A few years ago I was visiting my favorite Pawn Shop in downtown Vancouver, Washington, when I came across an awesome looking rifle, now, originally I thought it was a Soviet Dragunov and I was so excited, that I bought it on the spot. It wasn’t until I got home and looked it over, that I realized that I had made a mistake.
It wasn’t a Dragunov at all, it was a Romanian PSL, but it still fired the same cartridge as the Soviet rifle , the 7.62×54mmR. So instead of getting pissed-off at myself, I thought I’d make the best of it and I’m glad I did, I found the PSL was a very durable and accurate rifle and I had loads of fun with it on the range.
Here’s a little bit about the Romanian PSL courtesy of Wikipedia:
“The PSL (Romanian: Puşcă Semiautomată 7,62 mm cu Lunetă, model 1974, “scoped semi-automatic rifle”) is a Romanian military designated marksman rifle. It is also called PSL-54C, Romak III, FPK and SSG-97 (Scharfschützengewehr 1997). Though similar in appearance, mission and specifications to the SVD Dragunov, the PSL rifle is mechanically completely different and based on the RPK light machine gun.
After Socialist Romania’s refusal to join the Invasion of Czechoslovakia, relations with the Soviet Union worsened. To counterbalance its reliance on Soviet military equipment, Romania accelerated the development of its arms industry mostly relying on Soviet blueprints and licences. As the Soviets were not eager to share technical information on the SVD Dragunov, a project commenced to develop the PSL.
PSL rifles were originally made at the Uzina Mecanică Cugir in Cugir (English pronounced Koogeere), Romania starting with 1974. Great numbers were produced and equipped all branches of the Romanian Army, several internal troops and police units and the Gărzi Patriotice.  After a consolidation of military arsenals when Romania joined NATO, a split of the factory occurred, production of the PSL continues in Cugir under the brand SC Fabrica de Arme Cugir SA (ARMS arsenal), Romania.
The PSL rifle was designed to meet all the requirements of the SVD Dragunov. Its primary purpose is to be used by a squad level sniper, in current acceptance more of a designated marksman, to engage targets at ranges beyond the capabilities of the standard issue AKM assault rifles. It is built around a stamped steel receiver similar to that of the RPK light machine gun; having a wider forward section enabling a strengthened, more substantial front trunnion.
The PSL’s operation is the same long stroke piston action of the Kalashnikov family of weapons. Its appearance is similar to the Dragunov sniper rifle but they only share three components being the ammunition, optics, and bayonets.”
Okay, now that you’re filled in, watch as Eric puts this rifle through it’s paces on the range. Here’s some advice, if you happen to come across one of these rifles at your local pawn shop, buy it, you won’t regret the purchase!!
H/T – Wikipedia