Ahh…. Reddit. Normally completely and totally useless. However, the occasionally useful nugget comes from the website and community (though I stress occasionally). The idea for the AK Magazine Reload Indicator comes from user ChrisKilo, a seemingly average guy with an awesome idea.
Ammunition status indicators are now common in the AR world, but the AK world has been slow to catch up with similar ideas. Yes, a few translucent polymer magazines have been making it out to the market recently, but even Magpul’s now successful AKM magazines do not feature an ammunition counter function. As such, the typical indication that an AK is running low on ammo is a “click” on an empty chamber or it requires removal of the magazine from the weapons system.
Basically, one drills a hole into the side of the magazine, near the top. With the magazine empty and the follower in its topmost position, mark the follower. From there, color in the side of the follower your favorite colors (Chris chose Yellow and Red for obvious reasons) to indicate that your magazine is running low and a magazine swap is advisable.
Or, follow Chris; instructions:
Open up your mag and drill your hole first. Put it back together and load 6 rounds. Make scratches to indicate which part of the follower shows, repeat this with 3 rounds. This will tell you where the diagonal needs to be. Put a base layer of white, the use masking tape to mark your line, paint the yellow, switch your tape to cover the other side and paint red. Clear coat to minimize wear and there ya go.
This method does have its issues, namely it opens up the magazine to the possible intrusion of debris, but for those who find that minor, its an excellent modification .