A fairly common and standard civilian AK on a somewhat cluttered market. Generally the Romanian WASR rifles are at the low-end, overshadowed by brands like Arsenal and specialty companies like Krebs Custom and Piece of History. I wish I could say these were cheap alternatives. What used to be a $500-$650 rifle has ballooned in price to $900+ with all the panic buying.
Custom PSL Standard Romanian military PSL rifles only have wood furniture. A U.S company produces a black polymer set that also mimics the SVD Dragunov stock, mostly because it uses modified SVD stocks. That was for the early models, I’m not sure if they use their own molds now. When I had that stock set for my first PSL, it had Russian markings on the bottom.
PSL An Afghan National Army soldier provides security at an observation post in Ghazni province, Afghanistan, Nov. 25, 2012. (DoD photo by Staff Sgt. Nicolas Morales, U.S. Army/Released)
Romanian SAR-2 These rifles share no relation to the Springfield Armory imported SAR rifles. There were 3 SAR AK rifles; the 1 (7.62x39), 2 (5.45x39) and 3 (5.56x45). Aside from the receiver markings, unlike the more common WASR rifles, the SAR has the magazine well dimples. Note that this one does not have a flash hider.
Romanian PSL-54 These rifles never had a factory issued bipod as far as I’m aware of. This one just has a cheap aftermarket clamp on version. Note that the bayonet lug is completely missing. Usually the lug would still be there but the “ears” would be shaved off to prevent proper lockup with the bayonet. You can barely see it but this rifle also has two of the rather uncommon 5-round mags. A standard PSL mag has a large “X” across the mag body but these have been cut in half so they can be legally used for hunting in some states. I think it was Inter-Ordnance and TGI that offered/sold these 5-rounders.
Romanian AES-10B Maybe a bit excessive with the POSP scope but I like the look on this rifle. Has an aftermarket metal vented upper handguard. Now I kind of want to buy one…
Romanian AES-10B The heavier barreled civilian version the Romanian RPK. Note that this one has the side-folding wire stock. Some of the rifles were sold off under the distinction of being “Paratrooper” models. This is my favorite configuration of the AES-10B. It has a Bulgarian 40 round “bullet” mag, nicknamed for the exterior bullet silhouettes along the mag body.
Custom Romanian PSL The original wooden stock was replaced on this one, instead an ATI Dragunov-style polymer stock was added. It does have the benefit of a better cheek weld and longer length of pull but it just doesn’t look right. From an aesthetic standpoint, I always found it ugly when a rifle’s pistol grip is longer than the magazine.
Romanian AES-10 This is the less common civilian RPK version. The AES-10 has a much thinner barrel when compared to the AES-10B. The gas blocks also differ. The bonus of a thin barrel is that the rifle weighs less. The downside is that you have more barrel flex and overheating in much fewer rounds. Even for semi-autos barrel heat tends to affect accuracy but it’s an AK/RPK; it isn’t a surgical sniping tool so it’s not a major problem for a rifle relegated to plinking at the range.
Inter-Ordnance SSG-97 That was the name that IO labeled their Romanian PSL rifles as. This one is rather unique and rare, it’s one of the few 7.62x51/.308 models. Normally they have a transparent polymer magazine, but this one has a modified Saiga .308 mag. IO supposedly requested the Cugir Factory in Romania for a small batch of .308 chambered PSL’s. Not sure how many were made before they switched back to importing 7.62x54R models again.
Romanian PSL X39
A rather obscure variant of the more recognizable PSL chambered in 7.62x54R, the X39 uses 7.62x39. The outward appearance is still very much like the PSL but with a slightly shorter and thinner barrel. The mag well should accept normal AK magazines, though a full length mag would make it difficult to use prone. Not too many were brought into the U.S.
Romania’s RPK, a longer barreled AK with a thicker receiver and bipod. For whatever reason, the Romanians added a simple carry handle to the rear sight base. Note the lack of receiver dimples on these. A “paratrooper” model was also sold on the U.S market but it used the Romanian side-folding wire stock.
Romanian PSL-54 At first I thought this was the rapper Pitbull, but pretty sure it isn’t him. Another example of the Romanian’s 7.62x54R sniper rifle, though by Western standards it is a DMR. Note that the rubber eyepiece for the scope is missing. The eyepiece acts as a buffer, letting you place your eye up to it without worry of the scope recoiling back into your face. Mismatched colored wood is often the norm on the PSL rifles in the U.S, hence why many owners refinish them to match.
Romanian PSL-54 The often mistaken and misrepresented semi-auto rifle that shares little with the famous SVD Dragunov, aside from caliber. I remember when PSL rifles were common and usually sold for $650. Nowadays they’re in the upper $800 to $1,000+ range. A very limited number of 7.62x51mm/.308 versions were also made and sold specifically for the U.S market.
Romanian AES-10B The semi-auto, civilian RPK from Romania sold in the U.S. Note the carry handle near the rear sight base. Only the Romanian RPK has this odd little feature. The AES-10B lacks the receiver dimples around the mag well area, which is a major negative to AK collectors and purists. Majority of the AES-10B’s for sale are the heavier barrel type, though not as heavy as the Yugo M72. A light barrel AES-10B was also offered on the U.S market.