I know this is probably old news to you seasoned AK pros but I figured I'd pass this along to the newer AK crowd.
I recently ordered 3 ProMag magazines and 3 SGM Tactical (I believe they used to be called Surefire) magazines. Once I had both brands on hand I was eager to see if there were truly any differences in quality between the two.
Both brands appeared well made (both manufactured in the good ole USA) but of different outward appearances - waffle vs. similar to OEM Saiga design. Next step, naturally, was to see how each fit into the Saiga 7.62x39.
Of the 3 ProMag products, only one offered an audible 'click' and clearly fixed into place. The other two made no such 'click' and made me wonder if they were properly seated. Both of these 'silent' magazines were extremely difficult to remove. I removed and replaced these magazines a number of times - and each time it was the same issue. All 3 magazines had significant side to side and front to back wobble.
Clearly disappointed, I was hoping the magazines would redeem themselves by cycling several Snap Cap 7.62x39 rounds. Well, it went from bad to worse. Only one magazine of the three successfully chambered a round.
Moving on to the SGM Tactical magazines... All three of these clicked into place and seated themselves properly with minimal effort. The quality of these magazines seemed on par with the OEM Saiga magazine that came with the gun. All 3 magazines released with no problems.
There was not a single problem encountered chambering a round with the SGM Tactical magazines.
I was clueless when first shopping for Saiga magazines. So, if any of you are considering keeping your Saiga in factory configuration, you might want to give serious consideration to the SGM Tactical stuff.
the promag saiga mags have a tendancy to break at the feed lip. It has a taller feed lip than the normal promag ak mags. this tab breaks off and they are just like the normal ak mags then. I never had any issues with surefires when i was using those. i have only read of a few problems with surefires too.
I have full confidence in Surefire magazines. I don't own any but research on the subject concluded that they were "surefire".
Since I have a Saiga 5.45x39 I prefer Bulgarian magazines. Izmash is truly what I wanted since they are made by the same people. Izmash are what everyone else copied anyway.
I did see the warranty on the Surefire box that said something to the effect that "we produce the finest quality products in the USA" and guranteed for life!
As far as promag, read too many complaints on them and even seen a 7.62x39 version at my local shop with the front plastic tab broke off. When you raised the AK to your shoulder it would drop off in the floor.