Curved magazines


April 22, 2004, 10:18 PM
Why are some magazines (M-16, AK-47, MP-5, etc) curved?

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April 22, 2004, 10:33 PM
Usually, it is because the cartridges they are intended to feed are tapered.

Put 10 or so 7.62x39 rounds against each other, side to side, and see how much it curves. If you try to fight it, they will tend to nose-dive instead of feed.

The MP-5 uses both straight and curved mags. The straight ones came first, then the curved versions were introduced to address feed problems with JHP ammo.

April 22, 2004, 10:43 PM
Then why is it that the FAMAS uses 25 round straight magazines? I've never heard of any feeding problems with them.

KY Belly
April 22, 2004, 10:51 PM
I always figured that it was because they were less awkward to handle. (not as likely to bang into an object)

April 23, 2004, 02:31 AM
M16 Magazines didnt start off curved either (20 rounders) and worked pretty well. Even the newer 30 rounders arent really CURVED so much as BENT. I suppose that the more rounds in a magazine the more critical it is that the magazine conforms to the shame of the round being fed.

April 23, 2004, 04:01 AM
Just look at the almost 45° angle at the bottom of the 25rd FAMAS magazine (, it looks like spring does a 'curve' at the bottom of the magazine.

I think you could have a stright 30rd mag but it might be taller then the 'bent' one. :confused:

Also AFAIK the 7.62x39mm has more of a taper than 5.56

April 23, 2004, 07:48 AM
Look at the "stick" magazines of the Thompson subgun. 30 rounders are ruler-edge straight.

Not much taper in the .45ACP cartridge makes that possible. When you look at the 20+ AK/SKS magazies, check out the curve, and look at the taper of the 7.62x39 ammo

April 23, 2004, 09:15 AM
I am not a mechanical engineer, but I would say they are curved (30-40 rds),because of space. Ex: a 30-40 mag. would be lets say 18in. if it were straight, where as being curved it would be only 12in. measuring down from receiver......:scrutiny:

April 23, 2004, 09:28 AM
Magazines are designed to be reliable with the ammo used.

In some magazines the follower can be designed to tilt slightly to enable better feeding.

A good example is the US M1 Carbine. The cartridge is slightly tapered. The 15 round magazine is straight because the rear of follower can tilt slightly downward. The 30 round magazine, however, needed a curved (or bent) body to ensure reliable feeding.

The feed angle can also determine the shape of the magazine.
In a staggered column magazine the amount of "flare" of the magazine can influence the curvature. For example a 9mm magazine that is narrower at the nose of the cartridge can be straighter than a parallel sided mag.

Look at a magazine for a 9mm or .38 Super 1911 pattern pistil. There is a flute stamped into the body. This holds the noses of the cartridge together one above the other, while allowing the rear of the casings to splay slightly. This allows a straight magazine to be used.

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