Ruger Mini-14 Tactical Rifle, in 300 AAC Blackout

Ruger 300 BLK-1

Ruger Mini-14 tactical rifle, in 300 AAC Blackout

The Ruger Mini-14 has been a very popular carbine for about forty years, initially and still offered in .223 Remington,  then the Mini-30 in 7.62×39, and now the Tactical Rifle in 300 AAC Blackout.

The Ruger Mini-14 is very similar to the M-14/M1A as far as design and operation, a proven reliable system. Early on it found a degree of fame in The A Team TV show. Now I never saw any of those cats hit a damn thing with their stainless Mini-14s but they looked cool and that counts for a lot.  I am sure all those misses was not the fault of the rifle but greasy lawyers.

The 300 AAC Blackout has become pretty popular over the past couple of years due to it’s versatility. In the lighter weight bullets from 90gr to 150gr it is very similar, bastically, as the  7.62×39 but you don’t feel like a Communist when you are seen in public with it. With heavier bullets from around 208gr to 240gr it can be loaded subsonic so when you use a silencer it is plenty quiet but still puts a lot of energy downrange.

You can read about my 300 Blackout ballistic test by following this link and get an idea of how it performs.

With the Mini-14 being so popular and less expensive than many of the AR-15s available in 300 BLK it makes sense Ruger would introduce it in 300 BLK. Initially the Mini-14 in .223 was not known as an exceptionally accurate rifle, though the few I have shot were plenty accurate for such a handy little carbine. Ruger did address the accuracy issue of the earlier Mini-14s and the newer ones are more accurate.

Included is an optimized gas port that cycles supersonic ammunition and subsonic ammunition. All the subsonic ammunition I shot through this rifle reliably cycled without a silencer except the Hornady 208gr. I had no issues with any of the supersonic rounds. Groups sizes between supersonic and subsonic were similar with the subsonic grouping a few inches lower. Ruger does specify using a silencer with subsonic rounds for reliability, but personally if you stick with 220gr or heavier bullets in subsonic you should not have reliability issues without a can.

Ruger 300 BLK-1-4

A cold hammer-forged, medium contour, alloy steel barrel is 16.1 inches, 1 in 7 twist and a 5/8″x 24 threaded barrel with a flash suppressor. A 16″ barrel is optimum length for the 300 BLK getting all the velocity from the cartridge and keeping the rifle easy to wield.

Ruger 300 BLK-4

The rifle includes two,  twenty-round steel magazines and they are laser engraved identify the caliber, 300 AAC Blackout. The 300 Blackout parent cartridge is .223 Remington, which is cut down below the shoulder and necked to .30 caliber. Factory .223 magazines from the Mini-14 will fit in the 300 BLK Mini-14, feed, and lock the slide back. You have to be sure you are using the correct ammunition for your rifle. That is the reason Ruger clearly marks the magazine.

Ruger 300 BLK-6

The stock is made of a durable glass-reinforced nylon. Here you see the ambidextrous safety. The trigger was not bad, with some creep and broke about seven and a half pounds.

Ruger 300 BLK-8

A protected, non-glare, post front sight.

Ruger 300 BLK-7

Adjustable ghost ring rear sight, though it functioned, I would of liked it to be easier to adjust.

Ruger 300 BLK-9

A small button is located on the left side of the receiver, which has a matte black oxide finish, for manually locking the bolt back.

Ruger 300 BLK-1-5

A section of Picatinny rail, for mounting over the action, and two Ruger scope mounts is provided from Ruger.

Now, how is the new Ruger- Mini 14 in 300 Blackout? Well folks that is what we are going to get at.

Initial Range Trip

Ruger 300 BLK-1-3

I took the new Ruger straight out of the box to check function and zero the iron sights at twenty-five yards before we head to the 100 yard line. I tried the rifle with some supersonic ammo, then added my AAC SR-7 silencer and ran some subsonics through it. The sights were pretty close at twenty-five yards and through a few magazines I experienced no malfunctions. I was satisfied the gun was sighted in and seemed reliable so we packed up for the day, and made plans for the 100 yard line and more function checking.

Ruger Mini 14 Tactical 300BLK accuracy

Accuracy from 100 yards, 3 shot groups from a rest. Truthfully better than I expected.

 Conclusions

The Mini-14 is and has been a proven rifle over the years and Ruger has certainly made some improvements over time. This new incarnation chambered in 300 AAC Blackout is no exception. Through 250 some odd rounds from various manufactures I had no malfunctions, even using Mini-14 .223 magazines, and I am not counting not cycling the Hornady 208gr subsonic without a silencer as a malfunction.  It proved to be plenty accurate, though make no mistake, this is no benchrest rifle nor cartridge, but as carbines go it is on par with where it should be. In my opinion this rifle would be excellent as a brush gun or a handy rifle to keep in your truck. As far as home defense, personally I would want to have a silencer installed due to how loud carbines can be in enclosed areas.  Though the sights are low to the bore, they were tall enough to see over a silencer if you choose to run the gun in such a way. Recoil was easily managed even though the rifle is not very heavy.  All things considered I believe Ruger did well chambering their Mini-14 in the 300 Blackout.

Specifications

Stock: Black Synthetic Finish: Blued
Rear Sight: Adjustable Front Sight: Blade
Barrel Length: 16.1″ Overall Length: 36.25″
Material: Alloy Steel Length of Pull: 13″
Weight: 6.75 lbs. Capacity: 20
Grooves: 6 Twist: 1:7″ RH
Suggested Retail: $1019.00

Acknowledgments

Stillwood Ammunition

Defender Ammunition

Hornady

 

 

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2 Responses to Ruger Mini-14 Tactical Rifle, in 300 AAC Blackout

  1. Barbara September 3, 2015 at 2:36 pm #

    Enjoyed reading this article, very good. Thanks for all the thought and time you do put into your gun reviews.

  2. Steve December 23, 2015 at 1:52 pm #

    I liked your review, too, and your shooting protocol and results intersect nicely with mine.

    My only complaint about my Mini-14 300 BLK is the width of the center blade on the front sight; I estimate that thing to be somewhere between 12 and 16 MOA wide. Only been shooting for about 9 months, now, first with a 10/22TD, then I bought the Mini, even after reading this review. I now know that I’ve been spoiled by the Tech-Sights I put on the front and rear of the 10/22, with front post spec’d at 7.63MOA.

    So, to the point, this past Saturday, I installed new rear sight (from Tech-Sights) and a new Ulitmak rail on the Mini. I was itchin’ to get to a range and find a zero with the new sights. So, I drove to Montgomery County Shooting Complex (Tennessee, south of Fort Campbell, a really great range), to test it out. In intermittent rain, mostly a left-to-right cross-wind, sometimes changing to a head-wind, using 150gr supersonic ammo, I aimed, shot, assessed, and adjusted my new “irons” at 50yds until I put 3 a set of 4 consecutive rounds into a 1″ circle, then 2 straight sets of 3 shots into, first, a 2″ square, then, into a 2″ circle. After that, I moved to 100yds and put my first 3rds from the Mini into the bull, with group diameter right at 2.25″.

    (My results with 10/22 were, in general, slightly better, after I gauged the drop.)

    I know that is not at the level of Alvin York or Carlos Hathcock, but, based upon what I’ve read from so many folks who dismiss pretty much all variants of the Mini, insofar as accuracy goes, my results seem to border on outstanding (even though I know I’m not THAT GOOD).

    I will confess that I truly prefer the more traditional look of the Mini to that of anything else I’ve seen in its product segment. I rate the M1A offerings from Springfield as gorgeous, too, and I looked at them, but I didn’t want to spend that much, so I put them in a different market. However, I think my Mini now looks even better than NIB, a bit more elegantly bad-a$$, since I added that Ultimak rail.

    (No animals were harmed during my session, but, 8 out of 10 squirrels agree, they would have been.)

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