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· Banned
1,052 Posts
186 series made in 1997 ?
Yes sir, your's is a non-ranch Mini 14, basically a Mini with out scope mounts. The 186's Mini 14 were mage from 91' to 99'. The Ranch Rifle Mini 14 made in the 90's will either be 188's or 195's. I have had terrific luck with the 188 series, and I have 2 of them :)

Here is link for a chart on manufacturing dates and barrel twist:
Sunflower Ruger Mini-14/30 Barrel Twist Rates


· Registered
5,874 Posts
USMC64, yes indeed, nice rifle!

The link James T. gave is one I have bookmarked. 186s were made over a ten year span (end of 1990-beginning of 2000). The rest of your S/N should nail down the specific year. Prior to 1997, it has a 1:7 twist; after 1997 it has a 1:9 twist. It's a crap-shoot as to the twist rate in 1997, since they changed the twist rate mid-year. Short of measuring it yourself, you can call Ruger C/S, give them the S/N, and they should be able to tell you. Maybe. They won't do it by e-mail.

I have a 181 series made in 1977 and it is a wonderful shooter (my first firearm). Aside from barrel twist rates, the 181-186 are functionally identical. Scoping is a funky endeavor: they weren't designed for a scope (eject more vertically than horizontally). Best option, should you want to put a red dot would be to get an UltiMak scout rail. But I went with a funky side mount (didn't know UltiMaks existed at the time) which, for my particular Mini, works okay after generous application of blue loctite to hold it steady. Scope/red-dot sits high, so it is more of a chin weld than a cheek weld. But I can switch to irons by changing from a chin weld to a cheek weld.

By the way, I decided it shot accurate enough for me without the AccuStrut I fashioned for it. Enough to reliably hit pop-up silhouette targets at 300 meters with irons.


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