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"Argentinian" 30-rounders are junk!

1839 Views 10 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  M14E2
I bought a supposedly Argentine military surplus 30-round M14 magazine at a gunshow Saturday. The dealer told me it was A-1 quality. He said he'd sold a bunch of them and guys had been pleased. He also said I could bring it back if I had any problems with it.

I took it to the range this morning and gave it a whirl. The first 30 rounds went off without a hitch. The second magazine gave me two failures to feed and by the third magazine the rounds on the left were coming up too high and were hitting the bolt stop. This caused the bolt to lock open on every other round. The steel used to make the magazine was so soft that the magazine was bending right there on the spot.

I took it back to the dealer and he wanted to trade me for the same magazine that had been heat treated. Not wanting to take another chance, I got my money back instead.

This confirms what others have written about non-USGI magazines. On the other hand, I have two Taiwanese 20-rounders that I got from Sportsmans Guide and they seem to be very close to USGI in quality. The function fine. Now that the ban's gone maybe the Taiwanese mags will drop in price and become an even better deal.
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Same sort of experience here- except mine never functioned properly-even once! There is a LOT of fine advice available on this site. These 30 round magazines have all been branded as trash. Believe it. Save your money-there may be someone out there that wants to make one that actually works soon.
Most of the M-14 books say the same thing about 30 rounders. I have 2 USA mag 30s I got cheap , $5 each. only bought em cause they said I can't have em. Never used em though.
:D Some others and myself have been Preaching that Sermon for Years now, Non GI Mags are Not Heatreated they may work a couple of times but NFL and I dont mean National Football League. ;)
The US did not make 30 Round Magazines for the M-14 so dont take a Chance with those either, I dont care who made them!
Careful when someone says the mag is "USA" made, that is a commercial company that makes magazines. I played around with the 30rd mags, using GI followers, different springs, other mods. but they didn't hold up. The metal is probably not the same or not heat treated the same as GI., only an observation not through any scientific testing. HTH
how would one go about heat treating a mag? I too bought some just to have and they dont work, ftf. :oops: :mad:
I'm no expert but I'll give it an experienced try.

The magazine has to be working before you temper the steel, because once you treat it, it pretty much will stay in that position, ever try to reshape a spring, same concept.

It all depends on the kind of steel you are working with, if it is a cheap steel, (anyone metallurgists out there -HELP) not much can be done. The body has to be of a quality spring/tool type steel, I believe that you only have do this operation up around the magazine lip area, the lips take the brunt of the abuse, you first heat the steel to a cherry red, being this thin a propane torch should work. Then you quench it in oil or water, this makes the steel very hard( brittle?). Now polish part of the area that you want temper, very carefully heat the steel to a straw color(watch the polished area) allow it to air cool and if the steel was of quality then the lips are like a spring. They will be able to take the abuse of use.

This is from memory so any corrections will be appreciated. If you can, a tool and die maker, machinist, moldmaker, gunsmith or someone who has to make springs or harden and temper steel, can give you the direction to go. I'm sure some the folks here can help. HTH
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Somebody ask for a toolmaker? In order to properly heat-treat steel , you must first know what kind of steel it is to begin with. There are oil hardening as well as water , air , induction , precipitation hardening steels. Most mags are made of a med carbon plain steel , 1040 or so. Some are made from a pre-hard steel and 'normalized' after forming. Not only do methods of hardening and tempering methods vary with types of steel , but so does the 'critical tempature' , the temp which the steel must reach to achieve these properties.
Thanks M14E2

I knew someone would help out, on another post someone said these mags look a lot easier to make than they are, there are quite a few steps in the mfg. process. Maybe someone has a set of the ordnance dwgs.
Tatonka , if anyone does , it would be Bill Ricca. Stamping and forming dies is what I design and build , and have for 20 years. The dies to build these mags would be very expensive to build , depending on how you do it. One , multi-station die or several single operation dies. Probably a multi , then a final fold. Then spot welding and heat-treat. Non-CAD design alone would be about 40-50 hours
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