Tag Archives: AK

Bad-Element Co. LLC Custom AK Tanker Magazines

The really great thing about being passionate about firearms, is that you research and stumble across unique accessories and gear.  This is exactly what happened when I stumbled on Bad Element Co. LLC (www.badelementco.com) AK magazines. I have been on an AK fix for a little while now and it has been over a decade since I owned one.  I recently purchased a very nice Bulgarian AK74 and have been testing several aftermarket accessories with it. When I ran across Bad-Element I had to get one of their 20 round AK Tanker magazines.  I absolutely love 20 round magazines for rifles. As soon as I received the AK74, I started to research 20 round AK magazines.  I found original AK 20 round (Tanker) magazines were extremely hard to find or get in 7.62×39. Add in the 5.45×39 AK74 round and I found they were almost impossible to get. I made contact with the owner from Bad-Element about getting a 20 round 5.45×39 Tanker magazine.  Since I already had a few Russian Izhmash Plum magazines, I thought a Plum Izhmash 20 round magazine would go very nicely with them.

Bad-Element Co. Custom Tanker magazine
Bad-Element Co. Custom Tanker 20 round magazine

When I received the Bad-Element custom 20 round Tanker magazine, I quickly started to compare it to my surplus Russian Plum Izhmash magazines.  All of the markings on the magazine were identical and I could easily tell it was a quality Izhmash Plum surplus magazine. I’m not  really sure what it is, but as soon as you put the 20 round magazine in the rifle, it just looks and feels better in your hands.

Bad-Element Co. 5.45x39 Custom Magazine
Bad-Element Co. 5.45×39 Custom Magazine
20 Round Tanker Mag / 30 round Mag
20 Round AK Tanker Mag / 30  Round AK Mag
20 Round AK Tanker Mag / 30 AK Round Mag
20 Round AK Tanker Mag / 30 AK Round Mag

Custom Order Magazines:

Bad-Element does all kinds of custom work to all makes and manufactures of AK type magazines. Bad-Element takes existing 30 round AK magazines of all types and custom cuts them down to  (20), (15), (10) or (5) round count magazines.  In-fact, Bad-Element also does AR15 magazine custom work, for those who live in Communist high capacity band States. So check out their full line of magazine services.

There are several ways you can get your custom magazines from Bad-Element. (1) You send in your AK magazines and Bad-Element cuts them down per your round count specifications. (2) Purchase magazines on-line and have them shipped directly to Bad-Element for custom work, then they will mail them to you when finished or, (3) You can purchase already modified magazines directly from Bad-Element.

Function Use/Reliability:

I set off to the range after obtaining a decent quantity of ammunition, supplied by (www.ammoman.com), to test out the function and reliability of the Bad-Element magazine. I had 510 rounds to run through the Magazine.

510 Round 5.45x39mm Ammunition
510 Round 5.45x39mm Ammunition

               Function/Use.

The great thing about 20 round Tanker style magazines, is their ease of use while manipulating your rifle.  With a 20 round AK magazine you get the same advantages you get with a 20 round USGI AR15 magazine and more. (1) It’s compact, (2) rifle fits in smaller spaces and cases with a loaded magazine, (3) still has a decent round count and (4) with the AK, it is much easier to manipulate the charging handle from underneath the rifle, with your support hand.

At The Range
At The Range
20 Round AK Tanker Magazine in Rifle Case
20 Round AK Tanker Magazine in Rifle Case

               Reliability.

I really did not keep exact track of the round count I put through the Bad-Element Tanker magazine but it was several hundred rounds. The Bad-Element magazine performed flawlessly and I had absolutely no issues with reliability. It loaded and emptied the rounds just as you would expect from any quality military surplus AK magazine.

Rounds from Bad-Element Co. Magazine
Rounds from Bad-Element Co. Magazine

Takedown/Quality of Work:

Nothing has changed after modification of the magazines.  Takedown of the magazine is the same as the original 30 round magazine.  Bad-Element has cut the magazine and spring down. The magazine still uses the original surplus follower, spring, locking plate and floor plate.

Disassembled 20 & 30 Round Magazines
Disassembled 20 & 30 Round Magazines
Disassembled 20 & 30 Round Magazines
Disassembled 20 & 30 Round Magazines

The quality of work and attention to detail in modifying the magazine is very nice. Bad-Element has really paid attention to the little things to make the magazine look nice. The magazine has a smooth side cut channel at the bottom of the magazine for the floor plate to slide into.

Izhmash 20 & 30 Round Magazines
Izhmash 20 & 30 Round Magazines

The cut down magazine spring is very nicely done. Looking at just the end of the spring where it locks into the locking plate, you cannot tell which one has been modified. Bad-Element has taken the time to slightly  bend and taper the end of the spring, to match it up with the original 30 round design. After talking with Bad-Element, they advised they use to cut down the bottom of the spring, but now cut down the top of the spring, as it was easier and faster to do. I still could not tell the difference.

20 Round (left) 30 Round (right)
30 Round (left) 20 Round (right)
20 Round AK (left) 30 Round AK (right)
20 Round AK (left) 30 Round AK (right)

Final Thoughts:

I am very pleased with the Bad-Element custom magazine. It looks great and has been 100% reliable. If you have an AK of any type, I would highly recommend getting a few 20 round magazines. If you follow Rob Ski of AK Operators Union, you will see he runs Bad-Element Tanker magazines from time to time. He is usually the first to call out “shit” in the AK community. Since he is running them and is more of an expert than I am with the AK, I think this is a very strong sign of Bad-Elements quality. I will be getting a few more of the Bad-Element custom cut magazines in the near future. As soon as the Magpul Pmag 5.45×39 AK magazines get to me, I will be sending them in for 20 round conversion. Bad-Element also has an Instagram page (Bad_Element_Co. Instagram) where you can follow and contact them about magazines.

Duncan.

On the Krinkov

There is a growing popularity for the short barreled AR and AK.  One of the AK varients that has exploded in popularity is the AKS72U, also known as the Krinkov.  While Krinkov is an incorrect term, it has become the popular name for these AKs.  There are Russian and Bulgarian Krinkov kits and rifles available.  Similar but different are the Yugo M92s and Romanian Dracos which are compariably sized but different models.  You can get one in 7.62×39, 5.45×39, or 5.56 Nato.

I am not going to pull any punches, these guns suck.

The problem is neither that these rifles (or pistol versions) are AKs, nor the short barrel length but the lack practical usefulness of these rifles.  Now don’t get me wrong, if you want one as a fun gun, get it.  But please don’t consider buying something like this for home defense, zombie apocalypse, Terminator uprising, etc.

Why are these rifles not practical?  Several reasons including sight radius, size, weight.  Let me use the AKS74U (or my SLR106UR) as an example.

Sight Radius:  My AK has a sight radius shorter then some pistols.  Not just are the sights close, they are hard to use.  Now this can be negated by optic, but that is additional cost, and if you mount an optic on the side rail you can not fold the stock.

Size:  Often the appeal of the Krinkov type AK is how very small it is.  However for any sort of practical firing you will need to stock unfolded.  With the stock extended, the overall length of the rifle is about 29 inches.  That is almost identical to a M4 with the stock collapsed.  That M4 with its stock collapsed has nearly twice the sight radius and twice the barrel length.  Not to mention a good bit easier to shoot accurately.  The Krinkov small size is only helpful for storage, not for shooting.

Weight:  While the Krinkov is small, it is not light.  A stock rifle is about 6 pounds.  To compare it to the M4 again, is similar weight to a M4 with iron sights and plastic handguard.  Not to mention that this AK starts off weighing almost as much as a larger rifle, it is far harder to mount any sort of useful accessories like optics and lights to it.

Ergonomics:  The AK isn’t know for its ergonomics.  However the Krinkov gets worse.  Aside from the previously mentioned short sight radius, the handguards on these shortened AK get very hot, very fast.  Much faster then on a standard length AK.  Should you decided to run something like an Ultimak optics rail on a Krinkov, you may find your self burning your fingers should you not bring gloves.  The stockless pistol versions of these rifles are heavy enough to make shooting them like a pistol awkward.

The worst for last, lack of modularity.  Now normally this would be a non-issue.  However if you compare the SBR’d AK to its competition, the SBR AR15, the AR15 is by far the better choice.  Should you buy or build a Krinkov, what you have is what you are stuck with.  A SBR AR15 can easily be modified for different calibres, barrel lengths, optics, etc.  The short AK, even with its side rail and optional quad rail, lacks most of the flexibility a short AR has.

The main advantage of something like the Krinkov is that you can fold the stock (for storage, use in a vehicle, transportation, jumping, etc).  However as soon as you unfold that stock, you are just left with an inferior rifle.

Should you choose to run something like this as your primary weapon, here are a few suggestions.  I would recommend employing the weapon system much like how you would have employed a SMG.  If using a left side folding stocked AK, get a railed dust cover or handguard to mount your optic on so it wont interfere with folding the stock.  Have a good sling.  Consider having a smaller mag (like a 20 rounder) for when you are concealing or storing the rifle.  Make sure to pick ammo that will perform well with the reduced velocity from your rifle.  Wear good ear protection due to the increase in flash and blast from the short barrel.  Have fun.