Author Topic: Saiga .223 magazine options  (Read 1714 times)

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Offline nalioth

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Saiga .223 magazine options
« on: April 27, 2011, 12:20:26 PM »
There are several options for .223 Saiga magazines these days.

Milspec/Surplus magazines:
These mags were produced for military use.  Failure to produce a functional magazine could get the factory worker a trip to the gulag.
Since the commies never reached a standardization agreement on .223 mags, there is no rhyme or reason if one will fit your Saiga or won't (or any other .223 AK).
As with all things milsurp, these are drying up, but even at their current prices, they're pretty much guaranteed to outlast and outperform any commercial offering.
All of these require a bullet guide.

Bulgarian factory 10 polymer mags - these are considered "the best".  They're predominantly polymer, but have a steel skeleton for longevity.  These will fit a Saiga with only a good de-Klintonizing of the rifle.

East German Weiger mags / Romanian copies - The EG mags are very well finished, and the Romy specimens not so much.  Both types work fine, but may require a bit more fitting initially.  The Romys may be sold as "WASR-3" or "SAR-3" magazines.

Israeli poly Galil mags (aka Galil Orlites) - these mags fit the Saiga w/o any mods to the rifle except for the addition of a bullet guide.

Israeli steel Galil mags are known to work, but the fitting involved may be more than most folks want to bother with.  Not "drop in simple" like their poly brethren.

Yugo M95 magazine - these have been known to work with fitting, but you'll most likely never see one for sale as all that were imported came with parts kits.

Commercial magazines:
Commercial magazines are manufactured as cheaply as possible and designed with only one thing in mind: Get the manufacturer/inventor paid.  None are "milspec" or can be expected to last if they're dropped a lot, get too cold, get too hot, etc.
Some of these do not require a bullet guide, for those averse to their installation.

Pro-Mag:  If you're going with these, buy 3. 
One in the mail going back to Pro-Mag.
One to use while your others are in the mail.
One in the mail on the way back to you from Pro-Mag.
These have a lifetime warranty, but IMHO, it's a lifetime warranty for a handful of .

Tapco: I've not heard anything too terrible about these (either the dedicated .223 models or the Galil model).

Surefire:  Not heard any peeps about these, either.  Come in AK or Saiga varieties (the Saiga-specific ones have a built in feed ramp, like the factory mags do).

National Magazine - these people sell shaped like a magazine.  Stay away from any AK mags produced by these people.

I've probably missed some here in the commercial section.

Hybridized solutions:
A couple of folks sell AR15 mag adapters for the .223 Saiga.  This saves lots of money in magazines, especially if you have an AR15 already, but requires milling (or expert dremeling) on your Saiga for proper function.

I know some people have used 5.45 mags and either replaced the followers or modified the followers. I'm not sure what those mags and new followers sell for now
This is not a good idea.

Cartridge geometry guarantees failure when cartridges are used in magazines they're not designed for. 
Special followers were introduced by one company back in the '90s due to no extra mags being available for their .223 AKs, but the "magic followers" can not overcome geometry, and failures to feed ensued.

 "Special followers" are at the least, an inconvenience, and at worst, a destroyed 5.45x39 mag.

Originally posted here.

"Tactical" is a mindset, not an equipment list.

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