Disclaimer: Yes, It might been cheaper to buy them already in good shape, but I did it for fun.
Centerfire Systems has a sale on rusty & dinged AK mags. I bought 10 in two batches ( 6 & 4) and recovered without much work 7 of them. The other three will need minor metal work. Here you will see the work I did on the second batch.
This is the condition they arrived. And you are looking at the good side.
And a close up.
Scary ain't it?
First I took them apart and shook them well to get any debris out, there was some but not much. The springs were amazingly in great shape with maybe a hint of rust in one of them. The rest of the parts were in various grads of "rustiness."
The followers were in a sorry state as you can see.
I started with a dremmel-type tool grinding away the thickest of the rust. I switched to a sandpaper bit (80) and then to a wire brush tip.
With most of the rust removed from the body of the mag, I took on the followers next with a thin grinding tip that IIRC it is used to file chainsaws. I used the tip also in the inside of the mag bodies.
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