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What year did Ruger start stamping the LEO markings on the Mini 14 with the bayonet lug and flashhider? Is it true that all factory folders have the front sling swivel on the side instead of the bottom? Was the factory folding stock only offered on rifles with bayonet lugs and flash hiders?
 

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I have a early production Mini 14 with ATI package from Ruger, with the folding stock.
NO flash as you say hiders or bayonet lug.
Gary
 

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The Clinton Assault Weapon ban was signed into law on September 13, 1994. The law was a "sunset law" meaning it was intended to be in place for 10 years then reassessed. Turned out it expired on September 12, 2004. During the AWB, Ruger and other companies made weapons for the military, law enforcement, prisons, and other Government agencies that were not available to the public.

Ruger made Mini-14s in several different configurations during the ban. These rifles are known as "GBs" because that was Ruger's catalog identifier. The GB models were: MINI-14/20GB, MINI-14/20GBF, MINI-14/20GBP, KMINI-14/20GB, KMINI14/20GBP, KMINI-14/20GBF. Legend: K meant stainless steel, /20 meant a 20 round magazine (also banned during this time), GB meant "Government Ban" which included a bayonet lug and a flash supressor, P meant Zytel stock, and F meant folding stock.

Duiring the 10 year ban, all 20 round Ruger Mini-14 magazines were marked "Restricted - Law Enforcement / Govt Use Only". Some rifles had the same markings (all US Govt sales) ... some didn't (state, county, and city LEAs). Further, many GBs got stamped with the police dept designator ... ie LAPD but this was not done at the factory.

Folding stocks were also banned during this time so yes, all folding GBs had a flash suppressor and bayonet lug. It is also true ... those Minis equipped with a folding stock had the front sling swivel on the left side.

After the ban was lifted, the public was allowed to own GBs that were traded in. Because they were scarce ... many destroyed, many still in use by LEOs, they had quite a collector following and typically brought about double the going rate for a commercial Mini-14. As such, you see quite a few "counterfeits" where people have installed aftermarket flash suppressors, folding stocks, and makeshift bayonet lugs on Minis that share the same serial number sequence as GBs.

If you are buying an alleged GB, it must have a factory flash suppressor and bayonet lug (all models). The above markings on the receiver and magazine are very desirable but not absolute. The best thing you can do is to call Ruger's record section. They will look up the serial number and give you the actual catalog number. I think this is now $10 for a Ruger "letter". I wouldn't even think of buying one without the "letter".
 
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