Since Magpul came out with their 40-round PMAG earlier this year, it was guaranteed that other magazine manufacturers would follow suit and produce their own 40-rounders. One of the first overseas knockoffs I’ve been sent is this IK-520 magazine from MWG Industries . . .

Do they work? For the most part, yes. On the outside, the magazines appear to be just as structurally sound and well made as any of the second tier magazines I’ve come across. They don’t have the Magpul level of fit and finish, but they’re a far cry from Hera Arms’ first magazine attempt. The website claims that the magazines are “steel reinforced” and while I can’t see any metal bits sticking out, they do feel more rigid than a normal polymer magazine would be.

The overall design of the magazine is very…Bulgarian. It’s slightly reminiscent of the waffle design on some of AK magazines, but with some Tapco and Magpul spice sprinkled in for good measure. Not something I’d call “pretty” but not really ugly either. Utilitarian might be the best way to describe them.

While the overall design allows you to slot these puppies into open-top AR mag pouches, the lop on the bottom is going to cause issues with double-stacked magazine pouches and you won’t be able to close the flap on a covered pouch. Thankfully there are people who are already producing pouches for the 40 round magazines and they work pretty well.

As far as actual function, it works. The magazine pretty reliably feeds rounds to the gun. The only issue I had was, once in a while, when the magazines are new, the bolt won’t lock open after the last round is fired. That tells me that the spring tension could be a little heavier.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with the MWG mags. They’re not something that I’d use in a competition, but for practice sessions they’d be just fine. The only problem is the price — PMAG 40-round magazines are exactly one dollar more — and those work all the time, every time. So, given the option, I’d prefer to lay down the extra samolian for the real McCoy.

MWG IK-520 40-Round Magazines
Weight: 0.4 lbs.
Capacity: 40 rounds
Colors: Black
Price: $18.95

Overall Rating: * *
When a PMAG is only a dollar more, there really isn’t any competition. If these were $10 I’d be all over them like a fat kid on chocolate cake.

29 Responses to Gear Review: MWG IK-520 40-Round Magazines

  1. Kinda makes you wonder about a business plan that makes a “me too” knockoff for 1$ less then the unanimously acknowledged industry leader when there are other smaller opportunities where they can have the market essentially to themselves if they make a good steel reinforced product.

    two examples easily come to mind….
    AK74
    Vepr 54R

    • This magazine is designed by the same guy who designed the AK “waffle” Bulgarian mags (aka “circle 10”), which are widely considered to be the best magazines for AK, and one of the best mags around in general. I have no idea why the author of the review presented this as a PMAG knock-off, given that this product long predates PMAG 40 – I’ve had a couple of these mags for close to a year now.

      And yes, they are steel reinforced.

  2. The SBR AR with the billet FDE lower looks badass. Thanks for the review – good to know that my Magpul 40’s still offer the best bang for the buck. I suppose I could spend $100 for a 60 round Surefire mag, but that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

  3. I bought 4 40 round pmags this fall for competition. I don’t see myself needing more than the 4 but I can see these filling the gap when pmags are sold out. I had to wait months for my 40 round pmags. For HD or other used I would rather have a standard 30 round mag.

  4. I see absolutely no reason to buy these over Magpuls.

    I have three 40 rounders from Magpul and they work just fine in both my “regular” AR and my HK MR556A1.

    Stupid move on the part of this company.

  5. ‘Since Magpul came out with their 40-round PMAG earlier this year, it was guaranteed that other magazine manufacturers would follow suit and produce their own 40-rounders. One of the first overseas knockoffs I’ve been sent is this IK-520 magazine from MWG Industries . . .’

    I believe these were in production in 2011 – long before Magpul released their 40-rounders.

  6. These were around before the Magpul 40 rounders. They are also steel reinforced. Put a magnet up to these and then put a magnet up to a Magpul 40.

  7. Has Magpul moved out of CO yet? There was a lot of tough talk from them, but not a lot of moving. I’ll keep not buying from Magpul until they back up those words with concrete actions.

      • My money, my choice. Magpul took a tough talking stance and then what? Have they moved, have they announced a location, have they broken ground? How long does it take to find a new location especially when you’re not manufacturing any firearms and 80%+ of you staff is unskilled/semi-skilled labor? Kahr, PTR, Ruger, Stag, ATI, and others have not only said they’re moving but have told us exactly where they’re going. Some of them have already broken ground on the new facilities. Magpul is all talk and no action, but that tough talk sure did sell a lot of magazines in Q1 and Q2 of ’13. So, for me, it comes down to a choice. Spend my money with a company that’s feeding an anti-gun state or spend my money with one that’s feeding a freedom loving state? There is nothing that great about Magpul products. Any idiot who drives over a magazine should get what they get. For most gun owners, their ARs see fewer than 1000 rounds a year while living in a safe. Even three gun shooters are rarely dropping their guns in the dirt and magazines rarely take a drop more than 4ft to a soft range surface. Magpul has always been a hype and talk company. Yeah, I bought into it at one time. Now I’m done with Magpul. I’m not putting money in Hickenlooper’s budget.

    • Well, Andy, that’s definitely your decision; but it’s an important one and should be based on realistic expectations and readily available information. Magpul already makes their sights outside of Colorado. Now their flagship product, the PMAGS, are also made outside of Colorado by contract manufacturers.

      It takes time and great expense to move a corporation. There are myriad details to attend to; site selection being only one. There are negotiations with local authorities for tax abatements. There are insurance and financing arrangements to be made. There are legal entities to construct. There’s the disposition of their existing facilities in Colorado. As anyone who’s tried to sell one home while purchasing another, timing and negotiations on both ends can be maddeningly difficult to coordinate.

      Aside from all that, there’s the chance that Colorado could turn around politically. They’ve already pitched two senators and forced a dodgy swap out of a third. Hickenlooper’s running scared in 2014’s election, too. If political power shifts next year and the offending law is repealed, then what would be the purpose Magpul continuing to move?

      Really, Magpul is a business. It’s great to support principles, but the first principle must be profits or else they’re not in the game to support anything else. If a move out of Colorado did not make economic sense prior to the new law, then what we’re really talking about it is Magpul indulging their political principles at the expense of their business principles. If the cost to make this move, which clearly is not in their economic interest, or else they would have done it on their own prior to the new law, is so high that it leaves the company financially shaky, then everyone suffers. A hobbled Magpul would turn out inferior products. It would lose market share. It would lay off employees. Its leadership position would be taken over by whom, the Bulgarians and their mags?

      It seems to me that Magpul is doing what they can to effect pro-freedom change. After all, it’s their high profile move announcement that brought some attention, gravitas, and probably donations to the recall effort in the first place. Yes, they’re probably attempting a balancing act and may be dragging their feet some; but some concrete steps toward movement have been taken, as well as have steps toward reform in Colorado. I’m ok with what they’ve done so far and with giving them through the 2014 elections to decide their future in Colorado.

      • Well Magpul is making its decision, or indecision. I’m not the only one noticing the tactical hypocrisy from that company. The ownership has clearly made a choice to live under the CO gun control laws which it vowed if enacted would leave the company with no option but to move out of CO. A year later, Magpul is still in CO and those tough words now seen for the empty threats that they were. As far as I concerned, Magpul and Cheaper than Dirt should just merge and become one.

        • All I can say is: “Haters gonna hate!” 😉

          FYI, I work as an engineer in manufacturing and it takes a minimum of a year to set up a brand new facility (with 2-3 years planning). Moving can be even harder because customer orders still have to be satisfied. (Andy, your comments strike me as a bit ignorant)

  8. I’ve got three of these and use them all of the time. They work like they should. I like the steel reinforced feed lips (magnet sticks to them).

    -D

    • Also, these have been out longer than the magpul 40 round magazine. I bought mine in the first place because magpul didn’t make a 40 rounder at the time. I think they came out around 2009.

      • Sorry Don, didn’t see your post – I basically said the same thing. I’ve had mine for over a year and they’ve run perfect. I wouldn’t hesitate to buy more.

  9. This blog is supposed to be “The TRUTH About Guns.” Between not knowing these were available well over a year before the Magpuls (and casting them as “knock-offs”) and the really bad article on shipping guns via USPS, I’m starting to wonder about the “Truth” part.

  10. Hey magpuls aren’t fool proof either. Early last year I was working with some guys from the 101st and they told me they had nothing but problems with the magpuls their unit took to Afghanistan on their last deployment. The BN somehow managed to buy enough magpuls to give everyone at least a basic load (7 mags). Apparently they got a bad batch because they had the following problems: the mags over inserted in M-249’s and the retaining lips were shred off the first time the bold went forward and when the weather dropped into the teens they had a lot of mags shatter when dropped or when banged hard on something. One of the things the soldiers do like about them is the mags being polymer are much quieter than aluminum or steel when they hit something.
    I am also under impressed with the 7.62 pmags I have. I have a -10 and a 17s and neither will reliably feed the first round of a full mag. I don’t have this problem with standard mags. Pmags also haven’t worked well for me in 5.56 when loaded with steel rounds (they are cheap and easy to get) and they work just fine in my steel mags.

    Long winded way of saying the king of the kill may not be the best.

    I also don’t see a problem with mag storage. First mag loaded into the rifle is the 40 rd and standard 30 afterwards. I also carry a 10 rounder in my pocket in case the 30 rd’rs aren’t easily accessible.

  11. Man, these are not knock-offs. I’ve had four of these almost a year before the Pmag 40 was made available to the public. If anything, Magpul knocked these off… All four of mine have 100% flawless since day one and I’ve been very impressed by them. I’ve used both and honestly can’t tell you which is better. The pmag seems to load up a little more smoothly and feels a bit lighter. That’s about it.

  12. I just saw a guy using these on a Youtube review and he was successfully using them for 5.45×39. He was loading them to 33 rounds and claims they have been cycling well. He also takes them apart. The video to search for if interested is MWG IK 520 40 Round AR 15 Magazine In 5.45×39 Reliability Test & Review (HD)

    I have read lots of mixed things about the C Defense Mags and I’m looking for an alternative. If these work well for 5.45×39 AND 5.56/223 then that makes these have even more appeal to me since I can use them in.

    Here’s a quote from their site on the product description page: “Designed by renowned development engineer Ivan Kolev, designer of the Bulgarian high capacity polymer AK Magazine.”

    Scotch00 also has a good review of them on Youtube.

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