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Mini-14 fit and finish

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by eye5600, Mar 19, 2009.

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  1. eye5600

    eye5600 Member

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    I'm not actually in the market for a rifle, but I was looking at gunbroker, and found this listing.

    http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=125208554

    To my untutored eye, this workmanship does not look impressive. Nothing is crisp anywhere, the surface seems to be an unpolished casting, and even the fit against the stock is uneven.

    On the other hand, the Mini-14 is pretty much an entry-level rifle in the .223 semi-auto category, there is functionality to matte finish, etc. It's not my purpose to pick on Ruger; I understand that not every product on the market is museum quality.

    My two questions are 1) are all the versions of the Mini-14 about the same in fit and finish, and 2) does one sacrifice in finish for stainless?
     
  2. General Geoff

    General Geoff Member

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    That does look pretty rough. I've seen Mini-14s that had much better fit & finish than that.
     
  3. flyboy1788

    flyboy1788 Member

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    that looks terrible. the minis ive seen look 10x better than that.
     
  4. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    My gray-stainless Mini-14 has fine fit and finish.

    It's a utility rifle. It's not high-polish blued or anything, nor is it intended to be. But everything fits well and the finish is even.

    Far too many "high-end" rifles are crap for fit and finish, too, it seems... Maybe I've just seen some pretty nice stuff lately, and it's warped my perspective. "Seen" not "owned" unfortunately.:)
     
  5. husker

    husker Member

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    cabelas has the same gun for $699 and a 10 and 20 round mag
     
  6. Omaha-BeenGlockin

    Omaha-BeenGlockin Member

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    Just your basic run of the mill Mini---nothing more--nothing less.
     
  7. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    I agree... casting seams and stuff? My ranch rifle looks way better than that. Weird.
     
  8. lipadj46

    lipadj46 Member

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    It looks like it was made at 4:50PM on a Friday before a long weekend. Is that normal for Mini-14's to see the casting line on the butt of the receiver like that? That's really bad for a $700 rifle.
     
  9. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    First one I've ever seen...
     
  10. mainmech48

    mainmech48 Member

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    Just MO, but the lack of "quality' you're seeing may well say more about the photograhs than the object.

    I've only examined a couple of the new-type Mini's but in both cases they were at least as nicely finished as my older "K" Mini-30, which ain't bad by any means.

    IMO, about the only thing you 'sacrifice' by buying stainless is the color and a goodly percentage of your upkeep chores.

    I'd also suggest that you'll be in a better position to determine the relative levels of workmanship in both fit and finishing from a personal examination rather than through amatuer photographs of dubious quality.

    FWIW, I've seen more than a few NIB Ruger firearms over the last 50 years and virtually none of them looked anywhere near as bad as in those pictures.
     
  11. lipadj46

    lipadj46 Member

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    Well if it were me I would figure if the QC people the rifle go the whole way down the line with that casting seam then who knows what else they let slip by. Firearm manufacturers are working to capacity and I am sure there is a lot of pressure "on the line" to meet quotas and that has to have affected quality in the short term (IMO).
     
  12. eye5600

    eye5600 Member

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    And now we know why gun dealers like to use a stock photograph. The dealer gets credit for posting pics of the actual rifle.

    By the way, I really wouldn't complain about the fit to the stock. It's very difficult to get any kind of precision with a molded plastic part.
     
  13. easyrider6042004@yahoo.ca

    easyrider6042004@yahoo.ca Member

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    My Mini-30 stainless Ranch is slightly better finished. But then it is 9 years old and they don't make them like they used to.
     
  14. black_powder_Rob

    black_powder_Rob Member

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    Looks a used mini 14, I think someone is trying to make a quick buck with the current climate...
     
  15. Reid73

    Reid73 Member

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    In my experience, Ruger firearms are sturdy and reliable. They are also inexpensively made, indifferently finished, feature horrible triggers, and are generally capable of no more than mediocre accuracy (there are occasional exceptions).

    I've seen many articles in gun magazines that briefly acknowledge the above shortcomings and then gloss over them with a comment along the lines of "we can't expect a better fit or finish, given the price".

    If more consumers demanded better quality and were prepared to pay for it, it's safe to assume that Ruger would get its act together in a hurry. But as long as people are willing to accept things as they are and are unwilling to pay for quality, there's no incentive for Ruger (or various other firearms manufacturers) to change.

    It beats me why people will happily pay $30,000+ for a car or truck that will last perhaps 10 years, but are reluctant to pay > $1,000 for a fine firearm that if properly cared for will last several lifetimes.
     
  16. .45FMJoe

    .45FMJoe Member

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    Yup, it seems to me you were looking at shotguns. I wonder how it patterns. Maybe Art would know?

    ;)
     
  17. Ratshooter

    Ratshooter Member

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    I hate to bust your bubble but your world is full of very precisely molded plastic parts including the computer you are using. Nearly every appliance and automobile has anywhere from just a few to several hundred plastic parts all very well made and built to exact tolerances.

    I just sold a 580 series mini for $675 in like new condition. Mine had been fired 90 times and came with the box, rings and paperwork.

    That one seems a little high and when you add shipping and transfer fees it is too high. I think the roughness you see is more of the picture effect than a roughly finished part. I don't see where the gun doesn't fit the stock unless you are refering to the reciever area at the back. If thats it, it is not a problem. Thats the way they are made.
     
  18. niteowl

    niteowl Member

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    That is in fact a casting line on the heel of the receiver. That is not the first one i've seen like that.

    Last year, I bought a blued 580 series and they smoothed out the heel before rolling out the "RUGER RANCH RIFLE CAL. .223". It is also smoothed on the side where the "STURM, RUGER & CO" rollmark is at. Even the gas block screws were dead even on both sides.

    I stopped back at the store a few months later, and every Mini they had on the shelf (blued and stainless) had the rough heel, the casting line...and had uneven gas block screws. They looked like complete ass compared to mine. Seems to me that Ruger is skipping a step in the process to speed up production?

    That Gunbroker price is ridiculous. I bought mine for $599. The stainless one's were selling for $675.
     
  19. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    I can't tell from those photos about the fit, but both my very-early stainless Minis sure looked better as to finish.

    Me, I like to be able to feel and fondle a rifle before I buy...

    Rugers in general? I bought a 1972-vintage 77 in .243. First centerfire I ever owned which was sub-MOA NIB with factory ammo. Then, a 1975-ish heavy-barrelled Swift; 3/8 MOA all the time. Now, a 77 Mk II light sporter in .223 which even with the original tort-liability trigger gave me 1/2 MOA. Prairie dogs don't appreciate the Timney trigger at all. :D

    In my more cynical and curmudgeonly moments I sometimes figure a fair number of folks need to learn more about how to shoot.

    :D:D:D

    I can't help it. It's just a character defect...
     
  20. Ratshooter

    Ratshooter Member

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    I just looked at my new mini and it does have the part line on the reciever. It isn't rough. It doesn't stick up and it doesn't bother me.

    Both of my Minis shot a lot better than what I expected after reading all the internet stuff. And it doesn't seem to change point of impart when it gets hot. My groups stay in the 3" range with open sites and Monarch ammo.

    I am with Art on looking and handling before you buy. See if you can find one in a gunshop and give it a good going over.
     
  21. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    Bad lighting, I think. My mini-14 (188 series Ranch Rifle) looked a lot better than that, and it was matte stainless just like that one.
     
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