Mini14 F.A.Q.

The focus of this article is to provide information on the various upgrades that we have available to help accurize and customize the Ruger Mini-14, Mini-30 and Ranch rifles. As the actual history of these Ruger rifles is readily available in detail from various online sources, we will only include a brief description of these rifles history.

Mini-14 Description

The Mini-14 rifle is a lightweight semi automatic rifle manufactured by Ruger. It is chambered to fire the .223 caliber ( 5.56x45mm ) cartridge. The rifle is based on a cast, CNC receiver that is heat treated and a uses a breechbolt locking system, with a short stroke fixed piston gas system. Barrel length is 18.5 inches, overall length 37 1/4", Weight is 6 lb 6 oz. Civilian models do not include any factory muzzle attachments, threaded barrels or bayonet lugs. Mini-14 rifles are fed via a detachable box magazine. Rear sights on these rifles have changed several times over the years and include a fixed adjustable peep sight, flip up peep sight and more recently a ghost ring rear sight aperture. Front sights are typically a standard non adjustable blade and more recently a blade protected by side wings. The rifle has been in production since the 1970's with various different finishes including blued steel and stainless. factory options have includes synthetic stocks, wood stocks and the now discontinued folding stocks.

There are two Military/Police versions of the Mini-14. These include the K Mini-14GB ( GB = Government Barrel ) and AC-556. The K Mini-14GB is the same as the Mini-14 except it also includes a heavy threaded barrel with AR-15 type muzzle attachment and a bayonet lug. The AC-556 is identical to the K Mini-14GB but also had a Ruger folding stock option, select fire capability and available with standard or shortened barrel ( approx 13" long).

( K Mini-14GB Shown below )

Ruger also makes the Mini-30 rifle which is chambered for the 7.62x39mm cartridge. Basically a clone of the mini-14 except the receiver, magazine and a few other areas have been redesigned to accommodate the 7.62x39mm cartridge. Accessories and options packages are the same as to what is offered for the Mini-14.

Another Mini-14 variant is called the Ranch rifle which is available in .223 and 7.62x39mm. These rifles are identical to the Mini-14 and Mini-30 except they feature the Ruger proprietary scope mount system which is milled on the top of the rifle and an internal brass deflector which consists of a redesigned ejector. This causes the brass casing to eject at a lower angle so as to avoid contact with a scope mounted on the rifle. Because of this feature, the Ranch rifle ejects the brass casings violently and in unpredictable directions. Many shooting ranges require a brass catcher installed or some other provision like a safety net when using the Ranch Rifle. This is to prevent the brass casing from hitting people nearby.

Some early production Mini-14 rifles where also chambered in the Remington .222 cartridge which was the basis for dev elopement of the .223 cartridge. Rumor has it that the .222 caliber Mini-14 rifles which are not available in the US are currently available in some countries which have restrictions on civilian use of rifles that chamber Military cartridges like the .223 caliber ( 5.56 NATO ).

Mini-14 Scope Mounts

We carry 2 different style of scope mount systems for Mini-14, Mini-30 and Ranch rifles.

The first model is a side mounted, see-through scope mount design which attaches to your rifle via a replacement bolt lock cover plate that is threaded to accept the mount. This mount will fit all Mini-14, Mini-30 and Ranch rifles. These mounts are ideal for anyone who wants to use a large diameter scope as the added height of this mount will allow plenty of clearance. Also a very good option for those who must have back up iron sights available at all times.

( Pictured below is our X-Treme Duty mount for Mini-14, Mini-30 and Ranch rifles. This mount is extremely rugged and has provisions for locking the elevation of the mount via set screws and an extension button so you can still use the bolt release. )

$28.95 with scope rings

Click on the image to view more details or purchase this item


The second model is made specifically for use with the Ruger Ranch rifles .223 and 7.62x39mm. These type of mounts attach directly to the Ruger factory scope mount base that is milled on the top of the rifles receiver. Also note that these same mounts will also fit any new generation Ruger rifle that has the factory scope mount base.

For the Ranch rifle we have available a low-profile weaver type rail in black or silver colors which is ideal for mounting just about any type of scope, red dot or reflex sight. You have your choice of silver or black finish. This is a perfect setup for someone looking for the absolute lowest mounting platform for their rifle. Also this a great option for those looking to mount a reflex sight or other type of optics that require a long rail. Note that this mount was designed for the Ranch rifles with the rear flip-down peep sight. If you have a new Ranch rifle with the rear sight that does not-flip down, you will have to remove the rear sight in order to install this rail.

Pictured below is our low-profile rail for Ruger Ranch rifles $12.00

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Another option we have for the Ruger Ranch rifles is a set of scope rings that will attach directly to the factory scope mount base. These are 30mm rings and include 1" reducing inserts so you can use them on scopes and red dots with either a 30mm or 1" tube diameter. You have your choice of silver or black finish and medium or low profile to accommodate most scopes and red dots. These rings are ideal for those who want to keep their rifle as close to the factory design as possible.

Pictured below is our scope rings for Ruger ranch Rifles $19.95

Click the image below to view more details or purchase this item

Click here to view our entire selection of Mini-14 mounts

Click here to view our Mini-4 scope & mount combo deals

Mini-14 Accessories

Because of the popularity of the Mini-14 and the fact they have been around for around 30 years, it's no wonder that there are so many accessories available for these rifles. We offer a full line of accessories for the Mini14 rifles and are more than happy to answer any technical questions to help you accomplish your goals. Considering that we sell so many different products for this one family of rifles, it's beyond the focus of this short article to go over the specific details on each and every accessory that we offer. Instead we will focus this article on one specific Mini-14 project. Future articles will also cover other new exciting projects. This will allow us to spotlight some of our best products and offer our customers innovative ideas, creative possibilities and enhancements for their Mini-14 rifles.

Our first article will address a very good question that came up recently from one of our customers. This gentleman advised us that he had looked high and low and was unable to find a complete solution to his problem. So he asked us "I really like my Mini-14 rifle but the accuracy could be much improved and it really could use a makeover. I want a rifle that can do everything. Something rugged enough for me to take in the back of the truck when I go camping in the woods, yet with enough accuracy so I can it take it to the shooting range and have fun with it. It also has to be a rifle that I can trust in an emergency as a survival rifle and light enough so my wife can carry and shoot it. Can you put together an All-Purpose accessory package for the Mini-14 rifle that does not cost more than the gun itself, does not require any permanent modifications and actually improved the functionality and accuracy of the Mini14 rifle." - Good Question -

We put our heads together and did a lot of research and experimentation. It was a tough proposition but we came up with a setup that meets or exceeds all these requirement. We call this setup our All-Purpose Tactical Rifle package for Ruger Mini-14, Mini-30 and Ranch rifles.

All-Purpose Tactical Rifle package

Note that just because it says Tactical, that does not mean this is going to be a super expensive setup for use by elite SWAT entry teams and Special Forces operators. This is intended to be a setup which will allow the Mini-14 rifle to be used to it's maximum capabilities in a variety of roles. Whether it's used for target shooting at the local range, competing in 3 gun matches or other shooting sports, outdoor recreational activity, ranch work or as maybe as the choice of weapon to keep handy as a survival rifle incase of a natural disaster or other catastrophe, this setup will allow your Mini-14 perform well in most any situation. This is also a setup that just about anyone can afford and does not require any expensive permanent modifications to be made to the rifle. Everyone has different requirements and ideas but hopefully this information will help you to make an informed decision when picking out accessories for that mini-14 rifle. Here goes a list of the items that make up our All-Purpose tactical setup.

We choose this NcStar Mark III 2.5-10x40mm scope because is the most compact, lightweight tactical scope that we sell. The scope is very rugged and will withstand a lot of abuse while still providing a clear sight picture. Also the capability of the scope to power down to 2.5x magnification still allows for a very large 32.5 feet field of view at 100 yards. For situations in which you do not want to loose complete use of your Peripheral vision, a large field of view is a must. This also allows for very quick target acquisition at short- medium distances. The scope can also quickly power up to 10x magnification which realistically is more than enough power for long range target shooting considering the realistic limitations of a factory mini-14 production rifle and the .223 caliber cartridge. On top of all that, the scope has a reticle illuminator which really helps out when shooting in hazy or low-light conditions.

The rings we choose have the appropriate Ruger style base which allows them to attach directly to the factory scope mount base on the Ruger Ranch rifle. This provides an incredibly strong and reliable mounting system and minimizes the amount of components we have to use. If you have a standard Mini-14 instead of a Ranch rifle, then consider one of our Mini-14 X-Treme duty scope mounts. The Medium profile was the ideal choice for our scope as it allowed enough clearance for the front objective on the scope not to touch the rifle. If you have a Ranch rifle, these NcStar Ruger base rings are a perfect way to mount a scope on your rifle.

We needed a way to mount some accessories on the Mini14 without having to modify or cut up the stock to accept some picatinny rails. The Leapers barrel clamp tri-rail mount was ideal for this job. It's basically a tri-rail mount that clamps directly to your rifles barrel and provides a solid platform on which you can attach lasers, tactical flashlights, sling swivels, bipods and a host of other accessories.

Now we had a nice platform for accessories and the first thing that came to mind was that we need a good bipod to provide a stable shooting platform under most any condition. The platform had to be rugged yet not extremely heavy, the legs needed to fold under so the rifle could be easily stored in a safe or carrying case, the legs had to adjust individually to compensate for unleveled areas as are typically the case even with bench rests at the local shooting ranges. The bipod also had to be a quick-detach model incase for whatever reason it needed to be removed in a hurry or replaced with another accessory. We found a perfect match that fit all our criteria in our NcStar adjustable steel bipod with/ quick detach mount. This is a sturdy, rugged bipod that will provide a nice solid shooting platform for the Mini-14.

We accomplished all the other goals we had set for the All-Purpose Mini14 but there was one last thing. We decided that to be truly considered a survival rifle, the Mini-14 would need a good flashlight. After all in the event of an emergency, how many people will actually remember to grab the family, pets, clothing, food, water, medicine, the trusty rifle and a flashlight. It seems much more practical if the light source is attached directly to the rifle so by grabbing the Mini-14 you have a guaranteed source of light. The requirement for the flashlight are that it must be lightweight yet very durable, use commonly available batteries, have a decent power output while not a hog when it comes to battery consumption, must be waterproof and the bulb must be extremely durable or have plenty of replacements on hand. Seems like so much is expected from this item but again we where able to find a perfect match. The AIM Tactical LED Flash Light was an absolute perfect match. Not only did it meet all the requirements we had but it also comes with batteries, a ring mount and 2 activation switches so it was ready to mount and use in just a matter of minutes. The light has a stunning LED that put out 180 lumens of intense white light but uses very little battery power as comapred to filiment style bulbs. We choose to mount flashlight on the left side of our tri-rail barrel clamp and used the push button activation switch instead of the curly cord switch. The curly cord switch dangling on the side of the rifle seemed like it could easily get snagged on something and cause problems. The push button switch is much more rugged as it is solidly attached to the flashlight. The way we mounted it, if you are a right hand shooter, you can easily activate the light with your thumb or finger without losing your front grip on the rifles forend. This flashlight uses LED diode technology as opposed to a traditional bulb. This technology provides at least 100,000 hour of diode life so no possibility of it burning out at the worst possible moment. the LED light is not as bright as a halogen bulb but it is bright enough so that if you look directly at the bulb, it will momentarily blur your vision however the LED technology is much more conservative in battery consumption as compared to any other type pf standard bulb. This means that you will get a minimum 10x more battery life as compared to a similar tactical flashlight with filament bulb technology. This is very important as you know that clearly, a flashlight without batteries is worthless so in a survival situation having 10x more battery power could really come in handy.

Well there was a lot of other things we considered adding to this setup but realistically we came to the following conclusion. Anything we added after this point (at least for our intended purposes) was really not adding more functionality, just more gadgets. Remember that this is not the end all to end all setup but rather an economical package that maintains the original functionality of the rifle but adds much more versatility. Your specific requirement may differ from ours depending on your location and experiences so there may be another accessory or other options that would work better for your particular situation. We hope this information is useful and if nothing else, maybe it will answer some questions and spark some ideas.

Thanks very much.

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