Thursday, July 7, 2016

10/22 Magazine Review: Butler Creek Steel Lips

I bought this magazine with the intent of dying it pink for my daughters 10/22. I have been researching methods on dying the polycarbonate material, but have yet to have success.

Some may think that testing one of these magazines is superfluous, as they have been tested by numerous magazines, blogs and experts over the years.
I would have to agree, but since I was doing a test and I already had the magazine, I figured what the hell. 

A little bit if history here. The Butler Creek Magazine was originally designed in California by the Condor Manufacturing Co. (also known for a time as Eaton Supply) This was the first high capacity magazine designed for the 10/22. Butler Creek acquired the rights to the design and began marketing them heavily.
These magazines were supplied with AMTs copy of the Ruger 10/22.

  • 25 round capacity
  • Made in the USA
  • Steel feed lips
  • Connectable for "Jungle Style" back to back use
  • Come in clear or smoke, for easy round count
  • Sealed Polycarbonate construction
Price Point: MSRP $21.95 (CDNN has these for $12.95), I paid $25.99 at a local gun store (this was during the post Sandy Hook scare).

The magazine can be "jungle clamped" by inverting one and locking them together using the corresponding pegs and holes

First Impressions:
The packaging is a one way deal, once opened you really cannot return the magazine to the package. One good note, these are made in the USA (in Kansas actually) so score one for Butler Creek.

For the record I am fitting these into my 2008 vintage 10/22 with the ATI stock, Ruger used these stocks as a factory option and I have yet to have any issues with the stock or the standard BX25 magazines I have been using in it.
The magazine fit into the mag well easily, very little resistance. The side to side and front to back play is minimal

Unfortunately, the Butler Creek mags are glued together and cannot be disassembled for cleaning or repair. The worst part about this scenario is that Butler Creek had what could be called a "strangle hold" on the 10/22 high cap market for a short time and rather than improve their product, they did nothing....which now leaves them eating the dust of their competitors.

One important point to note, the material these magazines are made from (polycarbonate) is not compatible with some gun solvents (most notably Hoppes #9). In reality the only thing you can clean is the feed lips and the follower, so just use a rag dampened with hot water and you should be GTG.

Loading the magazine was simple and quick, or as quick as a 25 round rimfire magazine should be.

The magazine ran flawlessly with zero malfunctions. We used both slow fire and rapid fire, pulling the trigger as fast as we could.

We used Federal Champion bulk ammo (36gr copper plated HP, 1260fps) CCI Minimag (40gr copper plated RN, 1235fps) and Remington Golden Bullet (40gr copper plated RN, 1255fps) gave the Steel Lips a 96% rating (sixteen of the magazines were tested) which is damn good. 

Midway USA buyers gave the Steel Lips magazine an average of 3.6 stars (out of 188 reviews) and 65% said they would recommend the product.

While we can recommend this magazine (no surprise there) there are other choices on the market that "out class" this magazine.
The question you have to ask yourself is whether or not you really need the ability to take apart your magazine for cleaning?

.22 ammo is not as dirty as it used to be and the magazines can be bought for under $20, so does the ability to take apart and clean a magazine really make a difference?

To me it does, but that's just my opinion.

Small Arms Review
Butler Creek