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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just traded for a 181 series serial # 181 01xxx. This is earlier than the first serial # at the start of 1978 according to the Ruger serial # site. It's definitely not a 180 series, also, check out the "folk art" vent holes in the hand guard.


 

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Looks like they made 7487 of the 181's in 1977 and you got one of the first ones. Since Ruger uses a 5 digit sequential serial number they have to change model numbers after 99999 are made or if there is a design change. They must have started making the 181 in 1977 and changed the model number due to the design change.

180 Series Mini-14
Beginning
Serial Nbr
180-00001--1974--1 in 10
180-05101--1975--1 in 10
180-28282--1976--1 in 10
180-59251--1977--1 in 10

Mini-14
Thin barrel, ejector is in the bolt, no scope ring scallops cast into the receiver.
Beginning
Serial Nbr
181-07488--1978--1 in 10
181-48351--1979--1 in 10
181-84879--1980--1 in 10
182-45601--1981--1 in 10
 

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I have a 181 as well, Hang on to her. they are good ones. Mine has always been a great shooter. I did put a mo rod and a mo reaper on her and the groups tightened up on follow up shots. Yours and mine dont through the brass like the new ones do. My brass lands about two o clock around 4 feet.
 
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