Korean Mags?


Messenger Guard
December 19, 2010, 02:36 PM
I've been seeing a trend lately of Korean made mags at gun shows. Usually I use OEM, Mecgar, or mil spec but I must confess the price has intrigued me. I've inspected the knock off Glock, M-14, and AR-15 mags and frankly they look good. I inspected the AR-15 mags and they are dead on copies of my $$$HK steel mags. Soooo...I grabbed a few. When I got home I tore one down beside the HK and really can find no difference. I reassembled and shot the weapon with said mag and have no problems. Anybody else tried them?

If you enjoyed reading about "Korean Mags?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
December 19, 2010, 02:52 PM
Great for target shooting and that's it... I wouldn't dare rely on them for self-defense.

3 Korean Glock 19 15rd Mags
2 Korean Glock 17 17rd Mags
1 Korean Glock 18 33rd Mags

December 19, 2010, 03:09 PM
McKnife - What issues did you experience with the various Korean mags that you've owned that made you decide against them for carry?

December 19, 2010, 03:10 PM
Kingpin beat me to it. Please elaborate on your experience McKnife.

December 19, 2010, 03:35 PM
I've got KCI korean made mags for my M1 carbine that are flawless, are 100% reliable.

December 19, 2010, 04:21 PM
It doesn't surprise me that the Koreans make good AR-15 mags--they used to make the M16 under license for general issue and now make their own rifles, all of which use STANAG mags. The mags for export probably come from the same factory that makes them for the ROK military.

ETA: That probably goes for the M1 Carbine as well, which the almighty Wikipedia tells me is still in service with some ROK reserve units.

December 19, 2010, 04:30 PM
I've had a few problems with the KCI mags feeding reliably in my Glock 19. The main problem though is that they will not drop free, you've got to pull them out. They'll drop from my bothers Glock 26 fine. As others have said, I'd use them for the range maybe, but not carry. IMO, the small savings are not worth it.

December 19, 2010, 04:36 PM
Ive got a bunch of the Korean 17 mags, and they have worked fine. All drop free too. They dont load quite a smoothly as the factory Glock mags, but they seem to unload fine. :)

December 19, 2010, 05:40 PM
I've not had any troubles with the Korean mags. I've used Glock 17 & 22, M1A, AK, & AR.

The Korean Glock mags I have don't drop free but that is not an issue for me.

December 20, 2010, 08:27 AM
Where can you find the ar 15 an ak 47 mags. I have seen the glock mags advertised but not the others.

December 20, 2010, 09:18 AM
Kymasabe: +1 for M1 Carbine mags from KCI.

December 20, 2010, 09:52 AM
I have some Korean AK mags that are parkerized light grey. I haven't used them yet. I notice they have two layers of sheet metal for the feedlips. Anyone experirnce problems with these?

December 20, 2010, 01:08 PM
I've been using the KCI 17-round 9mm Glock mag in USPSA matches, loaded only to 10 rounds to meet Production rules. They are totally reliable in every respect, but when they were new they inserted into the magwell with just a bit more difficulty. After about 5 matches and practice in between matches, they all insert and feed and drop free just like Glock factory mags. Perhaps they just need a little 'working in' on the outside. Otherwise they function perfectly. Also, our indoor matches are on concrete, and magazines (sometimes partially loaded) get dropped directly on the hard surface all the time. The Korean plastic base plate has no problem hitting concrete when dropped while on a running mag change.

I bought a Korean steel mag for M1 Carbine (I don't recall if it's KCI or some other) and cannot tell the difference compared to GI and US commercial magazines. Identical, and reliable.

December 20, 2010, 07:33 PM
That's interesting about wearing them in. I didn't try that. I only put about 100 rds. through those mags.

December 20, 2010, 07:36 PM
I have had good luck with the Korean mags in my Glock 22, M1 carbine and 75 round AK drum, all have fed reliably and are well built.

Average Joe
December 20, 2010, 07:54 PM
Since we don't make anything here anymore, where else are you going to buy them?

December 20, 2010, 08:01 PM
I have some I lightly sanded them down and then made them very smooth and they drop free now. Reliability has been 100% with the ones I have in a couple different glocks and my sub 2k.

Deus Machina
December 20, 2010, 08:43 PM
My only experience is with a couple parkerized AK mags.

As noted, they just doubled up the sheet metal on the feed lips. Odd, but it does the same job.

When I first got them, they would not feed. They just rammed the round straight into the lip of the feed ramp.

A few strokes with a file to take the burr off the edge of the feed lip (and gaining a wicked slice on my thumb in the process) and they still feed a little low, but reliably. In the long run, I'm going to bend the feed lips up just a hair at the front.

I think the problem is in the double-sheet design at the feed lips--it is easier to bend two sheets of thin metal than one sheet of thick, and they perhaps rolled it too far.

December 21, 2010, 01:29 AM
I use KCI mags in my G19. The springs can be hit or miss. I've had some bad ones, so I've gone and replaced all the springs. I've had no malfunctions since switching out the springs. I've heard the floorplates can break if dropped, but they seem pretty sturdy to me. Other than that, I have only one minor quibble.

G19 mags are slightly shorter than stock. The first clue is that when inserted, there's no gap between the mag well and the floorplate. I measured the difference in length as slightly more than 0.1", IIRC. Depending on the actual brand of ammo, the last round can be such a tight fit it actually stretches the mag lips. This can make the mag difficult to seat and to rack the first round. Thinning the floorplate insert with sandpaper alleviates this to some degree.

The G17 mags are perfect. I never experienced problems with the original springs, but I changed them out, anyway.

I got mine for 5 dollars each at CTD. Add the cost of a replacement springs, and I got perfectly reliable magazines for around $10.00.

December 21, 2010, 02:48 PM
The springs can be hit or miss. I've had some bad ones, so I've gone and replaced all the springs. I've had no malfunctions since switching out the springs. I've heard the floorplates can break if dropped, but they seem pretty sturdy to me. Other than that, I have only one minor quibble.

^^^The springs are nowhere near a good as genuine Glock mags. I have had several no-feeds from "slow" springs.

Also, there is considerable tilt in the follower, while Genuine Glock Mags have no tilt whatsoever.

For the price, they are great. For target practice, excellent.

For Self Defense, No. Anything less than dead-nuts-reliable is irresponsible and risky.

December 23, 2010, 08:13 AM
The verdict for the newly made korean FAL mags is still out aparently. Dont know if they are all coming out of the same factory or not as the AR/AK mags. The park looks the same but may not be parked in house.

December 23, 2010, 10:27 AM
I have been running three KCI G17 mags for the last few months. Bought them from CDNN for $6 a piece. For that price, i figured that they would make excellent training magazines, even if they were not reliable.

I initially purchased just one so i could test the waters a bit. I currently have 800 rounds through the first mag with zero issues. After the first mag was sufficiently vetted, i then bought two more. Both of those mags have 400 rounds a piece through them, also with zero issues.

One minor thing i observed on the first KCI mag was that it began to stick in the magwell at around the 500 round mark. I have not sanded the mag body down yet, but i am sure it will fix the issue.

Overall, i am pleased with their value and performance. I will more than likely buy a few more for range use. For anything serious, i will still continue to use factory mags.

December 23, 2010, 10:37 PM
i bought a few of the m14 mags for my m1a they worked well, and i would buy more.

December 24, 2010, 12:21 PM
Korean made magazines = for range use only.

KCI M1 Carbine (15 round & 30 round) magazines. These were made for the ROK military and have been in production since the 1980s.
KCI Glock 19 (15 round) magazines. These were made for the ROK military & police.

December 24, 2010, 12:35 PM
Korean FAL mags.

I have a couple.
I'm pretty satisfied with them - not sure if I'm going to be testing them a whole lot more, as I already have a substantial supply of OEM FAL mags.
I wrote a review of the Korean FAL mags at:

Lot of haters for the Korean mags out there.

If you enjoyed reading about "Korean Mags?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!