Ruger Mini-14

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The Mini-14, Mini-30, and Mini-6.8 are small, lightweight semi-automatic carbines manufactured by the U.S. firearms company Sturm, Ruger. The Mini-14 can fire both the popular .223 Remington cartridge and the similar military 5.56x45mm cartridge. The Mini-30 uses the 7.62x39mm and the Mini-6.8 fires 6.8 mm Remington SPC. Since 2005, all models are marketed under the name Ranch Rifle.

Ruger also offers a selective fire variant of the Mini-14, the AC-556, to police and military customers. AC-556 models have a slightly longer receiver (shared with early production "series 180" models) to allow for automatic operation. These models are also available with features such as short barrels and bayonet lugs that are not available on the civilian models. The Mini-14GB model is a semi-automatic variant for police and military sale, offering the short barrel and bayonet lug options.


Designed by L. James Sullivan and William B. Ruger, the rifle employs an investment cast, heat-treated receiver and a version of the Garand locking mechanism with a self cleaning, fixed-piston gas system. Simple, rugged Garand-style breechbolt locking system, with a fixed-piston gas system and self-cleaning, moving gas cylinder. The rifle is available in stainless or blued finish with hardwood, synthetic, or laminated stocks and an 18.5-inch barrel. Target models are currently available only in .223/5.56x45mm, and come with a 22-inch heavy barrel and either a laminated wood or Hogue overmolded synthetic stock. The Mini-14 has a classic sporter appearance in contrast to other common autoloading rifles such as the AK-47 and M16 rifle. A new for 2008 National Rifle Association model comes with a 16.25 inch barrel, polymer stock, and (where legal) ships with 2 20 round magazines.

2003 Redesign

The Mini-14 has always suffered from lackluster accuracy, especially when compared to match grade AR-15 rifles. In 2003, Ruger shut down the Mini-14 production line, and overhauled both the design and the production process. The new models, marketed as Ranch Rifles, are based on the previous Ranch models, with integral scope bases. The 2003 models use a modified gas system designed to reduce barrel vibration, and new iron sights, and are produced with tighter tolerances. According to sources at Ruger, the changes should result in much greater accuracy out of the box.


The Mini-14 was first introduced in 1974 by Ruger. Mini-14 is derived from the military M14 rifle implying a miniature version of the other rifle. Ruger used the M14 as a model for the new rifle while incorporating numerous innovations and cost-saving engineering changes. The Mini-14 proved popular with small-game hunters, ranchers, law enforcement, security personnel and target shooters. It competes with other rifles like the comparatively-priced Kel-Tec SU-16 and numerous inexpensive AR-15 variants.


The K Mini/14-20GB featured a flash suppressor and a bayonet lug. A "Target Rifle" version with a heavy barrel, adjustable harmonic dampener and target stock was introduced in 2006. While never adopted by the U.S. military, both civilian and military Mini-14 variants are popular with many police departments as an affordable medium-range patrol rifle to fill the gap between short-range weapons (handguns and shotguns) and sniper rifles.

The rear sight on standard models was an aperture sight with large protective wings, and there were no integral scope bases. The "Ranch Rifle" variant has scope bases integrated into the receiver, and an ejector that ejects the spent cartridge case at a lower angle to avoid hitting a low-mounted scope. The original Ranch Rifle rear sight was a folding-type aperture, which would fit under a scope.

Ruger made design alterations to the Mini-14 in 2005 altering the receiver, rear and front sights. All new Mini-14s are built with integral scope bases, non-folding ghost ring aperture rear sight and a winged front sight similar to that used on the Ruger Police Carbine.


The AC-556 is a selective-fire version of the Mini-14 marketed for military and law enforcement use. The design incorporates a selector on the right/rear of the receiver to select either semi-automatic, 3-round burst, or full-automatic fire modes; the manual safety at the front of the trigger guard operates the same as a standard Mini-14. The front sight is winged and incorporates a bayonet lug. The 13" or 18" barrel incorporates a flash suppressor. A folding stock was used on the AC-556F and AC-556K. The rifle came equipped with 20-round magazines and a 30-round version was available for a time. The AC-556 is currently produced, marketed and sold both in the United States and abroad.

Other calibers

Some early Mini-14 rifles were chambered in the .222 Remington cartridge. Since the .223 Remington is dimensionally equivalent to the 5.56x45mm, civilian firearms chambered in that caliber are highly restricted in countries that restrict or prohibit firearms that chamber military cartridges (such as Mexico). By chambering the Mini-14 in the similar but not interchangeable .222 Remington caliber, the Mini-14 could be sold in those countries.

In 1987, Ruger began production of the Mini-30. The Mini-30 is chambered for the Russian 7.62x39mm cartridge, used in the SKS and AK-47, as many states prohibit hunting of deer with calibers smaller than 6 mm (.243"). The 7.62x39 mm has similar ballistics to the well-known .30-30 Winchester. The Mini-30 was only available as a Ranch Rifle, with integral scope base. Current production Mini-30's are similar to Mini-14's except for caliber.

In 2007, Ruger announced the Mini-6.8 utilizing the commercial 6.8 mm Remington SPC cartridge that has been growing steadily in popularity. A larger version of the Mini-14, called the XGI, was developed by Ruger in .308 Winchester and .243 Winchester, but while it was advertised in 1985, it never entered production due to continued accuracy and functioning problems.

Technical data

* Caliber: .223 Rem/5.56x45mm, .222 Remington (discontinued), 7.62x39mm (as Mini-30), 6.8 mm Remington SPC
* Length: 946 mm (37.25 in)
* Weight: 2.9 kg (6 lb 6oz)
* Barrel: 470 mm (18.5 in)
* Rifling: 6 grooves, right spin

Factory Magazines And Capacity

* 5 or 20 round standard factory magazine[9]
* 30 discontinued (.223 or .222 only)

Bermuda Regiment soldiers clean their Ruger Mini-14 rifles. These were originally delivered with wooden stocks, but the Choate stocks were later retrofitted.
Bermuda Regiment soldiers clean their Ruger Mini-14 rifles. These were originally delivered with wooden stocks, but the Choate stocks were later retrofitted.


The Mini-14 in its various forms has been adopted by various police and paramilitary forces around the world.

* In 1983, The Bermuda Regiment replaced its British-made L1A1 Self-Loading Rifles (SLRs) in 7.62x51mm NATO with the wooden-stocked Mini-14 20GB, a semi-automatic variant.
* The AC-556 was supplied to the Royal Ulster Constabulary in 1979 as a weapon for its Special Patrol Groups, Special Operations (E Services) and exposed border police stations and units. These rifles are selective-fire with single shot and three-round burst options. The AC-556 was a replacement for the Sterling submachine gun and M1 carbine. The switch brought improved penetration and range. It was also lighter than the FN L1A1 rifles then used by the British Army.
* Mini-14 variants including the AC-556F were used for three decades by units of the Police Department of the City of New York, most notably by the Emergency Service Unit, prior to adoption of the M4 Carbine. Other units, such as Aviation, Scuba, City Hall Detail (Uniform Intelligence Division), and the Special Operations Division received training on the Mini-14.


* At the 1986 FBI Miami shootout, criminals armed with a Mini-14 outgunned FBI agents who had only pistols and a shotgun, leading to a decision to equip FBI agents with increased firepower.
* Marc L├ępine used a Mini-14 in the Ecole Polytechnique Massacre, triggering a public campaign that led to increased restrictions on firearms in Canada.


9 years 22 weeks ago, 12:48 AM


fordvg's picture

Join Date:
Oct 2008
Fancy Farm, Kentucky, United States
It sucks

Rifle is ok, until it get's hot and then it shoot all over the place. Ok, for spray and pray.

"WAR IS A RACKET, I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street, and for the Bankers." Major-General Smedley Darlington Butler USMC Ret. 2 time Medal of Honor winner.
9 years 20 weeks ago, 12:25 AM


afourfoothitter's picture

Brigadier General
Join Date:
Oct 2008
redneckville, north kakalacliki, United States
kunuck killer

you didnt read it was enough to make canada shit there pants

its better to burn out than fade away
9 years 6 weeks ago, 4:15 PM


Trying2's picture

Join Date:
Jan 2009

where can I get one? I don't see ANY Rugers listed in the Shop section.
I'm still debating on getting the mini- 14, 6.8, or 30.

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Ruger Mini-14 Info

Gas Operated, Rotating Bolt
.223 Remington
Barrel Length:
18.5 in
5, 20, 30
Iron Sights

Ruger Mini-14 Pictures (2)

Ruger Mini-14
Black Ruger Mini-14

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