I cannot count the times that someone has come into the shop and asked me to take a look at their .22 caliber pistol. Their problem? Every few rounds their ammo seems to jam inside the gun. It must be the gun, right? In theory yes, but it could be easier than that.
A handgun is made up several parts that include a barrel to direct the bullet, a trigger to cause the gun to fire and a magazine to hold the ammunition until it is needed. The simple magazine (also referred to as a clip) is nothing to fear, but given a strong spring and the very light weight of .22 ammo, you could have a feed problem.
My simple advice is before declaring that your gun is broken, try loading your magazines (especially if they are new) with about half as many rounds as it can hold and leave it for about a week. This may help take some of the tension off and make the “feeding” process less forceful, thereby providing you with a smooth transaction.
The reason I don’t recommend storing magazines filled to capacity is that I don’t want you to weaken your spring either. If you like to keep your magazines loaded, then make it a practice to clear the ammo and reload them, perhaps changing the number of rounds you keep in them.
If you find that loading your magazine is painful, buy a speed loader. These simple devices range from $10 to $40 and can be found in most gun shops or sporting goods stores. Instead of your fingers taking the burden, a plastic piece forces down the spring, reducing the tension so that you can slide the bullet in with ease. There are numerous videos on the internet to assist you if you find it confusing.
Also remember when you clean your gun that the magazine requires maintenance too. A simple squirt of oil can keep the parts moving and help keep out gunk and debris.
Interested in buying more magazines for your gun? Look for ones made by the gun manufacturer; and if those are not available, check out the after-market products. Growing up my father said, “always buy the best paintbrush you can afford, it will treat you well.” I have found that this applies to magazines too. If you expect it to last and provide you with years of service, make sure you get the best quality available; and don’t make the mistake of not buying additional magazines when you purchase the firearm. More often than not, I hear people complaining that they wished they had bought two or three more magazines when they bought their gun new because now they can’t find them anywhere.
A gun is no good without a working magazine to keep it fed.
Remember, knowledge is power, and I want to give a great big thank you to my fan Dr. Kirk for guiding me toward the idea for this week’s article!
Dorothy Royal is the owner of Surf City Guns and Ammo, mother of two wonderful children, ringmaster of a herd of miniature ponies and an avid member of the Surf City Writers Group and Topsail Book Club.