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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Before i get into my questions i want to give a little background on me:

i collected small arms for years with a concentration on US small arms from WWII. I went for M1s, carbines M1903 Springfields, etc. I like walnut and steel. I don't have many modern firearms but I often thought I should get a Mini 14.

I want to buy a Mini 14 before this craziness gets any worse. I am next in line at the local gun store when they get stock back in. This is what I am looking for:

I want a ranch rifle, not a tactical rifle. I would like to use this for hunting and home defense. I'll probably put a scope on it and would like to get a mount that would allow use of the iron sights.

My initial thought is to get a stainless rifle but I am open to blued steel.

I thought about looking around for a used rifle while I am waiting for a new one. If I went with a used rifle is there a series I should look for and if you answer please explain why.

I found this thread that explains the series breakdown: http://www.perfectunion.com/vb/ruger-mini-14-mini-30/86690-mini-14-series.html. Because I want a scope I will look for a rifle that ejects brass to the side. Are there other advantages to the different series I should know about? Are some of these more accurate than others?

I would like to get a rifle with a wood stock but am not opposed to a composite stock that I can replace later. If I get the new stainless that I am in line for I would need to replace the stock.

Any suggestions is appreciated. This is my first modern firearm purchase in a very long time. I'll probably try to get my hands on a 10/22 while I am at it.

Thanks,

Bob
 

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mini14

Hi Bob and welcome to the forum. There are basically two types of minis- the earlier series which have the straight or pencil barrel. The barrel is basically the same diameter from the gas block to the muzzle. The later series has the tapered barrel, which is a larger diameter at the gas block, and tapers down toward the muzzle. These are generally considered to be more accurate as there is not as much flex, especially when they heat up, when firing. I would suggest if you end up getting a used gun, that you stay away from the first or 180 series minis. These are the only series that are not supported by Ruger anymore. Ruger will repair any other mini, regardless if you are the first owner or the sixth owner. Ruger customer service is top notch.Some parts(trigger group,bolt, firing pin) are not easily found aftermarket or anywhere, but can be had by sending your rifle to Ruger. They like to fit them to each gun. It's a lawyer thing. You won't be disappointed with a mini 14.
 

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Well, you could thumb your nose at Senator Feinstein et al by buying the ONLY model of Mini-14 she specifically BANNED: the 5846 (referred to in S.150 as M-14/20CF).

I did.
Her: :eek:
Me: :D

The folding stock makes home defense (doorways/hallways) much easier to navigate . . . .
 

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There is alot you can do to personalize, accurize, customize your mini. One of the first things you want to do is check the spacing between the gas block halves, make sure it is even and retorque the screws if you have to adjust it, this will help with accuracy. Sometimes they come from the factory quite uneven. A trigger job really makes a difference. A trigger job should be the first thing you do to any rifle when you are accurizing (unless your gun already has a precision trigger). This will give you a predictable, consistent, repeatable trigger pull. There are alot of places to get this done, or depending on you level of gunsmithing skill, you can do it yourself. Mine were done by Terry at Impact Guns and he installed an over travel stop screw which really makes for a nice, shootable trigger. Barrel struts (to help with barrel stringing), gas block bushings (helps to keep your brass in the same county) , muzzle brakes (reduces muzzle rise, makes for faster follow up shots). Let us know when you get it and if you don't already have some 223 or 556 get it while you can. Oh and by the way this rifle will shoot both of these ,all day long. Just one guys opinion, hope this helps!
 

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Nice Doc, I like your style!!!:lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Doc,

That is part of why I am oing his. I live in the PRK (People's Republic of Kalifornia) as I have heard it called on the military gun boards I frequent. I want to get a Mini while the gettin is good and they try to grab my guns.

I am looking daily for a source of ammunition. It is hard to find and when I do see it very expensive. I'm sure this is something you already know.

Thanks for the tips. It looks like I should be on th right track if I get a side-ejecting late rifle. Is there a series or year that is the earliest I should get?
 

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If you're looking for a "side-ejector," you want a Ranch Rifle, which started with the 187 Series and continued to the 188, 195, 196, and 197 Series. These will have the flip-up rear sight and single blade front, as well as Ruger's proprietary integral scope ring scallops. These are "pencil-barreled" rifles.

NOTE: Some 196 and 197 series rifles are "Standard" Mini-14s, which will have the round rear sight and eject upward.

The early 580s are visually identical to the previous Ranch Rifles, with the exception of a sturdier rear sight and "winged" front, which I personally prefer. Ruger claims to have completely re-tooled the machinery before the first 580s were produced, making the rifles more accurate and better quality. I can't speak to that.

The late 580s got the flanged barrel, which improved accuracy considerably. This is the model I'd recommend for anyone hunting down a used Mini. Everything after the late 580s are identical in every way.

Having said all that, any series of Mini is going to be the same as far as reliability goes. Accuracy can be tweaked and worked on -- and some pencil barrels are great shooters when left alone. My recommendation? Look for a 580-up, but if all you can find is an earlier Ranch Rifle, snag it and pick up a Tech-Sight for the rear. If it's not a great shooter, get yourself an Accu-Strut or Mo-Rod. ;)
 

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If hunting accuracy is a primary consideration then a 580+ mini with the tapered barrel is the way to go. If you want something closer to a military style using open sights I would go with an early post 180 mini, a blue 181 or 182 with the wood hanguard. Avoid the early stainless minis as the point of aim moves alot when the barrel gets hot. I would also avouid any of the 190 series as the production molds were getting pretty old so the production tolerences were getting sloppy, with accuracy and reliability starting to suffer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I think my priority is wear or longevity and accuracy. No that I think about it I do have other firearms that would be a better choice for home defense if things got really bad.

The Mini would be used mostly for hunting and shooting at the range if ammo is ever available and reasonable again. So for wear and accuracy stainless or blued?
 

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for wear, stainless - non ferric (no iron content) = no rust ... in concept. Practical application is, there will be some contaminant (read: iron) in the steel and as a result will incur some oxidation, but much less than a blued rifle would under the same circumstances. Strangely, the act of "blueing" a rifle is actually a form of rust - a story for another time, I suppose ...

As far as accuracy, the blued barrel is said to be more accurate. I have read both, and really don't have any worthwhile real world opinion on this.
For me, I shoot the one I am carrying, and that rifle is exactly as accurate as it shoots - scientifically speaking, of course ...
 

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I chose stainless for low maintenance. Sometimes the best hunting in Oklahoma is when it's raining (not that it happens often...:lol:), so SS made sense for me.

As far as accuracy is concerned, my flanged-barreled 580 SS Ranch with an Accu-Strut and 2-6x pistol scope will put 10 rounds into 2" @ 100 yds, when I do my part. I wouldn't count on a blued rifle doing much better than that simply because it's carbon steel rather than stainless. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'll look for a stainless. I wish they sold them in a wood stock. I saw a to less rifle in a wood stock at a gun show, should have bought it.

Next question: I am next on the waiting list for a stainless rifle t a local sporting good store. Would I be better off with a brand new rifle or is an older series better. As far as price goes nowadays in CA new and used are about the same even with the recent increase by Ruger.
 
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Am I better off with stainless or blued?
I was always partial to blue then I bought a target mini and they are stainless. Love the rifle and last summer I found a nice stainless ranch. The both have grown on me.

I suppose if you imagine yourself a ninja you should go with blue, but stainless serves me well.

I would also look for one of the 581 series rifles. Most of us experience more consistent accuracy. The 581 is the newer series
 

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Before i get into my questions i want to give a little background on me:

i collected small arms for years with a concentration on US small arms from WWII. I went for M1s, carbines M1903 Springfields, etc. I like walnut and steel. I don't have many modern firearms but I often thought I should get a Mini 14.

I want to buy a Mini 14 before this craziness gets any worse. I am next in line at the local gun store when they get stock back in. This is what I am looking for:

I want a ranch rifle, not a tactical rifle. I would like to use this for hunting and home defense. I'll probably put a scope on it and would like to get a mount that would allow use of the iron sights.

My initial thought is to get a stainless rifle but I am open to blued steel.

I thought about looking around for a used rifle while I am waiting for a new one. If I went with a used rifle is there a series I should look for and if you answer please explain why.

I found this thread that explains the series breakdown: http://www.perfectunion.com/vb/ruger-mini-14-mini-30/86690-mini-14-series.html. Because I want a scope I will look for a rifle that ejects brass to the side. Are there other advantages to the different series I should know about? Are some of these more accurate than others?

I would like to get a rifle with a wood stock but am not opposed to a composite stock that I can replace later. If I get the new stainless that I am in line for I would need to replace the stock.

Any suggestions is appreciated. This is my first modern firearm purchase in a very long time. I'll probably try to get my hands on a 10/22 while I am at it.

Thanks,

Bob
Hi Bob;

Edit: #1-3 are predicated on the idea that you are not in Kali. If you are they're being left in for other people outside of Kali who are asking the same question.

1. Get your magazines now. Ruger factory are very very good and if you get say 5x 20 round and/or 5x 30 round mags you'll be set for anything except a protracted war. Why the number "5"? That's what Ruger will sell you on their site (they're rationing). The magazines are in danger, the rifles (with the exception of "tactical" folding stock models) are not (unless you're in Kali or a couple other rights restricted states). Ruger claims that they won't hit your card until they ship. Expect a 1-2 month delay from the sounds of what other people are going through. I'm waiting on a set of BX25's to go with the 4x I already keep on hand. Figure 8x is a lifetime supply for me.

2. Go to WalMart and look around. If possible get to meet the clerks and ask around to see if Mini 14's show up there from time to time. When Mini 14's have shown up they're still selling them at reasonable prices - I want to say $670 for a new blue/wood stock 581 if I recall correctly.

3. Start reading up on scopes and accessories for the mini. I'm using a Nikon Prostaff 3-9x40 right now but am strongly thinking about upgrading to a Buckmaster for the blue and a Millett DMS1 for the stainless. Given the amount of $$ involved its worth doing it right with research.

Now, this was predicated on the assumption that you are not in a rights restricted state. If you are, get your 5x 10 round magazines from Ruger and get whatever mini 14 you can grab. Stainless is nice, but blue is traditional and with a wood stock a blue or stainless mini can look great! If you're in a hurry, don't be too fussy - you can always go with a different scope mount or add an accu-strut to an early model rifle if its not accurate enough for you.

Edit: Reading all your posts, sounds like you may be in Kali. My apologies. Grab what you can. If you go stainless and like wood, it can look terrific. The older style sights on the "true" Mini 14 (not Ranch Rifle) really work nicely when replaced with Tech Sights if you want an iron sighted rifle. Newer Ranch Rifle sights are better than the old ones and the Tech Sights are still worth doing. Absolutely right about the side-eject issues with scopes, so a newer Ranch is what you probably want, but people have successfully scoped older gen minis before. It takes a fairly high mounting though, so see if you can get a newer 581 Ranch if possible. You can get a replacement stock in either the older "carbine" or newer "rifle" style from Numrich if you want wood.

Good luck!
All the best,
Grumpy
 

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Plenty of good advice here already. I sold the synthetic stock on my blued 580 series and put it in an old wood stock. It is an utterly dependable gun and a way better shot than I am.

For my second one, or if I were to do it over again, I'd buy an old 180 series. The classic lines of the receiver, the original wood hand guard and the classic M1 style lines of the rear sight are absolutely beautiful (to me). No scope on this rifle anyway, so the lack of mounting points on the receiver is not an issue (for me). Taste and preference are so individual though and vary widely. If you need a scope, the later 18x series will deliver.

Are the new 580 series with their tapered barrels more accurate? I'm sure they are, but you can produce that same accuracy with a barrel strut on a pencil barrel. My 580 has a strut because I like the look. With all those old rifles, you probably won't be shooting a Mini 14 from a rest anyway. It's a ranch rifle or truck carbine, not a target gun. Ruger does make a target model, but it's never caught my eye.

Several above have already pointed out the most important feature: time. Buy now while you still can. And buy as many Ruger brand Mini 14 mags as you think you will need now while you still can. And if you don't already have plenty of 223, start hunting for ammo now while you still can. It's a brave new world. Good luck.
 
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