Kim Jong-un's Bodyguards Have Machine Guns That Could Hold 150 Rounds

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North Korea uses a dizzying number of weapons, both small arms and more complex systems such as tanks and planes. The common thread that connects these weapons? Almost all of them are copies of other countries' designs. Tank? Soviet copy. Planes? Soviet surplus. Standard rifles? Soviet copy. However, one of their own indigenous inventions is a large capacity magazine.
This helical magazine is intended for use with the North Korean Type 88, an AK-74 copy. A quick Google search shows North Korean soldiers equipped with their unique magazine.
The advantages of a magazine with a large capacity are obvious: there are more rounds between reloading processes. Several countries have used larger capacity magazines. During the Second World War, the Soviet Union gave Red Army soldiers large volume drum magazines for use with their PPsH-41 submachine gun.
In addition to using captured Soviet PPsH-41, Nazi Germany also experimented with its own high-performance option for the legendary MP-44 submachine gun, which equipped some soldiers on the Eastern Front with a strange double magazine that was an attempt to double the available firepower of a single soldier . A reasonable goal - but the design was unreliable and prone to errors unless it was kept spotlessly clean. This was a difficult task on the notoriously muddy battlefields on the Eastern Front.
The United States Marine Corps is also reportedly developing a high-capacity magazine option for its new service rifle, the M27. The magazine would significantly increase the firepower of the individual shooter and possibly even out the squad's automatic weapon.
However, the disadvantages of high capacity sometimes outweigh the advantages. The main disadvantage is reliability. Unlike conventional magazines, which require a wire spring to normally hold about 30 cartridges toward a cannon chamber, drum magazines must hold 50 or more cartridges toward the chamber. A large spring is required to keep so many laps under tension. This increases the tension in the magazine and can sometimes lead to jams or paper jams, which affects reliability.
Weight and accuracy
The extended type 88 magazine can hold up to 150 cartridges, but this is difficult to confirm. If 150 is an exact number, the weight of the cartridges alone would be over 3.5 pounds or over 1.6 kilograms without the weight of the all-metal magazine.
Since the magazine is attached to both the magazine connection and the underside of the barrel, the balance of the Type 88 would move forward. Needless to say, the magazine would make Type 88 handling slower and more cumbersome, although accuracy could actually improve during a fully automatic fire, as the barrel of the rifle could "climb" less.
Postscript
This weird-looking magazine appears to have originally been issued to Kim Jong-un's personal bodyguard, who carried three magazines, one in the rifle and two in reserve. This gave them an estimated total of 450 cartridges with 5.45 x 39 ammunition, which corresponds to 15 regular magazines with a capacity of 30 cartridges. Talk about a big blow.
Caleb Larson is a defense writer with a national interest. He has a Master of Public Policy and deals with US and Russian security, European defense issues, and German politics and culture.
Image: Reuters
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