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Hi, first post here. I just picked up a Mini 14 SS series 182. The gun looks to be in very good condtion except for these 2 items. The bottom of the front sight appears to have some cracks in the metal, not wide but they are there. also some in the top of the gas block, not the block itself but the top piece. I am thinking that these two areas are not much of a concern, under the gas block top I do not see the cracks, just in the surface on the outside. Of course I did not take off the front sight to see if those go thru or not, don't think that is an important area for safety concerns. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated. Thanks, Jim



 

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Hi cali201,

Welcome. I would suspect your "cracks" to be simple casting flaws/marks and nothing more than a cosmetic thing. Take as high a magnifier as you can find, preferably 10x or more, and inspect the "crack". Under magnification you should be able to convince yourself one way or the other. I would bet you will be able to see the "bottom" of the crack and it will look like a tiny formed channel in the metal not a bottomless sharp edged/walled void.

The fact that they are present on the gas block AND front sight, reinforce my guess... to me anyway. If you could post a "macro, sharply focused" photo, it would help the community with their opinions.

Ed
 

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I also believe they are cosmetic casting flaws. I have almost the exact same thing on the top halve of my 184 gas block and also have one on my 582 hammer. The one on the 184 came out of the box like that and has been there for 25 years without any issues. If it is a crack it would have failed completely by now or at least leak gas out, but it hasn't.
 

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Some engine shops have magnetic particle inspection equipment (magnaflux is a trade name) and could check it out in a few minutes. DON'T LEAVE THE SHOP because they're not a gunsmith or FFL and as a business could get in some trouble if the wrong person found out. So long as you stick around the gun never leaves your possession. But I agree that it's probably a surface flaw from when the steel filled the mould. The leading edges of the molten steel cool off a bit and when two fronts wrap through the pattern and meet each other it can form what is called a "cold shut". It's an area of poor fusion at its worst. Sometimes the two fronts fuse back together but leave what looks like an irregular seam or crack.
 

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You could do something as easy as rubbing the area with a colored grease pencil, it would be quite apparent whether it is a crack or a raised area or just a divot.
 

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I believe Ruger had a recall on these early 182 stainless minis. I would contact them. Give them your serial number. There was a metal hardening issue on some of these.
 
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