My Ruger10/22 frequently misfires. What's wrong? July 19 2014

It's a jam-o-matic.  How do I fix it? 

Symptoms:  Misfires, stove piping, cartridge feeding and ejection problems, primer failures, etc.

Hornet Custom's technical guru replies:  This is the number 1 complaint we get all the time. The Ruger10/22 is a wonderful rimfire carbine designed by firearm genius Bill Ruger.  It's modular construction and simplicity makes it the most popular carbine of all time.  You should consider that this firearm probably fires 500X more rounds than your typical bolt action rifle, even more than most AR-15s. Shooting sportsmen used to be able to buy 550 round bricks of ammo and blow it all up at one range session.  Some centerfire rifles never shoot 500 rounds ever.  Do you get my drift?

Major problem sources:

This discussion assumes we are dealing with a stock Ruger10/22 firearm.  Custom aftermarket parts can and will affect fit and tolerances creating different problems.

  • It's maintenance time.  The first step is to thoroughly clean the action with solvents and lubricate the parts.  Nobody enjoys doing this.  Your wife can't do it for you.  If you think you shot a brick of bullets, you probably shot way more.  Take out the trigger, bolt assembly, barrel and receiver.  Use a brush to knock off the powder residue and caked bullet lube. Pay particular attention to the bolt face, breach, and barrel bore. 
  • Bad magazine.  The BX-1 rotary magazine spring over time will go soft.  When that happens the follower will not push the next round up to the top and the round will feed too high when chambered.  Bullet jam.  Recommendation:  Have several extra rotary magazines on hand.  Clean your magazine, follower and lips of fouled bullet residue.  If you depress the follower and the cartridge seats low, it's no good.  Do not store your magazine fully loaded with rounds.
  • Worn firing pin and extractor. Remove the bolt and take a close look at the point of the firing pin.  If it is jagged or rounded, it is worn.  Sometimes the firing pin is machined wrong, or bent causing it to bind resulting in poor contact with the cartridge primer.  Ignition fails and the bolt will not cycle.  Solution:  Install new firing pin.  The old one cannot be salvaged.
  • more later.......

General Recommendations July 16 2014

The Black Max is the most popular and best performing trigger assembly we sell.  The release is incredibly light, precise, and consistent.  It is very light, only 2.25 lbs. intended for use by very experienced rimfire sportsmen for target shooting, competition shooting and small game hunting.  Many may find it too light whereas the Spitfire with a 2.75 lb. release is more suitable for general hunting and casual use.  Beginners and youths new to the sport should start out with the Plinker Special with a heavier pull and some take up in the release as a measure of safety.  We can custom tune any trigger to a heavier pull upon request.