AK Mag Buyers Guide

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The AK Rifle Buyers Guide is located here

Foreword

The purpose of this guide is to help the beginner AK enthusiast understand what to look for, what to avoid, and considerations to make when considering purchase of an AK magazine. While I will list a number of surplus military mags, as well as commercial production, this is not meant to be an exhaustive catalog of all the variations of AK magazines. That would be an ambitious project we may attempt at some point, and beyond the scope of this guide.

AK Magazines are something I’ve been interested in for several years now, and over that time I have purchased, shot, and sold dozens of variations of magazines. I quickly noticed there are certain patterns and features to look for when purchasing magazines, and thought I would share this with newcomers to the Kalash scene, as well as short notes about specific magazines I have experience with.

Summarizing what to look for in an AK Magazine is easy; body material, thickness, and texture are considerations, as well as weight, length, and magwell fitment. However, the single most important feature to me is the presence of reinforcements in AK Magazines. Yes, certain magazines are prone to denting, rusting, or cracking, but the most common and concerning point of failure in my mind is first, the locking lugs, and second, the feed lips. In this author’s humble opinion, most shooters will never, in their lifetime, put enough rounds through their AK to, say, shoot out a 4150V barrel, or wear out a magazine spring. However, it is very feasible to use a cheap magazine enough that you wear out these failure points. Generally speaking, all military production magazines will have both steel lugs and feed lips, with a few exceptions, such as early longtop bakelites, or polish beryl polymer magazines. Here some images of common reinforced polymer magazines.

Why are reinforced locking tabs and lugs critical, you might ask? Well, it’s a simple matter of geometry. 30 rounds of 124gr Wolf steel case ammo in a Hungarian AK magazine comes in at just under 2 pounds of total weight, all of which is hanging from 2 contact points: the front and rear locking lugs. Factor in the size and shape of an AK magazine, and its easy to imagine banging the mag around while its in the rifle, as well as putting extra weight on those contact points while balancing the rifle on the mag during prone firing. Reinforced lugs can easily handle the stress, and then some. Unreinforced lugs, however, often face an early demise, as pictured here.

Next to consider, are the feed lips. Similar to the locking lugs, many cheaper quality magazines will skimp out on the reinforced feed lips, opting to instead make extra thick polymer feed lips. These are much less prone to failure compared to polymer locking lugs, however, they are still much less robust and reliable than steel magazines or reinforced polymer magazines. The big drawbacks to all polymer magazines are: 1) The constant pressure of keeping a magazine loaded can “stretch out” these feed lips, and 2) There is a slight amount of contact between the feed lips and the rails and bolt carrier inside an AK47. Over time, this can cause a slight amount of wear, although not enough to really be concerned. What **IS** a big cause for concern is what happens when you drop a fully loaded AK magazine. Due to the design of the follower, which creates a large amount of empty space at the bottom of the mag body, the center of gravity typically causes the mag to rotate as it falls, more often than not resulting in the magazine landing on the feed lips. This impact can cause extreme damage, sometimes even breaking the lips off and causing the magazine to eject all 30 cartridges into the dirt. I’m not going to sit here and tell you your PMAG without steel feed lips is going to break eventually, but I will say it likely has a shorter service life than, say, an Arsenal ((10)) magazine.

-Darkside_1994

So, without further ado, here is the r/AK47 Magazine Buyer's Guide! This table is meant to give users a base of info on magazines that are in current common use. Tables are by caliber, and abnormal terms seen in the columns are explained below.


KEY

(Reinforcement of Magazine Locking) Lugs/(Feed) Lips/Body)

  • Indicates (Yes or No) for the presence of steel reinforcement in the Front/Rear locking lugs of the mags, Feed Lips, and Body of the mag (or if they're Aluminum)

Quality

  • Avoid - *Don't go out of your way to buy these. They can have fitment issues, cause jams and other malfunctions, and can easily be damaged through regular use.*
  • Range Worthy - *Good functionality, most likely won't have a fitment issue. Likely to be damaged if dropped while fully loaded on a hard surface, but won't destroy themselves quickly with regular use.*
  • Great Mag - *Dependable reliability; durable magazines. You can run these over with a car and other nonsense and still use them for a long, long time.*

Capacities

  • Lists the variation of capacities found for that type of magazine
  • Price Range USD
  • Lists the expected min/max price range of that magazine in USD ($), in general, the higher capacity version of a mag will be seen closer to the max, and vice/versa

7.62x39

Model/Type Country Manufacturer Material Lugs/Lips/Body Quality Capacities Price Range USD Notes
Arsenal Black Waffle Bulgaria Circle 10 Poly Y/Y/Y Great Mag 30 or 40 50 to 70
Arsenal Plum/Green Waffle Bulgaria Circle 10 Poly Y/Y/Y Great Mag 30 50 to 100 It's the black waffle, but it's cooler
Arsenal Poly Slabside shorty Bulgaria ISD Bulgaria Poly Y/Y/Y Range Worthy 5 or 10 10 to 15
Bulgarian Bullet Mag Bulgaria ISD Bulgaria Poly Y/Y/Y Range Worthy 5 or 30 10 to 15
Polymer Slab side "made in Bulgaria" Bulgaria ISD Bulgaria Poly N/N/Y Range Worthy 30 or 40 12 to 18 Black/Brown or Clear with a MADE IN BULGARIA sticker on one side. Steel linings, but the lugs are 100% polymer
Slab Side New Production Bulgaria ISD Bulgaria Poly Y/Y/N Range Worthy 30 12 to 18 Lugs and lips are reinforced, but not the body. Probably a cost effective, durable mag
Stamped Steel Flatback China Norinco Steel Y/Y/Y Great Mag 5, 10 or 30 15 to 35 No Spine
Steel Wind Up Drum China, Romania, USA or South Korea Various Steel Y/Y/Y Range Worthy 75 or 100 60 to 250 Wind up drum, back may pop off on some of these, may require tuning.
AK47 Black/Clear Waffle Plastic Poland FB Radom Poly N/N/N Range Worthy 30 8 to 20 These tend to be ok Range mags, but they do get chewed up over time with just insterting the mag
Circle 11 Black or clear Slab Poland FB Radom Poly Y/Y/Y Range Worthy 30 10 to 15
Green Clear Poland WBP Poly N/N/N Range Worthy 30 10 to 15
Aluminum Waffle "Paratrooper" Russia Izhevsk Aluminum AL/AL/AL Range Worthy 30 80 to 100 These are eye candy. You can hold this mag in your hand, and crush it.
"Bakelite" Russia Izhevsk or Molot or Tula AG4 Y/Y/Y Great Mag 30, 40 60 to 150
Saiga Russia Kalashnikov Concern Poly Y/Y/Y Range Worthy 5 or 10 12 to 20
Steel Slab Side Russia Izhevsk Steel Y/Y/Y Great Mag 30 90 to 130 These will outlive your great grandkids
Vepr OEM Russia Molot Poly Y/Y/Y Range Worthy 5 or 10 25 to 40 Single Stack. Meant to fit Unconverted Vepr Rifle
Top Loader Drum Russia, Romania, or Yugoslavia Molot, Cugir or Zastava Steel Y/Y/Y Great Mag 75 100 to 220 Surplus Toploader drum, very reliable
AK47 Pufgun Russia PUFGUN Poly N/N/N Range Worthy 10, 20, 30, 40 8 to 18 Comes in every color of the rainbow
PAP Single Stack Serbia Zastava Steel Y/Y/Y Range Worthy 10 8 to 12 Single Stack, will not fit regular mag well
KCI AK47 Stamped Steel South Korea KCI "Steel" Y/Y/Y Range Worthy 10, 20, 30, or 40 8 to 18 Fit and quality has a wide range. These may work for you, they may be DOA for you. Gen 2's are supposedly better
AK047 USA Toth Tools Poly Y/Y/N Range Worthy 30 20 to 25
AK30 USA US Palm Poly Y/N/N Range Worthy 30 25 to 35 Tread and waffle
AK47 AC-UNITY Bosnia AC-UNITY Poly Y/N/N Range Worthy 30 10 to 15 Some countries issue these. They aren't built like tanks, but they will work well if not abused.
AK47 Quad Stack AC-UNITY Bosnia AC-UNITY Poly Y/N/N Range Worthy 60 70 to 90 People say you need to break these in over a period of time. Quad stack mags can be finicky, but they're also fun.
Arsenal AK47 Factory USA Arsenal LV Poly Y/N/N Range Worthy 5 or 10 12 to 30 Variety of Colors.
CAA AK47 USA CAA Poly N/N/N Range Worthy 30 18 to 24 Has windows
MAG47 USA Xtech Tactical Poly Y/Y/Y Great Mag 10 or 30 25 to 35 One piece stamped stainless steel insert. Tread and waffle pattern, improved. Ban state variation available, as well as a BHO follower, and multiple colors
PMAG AK47 MOE Gen 1 USA Magpul Poly N/N/N Range Worthy 10, 20, or 30 10 to 15 These tend to be ok Range mags, but they do get chewed up over time with just insterting the mag
PMAG AK47 MOE Gen M3 USA Magpul Poly Y/N/N Range Worthy 30 20 to 30 Comes in Black or…. Sand? - These tend to be ok Range mags, and the lugs are reinforced, but you may still experience cracked feed lips
ProMag AK47 Polymer USA Pro Mag Poly N/N/N Avoid 5, 10, 20, 30, or 40 7 to 12 Black, FDE, ODG, Smoke, Clear - These tend to be ok Range mags, but they do get chewed up over time with just insterting the mag
ProMag AK47 Polymer Drum USA Pro Mag Poly N/N/N Avoid 50 60 to 70
ProMag AK47 Polymer Wind up Drum USA Pro Mag Poly N/N/N Avoid 73 70 to 90
ProMag AK47 Steel USA Pro Mag "Steel" Y/Y/Y Avoid 30 20 to 30 These don't have the same fitting as surplus steel mags, likely need to file the mags to fit
SGM Tactical rolled Steel USA SGM Steel Y/Y/Y Avoid 30 10 to 15 Standard AK47 Pattern, not stamped steel, but rolled steel. Lifetime warranty.
SGM Tactical Sagia USA SGM Poly N/N/N Avoid 5, 10, 20, or 30 20 to 30 Meant to fit Saiga Rifles, has a 5 year manufacturer warranty, so, that's pretty neat
SGM Tactical Vepr USA SGM Poly N/N/N Avoid 30, 40 25 to 35 Meant to fit Vepr Rifles, has a 5 year manufacturer warranty, so, that's pretty neat
Tapco Intrafuse AK47 USA Tapco Poly N/N/N Avoid 5, 10, 20, or 30 10 to 15 Comes in Black or FDE - These tend to be ok Range mags, but they do get chewed up over time with just insterting the mag. Also comes in slabside
AK4730 Steel USA RWB Steel Y/Y/Y Avoid 30 10 to 16 These look a lot like steel promags or steel SGM mags
BHO "Yugoslavian Region" mags Various Various Steel Y/Y/Y RW/Great 30 15 to 30 Surplus OR New Commercial Production, Last round bolt hold open, meant to fit Serbian Aks, but will fit your AKM with modification. The Croation version of these can be really crappy, though. Yugo/Serb/Croat
Eastern European Stamped Steel 7.62 Various Various Steel Y/Y/Y Great Mag 5, 10, 20, 30 or 40 15 to 35

5.45x39

Model/Type Country Manufacturer Material Lugs/Lips/Body Quality Capacities Price Range USD Notes
Arsenal Black Waffle Bulgaria Circle 10 Poly Y/Y/Y Great Mag 30 or 45 50 to 100 Full waffle or lazy waffle pattern
Black/PLUM/OD Green Poly Slabside Bulgaria Circle 10 Poly Y/Y/Y Great Mag 30 50 to 80 Commercial Mags imported through KVAR from Arsenal Bulgaria NITI Kazanlak Code ((21))
Polymer Slab side "made in Bulgaria" Bulgaria ISD Bulgaria Poly N/N/Y Range Worthy 30 40 to 50 Black/Brown with a MADE IN BULGARIA sticker on one side. Steel linings, but the lugs are 100% polymer
AK74 Clear Plastic Poland FB Radom Poly N/N/N Range Worthy 30 30 to 40 These tend to be ok Range mags, but they do get chewed up over time with just insterting the mag
Black Tantal Poland FB Radom Poly Y/Y/Y Great Mag 30 35 to 45 Manufactured for the wz.88 Tantal, you may see these sold as the incorrect country online
Green/Clear AK74 Poland V-Project Poly N/N/N Range Worthy 30 12 to 18
Coffin Mag Russia PUFGUN Poly Y/N/N Range Worthy 60 45 to 65 Commercial mags comes in many colors: Black, Olive, Khaki, Sand
Plum Russia Izhmash Or Tula Or Molot Poly Y/Y/Y Great Mag 20, 30, 45 35 to 90
Saiga Russia Kalashnikov Concern Poly Y/Y/Y Range Worthy 10 30 to 45
True Black Russia Izhmash Or Molot Poly Y/Y/Y Great Mag 10, 30 or 35 35 to 90
Vepr OEM Russia Molot Poly Y&N/Y&N/Y&N Range Worthy 10 20 to 30 Meant to fit unconverted Vepr Rifles
"Bakelite" Russia or East Germany Izhevsk or Molot or VEB AG4 Y/Y/Y Great Mag 20, 30, 45 40 to 100
KCI AK74 Dual Drum South Korea KCI "Steel" Y/Y/Y&N Range Worthy 95 80 to 180 Low tolerance drum mag made by company with high tolerances. You do the math.
PMAG AK74 MOE Gen 1 USA Magpul Poly N/N/N Range Worthy 30 10 to 15 These tend to be ok Range mags, but they do get chewed up over time with just insterting the mag
ProMag AK74 Polymer USA Pro Mag Poly N/N/N Avoid 20, 30 or 40 8 to 12 Black - These tend to be ok Range mags, but they do get chewed up over time with just insterting the mag
Tapco Intrafuse AK74 USA Tapco Poly N/N/N Avoid 5 or 30 10 to 15 Comes in Black FDE Orange - These tend to be ok Range mags, but they do get chewed up over time with just insterting the mag
Eastern European Stamped Steel 5.45 Various Various Steel Y/Y/Y Great Mag 5, 10, 30, or 45 30 to 40 Also there are single stack 10 rounders for WASR2/SAR2/Romak2


5.56x45

Model/Type Country Manufacturer Material Lugs/Lips/Body Quality Capacities Price Range USD Notes
Arsenal Black/Multicolor Slabside Bulgaria Circle 10,21,25 Poly Y/Y/Y Great Mag 30 50 plus Comes in Black, Green, Arsenal Plum, Saddle Tan, Brown or Firebrick
Arsenal Black Waffle Bulgaria Circle 10 Poly Y/Y/Y Great Mag 30 50 to 60
Arsenal Clear/Smoke Bulgaria Circle 10 Poly Y/Y/Y Range Worthy 20 or 30 30 to 50 Feed lips are known to crack on these
Stamped Steel 84S READ NOTE China PolyTech Steel Y/Y/Y Great Mag 30 100 plus .223 mag, will not fit in Norinco 5.56 AK's, only Polytech 5.56
Stamped Steel 84S READ NOTE China Norinco Steel Y/Y/Y Great Mag 30 100 plus .223 mag, will not fit in Polytech 5.56 AK's, only Norinco 5.56
"Bakelite" 5.56 Sticker East Germany VEB AG4 Y/Y/Y Range Worthy 30 30 to 50 EG Bakes with the tops painted black, and a sticker for the caliber on the side done by Century Arms. The follower in these is different, and they don't work super great
Weiger East Germany K3 Steel Y/Y/Y Great Mag 30 50 to 65 These are meant to fit Romanian/Weiger pattern 5.56 Aks. With filing, they will also fit Russian/Bulgarian 5.56 Aks (A rumor has it that Hungary produced these too)
Galil Mag .223 Israel IMI Steel Y/Y/Y Great Mag 12, 35, or 50 10 to 25 For the Galil ARM, the 12 round mag is for blanks
Beryl Poland FB Radom Poly Y/N/Y Range Worthy 30 33 to 40
WASR3/SAR3 Stamped Steel Romania Cugir Steel Y/Y/Y Range Worthy 10 35 to 45 These fit the Romanian Pattern 5.56 rifles, look like short weigers, and will likely fit EG 5.56 parts kits rifles. Also, Single stack 5 and 10 rounders are available
Saiga Russia Kalashnikov Concern Poly Y/Y/Y Range Worthy 10 30 to 45
Vepr Factory Mag Russia Molot Poly N/N/N Range Worthy 5 20 to 40 For Unconverted Vepr
M85/M95/M21 Steel Mag Serbia Zastava Steel Y/Y/Y Great Mag 30 35 to 40 Made to fit Yugo Pattern 5.56 Aks
ProMag PolyTech Polymer USA Pro Mag Poly N/N/N Avoid 30 10 to 20 These are meant to fit Chinese pattern 5.56 Aks. If you can get these to work, good on you because steel Chinese 5.56 mags are NOT CHEAP
ProMag WASR3 Polymer USA Pro Mag Poly N/N/N Avoid 30 10 to 20 These are meant to fit Romanian/Weiger pattern 5.56 Aks. If you can get these to work, good on you because SAR3, WASR3 mags aren't easy to come by
ProMag Saiga Polymer USA Pro Mag Poly N/N/N Avoid 30 20 to 30
SGM Tactical Sagia USA SGM Poly N/N/N Avoid 10 20 to 30 Meant to fit Saiga Rifles, has a 5 year manufacturer warranty, so, that's pretty neat
Tapco Galil .223 USA Tapco Poly N/N/N Avoid 30 14 to 18 For the Galil ARM

OTHER

Model/Type Country Manufacturer Material Lugs/Lips/Body Quality Capacities Price Range USD Notes
MPI-69 .22LR East Germany East Germany Steel Y/Y/Y Great Mag 15 4 to 12 Meant for East German Pattern .22LR Aks
GSG AK47 .22LR Germany GSG Poly N/N/N Great Mag 10 or 24 20 to 30 Meant to fit the ATI/GSG produced AK22
RAK 22 Italy Chiappa Poly N/N/N Great Mag 10 40 to 50 Meant to fit the Chiappa made RAK22
Vepr 12 Russia Molot Poly Y/Y/Y Great Mag 5 or 10 80 to 120 Vepr Magwell
Saiga 12 Russia Kalashnikov Concern Poly Y/Y/Y Great Mag 8 90 to 140 One for Rock/Lock, One for Magwell
CSSpecs 12 gauge USA CSSpecs Steel Y/Y/Y Great Mag 8 or 10 50 to 63 They make proprietary mags for the Saiga 12, Vepr 12, or JTS-12 AK shotguns
KS12 USA K USA Poly N/N/N Range Worthy 5 or 10 24 to 40 For the KS12 shotgun
KVAR Black M-12S8 USA KVAR Poly N/N/N Avoid 8 100 to 150 For Saiga Shotguns
ProMag Saiga 12 Drum USA Pro Mag Poly N/N/N Range Worthy 10, 12, 15 or 20 60 to 80 For Saiga 12
ProMag Saiga 12 USA Pro Mag Poly N/N/N Range Worthy 5 or 10 25 to 35 For Saiga 12
Saiga12/Lynx mag USA SDS Poly N/N/N Range Worthy 12 30 to 40 Comes in Black or Clear
SGM Tactical Vepr 12 USA SGM Poly N/N/N Range Worthy 12 35 to 60 Meant to fit Vepr 12, has a 5 year manufacturer warranty, so, that's pretty neat
SGM Tactical Vepr 12 Drum USA SGM Poly N/N/N Range Worthy 25 95 to 110 Meant to fit Vepr 12, has a 5 year manufacturer warranty, so, that's pretty neat
SGM Tactical Saiga 12 USA SGM Poly N/N/N Range Worthy 2, 5, 8, 10 or 12 35 to 60 Meant to fit Saiga/Cheetah/Lynx Shotguns, has a 5 year manufacturer warranty, and they tote the idea that each horiz ridge can function as a new base plate if you want to down size your mags by cutting them
CSSpecs 20 gauge USA CSSpecs Steel Y/Y/Y Great Mag 5, 8, 10 or 12 45 to 55 They make proprietary mags for the Saiga 20
Saiga 20 Factory Mags Russia Kalashnikov Concern Poly Y/Y/Y Great Mag 5 or 10 30 to 40 For Saiga 20
ProMag Saiga 410 Drum USA Pro Mag Poly N/N/N Range Worthy 30 90 to 110 For Saiga 410
SGM Saiga 410 USA SGM Poly N/N/N Range Worthy 2, 5, 10, 12 or 15 25 to 50 For Saiga 410
Vepr Factory Mag 30-06 Russia Molot Poly N/N/N Great Mag 5 Cost of gun For 30-06 Vepr, don't see these sold separate anymore, so you're likely going to have whatever mags come with the gun
CSSpecs Vepr 30-06 USA CSSpecs Steel Y/Y/Y Great Mag 10, 20 or 30 39 to 50 For 30-06 Vepr
Vepr Factory Mag 6.5 Russia Molot Poly N/N/N Great Mag 5 40 to 50 For 6.5 Vepr
Galil Mag .308 Israel IMI Steel Y/Y/Y Great Mag 20 25 to 40 For the Galil ARM "Sniper"
Promag Galil .308 USA Pro Mag Steel Y/Y/Y Range Worthy 20 25 to 40 For the Galil ARM "Sniper"
CSSpecs .308 USA CSSpecs Steel Y/Y/Y Great Mag (5), 10, 20 or 25 39 to 45 They make proprietary mags for the Galil, Saiga, Vepr, or M77 .308 AK rifles
ProMag Vepr .308 USA Pro Mag Steel/Poly Y&N/Y&N/Y&N Range Worthy 10 25 to 30 For Vepr .308. Polymer or Steel Available
SGM Tactical Vepr .308 USA SGM Poly N/N/N Great Mag 25 50 to 60 Meant to fit Vepr Rifles, has a 5 year manufacturer warranty, so, that's pretty neat
M77 .308 Yugoslavia Zastava Steel Y/Y/Y Great Mag 10, 15, 20, or 25 40 to 60 For M77
Pro Mag Vepr .308 USA Pro Mag Poly N/N/N Range Worthy 20 25 to 35
Pro Mag Saiga .308 USA Pro Mag Poly N/N/N Range Worthy 10 or 24 18 to 22 For Saiga 308
Vepr 308 pufgun Russia PUFGUN Poly N/N/N Range Worthy 25 35 to 45 For Vepr .308 clear or black
Saiga 308 pufgun Russia PUFGUN Poly N/N/N Range Worthy 25 35 to 45 For Saiga .308 black
Molot Factory Mag .308 Russia Molot Poly N/N/N Great Mag 3, 5, or 10 40 to 55 For Vepr .308
PSL Mags 54R Romania Cugir Steel Y/Y/Y Great Mag 10 50 to 80 For PSL
Molot Factory Mag 54R Russia Molot Poly N/N/N Great Mag 5 40 to 60 For Unconverted Vepr
CSSpecs Vepr 54R USA CSSpecs Steel Y/Y/Y Great Mag 10 or 20 50 to 55 For the Earlier Chamfered style, but it will work with the unchamfered style with modifications
SGM Tactical Vepr 54R USA SGM Poly N/N/N Great Mag 10 or 20 50 to 60 Meant to fit Vepr Rifles, has a 5 year manufacturer warranty, so, that's pretty neat
M76 Mags 8mm Mauser Yugoslavia Zastava Steel Y/Y/Y Great Mag 10 40 to 60 For M76
Vityaz PP-19 Russia Izhmash Poly N/N/N Great Mag 10 or 30 60 to 80 For Vityaz Pattern Aks, 10 rd mag is pinned
Saiga 9 Russia PUFGUN Poly N/N/N Range Worthy 10, 20, or 30 20 to 30 For Vityaz Pattern Aks, 10 rd mag is pinned, every color of the rainbow available
KR/KP 9 Mags USA K USA Poly N/N/N Great Mag 10 or 30 40 to 50 For Vityaz Pattern Aks, 10 rd mag is pinned

Resources

Places to buy magazines online:

r/comblocmarket