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Formerly "raf"
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3,308 Posts
Suggest you give it a thorough cleaning and lubing, then shoot it quite a bit, taking careful notes on what ammo is seems to "like". This way you are doing some preliminary ammo "testing", making sure the thing does not need any factory warranty work (unlikely), testing all the magazines, and "wearing-in" the Mini. Also suggest making NO irreversible changes to the Mini till it's verified to be 100% trouble-free.

Just shoot it, clean it, lube it, adjust the sights, and let us know how you make out. We'll be here.
 

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Formerly "raf"
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3,308 Posts
RIBob, thanks!
I found the on-line owner's manual and it's completely silent on the issue of lubrication. gunblue490 says only to add grease and only the the bolt knob/operating rod interface. It's beyond my pay grade why contact surfaces should not be lubricated on the Mini-14. Please advise as to what I should lube and with what.
Search "brownells videos on mini-14" for some pretty decent vids on care, lubing, and cleaning your Mini-14.

A good synthetic oil, like CLP, and a good synthetic grease will be needed. One good place to get the grease is at local auto store. Get some synthetic grease suitable for CV joints. A tub will last you years.

Get a coated cleaning rod with a rotating handle, and a muzzle guide for the cleaning rod. Pull the rod/brush/patch through the bore in the same direction as the bullet travels. Brass brush/patch holder.
 

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Formerly "raf"
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3,308 Posts
Since you will want to shoot the Mini a lot in order to break it in and verify 100% reliability, I reckon that between that and some careful dry-firing exercises, things will take care of themselves.

One possibility is to practice shooting your mini "weak-side". IOW, shoot it left-handed if you normally shoot right-handed, or vice versa. Some folks find this more easily done than others, but it's still a good skill to acquire. You might find, as others have done, that the Mini is almost perfectly set up for a left-handed shooter.

Another possibility is to change the point of balance of your Mini. If you have a synthetic stock, with a hollow buttstock, it is usually possible to remove the butt plate, and insert some weight/mass into the hollow buttstock. While doing so makes the Mini heavier overall, it shifts the rifle's center of balance to the rifle's rear, making the muzzle seem more "lively" in the hands. If the added weight is something useful, such as an emergency cleaning kit, spare parts, or even some spare ammo, the added weight serves a dual function. Package the added stuff (inside baggies) with some bubble wrap so there are no rattles. Mentioning this in the event you switch over to a synthetic stock, which is lighter than the wooden equivalent, so partially negating some weight gain fom "stuffing" the buttstock..

I'm sure some will come along with some specific exercises for you. Best of luck!
 

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Formerly "raf"
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3,308 Posts
Thanks. Fortunately (or unfortunately in the case of bolt-action rifles), I'm left-eyed, so shooting left-handed is easier for me. Will try your suggestions.

oh, and how many rounds would it take to break it in?

Finally, the nipple on the gas tube, which points toward the action, is loose, but doesn't fall out. Is that normal?
Suggest being able to shoot both sides can be useful, so give it a try.

Dry-firing will reduce amount of ammo needed, so I'd say maybe 200 rds or so will be a good start. Others will differ, but dry-firing cost nothing. While firing your Mini, suggest you make multi-use of the ammo by (1) Fully-testing any and all magazines you have. (2) Take careful notes on the size of groups different types of ammo produce, as you might want to get more of the better-grouping stuff for later. For break-in purposes, any inexpensive ammo will do, as long as it functions properly in your Mini. (3) Use the break-in process ammo to zero the sights your Mini.

The part to which you refer, the Gas Pipe, is made to have a bit of wobble to it, so that it does not interfere with the hole in the Slide Assembly into which the Gas Pipe fits. Perfectly normal, and intended to be so.

In case you didn't get one, here's link to the Owner's Manual for your Mini, straight from Ruger: http://ruger-docs.s3.amazonaws.com/_manuals/mini.pdf
 
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