After extensive testing and training drills, I can confidently recommend the PSA JAKL as a solid and affordable option for those looking to enhance their defensive capabilities.

Whether you’re facing wildlife threats, potential criminal encounters, or simply needing to protect property, the PSA JAKL 5.56 is up to the task. Its robust construction, reliable performance, and practical design make it an invaluable tool for any truck gun setup.

For more details about the PSA JAKL 5.56 Rifle, visit the PSA JAKL page or the specific product listing.

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