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Audentes Fortuna Iuvat
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Good info here to date your Mini.


180 Series
Produced from 1974-1977.
Brass ejects upwards.
Shipped from factory with wood handguard installed.
Original Mini-14, no longer supported by Ruger (i.e., no 180-specific parts available)

181 - 186 Series Link
Produced from 1978-1999.
"Standard" Mini-14
No factory scope mounts, single blade front sight, low round rear peep sight.
Brass ejects upwards.
Still supported by Ruger factory parts.

196 - 197 Series Link
Produced from 2000-2004.
Same as 181-186 Series.

187 - 188 Series Link
Produced from 1982-1995.
Mini-14 Ranch Rifle
Factory Scope Mounts, flip-up rear sight, single blade front sight.
Brass ejects to side to avoid contact with scope.
Still supported by Ruger factory parts.

195 - 197 Series Link
Produced from 1996-2004.
Mini-14 Ranch Rifle.
Same as 187-188 Series.

580 - 581 Series Link
Produced from 2005-Present.
Mini-14 Ranch Rifle.
Winged Rear Peep Sight, Winged (3-blade) Front Sight.
Integrated Scope Mounts.
At some point in the 580 Series, Ruger introduced the "heavier," flanged/tapered barrel which improved accuracy and decreased heat sensitivity (stringing).


Mini 14 twist rates.

Mini 14 rate of twist
1. 1974- 1986 is 1 in 10
2. 1986- 1997 is 1 in 7
3. 1997- present is 1 in 9
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The 580-581 ejects to the side about 20 to 25 feet! The first day at the range with a tactical, running through the first 20 rounder, a guy at the other end of the firing line was glaring at me. I filled up his range box and hit him with warm spent cases. Found a Dillon buffer settled that problem down. It isn't always easy to find an opening at the right end of the line.
 

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where does one obtain a "dillon buffer"? kinda new to mini 14, so much I don't know. I'm learning though, thanks mainly to this group.
 

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I retorqed my gas block which was way off from the factory and installed wilson 1911 style buffers on the op rod and gas block and my brass lands about 5ft away at my 4 o'clock. The mini performed best with the gas block torqed to 32 in/lbs ymmv. I checked it from 30-35. The accustrut and a trigger job along with the other mods has made my 580 series thin barrel mini-14 a very formidable rifle.
 

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My version, broken down by each individual year...

180 Series Mini-14
Beginning
Serial Nbr
180-00001--1974--1 in 10
180-05101--1975--1 in 10
180-28282--1976--1 in 10
180-59251--1977--1 in 10

Mini-14
Thin barrel, ejector is in the bolt, no scope ring scallops cast into the receiver.
Beginning
Serial Nbr
181-07488--1978--1 in 10
181-48351--1979--1 in 10
181-84879--1980--1 in 10
182-45601--1981--1 in 10
183-03581--1982--1 in 10
183-40455--1983--1 in 10
184-17175--1984--1 in 10
184-26063--1985--1 in 10
184-95448--1986--1 in 10 and 1 in 7
185-14140--1987--1 in 7
185-50455--1988--1 in 7
185-56556--1989--1 in 7
185-81009--1990--1 in 7
186-05029--1991--1 in 7
186-18250--1992--1 in 7
186-20065--1993--1 in 7
186-31116--1994--1 in 7
186-42502--1995--1 in 7
186-58133--1996--1 in 7
186-66855--1997--1 in 7 and 1 in 9
186-81445--1998--1 in 9
186-87432--1999--1 in 9
*196-06325-2000--1 in 9
*196-44553-2001--1 in 9
*196-80982-2002--1 in 9
*196-99207-2003--1 in 9
*197-12180-2004--1 in 9
* Mini-14 serial numbers rollmarked with Mini-14 Ranch Rifles beginning in 2000


Ranch Rifle
Thin barrel, ejector in the bolt stop assembly, scope ring scallops cast into the receiver, buffer sytem using the recoil spring assembly.
Beginning
Serial Nbr
187-00001--1982--1 in 10
187-02611--1983--1 in 10
187-13218--1984--1 in 10
187-27226--1985--1 in 10
187-50919--1986--1 in 10 and 1 in 7
187-59308--1987--1 in 7
187-70033--1988--1 in 7
187-84127--1989--1 in 7
188-01157--1990--1 in 7
188-30499--1991--1 in 7
188-50902--1992--1 in 7
188-66901--1993--1 in 7
188-71086--1994--1 in 7
188-85981--1995--1 in 7
195-06037--1996--1 in 7
195-27761--1997--1 in 7 and 1 in 9
195-44221--1998--1 in 9
195-63542--1999--1 in 9
196-06325--2000--1 in 9
196-44553--2001--1 in 9
196-80982--2002--1 in 9
196-99207--2003--1 in 9
197-12180--2004--1 in 9


New Mini-14 Ranch Rifle

580 Ranch Rifle (early version): Thin barrel, ejector in the bolt stop assembly, scope ring scallops cast into the receiver, buffer sytem using the recoil spring assembly, new tooling resulting in a slightly different look to the receiver (more rounded edges, etc.)
580 Ranch Rifle (later version)-581: Thicker flanged barrel, ejector in the bolt stop assembly, scope ring scallops cast into the receiver, buffer sytem using the recoil spring assembly, new tooling resulting in a slightly different look to the receiver (more rounded edges, etc.)
Beginning
Serial Nbr
580-00001--2005--1 in 9
580-15286--2006--1 in 9
580-32382--2007--1 in 9
580-50951--2008--1 in 9
* 580-76276
and 581-00000--2009--1 in 9
* 581-48753--2010--1 in 9
* 581-71056--2011--1 in 9
* 581-95645--2012--1 in 9
* New Mini-14 Ranch Rifles rollmarked with Mini Thirty Rifles beginning in 2009.


Mini-30
Beginning
Serial Nbr
186-00501--1986--1 in 10
189-00001--1987--1 in 10
189-15143--1988--1 in 10
189-17652--1989--1 in 10
189-25005--1990--1 in 10
189-38805--1991--1 in 10
189-51041--1992--1 in 10
189-52528--1993--1 in 10
189-59348--1994--1 in 10
189-65480--1995--1 in 10
189-75697--1996--1 in 10
189-82126--1997--1 in 10
189-84971--1998--1 in 10
189-89313--1999--1 in 10
189-96162--2000--1 in 10
*196-06325-2001--1 in 10
*196-44553-2002--1 in 10
*196-99207-2003--1 in 10
*197-12180-2004--1 in 10
* Mini Thirty serial numbers rollmarked with Mini-14 Ranch Rifles beginning in 2001


New Mini-30
Beginning
Serial Nbr
581-01002--2006--1 in 10
581-05892--2007--1 in 10
581-06747--2008--1 in 10
581-11910--2009--1 in 10
581-48753--2010--1 in 10
581-71056--2011--1 in 10
581-95645--2012--1 in 10
 
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