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5 Cost-Effective Ways to make the PSA PA15 WAY better

Springfield Echelon shown with sparks and glory


Let’s cover Phase 1 cost-effective upgrades to enhance the Palmetto State Armory PA15.

First, let me remind you of the intention of the upgrades for this rifle. There are things I like about this rifle from the factory. I love how it is BASIC, and light weight. I have other fancy ARs’, I have plenty of heavier rifles. I want to keep the PA15 relatively basic while addressing issues I don’t like.


Upgrade #1, addressing the Muzzle. Cost $80.00

*Cox Arms USA Battle Brake



The PA15 comes with a standard A2 style birdcage flash hider. This offers little in performance or feel. For about roughly the same weight, I would like to install a muzzle brake.

The Muzzle Brake I chose to check out is the Cox Arms USA Battle Brake. I watched the video they released comparing the Battle Brake to other competition, and I was intrigued. A Muzzle Brake can greatly reduce the felt recoil, however it can also be extremely obnoxious since it redirects the gases towards the side and the rear. For the sake of this build, I am good with the tradeoff of decreased recoil and the increase of sound levels. PS… Might want to make this an outdoor-only rifle 😉


Upgrade #2, The Trigger. Cost $129

Elftmann SE Trigger


The PA15 model I have comes standard with a pretty decent trigger which is the Enhanced Polished Trigger. While it feels much better than some other milspec triggers I’ve experienced, upgrading the trigger is one of the best upgrades you can perform on an AR. Early on in my shooting days, I never saw much value in triggers. All I experienced were the cheapest lower parts kits I could find. That was until my AR failed in a competition and was loaned one from a friend. After experiencing the difference of a quality trigger vs the Mil Spec… I was sold on it’s value.

For this upgrade we’re going to use the Elftmann ELF-SE Trigger. This is a quality drop-in trigger which greatly reduces the trigger pull, and increases the reset force resulting in much quicker follow up shots.


Upgrade #3, the Pistol Grip. Cost 19.76

Reptilia Corp CQG Grip


The next upgrade is the pistol grip. I’m going to start by saying the existing Magpul grip isn’t that bad. It feels much nicer than a standard AR pistol grip, however for a simple upgrade that costs less than $25, you can pop on a grip with more of a vertical feel. The grip I have been chosen is the Reptilia CQG Grip. This was one of the items in my TAC PAC that I’ve been waiting to install.


Upgrade #4, 45 degree safety selector. Cost $40

Armaspec Fulcrum 45


The standard selector on the PA15 is… Standard. It’s left-side only and operates at a long 90 degree throw. I’ve decided to select the Fulcrum-45 45 degree safety selector my Armaspec. This was also found in one of my TAC PACs several months ago. One thing to note is the size of the selector. There is a knob on the end of each lever, and the offhand lever is shorter than the primary which prevents finger chafing.


Upgrade #5, the stock. Cost $59

JE Machine Tech SOPMOD


The Magpul MOE stock that comes on the PA15 is… alright. I feel that it’s an upgrade over a standard collapsable AR stock, however the MOE is relatively featureless. More importantly, it’s quite wobbly. I’ve chosen to use the JE Machine Tech SOPMOD stock. The stock has a snug fit which reduces wobble, has watertight CR123A battery storage compartments, and most importantly to me, QD sling point attachments. This also has a wider cheek weld for a more comfortable surface contact.


This sums it up for my Phase 1 upgrades. These upgrades will offer more functionality and a much better feel for the PA15 overall. The rifle originally costs about $400. The total of all the parts mentioned here is a total of 370. Total rifle cost at this point is $770.


Phase 2 will address performance and function of the PA15 and it’s overall longevity. Make sure to subscribe and let me know in the comments below if you are interested in that video.



$789.99 🔥🔥

Rifle Featured in this video


$499 🔥🔥



Other Items used in this video...

Blackhawk Omnivore

Trijicon RMR2 3.25moa

Surefire X300

​Axil XCOR Ear Pro

Axil GS-Extreme

Gatorz Blast Shield ballistic glasses

​High Speed Gear Combo Mag Pouch








Blackhawk Omnivore

Trijicon RMR Type 2 3.25MOA

Surefire X300


Axil GS Extreme

Gatorz Blastshield

HSG Combo Mag Pouch


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