The Mini-14 is a lightweight semi-automatic rifle manufactured by Sturm, Ruger & Co. used by military personnel, law enforcement personnel, and civilians. A .223 caliber (5.56 mm) firearm, it is made in a number of variants, including the Ranch Rifle (a basic, civilian variant), the Mini-14 GB (designed for military and law-enforcement use), and the Mini Thirty, which is chambered for 7.62×39mm.
The Mini-14 GB
|Place of origin||United States|
|Used by||See Users|
|Designer||L. James Sullivan, William B. Ruger|
|Manufacturer||Sturm, Ruger & Co.|
|Mass||6 lb 6 oz (2.90 kg)|
|Length||37.25 in (946 mm)|
|Barrel length||13 in (330 mm) to 22.0 in (559 mm)|
|Cartridge||.223 Remington and others|
|Action||Gas-operated, rotating bolt|
|Rate of fire||750 rpm (Full-auto rate-of-fire for AC-556 model only)|
|Muzzle velocity||3240 ft/s (990 m/s)|
|Feed system||5- to 30-round factory box magazine.|
History and designEdit
The Mini-14 was first introduced in 1973 by Sturm, Ruger & Co. The name Mini-14 was coined because it resembles a smaller version of the military M14 rifle. Designed by L. James Sullivan and William B. Ruger, it incorporated numerous innovations and cost-saving engineering changes. The Mini-14 rifle employs an investment cast, heat-treated receiver and is mechanically similar to the M1 rifle, with a self-cleaning, fixed-piston gas system. Initial rifles were produced with a complex, exposed bolt hold open device with no button for manual engagement. Stocks were somewhat angular and heat shields were made of wood. These rifles, with serial number prefixes before 181, were tooled and redesigned with a new stock, new bolt hold-open mechanism, and other small changes.
The original Mini-14 rifle had a rear aperture sight with large protective wings and no integral scope bases. In 1982, Ruger introduced the Ranch Rifle with an integral scope base on the receiver, a new folding aperture rear sight and factory scope rings.
In 1987, Ruger introduced the Mini Thirty rifle chambered for the Russian 7.62×39mm cartridge. At the time, large quantities of surplus military ammunition were being imported into the United States at rock-bottom prices. Also, the 7.62×39mm is ballistically similar to the .30-30 Winchester cartridge. As a result, the Mini Thirty proved to be an effective deer rifle.
In 2003, the design was overhauled to improve accuracy and update the styling while at the same time reducing production costs. The standard Mini-14 was discontinued and the name became the family name for all Mini-14 type rifles. As of 2005, all Mini-14 type rifles are now based on the Ranch Rifle design, with integral scope bases, a non-folding ghost ring aperture rear sight and a winged front sight similar to that used on the Ruger Police Carbine. These upgraded rifles have serial numbers beginning with 580 and are sometimes referred to as 580 series Ranch Rifles. They also have a new modified gas system designed to reduce barrel vibration and are capable of shooting 2 inch groups at 100 yards (2 minute of angle (MOA) accuracy).
Sometime between 2007 and 2008, Ruger added a heavier tapered barrel to the Mini series. The heavier barrel had an overall larger diameter with the barrel visibly becoming thicker in the final inches as the barrel approaches the gas block from the muzzle. These changes combined with tighter tolerances result in greater potential accuracy. All Mini-14 type rifles are available in stainless steel or blued finish with hardwood, synthetic, or laminated stocks with 16.12-inch (409 mm) or 18.5-inch (470 mm) barrels.
The Ranch Rifle is a basic model offered in a wood or synthetic rifle stock paired with a blued or stainless steel receiver and a standard 18.5" tapered barrel (1:9" RH twist rate). These rifles feature an adjustable ghost ring rear sight and winged front sight, and they are sold with a detachable scope rail mount and a choice of two 20-round or 5-round detachable box magazines to comply with some U.S. states and other countries which have laws restricting magazine capacity. All models are chambered in both .223 Remington and 5.56×45mm NATO ammunition except the Target Rifle variant (which is .223 only).
Introduced in 2007, the "Target Rifle" version has a 22-inch (560 mm) cold hammer-forged heavy barrel, adjustable harmonic tuner with adjustable minute-of-angle accuracy, and either a laminated wood or Hogue overmolded synthetic stock. The Target Rifle does not have iron sights but includes the standard scope rings and Picatinny rail mount. It is designed for use with the .223 Remington round only; 5.56 NATO is not warranted by Ruger.
Introduced in 2009, the "Tactical Rifle" is the newest variant, which includes the shorter 16.12" barrel with flash suppressor, and is available with a standard fixed stock/forend, or a collapsible ATI-brand stock with Picatinny rails. This model is chambered in both .223 Remington/5.56×45mm NATO and .300 AAC Blackout as of 2015.
In 1987, Ruger began production of the Mini Thirty. The Mini Thirty is chambered for the Russian 7.62×39mm cartridge, used in the SKS and AK-47, as many states prohibit hunting of deer with calibers smaller than 6 mm (.243 in). The 7.62×39mm has ballistics similar to the well-known .30-30 Winchester. The Mini Thirty is available with a 16.12" (Tactical Model) or 18.50" barrel having a twist rate of 1:10" RH, and is sold with two 20-round or 5-round box magazines. Ruger does not currently produce 30-round Mini Thirty magazines. The Mini Thirty shares many of the same design and accessory options with those of the smaller caliber Mini-14 Ranch Rifle.
Mini Thirty Tactical RifleEdit
The "Mini Thirty Tactical Rifle" variant was introduced in 2010. It closely mimics the Mini-14 Tactical Rifle variant, but in 7.62x39mm. It also has a shorter 16.12" barrel with flash suppressor, and is available with a standard fixed stock/forend, or a collapsible ATI-brand stock with Picatinny rails.
The Mini-14 GB ("government bayonet"):579 models feature either a pistol grip, side folding stock or a standard semi-pistol grip rifle stock, a 20 or 30-round magazine, bayonet lug, threaded barrel, and flash suppressor. Sales were intended only for law enforcement, military and private security markets, and could only be found in Ruger's Law Enforcement Catalog. However, many have entered the civilian market.
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-inch (330 mm) or 18-inch (460 mm) barrel incorporates a flash suppressor, which can be used to launch approved tear-gas and smoke grenades. 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 was dropped from production in 1999 and Ruger stopped offering service for the rifle in 2009.
In France, the AC-556 is known as the Mousqueton A.M.D. where it was used by several governmental agencies within the French Interior Ministry: the Police Aux Frontières ("P.A.F."—Border Police), the Police Nationale Compagnies Républicaines de Sécurité (or "C.R.S."—Riot Control Brigade) and the Groupe d'Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale ("GIGN") special operations unit. The A.M.D. come in two versions, the first has the standard Ruger aperture rear sight. On the other, the aperture rear sight has been completely removed and replaced with a tangent rear sight located on top of the barrel just forward of the receiver.
A small number of straight-pull only (a.k.a. bolt-action only) Mini-14 and Mini-30 rifles were manufactured for sale in the United Kingdom as a result of legislation which banned semi-automatic centerfire rifles in 1988.
Other calibers and accessoriesEdit
6.8 mm RemingtonEdit
There are a wide range of aftermarket accessories available for the Mini-14 and Mini-30, including numerous stocks, magazines, weaver and Picatinny rail mounts.
- Australia: Currently used by the New South Wales Department of Corrective Services.
- Bermuda: The Royal Bermuda Regiment has used the Mini-14GB/20 as its standard service rifle since 1983. Original wooden stocks were replaced with Choate black plastic stocks about 1990. The regiment received L85A2 rifles in August, 2015, and the Ruger was phased out in January, 2016.
- El Salvador: Mini-14GB and AC-556 used by the National Civil Police
- France: Mousqueton A.M.D. variant used by French police forces (Police Aux Frontières, GIGN, CRS). Frequently seen since the period of increased Jihadist activity in Europe.
- Hong Kong: Used by the Hong Kong Police Force Hit Team and Hong Kong Correctional Services.
- Rhodesia: Mini-14s were used in Rhodesia.
- Thailand: Use by Thai Army and Royal Thai Police 
- United Kingdom: The Surrey Constabulary Firearms Support Team (now known as the Tactical Firearms Unit) was armed with Mini-14s in the 1980s modified with folding stocks. The Royal Ulster Constabulary had used the AC-556 model prior to its inventory being destroyed by 1995.
- United States: Mini-14s were used by the New York City Police Department Emergency Service Unit with the rifles eventually being replaced by the M4 carbine. The NYPD's Organized Crime Control Bureau is armed with the Mini-14s. The Mini-14 is the main rifle used by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the Georgia Department of Corrections, and the North Carolina Department of Correction. US Marines that serve as guards at certain US embassies are sometimes issued Mini-14s. Delta Force has some Mini-14s in inventory. The Rajneeshpuram Peace Force employed some Mini-14s in addition to Galils and Uzis.
The Ruger Mini-14 was used in several notable crimes:
- Robert Hansen, a prolific American serial killer active between 1971 and 1983, killed his victims with a Ruger Mini-14 and a knife.
- In 1989, Gordon Kahl, his son Yorie, and friend Scott Faul used Ruger Mini-14 rifles in two bloody shootouts in separate times with the police.
- Darkley killings, Three men with at least one armed with a Ruger Mini-14 opened fire upon worshippers attending a church service at Mountain Lodge Pentecostal Church, killing three Protestant civilians and wounding seven. The attack was claimed by the "Catholic Reaction Force" a cover name for members of the Irish National Liberation Army in retaliation for murders of catholic civilians carried out by the Protestant Action Force.
- Michael Lee Platt used a Ruger Mini-14 in the 1986 FBI Miami shootout, which resulted in FBI agents and other American law enforcement agencies switching to more powerful, higher-capacity handguns, and stronger body armor.
- Marc Lépine used a Ruger Mini-14 in the École Polytechnique Massacre, which resulted in the Canada Firearms Act, 1995 and new police response procedures.
- Carel Johannes Delport used a Ruger Mini-14, along with a .357 Magnum revolver, in a shooting spree in Ladysmith, South Africa in 1992.
- Martin Peyerl used a Ruger Mini-14, along with a Colt Python and a Winchester Model 1866, in a killing spree in Bad Reichenhall, Germany in 1999.
- In the 2003 Lockheed Martin shooting, Douglas Williams was armed with a Ruger Mini-14 (alongside a Winchester 1200 12 -gauge shotgun), although it was not fired.
- Jan Molenaar used a Ruger Mini-14 in the 2009 Napier shootings in New Zealand.
- Anders Behring Breivik used a Ruger Mini-14 (along with a Glock 34) in the 2011 Norway attacks, during which he fatally shot 69 people on an island summer camp and was further responsible for 8 additional deaths in a bombing in Oslo, in what became Norway's deadliest attack since World War II.
- Byron David Smith killings, which occurred on Thanksgiving Day 2012. Smith shot two teenage burglars with his Ruger Mini-14 while they were trying to rob his home. Smith was found guilty of two counts of first degree murder with premeditation after the jury ruled that Smith's life was not in any danger.
- Rockne Warren Newell used a Ruger Mini-14, along with a .44 Magnum revolver, in the 2013 Ross Township Municipal Building shooting.
In popular cultureEdit
The Ruger Mini-14 was seen extensively in many episodes of The A-Team, an NBC television series that aired from 1983 to 1987. It was chosen because of its reputation for reliably firing blanks, which tend to clog a gun's action.
George Clooney's character uses the Ruger Mini-14 as a sniper rifle with collapsible stock, side-mounted scope and large homemade suppressor in the 2010 film The American.<ref>"Rifles". Port Fire Studios. 2014. Archived from the original on 2014-07-26.</ref
The Mobile Infantrys Morita MK.1 rifle in Starship Troopers is a mini 14, modified in a bullpup stock
- Ian V. Hogg; John S. Weeks (2000). Military Small Arms of the 20th Century. Krause Publications. p. 295. ISBN 978-0-87341-824-9.
- Hogg, Ian (2000-02-10). Military Small Arms of the 20th Century. Krause Publications. ISBN 978-0-87341-824-9.
- Jack Lewis; Robert K. Campbell; David Steele (26 September 2007). The Gun Digest Book of Assault Weapons. Iola, Wisconsin: Gun Digest Books. pp. 87–89. ISBN 0-89689-498-3.
- Ezell, Virginia Hart (November 2001). "NDM Article - Focus on Basics, Urges Small Arms Designer". Archived from the original on October 8, 2006.
- Military Small Arms Of The 20th Century, 7th Edition, 2000 by Ian V. Hogg & John S. Weeks, p.295
- J. Guthrie. "The Mini Grows Up—Again". Rifle Shooter.
- Lewis, Jack (28 February 2011). "Today's Mini-14". Assault Weapons. Iola, Wisconsin: Gun Digest Books. pp. 128–130. ISBN 1-4402-2400-5.
- Sheetz, Brian (22 March 2016). "Five Reasons To Reconsider The Ruger Mini-14". American Rifleman.
- "STURM, RUGER & CO., INC. RIFLES: SEMI-AUTO, CENTERFIRE MINI-14 RANCH RIFLE". Blue Book of Gun Values. Retrieved 2016-11-07.
- "Ranch Rifle Target model with overmolded stock" (PDF). Ruger-firearms.com (Press release). Retrieved 2016-11-07.
- "Ruger® Mini-14® Target Rifle Autoloading Rifle Models". Ruger.com. Archived from the original on 2016-11-06.
- Dan Shideler (7 August 2011). Gun Digest 2012. Iola, Wisconsin: Gun Digest Books. pp. 439–440. ISBN 1-4402-1447-6.
- "STURM, RUGER & CO., INC. RIFLES: SEMI-AUTO, CENTERFIRE MINI-14 TACTICAL RIFLE FIXED STOCK". Blue Book of Gun Values. Retrieved 2016-11-07.
- Publishing, Skyhorse (1 November 2009). Shooter's Bible. Skyhorse Publishing Inc. p. 43. ISBN 978-1-60239-801-6.
- "Ruger Mini-14 Tactical Rifle Now Available in 300 AAC Blackout". Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc. 2015-04-22. Retrieved 2017-02-21.
- Warner, Ken (1989). Gun Digest 1990: 44th Edition. DBI Books. p. 147. ISBN 978-0-87349-038-2.
Trajectories are identical according to Remington
- Shideler, Dan (28 February 2011). "The Hammer of Thor". Gun Digest Book of Deer Guns: Arms & Accessories for the Deer Hunter. Iola, Wisconsin: Gun Digest Books. pp. 42–43. ISBN 1-4402-2666-0.
- "Ruger Introduces Mini Thirty Tactical Rifle". Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. 2010-09-08. Retrieved 2017-02-21.
- Wilson, Robert (10 November 2015). Ruger and His Guns: A History of the Man, the Company & Their Firearms. Skyhorse Publishing Company, Incorporated. ISBN 978-1-5107-0926-3.
- Ramos, Joe (1982). The Mini-14 Exotic Weapons System. Boulder, Colorado: Paladin Press. ISBN 0873645278.
- Peterson, Phillip (30 September 2008). Gun Digest Buyer's Guide To Assault Weapons. Iola, Wisconsin: F+W Media. pp. 198–200. ISBN 978-1-4402-2444-7.
- "Ruger AC-556 Select Fire Military Rifle". 1 February 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
- Chris Bishop; Tony Cullen; Ian Drury (1988). The Encyclopedia of World Military Weapons. Crescent Books. p. 246. ISBN 978-0-517-65341-8.
- Martin K.A. Morgan (January 9, 2015). "The Mousqueton A.M.D.— France's Mini-14". Retrieved January 12, 2015.
- "French Police Mini-14". January 11, 2015. Retrieved January 12, 2015.
- Bishop, Chris (1996). The Vital Guide to Combat Guns and Infantry Weapons. Airlife. p. 44. ISBN 978-1-85310-539-5.
- Brister, Bob (1984). "News from the 2 R's". Field & Stream. 88 (10): 110. ISSN 8755-8599. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
- Standard Catalog of Ruger Firearms. Jerry Lee. "F+W Media, Inc.", Dec 16, 2014. Antiques & Collectibles. page 78
- Ramage, Ken; Sigler, Derrek (19 November 2008). Guns Illustrated 2009. Iola, Wisconsin: F+W Media, Inc. p. 146. ISBN 0-89689-673-0.
- Graham Williams (July 1, 1988). "NSW Declares Chemical War On Prisoners". Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 2015-04-02.
Other equipment includes [...] a Ruger .223 gas-operated, semi-automatic carbine (with a range of 2800 metres)
- "Ruger Mini-14". Bermudaregiment.bm. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2016-11-07.
- "Bermuda Regiment Fitness for Role Inspection". British Defence Staff. November 2005. Archived from the original on 2015-04-03.
- "Rifles worth $1.4m donated to Regiment | The Royal Gazette:Bermuda News". The Royal Gazette. Retrieved 2017-04-20.
- Montes, Julio A. (May 2000). "Infantry Weapons of the Salvadoran Forces". Small Arms Review. Vol. 3 no. 8.
- Gander, Terry J.; Hogg, Ian V. Jane's Infantry Weapons 1995/1996. Jane's Information Group; 21 edition (May 1995). ISBN 978-0-7106-1241-0.
- "Summary of Development Training in 2007" (PDF). Hong Kong Correctional Services. 2007. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
- Soldier of Fortune magazine, Robert K Brown, 1980
- "Surrey Constabulary: Part 4: A Policing Revolution: 1976–1992". Archived from the original on 2016-05-24. Retrieved 2017-04-20.
- "Freedom of Information Request" (PDF). Police Service of Northern Ireland.
- Larry Celona (2002-07-04). "Terror-Wary NYPD testing new assault rifle". New York Post. Retrieved 2009-10-29.
- "NYPD boosts training after Mumbai attack". Associated Press & Taipei Times. 2009-02-17. Retrieved 2009-10-29.
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-01-17. Retrieved 2009-12-24.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-21. Retrieved 2009-12-24.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-12-19. Retrieved 2009-12-24.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- "Agency Issue (Very Long)". Realpolice.net. Archived from the original on 2016-06-02. Retrieved 2016-11-07.
- "NC Correction News - May 1998 - DOP Firearms Training". Doc.state.nc.us. Retrieved 2016-11-07.
- Lewis, Jack (2007). "CQB Combat Training". Gun Digest Book of Assault Weapons (7 ed.). Iola, Wisconsin: Gun Digest Books. p. 134. ISBN 978-1-4402-2652-6. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
- Mike Ryan (2008). The Operators: Inside the World's Special Forces. p. 187. ISBN 1602392153.
- Hugh Milne (1987). Bhagwan: The God That Failed. St Martin's Press. p. 228. ISBN 0312001061.
- "FBI marks 30 years since infamous bloody Miami shootout". Retrieved 2016-09-25.
- "5 Gunfights That Changed Law Enforcement". Retrieved 2016-09-25.
- "8 Things You Might Not Know About the Ruger Mini-14". www.americanrifleman.org. Retrieved 2016-12-04.
- Rathjen, Heidi; Montpetit, Charles (1999). December 6: From the Montreal Massacre to Gun Control. Toronto:. McClelland & Stewart. ISBN 0-7710-6125-0.
- "Montreal Massacre: 14 women honoured 24 years after shootings". CBC News. Retrieved 2016-12-04.
- "canoe -- CNEWS: - Lessons learned from Montreal massacre help save lives". cnews.canoe.com. Retrieved 2016-09-25.
- "Skytternes taushet". Dagbladet (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2011-09-02.
- "Prime minister: Norway still 'an open society' despite 'the horror'". CNN. 2011-07-25.
- Louwagie, Pam (August 26, 2014). "Byron Smith gets life sentence for murdering two Little Falls teens". Star Tribune. Retrieved July 22, 2018.
- Major Pandemic (March 27, 2014). "Ruger Mini-30 Rifle". alloutdoor.com. Retrieved 16 December 2014.