PSD-TM SWISS ARMY RIFLE
www.palmettostatedefense.com PSD-TM By: Thomas Dixon
Photography provided by: Thomas Dixon & PSD
Today’s “Black Rifle” market has been flooded with mom and pop manufacturers. Everyone with a Bridgeport is trying to make the new and improved AR. Not PSD (Palmetto State Defense), they are not trying to reinvent the wheel they are simply lapping it and putting a mirror finish on it, making it as smooth and as balanced as possible. This is evident by the PSD-TM or Tactical Match rifle.
In the foot hills of the Appalachians is a small town called Greer. Famous for its peaches, moonshine and huge peach shaped water tower, but soon to be well known in the rifle world. PSD has taken the AR and turned it into a multi-purpose Swiss Army rifle. With the capability of going from the range, to the 3-gun match and then to the battlefield with no modification needed except for a quality optic. Out of the box this thing is a tack driver to say the least. I have used several different loads and maintained a 1/2” moa at 100 yards, even using cheap low quality steel cased 55 grain. What PSD has done is incorporated a handful of ideals such as using only quality components and materials, refusing to cut corners or sacrifice in their dedication to bringing an exceptional rifle to the market at a reasonable price. This is due to exceptional design, years of engineering and shooting experience paired with an unequivocal attention to detail culminating in what is the core of Palmetto State Defense and their rifles.
The Upper and lower receivers are made in house from 7075-T6 forged aluminum, the upper is a flat top and both components are hand matched for a perfect fit ad anodized to Mils-spec. Combine this with a 15” SAMSON Evolution rail system and you have the beginnings of a quality rifle. The SAMSON Evolution rail system is slick and only 1.8” in OD (outside diameter). Made from 6061 T-6 aluminum it is lightweight at only 13.4 oz., durable and ideal for any shooter of any discipline or profession; perfect choice guys. For more information on the SAMSON Evolution Rail System please visit www.samson-mfg.com.
Next, we exam the internal components. The BCG (Bolt Carrier Group) is a M16 milspec BCG with a properly staked gas key. This ensures over time that the repeated recoil doesn’t work the fasteners loose on the gas key resulting in serious catastrophic failure. It made of Carpenter 158 steel with a chrome plated interior barrel. The Bolt is shot peened for durability and hardness and the entire BCG has a Parkerized finish. The entire BCG is HPT & MPI (High Pressure Tested & Magnetic Particle Inspection). In my opinion they made a good choice in going with a M16 BCG versus the Ar15 BCG and the reason is the balance and the rate of fire caused by the symmetrical cut on the lower portion of the bolt in comparison to the AR15 asymmetrical cut.
The fire controls such as bolt catch, selector switch and magazine release are all standard milspec components. However, the trigger is something very special. It is the CMC curved 3.5 pound drop in trigger and let me tell you first hand it is the only trigger that goes in my rifles. It breaks like glass with no take up and minimal reset, just estimating maybe a 12oz reset. Once again for more information please go to www.cmctriggers.com and read the full review I did on them in November of 2013. You may also notice a beefed up charging handle. I believe it is a CORE charging handle by Good Time Out Doors made for the CORE 15 rifles, but I am not totally sure. Lastly and very important is the H2 buffer. The H2 weighs in at on overall of 4.6oz with a reciprocal weight of 3.5oz and was selected due to the gas port size, the rate of fire a seasoned efficient shooter can accomplish with the CMC trigger, the mid length gas system and trying to spread the recoil time out to reduce muzzle rise. The use of the mid length gas system was implemented to reduce recoil, plain and simple as that. The longer the barrel is the closer I want the port to the muzzle. Let me explain; on an 18” barrel with a mid-length system leaves about 8.5” from port to the end of a A2 flash hider. If we went to a carbine length gas system we would add about another 2” resulting in 10.5”. This would allow a large amount of gas to return to the bolt resulting in more recoil. This along with several other features I will touch on later will allow for faster follow up shots and less time trying to reacquire the target. Once again, SPOT ON PSD.
Now we get to the heart of this beast. The 18”, 1:8 twist, button rifling, hand lapped, two stage fluted, 410 SS, mid weight barrel. Damn that’s a mouth full. Oh!!, and did I mention the M4 feed ramps for improved feeding in case of bullet tilt. This barrel is what gives this rifle it’s accuracy. One of the last things I will mention is the VG6 Precision Gama hybrid comp/break recommended by your truly. Yet one more addition to control and mitigate the recoil and rise. For more information on the VG6 Gama go to www.vg6precision.com or read more about it at www.tacticalmilsim.com/uncategorized/the-year-of-the-gamma/. When I say they didn’t cut any corners I meant ZERO.
All of this comes wrapped up in a nice package complimented by a Magpul ACS stock to ensure a positionable and adaptable cheek weld for all shooters, MOE grip for positive control and MBUIS. I have been running this optic with a set of Diamond Head USA Polymer flip up front and rear sights and have just recently replaced those with a Leupold Mark VI 1×6 optic (a must have for any shooter).
I have put about 2000 rounds through the platform thus far and am planning on another 8000 for a total round count of 10,000 rounds to complete my review over the course of the year. Of course this is contingent upon my boss and accountant aka wife letting this happen. So if you want to help I am currently accepting ammo donations. JUST KIDDING, but seriously I’ll take it. So far PSD as delivered on what they told me to expect in the rifle and I am so happy I will be purchasing this one for my private collection. I am also working with them on possible modifications on the rifle such as including some different components like fire controls and charging handles. If they listen then great it will only get better which is going to be hard to do from where it is now. Even if they don’t then they have accomplished exactly what they set out to do; develop a multi-purpose rifle for under $2000.00, $1899.00 MSRP to be exact.
For more information go to www.palmettostatedefense.com and tell them Tactical Milsim Magazine sent you. Be safe, be responsible, train hard and be prepared.
- Hand matched, 7075-T6 forged, flat top upper & lower receivers
- Mil-spec anodized upper & lower finish
- Barrel hand-lapped to upper receiver for accuracy
- M-16 bolt carrier with properly staked gas key
- MP (Magnetic Particle) & HPT (High Pressure Tested) bolt
- M4 feed ramps
- 18″ 1:8 twist 410 SS fluted mid-weight barrel
- VG6 Precision GAMMA 556 muzzle brake
- Mid-length gas system
- Samson 15″ Evolution rail system
- MBUS flip up sights (front & rear)
- Magpul ACS stock
- CMC 3.5 lb trigger
- H2 Buffer
- Custom parts/builds available on request
- MSRP $1899
From the PSD website:
- The PSD-15 rifle is not built in a factory on an assembly line. Each rifle is hand built by skilled professionals in a precision machine shop environment in upstate South Carolina. This means that every PSD-15 rifle is built to a higher standard using the highest quality parts and materials available. We go the extra mile by adding “the little things” here and there that you normally won’t find on a standard production M4. Along with our standard rifle we also offer an MOE version (Black, FDE or OD Green) and the piston driven, SRC (suppressor ready carbine).
- Standard PSD-15 Rifles come equipped with a 1:7 twist, chrome lined barrel capable of firing bullets weighing 55 to 77 grains. Our barrels are hand lapped to the upper receiver after anodizing to remove any high spots and inconsistencies. Accuracy is dependent upon many factors such as bullet weight, powder load, rifling twist rate, operator technique, environmental conditions, etc.
- Our production barrels have achieved anywhere from .125″ to 1.5″ M.O.A.. Obviously, we would hope that every production barrel would shoot Sub-M.O.A., but with all of the above factors, we cannot guarantee a specific group size. PLEASE NOTE: Using reloaded ammunition will void warranty. Modifying chamber or barrel voids warranty. This includes re-reaming of chamber, re-turning barrel to a lesser diameter and/or rethreading barrel for compensator or attachments.