Excerpt from this Ruger Guide:
The Ruger .44 Carbine and the
At first glance these two rifles
appear to be very similar. From its debut in 1964, the 10/22 was
marketed as an “ideal hunting companion” to Ruger’s first rifle, the .44
Magnum Carbine. The .44 Magnum Carbine was introduced in 1959. Barrel
length, safety, sights, barrel band, and stock, are identical. The 10/22
weighs about 5 pounds and the .44 weighs in at 5.75 pounds. However, the
internal mechanisms are as different as night and day.
Although the .44 carbine was
discontinued in 1985, the 10/22 lives on and is considered the most
popular .22 rifle on the planet with over 4 million produced since 1964.
Operation of the Ruger 10/22
The 10/22 uses a rotary magazine.
Retracting the bolt handle cocks the internal hammer and compresses the
recoil spring. When the bolt is manually released it moves forward
(driven by the recoil spring), strips a cartridge from the magazine (if
magazine is loaded) and chambers the cartridge. The bolt is held against
the chambered cartridge by the recoil spring. When the trigger is
pulled, the hammer is released and strikes the firing pin which indents
the cartridge case rim and ignites the priming compound inside the rim.
As the bullet leaves the barrel, the bolt is forced rearward
automatically, extracting and ejecting the fired case, and at the same
time cocking the hammer and compressing the recoil spring again. Once
the trigger is released the rifle is ready to fire again and will cycle
repeatedly until there are no more cartridges in the magazine.