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Thread: Mini-14

  1. #1

    Default Mini-14

    After a little persuasion from BrownBear I decided to get a Mini-14 for the purpose of jump shooting coyotes. I have had the gun for a little while now but just got around to playing with it. I replaced the slippery wooden factory stock with a Hogue over mold stock from Brownells, scoped it up with a fine cross haired straight 6 power Redfield and then headed to the range. I am happy to report that this Mini shoots around 2" right out of the box, 2.04" (average of 5/3shot groups) to be exact. From looking at the trigger group it appears that a half hour with a mill file followed by a stone should result in slicking it up a bunch.

    This gun came with one factory 5 round magazine. Any ideas as to who makes good after market 20 round mags for this gun?

    Thanks for the boost on this one BrownBear...I can already tell its going to fill the void!

  2. #2

    Default

    Mine isn't handy right now, so I can't tell you which mags are which. I've got a couple of metal 20's, and a plastic 25 and a plastic 30. Hate to say it, but so far the plastic 30 is the best of the bunch. I hate to say it cuzz with several of those around, you might as well buy stock in an ammo company! I just can't seem to stop shooting while there's still ammo in the mag, and it's too easy to change mags when they're laying right there. When you're shooting 100+ rounds before refilling a mag, you really go through the stuff.

    Glad to hear it's worked out so well for you.

  3. #3
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    Default Old news.

    I've got a stainless Mini that I seldom shoot and can't put my hands on any of the aftermarket mags for it...all preban, so the information is dated.

    Ramline made a plastic 30 rd. "Combo" mag that fit the AR and the Mini. Mine worked in the Mini fine, but were a VERY tight fit in the AR. Seemed very cheap, but worked.

    There were metal mags made by...?brain dead this morning?...that were made in blue and chrome in both 20 and 30 rd. for the Mini. These worked great. I haven't seen them for sale (new) since the ban.

    I checked 44Mag Dist. site and they have Ruger factory 20 rd. mags for $49.99 $$$$

  4. #4
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    Default

    Those metal mags that worked were the same as PMI, Precision Mag Industries. Mine were made under a different name ??? but the mags are the same...only the plastic wrap had a different name.

  5. #5
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    Default

    A little gun smoke cleared the brain. Those mags were marked Federal Ordinance. Other than the marking on the bags, they are exactly the same as PMI.

  6. #6
    Member Eastwoods's Avatar
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    Default

    I have a Stainless Ranch rifle and have tried 2 after market 30 round mags with disappointment, Schler and I think USA Magazines.

    Much better to spend a little extra and buy the Ruger factory 20 round mags if you can.

  7. #7

    Default Ruger mags

    The best ones of course are the Ruger manufactured mags, but I have heard, only heard, that the Eagle Industries polycarbonate mags function very well, are guaranteed and are pretty rugged. With a little checking online, you can find them at excellent prices.

  8. #8
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    Default barrells

    I read that the new 2008 models coming out soon will have a slightly heavier barrell for improved rigidity/accuracy! Does anyone think that it will help? I may get one if that is the case, but I am not sure when they plan to hit the shelves either. Sounds to me like someone has been talking to them and also someone has been listening.

  9. #9
    Member tyrex13's Avatar
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    Default

    Ruger makes the only mags worth owning for a Mini. After numerous problems with aftermarket mags, I have replaced them all with 100% reliable factory mags. YMMV

  10. #10

    Default ruger mags

    I've never heard anyone who didn't give the advice, "if you can afford it, get the factory 20's." They are pretty spendy but look and function very well for the mini. Seems like last week Gun Traders on muldoon had them for 45 bucks. He's also got one of the NRA model mini-14s that has some of the new "accuracy improving" modifications to it. Something to do with the gas system, barrel and trigger. Might want to check it out. I've got a PMI 30 that works really well. Hasn't jammed or FTF yet.

  11. #11

    Default

    What are the first 3 of the SN on your Mini?

    Aftermarket mags are NOT the problem with the Mini 14. The problem is Ruger tweaking things on the Mini's and causing problems with magazine fit. The Ranch guns are PROBLEMATIC with nearly all aftermarket mags, as are the new blends. The newer GB models had some issues as well, but not as severe as the Ranch. I have quite a few aftermarket mags that wouldn't run more than 2 consecutive rounds after the first 5-10 in my newer Mini Ranch and Blend. I have a 182 series that eats ammo out of ALL of them FLAWLESSLY. I have never had a jam with any of them in the 182. Needless to say, the newer Mini's are gone now.

    I've also had Ruger mags that would run perfectly out of some guns and FTF in others. There is no perfect magazine for some Mini's, and nearly all of them work flawlessly out of others.

    Depending on your series you have options... first 3 numbers are all that matter.
    Hunting, camping & shooting goodies. http://www.laksupply.com

  12. #12

    Default

    The first three numbers are 580. It is a newer Ranch Rifle.

    I think I'm just gonna bite the bullet and get several 20 round factory magazines.

    Thanks for all of the input!

  13. #13

    Default

    Ouch.... Yours is an '05 or newer. I didn't have any luck with any magazines over 10 rounds in my 580 series, including factory Ruger mags. If I was in your shoes I would definitely start with only one or two of the Ruger mags to make sure they work well in your gun. If they do buy the quantity you really want.

    If I were you I would also consider selling/trading that gun and finding another Mini in the 186 or older range, or 181-183 if at all possible. I really like the Mini, but the frustration of feeding capability with 20+ round mags finally got to me. The specs around the magwell in the newer Mini's are not exactly the same as the older ones. All of the fixed magazine pin receivers seem to be worse for feeding out of hi caps, and the ones from pre '85 or '86 seem to be the best. I don't know if it has anything to do with Bill Ruger's magazine discontent after the Miami thing, but who knows. I've been through two of them and settled on the older one.... I have NO issues of reliability with this rifle, and I had a ton of issues with the other two. This one has NOT JAMMED ONCE with the exact same magazines that wouldn't feed reliably for anything in the newer models.

    Here's a picture of it... I found it in Ohio after a couple weeks of looking around online. The only thing I've done to it was an Ultimak scout rail in lieu of the factory wooden handguard. It is in 98% condition.... flawless. AND- it does not injure the guy standing to your right with ejecting brass. The brass from the newer Mini's would hit 50+ feet away, and this one makes neat piles at @ 10 feet.




    Just my $.02........



    Quote Originally Posted by elmerkeithclone View Post
    The first three numbers are 580. It is a newer Ranch Rifle.

    I think I'm just gonna bite the bullet and get several 20 round factory magazines.

    Thanks for all of the input!
    Hunting, camping & shooting goodies. http://www.laksupply.com

  14. #14

    Default

    This gun fed ok with the factory 5 rounder that it came with. I know where I can borrow some different factory magazines to try. Your words aren't real encouraging however I will reserve comments until after the weekend when I give some borrowed mags a go. I will let you know how that goes. Maybe I'll get lucky..keep your fingers crossed!

  15. #15

    Default

    Sorry about that... not trying to worry you! I just didn't have good luck with mine... unfortunate too because I liked everything else about the newer gun. I even had mine worked over a little bit with a brake, contour, trigger job, etc. It shot really nice except for the feeding. Hopefully yours will be different..... give 'er a whirl.

    This is my 580 series... I sold her a year or so ago:



    Good luck!!

    Quote Originally Posted by elmerkeithclone View Post
    This gun fed ok with the factory 5 rounder that it came with. I know where I can borrow some different factory magazines to try. Your words aren't real encouraging however I will reserve comments until after the weekend when I give some borrowed mags a go. I will let you know how that goes. Maybe I'll get lucky..keep your fingers crossed!
    Hunting, camping & shooting goodies. http://www.laksupply.com

  16. #16

    Default

    I found 4 factory 20 round magazines in the area. Two of which were new and marked LE. I shot 100 rounds through each of these LE magazines without a hickup! I payed $40 each for these and feel it may be the best $80 I have ever spent. The other two magazines were older ones and had a little different latch protrusion on them. They fit loosely in my gun and every once in a while the bolt failed to catch the case and slide it out of the magazine. However if I put upward pressure on the bottom of the magazine thus removing the slop then they worked fine.

    I miked the location of the bottom of the catch on the old magazine and there is a difference when compared to the newer ones. I'm thinking that I can fix these two old mags by building up a little weld and then grinding the catch to the same spec as the newer ones. I'm out nothing to try as the old boy that had these mags gave them to me free of charge along with a couple hundred rounds of ball ammo. I've been keeping him in fireplace wood for a couple of years so what goes around comes around!

    It appears that a set screw installed in the sear just below the engagement would allow the two stage creep to be removed from the trigger and then a little stone work would lighten the engagement drag.

    Have any of you smiths ever done a trigger job on a mini?

  17. #17

    Default Mini-14 mag problem

    LAK,

    Actually, the problem with aftermarket Mini-14 mags has been ongoing for many years now, way before the newer 580 series came out. Many of the aftermarket mags have the latching hole poorly placed or dimensioned. Worn factory mags can be problematic too. I am not saying there is no problem with the guns, but I don't see why a 20 rounder would lock in poorly over a ten rounder. If the pin is locked in tight, it should be okay.
    Have you heard about the problem with another 580 besides your own? I found it interesting that you had one of the high cap drum mags on the GB in the pic you sent. They don't have a good rep.

  18. #18

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mauserboy View Post
    LAK,

    Actually, the problem with aftermarket Mini-14 mags has been ongoing for many years now, way before the newer 580 series came out. Many of the aftermarket mags have the latching hole poorly placed or dimensioned. Worn factory mags can be problematic too. I am not saying there is no problem with the guns, but I don't see why a 20 rounder would lock in poorly over a ten rounder. If the pin is locked in tight, it should be okay.
    Have you heard about the problem with another 580 besides your own? I found it interesting that you had one of the high cap drum mags on the GB in the pic you sent. They don't have a good rep.
    Yeah, I'm aware that the problem extends to guns way before the 580 series. If you take a look at one of my prior posts you'll see where I was talking about the pre-'85 or '86 Mini's doing the best with hi-caps. The newer ones (excluding the GB's for the most partI've owned a few and shot dozens.... the Ranch rifles and the newer 580+ series guns are the worst for reliability with most hi-cap magazines.

    You are correct about the dimensions of the magwell and catches... I was talking about that in a prior post as well. I have my suspicions about Bill Ruger's intentions after the Miami shootout... a few years later some dimensions changed and magazines that ran perfectly in older guns no longer worked. I've been through a few Mini's and my 182 series runs perfectly with magazines that didn't run worth a **** in the 580 or 196 series. Those same magazines did not work in others' mid to late 186 series, but ran fine in a GB.

    I am highly suspicious that Ruger changed the specs intentionally in the later Mini's so that most hi-caps would not run. The fact that those mags run well in a GB but not a Ranch of about the same age reinforces my suspicions. I have never seen any documentation confirming this, but it did happen at convenient time... just a couple of years after the Miami shootout.

    The only safe way I've found to ensure a high likelihood of hi-caps working is to buy an older Mini. Out of a couple thousand rounds in my 182 series I have not had one malfunction from any of the magazines that wouldn't run in the newer ones. As for the drum... it was a buddy's...... just posing with my 580 for some pictures after we did the barrel work.
    Hunting, camping & shooting goodies. http://www.laksupply.com

  19. #19

    Default

    Glad you found a couple that work.... I'm glad you tried them all before purchasing them. You experienced the same problem I did with those last two mags.... the sloppy fit caused the tip of the bullet to hang up on the step cut running up to the chamber.

    Quote Originally Posted by elmerkeithclone View Post
    I found 4 factory 20 round magazines in the area. Two of which were new and marked LE. I shot 100 rounds through each of these LE magazines without a hickup! I payed $40 each for these and feel it may be the best $80 I have ever spent. The other two magazines were older ones and had a little different latch protrusion on them. They fit loosely in my gun and every once in a while the bolt failed to catch the case and slide it out of the magazine. However if I put upward pressure on the bottom of the magazine thus removing the slop then they worked fine.

    I miked the location of the bottom of the catch on the old magazine and there is a difference when compared to the newer ones. I'm thinking that I can fix these two old mags by building up a little weld and then grinding the catch to the same spec as the newer ones. I'm out nothing to try as the old boy that had these mags gave them to me free of charge along with a couple hundred rounds of ball ammo. I've been keeping him in fireplace wood for a couple of years so what goes around comes around!

    It appears that a set screw installed in the sear just below the engagement would allow the two stage creep to be removed from the trigger and then a little stone work would lighten the engagement drag.

    Have any of you smiths ever done a trigger job on a mini?
    Hunting, camping & shooting goodies. http://www.laksupply.com

  20. #20

    Default Mini-14 mags

    Lak, I'm not doubting your word. It's just that I recently picked up a 580 series ranch rifle because they have presumably been modified to have more consistent accuracy, haven't even fired it yet. I'd hate to think that I couldn't shoot a 20 rounder out of it without ftf. It must mean that they do something different on the receivers for law enforcement and foreign military units on the latest models so that they'll function properly. I love Rugers, so if your assumed conspiracy theory about Ruger is true, then it would be a betrayal against the American shooting public and the 2nd Amendment. I hope not.
    Has anyone else had this functioning problem with 580 series Ranch Rifles? Thanks.

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