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7.62x39 AK magazines - recommendations?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Bozwell, Dec 3, 2012.

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  1. Bozwell

    Bozwell Member

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    I recently picked up and converted a Saiga in 7.62x39. I still need to install the bullet guide, but I've been holding off until I purchase some AK magazines for it. I've seen a lot of different flavors of AK magazines and just wanted to ask for some recommendations. I know with other guns, there are "good" magazines and there are some not so good ones, but I know very little about AK's at this point. Is there a particular brand that's considered the best? How about best "bang for your buck"? Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!
     
  2. brnmw

    brnmw Member

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    Metal...Metal...Metal.:

    The only real suggestion IMO to give would be to stay away from Plastic mags for the 7.62X39mm, if it were the AK-74 variant in 5.45X39mm you would be fine. My experience with "Plastic" mags for 7.62X39mm like Tapco for instance is that it never really seemed to fit in the mag well very good and you could never load the full 30- round capacity in them without having constant feeding problems. I have purchased over the last few years the Bulgarian Metal mags from CDNN Sports they carry them from time to time for about $15-19.00 each est. (The only issue I have had with those was a little filling to get it to sit right, however once filed to a desired fit..."They Work!" Very little if ever any issue with jams, just make sure you take them apart and clean all the grease out of them well before using.
    Good luck. :)
     
  3. JustinJ

    JustinJ Member

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    Avoid any mags with a plastic tab for the latch to engage. Any metal should run like a champ.
     
  4. briansmithwins

    briansmithwins Member

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    Eastern Europeon steel surplus is going to work. Of the different countries I like Bulgarian, Polish, or Soviet the best. Hungarian is good too. The worst for fit and finish is Romanian. They work but rust easily.

    BSW
     
  5. mortablunt

    mortablunt Member

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  6. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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  7. Bozwell

    Bozwell Member

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    Thanks fellas. I'm going to order some of the Egyptian and 40 round Russian mags from Aim :)
     
  8. 3twelves

    3twelves member

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  9. Kymasabe

    Kymasabe Member

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    Unless you're into spraying a lot of lead downrange, I think you'll find a 40-round mag is a little bit much for range use.
    I have a couple of 30's I never use. For me, the ideal mag is the Hungarian tanker mags, the 20 rounders. Not too long for the range bench, not too heavy when fully loaded.
     
  10. Dentite

    Dentite Member

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    I also like the all metal eastern com-bloc surplus mags. I have some 30s and 20s. Never had much interest in 40...that's a lot of weight. Of the ones I have I prefer the type without the metal "rib" on the front or back or both. The smooth front and back are more comfortable to handle, but I can see how the rib may add strength.

    I have one Tapco 30 round that came with the rifle and mine fits and feeds fine but a plastic mag just doesn't look and feel right to me in an AK but that's just a matter of taste.
     
  11. henschman

    henschman Member

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    The only plastic mags you need to avoid are the American made ones, like Tapco and Promag. Bulgarian circle-10 plastic mags are awesome, and those orange bakelite AKM mags work great as well (if you can actually find any). You can never really go wrong with GI steel mags though, and they are generally cheaper than the quality foreign plastic mags.
     
  12. Noah

    Noah Member

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    I have a bunch of the Tapco polymer mags. $9, 4 parts, and zero issues ever. Light, tough, and reliable.
     
  13. k_dawg

    k_dawg Member

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    Since it does not have the bullet guide, have you verified that the Saiga has had its mag catch modified to allow use of 'standard' AK magazines?

    I agree with avoiding the Tapco plastic mags. Of course, verify it is 922r compliant before using a foreign mag.
     
  14. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    I thought mags counted as 3 922r parts.
     
  15. wally

    wally Member

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    Any comblock steel mag should be fine as long as they are not dented so badly that the follower binds.

    If the follower binds you can iron out the dents by driving a tool into the mag body. There is one available in AK armorers kit, but I found a Craftsman 12" 1/2" drive socket extension on the ratchet end was about the right diameter and fixed a few mags for me after pounding it in a few times where the dents were.

    They do, but use three US parts elsewhere if you want a reliable rifle.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
  16. Girodin

    Girodin Member

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    There are different kinds of bulgarain platics mags. The waffle mags with steel reinforcements and locking lugs are my favorite AK mags (but pricey these days). There are however, Bulgarian plastic mags that are no better than many of the US plastic mags. The slab side mags with no reinforcements are not something I would buy.

    Legit military surplus mags are generally the best buy IMHO.
     
  17. wojownik

    wojownik Member

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    Go with Bulgarian or Polish steel mags. I have East German steel mags as well, which I would actually have to rank above the Soviet mags.

    Be aware that there are two versions of Bulgarian steel mag - one with the metal follower, and another with a polymer follower. Both are fine, but IIRC the steel follower is milsurp while the polymer follower is kind of a hybrid commercial production.

    Agree with the advice that the Romanians have the worst fit and finish of any Euro mags, but they are functional.

    Don't know much about the Egyptian mags, but I'd recommend staying away from the Asian AK mags. I bought two, and the seams started separating.

    As for polymers, the Bulgarian (Arsenal) with steel lining and locking lugs appear to be pretty good. Be aware that there are also Bulgarian polymer mags with steel lining, but without steel lugs. The polymer lug can shear off with aggressive use. There are also Bulgarian polymer mags without steel lining or lugs. These can suffer from cracking around the feed lips, as well as shearing of the lug. I have a few of these Bulgarian polymer-only mags (with the imprint of bullets on the side), and I would only use these for the most casual of range use.

    As for U.S. made polymers, IMHO, redirect your funding to any of the above options.
     
  18. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Thanks for the tip. I just got some rusted/mangled mags from classic arms. Never again.
     
  19. fatcat4620

    fatcat4620 Member

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    Go with circle 10 polymer mags, they are the best. Also the gen2 US palm mags are but bad.
     
  20. Girodin

    Girodin Member

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    I would take good steel surplus mags over US palm mags every time. Steel mags are cheaper too. If you are going to pay the cost of a US palm mag, pay a couple dollars more and get a much better Bulgarian mag with proper steel lug and reinforcements (there is about a 4-5 dollar difference based on the places I looked but it was not an exhaustive search for the best deals available for each).

    The best I can tell US palm mags got pumped up buy a bunch of hyperbolic statemens by, the convicted fraud Gabe Suarez. He has shown again and again his recomendation are tied more to what he is peddling than anything else. He also has shown a willingness to lie for profit. While Suarez was trying to tell everyone the US palm mags (which he was heavily invested in) were better than Circle tens, every independent test I saw showed them being out performed in terms of durability and reliability by both Circle tens and various steel military mags. As the reports of failures rolled in, it really made one wonder how suarez every could have been teeling the truth about the "abuse" he'd put them trough. The mags were reportedly modified to cure some of these woes. However, I'm a little skeptical to believe the same sources that claim they are "good to go" now that claimed that before and made a bunch of claims that turned out to be BS.

    Another fault of the US palm mags is that they will not work in some other guns that take AK mags. Thus if you ever want to get one of those you have to buy all new mags.

    I also do not like the fact that I cannot take apart the US palm mags. I am aware of the talking points on this issue from the proponents of the US Palm mags, however, I would still prefer the ability to remove them.

    The only advantage I see for the US Palm mag is that they save a few ounces of weight. Hardly worth the additional price and the other issues they bring.

    Here is what Duane Litpak of Magpul had to say about the updated US Palm mags:

    http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?p=1452426
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
  21. FIVETWOSEVEN

    FIVETWOSEVEN Member

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    Nope, the plastic tabs can break easily and if the gun is dropped on the magazine fully loaded, it will break in more ways than one. Range use they are fine but if you want something you could trust beyond the shooting range, avoid them.
     
  22. fatcat4620

    fatcat4620 Member

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    Girodin, you are right on most accounts. The price gap on palm mags is shifting. On black Friday palms were $20 while circle 10s still hover around $36. Arsenal also had some new mags with steel lugs for $20 but have been out of stock. I am waiting for lancer to get into the ak mag game but doubt it will happen.
     
  23. Girodin

    Girodin Member

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    Not only will tapco plastic mags fail a drop test, see video below. People have broken them simply by going prone and having the mag hit the ground as they do. They really are not fit for anything other than use on a square range. The locking lug and the feed lips are far to prone to failure. A $9 mag is not much of a savings over a $15 mag or even a $35 one, once those parts are broken on your nine dollar mag.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQalsPMe3tY

    In a mag test published in the Shotgun News Tapco mags failed when the locking lug broke.

    If all your shooting is on a square range and you have no intent to use the mags for defensive use then Tapcos might be worth considering. Even then I'm not sure they would be the best buy.

    According to every carbine course instructor I've heard opine on the subject most malfunctions are mag related. I think part of the reason AKs have built such a reputation for reliability is that all the true com bloc mags built for them were sturdy reliable mags. Magazines are not a place to cheap out if you are at all concerned with reliability.
     
  24. fatcat4620

    fatcat4620 Member

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    Tapcos are worthless BUT the new slab sides do look good. Also look or for commercial Bulgarian polymers. They do not have any steel in them
     
  25. Girodin

    Girodin Member

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    Yeah the commercial Bulgarians tend to fail in the same way the Tapcos do, although they seem to take slightly more abuse before doing so based on the tests I've seen.
     
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