Review: Caldwell AK Mag Charger

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As many AK shooters know loading magazines for a range trip can be a dirty and time consuming task. It seems those steel cased rounds are covered with plenty of dirt that ends up all over my hands. While loading the magazines doesn’t take that much time, Caldwell’s new AK Mag Charger makes it a snap. The mag charger works with all types of AK magazines including drums.

It arrived nicely packaged, ready for a retail environment. IMG_2695

I removed the Mag Charger from the package and found it to be a well built piece of range gear. Based on the quality, I think it is worth every bit of the $99.99 MSRP. Now let’s find out if it works. IMG_2696

Removing the lid, I prepared to load the Mag Charger up with ammo.IMG_2697

Caldwell also provided me with their Ammo Boxes designed to work with the Mag Charger. Good thing since most 7.62 x 39 ammo is sold in 20 round boxes. IMG_2698

I turned the Mag Charger upside down and inserted the tips of the bullets into the Mag Charger. There are indexing holes along the top to ensure you are loading it correctly. IMG_2699

It is a simple matter of flipping the Ammo Box and Mag Charger back over to fill the Charger.IMG_2700

All loaded up! The rounds float freely after they make it past the indexing holes, this way the plunger can push them through into the mag. IMG_2701

Now to insert the magazine. I had a surplus steel AK mag to load first. The process is pretty simple, you insert the mag just like you would in a rifle by inserting the leading edge of the mag first, then rocking it into place. IMG_2703

Then you pull the plunger out and manually advance the tray to the first position. IMG_2705

After moving the plunger in, you retract it for another stoke. The feed tray indexes itself automatically to the next row every time. Caldwell claims you can load a magazine in less than 10 seconds, I found this to be accurate. Before I knew it I had a full mag and it was time to replace it for an empty. This is accomplished by pressing on the mag catch and rocking the mag out just like on my rifle. IMG_2707

 

Very easy to fill mags up!

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Caldwell claims that it works with most steel and polymer mags. Time to find out if there is truth in that statement. I found a 20 round Tapco mag in my bin of mags. IMG_2709

I was able to insert the mag just like I did the steel AK mag without issue. IMG_2710

A few more strokes later and yet another mag was full. I did find that getting the mag charger was a bit tougher with the polymer mag, but that was expected. I regularly have issue chambering a round with these as a result of what I presume to be increased drag on the rounds from the rough polymer feed lips. IMG_2711

If you want to keep the Mag Charger ready to go that is an option. Just fill it up like normal and put the lid back over the feed tray.IMG_2712

I think I got a bit carried away. Looks like I am going to have to go to the range and shoot more than I planned. Darn.IMG_2713

If you happen to be in the market for a AK Mag Charger I highly recommend Caldwell’s, there are so few options on the market for AK shooters to load mags as fast as we can unload them. Retail price of the AK Mag Charger is $99.99 and can be found here. The ammo boxes retail for $24.99 and come with 5 in a package, they can be found here.



Patrick R

Patrick is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and works in the shooting sports industry. He is an avid recreational shooter and a verified gun nerd. With a lifelong passion for shooting, he has a love for all types of firearms, especially handguns and the AR-15 platform. Patrick may be contacted at tfbpatrick@gmail.com.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


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  • Tom – UK

    I don’t know if theft would be an issue but I imagine many ranges could benefit from having one of these in a sheltered area with maybe a chain attaching it to the wall. Bring your ammo and mags and get it done nice and quickly.

  • insertjjs

    Now if only they could make one for VZ58 Mags.

    or if anyone could make a speed loader for VZ58 mags, beyond using the rifle and stripper clips.

  • Tierlieb

    Do I get this right? Instead of slowly loading my mag by hand, I get to quickly load my mag with a machine that needs to be slowly loaded by hand? Unless all military surplus ammo magically transferred itself into Caldwell boxes, that is.

    • Bear The Grizzly

      I agree. I fail to see how this is really any faster than by hand. The same goes for the uplula. By the time you insert the rounds into a device you could have just loaded them in the magazine.

    • It certainly looks like it makes it easier to click in rounds. I don’t know about you but I absolutely hate clicking in individual rounds by hand into sharp steel surplus AK magazines!

      • Jeff Smith

        ^This. I took a group of people shooting and loaded 200+ rounds in steel surplus mags (on top of 200+ 5.56 rounds in AR mags and probably double that in pistol calibers). Loading the AK mags resulted in a cut on the pad of my thumb, which left my thumb sore for a week and made loading the other mags painful.

        • Jeff Smith

          It also makes it easier to put a set number of rounds into your mags. It’s easy to lose count after doing several mags.

      • nova3930

        To me it makes lot of sense for reloaders. Gotta store your ammo in something when you’re finished loading so why not a Caldwell box to make it easy to load mags…

    • Giolli Joker

      It’s probably good for shooters with kids. 😉

  • Cal S.

    Cue angry Ruskie fanboys screaming about any sensible upgrades/ergonomic improvements to anything AK…

    • Grindstone50k

      Rifle loading is fine

      • Cal S.

        Whew, glad we skirted by that one! 😉

  • iksnilol

    Can you transfer the ammo into the magloader from regular boxes? If so then it looks useful.

    I get the argument that loading it into them magloader then loading the mags takes about just as much time.

    Personally I am not an AK purist (though I do dislike quadrails and the like) but unless you are loading many magazines then it is a bit pointless.

    • Patrick R.

      As long as said ammo is sold on 50 round boxes with the point up.

  • All the Raindrops

    100 bucks? No thanks.

    • Patrick R.

      I imagine you will be able to find them for less than that once they hit shelves.