Sunday, February 16, 2014

Interesting G3 Rifle Magazines.

5 round PSG sniper steel magazine (top) 20 round lightweight G3 aluminum magazine (left) 20 round CETME steel magazine (center) and early G3 20 round steel magazine. 

During the recent cold weather testing of the Heckler & Koch (HK) G3 rifle, I had the opportunity to examine a large number of G3 rifle magazines. The G3 rifle was used by many NATO countries, including West Germany, Norway, Portugal, Greece, and Turkey. Many other countries also purchased G3 rifles and it’s still used in remote parts of the world.
Close up of 5 round steel magazine.

The interesting magazines examined included some from Norway, Germany and Portugal, Unmarked magazines included unmarked Spanish CETME magazines, unmarked G3 steel magazines, and a 5 round magazine which must have been made for the PSG Sniper rifle or commercial HK 91 rifle. It appears purpose made and not simply a converted 20 round magazine. The only marking on the 5 round magazine is 7.62x51 IH.
Early steel magazine with a 12/60 date.

There are two types of magazines, the all steel 20 round magazine and the 20 round ribbed pattern aluminum magazine. The follower, spring, and base plate are identical in each type of magazine.

Portuguese G3 magazine with a 2/65 date.
These were the most interesting ones I saw in a group of about 40 magazines.  The oldest all steel magazine was marked G3 HK 12/60 produced by HK in December 1960. The earliest date on an aluminum magazine is   G3 HK 2/63 produced in February 1963.  There were also examples of Norwegian made magazines marked with a crown over a K, and Rheimetall made magazines marked with a circle diamond.
 7/64 dated Rheinmetall made magazine.
 The unmarked magazines could have come from Greece or Turkey.  I sure many other countries manufactured G3 magazines and many of these are not marked.   All the different magazines performed equally well during the cold weather testing. I do have a preference for the CETME magazine, its slight curve is appealing to the eye and complement the lines of the rifle.
HK manufactured aluminum magazine with a 2/63 date. The waffle patterned may have been influenced by earlier AR-10 and AR-15 magazines. 

These are interesting bits of firearms trivia.  I thought about the world of 1960, the earliest dated magazine.   The Cold War, Berlin Crisis, election of JFK, U2 downed over the Soviet Union, and Elvis discharged from the Army all happened in 1960.     

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