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ftierson
February 05, 2017, 01:39
About two weeks ago, I ordered a PSA 20" Rifle Length 5.56 NATO 1:7 Freedom Upper with BCG and Charging Handle (7781740) for $299.99 delivered. This has an A2 profile melonited barrel with rifle length M4 type (oval) handguards, A2 muzzle device and their premium Carpenter 158 bolt and BC. It also has an F-marked FSB.

I received it last night by UPS...

At first glance, it looked beautiful. I quickly cleaned the bore (if there's a problem with the bore, I don't want it) and the bore was very nice, with the chamber also looking good (this is the CMV barrel, not a SS one). As a matter of fact, everything looked great until I looked at the front sight tower. It was nice and straight (and not canted) and good taper pins were used to pin it on but, unfortunately, the pins were placed much too low on the FSB, one even cutting through the bottom surface of the FSB by the swivel. The front hole had not been reamed deeply enough, so the pin didn't even reach through to the far side and the other (bigger) side was sticking quite a ways out the side of the FSB. While both pins solidly locked the FSB to the barrel and would never have presented a functional problem, they looked like ass (and I don't mean that in any good way, if you catch my drift).

For me, this wasn't really a big problem since I was planning on mounting an optic (not a red dot sight) on this rifle and was planning on pulling the FSB off anyway and replacing it with a YHM steel railed gas block with bayonet lug (yeah, I know, not very practical with the bayonet lug, but I'm old and I like the look. What else can I say about that...)

So I did that today and I am very happy with the result. Having said that, I really like to do something like this because I want to do it, and not because the manufacturer 'made' me do it...

Many of you know that I am generally a fan of PSA. Hell, I have a dozen and a half of their uppers, 16 and 18 and 20 inch, SS, CMV and many FN CHF... On all of the other ones (most of which have the FSB), the taper pins are beautifully installed. As a matter of fact, PSA has done a better job of that than pretty much all of the other manufacturers that I have seen (and I've seen quite a few). I have no idea about what happened this time around.

Having said all this, I'm sure that PSA would have replaced the complete upper, but I'd have had to pay shipping back and wait (and perhaps wait some more) to get the replacement. Since I was planning on removing the FSB (tower) anyway, no real problem for me (except being irked about it all).

Whether this means that these particular barrels (with the tower) are purchased from a vendor assembled and then they put the rest together (usually they assemble all the parts inhouse), whether their quality control has slipped, or whether it's none of the above is unclear to me, but just a word of potential warning...

I also swapped out the A2 muzzle device and installed one of the Brownells five-pronged, open-ended flash suppressors, which are great flash suppressors. (They also are very hard and ring nicely when the bullet passes by, a perfect tuning fork effect... :) )

I had planned on putting an A2 rifle bullstock 'on' this, but discovered that I couldn't find any rifle buffer tubes (I have a bunch somewhere, but exactly where somewhere is isn't clear), so I slapped on a .mil M4 one with a Magpul cheapie collapsing buttstock (which I prefer to the more expensive (and involved) ones), all on an Anderson lower and finished with a RRA 2-stage match trigger (mostly because I have some at the moment, but I like them too). Should be quite a shooter, even with the somewhat rocky start... :)

Forrest

Right Side Up
February 05, 2017, 01:49
I hate to dog on people...but you have to give them a chance to make it right before you give a negative review. When you're buying budget products guess what?.....they get them from a shop someone that does them fast and cheap. How do they do them fast?...they cut the time spent on them, which includes quality control inspection. Want perfection guaranteed every time? Buy from someone that does it and charges for it.

I'm not sure this qualifies as an indictment against PSA. :whiskey:

ftierson
February 05, 2017, 01:57
I hate to dog on people...but you have to give them a chance to make it right before you give a negative review. When you're buying budget products guess what?.....they get them from a shop someone that does them fast and cheap. How do they do them fast?...they cut the time spent on them, which includes quality control inspection. Want perfection guaranteed every time? Buy from someone that does it and charges for it.

I'm not sure this qualifies as an indictment against PSA. :whiskey:

I'm not sure it was meant to be an indictment of PSA, just a statement of what happened and I think that statement was pretty clear.

But, whatever, Greg...

Forrest

Right Side Up
February 05, 2017, 03:16
Ok, I get it, everyone should stop buying from PSA so they can go out of business.

What they did is unconscionable.

hkshooter
February 05, 2017, 08:16
Shit happens, everyone knows it. If people are involved you're gonna have a problem every now and then and a one off instance isn't a reason to close the doors. That's why there are warranties.
I think Forrest just wanted to share his story and talk about his new AR a little. I'm good with that and I enjoy hearing good stories.

ftierson
February 05, 2017, 10:31
Ok, I get it, everyone should stop buying from PSA so they can go out of business.

What they did is unconscionable.

No, you don't get it, Greg, but that's on you...

Basically, what hkshooter says... :)

Forrest

John Crusher
February 05, 2017, 10:54
I've had great luck with PSA myself, but any manufacturer can have one slip by. I suspect it was just your turn. I've had mine with other manufacturers and like yours, was an easy fix. I did/have however, made sure they knew what was up as they can't fix an issue if they don't know there is one. Be sure to let them know the problem and what you did to correct it. I've even gotten goodies on occasion.

ftierson
February 05, 2017, 11:36
I've had great luck with PSA myself, but any manufacturer can have one slip by. I suspect it was just your turn. I've had mine with other manufacturers and like yours, was an easy fix. I did/have however, made sure they knew what was up as they can't fix an issue if they don't know there is one. Be sure to let them know the problem and what you did to correct it. I've even gotten goodies on occasion.

Yup...

I plan on calling them tomorrow (with luck, I might even get through, but I know that I won't on the weekend... :) ), let them know what the problem was, that they don't need to do anything to 'fix' this for me, but that they do need to make sure that this was just a one-off...

I've had great luck with PSA too and have said so many times here. I thought that I was also saying basically that here in this thread too, but, well, I guess that people see what they want to see... :)

Forrest

hueyville
February 05, 2017, 11:46
I read "have over a dozen of their uppers, been happy with all till this point, sure they would have fixed it but planned to use in different configuration so fixed it myself". My issue with PSA now is "out of stock", sales generally on very vanilla items, usually uppers, charge me sales tax in Georgia and ship slow as waiting on Christmas. Still building rifles with parts bought end of 2015. Would like to see them get some 6.8 items in stock other than Wilson high dollar barrels and Barrett high dollar magazines.

Right Side Up
February 05, 2017, 13:47
No, you don't get it, Greg, but that's on you...

Basically, what hkshooter says... :)

Forrest

The title says disappointment. Is my dictionary wrong? I don't think you "get" that cheap parts are made with cheap labor.

ftierson
February 05, 2017, 14:47
The title says disappointment. Is my dictionary wrong? I don't think you "get" that cheap parts are made with cheap labor.

No, your dictionary is correct...

What would you call what happened, joy?

Forrest

ftierson
February 05, 2017, 15:10
By the way, Greg, one last comment to you here about this...

I have never claimed that PSA uses cheap parts. As a matter of fact, I have said exactly the opposite, even in this thread. For example, they even use top quality, correct heat-treated taper pins for their FSB, while many other manufacturers who charge much more for their 'stuff' (and for which you are probably happy to pay much more for) are now using strait pins or even roll pins. The FSB on this rifle is a 38, marked BT F, a top quality item. They used a very nice Anchor Harvey upper. The barrel looks great, the FSB was just poorly pinned on...

PSA also sells rifles with the FN CHF barrels, some of the finest AR barrels in the world.

While I pointed out some disappointment I experienced receiving this item and also pointed out that I have lots of their stuff that I am very happy with, I also said that this item would work just fine for me too with my fix...

And then you dove into the pool and admonished me for bad-mouthing PSA, in the same breath saying that I should expect crap from them because they use crappy parts made with crappy labor...

Logic is not your strong suit, is it?

(That's a rhetorical question, by the way).

Forrest

John A
February 05, 2017, 15:21
I have several major faults with psa and I have stopped doing business with them altogether for it.

All stemming from my experiences with a 16" middy that had the gas port hole drilled too small (same diameter as a standard M4 car length).

This resulted in numerous fail to feeds. Short stroking, not lock the bolt back when empty.

Essentially, undergassed to death.

That wasn't the end of this story.

I tried to email them twice to get a return number.

No reply to either.

OK, they're too busy to answer emails.

I call.

3 different days, and the phone was always a busy signal.

For giggles, I call after hours once just to see if it rings.

Nope. Still a busy signal at 1AM in the morning. This tells me, the phones were left off the hook and they're not just that busy. They're that uninterested in taking calls.

I gave an honest and fair review of the item on their website product page and most all of it positive except I noted the gas port being wrong. I guess since it wasn't a gleaming 5 star review, my review never went live either.

I drilled out the gas port and fixed it myself. That's the last time I order anything from them.

yes, there will be people that says psa is great. psa is awesome. they've ordered lots of good stuff from them. And to that, I say great.

I just hope it stays that way for you because if you do have a problem, don't expect psa to be anywhere to be found because my experience tells me that it ain't happening.

And that's why I take my business elsewhere now.

ByronF
February 05, 2017, 15:34
I consider PSA stuff to be like a 99% kit. Sometimes I need to finish off the final QC but for the price I'm fine with that.

My PA10 gouged brass terribly and failed to feed quite a bit. Deburred and polished the barrel extension lugs and it runs like a raped ape now. Not bad for a $700 AR10.

Same AR10 would bind BCG against hammer once I installed a RRA NM trigger group. Beveled top of hammer and runs fine. Worked fine with mil style trigger kit but seems like BCG runs lower than some in their upper.

Received a pistol upper where the BCG would not close it let diwn slowly. Barrel nut was mis-timed sufficient so gas tube was not straight so gas key was rubbing. They arranged pickup and return, fixed just fine. Took maybe two weeks round trip.

If one has uncompromising tastes and expectations then there are manufacturers who cater to those tastes. Get out your wallet.

Right Side Up
February 05, 2017, 16:34
By the way, Greg, one last comment to you here about this...

I have never claimed that PSA uses cheap parts. As a matter of fact, I have said exactly the opposite, even in this thread. For example, they even use top quality, correct heat-treated taper pins for their FSB, while many other manufacturers who charge much more for their 'stuff' (and for which you are probably happy to pay much more for) are now using strait pins or even roll pins. The FSB on this rifle is a 38, marked BT F, a top quality item. They used a very nice Anchor Harvey upper. The barrel looks great, the FSB was just poorly pinned on...

PSA also sells rifles with the FN CHF barrels, some of the finest AR barrels in the world.

While I pointed out some disappointment I experienced receiving this item and also pointed out that I have lots of their stuff that I am very happy with, I also said that this item would work just fine for me too with my fix...

And then you dove into the pool and admonished me for bad-mouthing PSA, in the same breath saying that I should expect crap from them because they use crappy parts made with crappy labor...

Logic is not your strong suit, is it?

(That's a rhetorical question, by the way).

Forrest

I see this all the time in the performance industry. Guys put together an engine with the cheapest parts on sale then write 4 paragraph negative reviews about how they basically got screwed.

Trypcil
February 05, 2017, 16:49
I see your point Ft' - always cheque your stuff, take nothing for granted, even the good guys mess up once in a while.

rowjimmy
February 05, 2017, 17:11
By the way, Greg, one last comment to you here about this...

I have never claimed that PSA uses cheap parts. As a matter of fact, I have said exactly the opposite, even in this thread. For example, they even use top quality, correct heat-treated taper pins for their FSB, while many other manufacturers who charge much more for their 'stuff' (and for which you are probably happy to pay much more for) are now using strait pins or even roll pins. The FSB on this rifle is a 38, marked BT F, a top quality item. They used a very nice Anchor Harvey upper. The barrel looks great, the FSB was just poorly pinned on...

PSA also sells rifles with the FN CHF barrels, some of the finest AR barrels in the world.

While I pointed out some disappointment I experienced receiving this item and also pointed out that I have lots of their stuff that I am very happy with, I also said that this item would work just fine for me too with my fix...

And then you dove into the pool and admonished me for bad-mouthing PSA, in the same breath saying that I should expect crap from them because they use crappy parts made with crappy labor...

Logic is not your strong suit, is it?

(That's a rhetorical question, by the way).

Forrest

I see this all the time in the performance industry. Guys put together an engine with the cheapest parts on sale then write 4 paragraph negative reviews about how they basically got screwed.


Are you trolling Forest? Because either:

a) You are an idiot who struggles with reading comprehension

or

b) You're intentionally ignoring what he's actually saying and pretending he's saying something else.

I'll give you the benefit of the doubt here and assume it's b.

Right Side Up
February 05, 2017, 18:05
LOL, I'm not trying to troll Forrest. I think he's a great guy. It just struck me as odd that he found a flaw with something he bought and instead of giving the company an opportunity to make him whole he posts a negative review. That's not how business should go.

I'm not taking up for PSA, I only bought from them once and it took so long to get the part I'd forgotten I ordered it.

Sorry Forrest for posting on your thread. I started to just roll my eyes and hit the back button, should have in hindsight.

rowjimmy
February 05, 2017, 18:38
LOL, I'm not trying to troll Forrest. I think he's a great guy. It just struck me as odd that he found a flaw with something he bought and instead of giving the company an opportunity to make him whole he posts a negative review. That's not how business should go.

I'm not taking up for PSA, I only bought from them once and it took so long to get the part I'd forgotten I ordered it.

Sorry Forrest for posting on your thread. I started to just roll my eyes and hit the back button, should have in hindsight.

Well, the way I read it was:

It wasn't a big deal, just a QC issue that resulted in something another buyer should watch for in case it was pervasive.

He knew they would have taken care of it, but he didn't want to deal with the added hassle of paying return shipping on something he was going to change anyway. Had he wanted the rifle in the purchased configuration, he might have opted to pay return shipping and let them correct it, or maybe not.

To me, it seemed he was saying, "Man, all the stuff I've purchased from PSA and this was the firs time I wasn't completely satisfied, but it wasn't that big of a deal."

Now, had he railed against PSA without giving them the opportunity to make it right, I could see your point, but that doesn't seem to be what he was doing.

Funny how we read the same post quite differently.

ftierson
February 05, 2017, 20:19
Funny how we read the same post quite differently.

Boy, ain't that the truth... :)

Having said that, I also understand where Greg is coming from here. While I do think that he completely misinterpreted what I was saying about PSA, I too have seen far too many examples of exactly what Greg is talking about, customers bad-mouthing a company for the problems they've created for themselves by buying crappy parts or using crappy assembly techniques. After seeing such things often enough, we begin to get what can be overly sensitive to such situations. Then again, if that's actually what's happening, 'overly sensitive' is not the correct term, is it? :)

Later...

Forrest

MAINER
February 06, 2017, 09:04
Forrest, it sounds like you got a heck of a deal on that upper.. At worst, they buggered the FSB?

Except for the slow shipping that I expect from PSA, I've had good luck with their stuff, especially what they call "premium". I stay away from PTAC and still not sure what "freedom" means exactly.

I wish I had caught that deal, just so we could compare notes an all, ya understand. :tongue:

hueyville
February 06, 2017, 09:22
Have only ordered one assembled upper in my life as the upper is my favorite part of the build. Only reason I did was PSA had a complete upper with CHF Premium barrel in length wanted with premium bolt and charging handle on "daily deal" for less than price of just the barrel. Got a complete built upper for $199 with all premium parts. Only time ever saw a complete premium upper that cheap. Would buy one a week like that. Currently gone longest can remember without a Palmetto order. Always out of stock, overpriced or sales tax combined with shipping cost added to slow shipping and buying elsewhere. Cannot figure out why charging sales tax in Georgia and can't ever get anyone on the phone. Have 5 items in Palmetto cart currently all showing out of stock.

ftierson
February 06, 2017, 21:27
Well, I gave PSA a call this morning to let them know about the potential FSB pin problem with this item.

I called twice, first on the phone for 15 minutes listening to the in-queue musak and the "We really value you as a customer which is why we don't hire anyone to answer the phone when you call" message (I may be misquoting slightly in my paraphrasing of it, but I wasn't really listening very carefully). Then I hung up...

Then, since I was sitting playing keyboard commando on the files anyway, I decided to see how long (or, even, if at all) it would take for someone to answer. So I set my cordless phone down close enough to hear when something changed and, right around 42 minutes, someone answered...

So I was able to pass on my message saying that I didn't need them to 'fix' my problem but that they needed to check their production line for these barrels (he did admit that they installed the FSB there inhouse and didn't purchase them already assembled) and make sure that they didn't have a systemic problem with them. It actually sounded like he was taking down the info and that he cared about passing it on. Since that's probably exactly his job (making it seem like he cared), well, I'll cut him some slack anyway and assume that he really did...

Anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking to it...

Forrest

rowjimmy
February 06, 2017, 21:36
Well, I gave PSA a call this morning to let them know about the potential FSB pin problem with this item.

I called twice, first on the phone for 15 minutes listening to the in-queue musak and the "We really value you as a customer which is why we don't hire anyone to answer the phone when you call" message (I may be misquoting slightly in my paraphrasing of it, but I wasn't really listening very carefully). Then I hung up...

Then, since I was sitting playing keyboard commando on the files anyway, I decided to see how long (or, even, if at all) it would take for someone to answer. So I set my cordless phone down close enough to hear when something changed and, right around 42 minutes, someone answered...

So I was able to pass on my message saying that I didn't need them to 'fix' my problem but that they needed to check their production line for these barrels (he did admit that they installed the FSB there inhouse and didn't purchase them already assembled) and make sure that they didn't have a systemic problem with them. It actually sounded like he was taking down the info and that he cared about passing it on. Since that's probably exactly his job (making it seem like he cared), well, I'll cut him some slack anyway and assume that he really did...

Anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking to it...

Forrest

You sound a little more cynical and jaded in this post ... they need to change their queue muzak to cool jazz or something. :wink:

ftierson
February 06, 2017, 23:00
You sound a little more cynical and jaded in this post ... they need to change their queue muzak to cool jazz or something. :wink:

I was hoping for heavy metal, but it's so rarely used for this purpose... :)

Forrest

jhend170
February 07, 2017, 09:49
I guess we need to start asking what day something was built like we did about cars years ago. Don't want that Monday or Friday car. I'm guessing the same applies to AR uppers. I'm guessing you got a "Monday" Forrest.

On the upside you were the right guy to get that particular piece. You had no intention of leaving it as it was anyway, and the end product is the same no matter what. Sounds like the perfect resolution for everyone, and PSA has been alerted that there may be more "Monday" or "Friday" units out there.

ftierson
February 07, 2017, 12:40
I guess we need to start asking what day something was built like we did about cars years ago. Don't want that Monday or Friday car. I'm guessing the same applies to AR uppers. I'm guessing you got a "Monday" Forrest.

You never know about this kind of stuff, do you? In the old Soviet Union, there was the end of month problem. Since factories were 'given' production quotas (which were usually overly optimistic), if you were running behind towards the end of the month (which always happened), you just threw stuff together, whether it worked or not, to meet the quota. Since the production time was listed on products, consumers learned to avoid buying the end-of-month stuff...

On the upside you were the right guy to get that particular piece. You had no intention of leaving it as it was anyway, and the end product is the same no matter what. Sounds like the perfect resolution for everyone, and PSA has been alerted that there may be more "Monday" or "Friday" units out there.

About sums it up...

Forrest

hueyville
February 07, 2017, 16:32
Had same health insurance policy since 1985 till this year. Made it through first Nobamacare chopping block as grandfathered and had over seven years. June of 2016 got a letter saying Blue Cross/Blue Shield could no longer provide my insurance as Nobamacare mandated all insurance policies be gender neutral and since my policy did not offer any gynecological care or pregnancy coverage they could no longer sell that product. Called to get a new plan and BC/BS of GA said decided not to sell any individual plans in Georgia in 2017 just corporate and government plans. Appreciate your business past 32 years but we are getting out of Dodge while the getting is good. Have one little issue with new policy and every time I call message says due to high number of calls expect a 30 minute minimum wait. Twice had nothing better to do, turned on speaker phone or hands free device and kept on doing what needed to do. Waited 47 minutes first try, over an hour second. Turned question over to agent who said would handle it but expect a couple weeks as first of year rule changes have everyone overwhelmed.

To get this on topic yesterday was twisting up my new subsonic dedicated 6.8 build and went into the the "gun room" here at work. (every man needs a gun room at home and work) looking for some parts. Kept digging and found an unopened box with date of postage January 2016 from Palmetto. Inside were four 5.56 premium bolt carrier groups, two 6.8 nickle boron complete carrier groups (don't think they carry them anymore) half dozen of their enhansed polished fire control groups, Magpull stocks/grips/trigger guards, bunch of mixed weight buffers, six milspec buffer tubes, three "blem" uppers and three barrels plus dozens of other small parts including two of the ambidextrous safeties I have in cart marked "as out of inventory".

Ended up opening all the boxes which found more uppers, stocks, small parts, barrels and one particularly heavy wooden crate had 1,600 rounds of steel core 7.62x39 combloc ammo. With the two barrels that came in this week its enough parts to start almost another dozen builds using lowers from the safe I stuffed full when getting blems from $20 to $40 each. Only issue is going to have to buy a lot of free float handguards and low profile adjustable gas blocks. Wonder if the wife will notice another vault in the basement? My biggest issue now is its easy to stash the receivers in medium and small safes, the rest is just hardware. Once assembled they are rifles and need proper storage. Have four FAL/L1a1 kits not been motivated on for same reason. No vault space left. Maybe another vault at work and just delay the having to explain a new safe that magically filled itself. Again...

ftierson
February 09, 2017, 15:27
Forrest, it sounds like you got a heck of a deal on that upper.. At worst, they buggered the FSB?

Except for the slow shipping that I expect from PSA, I've had good luck with their stuff, especially what they call "premium". I stay away from PTAC and still not sure what "freedom" means exactly.

I wish I had caught that deal, just so we could compare notes an all, ya understand. :tongue:

When I checked the PSA website this morning, they had this item in stock again. I was going to link it for you but, when I checked before doing so a few minutes ago, well, not in stock again...

If you really do want it, just check the website. It'll probably be back in soon...

And it is a very nice upper, even with the 'problem' I mentioned... :)

Forrest

ftierson
February 10, 2017, 12:09
When I checked the PSA website this morning, they had this item in stock again. I was going to link it for you but, when I checked before doing so a few minutes ago, well, not in stock again...

If you really do want it, just check the website. It'll probably be back in soon...

And it is a very nice upper, even with the 'problem' I mentioned... :)



Back in stock at the moment if interested...

http://palmettostatearmory.com/psa-20-rifle-length-5-56-nato-1-7-upper-with-bcg-and-charging-handle-1.html

Forrest

Bug Tussell
February 10, 2017, 12:41
I've had good products from PSA since I shifted to them from Rock River Arms (which was a shift from Bushmaster, which was a shift from Colt).

I imagine that as PSA becomes as competitive as the current AR market demands, trying to gain some efficiencies would entail inhouse assembly (which I thought they were already doing) and that some error would occur.
The key would be how they react to a reported error.

I expect PSA will fix this problem.

ftierson
May 21, 2017, 13:09
Well, after starting this thread, I thought that it was only fair to revisit it briefly now.

I have ordered several things from PSA since I started this thread (including browning BPR .22LR ammo and numerous LPKs and misc stuff, but also including a couple of their assembled uppers). This includes one of their 16in mid-length SS 1/7 complete uppers (including their 'premium' BCG and CH) for $250 shipped and the same item without the BCG for $170 shipped (and the quality of which, for both, has already been 'proven' to me).

I'm happy to report that the front sight towers on both of these uppers were beautifully pinned, just like the earlier versions of these that I have received.

Just sayin'...

Forrest

Seaweed
May 21, 2017, 14:39
Most of us here want value for our money. We get that from PSA. If we want guaranteed perfection, we go elsewhere. We are used to nearly perfect (or at least good enough for our skills) products from PSA. It seems rare to get something from them that needs rework.

PSA needs to be told their product has issues; how else can they improve their quality?