Crusader LEO Iron Curtain Interdiction Rifle

Got an interesting email today that made me think.  What would you guys think of a Custom Rifle based on something from behind the Iron Curtain?   

Dear Ogre,

I have posted in comments a few times about possible future Crusader Special Projects.  The idea of an M-3 seemed to sputter out due to lack of parts.  Then I mentioned the the SVD battle rifle.  You shot back that Romanian PSL’s were easier to get.  Lo and behold, I find PSL’s from Century at Classic Arms Inc. for about $600.  So, do you think that an enhanced PSL would be a project that the guys at Crusader would want to unleash their calculated madness on?  If they are interested, but need to start with a proto type, I’d be happy to purchase the first rifle and leave it in the capable hands of Crusader Personnel.

That’s my proposition.

I’m interested in this rifle platform because I already own rifles in 5.56, 7.62 NATO, and 7.62×39.  7.62x54R is a proven fighting cartridge and is widely available and cheap at this time.  Problem is, most people have only old M-N bold rifles to shoot it from.  These are fine for fun, training new shooters and as a hand off weapon, America needs a worthy battle rifle to burn this Comm-Block ammo in.  I think you guys are the ones to make that happen.

By best regards,


We have two PSL’s here at Ogre Ranch, and we use the hell out of them.    The only rifle here outside of my M4gery that I use for Training that gets shot more than the PSL’s, is my .17HMR.    A 440 round Spam Can of x54R is about a hundred bucks.  Makes it a fraction of what .308 costs.  So the PSL is absolutely a great platform with a lot of potential.  But What I would do to them for enhancement?
Ditch the Iron Curtain Optic and instead get the rail mount so we could put on any optic we want.  I’d suggest a simple Nikon Pro-Staff 3-9 BDC, but we’d leave that up to the Customer.  The wood stocks/handguards can crack, so  I’d replace these on our builds with black synthetics.
The barrels would all have to be inspected, bore-scoped, and faulty barrels discarded for good ones.  From what I’ve seen, all would need to be recrowned.  A dual angle target crown would do well here… 11 degrees then a 45 degree inside that.   Maybe even cut the barrel back to just behind where the front sight post is and recrown it there.  This would improve barrel harmonics and improve accuracy as a result.  You’d loose some FPS, but I think the gains in accuracy would be worth it.   Of course, we’d have to test that out.
The triggers would have to be replaced.  PSL triggers suck like a Hoover.  New Tapco drop in triggers are actually pretty good.  Not great by any means, but light years ahead of the stock triggers.
Full Slipstream treatment on all the internals, of course, and a nice finishing touch of a Duracoat finish.  A dark steel grey color to make it unique.   Grey metal with black furniture.

The biggest problem though with the PSL, outside of the actual mechanics of the gun, is the magazines.  PSL mags are pretty rough.  Time would have to be taken to clean up the magazines inside and out,  Deburr the feed lips, and ST-1 Treatment on the insides, the follower, springs and around the feed lips.  This would increase reliability dramatically.  The only way to screw that up would be to rim-lock the cartridges as you load them.

You know, I think I just got excited about this configuration…  I think I might have to get Joe to do one of our PSL’s here.  OOhhh… and that Black and Grey look… that would be sick.

These would be a more limited offering than even the Sterlings.  Maybe only 6 rifles in total.  Reason being, a really good PSL rifle to start out with is going to be a bit harder to find.   And these would end up being more labor intensive than an AR build because we don’t have to go through each individual magazine.    I’m not sure about the price of the rifle, or the cost of Conversion on a Customer’s PSL…  I’d leave that up to Joe…  Anyways… this is all just a thought and I haven’t even bounced it off Joe yet.

What does The Horde think?   A good idea, or am I going in the wrong direction here?

26 thoughts on “Crusader LEO Iron Curtain Interdiction Rifle”

  1. I am in search mode for a PSL as I type. I would be down as long as it isn’t too cost prohibitive. If it goes above the cost for a decent AR type .308 (Broadsword) I would have to decline. But I am definitely interested. Hell, if you guys would put out an AK I would be all over it.

    1. About as much as a decent production AR-15, I’d guess. But not sure. Joe’s Man Hours on these might add up more than expected.

      1. I’ve been drooling over the .308 Broadsword and saving my pesos for a future purchase. If the PSL was priced in the same range I’d be interested. I have two 91/59s and a boatload of ammo so it would be a good inclusion to the Six Armory. If you get the go ahead and are looking for customers, drop me a line with a price and I’ll give you a definite yea/nay before you go into production. Since I now live in Utah can I pick up a gun direct or do I need to go through a local FFL?

      2. Thanks a bunch for taking my idea seriously. Those are all the enhancements I was thinking of, and then some. I anything, I’d suggest you save man hours on the magazines and just post a comprehensive guide on how the customer can de-burr them themselves. This will be necessary anyway as I’m sure most customers would buy more mags for their super PSL later. I know I would.

    2. An AK-47? I’m pushing Joe’s buttons with an PSL already. He’s not fond of working on AK’s… Especially Siagas.
      But I love the AK. Then again, I’m not the Gunsmith and have only hit them with rocks to fix them. Literally.

  2. That is the love/hate thing I have with them too. I want to look into a Krebs, but would have a ton of money in a rifle that is going to perform about the same as a similar costing AR, just a tad more punch. But if Joe would work magic on one, I would get in line. But I am tired of reading about how much fun you guys are having with yours, its time to get in the game with a PSL or something similar. Not many deals to be found unfortunately….

  3. I’ve been wanting one for a while too (but I’m in CA so I can’t really just go buy one, though I think it’s just a mag release conversion). Shot one a while back at a company thing and thought it was awesome. Maybe a light slipstream treatment to make it function better, but leave the barrel and wood? Half the attraction (for me, anyway) of a PSL is the low cost of entry, making it cost as much as an M4gery would be a turn off.

  4. Now I’m not gonna sleep. I have been jonesing for a PSL since you guys did all of the videos. A slicked and shortened PSL? Yep, insomnia.

  5. Sourcing the rifles might be an issue, as the Romanian receiver models are gone, and it appears Century is no longer going to stock the US receiver models. The various ‘cut down’ AK style rifles are available, but that isn’t the same thing.

    1. I found this out myself… I was searching for PSL’s. Yeah, I guess this will have to be a Customer Rifle Conversion.

  6. How about something a little simpler and cheaper?….a Scout Rifle based on the Mosin-Nagant action in 7.62x54R that will make every Ruger lover blush…..

  7. Question for the Ogre or others…
    Gonna take your advise and ditch my posp for a Nikon 3-9 BDC, using a low profile mount. Any suggestion on ring height?

    Also, as an answer to the original post, if the services were offered on customer rifles, on an ‘a la carte’ basis, I would be interested… especially in barrel shortening/recrown/threading.

    1. Because that mount is long, you will need Medium or even high rings depending on which scope you use. If you have access to a good saw, i’d even trim that rail mounts length so I could get it as low as possible since that mount is already giving some serious HOB problems. You don’t want the scope touching anything. The most common reason someones rifle “Wont Shoot” is because they mounted the scope so it’s touching something.
      After you get that BDC Nikon mounted up, Zeroed, etc… shoot it over a Chrono so you know exactly what your rifle’s velocity is… then use Nikon’s SPOT ON ballistic calculator on their web site. And you will know exactly what your drop is.

      1. In case anyone finds this post in the future…
        Using the Kalinka ‘low profile’ rail using medium rings put the prostaff 3x9x40 in the best position possible, with the front of the scope just barely clearing the rear sight.

  8. The problem with the PSL mags is not that they are rough, it is that they have to be matched to the individual rifle. Out of the dozen mags that we tried in my brother’s PSL, only about half of them would feed properly. I’m pretty sure I could make them all work with enough TIG and file work, but for the effort involved, I probably won’t bother. All of the magazines are serialized for a different original rifle.

    Personally, I think that for an AK based rifle with more reach, the Saiga .308 is a better rifle in almost every meaningful way. You’ve still got magazine issues, but there are no less than 4 manufacturers of 20 or 20+ round magazines at present. And the factory 8 rounders are rock solid, as well as easily modified to hold 10 rounds.

  9. The 51R ammo (surplus anyway) is mostly corrosive no? How is the clean up like the gas tube to get done after a day of shooting and what would you use routinly to clean the beast?

    Og Pictures please…

  10. The corrosive ammo aint bad, just make sure to clean the sucker with hot water really good afterward. PSL mag springs are easy to switch back around if they are backwards. Maybe take a Saiga .308, add a drago type stock and some SVD looking furniture?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *