AK Magazine Size and Weight Comparison

| February 22, 2014 | 1 Comments

Most of the time, things like magazine size and weight don’t factor into consideration. We use chest rigs or “war belts” or side bags to hold all of our crap, and what does a few extra pounds matter?

However, when you start carrying a rifle around every day with the rest of your day to day stuff, size and weight starts to become important.

The most important dimension for a magazine is length. Width can be important based on the bag you’re carrying, but a mag’s length can effect your draw.

The primary reason I run the 20-round steel tanker magazine in my EDC rifle is because it’s two inches shorter than the US Palm magazines that are my go-to mags.

I did a quick comparison between four AK magazines, and here are the weights, heights, and widths.


Magazine Type Length Width Loaded Weight
20 Round Steel Hungarian Tanker 7″ 15/16″ 1 lb, 6.4 oz
30 Round US Palm 9″ 1 3/16″ 1 lb, 9.4 oz
30 Round MagPul AK PMAG 9″ 1″ 1 lb, 9oz
30 Round Steel (Surplus) 8.75″ 1″ 1 lb, 15.6 oz

So, some interesting things here.

I was surprised that the two polymer mags (US Palm and MagPul) were both longer than the steel surplus magazine. I guess this makes sense, but there it is.

I really wish that someone besides Tapco would make  20 round polymer magazine. For 2.6 ounces you can get 10 more rounds in a PMAG.

The US Palm mag is obviously the chubby one of the bunch. It has a grip / retention advantage over the other three magazines due to its aggressive horizontal ribbing and extra width. However, the thickness is a consideration if your bag is particularly small, or made of thinner material, or has multiple internal compartments which might cause your spare mag to push against the bag.

I liked the feel of the MagPul PMAG, but until we run a few classes with it this year I’m not going to put it into rotation.

The Hungarian magazines used to be easy to find until Sandy Hook (just like everything else). I got several of them in 3-mag pouch kits from Centerfire Systems. The bundles were $41.19 before shipping and were pretty plentiful. Now sites are selling them for $27 each , which is absolutely donkeynuts crazy.

I asked MagPul if they were going to make 20 round PMAGs at SHOT Show this year, and they gave me a disappointing “No.”

Which is a damn shame, because you know how much we hate Tapco.

About the Author:

Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd is a regular guy and works to make Web sites and mobile apps easier for people to use. He spends his free time attending fight-focused firearm, knife, and combatives training, motorcycling, writing, and playing games. His daily carry is a Glock 19 pistol and an AR15 .300 Blackout pistol in a backpack.
Filed in: Reviews Tags: ,

1 Comment on "AK Magazine Size and Weight Comparison"

Trackback | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Mark says:

    Fleet farm has large quantities of the Bulgarian 30 and 40 round mags in stock and no longer have the one mag per customer per visit rule. And they are $15(30 round).

Post a Comment