Question Mini Folding Stock Questions? - Shooting Sports Forum


Ruger Mini-14 and Mini-30 Ruger Mini-14 and Mini-30 family of rifles

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Old 05-29-2019, 17:28   #1
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Mini Folding Stock Questions?

Ok everyone, I now have a need for truck Mini to go along with my other Home, shop, wall hanger Mini's So it's a compact truck and the full size stock needs to be swapped out. I have several of the ATI stocks that I have taken off of trades through the years and don't care for them much but never had a Choat or a Butler, only the factory folders and those are like gold now. Handled several Choat / Butler's but never lived with one. So the questions are:

1. My brother has a Butler he could send me but the grip storage compartment door is missing. I called Butler but they are out of stock and may or may not re-stock (didn't sound likely). Does any one have a stray door or even a beater / worn / damaged complete stock they want to go to a worthy Mini loving home PM me if so!
2. I think they (Choat & Butler) are pretty similar other than the finger grooves on the Butler, or am I way off on this as far as weight, LOP, quality?
3. Does anyone know how much a Ruger factory folder weighs?

Many thanks!

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Old 05-29-2019, 21:23   #2
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I have a Mini in the truck whenever I go out in the boonies. I have a compact SUV, enough room for a fixed stock at the base of the back seat. I can fold down the back seats to hide the carbine.
Once I get one of these, I'll leave the Mini in the truck all the time:
https://www.swps.com/sho-me-gun-racks.html
Get one of those, hide the switch under the dash, and no one will be able to steal your Mini.

Can't help you much on the folders, I think the weight and LOP are similar, I haven't heard bad things about either one.
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Old 05-30-2019, 07:12   #3
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I personally think the Choate is much better quality than the Butler Creek. The folding part of the stock is much thicker. The Royal Bermuda Regiment used Choate non folding pistol grip stocks on their issue MIni-14 GBs. Really tough stock.
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Old 05-31-2019, 00:20   #4
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Having owned both, i would recommend the Butler Creek. Good fitment and quality control. Never had a problem with a Butler Creek. I also had a choate fixed pistol grip model as referenced above. Over time that stock warped into a semi curved shape and became unusable. Not good quality control on their synthetic formulations.

As for ATI, i never had an interest. They just looked like cheap, loose junk. Its hard for me to believe Ruger sold any of their mini's in that chassis. The parts where the hinge is is not confidence inspiring to me.

I will vouch for Butler Creek. They may not be the prettiest, but they are solid and well made.
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Old 05-31-2019, 05:40   #5
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Ok, me thinks it's time to do a comparison! My brother is sending the Butler and I have found a Choat that the fellow seems to think is not a SS but blued that has been painted silver, why? Because it is overall a tarnished light brown and looks to have a rust spec or three. He was told it was stainless and has set in his closet for 15 odd years and was never used, now he feels like he was lied to. Some folks just don't understand what stainless is . On the off chance he is correct and it is painted, I offered him $45 and he took it. I should have it next week and we shall see!

If anyone has or comes across a Butler grip door, please do PM me!

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Old 05-31-2019, 10:34   #6
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I am very interested in your analysis. I have a Choate folder, but have nothing to compare it to. I guess when it is all said and done I doesn't really matter for me as the Choate is still for sale and the Butler is out of production...but I am still interested...what can I say...I am just a cheap date!
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Old 05-31-2019, 19:44   #7
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I thought the Choat and Butler both were long discontinued?? Well I think I'm going to break them both down do a comparison, weigh the stock vs. the hardware vs. assembled and post the results. If anyone has a stainless folder they would like to weigh and chime in on, that would be great. I may toss in the ATI folder as well even though I don't care much for it..... Spoiler: It will take 7-10 days shipping to get the Choat & Butler and then depending on my schedule maybe another week or so to compare them, may do a you tube vid?

Capt. Thomas

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Last edited by CaptThomas; 05-31-2019 at 19:46. Reason: spelling
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Old 05-31-2019, 20:15   #8
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Choate is still making these:
https://www.riflestock.com/store/pro...ock-stainless/
https://www.riflestock.com/store/pro...folding-stock/
And they sell the mag well liner and screws if your Mini didn't come with them:
https://www.riflestock.com/store/pro...er-and-screws/
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Old 05-31-2019, 22:16   #9
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Originally Posted by sandog View Post
Choate is still making these:
https://www.riflestock.com/store/pro...ock-stainless/
https://www.riflestock.com/store/pro...folding-stock/
And they sell the mag well liner and screws if your Mini didn't come with them:
https://www.riflestock.com/store/pro...er-and-screws/
Thanks Sandog, that good to know. I much prefer the older wire / tube stock and I bet it's lighter without that big polymer butt!

Do the Ruger factory liners NOT fit the Choat & Butler folders?

Thanks!

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Old 06-01-2019, 04:40   #10
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All Mini's come with "liners", the heat shield that fits down in the fore arm of the stock.
Ruger with wood stocks come with the mag well reinforcement and the two side screws.
Ruger synthetic stocks do not. Ruger figures they are not needed for the synthetic.

Choate sells the mag well reinforcement (liner) and two side screws as their polymer stocks require them to be used. Just in case the Mini that you are buying a Choate stock for was originally a synthetic stock model.

This is a Choate pistol grip stock, you can see the mag well reinforcement screw on the side:
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Old 06-01-2019, 05:47   #11
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Factory folder with liner
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Old 06-01-2019, 06:39   #12
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Originally Posted by sandog View Post
All Mini's come with "liners", the heat shield that fits down in the fore arm of the stock.
Ruger with wood stocks come with the mag well reinforcement and the two side screws.
Ruger synthetic stocks do not. Ruger figures they are not needed for the synthetic.

Choate sells the mag well reinforcement (liner) and two side screws as their polymer stocks require them to be used. Just in case the Mini that you are buying a Choate stock for was originally a synthetic stock model.

This is a Choate pistol grip stock, you can see the mag well reinforcement screw on the side:
Ok got it and good to know. I'm ok as long as the factory liners and reinforcement parts will fit the Choat and Butler as all my Mini's are wood stocks. Do the Butlers work with the Ruger reinforcement or is a Butler item I have to start looking for? The Choat arrived a lot faster than usual for USPS, got it today! Maybe next week on the Butler?

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Old 06-01-2019, 06:45   #13
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Originally Posted by jdg View Post
Factory folder with liner
Thank you very much Sir! Now I have a control to go by. 2lb 10oz, I would have thought more? This Choat has got to be close to that if not more? I will put it on the scale in the morning and post back.

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Old 06-01-2019, 08:59   #14
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Originally Posted by sandog View Post
All Mini's come with "liners", the heat shield that fits down in the fore arm of the stock.
Ruger with wood stocks come with the mag well reinforcement and the two side screws.
Ruger synthetic stocks do not. Ruger figures they are not needed for the synthetic.

Choate sells the mag well reinforcement (liner) and two side screws as their polymer stocks require them to be used. Just in case the Mini that you are buying a Choate stock for was originally a synthetic stock model.

SNIP
And to build a bit on what Sandog has said, in my humble opinion the smart move is to just purchase the stock liner, stock reinforcement, two lock washers, and two screws when one purchases a replacement stock like the Choate that requires them.

The hardware is readily available from a number of vendors including Choate, and as replacement parts from Ruger directly. In terms of the investment you have in the stock, the additional parts are a pittance and allow one to easily and quickly swap stocks back and forth as one desires. YMMV
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Old 06-04-2019, 06:37   #15
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Update!

Ok here's the update.... Choate arrived and I weighed / looked over both side by side. The Choat is a tad lighter at 2.66 lbs vs. the Butler at 2.79 lbs. Both weighed WITHOUT liners and re-enforcements. The LOP on the Choat is a good 1.5 inches longer and the Choat is a one piece cast frame, the butler is welded and my sample size of 1 looks a bit rough on the weld. Me thinks the choat a bit stronger? The grips on both are about the same length and angel, the Butler is a good bit larger in dia. The fore end on both is very close to identical. The folder hinge is also almost identical except the Butler uses a coil spring and the Choat spring washers. Again I think the Choat ever so slightly better.

I broke both down and there was no lock washer or thread locker on the stock screws of either. This is bad in my opinion and will be refitted below.
Also very little if any factory applied lube (dried up or otherwise) in the Choate hinge, none in the Butler. Also bad and maybe a reason many complain of these getting loose with use. Stainless is pretty soft in these as they are not heat treated.

Now the subjective and opinion part: As I was looking at both I suddenly felt cold and clammy, then the anal retentive engineer / OCD hysteria hit me. Both companies have chosen to outfit these stainless folders with blue carbon steel hardware In a effort to head off long sleepless nights about rust and dissimilar alloy electrolysis (specially the set screw) and some bean counter that saved 31.4 cents per unit, I took a quick walk over to the condiment cabinet (yes gun condiments!) and confirmed that I had what the doctor would order after sleepless night 3.

5/16x24 set screw, 2ea. 1/4x20x1 1/4 stock screws, 2 ea. 1/4 star washers, 10x32x1/4 button head......All stainless. The finger groves on the Butler don't fit me real well with the larger dia. of the grip and I have chunky paws but they could be worked over. Also the underside of the grip on the Choat is a full beavertail that covers the hinge pin, the Butler is chopped off and open. All in all I think the Choat gets the nod for me anyway if for nothing but the cast frame and longer LOP.

Capt. Thomas
Attached Thumbnails
Mini Folding Stock Questions?-choat-weight.jpg   Mini Folding Stock Questions?-butler-weight.jpg   Mini Folding Stock Questions?-20190604_213210.jpg   Mini Folding Stock Questions?-20190604_213505.jpg   Mini Folding Stock Questions?-back-grip.jpg   Mini Folding Stock Questions?-blue-hardware.jpg  

Mini Folding Stock Questions?-lop.jpg   Mini Folding Stock Questions?-cast.jpg   Mini Folding Stock Questions?-condiments.jpg   Mini Folding Stock Questions?-grip-size.jpg  
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Last edited by CaptThomas; 06-04-2019 at 07:22. Reason: addition
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Old 07-18-2019, 02:59   #16
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Bit late on this, but I just purchased a Choate folder for my Mini 30. Looking forward to it, will look over mine to compare changes that have been made over the years.

Sent from my PH-1 using Tapatalk
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Old 07-18-2019, 18:24   #17
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Originally Posted by jumpluff View Post
And to build a bit on what Sandog has said, in my humble opinion the smart move is to just purchase the stock liner, stock reinforcement, two lock washers, and two screws when one purchases a replacement stock like the Choate that requires them.

The hardware is readily available from a number of vendors including Choate, and as replacement parts from Ruger directly. In terms of the investment you have in the stock, the additional parts are a pittance and allow one to easily and quickly swap stocks back and forth as one desires. YMMV

Couldn't agree more.

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