A Long Time Coming – A 10-Round .44 Mag Magazine for Ruger .44 Carbines

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.

Ruger 96/44 4-Round Magazine
The Ruger 96/44 4-Round Magazine

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:

The I.Q. Munitions 10-Round 44 Mag Magazine

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.

17 Comments

  1. I ordered one of your magazines for the Ruger Deerfield carbine I was pleasantly surprised to receive a phone call today to ensure that I knew what type of ammo to use in it I’m amazed at the Great customer service that you folks have and I can’t wait to get my magazine and try it out thanks again

  2. Will this magazine operate in a44mag model 96ruger?

    1. Author

      It will fit and feed, but with the way the 96/44 is designed, it will not eject properly — that’s something we’re still seeking to overcome.

  3. will this magazine work with a Model 44 Deerstalker? Or only the Model 99/44 Deerfield?

    1. Author

      Good day. Considering the receiver design, and the differences in the ‘magazines’ of each of these guns… No, our 10-round magazine will not fit in a Deerstalker.

  4. Please e mail me when you get these mags in stock. Thanks. Anxious to use one.

  5. I have a older carbine with a tubular magazine. How does you magazine work. I love the idea but I’m at a loss to figure out how it attaches and feeds

    1. Author

      The Ruger tube-fed carbines are known as the Model 44 Deerstalker. It may have been better to specify this in the original article, but, our magazine will not in any way mate up with the tube-fed(Deerstalker) Ruger carbines.

  6. I have the lever action version. Will this work in it?

    1. Author

      Hi there Mike,
      I will fit, and it will feed, but we have not had the time to address an issue where the spent cartridge will hang-up on the next round seeking to feed in. It has to do with the design of the receiver of the lever action(96/44), which is different from both the bolt-gun(77/44) and semi-auto(99/44). Some day still, we hope to have this issue tackled — ideally before our next batch goes into production(not sure when that might be).
      In short: No, it currently does not work for the lever gun.

  7. Very cool, can’t wait until it works for the lever!

    Suggestion: instead of making a whole mag, make an adapter that accepts pistol mags!

  8. OK, I’ve been eager to get a larger capacity for my 96/44 lever gun. Please let me know when you have them working well and I’ll get a couple.

  9. for the 96/44……do you feel it is a mod to the receiver needed or to the 10 rd mag. trying to decide if I want to buy one and mess with it a bit.
    Thanks,
    Mike

  10. Ruger 77/44, I use off the shelf ammo,same as pistol, will they work in this? 180 to 240 grain.

    1. Author

      Hello there David,
      Considering that a fair portion of our magazine design was maintaining Gary’s ideal heavy, subsonic, ammo(which is 1.620 inches; merely 0.010″ longer than the SAAMI maximum for 44Mag, but certainly not the longest of it’s kind of ammo available on the open market)…. standard factory ammunition measuring less than 1.60 inches(overall) can encounter stacking issues beyond 7 rounds. With where our design is at presently, and we had tried to overcome this issue during our prototype trials & testing, any cartridge loaded to less than 1.60 inches can(not ‘will’) have the uppermost round(s) jump each other’s position and lock rims with the round below, rendering the magazine unable to feed… and a person basically has to disassemble the magazine to be able to extract the rounds from it.
      This sort of issue(where the magazine isn’t suited for all grain-weights of cartridges) is not uncommon to any clip-fed magazine out there…. even for something like a 223/AR-15 magazine, where in ‘their case’ the design is intended for 40-75 grain bullets, they won’t fit a heavier/longer bullet than that (like the 80 or 90 grain VLD match bullets)…we just designed our magazine with heavier/longer bullets in mind.

  11. Hello, I been trying to find out if my Ruger 10/44 is a Deerfield tube fed carbine. In reading this thread I’m pretty sure it may be. I haven’t been able to find a rotary clip for it but I’ve been told a 5 rd will fit. So would the IQM 10 rd fit? It does accept 4 rds plus 1 loaded from the bottom. I hope I explained enough for you to let me know wether or not my rifle will accept a larger mag. Thank you for your time.

    1. Author

      Russ, I cannot imagine who told you that a 5 round rotary magazine will fit your tube fed Ruger carbine. I own a Ruger tube fed .44 Mag carbine and I can tell you from experience that neither a 5 round rotary or our 10 round magazine will fit that rifle.

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