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Ruger Mini 14

The name Mini 14 is a familiar one for gun enthusiasts who know their rifles. In production since 1973, this short rifle was derived from military rifles like the M-14 and the M-1 Garand. Its success can be gauged from the fact that it has been in continuous production for over 40 years, undergoing various improvements and adaptations over the years.

The Mini 14 balances and handles similarly to bolt-action hunting rifles, while foregoing the need for expensive milling and forging. This made it suitable for mass production, further adding to its popularity. Its simple design made it easy to add innovative features and cost-saving engineering changes. As a result, the rifle has been very successful commercially.

How Ruger Got Started

The Ruger company started out as Sturm, Ruger & Co, Inc in 1949 in a small rented shop in Southport, Connecticut. The company has been publicly traded since 1969 and listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1990.

Before starting his own company, Bill Ruger had developed new weapons for the U.S Army. After the formation of the company, Sturm & Ruger Co. produced its first semi-automatic .22 rimfire pistol – the Mk I, generally known as the Ruger Standard, which became so successful that it launched the entire company.

Another of their iconic products was a .22 rifle, the 10/22 Carbine, introduced in 1964. The 10/22 was also a runaway success, achieving an enduring popularity that has resulted in over 7 million sold so far.

The Mini 14 was developed from 1967 to 1973 by L. James Sullivan and Bill Ruger, and first produced in 1974.

Making the Mini-14

Bill Ruger originally envisioned the Mini 14 rifles as US Army weapons. However, the timing was not suitable for the gun to be accepted by the military. Instead, the Mini 14 became a successful hunting, sport shooting and personal defense gun.

Ruger realized that Americans were leaning towards autoloaders, and he wanted to capitalize on the nostalgic appeal of the 7.62mm M14 and other military-style rifles used during the wars prior to the Vietnam War. Ruger attained commercial success by releasing handguns and rifles that mimicked the classic military guns popular at the time. The Mini-14 rifle became popular with shooters of all levels who preferred the looks and ergonomics of the traditional style of the rifle.

The Mini 14 combined the best features of guns like the M-14 and the M-1 into a short and handy firearm which was semi-auto. Unlike the M-14, the Mini 14 shot .223 Remington instead of the full sized 7.62x51mm NATO round. It used a Garand-style rotating bolt and simplified gas system and was semi-automatic only. 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.

The Mini 14 followed the simple military style of the M-14 by retaining the ability to easily be field stripped without tools into large components. The trigger guard mounted safety lever was positive and could easily be manipulated under all conditions. The rifle could take magazines with capacities of 5, 10, 20, or 40 rounds or in a single-shot mode without the magazine inserted.

The Mini 14 weighed around 6.75 pounds, with a 28-inch overall length. Although it borrowed design features from previous service rifles, it was aligned with the Ruger company’s ethos of simple and affordable firearms for the public.

The standard model had a wooden stock with a gold bead front sight. The Mini 14 could be made efficiently and economically with cast and stamped steel, which eliminated expensive milling and forging. The introductory price in 1973 was $199.

Models of Mini 14

The Mini 14 currently is available in several models, ranging from target shooting to hunting and law enforcement use.


The Mini 14 Ranch rifle features a blued stainless steel receiver along with an 18.5” inch tapered barrel with a twist rate of 1:9” for modern ammunition. It has an M1 Garand-style bolt-locking mechanism with a bolt buffer and a cold hammer-forged barrel which improves the accuracy. The overall length is 37.5” and it weighs only 6.75 pounds. It’s available in hardwood and synthetic stock variants. The original Mini 14 didn’t provide any easy options for a scope mount, but the Ranch introduced them. It was so popular that later the entire line of Mini 14 rifles featured scope mounts and proprietary Ruger scope rings.

Mini 30

The Ruger Mini Thirty is an advanced version of the Mini 14 Ranch, chambered for the 7.62x39mm round. It was introduced in 1987 in response to many states prohibiting the hunting of deer with calibers smaller than .243(6”). The rifle features a synthetic stock with a pistol grip. It has a winged blade front and adjustable rear sights for quicker target acquisition. The Mini Thirty is available in 16.12” and 18.5” barrel length variants with a twist rate of 1:10” and an overall length of 36.75”. The heavy chambering makes it suitable for hunting and has decent accuracy up to 150 yards.


The Mini 14 Tactical, which features a shorter 16.12” barrel with a 1:7” twist rate, is the latest addition to the Mini 14 product line. The rifle is chambered for .223 Remington/5.56x45mm NATO and .300 AAC Blackout(7.62x35mm) rounds. The barrel is cold hammer-forged which results in precise rifling and has straight non-tapered profiling of 0.75”. The barrel is threaded for mounting a removable flash suppressor. The polymer folding stock is lightweight and easy to use. Another advantage is that it doesn’t require the same special care as conventional wooden stocks.

Mini 14/30 GB

The Mini 14/30 GB (the GB stands for Government Bayonet) comes in standard stock as well as side-folding models. It weighs just 6.4 lbs and measures 33.5” in length. The Mini 14/30 GB features a standard semi-pistol grip stock, a threaded barrel, a flash suppressor and a bayonet lug, which can be used to attach a bayonet. This model is primarily used by police, federal law enforcement agencies and private security agencies.

Ruger also made an unusual variant of Mini 14 as a straight-pull bolt action rifle in .223 caliber, in response to the ban on semiautomatic centerfire long arms in the United Kingdom in 1988.

Previous models on the Mini 14 include the Target, an accurate shooter with a heavier 22″ barrel, and adjustable harmonic dampeners. There was also the NRA-ILA Mini, a special edition gun that incorporates all the most recent design enhancements and a short 16 1⁄8″ barrel.

The AC-556 is used in the US military and a couple other forces in the world and offers three-round bursts.

Ruger has expanded their range to include guns that use 300 Blackout cartridges, as well as .222 Remington (Mini 14 .222 Rem) and the 6.8mm Remington (Mini 6-8).

Mini 14 in Government Use

The Mini 14 has been used by the NYPD, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Georgia Department of Corrections, North Carolina Department of Correction, the US Marines, and Delta Force. The French national police and security forces used a modified Mini 14 called the Mousqueton AMD with modifications that allow a semi-auto 3-round burst and full-auto capability. The Police in the UK used the Mini 14 before 1995 as did the Surrey Constabulary Firearms Support Team in the 1980s.

Other countries where it has been used include Rhodesia, Honduras, Hong Kong, Australia and Bermuda.

Mini 14 Trivia

The Mini 14 GB model has been seen in various Hollywood movies and TV shows like “The A-team”, “Romancing the Stone” (1984) with Michael Douglas, and “The American” (2010) starring George Clooney. The reason for its popularity in Hollywood is the gun’s reputation for reliably firing blanks, which tend to jam a gun’s action


The Mini 14 has attained great popularity amongst hunters and casual shooters for plinking. It has even spawned a large industry for aftermarket modifications and parts. Combining the classic look and various features of the M1 Garand and M-14, this gun has been embraced by shooters for 4 decades. With minor design changes, the variants available in the market cater to different needs. But overall, the Mini 14 is a tough, dependable and inexpensive rifle that is sure to please hunters and target shooters for years to come.


Josh Lewis is a aficionado of all things to do with firearms, but especially rifles. He’s been blogging and offering his unsolicited opinion on them for a couple years now on his website, Gunmann.com. Be sure to visit and also follow him on Facebook.


Ruger 10/22 rifle

In 2014, the Ruger 10/22 rifle turned 50, but despite the passing of over five decades, this gun remains the most popular .22 rifle ever. Loved by millions for its affordability, accuracy, quality and reliability, the 10/22 is considered the ultimate rimfire gun.

If you’ve never had a 10/22, you need to try one out immediately! It’s great for novices or veterans and comes with a huge industry of aftermarket parts for customizing the gun to fit your requirements. The name combines the original magazine capacity (10 rounds) and the .22 caliber.

The Story Behind the 10/22

The Ruger company started out as Sturm, Ruger & Co, Inc in 1949 in a small rented shop in Southport, Connecticut. The company has been publicly traded since 1969 and listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1990.

Before starting his own company, Bill Ruger developed new weapons for the U.S Army. After the formation of the company, Sturm & Ruger Co. produced its first semi-automatic .22 rimfire pistol – the Mk I, generally known as the Ruger Standard, which became so successful that it launched the entire company.

Before the 10/22, the .22 rifle was considered ‘a kid’s gun’. Bill Ruger wanted to design a .22 rifle that would be taken seriously by adult professional shooters. Along with Henry Sefried, Bill started working on a new .22 rifle that would look like the Ruger Model 44 and act as its rimfire counterpart. While the Model .44 was a gas-operated rifle, the 10/22 used simple blowback operations with the receiver fashioned of aluminum. Bill Ruger incorporated the rotary magazine design of the Savage 99 into the 10/22, which made the rifle easy to carry and operate.

The original design of the 10/22 featured an American Walnut military carbine-style stock, aluminum alloy receiver, a folding rear sight and a golden bead front sight. Using aviation-grade aluminum for the receiver, trigger guard and butt plate allowed the 10/22 to weigh only 5 pounds, significantly lighter than the competition. The classic sights allow newer shooters to learn sight alignment instantly, while more experienced shooters can aim with lightning speed. They’re also perfect for tracking moving targets.

The rifle was introduced in 1964 with an affordable price tag of just $54.50, which made it even more popular. It was more accurate and had a higher quality than any of the competition with similar prices.

Over 50 Years As One of America’s Favorite Long Guns

Over seven million Ruger 10/22 rifles have been sold since the original came out in 1964. If each Ruger 10/22 owner has fired only one brick of ammunition (500 rounds), it means that a minimum of 3.5 billion rounds have been fired. The Ruger 10/22 raised the bar for .22 rifles of all types, elevating it from a kid’s gun to a serious hunting and sports rifle.

Why the 10/22 Remains So Popular

Due to its exceptionally simple design – unlike most other .22 rifles – there is no box magazine to get in the way of shooting offhand or from a rested position. The rotary magazine is easy to load, and reliable. It does away with the additional bulk and weight of a conventional magazine tube under the barrel found in most rifles.

Smooth underneath, the 10/22 manages to keep things out of the way while shooting and carrying. The assembly and disassembly of the gun is easy and even the trigger assembly can be disassembled for cleaning.

Additionally, the Ruger 10/22 product line is versatile and 11 models and 7 basic configurations have been introduced over the years, ensuring that there’s a model for everyone.

The Ruger 10/22 Rifle is a great choice if you’re interested in adapting and modifying the gun for any purpose. The barrel is mounted using an ingenious v-block system and slips right into the receiver. Rather than rely on threads that need to be timed for perfect headspace adjustment, a v-block, and two screws connect the receiver and a dovetail cut in the barrel itself. The average person can easily replace any part of the gun with nothing more than a screwdriver, a hex key and simple punches.

The 10/22 is reliable enough that you can shoot 300 shots down the range without any cleaning. This is the best performance for any semi-automatic rimfire rifle in its class.

Due to its popularity, companies offer many aftermarket modifications to improve performance, augment the rifle’s looks, or increase its magazine capacity. Upgrades like the bolt assembly, trigger housing, larger magazines, folding stock and Picatinny rail have made this rifle even more accurate and desirable. The 10/22’s aftermarket is now so prolific that a 10/22 can be built with completely non-Ruger-made components.

Ruger Today

Today, Ruger offers the 10/22 in a number of configurations, including Carbine, Compact, Sporter, Tactical, Takedown, and Target models. Over its lifetime, it’s been offered in others, too. Here’s a quick overview of the models currently available.

10/22 Carbine

This is the standard model. It has an 18.5″ barrel, comes in hardwood or black synthetic stocks, black alloy or stainless steel receivers. A version of this model comes fitted with LaserMax laser sight.

10/22 Takedown

This model disassembles into barrel and action/buttstock components easily for carrying in a backpack. The standard Takedown model has a brushed aluminum receiver which resembles stainless steel and an 18.5″ barrel with a black synthetic stock.

It’s also offered in a black alloy receiver with a 16.12″ threaded barrel with a flash suppressor or with a threaded, fluted target barrel.

10/22 Target

The Target shooting model comes with a heavy 20″ bull barrel with no iron sights, and weighs around 7.5 pounds.

10/22 Compact

The Compact rifle has a 16.12″ barrel and an overall length of 34 inches. It weighs a comfortable 4.5 pounds and is fitted with fiber-optic sights rather than the diamond rear and gold bead front. It’s available with a hardwood stock.

10/22 Sporter

This model has an 18.5″, alternatively 20″ or 22″, barrel and checkered walnut stock with sling swivels. It weighs 5.75 pounds, so is a bit heavier than the Carbine.

10/22 Tactical

This model with a 16.12″ barrel is fitted with a flash suppressor. It is also offered with a 16.12″ heavy target barrel with a Hogue OverMolded stock fitted with a bipod or black synthetic stock.


The Ruger 10/22 is a fine gun for any shooter, whether a novice who’s just starting out or an experienced marksman. Not only does it come in several variants that can be used for hunting, marksmanship or sport, but the huge aftermarket modification market will allow owners to customize the rifle to their own requirements.

This American legend has been around for 53 years and is on track to complete a century with its current popularity. As new generations of shooters are introduced to this beloved icon, the future of the 10/22 seems bright.


Josh Lewis is a aficionado of all things to do with firearms, but especially rifles. He’s been blogging and offering his unsolicited opinion on them for a couple years now on his website, Gunmann.com. Be sure to visit and also follow him on Facebook.


Why should you buy a Mosin Nagant?

nice picture of a Mosin nagant Bolt and magazine.
Side view of Mosin nagant’s bolt and magazine.

Mosin are fun to shoot. They are a full power rifle round that is a lot cheaper to shoot than a standard American rifle round. Cheap gun, cheap bullets, give you a lot of trigger time for a lot less on a full power rifle. It is good to get in time with a .22 rifle but also good to get time in with a full powered rifle. Mosin are easy to clean and maintain. The Caliber is capable of taking down very large Animals if needed. You would be fine hunting anything in North America. Mosin Nagants are not the pretties or best by far. Some say they have the looks of only a mother could love. But to tell ya the truth I love my Mosin.

Picture of mosins nagant, two 91/30, M44 with a bayonet and a M38

Top and bottom is 91/30 The 2nd from the top is a M-38. The 3rd from the top is a M-44. The only difference between the M-38 and a M-44 is the 44 has a bayonet that is attach on the side. The M-38 bayonet comes off. Check out the pictures and the great videos below.

Top view of a bolt of a mosin  nagant with a hex receiver
Just look at the bolt, you can see the mill marks


Wood stock of a mosin nagant
wood stock


Barrrel and muzzle of a 91/30 Mosin
muzzle end

Rear site post and hex receiver of a 91/30 Mosin Nagant

very short: unthoughtful version

Long version: more thoughtful

Well, are you gonna buy one? My video says it all…. Okay, maybe it did not. Mosin Nagant are very rough, fast made rifles. Mosin Nagant are cheap to own and to shoot. But the corrosive ammo is bad for your gun! bah who cares about corrosive ammo cause if you clean right away it does not hurt it. Get some extra strong cleaning solvents. I like having them for barrels and use on the AK piston(it gets really dirty). So comment below why you have not bought one? Or tell me you got one!