One thing is abundantly clear – Palmetto State Armory is hell-bent on arming the American people in as many ways possible. Ranging from budget-minded AR kits and complete rifles to jumping into the AK game with both feet and now bringing out a solid polymer handgun, PSA is crushing not just the market but the opponents of an armed civilian populace. They’re so committed to the cause they even decided to bring a steel case ammo factory to the US as a big middle finger to the Biden regime and corrupt US State Department. A big part of this is their building a modern AK that is every bit the rival of its Russian-made counterparts, with the 104 being among the best of the designs.

Mag change with PSA GF3. Been running this one for nearly two years now with zero complaints.

The team down in SC really like the AK platform, diligently working to make not just another domestically produced AK, which as the Kalash community knows has been dicey at best, but make the best AK possible in any market. When they decided to build their version of the current AK-100 series AKs here in the US, many were skeptical. They got the AKM right with the GF3, even incorporating features normally found on Arsenal or custom builds at a lower price point and more common availability. [ check out my review of the PSA GF3 ]  Their incarnation of the 100 series is slightly different than the Kalashnikov Concern 100 series; namely, the bolt is a standard AKM pattern (versus the smaller diameter stem of the 74 which Izhmash uses for the entire line) and the barrels are produced by FN, meaning that the operator is getting perhaps the best barrel ever offered in the AK platform. Having a lot of experience with FN barrels both in the M4A1, several of my own weapons, the 240B and M249, I can say they are the very best.

AK-104 bolt carrier group, standard, robust AK pattern.

The decision to keep the 100 series action in line with the AKM series weapons was one criticized in collector’s corners of the internet, lamenting that it wasn’t a ‘true’ AK-100; they’re right. This one is better. The difference between the AKM and the AK-74 and in turn, the 100 series is a small stem of the bolt seating into the bolt carrier. The reason the small stem was kept in the 100 series by Izhmash is simple, they were already mass producing the 74 and the smaller stem reduced weight, although a larger bolt stem, true to the original design, makes more logical sense when stepping up to the 7.62×39.

This weapon reviewed is the AK-104; a more compact version of the AK-103 with an integrated front sight and gas block. The 104 (and 105 in 5.45) was designed as a replacement for the AKSU-74, which was too short for effective use of the 5.45×39 – a problem the 7.62×39 does not suffer with shortened barrels. The AMD-65’s prevalence and favored use in Afghanistan, where I came to appreciate its attributes, no doubt would have an impact on the decision to put this little carbine into production. I’m glad they did.

100m group from rifle-stocked 104, prone unsupported, open sights.

100m group AK-104 pistol, prone unsupported, open sights. One flier to the left was my error.

In reviewing this weapon one was supplied by Palmetto State Armory and another in pistol form was purchased by me as a control. Both proved to be boring – smooth, reliable, and accurate. Typical example of a well-built Kalashnikov. Rivet work, smoothness of the action, even down to the recoil impulse, everything about both of these 104s gets a go. There’s not a lot else you can say about it; its a Kalashnikov, in what is, at least in my opinion, the best expression of the platform. This has quickly become my go-to weapon due to its lightweight, handy nature and higher intermediate terminal performance. I plan on putting and Ultimak and Holosun on them in the very near future.

Get one.