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 Post subject: 7.62x39 tracer mags
PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 2:30 pm 
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Praporshik
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Posts: 4588
Location: NY
There have been AK tracer mags on the market for years now I believe.

Instead of mounting extra devices onto your weapon, you just used a special magazine loaded with tracer ammo. The problem was that the tracer magazines for AKs only come in 7.62x39 versions. And what makes that even worse is that they are the Finish/Bulgarian style. That's the "waffle" kind.

Operating under the theory that since they are made by G&P and that my CA 7.62x39 mags are based off of the G&P architecture, that perhaps I could convert them to a classic 7.62x39 style mag.

I was partially correct.

The tracer magazine has 1 pin going through the front lip of the magazine to hold the inner and outer parts inside. Just like on my CA magazine. The tracer mag has an extra screw going through the base-plate. But that is redundant and can be done with out.

The first and simple part, unscrew the base-plate screw, and gently hammer out the front lip pin. Slide the inner part of the magazine out of the outer part.

Donate the outer part to some Call of Dooty wannabe superspetznaznoob. Or use it it make a pretty nifty hicap for someone who insists on using hicaps...but this is a different article...

Take apart a CA midcap by removing the front lip pin in the same way. This can also be done with any of the metal 7.62x39 hicaps that generally come included with AK47s.

In my case, I had a couple of CA mags where the rear tabs are broken. So the inner parts of those mags are useless. So I salvaged the mags by using the outer part to house the guts of the tracer mag.

This is where it stops being easy. Unless you have a dremel that is made to file down metal. Then you're set!
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The issue is that the base of the rear tab the tracer is wider. So the metal on the outer shell that is supposed to accommodate it needs to be widened. Like I said, with the right electric tools I'm sure this will take minutes. I had simple hand tools and this took me hours! Do not file down the plastic instead. These rear tabs break. Either reloading too roughly or in a bitter cold that makes the plastic brittle. So a wider base is a good thing, because it makes it stronger. Why weaken it?
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You will want to have it a little wider than necessary. A little bit of wiggle room. Well, maybe not wiggle, but so that it slides in and out of its place easily. This is because the tracer magazine houses batteries inside its guts. Eventually to replace the batteries you will need to take it apart. The LED is activated by a button at the top base of the mag. When it is inserted into an AEG, that button is depressed and an LED is activated.
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So the LED is always on as long as its in the gun. Or if its packed all the way down in your mag pouch (maybe, not sure about that actually).

I had a lot of trouble putting the front lip pin back in. Maybe widening the hole in the inner part of the mag would have helped.

I used this magazine at Liberty Canyon. Fun times! I believe I was using G&P .25g tracers. A problem I faced was that the mag didn't feed all the BBs. This maybe an inherent G&P issue. The mag itself holds maybe around 60 rounds. And maybe fired 1/2 or 2/3 of those normally. The rest I had to shoot holding the gun upside down. G&P midcaps tend to be finiky.

I do have more broken metal mags, and since this was a success, I may build 1 or 2 more like this. They aren't cheap. And they do sell out. And they do involve work after getting them. They are not for everyone. And since there aren't many night games, I would recommend that most people shouldn't bother.

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 Post subject: Re: 7.62x39 tracer mags
PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 1:10 pm 
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DOSAAF
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Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2010 11:23 am
Posts: 339
Location: NJ
Very nice!

I'm running an overnight game next weekend and a lot of folks are planning on bringing tracers. I've got a crappy J&G Clone tracer unit, the TM style. I was wondering if the G&P Mags can be modded into regular AK mag bodies. Looks like it can! I don't have either G&P Tracer Mags, or any metal AK47 mags on hand (or for that matter, any 7.62x39 replicas on hand) so I put this project on the back burner, but now that I know it's possible, I may very well do this! Could be lots of fun for the guy with the AKMS and PBS-1 at East Wind!

As for the mags feeding, you can disassemble the inner body further, and file the follower so it rides in it's channel smoothly, file the channel of any burrs or mold lines, stretch the spring slightly, and use a tiny drop of silicon oil to keep the follower running smooth. I use this method to keep all of my G&P Midcaps running smooth!

Great writeup!

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 Post subject: Re: 7.62x39 tracer mags
PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 1:27 pm 
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Praporshik
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Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2007 8:02 am
Posts: 4588
Location: NY
The next worthwhile experiment is to see how much of the inner part can be hacked off so it is straighter (less curved) in order to fit it into a 5.45x39 outer body. This is much more complicated. Even if enough can be hacked off with out impeding functionality, the G&P 7.62 and 5.45 have different architecture. But the architecture of the hicaps that come with most AK74s might be a close match.

The cheapest alternative could be to lay out all of your tracer BBs and let them absorb light all day. And then just load them into your mags. But I don't know if natural light is intense enough to give them a lasting and strong glow.

Or take a 5.45 hicap, take a clear straw with a 6mm diameter, afix it to the side of inner wall of the hicap. Across from it attach a strong LED little light, with a power source, make sure its modular (you can remove and replace it later). In essence turning it into a midcap, where the tracers are charged up with light while stored instead of when they exit.

Anyone going to try that?

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