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Old May 6, 2011, 09:10 PM   #1
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Mini 14 10 round magazines

I've been using the Mason 10 rounders for a few months and while they are relatively ok they don't function perfectly. Most feed ammo reliably but most won't reliably lock back the mag after the last round. I've read that the ruger mag parts can be substituted to get a reliable 10 rounder, but I priced them out and the follower, base plate and base retainer at Midway would cost roughly $8. CDNN has some "premium" no name magazines for about $13 with a green follower, pro mags are around $20 and ruger factory 10 rounders are an outrageous $30 which is more than the factory 20 rounders. I'm temped to take a chance on a few of the CDNN no name mags, but I'd like to ask if there is a cheaper source of the mag parts than midway? Also does anyone have experience with the CDNN magazines for the mini? rc
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Old May 6, 2011, 09:19 PM   #2
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Ruger has been very smart with their factory mags. They have incorporated a vast network of witches, goblins, and other such creatures to...
#1) put good mojo on their factory mags, and
#2) put bad mojo on everyone elses.

Seriously I've never had much luck with aftermarket mags for any of the Rugers I've owned, so I just bite the bullet and buy Ruger mags.
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Old May 6, 2011, 09:31 PM   #3
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I've just never read good things about aftermarket Ruger mags. They seem to generally be disappointing; somebody will talk about how well their particular examples work, but the common thread seems to be to just spend the money and buy Ruger branded magazines. When you're used to $13 Pmags for the AR, $30 Ruger 20 round mags seems insanely expensive, but then again, they're built like tanks- they aren't quite the vulnerable and disposable item that STANAGs can be.
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Old May 6, 2011, 10:17 PM   #4
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If the mag says Ruger on it, it will work. If it doesn't, call Ruger. Anything else, you're on your own. Some work, some don't. I've got some no name mags that work fine, and some that feed fine, but won't work the hold open.

When in doubt, buy a couple. If they're good, buy more. If all the ones you buy are good, you scored. If most are, still ok. But expect anything from aftermarket, from great to crappy. Ruger, you can trust. When their stuff doesn't work, they will do something about it.
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
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Old May 6, 2011, 11:42 PM   #5
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Like Rooster Cogburn said, "Wanna bet your life on it?"

What is your intended use for your Mini 14?

If it's for anything short of matters of life & death, you can afford to screw around with mags that may or may not work.

But don't bet your life on a crapshoot. Everybody knows that, for whatever weird, cosmic reason, the only Mini 14 mags that can truly and consistently be counted on are from the Ruger factory. There are always exceptions, but they are just that: exceptions.

Me? Before I bought my Mini 14 I got advice from people I know and, on the Web, from people I don't even know. They all said the same thing: use only Ruger factory mags. There are some things I don't have to experience firsthand in order to be convinced of, and this is one of 'em. I have no desire to even try any other mag; every one I own is a Ruger; end of story.
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Old May 7, 2011, 08:00 AM   #6
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What I can't figure out is why these later-made after-market mags don't work. I messed around with them in the late 1970s and in the 1980s and never had any problem at all, ever. Weird. Heck, for no sane reason I even bought a 40-rounder and it fed all 40 just as nice as you please.

But the last dozen years, I've read a heckuva lot of griping about after-market mags. Does not compute.
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Old May 7, 2011, 08:46 AM   #7
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With the accuracy & reliability issues resolved, it was time to order some magazines. I contacted Ruger Law Enforcement Sales division and attempted to obtain a half-dozen of the factory 20-round component. I was promptly informed that Ruger does not sell directly to LE Agencies. I would have to go through one of two LE distributors to obtain the mags.

So I called the first (closest) one and learned that they were out of stock, but 'hoped' to have some 20 round Ruger magazines, 'soon'. I also learned that the Dept. price for these was over $41.00 each. Oddly, Ruger has a 'promo' going for new rifle buyers that gets them a free 20 round mag, and two more for $29.95 each. I guess that's my punishment for not paying $600+ for a new Mini 14. I finally just said 'To hell with it' and ordered some 20 round ProMags from Brownells.

When the ProMags arrived I gave them an 'acid test'- 50 rounds of over-length, lousy reloads I've been needing to shoot up for awhile. I knew the powder charge was safe but the primed LC brass was a freebie. I later learned that many had only been neck sized- if they were sized at all. To make it usable I pulled the decapper from a sizing die, and just ran the brass through primed. The end product was still pretty sorry with most over SAAMI overall length for the cartridge. The ProMags never missed a beat even with this junk ammo. I am really happy with these magazines, especially considering their price.
I don't know, Art. These mags are still giving flawless service, nearly three years later.
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Old May 7, 2011, 09:59 AM   #8
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Buy factory mags from Hoffman's.
Twenty round mags for twenty bucks. Mini's are finicky about mags- use factory and you'll never have an FTF issue.
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Old May 7, 2011, 06:53 PM   #9
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Thanks for the heads-up tobnpr.
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Old May 7, 2011, 07:24 PM   #10
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only aftermarket ones that consistently worked for me were the Ramline dual compatable 30 round magazines. I guess no one has made those in a very long time though, even under a different name.
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