I really appreciate your web site and your wisdom. I agree with your evaluation of the need or the wisdom in storing magazines. You recommend original factory or military surplus. My question is what would you advise as far as AK mags go? Any thought on the polymer mags would also be appreciated. Thanks, – Andy
JWR Replies: For steel AK magazines, I recommend buying any of the magazines made in the former Soviet Bloc that have a full length standing metal rib on the back. Virtually all of those are quite robust and reliable, regardless of the country of origin. (They were all made to essentially the same specifications, on USSR-supplied tooling.) The only steel AK magazines to avoid are: A.) the Chinese magazines (which can be identified by their lack of a “dorsal rib”), and B.) Aftermarket magazines from companies like USA Magazines and Triple K. Their quality control is pitiful, which generally results in unreliable junk.
For polymer AK magazines, I recommend buying either Finnish Valmet green “waffle” magazines (which can be identified by their molded-in lanyard loops), or Bulgarian waffle magazines. Both are excellent. Polymer magazines are available from KVAR, although I’ve noticed a few genuine bargains from time-to-time on Buddy’s Board.
I should also mention that most of the AK drum magazines on the market are overpriced and many of them have poor feeding reliability. My advice: stick with 20 and 30 round magazines.