Tapco Intrafuse 10rd AK-47 Magazine Review
The Tapco "Intrafuse 10rd AK-47 Magazine" is a double stack (standard AK fit) mag designed for AK owners who live in states like California where the maximum capacity of magazines is restricted to 10 rounds. If you happen to live in a free state, these compact magazines can still come in handy when shooting the gun from a supported position or from a bench rest. We got a chance to review Tapco's Intrafuse mag for use with the GP WASR-10/63.
Since the MSRP of these magazines is pretty low we did not expect much from these plastic midgets. So, when we received the mags we were pleasantly surprised. The body and floor plates of these mags are made from some reinforced composite material that feels very solid. The finish is excellent and all parts fit perfectly. The spring is powerful and the follower is designed to prevent tilting which can cause "Failure to Feed" (FTF) issues. Disassembling these mags is a breeze and loading them is a lot easier than loading up the regular steel battle rams.
Figure 1: Tapco Intrafuse 10rd Magazines are strong, well built and a breeze to strip.
The mags fit exactly ten rounds. Ten; not nine or eleven. Since it's made in the USA it also counts as three parts (follower, floor plate, lower) towards 922r compliance in rifles with "fixed magazines" (equipped with bullet buttons). It's even pretty good looking (for a 10 rounder). It was clear to see...We were in love...
Figure 2: Daddy, I want an Oompa Loompa! I WANT AN OOMPA LOOMPA NOW!!!
Ins and Out's
Next up was testing the fit of the magazine in the notorious WASR-10 magazine well. This is where our honeymoon ended. The WASR-10 we used for our test has a magazine well that suggests two things. 1) The filing monkeys at Century Arms were sent to rehab and took advantage of an Obama "Back to School Stimulus Grant" to get some vocational training on proper Dremel use. and 2) Century Arms has fixed the broken light bulb in the monkey cage. We know this because our mag well has a straight cut and all steel magazines we tested fit fine without excessive wobble.
The Tapco Intrafuse magazines however did not fit fine. And we don't mean they that they were a little tight, or would not seat or anything either. We are talking impossible to get in without using excessive force! This was a bit of disappointment but, as the Marine Corps teaches us, we need to "Adapt, Improvise and Overcome". Our choices (as we saw them) were: 1) Widen the WASR's magazine well, or 2) Make the Tapco Mag narrower. Since metal mags fit this WASR without any issues we thought it best not to tempt the mag wobble gods, so we adjusted the magazine.
First, we tried to make the mag fit with the gentle touch of sand paper. Then we got impatient and broke out the old file. Oh Yeah.
Figure 3: We used a rasp to file down both sides of the Tapco Intrafuse mag.
The first mag we filed down evenly along the full length of the mag and on both sides (figure 4). This worked, but since we evenly ground down the full length of the mag we had to remove lots of plastic. This was a lot of work and it didn't look too hot when finished. When we did the second mag we used a little more caution, we tried to insert it, filed down the area that was getting stuck, insert again, file again, repeat, repeat, repeat. This took just as much time, but resulted in a much nicer looking (and still functional result).
Figure 4: This mag got the "kid glove" treatment. After it was cleaned the tool marks were barely noticeable.
After we adjusted the sides of both mags, we found that we needed to adjust the plastic tab that seats the mag as well. It needed to become slightly shorter and a bit thinner to fit comfortably under the mag release lever. If you need to do this to your mag, make sure you don't take any more material off the tab than needed. A weakened tab could break off when under stress and turn your mag into a tactical paperweight.
After filing the mag down we used some fine sand paper to get rid of the worst scarring. A perfectionist might use some polishing compound and "back-2-black" bumper spray to make the finish look better.
It took a bit of elbow grease but both mags now fit. We have not done any long term testing but so far the mags feed consistently and have not caused any FTF's. They are easy to load, insert and remove. These might become our favorite mags for use at the range.
The WASR-10 weighs about 7.5 pounds. An unloaded steel 30 rounder (or a10/30) weights about a pound. The Tapco mags weighs only about a third of that, so if you've shot a lot with 30 rounders you'll notice that the weight balance of the rifle shifts a bit to the back.
The Intrafuse does not look half bad. We think it gives the AK a Dragunov sniper-rifle-like look.
Figure 5: Meet the DraguWASR Sniper Rifle
Figure 6: When seated the filing is hardly visible.
We give this magazine 4 our of 5 points. The overall quality of this magazine is high. Plastic AK magazines, sorry COMPOSITE magazines, are known to be a bit wider than steel magazines. And, the WASR-10 magazine well is not known for its high manufacturing standards. Since the WASR-10 mag well isn't consistent from one to the next, it's hard to guess if this magazine will reliably fit in your gun. Plenty of WASR owners have reported they could make it fit without grinding it down, although most reported it was a bit tight. We would have given this mag 5/5 points if didn't have to break out the file. But again; we can't really blame Tapco for that... Oh yeah; this made-in-the-USA TAPCO quality product comes with a "Lifetime Warranty" that we are pretty sure we voided the moment we broke out the file. :-)