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GUNS Magazine April 2013 Digital Edition - Page 40
TacTical N Mike CuMpston pHotos: roBBie BarrkMan ow approaching its 39th year, the Ruger Mini-14 family has broadened its practical “footprint” from casual recreational shooting and outdoor utility to police and military applications. There is a target version set up to deliver match-grade accuracy and now a civilianoriented Tactical Model with features the company once reserved for officialdom. Magazines of 20- (supplied) and 30-round capacity are now available to all. adjustable or removable to allow use of the iron sights. A defining feature is the sturdy spring-loaded locking system that permits the stock to fold forward and lock alongside the action. The Mini-Tactical can be fired from the hip and the overall length of about 28-1/2 inches puts it comfortably over the legal minimum even if the flash-hider should be removed. Even sans-accessories, the Mini-14 balances just ahead of the magazine giving the 7-plus-pound carbine a desirable muzzle heaviness that makes it fast on target and lends steadiness for quick off-hand shots. The safety mirrors the M1 Garand. It is located in the front of the triggerguard and requires a conscious nudge to move it forward to disengagement. The action is gas operated employing a fixed piston/ moving cylinder that operates a The Ruger Mini-14 has a safety similar to a M1 Garand (above). Pulling it back applies the safety and it is pushed forward as it is here to the fire position. The magazine latch is just at the back of the magazine well. Now in its 39th year, the Ruger Mini-14 has a well-deserved reputation for reliability. A protected aperture rear iron sight (below) is provided and the receiver accepts Ruger rings should a scope be desired. It is still basically, a scaled-down M14 with most features common to the M1 Garand. It now has, in addition to the standard aperture and post sights and receiver-integrated scope base, a full cluster of accessory rails. These include a 7-inch top unit for forward mounting of LER Optics, 2-1/4-inch rails forward on the handguard ideal for a variety of lights and lasers. There is another of the same underneath the end of the stock. This has an indwelling stud for sling or bipod and a fixed sling mount under the gas block. The Advanced Technology International stock has a fingergrooved pistol grip, bilateral sling studs with a third under the end of the butt. There is an abundance of alternative means for mounting a sling on this arm. The stock has the familiar 6-position feature with a cheekpiece modified Garand rotating bolt. The bolt-lock is located on the left side of the action and holds the action open when actuated by the magazine follower. A visible button on top allows the shooter to lock the action open with the magazine removed. The bolt will cycle with the safety engaged—which it should be while inserting the magazine and loading the chamber or while unloading. The charge handle also functions as a forward assist in the very unlikely event that the function would ever be needed. The magazine must be placed in the well, angled and then rocked 40 W W W. G U N S M AG A Z I N E . C O M • A P R I L 2 0 1 3