Thursday, March 6, 2014

PSA 14.7" CHF CL Mid-Length Upper

[Click on image to enlarge]

Received my Palmetto State Armory 14.7" CHF mid-length light weight upper with a pinned flashed hider this past weekend and it looks good. It took about a month after ordering to receive it. It was well packaged and there were no blemishes (it was a non blem) or visible abnormalities upon opening and inspecting. The interior of the upper and the BCG were bone dry (explained later). 

PSA's description:

Kit includes a PSA 14.7" Hammer-Forged, Chrome-Lined, Mid-Length Light Weight Barrel, BCG, charging handle and our Classic Lower Build Kit (not pictured).

Barrel: A proprietary blend of Hammer forged chrome molly vanadium made by FN that is referred to as "Machine Gun Steel" by virtue of its use in FN's M249 and M240 weapons. The hammer forging process work hardens the steel, making it more durable. In addition, the chrome process for the bore allows for a lining almost twice as thick as a standard M16 for enhanced durability. Chambered in 5.56 NATO, with a 1/7 twist, M4 barrel extension, and a mid-length gas system. The special A2 light profile barrel allows for better balance and portability over the standard A2 profile and is Mil-spec phosphate coated. Barrel is High Pressure tested, and Magnetic Particle inspected, to ensure quality and dependability, and is finished off with an F-marked front sight post with sling swivel, standard hand guards and a pinned and welded A2 flash hider. The pinning and welding is makes the flash hider a permanent part of the barrel which brings it to the legal length.

Upper: Forged 7075-T6 A3 AR upper is made to MIL-SPECS and hard coat anodized black for durability. Featuring machined T marks, and a mil-spec finish. These uppers are made for us right here in the USA by a mil-spec manufacturer.Bolt: Bolt is made of Mil-spec shot-peened Carpenter 158 steel. Gas key is secured with grade 8 fasteners and staked per mil-spec. Bolt carrier is parkerized outside, chrome lined inside.Each upper is assembled to order with care and test fired.

Now for some pics. 

Profile pic of the PSA/FN mid-length light weight barrel. The upper, with the BCG and CH installed, weighs close to 4 lbs. 

The roll mark on the barrel. 

The pin and weld job on the FH to comply with Federal laws.

Disassembled Upper.  Anchor Harvey raw forge split 'A' marked (behind the shell deflector) with a small PSA laser etch, white fill logo on the opposite side of the upper receiver.

Bolt face. Residue from test fire still visible.

MPI test mark. I stripped the bolt down and everything looked GTG.

Feedramps look clean, no issues there.

And for the topic of debate, the "gray matter" (Breaking Bad, anyone?) on the interior of the receiver. There was some speculation that this section was somehow missed during the anodizing process, which cannot be possible, as the entire part is submerged. Some have stated it is a dry lube application, yet on some forum somewhere, I read that a PSA rep stated that nothing is applied to the interior of their receivers. However, this upper was test fired and arrived bone dry, therefore, I would like to believe that the gray residue is dry lube.

I applied some Hoppes 9 to the "gray matter" and it started to slowly rub off. However, I did not attempt to remove it, because if it is in fact dry lube, it's something I would rather leave on the interior surface of my receiver. As with all new uppers, I always apply a coat of CLP and wipe everything down as part of the initial inspection. The reason some parts look "wet" in some of the pics is from the CLP application, otherwise, as previously noted, the upper was dry. I'm sure once I get some rounds downrange it'll become apparent whether or not the entire upper was completely anodized. Will update once that happens and I can stop speculating. 

EDIT: I have taken this upper out twice now, with about 100 rnds down the pipe, and it is definitely anodized on the interior. The black anodized layer is slowly being revealed as the gray dry lube (which I still assume it is) rubs off due to the travel of the BCG. No problems here.

Final notes. PSA, love em or hate em, they deliver, though it may take months and many headaches for some, but post Sandy Hook, absolute mayhem, $100 pmags etc... and they took it in stride. I have had issues with them myself, but they have always made good, at least, once you get a hold of a representative. And those reps have never thrown down BS attitudes like many other vendors that shall remain nameless (as we all know who they are) have. All that said, this is a great upper at an unbeatable price.

Lastly, I am currently butchering this upper to get a Fortis 12" rail mounted. Was actually working on that earlier tonite after I got home from work and I hope to post that soon too!

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