Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Mini-14 Rail Mounts

Although the Mini-14 is a long time favorite of preppers, it has always suffered from a couple of flaws that have held the rifle back from its full potential. Although the rifle is reliable (perhaps even more so than the AK), it has traditionally had poor quality sights. The original sights on the rifle, although sturdy, were not the best for accuracy--the front post was too large and thick, and the rear peep site, although rugged, blocked too much of the sight picture. Although the Ranch version had better rear sights for precision work, the sights were too delicate.

Ruger finally addressed this issue (and a few more) in the past few years with the newer "tactical" models. In the meantime, though, the world had moved on to optical sighting systems using rails. Because of the design of the Mini-14 (similar to the M-14), it is not amenable to rails over the bolt. ATI makes a stock system that has front rails. But for someone with an older rifle or someone that wants to keep the general look of the Mini-14 (which is rather benign), there are not a lot of good options for upgrading the sights.

Although I have not used these products, I have come across a couple that may be good solutions. Tech-Sights makes a replacement rear sight system that appears to be superior to the original, and has good reviews. (They also make improved sights for other rifles, including the AK and SKS).

As for rail systems, there are rail/scope mounts that replace the cover plate on the right side of the rifle. These appear to be indifferent to poor in quality, and I have not seen good reviews. As noted, ATI makes a stock system with front rails, but you have to replace the whole stock. Considering the top handguard of the Mini-14, I have wondered why someone didn't make a replacement that incorporated a rail system. To my delight, I found a business advertising such a product--the Country Shed is selling a "Mini-Scout-Mount" that replaces the top handguard of the Mini-14 (and the top half of the gas block) with a rail system.

If anyone has had experience with these products, I would appreciate hearing from you.

1 comment:

  1. One of my sons got a UltiMAK rail mount for his mini-14 (http://ultimak.com/m4.htm) to mount an EOTech sight. It looked like a decent product, but he hasn't done enough shooting with it for me to have any opinion about its durability.


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