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There used to be a time when magazines and clips (two different things) were considered disposable or a permanent part of the gun. British Lee-Enfield rifles of WWI and WWII had 10-round magazines, but you loaded them from the top with disposable stripper clips without removing the magazine. Many clips like those for the M1 Garand ejected themselves, and even M16 magazines were originally intended to be thrown away.

The AK’s original stamped-steel military magazines were built to last. For those looking for original-pattern variants from around the world, there is a broad range of selections. In addition, several American manufacturers have stepped up to produce high-quality magazines here at home as well. Take a look at some of the more interesting options available on the market today.

Arsenal M-47W

Original Bulgarian AK magazines are considered to be some of the best of the military magazines available, and Arsenal in Las Vegas has the exclusive contract to import them. Its M-47W magazines are original factory mil-spec, 30-round models for 7.62x39mm AK rifles that feature polymer bodies with metal reinforcements for durability and corrosion resistance. They also have the distinctive Bulgarian military “Circle 10” markings and a waffle-pattern design. Arsenal also makes and sells U.S. followers and floorplates for 922r compliance if you need to manage your parts count. (arsenalinc.com; 702-643-2220)

Century Arms Catamount Fury Mag

Century Arms has made a name for itself as a longtime importer of hard-to-find new and surplus firearms, and the company produces its own line of U.S.-made AKs. One recent import is the increasingly popular Catamount Fury II semi-automatic 12-gauge shotgun from China based on the AK platform. The Catamount uses its own proprietary magazines and ships with two standard magazines included. Fortunately, Century also sells spare five-round Catamount magazines that will accommodate up to 3-inch shells. (centuryarms.com; 800-527-1252)

Gibbs Rifle Company Matra

You have to give Gibbs Rifle Company credit for innovation. What started out as an importer and distributor of old military rifles went on to refurbish them and scrounge up increasingly hard-to-find collectibles. The company has now entered the AK magazine market with its 30-round, steel Matra AK-47 magazines for the 7.62x39mm cartridge. Built tank tough like original Soviet Bloc mags, these brand-new Yugoslav-pattern magazines feature all-steel construction, ribbed sides and followers that hold the bolt back after the last round is fired. Plus you get an unheard of five-year warranty for full replacement for any reason. They are also available in 10- and 20-round capacities. (gibbsrifle.com; 304-274-0004)

Magpul PMAG 30 AK/AKM MOE

Magpul cut its teeth making magazine accessories and, later, magazines for the AR. It was only a matter of time before the company brought its expertise to the AK. Magpul’s PMAG 30 AK/AKM MOE magazine is every bit as good as its AR magazines. It is likewise made from a high-strength, crush-resistant polymer that is built to be lightweight and reliable with a low-friction, anti-tilt, self-lubricating follower. The smooth internal geometry of the magazine body and stainless steel spring ensure reliable feeding, and the removable floorplate is flared for better handling. (magpul.com; 877-462-4785)

ProMag Industries AK-A16

ProMag Industries manufactures several types of commercial Dupont Zytel-based polymer magazines, including an interesting 73-round drum for 7.62x39mm ammunition. The AK-A16 drum magazine features a hinged backplate for easy loading and an attached tension key for the coil mechanism. This drum matches the waffle pattern on all of ProMag’s other magazines and also includes a steel feed lip insert and a sling swivel point. (promagindustries.com; 800-438-2547)

ProMag Industries AK-A17

For those with 5.45x39mm AK-74-type rifles, ProMag Industries offers a 20-round magazine called the AK-A17. Popular with those who need a shorter profile and overall length, this magazine features the same tough black polymer construction as other ProMag Industries magazines. (promagindustries.com; 800-438-2547)

Rock River Arms LAR-47 Mag

Rock River Arms makes some of the best ARs on the market, and it recently introduced the LAR-47, a 7.62x39mm AR that accepts standard AK magazines. But, not being satisfied with lesser magazines, Rock River Arms developed its own to feed the rifle. The LAR-47 magazine will function in any AK and is completely reliable. It features all-polymer construction with a smooth, semi-ridged sidewall design and the distinct Rock River logo. These magazines have a 30-round standard capacity. (rockriverarms.com; 866-980-7625)

TAPCO AK Mags

TAPCO has been making parts and accessories for the AK for many years now, and it recently introduced new colors for its 30-round magazines designed for the 7.62x39mm round with a distinctively aggressive contour for better gripping. These magazines are constructed from high-strength glass-filled nylon and count as three U.S.-made parts towards 922r compliance. The magazines feature a heavy-duty spring and anti-tilt follower for reliable feeding and are available in black, dark earth, orange and white. The company also offers an orange magazine for the increasingly popular AK-74 platform in 5.45x39mm. (tapco.com; 800-554-1445)

U.S. Palm AK30

The U.S. Palm AK30 magazine has a reputation for being one of the best commercial AK magazines you can buy. The magazine body is made from high-strength polymer with a permanently affixed floorplate, creating essentially a very strong five-sided box. The follower is vented on top to allow for debris to easily fall out and for easy cleaning. At the top of the magazine, stainless steel locking surfaces have been molded into the polymer for added strength and durability. The exterior features aggressive ridges on the front and rear and a very deep waffle pattern on the sides to assist in rapid extraction and control. (uspalm.com; 602-281-2940)

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