PSA AR-9 Hybrid Review

I need to begin this one with an important note: The device seen attached to the pistol buffer tube is a Shockwave Technologies Blade Pistol Stabilizer, which includes an ATF letter indicating that installation of this device and proper use does constitute assembly of an NFA item.  More details on that later.



In a masterstroke, PSA decided to make what they’ve termed a Hybrid BCG that allows use of either Colt SMG-style or Glock magazines with the same upper/BCG.  It’s ramped, so depending on the lower / hammer you’re using, it’ll be easier on your hammer pin, if that’s a concern.  Being PSA, one of the preeminent sources of AR Lowers and pretty much anything else you’d want for an AR build on the cheap while still being able to trust the craftsmanship, they’ve also introduced a few complete 9mm uppers in various common lengths with various popular handguard / rail configurations.


While they’ve already had both uppers/lowers and complete rifles using their previous AR-9 BCG and dedicated lower for Colt SMG magazines, to coincide with release of this Hybrid BCG, they’ve introduced a dedicated Glock Magazine lower (which appears VERY similar to the popular Quarter Circle 10 GSF lower).  So if you were looking to build a pistol-caliber AR, and already have a good number of Glock 9mm magazines (and who doesn’t?), this can *significantly* cut down on the cost of kitting up for your new firearm.


Granted, that Dedicated Glock Pistol Lower has been pretty difficult to catch in stock, but when you can catch it, it’s significantly cheaper than the comparable Quarter Circle 10 product, and both the pistol and rifle lowers come with PSA’s pistol buffer.


While it would be tempting just to get what’s in stock, depending on your build plans, it would be easy to run afoul of the ATF’s “constructive intent” laws with regards to NFA items, in this case, having what you need on hand to construct an SBR.

In my case, I while I *do* plan on SBR’ing this pistol (and plan to do a write on up that process and in the involved costs), I wanted to start with a 7.5″ pistol build, which I’ll eventually build into an SBR by replacing the pistol buffer with a Mil-spec buffer tube and standard AR stock.  Just be wary of what other parts you have laying around, and don’t get tempted to play around with this topic.


Back on topic- with the task of building a short 9mm AR pistol that can share magazines with my Glocks, and keep things relatively cheap, I decided on the following:

While not currently available, the total cost of this build at the last time the upper and lower were available would be:

  • Lower: $249
  • Upper: $349
  • Optic: $21.99
  • Handstop: $47.26
  • Sling: $23.99
  • Stabilizer: $51.28
  • Total as configured at last available prices: $742.52 (w/o shipping)

As far as the optic- I wanted to try something lightweight and cheap and see how it stands up to use on this 9mm.  I definitely wouldn’t recommend something not proven (i.e., not significantly pricier) on a firearm intended for self defense use, this will be a chance to review a lower-priced optic on what is, for the mean time, a range toy.  Once it’s SBR’ed, unless I’m *really* impressed with that optic, it’ll probably start wearing a Mepro or Aimpoint Micro.


As far as quality of the PSA upper and lower, everything bolted together as intended, no rattle, and I’ve experienced 0 failures for the first 400 rounds of 124gr 9mm.  This thing is *so* fun to shoot infact, that I’m thinking of Suppressing it after it gets SBR’ed, at which point I’m not even sure anything else would make it to the pistol range with me unless I needed to practice for something specific, even as gimped as it is in not using that brace as a stock and just using it for cheekweld, it’s just that fun.


That’s that for now, I’ll follow up when I get my Form 1 stamp and can properly finish this thing.  Also, stay tuned for individual reviews of the optic, Odin Handstop (I like it.), and the Stabilizer.

Update 6/21: Form 1 submitted, now we play the waiting game.
Update 2/15: Form 1 Approved after nearly 8 months.

14 thoughts on “PSA AR-9 Hybrid Review”

  1. I am intrigued by this, and the possibilities that firearms in this particular classification–pistol-caliber quasi-SBRs, that is–offer for serious applications like home defense.

    Have you tried any defensive ammo in it? How well does it run with hollowpoints, or does it? I figure that if you want to suppress it eventually, it’d be good to find out at the very least how well it runs with subsonic ammo. Maybe swing by Wal-Mart for a few boxes of 147gr Winchester White-Box hollowpoints?

    Well, it’s just a thought.

    1. It seems to eat up whatever I give it without issue. and specific to your point I’ve been running 147gr in it (in my case, Freedom Munitions) without issue. Since you’re dealing with something with some weight to it, vs. a handgun, the different loads don’t seem to make much of a difference. It handled PDX1 Defenders just fine.

      To your other point, these things absolutely have applications as a home defense weapon- easy and cheap to practice with, shares ammunition AND magazines with 9mm Glocks, and, while I can’t seem to find a single case of over-penetration ever being a problem in a home defense shooting, that’s one less thing to worry about with a pistol caliber carbine.

      My only gripe here, which is to be addressed in ~2-3 months based on, is the lack of stability without having a stock. It’s a headache, but it’s fixable by SBR’ing it. Firing this thing from the shoulder will be fantastic.

  2. This is exactly what I’ve been looking for opposed to the ATI, Wilson Combat, and others for much more money. Does it hold open on the last round fired? I’ll keep up with your posts. Thanks!

    1. Sadly, it does not do last round bold hold open- but based mostly on the rather steep price difference between this and 9mm Glock-magazine compatible lowers that do LRBHO (Daniel Defense / Wilson), I was okay with skipping that feature.

      Be sure to check back, we should have the Form 1 stamp soon on this one, and will be reviewing it as a legit SBR.

    1. It’s blowback operated – as far as I know, all of the AR-based pistol caliber carbines are going to be blowback – no reason having a gas system when you’re dealing with the relatively lower pressures of a pistol cartridge.

  3. I have one that I SBR’d. It is blowback, and it gets filthy with a suppressor. I also cerakoted it, which helps with the cleaning quite a bit. I have had reliability issues with mine using a suppressor and non round-nosed bullet (147 grain AE sub-sonics). I’ve purchased a feed ramp from Tac-com and an odin works mag release (I don’t care for the plastic the PSA comes with). We’re iced in here in KY currently, but I can’t wait to get back out to the range and try it again. It seriously is one of the most fun weapons I have to shoot. Even in pistol form it puts a big smile on your face, but the stock makes a HUGE difference in controllability.

    1. Yup, I liked it in pistol form, it was fun – but it’s a whole different animal with a proper stock.

      Mine has the same issues with anything but ball ammunition – and I usually run Federal AE Syntech 115gr in it, as it runs a bit cleaner than most (esp. when using a can). Let me know how that feed ramp works out, I’d love to be able to reliably run defense loads in it.

  4. Nice setup, I’m currently building my AR9. I was curious about what foregrip you have on there. Trying to find one that will fit nicely on my 6″ rail.

    1. Ha, no problem – was about to check to see if the link was still working (it’s not, I’ll have to fix that, but I’m sure you found the part from the name).

      I really like it, as I tend to shoot using it more like an AFG, with my index and middle finger on the handguard and ring & pinky on the grip, with the bump in between, but my significant other likes to use it as a handstop , with her hand partially on the front of the magwell – and it works great for both positions.

  5. I have the PSA G-9 hybrid and the extractor pin came out. Do you know what size coil pin it uses? I am also having trouble finding pictures to see what the pin looks like when it’s installed correctly. I didn’t notice it missing until I tested the gun and the cartridge didn’t eject. Thanks!

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