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Posted: 10/21/2016 2:18:09 PM EDT
I'm new to AR's and, like many, I enjoy shopping or window shopping on the PSA site. Unless I just can't find it, there is no information, other than price and semi-technical stuff on their products.

That leaves a big deficit for people like me. For instance:

1. I assume that Defender, Premium, PTAC and Freedom are separate and distinct product lines. If that's the case, what are the differences among them?

2. There are a lot of acronyms that mean nothing to me, e.g. EPT, LKP, ACS-L, QSM, CHF and HPT/MPI. Maybe they're normal industry terms that I don't know, but I can't decipher them.

It seems like there ought to be a place on the PSA site that covers this kind of stuff. If so, would someone please point me to it? If not, where do I go to find the answers?

Thanks, your input is always helpful.

Mike
Link Posted: 10/21/2016 2:42:29 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/21/2016 2:45:19 PM EDT by RogueSpear2023]
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Well read here and you will figure most of that out.

ASC-L is the stock model made by Magpul
CHF is Cold Hammer Forged, it's how the barrel was made
HPT/MPI means the bolt was magnetic partical inspectected
QSM, EPT are going to be the type of trigger

PTAC is cheapest line, and lowest quality
Premium is going to be the most expensive, best quality typically have FN barrels etc.
Freedom and Defender are in the middle typically have cheaper barrels, but are usually coated in melonite unlike the PTAC stuff that is phosphate. Some of the freedom stuff have SS barrels. Thats just going to require more reading here to decide what you want.

Most beginners buy a complete rifle, learn and then go to site like PSA and build their own
Link Posted: 10/21/2016 2:57:40 PM EDT
The PTAC upper I just ordered has a nitrided barrel. A million and one choices @ PSA.
Any question, post here, quickest for definite answers.
INDUSTRY FORUM
Link Posted: 10/21/2016 8:57:58 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/21/2016 9:18:28 PM EDT by Marine6680]
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Originally Posted By RogueSpear2023:
Well read here and you will figure most of that out.

ASC-L is the stock model made by Magpul
CHF is Cold Hammer Forged, it's how the barrel was made
HPT/MPI means the bolt was magnetic partical inspectected
QSM, EPT are going to be the type of trigger

PTAC is cheapest line, and lowest quality
Premium is going to be the most expensive, best quality typically have FN barrels etc.
Freedom and Defender are in the middle typically have cheaper barrels, but are usually coated in melonite unlike the PTAC stuff that is phosphate. Some of the freedom stuff have SS barrels. Thats just going to require more reading here to decide what you want.

Most beginners buy a complete rifle, learn and then go to site like PSA and build their own
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By RogueSpear2023:
Well read here and you will figure most of that out.

ASC-L is the stock model made by Magpul
CHF is Cold Hammer Forged, it's how the barrel was made
HPT/MPI means the bolt was magnetic partical inspectected
QSM, EPT are going to be the type of trigger

PTAC is cheapest line, and lowest quality
Premium is going to be the most expensive, best quality typically have FN barrels etc.
Freedom and Defender are in the middle typically have cheaper barrels, but are usually coated in melonite unlike the PTAC stuff that is phosphate. Some of the freedom stuff have SS barrels. Thats just going to require more reading here to decide what you want.

Most beginners buy a complete rifle, learn and then go to site like PSA and build their own


This is a good reply.

I will add that HPT/MPI means high pressure test/magnetic particle inspection. It basically means that the bolt (or barrel as the case may be, but usually bolt) has been tested using a high pressure test load. It is then inspected using the magnetic particle technique.

HP test loads put more stress on the part than normal ammo. What this ultimately does, is ensure the bolt is strong enough/built correctly/has no hidden cracks that would cause a failure, Then the magnetic particle inspection checks to ensure that the HP test did not cause any hidden hairline fractures. So you now know that the part can handle stress greater than the normal operating stresses, and has no hidden defects. This isn't a guarantee that the part won't fail prematurely, as it could still have a hidden flaw or weakness the inspection misses, but it is a good indication that it is at least most likely up to snuff when it leaves the factory.


The PSA premium line is a very good even high quality rifle. Its not the prettiest, but generally built well and with good parts. I trust one as my go to, sitting ready to go. (and I own higher end BCM rifles)

The PTAC is base entry level, parts are lower quality, usually bellow mil spec.

The freedom line is next up, typically using better parts, but often batch tested rather than individual testing. some parts are below spec.

Sometimes PSA offers their Premium uppers in cheap build kits, and the uppers are usually good to go, but the lower parts may have some below spec items (buffer tubes, and charging handles usually) Get the upper and then source the lower parts separately in order to get the better spec parts. Do that and you have a very good rifle.

QMS is the Quality Mil Spec trigger from ALG, it is a standard AR trigger that is just made with a bit more care to ensure it has a clean pull. The ACT is the ALG Combat Trigger, that is polished and has a hard surface plating to make it smoother. The EPT is basically the PSA version of the ACT... I would imagine the ALG version is superior, but I have no direct experience with the EPT.
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