Maglula Ruger 10/22 Loader And Unloader: Useful Gadget?

I’m not much for gadgets. Keep It Simple, Stupid (KISS). That’s my motto. So, when they sent me this Maglula loader/unloader for my Ruger 10/22, I kind of sighed and pushed it to the back of the pile. After all, 10/22 magazines really aren’t difficult to load. I figured this was just another piece of overly complex plastic that would be broken in 15 minutes.

Eventually, I dug the gadget out of the pile, figuring it was about time I gave it a once over to see if it was actually worthwhile.


The company has been around for years, and I’ve seen its products advertised. I’d never made the leap to try one out until my editor asked me to do a story on one. I figured, what do I have to lose?

Boy, was I an idiot!! I should have never waited! But first, before I go into detail, let’s take a look at the test rifle, the Ruger 10/22.

Ruger’s 10/22

It’s been around since 1964, the old 10/22. It’s probably America’s best-selling rifle. Why? It’s inexpensive. Accurate. Reliable. Light. Short. Available. Customizable (in fact, a massive cottage industry of aftermarket parts has sprung up). It balances so well and somewhat resembles one of WWII’s popular weapons, The M-1 Carbine. It doesn’t look threatening to people in its basic form, so it doesn’t scare folks.

Did I mention that they’re reliable? These little carbines just keep on running and running. My 10/22s have eaten every single brand of ammunition that I have fed them—even the cheap bulk-pack stuff. And if there does happen to be an issue, Ruger’s warranty will cover it.

Ruger 10/22 with magazines and ammunition
The Ruger 10/22 is one of the most popular rifles in American history, and for good reason. Here is a Compact version with a 16-inch barrel, a few spare magazines, and CCI Mini-Mag 40-grain ammunition.

Just how popular is it? Over 7,000,000 have been sold! Try finding another commercially sold firearm to match that number. That’s a lot of rifles!

The vast majority of people who are “into” guns have at least one Ruger 10/22. If you don’t have one yet, I recommend that you check one out and purchase it as soon as possible.

The Magazines

Don’t worry, I’m gradually building up to the Maglula loader. It’s prudent to talk a little bit about the magazines first.

Ruger very astutely figured that there would be a huge market for higher capacity magazines than the standard 10-rounder that comes standard with each rifle. And they were right.

Ruger 10/22 extended BX-22 magazines
Ruger makes several versions of higher capacity magazines for the 10/22. Aside from the standard 10-round magazines, there are also 15, 25, and 50-round versions.

The 10-round magazine has its merits. First, it fits flush with the stock, so it doesn’t stick out the bottom which can be nice for prone positions or when firing from the bench. And unfortunately, some people live in areas that don’t legally allow higher-capacity magazines. If you’re “hampered” by the 10-round limitation, take heart; they are good magazines, and 10 rounds is still 10 rounds. 

Ruger also offers the BX-15 magazine and a BX-25 magazine which hold 15 and 25 rounds, respectively. I like these magazines quite a bit because they don’t extend terribly far underneath the stock of the 10/22, yet still hold a decent amount of ammunition. 

All of Ruger’s factory 10/22 magazines are made of heavy polymers with metal inserts and steel feed lips for maximum durability. Like the 10/22 they are made for, they’re extremely reliable. And their cost is relatively modest, so we can afford to buy several.

The Maglula Loader

Ruger’s 10/22 carbine is so popular that Maglula specifically made a loader/unloader just for this rifle. That, in itself, speaks volumes as to how influential this carbine has become over the decades. 

My initial concerns about it being complicated were unfounded. It’s really pretty simple to operate. Just slip the loader over the top of a magazine (and it fits them all, from the 10-rounders to the 50-rounders). The loader clicks onto the rear latch that secures the magazines inside the 10/22’s magazine well. That way, the loader is held in place very securely.

At that point, depress the lever on top to push the magazine follower down so the first round can be inserted. It will then push each successive round that is loaded down, taking away the spring tension so the next round can be slipped in. The lever is spring-loaded, so you can keep smoothly pressing it and loading the rounds. And so it goes until the entire magazine is loaded. It’s really that simple. 

 When you’re finished, push the lever in the rear of the unit to release the loader from your magazine. 

Maglula speed loader on Ruger 10/22 BX-25 magazine
Maglula’s loader slips over the magazine and clips in place easily. To remove it, press the small lever on the bottom. It’s so simple!

This loading process is simple and fast! It truly does make loading the magazines go far more quickly than stuffing rounds in with your bare fingers. It saves time and cuts down on sore fingers too!

Maglula includes directions in the package for the loader and unloader. But honestly, once you use it for a few seconds, it’s so simple that you’ll never forget how to do it. Still, it’s refreshing to see nice, simple, concise instructions with a piece of gear.

The construction of the loader is very robust. It is a heavy polymer, so it’s not going to fall apart on you.

The Unloader

I normally unload my magazines by firing the rounds through them. However, every now and then, I need or want to unload them and transfer the ammo to boxes or other magazines.

Sometimes we unload our mags to give them a rest while filling another set of magazines. In such instances, the unloader would be worth its weight in gold, as the 10/22 magazines can be a pain to unload.

The unloader is a separate unit that mounts on the rear of the magazine and is held in place by the thumb. A toggle on the top of the unit is moved back and forth, and a small tab pushes each bullet out of the magazine. The process is repeated until the magazine is empty.

In my estimation, the unloader is just as useful as the loader. It makes it incredibly fast and simple to unload a magazine! In mere seconds, the task is completed.

Maglula 10/22 unloader
Maglula’s unloader is a simple affair that is held in place by the thumb. As the toggle on top is moved back and forth, the rounds are stripped out of the magazine. It really saves the fingers!

In Summary

Maglula has pure gold here, they’ve hit a huge home run with their loader and unloader. The gear is well constructed from durable polymer. It’s simple to clip on and operate. Loading and unloading time is dramatically reduced using these pieces. In fact, this is one of those pieces of kit that I found myself asking, how in the world did I get along without these??? Yes, it’s that good! Yes, you should run out and buy these right away.

The final piece of great news is the price—the package, with both the loader and unloader, costs only $35.99. Considering the convenience and quality of the product, that is a bargain!

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.

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