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Ruger 10/22 Magazine Cleaning

I've had my Ruger 10/22 since the mid-70s.  I've shot many bricks of ammo through it and all it has ever needed is the occasional cleaning and a bit of lube.  So it was my first choice for a rifle to use at the upcoming Appleseed shoot.  After picking up a few new Ruger magazines for the Appleseed weekend, I realized my old mags were overdue for a good cleaning.  I thought I would snap a few photos while I disassembled them and share it here on the site.

Before I get started, just a note to let you know that there is a spring inside the magazine.  It's not likely that parts are going to go shooting across the room or into your face but none the less, be careful as you don't want to lose anything.

disassembling 10-22 magazine #1

The magazine is held together with a screw that runs through the middle of it.  A 9/64" hex (allen) wrench is needed to take the magazine apart.  If you don't have one, you can pick one up at your local hardware store for about a dollar or get a whole set for under $10. 

disassembling 10-22 magazine #2

As you remove the screw from the magazine, the opposite side of the magazine (end cap) will come loose.  There is a hex nut pressed into the end cap and it may or may not readily come out....I've found some do and others are a little persistent and stick in the end cap.  If it sticks in the cap, you can push it out with your thumb easy enough once you remove the end cap from the magazine.  If the hex nut is loose, as you unscrew the screw, the nut may spin a bit as it is under spring tension.  Not to worry, we'll take care of that during magazine assembly.

In the above photo, please note the yellow circle I've drawn around a small hole in the hex nut.  It is this small hole that the end of the magazine spring fits in when you reassemble the magazine.  This spring is responsible for "powering" the rotor, so to speak.  More about that later.

disassembling 10-22 magazine #3

With the end cap off, the magazine lips, rotor, and screw are all removed from the magazine body.  Note the position of the metal magazine lips and how they fit into the body of the magazine.  Likewise, the rotor is not symmetrical and so note which end of it engages the body.

At this point, the parts can be cleaned with an appropriate cleaner/solvent.  I use Hoppe's #9 on mine.  It doesn't seem to cause any problems with the synthetic material used in the magazine.  I'm not sure all gun solvents fall into that category so check the label/directions just to be safe.

OK.....we'll assume the cleaning task is complete and it is time to reassemble the magazine.  Don't lube the internal components.  The lube will only mix with the powder residue and gum things up. 

disassembling 10-22 magazine #4

The fins on the rotor are all the same length except for one that is longer (circled in yellow).  The "X" on the rotor denotes the end of the rotor that is inserted into the magazine body.

disassembling 10-22 magazine #5

Insert the magazine lips into the body.  The end of the lips with the larger diameter pin goes first into the body.  The rotor is then inserted into the body.  Orient the rotor so that the long fin rotates (clockwise) up and into the magazine lips.  Insert the screw into the body from the other end of the magazine body. 

disassembling 10-22 magazine #6

With the end plate set into position, note the end of the spring as it protrudes through the end cap.  This small tip on the end of the spring fits into the small hole on the hex nut (mentioned earlier). 

Place the hex nut into the end cap and carefully align the nut so that the spring catches the hole.

The hex nut must now be rotated clockwise 1 and a half turns to properly tension the rotor spring.  By doing this, the rotor will have enough force applied to it to allow the cartridges to properly feed from the magazine.  Some folks use a small pair of pliers to hold the next nut in place while rotating the magazine body, which works well too.  When you have the appropriate turns on the nut, carefully press it into the end cap and tighten the screw using the hex wrench. 

After the magazine was assembled, I grabbed 10 rounds of 22LR and loaded/unloaded the magazine to ensure the rotor moved without any snags. 

That's it.  One Ruger 10/22 mag cleaned and ready to go.  As you can see, it is fairly easy to disassemble the magazine and certainly worth the effort to keep it in good condition.  Good shooting! 





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