February 25, 2024

Palmetto State Armory has long been known for making affordable firearms. I once heard a podcast with one of the owners saying that they do everything they can to keep the cost down on their products so that anybody who wants to practice their Second Amendment rights is able to do so. He also went on to say that the more guns he can get into law-abiding citizens’ hands, the harder it would be for the government to ever take our Second Amendment rights away. I really felt that was a solid message that I could really get behind. They also build all of their guns and parts in the USA, which is a big deal. Palmetto State has also greatly expanded their offerings over the past few years, which brings us to the AK-V, the firearm that we will be discussing right now. 

Palmetto State Armory AK-V


The Palmetto State AK-V rifle is essentially an AK chambered in 9mm that runs on a direct blowback operating system instead of the more traditional long-stroke piston operating system found in most AKs. It is also loosely based on the Russian Vityaz, the submachine gun chambered in 9mm used by Russian special forces. I love the subguns, and I love the AK, so when you combine the two, it is an instant winner in my book. 

I’ve been a fan of pistol-caliber carbines for a long time. Their popularity continues to grow, and it’s easy to see why. They fill so many roles; they make great range toys because they are so much fun to shoot without breaking the bank. They can also make a great home defense weapon because they’re easier to control than a pistol. Pistol caliber carbines also make great truck guns, or “get home” guns, because they’re usually fairly compact. The AK-V fills all of those roles very nicely, making this not only a gun that is a ton of fun to shoot but also practical for many applications. 

Palmetto State Armory has built a very well-made 9mm AK. You’ll get a forged front trunion and bolt carrier, a 10.5-inch nitrided barrel, meaning that the barrel will probably outlast you, and a picatinny rail on the top of the dust cover for the easy attachment of optics. This particular model has the nutmeg wooden furniture; however, Palmetto State has them available with several different configurations for the furniture. I also think it’s important to note that it takes standard AK furniture, so you can swap it out for whatever you like. The safety lever is extended, making it easier to use, as is the paddle magazine release, which is a very welcomed upgrade. The trigger is very good for an AK-style trigger. It’s light, pulling at just above 3 pounds, but it does have some of that unpredictability in the wall and breaks like most AKs. It is a great AK trigger, but coming from something like an AR, this trigger may take a little getting used to. 

Palmetto State Armory AK-V with wood furniture.
Palmetto State Armory AK-V with wood furniture.

Another enhancement to the traditional AK platform that PSA has included in the AK-V, is the bolt release. For those that don’t know, AKs don’t hold open on the last round, and thus they don’t have a bolt release. Since the AK-V uses Scorpion mags, which do have last round bolt hold open, they added the feature to the gun. The AK-V will hold open on the last round, and you can release the bolt by pushing down on a small switch.

Now, I consider myself a bit of a purist, and at first was a little turned off by this feature; but as I shot it more, it did grow on me. Everyone else who wasn’t as stuck in their ways as me, of course, loved it from the beginning. I will say, if you’re not a fan, it doesn’t interfere at all with how you’d normally run an AK. The bolt release is small, and won’t get in the way; it’s hardly even noticed. As much as I want to stick to my sentiments of “n’yet rifle is fine”, after spending some time with this, I have to admit it’s a big improvement and I’m glad that PSA included it. 

Palmetto State Armory AK-V Rifle Magazines

You really can’t talk about the Palmetto State Armory AK-V without talking about the mags. First, it runs on relatively available and affordable CZ scorpion mags. PSA didn’t just stop there; they made their own Scorpion mags, which actually have some great features over the original CZ mags. The Palmetto state mags have metal feed lips instead of the original plastic ones from CZ. These plastic feed lips have been somewhat of an issue for some people, so PSA remedied that. I do want to say that CZ has a new and updated scorpion mag, but I haven’t got to play with one of those yet. The PSA mags are very affordable and they’re 35 rounds. Additionally, PSA sells an extension for the magazine, taking it to 50. Gotta love that freedom! If you just love the look of drums, and who doesn’t, there is also a 50 round drum available. We tried scorpion mags in the AK-V, and AK-V mags in a scorpion, and everything functioned just like it should. If you need some mags for your Scorpion, these will work fine and won’t break the bank. Likewise, if you have a pile of scorpion mags, you are also ready to go if you decide to add an AK-V to your collection. 


We have to talk about this brace from SBtactical because it is pretty amazing, and the alphabet boys may soon be trying to confiscate the close to 1 million braces in American’s hands. I’m sure that will go over really well. The PSA AKV Brace is meant to mimic the triangle folding stock that you see on many AKs. The top bar is fairly rigid, while the bottom and back are a softer rubber, and of course, like any brace, the back opens up. You can insert your arm through it, allowing you to shoot with one hand. The brace also folds to one side, making the gun shorter for storage and again, mimicking the genuine stock. The brace is awesome, and I would highly recommend you pick one up for use on an AK pistol or any pistol equipped with a section of Picatinny rail at the rear. 

Palmetto State Armory AK-V
Palmetto State Armory AK-V

I know that Palmetto State Armory has had a difficult time keeping these in stock and satisfying demand, but it is easy to see why.

This gun just flat out delivers everything that you could possibly want from an AK chambered in 9mm caliber ammo. It also does this cheaper than the competition. I’m not going to say how much cheaper because prices on these seem to be fluctuating a bit, and as I mentioned, demand is exceeding supply. However, I feel confident that PSA will keep it priced as low as possible to get the guns out into the peoples’ hands. Another huge factor in the cost of ownership is the mags. The AK-V mags are cheap, work great, and are compatible with another platform. This makes the cost of ownership of this gun much cheaper than any competitors, even if the retail price of the actual guns is pretty close.

Everyone who shot the PSA AK-V absolutely loved it, and there’s not much to not love. PSA has really delivered on the AK-V; it’s fun to shoot, accurate enough, has great ergonomics, and is relatively affordable. It’s great to see PSA broadening their offerings with quality products like the AK-V, and I can say that no matter what you want to do with it, no matter how hard you want to run it, the Palmetto State AK-V won’t let you down.

Editors Note: Yes we know most of PSA’s AKV product is continually sold out, but we keep on linking in in the hopes we catch it back in stock.

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