The AK-47 is one of the most renowned firearms of all time, and there’s not one shooter in the world who wouldn’t mind having one in their safe. They aren’t the lightest rifles in the world, but durability-wise, you will be hard-pressed to find better. 

There’s a reason why the AK-47 and AKM have been the weapons of certain militaries for the last several decades. They’re cheap, and you can pull it out of the bottom of a container 40 years later and still get it to go bang. 

Not to mention the 7.62x39mm round coming out of the business end.


AKs and their magazines have come a long way. Source: reddit

Today, we’re going to talk about magazines. If you recently bought a Kalashnikov-style firearm or are looking for spare magazines, you’re in the right spot. 

We’ve tested thousands of rounds throughout different magazines to determine where, when, and how each should be used. Over the years, some horrible designs have been made for AK-style magazines, so we made sure to keep those off this list so you don’t waste money. 

Let’s dive in.

Standard Use

SALE Magpul PMAG GEN M3 AK/AKM 7.62x39 30 Round Magazine
Magpul PMAG GEN M3 AK/AKM 7.62x39 30 Round Magazine
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Not only does Magpul make some of the best AR-15 and AR-10 magazines on the market, but it also dabbles in the classic curved AK magazine arena. You’ll likely see them everywhere, from the range to competitions, and they will always perform. 

As usual with Magpul magazines, the durable polymer body and aggressive grip texture make it ideal for shooting in inclement weather conditions.

Being constructed out of polymer also means you won’t run into those rust issues that plague other magazines. Therefore, you don’t have to worry too much about drying them incessantly after using them in the rain. 

And if you like to mark your magazines, the paint pen dot matrix ensures you always have an appropriate place to do so. 

SALE Magpul PMAG AK-47/AKM MOE 7.62x39 30 Round Magazine
Magpul PMAG GEN 2 MOE AK-47/AKM 7.62x39 30 Round Magazine
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The Gen 2 AK 30 Round magazine from Magpul was the first it built for the Kalashnikov platform. It has been a flagship magazine for every AK owner and was also the first polymer magazine for the platform. 

Years later, the PMAG Gen 2 is still the go-to polymer magazine for AK-style rifles. It’s tried and proven, and anything that makes the AK lighter is welcome in my book. It’ll also save you a few bucks compared to the new Gen 3 we mentioned earlier.

Arsenal Circle 10 AK-47 7.62x39 30 RD Magazine
Arsenal Circle 10 AK-47 7.62x39 30 Round Magazine
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For the purists who appreciate the old waffle-style magazine, the Circle 10 by Arsenal is a lighter polymer version. 

The Circle 10 features reinforced steel feed lips, a steel floor plate, and metal machined lugs to increase durability where needed. The waffle-style pattern provides an aggressive grip texture, suitable for shooting in inclement weather.

For the Bulgarian AK fans, you’ll feel right at home.

Kalashnikov ak magazine
Kalashnikov USA AK-47/AKM 7.62x39 30 Round Magazine
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A Bulgarian-style magazine straight from Kalashnikov USA. It’s not steel like the original ones; it’s another polymer magazine with steel reinforcements to ensure it doesn’t come apart from you. 

The front of the magazine has some contouring and texturing to help solidify your grasp when trying to rip it out if dirt gets lodged in it or if your hands get wet and sweaty. 

Best of all, it gives you that traditional AK-47 look. Which many shooters enjoy. 

Magpul PMAG 7.62x39mm AK/AKM MOE 10 RD Magazine
Magpul PMAG GEN 2 MOE AK/AKM 7.62x39 10 Round Magazine
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If you live in one of those states that value their dollar over the constitution, then you’re limited to the amount of rounds you can use in your rifle. 

Having more than one 10-round magazine is a great way to ensure you’re always prepared, regardless of capacity restrictions.

Most 10-round magazines lack adequate grip texture, but not these Magpul magazines. In addition to the texturing, you’ll find a flared baseplate and a paint pen dot matrix.


SGM Tactical AK-47 7.62x39 30 Round Magazine
SGM Tactical AK-47 7.62x39 30 Round Magazine
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The first steel magazine on the list, the cold-rolled steel SGM Tactical 30-round magazine, is for the purist who likes old Vietnam/GWOT-style AK-47s. 

Or anyone who wants more durability than polymer provides. It does weigh more, but you won’t be thinking about that. You’ll be too busy reveling in how nice your AK runs with steel mags and how good it looks, especially if you have wood furniture. 

Best of all, they’re inexpensive (as far as magazines go these days), meaning you can have more for less than if you went with polymer. 

US Palm AK-47 7.62x39mm 30 Round Magazine Clear
US Palm AK-47 7.62x39mm 30 Round Magazine Clear
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US Palm AK-47 7.62x39 30 Round Magazine
US Palm AK-47 7.62x39 30 Round Magazine
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The US Palm magazine is constructed from clear polymer to maintain high durability and low weight while allowing you to easily assess the number of rounds you have left. 

It’s a pretty genius design. The grip texture ensures you can rip out magazines even if your hands are wet or the magazine is muddy, and the transparent polymer doesn’t yellow over time like some other translucent magazines. 

If translucent isn’t your style, they also come in Black or FDE. 

KCI USA AK-47 7.62x39 40 Round Black Magazine
KCI USA AK-47 7.62x39 40 Round Magazine
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Another steel magazine that gives your AK that old-school look and feel is the KCI 40-round magazine. It’s similar to the SGM Tactical but comes with an extra ten rounds. 

These have the original texture of the popular magazines from the past, so the grip texture isn’t the best, but that’s what makes them great as a range magazine. They’re cheap, and they keep the ammo flowing longer. 

If you don’t mind the extra weight that comes with it, sending 40 rounds of 7.62×39 downrange is a great way to spend a Saturday. 

Century Arms Romanian AK 75 Round Drum Magazine
Century Arms Romanian AK-47 7.62x39 75 Round Drum Magazine
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Want to turn your AK into an RPK? Does 75 rounds of 7.62×39 sound like a good time? Then, a drum magazine is the range toy that you need. 

This drum mag has the old-school tin can look of the Romanian-made AK-47s and RPKs that gave us a run for our money overseas. They aren’t made for grip texture; they are more for laying down the hammer. 

I don’t think we need to say how heavy these drum magazines make your AK.

Drum Mags on AKs

Drum Mags on AKs go together like Corona and BBQ. Source: reddit


Magazine Loader:

Loading those magazines can be a pain, especially when they’re new, and you’re trying to squeeze that last round in there. 

Having a magazine loader in your range bag is a great way to make sure you’re spending more time shooting and less time loading. They’ll also save the joints on your thumbs. 

Trust me, they’re a lifesaver. They’re a cheap way to ensure you can get those rounds down range quickly. 


There you have it. If you’re in the market for AK magazines, then I’m sure you can find exactly what you’re looking for on this list. From steel to transparent polymer, all with the durability to keep up, we have the magazine(s) for you. 

It’s never a bad idea to have magazines for different uses. If you have steel mags with no grip texture for the range, make sure you also have some that can work well with wet hands if you’re going to take an outdoor training class.

AK build

This AK build has all the attachments you could want. Source: reddit

Make sure you maintain your mags so you don’t have to replace them as often. Open them up, get the carbon buildup out, and remember to leave a thin film of oil on the mag spring to help with corrosion, especially if you’re shooting in the rain. 

Be good and take care.

Brian Zerbian
Brian is a USMC Veteran and avid gun enthusiast from New Jersey who loves to spend his time shooting, writing, listening to classic rock, and learning new things.
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