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Older mini-14s

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by SHusky57, Dec 24, 2008.

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  1. SHusky57

    SHusky57 Member

    Nov 6, 2008
    I know the newer ranch rifles have upgraded tolerances and are much more accurate, but how do the older (1980's-1990's) models shoot?

    I have a buddy who is wanting to sell his, and I really want it. It's stainless with a wood stock, but made before the 580 series (I will have to call and check which series it is).

    I am thinking about offering him $500 for it.
    My concerns:
    1. Accuracy - With a 4x scope on it, can I expect to consistently hit gallon water jugs at 100-250 yards? It won't do much shooting beyond 300 yards.
    It will be a varmint/deer gun.
    2. Rings/mounts - for the older guns, where can I find some mounts and rings? I am not sure if CTD sells the mounts for the older guns, or if the newer ranch rifle mounts will work on the older series.
    3. This is a dumb question: how reliable are the safety mechanisms, what are they, and can it be safely carried loaded in the brush? (obviously, it's based on the M1 and M14, but I prefer to learn how safeties work rather than trust them). Eg. does it have a drop safety?
    4. What is a reasonable price for a used, old mini-14 that is not a 580 series ranch rifle?

    Where can I find more info?
  2. rugerfreak

    rugerfreak Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    1. Should do that easily.
    2.Ruger rings are Ruger rings.
    3.Very safe---the safety locks the hammer down.
    4.Not sure on price---the panic buying really jacked things up.

    A lot of times a muzzle device will dampen barrel whip and tighten up groups.
  3. blacksmithsc

    blacksmithsc Member

    Apr 23, 2008
    Is it a mini-14 or a ranch rifle? If you want to put a scope on it, you want the ranch rifle which is made for scope mounting. The mini-14 is NOT.
  4. 1 old 0311

    1 old 0311 member

    Jun 26, 2005
    Planet Earth
    Had a series 181 back in the mid 1980's. With a $29.00 scope, and PMC bulk ammo, it would shoot 2-3 inches all day..............Miss that rifle.
  5. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    Dec 22, 2002
    Terlingua, TX; Thomasville,GA
    I "did" Mini-14s when they first came on the market. There was a mount that replaced the rear sight and had a friction screw that bore on the receiver ring to steady the system. B-Square? I disremember. Anyhow, it worked okay for me, for my Weaver K4. I could regularly get three-shot groups of around 1.5 MOA, starting with a cold barrel. Reliable for first shot always going to the same place as the last time it had been fired.

    Great truck gun for coyotes and jackrabbits. I'm not real enthusiastic about the .223 on deer, though. Yeah, I know it works, but there are other cartridges in which I have more confidence. Call it a Zen thing.

    Folks kept trading me out of my Minis, and then sticker shock turned me off for the prices. Good little guns, though.
  6. Floppy_D

    Floppy_D Member In Memoriam

    Jul 4, 2007
    NAS Pensacola
    There's a mount that replaces the bolt cover on the left side, made by B-Square. I had an NC-star fixed 4 power scope that worked pretty well, and the mount lets you keep and use your iron sights. Gallon jugs at 150yds was no problem, didn't shoot much further. A pin-on John Masen muzzle break will put some weight on the pencil-thin barrel and shrink your groups.
  7. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Nov 20, 2006
    Mine (ranch) is one of those "I'll probably never get rid of" guns. OK accuracy, but absolutely dependable. It just plain works everytime & I have plenty of good mags. Nobody wants an old one so I guess I am "stuck" with it. OK by me. :)

    It is loaded, and so marked, in my small safe with the key pad for quick entry with old eyes, even if I don't have my reading glasses handy) I think that says how much confidence I have in it to work. I have an AR in there with loaded mags on the shelf, but the Mini is ready to pick up and go, as is a 1911 in .45.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2008
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