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GSG-16 Drum Magazine Review: 110 Rounds of Fun

I remember when I shot the ATI GSG-16 (manufactured by German Sport Guns, imported by American Tactical Imports) several years ago. It wasn’t my gun – just had the chance to take my hunting buddy’s for a spin. He mentioned he had bought it for himself simply as a range toy and planned to hand it down to his daughter once she was a bit older. Seizing the opportunity, I decided to give it a try. The gun proved to be a great deal of fun. Everything I had heard about it was true – a perfect .22LR plinker; the smoothest HK MP5 clone; lightweight and easy to handle; it’s flying off the shelves in Canada – or so they say.

Back then, my pal used stick magazines exclusively, didn’t want anything to do with drum mags (bad experience). Seems like a lot of folks feel the same. I’ve also noticed drum mags can be a bit finicky. But I’m convinced most issues are linked to poor-quality ammo and the inherent design of drum magazines as standalone devices. More on that later.

So there I was, back at the range, ready to give the GSG-16 another whirl, this time with the GSG 110 drum mag.

Table of Contents

GSG-16 Drum Magazine Review

I will review the 110-round drum magazine for the ATI GSG-16 .22LR rifle. Just keep in mind that the Ruger 10/22 is way more popular for its awesome customizability, affordability, and a bunch of other perks we all love. That means the GSG Ruger 10/22 drum mag is a lot more common in retail and online stores. So when you’re out searching for that drum mag for your GSG-16, make sure it’s the right one.

ATI GSG-16 110rd Drum Magazine – Specs:

Compatibility: ATI GSG-16 .22 LR Rifle
Caliber: .22 LR
Capacity: 110rd
Weight: 1.95 lbs (unloaded), 2.75 lbs (loaded with 100 rounds)

Build & Design

So, let’s begin with the construction. The moment I grabbed the GSG-16 drum mag, I was struck by the solid feel of its polymer body – didn’t feel like some cheap plastic toy at all. The metal part up top with steel-reinforced feed lips felt nice and robust, too.

One cool feature is that the mag has four openings through which one can see the bullets. Super handy because, even though the mag is fully loaded, you can still get a rough idea of your bullet count. Or, you can straight-up count them. For instance, when you see one bullet looking at you from the first window, that means you have left 15 rounds in your mag. The first round in the second window indicates 25 rounds to go, the third window shows 35, and so on. If it’s critical for you to know exactly how many shots you’ve got left before you run dry, you could even mark the important capacity points – the ribs around the edge will help you keep track.

Magazine Loader

Well, I had to say, shooting the rifle with a 110 drum mag is awesome, but loading it? That’s a pain in the butt, especially when you think about how tiny these .22LR rounds are. Unfortunately, there are no mag loaders compatible with this drum mag. Frankly speaking, there are not many drum mag speed loaders in general. I wish the GSG-16 drum mag had something like the Tactical Skeleton 100-round drum mag offers.

For those wondering if they can speed load the mag using a regular loader designed for stick mags, here’s a video where the guy tries to load the GSG Ruger 10/22 drum mag with a speed loader by Butler Creek. (takeaway: your hands are much faster.)

Loading

I once owned the Ruger 10/22, so I’ve developed quite the manual dexterity to load those little demons (the .22LR rounds) fast enough, at least compared to someone who’s mostly been dealing with, say, the .223 Rem. However, when I was loading a hundred rounds into the GSG-16 drum mag for the first time, it felt like an eternity.

By the way, this GSG drum mag holds the most rounds of all the .22 drum mags I’ve encountered. ProMag makes Ruger 10/22 drum mags with capacities ranging from 30 rounds (which is simply a crazy investment) to a max of only 75 rounds.

Back to loading. The process is as follows. On one side, there are tabs that you push with your thumb, which relieves the pressure on the spring and lowers the follower so you can slide in a round. The first load took me around 6 minutes. The second time, I tried to load it as fast as I could, and it took me just over 4 minutes.

Fitting

Fitting my GSG-16 drum mag was smooth as butter. However, I then read that Ruger 10/22 owners have issues with that because of different stocks. The solution I found was quite straightforward – you need to carefully shave off a bit of the metal part that flares out at the bottom. If you don’t have experience in metalwork, turn to a pro.

Shooting with the GSG-16 Drum Magazine

gsg-16-drum-mag

Feeding Reliability (the nature of drum mags)

While the idea of having a magazine loaded with 110 rounds is great, in practice, I’d advise you to think twice before loading your GSG .22LR drum mag with 110 rounds. Instead, try 100-105.

Here’s the deal: drum mags can work unreliably when fully loaded or overloaded (I read that some guy loaded 118 rounds). This flaw is related to how drum mags are built. The spring coil pushes rounds in circles, which is more complex than pushing them upwards because the spring works in two axes.

When loaded tightly, the spring is overpressured, which not only shortens the lifespan because it will eventually stress out faster but also can lead to double feeding issues. That’s why you don’t want to go over 105 rounds with your GSG-16 drum magazine.

When I was testing mine, I also noticed that when it got down to the last 1-3 rounds, it jammed. That is related to the spring lacking enough tension.

In terms of build quality, I would say that the GSG drum mag performed great. And I wouldn’t pin feeding issues on this mag, feeding issues inherent to all drum mags.

Ammo Compatibility

First of all, GSG doesn’t recommend using wax-coated rounds in its mag, which eliminated quite a lot of good .22 LR ammo.

Why do they apply wax on bullets? Wax serves as a lube between the barrel and the bullet, which helps reduce friction. It also protects from corrosion and reduces lead foul (Remember? .22 LR is a very dirty cartridge). While wax is great for barrel longevity, it’s no good for many magazines because it accumulates inside and causes feeding issues.

So, what ammo works the best with the GSG drum mag? Generally, it’s copper-plated ammo because it has a dry lube on the projectile or is lube-free. On the other hand, cheap bulk ammo tends to be the dirtiest.

So, I took three options to test at the GRITR shooting range – Federal Champion, Aguila Super Extra, and CCI Standard Velocity. The CCI SV is waxed ammo, but I still wanted to try how it would affect feeding. Though I love the brand and its products, I have to say that in this particular test, the CCI SV .22 LR wasn’t good – 2 jams and 1 misfeed throughout 200 rounds. Federal and Aguila performed very nicely, no issues whatsoever. The only minor issue is the Aguila ammo smelling funky.

So, based on my findings, here are ammo recommendations to be used with the GSG-16 drum magazine:

Federal Champion – the best .22 bulk ammo option

Grain: 36
Muzzle velocity: 1260 fps
Bullet type: Copped-plated HP
Package quantity: 525 rounds

Federal BYOB

Grain: 36
Muzzle velocity: 1260 fps
Bullet type: Copped-plated HP
Package quantity: 1375 rounds

Aguila Super Extra

Grain: 38
Muzzle velocity: 1280 fps
Bullet type: Copped-plated HP
Package quantity: 250 rounds

Remington Golden Bullet

Grain: 36
Muzzle velocity: 1280 fps
Bullet type: Brass-plated HP
Package quantity: 525 rounds

CCI Mini Mag

Grain: 36
Muzzle velocity: 1260 fps
Bullet type: Copper-plated HP
Package quantity: 300 rounds

Final Thoughts

So, what’s this magazine for, and do you really need it? If you’re a fan of drum mags and you’re all about maxing out your fun at the range without constant reloads, then go for it. It’s sturdy, holds a ton of rounds, and it’s easy on the wallet.

Think about it — you can get yourself a 110-round mag for 58 bucks, or grab five stick mags that’ll hold the same amount of ammo for upwards of 80 dollars. Sure, statistically speaking, shooters run into way fewer hiccups with stick mags, but when it comes to cost, drum mags have the edge.

FAQs

Is the GSG 110-round drum mag compatible with all Ruger 10/22 models?

There are two variants of the GSG 110 drum mag – one is designed for the GSG-16 rifle, while the other is compatible with the Ruger 10/22.

Who manufactures the GSG-16 drum mag?

The GSG 110 drum mag is manufactured by German Sport Guns (GSG), a well-known manufacturer of firearms and accessories, and imported to the USA by American Tactical Imports (ATI).

What kind of ammunition can I use with the GSG-16 drum mag?

The GSG 110 drum magazine is intended for .22LR caliber ammunition, such as Federal Champion, Aguila Super Extra, Remington Golden, and CCI Mini Mag.

How do I load the GSG 110 round drum mag correctly?

It is generally recommended to load a few rounds less than the maximum capacity (e.g., 100-105 instead of 110) to ensure reliable function and prevent spring tension issues.

Are drum magazines as reliable as stick magazines?

Statistically, stick magazines are known to have fewer issues compared to drum magazines. However, drum magazines, like the GSG 110, offer much higher capacity and can be more cost-effective.

How do I care for and maintain my GSG 110 drum mag?

Regular cleaning and maintenance, including careful inspection of the spring and follower, can help prolong the life of your .22LR drum magazine. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for care and maintenance.

Timothy Chandler

Timothy Chandler is a long-time outdoor enthusiast and shooting range regular who decided to put his passion into words. Having tried an immeasurable number of firearms during his hunting trips across Texas and several other states, Timothy has accumulated a knowledge base worthy of sharing. The possible blanks in the expertise he compensates with the help of his numerous shooting buddies. Timothy is set on a seemingly impossible mission to try it all in the realm of firearms. Follow him on his never-ending journey through the gun world.

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