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Posted: 3/19/2018 12:05:13 AM EDT
Lately I've been getting into older factory Mini 14 folders. I've read from many sources that a folding Mini 14 was always equipped with a side swivel from the factory, therefore a folding Mini 14 with the swivel on the underside is not a factory folding Mini 14. Is this indeed true for the entirety of Ruger's production of the Mini 14 folders? Were any factory folders ever equipped with swivels on the underside of the gasblock?
Link Posted: 3/19/2018 7:36:30 AM EDT
Not that I ever saw.
Link Posted: 3/19/2018 10:47:39 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Marcus99:
I've read from many sources that a folding Mini 14 was always equipped with a side swivel from the factory, therefore a folding Mini 14 with the swivel on the underside is not a factory folding Mini 14.
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As far as I know (not a Mini-14 historian) that is correct.
I have seen guns where someone swapped the gas block from a folder when they swapped the stock, thus rendering the gun visually indistinguishable. The only way to know for sure is to call Ruger with the serial number.
Link Posted: 3/19/2018 12:06:41 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/19/2018 4:33:13 PM EDT by Marcus99]
Thanks guys. I already have a call into Ruger and they're checking their records. I recently bought a SS factory folding stock Mini 14 (verified via phone and a Ruger letter of authenticity) with the original 5rd mag, matching box and paperwork. The one I'm looking at is blued so it'd make a nice pair. I'd still be interested if it's not a factory folder, but the price would need to be commensurate with such provenance or lack thereof.

Edit: Confirmed with Ruger it is not a factory folder. This is not the first fake that I've encountered, you really do need to be diligent and confirm provenance. Many (most?) seem to be fakes.
Link Posted: 3/20/2018 8:15:30 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Marcus99:
Thanks guys. I already have a call into Ruger and they're checking their records. I recently bought a SS factory folding stock Mini 14 (verified via phone and a Ruger letter of authenticity) with the original 5rd mag, matching box and paperwork. The one I'm looking at is blued so it'd make a nice pair. I'd still be interested if it's not a factory folder, but the price would need to be commensurate with such provenance or lack thereof.

Edit: Confirmed with Ruger it is not a factory folder. This is not the first fake that I've encountered, you really do need to be diligent and confirm provenance. Many (most?) seem to be fakes.
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Just because the rifle didn't come from Ruger as a folder doesn't necessarily make it a "fake". I just saw a GB folder with a bottom mount sling sell on Gunbroker for over $2200.00. You will see 3 different styles of gas blocks on folders and they are all "correct". From the research I've done, it seems not all folders came from the factory with the swivel on the side. Some law enforcement agencies placed orders that specified swivels on the bottom and other special order government guns with straight birch stocks were delivered with the sling mount on the side.

The stainless GB folder you turned down awhile ago and I bought left Ruger in 1983 with a birch stock and side sling gas block and was later re-stocked in a folder. The rifle is beautiful and "correct." I used to worry about this as well. The point I am trying to make is that seeing these guns sell on gun broker and at the gun shows, there is really a very small amount of collectors that check if the gun shipped from the factory as a folder or even care. In other words, I am not seeing that folders that are "certified by Ruger" selling for more money. Of course, the original box and paperwork will add value. No matter what, the AAC 556 owners seemed to have driven the price of the stock alone to over $800.00.

Marcus, I would say if the gun is in nice shape and the price is right, go for it.
Link Posted: 3/21/2018 10:06:03 AM EDT
Some Factory folder rifles came with sling swivel on bottom of gas block.
As you are already doing, call Ruger with SN for verification of delivered configuration.
Link Posted: 3/21/2018 11:44:31 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By mouthpiece:
Some Factory folder rifles came with sling swivel on bottom of gas block.
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Would this be exclusive to LE contract guns?
Link Posted: 3/21/2018 11:56:59 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By TARFU:
I am not seeing that folders that are "certified by Ruger" selling for more money. Of course, the original box and paperwork will add value.
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Originally Posted By TARFU:
I am not seeing that folders that are "certified by Ruger" selling for more money. Of course, the original box and paperwork will add value.
This is not unlike saying, “Pieced-together GI M1911A1 pistols sell for the same prices as all-original correct pistols.” There is still a difference to the discerning collector. Most buyers are not discerning, and will overpay for low-quality products.

No matter what, the AAC 556 owners seemed to have driven the price of the stock alone to over $800.00.
The GB folding stocks won’t fit the AC receiver (due to extra parts).

Are they buying them just for the rear folding hardware, or do you think they’re inletting them to fit their select-fire rifles?

I don’t think they’re the ones who drove the price up. I think factory folders are just generally in high demand.

You’re absolutely right that most AC-556 buyers want a folder though. Usually, just like the OP, they want a factory original folding gun.
Link Posted: 3/21/2018 12:25:03 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/21/2018 12:28:10 PM EDT by Marcus99]
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Originally Posted By TARFU:

Just because the rifle didn't come from Ruger as a folder doesn't necessarily make it a "fake". I just saw a GB folder with a bottom mount sling sell on Gunbroker for over $2200.00. You will see 3 different styles of gas blocks on folders and they are all "correct". From the research I've done, it seems not all folders came from the factory with the swivel on the side. Some law enforcement agencies placed orders that specified swivels on the bottom and other special order government guns with straight birch stocks were delivered with the sling mount on the side.

The stainless GB folder you turned down awhile ago and I bought left Ruger in 1983 with a birch stock and side sling gas block and was later re-stocked in a folder. The rifle is beautiful and "correct." I used to worry about this as well. The point I am trying to make is that seeing these guns sell on gun broker and at the gun shows, there is really a very small amount of collectors that check if the gun shipped from the factory as a folder or even care. In other words, I am not seeing that folders that are "certified by Ruger" selling for more money. Of course, the original box and paperwork will add value. No matter what, the AAC 556 owners seemed to have driven the price of the stock alone to over $800.00.

Marcus, I would say if the gun is in nice shape and the price is right, go for it.
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I agree with you that using the word "fake" leaves something to be desired and is not wholly accurate. Perhaps a better descriptor would be "original factory configured folding stock Mini 14" vs. "post-shipment folding stock Mini 14 with the Ruger folding stock." To the non-discerning eye, or even the discerning one, both will look identical if the gasblock is changed to a side mounted swivel (from research the only fixed stock Mini 14 to come from the factory with a side mounted swivel was the GB, although I am open to hearing others opinions. I agree there is not a conclusive concensus on this, but the general agreement is that bottom swivel on a folding stock Mini 14 indicates aftermarket replacement of the stock.)

The SS Mini 14 GB-F that I passed on and you bought I turned down for reasons aside from the gun itself which I'm not going to get into especially on a public forum. But yes, it did look like a beautiful gun and I'm glad you're happy with your purchase. While the sum of the parts may be correct in the sense that they are factory Ruger original parts, the present configuration of the gun is not original however. Collectors and discriminating buyers pay a premium for originality. Whether or not prospective buyers conduct their due diligence to confirm the provenance of the gun that they are purchasing is another matter, but original factory configured folding stock Mini 14's do sell for more than pieced together folders using original Ruger parts.

I too have watched the price of non-factory original configuration folders go for sums higher than I expected, although perhaps this is indicative of an overall rise in the price of Mini 14 folders in factory stocks. My SS folder's box indicates in several places that it is a folder - the underside of the box says "Folding Stock Gun Box" and the side above the serial number says Mini 14/F. That, plus the Ruger Letter of Authenticity, is conclusive of it's original factory configuration. I have not seen a listing for such a complete collectors grade package is some time, so although I'm not going to sell it I wonder what premium, if any, it would bring over the non-factory configuration folding stock Mini 14s. I suspect some, but how much I'm not sure.

Anyhow, I'm going to pursue this blued mini 14 folder despite it's non-factory configuration...if the price is right. Thank you all for your input.
Link Posted: 3/21/2018 12:40:02 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By KitBuilder:

Would this be exclusive to LE contract guns?
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I don't know.
I've seen former OklaHP and Prison guns sold here at a local shop in so many different configurations that I would say there are many configurations that are factory Ruger that are uncommon.
Link Posted: 3/21/2018 12:44:39 PM EDT
Marcus, its interesting that many or most of the folders you have been researching did not originate from the factory in that configuration. Do you know if Ruger had sold the folding stock as a separate item at one time? I have read that they do not sell gas blocks and other parts directly but one would have to wonder where these stocks came from.
Link Posted: 3/21/2018 1:05:46 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By KitBuilder:

This is not unlike saying, “Pieced-together GI M1911A1 pistols sell for the same prices as all-original correct pistols.” There is still a difference to the discerning collector. Most buyers are not discerning, and will overpay for low-quality products.

The GB folding stocks won’t fit the AC receiver (due to extra parts).

Are they buying them just for the rear folding hardware, or do you think they’re inletting them to fit their select-fire rifles?

I don’t think they’re the ones who drove the price up. I think factory folders are just generally in high demand.

You’re absolutely right that most AC-556 buyers want a folder though. Usually, just like the OP, they want a factory original folding gun.
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I understand and agree with what you are saying, but I think a GI 1911 is in a different class of collectibles than say a mini 14 that is otherwise factory original except for being placed in folding Ruger stock. I would have to admit that factory original is important to the discriminating collector but watching these guns sell recently (around me) , I'm not seeing factory config. folders go for a premium over non-factory. I just see the guys asking big money not selling their guns, but Gun Broker will surprise you once in awhile.
Link Posted: 3/21/2018 1:54:00 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/21/2018 2:55:10 PM EDT by Marcus99]
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Originally Posted By TARFU:
Marcus, its interesting that many or most of the folders you have been researching did not originate from the factory in that configuration. Do you know if Ruger had sold the folding stock as a separate item at one time? I have read that they do not sell gas blocks and other parts directly but one would have to wonder where these stocks came from.
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You raise a great point, and to be honest I don't know if Ruger ever sold the folding stocks as separate accessories. I have read in numerous places that they did not, but those sources are merely internet posts.

I'm not sure what percentage of folders I've seen are non-factory configured folders. I haven't kept track. But based off of the side vs. bottom mounted gasblock swivel (assuming that is a strong indicator of provenance) I have seen a lot of "fakes", probably more fake than original configuration. I don't call Ruger to check on them unless I am seriously considering purchasing one, however. For the collectors it's very fortunate that Ruger provides this service. Over the phone I was told the ship date, model, finish and barrel length, and stock configuration of my SS Mini 14/F all before agreeing to purchase my example.

I'm not surprised that these guns are getting collectible, honestly. Irrespective of how they shoot and group (which isn't great, frankly) they are some of the most beautiful guns ever produced. It's actually the only gun I've ever sought out and bought based primarily on aesthetics, because I read how poorly they group which I found is largely true after I shot it off a bench at 100yds.

I certainly don't need a blued folder, but damn it would look great next to my SS one :)



Edit: Current auctionsL

- This listing is of a SS folder very similar to mine albeit a 187 series, lacks the paperwork and a letter of authenticity, and has some scope mounts installed. https://www.gunbroker.com/item/757964112

- Here is one that looks almost identical to the above except it has a bottom mounted swivel - https://www.gunbroker.com/item/756789393

- Same as the above two with a side mounted swivel - https://www.gunbroker.com/item/756849824

- Blued GB-F with bottom mounted swivel. https://www.gunbroker.com/item/756727565
Link Posted: 3/27/2018 10:28:27 PM EDT
That auction listing #757964112 is the exact rifle that I have. It is a stainless ranch folder. You don't see as many ranch folders as you do the standard sight models in this configuration.

The serial number on the auction listing is 187-67...my rifle is 187-65...so they are close on the production date. mine shipped in Nov 1987
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