150 Rnd North Korean Helical AK Magazines.....

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by Chee-to, Jan 25, 2015.

  1. Chee-to

    Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    North Korean Helical AK Magazines


    Editor’s note: We are delighted to welcome the Oryx Blog team – Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans - as occasional contributors to The Hoplite. This post is the first in a series to be written by them, which will examine interesting arms and munitions developments in regions where information on these are scarce.

    Several new developments in North Korean armaments can be witnessed amongst the recent flow of propaganda released by Pyongyang after Kim Jong-un’s ascension to power. One such development is what appears to be a new magazine model for the North Korean copy of the AK-74, the Type 88. This new magazine uses a staggered helix design, which allows for a high number of 5.45 x 39 mm cartridges to be carried without the notable increases in size and unwieldiness that characterise many other high capacity magazines.


    So far the only users of this helical magazine appear to be Kim Jong-un’s (and formerly Kim Jong-il’s) personal bodyguards. While in the picture above each bodyguard appears to be carrying only one magazine (which, given their high capacity, isn’t that surprising), other, earlier, footage shows a loadout of two spare magazines for each bodyguard, as seen below. The magazines appear to have been in service since 2010, and possibly earlier.


    The North Korean Type 88 is usually seen issued with standard 30 round magazines and, aside from the standard wooden or synthetic fixed stock, a side-folding or top-folding stock (pictured). Two notable distinctions differentiate the North Korean helical design from other helical magazines that have been developed. First, and perhaps most obviously, this magazines was developed for a larger, more powerful rifle calibre than existing designs. Existing helical magazines have typically been developed for pistol calibre weapons, with designs having been produced in calibres such as 7.62 x 25, 9 x 17SR (.380 ACP), 9 x 18, and 9 x 19 mm. Secondly, whereas other helical magazines have typically been developed in conjunction with the firearms intended to make use of them, the recent North Korean example was instead produced for use with an existing weapon, appearing to make use of the bayonet lug for mounting. The top-folding stock, another North Korean innovation, allows the stock to be folded with the magazine inserted, which would not be possible with typical side-folding or under-folding AK stocks. Whilst there are persistent rumours of both Russian and Chinese developments of helical magazines for AK pattern weapons, no documentary evidence has emerged to date.

    The nature of the post-production design and the inherent complexity of helical magazines (when compared to standard removable box magazines) suggest that while these magazines offer a greatly increased cartridge capacity, they may render the weapon more prone to malfunctions and misfires. It is unknown if similar magazines have been developed for other calibres, or to what extent the helical magazine has been integrated into the Korean People’s Army.

    Magazine specifications
    The following specifications are estimated based upon measurements extrapolated from known dimensions, as well as a comparison with existing helical magazines. They represent the author’s ‘best guess’ at present.

    Calibre: 5.45 x 39 mm
    Capacity: 100 to 150 cartridges
    Weight: Approximately 2 kg = 4.41 LBS= plus 150 rnds of 5.45 x 39, kinda heavy, but still cool............;)
    Length: Approximately 370 mm
    Diameter: Approximately 85 mm
    U201491 and Sgt Nambu like this.
  2. ZA_Survivalist

    AK's all day.

    Likes Received:
    Liberty97045, U201491 and Sgt Nambu like this.
  3. mkwerx

    Rock Creek
    Polymer Prom Queen Silver Supporter

    Likes Received:
    All that weight probably soaks up muzzle jump. Assuming these are real, and functional, and not a spray painted plastic tube attached for photo ops to scare us American Devils.

    I'm still waiting for a working Shrike (belt fed closed-bolt AR for those unfamiliar with that piece of vaporware) - we could scare them right back.
    Slobray, MasterChief1 and Nwcid like this.
  4. Just Jim

    Just Jim Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    Anything they can do we can do better.:D
  5. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu
    PDX OR
    Member Emeritus Silver Supporter

    Likes Received:
    Pretty cool! Good for sentry/guard duty but I wouldn't want to carry one very far!
    MasterChief1 and U201491 like this.
  6. Caveman Jim

    Caveman Jim
    West of Oly
    Springer Slayer Silver Supporter 2016 Volunteer 2017 Volunteer

    Likes Received:
    The Calico was a cool gun, pistol or carbine, 50 or 100 round helical magazines. I could have bought a 9mm carbine back in the early 90's for $249!!!!:(
    Slobray likes this.
  7. bolus

    Far from Prozanski
    Platinum Supporter Platinum Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

    Likes Received:
    Look a bit like the Bizon

    Slobray, MasterChief1 and Caveman Jim like this.
  8. ZA_Survivalist

    AK's all day.

    Likes Received:
    So.. Surprised lever action guys havent chimed in.. There isnt a way this could be chambered for 5.45.. Unless they were SP or polymer tipped.. And N.Korea is WAY too poor for that..

    Odds are (and perhaps this was in the article) these are JUST hexical mags strictly for pistol caliber submachine guns.. Which isnt all that odd/rare.

    Should someone prove me wrong, Ill happily put my foot in my mouth..
    ...And start my quest to buy one!! :s0019:
    MasterChief1 likes this.
  9. MasterChief1

    It isn't what it used to be... Bronze Supporter

    Likes Received:
    Imagine something like the 5.7 Mags...they just dont want you to see? Just throwing it out there....

    Caveman Jim and ZA_Survivalist like this.
  10. ZA_Survivalist

    AK's all day.

    Likes Received:
    That is a true possibility. It would allow for the use of FMJ rounds since the cartridges are all stored sideways.
    Caveman Jim and MasterChief1 like this.

Share This Page