View Full Version : Older Mini 14 ?

November 12, 2012, 08:31 PM
I have a Mini 14 serial #182-85XXX. I thought that this was the Ranch model but according to Ruger's website my gun was made in 1981, and it says that the Ranch models weren't started until 1982. So I was just wondering what the difference between the Ranch and Standard are? Just curious. If I get a chance I will try and post a pic later. Thanks.

November 12, 2012, 08:44 PM
Main difference, and perhaps the only one, is the ease of mounting a scope. I have one like yours and mounted a scope with a B Square that mounts on the side.

lee n. field
November 13, 2012, 12:33 PM
So I was just wondering what the difference between the Ranch and Standard are? Just curious. If I get a chance I will try and post a pic later. Thanks.

What I remember, from back when I had one:

The standard Mini-14 had no provision for mounting a scope, and a rear peep sight that was more than an afterthought (though not great). You'd, back in that day, see lots of funky ways of adding on scope rails (that didn't work all that well).

The Ranch came with rings, and the rear iron sight was vestigial (though I recall reading that some folks adapted the rear sight from an M1 Carbine to fit the Mini.).

I think the Ranch lacked an ejector, and shot brass into the low earth orbit, whereas the standard was much better behaved in that regard.

November 16, 2012, 10:21 AM
The Ranch did not "lack" an ejector- that would be impossible...
Style was changed, from plunger type to a fixed ejector- and yep, it throws brass halfway down the firing line.

When you're getting thunked in the head by flying brass at the range, look twenty or thirty feet in that direction, you'll find the Mini...

The ejector change also affected the angle of ejection, the Mini would eject more vertically, banging the scope...it was changed to eject at a lower angle to miss the scope.

If you plan on scoping, sell it and buy a Ranch (the new models since Ruger re-tooled are far more accurate), but they're fine for shooting with the irons.

November 17, 2012, 10:55 AM
Ranch had scope ring mounts but a really flimsy flip up sight. Standard had a more robust rear sight but no scope mount.

4V50 Gary
November 17, 2012, 12:17 PM
The regular Mini-14 was not meant to be scoped. Aftermarket scope mounts flourished but all had one problem in common - the scopes would break. Even high end scopes like Leupold could not withstand the pounding they received.

Top ejection meant that the brass impacted the scope base. This energy was transferred to the scope. The violent recoil of the slide slamming back also made the receiver behave like a tuning fork, transferring the energy into the scope.

In modifying the Mini-14, Ruger did several things besides adapting the receiver for its own rings. First the side mounted ejector meant that brass would no longer slam into the scope base. Second the recoil buffer ring dampened the slide's travel back, reducing the tuning fork effect of the receiver.

Keep shooting a Ruger Mini-14 not meant for a scope and the scope will fail. If it hasn't yet, it will.

November 17, 2012, 01:40 PM
BTDT. Wasted a couple tasco scopes on mine, Then realized best to live with the peepsight. Don't put an expensive scope on it. The ejecting brass will tear all the coating off the bottom of the scope at best.

November 17, 2012, 04:27 PM
I don't doubt what you are saying but I've had an El Paso Weaver K-4 on mine for the past 25 years. Still works fine but has a bunch of brass marks and small dings.

Art Eatman
November 17, 2012, 10:19 PM
I traded in and out of four earliest-model Minis. Never had any trouble with the Weaver K4 that I moved from one to another. I used the scope mount that fits into the rear sight's position and was tensioned by a screw on the receiver. Worked just fine as my truck gun.

November 19, 2012, 09:26 PM
Well this all kinda makes sense now. It was a gun that I took as a partial trade on a motorcycle. It was a nice shooting gun, then I decided it needed a scope so I put a Bushnell on it, not knowing the info you have all now told me. Shot the heck out of it but noticed the accuracy kept getting worse. Well maybe i will just take the scope off and forget it. Am I correct in the dates of manufacture in my original post? Thanks for the info. At least it isn't my favorite gun! :)