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Thread: Bulgarian Steel AR Mags

  1. #1
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    Bulgarian Steel AR Mags

    I have a thread about these going on arfcom and the Files, and figured I'd share it here too. Just to be clear, no I'm not affiliated with Clearview or shilling for them in any way lol.

    When I first stumbled across these about a month ago, I had started the thread on arfcom asking if anyone had any experience with them, and no one seemed to have ever heard of them. The only person that I found with any experience with these mags was someone who had mentioned them in a 2010 thread that I dug up on arfcom. I reached out to that user, and he claimed he still hasn't had an issue with the one mag he had purchased (9 years is more than enough time for issues to arise). He was actually happy that I had found some more for sale. So I figured I'd try a few.

    I found out some more information since that thread. These are made by ISD Bulgaria. The same manufacturer of the Bulgarian polymer AK mags that have mixed reviews. I've only found 2 vendors that carry them so far. Numrich (for $16 per mag) and Clearview Investment Inc (never had heard of Clearview before finding these). I purchased 10 from Clearview for $9.34 a piece (and later purchased 30 more).

    I'm starting to think that these are one of the best kept secrets in the AR world. I've been really impressed with them so far. The only complaint I have is that the 30th round is stiff to insert and you do have to give the mag a light smack to seat it when loaded with 30rd. Some people down load their mags to 28, so that wouldn't be a concern for you if you already do that I guess, but I like to load 30 round mags with 30 rounds lol. They are obviously heavier than Pmags and Aluminum USGI mags (weight comparison below), but this doesn't bother me any. I prefer durability over light weight, and I'm use to the weight of my AK mags anyways. They come COVERED in oil and sealed in plastic, so these are perfect for anyone who wants to squirrel away some mags for a good price. The follower is of the AK design, so it's anti tilt by design.

    Again, I started the other threads a while back, so a lot has happened since then. I stripped the paint off of two of them and cold blued one and coated the other with Dry Moly (see below). I also did a video where I ran some tests on it. I ended up taking the video down since it was published on my personal google/youtube account, but plan to get publish it again once I set up a new account. It passed all the tests, and actually held up better to the drop tests than the Okay Ind and D&H mags. I also spoke with Mike, the owner of Clearview, and was able to get some questions answered. He received these as compensation for another order he had placed with ISD back in 2008. There was an explosion/fire at the factory, which was going to delay his original order, so he took a boat load of mags instead. They've practical gone under the radar ever since. He said he was selling a couple a month. Since I made the threads a month ago, they've sold 1,000 lol ISD no longer makes them, so once these are gone, they're gone.

    I get that Okay USGI mags and Magpul mags are only $8-$10 right now, are proven, etc. If you don't see the point in buying any, I get it. But these are a great option for anyone wanting quality steel mags, or just wanting to try something different. I can assure you all that I wouldn't have bought 40 if they were garbage, especially when I could have bought $400 worth of mags that I have experience with, and know are great, instead.

    Anyways, just wanted to spread the word.

    https://www.clearviewinvest.com/ar15...asticwrap.aspx










    Blued:



    CRC Dry Moly:



    Factory paint (not sure what happened to lightening, but no filter):



    Weight comparison:

    Empty mags:

    Pmag G2 - 4.804 OZ
    D&H Aluminum - 4.081 OZ
    Bulgarian Steel - 8.24 OZ

    Loaded mags:

    Pmag G2 - 17.544 OZ
    D&H - 16.821 OZ
    Bulgarian - 20.98 OZ

    Roughly a 4 OZ difference per mag. Not terrible.
    Last edited by Monkeydo; 09-11-19 at 16:42.

  2. #2
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    How many rounds have you put thru the initial 10 mags?

    Any malfs?

    Just wondering. I already have a bunch of steel elander mags

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    Quote Originally Posted by tim808 View Post
    How many rounds have you put thru the initial 10 mags?

    Any malfs?

    Just wondering. I already have a bunch of steel elander mags
    I've only had a chance to put about 300 rounds through 2. No issue at all. Though I think some of the tests are ridiculous, I dumped a bunch of sand/dirt into one for the testing I did, and couldn't get it to malfunction. Not trying to direct people on here to arfcom or akfiles, but there has been nothing but positive feed back. One user took one through a 3 day class with no issues.

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    Those look like an M16 and an L1A1 magazine had a baby.

    Clearview and Centerfire Systems used to operate out of the same building up in Versailles, KY. I think ATI stocks was tied in some way too, but looks like they are in WI now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jsbhike View Post
    Those look like an M16 and an L1A1 magazine had a baby.

    Clearview and Centerfire Systems used to operate out of the same building up in Versailles, KY. I think ATI stocks was tied in some way too, but looks like they are in WI now.
    Haha I was thinking an HK maritime mag and a Russian slabside had a baby. Yeah, he mentioned something about Centerfire. He also mentioned something about Cheaper Than Dirt. I was short for time, but I thought he had said he played a part in the founding of CTD. His name is Michael(Mike) Davis.

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    That's the same little white "Made in Bulgaria" sticker that used to come in on newly made parts directly from Arsenal. A complete kit would have those stickers on just about every part. I'm wondering if this some type of contract over run. Either way, it's neat.

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    One rumor is that these are leftovers from a Ukrainian contract.

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    While I mostly just stick with Pmags and Okay GI aluminums, every now and again I like to get a bit wild and wacky and try out something different.
    I have four of those Bulgarian 40round polymer mags which seemed to work pretty well. These steel mags seem like they might be fun to at least try out.

  9. #9
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    They look to be around $9 currently, so for anyone who is looking to play around, the price is certainly decent.
    Stick


    Board policy mandates I state that I shoot for BCM. I have also done work for 200 or so manufacturers within the firearm community. I am prior service, a full time LEO, firearm instructor, armorer, TL, martial arts instructor, and all around good guy.

    I also shoot and write for various publications. Let me know if you know cool secrets or have toys worthy of an article...


    Flickr Tumblr Facebook Instagram RECOILMAGAZINE OFF GRID RECOIL WEB

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by RetroRevolver77 View Post
    That's the same little white "Made in Bulgaria" sticker that used to come in on newly made parts directly from Arsenal. A complete kit would have those stickers on just about every part. I'm wondering if this some type of contract over run. Either way, it's neat.
    I actually reached out to the North American Arsenal rep and he stated that they weren’t Arsenal. ISD Bulgaria is the manufacturer. They are the manufacturers of the first Bulgarian AK’s that were imported by Armory USA of Houston. The company that Arsenal USA and Arsenal Bulgaria basically ran out of business.

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