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PSA Parts to Replace?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by gbw, Jul 23, 2019.

  1. gbw

    gbw Member

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    Like many, I've ARs built from PSA kits. To me the PSA kits provide the best values for AR type rifles / pistols. Except the trigger groups, which aren't good, and I replace them with something better - the PSA Nickel / Boron 2-stage is also a great value on sale for $70 or so. The Colt AR had a lousy trigger too.

    I've wondered, for those who use these kits, are there any other parts you think ought to be replaced? If so, which and why?
     
    stillquietvoice likes this.
  2. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    Yup. You gotta keep replacing the ammo in the magazine! Darndest thing.

    I change parts to improve some identifiable shortcoming in performance: in my case I swap grips and gently improve triggers.
     
  3. pblanc

    pblanc Member

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    Well, you might wish to swap things like sights and furniture to suit personal preference.

    Beyond that, apart from the trigger, I can't think of anything that is screaming to be replaced to improve the function or reliability of the rifle, assuming of course that the rifle is functioning reliably now.

    One thing I did replace in a PSA "multi" lower was the buffer and recoil spring. It had come with the usual carbine buffer and spring. I had paired it with a PSA upper that had a rifle length gas system, 18" barrel, and a 223 Wylde chamber. I had some occasional failures to feed and the ejection pattern was a bit erratic. There was a significant improvement with a Geissele H1 buffer and spring.
     
  4. Robbins290

    Robbins290 Member

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    so far, besides the trigger, ran mine with cheap steel cased ammo. ALOT. nothing has broke or worn. or does not even show signs on wearing. Just keep a basic field repair kit on hand.
     
  5. MistWolf

    MistWolf Member

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    Extractor spring. It's marginal and leads to intermittent extraction issues that are often misdiagnosed as ejection/feed/mag/gas drive issues. Replace with either a Colt or Sprinco M4 extractor spring.

    CAR buffer. Replace the carbine weight buffer with an H2. Replacing the action spring at the same time is cheap insurance.

    Shoot the snot out of it before modifying anything else.
     
  6. stillquietvoice

    stillquietvoice Member

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    Those nickle boron 2 stages are selling for 59.95 right now at psa.

    How much better are the 2 stage triggers compared to the ept single stage triggers.
     
  7. Mosin Bubba

    Mosin Bubba Member

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    As always, it depends on what you want to use it for. There's a fine line between upgrading things that are genuinely lacking and trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

    If you're chasing accuracy, I'd say the easiet way to get any rifle shooting better is better sights or a scope and a better trigger. It doesn't change the gun's capability, but it helps the shooter hold up his end of the bargain.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2019
  8. gbw

    gbw Member

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    My experience is that the PSA ni-b 2-stage trigger is notably better than their ept, cleaner breaking, a little lighter. It’s about $70 now with tax / shipping. The 2 I have are also better than a single stage ALG-ACT and almost as good as a much costlier Geissele 2-stage. I have all 4 of these.

    Original question isn’t really use specific, just looking for any possible trends in reported marginal parts - for example I’ve noticed bolt hold open and forward assist fit can sometimes be a little sloppy. But all the guns have been reliable and at least accurate enough.

    Next will be another pistol, and avery light AR-10 if that’s possible.
     
  9. American_Fusilier

    American_Fusilier Member

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    I've got a full PSA AR, the only exceptions are the hand guard (midwest industries free float), FCG (ALG ACT) and charging handle (BCM Gunfighter Mod 3). I even have the PSA flip up iron sights. For most of it's like it had a Vortex Strikefire red dot sight mounted on it (now she's wearing a 2nd gen Primary Arms 1-6x24 ACSS), and it has served and is serving my quite well. My buddy and I did a 4 day rifle class at Front Sight in Nevada, in the high desert. The round count of the class was relatively low at 500 +/-, just for kicks I decided not to clean it the entire class. I never had one malfunction and was easily making hits out to 200 yards using 55gr Wolf Gold ammo. Of course she got a deep, thorough cleaning after the class, but I wanted to see how reliable it was with daily carbon and sand build up. She run flawlessly.

    The only time I've had an issue with it, it was I was testing handloads that I didn't charge enough, so it was short stroking, the next rounds in the ladder test cycled fine.

    She isn't the absolute most accurate rifle, but getting hits on still at 200 yards is good enough for me, for now. I can expect to get a little over 1 MOA, if I spent the time developing a load for it, I suspect I could get it under 1 MOA, but it'll never be a half MOA rifle, that is what my Remington 700 is for anyway.

    All that said, the next couple upgrades I'd like to get would probably be an even nicer drop in trigger, and maybe a new barrel someday. Right now I have a gov't profile carbine gas 16" 1:7 twist 5.56 NATO barrel on it with a chrome lined bore/chamber made by FN. I'd probably get a 16" barrel with a 1:8 twist, mid length gas, without the chrome lining, chambered in .223 Wylde. I'd imagine I could eke out some more accuracy if I really wanted to.

    Next I want a 10" barrel PSA AR pistol with the brace. Either that, or their 2nd gen AR-10. Too many guns, not enough time/money...
     
  10. Hokie_PhD

    Hokie_PhD Member

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    Overall I like my bare bones PSA for what it is. A basic AR that works.

    Personally I don’t like the cheap rattlely stock and the handguard. The stock is ok for a cheap functional stock. And the handguard likewise is functional but nothing else.

    If I update anything first would be the stock.
    I agree the mil spec trigger is ok but a nice one would be so much better
     
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  11. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    The A2 grip. I've owned Nerf guns with better grips.
     
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  12. JERRY

    JERRY Member

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    keep a complete BCG on hand. far easier to change it out and keep going than to take it apart to replace something else within it.
     
  13. BSA1

    BSA1 member

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    I have a PSA Magpul MOE rifle kit on a Anderson Lower. I built this gun to see how good of a budget gun PSA’s are. All I can say is this gun has far exceeded my expectations in all areas. The only change I intend to make is to install a 4# trigger spring to see how much difference it will make. I don’t have anyway to measure the current trigger pull but I don’t feel handicapped with it. A J P Spring Kit is only around $10.00.
     
  14. greyling22

    greyling22 Member

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    And just bending the legs on you stock trigger spring is free and does the same thing. You can bend or clip a hammer spring leg as well and get an even lighter trigger. You can get really nice triggers with milspec components with very little effort and almost no expense. Add the grip screw set screw, file the trigger bar a little, time the disconnecter by taking the nose off with a file, bend a couple springs and you can have a mostly creep free 3lb trigger in a half hour.
     
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  15. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

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    The only non-PSA parts I'm putting on my rifle is a LaRue trigger, Anderson lower and Vortex scope/rings.
     
  16. kBob

    kBob Member

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    greyling,

    do you know of a YouTube DIY video with your trigger work? if not why not make one?

    -kBob
     
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  17. Hokie_PhD

    Hokie_PhD Member

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    Do you have one of the upgraded kits? Such as the MOE? If not are you really ok with the wonky stock? I find the MOE and the ACE a million times better than the mil spec one.

    Btw if you have the MOE kit you don’t have all PSA parts you have Magpul parts for the grip, stock etc
     
  18. kBob

    kBob Member

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    Hokie,

    Nah I am so cheap I went with the base model. I am thinking about ways to improve the existing stock, but no luck so far.

    A friend has bought a couple of the MOE kits and I put them together with him. Last week at Bass Pro he almost talked me into one of the Magpul grips with storage. I am thinking a spare bolt might be a good thing. Back when I was young and dumb and all that my Infantry squad carried spare firing pin retaining pins, extractor pins and springs and an extractor and firing pin and a trigger/ hammer pin or two in a group kit because those were the things most likely lost when in the field for a couple of nights. You know you drop any of those suckers in the ground detritus under black out conditions and they are pretty much just gone. Don't get me started about snow.....For a bit I had a firing pin retaining pin and extractor pin taped inside the grip of my M16A1. It got noted by a new Company Commander ( one that did not have a CIB) and had to go away and the "stolen" parts back to the arms room. I did see bolts crack and lugs shear, but only on rifles in training units that had been shot to heck. Still, there is no Ord shop van following me around so the replacement bolt in a storage grip has some appeal.

    If I find something that improves the PSA six position at little or no cost I will post it.

    -kBob
     
  19. greyling22

    greyling22 Member

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    I do not know of a video, and I don't know how to make one. certainly not how to edit one together. but, maybe this will be helpful:

    first, watch this video on how the trigger works.
    Note how the springs apply tension, how the front of the trigger bar is the sear and the hammer has a notch in it. Also how the disconnector grabs the hammer to keep the gun from going full auto.

    then, realize that the milspec ar trigger is garbage because
    a) it has WAY too much spring tension on the hammer/sear interface to ensure 100% ignition under all circumstances, which makes the pull heavy, and
    b) it has WAY too much engagement between the hammer hook and sear surfaces, leading to a bunch of creep.
    this is essence of every trigger job on every gun. less engagement and less tension on the engagement surfaces.
    ***********DISCLAIMER. I AM NOT A GUNSMITH. YOU ARE PROBABLY NOT A GUNSMITH. PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK ************ that said, I have done this to a dozen or so AR's and have never had a problem.

    so, lets deal with them in order: to deal with the pull weight, we need less spring tension. you can buy springs, but why? Clip and hammer spring and bend the trigger springs at about a 30 degree angle like this
    https://imgur.com/a/bXHN7Kd

    now, sear engagement. this would be better with a video, but in this picture, https://imgur.com/a/fe82Fdl we are going to use a set screw run up the grip screw hole to push the back up the trigger bar up, which, like a see-saw, will push the front down, reducing sear engagement. the easiest way to do this is to have the gun assembled and on safe, then screw in until the bar hits the safety, then back off until the safety can be turned. This will improve the trigger some, and requires nothing fancy on your part. ([​IMG]Note: if you have one of those cheap anderson lowers like most everybody has, the screw hole is not tapped all the way through to the receiver and you'll need a tap and die set to finish threading the hole.)

    To get a truly nice trigger require a bit of work.
    https://imgur.com/a/tAO2yD8
    Install the hammer and trigger (no need to install disconnector at this juncture, and it just gets in the way). pull the safety and cock the hammer. run the set screw up the grip until the hammer trips. then back off the set screw until you have a balance of safe engagement and nice pull that you are comfortable with.
    Now, look through the safety hole. Uh-oh, there is the back end of the trigger bar in the way of installing the safety. You will need to file/dremel this away.
    Take a pencil and scribe a line ON BOTH SIDES showing where you need to file. Pull the trigger group out file to the line, reinstall everything but the disconnector. Does the safety work? if yes, you win. If no, you took too much off you bozo. build it back up with jb weld and try again. You should now have a really nice trigger. Depending of you skill, luck, and technique, you might have 3lbs, basically no creep, and virtually no overtravel, depending on how much clearance is between the safety and the filed back of the trigger bar. (you may have to back off a little on the set screw hereto lower the back of the trigger bar and reinsert the safety. You also need the hammer cocked to reinsert the safety. There is a lot of test fit and check your work here the first time you do this. go slow. it is easier to take more off than put it back on)
    BUT WAIT! there's more! remember the disconnector? when you install it now, you will have a problem. You angled the whole trigger bar forward, permanently moving the disconnector hook forward enough that it will not release the hammer. Easy fix. Install disconnector, cock hammer. Take note of how much of the disconnector nose is overlapping the hook on the back of the hammer, and remove it. It doesn't have to be exact. When you pull the trigger it will move the disconector far enough forward to catch the hammer unless you take a ton off. Test function. Note: if you take too much off the hook and your hammer won't catch on it, you now have a full auto gun for a few rounds. Easy fix. Pull the disconnector, file some on the bottom of the nose as seen in the picture, https://imgur.com/a/QZyzRap this will allow the hook to move forward again. check and fit until you have proper function.


    whew, that was long. it sounds more complicated than it is. If it all works, you win, if it doesn't, well, many of you were going to buy a drop in trigger anyway, you have lost nothing. Hopefully this was helpful and not confusing.

    I only run tula, wolf, and S&B primers in my AR's, and I have never had a light strike with my lightened springs. If you do, you can try the JP speed hammer mod. cut the big hook off the hammer as seen here https://imgur.com/a/huVe0FI

    I have attached this as a word doc as well. the pictures are all in the right spots in it. I couldn't make them appear in the posting. Mods feel free to make it look pretty.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 30, 2019
  20. 303 hunter

    303 hunter Member

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    I’ve got several PSA NIB 2 stage triggers, and one small mod will make a huge difference. Just swapping the included disconnect spring with a JP spring lowered the pull weight from 4.5 to 2.8 pounds. Incluged spring is VERY stiff, but easily replaced . It will fire Russian steel case 7.62x39 ammo easily and consistently with a great trigger pull. My triggers did come with a red hammer spring.
     
  21. greyling22

    greyling22 Member

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    Surely not the disconnector spring. Is has not bearing on the trigger pull at all. Maybe you meant the hammer spring?

    This disconnector spring is the green spring seen here JSGNp.jpg
     
  22. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    I just got into PSA products last year, have had absolutely zero issues with anything I purchased from them.
     
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