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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new to this site so forgive me if this has been discussed 1000 times before..I've got a 196 series Mini 14 SS I bought in 2000-2001...Does this have a newer more accurate barrel then the previous models..? and has Ruger put improved barrel on Mini's after my 196..? Thanks
 

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Yes you do have the older pencil thin barrel and older tooling but many have put aftermarket struts on the barrel and it has improved there accuracy. Stick around a while and read. A wealth of information to be had here. Welcome to the site.
 

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Here's some very good info on Mini's put together by BWRaven on this site. There is a lot of good info on best bullet weight for each barrel twist on here as well. I have a 183 and found the strut and a Hogue stock really helped the accuracy. After these mods it shoots as good as my new heavy barrel 582.

180 Series Mini-14
Beginning
Serial Nbr
180-00001--1974--1 in 10
180-05101--1975--1 in 10
180-28282--1976--1 in 10
180-59251--1977--1 in 10

Mini-14
Thin barrel, ejector is in the bolt, no scope ring scallops cast into the receiver.
Beginning
Serial Nbr
181-07488--1978--1 in 10
181-48351--1979--1 in 10
181-84879--1980--1 in 10
182-45601--1981--1 in 10
183-03581--1982--1 in 10
183-40455--1983--1 in 10
184-17175--1984--1 in 10
184-26063--1985--1 in 10
184-95448--1986--1 in 10 and 1 in 7
185-14140--1987--1 in 7
185-50455--1988--1 in 7
185-56556--1989--1 in 7
185-81009--1990--1 in 7
186-05029--1991--1 in 7
186-18250--1992--1 in 7
186-20065--1993--1 in 7
186-31116--1994--1 in 7
186-42502--1995--1 in 7
186-58133--1996--1 in 7
186-66855--1997--1 in 7 and 1 in 9
186-81445--1998--1 in 9
186-87432--1999--1 in 9
*196-06325-2000--1 in 9
*196-44553-2001--1 in 9
*196-80982-2002--1 in 9
*196-99207-2003--1 in 9
*197-12180-2004--1 in 9
* Mini-14 serial numbers rollmarked with Mini-14 Ranch Rifles beginning in 2000


Ranch Rifle
Thin barrel, ejector in the bolt stop assembly, scope ring scallops cast into the receiver, buffer sytem using the recoil spring assembly.
Beginning
Serial Nbr
187-00001--1982--1 in 10
187-02611--1983--1 in 10
187-13218--1984--1 in 10
187-27226--1985--1 in 10
187-50919--1986--1 in 10 and 1 in 7
187-59308--1987--1 in 7
187-70033--1988--1 in 7
187-84127--1989--1 in 7
188-01157--1990--1 in 7
188-30499--1991--1 in 7
188-50902--1992--1 in 7
188-66901--1993--1 in 7
188-71086--1994--1 in 7
188-85981--1995--1 in 7
195-06037--1996--1 in 7
195-27761--1997--1 in 7 and 1 in 9
195-44221--1998--1 in 9
195-63542--1999--1 in 9
196-06325--2000--1 in 9
196-44553--2001--1 in 9
196-80982--2002--1 in 9
196-99207--2003--1 in 9
197-12180--2004--1 in 9


New Mini-14 Ranch Rifle
580 Ranch Rifle (early version): Thin barrel, ejector in the bolt stop assembly, scope ring scallops cast into the receiver, buffer sytem using the recoil spring assembly, new tooling resulting in a slightly different look to the receiver (more rounded edges, etc.)
580 Ranch Rifle (later version)-581: Thicker flanged barrel, ejector in the bolt stop assembly, scope ring scallops cast into the receiver, buffer sytem using the recoil spring assembly, new tooling resulting in a slightly different look to the receiver (more rounded edges, etc.)
Beginning
Serial Nbr
580-00001--2005--1 in 9
580-15286--2006--1 in 9
580-32382--2007--1 in 9
580-50951--2008--1 in 9
* 580-76276
and 581-00000--2009--1 in 9
* 581-48753--2010--1 in 9
* 581-71056--2011--1 in 9
* 581-95645--2012--1 in 9
* New Mini-14 Ranch Rifles rollmarked with Mini Thirty Rifles beginning in 2009.


Mini-30
Beginning
Serial Nbr
186-00501--1986--1 in 10
189-00001--1987--1 in 10
189-15143--1988--1 in 10
189-17652--1989--1 in 10
189-25005--1990--1 in 10
189-38805--1991--1 in 10
189-51041--1992--1 in 10
189-52528--1993--1 in 10
189-59348--1994--1 in 10
189-65480--1995--1 in 10
189-75697--1996--1 in 10
189-82126--1997--1 in 10
189-84971--1998--1 in 10
189-89313--1999--1 in 10
189-96162--2000--1 in 10
*196-06325-2001--1 in 10
*196-44553-2002--1 in 10
*196-99207-2003--1 in 10
*197-12180-2004--1 in 10
* Mini Thirty serial numbers rollmarked with Mini-14 Ranch Rifles beginning in 2001


New Mini-30
Beginning
Serial Nbr
581-01002--2006--1 in 10
581-05892--2007--1 in 10
581-06747--2008--1 in 10
581-11910--2009--1 in 10
581-48753--2010--1 in 10
581-71056--2011--1 in 10
581-95645--2012--1 in 10
 

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Just FYI, the Accu-strut was invented on a 196.
 

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Don't be afraid of a 196 rifle if you don't mind tweeking it a bit. I glass bed mine myself, checked the gas block screws which were uneven and had a trigger job done on it. It routinely shoots 2 inch groups now, once in a while 1 1/2 inchers. I just got the accustrut and put it on 3 days ago ( plus new glasses for my 59 year old eyes, by god, it makes a huge difference) so thanksgiving I plan on trying it out. If you can get a good deal on it and don't mind playing with it, go fer it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you so much..Great info...My Mini probably has less than a couple hundred rounds through her...Bought it then got transfered to the Left Coast and didn't shoot it at all out there...In gun friendly Utah now so the fun will soon begin after a 10 year lay off..
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I just checked out the Accu-strut and it looks like a no brainer regardless of how well mine shoots..It should, in theory, improve accuracy to at lease some degree...So I will for sure get the strut then see what happens....
 

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A strut will make a better shooter from the 196 series. I would also suggest getting an even torque on the gas block screws, usually the 1st mod done to all minis. This will help accuracy also, sets even pressure against the barrel at the gas block.
 

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Thanks for posting BWRaven's info, wxl! Very informative. I had no idea that a large number of Mini barrels, including my own 185-series, were 1-in-7 twist.
 

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Thanks for posting BWRaven's info, wxl! Very informative. I had no idea that a large number of Mini barrels, including my own 185-series, were 1-in-7 twist.
I had read on here that they went to the 1:7 twist to compete for a military contract which had to stabilize a much heavier tracer round. The info I read also suggest that a lot of people shoot the most common 55g bullet which is great for the 1:10 twist but the 1:7 twist was too fast for the 55g and this caused a lot of the inaccuracy issues with these particular Mini's. Do a search on this site on barrel twist vs bullet weight and you can a lot of good info especially if you reload.
 
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