Am I the only one who hates rotary magazines?

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WarpathEngineering

Single-Sixer
Joined
Nov 26, 2006
Messages
107
I've had a target grey 77/22 for several years now and it's one of my best shooting rifles but I'm seriously thinking of getting rid of it. I have bought probably a dozen 10 round magazines and every one has failed with little use. I once bought 3 new mags prior to an Appleseed and none of them made it thru the 2 day event without malfunction and I was forced to early because I didn't have any way to load the rifle. I've have some that haven't been taken apart, some that have and been cleaned (never lubricated!) and some that have been flushed out with lighter fluid and none of it has made a difference. Every last one of them will stop rotating at some point and were not talking after thousands of rounds either, more like less than 200.

Case in point. This weekend, I took my nephew out for his first time behind a rifle. I took along the last 2 mags that were in my still works pile. The first mag loaded 2 rounds thru the rifle before it quit entirely. I ejected the mag, turned it upside down to rap it on the bench and 2 rounds fell out onto the ground and the follower never advanced. I brought it home with 6 rounds still in it. The 2nd mag fed about 40 rounds and after that we had to rap it on the bench almost every other round to get it to load. I brought along a new BX-15 hoping the single stack orientation would solve the problem. When locked in the rifle, if you can call it that, it wobbled so much that I had to hold constant upwards pressure for it even to strip off rounds into the chamber.

What the hell is going on? Is it the rifle that's the problem and it's ruining the mags or have I just bought every bad mag out there? The rifle is in excellent shape and the magazine retention button moves freely and has plenty of spring tension.

I'm tempted to send the rifle and all the mags back to Ruger but I'm concerned they would remove the aftermarket sights I've put on it.

Any ideas you may have would be great!
 

coach

Hunter
Joined
Aug 28, 2007
Messages
3,485
My somewhat limited experience with them has been to take them apart and clean them when they get sticky. The blowback action of the 10/22 seems to crud them up.
I wouldn't expect that from a 77/22. I haven't bought any new mags in years so I don't know if things are different.
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
20,821
I must be an exception.
I threw together a hodge-podge of 10/22 parts yesterday, grabbed an odd older 10/22 mag out of a pouch, as well as a spare one. I loaded both up, and went to my range. Not a single hiccup at all. I then took a NOS 22 mag magazine, loaded it up with 17 HMR ammo, and proceeded to use it in my 77/17 a bunch.
No problems here.
 

Rick Courtright

Hawkeye
Joined
Mar 10, 2002
Messages
7,745
Hi,

I bought a 10/22 about 1980, along with a couple of extra mags. They just got swabbed down and out as well as a Q-tip and some Hoppes No. 9 can do, until after about 25 years, one of 'em started getting sluggish. Then I finally got brave and took 'em all apart for a complete cleaning. Put 'em back together with a touch of lube and what I hoped was appropriate spring tension per Interwebs instruction, and they've worked fine since. Counting on my fingers and toes, I think that means there's only about15 more years 'til I've gotta do it again! ;)

OTOH, I've heard a higher than expected number of complaints about the rotary mags in the last few years. It sounded like Ruger had started outsourcing them, and the vendor was building them using Ruger's famous QC standards ("what's 'QC' mean?") Inadequate spring tension was commonly blamed for problems. So it sounds like a good idea with any newer one to take it apart even before it's ever shot, clean it, debur anything that looks rough, lube it and put it back together with just a little more spring tension than normal until it wears in. In a word well known to many Rugerphiles, "finish" it.

Couldn't hurt... methinks this is a good example of what my old gunsmith boss used to say: "Ruger's designed a lot of good guns. They just haven't made one of them yet." The rotary mag itself is a good design... but as is often said, the devil's in the details!

Rick C
 

Jwp721

Single-Sixer
Joined
Mar 22, 2013
Messages
108
Bought my 10/22 and 1 additional magazine back in the early 80's. They have never been disassembled or cleaned in any way expect a surface clean and still work flawlessly. Can't beat the stuff built in the olden days.
 
Joined
Mar 24, 2002
Messages
5,291
I love Rugers rotary magazines, when they work.

My older magazines have always worked well, and continue to do so. The newer magazines are a crapshoot. When I have a new or nearly new magazine that doesn't work, I just grab another one. I keep spares. They're cheap. Interesting way Ruger does business nowadays. :mrgreen:

Very recently Heliman and I were shooting a newly acquired 10/22. The magazine was brand new, and did not work. This trend of poorly functioning rotary magazines seems to be here to stay.

Many of us still buy Rugers, thinking how great they used to be. This QC problem that Ruger inflicts upon themselves will catch up to them some day, and the old-time Ruger fanboys will not be around to keep them afloat.

WAYNO.
 

eveled

Hunter
Joined
Apr 3, 2012
Messages
3,672
I have never had a problem with a rotary mag. The only two I have are from the 60's.
 

humdinger

Bearcat
Joined
Feb 19, 2010
Messages
43
I'm noticing a trend on older magazines...
Anyone have links or you tube videos for the dest cleaning & lubing?

My 10/22 has me frustrated with mag performance... and I'm sure my 77/22 will eventually go need attention too... although it is older.
 

Rick Courtright

Hawkeye
Joined
Mar 10, 2002
Messages
7,745
humdinger said:
Anyone have links or you tube videos for the dest cleaning & lubing?

Hi,

One of 'em I like is from Brownell's:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1UqbT2CFig

Rick C
 

Mobuck

Hawkeye
Joined
Dec 25, 2007
Messages
6,698
I've had more 17HMR/22WMR magazines fail than 10/22 mags. Never had much luck disassembling/cleaning/re-assembling any of the mags. When they fail to work, I put them in a box although I did take one 17 mag back to the dealer where I bought it when it didn't work right out of the package.
All that said, I appreciate the compact rotary design(makes it nicer to carry at the balance point) vs a longer single stack. I've seen plenty of the single stacks also fail miserably over the years.
 

WarpathEngineering

Single-Sixer
Joined
Nov 26, 2006
Messages
107
So it sounds like I just need to keep buying them until I get a couple that work. Now that is a marketing scheme if I ever heard of one.
 

Ol'Freak

Bearcat
Joined
May 26, 2013
Messages
51
First time one is apart for cleaning I’ll also deburr the innards where necessary, then wipe off any CLP still in the form of a standing liquid before the reassembly, giving ‘em one full turn of spring preload which has proven to be plenty enuf for a deburred magazine that’s still reasonably clean inside. It’ll run better than new for another several thousand or so rounds before it’ll begin hinting that another good cleaning is due.
 

Rick Courtright

Hawkeye
Joined
Mar 10, 2002
Messages
7,745
WarpathEngineering said:
So it sounds like I just need to keep buying them until I get a couple that work. Now that is a marketing scheme if I ever heard of one.

Hi,

Welcome to Ruger, Ver. 2015!

You might want to send an e-mail to Mike Fifer about how pleased you are with the products you've purchased so far and just how impressed you are with this scheme. [/sarcasm] Don't expect anything in return, but he does claim to read every e-mail he gets! Just MNSHO: Ruger owners should jam his mailbox with their stories. He gets paid about $15/minute, and since working to improve the company's QC program doesn't appear to take much time out of his day, he might as well earn some of his paycheck reading e-mails!

Rick C
 

Rumrunner

Hunter
Joined
Jun 19, 2006
Messages
4,019
Here is a neat looking helper. Also a video at bottom of page

http://borelsport.com/product/ruger-1022-magazine-assembly-tool/
 

WarpathEngineering

Single-Sixer
Joined
Nov 26, 2006
Messages
107
Ol'Freak said:
First time one is apart for cleaning I’ll also deburr the innards where necessary, then wipe off any CLP still in the form of a standing liquid before the reassembly, giving ‘em one full turn of spring preload which has proven to be plenty enuf for a deburred magazine that’s still reasonably clean inside. It’ll run better than new for another several thousand or so rounds before it’ll begin hinting that another good cleaning is due.
Just out of curiosity, what do you usually find inside one that needs to be deburred? I took the one mag I've got left (out of frustration, I tossed the rest), took it apart, cleaned and inspected it and the only thing I could see might be an issue was the tips of the cartridge channels had a tendency to rub on the feed lips so I lightly sanded the tips round with 320 grit sand paper. Other than that everything inside looked well rounded or with enough clearance not to be a problem.
 

Ol'Freak

Bearcat
Joined
May 26, 2013
Messages
51
Mostly casting “flash” or whatever it’s called when a tiny bit of plastic sometimes leaks past the edges of the mold. Once done with the cleaning, any deburr, and the “L” component of BreakFree CLP, think Teflon, has been allowed to soak into the pores, the rotor will spin freely fighting against no noticeable resistance.

One thing most important I fergits to mention, once the end pieces have been seated via putting a fair degree of snug on the one screw holding the whole mess together, back off from that “fair snug” a small fraction like ~ 1/16th of a turn. This’ll help to relax any distortion of the plastic parts maybe due to too fair a snug and that could put the rotor in a bind.
 

WarpathEngineering

Single-Sixer
Joined
Nov 26, 2006
Messages
107
Well I took my newly cleaned, deburred and adjusted mag to the range and I have another problem. Either the rifle doesn't like the Federal Auto Match (first time I've tried it) or the mag isn't sitting high enough at the front to feed reliably. In order to get the mag to consistently feed I had to put upward pressure at the front of the mag to get it to strip the rounds off. I ended up with a couple of rounds where the rounds stuck trying to feed into the chamber at too steep an angle and the bullets either came out bent or showed marks where the lead was shaved back to a small shelf just ahead of the case mouth. Thinking it's time to send it back to Ruger and I think I'll include the 10rd & 15rd mag and hopefully they will try them both out.
 

Ol'Freak

Bearcat
Joined
May 26, 2013
Messages
51
I’m a guessing that the magazine retention/release vibes for a 77/22 and 10/22 are very much similar.

Any contact by the stock with the magazine can shift a magazine out of position. On a 10/22, by far more often than not it’ll be stock contact causing the problem when a magazine seems it’s out of position. File or sand inside the stock’s magazine well until there is none.

The head of the screw that holds the magazine together stands proud of its surroundings on the front end of the magazine. The front of the magazine gets positioned when that screw head is funneled into a conical depression machined on the backside of that wall hanging from near the front of the receiver down across the front of the magazine. Spring tension in the mag release vibes from the rear shoves the magazine forward until butted against the backside of that wall, or unless there’s a booger on the conical wall preventing the screw head from fully entering into the machined depression, so check it fer a booger if the front end of the magazine seems it’s too low and/or not fully forward so butted to the backside of the receiver wall.

The mag release vibes position the magazine’s backside. There’s a teat with a slight taper to it projecting from a hex nut housed on the back wall of the magazine, the same hex nut used in tweaking the magazine’s rotor spring preload. That teat drops down into a hole on the nose of the mag release plunger. The positioning of the magazine’s backside is dependent on the fit of the teat down in its hole centered on the mag release plunger’s nose, the fit of the mag release plunger in its bore, and in the range of travel that’s ultimately granted the magazine release plunger. The teat needs to freely enter and exit its hole on the nose of the release plunger. The fits between everybody should not allow room for the magazine’s backside to wander about. The release plunger should stroke over its full range of travel without sticking, and the release plunger spring is what shoves the magazine fully forward and into position.
 

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