Older mini 14 - Shooting Sports Forum


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

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Old 04-06-2020, 17:44   #1
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Older mini 14

Buddy just picked up an older mini 14, I canít recall the model #

It has the wood hand guard and no way to mount a scope.

Can anyone tell me the pros and cons of this model?
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Old 04-06-2020, 20:01   #2
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Really need the Series Number to be accurate could be a 180 which is a whole different ballgame then the later 18X series. Could be the wood hand guard was an add on. So it maybe a later series 18X which again will change things as Ruger made changes to the Mini in the middle of the 18X run.
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Old 04-07-2020, 09:26   #3
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Southern, a few things:
If the first three digits of the S/N start with "180", there is a problem with factory support as well as with repair parts. They are no longer supported by Ruger, and replacement parts might be a bit to come by, depending on the part.

If the first three digits start with "181" or higher, opportunities for tinkering are much greater, as they are still supported by Ruger and parts are readily available.

AFAIK, the 180s came standard with the wood hand guard, the 181s may or may not have. My 181 (bought used in 1980) had the Ruger plastic guard...

The occasional shooting of a 180 should not be a problem - they were as stout as the 181 and beyond, but had a different bolt-stop assembly. Biggest problem would be spare parts...BTW, my 1977 181GB has NEVER required a part replacement, and I've had it since 1980. Untold thousands of shots fired through it with nary a hint of a malfunction...
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Old 04-08-2020, 01:02   #4
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One way to determine if the handguard is for the 180 series- the wood will have a metal band or clip that mates up with grooves in the barrel to keep it in place. Wood handguards for the 181 mini's do not have the metal clip.
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Old 04-08-2020, 09:01   #5
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Originally Posted by 40nascar View Post
One way to determine if the handguard is for the 180 series- the wood will have a metal band or clip that mates up with grooves in the barrel to keep it in place. Wood handguards for the 181 mini's do not have the metal clip.
40 I am having a hard time visualizing this...clearly I am not the sharpest pencil in the can.

By any chance do you have a photo or diagram comparison? No worries if you don't, I am just curious and would enjoy it it you have it or can point me to it.
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Old 04-08-2020, 09:16   #6
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The clip is on the top side ( visible) on the hanguard about 3/4 of an inch from where the barrel mates up to the receiver. Sorry, i dont know how to post photos.
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Old 04-08-2020, 16:37   #7
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You can see the clip here. https://i.ibb.co/RjV4XzB/op-rod-switch.jpg
Thanks to Model 52.
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Old 04-12-2020, 06:27   #8
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model 180

If its the model 180 I had one for a few decades. With a cold barrel and red dot it would shoot way under 2" at 100 yards. Only mod was a muzzle brake. Factory trigger was creep free at 3 1/2#'s that was way more common back then compared to the later lawyer-ed models of about everything you buy today. I still have the Wichita brand scope mount that goes in place of the rear sight you have to remove to install it. I only passed it on after acquiring a 1986 made stainless that in many respects ended up not being the upgrade I was expecting. One big benefit is it would handle the many accessories that the model 180 would not. The 180 was more properly set-up by the factory as it threw the emptys at 1:30-2 O'clock about 12' away. My current 580 sends them at 4 O'clock about 33' but I am working on it. If I were you I would not be afraid to own and shoot it.
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Old 04-20-2020, 14:48   #9
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Originally Posted by Southernhunter View Post
It has the wood hand guard and no way to mount a scope.
That wood handguard, if removed, can be replaced by an aftermarket with a rail for adding things..
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