TFB TV: Ruger Mini-14 Tactical in .300 AAC Blackout Review (with YHM Phantom Silencer)

In this TFB TV video, James reviews Ruger’s new Mini-14 Tactical in .300 AAC Blackout. The Mini-14 lends itself to a suppressor specialized round such as .300 Blackout because the Mini always has been a piston fired rifle, making it a cleaner-operating gun than systems such as the direct impingement operation in the AR. Accordingly James gets to test the Mini-14 with a Yankee Hill Phantom silencer and muzzle brake combo. Also, TFB TV sponsor Ventura Munitions generously supplied James with a range of .300 Blackout cartridges that James runs through this new Ruger Mini.

Thanks to our Sponsors: Grizzly Targets and Ventura Munitions.

Guns in this review:
Ruger Mini-14 Tactical in .300 AAC

Accessories in this review:
Yankee Hill 7.62 QD Phantom Silencer
Yankee Hill 7.62 QD Brake
EOTech XPS
Bushnell Banner

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The full english transcription …

– Hey guys, James again for TFB TV.

Today I’ve got the Mini-14 Tactical in.300 Blackout, which I’m really excited about and I’ll tell you why, but first I wanna say, this is the first video that I’ve made since we’ve been sponsored by Ventura Munitions and Mike at Ventura Munitions really hooked it up, made sure I got the ammo that I needed, really went out of his way for this shoot today.

So I wanna say personally, thank you Mike, and thank you on behalf of TFB TV, Ventura Munitions for being our sponsor.

Now, moving onto the rifle, like I said, I’m really excited about this Mini-14 Tactical, I’ve never owned a Mini-14, I’ve never owned a.300 Blackout, and I think this is going to be a fun and a new experience for me.

And there’s something else really exciting about this gun that I really just can’t put my finger on it, or maybe I can.

No pun intended.

I’ve got a.30 Cal Yankee Hill can that I’m gonna put on here, and we’ve got, compliments of Ventura Munitions, some subsonic 220 grain Remington ammo that we’re gonna be able to put through this thing with the suppressor and really get the full effect.

As far as the basic stats in this Mini-14, it’s 6.75 pounds, which is pretty light for a.30 caliber gun and it feels good, it’s got a nice weight to it, a little heavy towards the front end but not much.

20 round magazines, comes with two 20 round magazines.

I don’t really like the super large, super obnoxious .300 AAC Blackout print along the side of the body, but that’s not really that big of a deal.

And when you get it, it does come in a standard shitty Ruger cardboard box, but I guess if I had to choose between having a cardboard box or a Plano and having two magazines I think I’d take the two magazines and the cardboard box.

It’s got a 16 inch cold hammer forged barrel, a 13 inch length pole, and an overall length of 36 inches.

Not bad, pretty compact.

And at 750 dollars straight, this is a pretty good way to get into.300 Blackout.

It’s relatively inexpensive for a high-quality gun.

Also, if you have a suppressor, this is a nice option for you too, because this is a piston operated gun.

So there’s going to be a lot less blowback in your face as would, say, a direct impingement AR-15, which is another good option for.300 Blackout.

To those ends, Ruger also has this picatinny rail cover that goes over the action, which they say further reduces the blowback.

I really don’t care to take this off and put it back on and see if there’s more blowback.

I don’t think that’s gonna be a huge issue, but what I do notice is that it’s nice that it comes with the gun, but you can see there’s this scalloping and that makes it hard, it made it difficult for me to get this EOTech on.

And all the way to the front was the only place I could mount this EOTech because of that scalloping, and it’s still only about half on the rail.

Ruger says that this piston operating system is optimized for shooting either subsonic suppressed or supersonic unsuppressed.300 Blackout rounds.

I’m going to test that out and shoot subsonic suppressed, supersonic unsuppressed, but also gonna shoot some supersonic through the silencer and some subsonic without, see if that makes any difference.

Now, that said, because this is already preoptimized from the factory, according to Ruger, there’s no way to adjust the gas settings on this rifle, at least that I know of.

It’s got the standard peep sight, and I like that little ghost ring in the back and a front blade with ears, but the front blade’s actually a little on the short side for me.

Again, you get the picatinny rail mount, but it also comes with Ruger’s scope rings and the receiver’s pre-drilled to accept those rings.

So, that’s a nice little feature.

Also, you’re getting a Mini-14, so, you know, it’s now not nearly as many accessories as, say, an AR-15.

However, there are pages and pages and pages of accessories for this gun, so you can pretty much rig it out the way you want.

Really excited to shoot this thing.

Let’s take it for a spin.

So as I’ve said, I’m pretty much giddy about shooting this.300 Blackout with the subsonic ammo.

This is gonna be my first time shooting 300 Blackout through a can and I’m really excited about it.

Let’s see how it does.

(pop, tink) (pop, ping) (pop, tink) (pop, ping) (pop, tink) (pop, ping) (pop, tink) Ho, ho, holy crap.

That is awesome.

Really surprised at how quiet it is.

Why do I have ears on? (pop, tink) (pop, ping) (pop, tink) (pop, ping) (pop, tink) Oh yeah, that’s awesome.

I really can’t believe how quiet a hard-hitting round like this can be when you throw a can on it.

That was 220 grain Remington.

I gotta say, the trigger is excellent on this gun.

(pop, tink) I mean, it feels like it’s five pounds, single stage.

I wanted to shoot it with my EOTech on here ’cause it would have looked way more badass, but it was so far off zero from being on my AR that I don’t think I’m gonna mess with it, and as you can see, this is 40 yards and it’s doing just fine with the peeps.

So like I said, I’ve got the Ventura Munitions, 135 grain Hollow Point that we’re gonna put through the unsuppressed Mini-14 Tactical and see how it runs, let’s see how it does.

(clicks) Well, I don’t like that.

I just slightly pulled back the charging handle, released it, and it just nosedived.

(clicks) There we go, that probably fed it.

Let’s see what happens.

(bang, ping) (bang, tink) (bang, ping) (bang, tink) (bang, ping) (bang, tink) (bang, ping) Well, I mean, probably just a fluke.

And again, this is a brand spankin’ new gun.

I’m gonna go ahead and attribute that presently to break-in, and it works reliably.

As far as the shooting experience goes, it’s really not much different.

It’s a lot louder, but other than that it’s not much different than the 220 grain in terms of recoil impulse firing accuracy.

As you can see, even with the peep sights at 40 yards, still makin’ pretty good hits on a 12 inch torso target.

But let’s change it up a little bit, throw this Yankee Hill can on there, see what happens.

(booming crack, tink) (booming crack, ping) Yeah, it goes supersonic.

It’s definitely a lot louder.

In fact, it’s unpleasant.

It’s certainly not deafening as an unsuppressed blast would be, but the gun works with it.

In fact, I would even think that this would be more reliable if it’s tuned the way Ruger says to work perfectly with 135 grain unsuppressed.

The suppressor’s probably gonna give it a little bit more back pressure and maybe make feeding even more reliable.

(booming crack, ping) (booming crack, tink) (booming crack, ping) (booming crack, tink) (booming crack, ping) So far, so good.

I notice from gripping up front towards the gas block I’m actually gettin’ a little bit of blowback on my hands, but speaking of blowback, that’s one thing I do wanna say.

I’ve had no blowback issues whatsoever with this gun.

Normally, now, if you shoot suppressed with an AR-15, a lot of you shooters know that you’ll get some debris, some hot gas blowback in your face by virtue of the direct impingement operating system.

Here with this piston system, it has been perfectly clean.

Okay, guys, you’ve seen me shoot the supersonic rounds, and the 100, low 100 grain range today, and you’ve seen me shoot the subsonic, the 220 grain.

I’ve got 6 rounds in this mag, the top 3 are gonna be supersonic, the bottom three are gonna be sub, and hopefully the mic will pick up the difference between the two.

It’ll be kind of a neat experiment.

(clicks) (bang, ping) (bang, tink) (bang, ping) (pop, tink) (pop, ping) (pop, tink) (booming crack, ping) (booming crack, tink) (booming crack, ping) (pop, tink) (pop, ping) (pop, tink) Wow, pretty cool.

Pretty nice difference.

You can tell, you can really tell ears on or off that is a huge difference between the supersonics that let out that small sonic boom and those subs that just, they’re amazing.

So I’ve been pretty impressed with this 300 Blackout all day today.

Final thoughts on the Mini-14.

I was pretty impressed with it, overall a pretty good shooting experience.

The trigger’s good.

I said that we had good accuracy, but after I put this 3-9x on it, the results weren’t as good, so maybe it isn’t the most accurate gun in the world, but if you’re looking for a good 300 Blackout, this might be your answer.

For only 750 dollars, you have a piston fired 300 Blackout gun that shoots clean, you don’t get any blowback in your face, performs very well, and you’ve got some good aftermarket support.

Nothing of course like an AR, and nowadays you can get a good 300 Blackout AR.

You could probably build your own for around 750 dollars, so it’s your call, but again, you do have the advantage that this is a piston operated gun, not DI.

And it’s piston from the ground up, so it isn’t as if you take a DI AR and put a piston operating kit on it.

We had that one little scare that you remember, where the first round wouldn’t chamber out of the magazine.

I’ve been shooting it now for three weeks and that has never occurred again.

That was just a one time thing.

But yeah, I like this enough.

I’ve got the 300 Blackout suppressor, so for me this made sense.

I went ahead and bought it.

I like it and I think Ruger’s got a good product here.

Thanks again for watching, guys.

Thanks to Ventura Munitions, and also thanks to our newest sponsor, Grizzly Targets.

We really appreciate the support, guys.

And don’t forget to subscribe, we’d really appreciate that.

Thanks for watching, see you next time.



James Reeves

James Reeves is a licensed and practicing concealed weapons instructor, the winner of Maxim Magazine’s MAXIMum Warrior, a graduate of Front Sight, the Shooter Performance Institute, and Tier 1 Group, and is an Appleseed-qualified Rifleman. James previously owned and operated a gun shop in Tallahassee, FL and worked as a regional sales representative for distributor/importer, Interstate Arms Company. He is a coverage litigation attorney by day. James likes traveling with his wife, boating, America, photography, guns, gear he doesn’t really need, cold beer, and a little exercise here and there (James is also GORUCK Tough). Above all, James enjoys creating content for TFBTV. Follow James on Twitter @jjreeves.


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  • Jeff Smith

    The lack of gas blowback is one of my favorite things about the Mini 14 platform. As someone with sinus problems, the gas from my AR automatically causes my eyes and sinuses to burn. It’s much more comfortable for me to shoot.

    • Dan

      That is actually a valid concern for some people, I took some students to the range and two of them would just start having sneezing fits several shots in. It probably doesn’t happen a lot but for the people affected it sure looks unpleasant.

  • JumpIf NotZero

    “making it a cleaner-operating gun than systems such as the direct impingement operation in the AR.”

    Lol. Yea, 2008 called and wants it marketing hype back

    • Kelly Jackson

      I’m sure you extensively tested it before not recommending it for arming your mall ninjas.

      • CommonSense23

        If you are running suppressed you are going to get dirty, op rod or not.

    • James R.

      Are those tears of sadness or scalding DI blowback in your face?

      Sure, it is definitely marketing hype, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a kernel of truth. Anyone who has shot both DI and piston rifles suppressed knows which one is “cleaner” after being repeatedly blasted in the grill by hot debris…

      • CommonSense23

        Even shooting full auto as a left its not as bad as people make it out to be. If you want to see bad, try shooing a suppressed belt fed.

  • Bill

    Ruger needs to watch their pricing on the Mini. It’s a great gun, but always a distant second to the AR. It seems like Mini prices have gone up, while AR prices have gone down, and people and agencies are likely to buy a cheaper, lower quality AR because hey, it’s an AR and Cool Guys carry ARs, instead of going with a higher quality and slightly more expensive Mini, which looks like an Old Guys gun and doesn’t have 30,000 unnecessary accessories. Now if only they’d make PMags or Lancers for them.

    I don’t know if NYPD still has any in their arsenal, but I still use mine.

    • Bear The Grizzly

      If they didn’t take the proprietary mags I think they could justify the cost a little more, but the fact that mags are 40-50$ a piece and I can’t easily obtain replacement parts is a major buzzkill. Personally, I think Ruger keeps the mini around for sentimental reasons.

      • SMH

        It sells well in ban states.

      • Josh

        Only the factory mags are that much, you can get tapco mags and steel mags from promag for under $20

        • Bill

          And malfunction drills at no extra charge. Sorry, I just have had very bad luck with Promags.

          • Bear The Grizzly

            I definitely wouldn’t waste my time or money with Promag, but the Tapco’s (only 2) I bought for my dad seem to work well enough for him. I think the Ruger’s are still superior, but not at the cost they’re asking for.

          • Josh

            I guess I have had better luck with promag than you have. Might be more recent mags are better, mine are all 2013 or newer.

          • mixter102

            My promags require more mantainance than the Ruger mags. I’ve had to disasemble clean, lube and do minor tweeks to all of my Promags on a regular basis. I only use them because I live in California, and the 10 round Ruger mags are expensive and hard to find.

      • James R.

        The TAPCO Gen2 mags with metal-reinforced collars are supposed to be legit. I just bought one, I’ll let you know.

    • Dan

      Really? 30,000 unnecessary accessories? More like 29,930, get your facts straight!

  • SMH

    Ruger needs to redesign the gas block on the mini rifles. I’m no engineer but i am convinced this is where a lot of the guns accuracy problems stem from.

    The barrel is very very skinny under the gas block (less so now that in older mini’s) and has four screws holding the clam shell block in place. If all the screws aren’t all torqued to the same specs or one side starts to loosen up you get bigger groups in a rifle that isn’t that accurate to begin with. They should go with a one piece style slip on block and open up the diameter of the gas block more so their isn’t a paper thin section of the barrel right in the middle.

    • James R.

      I don’t have the knowledge to confirm or dispute this, but it sounds right to me. Thanks for the comment.

      • SMH

        Some mini’s benefit accuracy wise from having the gas block screws retorqued so they are all the same. Having one side to tight or the front screws tighter than the rear screws does weird things to the point of aim and can make it shift all over the place. Were it my mini i might want to pop the gas block off to make sure the top and bottom mating surfaces are square and smooth, torque all four screws evenly and then visually check to make sure the gap between top and bottom is the same on both sides of the block. Its something you can do for free that might make those groups shrink some and worked on a mini i use to own.

  • Anton Gray Basson

    I do love the Mini 14/Mini 30 and the accuracy isnt great out of the family, this gun is pretty much typical that.

  • James R.

    Ha, thanks. Just the facts, pure journalism.

  • noob

    It would be interesting to see a comparison in accuracy between mini14-300blackout and mini 30. I wonder if we might get surprised.

  • Chumlaw

    The glaring ommission here is the accuracy data….I have owned mini-14s and mini-30s and carried one as a police officer since 1976. Even killed a big deer with one…but the glaring problems has been off the shelf accuracy…. the target versions and aftermarket modifications can create an moa gun, but most are like 4 moa. Not a big deal for a 200 yard gun, but some of us like to lob them at coyotes. No gun review is worth much without an accuracy test. So we must assume the author got such bad results he just did not report??????? Or was it too hot or too cold that 3 weeks?

  • Chumlaw

    Follow up: The one little blurb in the video show poor accuracy. as that with subsonics, all ammo, was that the best possible group? Again, more detail needed.