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.

History Of The Various Types Of Magazines



The Firearms History, Technology & Development Blog has been running a series on the various types of magazines ranging from tubular magazines to pan magazines. Most of us are familiar with the box magazine but few of us would know that a Krag-Jorgensen rifle’s magazine is termed a “capsule magazine.”

The whole series is well worth a read especially if you are interested in the development of firearms technology over time.

Tubular Magazines

Box Magazines

Capsule Magazines

Drum Magazines

Pan Magazines

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.

Magazine Versus Clip

Greg Hickok – Hickok45 on YouTube – has come out with a short video showing the differences between a clip and a magazine. You wish this would be required viewing for every journalist or politicians who decides to opine about banning “high capacity assault clips” in the wake of the Newtown shootings. As Greg says in the video, he doesn’t know of any clips that hold more than 10 rounds.

This would also be a good video to share with your newbie shooter friends who may have rushed out to buy a firearm for the first time in the last month or so. It will help them learn the correct terminology and feel a little less like a neophyte.

Magpul Announces Gen 3 PMAG

Magpul Industries had this announcement on their Facebook page a few hours ago:

Magpul is proud to announce the release of the
GEN M3 PMAG and new pricing for the existing PMAG, which will continue
to be produced as part of the MOE line.

The existing PMAG will
now be priced at an MSRP of $12.95 and an MSRP of $15.95 for the Window
version, and will now be known as the PMAG 30 AR/M4 GEN M2 MOE. Once
existing supplies of the GEN M2 PMAGs are exhausted, they will begin
shipping in MOE packaging, and will not include dust covers. All colors
will continue

to be available.

The PMAG 30 AR/M4 GEN M3 will begin shipping in black only on 1 Nov,
2012, at an MSRP of $14.95. The Window version will be available soon,
at an MSRP of $17.95.

 Magpul has more on the Gen 3 PMAG including details on changes in both the external and internal geometry, a new four-way anti-tilt follower, and compatibility with the FN SCAR at the link here.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see some dealers start offering deals on their existing inventory of Gen 2 PMAGs in order to make room for the new Gen 3 model. If so, I’m all for it!

Army Backtracks On PMAG Ban

TACOM Life Cycle Management Command had issued an edict stating that only Army-issue aluminum magazines could be used in the M4 and M16. Moreover, the polymer magazines such as the Magpul PMAGs were verbotten.

It appears that either someone in the Army bureaucracy actually listened to the soldiers in the field or they caught hell from some Infantry commanders. Either way, they are now saying the TACOM directive was “misunderstood”.

According to an update at Military.com, soldiers can keep using their PMAGs.

Army officials acknowledged June 6 that TACOM’s message was poorly written and not intended as a directive on the use of PMAGs. Matthew Bourke, an Army spokesman at the Pentagon responding to questions from Mililtary.com, said the message should have included guidance that the final decision rests with commanders in the field.

“At best, the message is incomplete; at worst the message allows soldiers to jump to the wrong conclusions,” Bourke said. “Maintenance Information Messages [from TACOM] are permissive. They are not an order. They are not a directive. All content and direction in those messages are optional for the recipient.”

The story concludes:

Army officials maintain that TACOM’s message was intended to make soldiers aware that not all commercial magazines have gone through the same testing as the improved magazine, but concede that there are exceptions.

“The main message we want to get out is – although the Army does support and is confident in the improved, tan-follower magazine – we don’t want soldiers to fear punishment for using PMAGs,” Bourke said.

Magazines For Guns You Don’t Own

A Tweet from Cheaper Than Dirt advertising their 30-round magazines for the HK 91/G3 reminded me that I have at least 100 G3 magazines (20-rounders) and don’t even own a HK 91/G3/PTR-91! I’m sure I am not alone in owning magazines for firearms that I don’t currently own.

I bought most of them a couple of years ago when the great Obama’s Gonna Ban Them rumors were going strong. CMMG was planning on launching an AR-10 variant which would use the G3 magazines. They did come out with the lower but you had to shave down the DPMS upper. I wasn’t too keen on doing that work myself.

I think if I ever get around to having a rifle that can use these magazines, it will either be a PTR-91 or a semi-custom rifle built by SI Defense out of Kalispell, Montana. SI Defense has a lower that will fit modifed G3 magazines and they will build the whole rifle for you. I did speak with them at the NRA Annual Meeting in Charlotte and that seems the way to go for the higher quality build.