I have had few questions on whether the new US Palm AK magazines that I covered recently are worth the $29.95 asking price, especially when surplus steel mags tend to costs $10-20. They really don’t cost anymore than the European manufactured plastic mags on the market. Only the person buying the magazines can say whether or not they worth the price. I can say that I believe certain aspects of this mag are better than steel mags. And when something is better, it usually costs more.
- The design is better – The ridges and waffle pattern give good grip when manipulating a magazine. The body of the mag is essentially fused into one piece (no more loose base plates that spit your rounds all over the floor at the range – yes, I have seen it happen).
- The materials are better – Polymer is better than steel for this application. Steel bends on impact and the mag stops working. Polymer bounces back or maybe cracks but the mag will likely continue to work even when cracked. It is also lighter in weight. The days of worrying about polymer magazines are long gone. You WANT plastic mags in many cases. Stop resisting the inevitable!
- The follower is better – The follower is a low friction design. This sort of thing revolutionized AR mags.
- The weight is better – Like I said above, they are lighter. This is a big deal. This just in… AK mags are heavy!
- The spring is better – These mags use a chromium-silicon spring which is rated for 100,000 cycles. Steel mags use whatever springs the communist government that made the mags could get that day (maybe).
- The manufacturer is better – These are made in the US by a top tier maker. They will take care of you if you have an issue.
With all that said, I can definitely understand those who want to wait and see. There is definitely something to be said for not being an early adopter. The prices may come down and, more importantly, any bugs will be worked out if you wait to purchase these. We still do not have any real world accounts of usage on these things (no, “I went to the range and slow fired 30 rounds. These mags are awesome!” does not count).
This whole thing reminds me of when the PMAG first came out. You had people who wouldn’t trust any plastic mag and those who wouldn’t pay $15-17 when aluminum mags could be purchased for $10.
I am not in a hurry to buy any of these right now, but my AK is really just a toy. If the AK was my primary weapon, I would be taking a good hard look at these new mags.