Ruger Introduces Mini-14 In .300 Blackout

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The .300 Blackout market continues to steam ahead with Ruger’s latest offering, the Mini-14 Tactical in that caliber. From Ruger’s press release:

Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. (NYSE-RGR) is proud to announce that the Mini-14® Tactical rifle is now available in 300 AAC Blackout. This newest version of the Mini-14 rifle features an optimized gas port that reliably cycles with both supersonic ammunition and subsonic ammunition when a sound suppressor is installed. The rifle weighs approximately 6.75 lbs., features a 16.1″, 5/8″-24 threaded barrel with a 1:7 twist rate, and is supplied with two, twenty-round detachable box magazines.

“This is an exciting addition to the Mini-14 rifle line,” said Ruger CEO Mike Fifer. “The ability to run the wide range of ammunition available, from suppressed subsonics to unsuppressed supersonics, broadens the versatility of the timeless Mini-14 rifle. With its solid reputation for reliability, the new Mini-14 Tactical rifle is an obvious choice for those who want an autoloading rifle chambered in the 300 AAC Blackout,” he added.

The Mini-14’s cold hammer-forged, medium contour, alloy steel barrel and receiver feature a matte black oxide finish. The 16.1″, 5/8″-24 threaded barrel comes with a Ruger® flash suppressor, which can be removed to attach sound suppressors or other threaded barrel accessories. The rifle’s stock is made of a rugged and durable glass-reinforced nylon. The two, twenty-round steel magazines provided with the rifle are laser engraved to clearly identify the rifle’s chambering.

A protected, non-glare, post front sight and receiver-mounted, adjustable ghost ring rear sight offer out-of-the-box usability. The receiver-mounted Picatinny rail provided with all Mini-14 rifles offers options for mounting an assortment of optics such as scopes and red dots. All Mini-14 rifles also feature Ruger integral scope mounts and come with Ruger scope rings for conventional scope mounting.

This blogger approves of Mr. Fifer’s use of the old-timey word “autoloading” to describe the new offering. In addition to the press release, Ruger also released a spec sheet for the new Mini:

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The Ruger Mini-14 Tactical, in .300 Blackout will retail for $1,019.00, suggested.

 

The rifle comes with magazines laser-engraved with the caliber on the side; a sign that Ruger has been paying attention to the somewhat worrying number of kabooms that have been caused by mixing the .300 Blackout with .223/5.56 chambers by accident.

Ruger’s relatively late addition of the .300 Blackout to its product line is a bit surprising; Ruger’s Mini-14/6.8 was one of the early additions to the caliber from a major manufacturer.



Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He can be reached via email at nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.


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  • DW

    Finally, the Garand3 is complete! (M1 in 30-06, M14 in.308 and now Mini14 in 300blk)

    • thedonn007

      Do not forget the Mini 30 in 7.62×39.

      • DW

        I was wondering if the Mini30 counts, the Commie round uses .311 bullet instead of .308 one ( AAC told me so, heh )

        • ostiariusalpha

          I wouldn’t count it. The 7.62×39 is more like a stranger that could pass for your Uncle as long as the light is bad & you don’t look too close. Still not a member of the family.

        • Komrad

          Ruger uses .308 barrels on the Mini-30.
          Which is a great reason not to buy a Mini-30. That and they don’t play nice with hard primers or steel cased ammo.

          • ostiariusalpha

            Ruger stopped using the .308 bore barrels in 1993. So, unless you’re buying a 20 year old Mini-30, you have little to worry about in that regard.

          • Anon. E Maus

            That was fixed decades ago.
            As for not liking hard primers and steel case, that’s something you can solve by sanding and polishing the bolt-face from what I’ve heard.

    • ostiariusalpha

      Shouldn’t the M1 Carbine fit in there somewhere on your .308 Garand action ladder?

      • Sam Schifo

        The M1 carbine uses a different operating mechanism than the M1 Garand.

        • Marcus D.

          So true. And if Ruger had opted for the short action piston of the Carbine as opposed to the long action piston of the Garand, their gun wouldn’t be so butt ugly I think an M1 Carbine in 300 Blk would be a very sweet little rifle–and about a pound lighter than this Ruger.

          • Anon. E Maus

            I agree, actually. I love short-stoke pistons and I kind of wish Ruger had gone with that instead from the start.

        • ostiariusalpha

          True, but I like to think of the short-stroke gas system of the M1 Carbine as an evolutionary advancement of Garand’s design; the trigger assembly attaches differently also. Despite that it alters more from the orginal design than the M14 does, its Garand heritage is plainly visible in that long op rod camming a Garand bolt.

          Marcus D. – It would have been even sweeter if the M1 Carbine had been adopted using Dave Williams’ full system, but he was too used to working as a lone wolf and didn’t complete his design in time for it to be considered. Having someone to invest in recreating the design to shoot intermediate calibers as a competitor with the Mini 14 would be like a dream come true.

          • The operating mechanism comes from the Garand through the Jonathon Browning’s G30. Williams adapted that design to use tappet operation in the G30R, and then Winchester engineers developed what would become the M1 Carbine from his work.

  • Green Hell

    Cool, now it’s only a matter of time for Ruger to release their 300 BLK AR-15, which could become the cheapest on the market.

  • MPWS

    It looks like it has pretty hefty barrel profile, but weight seems acceptable.

  • Pete Sheppard

    Should it be the Mini-300?

  • Captain Obvious

    It’s cool that Ruger is offering a Mini in 300blk. Although ballistically inferior to the Mini 30 in 7.62×39 it scratches the itch for some people

    • Anon. E Maus

      Yeah but getting 7.62x39mm subsonics to cycle reliably in an auto is impossible, unlike .300 which will do it without issue, so it’s infinitely more silencer friendly.

  • Swarf

    I’m not an AR guy, so I don’t claim to have been following the 300 blk fad closely, but isn’t a big part of the whole point ease of changing between a .30 cal round and a .22 round? That and using the same mags?

    Doesn’t Ruger’s platform negate both if those advantages?

    • I think you can use the same magazines, the .300 Blackout mags are just engraved as such.

      Unfortunately, caliber changes on the Mini require gunsmithing.

    • Sixshot6

      The mags are engraved 300 blk so a dumbarse doesn’t take a mag full of 300, put it in their 223 and destroy it or worse.

  • Paul White

    what the hell happened to the mini-series? They used to be economical but now they cost more than a decent entry level AR. I could build a decent .300 blackout AR for slightly less than this and have much better aftermarket support.

    • Maxpwr

      But you can’t get an AR in NY, MD, CT or in CA without a “bullet button” so it has a market for guys who want a semi-auto in 300BLK. Things cost what they cost the manufacturer to make a profit. The dollar ain’t what it used to be.

      • Vitsaus

        I think Paul White was speaking of the entire Mini rifle line. Even here in CA sales of them can be sluggish quite frankly because for the same money you got “more gun” with an AR 15, even with the various mag locking devices. On average you will get better accuracy even with a bottom of the barrel AR, more adaptability for attachments, more options (which means options really) in furniture, easier to scope with more option of rings and bases, better sights, better trigger. The list goes on. The mini is really a trunk gun, but its priced way above that.

        • Paul White

          Yep.

          I’d rather have an AR with a bullet button. But unlike my poor younger brother (in Bakersfield) I don’t have to make that choice 😀

          I remember a point when minis were, despite their drawbacks, a viable alternative just because they were cheaper by a substantial margin but these days, damn.

      • Sixshot6

        You’re kinda wrong there. New yorkers have ar’s with FRS 15 stocks, CT residents have the Ares SCR, and MD residents can still own HBAR ar’s (they seem to have also got the state police to concede its just 223 ar’s affected, so 7.62×39 ar’s with standard barrels are good to go). That reduces the 300blk mini 14 to even more of a niche market. It will sadly go the same way the 6.8spc mini’s did.

        • guest

          Sadly? I, personally, don’t miss all the new boutique and flavor-of-the -week cartridges we’re constantly being offered by ammo companies that already can’t keep up with demand for 9mm, 5.56mm, and .22 LR. If everything .17 caliber, everything .20 caliber, everything with “ultra” or “short magnum” in its name, and, for that matter, every cartridge introduced in the last fifty years went away tomorrow, I wouldn’t be greatly bothered.

          • Anon. E Maus

            Flavor of the week? The .300 was introduced just a few years ago and has rapidly grown in popularity.

            It also fills two purposes way better than the .223 can, the .300 performs way better out of a short barrel than the .223 does, and it is absolutely quiet when used with a silencer, which is not what can be said for .223 in most cases. It also helps that the .300 can use the same magazine and bolt as the .223, making conversions very cost effective and simple.

            As for the .17, I assume you mean the .17HMR, it’s basically a .22 Mag necked down to a .17 caliber, and it is blazingly fast, if you can’t imagine the uses of a cartridge like this, I don’t know what to tell you.

            I can’t say that I’ve heard “Ultra” or “Short Magnum” being used before so maybe you’re just way older than me and remember phrases from like 10-20 years ago as if it was today.

            A brief search shows me a result for the .270 Winchester Short Magnum cartridge, which I hadn’t ever heard about until now. I’ve heard of the regular .270 Winchester, but never the .270 WSM, you could say that it’s because I don’t care much about the hunting circuits, but I never see it mentioned when peering through hunting magazines or gun rags.

            What I get is that you don’t care for this because it’s not directed particularly at hunting purposes, aka, you are what is called a fudd.

          • Gabriel Owens

            I kinda agree. funny post . last sentence is the truth. haha.

      • janklow

        well, you CAN do an HBAR AR in MD.
        …for now

    • It isnt that Minis have gotten much more expensive, its that ARs have gotten so cheap. When Colt was the only game in town, Minis were a much more economical option.

      • Vitsaus

        I don’t know… back in about 2000 a mini 14 was $300-$350 ARs were much more than that back then. Yes its 15 years ago, but that means that a mini series has more than doubled in price, where as an AR has not really increased in price at the same rate. Your Colt 6920 goes for what… 1k these days? Not much of an increase of an equivalent carbine from Colt back in 2000.

        • Dude, in 2000 a pre ban colt went for the price of a nice used car, and their sporter rifles were very pricey as well.
          We just live in a renaissance where 1,000 companies are making the same product, and ruger stands alone with the mini.

      • Paul White

        Yep. but now they’re not. I seem to remember them going for sub 600 at one point, but the increase from there may just be inflation.

        But either way, they’re now pricier than an option that largely outperforms them. It’d be like paying extra to go back to Windows 2k instead of XP.

    • rugerfanboy

      but I rather have a rifle that doesn’t look like a toy 😛

      • MR

        With that synthetic stock, the Mini looks like Matty Mattel’s latest 5/8 scale toy M14. Sure, you can swap on a wood stock, but that’s more money down the drain on an already overpriced rifle. I’m all for more options, but is it too much to ask that they be reasonably priced?

        • floppyscience

          …or you could just buy the Mini that comes with a wood stock from the factory. It’s actually $10 cheaper than the synthetic model.

    • Frank

      I don’t know about this model. But I saw a mini 14 on sale at walmart for about $450 not that long ago.

      • Paul White

        Where? At that price I’d like one. The ones I’ve seen at WalMart and the LGS here are synthetic with blued barrels and run like 749.

        • Frank

          Stafford Virginia. It was a stainless and wood model iirc. Might have been closer to 500. It was around black friday last year.

    • floppyscience

      Blame nostalgia, inflation, and the upgrading Ruger did to the rifle between 2005-2007. They gave it a new gas system, heavier barrel, and all new tooling (the old stuff was worn out and sloppy).

      In 2005, right before they made the first changes, the MSRP for a blued/wood Mini was $750. That’s $902 today. In 2010 (the earliest date I can find an MSRP for the new Minis) it was $881, which is $948 today.

      Today the MSRP is $939. The new, better made rifles with better accuracy thanks to the new gas systems and heavier barrels are costing you a grand total of $37 over the old rifles from the “good ol’ days” when Minis were “economical”.

      The Mini’s price hasn’t skyrocketed, contrary to popular belief. ARs have just gotten a whole lot cheaper and it makes the Mini look bad by comparison.

      • Nick

        Everything about the AR makes the mini look bad by comparison, not just current pricing. That’s just the icing on the cake. Seriously, who would want to pay a premium for a less reliable, less ergonomic, less accurate rifle that has a clunky operating mechanism and uses proprietary magazines? If Ruger drops the price back to ~$500 and adapts the rifle to use the AR pattern magazine, the mini may see sales outside of ban states again. Otherwise, the decline will continue. I bought one in 2000, a stainless/synthetic, for $475 at a time when ARs were $800 at the cheapest. Now? I have multiple ARs, got rid of the mini a little while back, don’t miss it at all.

      • Floppy, excellent comment. I knew the most recent Minis were much better than previous ones, but you’ve given us some hard numbers.

        And anyway, one can still find Minis for just over $400 used.

      • guest

        New gas system?

        I thought the Minis have always used a fixed-piston, moving-cylinder system in which the gas impinges directly into a cylindrical recess on the front end of the op rod, a sort of extreme simplification of the old White gas tappet system used on the M14 (it’s the gas tappet system without the tappet).

        What about the gas system of the Mini is different from what it was forty years ago?

        • floppyscience

          I don’t know the exact technical details, everything I read says, “These new models use a modified gas system designed to reduce barrel vibration” wthout getting into specifics. I’m assuming it’s the same style of system with minor changes to improve barrel harmonics.

    • Anon. E Maus

      Because the old Mini-14 wasn’t actually a very good rifle.
      Now that they’ve fixed a lot of the outstanding problems, it’s not as cheap, and the weapon is inherently an expensive design, like the M14.

  • Lol @ the tags!

  • Bal256

    I still want Ruger to bring back the original mini-14 folding stock. Or someone to make a similar style stock.

  • kregano

    I hope they come out with a tactical model with the folding collapsable stock. It helps makes things a bit more convenient for storage and transport.

    That said, a Mini in .300BLK seems pretty great for hunters, since it’s a more traditional looking gun and the caliber clears the minimum size requirements some states have.

    • Anon. E Maus

      Would be awesome if they gave it a bayonet lug and styled the stock after the old AC-556k or MIni-14GB.

  • Adam aka eddie d.

    Interesting addition to the lineup, although my humble opinion is that some good quality 30 rd. factory polymer magazines for both the 14 and the 30 would be more welcome news as far as the Mini family goes.

    The 10/22 has great factory mags for good prices (both the 10 rd. rotary and the 25 rd. polymer BX-25), even the Scout has a series of reliable polymer magazines with acceptable prices, but the Mini series still uses steel mags, which are expensive and heavy with today’s standards.

    A nice lineup of reliable, servicable, decently priced 30 rd. polymer magazines would be great news for the platform.

  • Jack Burton

    It’s nice to see Ruger making stuff from their last customer survey…it’d be a lot nicer if they were making the interesting stuff from said survey. Though I guess someone, somewhere must be ecstatic over this news.

    • Sixshot6

      Wasnt a 458 socom mini also in that survey or another? Weirdly that would have some appeal. Mags labeled 458 socom would be restricted to five in Canada but be able to hold 15 rounds of 223 which would give the Canucks (due to a ruling on intended usage there, its only reason anyone there buys 50 beowulf mags) and possibly residents of California and Colorado access to new mags they can fill more than 10 rounds with. Plus it would be cool to see a mini 14 making a big boom. Also doesn’t 7.62×39 do everything 300 blk does but cheaper and better?

      • Anon. E Maus

        I have actually seen a regular Mini-14 converted by a gunsmith to fire and cycle .458 Socom, reliably, so it’s absolutely a possibility. To me, that would be a very nice little niche rifle for hunting, particularly for wild hog.

        As for the .300BLK Vs. 7.62x39mm, the .300BLK will reliably cycle in a subsonic loading, the 7.62x39mm will not. The .300BLK also has similar ballistic performance, but it’s smaller and can be used in an AR-15 by just changing out the barrel, as it uses the same bolt, gas system, and magazines.

        On the opposite, if you want an AR-15 in 7.62x39mm, a whole host of challenges appear, first, the cartridge will just not fit through the magwell, you need a new lower receiver, secondly, the cartridge has a larger diameter and requires a larger bolt, secondly, the gunpowder often used in cheap commercial 7.62x39mm is very ill fitted for the gas system of the AR-15.
        I’ve heard of many people talking about not being pleased by their AR in 7.62x39mm, apparently, they wear faster.

        In short, the .300BLK is engineered to give you that 7.62x39mm
        performance but to work perfectly in an AR-15 (and in extension other
        .223 rifles). Meanwhile, an AR-15 in 7.62x39mm is the AR-15 design modified and adapted to use a cartridge it was never designed to use, and evidently, making them work isn’t always the easiest task for all manufacturers (though I hear that more recent designs have actually worked pretty well so far).

        So if you want a rifle in 7.62x39mm, an AK, SKS, or Mini-30 all seem like the logical choice to me, while if you want an AR-15 with that kind of performance, the .300BLK seems the easiest option because you can very easily convert the 5.56x45mm AR-15 you already have (presumably), by getting just a new upper receiver (if you want to quickly swap between calibers), or even just a .300BLK barrel to save even more money on conversion. They don’t really have to compete that much, the .300BLK is practical for .223 sized rifles, and the 7.62x39mm is still dirt cheap and works in all these fantastical old Soviet weapons (that are cheap on their own).

        Finally, the 7.62x39mm fires a .311 projectile, while the .300BLK fires a .308 projectile, meaning your options as a handloader expand fantastically.

        • Sixshot6

          Fair point, though I might add the 303 also used a 311 project so not as limited as you’d think. But I can see good reasons. Strangely 20 inch barrel ar’s in 7.62×39 despite the problems are often praised for providing due to the weird characteristics of 7.62×39 a better rifle for 100-200 yards. I guess all the rounds fill a role. Some less Niche than others.

  • Patrick Karmel Shamsuddoha

    i have a feeling the price of this product came from a board room not a gun range, someone at ruger did the research and found that at this price they would be able to move enough units to improve the quarterly earnings, because remember Ruger is publicly traded and at the end of the day it must answer to it’s shareholders.
    Sturm, Ruger & Company NYSE: RGR – Apr 23 1:46 PM EDT 55.54 up1.87 (3.48%)

    • Sixshot6

      And if you were a shareholder you’d feel the same I believe. This is how things work.

      Its election season in Britain and its scary, Ed Miliband the Socialist contender actually asked the boss of a company why you’d pay your shareholders dividends. Really, seriously? You can’t make this up, this is why Satire is dead. Just turn on the news or read a blog.

      • Patrick Karmel Shamsuddoha

        I was merely stating that the price for this mini-14 was dictated by market forces. I was not condemning the system.

        • Sixshot6

          Its ok, I was condemning other’s besides you. In the last Paragraph I was being more hard on the politician in question. Thats why I said Satire was dead. I’ve no problem with Ruger making a profit.

  • UCSPanther

    I would love to see a Mini 14 in 5.45 x 39…

    • Swarf

      Hell yes.

      • UCSPanther

        If 5.8×42 cartridges ever start coming out of China, A “Mini 5.8” in that calibre would be nice as well.

        That may not be until well into the future though. I hear China is very protective of that cartridge and do not permit the export of firearms in that calibre.

    • guest

      That would have been nice before BATFE banned imported surplus 5.45x39mm ammunition last year. Now, what’d be the point? We’ve already got plenty of AK74 type rifles to shoot this no-longer-inexpensive and no-longer-widely-available cartridge.

      • Anon. E Maus

        5.45 is still cheap, it’s just no longer as dirt cheap.

  • Jsim

    pretty sure this is illegal in NY because of the flash hider and detachable magazine

    • Sixshot6

      The detachable mag in new york isn’t the issue. Its the hider. Weld a thread protector on and it will pass the same as a bull barrel. That or fix a 10 round in place and stripper clip load it. But that would suck worse, pinned and welded thread protector is the lesser of two evils.

      • Jsim

        actually pinning and welding it still wont work, theres still threads under it and after talking about it with a few gun store owners and them talking to whomever they need to talk to about it, you can’t “fix” a gun to make it legal because of liability and all that jazz. Theres a bunch of law suits over this so the best bet is to wait till the SAFE act is repealed

        • sauerquint

          Is filing off the threads allowed?

          • Jsim

            I know that my gun store did that for someone right after the safe act came out but I don’t think they are able to do that anymore

          • Sixshot6

            Like I said, the hotline has no legal standing. Get a lawyer, or shock horror actually call the state Attorney General’s office. Any of those things is better than the hotline, which for all intents purposes at times has the same standing as the crazy homeless man shouting about lizards in human skins.

        • Sixshot6

          what about things like the black rain ny legal ar? That just has a thread pinned and welded on the muzzle? Is it because the thread is where the Iron sight is on the Mini? I know with the LRB NY legal M14 the just used a straight target crown barrel as does Stag arms on their ars and a few other copies frs stock equipped ar’s. Plus the SAFE education sessions or some crap mentioned pinning and welding. I guess once again they had ARs and the like in mind with the crap toilet paper that is the safe act (its not nice and absorbent like andrex is). So the fact that there are still threads were the sight are makes it a problem? Is that the difference between a pinned and welding AR vs Mini 14?

          • Jsim

            Well first off the black rain ars come from the manufacture like that so there considered not to be altered. and you used to be able to just weld it and add the ny legal stocks however right now you cant because of all the lawsuits going on the safe act people that you call can’t tell you that that will make it legal. There was a custom built 450 bushmaster built from the ground up with custom paint and everything at my local gun store and someone wanted to buy it and get the mag pinned but the guy on the phone from the safe act hotline thing said that he cant tell him that pinning the mag would make it legal since all the things happening in court

    • UCSPanther

      Mine would be illegal in California and New York simply because I had a flash hider taken from a Norinco M4 installed on mine…

    • Anon. E Maus

      You can remove the flash-hider, which will obviously be what the retailer does when selling them in NY, as well as sell them with 10rd mags pinned to 7rd capacity.

  • schizuki

    I don’t get it. One of the appeals of the .300 Blackout is the ability to get 7.62×39 ballistics in a standard AR-15 package without reliability problems. What does the Mini-300 do that the Mini-30 doesn’t? If it’s just for better suppression, that seems like a niche of a niche.

    • Uses .300 Blackout, for those who already shoot that caliber.

      Also, there aren’t really factory subsonic rounds in 7.62×39 in the US.

  • Nick F.

    Ruger has their head in the clouds if they think they’re going to sell many Mini-14s in .300BLK for that price.

  • A.WChuck

    Maybe this makes more sense than the Mini-30 if the old tale of broken firing pins due to hard Ruskie primers is true?

  • Patrick K Martin

    Wake me when the offer one in 6.5 Grendel

  • Southpaw89

    Not surprising, and probably a good business decision due to the popularity if .300blk, but I would still choose a Mini 30 based on ammo price and availability alone.

  • Zebra Dun

    The Ruger Mini is a nice handy little rifle.
    No matter what caliber.
    I wonder why it has never been sold in .30 carbine.

    • Anon. E Maus

      I think it was because it was partially conceived to profit on the popularity of the M1 Carbine, at the time when .30 carbine surplus ammo was drying out, particularly to appeal to police departments.

  • Anon. E Maus

    I’m so hard right now.

  • Charles Newman

    I’m holding out for the 7.62×39!