Last week AIM offered a special on blemished Polish AK mags for $3.95 with the following caution:
…..this small lot is a combination of finish blems or nicks and dings that WILL MOST LIKELY COMPROMISE FUNCTION. We are selling them cheap to possibly be used with less than 30 rounds of ammo; repair them when possible; or use the follower, spring or floor plate for parts. Sold as is!!….
Back in the summer of 2016 they had offered cosmetic blem Polish mags for $7.77 which, at the time, was an outstanding price on surplus AK mags. I bought a pile of them and although a small percentage were really ugly they seemed to work just fine, most just had minor issues with the paint and I felt that it was a really great value from AIM. Based on that experience I figured it was worth a roll of the dice on these for $3.95 and ordered a few dozen. Apparently a lot of other folks felt the same as the roughly 1,200 they had sold out in two and a half hours.
They arrived today and I was a little surprised by what was in the box. Unlike the cosmetic blems from last year that had a nasty little herpes in the black paint finish these mags look much better. The first few I grabbed looked truly excellent and I was wondering why AIM was blowing these out as dented blems at all. After going through a bunch of them I started finding that roughly half of them had easily noticeable dents. The three worst I could find are shown at right but the function does not seem to compromise function. After testing ten I have found that roughly a quarter have sticky followers however it doesn’t seem to be correlated with any dents. It really seems like they just need to be lubed and maybe slightly tweaked.
In conclusion I would encourage anyone needing a few more AK mags to place an order ASAP in the event AIM makes any more of these available. Use the link below to request notification if they come back. I have been so-so with some of AIM’s surplus firearms offering lately, particularly the cruddy S&W I reviewed, but these mags seem to be an outstanding value. I wish I could review a few more items however most of the stuff I have bought in recent months have been of limited availability and I prefer to keep my anonymity should someone at AIM be inclined to figure things out.
Update….. after going through all the mags again I found a potentially uglier dent in one of the mags which I had missed but after a quick test it appeared to make no functional difference. I dug out 40mm ammo can full of the “cosmetic” blem mags and couldn’t see any difference as roughly half of them had similar minor dents.
Follow up: I have not, to the best of my knowledge, bought any non “blem” Polish AK magazines from AIM either recently or in the last 18 months. Although these recent mags or those last summer were ostensibly sold as “blems” due to dents or other defects my impression is that the most common issue is simply a sticky follower rather than issues due to dents or whatever. The quick solution to this is to insert the follower into the body of the mag and eyeball down it to ee where it might be dragging. From my observation this seems to be around the sides of the followers and hitting it for couple seconds with a belt sander ensures free movement of the follower.