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Old 03-26-2001, 03:17   #1
Ace
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Mini-14 Magazine FAQ
Draft Edition 2
By Martin 'Ace' Mershon
12/14/99

This is a listing of various magazines for the Mini-14.

The magazines may be devided into two general catagories - Factory Ruger
and Aftermarket. All factory agazines have good reviews. If they were
just more available (like GI M-16 mags) there would be no need for the
aftermarket mags.


Factory Ruger Mags.
------------------
The best magazines are mfg by (for) Ruger. They are excellent quality
and are long lasting (made of steel). They (have) come in 5, 10, 20 &
30rd capacities.

The 5rd mag fits flush into the stock of the rifle and is still
available to the public. The rear mag catch is stamped and the butplate
is plastic w/ the ruger logo. All factory magazins have no taper and
are smaller at the front (w/o a step).

The 10rd mags are not currently mfg and are rare.

The 20 and 30rd mags are uncommon and quite expensive these days ($50 to
$100 each). They may be identified by the ruger logo and Mini-14
stamped into the floorplate. The 20rd has a stamped rear mag catch
while the 30rd has a welded mag catch along with a dimple for additional
support. There are also some older 20rd (and mabey 30rd) factory mags
with pinned bottoms. The plastic bottom plate is held in by four
spring-loaded pins. One hole in each sid of the mag, about an inch down
from the top and 3/4 inch in from the back. Welded mag catch with sharp
corners. Smooth plastic follower. RUGER stamped on the side. No taper
that I can see. New 20 and 30rd mags are still available from Ruger for
sale to LEO only per the '94 AW ban.

Aftermarket Mags.
----------------
The quality of aftermarket magazines is much more variable. Many mags
are good but bad mags can be found from
any mfg. It is best to buy from a source that will allow returns and
test them promptly. Generally the mags made just before the ban give
more trouble than the mags mfg prior. Often bad mags can be made to
function with some work <G>. There are also some no-name mags out
there (unmarked). Some of these are good, some are bad. The
aftermarket magazines are mfg from plastic and or steel.


Eagle: 35rd
-----------
These magazines have a good reputation.

These are clear or plastic bodied magazines. The springs are a unique
coil type spring, functioning similar to a tape measure. They may be
identified by 'Eagle' molded into the side. They are said to be the
same as the Millet Magazines

(were some of these bad or was it just the mini-30 eagles?)

John Masen: 30rd
-----------------------
These magazines have a good reputation. (They are my prefered
aftermarket magazine.)

These mags are a good copy of the factory ruger 30rd magazine except
they are painted instead of blued. (currently available in 10rd -
Diminished Capacity)

These magazines are made of steel with a welded, rounded edge magazine
catch. The magazine has no taper (top to bottom) and the front of the
magazine is narrower all the the way from top to bottom. The magazine
has the factory style dimple below the mag catch and the follower has
'legs' to help prevent canting.

The magazine inserts and feeds well. The bolt is held open after the
last shot. These were the only aftermarket magazines that function
properly in full auto according to reports.

There was at least one batch of these magazines with the mag catch
welded to high on the magazine (causing the mag to hang low). Most were
recalled by masen for repair. I had some this way and they repaired my
magazine free of charge.

Mitchel:
--------
These magazines feed ok but are difficult to insert properly.

The magazine is made of steel. The mag catch is pressed out of the
steel in a sadle shape.

MWG: 90rd drum
--------------
These are black plastic bodied magazines. They are a drum type magazine
with an interchangable mag well. The rear of the mag is clear plastic
so the rounds remaing can be verified.

No functional reviews of these mags were received.

Precision Magazine Industries (PMI): 10, 20, 30 and 40 rd
------------------------------------
These magazines have a good reputation except among full auto users.

These are steel or Stainless steel bodied magazines. The square
cornered mag catch is welded on and the magazine body has taper from the
top to the bottom. The magazine has no dimple below the catch and has a
step (becomes wider at the front below the mag well). The follower does
not have 'legs' and is not of the anticant design. Some mags are
stamped with mfg information (PMI, Precision, etc.), others are not.

The mags insert, feed and hold the bolt open ok.

Full auto users have experienced feeding difficulties.

Ramline: 30rd Combo Mag (also fits AR)
--------------------------------------
I have recieved mixed reviews of these magazines.

These are clear plastic bodied magazines. These mags fit the mini-14
and the AR family of weapons. These
mags have Ramline Combo Mag moulded into the mag body.

They do not hold the bolt open reliably. There were some reports of
insufficent spring pressure. Early production magazines seem to
function fine. Those produced just prior to the magazine ban are much
less reliable according to reports.


Thermold: 30rd
--------------
I have recieved mixed reviews of these magazines.

These are black plastic bodied magazines.

Some reported the mag lips needed to be trimmed slightly to allow the
cartridge to feed reliably.

USA: 10, 20, 30rd
-----------------
I have recieved mixed reviews of these magazines.

These are steel bodied magazines. They have solid stamped rear mag
catches. The body is tappered - narow at top and wide at bottom. The
magazine has a step at the front below the mag well. There is no
dimple. Some mags are marked with mfg information, some are not.

These magazines are often reported to have problems although some are
good and most can be made to work (according to some). The mags with
blue followers are reported to be superior to later production with
black
followers.


Your comments/additions are greatly appreciated.

Please note the mini-30 is a different rifle and this information do not
apply to the mini-30.
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