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Discussion Starter #1
Picked up a standard Mini 14 197 prefix with nice dark looking wood stock and the older type mini rear sights looked unfired no box 550 . Would this one have the latest and greatest updates compared to my old G/B models like bolt ,slide ,extractor type things ??????? I had a Colt M4 in my hand and also the Ruger PR rifle that looks like a AR . I don't need any more AR just sold a older L/E marked one last week. I just kept going over to this nice standard Mini 14 like back to my younger days . I had them in 1975 and up . How are these .:)
 

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Righteous Dude
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Good rifle, but it will still have the pencil barrel (Versus the new rifles with a tapered barrel). Get an Accustrut to stiffen the barrel and enjoy.
 

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Exalted One
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Congrats on your purchase!
Ditto to what several have said about getting an AccuStrut. I would recommend the LT model (6") or the X-Drill model (also 6"). The shorter SOCOM AccuStruts won't improve on your Mini's accuracy as much - if any.

Regarding 187-series Minis, depending on your serial number, you'll have either a 1:10 twist rate or a 1:7:

Ranch Rifle
Thin barrel, ejector in the bolt stop assembly, scope ring scallops cast into the receiver, buffer system using the recoil spring assembly.Beginning
Serial Nbr
187-00001--1982--1 in 10
187-02611--1983--1 in 10
187-13218--1984--1 in 10
187-27226--1985--1 in 10
187-50919--1986--1 in 10 and 1 in 7
187-59308--1987--1 in 7
187-70033--1988--1 in 7
187-84127--1989--1 in 7

AFAIK, the twist rate is something to consider when choosing ammo. Going much heavier (longer bullet) than 62gr in a 1:10 twist rate will possibly result in reduced accuracy.

Hope this helps!
 

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Congrats on your purchase!
Ditto to what several have said about getting an AccuStrut. I would recommend the LT model (6") or the X-Drill model (also 6"). The shorter SOCOM AccuStruts won't improve on your Mini's accuracy as much - if any.

Regarding 187-series Minis, depending on your serial number, you'll have either a 1:10 twist rate or a 1:7:

Ranch Rifle
Thin barrel, ejector in the bolt stop assembly, scope ring scallops cast into the receiver, buffer system using the recoil spring assembly.Beginning
Serial Nbr
187-00001--1982--1 in 10
187-02611--1983--1 in 10
187-13218--1984--1 in 10
187-27226--1985--1 in 10
187-50919--1986--1 in 10 and 1 in 7
187-59308--1987--1 in 7
187-70033--1988--1 in 7
187-84127--1989--1 in 7

AFAIK, the twist rate is something to consider when choosing ammo. Going much heavier (longer bullet) than 62gr in a 1:10 twist rate will possibly result in reduced accuracy.

Hope this helps!
The OPs gun is a 197 series. Brain fart!!:eek:
 

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Exalted One
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Ooops

Misfire, good catch!

OP: Sorry about that... I must be a member of DAD (American Dyslexia Association)

Mini-14
Thin barrel, ejector is in the bolt, no scope ring scallops cast into the receiver. Beginning
Serial Nbr
*197-12180-2004--1 in 9
* Mini-14 serial numbers rollmarked with Mini-14 Ranch Rifles beginning in 2000

Ranch Rifle
Thin barrel, ejector in the bolt stop assembly, scope ring scallops cast into the receiver, buffer system using the recoil spring assembly.Beginning
Serial Nbr
197-12180--2004--1 in 9

The 1:9 twist rate is pretty good and found in many - if not most - AR15s and should be able to easily handle whatever you've been pushing through your ARs.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
This mini is 197-042xxwith a dull matt looking blue . I didn't need it but always use to drive around in my 72 chevy 4x4 with one. This is a standard mini 14 matt blue I didn't want to go to far back like 182 185 prefix This is just a extra gun. Will lite it up tomarrow.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Shoot this Mini 14 today it was flawless . I wiped it down and put a nylon sling on it , went up back and shot about 80 rounds in factory 20 round mags. never missed a beat. The AR can take a brake now . :)
 

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Anyone willing to post pictures of their 197 series internals? I just got mine and it is fine but the buffer spring and buffer seems weird, doesn't match manual.
 

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Exalted One
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CavScout, first of all, welcome to the forum from Central Virginia!

Sorry I don't have a 197 to take pics of.
You first should note if your 197 is a straight Mini-14 or a Mini-14 Ranch Rifle. How the recoil spring connects to the receiver differs, as well as how the ejector works. A quick way to tell is if your Mini has scallop mounts for a scope. If it does, it's a Ranch model, if it doesn't, it is a straight Mini.

With a straight Mini-14, there is no factory buffer at the receiver end of the recoil spring. The recoil spring guide is round at the end with a nipple that fits into a hole in the receiver. The Ranch model has a round aluminum buffer at the receiver end, held in with a cross pin that can fall out when cleaning if you're not careful. The recoil spring guide rod is angled at the end, so there is a right versus wrong way for it to go in. The angle slips into the aluminum buffer.

For the straight Mini-14, here is a diagram:
MINI-14. Accessories | Numrich Gun Parts
Item 22 is the recoil spring guide rod.

For the Ranch model, go here:
MINI-14 RANCH RFL Accessories | Numrich Gun Parts
Item 8 is the recoil spring guide rod, and items 6 and 7 are the aluminum buffer and pin respectively.

Quite often, we Mini owners add 1911 pistol buffers at the end of the recoil spring (doesn't matter if it is a straight Mini or a Ranch). Many of us also run the same buffer up front (around the gas pipe). They're usually blue, but also come in black. These are a nylon-type of material or something resembling rubber - depending on manufacturer.

It is quite possible you have a manual for a straight Mini, but have a Ranch model (or the other way around)

Manual for the straight Mini can be downloaded here:
https://ruger-docs.s3.amazonaws.com/_manuals/mini14-181-186.pdf

Manual for the Ranch model can be downloaded here:
https://ruger-docs.s3.amazonaws.com/_manuals/mini14-580.pdf

Hope this helps.
 

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This helps tremendously. I have the "Straight" Mini. Thanks for the link to the parts retailer .. allows me to clarify to my gunsmith what I think the issues are.

I sort of impulse bought this rifle not knowing exact details but I'm quite pleased by this find. Looking at new sights and an Accustrut is on the way.

Have had the weapon out at the range and even at 200 yards they were all hits by Army standards!
 

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Exalted One
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CavScout, there are several other retailers out there - those just showed the parts diagram a bit better.

Brownells, MidwayUSA, ASI and Numrich all carry parts. But shop around. Tech Sights makes a good rear sight replacement - just be sure to get the right one. Their sight is here:
Ruger Mini Rifle Sights | Tech Sights
I believe the RR200 is the right one for you. I have shopped around for them and found the best price straight from them. I personally prefer the original rear sight on my 1977-vintage 181 (same as yours) but one look through the factory rear on my new 583 and I ordered a Tech Sight that day. Arrived two days later.

Generally a good idea to stick with Ruger factory mags. They're more expensive than aftermarket, but are reliable from the box.
 

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Barrel replacement

Good rifle, but it will still have the pencil barrel (Versus the new rifles with a tapered barrel). Get an Accustrut to stiffen the barrel and enjoy.
I have the Accustrut but was wondering if I could replace the stock barrel with a newer/better one? If so could a novice, like me, replace the barrel or does it take very special tools?
 
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