Ak Magazine Quandary?


Grim Peeper
June 6, 2011, 10:41 PM
Hi all I was on a military surplus website tonight looking at what they offer and was wondering which was better among the choice that I saw. I have a saiga 7.62 x 39 that I am doing a magazine conversion on and was wondering which was best. They offer Bulgarian or Surplus Czechoslovakian or Surplus European. I your opinion which is the best magazine as they all look the same to me. Thanks

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June 6, 2011, 10:45 PM
Any Com-Bloc steel mags are good. Chinese are good. USA and Korean mags suck. Buy whatever country-of-origin magazine has the best price/condition. It is a PITA to disassemble a dozen mags or so to clean the crap out of them. Far easier to buy the nicer ones and spend less time, effort and aggravation getting them field worthy.

June 6, 2011, 10:53 PM
Bulgarian "circle 10" waffle polymers, these are the PMAGs of the Kalashnikov world, and are even tougher than the steel mags even though they're only around 40% of the weight.

After that any steel mag in good condition is good to go, the only downside really being the weight.

That''s one thing about the Kalashnikov, at least in 7.62x39, it's NOT exactly plagued by inadequate magazines either by design or by manufacture.

Ohio Gun Guy
June 6, 2011, 11:18 PM
Never had a magazine problem in any of my Aks with the european steel surplus. I know I have a mix of Bulgarian and Romanian. There may be others.... As said above, any european surplus steel mags. (Mine all have the rib, I have no experience with the "Flat" back mags.)

Grim Peeper
June 6, 2011, 11:59 PM
Thanks guys I ordered the Surplus European Steel AK mag just now. Im sure they will be much better than the plastic pro mag i had to use before the conversion of my saiga.:o

June 7, 2011, 12:21 AM
They offer Bulgarian or Surplus Czechoslovakian or Surplus European.

From the former communist bloc, a steel mag is a steel mag is a steel mag. Just check them over when you get them to make sure there's no dints or dings in the steel and that the spring and follower travel freely and you're good to go. (Have had some with fossilized cosmoline and stuff in them that were not ready to run out of the box, but a couple minutes cleaning fixed them.)

The only odd ball in the mix, and the one in your post that raises my eyebrows, is the "Czechoslovakian AK" mag. The Czechoslovaks never issued the AK, using the locally designed vz.58 instead -- mags are not compatible. If I saw "Czech" or "Slovak mil surp" AK mag offered, I'd recommend checking pictures and/or calling the place selling them and making sure they're really AK mags. They probably aren't, but some sellers also describe vz.58s as "Czech AKs" since they shoot the same caliber from similarly shaped magazines, which is about on par with calling a Mini-14 a "Ruger AR-15."

Cal-gun Fan
June 7, 2011, 12:52 AM
Tapco and Thermold magazines are good to go as well. They work fine, they just aren't quite as rugged-but they cost much less. So if you want some good magazines just to plink or shoot from the bench with, go with those. For actual hard use mags though, you can't beat the circle 10s and the steel mags.

Grim Peeper
June 7, 2011, 01:12 AM
Just want steel mags. Where do you all get your good cheap steel ak mags?

June 7, 2011, 03:21 AM
I bought 50 of these, and they are SUPERB. Get in while you can, I can't imagine how they're still in stock with word going around, they must have bought a gigantic amount. Clean, new, eastern bloc supposedly, though some guys say they are definitely high end Chinese mags. No ribs. They have the long followers that are greatly sought after for reliability. The best AK mags I've ever owned.

9.95 a pop with breaks at 10pieces

knock yourself out:

June 7, 2011, 08:46 AM
Tapco and Thermold magazines are good to go as well.

Not in my experience. My Tapco AK mag is 0 for 2 firing 30 rounds without a feed failure. I've tried it in my Draco-C SBR and SIG 556R. No issues with either rifle feeding from the steel mags.

So far the Tapco Galil mags have worked 100% in my pair of Saiga .223 conversions. My good luck with these had me try one of their AK mags, no such luck.

I've never tried the Thermold AK mags, my experience with their AR mags told me why bother.

My SIG 556R came with a plastic, metal lined Bulgarian "slab side" mag -- it was worse than the Tapco with three failures in 30 rounds.

Stick to the steel mags or the Bulgarian circle 10 mags. In fact the Tapco mags are usually more expensive than surplus steel mags if you actually shop around.

If you do get a steel mag with a dent in the body that impedes the follower you can easily "iron" it out enough to work by pounding in a tool a bit wider than the follower -- I used a 12" Craftsman 1/2" socket drive extension.

June 7, 2011, 09:11 AM
For greasy AK mags, your best bet is to put them all in a kettle and boil them in water with a bit of dishsoap, stirring occasionally. The cosmolene will melt out of them and float to the surface.

June 7, 2011, 10:55 AM
I second the suggestion for polymer Circle 10 mags. They're light, durable, and good quality. Unlike most plastic mags, they're reinforced with a steel frame, steel retention tabs, and steel feed lips (all polymer coated though, so very corrosion resistant). The downside is they're expensive at about $30 a piece. I consider an AK a long-term investment so I'd just bite the bullet and five or six of these. Then you're good to go forever.

June 7, 2011, 11:07 AM
The combloc steel magazines are cheap, reliable, nearly all of them work and they are almost indestructible. I would get those. Country or style doesn't matter much as long as they are real combloc military mags.

Buck Kramer
July 17, 2011, 07:10 PM
Bulgy or Romanian steel. Cheap and reliable.

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