View Full Version : New Mini 14

December 26, 2009, 03:36 PM
I am looking to buy a SS Mini 14 from a nearby Wal Mart..To be sure I am getting a newer model (in case they may have bought some old stock fron Ruger) is there any way to tell by just looking over the gun? They can order me one in stainless with a wooden stock although the Ruger website shows them with synthetic stock. Thats what is making me think it could possibly be a older model.

December 26, 2009, 03:47 PM
No they come with both style stocks wood or synthetic. As for age, ask them for the date they received it from Ruger, they should have that. The serial number should tell you as well. The newer ones start with 580.

December 26, 2009, 03:59 PM
Thats the ticket..I'll look at the number..Thanks a million.

December 26, 2009, 04:03 PM
good luck and enjoy. mine is serial 188-3xxxxx. I love it. It is a ranch stainless model. totally care free. I abuse it, hardly clean it and it runs fine and has no rust.

December 26, 2009, 05:34 PM
I had a couple back in the 1980's and really liked em. The 1st one had the solid wooden forearm top and bottom, unlike the ventilated piece on them now. Never had a stainless one although I always buy SS pistols/revolvers. Think I'll ride down there and have another look around.

December 26, 2009, 06:22 PM
I have two 580's. One with the straight barrel and one with the thicker, tapered barrel. I bought the straight barrel (ss/black) at the end of 2008 and the other 580 (wood/blue) six months ago. My advice is to make sure the 580 has the tapered barrel. It is my understanding that this is the latest upgraded version of the 580. They both shoot great and my Marine Corps buddy can consistantly shoot 3" groups at 100 yards with the straight barrel
stainless with a scope at X4. I am not quite that good (yet).

December 27, 2009, 02:53 AM
If you can get a NEW mini in stainless with a wood stock, consider yourself lucky... and get it. I tried for a while to find a store that could get me one in stainless with a wood stock and not a synthetic stock.

Finally I settled on a blued one with wood stock. I love the gun, and I'll take care of it... so I'm not worried about it, but I'd still prefer a stainless. Also, down the road, you could switch to a thicker aftermarket barrel. you can get shorter 16" Target barrels (Mini Ranch model is 18.5") if you want to try to keep the gun handy. And you should get better accuracy. I read something in a gun magazine a while back about police officers who were putting 100,000 rounds through their Mini's with out ever having to do any work to them... other than taking them to the smiths now and then just for a new barrel.

December 27, 2009, 04:50 AM
Jeff Quinn over at Gunblast.com says his does 1 1/2" groups at 100 yards.
Claims its a new model...who knows. Check out what he has to say. ( Concerning the stock, the guy was reading from his catalog and said.."It comes with a SS barrel and wooden stock" )


December 27, 2009, 08:06 AM
STEINER brought up a key point. The 580-series Mini-14 was introduced with the same straight "pencil" barrel that Ruger produced for decades. Then, the newer tapered barrel was introduced with the latter 580-series Mini's. If you're buying this rifle new, I'm sure it will be of the latter production. The tapered barrel has a very distinctly different look, as the barrel funnels down in outside diameter immediately in front of the gas block. Good luck with your purchase...I'm sure you'll enjoy your Mini-14.

Side note...Has it become a tradition for every FL thread about the Mini-14 to include a post admonishing everyone to sell their Mini's and buy an AR-15? Some of these AR guys are downright cultish about this...weird...:cool:

December 27, 2009, 08:48 AM
I suspect all I would have to do is look up at the heavens and proclaim I can shoot 1 MOA with my mini-14 and instantly there would be 'FLAME'!

The reason Ruger sold mini-14's with that poor barrel for years was simple... folks just kept buying them, and buying them, and buying them.... don't blame Ruger....

I've got two, one shoots just like the flamers claim and the other shoots as well as either of my AR's, with the right ammo.. and there is often the defining point... Ammo..... shoot cheap ammo and you'll get poor results... also mini-14's tend to be a little more tempermental with bullet weight.

I'd get the new Stainless Steel Ranch model with the improved barrel and NOT the wood stock... but the evil black composite plastic one...

December 27, 2009, 09:16 AM
The SS w/ composite is what I want, so may have to look elsewhere to get it. It would match my little 10/22 Stainless. If I can get a blue one at a good enough deal then I know a guy that does good coating work. He is coating my Rem 870 HD right now with moly resin in Socom flat black inside and out.
He can do ceramic in any number of colors also.

December 27, 2009, 09:26 AM
good match for your 10/22. I have a stainless 10/22 as well, and it is fun taking both out with the kids. My mini-14 is a point and shoot gun. I have hit everything I aim at, never checked accuracy, but it was WAY better than every AK and SKS I have had. The same people bitching about the mini, call the AK acceptable in accuracy and yet not one has ever shot as good as my mini, lol.

I love the 22lr, and it makes a great short range small game gun, it is absolutely idiotic to compare a gun with hardly any noise, no flash and no recoil to one that has all three. Gotta love it when someone comes in just to CRAP on another posters thread.

December 27, 2009, 09:45 AM
I have a 581 series mini with the tapered barrel that shoots better groups than my S&W M&P 15A. Both are about the same age and are stock other than Bill Springfield trigger jobs on each. Several years ago I had a mini that was also a good shooter. From that experience and knowing several people that have had good results from minis, I don't believe all the mini bashing that happens on every thread about one. I know magazines are more expensive than AR-15s, but I personally don't feel the need for that many mags for mine. I even like using my 5 rounder sometimes. Mini 14s are fun, reliable guns that are a lot more potent than a 22lr. Get one and you will probably agree.

Art Eatman
December 27, 2009, 11:27 AM
Bashing Is Boring. Just a moderator's opinion...

December 27, 2009, 11:52 AM
Threads bashing the Mini-14 bashing always seem to follow this pattern:

1. I have a Mini/would like to buy a Mini and have some questions

2. I had a Mini 20 years ago and it 'wouldn't shoot' OR I hear they don't shoot as well as tricked out $2000 ARs

3. Look! You can buy a bargain basement AR for $600! I'm sure it will shoot as well as the $2000 tricked out one!

4. Yeah! Minis suck! I wonder why Ruger keeps making them.

December 27, 2009, 08:18 PM
CDNN Investments has the tactical version for a very attractive price right now. Magazines are right reasonable there too.

December 27, 2009, 08:36 PM
Ive caught on to the Mini/AR thing but dont have an opinion since i have not had either. I didnt know the AR was known to be accurate, i thought a short barrel machine gun would be all over the place, but fine for battle.

Anyway, i have had my eye on a mini since i caught the bug for a varmit sized semi auto. The one i think i like the best is the target model. It has a ss, 22" barrel in a synthetic, or laminated thumb hole stock. I thought it would maybe be the most accurate mini because of the 22" barrel.

December 27, 2009, 08:56 PM
Side note...Has it become a tradition for every FL thread about the Mini-14 to include a post admonishing everyone to sell their Mini's and buy an AR-15? Some of these AR guys are downright cultish about this...weird...

AR vs. Mini 14, 30-06 vs. .308, .280 vs. .270, belts vs. beltless, uber-long range vs. stalking, it will never end. And yes, I'm guilty of some of it.

December 27, 2009, 08:59 PM
Seems you can get a SS Mini AND a new S&W M&P 15-22 for about the same price as an AR. What a fun combo that might be...( Just a note here..I had a Colt H-Bar Match Grade AR in 2003 and liked it fine enough. It's just not what I'm looking for this time around.)

December 28, 2009, 12:08 AM
ruger obviously put some thought into the redesign making minis more accurate. Why didn't they modify them to take M16 mags at the same time? They would sell twice as many rifles.

I could live with the lousy accuracy. It wasn't that bad if you gave the gun time to cool off between shots. I couldn't handle the horrible reliability with high cap mags and the way the mags were so overpriced.

Ignition Override
December 28, 2009, 01:00 AM
Maybe some AR owners don't quite appreciate the widespread appeal of carbines built in the old Garand/M-14 type of reliable (similar) action and looks.
As for classic war movies which feature the Garand and/or GI carbine, or even recent recent blockbuster films with them, maybe their influence is taken for granted, underestimated.

ISC: Quite true.
Isn't it strange that Ruger only Began selling 20-round factory Mini 14 mags to regular customers after the pres. election (strange?), and only in the last several weeks for the Mini 30.

Ruger lost SO much potential/good will over the years. :(

December 28, 2009, 04:22 AM
I'd love a New, stainless mini. However, I can only find them available with a composite stock. While only the Blued minis have a wood stock. If I could get a stainless in wood, I'd be in heaven. I've got a Mo-Rod on mine right now (http://www.mo-rod.com/)

The reason I prefer a wood stock is, I find the composite stock is to light for the gun to balance well in my hands. It's front heavy with all the action and barrel and everything from the middle forward, while the but of the gun is light as a feather. I'm sure I could get used to it, and learn to love it. But to me, the wood stock just feels better, and ultimately reduces felt recoil, potentially giving you better follow up shots.

December 28, 2009, 04:35 AM
Walmart quoted a price on the SS w/ wooden stock that was only 11 dollars more than what Dicks Sports wanted for the blue version. Will look around some more today to see whats out there in my area.

December 28, 2009, 08:11 AM
just get a stainless rifle with the composite stock.... I'd trade you for a wood one any day.... not dissing you.... just a fact... I've got 4 wood mini stocks just laying around collecting dust. I don't need a composite one but would be willing to trade.

The reason Ruger didn't make the mini's so they would take AR mags is for two reasons....

One, I've heard AR mags can be just about as temperamental as a mini is... and in addition to that... they get to sell you a factory mag (now) for $35 each. Besides that it seems old Bill Ruger was an opinionated old goat who didn't think the rifle should hold more than 5 rounds..... but if this was totally true he would have just had a non-detachable mag on the rifles.

December 28, 2009, 08:22 AM
I stated earlier it was composite I went looking for. Walmart ( this one anyway ) says that he can only order SS w/ WOODEN stock according to his catalog. I mentioned it again above cause someone ( mellow c ) mentioned they really wanted a SS w/ wooden stock. Funny cause everyone I call around here has the SS w/ wooden stock.

December 28, 2009, 12:11 PM
I've heard AR mags can be just about as temperamental as a mini is...

I have seen a handfull of bad M16 mags over the years. Usually they were ruinrd by being dropped on the feed lips on concrete repeatedly or crushed by being run over by a humvee. That happens with any magazine. When it happens with an M16 mag you throw it away and get a new one from supply or if you are a civilian you buy a new one which you can be 99.9% sure will work for $10. The magazine well design is such that M16 mags are supported on the sides and the magazine is less susceptible to becoming worn to the point of misfeeding ammo.

Minis use a locking lug and mag catch much like the AK or M14. Unlike those two rifles, they don't reinforce the mag at those contact points and the only thing holding thr mag in place is thin sheet metal which is easily damaged from rough usage. When your $35 magazine is damaged (as frequently happens if you do any rigerous training) your only options are to try to tweak it back into shape, or try to swap it of to an unsuspecting mini owner.

No one wants to throw away a damaged expensive magazine so those turds just keep floating around. If all you do is shoot from the bench, don't need alot of magazines, and buy the most expensive mags you can find, your mini mags will probably last you a lifetime. If you train by doing IMTs, rapid mag changes, operate in a MOUT environment, and feel the need for a full combat load (7 30 rd mags), the mini isn't for you.