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Cognitive Dissident
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Discussion Starter #1
I picked this up years ago and as I recall it was said to be a tactical model .223 with a walnut stock made for Davidsons.

It has been sitting in the safe for years and I almost forgot about it but I basically know nothing about it. I have no box.
So is it just a tactical model with a walnut stock? And is the barrel threaded for this flash suppressor.

It's a beautiful rifle but I can't tell if the flash suppressor is designed to come off and allow other things to be attached.

63720
 

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Formerly "raf"
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I believe that you can contact Ruger with complete serial number, and get a bare-bones description of your Mini. Since it is a somewhat rare model, perhaps it will be worth it to spend a little $ and have them send you a "Birth Certificate" for it. Suggest you download owner's manual for your specific rifle, if absent.

I expect that the flash suppressor is threaded, and can be removed. Others will know for sure. IIRC, large Torx bit is inserted into end of FS, and unscrewed that way. Suggest replacing it with a much better AR-15 A2 flash suppressor which has a closed bottom, reducing dust signature, and which also reduces muzzle rise. A bit shorter, too. Installing the A2 FS also allows the mounting of a bayonet, using a Cogburn Arsenal barrel-mounted bayonet lug. Unsure if the OEM flash suppressor allows such option. Again, others will know better. A2 FS is cheap, but you will also need a couple or three "crush washers" to index the A2 FS correctly. Also cheap.

Given that the wooden stock and the handguard are in pristine condition, perhaps get a synthetic stock and Choate handguard to keep them that way. The Ruger syn stock should fit perfectly, and is lighter than the wooden stock. You can modify the syn stock in lieu of modding the wooden stock without any concerns about reducing any possible "collector value" of the rifle.

If you elect to get a syn stock, and the stock requires a metal stock reinforcement (+ screws and washers), suggest getting those items as well, plus heat shield in fore-end. Every Mini (and stock) is a little different, and sometimes the fit of the stock reinforcement with respect to the "legs" of the receiver can require some minor, but important, fitting of the reinforcement. The stock reinforcement and other stuff need to be changed-out every time the stock is changed, and having the parts already installed makes stock change-over a quick and easy task, not to mention "fitted" to the barreled action and the stock, if such is required.

If you do not have sufficient magazines for your rifle, suggest that you address that situation while such are still available. Suggest 2 x 5-rd Ruger mags, at least a couple of 10-rd mags, and your choice of multiple 20-and/or 30-rd mags. I'd do that right away.

It's been fun spending your money, but in all seriousness, I have done all these things myself, so I can speak from experience. YMMV, naturally.
 

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Cognitive Dissident
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Discussion Starter #3
I believe that you can contact Ruger with complete serial number, and get a bare-bones description of your Mini. Since it is a somewhat rare model, perhaps it will be worth it to spend a little $ and have them send you a "Birth Certificate" for it. Suggest you download owner's manual for your specific rifle, if absent.

I expect that the flash suppressor is threaded, and can be removed. Others will know better. Suggest replacing it with a much better AR-15 A2 flash suppressor which has a closed bottom, reducing dust signature, and which also reduces muzzle rise. Cheap, but you will also need a couple or three "crush washers" to index the A2 FS correctly. Also cheap.

Given that the wooden stock and the handguard are in pristine condition, perhaps get a synthetic stock and Choate handguard to keep them that way. The Ruger syn stock should fit perfectly, and is lighter than the wooden stock. You can modify the syn stock in lieu of modding the wooden stock without any concerns about reducing any possible "collector value" of the rifle.

If you elect to get a syn stock, and the stock requires a metal stock reinforcement (+ screws and washers), suggest getting those items as well, plus heat shield in fore-end. Every Mini (and stock) is a little different, and sometimes the fit of the stock reinforcement with respect to the "legs" of the receiver can require some minor, but important, fitting of the reinforcement. The stock reinforcement and other stuff need to be changed-out every time the stock is changed, and having the parts already installed makes stock change-over a quick and easy task, not to mention "fitted" to the barreled action and the stock, if such is required.

If you do not have sufficient magazines for your rifle, suggest that you address that situation while such are still available. Suggest 2 x 5-rd Ruger mags, at least a couple of 10-rd mags, and your choice of 20-and/or 30-rd mags. I'd do that right away.

It's been fun spending your money, but in all seriousness, I have done all these things myself, so I can speak from experience.
That's a lot of good advice, Ribob. Thanks much.

I'll keep the walnut on it. This one is not going to get used much (unless the SHTF) and I love the look of this rifle.

I have a few magazines. I didn't have the 30-rounder and still wouldn't if somebody hadn't told me it should have come with one. I went back to the dealer that sold it to me and he was embarrassed and said it was just a mistake on his part and gave me a 30 and told me to keep the five-rounder that he originally sold me with the rifle.

I have a few 20-round mags and a couple of fives. I should at least pick up a couple tens, I suppose, if I can find them.

I'll give Ruger a call and chat with them about possibilities.

Thanks again.
 

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Ruger 10 mags suck!
 

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Formerly "raf"
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If keeping the wooden stock, then at least replace the stupid OEM handguard with much better Choate HG. If desired, paint it to match wood. Choate Tool Mini 14 Ventilated Handguard CMT-07-02-04 Color: Black,

If you think it a possibility that you will want to use forward-mounted optics, as many here do, then the Ultimak Scout rail is the way to go. The Ultimak is a reversible mod. Your rifle >>appears<< to have the heavy-profile barrel, which reduces the need for a dual-clamp barrel stabilizer.

At this point, I suggest a thorough cleaning, proper very light lubing (for wear-in/break-in purposes), and some sighting-in with ammo likely to be "friendly" with your barrel. See here for Rate-of-Twist chart: Ruger Mini 14/30 manufacture date and twist rate, UPDATE . Make certain that both the rifle and mags work 100% before performing any mods, in the event the unlikely event the Mini needs to be sent back to Ruger for warranty work.

While sighting-in, make careful note of exactly where your spent cases land, both in distance from the rifle, and their position relative to the rifle. 12 o'clock being the muzzle, and 6 o'clock being the butt stock of the rifle. This info will help later on, so take careful note.

If you find OEM rear sight to be problematic, then look into an appropriate rear sight from TechSights. This is also a reversible mod, and many folks find them much better than OEM rear sight:
Ruger Mini Rifle Sights | Tech Sights In most cases, the OEM Ruger Mini iron sight is a "set-and-forget" item, as long as ammo used does not significantly change. In these days of uncertain and changing ammo supplies, being able to easily adjust rear sight might be of benefit.
 

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Cognitive Dissident
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1,155 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
If keeping the wooden stock, then at least replace the stupid OEM handguard with much better Choate HG. If desired, paint it to match wood. Choate Tool Mini 14 Ventilated Handguard CMT-07-02-04 Color: Black,

If you think it a possibility that you will want to use forward-mounted optics, as many here do, then the Ultimak Scout rail is the way to go. The Ultimak is a reversible mod. Your rifle >>appears<< to have the heavy-profile barrel, which reduces the need for a dual-clamp barrel stabilizer.

At this point, I suggest a thorough cleaning, proper very light lubing (for wear-in/break-in purposes), and some sighting-in with ammo likely to be "friendly" with your barrel. See here for Rate-of-Twist chart: Ruger Mini 14/30 manufacture date and twist rate, UPDATE . Make certain that both the rifle and mags work 100% before performing any mods, in the event the unlikely event the Mini needs to be sent back to Ruger for warranty work.

While sighting-in, make careful note of exactly where your spent cases land, both in distance from the rifle, and their position relative to the rifle. 12 o'clock being the muzzle, and 6 o'clock being the butt stock of the rifle. This info will help later on, so take careful note.

If you find OEM rear sight to be problematic, then look into an appropriate rear sight from TechSights. This is also a reversible mod, and many folks find them much better than OEM rear sight:
Ruger Mini Rifle Sights | Tech Sights In most cases, the OEM Ruger Mini iron sight is a "set-and-forget" item, as long as ammo used does not significantly change. In these days of uncertain and changing ammo supplies, being able to easily adjust rear sight might be of benefit.
Thanks much.........although you have inspired a couple more questions. :)

What's the advantage of the Choate HG?

And thanks for the charts on twist.

And mine is a 581 with the 1-9 twist........so what's the max bullet weight I could use?

Thanks again.
 

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Cognitive Dissident
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Discussion Starter #7

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Formerly "raf"
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1,390 Posts
Choate HG has more venting, and is of more durable (Glass Reinforced) plastic than OEM unit. Besides, keep unblemished OEM unit for possible re-sale. Most folks who do not use Ultimak forward optics mount use the Choate. Unvented wooden HGs are available, but refinishing to match your walnut stock will be a bit of a hassle. They look good, but are fragile, and don't suggest them for general use. US Mil discontinued issue of wooden HGs on M-14 rifles for these reasons.

55gn M-193 bullets were originally intended for 1-12" ROT barrels. Modern M-855 62gn. bullets are optimized for 1-7 ROT barrels. Both types commonly available before current ammo shortage. Both types are useable in the Mini-14. Both of these ctgs are Mil-spec, and solid-point bullets.

What bullet/ctg your specific rifle likes is open to question. Nobody can say for sure, without some trial-and-error. If you have an opportunity to buy either M-193 or M-855 ctgs at a reasonable price, suggest either one would be a reasonable purchase. Maybe buy some of both. Either one might not be "Optimal" but likely to be more available than other ctg types. If you plan on hunting 4-legged critters with the Mini, then there are lots of proprietary hunting ctgs available for hunting purposes.
 

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Logos, first of all: Very nice looking Mini!
I am 100% certain the only Davidson Special difference is the Walnut Stock; everything else is a standard Mini-14 Tactical.

I have a 583 Tactical in the standard Ruger synthetic stock and I love it. The flash suppressor is threaded and removable should you choose to replace it with something else. I have never removed mine, so I don't know the thread-count/dimensions. I do know that a U.S. Standard bayonet for the M4 will fit with the flash suppressor, but you'll need to work at getting a bayo lug (which would go behind the front sight) on and - in the process, likely mar the finish should you choose to restore it to its original condition.

Torx for Ruger flash hiders:

Soon, my Tactical will sport an UltiMak (have it, just haven't installed it yet). At present, it sports a Choate hand guard, which - in many of our opinions - looks much better. Those run about $15-20 and worth every penny. Another option for a hand guard is ASI: they sell walnut ones (and stocks). I never bothered. The Choates do offer better ventilation than the factory Ruger hand guard. Both are easy to find on-line, should you bust one up.

ASI:
WARNING!!! Going to that site can make you very poor, very quickly!

Every Mini is different about ammo, but M193 and M855 ammo runs well in it, as well as PMC Bronze 55gr .223. I stick to those because I have an old 181GB that has a 1:10 barrel twist, which generally does better with M193 or 55gr .223. Some here do very well with 72 grain stuff.

I also run Tech Sights on my Tactical - just never cared for the sight picture with the factory rear sight. It is kind of a personal preference thingy - much like with the Choate hand guards.

Good luck! Keep asking questions!
 

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Formerly "raf"
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Logos, first of all: Very nice looking Mini!
I am 100% certain the only Davidson Special difference is the Walnut Stock; everything else is a standard Mini-14 Tactical.

I have a 583 Tactical in the standard Ruger synthetic stock and I love it. The flash suppressor is threaded and removable should you choose to replace it with something else. I have never removed mine, so I don't know the thread-count/dimensions. I do know that a U.S. Standard bayonet for the M4 will fit with the flash suppressor, but you'll need to work at getting a bayo lug (which would go behind the front sight) on and - in the process, likely mar the finish should you choose to restore it to its original condition.

Torx for Ruger flash hiders:

Soon, my Tactical will sport an UltiMak (have it, just haven't installed it yet). At present, it sports a Choate hand guard, which - in many of our opinions - looks much better. Those run about $15-20 and worth every penny. Another option for a hand guard is ASI: they sell walnut ones (and stocks). I never bothered. The Choates do offer better ventilation than the factory Ruger hand guard. Both are easy to find on-line, should you bust one up.

ASI:
WARNING!!! Going to that site can make you very poor, very quickly!

Every Mini is different about ammo, but M193 and M855 ammo runs well in it, as well as PMC Bronze 55gr .223. I stick to those because I have an old 181GB that has a 1:10 barrel twist, which generally does better with M193 or 55gr .223. Some here do very well with 72 grain stuff.

I also run Tech Sights on my Tactical - just never cared for the sight picture with the factory rear sight. It is kind of a personal preference thingy - much like with the Choate hand guards.

Good luck! Keep asking questions!
Logos, first of all: Very nice looking Mini!
I am 100% certain the only Davidson Special difference is the Walnut Stock; everything else is a standard Mini-14 Tactical.

I have a 583 Tactical in the standard Ruger synthetic stock and I love it. The flash suppressor is threaded and removable should you choose to replace it with something else. I have never removed mine, so I don't know the thread-count/dimensions. I do know that a U.S. Standard bayonet for the M4 will fit with the flash suppressor, but you'll need to work at getting a bayo lug (which would go behind the front sight) on and - in the process, likely mar the finish should you choose to restore it to its original condition.

Torx for Ruger flash hiders:

Soon, my Tactical will sport an UltiMak (have it, just haven't installed it yet). At present, it sports a Choate hand guard, which - in many of our opinions - looks much better. Those run about $15-20 and worth every penny. Another option for a hand guard is ASI: they sell walnut ones (and stocks). I never bothered. The Choates do offer better ventilation than the factory Ruger hand guard. Both are easy to find on-line, should you bust one up.

ASI:
WARNING!!! Going to that site can make you very poor, very quickly!

Every Mini is different about ammo, but M193 and M855 ammo runs well in it, as well as PMC Bronze 55gr .223. I stick to those because I have an old 181GB that has a 1:10 barrel twist, which generally does better with M193 or 55gr .223. Some here do very well with 72 grain stuff.

I also run Tech Sights on my Tactical - just never cared for the sight picture with the factory rear sight. It is kind of a personal preference thingy - much like with the Choate hand guards.

Good luck! Keep asking questions!
Ruger typically states that their usual wooden stocks are "Hardwood", whatever that means. Not walnut, which is favored for its' "figure, unless in some certain "high-end" applications. No expert, but most Ruger wooden stocks are spray-finished with a sealant which darkens the wood a little bit, and none too much of that sealant, especially in the innards of most Mini wooden stocks. Again, no expert, but most Ruger Mini wooden stocks are NOT walnut. This might be a good thing, since commonly available birch wood is 10% denser, and less likely to splitting than typical walnut, not to mention cheaper.

Birch stocks for M1s and M-14s were "substitute standard" for both rifles, and issued as standard on later-issue rifles "Tiger-Stripe" Birch stocks draw prices well in excess of typical Walnut stocks. FWIW, not hard to fake "tiger stripes" on birch stocks..

Walnut looks great, but Birch, for field use, is a little bit better, IMHO. Modern, well-made Syn stocks generally outclass any wooden stocks for field use, IMHO.

What Logos has is a unique Dealer variant, which some folks might covet, on account of walnut stock. Hence my comments on preserving the walnut stock in original, pristine condition to maintain re-sale value.
 

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Logos, if considering a factory synthetic stock in order to preserve your Walnut stock, the length-of-pull on their synth stock is about an inch shorter than their wooden stocks. That may good or bad for you. I prefer the shorter LOP. Also, the synth stock will be at least a pound less than your Walnut stock. That is a huge preference for me (even lighter than the Birch stock Ruger generally ships).
 

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Cognitive Dissident
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Discussion Starter #12
Logos, first of all: Very nice looking Mini!
I am 100% certain the only Davidson Special difference is the Walnut Stock; everything else is a standard Mini-14 Tactical.

I have a 583 Tactical in the standard Ruger synthetic stock and I love it. The flash suppressor is threaded and removable should you choose to replace it with something else. I have never removed mine, so I don't know the thread-count/dimensions. I do know that a U.S. Standard bayonet for the M4 will fit with the flash suppressor, but you'll need to work at getting a bayo lug (which would go behind the front sight) on and - in the process, likely mar the finish should you choose to restore it to its original condition.

Torx for Ruger flash hiders:

Soon, my Tactical will sport an UltiMak (have it, just haven't installed it yet). At present, it sports a Choate hand guard, which - in many of our opinions - looks much better. Those run about $15-20 and worth every penny. Another option for a hand guard is ASI: they sell walnut ones (and stocks). I never bothered. The Choates do offer better ventilation than the factory Ruger hand guard. Both are easy to find on-line, should you bust one up.

ASI:
WARNING!!! Going to that site can make you very poor, very quickly!

Every Mini is different about ammo, but M193 and M855 ammo runs well in it, as well as PMC Bronze 55gr .223. I stick to those because I have an old 181GB that has a 1:10 barrel twist, which generally does better with M193 or 55gr .223. Some here do very well with 72 grain stuff.

I also run Tech Sights on my Tactical - just never cared for the sight picture with the factory rear sight. It is kind of a personal preference thingy - much like with the Choate hand guards.

Good luck! Keep asking questions!
Of course that picture is not my rifle......I wasn't going to drag it out for a picture. :)

Mine looks better than that. They chose some really nice walnut for these.

Thanks for all the technical info.
 

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Cognitive Dissident
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Discussion Starter #13
Choate HG has more venting, and is of more durable (Glass Reinforced) plastic than OEM unit. Besides, keep unblemished OEM unit for possible re-sale. Most folks who do not use Ultimak forward optics mount use the Choate. Unvented wooden HGs are available, but refinishing to match your walnut stock will be a bit of a hassle. They look good, but are fragile, and don't suggest them for general use. US Mil discontinued issue of wooden HGs on M-14 rifles for these reasons.

55gn M-193 bullets were originally intended for 1-12" ROT barrels. Modern M-855 62gn. bullets are optimized for 1-7 ROT barrels. Both types commonly available before current ammo shortage. Both types are useable in the Mini-14. Both of these ctgs are Mil-spec, and solid-point bullets.

What bullet/ctg your specific rifle likes is open to question. Nobody can say for sure, without some trial-and-error. If you have an opportunity to buy either M-193 or M-855 ctgs at a reasonable price, suggest either one would be a reasonable purchase. Maybe buy some of both. Either one might not be "Optimal" but likely to be more available than other ctg types. If you plan on hunting 4-legged critters with the Mini, then there are lots of proprietary hunting ctgs available for hunting purposes.
Thanks again for all the info.
I do have a lot of 55 grain and some 62 grain and some soft points as well.
Have to look into that Choate handguard.
(y)
 

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Major General Chit Chat
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Cool! But I can't say "Nice Davidson" yet because that's a stock photo for an advertisement. Would be nice to see a pic of your actual Mini-14.

1-9 is a nice twist rate for .223/5.56. It will most definitely play nice with 62gr in addition to 55gr. It depends on the load, but some like a 1/9 twist for projectiles ranging from 55gr to 75gr. If the stars are aligned, Sierra's 77gr OTM might even shoot well with it, or it might not. At least you can say you tried.

Keep the original wood stock on it unless you're going to be crawling through mud. Show it off at the range. The Davidsons are too pretty to hide away in your house.

I also like the Choate ventilated hand guard better than the Ruger factory guard. When I don't have my Mini-30 setup with a scout scope I use the choate handguard, with or without a conventional scope over the receiver.
 
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Cognitive Dissident
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Discussion Starter #15
Yes, I should dig the rifle out and set up a photo shoot.

Seems like a lot of work. My intent with the photo was not to show off my cool rifle, but just to provide a visual so people could see at a glance what I was talking about.

But you're right........if you're going to be an active member of a forum, you do have a responsibility to provide pictures to keep things real for other members. It's fun to see actual pics.

I'll be working on it. I have to say the new format here is a blessing and makes it much easier to post pics.
(y)
 
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Logos, here's a pic of the Choate hand guard on my 181GB. (ignore the strut - it was an experiment - successful - for fitting one on a GB model w/bayo lug: turned out the 181GB was perfectly fine and accurate for my needs without it - even after a few mag-dumps). Since this pic, the 181GB resides in a period wood stock (as it left the factory in 1977)
63735
 

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Cognitive Dissident
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Discussion Starter #17
Logos, here's a pic of the Choate hand guard on my 181GB. (ignore the strut - it was an experiment - successful - for fitting one on a GB model w/bayo lug: turned out the 181GB was perfectly fine and accurate for my needs without it - even after a few mag-dumps). Since this pic, the 181GB resides in a period wood stock (as it left the factory in 1977)
View attachment 63735
That is indeed a beauty.

What is that sight and does it have to be so high up?

Looks like it would be hard to use.
 

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If you plan on shooting off hand you want to be standing straight up, not hunched over like you would be looking through a lowley mounted optic. Leaning your head down causes you to be less stable.
 

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Cognitive Dissident
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Discussion Starter #19
If you plan on shooting off hand you want to be standing straight up, not hunched over like you would be looking through a lowley mounted optic. Leaning your head down causes you to be less stable.
Good shooting form dictates that your cheek should be firm against the stock.

Seems impossible with that sight.
 

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Major General Chit Chat
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"Face weld" is a better more inclusive term considering all the multi use firearms. Cheek, Chin, or jaw... whatever works to get you on target quickly to stabilize the weapon for firing. Whatever your methods, they should be repeatable. You may memorize 3 or 4 "welds" for different uses and situations with the same gun. I can name 3 for my Mini-30

1) cheek weld for iron sights
2) a bit below cheek for scout scope
3) more of a jaw weld for conventional scope

And finally my favorite 4) using the cheek of my SO while we're both lying prone on the beach with her in her bikini. It's hard to describe. Each couple must find the position that works for them.
 
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