Emergency AK-47 magazine drill video


This video demonstrates a fast AK-47 magazine change technique. The video author calls it the “Shayetet 13 style”. Shayetet 13 are an elite IDF marine special forces unit, similar to the SEALs. I would be surprised if they were the sole inventors of this technique, it was more likely simultaneously discovered by AK-47 wielding soldiers around the world.

Remember, this technique is for emergencys only, doing it repeatedly could wreck your magazines.

UPDATE: I posted the wrong video. The video above is now the correct video.

Hat Tip: FromanMD @ MP.net



Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • I’ve seen it done with a M14/M1A as well.

  • CMathews

    That man does not look like an IDF soldier to me lol. Saw this on YouTube a while back. What I can’t decide is what finger he is hitting the mag release with. Or is he just ripping them out?

    • CMathews, I think he is whacking the release it with the magazine that he is holding

  • Matt Groom

    I’ve seen SPETZNAZ guys do that in videos, but this guy has very good technique!

  • chris

    while a good tool to have in the box, this is not the be all end all for quick mag changes with an AK.

    We all know about the diminishing of fine motor skills under stress. This seems to me to be a very fine motor skill intensive movement.

  • Freiheit

    How could this wreck your magazines??

    Its a steel box engaging a steel lever. If you use it to swiftly and firmly push the mag release, it should be fine. I can see damage if you use it like a hammer, but thats not how this change appears to be done.

  • Martin Riggs

    I guess part of the “Shayetet 13 style” is to keep the finger on the trigger at all times during the reload using empty mags?

  • Jesse

    I’ve seen this technique before. It’s actually the technique that most AK “operators” use. I don’t think it would ruin the mags, most of the surplus mags are pretty sturdy.

    Also what is it with people putting shitty music in the background of their videos.

  • kvalseth

    Here’s a guy doing it live fire:

  • guy

    I’ve seen a slightly different technique, using the heel of the hand holding the fresh mag. I’ve tried it and it seems more idiotproof than the one in the video. It’ll beat up your hand ’till you’re used to it, but you basically just bash your hand up and forward and it works. Once you work at it, rotating the fresh magazine into the receiver can be done in one smooth motion.

  • jdun1911

    This technique is a typical speed/emergency reload for AK. It is done in all AK combat classes. It is one of the first thing you learn.

    Speed and emergency reload are almost the same. Speed reload is when you still have some rounds in your magazine. Emergency reload is when your magazine ran empty.

  • jdun1911

    Let me correct myself before someone does.

    Speed Reload: Round in the chamber. Magazine might be empty but 99.9999% it will contain one or more rounds left. The partial empty magazine drop to the ground and replaced with a flesh one.

    Emergency Reload: No round is in the chamber. Bolt is open. Magazine is empty. The empty magazine is drop to the ground and replaced with a flesh one. Bolt is manually close.

    Tactical Reload: Take a flesh magazine out of the pouch. Take the partial empty magazine and sliding the flesh magazine in using only one hand. Place the partial empty magazine into the magazine pouch.

    Speed Reload is the fastest of the three because in an Emergency Reload you have two extra steps, check to see if there is a jam or is it empty and release the bolt to chamber a round.

    Tactical Reload is the slowest of the three and shouldn’t be done if there are enemies shooting at you or your buddies. The worst case scenario is you fumble both magazines to the ground.

  • CMathews

    Ah yes. I was watching it in my iPhone so the picture was quite small. Hmm… I have encountered some of the cheaper ak variants that were just a bear to change the mags in. This technique would have gottene nowhere with those rifles. But yes, I would like to see someone doing this under extreme duress. Not just illustrating it on YouTube.As far as damaging the mags, they are quite sturdy as previously mentioned but you may be ae to tweak a feed lip if not too careful. But hey it’s an ak right? Lol

  • Caleb

    kvalseth, that guy was great eh?

    This vid shows a different, probably less efficiant mag change, but he does it so fast it’s still efficient enough! Bit of fumbling but hey, i can’t do that so not complianing. Doesn’t sound to good on the mags though.

  • Simon_The_Brit

    Fun to watch, but under real “combat” with incoming, outgoing and all the rest of the intense pressure are you really going to stand there with a 1000 yard stare, not moving and doing the “look at me, how cool is my reloading ?” stance.

    Speaking personally on the very odd occasion I got some incoming, I got lower than a snakes belly in a wagon rut and doing a cool reload like that wouldn’t have been possible.

    Doing it in a room or on the range is one thing…….

  • jdun1911

    People, this is standard training drill to do speed/emergency reload for AK. That’s what is being taught in schools and military around the world. So logic would suggest it would work in combat.

    http://rpginn.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=985&Itemid=39

    http://rpginn.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=980&Itemid=39

  • Olav

    This is the real way to do it!

  • J.A. James

    I think I missed something, somewhere. How else would you do a rapid reload with a Kalashnikov without a bolt hold-open?

    • J.A., it works when a live round is in the chamber. If the chamber is empty then it does not work (with out cycling the bolt)

  • jdun1911

    I think it is safe to said that all speed reloads for Kalashnikov are actually emergency reloads because the bolt does not lock back when the rifle runs empty. The bad part is you have to eject a live round out of the rifle but it clear any doubt that the gun might be empty and you don’t have to restart the motion again. Consistency.

    The guy at Argive Defense Systems (my post above) that demo his reload version IMO is better then Steve demo video. It is slower but consistent with reloading other firearms by putting the magwell at eye level while inserting the magazine.

  • jdun1911

    Pistol reloading with Todd Jarret:
    http://rpginn.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=953&Itemid=39

    I could not find a video on emergency reload from Magul. So here the next best thing. Emergency reload around 0:50.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEu7t9X7-aQ

    And Argive Defense Systems for AK
    http://rpginn.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=980&Itemid=39

  • This is also the technique that Al Qaeda has been teaching its operators to use as well. We teach this at the Mirror Image program to get our students shooting the same as AQ

  • SummerOf95

    It works well with the Mini-14, too.

  • The video above is not working anymore…. Can you try to find a similar video or perhaps the same one?

  • Davidoff

    Looks like he took the original video down but here is another one.

  • Jim

    It’s nice to train in this technique, but for a few bucks you can modify just about every AK-47 with RAM’s extended magazine release. It’s a super affordable mod, around 30 bucks, and installs in about 10-20 minutes depending on your level of “gunsmithmanship” lol. It’s also pretty snag free for an extension. Not that the AK-47 is a very “snag free” profile to begin with, but you will get the gist. Great Video while it lasted, but the mod may want to find another one as it appears this one has been “removed by user” on YouTube. Cheers for the great vid.