Even with the current importation ban AKs are, ‘back in’ (though some of our minions have always slobbered over the Soviet Saturday Night Special, maybe the ban has something to do with the increase?). While the aftermarket for the Kalashnikov isn’t anywhere near as rich as it is for the AR, there isn’t exactly a shortage of attainable accessories. This is our allocution on the US Palm AK mag. Mad Duo
U.S. Palm has been making AK-47 mags for more than five years, earning a strong following among U.S. Kalashnikov shooters. Weighing in at only 7 ounces their lightweight polymer mags are build for serious abuse, as some have learned over the years. Several of our minions have been using the AK30 magazines in their commie blasters and among those, most are fans – we say most because our minion are rarely never unanimous about anything. A couple of them don’t like the US PALM mags – but hey, some guys don’t like store-bought boobs, so make you’re own decisions.
The first thing you’ll notice when picking up an AK30 mag is how it feels in your hand. The polymer magazine has deep ribs and a textured spine, ensuring a positive grip with gloves or without. The ribbing along the magazine’s sidewalls add to the design’s strength, helping it survive regular use and dumps onto concrete. Adding to the AK30’s design is the unique floor plate; there isn’t one. While most shooters are accustomed to removable magazine bottoms to facilitate regular maintenance, US Palm chose to leave the mag sealed. This enclosed five sided box design results in a much stronger body and more peace of mind. Having busted floor plates off COMBLOC steel mags in the past, we can appreciate this concept.
“Well,” you might ask, “how do you clean the damn thing then?”
Despite the enclosed body, maintenance is as simple as it comes. Simply unload the magazine, dunk it in a sink full of hot soapy water, rinse and air dry. The polymer follower is vented to allow water and debris to fall out, and this works surprisingly well. Alternatively, we have found that using a can of compressed air (the kind used to clean keyboards or for certain one-handed typing exercises) also works.
We found the AK30 to work well in all the AK-type rifles we tried it in, and we experienced zero mag-related malfunctions during its use. A lot of thought went into the design, and US PALM has periodically updated it over the years. One thing that sets this magazine apart is the stainless steel cage skeleton-molded into the polymer. The steel is exposed at the front and rear locking areas, preventing wearing the mag out from inserting it into your weapon over and over. Interestingly, the feed lips are left unreinforced. US Palm found that by going with thick, structurally reinforced feed lips, damage and wear is reduced. Steel can bend out of shape when impacted, while polymer will flex and remain forgiving to abuse. After shooting hundreds of rounds out of numerous mags, our testing minions noticed very little wear to the feed lips and no failures. They also noted that the AK30 mags fit slightly tighter in the range of AKs we have shot them out of, with very little play when fully locked in. More importantly, we have not needed to “file to fit” them, as has been our experience with some other polymer mags on the market.
Filing to fit sucks ass.
Compared to what many others consider the gold standard of AK mags (Bulgarian “circle 10” military magazines), we feel the AK30 is a worthy US match. US Palm offers their magazine at a competitive price to those reliable European imports, without the issue of custom delays and constantly changing import law. We are baffled by those shooters who’ll buy a quality rifle only to go cheap on “gun show special” garbage magazines of inferior quality. The AK30 has made the short list of AK gear. It fits old Soviet-style as well as modern magazine pouches, offers flawless feeding, and is made right here in the good ole’ US of A.
You can choose between a selection of colors, including black, brown, FDE and Baklelite red for the look of your choice. We wish that US Palm would make the same mag in 5.45×39, as the AK30 is currently only offered in 7.62×39. We love both the AK-47 and AK-74, but find the availability of quality 5.45 aftermarket mags lacking. (US Palm, that’s what we call a hint…) You can check out the magazines and other cool kit out here at the company’s website. If you are looking for a combat-reliable, US-made mag, give the AK30 a try. We think you’ll share our appreciation for the design and quality.
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Read more of our AK related articles in Vodka Blasters.