North Korea Ultra High Capacity Helical AK Magazines

The bodyguard of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un have been photographed with enormous helical magazines on their AK rifles. The round capacity could be anywhere between 75-150 rounds. I cannot identify the rifles. They are probably North Korea’s domestically produced Type 88, Type 98 or Type 98-1.

Hat Tip: which appears to be the source of the image.

Thanks to Reimar and Kollin for the tip.

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.


  • big daddy

    I have never seen so many unhealthy and under nourished people other than some pictures from Africa. These people are starving to death, slowly dying for lack of basic needs. Those troops need those magazines in case of a mass riot. This dictator is a blemish on humanity. Gee I wonder where I can get one of those magazines for my AK? Just kidding I don’t have an AK, it was a bit of sarcastic humor, yes a very small bit.

    • n0truscotsman

      they look hardened and well trained to me. typical of a militarist society.

    • Hking

      3 Million + starved to death in NK in the past 6 or so years, so the ones you see in the photos are the “healthy” ones that have survived.

  • Maybe they are just sandwich carriers for the Great Leader.

    • The Sargentos

      Pringles perhaps..?

      • “Once you pop, you just can’t stop”

        • Drew Nelson

          7.62mm Pringles Assault Rifle

    • john

      dont be silly, north koreans dont have food

  • Turner

    looks a bit awkward to hold and get a proper grip on…

    • Giolli Joker

      It’s just not as tacticool as it should be to appeal us: picture in with rails on the sides and under, this bottom one with a Magpul angled grip… 😛

      • Anonymoose

        That sounds like a terrible idea, and not just because of the tacticoolness, but because it could screw up the feeding and you’d have to keep a separate set of accessories on each mag.

  • steveday72

    Now those are truly high-capacity magazines. Next time a gun-grabber waves around a 30rounder with a look of horror on their face, somebody should smack them upside the head with one of these bad boys!

    • Anonymoose

      Unfortunately you can probably only get them if you’re in the KPA special forces or possibly the IRIA (assuming they actually export these mags at all, I would think Iran would be one of the few parties buying them).

  • Komrad

    Is it possible that the AKs are chambered for a smaller caliber (ala Bizon). I’d really wonder about the reliability of bottlenecked rifle ammo in a helical mag.

    • lolo

      Bizon is 9×18/9x19mm

      • Alex Vostox

        or this is 5.45mm or 7.62mm version of Bizon?

        • Para

          Bizon is more accurately described as an AK variant, if still inaccurately. It’s got the piston removed and runs in straight blowback.
          These would be pretty straight AK conversions to just modify the magwell and add a mounting lug near the muzzle for the magazine.

  • Edition30

    …the source is and not

  • Yves

    Round noses or rimfire ammo are the only 2 ways which those weapons are safe…
    My fellow North Koreans keep stunning me…

    • Burst

      Not so.
      Assuming it’s just an oversized helical mag, there’s a corkscrew setup inside, which keeps bullet points separate from primers.

  • ~150 rounds of 7.62×39 is pretty heavy.
    As these guns don’t appear to have shoulder stocks, I guess the weight of all that ammo so far forward compensates for the muzzle climb in full auto & gives the support hand something to hang on to.

    • Giolli Joker

      The stock could be folded over the receiver…

      • erwos

        That appears to be the case here, as it is with Bizons. Makes me wonder if these aren’t just Bizons with bigger (!) helical mags.

        • Para

          A Bizon would require modification to take a conventional cartridge.
          To make a PP-19, they remove the gas piston and plug the gas tube with a steel rod.
          These are incredibly simple conversions to conventional AK rifles.

    • Anonymoose

      It would be 5.45×39 and not 7.62×39 if it’s a Type 88/98.

      • murderous medic

        either way, 75-150 rounds is going to be cumbersome and unwieldy. Especially if you’re carrying multiple magazines.

  • That Guy

    The stock appears to be a top folder.

    Now, how do they “rock and lock” that into a standard AK mag well? My guess- this is a Bizon copy, and not an AK in either 7.62 or 5.whatever. Standard ak mags would not work in something that would work with this mag.

    • Esh325

      Receiver looks too long to be a bizon.

      • Ted N

        Extended Bizon perhaps??

        • Esh325

          I doubt it. The big muzzle brake and gas block is distinctively AK-74.

  • Jim S

    So the question that pops into my mind….”How do you rock the mag into place?”

    • Chucky

      The rocking action is only made necessary by the front lip design of the typical AK mag. If the end of the the helical mag had some kind of latch on it that hooks against, say the bayonet lug, then you hook the front section first and insert the other end into the magwell.

    • Para

      Probably the same way it does on the PP-19.

  • PLUS

    There is a new gun that COD this year can add in.

  • dan

    I’m going to go with the already stated idea that this is probably a North Korean clone of the Bizion. because it would be really hard to get that magazine to fit into the rifle if it was a traditional ak 47/74 mag catch system.

    • The Bizon and PP90M magazines are both rock-in, as well.
      They clip to near the muzzle, then pivot to ‘rock’ in backwards.

  • Esh325

    That’s pretty sweet.

  • Man pippy

    A wise choice, just in case a horde of starving north koreans want to eat their dear leader.

  • Kyle

    I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s just painted PVC tubing over a standard 5-round magazine. N. Korea likes to project power that they don’t have. If it’s a true helical magazine, I’ll send them a few loaves of bread for one.

    • Jared

      Likely it is a hoax. I would be too awkward and heavywithout some sort of foregrip.or it might be an AK rebulit as an airgun with a huge tank or something similarly crazy.

    • WildDogS

      You mean bags of rice, not loaves of bread.

  • B.

    This is a PP-19 Bizon, an AK-74 submachine variant.

    • Tommy

      The Bizon is a blowback submachine gun that fires the 9x18mm/9x19mm round. You can see the drum is much bigger, and a different proportion, then the Bizon, which implies that it fires a bigger round. It also has a gas tube, which is absent from the Bizon.

  • those rifles are called bison ak’s – i think it has a 75rd cap and works similar to the american industries calico

  • bbmg

    Could be technology lifted from the Chinese, they’ve done a bit of work with helical mags for their Chang Feng submachinegun:

  • -V-

    Looking at the picture, you can see that the helical magazines connect on the front to the barrel via lug and then simply rock back into the reciever like a standard AK mag. Fairly simple, really.

    However, I agree that those are probably pringles or sandwich carriers for the great leader, in case he gets hungry.

    • mxprivateer

      Or binky and wubbie carriers for the little boy leader?

  • John

    Big ass Bizon SMG

  • Samson

    Seems to look pretty exactly like the Bizon to me…

  • Major Nav

    Most dictators are reluctant allow anyone to get near with a gun, even their own guards.
    Supersoaker? Compressed air tank? Maybe a nonlethal weapon.
    Notice there there appears to be no stock or possibly a folding stock. Either way, that seems odd. And that is a long barrel for what is usually a “close contact” scenario.

  • David

    Maybe they’re just flotation devices for the weapons.

  • John
  • Jared

    Is my eyesight terrible or those AKs have cut down stocks? Because if so thats the dumbest thing i saw in a while. Lets swing around 20+ pounds full auto weapon system with no stock virtually one handedly! ’cause those helicals are way too wide for a confy grip.

    • Jared

      Oh telescopic stocks. Still an idiocy. Those must be terribly front heavy and they are probably made of so flimsy steel or aluminum that resting them on a rock or something hard would wreck the mags in no time.

  • Joe Average

    Looks like a rifle version of the bizon pp19. Bizo is based on the AKM and uses AKM parts. I wish they made a 22lr bizon conversation kit.

  • jamezb

    The stocks are unknown top-folders. the mechanism is visable on the right hand gun, the stock itself is visable above the top cover on the left gun. The bbl and compensator on the LH gun also look a bit exaggerated, making me wonder if perhaps this is a Siaga-clone .410 variant for riot/crowd control? That certainly would explain the diameter of the helical magazine, and likely feed better than the bottleneck com-bloc rifle rounds.

    • I hardly doubt NK would care about shooting civilians.

      • jamezb

        Nonlethal weapons to keep the guards from shooting Fat Boy, not civilians, Muad dib.

  • no they keep rice and chopsticks in there.

    • jamezb

      It may be Big Boy’s liqour supply!

  • It’s a battery pack, those are Blaster Carbines. Wait until you see their cool new uniforms.

  • PLUS

    How many rounds of 7.62 can put in this tube?
    7.62 isn’t short, seems to be much less than the one on Calico M950

  • Jeff

    Too bad nobody have the will to empty his mag on this insane man.

  • BillyBones

    Dennis Rodmans condom dispenser

  • BillyBones

    T-shirt guns? Looks like they all want one.

  • 150 rounds because 30 is too mainstream

  • Lance

    Might be a SMG Bison like AK the leader security uses. Most NK infantry uses AKMs. There SF use some AK-74 style weapons. The mags look like a 9x18mm caliber mag for a Bison SMG.

  • Blackburn

    They use compressed air to shoot hot dogs into the crowds of their starving countrymen.

  • Cat*Butt

    The Playstation 3 online game ‘M.A.G.’ uses incorporated these little guns into the gameplay and was rather formidable due to the large capacity magazine it is equipped with. Wasn’t the most accurate but for running and gunning or defense from many hostiles ammo count helped immensely. I wondered from where the idea came from until now. I want one or two thank you.

  • I wouldn’t be to scared of a nation of starving people ruled by a nutbar with a few nuclear weapons ( at most ) that are large and clunky and in about the same yield range as the first American fission bombs. The Norks are far from a ballistic delivery system and even if they had one South Korean Patriot missile batteries would easily intercept what would be a crude 1950’s level tech missile. Conventional bunker busting missiles and precision weapons would defeat any conventional means of attack from the north, not to mention the Chinese would probably abandon them for any stupid move against the south ( world economic interests trump allegiance to North Korea for the Chinese, their government may be rotten but they are practical ).

  • AR-PRO

    C’mon, its their version of an AT-4 attached to an AK, really effective but the back blast is a bitch!

  • Edohiguma

    Maybe some kind of crowd control device. If they’re carrying AKs as bodyguards but only 75-150 rounds of ammo in one drum that will likely jam at some point… Yeah, no spare mags of any kind? These two guys aren’t even wearing proper webbing, just some leather belts.

  • cindy

    2 glued together pringle boxes, spray painted flat black.

  • Atamu

    If it’s the 5.45 x 39mm round based on the AK-74 they’re packing a serious load of accurate “body guard”…!