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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys. I have read a LOT of conflicting info on East German 40 round 762x39mm mags. Some say that they did make them, some say they didn't, with many variations as to what they did/didn't do and when.

I bring this up because I have a 40 rounder. It's second euro type. It's got a 'made in east Germany' sticker on the base plate (not that that by itself means much). What caught my eye about it is that it has a 'hollow front lug', which as far as I know neither Romania nor the USSR did with 762 40 rounders. The USSR did use such a design on slabs, and the east Germans used it a lot in 545 bakes.

In any event, bottom line question: did the DDR manufacture ANY, even protos, 762x39mm steel 40 round mags?
 

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I've never seen an East German RPK mag, either in 7.62 or 5.45, would love to get ahold of them if they were out there. As far as I know EG never made any rpk and all of theirs were imported from Russia and were Molot built guns, I'd expect they ordered mags when they got the rifles. Which is weird when you think about it cause EG had the habit of making everything and over producing the crap out of it.

Hey guys. I have read a LOT of conflicting info on East German 40 round 762x39mm mags. Some say that they did make them, some say they didn't, with many variations as to what they did/didn't do and when.

I bring this up because I have a 40 rounder. It's second euro type. It's got a 'made in east Germany' sticker on the base plate (not that that by itself means much). What caught my eye about it is that it has a 'hollow front lug', which as far as I know neither Romania nor the USSR did with 762 40 rounders. The USSR did use such a design on slabs, and the east Germans used it a lot in 545 bakes.

In any event, bottom line question: did the DDR manufacture ANY, even protos, 762x39mm steel 40 round mags?
 

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Robert Forbus and I discussed this just last weekend...the East Germans didnt make RPK or their mags, the ones they used were from russia. From what I gathered, focusing on one weapon instead of several different variations of a weapon and just importing the lesser needed weapons was the reasoning behind it. He also said it was cheaper to get imports from russia than it was to domestically produce and that may have been part of the consideration.
 

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After reunification you could buy eg rpk pouches with the magazines inside for cheap. They were all 50% Russian and 50% Romanian mixed together. You are probably thinking about the 40 rounders bakelite Ak74 / Wieger 950 mags. Because they were produced in east germany.
 

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No they didnt.
While they did produce / experiment with their own RPK variant in the early 1980s, they didn't make 40rd magazines for it. They did however make a few prototype magazines that were essentially 30rd magazines with that were welded together, side by side with spacers to allow quicker magazine changes.

They did produce a 45rd magazine for the LMG-500 in 5.45.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
In that case, I'm guessing the mag I have here is Romanian. Do we know with certainty that the East Germans got some of their 40s from Romania or were some east German surp RPK mag pouches full o mags sold back in the day just stuffed with random mags that may have included Romy 40s?

Also: brain fart clarification: the Romanians definitely made hollow lug RPK mags, it's the Soviets that didn't seem to, at least all mine are solid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Great info guys, thanks, I really appreciate it. Snapped some pics, because you can never have to many mag pics.










 

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At least from what I understand the DDR never made 40 round 7.62 mags, outside of maybe some experimental ones that were not fielded, but I'm probably wrong. They got their steel and bakealite mags from USSR. Possibly some 40 round steel mags from Romania.

It seems to track with their 7.62 RPK usage. At first they used Soviet ones and when the Soviets no longer made them they used Romanian 7.62 RPKs.

Back when the wall came down I remember gunshows and surplus stores overflowing with all kinds of DDR gear. I remember that "made in Germany sticker" on jack boots to Zeltbahn tent poles to completely stocked AK-74 mag pouches and much more. What a good time to be buying.

I was just getting into AKs back then and don't remember ever seeing a 40 round DDR pouch with mags.

I did manage to pick up a DDR 7.62 mag pouch years later for a overseas seller and fill it with a few Soviet and Romanian mags.


Does anyone have a clear pic of DDR troops with Romanian RPKs? I don't think I have ever seen one pictured before.
 

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Hey guys. I have read a LOT of conflicting info on East German 40 round 762x39mm mags. Some say that they did make them, some say they didn't, with many variations as to what they did/didn't do and when.

I bring this up because I have a 40 rounder. It's second euro type. It's got a 'made in east Germany' sticker on the base plate (not that that by itself means much). What caught my eye about it is that it has a 'hollow front lug', which as far as I know neither Romania nor the USSR did with 762 40 rounders. The USSR did use such a design on slabs, and the east Germans used it a lot in 545 bakes.

In any event, bottom line question: did the DDR manufacture ANY, even protos, 762x39mm steel 40 round mags?
I'm not much more than a basic mag collector. What is a "hollow front lug" ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Good.question. Some AK mags have a gap between the forward-most part of the front lug and the rest of the mag. If you look straight down on a mag you'll see a hole behind the lug. It's not a huge hole, just a small gap instead of being solid. Soviet slabs had this design feature. The East Germans seemed to be a fan, several of their mags had it, most prominently their later 5.45 bakes which probably have the largest gap behind the lug of any AK mag. In the 545 space (my primary collecting interest) this feature is very unusual, so it's something that stands out to me, even though it's common in many 762 mags.
 

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Good.question. Some AK mags have a gap between the forward-most part of the front lug and the rest of the mag. If you look straight down on a mag you'll see a hole behind the lug. It's not a huge hole, just a small gap instead of being solid. Soviet slabs had this design feature. The East Germans seemed to be a fan, several of their mags had it, most prominently their later 5.45 bakes which probably have the largest gap behind the lug of any AK mag. In the 545 space (my primary collecting interest) this feature is very unusual, so it's something that stands out to me, even though it's common in many 762 mags.
Comparing one of my DDR 30 rounders to my "Romanian" 40 rounder I see what you are saying.

My known DDR 30 is on the left. Romanian 40 on the right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Exactly. If you look at Izhevsk or Tula stamped steel mags, they don't have that gap. I'm not a 762 mag expert, but it would appear that this is one way we could differentiate between Romanian and Soviet mags (in addition to finish, welds, and stamps) which are pretty similar otherwise. There's not many other form-factor differences.
 
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