my first mini 14


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Old 12-02-2010, 09:51 PM   #1
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Default my first mini 14

I just acquired a stainless steel wooden stock Mini 14 model 186-***52. It has a plastic buttplate and was made in 1997. It is a surplus arm that has had very little use and seems in fine condition.
My question is; What should I be on the look out for in the way of problems.
I guess my biggest problem is not knowing what i dont know.
Any help would be appreciated.



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Old 12-02-2010, 11:26 PM   #2
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Generally they are pretty much "bullet proof" (no pun intended) little rifles. The only thing I've had not so good experiences with in the past was cheap aftermarket magazines.

I'm not familiar with the trigger on the 186 series mini's, but if they are as heavy to pull at the newer 580 series a good trigger job by a competent gunsmith, taking the trigger pull down to about 3#, makes alot of differrence to the positive.



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Old 12-02-2010, 11:59 PM   #3
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If it looks clean & oiled, and feels tight, go out & give it a test. My guess is that you will find it throws empty brass a fair distance. If it does, you can easily mitigate that problem by changing out the gas port bushing with a reduced diameter bushing. Several guys make those bushings pretty cheap...just ask. Mini's are also known for a pretty hard cycle, which can be tough on optics. Get a 1911-style buffer and position it on the guide rod (also a cheap fix). Aside from these, you'll have to judge what you want to do to it. My 2 cents...keep it in the wood stock...

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Old 12-03-2010, 12:52 AM   #4
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To quote a friend of mine, shoot the snot out of it.

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Old 12-03-2010, 06:47 AM   #5
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A barrel support rod and Cryo treatment will really help the shots fom walking up as the barrel heats up.

Other than that, thy don't have many problems.

Be aware that any mods you do will be removed by ruger if you have to send it back for servicing or repair, so unless it's a restricted part and you need a repair or mod, sent it to a good gunsmith.

John K



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