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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Most of the mags I have for my mini14 are factory 20 round mags and they work great. I have 3 or 4 preban 25 and 30 round mags that are like US Mag or some brand like that. When I use the aftermarket ones, a lot of times (and mostly when the mag is full) the bolt seems to hang up in the top of the magazine, and won’t fully go into battery.
I lock the bolt open, insert the mag, and first thing I noticed a couple of the aftermarket mags once locked in they were a little wobbly in the mag well. They locked into the pin fine, but there was a little play on the rear where they catch on the mag release. That was problem one- I tried holding the mag forward and rearward when dropping the bolt and it didn’t seem to matter. When I drop the bolt, it goes about 3/4 of the way forward, almost completely chambering the round, and when I pulled the trigger, the hammer drops on the bolt, and closes the bolt the rest of the way, but not setting off the round- so now there is a live round in the closed chamber, and the hammer is not cocked. So if I dropped the mag, slowly pulled the bolt back till the hammer reset, and let it go forward, it always would fire the live round that was stripped off the mag.
So I think either the loose mag or the top lips in the mag dragging on the bolt are causing the issues with these mags. If I switch to a Ruger mag, or take about 10 rounds out of the aftermarket mags, they run better, but not 100% of the time…

so I guess I’m asking has anyone had similar issues with aftermarket mags, and did you fix them? Or should I just give up on the aftermarket mags, sell them, and stick to the factory 20 rounders?

I think I need to compare the top feed lips on them, and the distance to the bump that catches the mag release and see how far off they are.

anyone have any insight?
 

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Yes. Any mag other than factory mags are problematic. The USA mags were among the worst. The wound up in the trash and a lesson learned. I have both a Mini 14 and a Mini 30 and it is the same story for both. As they say, buy once, cry once.

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well maybe I’ll tinker with them, if they don’t work it’s not a big loss. I guess they were for sale because they were not great.
 
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Yes. Any mag other than factory mags are problematic. The USA mags were among the worst. The wound up in the trash and a lesson learned. I have both a Mini 14 and a Mini 30 and it is the same story for both. As they say, buy once, cry once.

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They still have value as 50 yd and 100 yd sight-in verification targets.
 

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I have three OEM mags on the way, after just getting my first Mini-14, new to me. Mine came with an OEM looking stick 30 round mag with no markings, and looks to be 1990 vintage Ruger. The Other is a modern 30 round with Ruger on the side. 5 total mags will be fine for this gun.

I had been reading up on this, and man, the bill was TOUGH to swallow for 3 mags. However, it will only increase the value of this item, and these are only getting more and more valuable. If I were you, I'd consider doing what you said, and tinkering with them a bit. What's to lose, if other than a few rounds to mess around with them.
 

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If you want to tinker that would be fine. What struck me as strange was that lots of companies make AR mags that work. Likewise, Meg Gar makes mags for lots of different companies and they work. Them, and other successful companies have never attempted to make the Ruger mags. There must be somthing to the Ruger design that makes copying it economically difficult.

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I mostly have OEM mags but have a few that aren't, several Thermold and a ProMag. I haven't had issues with the non-Rugers personally. However, I have a 580 series rifle and that was after Ruger essentially completely re-tooled the factory. I have seen posts before that suggested the earlier models are more likely to have issues then later (580 or beyond) production.
 

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There are some things widely known and accepted in gun world. Aftermarket magazines for Mini14/30 rifles are mostly junk. Always have been. It's the first thing anybody considering a Mini14/30 rifle discovers but people keep buying them hoping they'll work. They almost never do. I've heard of non OEM magazines that work but it's pretty rare.
 

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I have 4 Tapco gen 2 30 rd mags and the run fine in my 581 Tactical.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
If your problem is when the mag is fully loaded, try reducing the mag capacity by two rounds. 30 round mag, load only 28 rounds and see if the problem goes away. GI's did this with their M-16s in Viet Nam.
The 30 round mags I have are actually pretty good. I have two 24 or 25 round mags that are the real problem- I think the metal is thinner and it bends and warps when loaded- the ears on top that hold the rounds in we’re bent down as much as the Ruger mags, so I massaged them with pliers to try to help them. Dry cycling they seem better, the next range trip will tell whether or not my fix worked. I did only reload them with 20 rounds this time too.
Ruger mags are the best though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I mostly have OEM mags but have a few that aren't, several Thermold and a ProMag. I haven't had issues with the non-Rugers personally. However, I have a 580 series rifle and that was after Ruger essentially completely re-tooled the factory. I have seen posts before that suggested the earlier models are more likely to have issues then later (580 or beyond) production.
Mine is a 580 series. I Bought new in 2018 I think.
 

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If you want to tinker that would be fine. What struck me as strange was that lots of companies make AR mags that work. Likewise, Meg Gar makes mags for lots of different companies and they work. Them, and other successful companies have never attempted to make the Ruger mags. There must be somthing to the Ruger design that makes copying it economically difficult.

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MEG-GAR IS the OEM for Ruger Mags!
 

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After market mags have been a consistent problem with the Mini 14 from day one when they first came into production starting with the 180 series. I have/got one of the very first 181 series. Ordered 10- 20 round Factory mags with the rifle when I got it. I did find a few (hit or miss) 30 round aftermarket that worked, but the 30 round mags make the Mini a little high for bench shooting. I've stuck to OEM Ruger mags since. In the long run, I saved $$ NOT buying aftermarket mags and just sticking to the OEM Ruger mags.

I did contact Magpul and asked if they would ever produce mags for the Ruger Mini 14 (That's the ONLY mags I use in my M-4s and 7.62s that will take them). They sad NO and it wasn't/not in ANY of their foreseeable future plans.

To me, aftermarket Mini 14 mags are just (way too) expensive targets. And, I won't lower myself to sell junk to just get my waisted money back.
 

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If it doesn't have Ruger markings on the Floorplate, it's not a Ruger mag.
Then it probably isn't. I had my thoughts about that. It must be some dinky aftermarket deal, then. I'll google some pictures of aftermarket mags and see if I can identify it.

ETA: @40nascar Found this: Great thread on identifying Mini-14 magazines

The magazine in question is not any of these, but very similar in appearance to the PMI Precision Mag Industries. It has nothing on the floor plate, but virtually identical. Were these mags also regarded as garbage aftermarket? Or is it one of the slightly better ones?
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
After market mags have been a consistent problem with the Mini 14 from day one when they first came into production starting with the 180 series. I have/got one of the very first 181 series. Ordered 10- 20 round Factory mags with the rifle when I got it. I did find a few (hit or miss) 30 round aftermarket that worked, but the 30 round mags make the Mini a little high for bench shooting. I've stuck to OEM Ruger mags since. In the long run, I saved $$ NOT buying aftermarket mags and just sticking to the OEM Ruger mags.

I did contact Magpul and asked if they would ever produce mags for the Ruger Mini 14 (That's the ONLY mags I use in my M-4s and 7.62s that will take them). They sad NO and it wasn't/not in ANY of their foreseeable future plans.

To me, aftermarket Mini 14 mags are just (way too) expensive targets. And, I won't lower myself to sell junk to just get my waisted money back.
The Ruger 20 rounders are by far my favorite. I bought like 10 of them for $25 a piece from a shop a year or so back, all brand new old stock from an estate sale. They work 100% and I prefer them, but I had bought some preban ones before. The 30 round ones I bought were brand new, and they work most of the time, if after my tweaks the 25 rounders don’t work, I’ll just chock it up to experience and either resell them to someone who wants to tinker on them, or just put them away in case I ever sell the mini, I’ll drop the crummy mags with it (doubt I’ll ever sell it though)
 
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Then it probably isn't. I had my thoughts about that. It must be some dinky aftermarket deal, then. I'll google some pictures of aftermarket mags and see if I can identify it.

ETA: @40nascar Found this: Great thread on identifying Mini-14 magazines

The magazine in question is not any of these, but very similar in appearance to the PMI Precision Mag Industries. It has nothing on the floor plate, but virtually identical. Were these mags also regarded as garbage aftermarket? Or is it one of the slightly better ones?
Your mag is probably a Fed Ord mag. They were the predecessor to P.M.I. they are both good mags if they fit well in your mag-well.
 
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