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Ruger Mini 14 Ranch

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by Whaler, May 23, 2015.

  1. Whaler

    Whaler Sequim, WA Well-Known Member

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    At the present time I don't have a center fire rifle and want one to add to the family. I no longer hunt so it will get a little plinking action and be a standby for home defense. I like the looks of the Mini 14 Ranch, looking for comments pro & con on the Mini 14. Please no suggestions for ARs and the like, I'm old fashioned a rifle must have a wood stock.
  2. Don H

    Don H Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Great gun and a hoot to shoot.

    New(er) models are pretty accurate. Very solid and dependable gun. Buy Ruger magazines and you are good to go.

    The stock trigger is mushy and they eject brass very far but both issues are easily correctable.

    Buy one, you'll dig it.
    808hondacrguy, Whaler and mjbskwim like this.
  3. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    Hey Dick! How's Sequim holding up without me? Better I hope:rolleyes:
    Like Don H said,the newer ones seem to be better for accuracy,but some I have talked to said BS the old ones they have are perfect.But those folks are the minority.
    Someone on here should be able to tell you the SN code that depicts the newer more accurate model.
    Or Barry at the guns shop should know.If you ask him he knows everything,lol
    Really check the prices cause the mini 14 doesn't always command a big resale value.The $600 range should be a really nice gun and over that should have a bag of magazines and ammo with it
    Keep a look out,should be a few for sale around there

    Whaler and Don H like this.
  4. Don H

    Don H Oregon Well-Known Member

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    As Mike said, I've never had an "old" mini to compare but you do here guys complain how minis are not accurate but I'd take that with a grain of salt. if you find a good deal buy it! :)
    salmonriverjohn and Whaler like this.

    OLDNEWBIE State of Flux Well-Known Member

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    Get a 580 series with the barrel that has a taper like this. Plenty accurate, super reliable for me, your results may vary. I have a 580 Stainless all weather Ranch with the standard synthetic stock and run factory 20 round mags.

    In 5 years I have never had it Jam or misfire.

    When buying, look for an evenly torqued/spaced gas block on both sides. Sometimes/often the quality at the factory is less than good. Some say an uneven gas block will hinder accuracy, so I searched for an even one. That may be a myth though. That took me some time finding an even one!

    I used to have one back in the 1980s with the straight barrel and it too was super reliable. Accuracy?, I never shot any distance back then so I don't know.

    Some here say it's louder than any rifle in it's class but I always wear earplugs. I'd like to see a test done on this. I haven't been shooting side by side with an AR, but with the larger opening compared to an AR maybe so.
    Here's a site I used to go on with a lot of info. Good luck and congrads for being a non conformist!

    mjbskwim and Don H like this.

    OLDNEWBIE State of Flux Well-Known Member

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    Also beware, I remember seeing some of the 1st 580s had the old straight barrel. The tapered is supposed to be thicker and more accurate.
    mjbskwim likes this.
  7. U201491

    U201491 Well-Known Member

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    A word to the wise. Never shoot it without hearing protection.
    Try one first without it and you will understand why I say that.
    Beyond that one flaw, they are fun and very reliable.
    The rifle is the perfect storm for hearing loss.
    More than any rifle I have ever fired and
    that number is in the near 300 range.
    I have owned 2 of the Mini 14s, a pencil barrel and a heavy barrel.
    It was the report from that rifle that made me get rid of them both.

    You like wood stocks huh :D

    Last edited: May 23, 2015
  8. Liberty97045

    Liberty97045 Oregon City Well-Known Member

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    That was why I got rid of mine back in the 80's. I have since wised up and use hearing protection (unless I am hunting).

    OLDNEWBIE State of Flux Well-Known Member

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    Another complaint people have is weak firing pin. Never experienced problems myself with the two minis I've owned. I mostly shoot brass ammo. Perhaps that helps.
  10. ron

    ron Vancouver, Washington Silver Supporter Silver Supporter

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    I have owned 2 different ranch rifles. Fun gun to shoot. Don't expect
    tight groups but for plinking with cheap ammo they are fun. I have
    never seen any rifle throw brass as far as a ranch rifle.
    U201491 likes this.
  11. Silver Hand

    Silver Hand Southern Oregon Coast Well-Known Member

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    I have a 182 series purchased in 1981 it was one of the first rifles built in S.S. and it came with all original wood furniture at the time.
    I have been hand loading and casting custom bullets for my rifles and hand guns since about 1968.
    I have never had a problem keeping 55 grain pills inside 1.75'' at 75 yards using the peep sight that came on the rife. I have had tighter groups but that is not the point to be made here. I like the rifle and love the sound and function of the action wile firing, it is very distinguishable and unique .
    For a truck or jeep gun it is quick and handy, not to say every sheep eating coyote on my place has fallen but a few have, some wile under a full run.
    There is no need to defend this work horse, if it feels good to you in your hands then it might make you a good shooter and a keeper if it performs well. Some guns just don't have the fit and feel I want.

    Many folks talk about bullets strings on paper wile shooting older mini 14s. that have the smaller outside barrel diameter. There must have been something to that for Ruger to make changes in there later models. I hardly ever shoot more than one or two rounds at a standing target but might shoot five at a running target if there was such a target available, cover usually turns up sooner than later. Shooting three round sets a few minutes apart and giving my rifle reasonable time to cool produces under 1-3/4 '' groups at 75 yards about what my eyes and reflexes are capable of.

    If you are looking for a rifle that will perform like a battle field weapon, well there are hundreds of variations that fit that bill. Although they may shoot straighter and for a longer period of time I just haven't found the need to get my barrels that hot when usually one round will do the job.
    Silver Hand
    salmonriverjohn and Don H like this.
  12. RicInOR

    RicInOR Washington County Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    What caliber do you need? The Mini family has a few.
    223 / 5.56
    7.62x39 (AK http://www.ruger.com/products/miniThirty/models.html )
    300 Black Out (Mini-14® Tactical Now Available in .300 BLK)

    If 308 is your idea, and why not it is great, look at the MIA Scout = below

    For home defense - how about a bull-pup design - shorter over all length for getting around the house
    Steyr Aug is well respected, there are others - even conversions for modern guns.
    Not too likely to get wood furniture, but not impossible.

    Of course, non other than Col. Jeff Cooper speced out a Scout rifle - hard to go wrong with his suggestion



    C0l Cooper's Scout rifle

  13. 808hondacrguy

    808hondacrguy Eugene,OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I love mine, it is the tactical model with the threaded 161/2 inch barrel. It is not a precision paper puncher (maybe its the shooter), but It gets minute of bowling pin or soda can from 100 yards every time. Never had a FTF or FTE with all kinds of ammo, and even out of all my ARs, it is the funnest ( is that a word?) rifle I own. Will never get rid of it. DSCN2418.JPG
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2015
    salmonriverjohn likes this.
  14. Blackleaf40

    Blackleaf40 Bellingham Member

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    I liked my Ranch Rifle. I put a stainless folding stock on it, and carried it for years hunting cougar when we could still use dogs. I, unfortunately, got infected by the "Black Rifle Disease", now my Mini-14 just sits in the safe. I like the Ruger integral rings, they are solid. The trigger is, well like most of the old Rugers, a little creepy, but easily rectified.