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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I just got a my Mini 14 and I have been cleaning, shooting, and affectionately touching it for about a week now. Everything functions fine but there are a few little oddities that I would like to compare with you.

1) My slide/bolt combo feel reluctant. Especially as I move the slide closer to the rear. It's almost gritty, but I don't want to give it such a strong description as gritty. I see videos of people's slides gliding effortlessly. It seems like mine takes more effort than theirs (but that just might be me). Does this just mean I need to use some grease? Are yours like this?

2) I put a Choate handguard on that exposes the slide because it looks hecka cool. If I look at the rifle directly from the right side, it looks like the slide is "warped" slightly upward just before the slide bulges outward like normal. Is it like that on yours? It even contacts the handguard (though not enough to cause the problem in #1). It doesn't look straight all the way down.
 

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1) Did you ever shoot the new mini b-4 you field stripped it and replaced the handguard? (get a baseline feel when the gun is unmodified). Your problem could be improper re-assembly after the field strip. Bolt/oprod/oprod spring alignment is critical to proper function on the mini.

2) Could the aftermarket handguard be causing a physical interference (contact) with your op-rod? This could explain what you describe as a mild gritty feel.

Reccomendation - Field strip your mini, use the stock handguard during re-assembly. Put a small (VERY SMALL) dab of rifle grease on the reciever, in the groove that makes contact with the op-rod. Carefully check for proper installation of bolt, op-rod and oprod spring on the reciever. Make sure that the op-rod is properly installed at the groove in the reciever. Carefully read the owners manual, especially the exploded view drawings.
 

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So I just got a my Mini 14 and I have been cleaning, shooting, and affectionately touching it for about a week now. Everything functions fine but there are a few little oddities that I would like to compare with you.

1) My slide/bolt combo feel reluctant. Especially as I move the slide closer to the rear. It's almost gritty, but I don't want to give it such a strong description as gritty. I see videos of people's slides gliding effortlessly. It seems like mine takes more effort than theirs (but that just might be me). Does this just mean I need to use some grease? Are yours like this?

2) I put a Choate handguard on that exposes the slide because it looks hecka cool. If I look at the rifle directly from the right side, it looks like the slide is "warped" slightly upward just before the slide bulges outward like normal. Is it like that on yours? It even contacts the handguard (though not enough to cause the problem in #1). It doesn't look straight all the way down.
After carefully reading your last paragraph, It would seem like your oprod is not properly installed, or the handguard was not manufactured correctly. there should be no contact between the op-rod and the handguard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I did think about the possibility of me putting the op-rod in upside-down. I haven't been home to check yet. However, the problem was occurring before I field stripped it. Also, the new handguard makes less contact with the slide than the original did. The only place the slide touches the handguard is in the area where it appears like the slide is warped.

I'll go home and check everything again, with grease afterward, and get back to you.
 

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On new SS models do feel gritty. I used a polish to smooth up the moving parts. They are cast parts and need to wear in smooth. Using Flitz or valve grounding compound, rub some on the bolt and oprod, guide rod. Cycle the action about 25x then clean up with a cleaner and apply oil.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Mine is a Blued model. I just tried taking everything apart and looking at it piece by piece. I even tried cycling it without the handguard. What I think might be happening is the stock is pushing up on the slide assembly in the wrong place and causing it to ride funny. I can see wear on the bottom of the slide assembly. Also, if it is pushing up on the right side, it could cause the slide to cant to the left giving the slide a warped appearance. It is also causing some wear on the outer channel of the receiver.

This is weird.
 

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The bolt will meet a little resistance as it moves reward. It rides over the hammer as it moves reward. Nothing should feel gritty, unless the rifle has grit in it. Ruger's blueing wears pretty easily on the various bearing surfaces, so that's not uncommon. Double check the main spring guide rod, and make sure it is installed correctly. As for the warped slide, someone else posted a picture of one recently. It was indeed warped in the same spot you describe. If you can post pics, that would help us determine whats going on with your rifle.
 

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Hey hey,
guys .... someone had an OP rod bent the way he is describing a month or so ago... brand new as I recall.
OP, post a pic of your assembled gun so we can see the curve of your op rod.
Previous thread, same issue... I believe they sent it back to Ruger and came back with new bolt and op rod.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Awesome Goony, thanks for finding that for me. That is exactly the problem. Here are some pictures. The first is the slide, the second is some wear I think it is causing. Dang. Its almost funny how similar a problem the other guy and I have.
 

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yeah, looks like the ejector is up a bit, and has some wear on it.. check your receiver to see if the bolt/ejector is hitting the top of the receiver under/by the rear scope mount. (also a past problem)

You should get in touch with Ruger. They'll fix it.
 

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I slapped the grease on all the moving parts....lots of wear 'areas' appeared on the bolt, receiver, slide etc....a couple of hundred rounds later.. it's smooth as silk.
From what I've read the garand type actions are supposed to be greased up. It certainly doesn't hurt it any!
 

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Am I the only one who thinks this rifle just needs to be broken in? :huh:

OP: Run 200-300 rounds through it and it should smooth out nicely. Your op rod does look like it's got a hump in it right where it comes through the gap between the handguard and stock, but that wouldn't cause me any concern. Worst case scenario you take some 100-grit sandpaper to the handguard and clearance it just a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Your description of the difficulty of charging and a gritty feeling sounds to me like the buffer guide rod (Part 18 on page 48 of your Owner's Manual) is installed upside-down.

The little tab that sticks out of one side of the rod is supposed to be oriented up (with the rifle right-side up). If your rifle is upside down on your bench, then the little tab is oriented down.
Yeah, I had already checked it out days ago and it is in there right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Am I the only one who thinks this rifle just needs to be broken in? :huh:

OP: Run 200-300 rounds through it and it should smooth out nicely. Your op rod does look like it's got a hump in it right where it comes through the gap between the handguard and stock, but that wouldn't cause me any concern. Worst case scenario you take some 100-grit sandpaper to the handguard and clearance it just a bit.
It might need to be broken in, but the point is that there is still a defect (no matter how minor it may seem to some). At the point the picture was taken, I had already done some sanding on the guard to get it to fit. Best case: it just looks ugly imo, especially compared to other Minis. Worst case: that slide causes bigger problems down the road.

I will take some time to break it in though and see what happens.
 

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My "break it in" comment was referring to the grittiness you're feeling. Mine was the same way until it had digested about 200 rounds.

Also, the last inch or so of op rod travel is actually cocking the hammer (if the trigger has been pulled) or sliding across the top of the hammer (if it hasn't). It should take a bit more force to pull the op rod back with a dropped hammer, and I wouldn't be surprised if the bolt is scraping a bit across the top of the hammer when it's cocked.

All of the issues above (except for cocking the hammer) will disappear after breaking in. ;)

As far as the bent op rod, I don't know of any further issues it could cause, other than looking funny. :lol:

If you send it back to Ruger, they will replace it (under warranty) with one that's straight(er).
 

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As COBrien said, it may be just the bolt sliding over the hammer that is causing the rough feel the last couple of inches and that's normal. One way to check is to remove the trigger group and hand cycle the action. It should be very smooth without the trigger group in place. My 581 smoothed out considerable after 2-300 rounds.
 

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Yea, I'm with 40NASCAR - You need a base line to compare the current condition against. The op rod is cast thicker toward the front(muzzle) and it might look "bent" but it isn't. If the op rod is right side up it might be possible that the bushing, #17, is in upside down. The flat side goes toward the top of your carbine. Just something to look at and compare to the IPB for your particular model. Grease along the slide might help the break-in process too:sniper:

Shoot straight and be safe. You've got a winner:cool:

C/D
 

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I've got two Mini's and one of them has the same issue yours does. It bothered me at first but I've stopped noticing it in time. My slide assembly is bent upwards as well, more of a bow really, but it too contacts my Choate hand guard. It's got a slight bit of wear on it where the bluing has worn off but beyond that, no issue. It cycles fine and has been flawless in function. My other mini's slide assembly is arrow-straight. I'm wondering if maybe Ruger heated it and bent it on purpose to make it fit or align correctly with the gas tube at the front? Doesn't seem logical, but then again in this age of modern, automated production techniques on the assembly line having defects like this seems odd too. Either way, mine works fine and I just don't care anymore. I've seen this same issue posted by others too so we're not isolated incidents.
 
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