Drum magazine

A drum magazine is a type of high-capacity magazine for firearms.[1] Cylindrical in shape (similar to a drum), drum magazines store rounds in a spiral around the center of the magazine, facing the direction of the barrel. Drum magazines are contrasted with more common box-type magazines, which have a lower capacity and store rounds flat.[2] The capacity of drum magazines varies, but is generally between 50 and 100 rounds.[3]

Beta C-Mag on M4
An example of a Beta C-Mag double drum design in use on M4A1 Carbine
Thompson in violin case
Thompson in violin case, with a 20-round box and 50 round drum magazines
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-E0406-0022-011, Russland, deutscher Kriegsgefangener
Red Army soldier armed with a drum-equipped PPSh-41 marches a German soldier into captivity after the Battle of Stalingrad, 1943.
Finnish soldiers 1944
Finnish soldier with a drum-equipped KP/-31 during the Continuation War against the Soviet Union
Double drum magazine filled
Schematic illustrations of a Beta C‑magazine filled with 100 cartridges.
Double drum magazine empty
double drum magazine empty.

History and usage

The first drum magazine was patented in 1853 by Charles N. Tyler.[4] A drum magazine was built for the Luger (Pistole 1908) pistol);[5] although the Luger usually used an 8-cartridge box magazine, the optional 32-cartridge Schneckenmagazine ("snail magazine") was also sometimes used.[6] Moubray G. Farquhar and Arthur H. Hill, applied for a British patent for "A New or Improved Cartridge Magazine for Small Arms and Machine Guns" in 1915 for their Farquhar–Hill rifle, and it was accepted in 1919.[7]

The Soviet PPSh-41 submachine gun which used 7.62mm caliber ammunition, could use either a 35-round box magazine or a 71-round drum magazine, and the latter was most common.[8]

The Thompson submachine gun ("Tommy gun") used a drum magazine in its classic form, but the drum magazines for this weapon were abandoned on the World War II models.[9] The M1921 Thompsons could accommodate either 20-round box magazines or 50-round cylindrical drum magazines; the latter were known as "L drums" because "L" is the Latin numeral for 50.[10] An 100-round "C drum" magazine (the letter standing for the Roman numeral for 100) was available, but weighed more than eight pounds and pushed the total weight of the gun to almost 20 pounds (9.1 kg).[11] The M1928 Navy and M1928A1 variants, used by the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps, could also accept drum magazines, but standard box magazines were more popular due to the drum magazines' weight and tendency to jam.[12]

Today, drum magazines are manufactured for a variety of firearm platforms, including, among others, the Ruger Mini-14 in .223 caliber; the Kalashnikov rifle (AK) and its variants; firearms using M-16 and AR-15-type magazines, and the H&K MP-5.[13] The AR-180 uses drum magazines exclusively.[14]

Drum magazines once had a reputation for unreliability, but technological improvements resulted in better performance and cheaper cost.[15] As a result, drum magazines became more common in the civilian market in the United States, although they are far less common than standard, lower-capacity box magazines.[15] As of 2019, about six manufacturers produced drum magazine in the United States, retailing for about $100 each.[15] Manufacturers include KCI USA and Magpul Industries; the latter produces the same drum magazines for both civilian and military use.[15]

Regulation in the United States

Drum magazines have been used in a number of high-profile mass shootings in the United States, fueling calls to ban drum magazines and other high-capacity magazines from civilian use.[15] Drum magazines were used in the shooting massacres in Aurora, Colorado, in 2012;[16][17] Las Vegas, Nevada in 2017 (the deadliest mass shooting in the history of the United States); and Dayton, Ohio, in 2019, allowing gunmen to fire dozens of rounds in very short periods of time, without the need to stop to reload.[15][18] Experts have identified restrictions on high-capacity magazines as a factor that could make mass shooting attacks less deadly.[18]

Between 1994 and 2004, the Federal Assault Weapons Ban prohibited new magazines over 10 rounds in the United States.[19][15] After the expiration of the ban, there is no nationwide prohibition against the possession of drum magazines, which are considered an regulated firearm accessory.[15] However, as of 2019, ten states set a maximum limit on the capacity of magazines, including California, New York, and Colorado,[15] plus the District of Columbia.[18]


  1. ^ Walker 2013, p. 229-30.
  2. ^ Walker 2013, p. 229-30.
  3. ^ Walker 2013, p. 229-30.
  4. ^ U.S. Patent 9701.
  5. ^ Walker 2013, p. 230.
  6. ^ "Luger Schneckenmagazine" in The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Small Arms (ed. Rupert Matthews: Thunder Bay Press, 2014).
  7. ^ GB191508172 (A) (accepted March 6, 2019). European Patent Office.
  8. ^ Yenne 2009, p. 208.
  9. ^ Yenne 2009, p. 7, 117, 208.
  10. ^ Yenne 2009, p. 48.
  11. ^ Yenne 2009, p. 48.
  12. ^ Yenne 2009, p. 86.
  13. ^ Walker 2013, p. 230.
  14. ^ Walker 2013, p. 230.
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i Ben Kesling & Zusha Elinson, Mass Shootings Draw Attention to 'Drum Magazines', Wall Street Journal (August 16, 2019).
  16. ^ Pearce, Matt (July 22, 2012). "Gun's magazine shaped the pace of Colorado theater massacre". Los Angeles Times.
  17. ^ Goode, Erica (December 16, 2012). "Rifle Used in Killings, America's Most Popular, Highlights Regulation Debate". The New York Times.
  18. ^ a b c Griff Witte, As mass shootings rise, experts say high-capacity magazines should be the focus, Washington Post (August 18, 2019).
  19. ^ Walker 2013, p. 230.


  • Yenne, Bill (2009). Tommy Gun: How General Thompson's Submachine Gun Wrote History. Thomas Dunne Books.
  • Walker, Robert E. (2013). Cartridges and Firearm Identification. CRC Press.
Atchisson Assault Shotgun

The Auto Assault-12 (AA-12), originally designed and known as the Atchisson Assault Shotgun, is a shotgun developed in 1972 by Maxwell Atchisson. The most prominent feature is reduced recoil. The current 2005 version has been developed over 18 years since the patent was sold to Military Police Systems, Inc. The original design was the basis of several later weapons, including the USAS-12 combat shotgun. The weapon operates in fully automatic only. However, the relatively low cyclic rate of 300 rounds per minute allows the operator to fire one round at a time with brief trigger pulls. It is fed from either an 8-shell box magazine, or a 20- or 32-shell drum magazine.

Beta C-Mag

The Beta C-Mag is a 100-round capacity drum magazine manufactured by the Beta Company. It was designed by Jim Sullivan and first patented in 1987 and has been adapted for use in numerous firearms firing the 5.56×45mm NATO, 7.62×51mm NATO, and 9×19mm Parabellum cartridges. C-Mag is short for century magazine, referring to its hundred-round capacity. It has two drum units, each of which hold half of the cartridges inserted into the magazine. The latest version of the magazine is available with a transparent backing to allow the user to see the number of rounds remaining in the magazine. A C-Mag loaded with 5.56×45mm NATO ammunition typically weighs about 2.1 kg (4.63 lb); a C-Mag loaded with 7.62×51mm NATO ammunition weighs 4.77 kg (10.5 lb).

A version adapted for the M16 rifle is used by the U.S. military. The magazine design, including drawings, is covered in detail in U.S. Patent 4,658,700.

Clark Polak

Clark Philip Polak (15 October 1937–18 September 1980) was an American businessman, publisher, journalist, and LGBT activist.

Polak was from a Jewish middle-class family in Philadelphia. He was the youngest son of Arthur Marcus Polak and Ann Polak.

After withdrawing from Pennsylvania State University, Polak became the owner of Frankford Personnel and Northeast Advertising Service. He was an active and outspoken member of the gay community in Philadelphia, and had a leading role in the Philadelphia-based homophile organization, the Janus Society. In 1964, he created and edited DRUM magazine, a low-budget early gay-interest periodical. Polak argued for the importance of gay sexual liberation, which had been avoided in the struggle for gay rights. In 1969, after he was indicted by a federal grand jury on 18 counts of publishing and distributing obscene material, Polak ceased publication of DRUM and moved to Los Angeles, where he became a real estate investor and art collector. He also wrote a series of articles in the Los Angeles Free Press between January 1974 and January 1975.In 1980, Polak committed suicide in Los Angeles.


DRUM! is a North American educational drumming magazine. It features artist profiles, product reviews, lessons and advanced transcriptions covering rock, pop and related styles of music. The magazine was launched in 1991 with Andy Doerschuk as editor. In the 1990s it gained a reputation for its coverage of younger drummers in contemporary styles such as punk, rap-rock, and metal. It was the first magazine to feature artists such as Tré Cool (Green Day), Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Travis Barker (Blink-182) and others on its covers.

Drum (South African magazine)

DRUM is a South African family magazine mainly aimed at black readers containing market news, entertainment and feature articles. It has two sister magazines: Huisgenoot (aimed at White and Coloured Afrikaans-speaking readers) and YOU (aimed at demographically diverse South African English-speaking readers of different ethnicities to inform, inspire and entertain them by offering its own brand of coverage on current events and interesting people).

In 2005 it was described as "the first black lifestyle magazine in Africa", but it is noted chiefly for its early 1950s and 1960s reportage of township life under apartheid.

Janus Society

The Janus Society was an early homophile organization founded in 1962 and based in Philadelphia. It is notable as the publisher of DRUM magazine, one of the earliest LGBT-interest publications in the United States and most widely circulated in the 1960s, and for its role in organizing many of the nation's earliest LGBT rights demonstrations. The Janus Society takes its name from the Roman two-faced God Janus of beginnings, endings, and doorways. The organization focused on a policy of militant respectability, a strategy demanding respect by showing the public LGBT individuals conforming to hetero-normative standards of dress at protests. Due to its close ties with DRUM (LGBT publication) and Clark Polak's various sex businesses, the Janus Society faced increasing scrutiny and harassment from local, state, and federal authorities, eventually ceasing operations in 1969 weeks before the Stonewall Riots after Polak was arrested on federal obscenity charges. On Friday, February 21, 1964, president of the Mattachine Society of Washington, D.C., Dr. Franklin E. Kameny, gave a free lecture on homosexual discrimination at the New Century Club. This free lecture was sponsored by the Janus Society, and talked about the fight against employment, education and housing discrimination's against the LGBT community.

Jason Bittner

Jason Bittner (born January 11, 1970 in Niskayuna, New York) is an American drummer, best known as the drummer for American metal band Shadows Fall. He is also the current drummer for Overkill since 2017, and was the drummer for the thrash metal bands Toxik from 2013 to 2014 and Flotsam and Jetsam from 2014 to 2017.

He has won numerous awards including the Modern Drummer Magazine reader poll for #1 Up and Coming Drummer of 2004, and in 2005, #1 Best Recorded Performance for the Shadows Fall album The War Within, #1 Metal drummer (2005/2006) #2 Clinician DRUM! magazine 2011. He is recognized for his tight playing, extensive skill with double bass drumming, particularly his ability to play complex patterns at high speeds, and his familiarity with numerous styles of drumming, including Latin and jazz.

List of awards and nominations received by Korn

Korn is an American nu metal band from Bakersfield, California, formed in 1993. The band's current lineup includes founding members Jonathan Davis (vocals, bagpipes), James "Munky" Shaffer (guitar), Brian "Head" Welch (guitar, backing vocals), and Reginald "Fieldy" Arvizu (bass), with the addition of Ray Luzier (drums), who replaced the band's original member, David Silveria in 2007. Korn was originally formed by three of the members of the band L.A.P.D.. Among their awards, Korn has earned two Grammy Awards out of eight nominations and two MTV Video Music Awards out of eleven nominations.

List of awards and nominations received by Rush

The Canadian rock band Rush has received many awards throughout its career. Individually, the members of Rush have been recognized for their instrumental abilities through various magazine publications and polls. In recognition of the band as a whole, awards include various Junos, Grammy nominations, topping miscellaneous Canadian music polls, and induction into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, and American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

MG 81 machine gun

The MG 81 was a German belt fed 7.92×57mm Mauser machine gun, used in flexible installations in World War II Luftwaffe aircraft, replacing the older drum magazine-fed MG 15.

The MG 81 was developed by Mauser as a derivative of their successful MG 34 general-purpose machine gun. Development focus was to reduce production cost and time and to optimize the machine gun for use in aircraft. Developed in 1938/1939, it was in production from 1940 to 1945.

A special twin-mount MG 81Z (the Z suffix stands for Zwilling, meaning "twin") was introduced in 1942. It paired up two of the weapons on one mount to provide even more firepower with a maximum cyclic rate of fire of 3,200 rounds per minute without requiring much more space than a standard machine gun.

Towards the end of the war many specimens were delivered to the army and equipped for use in ground battles with shoulder rest and bipod.


The PPSh-41 (pistolet-pulemyot Shpagina; Russian: Пистолет-пулемёт Шпагина; "Shpagin machine pistol") is a Soviet submachine gun designed by Georgy Shpagin as a cheap, reliable, and simplified alternative to the PPD-40. Common nickname is "papasha" (Russian: папаша), meaning "daddy".

The PPSh is a magazine-fed selective fire submachine gun using an open bolt, blowback action. Made largely of stamped steel, it can be loaded with either a box or drum magazine and fires the 7.62×25mm Tokarev pistol round.

The PPSh saw extensive combat use during World War II and the Korean War. It was one of the major infantry weapons of the Soviet Armed Forces during World War II. Around six million PPSh-41s were manufactured. In the form of the Chinese Type 50 (licensed copy), it was still being used by the Viet Cong as late as 1970. According to the 2002 edition of the Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II the PPSh was still in use with irregular militaries.

Parker Kindred

Parker Kindred is an American drummer who played in the band of Jeff Buckley, appearing on his unfinished second album, Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk in 1997, as well as playing live with Buckley and the rest of his band at Arlene's Grocery on February 9, 1997. Kindred was introduced to Buckley through Mick Grøndahl, then Buckley's bassist, as a replacement for previous drummer Matt Johnson.

After Buckley's death Kindred continued to work with the other band members on other projects in New York City. Kindred, with Michael Tighe and Buckley's then-girlfriend, Joan Wasser, formed Black Beetle. Shortly after Wasser embarked on a solo career and the band split up. However Tighe and Kindred continued to play together and later went on to form The A.M. with bassist Andrew Wyatt. Their debut self-titled LP was released in 2003 by Storm Music.

Since then he has worked with numerous other artists including Antony and the Johnsons, Joan As Police Woman, Amen Dunes, Cass McCombs, Minor Alps, Luke Temple , Adam Green, Grand Mal, White Bike and Mike Bones.

The UK's best-selling drum magazine Rhythm featured a two-page article on Kindred in January 2009.


The RPK (Ruchnoy Pulemyot Kalashnikova, Russian: РПК Ручной пулемёт Калашникова or "Kalashnikov hand-held machine gun") is a 7.62×39mm light machine gun of Soviet design, developed by Mikhail Kalashnikov in the late 1950s, parallel with the AKM assault rifle. It was created as part of a program designed to standardize the small arms inventory of the Red Army, where it replaced the 7.62×39mm RPD light machine gun. The RPK continues to be used by the armed forces of countries of the former Soviet Union and certain African and Asian nations. The RPK is also manufactured in Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia.

Submachine gun

A submachine gun (SMG) is a magazine-fed, automatic carbine designed to shoot handgun cartridges. The term "submachine gun" was coined by John T. Thompson, the inventor of the Thompson submachine gun.The submachine gun was developed during World War I (1914–1918). At its peak during World War II (1939–1945), millions of SMGs were made as close quarter offensive weapons. After the war, new SMG designs appeared frequently. However, by the 1980s, SMG usage decreased. Today, submachine guns have been largely replaced by assault rifles, which have a greater effective range and are capable of penetrating the helmets and body armor used by modern infantry. However, submachine guns are still used by military special forces and police SWAT teams for close quarters battle (CQB) because they are "a pistol-caliber weapon that's easy to control, and less likely to over-penetrate the target".

Suomi KP/-31

The Suomi KP/-31 (Suomi-konepistooli or "Finland-submachine gun", literally: "Finland Machine-pistol") is a submachine gun (SMG) of Finnish design that was mainly used during World War II. It is a descendant of the M-22 prototype and the KP/-26 production model, which was revealed to the public in 1925. The Suomi-konepistooli KP/-31 is often abbreviated to Suomi KP.

The Suomi KP/-31 is regarded by many as one of the most successful submachine guns of World War II. It also had a profound effect on that conflict beyond Finland as the Soviet authorities, who had been dismissive of sub-machine guns, were persuaded of their deadly efficiency by the Finns after they attacked them in 1939. Its 71-round drum magazine was later copied and adopted by the Soviets for their PPD-40 and PPSh-41 submachine guns. Though a relatively early design, the Suomi was a formidable weapon: highly controllable and with accuracy superior to that of the mass-produced PPSh-41 thanks in part to a noticeably longer barrel, with the same exceptionally high rate of fire and an equally large magazine capacity. Its one major disadvantage was its high production cost, which led to the later introduction of the KP/-44, a close copy of the Soviet PPS-43 but accepting the existing magazines and drums for the KP/-31.

The M-22 and KP/-26 were made by Konepistooli Oy, founded by Master Armorer Aimo Lahti, Captain V. Korpela, Lieutenant Y. Koskinen and Lieutenant L. Boyer-Spoof. The Suomi KP/-31 was designed by Koskinen and Lahti.

Thompson submachine gun

The Thompson submachine gun is an American submachine gun invented by John T. Thompson in 1918 which became infamous during the Prohibition era, being a signature weapon of various organized crime syndicates in the United States. It was a common sight in the media of the time, being used by both law enforcement officers and criminals. The Thompson submachine gun was also known informally as the "Tommy Gun", "Tôm Sông", "Annihilator", "Chicago Typewriter", "Chicago Submachine", "Chicago Piano", "Chicago Style", "Chicago Organ Grinder", "Drum Gun","The Chopper", and simply "The Thompson".The Thompson was favored by soldiers, criminals, police, FBI, and civilians alike for its large .45 ACP cartridge and high volume of fully automatic fire. It has since gained popularity among civilian collectors for its historical significance. It has considerable significance in popular culture, especially in works about the Prohibition era and World War II, and is among the best-known firearms in history. The original fully automatic Thompsons are no longer produced, but numerous semi-automatic civilian versions are still being manufactured by Auto-Ordnance. These retain a similar appearance to the original models, but they have various modifications in order to comply with US firearm laws.

Ultimax 100

The Ultimax 100 is a Singapore-made 5.56mm light machine gun, developed by the Chartered Industries of Singapore (CIS, now ST Kinetics) by a team of engineers under the guidance of American firearms designer L. James Sullivan. The weapon is extremely accurate due to its constant-recoil operating system. It is considered one of the most lightweight machine guns in the world.Work on a new light support weapon for the Singapore Army began in 1978. The weapon is produced by CIS (presently STK—Singapore Technologies Kinetics), initially in the Mark 1 version, later—the Mark 2, and currently, in the Mark 3 and Mark 4 variant. The Ultimax 100 (also called the U 100) is used in significant numbers by the armed forces of Singapore, Croatia and the Philippines. The Mark 3 variant is currently used in the Singapore Armed Forces primarily as a support arm, and is both classified and known by soldiers as the SAW (Section Assault Weapon).

VMG 1927

The VMG 1927 is a light machine gun designed by Heinrich Vollmer.

In 1916 Heinrich Vollmer began working on a design of a light machine gun. At the end the weapon was known as a MG Vollmer, later also as VMG 1927.It consisted of only 78 parts while the standard MG of those days, the MG 08/15 consisted of 383 parts. It operated on the principle of short recoil with a rotary locking mechanism for the bolt, carried by helical grooves. It was fed from a small drum magazine underneath the receiver.

In 1927 Vollmer also obtained a patent covering the breech mechanism of the weapon. Later on, Vollmer co-developed the gun with Mauser Werke as the MV 31 (Mauser-Vollmer 1931). It was offered to the German ordnance board (Inspektion für Waffen und Gerät - IWG) but, after testing, it was not adopted for service. This guns had a quick-change barrel and used a drum magazine.Two examples are known to exist, one is at the Wehrtechnische Studiensammlung Koblenz and the other at the Vojenský historický ústav Praha.


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