GSG Ruger 10/22 Drum Magazine: 110 Rounds On Tap!

Today we’re testing out the 110-round drum magazine for the Ruger 10/22, made by German Sport Guns (GSG). Why a 110-round drum? Why not! As I was perusing the GunMag Warehouse website, it caught my eye. At first, I thought, man, that’s ridiculous. Then I giggled at the thought of having 110 rounds on tap without having to reload. And then a smile crept across my face as I made the decision to get it. Indeed, why the hell not! Sometimes, “Just because I feel like it” is plenty enough reason to do fun and wild things.

I certainly didn’t “need” it; I’ve got scads of magazines lying around the house for my Ruger 10/22s. Without question, they’d provide a goodly amount of firepower should I ever need it for what has proven to be Ruger’s most popular firearm.

No, this drum wasn’t going to serve a tactical role or anything serious. It was going to mostly be for fun and to satisfy my curiosity as to whether these units are reliable and how they work.

In my opinion, the 10, 15, or 25-round magazines are the way to go for serious use.

Construction

When I first picked the drum up, I was impressed with how solid it felt! The drum features heavy polymer construction and feels well-built. It has a high-tensile steel spring inside that helps to reliably move the bullets along inside the drum. There are steel-reinforced feed lips at the top of the drum for durability and feeding. All in all, it’s a solidly made unit.

Side view of the drum.
Bullets can be seen through openings in the side of the drum. A steel feed lip foffers durability and reliability. Inside, a high-tensile steel spring operates the drum. (Photo: author’s collection)

Waxing Poetic

One definite downside of this drum is that the manufacturer does not recommend the use of ammunition that has a wax covering. Well, that eliminates the vast amount of .22 Long Rifle ammunition that I have in my battery. From what I can tell, CCI uses wax, as does Aguila and a host of other manufacturers.

I did find some Remington Golden Bullet rounds in my inventory and hauled them out to stuff into the drum.

Rear view of the drum.
Here we see the ammo used for the test, Remington’s Golden Bullet. The drum warns against using ammunition that is coated with wax. Photo: author’s collection.

Not Compatible With Loaders

Initially, I was excited to get this drum because I figured I could use my Maglula 10/22 magazine loader. However, this drum is not compatible with mag loaders. However, if you are looking for a loader/unloader for standard 10/22 magazines, the Maglula model is pure genius and makes the process of loading and unloading magazines super fast and easy. Every 10/22 owner needs one of these! Okay, back to our regularly scheduled program…

Loading

Loading the drum was not very difficult. There are tabs on the back of the drum, they’re mounted on a revolving plate that comprises the back of the drum. The shooter pushes against a tab with their thumb, turning the plate, which relieves pressure on the spring. That lowers the follower slightly, making it easy to insert a round. After a few rounds are inserted, the tab moves under the frame and the next tab is out in the open. The process is repeated until the drum magazine is filled.

Loading the GSG Ruger 10/22 drum magazine using the tabs.
There are tabs on the rotary wheel in the back of the drum. Push them with the thumb, which rotates the panel, and drop rounds in the top of the feed lips. It’s easy to load. (Photo: Katie Davis)

Although the drum operates smoothly, the tabs have to be jiggled to be advanced and feed more rounds into the drum. The jiggling was essential throughout loading the entire drum. As the drum is loaded, the interior spring is wound.

By the time I got to round number 101, the drum would no longer accept any more bullets. So my drum is not a 110-round unit, only holding 101 rounds. Perhaps with use it will loosen up and accept additional rounds.  Taking a step back and evaluating, though, this is not the end of the world; 101 rounds in a drum is nothing to sneeze at. That’s a little over two boxes of .22 rounds.

The drum took a few minutes to load, which I did in the comfort of my living room the first time before hitting the range. I figured since my fingers don’t operate too well during cold temperatures, I’d do it in the warmth.

Fit

Inserting the drum into the magazine well required some pressure, as the fit was a little tight. I encountered no problems, but it took a little more force than Ruger factory magazines to insert into the magazine well. I used the Drum in a 10/22 that has a synthetic stock.

Handling

I neglected to weigh the GSG drum when it was fully loaded. I’d estimate that it probably weighed in the neighborhood of three pounds or so. The weight of the unloaded magazine is listed at 1.95 pounds.

10/22 with the GSG Ruger 10/22 drum magazine
The drum certainly changes the handling characteristics of the rifle and makes it look interesting! (Photo: author’s collection)

Without a doubt, it adds bulk to the 10/22, which was obviously expected, given the size and weight. It sort of reminds me of the drum mag that is used on the PPSH submachine guns from WWII.

The added weight of the drum sure does keep the recoil down, though. Just kidding—the 10/22 has no recoil, to begin with!

Shooting With the .22LR Drum Magazine

At the range, the GSG drum magazine was a barrel of fun! I fired it for a while and then handed it over to my daughter, who was loving it. We peppered a couple of targets with many holes, enjoying the seemingly endless supply of ammunition.

In fact, I felt almost like a Hollywood star, with one of those automatic weapons that never seems to run out of ammunition! Just keep pulling the trigger to an endless supply of ammunition.

Author's daughter cutting loose with the Ruger 10/22 drum magazine
A good time was had by all who tried the GSG Drum! (Photo: author’s collection)

As my daughter was firing, I noticed that the circular plate on the back of the magazine was rotating because I could see the tabs moving. That was the drum feeding and the internal spring unwinding as the bullets fed into the rifle.

If you’re shooting from a bench, trying to get as low of a profile as you can, this isn’t the way to do it. The drum protrudes a good bit from the bottom of the rifle.

Reliability

During the firing, I experienced one Failure To Feed stoppage (they are not “jams”, as jam is something that we spread on toast). I highly suspect it was ammunition-related, as the round seemed to hang up on the feed ramp of the rifle. I really couldn’t attribute it to the drum.

Aside from that, the drum ran like a top.

So what is this drum good for?

Well, the fun factor is off the charts. It’s just plain neat to blast away endlessly at the range.

I wouldn’t use it for defense, for the most part, unless I really had to. It’s simply very bulky for such uses, and not maneuverable enough, in my estimation. I’m not saying it couldn’t be used defensively, I’m just saying it isn’t my first choice. To me, it’s more of a novelty item.

And before anyone jumps in and says it would be silly to use a 10/22 or any .22 Long Rifle firearm for defense, the .22 has put a lot of people into the ground. Even with 10-round magazines, it would make attackers think twice about invading your domicile. With the higher-capacity magazines, the little 10/22 becomes a force to be reckoned with when used against home invaders.

Is the GSG 110-round Ruger 10/22 drum magazine worth it?

For the price point (it retails for $69.99), I’d say it’s a very fun item to have. It operates reliably. To put it mildly, it gives the rifle some interesting handling characteristics (not to mention, a cool, unique appearance).

The drum is not difficult to load. To me, the fact that it wouldn’t load quite as many rounds as advertised wasn’t a big deal; I mean, come on, this thing holds a couple of boxes of ammo!

If you’re looking to have some real fun at the range with your .22, the Ruger 10/22 drum magazine will certainly fill the bill!

Jim Davis served in the PA Dept. of Corrections for 16 ½ years as a corrections officer in the State Correctional Institute at Graterford and later at SCI Phoenix. He served on the Corrections Emergency Response Team (CERT), several of those years as a sniper, and also the Fire Emergency Response Team (FERT). For 25 years, he was a professional instructor, teaching topics including Defensive Tactics, Riot Control and Tactical Operations, Immediate Responder, and cognitive programs as an adjunct instructor at the DOC Training Academy. He was then promoted to the title of corrections counselor, where he ran a caseload and facilitated cognitive therapy classes to inmates. His total service time was close to 29 years. He was involved in many violent encounters on duty, including incidents of fatalities. He is a dedicated Christian and attributes any skills that he has to the glory of God.

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