I have had a personal affliction for the .44 magnum cartridge for a long time. It is a very versatile cartridge accepting projectile weights from 180 grains, moving at nearly 2000 fps from a rifle, up to 400 grains for 1000 fps subsonic loads and is quite capable of taking medium size game out to 200 yards. Most of all I enjoy the ability to have a cartridge that works in both my rifle and sidearm.
I happen to own all four of the Ruger 44 magnum carbines: The earliest tube fed semi-auto, the 96/44 lever action rifle, the Deerfield semi-auto carbine, all of which have been discontinued, and the still-in-production Ruger 77/44 bolt action rifle. These guns are simple, solidly built, fast handling, surprisingly accurate, and can take a lot of abuse and still function reliably. If I have to pack around a rifle, these are my go-to choice. My only gripe with these Ruger rifles is their magazine.
What’s wrong with their magazine? If you have to ask you’ve probably never used one. Let’s start with with their limited magazine capacity; the factory magazine only holds 4 rounds. On top of that they are difficult to insert and remove, and there is a lack of universal fit and function between the three different magazine-fed Ruger rifles. They are also less than ideally durable.
Long story short, I decided to undertake the task of developing a magazine addressing all of the factory magazine shortcomings. It took ten or so prototypes, and well over a year to finally come up with a ten-round magazine that not only fits in all three firearms but was much easier to insert and remove.
Here’s a short demo video of an early 10-round magazine prototype:
As far as ammunition compatibility goes our magazine is suited for .44 Mag cartridges with an overall length of 1.610″ to 1.645″. Our testing has shown that the Hornady FTX ammo, the HSM Bear Load, and our own 400 Grain Magnuforce Subsonic ammunition all operate reliably. We found that ammunition with an OAL of less than 1.610″ did not cycle properly due to the feed angle and therefore do not recommend using our magazine with shorter rounds. But there is little doubt that any .44 magnum ammo with an OAL between 1.610 and 1.645″ will work as well.
Please be advised that it will be necessary to function-test with your preferred ammunition before going into the field to determine compatibility with our magazine. Insertion and removal of a loaded magazine may be easier with the bolt in the open position.
All parts of the magazine were prototyped and machined in Stevensville, Montana by I.Q. Metals. The main body and bottom plate are 6061 billet aluminum that has been hardcoat anodized for durability. The feed lips are machined from 17-4 stainless steel and then hardened. The follower is made of a high density PVC and the magazine bottom plate is removable for cleaning or spring replacement.
Interested in getting one for you collection? Buy one here.