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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
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Hi, my father recently passed and left me his 1982 vintage (182) ss mini 14.
I am in California and I just brought it back with me.
First of all, I have no state legal magazines for.it. So I went out and bought a couple ss 10 round magazines on eBay. The thought process was that I wanted to keep it all stainless and factory CA mags were only available in blue.
Well they came in and look beautiful but I can't fit them in the gun. They are just a hair to wide on the trigger side. I have thought about squeezing one in a vice a tad or even grinding it down a hair. I have also thought about grinding down the receiver on the gun a tiny bit to accept them (but ruining the gun over a magazine seems ill-advised.)
I don't know what the eBay magazines are. There are no markings on them except the number 7 stamped on the narrow barrel side and on the bottom. I hate to throw my first $65 mini-money away.

Second issue: a friend says that he believes my gun may have a (no-no) "flash hider" -blade front site combo on it. If I were to hack it off I might be making the barrel too short as well as losing my front sight. I don't know anything about flash hiders or muzzle brakes or compensators but I took a picture of it and posted.
I contacted Ruger about the barrel issue and they offered to sell me a new ss ranch rifle at about a $400 discount (from retail) if I send mine in to them. Much of that discount would be eaten up by sales taxes, ffl delivery fees and California gun sale and reg.fees.
What to do? What to do?
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First of all, condolences on your recent loss.

The muzzle device seems to be a "slip-on" style of muzzle device, with the original front sight underneath it. The muzzle device is attached with a roll pin going through the original front sight. Carefully driving out the roll pin should allow the "slip-on" muzzle device to be removed. If there are any other items securing the muzzle device, un-do them as well. It may also be that the muzzle device was attached using some sort of loc-tite and/or glue. If so, some heat from a propane torch applied to the muzzle device, not directly to the barrel should loosen it enough for it to be driven off the barrel, perhaps with some twisting. Re-install a shorter roll pin onto the original front sight to secure the original front sight in place.

Suggest protecting the exposed parts of the barrel with a "wrap" of some thin sheet metal before driving-off the muzzle device with a hammer and brass drift/punch. It might pull off easily, but who knows?

A local gunsmith can do this job easily and for scant expense, if you are unwilling to do it; maybe for free/reduced cost if offered the muzzle device in (partial) payment. In the event CA laws change, or you move to another State, there are much better muzzle devices available.

Strongly suggest you obtain an owner's Manual for your Model of Mini from Ruger.com and read it very carefully. Your model of Mini is determined by the (usually) 3 digits in the Serial Number preceding the "-" in the whole serial number. You mentioned that it's a 182 series but check again to be sure.

Make sure your Mini-14 is properly assembled before making any decisions on magazines.

Suggest you try out other magazines and see what works best for you. A factory Ruger 5-rd magazine will almost always work, and such a 5-rd mag may be required for hunting use, will give you something that works, and a way to compare to other 10-rd mags.

If the 5-rd mag works (and it should) and the 10-rd mags still won't work, then suggest sending them back. "Adjusting" magazines to work properly in the Mini-14 can be done, but it is always tricky. Suggest "stocking-up" on magazines each of which you have personally tested and verified. Assume nothing.

10-rd mags, even if blued, can be lightly sanded, de-greased, spray painted silver, and top-coated with clear spray paint to preserve the silver paint--DO NOT paint the feed lips of the magazine; In fact, don't sand or paint any part of the magazine that is "hidden" inside the rifle when fully seated. For reference, empty Mini-14 mags should "drop-free" if they fit correctly, the 5-rd mag perhaps a little reluctant".

Getting a mag that works properly is the fundamental goal.

Brownells offers a nice series of videos on the Mini-14, and strongly suggest you watch them all.

Good Luck, and please report back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you very much for the leads and the time.
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The front sight looks to be imbedded into the device. It looks like it could be removed from the device by removing a roll pin but it does not look like the roll pin has anything to do with the device fastening to the barrel, unless there is something hidden under the sight (like a set screw?) I guess I just need to remove the pin and see.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Can anyone identify what that thing is? The magazines are are apparently no return items. Can anyone identify them? Dad had a number of factory mags that I could not bring back (although I hear there is a court stay on the over 10 restrictions) but they did fit smoothly.
 

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Thank you very much for the leads and the time. View attachment 13550 The front sight looks to be imbedded into the device. It looks like it could be removed from the device by removing a roll pin but it does not look like the roll pin has anything to do with the device fastening to the barrel, unless there is something hidden under the sight (like a set screw?) I guess I just need to remove the pin and see.
Remove the roll pin completely, and the muzzle device >>should<< slide off the front sight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
On another matter, I wanted to add a red dot (or maybe just move my Eotech). I ordered and received a gg&g mount that said it would mount. But it would not. I then bought a billet mount that was said to fit almost every pre 580 except a couple numbers that were not mine. It would not fit without major modification involving removal of the rear peep, cutting a groove so that it would fit parallel over the rear peep hole and adding a 10-32 front of rail socket set screw. This makes a very strong 3 point mount system.
I bought a 3x M3X Votatu multiplier and a Vortex red dot is on order. Of course the proof of how this works has to be at the range. The rail also fits very low over the block and I have real concerns about possible ejection issues. It hand ejects my laser cartridge just fine. But I have not fired it yet.
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Suggest you remove the problematic muzzle device, find some decent and reliable mags, thoroughly clean and lube your Mini, and then sight it in using iron sights. Try multiple types/brands of ammo and take careful notes.

Suggest that spending money on sights and rails at this early point is entirely premature.

Possibly not what you want to hear, but I've tried the same type of scope mount in your pictures, and it's junk, IMHO.

Way too high for a decent cheek weld (without an add-on cheek riser) and unreliable as to holding zero. Personal experience, not a guess.

Never heard of Votatu optics and can't comment except to say I'm highly skeptical as to their quality and durability.

Walk before you run.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Device is gone. Two factory 5 rounds ordered from cdnn.
The Votatu will probably be around a long time. I love the little bugger and it's crisp and bright and built like a brick turdhouse.
I just wish I could pronounce the foreign name.
 

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Unless I am greatly mistaken, the mount pictured above is originally intended for an M-14/M1A rifle. The dovetail at the rear of the mount is supposed to interface with the dovetail on the M1A/M-14 that originally held the stripper clip guide. Dead give-away.
If you had some mount fitment issues with your Mini-14, that might explain things.

See if you can find some "maker's marks" or names on the mount, and report back. If you are lucky, and if the mount is not buggered-up, it could be worth up to about $200 to the right M-14/M1A owner on a gun forum or on ebay. NIB M14/M1A mounts from top mfrs are about $340.

PLEASE tell me that you did NOT permanently alter the Mini in order to fit the M-14/M1A mount!

There is a similar sight mount made for the Mini-14, but the ones I have used were made of flimsy aluminum and I am not aware of any such scope mount of this type, which is intended for the Mini-14/-30, that I can recommend.

The B-Square Mini-14 scope mount is likely the best option open to you, given your model of Mini, which does not accept most optics gracefully. That's why the later "Ranch" model of Mini was developed. Unfortunately, the B-Square mount is now out of production, but there is one on ebay for about $55. It's in blue, but (rare) silver models exist. If interested, suggest you do some investigation and see if that specific model of B-Square mount will fit your 182 series Mini.

Nowadays, most non-Ranch Mini owners seem to have gravitated towards using Red Dot sights (RDS) mounted with a Quick Release (QR) mechanism atop a "Scout Rail" offered by either Ultimak or Samson. The rail offered by Amega Ranges is well-made but is notably "higher" than either the Samson or Ultimak.

The idea behind this "scout" type rig is to allow the user to have the optic set very low in order for the user to get a good, quick, natural cheek weld without delay. If the optic is low enough (Bushnell TRS-25 or TRS-26 (preferred)) the user may be able to see through it and use the original iron sights. If not, just remove the optic via the QD lever (or other attachment device) and use the iron sights. It's nice to have back-up sights.

This set-up will involve some expense on your part. However, after trying a set-up very similar to the one you are trying, the Ultimak + RDS is miles ahead, to my mind, and to the minds of other users as well. Your call.

Be careful when buying optics for your Mini. Most optics come with a very high "adaptor" intended for use on AR-15 type rifles, but some optics can be used without the adaptor or perhaps have optional low-mounts either from the mfr, or as aftermarket units. RDS are not friendly to folks with astigmatism, so suggest getting your eyes professionally checked--Good idea in any event. Accurate shooting begins with good vision.

Many people at Ruger Mini-14 and Mini-30 | Perfect Union have come to feel the same way as I do about the "Scout mount" concept. Member sandog has many pix of his Minis with scout rails and RDS pictured there, but you will have to search for them.
Another forum you might investigate is (2) Ruger Semi-Auto | Ruger Forum

IMHO, the Mini is a short-to-middlin" range carbine, and the Scout rail+RDS makes the most of that platform without adding excessive weight/bulk. Minis usually don't benefit much from high-magnification optics, IMHO.

I have given you much to think about. OTOH, I have gone through the same process you are going through in the past, so what I say is said from personal experience, not guesswork.

Your personal preferences may differ, and that's perfectly OK. Just offering you the benefit(?) of my experience and all best wishes!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Thanks
.But the mount is just a cheap chunk of billet aluminum. Hundreds sold and likely most already in some landfill.
5 star ratings from hundreds but it just didn't fit my gun because of a curve at the trailing top that interfered with the rear peep mount. I have noticed that Accuracy Systems Inc. sells a very similar mount that does not have that curved piece on it and might work with no mods.
At any rate, being somewhat a hobby machinist, I decided to give a better mousetrap a try ($30 risk with no gun modification).
What I did was machine a slice in the aluminum curve that fits tightly top and both sides over the peep mount on the rifle (theoretically preventing any lateral or downward movement of the rear) I machined in a notch in the top of the new replacement bolt release cover plate giving it 2 resistance points rather than just the screw, and I machined in a 10/32 set screw at the front center of the rail (that prevents any forward/down movement as well.as locking in the groove at the rear). With 4 substantial anchor points, I will be surprised if this thing walks anywhere. Theoretically, I think it's as good or better than any of the high price spread. But I have been wrong before and only time and use will tell.
Here's a couple Votatu links for what it's worth, or not. As always only time will tell here to.



Though I got this gun unexpectedly, it is going into the 50+ gun safe chuck full of lots of modded and not modded good stuff. My other gun safe is just ammunition. I have a personal gun range on my small ranch and looking forward to shooting the Ruger. So, I'm not a total neophyte, but I am also very respectful of others informed inputs. Often as I get older I find there are all kinds of innovations I know nothing about. Recently I wanted to put an on-off light switch in a ship container. I was all prepared to spend $80 on romex and switches, when I found out they now have radio controlled remote battery operated switches for $12, and nobody ever told me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
My next project may be to try and make a replacement rear site to sit in the see-thru channel in the rail (if it holds up). Since I've lost my iron sight peep.
This gun is far from my best, but holds sentimental value. For me it will always be a short range woodland carry rifle and I don't expect it to ever perform better than maybe 3" groups. But if it can't make that, then it won't hunt.
 

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There are many tweaks possible for your Mini. It having a thin (pencil) barrel, installing a dual clamp Accu-Strut (single clamp struts not nearly as effective, as per mfr) is likely in your future. I prefer the "Drilled" model as it adds less weight forward. Also give some thought to gluing-in some thin incompressible shims inside the stock to eliminate play between the stock and the barreled action/receiver.

Adding a CA-Legal muzzle device to your barrel adds some mass to the end of the barrel, where it is most useful in damping-out barrel whip and shot-stringing induced by heat.

In conjunction with good quality ammo, these three simple things will reduce the size of the groups considerably. You will have reached the "80/20" level where 80% of the gain is realized for 20% of the cost.

Use a good magnifying glass and a good light to inspect the crown of the barrel-- this is where the rifling ends at the muzzle. You are looking for any dings or imperfections in the rifling. If minor issues, a user-done barrel re-crown can be done with simple tools from Brownells. Clean your Mini with a short, plastic-coated, revolving handle cleaning rod and brass tips. Clean from the chamber forward, just as the bullet travels. Make every effort to buy and use a muzzle guide which prevents damage to the rifling often seen in Minis which have been cleaned improperly.

Aside from that, we go into more "advanced" measures, most of which can be easily user-done. Do the shimming first, then the CA-Legal muzzle device, then the Accu-Strut. My 186 series Mini-14 greatly benefitted from all three, and very likely your Mini will also. Make one change at a time, taking notes as to the improvement after installation.

Tech Sights is the go-to for replacement rear sights and perhaps ideas. OEM rear sights probably still available and suggest getting one while still relatively cheap.


All best wishes!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
My OEM rear sight is just fine in it's plastic baggie. I just can't put it back on the gun right now with the current rail setup.

When I look down the U in the center of the rail the front blade is centered perfectly. I assume if I were to put a piece of clear tape.over the back end of the rail and put my laser in the barrel, I should be able to mark a V on the clear tape exactly at the point for a rear V sight. Then if I were to fill the rear 1/4" of the U with epoxy to the top of the V and when cured, Dremel out the V on the tape and I should have (although crude and hokey) a rough functioning open sight back up should I ever unexpectedly lose the red dot. The epoxy could always be removed. And I prefer an open V to a peep anyway for hunting.
Just thinking aloud and probably.wont do.this. But, just centering in the U will probably get me on paper at 30-50 and I do enjoy experimenting.
 

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It might be possible to have more than a "hokey" rear sight if you take some care and use small jeweler's files instead of the far less precise Dremel. Suggest dark epoxy as a basis, perhaps Marine-Tex. If required, make "dams" to "hold" the epoxy out of modeler's clay and remove when epoxy has cured.

Suggest investigating optimal distance for sighting-in the Mini. Past 100 yds or so, the 55 gn bullet loses its ability to yaw/fragment within the target--at least with the relatively short Mini barrel.

If you set bullet Point of Impact (POI) slightly high at desired distance, then the rear aperture in the epoxy can be carefully filed down so that bullet POI coincides with Point of Aim (POA). there's your elevation done. If you are OK with a "square" rear aperture, use a square jeweler's file (preferably with a "blind", non-cutting side) to very slightly widen the side of the aperture for windage adjustment.

It can be done, if you have the right tools, and if you wish to go through the hassle.

Best of luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I've been thinking along the lines of a JB Weld product like Water Weld putty. No dam required. I have a bunch on hand.
I have been trying to get a picture of the rail view for this thread, but can't hold the gun just right, need the camera upside down, and can't get the focus right all at the same time. Not enough hands.
I think the experiment might be easier than the photo.
 
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