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

Author: Eric Sof

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Sturm Ruger & Co. introduced Ruger Mini-14 Carbine in 1973, a lightweight weapon using the well-proven M1 Garand gas operation system 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.

Introduction

Introduced in 1973 by Sturm, Ruger & Co., the Mini-14 resembles a smaller version of the military M14 rifle. It was designed by L. James Sullivan and William B. Ruger and 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)

Variants

Civilian models

Government models

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

We expect readers to be less familiar with these models, so we append some notes on them.

Ruger Mini-14/20GB

The Ruger Mini-14/20GB converts 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; a flash hider is on the muzzle, and the handguard is of heat-resistant glass-fiber reinforced plastic material. The flash hides are shaped to function as a grenade launching spigot. In other respects and 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. Still, it 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 suited to airborne or armored troops. These models are only for sale to law enforcement agencies or governments.

Technical specifications

Country of origin:United States
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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