I’m in the market for some more Ruger 10/22 magazines. Having shot the Ruger 10/22 for, well, decades at this point…I’ve got some opinions on the magazines.
The factory 10-rd magazines are great. If you don’t mind being limited to ten rounds of ammo, they’re fine. They’re resilient, reliable, and pretty affordable for what they are. Having said that, I kept virtually none of them…I don’t envision a future where a 10-rd magazine is more useful to me than a 25-rd magazine.
The only two brands of magazine for the Ruger that I have had great experience with have been the sometimes-hard-to-find Eagle brand mags (which are quite good and usually quite cheap), and the ubiquitous Butler Creek mags.
When you get into the Butler Creek mags, you get two choices: Hot Lips or Steel Lips. Bother are very good magazines, no two ways about it. When the 1994 ban took place, the Hot Lips magazines I had were the last ones I could get. In 2014, ten years later, when the ban sunsetted, I retired most of the Hot Lips magazines. While they had served very well for those ten years, a few of them were starting to have the feed lips fray a bit. So…on that very informal bit of testing, I would say that with ‘average’ use a Hot Lips 10/22 mag will last you about ten years.
The Steel Lip mags, naturally, are going to last pretty much forever…the feed lips, anyway. And when you’re packing stuff away for the zombie apocalypse, where the magazine you have me be the only one you have for the rest of your life (however long that may be) it might be a good idea to spend the extra five bucks per mag and get the Steel Lips.
When the Hot lips are on sale, I can usually get them for around $8 ea, and if Fortuna smiles in my direction, I can sometimes find Steel Lips for about $12 ea. When Im off playing at the range, I play with the Hot Lips mags, saving the Steel Lips mags for the day they’re needed. (As much as one can need a .22.)
So…if you’re stocking up on mags these days, which i highly recommend, and you can spend the cash, get the Steel Lips. If you want more mags for your buck, get the Hot Lips. But….get something.