www.HomeGunsmith.com Archive
Archive Date: Apr. 24 2018, 04:00 ET
This is an archive! Click here to go to the live site.

Home > Main Forums > Ask a Guru > .22 rifle magazines home made ?, Want to build my own .22 magazines
Click here to go to this topic on the "live" site.
Posted: Jan. 5 2006, 02:23 ET

any one ever built there own .22 rifle magazines, i would like to fabricate some 30 rnd steel mags, any tips on building forming dies, type and thickness of steel to use, spring mfg etc, thanks from the new guy. :)

Posted: Jan. 7 2006, 03:00 ET

is there somthing wrong with my post ? 50 plus views with no reply, must be the worst post ever,realy interested in building my own .22 rimfire mags hoping for even a few tips,type of steel stock, bending tolerences, say i want to end up with a 11mm wide magazine body how thick should the forming die be using .0025 thick sheet stock, silver soulder/braze the joint or some realy fancy tig work ? please, please ,share the wealth of knowledge i know is out there,some one must have tried this before,thanks. :)  :)  :)  :)

Posted: Jan. 7 2006, 03:11 ET

I don't remember seeing your original post.
I believe if you want a straight magazine then it will be triangluar in horizontal cross section because of the rim.
As far as the other info I don't have a clue.

Posted: Jan. 7 2006, 06:00 ET

Unfortunately, you managed to ask one of the tough questions.  Nobody's really made a serious effort to build magazines for any cartridge, and you happened to choose the one caliber for which even professional manufacturers have great difficulty building reliable magazines.  Despite their apparent simplicity, magazines are deceptively difficult to design.  The magazine does a lot of work in guiding cartridges into the chamber of a firearm, and often there's very little room for variation in dimensions.  Then there's the matter of repeatability.  It's one thing to build one item and tweak it until it works.  But to do that with a dozen units or more becomes a major undertaking.

I'm not trying to shoot your idea down.  The fact is that just about everybody else has about as much experience in magazine manufacture as you do--if not less.  My suggestion (especially if you're designing magazines for an existing firearm) is to pick up a .22lr magazine and look at how they did it.  At the very least it will give you some ideas to work off of, especially the feed tower.  If your aim is to build hi-cap magazines, you could always pick out a design you like and build an extension out of it.  The existing magazine will even indicate the thickness of the materials.

Here's a link to a site where a guy posted about extending the magazines on his CZ Kadet pistol to 20 rounds.  Making a 20 round magazine for the CZ Kadet.  Since the pistol is a .22lr, you'll get to see some pretty good closeups that will give you an idea of material thickness and the shape of the magazine.  You'll notice the metal thickness for the magazine is comparable to any typical pistol magazine.  You can probably get away with metal as thin as 0.032" thick, which would be fairly easy to form.  Any thinner and it could get to be too flimsy.  And if you get too thick it will be tough to form.  It's probably best to go no thicker than 0.050" on a magazine of that size.

Good luck!  You're venturing into uncharted territory with this project.  Keep us posted.

Edited to add the link I forgot.  :bangin:

Posted: Jan. 7 2006, 15:17 ET

I didn't reply because I don't know anything about fabricating magazines.  It would be poor etiquette if I went and replied "I don't know" to just about every thread on these forums.

What gun do you want to make a hi-cap for?

You might be able to cannabalize or reverse engineer springs from a hi-cap for a 10/22, maybe.

I'm sorry, but that's all I can tell you.  It's why I didn't reply initially.

Posted: Jan. 7 2006, 22:09 ET

thanks guys, i will be trying  to build some high cap magazines for a old french .22 semi auto rifle,  , 20 rounders are real tough to find, originaly i was going to tig weld a gevarm mag to a bingham 50 round drum, now i will try building a strait factory type using 2 coil springs and a bent sheet metal follower, rather than the traditional zig zag type of flat spring,a curved magazine body is likley easier to deal with .22 rims, but i have used the original 20 round mags and they are strait, strait dies will be a lot easier to machine, thanks for the tips, i wondered why i could find no info on the internet relating to building 22 rimfire magazines:) :)

Posted: Jan. 7 2006, 23:19 ET

From what I remember reading elsewhere here's a few things you need to consider...

1) when bending the metal body, there will be a certain amount of 'springback'.  This happens with any forming, I believe.

2) Inside and outside dimensions are, of course, critical.
Inside - there are different factors (angles relating to how the rounds sit upon each other and the follower, and how they feed up through to top) to work out whether you are building a single stack or a double stack.
You'll be dealing with spring compression (how much pressure you have pushing the rounds up against the mag lips and bolt from complete compression and as each round is stripped away), follower size (including how it carries the rounds, especially the last round), smoothness for the rounds, follower and spring.

Outside - ease of insertion into the firearm, proper seating so when the bolt moves forward and back the mag does not bind up the bolt, mag catch hole (make sure the mag catch does not protrude inside the mag and catch rounds, follower or spring), proper feedlip geometry.

You might try this idea for starters...

-Get a mag you want to duplicate.
-strip it down and coat the inside with release agent, seal off the feedlip area so the mold material can record the shape of the lips accurately
-pour in cerrosafeCerrosafe/Brownell's
-remove and let 'cure', you now have a fairly accurate inside mold of the magazine.  Use this to help create a bending block.

Another way would be to find a piece of metal close to the inside measurements and then work it down by hand with files, saws, etc., until you get a good fit.

There are books on metalforming and die making from places like
Lindsay's Technical Books

Read the various threads on the AK bending jig

This should get you started.

There used to be some info on the web, if I come across it I'll post it here.

Posted: Jan. 8 2006, 02:43 ET

Oops!  I feel so stupid!  I forgot to actually post the link I was talking about earlier.  Here it is:

Making a 20 round magazine for the CZ Kadet

I guess I'll edit my original post to include the link.  :bangin:

Posted: Jan. 8 2006, 10:03 ET

The Gevarm is a semi auto that fires from an open bolt.  I saw one 23 years ago that had been illegally converted to full auto.  I fired it at my buddy's farm and it was more fun than a barrel full of monkeys.

Anyhow, the gun had a 15 round magazine.   You might want to place an advertisement in some of the Australian, Canadian and European shooting publications.  That might be the best way to locate some original Gevarm magazines.

I doubt that my buddy still has his Gevarm.

If we have a few European members, maybe they could help.  Is the Gevarm factory still in business?  Are these magazines still available in France?

On a side note:  The word "gewaar", in Afrikaans means "danger".  And this describes the Gevarm ( and other open bolt weapons) perfectly.  When talking about the gun, I always spoke to my buddy saying, "jou Gewaar".  (Your Danger).  He always got a laugh out of that.

I did a quick check on the net and Hoosier Gun Works sometimes has these magazines for sale.  Right now they have a waiting list.  But you might eventually turn up a magazine there.


I was discussing your situation with my cat.  And Fluffy, as usual has the answer.  She says that you ought to check with John Le Lacheur, who is a manufacturer of Gevarm magazines.

John Le Lacheur,
38 Wandilla Drive
Rostrevor, 5073
Peoples' Socialist Australian Republic
Telephone No: 0883371903
Fax: No: 0883374422


Posted: Jan. 8 2006, 10:14 ET

If you plan on using a coil spring then you will need some sort of guide for the spring to keep it from buckelling in the middle. With the rimmed cartridge a high capacity mag may need to have a curve in it. One thought would be to lay the amount of cartridges you want on a piece of paper with the top one having its rim in front of the one below it and so on down the line and then draw a line along all the rims to give the curve you need. Remember to give enough room at the bottom for the compressed spring. With a rotory table and a mill you can make 2 stamping die to form the 2 sides and then  spot weld them together.

Posted: Jan. 8 2006, 10:52 ET

We might have more ideas if you posted a pic of the mag so we can see what it looks like. Are you looking for a straight or curved mag . what tools and equipment do you have access to

Posted: Jan. 12 2006, 00:06 ET

i have a rotary table and a digital camera, working lots of overtime right now, will post pics in a couple of days, also looking on hobby die forming sites for info,thanks for all the great tips guys,

Posted: Jan. 12 2006, 09:25 ET

As a matter of fact, I just found a link that might be of great interest on this subject yesterday.  This is a link to a website selling high cap mags for a 10-22 but if you look at the pictures and read a bit about it, the guy is making his own mags out of aluminum.  It is a creative design that might be adaptable to many other designs and magwell sizes to suit our sport of choice.  I don't know if it can be created without CNC capability in the curved style but certainly as a straight mag it is doable.

Here's a pic.



Posted: Jan. 12 2006, 17:21 ET

Here's a peek at the inside of that magazine:

Posted: Jan. 12 2006, 23:44 ET

cjsdad thanks for the great site tip, 15 rnd hk .22 mags etc, still looking in to home die forming mags, places like bonniedoon, take a look if die forming things intrest you.:)

Posted: Jan. 13 2006, 10:14 ET

I hope you have a high-speed connection. WARNING! This is a 44 MB file!!!
Go here - http://www.thedisease.net/arcana....pes.pdf
Go to page 88. Take a look at this and see if it is any help to you. I hope it is.
Also, you will find a LOT of good stuff like this in our own library, so I would suggest paying the subscriber fee, as you can see I still need to do myself.  :ignore:

Posted: Jan. 13 2006, 17:43 ET

There is a fellow in Winnipeg selling 10 and 20 round Gevarm mags----10's @$75, 20's @$95 Canadian funds, I am not sure as to your import requirements.During the 60's these rifles were quite common up here and there are still quite a few around.
You might have to join to view.
Regards, Diggaway

Posted: Jan. 17 2006, 03:15 ET

ok ,im getting ready to shear some .0024- 1095 sheet stock, any one ever cut this stock before, o ,by the way its blue tempered  45 rock well, using a 12 foot accu shear hyd, any tips on setting the blade gap, should i attempt this or will i damage the shear blades, anyone with experience with shearing this material please let me know, thanks :)  :)

Posted: Jan. 17 2006, 14:01 ET


Posted: Jan. 24 2006, 02:19 ET

ok i have a pile of scrap from this weekends attempts,i am working on a forming die that can be expanded 35 thou at the rear, plan on zip cutting with my dremmel then silver souldering the rear face of the magazine next weekend,as a side note any one have a source for 1095 spring steel flat stock, .025 to .065 thick and in .100 .200 .300 wide min 12 inch lengths thanks for all the great input and tips guys. :)

Posted: Jan. 24 2006, 06:50 ET

McMaster-Carr has 1095 spring stock.  You'll have to trim it to the width and length you need, but it's available in whatever thickness you're likely to need.  Go to the "Raw Materials and Springs" category at the bottom right of the page, and look for the "Metals" category.  The "Springs" category is for finished springs, so don't bother with that one.  Under the "Metals" category you'll be able to select the type of steel you're looking for and you'll be given a list of available sizes.  I'd post a direct link, but the way their website works prevents that from working.

Posted: Jan. 24 2006, 14:18 ET


Posted: Feb. 7 2006, 06:31 ET

i found a patent that might interest you.  


this describes a device to form and straighten magazine lips.  i don't know how useful it will be, but i hope it helps someone.

Posted: Jan. 20 2007, 08:58 ET

I've also thought about the difficulties in building high-cap rim-fire mags.No time for tinkering lately so I haven't got around to messing with any of my ideas.However the conclusion I came up with was to build them in the manner of the winchester69a mags.The bodies themselves are in four sections or strips-front,back,left,and right.The front and back pieces have tabs or ears protruding along their legnth which fit into corresponding slots in the side pieces and I believe are silver soldered into place.
Do to the nature of the rimmed cartridges I believe that a magazine would have to either be curved or slanted rearward like a pistol mag.I maybe wrong tho.
The curved design could be done easily by making up a paper template after establishing the magazines radius by setting it on the paper and by using a drafting caliper/divider (?) its than just a matter of transferring this template to the steel.....and some work.


Posted: Jan. 20 2007, 18:42 ET

At the very bottom of the list of the Main Forums there is a section on tinkering with magazines, I think it is a fairly recent addition. Also any of the Bill Holmes  books have information on building or adapting magazines, some of these books may be in the  LIBRARY here.

Posted: Jan. 21 2007, 00:21 ET

You have to be an subscriber to access the Magazine/Tinkering subforum! It is worth the money to subscribe to this forum many times over for the info and library, the best build forum on the net bar none! :thumbs:

Posted: Jan. 21 2007, 06:17 ET

I plan to subscribe sometime this week,this site is amazing.

As far as the Bill Holmes books go although hes done a great service to humanity(does that sound funny lol) by making such info available and his pistol book was the first book I've read on the subject.I admit that his books gave me the confidence to pursue this ummm..... "interest".

Although I find that his designs are more involved then necessary-they are quality designs that are on par with commercial makes.

I was upset when I read the .22 machine pistol manual to learn that it doesn't include a magazine design and that a builder would have to rely on factory magazines and a rare .22cal tommy gun magazine at that.Although to make it using ruger clips is no big deal. Home workshop means 100% home workshop built to me.
The BH pistol magazine design could just be made longer I guess to a length of 20rds.Since it would be single stack and in my opinion flimsy,could be made out of a heavier gauge steel. Like a chechn Borz-the buck rogers looking one.which is a long single stack mag of 20rds 9x18mm

Posted: Jan. 21 2007, 23:21 ET

would really like to see pics as you work through this project.

umm sort of on topic...speaking of .22 mags
how the heck did grendel make the p30 mags work?
30 rds 22mag in a flush fitting magazine.


Posted: Jan. 21 2007, 23:42 ET

Quote (Too Coolio @ Jan. 20 2007,08:58)
Do to the nature of the rimmed cartridges I believe that a magazine would have to either be curved or slanted rearward like a pistol mag.I maybe wrong tho.

I think there may be another option, Imagine the front of the magazine  the proper width for a .22 rimfire and the back about half again or maybe a little more wider than the front. The cartridges would lay flat on top of each other with the rims alternating left right left right.   O
                                                      O Sort of like this from the back.And in alignment at the front .Sort of funnel shaped when viewed from the top.  As long as they laid flat you should be able to make at least a 15 rounder

Posted: Jan. 22 2007, 02:50 ET

Quote (scasa @ Jan. 21 2007,23:42)
I think there may be another option, Imagine the front of the magazine  the proper width for a .22 rimfire and the back about half again or maybe a little more wider than the front. The cartridges would lay flat on top of each other with the rims alternating left right left right.

I think this is the best plan. The magazine can be parallel-sided overall, but with ridges pinched in about 5/16" or 3/8" from the front to force the rounds single file at that point. The rims would be given more space to stagger out. You'd still need a slight angle to keep the rims from getting out of sequence, but no more than a M1911 magazine.

Probably the front of the magazine ahead of the "pinch" could be formed into a rounded shape and a standard 5/16" diameter round coil spring put in there to power the follower instead of an oddball rectangular spring.

Posted: Jan. 23 2007, 20:34 ET

Probably the front of the magazine ahead of the "pinch" could be formed into a rounded shape and a standard 5/16" diameter round coil spring put in there to power the follower instead of an oddball rectangular spring.

Sure.  That's like the magazine for the Savage Model 62.

Posted: Jan. 26 2007, 09:11 ET


This manual is worth the read if for no other reason than the fact that he gives a good description of how to build a solid magazine . He uses a .32 auto and that is a rimmed cartridge ; technically a semi rimmed ; but the similarities are enough to give you a lot of good information.

Posted: Jan. 29 2007, 09:54 ET

for an expedient type of magazine perhaps the Luty approach would be worth investigating.Do some measurements on some square tubing and maybe cut the top and bottom slanted.
As for a straight single stack mag,I can see that being a problem but then again as mentioned in an earlier post those Grendle mags are very interesting....I wonder how successful they were?