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I have a 182 series Mini-14 in Stainless Steel, which I packed away about 4 years ago.
I had it stored in a fairly damp basement, but before storage I stripped it completely, oiled everything, packed it in a 200uM plastic bag which I heat sealed at both ends after adding a large pack of silica gel desicant.

I recently unpacked my trusy Mini-14 and was dissapointed to find that the top section of the gas block has a crack running along it length and the front section of the trigger housing (the U shaped section in fron of the trigger guard) broke off when I touched it!! I can only assume that there was some microsopic cracks in the metal at the time of manufacture and mositure has found its way into the cracks and caused corrosion which has weakened the steel.

Has anyone got an ideas or experienced something similar?

Steve
 

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:) The problems you described must not be very common because not many owners shared the problems on the net, but I did read about the gas block one in at least two occasions. I have no idea about the trigger guard crack, and both could very well be defective parts as you described. There is another possibility with the gas block failure related to quite a few discussions so far.

The block houses the gas piston subjected to very high pressure to change the direction of the hot gases from shots. The impact is tranferred to the block and the crews that hold it in place. Uneven torque will over stress certain location and speed up failure. Looseness of the pieces also allow particles (copper or unburnt powder to get in between the surfaces when hot and expanded; after cooling down the particles put a tremendous amount of pressure on the screws and the pieces of the block; as a result, a crack might develop to counter (relieve) the stress.

I believe that is the main reason to keep the matting surfaces smooth and the pressure even in all the screws even if we have good parts to start with. With weak or bad parts, the task is too critical and highly stressed to tolerate such.
 

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My mini-14 had (I have since sold it) some irregularities in the casting of the gas block. I'm guessing that it might be more common than people think.

As far as fixing it, Ruger will do it for free. You'll have to pay your one way shipping and you'll lose access to your rifle for a while.
 

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you can get a top half from clark for 15 or 20 bucks if you don't want to ship your mini.
 
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