For the last few years, AR AEG users, have had access to one of the best airsoft mid-cap magazines on the market, that being the PTS EPM (Enhanced Polymer Magazine). AK users were kind of sidelined and were limited in quality magazine choices, but now PTS has released their new TPM-AK magazine!
The TPM-AK mag was PTS's answer for AK users who wanted a quality magazine and with all the features unique to the EPM. What made the EPM different from other magazine offerings was the use of high strength injection molded polymer, an enhanced follower, and a rubberized extended baseplate. The TPM is essentially the EPM but in an AK style.
The TPM like the EPM, uses an injection mold high strength polymer body but in a semi-translucent smoke colored texturing. This allows you to see the internals of the magazine but also not fully see-through. Since the mag is a one piece molded body the rear locking lug is also directly attached to the body, thus making it hard to break off.
We can also see when compared to a LCT AK mag, the tab is much smaller, making it able to easily fit a variety of AKs without needing to modify or file down the magazine to allow it to fit properly. The mag has a ribbed texturing to ensure you have a positive grip in adverse conditions.
Another thing you will notice is that the curvature of the magazine is straighter then your contemporary AK-74 mag. That is because the TPM is modeled after the Polish Beryl AK magazine, the Beryl AK is chambered in 5.56mm rather then the 5.45mm Russian round. Since the 5.56mm round has a slimmer rear casing the curvature of the mag does not need to be a a higher angle to feed. However, in the world of airsoft it does not matter much, except for the LOOKS!
I can already hear you purest AK owners typing in the chat saying "IT'S NOT KOSHER" or "IT'S NOT REAL AK", just calm down, calm down, and let me explain what benefits or why PTS might have made this choice.
The primary reason why I think they went with this choice, was that a straighter magazine allows the internal springs to be more centered. A curvier magazine will cause the internal BB feed tube to bend more, which can cause inconsistent feeding, especially if using heavy weight BBs. The other reason which is just speculation, is that since the TPM has a similar profile to an AR mag, which allows it to fit most AR mag pouches on the market. From personal tests the TPM fits in your single shingle open top, double M4 closed tops, and your passive retention pouches like HSGI Tacos, Esstac Kiwi, and HSP AR pouches.
Finally the baseplate features PTS's signature rubber baseplate with the added marking grids, to mark your mags, and a rubber bump pad.
Like the EPMs, the TPM utilizes PTS's dual tracked BB follower tube with the signature orange enhanced follower. The follower pivots along the track to provide consistent feeding, and holds a max of 155rd capacity. The internals can be removed from the magazine sleeve by taking off the baseplate to get access, in case you need to unjam or replace the follower spring. You will also notice the extensive use of screws to ensure that the magazine is secure.
Overall the TPM is an excellent magazine, it combines good user features in a high quality built package. It fits a wide variety of AK styles and fits in standard AR mag pouches for those who do not like to switch over or want to use passive retention pouches. The only downside is if your looking to build a more traditional AK, the TPM might not be kosher!
That is all for this review, we will see you guys next time, also "nyet rifle is fine"