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April 9th, 2010

New TriMag™ Mag Coupler for Ruger 10/22s and Volquartsens

We know many of our readers have a Ruger 10/22 for varminting, fun shooting, or rimfire tactical competition. Here’s an affordable new product for the Ruger 10/22 that will fit the highly-accurate Volquartsen rimfires as well. The new TriMag™ magazine coupler secures three standard, 10-round 10/22 rotary magazines together, giving you extra ammo capacity with full factory reliability. Yes there are long, banana-style magazines for the 10/22, but a TriMag 3-mag assembly won’t interfere with prone or off-hand shooting. And when varminting, you won’t have to set your tripod super-high to provide clearance for a long single-column magazine. This is ideal for rimfire tactical matches.

TriMag Ruger 10/22 Magazine

Designed and crafted by Alangator of Hayden Lake, Idaho, the $9.95 patent-pending TriMag™ is a clever, U.S.-made invention that any 10/22 or Volquartsen owner can afford. Puchasers give the TriMag™ high marks. One Cabela’s customer writes: “One of the best 10/22 products ever! As everyone who owns a 10/22 knows, aftermarket or non-factory extended capacity 10/22 magazines perform terribly. This product resolves that issue because you have 30 rounds available using your perfectly-functioning factory magazines.” Another buyer adds: “IMO one of the best accessories for the 10/22… one of those things that you can’t go without. An added bonus is that when you set your gun on a bench it holds it up right.”

TriMag Ruger 10/22 Magazine

Where to Buy
The TriMag™ is currently offered by Cabela’s, Volquartsen, and other vendors starting at $9.95. Volquartsen says the device fits all Volquartsen .22 LR semi-auto rifles.

Permalink Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting, New Product 3 Comments »
April 9th, 2010

Cartridge Confusion with Catastrophic Consequences

.223 WSSM and 6mmBR Disaster — Report by Dr. Jim Clary
Under most circumstances, shooters don’t have to worry about chambering the wrong cartridge into the wrong rifle. After all, the cartridges are well marked and we all know which rifle we are shooting on any given day. In many cases, incorrect cartridges cannot be chambered — larger cases will not fit in smaller chambers, for example. No problem! That being said, I can tell you that even an experienced, careful and normally safe shooter can make a mistake.

The following is an account of just such a mistake that could have resulted in death or dismemberment. Fortunately, the shooter was not hurt, but the rifle was completely destroyed.

Last year, a friend purchased a Savage Precision right bolt, left port, single shot bolt action in 6mmBR Norma. It was an incredible prairie dog gun and he spent the summer burning powder and busting dogs. In October, he purchased a stainless steel Browning A-Bolt Varmint in .223 WSSM. The weather in the upper Midwest turned sour by the time he got the brass tuned up and he only got to fire it a few times before he was “socked in” for the winter. Thus, he spent his evenings loading ammo for the spring thaw.

During a break in the weather, he grabbed both rifles and a couple of bags of .223 WSSM and 6mmBR cartridges and headed to the range to check out his new loads. In case you are not familiar, the 6mmBR is smaller in diameter and a mite shorter than the .223 WSSM. Because of this, it will chamber in a .223 WSSM, but the .24 caliber bullet is too big for the .22 caliber bore. That is what happened to my friend.

The rest is history; when he squeezed the trigger, all hell broke loose. The entire bottom of the rifle blew out, including the magazine assembly. The explosion actually cut the stock into two pieces. However, the bolt held and amazing as it may seem, the .243 bullet was “swaged” right out of the .223 barrel.

223 WSSM 6BR blow-up
6mmBR (left) and .223 WSSM (right) cartridges above the remains of Browning A-Bolt rifle.

One Small Mistake Is All It Takes
Now, realize that my friend has been shooting all manner of firearms, safely, for over half a century. He is meticulous, thorough and conscientious in his approach to reloading and shooting. However, he made one mistake. He put some lose 6BR cartridges in a baggie as he packed up from a prairie dog hunt last summer, without noticing that the baggie was marked .223 WSSM in black marker. Then, when the break in his winter weather came, he grabbed the bag, believing it to be the WSSM cartridges and didn’t check the head stamp.

Couldn’t happen to you? How many times have we emptied our pockets of cartridges and dropped them into a plastic container on the shooting bench? How many times have we set down to a marathon reloading session, loading several calibers in a row? How many times have we put the wrong bullets, cases or primers into the incorrect container? My point is that even the safest of us can make a mistake. So, look at the picture above and take a bit more time when you reload your ammunition at home or chamber a round in the field. It might save your life.

Story and photo © Dr. Jim Clary, All Rights Reserved.

COMMENT: In a thread inspired by the above story, the moderator of another gun forum wrote:

“There was a rifle (or what was left of it) mounted above the door of a range I used to go to. The story behind it was of a guy who was shooting a .30-06 and set it aside to shoot his .25-06 instead. He didn’t bother putting the larger cartridges away first and of course one found its way into his gun. The explosion took three fingers off his left hand, two off his right and stuck a piece of the bolt in his face. He recovered but was never the same again. The pieces of the gun were gathered and mounted to show others why it pays to be mindful of what you’re doing. It was effective as there was never another such accident at that range.”

Permalink Shooting Skills 5 Comments »