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Old July 4, 2014, 04:30 PM   #1
PabloJ
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Spare mags for an AKM?

There are several manufacturers from all over the world ranging in price from $10 to $75 (the "rare one"). I want to pick up some with metal "lips" whether body is made of metal or plastic does not matter to me. Which ones represent best value for the money. Thanks.
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Old July 4, 2014, 04:55 PM   #2
Sam1911
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Not sure exactly what you're asking about, but pretty much any com-bloc steel AK mag is the standard-setter for reliability.

There are some makers of various commercial copies, polymer and other, but it is really hard to come up with a reason to bother with them.
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Old July 4, 2014, 06:04 PM   #3
PabloJ
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Thanks. Going to visit LGS aka "Flee Market" and see if I can pick up a few used ones for about $20 or so. If not I will order some Romanian ones from on-line retailer.
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Old July 4, 2014, 07:08 PM   #4
TRX
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There are three basic AKM magazines:

7.62x39 (by far the most common)

5.45x39 (AK-74, not as common)
5.56 NATO (fairly rare, and NOT the same as a 5.45 magazine)

The 5.45 and 5.56 magazines don't have as much curvature as the 7.62 mags, and they're slightly longer front-to-back; they won't fit into a 7.62 magwell.

The only other mags you're likely to find laying around are the Valmet / Galil / R4 style, which may be found in .308, 7.62x39, or .223. The latching lug at the front is located a bit higher than an AKM due to the "slant cut" shape of the receiver. *Some* people have reported success using AKM mags in Valmets and vice versa, but it's a "try it and see" thing. If you accidentally acquire any, they're easy to flog off to the Galil owners.

The Soviet stuff was pretty standardized, but over 3/4 of a century the foreign-made variants and copies diverged a bit.
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Old July 4, 2014, 08:49 PM   #5
gunnutery
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I've been buying some polymer AK mags of late. I started into the polymer ones because at the time, the steel ones were still bringing $20-30 each (last panic) and I came across some good deals on the polymers. I've got two steel ones that haven't ever given me any problems. Right now they all seem to be running about the same price, so I'll eventually pick up some more steels.

I've got one Tapco, three Bulgarian plastics and I just bought one Magpul.

One of the Bulgarian's didn't fit in my rifle right out of the box but the other two have worked great. I wasn't all that upset since they only cost $7 + shipping at the time. I still have yet to fiddle with the one that doesn't fit just because I haven't had any time to work on it.

The Tapco mag has worked great too, I've only put about 60 rounds through it though. I JUST bought the Magpul, so I haven't had it out yet, though someone on THR has done a good review of it.

If I'd seen a steel mag for sale right next to the Magpul in the store, I would've bought it over the Magpul, just because I know they're the standard and I trust them over the mixed reviews of the others (minus Magpul, haven't heard any negatives yet).
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Old July 4, 2014, 09:28 PM   #6
Rob G
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Most AK mags are going to work pretty well with foreign made surplus ones generally being the best, assuming they're not all beat up. The ones I have for my AK run the gamut from polymer, to bakelite, and a couple steel. They all work equally well. The only thing I'd advise is that whatever you buy make sure it has a metal locking tab on it. It'll hold up a lot better than the ones with plastic tabs.
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Old July 5, 2014, 06:57 AM   #7
PabloJ
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I'm going to pick up some all metal ones from Eastern Europe. I don't mind pre-issed (most Euro probably are) as long as there are no obvious signs of damage like dents. Weapon being old Chinese one I'm not going to seek out the collectable ones. There are some plastic white ones with metal endings (Bulgarian I think). I'm going to check those out to. My friend has one of them 'Legend' AKs (extra polish, chrome bolt/carrier plus chrome on magazine follower). He is trying to find original mags (chromed follower with PolyTech stamped on bottom of mag plate) for the gun. I told him considering asking prices he is a bit loco.
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Old July 5, 2014, 10:13 AM   #8
bannockburn
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Most of my AK mags are old East German ones, along with 3 Hungarian mags which came with the gun and a few older Chinese mags as well. All of them are metal and all have worked fine in my AK.
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Old July 5, 2014, 10:31 AM   #9
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I bought a few 10-packs of Yugo bolt hold-open mags from SGAmmo and they have been excellent. I only had two magazines that had significant finish wear. I re-blued them with Brownell's Oxpho Blue and they look super nice now.

If you can buy a 10-pack or more, I think these are the best deal going right now. You can spend $2 less per mag and pick up the Eastern Block mags that they also sell, but the finish isn't as nice and they won't have the bolt hold-open followers. Of course, you can convert any AK mag to lock open, but I think going with the Yugo mags from the start is the best route.

You will need to remove all the cosmoline, which is a bit of a chore. I throw them in my Ultrasonic cleaner with some degreaser and then scrub them with an old toothbrush. Rinse-dry-lube-wipe-assemble and I'm off to the races.

I have a hard time paying more than $10 for a questionable polymer mag when rock-solid surplus mags are available in great condition for so cheap.
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Old July 5, 2014, 02:33 PM   #10
PabloJ
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Picked up two Russian and two Chinese (no rib) steel magazines. That is total of 7 magazines which is all I will ever need.
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Old July 5, 2014, 04:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
That is total of 7 magazines which is all I will ever need.
Until you get a second AK.
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Old July 5, 2014, 08:18 PM   #12
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This is by far the best deal online. http://www.sgammo.com/product/surplu...itary-surplus-

I got 25 mags that all looked nearly new.
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