Hello all, I purchased a new Mini14 about this time last year, and it’s been a love / hate relationship. The rifle function flawlessly, but so far I’ve managed to scar up a new 1x4 optic, as well as a new vortex red dot optic. The rifle seems to eject the brass with such force that whatever tends to sit above the ejection port gets hammered with spent casings. Frustrating beyond believe. As we all know, these rifles are not cheap, so I refuse to invest anymore of my hard earned dollars into this platform.
I’ve decided to go back to irons, but I’ve already had the set screws walk out on the rear sight apature to where it slides back and forth, what a joke. So I’ve since discovered Tech sights for the Mini14 that replace the cheap stock setup, so I hope someone can give me a little insight on this setup and if it’s worth the investment.
(I know I stated I wasn’t investing anymore money into this rifle, but the Tech sight option is a hell of a lot cheaper than purchasing a rail.)
I went the Ultimak rail mount system for my Mini 14. At around $100 last time I looked and with a Primary Arms red dot, it has been all the optic I needed/wanted for that rifle. ymmv.
ETA: Don't know how that price compares to the Tech Sites though.
I got out of my mini years ago, but had the same issue with brass beating on my optic. I found a solution, but not sure how to explain it.
It involved removing the extractor from the bolt and doing a little filing to alter the ejection angle. Might find some info online. It really worked, and did not impact reliability. Pretty sure it was a series 181.
I knew I should’ve purchased an SCR lower receiver instead of that damn Mini. Back in the 80’s and 90’s the Mini platform was the cats ass, but by today’s standards the Mini platform is severely outdated as well as overpriced, considering what your getting for your money.
Ruger has definitely stepped up on it’s game lately and given us some pretty nice hardware, but for whatever reason the Mini has fallen to the wayside. Such a shame.
They still make those things? people still buy those things?
Beerbellybo, read my post down this page a bit:
While my Mini's are in 7.62 x 39 caliber, excepting the ammo, my experiences apply to Mini-14's as well.
Especially read the part about using a smaller gas bushing and buffers.
The main reason your scope is getting battered, is because the Mini comes WAY overgassed. Tone that down, and the brass won't be coming out of there with such force. It is still plenty to be 100% reliable. Only a doofus chokes down his Mini till the brass "Falls At His Feet". He is close to having a single shot carbine.
Not having brass slam against your scope is just one of the many advantages of mounting an optic, whether scope or dot, out on the Ultimak.
The aluminum railed handguards mount securely and help in the accuracy and heat sink department.
Having only a tiny T.V. screen dot out in front of you half way down the barrel, you can see that dot on the target clearly, but also see everything else downrange.
Shooting a scope, or even a big tube sight up close to your head, and to top it off, most guys are used to closing the other eye when shooting.
About as "tunnel vision" as you can get.
I have the Tech rear sights on both my Mini's, along with the optional smaller aperture that makes the front sight appear sharp again instead of blurry.
I've shot rear aperture sights all my life on military rifles, lever guns, air guns, you name it.
It's fun to shoot irons once in a while, but the irons pale next to the red dot, IMO.
I can shoot as accurate with irons as I can with the dot, for about the same distance, but where the dot shines is speed and low light.
You have to take a split second longer to use irons, the dot is easier to pick up, especially in low light, and move from target to target faster.
Most dots have no set eye relief, so they will work at whatever distance from your eye.
My daughter has the hang of it, but she's been shooting my Mini-30's for about 4 years now.
I set up one just like this for her, so now she has the Mini-30 and a 9mm Shield I gave her.
That Vortex red dot, or your new 1-4x would work great on the Mini.
I wouldn't mess with filing the extractor, etc. There are some ways to relieve the Ruger rails if your brass is hitting the rail instead of the scope. Toning down the excessive gas and slowing ejection is the first and best waythough, and will give help in the accuracy department too.
Either of my Mini's will shoot close to what my x39 AR will, better with some brands. And even good with cheap Russian HP ammo:
For scopes, you'll have to stick with a LER model, but there are a dozen or so to work with, including some you'd might not expect, like the Nikon scope shown here, it isn't really a "scout scope" but a handgun scope, but I've enjoyed it's clearness, 2.5-8x zoom, and a couple BDC lines for holdovers, on both Mini's and my GSR .308.
pjomalley, unless you've just funnin' with us, maybe you'd like to tell me, in as much detail as I try to give, about your experiences with the Mini.
Most guys that give a one liner remark about the Mini, either have never owned one and just repeating what they heard on the internet, or that their cousin knew someone once that said they sucked.
Great reply Sandog75, you gave me much to think about. Thank you.
i could get maybe 7in groups at 100 yrds. But Im sure it was a rare unicorn and all the other ones were much better. good ridance when i traded it in after obama election.
As noted above a gas port bushing is probably in your future.
The early Mini 14s used a plunger style ejector, which gave you nice consistent ejection regardless of the bolt velocity in recoil.
The later, and current Mini 14s use a separate fixed ejector and any excess bolt velocity results in the brass being thrown into the next county.
A gas port bushing will solve the problem. You can just go with a .045" bushing which should work well, or you can get a set of bushings (.035", .040", .045", and .050") and play with them until you get one that is too small to operate the action reliably, and then back up a step and install the next size larger. The stock bushing is .085", so even the .050" bushing will be an improvement.
A gas port bushing will also normally improve accuracy as well by reducing excessive vibration.
You can find them here:
gas port bushings
The same site also sells Tech Sights rear sights for the non ranch rifle models, the pre-580 ranch rifles and the post-580 ranch rifles. They work well and are worth the upgrade, even if you still put a scope on it.
You can see both the mini-14 and pre-580 ranch rifle sights below.