Building America’s Largest Online Gun Deals Platform. Start Your Search Today! clean search

  1. Home
  2. Reviews
  3. Rifles
  4. Palmetto State Armory Sabre Review: A Top Contender For Best AR-15 Under $1,000
Palmetto State Armory Sabre Review: A Top Contender For Best AR-15 Under $1,000 preview image
Sep 19 2023
11 min read

Palmetto State Armory Sabre Review: A Top Contender For Best AR-15 Under $1,000


With a mission to sell as many guns to as many law-abiding Americans as possible, there is a reason Palmetto State Armory (PSA) is essentially a household name in the firearms industry. To accomplish this, PSA is known for delivering quality firearms at an affordable price.

The new Sabre line of AR-15s and AR-10s builds upon PSA’s own components and features parts from some of the top brands in the industry. Despite being a premium line for PSA, you can find many full build options under $1,000.

There are forged and billet options, both of which offer several variants. Today we’ll be looking at the Forged 13.7-inch Sabre AR-15 chambered in 5.56 NATO, with components from names such as Radian, Battle Arms Development, and Magpul, to name a few.

palmetto state armory sabre review
I figured it was only fitting to transport my Sabre to the range inside of my PSA rifle case.

After seeing all of the impressive features on this build, I think you’ll be surprised to be able to find this under $1,000.

Let’s take a closer look at this new PSA Sabre!

PSA Sabre Review

PSA Sabre For Sale

PSA "Sabre" Forged 13.7" Mid-Length 5.56 Rifle w/ 13" Quad Rail & JMAC GFHC-E Pin/Weld, FDE Cerakote
palmettostatearmory.comCHECK PRICE


Caliber5.56 NATO
Gas SystemMid-Length
Barrel Length13.7 inches
Barrel Steel4150V
Receiver MaterialForged 7075 T6
Muzzle Thread½-28

Pros & Cons

  • Clean and crisp Hiperfire RBT trigger
  • Radian Raptor LT charging handle and a Radian Talon safety (both ambidextrous)
  • Upgraded Magpul furniture
  • Accurate and reliable 
  • Plethora of upgraded internal components
  • You won’t go broke buying it with an MSRP of $999.99
  • Doesn’t come with iron/back-up sights
  • Quad-rail seemed to have too sharp of edges (not uncommon from quad-rails in general)
  • A little heavier than what I typically would prefer

First Impressions

From simply reading over the spec sheet and seeing all of the upgrades, I could tell I would likely be impressed.

Picking it up out of the box, the Sabre felt as if it was built to withstand getting hit by a meteor. It feels solid but is a bit heavier than I would prefer. I’ll always take a little bit of extra weight if it translates into a well-built finished product.

Overall Feel

After playing around with the controls, checking out the trigger, and adjusting the stock to fit me better, I am happy to report that I was still impressed. The upgraded Magpul pistol grip offers more comfort than your standard A2-style pistol grip, and overall, the Sabre is ergonomic.

Range Time With The Sabre – How We Tested

We still have further testing (with a complete YouTube review coming), but we couldn’t wait to hit the range with the Sabre.

So far, we’ve been mag dumping, reloading, and mag dumping some more to see if the rifle is picky with what you feed it (see next section for the answer) and thoroughly function-checking every aspect of the rifle.

With plenty of range time to come and some behind us, we’ll surely put the Sabre through all its paces.

Running some transitions between targets with three round bursts. I thought I saw an outlier on the second target, so I had to take a second and do a double-take!


I put 260 rounds through down range without experiencing a single malfunction. It didn’t matter to the Sabre whether I was shooting slow, fast, or anything in between. I put a few different loads through it to see if it was picky with anything in particular…it wasn’t.

Ammo Used

I had a nice mix of ammo for the review that included:

While the Sabre didn’t have issues with any of the ammo, it did seem to slightly favor the Hornady Match ammo, which would make sense given its 1:7 twist rate.

palmetto state armory sabre review with hornady match frontier federal ammo
A mix of Hornady and Federal fed the Sabre for my review.


With my Primary Arms prism scope mounted up top, I easily hit all my targets and maintained tight groupings within 25 yards. I stepped up to 100 yards, and while my groupings obviously expanded, the distance was still no issue to land shots on target.

If you run a dedicated scope or an optic/magnifier combo, you shouldn’t have any problem pushing the range out much further.

palmetto state armory sabre review with groupings
The Sabre thoroughly enjoyed the Hornady Match ammo.


Hiperfire RBT Trigger

I was pleasantly surprised to find something other than the typical mil-spec trigger that comes in many sub-$1,000 rifles. It comes with a Hiperfire RBT (Rifle Builders Trigger) trigger that’s also used in a couple of other popular rifles around this price point.

Even though I much prefer a flat trigger, the RBT was still very nice to shoot with. It has a light pull, a super crisp break, and a quick and defined reset.  

palmetto state armory sabre review trigger safety controls
The RBT by Hipfire is a definite upgrade from your standard mil-spec trigger.

PSA 13” Quad-Rail

I used to almost exclusively run quad-rails, so it felt almost nostalgic shooting the Sabre. With the quad-rail running almost the entire barrel length, you’ll have plenty of space to mount your favorite grips, lights, sights, or whatever else tickles your fancy.

I recommend getting some rubber rail covers, though, as I found the edges to be sharper than ideal. Running a foregrip of some sort would also help.

palmetto state armory sabre barrel handguard
I love the seamless FDE finish throughout.

Radian Raptor LT Charging Handle

Radian charging handles are arguably the most popular on the market today. The Radian Raptor LT is a lightweight ambidextrous handle machined from 7075 aluminum.

The handle is well-sized for quick manipulation without being “oversized” to the point it gets snagged on clothing or gear. It comes in flat dark earth, grey and black, which are all designed to match standard Magpul colors.

palmetto state armory sabre radian raptor-lt charging handle
I’m glad PSA went with the black instead of the FDE handle. I think it provides a nice contrast.

The Sabre also has an ambidextrous Radian Talon safety to go along with the charging handle.

JMAC GFHC-E Muzzle Device

In order to “stay compliant” and not trigger any SBR confusion, the JMAC GFHC-E is permanently pinned and welded, putting you safely over the 16-inch mark.

The GFHC-E is made out of 17-4ph stainless steel with a black nitride finish. It’s KeyMo and KeyMicro suppressor compatible.

palmetto state armory sabre JMAC GFHC-E Muzzle Device
In this scenario, the extra couple of inches can be a deal breaker for some.

Magpul Furniture

With all the other upgrades on the Sabre, PSA made sure not to forget about paying attention to the furniture too. You’ll find a Mapgul MOE SL stock and grip that comes in place of the standard mil-spec stock and A2 style pistol grip.

The stock has a comfortable angled rubber butt-pad, multiple sling attachment points, and an internal anti-rattle feature to minimize wobble on the receiver extension tube. The grip has solid ergonomics with a decent texture, but I wish it had a cap for internal storage options.

palmetto state armory sabre magpul stock
You might as well carry on the FDE theme with the furniture!

Custom 30 Round Thril/PSA Magazine

The magazine surprised me because I didn’t recognize it at all. I’d never heard of Thril until I saw this magazine and wanted to see who made it.

It’s your standard 30 round polymer magazine with PSA’s logo engraved on it instead of Thril’s. I used it for about half of my shooting with no issues.

sabre 30 Round Thril PSA Magazine
Lightweight polymer and a 30 round capacity. I can’t ask for much more.

Other Notable Features & Components

In addition to some of the more noticeable features mentioned above, many others shouldn’t go unnoticed. Here are a few examples, in no particular order:

  • Battle Arms Development takedown/pivot pins
  • Father’s of Freedom BCG by MicroBest
  • Sprinco White buffer spring

It’s pretty evident that PSA put a lot of thought into this rifle.

Score Card

Reliability (10/10)  

There were no malfunctions to be found during my testing.

Ergonomics (8/10)

With the adjustable stop, well-placed and sized controls, and plenty of room to mount your favorite foregrip or hand stop, ergonomics should not be a problem.

Customization (9/10)

As with most AR-15s, more accessories and aftermarket parts are available than you’ll ever know what to do with. The quad-rail and Picatinny rail up top give you plenty of room for all of your accessory desires.

Appearance (8/10)

The FDE finish and the aggressive look of the quad-rail provide for a good-looking rifle. Something about the look of the muzzle device doesn’t do it for me, though.

Value (9/10)

Coming in at an MSRP of $999.99, it’s hard to argue that the value isn’t there. With all of the upgraded features and components, the fact that this rifle is under $1,000 is surprising.


Primary Arms SLx 1x

Primary Arms SLx 1X MicroPrism Scope Gen II

With an etched reticle, you never have to worry about your batteries dying. As long as the batteries are working, you’ll have 13 illumination settings, three of which are night-vision compatible. On a medium setting, there is a 29,000 hour battery life.

Primary Arms SLx 1X MicroPrism Scope Gen II testing reticle

It also features motion-sensing on/off technology, has an IP67 waterproof rating, and is fog resistant and dust-proof. To top it off, it comes with lens covers and is backed by Primary Arms Lifetime Warranty.

Check out our Primary Arms SLx 1x review for more information.

Magpul RVG – Rail Vertical Grip

Magpul RVG - Rail Vertical Grip

The Magpul RVG would be a great addition to the quad-rail on the Sabre. It’s lightweight, ergonomic, and helps control your rifle without spending much money.

You can get it in FDE if you’d like to color match your Sabre, or it also comes in black, olive drab green, and stealth gray. It includes the mounting hardware, and it’s made in the USA.

Magpul MBUS 3 Sights

Magpul MBUS 3 backup Sights - ODG

I always recommend having a set of back-up sights on your ARs, in addition to any other optic(s) you may have mounted. Magpul MBUS (Magpul Back-Up Sight) line has been one of the most popular for quite some time, and for good reason.

The sights are lightweight, durable, and spring-loaded to deploy quickly and easily. They feature tool-less elevation and windage adjustment and also come in FDE, olive drab green, and black, in case you want to continue the color-matching.


Stag-15 Tactical 16” Rifle

While you may not beat the price tag of the Sabre, the Stag 15 Tactical is still darn close in price. You can typically find them floating just over the $1,000 mark, which is a great deal for them.

The Stag 15 Tactical also features a Hiperfire RBT trigger, ambidextrous controls, and upgraded Magpul furniture. Notable differences, though would be a 16” barrel and a slimline M-LOK handguard.

It’s a solid rifle at a great price.

Springfield Armory Saint Victor 

One of my often recommended AR-15s around the $1,000 mark is the Springfield Saint Victor. It’s a great intermediate AR that won’t leave you needing to dump money into it anytime soon.

It features a nickel boron coated single-stage flat trigger, a 15” M-LOK handguard, Springfield muzzle brake, and it even comes with Springfield’s spring-loaded flip-up sights.

There is a lot of bang for your buck with this rifle.


The fact that this particular Sabre comes in under $1,000 makes me hopeful that more and more citizens will take the proper steps to arm and protect themselves and their families. The world is a crazy place, especially lately, so having a company like Palmetto State Armory keeping its prices so reasonable is so much appreciated.

The Sabre delivers more than I would have expected for the price, and I think it’s definitely worth checking out if you are in the market for a new AR-15 in this price range.

Have you had the chance to shoot a Sabre yet? If so, what do you think? Would you buy it or pass on it?

Finding the Best Price for the PSA Sabre

Gun Made’s gun deal search engine is an invaluable tool when looking for the most affordable prices for the PSA Sabre online.

It scours the internet, collating information from various sellers to help you find the most competitive prices. By simply entering your desired product, in this case, the PSA Sabre, the search engine quickly presents a list of options from various retailers. This allows you to compare prices and find the best deal for your budget.

Using Gun Made’s gun deal search engine saves you money and time by bringing all the best deals into one easy-to-navigate platform.

Written by Ryan Domke
Ryan Domke photo Ryan Domke is a freelance writer, photographer, and social media consultant with a passion for guns and tactical gear. He works with some of the largest manufacturers in the firearms industry, allowing him the opportunity to continuously learn from and knowledge share with the 2A community. Ryan has contributed his writing expertise to numerous reputable publications, including, Cheaper Than Dirt, Springfield Armory's 'The Armory Life,' Smith & Wesson's 'The S&W Bench', and The Mag Shack. When he’s not spending time with his family, you’ll likely find him at the range or starting a new DIY project.


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

Explore more