Monday, April 6, 2009

Disassembling, Cleaning, and Reassembling your Ruger 10/22 Rotary Magazine

© 2009, 2010 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles™
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Among the skills you should have, being able to disassemble, clean, and reassemble your Ruger 10/22 magazine is important. The Ruger 10/22 rifle is a magnificent piece of engineering. A great firearm, and wonderful American made product. Easily personalized, it can be modified from a bull barreled tack driving machine to a "Tacti-Kool" weapon, at your whim or discretion.

The rotary magazine is another fantastic piece of engineering. But sometimes it fails to feed well. These malfunctions are primarily caused by a dirty magazine. 22 rimfire ammunition is notoriously dirty and causes all sorts of mischief in the works. Though it looks complicated, it really isn't difficult to disassemble, clean, and reassemble the the Ruger rotary magazine. We are going to do a step by step process to make sure you can disassemble and reassemble your 10/22 magazine.

Note from Albert: Mr. Gordon McKinney has graciously created a PDF of the following at his web site The PDF is available at Cleaning your 10/22 Magazine.


The first thing to do is make sure the Ruger 10/22 magazine is unloaded.

Using a 9/64th allen wrench, loosen the screw at the front of the magazine. Don't remove it completely yet.

Push the cap nut out with the screw.
Keep a finger on it to keep it from falling free.

Remove the cap nut, and...

remove the screw.

Remove the magazine's end cap.

Remove the rotor and spring assembly.

Note the little tab on the end of the spring, and the long vane on the rotor.

Remove the feed lips.

Now the magazine is completely disassembled. Inspect all the parts for wear or damage, though unless it has been abused, it should be fine. Get some cleaning patches, some Hoppes #9, and a q-tip. Clean everything thoroughly.


You will notice that the feed lips have a large end and a...

a small end.

Replace the feed lips, the large end goes in first, and fits in the large hole.

Insert the rotor until it seats , spring end to the outside.

Once you have the rotor in, turn it clockwise until the long vane bumps up to the feed lips.

Replace end cover. The spring should extend out, and also take note of the spring end tab.

Take note of the small hole in the end cap nut.
The spring's tab must be inserted in that hole to allow the spring to be wound.

Align the spring tab with the hole and slip it on.

Like this.
Rotate the end cap nut eight notches (flats on the hex) clockwise, and press it in place. I found it easiest with my fingers holding the nut and the other hand rotating the magazine. Then I used my thumb to help press the nut in place.

Now, gently tighten the screw making sure it threads properly.
You do not need to wrench it down like a lug nut!

Your clean magazine, ready to be filled and used.

Load all ten rounds and check that the magazine operates properly, that all rounds cycle through without hesitation. Use the eraser end of the pencil to quickly strip the cartridges from the magazine. They should all eject easily, and the magazine should pop a new round up flawlessly. If necessary, tighten the end nut one flat at a time until reliable feeding commences. The Ruger 10/22 magazine requires no lubrication. Any oil will cause the magazine to gum up from debris. If you absolutely must because you are the type that has to lubricate things that move, then use powdered graphite.

Follow the rest of the maintenance series on the Ruger 10/22:

Disassemble the Ruger 10/22
Clean the Ruger 10/22
Assemble the Ruger 10/22

The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
The Range Reviews: Tactical


Anonymous said...

Albert, I really do like these step by step posts with pictures. It makes it a lot easier to follow and understand especially for thick headed guys like me.

native said...

Ditto for me too Albert,
I am slightly dyslexic and I will sometimes have to re-read a paragraph 2-3 times before it sinks in.

The pictures help tremendously!

Gun Slinger said...

Great pictures and good explanation of the process!

Shoot Straight,
Reviewing the Reviews

Anonymous said...

The photos are perfect!

Anonymous said...

Wish I had this to work from before I tried it on my own. Ended up tossing out the damn thing after it fell into pieces I could'nt reasemble. Good job on this -- well thought out and nicely presented!

Mike S said...


What I great tutorial! I'm going to give it a shot!

Mike S.

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

You really do have the knack of this, a great tutorial. How about a generic rifle strip, clean and build for us newbies? And a bare rifle to fully tweaked bases rings and scope.



Phil801 said...

Fantastic post! Love the pictures - you've taken the pictorial to a new level!

I haven't had any problems with any of my 10/22 mags yet, but I'm bookmarking this for when I do.

Unknown said...

I agree with the others on how good these photographs are.

Stephen Coote said...

Very well done thanks. As a new 10-22 owner I appreciate your clear instructions. Best wishes from New Zealand, Stephen Coote

Steve O' said...

I appreciate that you took the time to do this writeup. I'll add that fine steel wool works well to really get the metal lips clean (couldn't find my brass brush).

Spoonbill said...

Thanks for this VERY HELPFUL tutorial!!

I have a magazine that I have stored for years in a ziplock bag, that was all in pieces.

I found your page and I have just cleaned and rebuilt it!

After several attempts, it worked best for me to hold the magazine flat on the table with the hex nut facing up.

I marked my final target 'flat' using a sharpie. That winding sequence was the most tricky part.

Now I'm ready to head to the range and try it out!

Thanks again, Steve