Cleaning and Tuning IMI Galil 5.56 Magazines

I have written a number of posts now about my purchase of a James River Armory Gallant, which is a Galil ARM wherein they provided a new US made receiver, barrel and pistol grip. They wanted to keep their costs down so the remaining three parts they needed for 922r compliance was to use a US-made Tapco Galil Magazine that is polymer and looks nothing like the original not to mention they are no longer being made!

The top mag is a polymer Tapco and the bottom is an original IMI surplus 35 round mag.

I wanted to use IMI surplus steel 35-round magazines that not only are the authentic ones to use but they are abundantly available. That meant I had to replace three more parts on the Gallant and the easiest is to swap the original Galil fire control group (the hammer, trigger and disconnector) with a US made group. The ALG AKT-EL is perfect for the job so I ordered one from PSA and installed it (click here for the big blog post I did about it). Next up was to source, clean and tune some original IMI Galil Mags, which is what this post will be about.

Finding the Mags

You can find surplus steel 35 round IMI Galil mags all over the place at websites that deal with surplus and gun parts. I bought all of mine from Numrich and they are in great shape at a fair price but you can also find them at Apex Gun Parts, Robert RTG, Aim Surplus and other places.

Numrich is a good firm to deal with. A few days after I ordered, a box showed up with my mags. Keep reading through because you do need to do some work.

Cleaning and Lubricating

Ok, these are surplus and they have been moved all over. Most feel like they have something on them for corrosion and are sticky. Some have a slightly dirty feel as dust and what not have stuck to the surfaces.

Do NOT try to use the magazines as-is. Take a few minutes to clean and lubricate them.

The bottom piece of sheet metal is the floor plate. Put a small blade screwdriver in the right end and pry while pushing down the locking tab you see sticking out in the middle. With the tab out of the way the base plate will come off and then the spring loaded internals are going to come flying out. To avoid this, pull the floor plate off about half way and then use your free hand to secure the internals as you remove the floor plate the rest of the way.
Once you have them all apart. you’re going to have a table like this.
I cleaned everything with brake cleaner and let it dry.
The parkerized finish did not let the follower slide as easy as I would like so I coated the inside of the magazine, follower, and spring with Super Lube Dri-Film Lubricant. Basically it is a PTFE (Teflon) in a solvent. So, you spray it on, the solvent evaporates and a film of PTFE remains. I like this because it lubricates without attracting dirt.
The white are the PTFE particles left after evaporation. All you need to care about is the inside. This is just extra that leaked out and I thought it would help to show what it looks like. Super Lube sounds like an infomercial brand but their lubricants are really good. The PTFE made a remarkable difference in how smooth the follower moved. Parkerized surfaces are rough and either they need to wear in or have something like PTFE to help.
To clean them up and make them look nice, I apply silicone spray and then wipe it off with a towel. I then let them evaporate for a while.

Fitting the Mags

Out of the eight mags I bought, three of them needed some help as they would not seat fully. In these cases, modify the magazine. If you told me none fit, I would look at the mag catch but in this case most fit so the issue was the mags.

I did not have a problem with any feed lips. The problems were all with the strip of sheet metal that is holding the mag catch tab. If you look close, it’s the strip hitting the receiver that is blocking seating the mag fully.
To resolve the issue, I used a small flap sander on my Dremel and put a beveled edge on the strip where it was hitting. Problem solved.

To do any testing with dummy rounds – not live rounds. I use A-Zoom brand dummy rounds, just FYI and I also was using my surplus steel Galil mags at this point because my 922r parts count was being met thanks to the new fire control group.

To test, I loaded up 10 of the blue A-Zoom snap caps and made sure they would cycle. In terms of hand feeding and extracting, I have to say JRA nailed it. The action was smooth and the Gallant fed from the surplus mags just as smoothly as the Tapco mag.

The mags look and function great as a result. Some of the mags did require some fitting so let me explain that next.

In Summary:

I can now use surplus mags like I wanted thanks to the ALG fire control group and these cleaned up mags. I hope this post helps you out.

Note, I have to buy all of my parts – nothing here was paid for by sponsors, etc. I do make a small amount if you click on an ad and buy something but that is it. You’re getting my real opinion on stuff.

If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.