More On AK Mags – History And Issues

It seems I was not the only one to have issues with AK magazines fitting my AK47/74s.

Switchpod did a review of what fit and didn’t fit his Palmetto State Armory GF3 AK-47 pistol. It looks like he had similar issues to what I was having to deal with.

I saw that PSA pistol at the SHOT Show and kind of fell in love with it. The GF3 AK-P pistol with the triangular folding stock is almost a clone of the AKU-74 except that it isn’t in 5.45×39 and it isn’t a NFA short barrel rifle. It probably is as close to a Krinkov as I’ll ever get without jumping through all the hoops.

While looking at that video, I came across one from Ian of Forgotten Weapons in which he discusses the history of the Russian AK47, AKM, and AK74 magazines in all their glory.

Random Thoughts On AK Versus AR Magazines

The AK-47 and its variants are probably the most ubiquitous firearms in the world. They have been made everywhere from the armories of Russia and the former Soviet Union to the tiny workshops of Peshawar, Pakistan. There have been multiple books written about them and how they changed the face of war.

They have the reputation of working in all climates and in all regions of the world. They are not considered finicky as compared to the American M16/AR15.

Given all this, why are their magazines so damn finicky?

I just got a couple of orders of AK-47 and AK-74 magazines delivered in the past few weeks. They included magazines made by Magpul, by KCI in South Korea, and by AC-Unity in Bosnia. My AK-47 is a FEG AMD-65 imported by Tennessee Gun and my AK-74 is Bulgarian variant also imported (and assembled) by TGI.

The results so far is that the Magpul AK-47 magazines fit and lock into place. Their AK-74 magazines have required quite a bit of sanding and finagling to fit and lock.

You can see how this had to be sanded.

The metal “tanker” 20-round KCI magazines are working just fine.

Don’t even get me started on the AC-Unity AK-47 mags from Bosnia. Despite having metal tabs, I have yet to get one that will lock into place without pounding. Likewise, they won’t drop without a good hard slam from the heel of my hand. They are going to take some work just to make them into range magazines.

AC-Unity metal tabs highlighted.

In the past, the actual milsurp ComBloc mags seem to have worked OK. The Tapco ones were a bit of hit and miss. ProMag is to be avoided at all costs.

Contrast this with my experience with AR magazines.

I have used mil-surp, Colt, Magpul, D&H, the Israeli eLander and Orlites, C-Products, Lancers, and others that I can’t even remember. They all work. They lock into place and they drop out when the mag release is pushed. I think I even got Thermolds to work.

These have fitted in lowers made by Aero-Precision, Anderson, CavArms, Essential Arms, and probably others than I have around here.

The only explanation I can think of to explain this is that milspec means something when talking about ARs and not a damn thing when talking about AKs.

Magpul For The Comrades

Magpul for years has been associated with ARs. While they finally came out with an AK compatible magazine last year as well as a pistol grip, that was about it. That is, until now.

They are releasing a number of items for the AK-47/74. First, they are extending the MOE line to include both a stock and handguard for the AK. Secondly, Magpul is releasing a new line called “Zhukov”. Presumably this is named after the great Soviet military leader Marshal Georgy Zhukov.

This latter line will include the Zhukov-S folding stock for the AK and the Zhukov handguard which incorporates their M-LOK system.

According to a post at SoldierSystems.net, these products will release in Spring 2015 and will include plum as well as black.

SHOT Show Pre-Release: ALG Defense AK Trigger (Updated)

Let’s face it, the triggers on your average AK were made by comrades who couldn’t wait to get their next bottle of vodka. They work when they need to but they tend to be heavy and gritty like the comrades that made them.

The people at Geissele Automatics’ sister company ALG Defense may have a solution to fix those triggers. According to their Instagram post, it is called the Lightning Bow and it will be released at SHOT Show. Geissele is going to be one of the participants at Media Day at the Range so I may have a chance to try it out.

If it is anywhere as good as their ALG MilSpec trigger for the AR, I think they may have something here.

A photo posted by ALG Defense (@algdefense) on Dec 12, 2014 at 5:41am PST

UPDATE: ALG Defense has posted the details and the MSRP of their AK triggers on their Facebook page this afternoon.

New Product Announcement – The ALG AK Trigger

The ALG AK Trigger (AKT) is a single stage trigger machined from S7 tool steel for the AK47 and AK74 variant platform. The AKT features a smoother and shorter trigger pull than the stock trigger, and is ideal for combat and home defense use. It has a Manganese Phosphated finish for corrosion resistance.

In addition to the standard model, the Enhanced model has a pull that is even lighter and has a much crisper break which is ideal for precision and target shooting. The Enhanced trigger is hard lubed which creates a permanent self-lubricating surface which will enhance the smoothness of the trigger’s pull, and the hammer is Black Nitride processed for maximum abrasion and corrosion resistance.

Both models feature a unique trigger bow known as the Lightning Bow, which is a hybrid between a flat and a curved trigger bow that produces a very comfortable feel for the user over the stock trigger. For OEM’s and builders, the AKT will also lend three parts towards 922(r) Compliance.

MSRP: ALG AK Trigger: $49
ALG AK Trigger Enhanced: $75

***Please note: The straw coloring of the trigger is due to heat treatment on a prototype trigger.

Interesting Mix Of Old And New

I came across this video today on a subforum devoted to AKs. It is put out by the Matra Group of Bosnia and Herzegovina. What I liked about it is how they are using both CNC and more traditional machine tools and stamping machines to make AK-47 magazines.

If these magazines were made in the United States they would probably sell for $50 given all the handwork done in their assembly. A US-based company would have found a way to cut most of the skilled workers and have automated much of the process.

Now For The Real AK Cleaning Video

Greg Hickok – Hickok45 – had people going with his spoof video on cleaning an AK-47/AK-74. Now he has released the real video below on cleaning an AK.

One thing Greg makes clear in this video is that you are often dealing with corrosive ammo. He refers to using Windex but prefers using Ballistol. I’ve used Windex myself in the past but anything that dissolve the corrosive salts will work. If I remember correctly, the British had a special funnel for pouring boiling soapy water down the barrels of their Enfield rifles which would work as well.

Necessity Is The Mother Of Invention?

Necessity is supposed to be the mother of invention. I’m sure that was the case when it comes to the AK-47 shown below. Not only does it use a guitar strap for a sling but it has a rather unique buttstock to say the least.

This picture is from a post on The AK Forum which was seeking unique examples of AKs for a calendar. I believe the poster called this the Poppy Farmer Special. There are a lot of other nice examples but none so unique as the one above.