Ruger Mini-14 and Mini-30 Ruger Mini-14 and Mini-30 family of rifles

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Old 03-23-2009, 10:32   #1
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New wood handguards! (maybe)

I recently got a new NRA model that I really like except for the stock (I'm old fashioned - I like wood and steel for making guns.) I easily found a wood stock but could not find wooden hand guards <anywhere>. (I was sort of trying to achieve the look of a M-1 Carbine that I once had and stupidly sold years ago.)

I sent a note to Wenig gun stocks (they seem to be one of the larger semi custom stock makers around) suggesting that they should offer a wooden Mini hand guard.

I just got a reply from them (below) and they are willing to make the hand guards if someone could loan them one to copy!

If anybody has one of these that would fit current Mini 14's and would be willing to loan it to Weing they would be doing the a lot of Mini owners that like the all wood look a great service.

If you are interested in helping with this and need help with shipping cost, PM me.

-------------------------Email exchange with Wenig-----------------------
Wayne,
If we could get one of the originals we could make a pattern and then there would be no problem reproducing them
----- Original Message -----
From: Wayne Freeman
To: gunstock@wenig.com
Sent: Sunday, March 15, 2009 6:08 PM
Subject: Ruger Mini 14 product proposal


Gentlemen,

The original Ruger Mini 14 came with a wooden stock and <wooden> hand gard. Sometime in the 1980's Ruger dropped
the wooden hand guard in favor of some kind of plastic material. There are a number of owners of current Mini 14's that
really like the wood hand guard but cannot find them. When older ones come available on eBay, they get bid up to very
high prices. If you look thru various firearms forums on the net you will see quite a few discussion threads like the following
one with comments about wanting wooden hand guards.

My Perfect Mini

I have spent hours searching the net and have concluded that there is no one producing these hand guards in wood (nothing
but plastic / composite materials available.)

I am convinced that there is a pent up demand out there for a wood hand guard for the current Mini 14 that you could easily fill. It
would not have to be fancy wood (the original stocks were birch) and (I think) would be pretty easy for a company such as yours
to bring into production.

I'd appreciate your thoughts on this subject.

Regards
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Old 03-23-2009, 10:34   #2
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I'd buy one for my 580 right now.
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Old 03-23-2009, 19:09   #3
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Put me down for one if they start to produce them.
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Old 03-23-2009, 20:04   #4
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You'd need to get one from an early 181, the wood handguard on my 180 has a clip around it like the Garand and M14. I believe the 181 wood HG uses a spring clip like the plastic HGs.
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Old 03-23-2009, 21:07   #5
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My guess is that if Wenig gets the pattern, they'll make the handguards on a request basis (rather than making a large production run).

For an unfinished handguard, the cost will likely be reasonable. But the trick will be installing a barrel clip that allows proper fitting, and finishing the wood to match an existing stock.

For what it's worth, a rear handguard for an M1 Garand can be altered to Mini-14 dimensions with a reasonable amount of effort. Of course, it helps tremedously to have a Mini-14 wood handguard onhand to aid in shaping the Garand piece.
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Old 03-23-2009, 21:52   #6
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I want one also.
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Old 03-23-2009, 22:00   #7
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I would love to have one also.
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Old 03-24-2009, 06:29   #8
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Contact carl at http://www.accuracysystemsinc.com/index.php I'm pretty sure he has a few wooden hanguards. Last time I asked him about them the price was $40.
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Old 03-25-2009, 08:47   #9
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Thanks PRC!

Originally Posted by prc77 View Post
Contact carl at http://www.accuracysystemsinc.com/index.php I'm pretty sure he has a few wooden handguards. Last time I asked him about them the price was $40.
They indeed had some ($29 + shipping). I have one on the way. I was told it was for a 182 series (1981 - 82 or thereabouts) and that I would probably have to open the barrel channel to fit current production models (bigger barrels).

I'm going to continue to work with Wenig for them to have a pattern to produce these for future old farts like myself that don't care for plastic. I'll loan them the 182 hand guard before I modify it to fit my NRA so whatever they produce will be able to be fitted to the widest numbers of Minis out there (with a bit of whittling / sanding).

I'll keep the forum up to date on how this is going.
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Old 03-30-2009, 19:43   #10
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Got the handguard today from Accuracy Systems and it fit perfectly with no modifications! (Thanks again, prc77). I'll be loaning it to Wenig to make a pattern. (They may have a problem finding the rear barrel clip - nobody seems to sell them separately - just riveted into the hand guard).

With regard to the handguard it self, it looks pretty much like a 25 year old piece of wood that was finished in linseed oil and handled a lot - dark and sticky. (I'm not a big fan of linseed oil because of the way it behaves as it ages.) When I get it back, I plan to strip both the handguard and the new stock (which is a sort of medium honey color) and stain / finish both pieces to match each other. I'll post pictures when I finish.
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Old 03-31-2009, 02:25   #11
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I have one of the skinny barrel 580's. I put it in one of my wooden stocks and put the wood hand guard on it just for giggles. Yes, it does look like an M1 carbine. Sorry no access to a camera or the rifle right now. But if you like a retro look, this is it. kwg
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Old 04-19-2009, 17:45   #12
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bump...

Any updates?!?!

Wonder if they could play around with one for a 10/22...
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Old 04-19-2009, 18:51   #13
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Yeah, like the look! I want one too..
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Old 04-19-2009, 21:05   #14
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I like that look too.........


You guys with your new-fangled 182s, mine came from Ruger with a wood handgaurd

But seriously, I am planning on getting a new one, and would like a wood HG to go on it.
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Old 04-19-2009, 21:59   #15
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Hey I just picked up a rifle just like the one above. I can't wait to take it out and shoot...
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Old 04-20-2009, 13:46   #16
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Just yesterday I lost a bid on ebay for a wood handguard that ended up selling for 34.00 plus 3.00 shipped. The handguard was even missing the barrel attachment clip and had scratches and damage. So much for dressing my mini up in some wood.
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Old 04-20-2009, 14:34   #17
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Originally Posted by 4thSBCT View Post
Just yesterday I lost a bid on ebay for a wood handguard that ended up selling for 34.00 plus 3.00 shipped. The handguard was even missing the barrel attachment clip and had scratches and damage. So much for dressing my mini up in some wood.
That sucks, sorry...
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Old 04-23-2009, 18:52   #18
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Update on Weing

I managed to find a handguard from a 182 series (which fitted just fine on my NRA) and dropped a note to Weing asking if they wanted it to make a pattern. In the same note I pointed out that they would need to rivet a barrel clip to the rear of the handguard if they wanted to have a viable product.

I got a note back from them saying they were looking for a supplier of these clips and when they find one, they would get back to me. Havn't heard anything back yet.
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Old 04-23-2009, 21:02   #19
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It was discussed (in another thread under another title) that service rifle competitors don't mount the hand guard to the barrel. They pin/screw it directly to the stock.

I want to say it was 2rangers and rutro that mentioned this tidbit.

Guido
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Old 04-24-2009, 16:31   #20
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Originally Posted by Guido View Post
It was discussed (in another thread under another title) that service rifle competitors don't mount the hand guard to the barrel. They pin/screw it directly to the stock.

I want to say it was 2rangers and rutro that mentioned this tidbit.

Guido
Thanks for the heads up! Well If it means complicating the break down of my rifle I don't want a wood handguard.
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Old 04-24-2009, 20:57   #21
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As much as I like the look of hotlead's barrel shroud I have to wonder if my 189 series and its thin barrel can tolerate being encapsulated and sealing in the heat. Do the ones offered by Accuracy Systems have venting holes as did the original Ruger wooden covers and which design would the Weing copy? Anyone know?
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Old 04-25-2009, 07:36   #22
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Ok
The wooden handguard that you can buy from ASI are factory originals. After being in the gun smithing business I guess they have accumulated a few handguards. It mounts to your barrel with a clip and tucks under the top half of your gas block, just like the factory plastic handguard.
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Old 04-25-2009, 10:27   #23
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what are your thoughts on faster heat up using the fully enclosed shrouds, prd77? Do you think that it even matters?
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Old 04-25-2009, 10:37   #24
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Originally Posted by ironhat View Post
what are your thoughts on faster heat up using the fully enclosed shrouds, prd77? Do you think that it even matters?
I see a lot of comments about barrel heat, and I say, It depends, on what you use it for. POI will not shift enough within the effective range of most minis to matter. So you get a 2" shift after 150 rounds...to me it's not a big deal.

If you're dumping several hundred rounds through it in a matter of minutes, you're going to ruin the barrel anyway. I say use the wood and if worried about heat, vent the wood.
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Old 04-25-2009, 23:50   #25
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Get a cheap plastic Choate hand guard and put it on when you shoot it or just plain take it off if you are worried about barrel heat. The rifle will fire with it off. kwg
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