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Old 12-02-2018, 04:06 PM   #1
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Default Ban period mag prices AK vs. AR

I was too young to remember, or even have known, the differences in price between AR mags and AK mags during the ban. Were prices more for one than the other, or was it fairly consistent? For instance, how much did a preban, legal to own steel AK mag cost compared to a Colt preban mag at the time?

I think some of us obviously stockpile mags for when/if there’s another ban. I haven’t really began to yet, and not sure if I want to, but just wondering which mags would cost more if, God forbid, the communist left takes our rights away again. Seems quality AR mags are cheaper to stockpile now than AK mags.
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Old 12-02-2018, 04:41 PM   #2
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I was paying $19 for used GI M-16 mags, $10 or so per mag for ((10)) waffle mags, $89 for Romy top load 75 rounders, $36 for a new in wrap mag pouch set of 4 EG Bakelite 74 mags.
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Old 12-02-2018, 04:42 PM   #3
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I was paying $19 for used GI M-16 mags, $10 or so per mag for ((10)) waffle mags, $89 for Romy top load 75 rounders, $36 for a new in wrap mag pouch set of 4 EG Bakelite 74 mags.
During the ban? I thought prices had skyrocketed.
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Old 12-02-2018, 05:37 PM   #4
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IIRC , AR mags were more expensive than AK mags. I recall paying $30-$40 for AK mags and around $50 to $60 for new AR mags. Pistol mags were more expensive than rifle mags.
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Old 12-02-2018, 06:06 PM   #5
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IIRC , AR mags were more expensive than AK mags. I recall paying $30-$40 for AK mags and around $50 to $60 for new AR mags. Pistol mags were more expensive than rifle mags.
I remember ar mag's running right about $50/$60 as well. I seem to remember some guy's trying to get around $90 at the very onset of the ban, but it eventually leveled out around $50/60. As far as ak mag's, I couldn't tell you, as I didn't have an ak until 2005,at the end of the ban.
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Old 12-02-2018, 06:11 PM   #6
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Yeah, and remember to take into consideration inflation from 1994-2004 levels.

Minimum wage was $4.25 an hour for the majority of the ban years. So, $50 a mag, was more than a whole days wages and more than your water and telephone bill combined.

I recall AR mags costing about $35 each, plus shipping of around $10 a box, so....

In my no so humble opinion, if you plan on having magazines, there is no better time than the present. I don't ever remember a time they were less. And if they rewrite the laws, they may prohibit any sort of civilian purchase altogether the next go round and I feel that is the most likely scenario that will play out.

My Daddy used to always tell me, there are 2 classes of people. The have's and the have-nots.

it's all up to you which category you want to fall in.

Last edited by John A.; 12-02-2018 at 06:20 PM.
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Old 12-02-2018, 06:14 PM   #7
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Buy buy buy buy buy op. Do it now!!!
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Old 12-02-2018, 07:13 PM   #8
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During the ban? I thought prices had skyrocketed.
I bought online or at 2 different gun shops in the early 2000ís. Beta-C mags were going for well over 1k.
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Old 12-02-2018, 07:15 PM   #9
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Handgun magazines were very expensive
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Old 12-02-2018, 07:38 PM   #10
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Now is ABSOLUTELY the time to buy if you think you want to be in the hobby long term. Ammo is a big one for me right now. Especially anything coming from oversea's. It can all go away, literally with the stroke of a pen. And that is during the "good time's" Add that to the fact that the political landscape really doesn't look good for us in the next two years. So,yeah, buy now!
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Old 12-02-2018, 07:42 PM   #11
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Yep, I'll make another post on AR15 and AK mags but like you, the prices on handgun mags are what stood out to me back then.

Many guns like say the Walther P99 didn't even have 'preban' mags available, while others like say Glock or Beretta mags...at least ones in good shape, were pricy and difficult to find.
I saw many aftermarket mags of relatively low quality still going for decent money too.

I remember trading in some no-name metal 31 rd Glock mag to a gunshop and they were happy to give me $60 store credit for it, even though I told them it didn't work very well due to a too weak spring.
They didn't care. I am sure they flipped it for $80+ without much bother.
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Old 12-02-2018, 07:53 PM   #12
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Yes, I will agree with others that pre ban hi cap pistol mags were pricey compared to AR and AK mags. The hi cap 9mm handguns had not been out all that long or were all that popular in the years before the ban except the original hi caps, the Browning Hi Power and the S&W M59. There were plenty of AR and AK mags in the market place and I had bought quite a few for my AR and AK before the ban. It seemed like my LGS would have both on and off for $29-49 a lot. I remember seeing Magpul's shortly after the ban expired and picking up a bunch seeing what a great price they were.

The big difference between then and now is the sheer numbers of firearms and magazines that are out there. Still it never hurts to buy stuff that you want when you see it. I just bought a dozen Galil magazines because I thought that the price was good and sometime in the near future I would like to pick up a Galil.
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Old 12-02-2018, 07:55 PM   #13
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OK AR and AK mags....

Forgive me if i might be misremembering or forgetting some things. Truth is I've blocked out much of that dark time.


First off, i never really bought online during the 1994-2004 period. I mostly picked mags up from individuals or at a few LGS.

I recall milsurp 20 rd mags for the AR15 being relatively inexpensive. They were in the $25-$30 range most of the time for ones that worked and didn't look too bad.
30 rd GI mags were a bit more because fewer were available, so they were $30-$40+.
Here's the thing, the AR15 itself wasn't nearly as common or popular back then...not like today at least.

Honestly there were more AKs floating around then; most from China, Romania, and Egypt. Also you could find the odd Hungarian and kit build too. Arsenal AKs were starting to get noticed towards the end of the AWB as well.

Thing is, most of the AK mags from overseas were "preban" meaning made before Sept of 1994, so as long as the importer could verify this, they could be sold in shops.
Thus 20 and 30 rd steel 7.62x39 mags were easy to find in great shape, for decent money. I remember them in the $15 to $25 range. Even 40 rounders weren't too bad. I paid $30 for one when i bought my SAR-1.
Bakelite 5.45x39 mags were cheap too, as low as $10 just because very few people had any use for them. Ditto for Bulgarian circle10 AK74 mags. I remember clearly buying some in NOS condition from K-Var in 2003 for $9 each.

Where things could get stupid were with rare and/or very high capacity mags....yep, the Beta-C is a good example and really any drum was pretty highly prized. At least that is if it worked.
As with handgun mags, there were aftermarket no-name drums and 40 rd AR15 mags out there that sucked a donkey.
Still people bought them and paid decent money for the privlage of doing so.

The AWB wasn't a bolt out of the blue. Manufacturers knew it was coming, so they had time to quickly make or import as many mags and firearms as was possible. So for most of the year in 1994, they were stockpiling.
You saw something similar in 1986 when the MG registry was closing. Many makers rushed to get serials on the books and registered before it was too late...some of them a bit too much so and got in trouble too hehe.
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Old 12-02-2018, 09:52 PM   #14
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The best memory I have is going to a gun show shortly after the ban sunset in ‘04 and walking around. One table had a couple “pre-ban” 10-22 mags for $50 and a few tables down there was a huge stack of new 10-22 mags for dirt cheap. I remember picking up a Beta-C mag that day brand new for $240 I think.
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Old 12-02-2018, 09:56 PM   #15
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If there is another ban or mag cap thing, the situation won't be the same as it was back during the '94 AWB.
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Old 12-02-2018, 11:33 PM   #16
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That is also my belief, and with no sunset.

They have already proposed no transfer to civilians.

No transfers to lawful heirs.

It will be an Australia or British type of ban, if not worse.
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Old 12-03-2018, 12:47 AM   #17
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Depends on what time during the 10 years of the ban you are talking about. I remember getting my first AK, a MAK90, about 91 or so. Mags were about $10 for the Chinese flatbacks in that era. Just after the ban in 94 prices actually went down, I grabbed several for $5-6 each, including a few of the all stamped Chinese ones. Euro mags were about the same. They slowly climbed up in price as the ban went on, but never did get as high as some mags did because they were still being imported from a nearly endless supply in those days.

Supply and demand, I can recall back in the day an HK91/G3 mag was between $30-40 each and this was before the ban. "Surplus" mags weren't available so you were paying HK's asking price. During the later years of the ban the floodgates on HK mags and parts opened and we had cheap magazines and parts kits everywhere. G3 parts kits were $150 or so back in the day and Tapco had slightly rusty steel mags for a buck apiece in 50 packs! Cheaper Than Dirt had brand new looking AL mags as low as $2 for years. FALs were similar, parts kits everywhere for a couple hundred bucks and $10 or less mags.

AR15 mags started climbing early for some reason. Back then there were pretty much 2 choices for mags, well used Vietnam era mags or newer commercial stuff that rarely worked well except for the factory Colts which were way up there. Building ARs started getting popular about then, I remember the lowers right at the start of the ban were sold out for almost a year and when they did appear they were going for $150 or more! Of course, there were maybe a half dozen manufacturers of them back then, today you would be hard pressed to find more than a couple rifle companies that don't have an AR15 based gun in their lineup.

Handgun mags were the worst though, not much surplus stuff as the age of the "wondernine" had only been in existence for a decade or so at that point so you had a limited supply and an ever-increasing handgun market who wanted more than 10rd magazines. OTOH, the 10rd limit did result in tons of smaller more easily concealed pistols.
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Old 12-03-2018, 10:56 AM   #18
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AK mags were reasonable, could find NIW mags for under $5. Glock Pistol mags were horrible, up to $100 a piece.
Buy now, buy twice as much as you think you need.
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Old 12-03-2018, 12:12 PM   #19
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I paid $100 for the only preban Glock mag at the gun show insane!!!
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Old 12-03-2018, 12:50 PM   #20
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I really appreciate everyone's input! I would have never guessed high cap pistol mags would have sold for more. I do recall Iraqveteran8888 mentioning in one of his videos that Glock mags were around $100 a piece though. I guess I just figured that meant AK/AR mags were even more. I've stuck with the philosophy lately that I'll invest 100% in AK/AR rifles and AK/AR mags because if there is ("when there is") another ban, more than likely, pistols will be left off the "weapons of mass destruction" list. I wasn't considering pistols, or pistol mags, with a higher capacity of 10 though. I guess I need to go ahead and invest in a Glock or two and start a small stockpile of some mags. I've been considering building an AR9 that will except Glock mags, so I could kill two birds with one stone.

I also didn't realize AK mags were still being imported as "preban" mags, which makes a lot of sense. So really the sanctions have done way more damage than the ban ever did when it comes to the AK market.

I remember the Sandy Hook scare. I remember spending $16 on a 50 round box of 22lr!lol I had a friend in from Germany who had never fired a rifle before, all I had at the time was an old M1969 22lr, and so I sucked it up and bought a box. It was amazing how long it was before 22lr rounds were available again at reasonable prices. I was also looking into purchasing my first AR around that time too, and Bushmasters were going for $1,200+ if I remember correctly. I decided to just wait it out.

As some of you mentioned, there's no telling what a future ban would look like, or how it would affect prices or availability. The market has since been flooded with AR's, AR mags, AK's, AK mags, Glock mags, etc. I can't imagine a no transfers ban. I'd hope that we would all come together and take our country back if it ever came to that lol.

Looks like I'll continue to stock up on mags and ammo. Can't hurt. Just bought another 20 surplus steel AK mags, so that puts me at 62 (12 bakes and 50 various combloc steel mags), but I only have a measly 6 AR mags haha.
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Old 12-03-2018, 12:57 PM   #21
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Quote:
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I can't imagine a no transfers ban.
Like I said, there will be the have's and the have-nots. All up to you which category you prefer to be.

And just because you can't imagine it, doesn't mean that they can't. They already have. So far, it's been pushed back and fought off.

But just wait until a president has to have a bill signed into law and it's tacked on it. or even worse yet, they just want it done and they'll still be glad to sign it.

Democrat or Republican will sign it no matter how many wheelbarrels of BS is attached to it.

You can choose whether to believe us old timers, or not. It's all up to you. And if they do a no transfer wording, are you going to use all those AK mags in all your other guns? My question is meant with sincerity.

You need to diversify.

But what-evs.
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Old 12-03-2018, 01:13 PM   #22
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Like I said, there will be the have's and the have-nots. All up to you which category you prefer to be.

And just because you can't imagine it, doesn't mean that they can't. They already have. So far, it's been pushed back and fought off.

But just wait until a president has to have a bill signed into law and it's tacked on it. or even worse yet, they just want it done and they'll still be glad to sign it.

Democrat or Republican will sign it no matter how many wheelbarrels of BS is attached to it.

You can choose whether to believe us old timers, or not. It's all up to you. And if they do a no transfer wording, are you going to use all those AK mags in all your other guns? My question is meant with sincerity.

You need to diversify.

But what-evs.
I didn't mean I don't think it will ever happen. I just meant it's hard to imagine them getting away with it, but there are several states/cities that have implemented the same if not similar laws, and more and more are following the lead. Even public opinion is shifting in favor of a ban because the false and manipulated information that is being spread.
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Old 12-03-2018, 01:24 PM   #23
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Buy while you can. Guns are useless without the mags and ammo.
Classic's Galil blowout was my last gun for foreseeable future. Mags are next.
Do not forget about the 10/22 mags. At that time Ruger factory mags were 10rd. Butler Creek Steel Lips went from $15 ea to 4x, 5x the price.
Buy 22LR by the case from targetsportsusa.com Free shipping.

I need to spend the next few days inventorying my mags and see where I still have gaps. Anyone has leads for CZ P07 mags?
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Old 12-03-2018, 01:31 PM   #24
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As others have said, buy all you can now till you can’t no more. I’m even thinking about buying mags for guns I don’t own yet. Ak mags I think I’m sitting at around 60 and same for AR mags. Cause with the next ban you won’t legally be able to sell to other people. Stock up while you can.
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Old 12-03-2018, 02:06 PM   #25
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As others have said, buy all you can now till you can’t no more. I’m even thinking about buying mags for guns I don’t own yet. Ak mags I think I’m sitting at around 60 and same for AR mags. Cause with the next ban you won’t legally be able to sell to other people. Stock up while you can.
I had bought metric FAL mags at the same time as I bought my AK mags. Sat on them for years, decided not to get into FAL. Resold them for 5x or 6 what I had paid, and buyer thought he was getting a deal of the century!

At the last quick and dirty count I was at 100+ AK mags, and I would like to double that in the next 6 months. At least most were bought before the current mag prices.
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Old 12-03-2018, 02:17 PM   #26
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If your worried about it you need more.

I am probably like a lot of us around here, I don't even know where to put all.

Mulling around the files for 12 years has that affect.
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Old 12-03-2018, 02:18 PM   #27
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Rember as part of the 94 ban you could legally import mags from overseas if they were pre ban and as noted 99% of Ak mags were pre 1994 made or could be claimed to be so was a lot of them around ..And prob also help that they all were miltary and worked for the most part and guns /ammo for them were cheep remember at the time stuff like MAK90 and other double stack AK rifles were still comeing for nothing

Mishaco hit the nail on the head with his post ...

I have owened a lot of pre ban mags the pistol ones suck for the most part ..Really I think good Pistol mags and AR mags were the hardest to get during the ban and of course odd ball mags at the time like MP5 mags as less of them in country or as surplus .

USA mag and other compaines pump out massive ammonts of mags pre 94 ..Most are major crap
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Old 12-03-2018, 02:30 PM   #28
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Wasn't USA mag caught selling post ban mags as "pre-ban"?
Maybe I am remembering it wrong.
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Old 12-03-2018, 07:03 PM   #29
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Quote:
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Wasn't USA mag caught selling post ban mags as "pre-ban"?
Maybe I am remembering it wrong.
This sounds right.
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Old 12-03-2018, 10:08 PM   #30
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I had bought metric FAL mags at the same time as I bought my AK mags. Sat on them for years, decided not to get into FAL. Resold them for 5x or 6 what I had paid, and buyer thought he was getting a deal of the century!

At the last quick and dirty count I was at 100+ AK mags, and I would like to double that in the next 6 months. At least most were bought before the current mag prices.
Being in the army helped a lot with my AR mags lol. When I got out I had about 12 and no AR lol.
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Old 12-03-2018, 11:04 PM   #31
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The AWB was part of the "golden age" of AK mags. As noted, all were preban and importable. My first AK mag purchase in 1999 was a set of 4 Bulgarian steels, brand new in a EG pouch, for $29 from CDNN. Tapco sold new Hungarian tankers for $6. Polymer Polish mags from AIM for $9.99. Frankly, the only mags I spent over $10 on back then were ((10)) waffles which were $12-$15.

And yes the EG 5.45 bakes were stupid cheap during the AWB. Brand new in wrap 4 packs with pouch and stripper clips for $30.

So yeah sub-$10 mags, $300 Romy SARs, and $69 cases of ammo. Good days, wish I had bought more.
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Old 12-04-2018, 01:41 AM   #32
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One good thing about mags so far; they aren't serialized and aren't regulated.

The gov't can pass all the rules and laws it likes, and at the end of the day, its up to local LEs to determine if they are inforceable or worth messing with.
When NY passed the law against mags over 7 rounds, most DAs refused to deal with cases even if a police officer tried bringing charges, and most did not even try.

If we stick together as citizens, we will have a chance still.

That said, I've been adding a bit to my mag stash this year too. Mostly less common things like getting a total of 6 Czech military mags for my 805 Bren (i have both magwells so worst case, I could go back to using AR15 mags), picking up a couple more Swiss SG550 mags (as well as a Swiss mfg AR15 lower, again 'just in case'), filling out my AK mag collection with a few more bakelites, Chicoms, and Bulgie waffles.....

Also adding some pistol mags such as Glock 33 rounders for my PAK9 and NAK9, getting a couple 21 rounders for my SIG M17, and a few more 15-30 rd mags for my Berettas since i really enjoy shooting those often.

Oh and i ahve a couple cases of 60 rd Russian quadstack mags because, wtf not? lol
Good trading material if SHTF right?

Prices are low right now, so no harm in stocking up even if the gov't ends up doing nothing.

That said, I honestly had a bad feeling ever since the 2016 election. Not exactly because of Trump himself but rather because many pro-gunners kind of stopped fighting and really let their guard down.
Truth is, i don't trust anyone in D.C. these days.
Amongst us here, i tend to be pretty optimistic and give people the benefit of the doubt.
But with politicians, i feel exactly the opposite. I just don't trust any of them, unless and until one prooves that he/she actually gives a damn about the country and us citizens.
So far, its a very short list.

TL,DR; be vigilant and never stop fighting for your rights.
If we go down, lets not go silently into that goodnight.
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Old 12-04-2018, 03:15 AM   #33
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Some Glock hi caps were $100 to $150, per mag.
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Old 12-04-2018, 09:47 AM   #34
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Old USGI mags were what everyone had because they were slighty cheaper. It was a gamble and you often had to replace springs or work on them to get them to reliably feed. The black follower Parsons, Sanchez, and Adventure line mags were in circulation. Colts commanded a premium, as usual.

Of course, It never hurt to have friends in supply/armory. A quart of "untaxed liquor" would put you in their good graces. Mags would start magically appearing in your locker and car.

I got three glock 17 mags at a gun show for $75 each. I pimp walked out like I stole them. Times were lean.
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Old 12-04-2018, 12:34 PM   #35
pre1989
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mishaco View Post
One good thing about mags so far; they aren't serialized and aren't regulated.

The gov't can pass all the rules and laws it likes, and at the end of the day, its up to local LEs to determine if they are inforceable or worth messing with.
When NY passed the law against mags over 7 rounds, most DAs refused to deal with cases even if a police officer tried bringing charges, and most did not even try.

If we stick together as citizens, we will have a chance still.

That said, I've been adding a bit to my mag stash this year too. Mostly less common things like getting a total of 6 Czech military mags for my 805 Bren (i have both magwells so worst case, I could go back to using AR15 mags), picking up a couple more Swiss SG550 mags (as well as a Swiss mfg AR15 lower, again 'just in case'), filling out my AK mag collection with a few more bakelites, Chicoms, and Bulgie waffles.....

Also adding some pistol mags such as Glock 33 rounders for my PAK9 and NAK9, getting a couple 21 rounders for my SIG M17, and a few more 15-30 rd mags for my Berettas since i really enjoy shooting those often.

Oh and i ahve a couple cases of 60 rd Russian quadstack mags because, wtf not? lol
Good trading material if SHTF right?

Prices are low right now, so no harm in stocking up even if the gov't ends up doing nothing.

That said, I honestly had a bad feeling ever since the 2016 election. Not exactly because of Trump himself but rather because many pro-gunners kind of stopped fighting and really let their guard down.
Truth is, i don't trust anyone in D.C. these days.
Amongst us here, i tend to be pretty optimistic and give people the benefit of the doubt.
But with politicians, i feel exactly the opposite. I just don't trust any of them, unless and until one prooves that he/she actually gives a damn about the country and us citizens.
So far, its a very short list.

TL,DR; be vigilant and never stop fighting for your rights.
If we go down, lets not go silently into that goodnight.

Second this so much!

Mags right now are stupid cheep ..I mean heck Numrich had the crapo Thermold 20 for a 1.50 each on black friday ..I mean crap mags for sure but good for trade foder /last ditch .

Pmags and even good mapgul gut GI mags what 8-10 bucks or less

It is funny AK mags good ones at least seem to be going up and up but AR mags down down

Yeah I have that same funny thoughs man .I just not sure what is going to happen as the current pres is a wild card he has already pass or support some anti 2A stuff and now that the dems have one house eh

Yep if you got the money get what you can when it is cheep I say

Esp imported mags or the over 20-30 rounders
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