PSA KS-47 7.62x39mm Pistol: Overview and Ballistics Comparison

When I saw the KS-47 Pistol from Palmetto State Armory, I thought to myself “now that looks fun!”. After some hands-on time with this 7.62x29mm pistol, I can say it’s a lot more than just fun! In this article I’ll give an overview of the KS-47 platform, give a guided tour of the 8.5″ pistol (also available as a 16″ carbine), reflect on shooting suppressed, evaluate the trigger, and compare ballistics with my 16″ AK Carbine. Let’s get to it!

KS-47 8.5″ 7.62x39mm Pistol Overview

From the Palmetto State Armory product page:

The Palmetto State Armory KS-47 G2 is based on the AR-15 and combines the modular construction, accuracy, and precision of the AR platform with the stopping power and the magazine options of the AK.  The KS-47 G2 lets the AK shooter capitalize on their inventory of AK magazines and AK ammo with an AR-style platform. Unlike the AK, where the barrel is permanently pressed into the receiver, the KS-47 G2 features an AR-style modular configuration which consists of a barreled upper receiver, and a lower receiver that houses the fire control group and magazine. The modular configuration allows customers to have several different barrel configurations with one lower receiver, just by releasing two pins.

PSA Gen2 KS-47 8.5″ Pistol-Length 7.62×39 Nitride 7″ Lightweight M-Lok MOE EPT SBA3 Pistol

Barrel Length: 8.5″
Barrel Profile: Heavy
Barrel Steel: 4150
Barrel Finish: Nitride
Chrome Lining: No
Muzzle Thread: 5/8-24
Chamber: 7.62x39mm
Twist Rate: 1 in 10″
Barrel Extension: KS47 Gen2 Single-Large Feed Ramp
Gas System Length: Pistol-Length
Diameter at Gas Block: .750″
Gas Block Type: Low Profile
Muzzle Device: A2-Style
Receiver Material: Forged 7075 T6
Receiver Type: KS-47
Handguard Type: PSA 7″ Lightweight M-Lok Free Float Rail
Bolt Steel: 9310
Bolt Carrier Profile: Semi-Auto
Fire Control Group: PSA Enhanced Polished Trigger (EPT)
Grip: Magpul Grip, Black
Brace: SBA3 Adjustable Pistol Brace 
Buffer Tube Length: Carbine
Buffer Tube Diameter: Mil-spec

TriggerScan Analysis: PSA EPT (Enhanced Polished Trigger)

The KS-47 includes what Palmetto State Armory calls the “EPT” (Enhanced Polished Trigger).

From the Palmetto State Armory EPT product page:

PSA AR15/PA10 Enhanced Polished Trigger

SKU: 507797
UPC: 507797
MFR#: 507797

We start with our standard single-stage government-style fire control group,  finely polish the contact surfaces and then coat the hammer and trigger in a super slick nickel finish.   The result is a trigger that is substantially smoother than mil-spec.  A great economical upgrade.

Here’s the KS-47 on the TriggerScan TS-11 trigger profiling instrument:

As I always do, I ran three consecutive TriggerScan passes, and produced the following results:

And here’s the results:

What’s amazing about the EPT is how affordable it is- it’s available as a stand-alone parts kit for around $30.00. Considering how consistently this trigger performs, I’d say that’s a heck of a deal! 5.0 lb peak force is perfect for a run-n-gun type configuration where a medium trigger pull weight is desired.

Test Shooting Scenarios

For shooting scenarios, I decided to focus on reliability, ballistic performance, and suppressed scenarios. Here’s a summary of what I did with the rifle:

  • Installed Nikon red dot sight, performed quick sight-in
  • Break-in
  • Function testing with a few different magazines (Magpul PMAG 10 and PMAG 30, generic steel 30 round AK magazine)
  • Function testing with three types of ammunition
  • Ballistics testing: KS-47 -vs- 16″ AK carbine

I did not do any accuracy testing as I plan to include this KS-47 in an upcoming series comparing various 7.62x39mm rifles with each other.

The KS-47 functioned 100% with no malfunctions whatsoever. This included three different magazines, three types of ammunition, and three types of ammunition. This also included shooting with the included flash hider, and my SilencerCo Hybrid suppressor. Shooting the KS-47 Suppressed is AWESOME! The form-factor is great, and it’s really nice to hear the steel ring loud compared to the muzzle blast. I’m sold!

Ammunition Tests and Ballistics

For ammunition, I selected three types of factory 7.62x39mm ammunition. I feel these selections cover most common applications for 7.62x39mm.

TUL-AMMO 122 grain FMJ (economy)

I wanted to include some “typical” steel-cased blasting ammo in this testing because that’s why a lot of people like 7.62x39mm rifles: affordable ammo with the “punch” of a 30 caliber projectile.

Federal Power-Shok 123 grain Soft-Point (premium)

I know a lot of people that hunt with 7.62x39mm in various rifle platforms. So I thought it would be a good idea to include some premium hunting ammunition that would be suitable for things like coyote or deer hunting. Federal Power-Shok 123 grain soft point ammunition fits the bill nicely, and has boxer-primed brass cases, so it’s great for reloading as well.

Federal American Eagle 124 grain FMJ (premium)

Federal American Eagle bridges the gap between the TUL-AMMO and Power-Shok ammo I used for testing: this 124 grain FMJ ammo is brass-cased, and has a general-purpose 124 grain projectile.

For each type of ammo, I shot 5-shots through the KS-47, and 5 shots through my 16″ N-PAP AK style carbine. I used my Caldwell G2 Chronograph to collect velocity data for each test string. Here’s the roll-up data from these tests:

What’s interesting here is how the 8.5″ barrel in the KS-47 attained an average of 92.65% of the velocity produced by the 16″ AK Carbine. That’s closer than I would have thought. And that means that this pistol is more practical ballistically than most people would think.

And here’s the data visualized as a bar chart:


I have taken a liking to my KS-47 8.5″ AR-Hybrid 7.62x39mm pistol. It’s compact, powerful, and a great balance between fun and practicality. Here’s some pros and cons:

KS-47  Pros

  • Price: ~$700 for a rifle like this is a deal
  • Compact form-factor
  • Near-carbine ballistic performance
  • AK magazine compatibility
  • Value: great quality and features at this price-point
  • PSA EPT Trigger
  • SBA-3 brace, versatility

KS-47  Cons

  • Proprietary upper and lower
  • No magazine catch (personal preference)
  • Not compatible with one-piece drop-in triggers (see PSA product page for more details)
  • Not compatible with all AK magazines (see PSA product page for more details)

Get Yours

If you are interested in a PSA KS-47, the best place to get one is via the Palmetto State Armory website:

All KS-47 Models at Palmetto State Armory

Here’s the KS-47 8.5″ pistol covered in this article:

And here’s the 16″ carbine version:

Do you have a KS-47? I’d love to hear your experiences! Stay tuned for a LOT more 7.62x39mm content in 2020 here on Ultimate Reloader!

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7 thoughts on “PSA KS-47 7.62x39mm Pistol: Overview and Ballistics Comparison”

  1. Got no problems with the round. As for proprietary configuration, I see no reason to complicate things when you just don’t have to. Biggest negative for me is the quality of Palmetto State Armory. I purchased a PSA upper assembly in 300BLK (8”) that included a lower parts kit. Also purchased their least expensive AR-15 lower. Fit between upper and lower had so much slop that in tilting the firearm you see and feel the weight of the upper fall to the side. Not the usual amount of slop, but excess! I called PSA and also sent short video clip of concern. They’re reply to me was that upper to lower fit was within their specs. Of course they would not tell me what their spec was. Be forewarned if you purchase one of their AR-15 lowers for $40.00 you will likely receive a receiver with specs that are at the extreme allowed by mil spec standards.
    A neighbor asked for help putting together a similar build with same lower and he had the same excess slop.
    As a volunteer SRO I have seen a shooter with a PSA AR-10 with an excellent upper to lower receiver fit. Sadly that’s not my experience. So if it goes bang, don’t bother to contact PSA for help.

  2. I found this review very interesting. I have owned an AK-47 in a Norinco and found the accuracy dismal, but super fun to shot. I sold the AK and bought a Colt AR-15 in this cartridge and loved it except the upper carry handle was fixed. My buddy talked me out of this gun(he is a collector). So recently, I bought a POF AR-15 in this cartridge. Holy cow is it accurate with the right ammo. It likes HP, not sure why. The other range rats could not believe it, when my son hit a 500 yard gong with it. I think most people ignore the cartridge. I also think its crazy a 8.5″ barrel retains so much velocity. My next step is to reload it for some accuracy. I have also bought a Gemtech silencer for it, and would like to shoot some subsonic ammo, whenever my silencer gets approved through BATFE:(. Maybe you could do a review on how to reload subsonic ammo, as I have never tried reloading subsonic even though I have been reloading for 18 years.

  3. Hi! The version in the photos appears to the the 10.5″ barreled one – are those stock photos, or is that your pistol? I have the 8.5″ version and like it a lot, though had the 10.5 been in stock when I was shopping, I probably would have purchased it instead. I was particularly interested to see the information in the EPT.

  4. I agree with Peter. 10.5″. I have a Gen2 10.5″ It’s easy to tell. There are only 2 MLok slots on a 8.5″ and 3 on a 10.5″ Also your ballistic data matches 10.5″ I own over 60 AR, AK, VZ58, and galil firearms. The pictures are 10.5″

  5. I have the 10.5 inch Gen-2 KS47/ SB Tactical Arm Brace.
    1st, Love this rifle….100% Reliability !
    2nd, Surprised at its accuracy. I purchased a new barrel for it…planning on a 12.5 inch barrel for accuracy and improved velocity….but after 1000 rounds with the 10.5 inch barrel…..I am so impressed with the accuracy that I no longer have plans to change it.
    3rd. Learning Lessons: You have to learn a “modified” Manual of Arms with this as it requires just a little different operation with each magazine change. Each time you change a magazine….it requires pulling that Charging Handle. Since the KS-47 uses a .308 Buffer Spring and a heavy Buffer…..Performing “reloading drills” is a workout! I bought a large handle charging handle to help reloads…and the charging handle broke between 250 & 300 reloads. Yes that recoil spring is HEAVIER than the typical AR spring…..but it gets much smoother as it gets broken in.
    4th. Yes the KS-47 Will reliably operate with almost any AK mag…..BUT ! ! …be cautioned if you are “Running” this gun aggressively..knocking out the empty magazines and firmly reloading a new one…..two things will be happening: 1; Russian surplus mags have a sheet metal “bottom plate” on the mag. When you use the new mag to “ Knock” the empty mag clear of the gun….the empty mag will pivot forward and that sheet metal bottom plate will inflict a tiny gouge into the bottom of the aluminum handguard . After many magazine changes….you will have a noticeable area chewed up from those magazine base plates…where they are bouncing off of the handguard. Solution to this is to mount a grip panel there to sacrifice the blade like strikes from the mags. Cheap to replace that grip panel when it’s ugly.
    2nd Thing on the AK mags; Again if you are aggressively performing reloads with STEEL surplus magazines…those steel magazines will begin cutting into the “over-insertion” tabs inside the upper receiver. The hard steel easily chews away at the soft aluminum of the receiver. Solution: limit your magazines to synthetic mags like MagPull or any of the Eastern European military surplus POLYMER mags. Those won’t hurt your receiver….but still be careful of those bottom plates….or just don’t Knock the mags out…clearing the mag from the gun by hand is just as quick
    I run this little gun hard with a Liberty Mystic Suppressor on it. It takes a little more work….but the KS-47 has become my Go-To gun for almost everything. Ammo for it is plentiful and inexpensive….even during this pandemic. It does everything my 5.56 AR does…but it packs more punch, using the cheapest ammo that is widely available..

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