The Best SKS Magazines for a Classic Rifle in 2020

The SKS is a popular rifle for a variety of reasons:

It’s reliable. It’s simple. And it has a few features that make it desirable for people who live in certain places.

But, no matter what you use your SKS for or why you chose it over other rifles, you need the best SKS magazines that you can get.

Magazines are the most common source of malfunctions in semi-automatic rifles. So you don’t want to compromise your rifle’s reliability with knockoff mags.

Fortunately, there aren’t a ton of knockoff SKS magazines. But there are a few options (almost all of them are made by ProMag). And we found all the best SKS magazines on the internet. That way you can reliably feed your SKS.

ProMag 10 Round
  • Polymer is lighter and more crush resistant than steel.
  • Easy to modify for pinning if you need to fix your magazine in place.
  • Grid pattern offers excellent grip for magazine handling.

SPOILERthe ProMag 10 Round SKS Magazines are the overall best SKS magazines. The main reasons are because these magazines are affordable and reliable. But there’s another reason these magazines top the list, which we’ll cover in the full review.

If you want bigger magazines, we’ve got those too. Want metal magazines? We’ve got you. Just keep reading. You’ll find what you need.

Top SKS Magazines on the Market Today

The Best SKS Magazines Reviews: Feeding a Hungry Rifle

The overall best SKS magazines are up for review first. The other best SKS magazines will be rocked into place in order of price.

Need the most affordable magazines? Read the first reviews.

Need the best magazines, no matter what? Read the reviews near the end.

Most of these magazines are made by ProMag. So the main difference is capacity. You can probably cruise through this article based on how many rounds you want in your mag.

1. ProMag 10 Round SKS Magazine - Overall Best SKS Magazines

One reason that people like the SKS is that the magazine can be fixed very easily. So it’s easy to get a semi-automatic rifle that’s compliant in some of the more restrictive states.

And that’s a big reason why the ProMag 10 Round SKS Magazine is the overall best SKS magazine: it meets the compliance requirements in most states with magazine capacity restrictions.

The other big deal is that this is a polymer magazine. It’s lighter and more crush resistant than most steel magazines.

But the polymer construction is also super easy to drill if you need to fix the magazine in place.

If you leave this magazine in its detachable configuration, it has a grid pattern on the body that makes it easy to grip and control your magazine when you load or reload.

The base plate is also flared to give you better grip and control over your magazines during rifle manipulations.

And, last but not least, these magazines are more affordable than any other SKS magazines. So you can get a bunch of them on a fairly limited budget, if you need.

They’re not the most tactical magazines. But they function reliably. They’re useful if you need to make modifications to meet certain compliance standards. And they’re affordable. That’s about all you need from your magazines.

Pros

  • Polymer is lighter and more crush resistant than steel.
  • Easy to modify for pinning if you need to fix your magazine in place.
  • Grid pattern offers excellent grip for magazine handling.
  • Flared base plate for better control over your magazines during rifle manipulations.
  • Very affordable.

Cons

  • Limited magazine capacity is best for states with magazine capacity restrictions. Shooters in other states will probably want higher capacity magazines.

2. ProMag 20 Round Magazine - Budget SKS Magazines

The ProMag 20 Round Magazine is the best compromise between magazine capacity and cost. That’s why it’s the best budget option.

This magazine costs about the same as a 10-round SKS magazine. And the price difference between a 20 and a 30-round SKS magazine is surprisingly large. These magazines definitely give you the best bang for your buck.

Just like the 10-round model, these magazines are polymer. They’re lighter than steel magazines. And they’re slightly more crush resistant.

However, these magazines are longer than the 10-round model. So the body isn’t quite as well supported by the front tang of the locking mechanism. That makes these magazines ever so slightly less crush resistant than the 10-round model.

But the grid pattern and flared base plate still give you excellent control over your magazines for loading and reloading.

And these magazines can be easily modified, if you need to fix them for some reason, even though that’s uncommon in states where you’re allowed to have more than 10-rounds.

If you need magazines for your SKS, and don’t need tiny magazines for legal reasons, these are the magazines to get. They’re affordable and reliable. So they check the most important boxes.

Pros

  • Costs about the same as a 10-round SKS magazine.
  • Polymer construction is lighter and more crush resistant than most steel SKS magazines.
  • Grid pattern gives you excellent grip and control over your magazines during rifle manipulations.
  • Easily modified, if you need to do that.

Cons

  • Longer magazine isn’t quite as crush resistant as the 10-round model because the locking tang doesn’t support the magazine body as much.

A really common question about the SKS is, “Can an SKS take AK mags?”

There are two models of SKS which have been modified at the factory to accept AK mags: the SKS-M and the SKS-D.

AK-47 magazines won’t fit in a standard SKS because the receiver is too narrow for AK mags to fit.

However, you CAN modify a standard SKS to accept AK mags. But it’s not recommended because it’s not a reversible modification. And it’s difficult to properly modify and standard SKS so that it operates reliably with AK magazines.

If you have an SKS-M or an SKS-D, though, you can run AK magazines right out of the box. And the Magpul AK/AKM 30RD PMAG Gen M3 Magazine 7.62x39 is hands down the best AK-47 magazine you can get.

This is essentially the AK-47 equivalent of the 5.56mm Magpul PMAG.

It’s polymer, with a Magpul follower. The feed lips won’t warp. And it’s super durable.

Additionally, it has the square grip pattern that gives you excellent grip. Then the base plate is flared to make loading, unloading, and reloading faster and easier.

These aren’t the cheapest SKS magazines. But they’re not the most expensive, either.

So, overall, if you have an SKS that takes AK mags, these Magpul magazines are only magazines you’ll ever need.

Pros

  • Polymer construction is lightweight and super durable.
  • Square pattern offers excellent grip.
  • Flared base plate makes loading, unloading, and reloading faster and easier.
  • Fitted with a Magpul anti-tilt follower for maximum reliability.

Cons

  • Only fits the SKS-M and SKS-D.

The ProMag Archangel 20 Round 7.62x39mm Magazine is designed to make your SKS easier to operate fast, in high-stress environments.

Before I talk about that, though, this is not just a standard ProMag polymer magazine.

This magazine is constructed from carbon fiber and glass reinforced polymer. It’s just as light as the standard ProMag polymer. But it’s more rigid and crush resistant. So this magazine is just as crush resistant as the 10-round model, even though the body is longer.

The grip texture is only okay. It’s not as good as the grid that you get on the other ProMag magazines. But the base plate is still flared to give you better control over your magazines during loading and reloading.

Now, for the big deal.

This magazine has a paddle release that makes it MUCH easier and faster to release your magazineIt makes your reloads significantly faster. And it just makes it easier to operate your SKS overall.

These magazines are more expensive than a standard SKS magazine. But the added ease of operation makes it more than worth the extra few dollars.

Pros

  • Carbon fiber and glass reinforced polymer construction is super durable.
  • Flared base plate gives you excellent control over your magazines during loading and reloading.
  • Paddle release makes reloading MUCH faster and easier.
  • Magazine release paddle makes using your SKS easier overall.

Cons

  • Grip texture is only okay.

If you live in a place that’s essentially the opposite of a state with magazine capacity restrictions, the ProMag Archangel LVX 35 Round 7.62x39 SKS Magazine is for you.

This magazine is made of the same carbon fiber and glass reinforced polymer as the 20-round Archangel magazine. This magazine is lighter and more durable than a steel magazine.

The grip texture is only okay. But the base plate is flared to give you grip and control over your magazines during loading and reloading.

And this magazine has the magazine release tab that makes it just as fast and easy to reload your SKS as it is to reload an AK-47.

But the best part is right there in the name: this magazine holds 35 roundsThat’s about as many rounds as you can get without using a drum magazine.

And this magazine is only a handful of dollars more expensive than the 20-round Archangel magazine. For less than a dollar per round of additional capacity, you get the largest SKS magazines available. That’s a pretty good deal.

Pros

  • Carbon fiber and glass reinforced construction is lighter and more durable than a steel magazine.
  • Flared base plate makes handling your magazines much easier.
  • Magazine release tab makes reloading your SKS as easy as reloading an AK-47.
  • Holds 35 rounds.

Cons

  • Grip texture is kind of mediocre.

6. ProMag 30 Round 7.62x39 SKS Magazines - Steel SKS Magazines

We’ve pretty much established that polymer magazines are an excellent option. But, if you want steel magazines, the ProMag 30 Round 7.62x39 SKS Magazines are the best ones to get.

These are carbon steel magazines. Even though steel is susceptible to warping and crushing, no matter what, carbon steel is the most rigid steel for magazines. So these magazines are as long lasting and crush resistant as you can get with a steel magazine.

Then, these magazines are stuffed with an anti-tilt follower. This gives you more reliability than you can get from a traditional SKS magazine.

Lastly, the spring is a heat treatedchrome silicon spring that lasts longer and produces more consistent upward pressure than the original stainless steel springs.

In most cases these magazines perform better than the classic steel SKS magazines.

However, they do occasionally require some hand fitting to fit perfectly in your rifle. That’s just because there’s some wiggle room in the manufacturing tolerances of the SKS.

But, once you get them fitted correctly, these magazines will function more reliably than any of the imported SKS magazines.

Pros

  • Carbon steel is more rigid and durable than the original steel construction.
  • Equipped with an anti-tilt follower for more reliable operation.
  • Chrome silicon spring is more consistent and lasts longer than the steel spring in a factory magazine.

Cons

  • Occasionally requires some hand fitting to get a perfect fit in your rifle.

Feeding a Classic

The SKS might seem a tad antiquated to some. But it’s a durable and reliable rifle that works well enough for most civilian applications.

However, magazines are often the weak point, regardless of which rifle you’re shooting.

ProMag 10 Round

If you want to avoid magazine issues without spending hours researching magazines, just get the ProMag 10 Round SKS Magazine. It’s affordable, reliable, and it’s legal in almost any state. So it’s a good option for everyone.

Still fiddling with some imported magazines that you thought would work because the SKS is originally manufactured in China? It’s time to set those magazines down and get some magazines that work.