There’s just something about the Ruger Mini-14. The design is as rugged as the day is long, and there might not be a more versatile firearm available. Truly, the semi-automatic rifle is a jack-of-all-trades.
Given these attributes, there is little wonder that the iconic firearm, based on the M-14, is drawing near its 50th anniversary. And while it may be a bit long in the tooth, the Ruger Mini-14 is still keeping up with the times.
Most recently, the New Hampshire/Arizona manufacturer has chambered the rifle in a round that is gaining traction in tactical circles — the .300 Blackout. This is the fifth cartridge the design has been adapted to shoot and there is reason to believe it could be highly popular.
For the most part, those who yearn to shoot the .30-caliber intermediate cartridge out of a semiautomatic are pretty much relegated to the AR-15 market. Ruger gives these shooters another solid option with the new Mini-14, particularly those who prefer shooting from a more traditional rifle platform.
With that said, the company is definitely shooting for the black-rifle market with its new addition, given it is being released in the Tactical Rifle variant. This style is a slightly more agile model of the rifle and comes with some odds and ends that helps it take advantage of aftermarket accessories.
This style of the Mini-14 has a shorter 16.1-inch barrel, which should help it move from target to target more quickly. And the barrel is designed to be decked out with one of the top accessories used in conjunction with the round — a suppressor.
The barrel has a 5/8”-24 thread allowing it to be topped off with the noise-reducing device. But if shooters don’t want to go the way of a tax stamp, the Mini-14 comes with a birdcage style flash suppressor factory installed.
Another attribute of the new rifle that shows Ruger has turned an eye to quieting down the .300BLK is the barrel’s twist rate. At 1:7”, the rate is conducive to shooting heavier bullets, which are common in the subsonic rounds.
Of course, the twist rate is a rob-Peter-to-pay-Paul proposition. The faster rate won’t be as favorable to lighter rounds.
The new Mini-14 weighs in at a manageable 6.75 pounds with the much of the cost savings coming from its light, glass-reinforced, nylon stock. Other features include: adjustable ghost ring rear sight, receiver-mounted Picatinny rail and integral scope mounts for conventional optics.
The .300 Blackout Mini-14 ships with two 20-round, steel detachable box magazines. The rifle is also outfitted with front and rear sling swivels. Presently the MSRP on the rifle is $1,019.