10 Popular AK-47 Magazine Drop/Full-Auto Test

It’s no news that the AK is a hugely popular platform. It’s mechanically simple, easy to maintain, and easy to use. There’s a reason it’s one of the most widely used platforms across the world. They just work. And, of course, you want mags for your Kalash blaster with the same kind of performance. That’s why Jeremy took ten popular AK mags out to the range for some testing. How well do the mags hold out to the testing? Watch this to find out.

Kalash mag comparison to determine best AK magazines

The Test

It’s a Kalash kind of day, and we’re taking a look at the durability of ten popular 30-round AK-47 magazines. These mags are each suject to a drop test, being dropped from about shoulder-height onto hard-packed range dirt, fully loaded. After that, they’re subjected to a full-auto magazine dump.

Jeremy says, “There’s really only two things I need from an AK mag”

  1. I feel like I should be able to drop it, from around the area where I would be releasing it, full, hit the ground, and no damage.
  2. I want it to be able to feed as fast as the firearm can cycle it. Now, most people don’t have a fully-automatic AK, even though you should. Still, even if you don’t, you might some day, it might be available. If so, that magazine better feed as this can cycle.

 We’ll let the results speak for themselves.

1. Promag AK-47 Steel-Lined Polymer Magazine

The first magazine Jeremy tests is a ProMag steel lined model. The polymer case has stippled texture on both sides and ribs on the back, with steel reinforcement at the feed lips and a steel locking lug.

Jeremy looks closely at the lug and notes that it’s basically steel wrapped, so not a full-steel lug.

Drop test: pass
Mag dump: pass

ProMag steel lined AK mag

2. Bulgarian AK-47 Reinforced Steel Lug Polymer Magazine

This slick, smooth Bulgarian AK mag is steel reinforced, not steel lined, with reinforced feed lips and locking lug at the back. 

Drop test: pass
Mag dump: pass

These mag dumps make Jeremy smile and chuckle, “Man, AKs are fun! Tell you what, gettin’ better too!”

Bulgi Steel Lug magazine

3. Bulgarian AK-47 Steel-Lined polymer magazine

This one is similar to the reinforced one just tested, but instead of having the steel only at the top, the whole thing is steel lined with a polymer wrap. It also has a steel baseplate down at the bottom. and this one comes in brown. Drop test, passed, no problem. Does it handle the full-auto Kalash blast? Beautiful. But after this third mag dump, there’s steam coming off the end of the barrel.

Drop test: pass
Mag dump: pass

At this point in the test, Jeremy starts speaking Latin and expounding on the finer points of recoil control. He’s been taking some online Karate classes, which has been really paying off. Bear that in mind if you’re looking to improve your recoil control.*

Steel lined Bulgarian AK magazine

4. Bulgarian AK47 Steel Magazine

This one is steel all the way around, inside and out. Jeremy says these are shipped with a ton of lubricant to make sure that nothing rusts or goes bad on the boat on the way over.

Drop test: pass
Mag dump: pass

Is it any wonder that the steel mag handles the drop test like a boss? Steel mags even look better when they’re a little dirty anyway. Oh, and it handles mag dump like a boss, too.

Bulgarian steel AK magazine

5. US Palm AK30 AK-47 Magazine

This is the Banana Mag, and it comes with a patch. Will the Sponge-Bob-looking mag perform as well as all the other US Palm mags?

Drop test: pass
Mag dump: pass

At this point in the video, Jeremy notes that being left-handed has its perks sometimes, especially in the Kalash world. Well, only in the Kalash world. “It’s definitely getting warm up there in the hand region. But the US Palm mag handled full auto like nobody’s business.”

The AK is getting mighty hot, so Jeremy wafts air over the AK to give it a good cool-down.

Plus he likes the smell. It’s like Kalashnicense. 

US PALM AK30 Banana Mag

 

6. SGM Tactical AK-47 Steel Black magazine

This one looks an awful lot like the Bulgarian, but they’re different. You can see the texture on it is a little bit smoother. When Jeremy loads the mag, he notices that the barrel is still smoking.

Drop test: pass
Mag dump: pass

SGM Tactical AK Mag

7. Magpul PMAG AK/AKM Gen M3 Polymer Magazine

This is the Gen 3 PMAG with the waffle texture. It’s polymer all around, so it’s one of the lighter magazines and also most likely to break and bend when dropped. It does have a steel locking lug, and there’s some steel reinforcement, but Magpul is known world-wide for consistency in their polymer construction. Jeremy assumes he’ll see the same thing in their AK mags since their AR mags are Magpul’s bread and butter. 

Drop test: pass
Mag dump: pass

Jeremy notes that he’s experiencing some positive reinforcement for wearing the gloves because it’s gettin’ hot.

 

Magpul AK PMAG

 

8. KCI AK-47 Steel Magazine

The KCI steel magazine has the design as the previous two steel mags in this trial.

Drop test: pass
Mag dump: pass

After the mag dump Jeremy says he needs to take a break, the gun’s getting too hot but the KCI mag ran—a little chewed up and smoking just a bit at the top.

At this point in the test, the AK needs a cool down. They even pour some water over the barrel, so you see the steam, and hear the hiss. After she’s cooled down and lubed up, Jeremy says he’s probably going to have some spray come up. But he’ll just shower in it and deal with it the way it is because the trial is almost done with two more mags to go.

KCI AK Mag

9. ProMag AK-47 Polymer Magazine

This ProMag magazine is polymer all the way around, lock and lug, all that good stuff. The only thing that’s not polymer on this is the spring.

Drop test: Lost one round
Mag dump: pass

So this mag lost the top round with the drop test. Is it an absolute catastrophic failure? Not really. It didn’t have any problem with the mag dump, but took a little extra ‘umph to release the mag.

ProMag steel lined AK mag

10. Magpul PMAG AK-47 AKM MOE Magazine

This is the final mag in the test, a PMAG AKM/MOE (Magpul says they’re made with ‘crush proof’ polymer).

Drop test: Lost one round
Mag dump: pass

After just three mag dumps after cooling down the AK, it’s smoking again. It’s really not a surprise because it gets hot in full auto. 

Magpul AKM magazine

 

Conclusion?

Jeremy finishes up by saying he didn’t choose these mags for the test because he had a preference or because he believed that they would do anything. “I know what you say about certain manufacturers, that they are not good or whatever, but everybody here performed well, minus one ProMag that lost one single round. It’s up to you to decide.”

Stone cold Jeremy Stone. (~ish)

*Not really. Duh. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stephanie Kimmell is the firstborn daughter of Missouri's Pecan King, worthy scion of a Vietnam veteran sailor turned mad engineer-orchardist-inventor-genius. With a BA in technical writing, she freelances as a writer and editor. A Zymurgist greatly interested in the decoction of fermented barley and hops, she is in many ways a modern amalgam of Esther Hobart Morris, Rebecca Boone, and Nellie Bly. She hunts, fishes, butchers, and cooks most anything. When not editing or writing, she makes soaps and salves, spins wool, and occasionally makes cheese from cows she milked herself. Kimmell is a driven epistemophilic who loves live music and all sorts of beer.

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