Finally got around to putting the Tapco 20-round mag on one of the SKS's today and went out on the 25m range. We've had issues with another 20-rnd metal mag (fixed, not a detatchable) - only holding 19 rounds and being a little weak at the bottom-end of the mag, not loading the last couple into the chamber - and I was interested in seeing how this one would act.
First up, it makes a good-feeling point for "European-grip" fans, with a decent shape to hold onto, even if you are using a wood stock.
Second - loading from stripper clips is a touch problematic. Not sure if maybe I'm just doing something wrong or what, but it is not nearly as fast to reload this mag by stripper-clip as the standard mag. Since it was made to be a detatchable mag, this isn't a problem - carry several pre-loaded!
I did some mag-change drills with my single mag and it seemed to go fairly smoothly. Like anything, it would get better with practice. Fit and lock-up during my drills were both very good.
Proof's in the pudding! I loaded up 20 rounds and hit the range with a slightly sporterized rifle (no bayo lug or cleaning rod guide and a wild paint job, but otherwise a stock rifle) to shoot at Fred's Redcoats targets. No misfeeds with steel-cased laquered Russian "cheep-n-deep" ammo. The "Euro-grip" fet a tad odd without a pistol-grip at the back, but it was definitely functional. No misfeeds.
So, I came in and swapped rifles to use it on one with a pistol-grip, in this case a Choate side-folder. Sweetness in a bottle!! This time, I would only load 4 rounds so as to test out the area we normally have problems on our rifles - the last few rounds in the mag. No problems whatsoever!
There are a few drawbacks, though.
#1 - What the heck will they fit into pouch-wise?? That "duck-bill" creates a size issue that we need to find a way around if this is to be a practical enhancement. If you have any suggestions, PLEASE pass them on!
#2 - The bolt has to be open to insert or remove a mag. I understand there is a simple handyman's-fix for this and I plan to implement it for all the rifles that we so equip. If you know how to do this, PLEASE pass it on! (pics would be good)
#3 - It adds another totally separate type of reloading drill to train on.