I’m not much for gadgets. Keep It Simple, Stupid (KISS). That’s my motto. So when they sent me this Maglula loader/unloader for my Ruger 10/22, I kind of sighed and pushed it to the back of the pile. After all, 10/22 magazines really aren’t difficult to load. I figured this was just another piece of overly complex plastic that would be broken in 15 minutes.
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Eventually, I dug the gadget out of the pile, figuring it was about time I gave it a once over to see if it was actually worthwhile.
The company has been around for years, and I’ve seen its products advertised. I’d never made the leap to try one out until my editor asked me to do a story on one. I figured, what do I have to lose?
Boy, was I an idiot!! I should have never waited! But first, before I go into detail, let’s take a look at the test rifle, the Ruger 10/22.
It’s been around since 1964, the old 10/22. It’s probably America’s best-selling rifle. Why? It’s inexpensive. Accurate. Reliable. Light. Short. Available. Customizable (in fact, a massive cottage industry of aftermarket parts has sprung up). It balances so well and somewhat resembles one of WWII’s popular weapons, The M-1 Carbine. It doesn’t look threatening to people in its basic form, so it doesn’t scare folks.
Did I mention that they’re reliable? These little carbines just keep on running and running. My 10/22s have eaten every single brand of ammunition that I have fed them—even the cheap bulk-pack stuff. And if there does happen to be an issue, Ruger’s warranty will cover it.
How popular is it? Over seven million have been sold! Try finding another commercially sold firearm to match that number! That’s a lot of rifles!
Although it’s been made in other calibers, the most popular has been the .22 Long Rifle. Cheap ammo, low muzzle blast, practically no recoil—all factors that add to its desirability.
The weight of the average 10/22 is about 5.5 pounds, depending upon the configuaration.
There are target models, all-weather models with stainless finish, models with wooden stocks, synthetic stocks, heavy barrels, light barrels, suppressed models (some of which have been used by law enforcement and the military)…the list never ends! There’s even the Charger, a little pistol model with a bipod on the forend.
The vast majority of people who are “into” guns have at least one Ruger 10/22. If you don’t have one yet, I recommend that you check one out and purchase it as soon as possible.
Don’t worry, I’m gradually building up to the Maglula loader. It’s prudent to talk a little bit about the magazines first.
Ruger very astutely figured that there would be a huge market for higher capacity magazines than the standard 10-rounder that comes standard with each rifle. And they were right.
The 10-round magazine has its merits, to be sure. First, it fits flush with the stock, so it doesn’t stick out the bottom, which can be nice for prone or firing from the bench. And unfortunately, some people live in areas that don’t legally allow higher-capacity magazines. If you’re “hampered” by the 10-round limitation, take heart; they are good magazines, and ten rounds is still ten rounds.
They now offer the BX-15 magazine, which holds 15 rounds). I like these magazines quite a bit because they don’t extend terribly far underneath the stock of the 10/22, yet still hold a decent amount of ammunition.
They also have the BX-25 magazine, which holds 25 rounds).
There’s also the BX-25×2, which is two 25-round magazines molded together, so it holds 50 rounds. These are the ultimate if you’re after serious firepower! Ruger includes a soft, polymer cover to place over the feed lips of the magazine to protect the exposed end from dirt and crud.
These magazines are sturdily made of heavy polymers on the outside, with metal on the inside and metal feed lips. Like the 10/22 they are made for, they’re extremely reliable. And their cost is relatively modest, so we can afford to buy several. They make range sessions so much more fun because we can just keep blasting away!
And speaking of blasting away, I like to use CCI’s Mini Mag 40-grain copper-plated ammunition. CCI is the gold standard by which most .22LR ammo is compared to.
Another thing that these full-capacity magazines do is elevate the 10/22 to the level of a serious defensive arm. For home defense, 25 rounds of .22LR are something to be reckoned with. Normally, the .22 isn’t looked upon as a powerful, defensive caliber. But with a 25-round magazine or three on hand, you’ll be able to repel boarders pretty efficiently. At close range, I believe it would be effective.
Another consideration is that the .22’s muzzle blast and noise level inside a structure would be far less than higher caliber firearms.
The Maglula Loader
Ruger’s 10/22 carbine is so popular that Maglula specifically made a loader/unloader just for this rifle. That, in itself, speaks volumes as to how influential this carbine has become over the decades.
My initial concerns about it being complicated were unfounded. It’s really pretty simple to operate. Just slip the loader over the top of a magazine (and it fits them all, from the 10-rounders to the 50-rounders). The loader clicks onto the rear latch that secures the magazines inside the 10/22’s magazine well. That way, the loader is held in place very securely.
At that point, depress the lever on top to push the magazine follower down so the first round can be inserted. It will then push each successive round that is loaded down, taking away the spring tension so the next round can be slipped in. The lever is spring-loaded, so you can keep smoothly pressing it and loading the rounds. And so it goes until the entire magazine is loaded. It’s really that simple.
When you’re finished, push the lever in the rear of the unit to release the loader from your magazine.
This loading process is simple and fast! It truly does make loading the magazines go far more quickly than stuffing rounds in with your bare fingers. It saves time and cuts down on sore fingers too!
Maglula includes directions in the package for the loader and unloader. But honestly, once you use it for a few seconds, it’s so simple that you’ll never forget how to do it. Still, it’s refreshing to see nice, simple, concise instructions with a piece of gear.
The construction of the loader is very robust. It is a heavy polymer, so it’s not going to fall apart on you.
I normally unload my magazines by firing the rounds through them. However, every now and then, I need or want to unload them and transfer the ammo to boxes or other magazines.
Sometimes we unload our mags to give them a rest while filling another set of magazines. In such instances, the unloader would be worth its weight in gold, as the 10/22 magazines can be a pain to unload.
The unloader is a separate unit that mounts on the rear of the magazine and is held in place by the thumb. A toggle on the top of the unit is moved back and forth, and a small tab pushes each bullet out of the magazine. The process is repeated until the magazine is empty.
In my estimation, the unloader is just as useful as the loader. It makes it incredibly fast and simple to unload a magazine! In mere seconds, the task is completed.
Maglula has pure gold here, they’ve hit a huge home run with their loader and unloader. The gear is well constructed from durable polymer. It’s simple to clip on and operate. Loading and unloading time is dramatically reduced using these pieces. In fact, this is one of those pieces of kit that I found myself asking, how in the world did I get along without these??? Yes, it’s that good! Yes, you should run out and buy these right away.
The final piece of great news is the price—the package, with both the loader and unloader, costs only $35.99. Considering the convenience and quality of the product, that is a bargain!