Ruger Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So I just purchased a bunch of new factory 20 round Mini-14 mags and am wondering what steps I should take to clean them prior to first use.

I found a video on YouTube (from Ruger) which seemed to show an older or different style mag (had a plastic piece to remove rather than all steel).

Is it necessary to clean inside the mags prior to first use?

I apologize in advance if this is a stupid question. My husband always handled this type of thing for me, and since his passing I've had to start figuring out maintenance on my own.

Usually I can find excellent video tutorials on YouTube, but this time I'm coming up empty handed.
 

·
Exalted One
Joined
·
1,757 Posts
Beth, first and foremost, welcome to the forum! No apologies are necessary. It is not a stupid question at all - you are right to ask, and folks here will fall all over themselves to help.

There will be differing opinions on whether or not it is necessary to disassemble and clean the mags before first use. I personally make it a habit to disassemble and clean out the shipping grease in all of my new mags (mostly pistol mags) because some of them (usually overseas manufacture) have a lot of grease inside. I just purchased four new factory Mini-14 mags last month. Ruger changed the design and they haven't updated their video. I've had my mini since 1980 and had to ask how to open up the bottom of the new mags, so don't be embarrassed with the question.

In my experience with these new mags, they weren't too bad inside and in my opinion didn't really need any cleaning. They had a light coat of oil rather than grease. I did so anyway since I already had them apart, but it really wasn't necessary in my opinion. If you're going to be crawling through dust and dirt with them a lot, then it would be prudent to clean them out thoroughly and use a dry lube, but most of us don't crawl through dust and dirt anymore. The light coating of oil inside is to prevent rusting, but oil attracts dirt and dust, which is why I usually clean my mags and use a dry lube. It is a force of habit but not critical for most people.

It is prudent to know how to disassemble/reassemble them though.

If you do choose to clean them out, this is how I did it:

On the base of the magazine is a small hole (toward the back) with a small indentation between it and the end of the base. That indentation keeps the base from sliding out. You'll need to use a tool of some sort that fits inside that hole with some room to spare and use it to gently lever the end of the base up just enough for that indentation to clear the edge of the magazine while then pushing the base toward the back of the mag. The tool I used was a very small punch, but an awl, or even a nail will work.

Once the indentation has cleared the edge of the mag, you can remove the awl or punch or nail and then use a small flat-tipped screwdriver at the other end of the base to start sliding it out toward the rear of the magazine. It is a snug fit.

As you slide the base out toward the rear of the mag, keep your hand over the base so that the spring doesn't shoot out. Once the base is off and you have the spring in your hand, you can ease it out, along with the follower. Make note of which way the spring is installed because there is a right way and a wrong way. The follower (the black plastic piece against which the cartridges press) will also come out. Then you can wipe down the inside of the mag.

Should you choose to go the dry-lube route, then you'll want to remove all the oil from the inside of the mag. One common technique is to use pressurized brake cleaner and spray it inside the mag. Wear goggles for this, though. It will dissolve the oil and blow it out. Best done outside...It evaporates quickly.

For dry lube, everyone has their preference. 3M now makes a pressurized dry lube (can be found at Lowes, etc.) and you can just spray it inside.

A little oil on the spring is okay but should you choose to, you can remove the oil and dry-lube it, too. It is not really necessary for the follower but won't hurt to put some dry lube along the sides of it.

To reassemble, you just basically reverse the process: follower in first, then spring, then while holding the spring in, slide in the base from the back of the mag toward the front, the end of the base with the hole in it going in last. Make sure the indent is correctly oriented so that it snaps into place when the base is fully seated.

Sorry I have no pictures to help - they would have saved you a lot of reading. Perhaps some else here does. If not, I'll try and take some and post them in a few days.

I'm sorry for the circumstances that caused you to join this forum, but you'll have lots of friends here.

Bob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,313 Posts
I also use a dry lube, mostly to help the magazine spring and follower to move up and down without binding. As RJF said, most of us aren't gonna be crawling through the dust and dirt. The Mini magazines are blued, and can over time develop a small amount of rust on them, so it wouldn't hurt to spread a very light coat of oil inside and out on the magazine tubes. I notice you are also from Montana, usually pretty dry here except for the rainy season, April-May and September.
Welcome to the forum, Beth.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Bob - thank you so much for the very detailed reply. I am printing out what you've written so that I can reference it later today when I attempt the magazine disassembly. Like you said regardless of whether or not I end up cleaning off the oil on these mags, I at least need to learn how to properly disassemble them. I really appreciate your kindness and very thorough reply. Thank you!

sandog - Hello fellow Montanan. I'm up in Kalispell. Believe it or not, I've never even heard of dry lube (have a LOT to learn obviously!). I will have to check it out since both you and Bob referenced it. I just usually use Rem Oil or a CLP like Break Free. These Rugar Mini-14 mags aren't cheap though so I want to properly care for them. Thanks for your reply.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
RJF - I just followed your directions and it worked perfectly. Was able to disassemble and reassemble one of the mags very easily. You were right - there really wasn't a ton of grease in there. I feel very confident that I'll be able to clean these as needed now. Thank you so much!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
328 Posts
Beth, welcome aboard from the State of Jefferson. After I clean a magazine I put a thin coat of Birchwood-Casey's Barricade on the inside and outside. This is a great rust protector. I use it on just about all of my firearms including my black powder guns.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,313 Posts
Beth, I used to live in Whitefish, now I live near Bozeman. Remington makes a dry lube, called RemDriLube. I like CLP, use it quite a bit. I only use the dry lube on the inside of magazine bodies, or inside of magazine tubes on lever actions, or when hunting in really cold weather, like late season pheasants. I remove all the CLP, and replace with the DriLube.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Old Scribe - Thank you. I will check out the product you've mentioned and several others which have been mentioned here. Learned more than I expected by everyone's replies. Appreciate it.

sandog - Small Word. Was up in Whitefish today. The Bozeman area seems like a nice part of the state as well, though I've spent little time there. I will definitely check out the RemDriLube. Thank you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,560 Posts
FTW - I take all new mags apart. Most of the mags I'm doing this with are 1911 and M1A mags but a few are for my wife's PX4 and others guns that have passed through my hands. Here's what I've found...

All can have possible rust inside. Don't assume the exterior finish is on the inside.

I've found the springs to be rusted. I've found them loaded with grease. (new)

Be careful with your mags. A lot of reliability depends on them. They do wear out and they are a consumable item. Damage to their feed lips (wear and drop damage) can be death to them.

After cleaning mine I apply Barricade to the internals, including the spring. It's a dry dedicated anti-rust with minor lube abilities. Be sure to read the directions, buy the can not the spray. It should last you years. You don't want to apply anything that can gum up or build up enough to hold the follower back or cause 'carrier tilt'.

Most LEO people I talk to keep their mags 100% dry.

Hope that helps,
Spike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
370 Posts
Both Sandog and RJF know of what they speek. I have been using Cat dry lube for years and have found it to be bullet proof in my mags. On another note , the Ruger factory mags are not cheep, that being said there the only mag you should run in your Mini. They are 100 percent reliable , the 20 round mags are the best by far. good luck.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
912 Posts
good advice

I've cleaned my mags alot .....find a lot of gunk, burned powder, etc inside. I bought a mag cleaning brush and swab from midwayusa.com and it's done wonders, you can also twist up an old t shirt or cleaning cloth and run it up there with a rod to clean. I replace springs every 10-20 years depending on use.....if your springs are worn, they may jam up your action, then your screwed!
again magazine springs are cheap insurance..avaliable at midway or wolf gun springs.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top