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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is a theory I have based on my experience with a Ruger American Compact in 243. In my opinion, people who keep their rifle and magazines loaded in their truck are the ones having the problems. People who take the rifle to the range, load it, shoot it and put the unloaded rifle and magazines back in the cabinet in their air conditioned homes are the owners who are not having problems. (Don't get ahead of me on this.)

Inexpensive, short and light, I bought the Compact to use for a truck gun. The rifle came with one magazine. I bought two more. These were Version 1.0 rotary magazines. Loaded the rifle and the magazines and kept them in a soft rifle case on the backseat of the truck. It worked great putting down coyotes and hogs, at first. Then cartridges began coming up out of the plastic magazines. The lips had spread. I used rubber bands to squeeze the lips back together and hold the cartridges in. Very frustrating.

Then I saw the new and improved Version 2.0 z-spring 308 multi-caliber magazines. Bought three of them and threw away the rotary mags. They worked great, at first. Then cartridges began jamming in the magazine. Cartridges would not rise up to the correct position. At the suggestion of another forum poster, I loaded only two cartridges. This works well.

Then I did some experimenting and thinking. The cartridges would jam even if I held the magazine in my hand. So it had nothing to do with the rifle. Once the first cartridge was stripped from the top of the magazine, the second cartridge would be stuck in the curl of the lip. This would be true for the third cartridge as well. The fourth however worked correctly.

Now this is the counterintuitive part. When the magazine jammed, I gently squeezed the walls of the magazine together. The second cartridge popped up where it belonged. Same with the third cartridge. The fourth cartridge did not jam. Evidently the double-stack configuration allows the third cartridge to trap the second cartridge against the curl of the lip. And the fourth cartridge traps the third on the other lip. The fourth is not trapped because it's resting on the plastic follower directly beneath it. What is happening to cause the cartridges to work when new and then begin failing after a period of time?

In my opinion, heat in the truck during the day is softening the plastic magazines enough to allow the spring to push the cartidges up slightly, thousandths of an inch, and just enough to make them begin jamming. Heat, cold, heat, cold... That is also the reason the lips spread on the plastic rotary magazines, too, I think.

The magazine well in the rifle has a lot of extra room widthwise. There is nothing to push the magazines back into shape. I've racked my brain to figure out a solution. Here is what I think I'm going to try.

It is my intention to drill a hole on each side of the receiver and install set screws deeply enough to press the magazines to the proper dimensions. Before I take such drastic action, I thought you may want to comment (as if you need any encouragement).
 

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You might try a temporary fix first, such as shimming the sides of the mag well with something removable (like 3m strips, hot glued popsicle sticks, etc). This lets you test your theory and even experiment on optimizing with varying thickness, etc, without anything permanent being done.
 

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On mine,the follower was some sort of soft material, and the follower tip would bend a little and cause the rounds to hang up sometimes. I could bend it back, but it would bend out of place after a few rounds. Ruger sent me a new one, GTG.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Today, I measured the width of three different 308 Multi-Caliber magazines.
My local auto parts house loaned me a micrometer.

A brand new, unused magazine, empty, measured 1.023 inches wide.

A brand new magazine, loaded with four cartridges, measured 1.040 inches wide.
Simply loading it spread it open .017 inches, but it did not jam.

One of my old magazines that jams, loaded, measured 1.050 inches wide,
.010 inches wider than a new loaded magazine.

Just that little extra width is all it takes to cause the double-stacked cartridges
to trap themselves in the magazine, in my opinion.

Then I bought two set screws but have not yet worked up the nerve to drill holes in my rifle.
 

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I've had my Ruger American .30-06 for a few years now, have never had an issue. I didn't even know there WAS an issue until reading this thread! FWIW, mine is a hunting rifle and thats about all I use it for. Lives in a case in my house all year. I always shoot it before hunting season starts, then use it for 2 weeks in November.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
In the interval since I purchased my Compact 243 over three years ago, the Ruger American series has added new models. The Ruger company came to their senses and made some of them compatible with AR/AI pattern magazines.

What Ruger designer thought that having the magazine release on the magazine instead of the firearm was a good idea? Was it so their magazines would be proprietary and you would be forced to buy from Ruger? Every other rifle and pistol I can think of has the magazine latch/release mechanism on the frame, not in the magazines. Just another one of my pet peeves.

Otherwise I really like this handy, little rifle. In Colonel Jeff Cooper's book, The Art of the Rifle, he extolled the virtue of a carbine sized rifle, short and lightweight, that fired a high powered cartridge -- a "friendly" rifle. This would later evolve into his Scout Rifle concept. The Ruger American Compact adheres to his definition of a friendly rifle. I love it.
 

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I think I will go unload all my magazines after reading this. I have always felt that a magazine is better off being loaded than empty because of my time in the service and my own experience in the field hunting, and of course on the range. I've never had a bad magazine in any long gun, none at all, not even my 10/22s or my "beautiful" 995T Hi-Point. But keeping everything clean and safe has always been a factor, too. Anyway, I will mic mine and then unload them and mic them again. I have three Americans, .308, .30-06 and .223/5.56X45 NATO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hold everything. Today I tried an experiment and it may not be the magazines after all.

I am using Hornady Superformance 243 Win ammunition in a Ruger American Compact Rifle in 243 with Version 2.0 Z-spring magazines. I leave the rifle and two extra magazines loaded in my truck for months, maybe even years at a time.

Yesterday, when I put new cartridges in a new magazine it worked perfectly. But then I decided to eliminate any other possible variables. Today, I put new cartridges in an old magazine. It did not jam, to my surprise. Then I put old cartridges in the new magazine. It jammed!

So now I am thinking that with the passage of time a light lube on the factory cartridges may have become gummy. I have sent a message to Hornady asking them about it. Stand by for further developments.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Aaargh! After repeated reloading of magazines I began experiencing jams all around. Don't know if old cartridges contaminated the new magazine and visa versa.

One thing is for sure. Single stack magazines would eliminate the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Okay, it appears that the new magazine began jamming a little after merely loading and unloading it a dozen times. New or old cartridges don't really seem to make much of a difference. Here is a 1:44 YouTube video I made showing how they jam.

 

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I have some of the rotaries. Only shoot at range, so no long-term exposure to heat. Have had a couple that were bad and chose to do some experimenting and got them to work. I did not do the extensive testing you did so my symptoms presented as jams at various numbers of rounds in the mag. The mags i've had to fix are not the 308 mags, but they are the same basic design as the one 308 mag I have. Things I did that fixed them:

1. small amount of sanding on the inner, underside of front of feed lips (especially look for burrs or plastic flashing) .

2. Warning: Be advised that I could not figure a way of pressing the plastic pins back in to totally original depth because of the geometry of the mag. Separate the mag outer halves (held on by some flimsy plastic push pins) and tighten the inner spring. The one of mine was really weak and screwing it to be tighter fixed this mag problem. It works fine now though.

It's really frustrating, because as you say, these rifles are the best shooting ones I own.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hornady replied promptly. But in the brief interval I decided that there was actually no problem with the ammo getting sticky. It was just some tarnish I was seeing after years of riding around in the truck.

The Hornady rep confirmed that they do not use a lube and volunteered "I know what you're going through. Ruger Americans shoot lights out but, the magazines need some attention."

Magpul makes plastic magazines. Magpul has a good reputation. How can they make and sell a 30-round magazine for $15 while a Ruger 5-round magazine sells for $30 to $40.

Notice on the picture below the structural ribs on the Magpul PMAG 30. They are not there to give you a better grip. They are there to resist deflection and warpage of the walls of the mag. Ruger needs to come out with Version 3.0 and mold in some structural ribs. It's not that hard.
 

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What Ruger designer thought that having the magazine release on the magazine instead of the firearm was a good idea? Was it so their magazines would be proprietary and you would be forced to buy from Ruger? Every other rifle and pistol I can think of has the magazine latch/release mechanism on the frame, not in the magazines. Just another one of my pet peeves.
Some of the Savage centerfire rifles have magazines with the release built into the magazine. While my personal knowledge of this is not extensive, it seems to be the case with their less expensive stocks. Probably is a designed feature used to lessen manufacturing cost on the less expensive models.
 

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I don't think it is heat related. I got a RAP in 6.5 CM just a couple of weeks ago. If I load 4 rounds in the flush fit mag it will not feed the first two. It appears that the tip of the bullets are hitting something and coming to a dead stop. The last two feed fine...(I think), but I seem to remember a misfeed on the last round before. Like you, single feeding is not a good option.
The bullets tips are getting deformed, too, which is not going to help accuracy any.
Feeding ammunition into the chamber is one of the basic "must do" functions of a firearm. This is unacceptable and should not be left up to us to whittle away on the magazines to try and find a fix.
I will be calling Ruger tomorrow...wish me luck.
 

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Little more testing. Tried loading 3 into the magazine, sometimes worked and then not. Loading 2 into the magazine worked every time I tried it.
Single loading works if you lean the rifle to the left and close the bolt. Straight up the bullets will hit the bottom of the barrel.
The tips of my bullets are hitting the flat surface of the bottom of the barrel and coming to a dead stop, damaging the tips of the bullets (BTHP). Using factory Hornady Black ammo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Two in the mag is how I roll now. Infuriating.
But with one in the pipe and two on board, I mean
how often does one get more than three shots at critters
before they run into the next county.
 

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I need more than 3 shots quite often when hunting hogs and you get on a sounder. Very difficult and time consuming to single load a round then fumble load 2 rounds in a mag in the dark.
My buddy has a ranch rifle 300 blk w/ ar style mag that runs smooth as silk.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Ruger has gotten smart and started making rifles
that accept AICS style 5 and 10 round mags
for bolt action rifles
or can be converted by replacing the magwell.

And I understand. Once we rolled up on a sounder of 40+ hogs grazing
and jammed after the second shot. But that was an exceptional day.

The older short action 308 243 and 6.5 Creedmoor Ruger Americans
with flush fit magazines like mine can be outfitted with a Magpul stock
that accepts the AICS magazines.
It is not cheap, but I was so frustrated I bought one.
Here is a link to a thread I started about it.
Ruger Hunter American Stock Thread
It also has links to Magpul and Optics Planet.

I like it except that the Magpul stock weighs 3.3 pounds.
The Ruger stock weighs 1.3 pounds.
Adding two pounds to my handy 6 pound 16 inch Compact truck gun
really doesn't make any sense.

But for a full sized 22 inch rifle used from a stand
the adjustable cheek riser and length of pull on the Magpul
might begin to make more sense.
And with the M-Lok slots
all the Gucci from your AR can be used,
however be advised that AR-10 mags will not fit.
 

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Thanks. I have thought about the Magpul stock, but I actually like the standard stock. The LOP is right for me and I have the comb height perfect. I just need the rifle to feed like it is supposed to and like it was advertised (4+1)
I seldom see hogs in the daylight around my place but I have my 30-30 handy for that.
 
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