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Helbeluk 02-27-2009 03:02 PM

Ranch rifle (plus Bond waffle)
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This (I believe) is a Ruger Mini-14 .223 'ranch rifle', with detachable magazine and folding stock. Any general info on this weapon would be helpful - are they still around and/or widely used in the US?

More specifically though, I've got someone else's notes here from when it was given to the museum anonymously via the police amnesty of 1989: "Used for shooting coyotes. Also, similar weapon used by characters in the TV series, 'The A Team'" - are either statements true? I am obviously more excited by one than the other (not to actually kill or hurt anyone of course, the baddy just managed to fall backwards into a dumpster!). I wonder if we can get hold of a Hannibal cigar to display next to it...? :cool: Much better than Bond's Ballistic Wimp Beretta as far as tv guns go! (we do have a beretta actually but it's an M1934 [9mm?] I think).

Actually, there was a good exhibition about Fleming and Bond in London recently (at my dream place of work, the Imperial War Museum, mmm) if any of you are interested in that secret agent malarkey. The accompanying book 'For your eyes only' is coming out in April - recommended.

Anyway, tangents, apologies. Ranch rifles...

Dillinger 02-27-2009 03:13 PM

You are correct, it is a Mini-14 & you are holding one of the worst "assault" weapons out there for accuracy and reliability. LOL

The Ruger Mini14 is indeed the weapon that was used by the A-Team and it comes in both .223 caliber, which is a very standard civilian caliber, and the 5.56mm Military caliber. They are commonly thought to be the same, but that is not the case. A 5.56mm chamber can fire the lower pressure .223 caliber civilian round safely, but putting the higher pressure 5.56mm round into a .223 chamber SUPPOSEDLY can cause Kaboom problems...

The key problem with the Mini-14 is that it is an op-rod driven recoil system, much like the AK series, but the pencil thin barrel on the Mini-14 can't stand the heavy volume fire, so accuracy is greatly compromised.

For a single shot coyote gun, it would work great for your average ranch hand or someone just looking for plinking.

As for the use the A-Team put it through, I would have personally chosen something with a little better accuracy and reliability, like an AR. :rolleyes:


Gene L 02-27-2009 03:16 PM

If it's a Ranch Rifle, someone put a folding stock on it. I think. The Ranch Rifles I've seen had a conventional wooden stock. I think you can mount a scope on a ranch rifle, but not on a regular Mini (or couldn't a while back.)

The GB (aka "Government Model) looks a lot like that picture, but they had a flash suppressor and a bayonet lug.

Yes, the "A-Team" used Minis, but I think they were GBs with the flash suppressor, etc. I figured that's why they expended thousands of rounds of ammo each episode but never hit anyone.

All Minis have detachable magazines. Except maybe California, where Draconian gun laws may prevent this. The stock looks like an Original Ruger stock and not a replacement; they were hardwood with that peculiar reddish stain on them.

By the way, James Bond's pistol in almost all the movies is a Walther PPK. In the early Fleming novels, he carried a Beretta .25, but that gun almost got him wasted. I think it was in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" where M made him get rid of the .25 and go for the Walther. In "Casino Royale" he had a P99 Walther.

robocop10mm 02-27-2009 06:24 PM

The rear sight is different than the Ranch Rifles I have seen. The Ruger Mini-14's are made in various series. The first were 180 series. The series number will be the first three characters of the serial number (180-12345). That looks like a stainless Mini-14 I had 20+ years ago. I believe it was a 181 or 182 series. The folding stock could be genuine Ruger, but Feather enterprises made a near exact duplicate in the early 80's. I do not remember how to tell the difference between them.

On a side note, Ruger made (and still might make) a selectfire full auto version called the AC-556 (and AC-556K). They were faily popular with LE officers here and in South America.

Helbeluk 03-04-2009 09:31 AM

hi, thanks for all the replies! The serial number is 185-25204 so presumably a slightly later model (185) than those you mention. Good info in order to get an idea of date though.

Helbeluk 03-04-2009 09:34 AM

re Gene - Bond: Yes, in the films, you're right. I learnt that someone told fleming that the beretta was more of a ladies gun or something and he changed to a walther. I think it was in 'From Russia with love' when the beretta failed and he nearly got killed by a woman, Rosa Klebb, that it was evidently time to move on!

JiroZero713 03-04-2009 10:05 AM

Hey the new Mini-14s I hear are great...but still I like my Kel-Tec SU-16 better than an AR or a Mini.

Laufer 03-07-2009 07:49 PM


There have been four pages of Mini 14s at "Gunbroker" since last Feb '08.
Just select 'semi-auto rifles'.
You can find a very large number of many other types, such as the SKS, AK etc.

The many weapons on your linked website are interesting.

Helbeluk 03-10-2009 02:00 PM

thanks Laufer, had not heard of Gunbroker - will check it out. Thanks too for taking the trouble to visit the weapons site - your comment is much appreciated!

redneckbuckeye 03-12-2009 10:17 PM

That Min 14 has a folding stock from the factory, I have seen that stock alone for sale and it was around 300.00 just for the stock. I have the mini 30(7.62.39) version, its an all right gun but some times it has feeding issues.

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