Ruger Mini-14: A smaller version of the military M14 rifle

Ruger Mini-14 tactical rifles
Ruger Mini-14 tactical rifles (Photo: XY)

Sturm Ruger & Co. introduced Ruger Mini-14 Carbine in 1973, a lightweight weapon using the well-proven Garand system of gas operation and rotating bolt, allied to the .223 cartridge. As might be imagined, such a useful combination of reliability and lightweight, allied to a modern service cartridge, attracted several military and paramilitary forces to the extent that Sturm Ruger has developed some specific variants of the Ruger Mini-14 for use by such agencies.


Introduced in 1973 by Sturm, Ruger & Co., the Mini-14 resembles a smaller version of the military M14 rifle. Designed by L. James Sullivan and William B. Ruger, it incorporated numerous innovations and cost-saving engineering changes. The Mini-14 rifle has an investment-cast, heat-treated receiver and is mechanically similar to the M1 rifle, with a self-cleaning, fixed-piston gas system.

Military history of Ruger Mini-14
Military history of Ruger Mini-14 (Photo: XY)


Civilian models

  • Ranch Rifle,
  • Target Rifle,
  • Tactical Rifle,
  • Mini Thirty,
  • Mini Thirty Tactical Rifle

Government models

  • Mini 14/20GB,
  • AC-556,
  • AC-556K,
  • Mosqueton A.M.D

In the expectation that readers might be less familiar with these models, we append some notes on them.

Ruger Mini-14/20GB

The Ruger Mini-14/20GB is a conversion of the standard Ruger Mini-14 to meet general military standards. The front sight is protected, moved back on the barrel, and incorporates a bayonet lug; there is a flash hider on the muzzle, and the handguard is of heat-resistant glass-fiber reinforced plastic material. The flash hides are shaped so as to function as a grenade launching spigot. In other respects, and in general dimensions and weight, the Infantry Rifle version is the same as the commercial Ruger Mini-14 and is available in blued steel or stainless steel.

Ruger Mini-14/20GB Government Model
Ruger Mini-14/20GB Government Model (Photo: XY)

Ruger AC-556

The Ruger AC-556 Selective Fire Weapon resembles the Mini-14/20GB Infantry Rifle but incorporates modifications to the trigger mechanism to permit the firing of single shots, three-round bursts, or full-automatic fire.

Ruger AC-556K

The Ruger AC-556K Selective Fire Weapons is the Ruger AC-556 modified to have a steel folding stock, a pistol grip, and a shorter (16.7in or 425mm) barrel. Due to the added weight of the stock, the complete weapon now weighs 6.9 lbs (3.15 kg). It is a particularly compact model, well suited to airborne or armored troops. These models are only for sale to law enforcement agencies or governments.

Technical specifications

Manufacturer: Sturm Ruger & Co., Southport, CT 06490, United States
Type:  gas-operated, semi-auto, or selective fire
Caliber: .223 (5.56mm)
Barrel: 18.5 in (470 mm)
Weight: 6.39 lbs (2.9 kg)
Magazine capacity: 5, 10, 20, or 30 rounds
Cyclic rate of fire: 750 rounds per minute (AC556 and AC556K only)
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