Broken Palmetto State Upper

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Paul P. posted this in a firearm group. His PSA upper exploded and he sent it back to see if Palmetto State would do anything. Unfortunately they did not but more surprising is the lack of communication. Of course this is one side of the story. I do not know if PSA attempted to contact Paul.

ok, here’s the update. Posted originally 2 months ago, palmetto upper blew up. After 2 months without so much as an email or phone call from Palmetto (and me calling 3 times, told to wait longer) Palmetto sends back my upper with nothing done to it, except they loosened the bolt carrier. It came back without some of the broken parts, and with absolutely no explanation, no report of any findings, NOTHING. I yank the bolt out with help, and find this (pics, one on the left is my other pistol for comparison). So it looks like brass failure, but I don’t really know, because they said nothing. Customer service sucks. F&%$ Palmetto. Just wanted to post this for everyone who might do business with them, beware customer service.

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Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at nicholas.c@staff.thefirearmblog.com


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  • Joseph Goins

    Buy once cry once. This is why all of my ARs are Colt, BCM, and Daniel Defense. You get what you pay for.

    • MichaelinPA

      If it was ammo failure, the same thing would have happened to your COLT, BCM and DD.

      • Anon

        And Colt would have responded in a timely manner and offered suggestions.

    • rbdthnfngfnh

      lol, ok, champ

      • Joseph Goins

        I’ve had two PSAs crap out on me at the ~1,000 round mark: a sheared gas key and a broken gas tube. That is why I don’t fool with cheaper companies.

    • Slugnutty

      Willing to be he’s a Keyboard Komando – his Colt, BCM and DD are Wallpaper on his eMachine.

      • Joseph Goins

        I’ve had two PSAs crap out on me at the ~1,000 round mark: a sheared gas key and a broken gas tube. That’s why I don’t fool around with cheapo brands.

  • thedonn007

    Factory ammo, or reloads? If it was factory ammo he could contact the ammunition manufacturer.

  • Geoff Timm

    Given we live in the age of Lawyer dominance, no one is going to ever admit anything, short of pleading to a lesser charge. If Palmetto, a high speed, well not in the fulfillment department, low staff, discount outfit says anything a lawyer will turn it into a confession.If you are lucky their parent company’s parent company’s Law Division might send a non-committal letter full of disclaimers, as soon as it has been cleared by higher authority. Geoff Who notes there is a reason PSA features low prices.

  • Kirk Newsted

    Not sure what PSA is supposed to do. Guy admits it was probably brass failure, which is not PSA’s fault.

    • Harry’s Holsters

      While I get that PSA will lose more business from this becoming public then the money it would cost them to fix it.

      • ostiariusalpha

        I doubt that. PSA doesn’t actually owe this guy anything, and their customer service is already a known quantity.

        • Harry’s Holsters

          As you stated it’s a known quantity and I personally think they would be better off to fix the public’s perception of their service.

          • ostiariusalpha

            They can’t keep up with demand as it is. There’s no benefit to them to coddle their customers at this stage, when those same customers are basically slavering for quality materials at budget prices. You get what you pay for with Palmetto State Armory.

          • Ebby123

            The problem is you can never satisfy “The public”.

            Which public’s perception? The ones on this blog? The American public (98% have never heard of PSA), their customer’s perception (which is impossible to determine, and not homogeneous), or your perception?

            The problem with every whiny “why couldn’t they just do X, Y, or Z” comment on how a company should run its business is that there are hundreds of thousands of them, and they all cost money.

            If companies made a gun that made every internet commenter happy, it would cost $3,000 and the response would be “WTF?!? TOO EXPENSIVE!”.

            In summary – reality is far more complicated than your narrow perspective of it.

          • Harry’s Holsters

            I think you’re making things to complicated or not getting my point. If you go above your stated warranty you will win in the end. I have people loose screws and posts for their holsters. I send them out a replacement at no charge. No where do I say I will cover lost product.

          • Tom Currie

            The point that you are not getting is that there is no “above your stated warranty” that would have made this customer happy — unless maybe they gave him a new AR and a few pallets of good ammo… and even then I suspect he’d find something to whine about.

          • Winston

            “unsubscribe” My posts are simply my opinion, understanding and perceptions. Nothing more, nothing less so please don’t get offended if mine sometimes differs from yours. It’s what makes us unique and all valuable as a group. If you forward this email please use Bcc and delete my email information to discourage spammers. Thanks………………..
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            Tom Currie
            The point that you are not getting is that there is no “above your stated warranty” that would have made this customer happy — unless maybe they gave him a new AR and a few pallets of good ammo… and even then I suspect he’d find something to whine about. 11:59 p.m., Wednesday Sept. 28 | Other comments by Tom Currie |   |
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          • Harry’s Holsters

            He might. And the loudest customers are usually the unhappy ones but some people can still be mad when they tell a story and reasonable people view them as a little crazy.

          • Ebby123

            Those people have wildly unrealistic expectations, and it is our duty to not enable and suppport them.

            Call crazy “Crazy”, don’t coddle and legitimize it.

          • CountryBoy

            Unfortunately, if you read the blogs people will often pile on a vendor when one person claims to have had a bad situation with them. Without knowing all the facts – and probably knowing none of the facts – people will side with “the little guy”, when often that is the guy that A) caused the problem himself, B) is out to get something for it and C) is lying through his teeth.

            Happens all the time – just read the blogs and note how many will say “I’ll never buy from them again” – when they probably didn’t buy from them in the first place!

            It’s a bit like a shoplifter who gets caught, and says “I’m never buying anything here again”, when they likely didn’t in the first place – they STOLE it!

          • Harry’s Holsters

            If you would read my comments vs just commenting on them you would see I believe a company has more to gain in the end by going above and beyond their policy to help the customer even when they are wrong. I have not said PSA should give the guy a complete new gun.

            Every now and then you get the disgruntled customer who complains but is a big enough man to admit they are wrong. They are few but they are powerful.

          • CavScout

            D): PSA made another gun with issues and it exploded.

          • CountryBoy

            Wow. TWO guns out of hundreds of thousands? Amazing.

            So there could be two people who use questionable ammo and bad practices in their shooting hobby?

            Imagine that.

            If you had any idea how many S&W, Colt, Remington, HK and every other gun make has “exploded” in use you’d realize how ridiculous that statement really is.

          • CavScout

            Nope, PSA guns have lots of issues, as well as many other economic grade gun making companies. Visit the tech sections of any gun forum. Yes, all brands will have guns with issues, which can depend on the shooter a lot too. That said, pretty sure people are mostly just collecting these as closet queens. Ammo is expensive at the LGS after all. These people I’ve seen. Never seen a heavy shooter with a PSA or other really cheap one.

          • CountryBoy

            Spoken like someone who has never built a rifle. You’re assuming it’s like building something of Legos. It is not, and it has the ability to harm you if not done correctly from start to finish and during use.

            People don’t buy ammo at their LGS as much as in bulk now – from places like PSA, for one – so you’re clearly not up on a lot of things.

            If you can’t build a precise machine you should not be doing this.

            When you build a few dozen or more AR-15s yourself you’ll see what is involved. Reading “tech sections” is fun, as it lets folks know how people can do such crazy things and still retain their limbs and life.

            Let’s see your documentation of “PSA guns have lots of issues” – with proof, not just internet hearsay – along with the documentation of problems YOU YOURSELF have had with PSA components.

            Other than that, you are simply another troll, working for a competitor of PSA, as we’ve seen happen in the firearm industry before.

          • DeathFromTheShadows

            Provide PROOF or shut the hell up

          • DeathFromTheShadows

            and they can also be the idiots that garner the biggest following, like the ones who call a scar on the surface of a piece of leather,” a flaw that goes all the way through, weakening it so it rips the first time you have to draw fast!”

          • Budogunner

            That’s lost product. This is a firearm that failed dangerously, though probably due to bad ammo. They have to be careful not to admit fault where there is none. It’s a messy legal position to be in, made worse by an article by a blogger that apparently did not contact them for their side of the story before going public.

            Not a proud day for TFB.

          • CavScout

            Who saysa TFB didn’t try. Even if they did, you would likely take PSA’s side regardless. It’s called being a fan boy. It includes trying to get all new buyers to get a PSA AR vs all other brands. They are causing people to get guns that have lots of assorted issues. It doesn’t help anyone.

          • CountryBoy

            You’re jumping to an awful lot of conclusions here, and you’re speaking with many folks who probably have much more experience with such things. Most here have ARs and many other guns and are quite familiar with them, having many years of experience. A cross-section of this crowd includes IPSC shooters, gunsmiths and all kinds of others.

            But to reply to your statement, I could say “Even if they did, you would likely take the opposite side of PSA regardless. It’s called being a hater”. Either that, or you’ve made the same mistake yourself and like so many others of today, don’t want to accept any responsibility for it. Even this guy said he thought it was brass failure – and he could easily have said “PSA lowers stink”. While that would please you, it wouldn’t be true based on the hundreds of thousands of PSA lowers in the field and failure numbers consistent with every other lower available – including those in complete, off-the-shelf guns.

            Works both ways, Scout.

          • CavScout

            I don’t see what the lowers have to do with it, but maybe that was an example. Some for sure, but most here likely don’t meet those credentials. You could say that, but you shouldn’t feel the need. Everyone in here instantly starts defending PSA and condeming the owner, where I think PSA has built a reputation of low QC and CS. So why do people jump to defend PSA? Because they have low prices, the end. People just want to come to the conclussion that it’s not PSA to blame, mostly owners and sheep, with no evidence either way. That’s why I reference PSA’s rep.

          • CountryBoy

            You don’t think lowers have anything to do with it?

            You “think” PSA’s reputation is for low QC and CS? Nothing like speculation, is it?

            They’re growing like mad, and I’ve used more than two dozen of their PSA-branded lowers in projects for myself and others. I’ve never had any problems, all parts from them have been in-spec and of equal or better quality than others I’ve used, including major brands.

            People defend things because it has worked for them, not because it’s less expensive. It’s called “thank you for a good product at a good price”, and often brand-snobs or those who actually think that some guy at PSA is hammering out lowers in the back room don’t quite understand.

            That, and the fact that they’ve sold hundreds of thousands of these lowers and TFB has now posted a problem someone had.

            Do you really think people would keep purchasing a part that can harm them if it isn’t correct?

            Check the prices sometime. You will find plenty of lowers at the same price or below as what PSA sells them for.

            Methinks the noob you described was actually you, or, you’re working for a PSA competitor and trying to stir up hornets.

            But I see from your other posts you seemed to have come here to troll, and make waves where none existed. You’re doing nothing but speculating yourself (“who says PSA didn’t try”).

            Perhaps with more experience you’ll understand cause-and-effect, and in this case, why PSA decided not to replace the part.

          • DeathFromTheShadows

            Cav girlscout seems to think every MFG makes their own castings and forgings, with out realizing there are only 5 to 10companies nation wide that do, and do it for ALL of the different labels save a few such as Colt. the individual blanks are then sent to the various mfgs such as PSA for finish work, the only differences come in custom shapes, like the warthog lowers or special alloys being specified. The fact is “Junior” is gonna hate because he has that silver spoon firmly implanted. and that’s it.

          • RA

            Well said. As crazy as it seems, unfortunately sometimes trying to help only makes things worse. With PC madness raging these days, trying to be gracious is taken as guilt.

          • Budogunner

            I don’t own any PSA products, so I’m hardly a fanboy. And if a journalist tries to contact a source but can’t they write, “___ could not be reached for comment” or ___ declined to comment” should they refuse.

            As a journalist, if you don’t state that you tried, you didn’t try. Moreover, TFB is still recovering from a similar situation where they ran with one readers report on a story without contacting the manufacturer. They should be making very sure they cover all their bases at this point.

            Again, I don’t give two flips about PSA. I just don’t like seeing damaging articles posted without proper investigatory effort.

          • DeathFromTheShadows

            Face it, if TFB had they would have stated SO, If they are not admitting it, then this is just a hatchet job…

          • Ebby123

            That’s my point: Reality is more complicated than your simplistic “They should just give me what I want and they’d be a good company” explanation.

            Your expectation is only 1 of thousands, and they all cost a premium you aren’t willing to pay.

          • Harry’s Holsters

            I also have different margins than a budget AR15 seller. I expect 1 out of 100 in my business plan.

          • Ebby123

            You’re still missing it – your expectation for what constitutes “good customer service” or “what they should have done” is as unique as your DNA.

            You think they should spend more of their limited resources on customer service, and engineers and techs to support said CS group. Others think they should improve the coatings on their product. Still others think “the right thing” for PSA to do is hire more people and better equipment in their quality Dept and tighten up their control process. And yet others think their product is already too expensive, and wishes they would cut their margins another 15% or so.

            But ultimately, universally, all of these things cost money that you, the customer, is not willing to pay. If their prices went up because they adhered to your expectations, you would be the first to stop buying their product.

            That’s the different between a job shop and a commercial production operation. With an increase in volume comes an exponential increase in the variety of customer expectations.

          • Harry’s Holsters

            I doubt they can cut their margins 15%. I’m guessing on their AR parts they turn over their inventory very quickly. But I do see your point that you can’t make everyone happy. But screw up a Magpul product and they will fix it. Huge company that is probably much larger than PSA. Also higher margin.

            PSA sells a devent quality basic rifle. If I want the newest wizbang gun or something with more features I’m buying a Daniel Defense, ADM, KAC etc…

            I’ve got one PSA kit built rifle and I’m happy with but my next gun will be a ADM or KAC. How they handled won’t affect my plans to buy a few more kits from them eventually but I do think they’d be better off sending the guy a $60 stripped upper. I do understand why they don’t.

          • Jason Wallentine

            And for one customer, yeah. That’s probably accurate. I think we agree. But the AR15 is popular because of its modular REPAIRABILITY when (not if) parts fail. Uppers are considered disposable thanks to the steel-on-aluminum bolt design, and they’re going to fail. And as they do, one good-faith $60 upper makes a good story, but after the 50th fails and demands equal treatment, not even considering fraudulent claims, that eats up even a generous 30% margin PDQ. Knowing that and enjoying PSAs products, I couldn’t get myself to demand this of them, let alone misrepresent them on TFB just to pout.

          • CountryBoy

            “But screw up a Magpul product and they will fix it. Huge company that is probably much larger than PS”.

            Screw up the same Magpul product multiple times by the same guy, and they will NOT fix it, as they will realize that is a guy who probably shouldn’t be allowed to play with sharp sticks.

            How many times should Hogue replace a grip that the customer damaged by incorrect installation, for example? What about the guy that uses it for six months and decides he doesn’t want it any longer? Things like that are the stuff companies deal with all the time as customers feel they’re “entitled” to things.

            Just because you bought one of the products, doesn’t mean you now own the company.

          • DeathFromTheShadows

            15%??? they probably don’t have more than 10% total room on the difference between production cost and full markup, and that doesn’t eve take into overhead. There is no massive profit margin on these parts, their profit is in the parts kits they sell to complete a build. While the stripped uppers and lowers have been dropping in prices, the small parts kits have been climbing

          • Harry’s Holsters

            They are making their money by turning over their inventory quickly. They must have solid supply chains and a good system on these items.

          • CountryBoy

            Well put.

            This seems to be something that has changed in our society in the past decade or so, with people expecting everything for nothing now.

          • DeathFromTheShadows

            not the last decade, try the last fifty years, as people became more expectant of handouts rather than just what is deserved. Even studying ancient history you will see this attitude is what destroyed Ancient Rome

          • Jason Wallentine

            And while admirable to take such good care of your clientele, becoming known as the guy who gives out free posts and screws would nickel and dime you to death as enough people began to own your holster. There is a line between serving your clientele and becoming subservient to them, and “free replacement post-negligence” toes that line dangerously. Especially for a company with already high sales, reasonable repute, and attractive pricing for entry-level marksmen. They have a great high going, why jeopardize it to fix what’s not broken?

          • Harry’s Holsters

            The main reason I do it is a lot of the hardware is only aviailble in 100 unit lots. I find it crazy for people to have to spend $20 for hardware that costs me less than $1.00 to get to them.

          • mbrd

            this is really interesting. you keep saying the same thing, and everyone keeps misinterpreting and challenging it. farf**kingout!… i don’t even have to agree with you in principle to see the practical side of your assertion. i guess i’m just another chucklehead…

          • Jason Wallentine

            Mbrd, the point is pretty clear, that beyond-the-call-of-duty customer service usually wins for the seller. And while I have a hunch Harry’s whole conversation is just “chumming the water” to advertise for their phenomenal customer service policies, I get it. And for sellers inundated with surplus nuts and bolts who have a great deal of PR to gain from giving them away, this is true for Harry’s. It is NOT universally true for merchandise beyond stray nuts and bolts.A balance has to be struck between PR, marketing, mfg costs, overhead, and profits. If the whole outweighs what’s coming in, even your charitable hardware giveaway would break you eventually. It only happens quicker giving away high-dollar, low-margin things like a stripped upper receiver.

          • DeathFromTheShadows

            Harry is missing the point, it isn’t a Chicago screw, its the whole holster.

          • DJ9r

            Do you send them a complete new holster, if they run over their old one with a car? Because that’s closer to what we’re talking about here. A few screws ain’t gonna fix this upper.

            I suppose they COULD send a whole new upper assembly to anyone who blows-up or otherwise destroys their old upper assembly. That would keep all their customers happy, right up until the company goes out of business next year.

          • Harry’s Holsters

            You have to remember the majority of customers buy guns and don’t necessarily shoot them. If they run over it while training or they sound pleasant and nice on the phone I will send then a new holster. Maybe just the shell and hardware that has been broken.

          • CountryBoy

            A loose screw or post is a lot different than an entire upper, and by doing so they might be introducing doubt about their own liability in the mishap.

            While they should have communicated, the guy’s threats to post this everywhere reminds me of a particular individual that DID post false statements about our company, claiming he’d bought over two dozen items from us and every one was bad, poorly fitting, etc.

            When we found out we checked our records to find this guy hadn’t purchased a thing from us – but was trying to get into the same business to compete with us. He’d already claimed to be a “Glock gunsmith” and wasn’t, and then claimed to be making gun grips – and didn’t.

            Fortunately, after posting his lies he was thoroughly pounded down by those who HAD dealt with us and knew the truth. He recanted his statements (though AFAIK he never did so on the blogs he frequented) to us when we confronted him about it.

            He was a loser who was trying to enter the business by copping onto the work of others, and said “he didn’t realize how difficult it would be” to make his own products.

            You’re doing the right thing, as we do when people lose small parts. But to repeatedly deal with someone who knowingly takes advantage of your generosity and willingness to help while stabbing you in the back isn’t something we’re willing to do.

          • Harry’s Holsters

            The only detail I know about this case are from the article. I suggested a stripped upper. Cost $50-$100 when shopping online. More then screws and posts? Yes but not an upper and if you record the situation correctly and write the why your are doing what you do you can avoid liability.

            Not sure if you’re part of PSA or not?

          • CountryBoy

            No, not part of PSA, but involved in the firearm industry enough to know that there are people who will attempt to blame everyone but themselves for their misfortunes, and that an engineer’s analysis goes a long way toward knowing what happened.

            You will never avoid liability by sending a new part out; you may avoid the customer’s wrath at that moment, but they’ll be back for more.

          • DeathFromTheShadows

            No you wont. look first at the cost to produce the product including overhead, then look at actual sale price, then look at a projected 25% warranty issue level (real world figure including simple phone support), now where did the profit go? where is the money for expansion and growth? You need to take a few business courses to see how anything but a hobby business functions

          • Outlaw

            You might not be able to fix it but trying goes a long way and it gets you better PR.

          • Ebby123

            That’s the point – they are trying. They wouldn’t be in business if they weren’t.
            What you’re trying to say is “trying it in the way I think you should” goes a long way.

            But it really doesn’t. You are but one opinion in an ocean of equally expensive opinions.

          • CavScout

            It’s really just the price that makes people loyal. They produce a much higher percentage of lemons and use substandard parts. The only real benefit is price.

          • Harry’s Holsters

            From some of their offerings it seems they buy a large number of over runs and blems mixing and matching everything.

            I’ve heard a lot of people say not to buying anything they make that doesn’t say FN CHF for the barrel.

        • Mike Lashewitz

          You are right they do not owe him anything. But then you could also consider the marketing factor as well as cementing a customer relationship. Even a little written communications can go a long way.
          As in:
          “What we determined as a failure in the weapon could have been caused but a few factors. Were you using reloaded casings? PSA cannot be responsible for brass failure and without all the component parts available we cannot ensure the failure was not caused by improper caliber insertion.”

          Other fac tors play into it as well.
          Was this a “build” weapon? Or was it a pre-made completed weapon? Was this a purchased “completed” upper? As one who prefers to build I also prefer to verify all torque settings. Just to ensure I did not get a “before the lunch bell” product.

          Personally without knowing all the factors there are too many variables.

          • CountryBoy

            I would imagine that either this guy didn’t cooperate and give honest info to PSA, or they replied with honest answers he didn’t like. Thus is threat to blast them around the web, something he’d not have to do if they felt it was their problem.

            I’ve dealt with PSA for years, and except for a part of an order that went missing, they’ve been entirely satisfactory to me. I continue to buy from them, but I also understand that something that blows up in my face isn’t due to their negligence and I’m not owed a replacement part.

            The guy admits is was probably brass failure, so why does he then think that PSA owes him anything?

          • Mike Lashewitz

            Probably hoping for a freebie. The new American pastime.

      • Vitsaus

        As long as Palmetto continues to specialize in budget AR15 rifles and components, they will not lose a single customer regardless of their warranty enforcement.

        • Harry’s Holsters

          To a point. While that market is still strong the higher end market is growing faster. At this point a lot of the potential market already owns a basic budget AR. There is a reason you don’t see anyone trying to compete with palmetto.

          • Ebby123

            “..the higher end market is growing faster.”
            *citation needed

          • CountryBoy

            As the market for higher-end items grows, you can bet people like Palmetto will grow with it, whether by carrying high-end items or continuing to address the entry- and mid-level market needs.

            There are people competing with Palmetto now, and they will continue to do so. But Palmetto is one of the largest because of their service and prices, and despite the efforts of a guy like this who thinks he can blackmail them into giving him something he doesn’t deserve.

            Those who really shop at Palmetto know the truth.

      • Paul White

        honest question: if a company can only keep XYZ customers by taking it in the shorts to fix things when the customers break the gear they bought, is it worth keeping them?

        • Harry’s Holsters

          I’m going to say yes. My reasoning is people that break things tend to scream the loudest. They can be screaming for you or against you. I’ll take for over against any day. A company that takes takes care of issues has my respect. That said I’ll still probably buy another PSA AR kit.

          • Kivaari

            But customers are the reason most guns go kaboom. Most disasters are a result of poor quality ammunition or bore obstructions. I had customers coming in complaining that I owed them a new rifle when the barrel was split from the muzzle back 18 inches. When I say they had a bore obstruction they say no way. Then I point out the bulge where the obstruction was and some accept the fact that hunting in the snow or sticking the muzzle in the mud is a bad thing. Or a stock gets broken because they fell off a log and its not a defective gun. Or the top three chambers on a Ruger .44 magnum are missing. Asked about the reloaded ammo, I was told it was 18 gr of “pistol power”. What kind of pistol powder?. Hell. it’s pistol powder and they are all the same. Except when it’s Bullseye and not 2400. Customers screw up more than makers screw up. Customers deserve to become responsible.

          • Harry’s Holsters

            You’re also reselling instead of manufacturing or getting private label direct from the manufacturer. You don’t have the margins to do that. I will admit if a customer comes in right away with an attitude about what I owe them I’m probably not going above and beyond. But if they say here is what happened can you help me out I’ll work with them.

          • CountryBoy

            Having bought over a dozen uppers and such from PSA, this guy’s misfortune, caused by him alone, is not going to scare me away from buying from PSA at all.

            It WILL make me even more wary of what I read on blogs, particular from those who seem to have an axe to grind, and are claiming that one company’s products are the source of all that is wrong in their life.

            Like this guy.

            A loyal customer isn’t put off by one person who obviously is looking for a handout.

      • Ebby123

        You think very highly of the reach of a blog in an industry where the average end user doesn’t know how to use “that internet thing”.

        • Harry’s Holsters

          Remember there are also Forums and PSA is talked about a lot by all. Also while PSA now has multiple physical stores they have grown massively through internet sales. A lot of that has come from people writing and talking about them all over the internet.

      • Kirk Newsted

        Fix what exactly? PSA didn’t blow up the rifle, looks like bad or wrong ammo did it.

        • Harry’s Holsters

          Not saying PSA is responsible. But when TFB states PSA didn’t fix it some people will judge. If I were PSA I’d sent the customer a stripped upper and any other broken part and let then deal with putting it back together. PSA goes above their commitment and customer should be happy.

          • Kirk Newsted

            Hello, Ford? I got drunk and wrapped my Mustang around a tree. Would you guys mind replacing it for me?

          • Harry’s Holsters

            I get your point. While PSA is different from ford and my company I get it. It’s just what I believe. I don’t fault PSA for their course of action.

          • Tom Currie

            So, Harry, are you telling me that I can buy one of your holsters for a Kel-Tec PF9, then decide to use it to carry my 1911, so I soak the holster in boiling water until I can make it stretch enough fit the 1911, then if it doesn’t work I can return it and you will immediately contact me to explain how the holster was defective and send me a new one?

          • Winston

            “unsubscribe” My posts are simply my opinion, understanding and perceptions. Nothing more, nothing less so please don’t get offended if mine sometimes differs from yours. It’s what makes us unique and all valuable as a group. If you forward this email please use Bcc and delete my email information to discourage spammers. Thanks………………..
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            Tom Currie
            So, Harry, are you telling me that I can buy one of your holsters for a Kel-Tec PF9, then decide to use it to carry my 1911, so I soak the holster in boiling water until I can make it stretch enough fit the 1911, then if it doesn’t work I can return it and you will immediately contact me to explain how the holster was defective and send me a new one? 12:02 a.m., Thursday Sept. 29 | Other comments by Tom Currie |   |
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          • Harry’s Holsters

            I don’t think using bad ammo is going that far. If you accidentally run over it with your car I’d probably send you a new shell and necessary hardware.

          • CountryBoy

            Well, there was that guy who tried to extort a new Prius from Toyota by claiming he’d had that unintended acceleration, remember. I believe he quietly went away when presented with the facts – that he lied, and that he was well behind on his payments to Toyota’s leasing group.

            Funny how light chases away the roaches.

          • Kivaari

            If a customer blows up a gun made by any other company, that company should not have to replace it. There are hundreds of blown up firearms out there that were obviously blown up due to defective ammunition. Most of the time it is a reload. Companies should not replace guns blown up by people using defective ammunition.

          • Harry’s Holsters

            PSA isn’t responsible but considering the rate of this happening is probably pretty low I just believe they would profit more in the end by giving the buy replacements for the broken parts.

          • hANNABONE

            It’s all about setting a precedent, isn’t it.? If Company “A” sent back a “part” (*a whole new upper/or/complete rifle in this case*) not only would they lose on the operator error but they would set a precedent that they’ll fix/replace FOR operator error and be deluged with other headaches. It isn’t Company “A’s” problem in the first place, and they most definitely have verbiage in the manual that states “operator error is not a valid reason for fix/or/repair/or/replacement”
            Don’t set a precedent – you won’t look bad in the eyes of the public.

          • Budogunner

            The point here is TFB had no place saying PSA failed to fix something they had no reasonable responsibility to replace. Do bloggers get to hold manufacturers’ reputations hostage without checks on the validity of their claims?

    • gordon

      They probably should have communicated a little, if in fact they did not.

      • CavScout

        Yes, they should have. It sounds like the buyer was willing to do this. PSA CS is known to be bad.

    • Budogunner

      Why does this article exist? This is dangerously close to libel with a guy who admits the brass failure, not PSA, was the probable cause.

      This feels like that article about certain guns being out of spec all over again…

      • dltaylor51

        They at least should have gave him an opinion and offered to sell him a replacement at a good price.

        • Mike Lashewitz

          As a marketing strategy it would be money well spent.

          • dltaylor51

            I worked for many years in a business that costumer satisfaction was job one,we used to bend over backwards to the point we could see our own ass for any costumer that came to us with a problem no matter how big and no matter if it was our fault or not.We used to love it when a person came to us with a competitors problem that and we took care of it at our own expense.Our company is still growing every year and its the patrons that make it happen.

          • Mike Lashewitz

            I actually witnessed JC Penny do that for decades.

          • DeathFromTheShadows

            JC WHO? the company that is barely in existence due to inability to make a buck? The problem is today the customer is not the honest individual who is always right. 75 % are borderline felons, trying to get away with everything they can, which is why there are security tags installed in packaging and sewn into garments at the factories. Its Sad that we need to remember this little fact. But there isn’t a massive profit margin in firearms either, with the exceedingly high cost of Liability Insurance. As an example, look at the number of PEOPLE (not posts) in this thread, and then count out how many are yelling that PSA should hand the guy a new upper, with out considering the fact that the barrel held up and the receiver did not. Which is very telling that this is an issue with the ROUND not the receiver. All the actual stress is contained in the barrel itself. So the case literally blew apart, damaging the receiver… Only 2 things can cause that, while leaving the brass in the chamber, and that’s either an overloaded round, or incorrect caliber round, and neither are PSA’s fault. And quite honestly were I them, Id be afraid of enabling the nimrod of doing this again, lest he kill himself or someone else.

        • Budogunner

          Maybe they did. Nobody contacted the company to learn their side of the story.

          • CavScout

            Maybe TFB tried. PSA isn’t known for customer service. But it’s a cost they cut to lower prices.

          • DeathFromTheShadows

            MAYBE some day you will stop the wild speculation and start looking for FACTS instead of acting like a punk

          • RA

            I’ve recently started shopping at and using the range at their new store in Summverville SC. One word: Oustanding! Service, store and pricing, and the range is top notch.
            I’ve read complaints about them as well, but I think it’s a decent company. Not to mention they didn’t gouge people during the AR rifle and 5.56 ammo run several years back like 95% of the other companies did.

          • DeathFromTheShadows

            My thoughts exactly, All we have here is CavScout badmouthing everything and a few sketchy comments from the OP.

        • Mark Are Reynolds Ⓥ

          Why?

        • CavScout

          They should have looked at it and done their best to determine what cause it to blow up. If the gun wasn’t at fault, then they SHOULDN’T feel obligated in the slightest to help replace it.

          • DeathFromTheShadows

            which is what they most likely did, since they wouldn’t have risked the liability otherwise

      • CavScout

        He does not say it was a brass failure, he said it could be but doesn’t know.

    • CountryBoy

      Actually, the guy is pretty lucky that is brass failure didn’t result in injuries to himself and others.

      Such things happen, and there isn’t any info on whether he was using factory ammo or handloads, but I’ve seen this with handloads more than I can count now.

      How is the maker of the upper responsible for failure of the ammo?

    • Mark Are Reynolds Ⓥ

      Brass failure? LOL! The brass can’t hold that load any more then the receiver can. As a matter of fact…brass failure can NEVER do this. It was the load.

    • CavScout

      What’s a guy know who’s buying a PSA. He probably only said that because that’s what all the Arfcom PSA fans said, because they refuse to blame PSA guns for anything.

  • Dave

    TFB had a story not that long ago about mishaps when you jam a 300 round into a 223/556. With limited pictures, the failure and expansion of this upper look the same.

    • Rick O’Shay

      “A” story? Ha. TFB likes to post 300blk kaboom stories once a week, if they can.

  • Gregory

    You blew your gun up. If it was factory ammo then go after the manufacturer of it. If it was reloads, oh well, sucks to be you.

  • Jesse

    Hmmm… When I compared PSA to Radical Firearms a few weeks back all the Palmetto fanboys jumped me… where are they now?

  • BillC

    Expert “reporting” or whatever from TFB! What’s the point of this “story”? Are you trying to put pressure on PSA? PSA has never been known for customer service. It’s kinda the trade-off for cheap ARs (across their lineup). I’m not defending them, I’m just saying you get what you pay for. So you posted one guy’s experience, of a surmised ammo failure. Hell, you can’t even confirm what failure it actually was. Was the ammo reloads? Is it a 5.56mm in a .223 chamber? Was it a baggie of ammo bought from a gun show with the caliber written with marker and the baggie still smelled of cheetos? What?

  • Ambassador Vader

    Looks like a reloaded double charge, case expanded, rear cartridge rim ripped off, and bent gas ring. Pressure in the bolt split the carrier and split the receiver. Catastrophic failure, but not PSA’s fault. Any rifle would have failed in the same conditions. Also a reminder that reloading ammunition is extremely dangerous and not to be taken lightly.

    • g box

      That’s what I thought too

    • DJ9r

      You simply can’t double-charge most .223/5.56mm loads (factory OR handloads with suitable powders); the case capacity just won’t allow it. In fact, the vast majority of .223/5.56mm factory loads that I’ve torn-down and examined have had loading densities of around 90%-100% (the proper and safe charge of powder fills, or nearly-fills, the case).

      Now, a 5%-10% over-charge? Yes, pretty easy to do, especially with some gunpowders and handloads.

  • Havok

    Bit of the story missing here. He also posted in the same thread that he wasn’t expecting PSA to replace the error. He was hoping they could tell him the actual failure.

    • ostiariusalpha

      That’s a stoopid expectation, it could be any of a half-dozen things with just photos to go by and PSA isn’t going to have one of their machinists play forensics for him.

      • Nor assume the implied liability if their forensic analysis is *wrong* and the worng culprit gets blamed. Like blaming the factory ammo manufacturer, based on case headstamp, without realizing it was a home reload where the loader had to jump on the handle to seat the bullet.

  • Phillip Cooper

    Wasn’t the manufacturer’s fault, clearly. I don’t see this as affecting PSA one little bit, other than the kneejerk internet sorts who are readily identifiable as they emote such things as “Customer service sucks. F&%$ Palmetto.”

    • The Worlds Scapegoat

      There are too many whiny effeminate pansies in the gun community, and the enire country. They act like little children and want mommy or daddy to fix the problem they themselves created. I hated dealing with these people when I worked in the manufacturing industry.

      .

      • Phillip Cooper

        Testify, my brother!
        Completely concur.

  • J.K.

    TFB recently made the mistake of taking a “trusted source” as truth for the _second time_ and now you’re taking a forum poster’s word that a company’s product is crap without even talking to the company to verify?

    Does/Did the poster?
    Have any 300BLK rounds laying around?
    Use factory or reloads?
    Make any modifications to his rifle?
    Get RMA approval from PSA to send it back?
    Truly expect PSA to provide forensic analysis of what went wrong with so many variables that are unknown?

    You should retract this article and apologize to PSA for another knee-jerk, unverified, non-journalistic posting.

    • cawpin

      Exactly. TFB has become the National Enquirer of gun sites.

      • BillC

        Pretty much.

      • FightFireJay

        But they have to at least TRY to keep up with the volume of poor journalism (editorials) that TTAG is pumping out.

        • iksnilol

          I wonder how TTAG is doing?

          Hope that the guy known as “jwm” is still alive. He was a decent, sane fellow there.

          Honestly I just went with TFB because it was less bothersome.

          • BillC

            I used to like TTAG, but their writing style is so obnoxious because they try to be make clever and they overuse a couple of literary devices, for starters; ignoring anything political. There’s alsoa lot of “Holier-Than-Thou” in their writing.

          • iksnilol

            I just found them to be more and more toxic. So didn’t bother wasting my time anymore on ’em.

          • De Facto

            Ditto. I used to be a pretty avid follower of the site – I even penned an article for them at one point – but the content and commentators went downhill.

          • Paul White

            Ain’t that the truth. I think part of it was the urge to post umpteen dozen things a day.

          • Cymond

            Hmm, it’s almost like some other gun blog I can think of.

        • Ebby123

          TTAG: The MSNBC of the firearms world. Have grudge, will type angrily.

          TFB: The National Enquirer of the firearms world?

          GUNS.COM: The most anti-gun gun blog of the firearms world. Seriously, we let anybody with a word processor in here.

          BEARNINGARMS.COM: “Bro! Check out this awesome repost of another blog from 3 weeks ago!” Also, I REALLY love cops.

          GUNSSAVELIVES.COM: Mad Max beyond Thunderdome fans rejoice! Covering every minute of the total collapse of society occurring in Chicago, IL.

  • Duray

    “So I totaled my Camry, and sent the mangled wreckage back to Toyota, and they didn’t do anything. WHERE’S THE CUSTOMER SERVICE!?!?”

    • Ebby123

      MUH FEELZ!!

    • CavScout

      More like ‘the engine blew up, and I don’t know why; and they won’t look at it to see if it’s warrantied!’
      But PSA fans are gonna PSA. No way anything could be wrong with a gun from PSA to them…

      • DeathFromTheShadows

        case head separated bolt seized in place, remaining case stuck in chamber… that’s an overcharged load. Don’t go throwing blame where blame isn’t due.. READ what the OP said and stop being a jackass.

  • Grant

    While it’s always interesting to see the pictures when someone blows their gun up, this has nothing to do with PSA’s customer service. It is a poorly written article and is nothing more than click bait. Maybe the author should get a job writing for Any Town or Moms Demand Action.

  • AmmoMFG (Drew)

    This looks like the guy probably fired a .300BLK out of a .223 barrel. I’m not really sure what PSA was supposed to do about fixing it. This was not a “brass failure” this was a gun that was explosively disassembled by overpressure. Notice the bottom of the carrier is removed.

    Honestly, PSA CS should charge this guy for wasting their time.

  • Casey Clary

    I don’t believe this for a second. Palmetto State Armory is one of the largest manufactuers and distributors of AR-15’s and AR-15 variants in the nation. I personally own multiple PSA products, and customer service has ALWAYS been top notch. I cannot see anything remotely close to PSA not sending any kind of communication at all. I call bullshit.
    If it was indeed a brass failure, that has nothing at all to do with Palmetto.

    The fact that The Firearm Blog would post this pathetic excuse for an article before verifying this with PSA is pathetic. Don’t bash a company when you don’t even know the true situation. Just another knee-jerk article from TFB.

    • Nicholas C

      Actually you should no jump to conclusions. This article was scheduled to go live last week. My editor postponed it to wait for confirmation from PSA.

      • Andy

        Which you still didn’t get. Trolling forums for “stories” and posting them like you’re some top notch investigative journalist is pretty petty. I get that you guys are trying to get content on the page and I get that some/most of the TFB contributors aren’t getting paid to do this full time (at least I hope), but you guys really need to take a look at what you’re posting as news and “BREAKING”. Just because it’s the first you’re hearing about it doesn’t make it breaking. Sharing some one else’s anecdote about their experience with a company isn’t exactly quality journalism. IF you had kept at PSA and gotten a response from them and then reported the whole story I think a lot of us would respect that a whole lot more.

      • FightFireJay

        Then that should have been included in the article.

  • Bdpenn

    It’s possible that this gun or action saved your life or prevented you from receiving serious injury. Improper chambering of incorrect ammo including reloads or failure to recognize a squib load in a different style action may have been fatal!

  • Edge767

    I don’t see a problem here. OP states it was brass failure. The upper did exactly what it was designed to do: fail out the side away from the user. Use better ammo, don’t reload repeatedly, use the right load, or take it up with the ammo manufacturer if commercial. Otherwise, salvage what you can and get another one. We’re living in the golden age of AR’s. They are cheap and everywhere (even for the good stuff).

    • Sunshine_Shooter

      It’s not like this was a super expensive one, either. It was a PSA.

    • DJ9r

      “The upper did exactly what it was designed to do: fail out the side away from the user.”

      How do you know which side the user was on?

      And most catastrophic AR failures that I’ve seen photos of, blew out the OTHER side of the action. Seriously, check a dozen or so; the photos are all over the ‘Net.

  • Sunshine_Shooter

    From the pictures I see, it looks like the carrier was the failed component. It looks like the carrier exploded mid-cycle, before the bolt moved rewards. The only explanation I can come up with is that a relatively higher pressure round (since there is no indication that this was the first round fired) over-stressed the carrier, which then gave way before extraction could happen. It doesn’t explain the brass left in the chamber, though.

  • Casey Clary

    This is completely ridiculous. Leave it to TFB to post an unconfirmed, one-sided argument bashing one of the largest AR manufactuers in the country. Is it really that difficult to do some research before posting?
    I call complete BS.

  • 40mmCattleDog

    What the hell is PSA supposed to do if it was a brass failure, the upper did its job in that case and blew out away from the shooter. PSA def doesnt have the best customer service but they do have excellent quality parts (at least on the top end FN barreled uppers.) I have 2 CHF PSA uppers with FN barrels and Colt BCGs that have been through the ringer, id put em up against my BCM anyday. At the end of the day a stripped upper is a very inexpensive part to replace anyways.

  • DIR911911 .

    it’s kind of amusing that we all want to hold a gun blog to higher standards than our news stations (right and left) 🙁

  • Paul White

    how do you tell if it was a brass failure?

    • ostiariusalpha

      The case head failure in the picture is a pretty good clue, you see it a lot with reloaders that don’t check their brass for wear at that spot.

  • The Worlds Scapegoat

    Yet another whiny American wanting someone else to pay for what they themselves caused.

    This is not a rifle maker/seller defect. It is operator or ammo maker defect.

    .

    • DB

      How many people a day you come across that would whine if ya gave them a $100.00 bill? Let em whine!
      The more AR’s PSA has out there, the more you’ll see problems with. If they sold 10 a day, you’d never hear a thing! They’re selling 50 a minute! (No I don’t know an exact number, but ya get my point…hopefully.)

  • marine6680

    Have never had to send back a blown up gun… But I have had issues with some PSA stuff that needed replacing.

    While wait times on hold or for getting back a reply to an email are on the long side, I haven’t had an issue that they didn’t solve.

    PSA did what most manufacturers would do in this situation, saw that it was an ammo caused issue and did not fix or replace the gun. Now most would have said something, and PSA should have as well, and referred the owner to contact the ammo manufacturer.

    As far as their quality, I find that their budget stuff in one the high side of quality you would expect from a budget rifle. The AK operators union guys are doing a 5000rd test on one of their budget rifles now. We can see how it fairs soon. They don’t go easy on the rifles there.

    As for as their premium line… I have heard too many positive reports from users who put high round counts through guns to think they are anything less that very good rifles.

    Battlefield Vegas machine gun shoot says the PSA bolts and uppers are working as well and lasting as long as respected brands like Colt, DD, and BCM.

    Mine has run flawlessly and the CHF barrel has proven better than average in accuracy. I like it as well as my BCMs.

  • Dave L

    Do we know for fact that the dude didn’t load a .300blk round?
    Or that he wasn’t using bad handloads- with a high primer that could have induced an OOB disharge?
    Or the cleaning practices of the user- maybe hge left teh system full of grease or some other fluid.

    Back off with the torches and pitchforks till you know the whole story- the real story. I’ve been diagnosing, repairing and building guns for 18 years… 99.9% of the failures I’ve seen are induced by the user.

  • Christian Hedegaard-Schou

    I’ve seen this failure a hundred times. It’s the ammo.

    Replace the receiver and BCG and it should be fine again (assuming the barrel isn’t bulged, but I’ve never seen that on one of these failures).

  • Tommy

    So many clueless responses. First, this looks to be a case of case head separation, which is a headspace issue, which would actually place the blame squarely on PSA.

    Second, anybody who has ever tried to get CS from PSA would know they positively suck at it.

    • bobby_b

      Anybody? Anybody who has ever tried?

      I’ve had very quick order fulfillment from them, probably twenty times or more.

      I’ve contacted their CS twice, once with a problem and once with a question. Got quick and appropriate response both times.

      So, you need to decide now if you want to be called uninformed, or dishonest, There’s really no third choice.

      • Tommy

        Because your one data point overrides the countless other cases documented on the internet? Peruse ARFCOM and there are countless posts where they are extremely slow to respond, if they respond at all.

  • Winston

    email I sent PSA

    I was a PSA customer until 10 minutes ago.
    Note my former order numbers shown below.
    Order #32102203570
    Order #32102177719
    Order #2102107988
    PSA screwed over another customer. How can I trust PSA to NOT screw me
    over also? I have enclosed the web site where I learned the truth about
    PSA and cut & pasted part of the info. Go to the web site to see
    all the information and photos. I will be looking for two complete
    uppers soon and other stuff BUT none of them will be purchased from
    PSA. PSA clearly has all the customers it needs and I will no longer
    one of them~!

    NOTE: I am also sending copies of this too everyone I know.
    sincerely,from Ramseur NC

  • Budogunner

    Actually, with no injury, I’d say the guy is very lucky… then wanted a hand out and went public when he didn’t get one.

    • CavScout

      Unless it was something wrong with the gun. And if the owner doesn’t know why it exploded, best to send it to them. Really, best to just spend a little extra money.

      • DeathFromTheShadows

        No its best to CONTACT them and ASK before sending it in.

  • Looks looks very similar to a .300 blackout blow out when mixing the wrong ammo.

  • frrst245

    I have got to think PSA’s Engineering and Analysis dept. is a bit on the small side.

    Would you have like a note that said “its broke. so what do you expect me to do about it?”

  • dltaylor51

    If he’d have bought a Colt in the first place this would probably never happened,there is a reason they cost a little more.

    • DJ9r

      “a little more”?

      2 to 4 times as much, equals “a little more”?

      Not in my home, or neighborhood.

  • Long Tom

    PSA has good products and great sale prices. They are sometimes slow to deliver and to respond to issues. You get what you pay for. In my book it is a good outfit but could be better. Glock won’t fix kablooies either. Hence the “all your problems are from hand loads” official line, even when sworn police officers witness the event and sign statements.

    Other companies go way beyond the call of duty. After 50 years my RCBS JR press developed play in the ram. I called to order parts, if possible. They said “send it in.” They sent it back in two weeks rebuilt and like new for free. This stuff builds customer loyalty. If I had used a sledge hammer on it they may not have helped.

    A customer banannaed his Remington Model 70 30-06 by poking the barrel into the side of a dying deer for a coup de grace shot. I sent it in, they replaced the barrel gratis. Another customer blew the head off a 7mm Rem mag case in his Model 70 and then forced another round into the chamber with a mallet. And shot it! So help me. Hell of a shoulder bruise. Remington examined it, removed the case remnants, polished the chamber and returned it, gratis.

    This initial posting should not have been sent into the wild without giving PSA a chance to comment. PSA should have COMMUNICATED with this dude. I should have taken better care of myself when I was 30. Lots of shouldas in life. March on!

  • Duane

    I’m really careful about PSA anymore. I bought an AK kit from them and had a problem with some of the parts. Things were not as advertised, long story short I called the company several times and spoke to some really uneducated, uninformed associates who did not know how to fix a problem and were unwilling to try. I was told I had to wait for the AK guy to come into work. They would not tell me what country the Ak parts came from. Now I only buy ammo or stuff if they offer free shipping.

  • Duane

    That was my first thought about a 300 blackout being loaded.

    • Mike Lashewitz

      Mine as well.
      A little fore thought, (labeling) goes a long way. Or you can get those fancy magnets.

    • DG2011

      Exactly. There was a story and picture 1-2 months ago or so about someone shooting a 300 blk in their Palmetto State Armory 5.56 upper and the same exact thing happened. Wonder if this was the one!!!

  • Kurt Hargarten

    Shame on you for posting this. Extremely irresponsible of you.

  • Mike Lashewitz

    Hmmm,

    Here is the knife your defendant used on me.
    Case dismissed “No evidence”.

    Here is the best place to show evidence. If you cannot go directly to the store then post on their facebook page and in these gun blogs first. It gives them a chance to rebut your story in a public forum.

    But do not feel too bad. Because I sent off a failed gas charged explosive bumper safety cell manufactured by Dodge in 1981 because instead of activating to minimize damage in an accident the welds on both cells broke, causing $6,000 in damage instead of $1,500.

    Of course the “did not say anything” because that would indicate their culpability. You do know what gets criminals jail time ? Their own mouths. SAY NOTHING.

  • Herk

    [quote]…more surprising is the lack of communication…[/quote]

    Not if you’ve ever dealt with PSA’s customer “service” department. I had a PA 10 that wouldn’t even chamber ammo and would need each round mortared out of the chamber after trying to chamber it. When the rounds came out they looked like they’d been dropped on gravel and stepped on, so badly burred was the chamber. I sent the upper back and got it re-barreled.

    Next upper? Same problem. Before testing it, though, I had put on a Midwest Industries 15″ handguard. To accommodate the longer handguard, I also got a low-profile gas block. When I had to send the upper back AGAIN they didn’t even attempt to correct the problem; instead they just told me that because I had put on a different gas block that my warranty was void and that they would refuse to fix it. Ever.

    I was in such disbelief that I called PSA’s customer “service” (just as an aside, don’t they refer to prostitutes as ‘servicing’ their clients?) and, after being put on hold for about half an hour, I was basically told that modifying and AR was totally unacceptable (because who does THAT, right?). It wasn’t as if I had taken a Dremel to anything; I could (and should) have put the original parts back on and they’d have never known the difference.

    Exasperated, I finally asked the individual on the line how many PSA products had suffered similar issues and the guy said that PSA had never had a warranty claim before. Ever! I had to laugh out loud and ask why, then, I had been on hold for half an hour with the warranty department? The guy wasn’t amused so I asked him if he wasn’t concerned about my rifle’s issues, considering that it was the “first ever” PSA product to have a QC issue. The guy smugly said “No, we are NOT concerned about quality.” (emphasis his).

    You can’t make this shit up.

    I think that PSA’s target customer is someone who cares enough about getting a gun to spend the very minimum possible but who will never actually attempt to shoot the gun once acquiring it (after all, that would break the poor thing). “I keep it in my closet, just in case. I’m sure it’ll work fine if I ever need it.”

    I’ve worked for an FFL where the PSA LPKs that we’d get would routinely be missing parts, have the wrong parts (i.e.: AR15 parts instead of .308 parts; my personal PA10 actually had this wrong too), and, strangest of all, detents that were oversized so that they wouldn’t fit in the lowers! Their hammer springs are routinely so weak that failures to fire are to be expected. I had a 5.45x39mm upper that literally could not fire 7N6 surplus ammo with a PSA hammer spring. Repeated blows to the primer would dimple it but never set it off.

    There are not only better products out there in the AR market (indeed, I’ve never encountered worse), but there are also companies that aren’t run by snakes like the ones who I’ve dealt with regularly at PSA. Give your money to people whose unofficial motto isn’t “Pounding ——————

  • Mike Lashewitz

    PSA I hope you are following this.

  • Jeff Webley

    Looks to me like an out of battery discharge causing a case head separation. I would posit incorrectly sized brass or a chamber obstruction preventing the cartridge from properly chambering. Just my opinion, I could be wrong.

  • Manufacturers often go above and beyond to replace kabooms. They are damaging PR and the manufacturers generally would happily send a cheap (for them) part and a few nice emails to make the PR fiasco go away quietly. I’ve seen it happen personally.

  • BudHall

    Beside the owner acknowledging a probable brass failure, the visible evidence also suggests that the bolt and barrel did hold together. No blown gun here; just escaped pressure damage. Would like to have read and heard the nature of all communications to PSA before faulting them for not replying.

  • Lloyd Esp

    Ammo problem, not PSA’s fault so they don’t have to do anything. Have been doing business with them for a few years and the only problem I have had is one order took a while to ship. Maybe this guy should change hobby….crocheting is about his level. I have fired tens of thousands of handloads that I made thru all of my guns and never had a problem. If this was factory stuff…or remanufactured, he should be griping to the ammo company.

  • TC

    I don’t think that anyone can deduce the cause of this failure by looking at a few photos. I have bought quite a few AR uppers, lowers, and parts from PSA and the only failure I have had was a sheared gas block key bolt on an AR9. Poor design as they eliminated one of the two allen screws to put in the extractor. They did offer to replace the bolt, but I just replaced the screw myself. The bigger question is this, does PSA make their own parts, or do they source them from the same manufacturers as all the other AR companies? Most of their parts are described as ‘MIL Spec’. Any firearm manufacturer that you buy from has a disclaimer to ‘never fire reloaded ammunition’. Too many variables.

  • The publishing of this article by TFB surprises me. Exploding firearms, bad ammo, and poor customer service have been posted before. However, Steve, Phil, and many others have previously done a stand-up job fact-checking questions, concerns, and legitimate gripes in the past. Those posts come with quotes and comments from the direct sources – complainant, and company. This post does not, so does not pass the smell test IMO!

    1. This “article” is a re-posting of a “Paul P.” comment in a vague “firearm group”. No identifying Paul P. as a credible firearm witness, and no vetting of said “firearm group.” In other words, this is purely hearsay from an idiot who blew up his rifle.
    2. The pictures clearly show a cartridge failure causing the damage to the Palmetto State Armory firearm – not PSA’s problem! Whether it was bad brass, over-loaded powder, improper bullet seating, or a faulty primer is irrelevant – NOT the rifle’s fault.
    3. There is no apparent effort to contact Palmetto State Armory directly for comment, explanation, or rebuttal. That’s professional journalism.

    Palmetto State Armory is one of a handful of companies I trust and use on a regular basis for quality AR-15 rifles, uppers, lowers, parts, and ammo. I have over 25 transactions with PSA, and they have all been very positive. At least a half dozen times I’ve emailed, or called customer service. Responses were fast, professional, and courteous.

    One time, I had recently received an upgraded credit card with the chip. I get two emails, and finally they called me direct on the 3rd day when I had not responded (missed emails).

  • Hankmeister

    Of course we’ll never get to the truth of all this. Personally, given how strong the lock-up between the bolt/bolt carrier and the barrel extension there are only two possibilities here. One, a .300 Blackout cartridge was fired in a receiver with a 5.56 barrel or a 5.56 cartridge loaded with pistol/shotgun powder by mistake was fired in that upper. I don’t believe a properly loaded 5.56 cartridge in any aluminum upper receiver is going to have enough energy to overcome the strength of the steel in the bolt head and the barrel extension to do this level of damage.

  • Guido FL

    In the last few years I have bought several PSA uppers and lowers. My lowers will not freely drop Lancers mags empty or loaded. If this lack of decent customer service is a example of how PSA treats their customers I’ll be going elsewhere in the future !

  • Mark Are Reynolds Ⓥ

    Yes, their customer service does suck. But the upper was not the problem. The load was.

  • d m

    As someone who has republished stories such as this I’ve always felt the other party should be given a chance to relate their side. All it takes is an inquiry and waiting. Some reasonable the for a response. Should there not be a response it sound be mentioned that they were at least contacted and did not offer a response. A story should be balanced to give the reader a fair chance to make a judgement.

  • CavScout

    No one said it was a kaboom. The owner doesn’t know what it was.

    • CountryBoy

      The owner said he thought it was brass failure in the article above – an ammo problem. It was a “kaboom” caused by ammo, whether overloaded, lightly loaded or the wrong caliber for his gun.

      • CavScout

        How do we get from ‘the (probably noob) owner thought it might have been the ammo’ to ‘it was the ammo for sure!’?????????

        • CountryBoy

          Experience and an understanding of how it happens is all that’s required.

          Your “probably noob” is as much conjecture as what you’re accusing me and others of, and there is no doubt that other people looked at the gun. He certainly sent at least photos to PSA, if not the parts, and their gunsmiths aren’t foreign to understanding such things either.

          But you’re welcome to explain it as you see it as well, including how the side of the lower was blown outward if at least the base of the brass didn’t fail, as there is a lot of residue in the area as well.

  • XRGRSF

    The cartridge failed, not the gun. It appears that the case head separated under extreme pressure. The pressure was severe enough to rupture the bolt carrier, and damage the gas seal rings on the bolt head piston. Amazingly the bolt head, and locking extension held. It looks to me like the rifles locking mechanism did its job, and then some.

    I don’t I certainly don’t see where this would be the fault of the manufacturer. This failure looks like it was brought on by a bad hand load. The bore could possibly have been obstructed, but its the duty of the owner to check his rifle prior to firing.

    Some years back I had a friend who made the mistake of leaving a 3.5 gr. charge of Bulls Eye in the tumbler of his powder measure, and then adjusted it to a known setting for a mild load of 748 in a .223. Yep, it destroyed his rifle, and Ruger did not buy him a new one.

  • rick0857

    Well he doesn’t say if this is a rifle upper or another of the one he compared it to, a pistol upper. Either way with the position of the bolt as it appears, to me some sort of detonation occurred…yeah we can all see that. BUT was it as others have said an improperly loaded hand load or was it the infamous U.S. Army cook off? You know where you’ve fired so many rounds so fast that the gun heats up to the point where the ammo literally cooks off before locking the bolt forward into battery? I’m guessing as are the rest of of you that we need Paul Harvey to find out …”THE REST OF THE STORY”

  • zighunter0

    So, some guy said something on some forum and you don’t bother to ask PSA about it? Are you an adult?

  • Dave

    Reminds me of an Armalite AR-180 I bought years ago. It blew up on the 17th round of Federal factory ammo fired through a new gun. Rockwell test showed they had hardened the wrong end of the bolt carrier. I sent it back to Armalite & they told me the gun was damaged by improperly loaded handloads. When I ask how they determined that they told me “Factory ammo wouldn’t have done that” They kept the barrel with the remains of the case in it but refused to do anything about the other parts. I put all the pieces on a piece of plywood with a sign “AR-180 for sale cheap, Fired less than 20 rounds” displayed it at gun shows for months & never bought anything else from Armalite.

  • Craig Babich

    So his home built AR blew up. It looks like a few possibilities. An out of battery firing, case head separation or overpressure from a reload. Could be a headspace issue, either from the barrel manufacturer or Paul P. decided to install the barrel extension on his own. Paul P. doesn’t say what loads he was using or any other details, just that Palmetto wouldn’t do anything about it. I don’t blame Palmetto for not covering it, although they could have explained their findings which they might have done, based on the details Paul P. left out of his complaint. If you buy the parts and assemble it yourself, you assume all responsibility. Palmetto has no idea what other parts you put in or your quality control or the ammunition you used. Paul P. blew his gun up.

  • Fred

    Can I speak for PSA? How about this:
    “GFY”

    Who would want a customer like this?

  • Ron Walsh

    I would imagine that there is more to this story than just what we are reading here. I am curious if the owner of the rifle built his own rifle, or if it was purchased as a complete rifle. I have dealt with PSA many times, and the only issue i have had was bolt assembly that came without the gas rings installed. No issue for them at all. I realize that $.50 worth of rings is not anywhere near the damage shown in the photos. I would just like to see if TFB contacted PSA to get a statement on this.

  • RA

    Seems to be due to ammo failure IMO, but PSA could have at least sent a write up stating their assessment. Maybe a have a tech contact the customer to go over it and offer assistance on a new upper build.