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Best Drum Magazines in 2023 [AR, AK, PCC, & Pistol]

Are drum mags practical? Not really. Are they fun? Yes! So we're running through some of our favorite drum magazines for ARs, AKs, pistols & PCCs!

Do you know what often sucks? Drum magazines.

There used to be a time when drums were a fun experiment for World War II-era weapons. Since then, the world has come to the conclusion that drum mags are complicated, unreliable, and expensive.

D-60 D-50 Drums
Magpul D-60 D-50 drum magazines.

However, drum magazines have come a very long way. Along that way, they became much more reliable and decently affordable – but still seemingly remain complicated.

Today we are going to talk about the best drum magazines out there, along with some that are just silly.

Summary of Our Top Picks

  1. Best AR-15 Drum Mag

    Magpul PMAG D-60

    These are affordable and about as reliable as drum mags get.

  2. Best Pistol Drum Magazine

    Magpul PMAG D-50 GL9

    Drum mags can be especially finicky in pistols, but Magpul seems to have figured most of the kinks out with the GL9.

  3. Best Budget Drum Magazine

    KCI AR-15 50-Round Drum Magazine

    Coming in significantly cheaper than the competition, the KCI AR-15 drum is great for those looking to just have fun at the range.

  4. Best AK Drum Mag

    Century Arms Romanian AK 75-Round Drum Magazine

    These are reasonably priced as far as metal drums go, and they are still available on the market.

  5. Best Rimfire Drum Magazine

    GSG Ruger 10/22 SR-22 110-Round Drum Magazine

    With a dizzying capacity of 110 rounds, these affordable 10/22 drum magazines will put a smile on any face.

Table of Contents


Why Do I Need a Drum Mag?

Well, more ammo is better than less ammo, right? Drums mean less reloading, and less reloading is always good, right? Well, usually…

AK Reload Gif
Everybody wants to look cool reloading, but does anyone actually want to reload?

Drums offer you more ammo on tap, often doubling the capacity of a weapon’s magazine, sometimes even going further than that.

Less frequent reloads can be critical for home defense and competitive shooting.

In a home defense scenario, you won’t always necessarily carry extra magazines for a quick reload. In a competitive setting, reloads mean more time, and more time lowers your score.

Magpul D-50 and D-60 drum magazines.

Extended magazines could do the same thing, right? Absolutely.

However, drums typically use width to increase capacity rather than extending the length of the magazine.

Drums allow for more ammo while presenting an overall lower profile. A shorter magazine is important when shooting prone and laying down fire.

Rock Island Armory VR60 Extended Mag Loaded
Some magazines get so absurdly long that shooting while prone is impossible.

Best Drum Mags for ARs

1. Magpul D-60

Magpul offers high-quality, American-made products at fantastic prices. They always innovate, improve, and in the rare event they do something wrong, they make it right.

Aside from increasing capacity, drum mags definitely increase the cool factor.

In terms of drums, they did everything right. Their drums are not only reliable but reasonably affordable. Of this list, they are the highest quality and most well-priced of the bunch.

These drums are made primarily from the same polymer utilized for their proven generation 3 PMAGs. The design makes it easy to disassemble and clean as well.

The feed tower works with speed loaders and stripper clips. A lever allows you to press down the loaded cartridges and continue loading the drum with little difficulty even as you reach full capacity.

The inside guts of a Magpul drum magazine.

Magpul created the D-60 first for 5.56 caliber AR 15 rifles.

This drum works in most AR magazine-compatible weapons, including the SCAR, the BRN 180, and similar firearms. As the name implies, you get a 60-round capacity.

Best AR-15 Drum Mag
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

Magpul cracked the code on drum design, durability, and ergonomics. Combined with their affordability, these drums have become the dominant player in the market.

2. Magpul D-50 Series

Are you the kind of shooter who likes their semi-auto rifles heavy and powerful?

308 (2)
When you wanna shoot these, you need something heavy duty enough to handle it.

I’m talking about full-powered .308 caliber rifles like the AR-10.

If so, the D-50 LR/SR offers you a ton of firepower for your big gun with a whopping 50 rounds on tap.

at GrabAGun

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

Using pistol-caliber carbines for home defense can be tricky. They don’t offer the power of a shotgun or rifle, so you best bring as much ammo as possible.

Scorpion (9)
CZ Scorpion

Magpul’s D-50 EV9 allows you to pack 50 rounds of 9mm into your CZ Scorpion.

at GrabAGun

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

Last but not least, the D-50 MP brings 50 rounds of 9mm to your MP5 or MP5 clone.

She’s so pretty

With the cost of MP5 magazines, the drum might be the affordable alternative!

MP5 magazines have been traditionally made from metal, but the D-50 utilizes polymer, and it works!

at GunMag Warehouse

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

3. Magpul GL9 PCC

“dOeS iT tAkE Glock MaGs?” has to be one of the more annoying things to hear online.

Glock 47 EFLX
You can’t escape Glock…it’s everywhere.

But Glock is everywhere, and Magpul gave us the D-50 GL9 for all your Glock needs.

Why do you need a drum for your pistol? I don’t know, but this is America, so why not?

Best Pistol Drum Magazine
at Palmetto State Armory

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

Tons of PCCs use Glock pattern magazines, but using the Glock drum doesn’t always work well. In a magwell, the Glock drum’s longer tower can move back and forth and cause feeding issues.

19. Faxon Bantam PCC Desert Profile View
The Faxon Bantam PCC uses Glock mags

The shortened tower of the GL9 PCC allows you to use a 50-round drum in your Glock mag-based PCC with total reliability.

at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

What do you think of Magpul’s D-50 GL9? Rate it below!

Readers' Ratings

5.00/5 (77)

Your Rating?

4. KCI AR-15

If you just want a drum for the fun of having a drum, then KCI has you covered.

Their drums are good enough for range use and plinking purposes. I personally wouldn’t take them to a fight, but I have three of their drums and have yet to run into a malfunction.

KCI Beta Magazine for AKs (1)
KCI Beta Magazine for AKs…but they make some for ARs too!

KCI makes a Beta mag drum clone, but I prefer the regular 50-round drum.

It’s transparent and uses a much simpler, more inherently reliable design. A big crank handle lets you work the action and load the drum quickly and easily.

Best Budget Drum Magazine
at GunMag Warehouse

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

Keep it lubricated with graphite, and the drum seems to just run and run. I was pleasantly surprised by how functional this cheap drum is.

Best Drum Mags for AKs

AK drums can be tricky. There are some good ones out there and some okay ones.

Tricky Reality TV

The AK community is rightfully fickle regarding firearms, but there seems to be an agreement on two AK drums that are well worth the money.

5. Romanian AK Drums

Romanian AK drums are surplus drums originally designed for RPK rifles.

These drums use a tensioning device that can be untensioned for long-term storage and quickly ‘re-tensioned’ for use.

drum magazine AK
Something about drum mags on AKs is just cool, even on the shorties.

Romy drums allow for a 75-round capacity in your AK.

The Romanian AK drums are relatively affordable when found, although recently, they have begun to dry up on the commercial market.

Best AK Drum Mag
at Kygunco

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

6. Chinese AK Drums

Chinese AK Drums are considered the Holy Grail of AK drums by many enthusiasts.

These things have long dried up on the commercial market, and when they pop up, they sell for around $300 a pop. It seems disputed whether or not you can leave them loaded and tensioned.

This pre-ban Norinco 75-round drum mag fetched a pretty price of $290 way back in 2016! (Photo: 507 Outfitters)

The various Chinese AK drums reportedly function flawlessly and are highly reliable. Sadly the price keeps many away, but these are supposedly the best AK drums you can get your hands on.

7. KCI AK Drum

KCI AK drums are similar to Romanian AK drums in that the back opens, and you load the rounds in a specific order.

This process is very simple and doesn’t require you to fight spring tension during loading.

KCI drum magazine AK
The clear back allows you to see the rounds inside the magazine.

You manually tension the drum and release tension for long-term storage. The rear plate is polymer so that you can see the rounds in the drum.

My main complaint is this rear panel opens up way too easily, and I feel like running around with it will cause it to open and dump ammo.

at GunMag Warehouse

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

Best Drum Mags for 10/22 & Pistols

8. GSG 10/22 Drum

Since we are on the theme of fun drums, let’s talk about shoving 110 rounds of .22 LR into a magazine with the GSG 10/22 drum.

Why the heck not? Drop this bad boy in your Ruger 10/22 and let ‘er rip.

Fully Upgraded 10/22 with Magpul Stock and Tandemkross Upgrades
Fully Upgraded 10/22

It works decently well, but I’d suggest copper-jacketed rounds over straight lead, as they tend to feed a fair bit smoother in the GSG drum.

You wouldn’t want to take this rabbit hunting, but loaded into a Ruger 10/22 with a binary trigger makes for a fun time.

Best Rimfire Drum Magazine
at GunMag Warehouse

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

Need more 10/22 accessories or parts? We got the Best Upgrades for the Ruger 10/22.

9. ProMag P365 50-Round Drum

What’s the dumbest gun you can shove a drum into? If you said subcompact CCW piece, you are right!

However, having common sense doesn’t stop ProMag from doing something crazy.

Sig Sauer P365 Upgrades
The magazine-to-gun size ratio here is just comical.

They produced not one but two P365 drum magazines. They make a 30 and 50-rounder, and I suggest the 50-rounder for the sheer ridiculousness.

Does it make sense? No, but is it fun? Duh.

at Kygunco

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

I know it’s a ProMag, but it’s also just for fun at the range.

I’ve not torture-tested it yet, but under basic conditions, it has worked reliably enough to have a good time.

Final Thoughts

Drum magazines aren’t always the practical choice, but many things in the gun world aren’t very practical.

Glock 18 Shooting Drum Mag Full Auto
Full-auto Glock 18 with a drum magazine. Practical? No. Fun? Hell yes!

However, they have come a long way in terms of reliability to the point where even cheap drums work fine for plinking and fun pursuits.

Magpul even makes hardcore duty-ready drums, which begins to beg the question about their usefulness once again.

Are drum mags worth the squeeze and higher price? Let us know in the comments below! Have an AR-15 but aren’t sold on drum mags? Check out the Best AR-15 Magazines: Standard, High-Capacity, 10-Round.

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2 Leave a Reply

  • Commenter Avatar

    Cries in New Yorker

    March 10, 2023 11:16 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Chuck Cochran

    Nice to read about. Unfortunately, I live in the rapidly turning into a Commie Utopianschithole known as Commierado, where we've a 15 round capacity restriction thanks to Leftwing Nutjob Lickshispooper.
    Equally unfortunate, I'm stuck here.

    March 9, 2023 10:13 pm
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