Hello and welcome back to another edition of The Rimfire Report! In this week’s edition, I specifically want to talk about magazines for the Ruger 10/22 and similar platforms like the T/CR22. Both platforms are wildly popular with both rimfire enthusiasts and your average firearm’s owner. The 10/22 platform has been the beginning of many people’s firearms journey including my own and today it remains one of my favorite guns in my collection. Magazines being a core component of the 10/22 series means that there are a lot of aftermarket and factory options and today we’re going to go over my experiences over the years with several types of 10/22 magazines to find out what has been the most reliable one so far.
10/22 Rifles @ TFB:
- The Rimfire Report: The Pike Arms Gatling Gun Kit for Ruger 10/22 Rifles
- The Rimfire Report: Making Your 10/22 a Better Suppressor Host
- TFB’s Build Of The Week Series: Week 4: Doug M’s “Corona Light 10/22”
The Rimfire Report: The Most Reliable Ruger 10/22 Magazines
The Ruger BX-15 Single Stack Magazine
This has become my single most favorite magazine for the 10/22 platform. Through years of trying several different types of magazines with many types of ammo, I’ve finally settled on one I think perfectly blends increased capacity with impressive reliability. Even when paired with something like the Franklin Armory BFSIII 22–C1 Binary Trigger, the BX-15 magazine can keep up for some cathartic magazine dumps.
Another great thing about the BX-15 when compared to other curved 10/22 magazines is its reloadability when shooting from a bipod. The BX-15 is short enough to clear the ground as well as allow for easy seating of a fresh magazine all without having to move the rife off of the ground. Removal is made much simpler too with Ruger’s addition of the enhanced paddle magazine release which is standard on almost all 10/22 models now. Aside from some occasional hiccups, I’ve had better performance out of my BX-15 magazines when compared with the BX-25 magazine and similar 25-round 10/22 magazines.
The Tried and True BX-1 Rotary Magazine
This was the standard option for every new 10/22 owner. The BX-1 is a 10-round rotary magazine legal in all states and fairly inexpensive. For years, this was the only magazine I ever used even though larger capacity aftermarket magazines existed at the time. I don’t think anyone will disagree that this is pretty high on the list when it comes to 10/22 magazines as it’s just so dang reliable and simple.
They are so reliable, in fact, that I often don’t see many competitors using anything other than BX-1 or similar aftermarket 10-round magazines that have been linked together for quick reloads. The BX-1 is also small enough to fit in a pocket and doesn’t take any extra space up underneath the rifle making it extremely easy to shoot from a prone position with or without a bipod. The only downside of the BX-1 is its limited ammunition capacity, although I think for most applications this shouldn’t be much of a problem. The bottom line is that the BX-1 is hands-down the most reliable 10/22 magazine on the market.
Problems with 25-round 10/22 Magazines
A lot of Ruger 10/22 owners jumped at the chance to increase their magazine capacity back in 2011 with the release of the curved 25-round BX25 magazine – myself included. For the time being, I thought it was one of the best things to happen to the 10/22 platform, Bill Ruger be damned. However, right after their introduction between 2011 and 2012, a certain event occurred that seriously put a damper on the availability of these magazines as well as the ammunition I shot them with. Finding .22LR however, wasn’t nearly as difficult as finding new BX-25s.
I started looking into other magazines like the ones from Butler Creek and while those were quite inexpensive I found them lacking in the quality department. While the “Hot Lips” brand had issues with the feed lips wearing away quickly, the “Steel Lips” 25-round magazines seemed to lack inconsistent fitment and lackluster spring pressure leading to frequent failures to feed. BX-25 magazines should have been significantly better since they were coming from the company that made the 10/22 but over the years I’ve found that they tend to cause a significant amount of malfunctions without some modification to either that magazine or the gun itself.
I have heard everything from the dubious idea of “oiling the magazine” to placing a trimmed down spent casing into the spool of the follower. While that’s all well and good, why should I be modifying a stock part like a BX-25 magazine that is designed to be used for the rifle it’s made for? Ruger has tried several times to my knowledge to fix some of these issues and I still to this day get mixed results even out of bolt action rifles like the Ruger Precision Rimfire. It is this consistency of issues that has driven me away from the idea of 25-round magazines being reliable out of the box and I have since been sticking mostly to the phenomenal BX-15 magazines.
I know there is anecdotal evidence out there that “my BX-25, Butler Creek, etc works just fine in my rifle,” and I suppose my experience counts as anecdotal evidence as well. However, we are all molded by our experiences and observations and my observations have led me to conclude that Ruger really did have it right the first time when it came to the BX-1 rotary magazine. Since I was young the BX-1 has served as the gold standard for reliability in the 10/22 platform and since then I have personally found that the BX-15 is the only other 10/22 magazine that holds a candle to the original in terms of reliability.
I’d like to hear your thoughts on this subject. I’m sure a bunch of you disagree with me about the 25-round magazines and I’m sure many of you probably also disagree with the notion that the BX-1 is the most reliable 10/22 magazine out there. Let’s hash this out, what do you think the most reliable 10/22 magazine on the market is? Thanks as always for reading The Rimfire Report! I’m looking forward to your comments.
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