Adding Some Rail to Your Mini Stock - Shooting Sports Forum


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Old 02-19-2017, 12:40   #1
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Adding Some Rail to Your Mini Stock

For some time now, I have been wanting to add a chunk of rail to the front of my stock, opposite where I mount the sling, in order to mount a flashlight or laser.
There have been a couple threads lately about flashlight use, and rail space.
It might come in real handy to have a place to mount a light, or a green laser, whatever. I like having two or three rails around the fore end.

A rail on the bottom would be great for a bipod mount or vertical grip, but neither of those is a big priority for me. I like keeping the Mini's profile compact, and the weight down.
I wanted a side swivel front mount so mounted these Magpul M-Lock Q.D. sockets on a wood stock and a poly stock.

But I got to thinking, it would be better to bolt on a piece of rail on each side, then attach the sling with one of those clamps that goes on a Picatinny rail.
With this type of set up, you can switch the sling back and forth between right and left hand shooters very easily.
So I used MagPul M-Lok rail sections. They are 2 1/4" long and made of Polymer, have 5 slots, and come with bolts and nuts to secure.

I like these as they are rounded off at the ends, and being polymer, are not sharp and are easy on the hands. And they are light weight.
MagPul makes things out of polymer where it's strong enough for the application. Other things that need to be stronger are steel that is Melonite treated, like the rail sling attachment and Q.D. swivel.
The rail sections were $10 at a local store. They won't break the bank.

The rail attachment and Q.D. swivel of Magpul's were pricey, but nice and have some good features. They were about $28 each. Ouch. But are steel with Melonite treatement, and the Q.D. swivel has a triangular shape and two button release to prevent popping the swivel off accidentally.
You could certainly get a Q.D. swivel and rail clamp off Amazon for a lot cheaper that would do the job.

I first located the rail where I wanted it, marked the screw hole location with a felt pen, then drilled the holes a bit larger than the rail section's screw.
Remove your heat shield first so you don't drill through it, and it's out of the way to put bolts and nuts in.
The M-Lok stuff has some cleats on the back, standing out 3/32" or so that should be ground off to get a good fit against your stock.
I guess those cleats help the rail dig in to a Moe AR handguard, but for a Mini stock, I just grind the backside of the rail section flat.

After drilling the two holes per rail, you'll need to open up the hole on the inside a bit, so the "stepped" part of the Magpul nut will be countersunk into the stock. This will leave the large rectangular part of the nut holding, with just enough room for it against your heat shield.
You don't have to be real perfect opening up the inside of the drilled holes for the nut's step, get it close, and when you tighten up the rails good and snug, the nuts will dig down into the plastic and be flush.

I used the same method when using a Magpul M-Lok Q/D/ mount on a wood stock fore end, just relieve the wood a little around the inside of the hole and secure the nut.
Here the 4 nuts are on but not snugged down yet, and the shavings need to be cleaned off:

View from the top. By countersinking those nuts, they clear between the heat shield and stock:

Afterwards, check cycling to make sure your op-rod isn't binding on the heat shield.
I am left handed, so a right hander would want the light on the right side and the sling attached to the left.
Finished images:



The rail section, flashlight clamp, and flashlight ( SureFire 6P LED) are all polymer, so keep weight to a minimum.
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Last edited by sandog; 11-25-2018 at 05:04. Reason: delete photobucket pics and add Imgur pics
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Old 02-19-2017, 13:50   #2
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dammit, ruger....pay attention!

really well thought out and functional, sandog.....but i have come to expect nothing less from you.....well done! the ruger poly stock should come from factory like this! could you run a longer rail w/o interference of the fore end liner?

magpul is a helluva good company imo. they make quality items, normally fairly priced. but i also support them because they are a company that stands up for the gun rights of ordinary citizens! their m-lok stuff works well imo....i have incorporated some on my AR. and the pmags are second to none in price and quality.

you continue to impress me with your improvements of the mini platform....sandog is becoming mini 14 legend imo!

Originally Posted by sandog View Post
For some time now, I have been wanting to add a chunk of rail to the front of my stock, opposite where I mount the sling, in order to mount a flashlight or laser.

Last edited by hawkguy; 02-20-2017 at 06:29.
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Old 02-19-2017, 21:04   #3
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great work sandog! Creative, practical, and looks good too. Nicely done!
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Old 02-20-2017, 04:40   #4
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hawkguy, you could run a lot longer rail, I just didn't want to feel a long rail all the time when I grasp the Mini.
Thanks for the compliments.
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Old 02-20-2017, 06:26   #5
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Their ya go sandog, who says a AR is more modular. You just got to think differently than legos. Nicely done!
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Old 03-13-2017, 05:09   #6
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Got the Vickers sling and tech sight put on the latest build.
Holding it in an across the chest carry, it seemed it would be nicer to have a vertical grip, to go along with the back pistol grip.
I added another rail to the bottom of the stock, and slapped on a Tango Down vertical grip with Q.D. lever.
I know, this Mini is looking more "Tactical" than most, but man is it fast to grab and aim.
Way faster than my other Mini's with Ruger semi pistol grip stocks.
I'm liking it!



Last edited by sandog; 04-25-2018 at 06:20. Reason: replace Photobucket pics with Imgur
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Old 03-13-2017, 09:08   #7
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I agree with all the comments on Sandog's ideas, he's got some great ideas. This takes the 'chassis' concept and makes it into a lightweight approach which avoids the my basic objection to the chassis; it's heavy weight.

How do you like that vertical front handgrip? That and the pistol grip changes the entire hold of your Mini. Does it help ringing that 300yd gong up the hill?
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Old 03-13-2017, 18:49   #8
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Wow, that Mini 30 looks like it needs to be standard issue! I'm not all for the tactical stuff, but that one has been done right.
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Last edited by James T. Kirk; 03-14-2017 at 03:39.
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Old 03-13-2017, 19:12   #9
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I like fore grips, provided they are mounted fore, not aft.
With it out near the end I can reach it comfortably, but still hold the fore end conventionally as well.
I see many guys with AR's that put their vertical grip right up next to the receiver, then you can't hold the front of the carbine normally if you want to.
Steve, the grip doesn't help me ring the 300 yard gong, but it does make transitioning from target to target at closer ranges a bit faster.
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Old 04-25-2018, 04:36   #10
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Originally Posted by sandog View Post
I like fore grips, provided they are mounted fore, not aft.
With it out near the end I can reach it comfortably, but still hold the fore end conventionally as well.
I see many guys with AR's that put their vertical grip right up next to the receiver, then you can't hold the front of the carbine normally if you want to.
Steve, the grip doesn't help me ring the 300 yard gong, but it does make transitioning from target to target at closer ranges a bit faster.
I’ve been considering adding a side rail to my wood stock recently, but wonder if the taper of the stock would throw off the point of aim of the light beam? I’ve had a similar issue when mounting lights on my fire helmets looking for the sweet spot to secure them on the brim.

Too bad photobucket messed up such an awesome thread.
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Old 04-25-2018, 05:37   #11
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I would think you could put a shim under the front half of the rail piece, and play around and get the beam right where you want it.
What little I've played around using the light, it seems to be close enough.
Maybe I have more of a flood than spot beam.
I have most of the photos on a new hosting site, I'll try to get the photos put back in today.
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Old 04-25-2018, 06:26   #12
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Some pics of my wood stocked Mini-30 with rails on both sides:




All my Mini's have Blue Force Vickers slings, mounted on the side of the fore end and top of the butt stock. Putting the rear swivel at the top helps keep the Mini upright.
Put the swivel on the side of the stock and the Mini will want to roll away from you.
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Old 04-25-2018, 14:50   #13
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A couple Summers ago Sandog posted a thread on the Vickers and side QD mounts. So cool I had to do it. Then Sandog posted this thread about the rails. Another great idea that was a must. These are all business, useful upgrades that improve the rifle immensely. A minimum of mechanical aptitude needed. Work slowly and methodically......simple.

Fire Fyter....I mounted the 30 Tactical action in my SHTF Ruger poly stock (normally keep it in the wood) and tested it to see how the light beam would print as compared to the sights. For what I would consider light usage distances (across two rooms--25 ft.) ...the sights and beam were good to go. The TLR throws a beam that is approximately 4 ft circle so not an issue. Even though the forearm tapers the light appears to run parallel to the bore...you can see that in the last pic. A long distance might be another story.

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Last edited by Bepe; 11-25-2018 at 13:16.
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Old 04-25-2018, 16:37   #14
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Thanks fellas. Good to hear about the two room findings, as it would be in a home/property situation.
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Old 04-26-2018, 17:55   #15
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Originally Posted by sandog View Post
Some pics of my wood stocked Mini-30 with rails on both sides:




All my Mini's have Blue Force Vickers slings, mounted on the side of the fore end and top of the butt stock. Putting the rear swivel at the top helps keep the Mini upright.
Put the swivel on the side of the stock and the Mini will want to roll away from you.
That looks great. Glad to see the pics back up. I’d also be interested in seeing the inside of the wood stock if it’s still configured that way. I have a wood stock as well.

I am also tempted to try out that Choate stock. According to the letter of the law. It doesn’t violate CT’s AW laws since there are no fingers other than the trigger directly below the “action” as defined by the state.
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Old 04-27-2018, 03:21   #16
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FF.....The liner in the wood stock fits tight against the wood. No gap. Many here have used a T Nut or the Magpul nut supplied with the Magpul rail. Doing this with the wood stock requires hollowing out a depression inside the op rod liner channel. A much tougher undertaking in the wood versus the poly stock.

The Ruger poly stock has a gap with the support ribs in the liner channel. (see pic #2 in my previous post) Install only requires that you have a hair of a gap between the hardware and liner to avoid interference. On the Ruger poly I used the Magpul hardware and hollowed out a small depression in the stock channel to give me clearance. Easily done in the synthetic material, plus you don't have to go as deep because of the gap allowance.

I have the QD bases on my wood stock. (still have to install the rail) I used wood screws. A day before you start install stick the screws in a piece of cardboard and spray paint the heads flat black.

Measure the screw shaft and select a drill bit just a hair smaller. Too small and you will split the stock when you install the screw. Too big and it will be loose. Mock up the placement on the stock and drill the holes. I then installed just the screws by first soaping them up and then using an in and out motion, (1/8th turn at a time) so as to fit them in the hole.

Install the rail with the screws and tighten. You will now have extra screw sticking out in the liner channel. Mark the screw so it is flush with the wood....remove and trim with a dremel or hacksaw. Install the rail with the trimmed screws...install the liner and assemble the rifle. Finished.

Way, way easier than a T Nut and just as secure. If you decide to install the QD swivels and have the older style stock I'd go with the top mount swivel that Sandog posted. No drilling and better placement. I think he brainstormed and posted the top swivel setup after I installed my side mounts. If you have a newer style stock the top mount is doable but won't be as clean and easy.

Keep us filled in.
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Last edited by Bepe; 03-22-2019 at 09:41.
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Old 04-27-2018, 12:22   #17
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Thanks Bepe. Will do. Ultimately deciding if I want to be a test case for state law or not with the Choate stock, lol.

I am familiar with T-nuts and think I could manage. I’m gonna look at my rifle later on and see how tight we are talking.
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Old 04-27-2018, 12:52   #18
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Some good info in this thread.

http://www.perfectunion.com/vb/ruger...nny-rails.html

Post #7 has some pics of the T nut install. Post #8 is the voice of experience...I followed his advice.

As far as case law for the Choate.....I'm in an occupied state like you....these liberal control freaks love making an example of someone.
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Last edited by Bepe; 04-28-2018 at 13:30.
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Old 04-27-2018, 20:39   #19
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Originally Posted by Bepe View Post
Some good info in this thread.

http://www.perfectunion.com/vb/ruger...nny-rails.html

Post #7 has some pics of the T nut install. Post #8 is the voice of experience...I followed his advice.

As far as case law for the Choate.....I'm in an occupied state like you....these liberal control freaks love making an example of someone.
Bepe
Thanks for the link again. Luckily for us, the libtards paint themselves into corners here. In their haste to get out an AW definition, and having zero firearms knowledge. They have provided clearly defined language as to what type of pistol grip is allowed, and basically thought the only type of “banned by name” pistol grip Mini was the folding stock one. What also helps my case is I found out recently that there are LGS’s selling fixed and pinned PG Mini’s, and the state PD gave the ok to sell them. Hell, they can’t even stop AR style “other” sales.
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Old 11-25-2018, 04:31   #20
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Sandogs recent picture of his rail and flashlight in the Mini 30 thread prompted me to bump this thread.

Great thread that should be a sticky.

Bepe
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Old 11-25-2018, 05:28   #21
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Thanks for the compliment , Bepe.
I like having the two short rails out there, both for the sling mount and a place for the light.
One update, the last Magpul polymer rails I got had a different T-Nut that will make things easier for us to clear the heat shield. The new ones have a wider, but thinner T part of the nut than the old ones pictured.

Someone in one of the threads had expressed concern that the taper of the stock's forend might make your light beam not point where your barrel is pointing.
I haven't had a problem with that, going out after dark and lighting up deer in the field behind my house at various distances, beam seems pretty well centered.

With the FF III dot lit, it would have been easy to take out those deer at up to 200 yards, and my old Surefire 6P LED is only 100 lumens. In the last few years, small 1 inch diameter lights like mine have gotten more powerful, but more lumens means decreased run time. I think mine gets about 11 hours run time off the CR123A batteries.
Some of the new SureFire lights put out 500 to 1200 lumens.

With a simple fixed flash light mount like I use, if it was off, you could shim the mount where needed to get your beam where you want it.
And CAA and several other makers sell a mount that has several adjustment notches, for about the same money as the fixed one.
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Old 11-25-2018, 10:00   #22
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Funny you should mention the upped lumens now offered by many of the manufactures. I had purchased the TLR-1 for my work rig, a "few" years back. All of my previous pics were with the dash 1.

A couple months ago I'm in the uniform / supply store and see the "new improved" version.....TLR-1HL.....HL for high lumen. You know the rest of the story. Had to have it.

The HL gives an 800 lumen output. The TLR-1 has 300. Quite a difference. A blinding light. Same controls and batteries. The on/off swith is a two position. The lever goes one way for temporary manual light and the other way for a constant click on position. When having the rifle shouldered a flick of your index finger can activate the manual mode. No need to move your hand or release shooting grip on the rifle.

Shot a couple of quick pics mounted on the wood Tactical. Tough to get the camera and sights lined up for the shot but when sighting the dot, the beam is dead nuts on at about 25 feet.

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Old 11-25-2018, 11:52   #23
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800 lumens, wow.
100 can blind someone momentarily if their eyes are adjusted to the dark, 800 would be like an aircraft landing light.
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Old 03-22-2019, 00:45   #24
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Bepe,

Your advice:

Originally Posted by Bepe View Post
FF.....The liner in the wood stock fits tight against the wood. No gap. Many here have used a T Nut or the Magpul nut supplied with the Magpul rail. Doing this with the wood stock requires hollowing out a depression inside the op rod liner channel. A much tougher undertaking in the wood versus the poly stock.
Is the same found elsewhere here at PerfectUnion:

Originally Posted by sandog View Post
Mounting a rail on a wood stock is a bit more dicey, I also had to scoop out more wood than I would have liked, due to the heat shield fitting right up against the wood. The first one I took out a lot of wood in order to get the nuts countersunk, and clear the heat shield.
https://www.perfectunion.com/vb/ruge...ml#post1425834
Originally Posted by COBrien View Post
You'll have to hog out a space inside your wood stock for the adapter to drop down into. This prevents the forearm liner from bulging and dragging on the op rod.
https://www.perfectunion.com/vb/ruge...tml#post873343
Originally Posted by myname View Post
The flange nut on the sling stud made for the wood forearm needs to be relieved into the wood on the inside of the stock so the stock liner will sit down flat above it.
https://www.perfectunion.com/vb/ruge...tml#post678335
My follow-up question: how the heck do you go about doing this? Its one thing to sand/smooth out the edges of a wooden buttstock you cut short, but how does one go about creating a uniform, small, and concave depression within wood?

Any tips, hints, or secrets you're willing to share?

Respectfully,
butler
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Old 03-22-2019, 04:54   #25
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I used a Dremel with a bit that looks like a miniature Circular saw blade.
The same one I use to thin my buffers.

There are probably 3 or 4 other Dremel bits that I have that would work as well.

As I stated in that thread, the amount of wood I had to take out seemed excessive.
On the next wood stock I'll do this to, I'll just find a short, black wood screw ( or clip one off if the correct diameter is too long) and put a dab of epoxy on the threads before screwing it in.
The synthetic stocks don't have this problem, plenty of room on those between the stock and heat shield for the T-nuts.
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