Rocking 500 Yards with the PSL

The PSL is little more than a Romanian made over-sized AK chambered in 7.62x54R. Often times confused with the Russian SVD “Dragunov” rifle, the PSL is a completely different beast. Aside from a casual external resemblance, the PSL is nothing like the highly sought after Russian long range rifle.
The PSL looks like a “sniper rifle” and is employed as such by various groups such as insurgents, but when compared to rifles like the SVD, or especially to modern western designs like the M24 or AX, the PSL really is little more than a scoped designated marksman rifle capable of marginal long range accuracy. Well, that’s what we’ve been told anyway.
While I won’t argue that the PSL is capable of extreme accuracy, I will say the rifle is capable of respectable accuracy out to 500 or even 600 yards in my experience. The 10 shot group below was fired this past weekend at Young’s Long Shot 1000 yard range using a Romanian built PSL with a factory LPS 4×6 TIP2 scope and Russian 148gr “light ball” ammo. Two rounds in the upper right corner landed practically on top of each other in a surprisingly tight 5 shot group. This is standard service grade ammo and is not considered to be “match” ammo.

AK 500 yards
The group is right at 2 MOA which is surprisingly accurate given the nature of such informal shooting using a modest 4x power sight and service grade ammo. Interestingly, I seem to shoot the PSL at extended ranges better than I do at 100 yards.
There was a time when these rifles were very affordable, but that has changed over time. Today they hover around the $1k price range for an original Romanian built rifle. Keep in mind that there are US built rifles out there as well which use a hodgepodge of Romanian and US parts. Recently I’ve seen the Romanian rifles re-appear at my local gun shop after a long hiatus. I was concerned that they were gone forever from the US market given the recent political climate so I’m glad to see them returning to the racks.
At $1k or more, I can’t say they’re a good value if you’re looking for a precision long range rifle. There are far better choices out there if shooting small groups at extended ranges is your goal. However, if you’re looking for military classic that’s capable of respectable accuracy and is an absolute blast to shoot with affordable surplus ammo you might want to snatch up one of the recent imports.


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