This guide covers all 5.45x39mm magazine types regularly encountered in the United States. Those types rarely or never seen in the United States are listed at the end of this guide under "Exotics". The information presented here is based on detailed examination of my own magazine collection, as well as on material contained in published reference works and input from knowledgeable individuals on The AK Forum and other internet sites. Photos are mine unless otherwise noted. Text and images found here are © 2008 by Mark A. Welter/the Shooter Gallery, but may be linked to or reproduced freely as long as proper credit is given. Please report any factual or technical errors to me at shooter2_indy@comcast.net.

I am pleased to announce that photographs and information from this document have been included in Frank Iannamico's new book, "AK-47: The Grim Reaper". This book is outstanding in all regards, and is quickly becoming the new standard in AK-related reference works. It can be purchased directly from the author's website Machinegunbooks.com.

Last updated 8/17/09

Hits since 7/9/06:

For each magazine type, I have listed the relative frequency with which it can be found on the open market. These ratings are approximations based on my own experience and research, and are subject to change. For the purposes of this Guide, the following definitions apply:


RUSSIA

30rd BAKELITE
Manufacturers: Izhmash (left) and Tula (right)
Frequency: Uncommon (Izhmash), Rare (Tula)
Description: The first Russian 5.45mm magazine type produced. Constructed from AG-4 phenolic resin (commonly known as "bakelite") with metal lip reinforcement, rear locking lug and floorplate. Distinctive mottled orange color. Arsenal mark on right side, mold number on left, near bottom of magazine body. Some examples may bear a small white
"Made in Russia" sticker. Izhmash produced these magazines for the AK-74 and AKS-74 rifles; Tula produced them for the AKS-74U carbine. This magazine type was officially replaced in the early 1980s, but large numbers are still in front-line service with Russian military forces.
Notes: Similar to E. German 30rd Bakelite, but generally darker in color with more pronounced streaking/mottling. Some of these magazines were painted black, allegedly to help differentiate between the bakelite 5.45 and 7.62 mags when both were simultaneously in widespread use. Examples have been seen with silver ink acceptance stamps applied over the black paint, indicating the painting was done at the factory.

30rd SHINY PLUM
Manufacturers: Izhmash (left) and Tula (right)
Frequency: Uncommon (Izhmash), Rare (Tula)
Description: The second Russian 5.45mm magazine type to be developed; Izhmash produced these magazines for the AK-74 and AKS-74 rifles; Tula produced them for the AKS-74U carbine. Polymer construction with metal lip reinforcement, rear locking lug and floorplate. Shade varies from maroon to near black; exterior finish can be gloss to semi-gloss. Small horizontal reinforcing ribs run down both sides of the magazine body near the front. Arsenal mark on right side, mold number on left, near bottom of magazine body – mold numbers for this type range up to the low 40s. A black overspray may be present on the top and bottom sections or over the entire magazine; this was allegedly done to protect the metal parts from corrosion.
Notes: Similar to Russian (Izhmash) 30rd Matte Plum; some overlap in mold numbers. May be quite difficult to distinguish the two types except under certain lighting conditions. Some examples have been "sanitized" by grinding away the arsenal mark; this significantly reduces the collector value of the magazine. Very early (single-digit mold number) magazines of this type have been seen with metal followers and floorplate inserts (see pic in Comparison Photos section below). Magazines imported via Bulgaria may contain brown Bulgarian internals.

30rd MATTE PLUM
Manufacturer: Izhmash
Frequency: Common
Description: The third Russian 5.45mm magazine type produced. Polymer construction with metal lip reinforcement, rear locking lug and floorplate. Shade varies from maroon to near black, with a nonreflective satin finish. Small horizontal reinforcing ribs run down both sides of the magazine body near the front. Arsenal mark on right side, mold number on left, near bottom of magazine body – mold numbers for this type range from the low 40s up. A black overspray may be present on the top and bottom sections or over the entire magazine; this was allegedly done to protect the metal parts from corrosion.
Notes: Similar to Russian (Izhmash) 30rd Shiny Plum; some overlap in mold numbers. May be quite difficult to distinguish the two types except under certain lighting conditions. Some examples have been "sanitized" by grinding away the arsenal mark; this significantly reduces the collector value of the magazine. Also, magazines imported via Bulgaria may contain brown Bulgarian internals.

30rd TRUE BLACK
Manufacturer: Izhmash
Frequency: Scarce
Description: Current-production magazine for the AK-74M and AK-105. Polymer construction with metal lip reinforcement, rear locking lug and floorplate. Color is dead black with no purple/maroon undertone; exterior finish is nonreflective satin. Small horizontal reinforcing ribs run down both sides of the magazine body near the front. Arsenal mark on right side, mold number on left, near bottom of magazine body – mold numbers for this type range from high 40s up.
Notes: Similar to Russian (Izhmash) 30rd Matte Plum; some overlap in mold numbers. May be quite difficult to distinguish between the two types by color alone, except under certain lighting conditions. True Black mags can be identified by the presence of a "4" ink stamp near the front locking lug, where plum mags will show an "M" stamp. Also similar to Bulgarian and Polish 30rd Black Poly types, except for markings. Example shown has been "demilled" by grinding off the feed lips; it was used for demo purposes at the SHOT Show in 2005.

45rd BAKELITE (left)
Manufacturer: Molot (Vyatskie Polyany Arsenal)
Frequency: Uncommon
Description: Manufactured for the RPK-74 light machinegun, but usable in all 5.45x39 caliber AK rifles and carbines. Constructed from AG-4 phenolic resin (commonly known as "bakelite") with metal lip reinforcement, rear locking lug and floorplate. Distinctive mottled orange color. Arsenal mark on right side, mold number on left, near bottom of magazine body. Approximately 1/3 longer than a 30rd magazine.
Notes: Identical to Bulgarian 45rd Bakelite, except for the presence of Molot arsenal mark. Some examples have been "sanitized" by grinding away the arsenal mark; this significantly reduces the collector value of the magazine.

45rd RIBBED PLUM (right)
Manufacturer: Molot (Vyatskie Polyany Arsenal)
Frequency: Scarce
Description: Manufactured for the later-model RPK-74 light machinegun, but usable in all 5.45x39 caliber AK rifles and carbines. Polymer construction with metal lip reinforcement, rear locking lug and floorplate. Color is dark plum with black overspray at top and bottom; nonreflective satin finish. Large horizontal reinforcing ribs run down both sides of the magazine body and span almost the entire width. Arsenal mark on right side, mold number on left, at bottom rear corner of magazine body. Approximately 1/3 longer than a 30rd magazine.

10rd RIBBED BLACK (VEPR)
Manufacturer: Molot (Vyatskie Polyany Arsenal)
Frequency: Scarce
Description: Built for the export-model 5.45x39 "VEPR" hunting rifle but capable of being used in other 5.45x39 caliber AK rifles and carbines, this magazine is largely similar in design and construction to the 45-round ribbed plum and black RPK-74 magazines described elsewhere in this Guide. Features include polymer construction with metal lip reinforcement, rear locking lug and floorplate, and large horizontal reinforcing ribs running down both sides of the magazine body and spanning almost the entire width. Color is dead black with a smooth, semi-reflective finish. Markings include Molot company logo (as opposed to the star-in-shield arsenal mark) on right side of magazine body and large "5,45" caliber designation on left side, both in the lower rear corner. A small mold number appears on the left side, forward of the caliber marking. Floorplate is of a recessed or internal design, differeing from all other 5.45 Kalashnikov magazines. Magazine body has rounded edge at bottom rear rather than the slight outward flare found on other polymer types.
Notes:It is unclear how many of these magazines are in the US or how they got here, as the sole American importer of the VEPR line did not bring them in, opting instead to provide 30rd Bulgarian or East German AK-74 magazines with their rifles. The Molot web site also lists a 5rd magazine for the 5.45 VEPR; it is assumed to be similar.


BULGARIA

30rd BLACK POLY
Manufacturers: Arsenal Inc., NITI Kazanlak and Optico-Electron
Frequency: Plentiful (Arsenal Inc. Code 10), Common (NITI Kazanlak Code 21) Uncommon (Optico-Electron Code 25)
Description: Probably the 5.45mm magazine type most frequenly encountered in the US. Construction closely follows the Russian design - polymer body with small horizontal reinforcing ribs down both sides near the front, and metal lip reinforcement, rear locking lug and floorplate. Color is dead black with a nonreflective matte finish.
Notes: Similar to Russian True Black and Polish Black Poly types, except for markings. NITI Kazanlak Code 21 magazines are frequently encountered with brown replacement part followers and floorplate inserts. Optico-Electron Code 25 magazines appear to be constructed from a harder type of polymer with a much smoother texture than Arsenal Code 10 or NITI Kazanlak Code 21 magazines. NITI (Bulgarian acronym for "Science, Research & Technology Engineering") Kazanlak was the former research & development branch of Arsenal Bulgaria, and became a separate state-owned entity when Arsenal became a private corporation.

30rd PLUM & OD GREEN POLY
Manufacturer: Arsenal Inc.
Frequency: Uncommon
Description: In late 2006,
K-VAR Corporation (a US affiliate of Arsenal Inc.) commissioned Arsenal to produce a run of plum and OD green AK-74 magazines for the US commercial market. Except for the colors, these magazines are identical to the Code 10 black polymer type described above. The plum and OD colors match the polymer stock sets offered by K-VAR.
Notes: It is unknown how many of these colored magazines were or will be produced. Because of this and because K-VAR is the sole importer, the frequency value of "Uncommon" was assigned.

30rd BROWN / SADDLE TAN / FIREBRICK RED POLY
Manufacturer: NITI Kazanlak (Brown/Saddle Tan/Firebrick Red) and Optico-Electron (Firebrick Red only)
Frequency: Very Common (NITI Kazanlak Code 21 Brown), Uncommon (NITI Kazanlak Code 21 Saddle Tan & Firebrick Red), Scarce (Optico-Electron Code 25 Firebrick Red)
Description: Construction is identical to the Black Poly magazines described previously. It is unknown whether the color nomenclature is official, or simply made up by US vendors/consumers in an effort to better describe the variations (that is, they could all be considered "brown" by the manufacturer). Whichever the case, all three colors show wide ranges: Brown can run from dark chocolate to a lighter mocha; Saddle Tan can run from medium brown to burnt orange, and Firebrick Red can be anything from reddish-brown to maroon. Complicating matters even more is that the colors can appear differently as lighting conditions change.
Notes: All three colors commonly have black ink splotches on the magazine body, and may be encountered with brown replacement part followers and floorplate inserts. Optico-Electron Code 25 magazines appear to be constructed from a harder type of polymer with a much smoother texture than the NITI Kazanlak Code 21 magazines. NITI (Bulgarian acronym for "Science, Research & Technology Engineering") Kazanlak was the former research & development branch of Arsenal Bulgaria, and became a separate state-owned entity when Arsenal became a private corporation.


30rd PLUM POLY
Manufacturers: NITI Kazanlak
Frequency: Scarce
Description: A previously unknown color variation first identified in 2007; individual magazines can vary from dark/violet (left) to light/purple (right). Construction and physical features are identical to other Bulgarian Code 21 magazines. These are Bulgarian military surplus and are not related to the previously described Code 10 plum magazines produced by Arsenal Inc. for K-VAR. The Code 10 magazines are a much lighter and browner shade of plum, being specifically color-matched to K-VAR's US-made plum furniture sets (see comparison photos).
Notes: Generally similar to Russian Matte Plum type, except for markings. Actual shade may not be apparent under certain lighting conditions. May be encountered with brown replacement part followers and/or floorplate inserts. NITI (Bulgarian acronym for "Science, Research & Technology Engineering") Kazanlak was the former research & development branch of Arsenal Bulgaria, and became a separate state-owned entity when Arsenal became a private corporation.

45rd BAKELITE
Manufacturer: Unknown; probably Molot
Frequency: Common
Description: Manufactured for the RPK-74 light machinegun, but usable in all 5.45x39 caliber AK rifles and carbines. Constructed from AG-4 phenolic resin (commonly known as "bakelite") with metal lip reinforcement, rear locking lug and floorplate. Distinctive mottled orange color. Empty disc on right side, mold number on left, near bottom of magazine body. Approximately 1/3 longer than a 30rd magazine.
Notes: Identical to Russian 45rd Bakelite except for the absence of Molot arsenal mark; Bulgarian RPK-74 magazines were most likely produced by Molot in Russia under contract. These are more commonly encountered and bring far lower prices than the arsenal-marked Russian equivalent.

45rd BLACK WAFFLE
Manufacturer: Arsenal Inc.
Frequency: Uncommon
Description: Polymer construction with metal lip reinforcement, rear locking lug and floorplate. Features five vertical reinforcement ribs at the top and bottom of the magazine, with the 2nd and 4th ribs running the full length of the mag body. These intersect with horizontal ribs along the magazine's midsection, creating a distinctive "waffle" pattern similar to that found in Arsenal's 7.62x39 and 5.56x45 AK magazines. The horizontal ribs wrap around to the spine of the magazine, but not to the front. Color is dead black with a slightly reflective textured finish. Arsenal mark appears on the upper right side of the magazine, just above the first horizontal rib. Approximately 1/3 longer than a 30rd magazine.
Notes: First appearing in March 2008, these magazines were produced at K-VAR's request specifically for the US commercial market, as had previously been done with the plum and OD green 30rd magazines (see above). Because it is unknown how many of these magazines were or will be manufactured, and because K-VAR is the sole importer, the frequency value of "Uncommon" was assigned.


POLAND
30rd STEEL
Manufacturer: Lucznik (Radom)
Frequency: Common
Description: Manufactured for the wz.88 "Tantal" assault rifle, the Polish equivalent to the AK-74. All-steel construction with large vertical ribs and smaller interlocking horizontal ribs on the sides of the body, and a prominent dorsal spine. Semi-gloss, slightly rough black finish (painted). No arsenal logo or proof marks evident.
Notes: Generally similar in construction and appearance to Eastern Bloc AKM (7.62x39) magazines, but with a straighter profile. Nearly identical to the less common Romanian 30rd 5.45 magazine, except for slight differences in the spine, feed lip reinforcement area and finish.

30rd BLACK POLY
Manufacturer: Lucznik (Radom)
Frequency: Uncommon
Description: Manufactured for the wz.88 "Tantal" assault rifle, the Polish equivalent to the AK-74. Construction closely follows the Russian design - polymer body with small horizontal reinforcing ribs down both sides near the front, and metal lip reinforcement, rear locking lug and floorplate. Color is dead black with a slightly reflective finish. Mold number appears on the left side of the magazine body near the bottom. No arsenal mark is present, though a small diamond-shaped proof stamp may be found on the spine just above the floorplate.
Notes: This is the early type Tantal magazine; later versions are marked with the caliber designation and show other minor differences (see below). Because they are a relatively obscure type and lack markings save for the mold number, these early Tantal magazines are often misrepresented by sellers as Bulgarian, Russian or East German.

30rd BLACK POLY w/ CALIBER MARKING
Manufacturer: Lucznik (Radom)
Frequency: Uncommon
Description: Manufactured for the wz.88 "Tantal" assault rifle, the Polish equivalent to the AK-74. Construction closely follows the Russian design - polymer body with small horizontal reinforcing ribs down both sides near the front, and metal lip reinforcement, rear locking lug and floorplate. Color is dead black with a frosted/textured finish. Mold number appears on the left side of the magazine body near the bottom, and caliber designation "5,45x39" appears on the left side roughly parallel to the rear locking lug. No arsenal mark is present.
Notes: This is the later type Tantal magazine, marked with the caliber to distinguish it from the nearly identical wz.89/96 magazine (which is marked "5,56x45"). The caliber-marked Tantal magazines also lack the proof mark and drain hole found on the spine of the earlier types.


ROMANIA
5rd STEEL
Manufacturer: Cugir Arsenal
Frequency: Rare
Description: Created for the US commercial market during the "Assault Weapons Ban" era and supplied with the CUR-2, the first type of 5.45 rifle imported by Century Arms International in the mid-1990s. These appear to have been fabricated by cutting down a 30rd steel magazine. When Century Arms transitioned from importing the thumbhole-stocked, all-Romanian CUR-2 to the pistol-gripped, 922(r) compliant SAR-2 in the late 1990s, the 5rd magazine was discontinued in favor of a 10rd steel magazine (see below). 5rd steel magazines of this type can occasionally be found for sale on the secondhand market, and retain some value as curiosities and collectors' items. Their short length also makes them convenient when shooting from a bench rest.

10rd STEEL
Manufacturer: Cugir Arsenal
Frequency: Uncommon
Description: Created for the US commercial market during the "Assault Weapons Ban" era and supplied with the SAR-2 5.45 rifles imported by Century Arms International in the late 1990s and early 2000s. These appear to have been fabricated by cutting down a 30rd steel magazine of the type described below. Century Arms stopped furnishing the 10rd magazines with their rifles in about 2002 (switching to East German 30rd bakelites, then to Bulgarian 30rd polymer types), and the sunset of the AWB in 2004 largely eliminated demand for them in the US. They can occasionally be found for sale on the secondhand market, and retain some value as curiosities and collectors' items. Their short length also makes them convenient when shooting from a bench rest.

30rd STEEL
Manufacturer: Cugir Arsenal
Frequency: Uncommon
Description: All-steel construction with large vertical ribs and smaller interlocking horizontal ribs on the sides of the body, and a prominent dorsal spine. Semi-gloss, smooth black finish (blued). A small chevron or arrowhead shape and other proof marks may be present on the dorsal spine.
Notes: Generally similar in construction and appearance to Eastern Bloc AKM (7.62x39) magazines, but with a straighter profile. Nearly identical to the more common Polish Tantal 30rd steel magazine, except for slight differences in the spine, feed lip reinforcement area and finish.

40rd STEEL
Manufacturer: Cugir Arsenal
Frequency: Scarce
Description: Intended for use with the Romanian RPK-74 light machinegun, but compatible with all 5.45x39 caliber AK rifles and carbines. Construction, finish and identifying features are identical to the 30rd magazine described above, with the RPK magazine being about 25% longer.
Notes: Generally similar to the Eastern Bloc RPK (7.62x39) 40rd magazine, but much straighter in profile.


EAST GERMANY

30rd BAKELITE
Manufacturer: Unknown, but likely Ernst Thaelmann VEB
Frequency: Plentiful
Description: Second most common type of 5.45 magazine encountered in the United States; huge numbers of these were released into the surplus market after the reunification of Germany in the early 1990s, and new-condition examples could be had for as little as $3.00 apiece at one point. In recent years, supplies have tightened and prices have gone up, but there are still plenty of these magazines to be had, and they are still used as OEM magazines by at least two US manufacturers/importers. Constructed from AG-4 phenolic resin (commonly known as "bakelite") with metal lip reinforcement, rear locking lug and floorplate. Distinctive orange color. Mold number on right side near bottom of magazine body; no arsenal mark present. Some examples may bear a small white
"Made in Germany" sticker.
Notes: Similar to Russian 30rd Bakelites, but generally lighter in color with less pronounced streaking/mottling. Robinson Armament uses East German Bakelites coated in a textured black finish as OEM magazines for their VEPR rifles; beware of these being misrepresented on the secondhand market. Lack of reinforcement ribs and arsenal marks, and the presence of the mold number on the right side rather than the left will distinguish these black EG Bakelites from the Bulgarian, Russian and Polish polymer mags. Also, EG Bakelites modified by Century Arms for use with .223 (5.56x45) rifles can be distinguished by a band of black paint around the top of the magazine and a large white identification sticker on the magazine body.


COMPARISON PHOTOS
Relative size of 30, 40 and 45rd 5.45x39mm Kalashnikov magazines


Romanian and Polish steel mags, with differences highlighted


Bulgarian magazine colors: (left to right) Black, Brown, Saddle Tan, Firebrick Red, Plum


45rd Bakelite mags; Russian w/ Molot arsenal mark (left) and Bulgarian w/ empty disc(right)


Very early Izhmash plum magazines showing metal (left) and polymer (right) followers. Photo courtesy of "MT-LB" on
The AK Forum.


Plum polymer mags: (left to right) Izhmash matte, Izhmash shiny, Tula shiny, Bulgarian Code 21


Bulgarian Code 21 (left) and Code 10 (right) plum magazines

   
Polymer mags compared: (left to right) Bulgarian Code 10, Izhmash matte plum, Polish (late) and Polish (early)


RPK-74 magazines: (left to right) Bulgarian bakelite, Russian (Molot) bakelite, Russian (Molot) plum, Bulgarian Code 10 waffle, Romanian steel


MAGAZINE MARKINGS
      
Bulgarian Arsenal Marks - (left to right) Arsenal Inc. Code 10, NITI Kazanlak Code 21, Optico Electron Code 25

      
Russian Arsenal Marks - (left to right) Izhmash large/small, Tula, Molot

          
Mold Numbers - (left to right) Bulgarian, East German, Polish, Russian

         
           
Russian Acceptance Stamps/Proof Marks

       
Bulgarian Acceptance Stamps/Proof Marks


Romanian Proof Marks - (left to right) Chevron, "3", "Y"


EXOTICS
EAST GERMAN 45rd BAKELITE
Generally similar to the Bulgarian/Russian design, but having the mold number on the right side and nothing on the left, in the manner of the 30rd magazines from the same country. To my knowledge, none have ever been imported into the US for sale, though a few examples may have entered mixed in with the more common Bulgarian magazines. (Photo courtesy of "The_Boy_Swift" on The AK Forum; East German mag on left, Molot mag on right.)

CHINESE 30rd
Description: Norinco had plans to market a semi-auto AK-74 in the United States, but only a handful of sales samples (3 confirmed, possibly others) made it in before the Assault Weapons Ban of 1994 was enacted. This legislation, along with import restrictions on "non-sporting" arms from China, curtailed any further plans for Chinese AK-74s. The Chinese 5.45 magazines are steel and of a "flatback" design, lacking the dorsal spine found on the Polish and Romanian types. In November of 2006, one of these mags was sold for $180 by an individual in Switzerland on an AK-related internet forum. I have heard from a knowledgeable source that a small number had previously made it into the US in a similar manner, and that there were also a few sales samples in-country prior to the ban. This makes the Chinese 30rd the only "exotic" 5.45 magazine that is even remotely obtainable. (Photo courtesy of “AD 1” on The AK Forum)

NORTH KOREAN 30rd
Description: Very little is known about the North Korean AK-74 variant, save for what can be gleaned from propaganda photos and a couple of badly worn/corroded/damaged examples that have been recovered. It appears to use a steel 30rd magazine very similar to the Chinese pattern. (Photo courtesy of Rob Stott)

PAKISTANI "KHYBER PASS" 30rd POLYMER
Description: Apparently a Pakistani near-clone of the Russian polymer 30rd magazine, fabricated by the provincial gunsmiths of the Afghanistan/Pakistan border regions as opposed to a state arsenal. These are constructed from red/orange polymer material (not bakelite), and feature reinforcing ribs and floorplates nearly identical to the Russian style; there is even a reproduction of the Izhmash "arrow-in-triangle" arsenal mark on the bottom right side of the magazine body. The "Khyber Pass" magazines can be distinguished from genuine Izhmash magazines by the color and texture of the magazine body, a brass rear locking lug, and a unique (presumably Pakistani) arsenal mark in place of the mold number on the lower left side of the magazine body. This marking appears to be a triangular design featuring the letters "S G A" in stylized script. Magazines of this type have been seen alongside Pakistani built/modified AK-74 type rifles at the Royal Armory in England, and more recently, a few have been brought back by US troops returning from deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. Black magazines of this type have also been documented. (Photos courtesy of MachinegunBooks.com).

RUSSIAN 45rd RIBBED "TRUE BLACK"
Current production magazine for the RPK-74M light machinegun. Identical to the 45rd Ribbed Plum type described previously, but dead black in color. This type is virtually unknown outside of Russia, due to that country's restrictions on export and civilian ownership of military items. An extremely small number leaked into the European market, and from there at least one has made it into the hands of a collector in the United States. (Photo courtesy of Rob Stott; 45rd Ribbed Plum mag on left, 45rd True Black mag on right.)

RUSSIAN 20rd BAKELITE
Description: The only evidence of this magazine's existence comes from a St. Petersburg museum exhibit (left; photo courtesy of Rob Stott), and it is unlikely the type was produced in quantities beyond a few prototypes. The intent was probably to provide a shorter magazine for the AKS-74U carbine, for use by vehicle crews and in other applications requiring maximum compactness and maneuverability. The shorter length is also handy when shooting off a bench, so I had several of my East German 30rd bakelite mags cut down and reassembled into 20rd mags (right) similar to the one shown in the museum photo.

RUSSIAN 60rd QUAD STACK
Description: The origins of this unusual polymer magazine are unclear, but it seems reasonable to assume it was intended for use with the RPK-74 light machinegun. Essentially two 30rd magazines fused together, the quad stack features "blown out" sides tapering down to a standard double-column feed neck, with dual springs and followers inside. Pictures and engineering drawings of this magazine have been ciruclating around the internet for some time. Rarely seen even in Russia, these may not have progressed beyond the prototype stage. None were ever imported into the US, though at least a couple individuals have endeavored to build one of their own, with varying degrees of success. (Photo courtesy of Joe Ancona and Jason Jeffers)

RUSSIAN RPK-74 PAN DRUM
Description: This experimental drum magazine for the RPK-74 locks into the gun in the manner of a normal 30rd magazine, but the drum body is oriented almost parallel to the barrel (rather than vertically or angled slightly forward as with the 7.62x39 drums). Polymer construction; capacity is said to be 100 rounds. A few photos have been widely circulated, and urban legend has it that one of the prototypes sold on the internet for around $3500. (Photo found on the internet; shows drum mounted to a PU-1 experimental light machine gun, which could be fed from belts or magazines.)


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