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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's a series 185.I see the term "Ranch" everywhere I search and have seen it imprinted on numerous models.My rifle doesn't have that nomenclature anywhere.Is my mini a Ranch model or is this term something that started later?

Being new to this platform I'm concerned about whether it might make a difference when choosing to accessorize.

Thank you in advance...
 

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If it is a Ranch rifle, it will have integral scope bases. If it is plain Mini 14, it will have no scope bases.
 

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The Ruger Ranch Rifle has integral scallops machined right into the reciever for the Ruger Rings to clamp on to. Mine is a 188 series & yes says Ranch Rifle on it.
 

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Scope scallops are the surest way to verify, but Ranch Rifles start at the 187 series, so a 185, according to the link, is a straight Mini-14, with a 1:7 twist rate.

Sunflower Ammo.com: Ruger Mini-14/30 Barrel Twist Rates

If you want to accessorize with a scope, be aware that ejected brass in the non-ranch early models (yours) generally heads more vertical than horizontal. Your scope mounting options are a bit more limited and often times, the scope (and its windage knob) gets hit with brass on the way out if mounted over the receiver. A popular solution is either an UltiMak or Amega Ranges scout rail, which replaces the hand guard; then use either a red-dot or a long eye-relief scope. Sandog will chime in with that.

My 181-series wears a mount that fastens where the bolt-hold-open plate goes which works fairly okay for me - particularly after I put 1911 buffers (see below) in fore and aft. It still gets hit occasionally by the ejects, perhaps once every 20 or so rounds, and it is a glancing blow when it does, and doesn't seem to damage the casings. YMMV, though.

You'll want to add a barrel stabilizer by AccuStrut or some other manufacturer. If your barrel hasn't been chopped, go with the 6" length.

1911 buffers fore and aft of the op rod are also a popular "fix" and help out with optics' survival, as well as cushion against metal-to-metal slamming of the op rod. Regardless, if you choose a scope, preferably get one rated for air guns (scopes that aren't do okay as the op rod hits the receiver, but usually are not designed for the forward slamming of the op rod).

Stick with factory Ruger mags.

Many replace the original gas bushing with a reduced size to tame down the slamming of the op rod and the distance the casings eject. As a casual observer, this seems to be more of a problem with Ranch Rifles and the newer rifles. Mine is the one it left the factory with and my ejects are consistently in the 1-4' range using PMC Bronze .223 and M193. I have never had any failures of any sort in the 35 years I've owned it. The 1911 buffers seemed to help a bit in this regard. So before considering going the reduced-gas-bushing route, see if it is a problem first.

With a 6" barrel stabilizer and buffers for the op rod, it will be close to as accurate as the newer Minis.

Enjoy your Mini!
 

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IIRC the older ranches had folding rear sight while the regular mini14's have open sights. And one model had a peep sight while the other had open sights
 

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RFJ's advice is great! I've followed most of it for my series 182. One other thing I did was get a trigger job and it also made a big difference.
 

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I've checked my 185 like 4 times and it's got a 1:10 twist, but then too it's got a VERY early serial number....it has quite a few zeros in it. :D
 

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Exalted One
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I've checked my 185 like 4 times and it's got a 1:10 twist, but then too it's got a VERY early serial number....it has quite a few zeros in it. :D
Good point! Somewhere in 1986, Ruger started transitioning to the 185 series and also started transitioning from 1:10 to 1:7. S/N below 185-14140 was part of that transition so it could be either 1:10 or 1:7, with 1:10 falling mostly with very early S/Ns, like yours.
 

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Always good to actually check your twist rate. According to the chart , my 195 Ranch model was supposed to have a 1 in 7" twist, but checking it several times by measuring the turn of a tight patch on a swivel rod showed it to be a 1-9" twist.
It shot the 77 grain SMK very well at 100 yards, never got around to trying them aty longer range though.
 

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I'm glad I checked my twist out and then the chart was really helpful. I was kind of worried that I had one of the 1:7 barrels because the heavier bullets are pretty hard to find around here. I did score a stash of 62 gr ammo a while back so I want to try those out too. Mostly, I use the 55gr stuff and it works pretty well. I've made quite a few adjustments to the old 185 lately, so I'm anxious to get out to the range and see if I made a mess of things or not! :D
 
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