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Old June 6, 2013, 12:17 AM   #1
psychohellbilly666
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Mags for mini 14

Just picked up a used ruger mini 14 tactical. Has folding and telescoping stock. It came with a 20 rnd mag. Pro mag. Question is aside from factory mags what brand to get. Ive heard good and bad on aftermarket mags. Any experiences.
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Old June 6, 2013, 01:23 AM   #2
Crazy88Fingers
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I've read good reviews on these and just picked one up to try this weekend.

http://www.cdnninvestments.com/mi220prblmag.html
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Old June 6, 2013, 09:51 AM   #3
jmr40
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You MIGHT get satisfactory perfomance with non-factroy mags. I haven't owned a mini-14 for a while and never found any that were acceptable. Someone may be making some that are OK now, but my advice is to stay with factory mags. I never had any issues with them.
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Old June 6, 2013, 10:47 AM   #4
Skans
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PMI.

Here's the real deal on Mini-14 magazines. There is no aftermarket magazine made as well as the factory Ruger magazines for the Mini-14. The factory Ruger magazines are truly exceptional. The steel is simply better, i.e. stiffer and much less prone to wear and distortion after hard use. You can put thousands of rounds through factory Ruger magazines without any distortion of the feed lips. You can use a speed loader on them without having to "re-tweek" the feed lips after many uses.

Now, there are many aftermarket magazines that will work with the Mini-14 - I recommended PMI above. But, they won't last as long, and you may have to adjust the feed lips to get them to run perfectly.

Factory Ruger magazines are NOT like the disposable AR magazines. You do not need to have a bunch of them. Two, maybe three will suffice, for the lifetime of your Mini-14. Some aftermarket magazines will work every bit as reliably as a Ruger Factory mag, but NONE OF THEM are made as well as the factory mags.

Now, if you want 40 round magazines, you will have to go with aftermarket. But, I'd buy 2 factory Ruger 30 round magazines while you still can. You will thank me years from now.

Last edited by Skans; June 7, 2013 at 07:59 AM.
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Old June 6, 2013, 01:10 PM   #5
dgludwig
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I agree with the previous two posters and I am especially in accord with Skans' advice that:
Quote:
"...Factory Ruger magazines are NOT like the disposable AR magazines. You do not need to have a bunch of them. Two, maybe three will suffice, for the lifetime of your Mini-14."
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Old June 6, 2013, 08:09 PM   #6
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Yep Ruger Mags are the way to go. I have no experience with the pro mags but the Ruger mags are built like tanks.

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Old June 6, 2013, 08:40 PM   #7
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PMI (precision mag industries) and Thermold are the only mags that I have ever found to work well in the mini14 other than ruger mags. Take your PROMAGS and toss them in the garbage can, they are the worst mags I have ever seen in my life.
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Old June 6, 2013, 08:43 PM   #8
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I've had no problems with the 20-round steel mags from CDNN. They work as good as the Ruger 30-round that came with the gun. I also bought a couple of CDNN 30's but haven't tried those yet.
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Old June 6, 2013, 08:45 PM   #9
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What is CDNN charging for shipping nowadays?
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Old June 6, 2013, 10:27 PM   #10
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cdnn charges 9.99 shipping
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Old June 6, 2013, 11:13 PM   #11
Bamashooter
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I have a few promag 20rd magazines that are just as good as my ruger magazines are. I bought several for very cheap and a couple of them were not very reliable but the ones I kept are excellent. I have never had a ruger mag not work well and they are very well built and will last many years and thru many thousands of rounds.

If you want to take a chance on promag to add to your mag count I say most will work just fine.
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Old June 7, 2013, 02:14 PM   #12
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The second generation Tapco mags are supposed to work well. I cannot comment to this first hand. All I have are factory 20's and 30's and they work flawlessly.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0Y79MahzPk
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Old June 7, 2013, 04:35 PM   #13
Skans
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The one thing I have never been able to figure out is why no aftermarket magazine maker can't make a magazine as good as the Factory Ruger. How hard can it be to use a little heavier steel, heat treated so that the lips don't deform, and use quality components? Or, is does it actually cost about $30 to manufacture one Ruger quality magazine?

If Mec-Gar made a Ruger Mini-14 magazine, I'd bet it would be pretty close....heck for all I know, they are making Ruger's magazines???

BTW, the most out-of-spec magazine I have encountered is the Beta-Mag with the Mini-14 tower. I worked on filing that thing down for a couple of hours before I could get it to run.

Last edited by Skans; June 7, 2013 at 04:41 PM.
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Old June 7, 2013, 05:14 PM   #14
deepcreek
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I have had poor luck with most all of the after market mini-14 mags I have tried. This is the biggest reason I won't get another mini-14 I am sick of dealing with mags jamming.
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Old June 7, 2013, 09:36 PM   #15
zxcvbob
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CDNN has a special this on Ruger mags this weekend, plus free shipping over $99:
http://www.cdnninvestments.com/specials.html
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Old June 8, 2013, 09:48 PM   #16
Crazy88Fingers
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Quote:
The one thing I have never been able to figure out is why no aftermarket magazine maker can't make a magazine as good as the Factory Ruger. How hard can it be to use a little heavier steel, heat treated so that the lips don't deform, and use quality components? Or, is does it actually cost about $30 to manufacture one Ruger quality magazine?
I think you answered your own question. Aftermarket companies probably could make a good Mini-14 magazine. But higher quality brings a higher price, and at a certain point you might as well just buy from Ruger.

Before the panic you could find Ruger factory magazines for $25 online. You'll probably have to wait a bit for that to happen again, but once things stabilize buy a few. Like Skans wrote, these are quality magazines that will last a while; no need to stockpile them.
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Old June 16, 2013, 02:12 PM   #17
psychohellbilly666
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Mags for mini 14

I took it to the range. Used the pro mag mag I got with the rifle. Ran 100 rounds. No issues.
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Old June 25, 2013, 11:36 PM   #18
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I don't like those thermolds, stick with factory!
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Old June 26, 2013, 09:04 AM   #19
Art Eatman
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Weird. From the early days of the Mini, on into the early 1980s at least, there was no such thing as a "bad" magazine. I've no idea why today's situation is so different. The mags back then cost no more than mags for other box-mag rifles. I even had one 40-round mag that worked just fine.

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Old June 26, 2013, 10:51 AM   #20
psychohellbilly666
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Mags for mini 14

A friend with a mini 30 said he noticed the tab that holds the mag in on the mini 30 mags is not as pronounced on the aftermarket mags.
I did find a used 30 round ruger mag recently for $18. I grabbed it quick.
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Old June 28, 2013, 08:24 AM   #21
Skans
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Quote:
Weird. From the early days of the Mini, on into the early 1980s at least, there was no such thing as a "bad" magazine. I've no idea why today's situation is so different. The mags back then cost no more than mags for other box-mag rifles. I even had one 40-round mag that worked just fine.
Things haven't changed. I have several aftermarket 40 round magazines for my AC556. They work even when I'm shooting full-auto or burst. But here are the things I experience with the 40 round aftermarket (PMI) magazines that I don't experience with the factory Ruger 20 and 30 round magazines:

1. I use a loading tool to load 5 rounds at a time into the magazines. The feed lips on the aftermarket magazines will eventually distort some - they need to be adjusted from time to time. The Ruger mags stand up to a lot more abuse without a hitch.

2. The feed lips on one of my aftermarket 40 round mags has bright shiny wear spots where it has obviously made contact with the bolt. This never happens with the Ruger mags.

3. The Mini-14 tower that came with my Betamag was so out of spec that it took me almost 2 hours of filing/shaping and shooting to get it to run - unbelievable!

4. aftermarket magazines that have been inserted a lot into the mag well tend to bend inward around the hole for the mag catch, making them harder to insert (or you need to adjust them) as they get worn - you don't generally see this on factory Ruger mags.

I've examined PMI magazines and others in comparison to the Factory Rugers. What I've observed is that the feed lips on the aftermarket magazines are generally higher and wider, as well as shaped differently than the Ruger mags. Why is this??? How hard can it be to simply copy the dimensions of the factory magazine? The Mini-14 is actually not that picky about magazines, because it will function with many of these mags that are visibly different from the factory mags.

Also, the steel in the Ruger mags is much tougher than in the aftermarket magazines - I believe it's actually a bit thicker. I may pull my micrometer out and measure the differences, just for curiosity sake.
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Old June 28, 2013, 09:29 AM   #22
Skarekrow88
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I know just about everyone on here hates Tapco but my cousin has some of the Gen II Mini-14 mags they make and he says they've been 100% reliable. It's worth a shot to try one out at a little over $10
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Old June 28, 2013, 09:53 AM   #23
lee n. field
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Quote:
Just picked up a used ruger mini 14 tactical. Has folding and telescoping stock. It came with a 20 rnd mag. Pro mag. Question is aside from factory mags what brand to get. Ive heard good and bad on aftermarket mags. Any experiences.
From back in the day (I haven't had a Mini since '06 or so), Promag actually makes some decent Mini-14 magazines. I had a few, both 10 rounders and (once the AWB sunsetted) 20 rounders, steel and plastic. I only had a problem with one (nosediving follower), and Promag replaced it. Promag magazines were the only magazines other than factory that would reliably actuate the last round hold-open. How they would hold up in the long run I do not know.

John Masen made rugged magazines, but (again) they would not hold the bolt open. If I can't have that, I may as well get an AK (which I did anywah ).

At the time, factory high caps were like unobtainable gold.

Most of the aftermarket full cap stuff available when I got mine was crap, stamped out by the thousands just before the AWB banned manufacture of magazines that held more than 10 rounds for the rest of us.
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Old June 28, 2013, 10:31 AM   #24
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Back when factory Mini-14 mags were rare to find and expensive when you did find them, I ran PMI mags that worked alright. When I got my used Mini-14, it came with a 20 round USAmag magazine that was a total POS. I eventually wound up using that magazine for handling drills by ripping out the follower and spring so it could be inserted in the rifle, retract and release the charging handle without it locking open and for that kind of training, it works pretty well. These days however, I tend to stick with either 20 or 30 round factory mags while my old PMI mags have been relegated to a "backup or training mags only" status.
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Old June 28, 2013, 08:55 PM   #25
Art Eatman
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Ah. John Masen. I've been trying to remember his name. I bought mags from him when he'd do the Austin gun show, back in my Mini daze.

I always preferred the factory ten-round mag. Easy to carry when hunting; no hangups in the truck when riding the back-country. Still have one, just in case I get another Mini.
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