Ruger Mini 14 Review

A Comprehensive Guide

Ruger Mini 14

Ruger Mini 14 Review

Specification Comparison and Reviews

For many years, Ruger’s Mini-14 has been a favorite for home defense and hunting. And with good reason: it is well-balanced, easy to use, accurate at close distances, and surprisingly powerful. It also looks cool. Here’s a more thorough explanation of the Ruger mini 14 review.

Table of Contents

The Ruger 556 is a good rifle that’s designed with simplicity and practicality in mind. It can be used to hunt small-game or take down targets at medium-to-long range… but it shines when you equip it with an optic and practice shooting regularly. The Ruger Mini 14 is introduced after the AR-15. As with its big brothers, this rifle fires from an open bolt and has a 5.56mm bullet. It comes standard with a 20-round magazine and can also use 40-round drums if required for your mission/hunting scenario.

Features of Ruger Mini 14 Review


The safety on the Mini 14 is located at the front of the trigger guard. It is easy to reach and simple to operate. Simply push it forward to take your weapon off “safe” mode, allowing you to fire around when you pull the trigger. Push it back to place your gun on safe mode, which prevents accidental firing if bumped or handled roughly. This rifle also has a bolt lock, which immobilizes the bolt when the safety is engaged. Usually, you want safety on a rifle, especially one you might use for self-defense or hunt with – frankly, this safety is not that safe by today’s standards. But, honestly, the safety of Mini 14 will not affect the accuracy or performance of the gun itself. So you can rest assured that your Mini 14 will have reliable accuracy – but you won’t be able to actuate the safety with an attacker coming at you!

Safety of Ruger Mini 14

Magazine Release

The magazine release for the Mini 14 is located at the front of the trigger guard. It is large and easy to actuate, even with gloves on. With a little practice, it is quick to remove the magazine with your trigger finger while keeping the safety in a safe position. The Mini 14 uses high-capacity “banana” magazines that can be loaded relatively quickly into your rifle, giving you lots of firepowers. Keep in mind that most people load their magazines so that they will have the first shot ready to shoot.


Also, always remember to place your weapon on safe after you load it – or even better, immediately after ejecting a magazine. There’s no need to take your eyes off of your targets when using this rifle — because it has a last shot bolt hold-open feature. This means that you can fire your rounds without having to fiddle around with your weapon once it’s out of ammo. Just push the button on the right side of the trigger guard, and your old magazine will pop right out.

Rifle Barrel

The Mini 14’s barrel is made of cold hammer-forged alloy steel and has a satin-blued finish. It also has a 1:9 twist rate, which works well with all types of ammunition (such as buckshot or birdshot). You must like this feature because it means that you can shoot straight out the box without having to replace the barrel. The barrel length of the Mini 14 is 18 1/2″, which means that this is a smaller rifle-length weapon, perfect for hunters and home defenders who might be in tight quarters (such as in a house or on an airplane).


The shorter length also makes it ideal for carrying when looking for a game – but you might not want to carry it around all day, since it is somewhat heavy. Also, remember that a shorter barrel means more recoil. If you’re not experienced with firearms, just keep in mind to practice shooting it often or you may experience “flinching” or “jumping”.

Rifle Barrel of Ruger Mini 14

Bolt Release/Hold-Open

The Mini 14’s bolt release is located at the left rear of the receiver. It works similarly to the Bolt Release/Hold-Open found on most semi-auto pistols, allowing you to keep your weapon ready for quick firing. Simply push it forward with your thumb while scoping or sighting, and you can get off shots faster. It’s not exactly something you can do very quickly, so don’t worry about it being a safety hazard.


The Mini 14 rifle has an adjustable rear sight that is located at the back of the receiver. To adjust for windage or elevation, simply use a small flat-head screwdriver to turn the knob until the front sight is perfectly aligned. This is a nice feature, especially for shooters who may not have the dexterity or eyesight to make precision shots over long distances. However, keep in mind that if you shoot more than 200 rounds through your rifle, you will need to re-adjust your sights after every few hundred shots – because it tends to get knocked out of place over time. We recommend doing it at least once a year if you shoot often (or more often if you play airsoft on the weekends).

Sight of Ruger Mini 14

Charging Handle

The charging handle is located on the right side of the weapon. To use it, keep your index finger parallel with the barrel and pull back on it until you feel a firm stop. You can then place your hand onto the top of the receiver and push forward. This will open up a clear path for inserting a fresh magazine or clearing a jam. While this sounds like a nice feature, the charging handle gets in the way when trying to shoulder-mount your weapon. It can also get caught up with your clothing or gear if you’re not careful. If you ever plan on mounting it for tactical purposes, then definitely use caution. Otherwise, just keep in mind that it’s there.

Rifle Magazine

The Ruger Mini 14 556 has a 5-round magazine that loads from the top of the receiver. Since it’s a smaller weapon, a single stack is enough to keep your rounds organized and keep you ready for action. Plus, since the 556 shares magazines with its more popular brother – the Ruger 556 – you can easily find spare magazines in the field. If your local hunting supply store isn’t selling them, then try checking out an outdoor or sporting goods retailer like Academy Sports.

Rifle Magazine of Ruger Mini 14

Trigger Mechanism

The Ruger Mini 14 trigger mechanism is a traditional “military-style” trigger that’s found on many older battle rifles. Pulling it requires some pulling force, but it can also be very easy to do if your hands are sweaty or you’re wearing gloves. However, the good news is that this particular rifle has a built-in trigger safety mechanism, which prevents accidental discharges if the weapon is dropped.

Trigger Mechanism of Ruger Mini 14

Stock - Ruger Mini 14 Review

The length of the pull is 13 3/4″ from the center of the trigger face to the end of the buttstock. This length of pull is suitable for most shooters, but may not accommodate some shooters with longer or shorter arms. The stock that comes on the Mini 14 is made of synthetic material and has a solid feel to it. It’s comfortable in most positions. It also has a solid feel to it, which is great for accuracy. This rifle is considered by many shooters as “too basic” or “nothing special”, but the synthetic stock just feels right, especially when you’re in dangerous hunting situations. The fact that this weapon has an adjustable sight is pretty nice too.

Optics - Ruger Mini 14 Review

Putting an optic on your Mini 14 is a very good idea… because the iron sights aren’t perfect and you will need to shoot accurately over longer ranges. You can either use a 1″ or 2″ ring mount, but keep in mind that it will require some modification to the receiver before you can properly install one. Ruger also sells a scope mount that uses your existing rear sight leaf to help you zero in your weapon. This is nice because it doesn’t require any permanent modifications – which means you can always go back to iron sights if necessary.


You could also use the Ruger foldaing rear sight if you’re looking for something that’s a little more low profile. This will give you an edge at short-range encounters where speed is necessary, but it doesn’t offer much precision beyond 100 yards or so. Overall, iron sights are adequate for close-range engagements – especially with the shorter barrel length – but you will need to upgrade your optic if you plan on fighting at longer distances.

Lights - Ruger Mini 14 Review

If you plan on using your Ruger Mini 14 for home defense or some type of tactical situation, then you’ll want to ensure that it’s equipped with a tactical flashlight. It doesn’t have to be the best one out there, but it will need to have a toggle switch so that you can turn it off and on. This will allow you to conserve battery life when you don’t need it. Some other features that people like when looking for flashlights for their weapons are strobe settings, magnetic clasps, easy-to-find switches, and quick-release mounts. However, this is all personal preference, so test out different models to find one that you like.


The Ruger Mini 14 is one of the best-looking rifles on the market. but a lot of this has to do with their classic wood stock finish. It looks great and feels very natural when you’re holding it in your hands, so definitely consider going this route if you don’t have any tactical purposes in mind. Just keep in mind that wood stocks are not as durable as plastic ones, so you’ll need to be very careful with your weapon if you’re in a rugged environment.


One of the best upgrades that you can make to this weapon is a tactical sling. This will allow you to easily carry your rifle over your shoulder and it can be very helpful if you plan on traversing rough terrain. It could even save your life by allowing you to use both hands in case there’s trouble ahead.

Control Devices

If you want to replace your standard trigger, then keep in mind that Ruger has made it easy for you by providing an aftermarket section on their website. You can find all kinds of different options that are specifically designed for Mini 14 rifles, including curved and straight triggers. These will help improve your accuracy. Ruger also offers a bolt release lever that you can add to your rifle. This might be helpful if you’re using the weapon in defense situations – because it gives you an easy way of locking and unlocking the bolt so that new rounds can load

Shooting Experience - Ruger Mini 14 Review

Loading the mag well of the Ruger Mini 14 is very easy, but the mags are known to be a bit wobbly once they’re loaded. We would highly recommend using different magazines if you don’t want any malfunctions during your shooting session – or at least test out the one that came with your rifle before taking it into combat. The trigger pull is decent enough for a semi-automatic weapon, but it’s not suitable for acquiring long-range targets. It will be difficult to shoot accurately at longer ranges, especially after the 500th round or so that you’ve fired through your rifle. The magazine release is just easier to use and it’s plastic, which doesn’t give you the best feel in terms of complete long-term durability.


But it does have a more fine feel than an AK. So going back to pull the charging handle, everything feels just right. And this is one of the best parts about the Mini-14. The size is great for medium to long-range optics, allowing you to have a more complete experience with it. But again, not recommended if you plan on shooting at very close ranges. The Ruger Mini 14 is an extremely accurate weapon out to about 150 yards, but anything beyond that and you will be better off with a different rifle. However, the quality of the materials is good enough to allow for longer ranges… so you’ll just need to go through some modifications to reach this potential.

Advantages of Ruger Mini 14


The Ruger Mini 14 is a great weapon for anyone who can’t afford an AR-15 but still wants to have semi-automatic capabilities. This rifle is much cheaper than other quality firearms, so you can get it without spending too much money on accessories or equipment.

Easy to Use

It’s not the hardest weapon in the world to use, but there are a few different features that you’ll need to master. especially when using the aftermarket triggers. This is an easy weapon for both beginners and veterans if they know what they’re doing behind the gun.

It’s Extremely Accurate

The Ruger Mini 14 allows you to shoot with very high precision because of its quality design. It’s not the best for close-range use, but it’s perfect for medium to long-range engagements and you can even modify your weapon to make it more precise.

It Uses the Same Ammunition

The Mini 14 uses 30 rounds of 223 Remington ammo – making it easier to find replacement bullets if you run out during a hunt or during combat. You can find this type of ammunition almost anywhere and it’s very affordable.

Disadvantages of Ruger Mini 14


Some Ruger Mini 14 models do have some issues with jams and malfunctions if you use them a lot, but these problems aren’t as common as they used to be because of all the improvements that new models have made to the design. The parts are also very cheap if you do need to replace them after a while, which is good for anyone who’s on a budget.

Not Suitable for Close-Range Targets

You can still use your Ruger Mini 14 for close-range combat, but it’s not the best idea unless you attach a red dot or holographic sight. It’s not the best when it comes to recoil and accuracy in these situations, so you’re better off with a different firearm if you plan on using it for close-range targets.

Doesn’t Come with Accessories

You can find some accessories that will improve your Ruger Mini 14 – like aftermarket triggers or muzzle attachments – but the weapon doesn’t come with the most important things that you’ll need to get started. You need to buy your own magazines (if it comes with one), sight, and sling if you want the best performance possible, at least until aftermarket accessories become more affordable.


You can fit your Ruger Mini 14 into an ordinary gun case, even if you use the scope. However, some cases are made especially for rifles like these and they might provide more protection while also making it easier to carry them around.

You can use your Ruger Mini 14 for hunting, but it’s recommended that you practice as much as possible with it before trying to kill an animal since the recoil takes some time to get used to.

It’s not common to get more than one magazine when you purchase a Ruger Mini 14, but some stores offer them as optional add-ons and it’s a good idea if you need more than one.

The Mini 14 rifle has a length of about 36 inches.


The Ruger Mini 14 is a great rifle for anyone who’s looking for an affordable but still accurate firearm. It doesn’t come with everything you’ll need to make the most out of it, but if you spend a bit more money on accessories, then your weapon will become just as good as any other rifle in this category. The Ruger Mini 14 is a great rifle for those who are just starting as well as those who have been shooting semi-auto long rifles their entire life. It’s simple to use, easy to build upon, and compatible with many aftermarket accessories. I hope this article has been helpful to you. Thank you!!!

Author Profile

Gabriel Tackett
Double major in Engineering and Geology at the University of Minnesota. Experienced shooter & hunter for over 15 years. Certified NRA officer for over 10 years working as a writer at .

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