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Yet another PSA PA-10 Review


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Ok, a brief description of my goals to start with.  I enjoy applying some basic techniques to a budget firearm and seeing if I can approach the performance and accuracy of more expensive firearms within a reasonable price. Keeping value in mind.

I have read many mixed reviews on the PSA PA-10 and believe that like anything in today's mass production there are some good examples that roll off the assembly line and an occasional bad one. Some guns just wont shoot, just like some cars just wont run. aka "lemons" , we can spend a lot of money and experience a lot of frustration trying to make them preform and the end result is all we have is a gold plated horse turd,  it looks pretty on the outside but is still a turd on the inside. 

I found a tremendously informative thread on this site yesterday written by bfoosh006 and wanted to share my experience with a PSA PA-10 that I acquired around Christmas. Although my process is not nearly in depth as bfoosh006, I am happy with the end results.

By buying the upper assembly and the lower separately the rifle it's self was around $625. with FFL transfer fee's. The upper arrived within 10 day's and the lower was delivered a couple days latter to my local gun shop. 

I wont go into step by step basic stuff, I will say that this rifle was shipped dry and the bore was filthy. After a serious cleaning, paying attention to spots in the barrel where the patches may seem to drag and using the more aggressive Sweet's 7.62 solvent until a dry patch exited the muzzle clean and white. 

 I was ready to mount the Vortex Strike eagle 1-8x24 and the Magpul UBR. Both fit the firearm perfectly. I added a Hogue Mono grip that ,although was a snug fit initially it fit the contours of the lower very well.  The trigger is absolutely the worse AR trigger that I have ever experienced. I tried the P-cord trick with little success and broke down and ordered a JP reduced  trigger spring kit which made a big difference, but not close to what I want in trigger.  Keep in mind at this time I really don't know if I am going to have a shooter or am I gold plating as mentioned above, and although I didn't have a fixed budget in mind, the goal is to get a reliably  preforming rifle similar to a DMR style on a budget.

I purchased 5  20 round P-mags and one 10 round, all locked into the mage well firm, no rattles and drop freely empty or loaded. No problem. 

The first range day was the slow and methodical barrel break in. Everyone seems to have an opinion on this process. Mine is simple, wet patch dry patch after every round fired for the first 20 rounds, Then repeat the process after every 3 rounds fired for another 20 rounds. 

 I fired several type's of ammunition, starting with the PMC Bronze 147 gr. then the Federal L.C XM-80 149 gr. also some loads that I have developed for my M1-A which consist of both 150 gr. Nosler ballistic tips and 168 federal Match kings. I didn't really pay attention to how many rounds that I had fired that day, I believe between 120 to 150 rounds total.

 I really didn't expect tremendous accuracy from the PMC or the XM-80, I have never had a military ball round meet my expectations for accuracy, but I was rather disappointed with my pet 168 MK load. 1.5" at best. I have produced consistent sub 1/2 moa with this round in my  Springfield M1-A.

Ok time to get serious. First step, a session of bore polishing with slurry of JB non embedding bore polish and Kroil using a bronze jag and tight patches. I did approximately 100 passes changing patches regularly. I flushed the barrel out with Hoppes after making sure that no slurry residue was left behind..

Next was some online research for load development. I had a box of 175 gr. Sierra Match Kings and found some good data online. Using a  combination of Varget,  Lapua brass and Federal GM 210 primer's, the end result of this;


5 shot group @ 100yds 2 rounds in the same hole just to the left of center and of course out of excitement, I pulled round 5 high and to the right. Group size throwing out the pulled shot is approx. .659". Average muzzle velocity is 2590 fps, extreme velocity spread is 31 fps. with a standard deviation of 10. (note: The ballistic data was recorded as a 10 shot string at 15' from the muzzle in my under ground test range. The target was shot a day later at 100 yards at the same underground range.)

Not bad for a $600.00 rifle in my book.




 On the right side is a Vortex Viper RMR style sight with a 6MOA dot. On the left is a Surefire weapons light cant remember the model. The muzzle break is a Kineti-tech that I had on a 300 blackout for a time. The bipod is a Blackhawk with a 1913 adapter. 

Next step's, look for a deal on a Geissele trigger and possibly mount a Vortex 5-25x50 PST Gen.II on top. 

My conclusion? Yes, the PSA PA-10 is a tremendous value. I have had no malfunctions, it has gone "Bang" every time. With some basic techniques and reloading some respectable accuracy can be achieved.  Can I confidently say that the rifle that you receive will be good also? Not really, I have no idea what PSA's quality control will be like on that given day.  Just like you would not be capable of  promising me that my new truck would preform as well as yours ect.ect. 

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Sounds like you have a PA10 that runs good, and is accurate to boot. I've worked up a load for mine that uses a 168grn TTSX bullet, Federal brass, Winchester primers, and Varget. I'm getting an average of 2562fps. It's going to be my hunting load. When I do my part it's putting out sub moa groups. I found out that my rifle HATES, absolutely HATES, a clean bore. I've got a couple rough spots that smooth out with some fouling. She likes to run dirty and wet. I didn't break her in like you have done to yours though. I just put her together, and shot a lot of ammo of various kinds. After each range session I run a bore snake down the bore several times with some CLP. So, she ain't pampered.

My buddy, who's helping me with reloading, decided I needed to clean her real good. So, I let him clean out the bore real good. Got rid of all the copper fouling. My groups went to hell. I went from sub moa/moa, to 2-3 moa. My groups didn't tighten back up until I went through 100 or so rounds , and a couple bore snakings. Perhaps if I had broken her in like you did to yours she might run better clean.

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Welcome to the forum. It is good to see a knowledge base developing here on PSA10’s. And thank everyone for contributing. I may try one some day, if and when they have the caliber I want for my next rifle.

Edited by Sisco
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Excellent review, thank you... Welcome to the .308 AR world.

BTW... As for your comment.... ( and I wish someone had pointed this out to me in my youth .. Lol )
" The first range day was the slow and methodical barrel break in. Everyone seems to have an opinion on this process. Mine is simple, wet patch dry patch after every round fired for the first 20 rounds, Then repeat the process after every 3 rounds fired for another 20 rounds.  "

Just remember, the goal to cleaning after "X" shots, is to have the fouling and copper removed so the next bullet polishes the bore steel smoother.... not the fouling and copper smoother "over" the bores steel.

Edited by bfoosh006
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