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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm going to look at a 1976 180 Series Mini-14 tomorrow. Doing a trade...a MIM Fender Strat with factory installed Floyd Rose for it. I have $500 into the guitar, new they are $649. If the rifle is in decent shape, will be a fair straight across trade.

It has been drilled and tapped for a scope mount (kind of a bummer) but it includes the mount and 3x9 scope (not sure the scope make or model). Also has 1 5rd and 1 30rd Thermold.

Who out there has one and what are your thoughts. I know the difference between the 180 to 181. Just kind of wondering over all thoughts?
 

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Just want to make sure you know the big difference between them: Ruger does not support the 180 series. If something breaks you are on your own...
 

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Ruger no longer supports the 180 series mini's. That means if you break it, they will not fix it. Most of the parts between 180 and 181+ series are incompatable. For instance these parts are not interchangable: Operating rod, Op rod spring, Bolt, Gas nozzle, Gas block, Stock. About the only parts that are interchangable are the rear sight assembly and the magazine. The 180 series mini's now are mostly relegated to collectors or parts gun status. Look for a 181 or newer mini and save youself alot of potential headaches.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Totally understand what I was picking up. Its a nice little rifle and it will continue on for many more years to come. Also, there was much more offered in the trade, that far surpassed what the guitar was worth.

After doing a search on the site, I found there are a several peeps that own 180 series rifles and love em. And I can understand why. It’s a totally different feeling rifle in the hands. Now, I can only hope things will calm down, and ammo will become available again, so I can go shoot it!

I also called Ruger about the rifle, before picking it up. I was told, they don't support the rifle in parts any longer but, they will still do repair work on the rifle. And if by chance they can not fix it, it could be replaced. If someone else calls and asks the same question, probably get a different answer, I'm sure. Ruger’s CS can be lacking at times.

I don’t really see it breaking though. My Mini-14 was bought in 1987 and my Mini-30 in 1990. Both have shot plenty of ammo, with out any problems. They are well taken care of though too, and the latest edition will get the same treatment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Pic of the rifle...

Looks kind of cool with the Thermold 30rd magazine. When I broke it down last night and gave it a bath with Break Free, then a Hoppes treatment. Was pretty cool to see the differences between the 180 series and the 185 series.

The gas block is tiny. Roller bearing on the bolt, smaller rod spring and rod and the different bolt catch.

Nice little addition, even if it doesn't get shot that much.
 

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I totally understand. The 180's do feel good and are a good 1/2 to 3/4 lb lighter than 181+ mini's. I just hate the thought that an irreplaceable $10 (or less) part such as an extractor or op-rod spring could be the end of my mini.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I totally understand. The 180's do feel good and are a good 1/2 to 3/4 lb lighter than 181+ mini's. I just hate the thought that an irreplaceable $10 (or less) part such as an extractor or op-rod spring could be the end of my mini.
I wouldn't want the 180 Series Mini as my only rifle. But as a 2nd or 3rd sure. The Mini platform has proven dependable to me over the 25 years I've owned them. Just as long as the 180 is taken care of, I think it will remain a good shooter for many more years to come. lol...and the little thing is kind of cute. The wodden handguard really makes it pop.

It is now, the oldest firearm I have. 35+ years...And for its age, its holding up better then I am and I'm only 11 years older. :)
 
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