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Old 03-02-2020, 08:46 AM
ggruber

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Getting your mags to drop freely



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One of the most frustrating aspects of using an otherwise reliable pistol is to be in the heat of competition and not be able to perform a quick mag change because the mag will not drop freely.

This is easy to fix. First of all, we must observe the primary rule of gunsmithing -- work on the least expensive part. Do not sand the inside of the frame. Do not alter the mag release button -- it is surface hardened and taking off a few thousand will ultimately ruin it. You may have to replace it, just don't modify it.

The problem is a slightly out of square magazine. When I say slightly, I'm talking about 0.0015 - 0.0025 of an inch. A human hair is 0.007 thick, so we are talking about something very small.

All but three of my 10 mags drop smoothly. I tried miking each mag but could find no more than 2 thou out of spec, so I took the low road. I got out my dremel, put a fine sanding drum on it, and then went to work on all the contact surfaces of the mag. In about 2 minutes I had a mag that nearly dropped free. I followed up with some 320 grit hand sanding to smooth the ground areas, and then a spray of brake cleaner.

The mags now fly out of the frame easily. Make sure you disassemble the mag completely before sanding, and clean thoroughly afterwards.

Blue afterwards if so desired. Don't lube mags, ever.
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Last edited by ggruber; 03-02-2020 at 08:56 AM.
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  #2  
Old 03-02-2020, 11:55 AM
Test_Engineer

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I'm really looking forward to seeing that aftermarket company's video on how to do this!
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  #3  
Old 03-03-2020, 01:10 AM
Flash_80

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My MKIII 22/45 was finicky with this, even with the spring loaded TacSol bases. I was lucky in that I have several mags between that and a couple MKIV's. I just weeded out the mag bodies that didn't drop free, and swapped base plates to where I had 5 that dropped free in that particular gun. Any of them worked in the MKIV's, so that part didn't matter.

Not really a solution to your problem, but I understand the issue.
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Old 03-03-2020, 04:58 PM
ggruber

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Mark IV vs Mark III

I just received 4 brand new Ruger Mark IV mags, and they measure a full 9 thou thicker in the rounded portion going down the front of the mag compared to Mark III mags. I suspect you can make Mark III mags fit in a Mark IV, but not the other way around.

9 thou is too much to remove from a mag.
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Old 03-04-2020, 07:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ggruber
First of all, we must observe the primary rule of gunsmithing -- work on the least expensive part.
Quote:
I just received 4 brand new Ruger Mark IV mags.
Would you care to share where you bought new mags for under $12 each?

https://www.gunpartscorp.com/products/1262410B
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Old 03-04-2020, 08:35 AM
Mike_AK
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My MK IV 22/45 has a spring loaded plunger in the bottom of the frame that forcefully ejects the empty magazines when the release button is pushed. I have 5 magazines and they all shoot out of the frame with authority when the release is pushed. I also take exception to the "don't lube magazines ever" statement. SOP for me when cleaning mags is to finish with a spritz of Hornady dry lube followed by a wipe down with a dry rag, inside and out. I do the same with the springs and plunger also. My mags all have TK followers, bases and green springs and VQ follower buttons and they all run flawlessly. I also installed the VQ mag release. Perhaps that has something to do with it?

Last edited by Mike_AK; 03-04-2020 at 08:58 AM.
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Old 03-04-2020, 08:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_AK View Post
...SOP for me when cleaning mags is to finish with a spritz of Hornady dry lube followed by a wipe down with a dry rag. I do the same with the springs and plunger also.
Ditto for me, Mike! However, only mag mods I've done are the VQ follower buttons, which has allowed them to perform flawlessly (all 16 of em')!

Ted
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Old 03-04-2020, 04:58 PM
ggruber

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_AK View Post
My MK IV 22/45 has a spring loaded plunger in the bottom of the frame that forcefully ejects the empty magazines when the release button is pushed. I have 5 magazines and they all shoot out of the frame with authority when the release is pushed. I also take exception to the "don't lube magazines ever" statement. SOP for me when cleaning mags is to finish with a spritz of Hornady dry lube followed by a wipe down with a dry rag, inside and out. I do the same with the springs and plunger also. My mags all have TK followers, bases and green springs and VQ follower buttons and they all run flawlessly. I also installed the VQ mag release. Perhaps that has something to do with it?
all lube attracts dust and dirt.
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Old 03-04-2020, 06:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ggruber View Post
all lube attracts dust and dirt.
GG,

Yes...so curious what, if anything, do you use on your automatic actions and bolts?

Ted
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Old 03-04-2020, 07:38 PM
Mike_AK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ggruber View Post
all lube attracts dust and dirt.
Yet my mags function perfectly without taking a Dremel to them.
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Old 03-04-2020, 10:24 PM
ggruber

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theo98 View Post
GG,

Yes...so curious what, if anything, do you use on your automatic actions and bolts?

Ted
Maybe I wasn't clear. I never lube mags. I always lube actions and bolts with a little Breakfree CLP. I clean thoroughly after every range session / competition, and have never had a gun fail on me from lube issues.
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Old 03-04-2020, 10:25 PM
ggruber

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Originally Posted by Mike_AK View Post
Yet my mags function perfectly without taking a Dremel to them.
so what? this thread is geared to those whose mags don't drop freely.
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Old 03-04-2020, 11:31 PM
Mike_AK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ggruber View Post
so what? this thread is geared to those whose mags don't drop freely.
I don't see how that is possible on a MK IV 22/45 unless you remove the magazine ejection plunger and spring. They literally shoot out of the mag well on mine. All of them.
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Old 03-05-2020, 07:31 AM
ggruber

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not all mags are in spec. I had 8 out of ten that needed work. it's very important that when the mag is inserted, it is free to seek its 'best, leveled and centered location. If it doesn't, the possibility of FTF's looms closely. There needs to be about a 0.002 cushion all the around the mag to permit it to interact with the bolt, extractor and ejector. Anything that disturbs that harmony can result in a weapon that is not 100% reliable.

In IPSC and IDPA shooting, we keep tallies of round count shot and replace all mag springs once a year, as well as recoil springs, and any other components that might wear. We are aggressively proactive with gun care to assure a reliably working pistol or rifle. How do we define reliability? Over 99% error free shooting. Anything less is unacceptable and we deal with it immediately.

One of the biggest failing points in pistols are aggressively light trigger pulls. I've seen guys with 1.5 lb triggers fighting with the gun -- getting it to reset properly. The cool factor is there at 1.5, but it doesn't last long.

I used to keep all my carry guns set at 3 pounds, but after several years I began to realize this is too aggressive for that environment. I reset them all to 4.5 and they are very happy now.

While gun maintenance or lack thereof can be the cause of failure in many cases, 22's are finicky with regard to ammo used. You have to look at every part of the gun, understand its purpose and relationship with every other part, to glean a working knowledge of what to do.

Just to take a gun out of a box, throw on some aftermarket parts and go shooting is just the beginning, especially if you are competing.

The pistol with the worst history of mags dropping freely are early Glocks.

Ruger put the helper mechanisms into the pistols to cover their tracks for their inability to properly design the relationship between the mag and the frame. I don't use those parts and I have no reliability issues other than a very rare stovepipe which is usually caused by a bad round of ammo.

22 ammo is precarious at best. With a rim thickness a full 2.5 thou less than a std 9mm case, it doesn't have a lot of grip on the bullet during the crimping process -- and this is where most variations of exit velocity occur and consequently disrupt the extract, eject, reload cycle.

If you opt for cheaper ammo, you may get bit. I shoot CCI and Federal exclusively. Anyone at our range (750+) members who comes out trying to shoot Remington at a match gets a severe lesson on Stage 1.

Last edited by ggruber; 03-05-2020 at 07:35 AM.
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Old 03-05-2020, 07:49 AM
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Cool Overall Cleaning/Lubrication Solution!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ggruber View Post
Maybe I wasn't clear. I never lube mags. I always lube actions and bolts with a little Breakfree CLP. I clean thoroughly after every range session / competition, and have never had a gun fail on me from lube issues.
GG,

Glad your solution in post #1 worked for you. However without re-bluing those mags and without a lubricant to protect the bare metal, I'd be concerned with rust!

FWIW, my action/bolt cleaner & lube of choice is Hornady One-Shot , with DynaGlidePlus.pdf. It super cleans then evaporates like brake fluid (drys clean-no oily residue), but leaves behind a micro film that repels grim, dirt or rimfire grit, while providing a very low coefficient of resistance! Actually, cleaning actions, receivers and even rifling is much easier and faster, as the build up after a good range session (200+ rounds per MkIV) just isn't there! It's especially great protecting the anodized receiver of the 22/45 lite, which use to have a lot of build up that was difficult to clean before using the 1-shot!

After first cleaning my "New-Unused" mags inside and out with the 1-Shot, like Mike, a very light spray on the outside and inside after a few range sessions works great...mags load and fly out easily and quickly, just as they did new after their initial cleaning (Hunter and 22/45 Lite)!!

Ted
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