Letter Re: HK91 Magazines Inferior for Barter

Military surplus HK91 alloy magazines have been available for several years in the $1-to-$3 price range. It seems to me that the only people who should buy them are HK rifle owners who own less than 50 magazines. Before buying HK magazines as barter items, consider that the market has already been flooded with far more than are needed for the limited number of existing rifles. The German military torched most of their rifles, but sold most of the magazines. Other mags (such as for AR-15) may be great future demand, but I would not bet on the HK. – Mr. Bravo

JWR Replies: Yep, you are probably right: AR-15s are far more commonplace than HK91s (and their clones.) But don’t forget that a CETME rifle can also use HK91 magazines, and CETME owners are notoriously frugal individuals ), so chances are that they will only have four or five magazines on hand. Like everyone else WTSHTF they will suddenly want to own 25 or more magazines. Perhaps $50 is not too much to gamble with, for a potentially valuable barter commodity.

Another practical use for HK91 alloy magazines? Here is a trick that I leaned from Mr. Tango: Because of their light weight, an alloy HK91 magazine positioned top-end-up in tightly-fitting ammo pouch makes an ideal “speed” ammo holder for reloading bolt action rifles, particularly if you clip a few coils off of their magazine springs. BTW, if those mags are going to be held in double magazine pouches, tape them together with duck tape so that they don’t rattle together. Note that it is important that you always use tightly-fitting mag pouches. If they don’t fit tightly, then build up the exterior dimension of the magazine(s) with cardboard and duct tape until they do fit tightly in their pouches. (If the mags wobble in the pouches, it will be difficult to get a “purchase” to strip off the cartridges into your hand.)