Custom Tactical Mini-14 Ranch Rifle (197 series)

I wanted to post some updated photos of my never-ending tactical Mini-14 project. I’ve owned the gun for a decade now, and it has undergone many transformations. The gun currently weighs 7.4 pounds, as shown (minus magazine and sling). I took some pictures next to a friend’s 580 series Mini-14 for reference (the 580 series Mini-14 weighs 7.0 pounds with the wood stock). I’m now looking for a light, as I want something lighter and less obtrusive than the Vltor Off-Set Scout Mount/Surefire G2 LED combo I had before.
The Tech-SIGHT is a wonderful upgrade over the Accuracy Systems Inc. M1 Carbine-Style Rear Sight I previously had installed. Adjustment is easier and it fits without need to shave the front sight. The M1 Carbine-Style sight did not have enough adjustment for me to use it effectively on my Mini-14 (I have heard various reports from people having this same problem using the Accuracy Systems sight).
For my gun, the Tech-SIGHT is more than adequate, and I am very happy. I just wish I had discovered it prior to buying the Accuracy Systems sight!
All in all, the balance and spirit of the rifle remains intact, and it only weighs a half pound more than a new Mini-14, so I’m more than happy. I’ll be sure to make another post once I’ve finalized my light decision.

This entry was posted in Firearms, Mini-14, Preparedness, Ruger. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Custom Tactical Mini-14 Ranch Rifle (197 series)

  1. Sam Robinson says:

    I really enjoyed your 2 articles on your mini setup.

    Have you got your new light setup yet?

    Have you made any other changes or enhancements?

    I am thinking about building a mini for the intended purpose of using it as a home defender that my wife and child can operate. I want the gun to be as light as possible, 5.56/223 in caliber, stainless steel and preferably have a collapsible and folding stock.

    Can you recommend a good quality folding stock that is light yet strong enough for serious outdoor use as well?

    Also, what series of mini would you recommend starting with?
    I’m looking for the best base to start from to fit the bill of a light home defender that is still accurate enough or can be quickly made accurate enough for intermediate range(2-300m)shots as well.

    I beleive I will use a top cover rail system with a forward mounted red dot sight that will co witness with the Tech Sights.

    I would also like to utilize an effective flash suppressor for flash reduction and may end up using a suppressor with a shortened barrel for operator friendliness inside a house/structure, considering its originally intended purpose.

    I’m considering using the ATI or Tapco stocks for their lightness and compact nature, but would prefer something else of higher quality if one exists and is still light weight.

    Nice build once again. I hope to see your feedback.


    • savethegun says:

      Thanks for reading! I have not finalized my light setup as I switched to customizing my primary AR instead. Although, I will definitely go back to this gun at some point and finish it. I’ve been looking at options already and maybe your comment will push me in the direction of (finally) finishing it for good. The only enhancements I’ve done recently is to use Loctite on the optic and rear sight- they rattle loose easily. I have had positive experiences with the Butler Creek folding stock, and they make them in stainless as well. Tapco seems a bit cheap (plastic) to me, but I know people that love them! No experience with ATI- looks like cheap shit to me. The 580 series is a better gun, but it comes at a steep price. I have seen some for sale that rival the price of a good AR. In the end, for what it sounds like you would be using it for, the 580 is a great option- factory ghost ring sights, factory flash suppressor, and available in stainless. Here is a link to that rifle:

      Just don’t pay through the nose for it! MSRP is a grand and at that price you can have a lot of other nice guns. Try to find one used with a low round count and it will reward you for many years.


    • RollTide says:

      I bought a 580 series in November 2012 before all the recent shenanigans and panic pricing. I believe it set me back around $599 + FFL if you shop around you can still find them for a good price online and at gun shows. I Bought the Tactical version that came with the ATI folder stock, 16 inch barrel threaded with the Ruger flash hider. The ATI leaves a lot to be desired, the folding mechanism was loose and wobbly so needless to say I am looking into other stock options. The Hogue stock seems to be pretty popular and gets lots of good reviews. I wish I knew how to post a picture of its current set up. All in all I would definitely recommend the newer 580 series with a traditional stock wood or Hogue synthetic. My current plan with the mini is to purchase the Accu-strut Socom similar to the MoRod pictured above and change the flash hider to a 360 port to resemble the M1a SOCOM 16 🙂 Good luck with your selection. If you want more info on the newer model minis or the modifications ive done to the ATI stock to make it a lot more ridged and reliable hit me up anytime.

      • RollTide says:

        P.S. How do I post a picture on this board?

        • Sam Robinson says:

          Hi RollTide,
          Thanks for the feedback, and yes, I’d love to see what you did to improve your ATI.
          This site will notify me when you reply.
          looking forward to seeing your pics.

  2. CrustyShellback says:

    You need to update on your build, if you still have your Mini. It was these blog entries that I based my Mini off of.

    When deciding on my primary SHTF weapon, I was deciding between the AR and the Mini. I’ve always been partial to the Mini (the old 187), but wanted another opinion. My dad, who owns both, without pause, when I asked… “If the SHTF, which gun would you grab, AR or Mini?” he answered Mini, without hesitation. I feel the same way, though I’ve purchased an updated 582.

    It is not without issues. I can’t seem to run any another stock at the moment, other than the factory synthetic, as the Hogue binds up mags and there isn’t much else out there, I’m interested in. Mine hasn’t found a mag it likes, other than Ruger factory mags (like a lot of Minis). But, then I don’t have to worry about stupid things like Bullet Buttons

    With the Primary Arms Fixed Base Micro Dot, contrary to belief… adding the UltiMAK rail, will give you a true 1/3 co-witness, making it the tactical optic for the Mini. Yes, even better than an Aimpoint, Eotech, etc… because NONE of those, will give you a co-witness with the Mini. Its the ultimate equalizer for red dots, on the Mini.

    I also have a Vortex Strikefire currently being exchanged for the red dot only. I believe it will allow me to mount it, on the front part of the Ruger OEM Picatinny rail, for the 582 series rifles. My only concern, is brass hitting it, but I’m pretty sure it will work.

    I’m currently looking for a tac light/mount combo. The rifle with optic, 2-point sling and loaded 5 rnd, is just tipping the scales over 8. Getting close to 9, is really pushing it, for what I want. But I would like to have something for dark, CQB acquisition.

  3. Pingback: Custom Tactical Mini-14 Ranch Rifle (197 series) | savethegun

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