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.

Oh! The Horror!

Magpul donated 1,000 30-round PMags for the NRA to give out to those who attended the January 13th NRA rally at the Virginia State Capitol. Duane Liptak, Magpul’s Executive VP, is a member of the NRA Board of Directors. Bear in mind that a magazine ban is one of the agenda items for anti-gun Democrats in the Virginia General Assembly. A magazine ban, I should add, that has no grandfathering.

Giving out 30-round PMags was reminiscent of what Magpul did for rallies in Vermont in 2018 and in Colorado in 2013. In other words it was nothing new. Nonetheless, the gun prohibitionists at the Cult of Personality known as Giffords have their panties in a wad over this.

Gun rights advocates from around the country are urging armed protesters to descend on Virginia’s capital before the General Assembly’s first legislative session of 2020 to stop Democrats from passing gun-control bills.

The NRA is even getting involved by offering to hand out 30 round magazines to protesters for free if they show up.

Tweet from the NRA: EMERGENCY AIRLIFT: @Magpul_HQ sent us 1,000 30 Round PMAGs to hand out tomorrow in Richmond to NRA members who show up to fight Northam's extreme gun ban! We'll see everyone TOMORROW at the General Assembly Building in Senate Sub-Committee Room1 on the 5th Floor at 8am!

A 30 round magazine was used to shoot this organization’s co-founder, Gabby Giffords, kill six people and injure 12 others in Tucson.

First off no magazine of any size can be used “to shoot” anyone. A magazine is merely a container. It, more importantly, just like a firearm is an inanimate object that cannot do anything unless it is used by human being.

In Ms. Giffords’ case, the murderer in Tucson had a Glock pistol as his weapon of choice. He did have a Glock 18 knock-off magazine that jammed when he was reloading allowing heroic bystanders to end his rampage.

The killer bought it legally after passing a FBI NICS check. That he was able to pass such a check despite evidence of mental issues was due to the failure of school authorities to report his behavior and due to the Pima County Sheriff’s Department ignoring his actions. The latter was due to a friendly relationship between the killer’s mother and Sheriff Clarence Dupnik.

Giffords and other such organizations who send out these pleas for money rely on shock value and the decay of memory with regard to past events. That it is dishonest has never stopped them in the past and won’t stop them in the future. Fortunately, there are both the Internet and those of us with long memories to set the record straight.

The Evolution Of The Magazine Pull

Magazine pulls or those attachments used to facilitate pulling a magazine out of the ammo pouch have certainly undergone quite an evolution.

It started with some soldier or marine who had the idea to use flattened 550 paracord to fashion an easier way to pull their magazines out of their Alice-clipped mag pouch.

Somewhere along the line, it advanced to making “e-pulls” using three pieces of flattened paracord along with duct tape. The center section was fused together using a household iron.

I don’t know if it was the first or second iteration that gave Richard Fitzpatrick the idea to create the original MagPul or not but create it he did. An entire company and industry followed from that.

The Magpul Ranger Plate in its many variations followed about five years later. It traded out the magazine’s original floor plate for a new one which incorporated the loop or pull. They are now made for a variety of magazine styles including the original aluminum GI mags and, of course, all the variants of the PMag. Other variations include the MagPod (not made by Magpul) which turned the Ranger Plate in a “foot” providing stability when shooting.

Just like as with immigrants where the first generation worked as laborers and each succeeding generation moved further and further away from manual labor, so, too, it is with magazine pulls. A Japanese airsoft company, Echigoya Guns & Military Hobby Shop, has created an “interesting” variation on the first-gen MagPul. It is the perfect fashion accessory for your tacticool AR.

As best as I can tell – given I don’t read Japanese – these sell for ¥1,000 – ¥1,200 or about $8 to $10 US at current exchange rates. Echigoya does have a website and they do take credit cards. These might make the perfect accessory to go with your Kalashnikitty t-shirt (if you can still find one).

Green Mountain Airdrop

Now that the Vermont House and Senate have approved sweeping gun control legislation, Gov. Phil Scott (RINO-VT) has promised to sign it. While Scott said he was pro-Second Amendment, he is showing no hesitation in signing restrictions on magazine size, banning bump stocks, and raising the purchase age for a firearm to 21.

From the Burlington Free Press:

Scott acknowledged that many Vermonters would be disappointed by the vote and by his support for provisions that he opposed as recently as two months ago.

“I share it. I know why they are disappointed,” Scott said. “But I think at the end of the day, they’ll soon learn that what we have proposed, what’s being passed at this time, doesn’t intrude upon the Second Amendment. It doesn’t take away guns, and I believe that we will get accustomed to the new normal, which is trying to address this underlying violence that we are seeing across the nation.”

Most provisions of the law will go into effect when the Gov. Scott signs the bills into law. This includes the provisions relating to bump stocks and standard capacity magazines. Given that Vermont had been the first state to have constitutional carry and had a good record on protecting gun rights, this is exceedingly disappointing to say the least.

In response to this abridgment of the freedoms of residents of the Green Mountain State, Recoil Magazine in conjunction with Magpul organized the Green Mountain Airdrop. Similar to what they did in Colorado, Magpul provided 1,200 standard capacity magazines to be given away to gun owners in Vermont.

These magazines were distributed on the steps of the State Capitol in Montpelier on Saturday afternoon. Rob Curtis, Executive Editor of Recoil, was on hand to hand out these magazines. As you can see from the Instagram photo below, there was quite a number of people that showed up.

While the gun prohibitionists have not given up on passing legislation in Washington, I think it is safe to say that they have shifted their major focus to the states. It takes less money to make an impact on a state and that is especially true in a small state like Vermont. Moreover, as Tom Gresham noted a couple of weeks ago, Everytown and the other gun prohibitionist organizations have been building a corps of lobbyists and community organizers in the states. By contrast, your average NRA-ILA state representative will cover 3 or more states. In North Carolina, I counted 2 lobbyists for Everytown, 2 for NCAGV, and 1 for Giffords. The NRA has 2.

I think it is imperative that everyone belong to a state level gun rights organization. I will be working on making a directory of state level gun rights groups so that you can help in your state. As for me, I belong to Grass Roots North Carolina. While the NC Rifle and Pistol Club is the NRA affiliate, the heavy lifting in NC is done by GRNC.

The actions of the Vermont Legislature and the duplicitous actions of Gov. Scott are a blow and they hurt. However, I remember something that Gene Hoffman, Chairman of the Calguns Foundation, said at a Gun Rights Policy Conference. Speaking of California, he noted that they had lost their gun rights over a period of 40 years and that they would not be won back quickly. The fight to preserve our gun rights is the long war and we need to remember that.

It’s Official – Colt Is In Bankruptcy

It have embedded below the Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition filed by Colt Defense LLC and its associated companies with the US Bankruptcy Court for Delaware. The associated companies include both Colt’s Manufacturing Company and Colt Canada. The petition was filed on Sunday evening according to their press spokesman.

I have not had time to read the whole document and I’m not an expert on reading bankruptcy petitions. However, I did read through the list of unsecured creditors to whom it owes money. Number two on the list was Magpul. Colt owes Magpul almost $1 million presumably for PMags, MOE furniture, etc. Many of the other unsecured creditors are small companies that provide services to the firearms industry. As such, Colt’s bankruptcy is going to be felt throughout the industry.

Jim Shepherd at The Outdoor Wire has some good commentary about the role of Sciens Capital Management in the Colt bankruptcy. They are the favored buyer or stalking horse bidder. Also read the commentary on the bankruptcy at Weaponsman.com.

More filings and the press release can be found here.

A More Congenial Home For Magpul

It is always nicer to be where you are appreciated. So it is with Magpul and their relocation of their production facilities from Erie, Colorado to Cheyenne, Wyoming. I’m sure the people in Erie appreciated Magpul and the jobs that they provided. However, the then-powers that be in the Colorado legislature didn’t nor did Gov. John Hickenlooper when they passed their restrictions on standard capacity magazines.

With their move a mere 80 miles north on Interstate 25, Magpul is in a city and a state that not only appreciates their jobs but their product. This is very evident in the news report from Cheyenne’s CBS 5 News Channel.

SHOT Show Pre-Release: Magpul PMag17 GL9

Magpul is on a roll for rollouts at this year’s SHOT Show. A precision chassis for the Remington 700, furniture for the AK-47/74, a 60 round rotary magazine, and now this: PMags for the Glock 17, 19, etc.

Using the same polymer as the other PMags, you will get an American made magazine that should be as reliable as the OEM Glock mags and only costing $15.95. The Koreans should be very afraid!

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.

2014 SHOT Show – Magpul Industries

Duane Liptak of Magpul was interviewed by the folks over at Arfcom about the new products they were releasing at the SHOT Show. The one that immediately caught my eye was the PMag for the AK-47. If it is as reliable as the steel mags from the Eastern Bloc nations, they will have a winner on their hands.

Liptak said that they didn’t release many no products this SHOT Show due to the relocation and he wouldn’t be giving any sneak peaks. However, he did say that Magpul would be releasing a number of new products over the coming year even as they relocate to Wyoming and Texas.

Magpul Says Adios, Colorado; Hola, Wyoming And Texas

Magpul Industries has made it official. Their company’s new home will be in both Wyoming and Texas.  Back in February, Magpul drew their line in the sand and said they would be leaving Colorado if House Bill 1224 which limited magazine size passed the State Legislature and was signed by Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO). The Democrats passed the bill, Hickenlooper signed it, and Magpul is making good on their intention to move all their operations out of the state.

Magpul will be moving their manufacturing and distribution facilities to Cheyenne, Wyoming. Their company headquarters will be to one of three North Central Texas sites under consideration. Both the states of Wyoming and Texas have put together grant and tax relief packages to lure Magpul to their states. Moreover, both Gov. Matt Mead (R-WY) and Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) were involved in the pursuit of Magpul.

HiViz Sights moved to the Laramie area earlier this year. Alfred Manufacturing and Lawrence Tool & Molding, both of whom are suppliers to Magpul, had announced their intention to leave Colorado along with Magpul.  I cannot find any news on whether they plan to move their facilities to Wyoming along with Magpul.

Magpul’s official announcement is below:

Magpul Industries announced today that it is relocating its operations to Wyoming and Texas.

The company is relocating manufacturing, distribution and shipping operations to Cheyenne, Wyoming. Magpul is leasing a 58,000 square foot manufacturing and distribution facility during the construction of a 100,000 square foot build-to-suit facility in the Cheyenne Business Parkway. The Wyoming relocation is being completed with support from Governor Matt Mead, the Wyoming Business Council and Cheyenne LEADS.

Magpul is moving its corporate headquarters to Texas. Three North Central Texas sites are under final consideration, and the transition to the Texas headquarters will begin as soon as the facility is selected. The Texas relocation is being accomplished with support from Governor Rick Perry and the Texas Economic Development Corporation.

“Magpul made the decision to relocate in March 2013 and has proceeded on an aggressive but deliberate path” says Doug Smith, Chief Operating Officer for Magpul Industries. “These dual moves will be carried out in a manner that ensures our operations and supply chain will not be interrupted and our loyal customers will not be affected.”

The company began a nationwide search for a new base of operations after legislation was enacted in Colorado that dramatically limits the sale of firearms accessories – the core of Magpul’s business. Magpul plans on initially transitioning 92% of its current workforce outside of Colorado within 12-16 months and will maintain only limited operations in Colorado.

“Moving operations to states that support our culture of individual liberties and personal responsibility is important,” says Richard Fitzpatrick, Chief Executive Officer for Magpul Industries. “This relocation will also improve business operations and logistics as we utilize the strengths of Texas and Wyoming in our expansion.”