MD Arms Double Stack Saiga Magazine Patent

The USTPO has just published a patent application by the owner of MD Arms. The patent describes a double stack magazine for a shotgun. MD Arms is best known for their MD-20 Saiga Shotgun Drum, so it is no big leap in logic to assume MD plan on producing a double stack magazine for the Saiga shotgun.

Feeding rimmed cartridges reliability is no easy feat. There is good reason why so many rimfire magazines fail to feed reliably and why most shotguns have tube magazines. Is the rims of the rounds are not correctly aligned jams or misfeeds will occur. The MD concept allows the rounds to move forward or backwards inside the magazine, but as the lead round is being pushed towards the follower, channels in the side of the magazine guide the round’s rim so that the lead round is always position correctly for feeding.

I am sure many Saiga fans are going to be overjoyed to know that a double stack magazine for the Saiga is in the works!

MD Arm’s MD-20 Drum Magazine

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.


  • Lance

    Cool idea but way too heavy for practical use. 12rds of 12ga is heavy enough little lone a whole box worth of it.

    • hojo

      They should make one with some wheels on the bottom, so you can tow it around. Also makes a handy bipod.

      • AZRon

        True enough by most standards. On the other hand, a business is supposed to make a profit and I don’t hold this silliness against them.

        I would guess that even if priced at $200.00 each, these would sell faster than a 3 for 1 McNuggets deal.

        True ninjas shall NOT be denied.

    • Sian

      where this really shines is getting a 12 round magazine that isn’t a drum or hanging 14 inches below the gun like some kinda weird donkey schlong.

      • hojo

        I’ll upvote any post containing the words “donkey schlong”.

    • Matt G.

      People who shoot 3-gun matches don’t care if the magazine is heavy, because once the stage starts, it will be empty in about 10 seconds.

  • zach

    This has been anticipated by a very eager client base for several years. While I certainly want one that will hold a full box of ammo. Most of us want a magazine the length of a singlestack 5 or 8 rounder that reliably feeds and holds 9 or 14 rounds.

  • Greetings from Texas,
    This sounds great. I will comment on weight after I have a chance to try one out.

  • Interesting, linked at my place. Of course Mike from MD Arms has also said and shown pictures of the quad stack rifle mags they have had in the works, but pretty much nothing else for almost a year now and US Palm is working on their own too. Mike was promising slightly higher capacity than the US Palm full size and claims they have some great materials in use:

  • Jeff

    With the magazine reliability issues, is there any reason some company hasn’t simply produced a 12ga shotgun that utilizes a shell with a rebated rim? It strikes me that it would be an easy way to modernize the shotgun.

    • Jeff

      Just to expand on my idea… It seems like a 12ga shell with the rebated to a 20ga rim base would work well, given their similar lengths and the similar dimensions between the rim diameter of a 20ga and the hull diameter of the 12ga. Something like the saiga would be an easy enough prototyping platform since its available in both gauges. I think the only real concern would be the longterm wear 12ga shells would put on a 20ga bolt and carrier.

      • Matt G.

        The gun world is ready for a shotgun shell with a design newer than a century and a half, but nobody wants to take the plunge and be the first because ammo will be scarce and expensive.

  • This is a very cool alternative to the drums. The drums usually won’t allow stocks to fold alongside the receiver, and this will.

    I’d but one for my Saiga. Who cares if it’s heavy- it’s FUN!

  • Sian


    I have a Saiga12 center balance kit, and drums are just totally out for it, even the promag 12rd mini drum gets in the way. All I want are 10-12 rounds on gun without excessive bulk, and this looks like it can do that.

  • daskrolator

    Something to add to context of this patent.

    MD Arms first made mention they were working on a Double Stack saiga 12 mag as early as 2009, but little came out about it beyond a few forum posts. In 2011 MD Arms sold most of its inventory to raise funds to move into a larger shop and buy new equipment and around the same time had also mentioned they were making 7.62×39 double stack AK mags. On a side note when questioned why not do 5.45 double stack mags the answer was the market wasn’t big enough to justify the cost.

    As time progressed there has been no word from MD arms on either projects and competitors such as US Palm have already unveiled their 7.62×39 double stack offering. MD Arms may be late to the game with that product line.

  • BLG

    Why hasn’t the shotshells been modernized? Sure it works well as is, but without innovation we lose evolution.

    • JMD

      Agreed. I’d love to see someone invent a rimless all-brass shotgun case that’s design from the start to work well in box magazines. It’d be heavy and initially expensive, but the benefits provide would probably justify those minor issues.

      • Doesitmatter?

        Good idea, but one snag to resolve with this is that absence of rim takss you away from headspacing. On pistol ammo it is easier to do because of ball in front. You can always identify some small shoulder there.

        You are certainly aware thar brass shells were a norm one time. They were always, at least in my knowledge – rimmed.

      • Komrad

        The case would be necked slightly and headspace on the shoulder or it could be belted and headspace on that. I don’t know much about handloading, but I do know that there are other ways to headspace besides the rim and mouth.

      • JMD


        Pistol cartridges don’t headspace on the bullet, and a shoulder isn’t required either: it can headspace on the case mouth like a pistol cartridge. For shot loads, it would need a shot wad that’s tapered at the front, and with slug loads the slug could be seated just like normal.

        Then it could be reloaded easily just like any other standard metallic cartridge , and probably dozens of times before wearing out since shotgun cartridges operate with relatively very low pressure.

        It would be very simple. People always overthink this idea.

        The basic design of existing shotgun cartridges is around a century old, I believe. Yeah, progress is expensive, but only at first. Then later, people wonder why it didn’t happen sooner.

      • charles222

        They made all-steel shotgun cartridges for the Vietnam War, IIRC.

        I’ve thought shotgun technology was catching up to what rifles can do over the last thirty years or so; full-automatic and semi-automatic technology in the 1980s, reliable box magazines for about the same amount of time; the only thing missing was long-range accuracy; the Remington Accu-tip out of a slug barrel certainly seems to deal with that issue. The main beef with a shotgun as a primary weapon is the lack of range and accuracy you get with a smoothbore, but that problem seems ended now; I’d humbly suggest that the CAWS program might be worth a second look now.

    • Cost. Shotshells are produced cheaply. Because they are so big, it would cost a lot (raw materials and tooling) to make a new rimless cartridge.

      • JMD

        Something resembling a short .50 BMG case, vaguely like the “12 gauge rifle from hell” would probably be pretty close to what I’m describing. Unless I grossly misunderstand modern case forming processes, it doesn’t seem like it’d be a tremendous departure from things that are already being done on a mass commercial scale.

      • Jeff

        I think you’re making the false assumption it’d be all brass. While the basics of the shotgun shell are a century old the shotgun shell actually is more advanced than modern rifles. Right now the governments dumping money into developing plastic casings for rifles. Shotguns already have partially plastic casing. I think it might be overly ambitious but given enough resources an all plastic shell would actually be a more logical advancement and bring down cost.

        What I propose a little further down the page is simply a 12ga shell rebated down to a 20ga. Because of my work, I have a manufacturer accurate digital model of a 12ga shotgun shell; I modified that model in the way I proposed and it would only require about 15% more metal to accomplish it while maintaining powder load volume, but would otherwise be made in the same way, ie a metal base for the load and a plastic case. Meanwhile the only internal reworking would be to find about .12 inches you can remove from the wadding to allow the same internal content.

        A modern shotgun shell wouldn’t need to be all brass but could simply be the same plastic hull held to a tighter tolerance for overall length. My engineering background, if we wanted to leave the same loose tolerances to keep price down, I’d say you simply trim the hull as an after process like passing all the shells under a grinder with a set hight, after they’re crimped. Or for a little more cost, do what we do for certain fuzes for munitions and simply ultrasonically weld the closed end on, which has a thinned crossection to allow it to blow open.

  • Mike Knox

    That’s the ugliest banana I’ve ever seen, so far..

  • I have no problems with the weight or length of the 10 round magazine. Agree that the twenty round drum is a bit hefty for field carry but for home defense it’s perfect.

    Still, glad to see new products arising for the Saiga.

  • The advantage of the double stack will be a much shorter profile without capacity loss. It will have the good ergonomics of a box mag. Drums don’t self locate in your hand like a box. It will come in different capacities. It will take both 2 3/4 and 3″. I could go on and on why it is a better design than drums or single stacks.

    A rimless shotgun round has been done before but had always failed. Why? People are too accustom to the versatility of the shotgun. Without the rim to locate the shell in the chamber, shotgun ammo would have to become very standardized. It would be difficult and very prone to failure to fire a 2 3/4 rimless cartridge in a 3″ chamber… This is probably the hurdle that stopped the transition to rimless back when pistol and rifle rounds were making the switch. It is likely the shotgun was too valued for it’s versatility to limit it. Back in a time when it was easier and cheaper to roll your own paper hulls or reload at home. It would have made the task much more difficult to control the over all length of a paper hull cartridge. Now we are a hundred plus years later of making shotguns that fire the same pre-cowboy tech ammo… If a rimless shotgun became available and accepted there will still be a large demand for rimmed shotgun ammo 100 plus years from now I’m guessing.

    We are doing 7.62 and 5.45 quads. I said there wasn’t as many .223 ak’s out there and we likely wouldn’t be doing those. That could change later though. I’m not worried about beating anyone to market with the quads either. I had a company try and succeed at beating me to market with a 20rd drum… Did they really win that race? I am not racing any one to market… But I have seen the pics and I am 99.9% the other quads you have seen are actually only rapid prototypes and not injection molded. I have ZERO doubt our quads will be many times superiour in all design. I have closely studied in hand and field the Russian 60 and 50 rd quads. I have seen the attempt to make acceptably improvements to the 60 with the 50rd design. I have isolated the real cause of the issue in the Russian designs. Our quads aren’t going to be anywhere close to $100 per mag. On top of that they wont be busting when dropped. You won’t be able to slap and break it out of the gun either. It will have full military style metal inserts. It will be of FAR superior material than ANY polymer AK mag made to date, both Military or aftermarket and of any caliber. It will have a removable steel floorplate. No concerns what so ever here… Our quad will far surpass military standards, period. Thanks.

    • mack hughes

      There seem to be numerous designs like this that require the rounds to act as rollers when the rounds join together from larger row numbers and that is the apparent problem with reliability. You can get it to work with a strong spring but any inconcistency in the shell, or a particle, and the rollers don’t roll so well.

    • AR

      “It will be of FAR superior material than ANY polymer AK mag made to date.”

      Wow, a polymer AK mag superior to the Bulgarian circle 10s. I can’t wait to see these.

  • Vhyrus

    I’m down to try it. Make them for the mka1919 while youre at it!

  • Completely unnecessary and therefore awesome. This is a concept that I cannot, for the life of me, get my wife to understand. Just because I probably will never “need” it, doesn’t mean I don’t need it. She doesn’t usually go for the, “what if there is a revolution/zombie apocalypse/regular apocalypse argument.

  • alexthemediocre

    so when are they gonna be avail?

    i am very stoked for this!

    i like how 2 days before this post there was that ati non conversion stock post. massive fail then massive win!