Choosing the Best Mini 14 Stocks
There are many types of Mini 14 stocks available on the market to fit consumer shooting needs and styles. The Mini 14 Ranch rifle originally came with a wood stock. These stocks have been the traditional style stock when you think of a Ruger Mini 14.
Over the years, as the Mini 14 has gained popularity with law enforcement, varmint hunters, and homestead defenders, the aftermarket has produced a large number of replacement stocks to fill consumer demands. Recently, Ruger also produced the Ruger Mini 14 Tactical series, recognizing the high demand for a tactical style Mini 14.
The Ruger Mini 14 is a highly versatile rifle and can be modified to fit the needs of many groups of firearms owners. From home defense and small game hunting to law enforcement and tactical use, The Mini 14 can do the job.
The Ruger Mini 14 rifles can be custom designed to the needs of the shooter. Every shooter has different needs and tailoring the rifle to those needs is always beneficial. Hunting, target shooting, self defense, and tactical training are just a few examples of the role a Mini 14 can play. Hunters can design a lightweight and accurate rifle, while a target shooter may prefer a heavier and more physically appealing rifle.
The rifle stock dictates the length of pull, the weight, handling, and the comfort of the rifle. It is important to consider your needs and customize the rifle to those needs. You can create a purpose built rifle that excels at that purpose, or build a rifle that meets the needs a multiple uses.
Needs to Consider When Choosing a Mini 14 Stock
- Maintenance and abuse of the rifle
- Weight of rifle
- Length of rifle
- Appearance of the rifle
- Shooters and shooting style
Maintenance and Abuse
The abuse that you can dish out to a rifle stock can greatly affect your stock choice. Decide if you are going to keep this gun in the safe except when at the range on a sunny day or if you will be marching through the muddy forest on a rainy hunt.
There is nothing wrong with working your rifle hard, just make sure that you plan for rough use when choosing your stock to ensure the lifespan of your stock. If you decide on a stock that will require a lot of maintenance to retain its value and condition, you should be aware of the work it will take.
The Ruger Mini 14 is not the lightest rifle on the market and your choice in stocks can greatly increase or decrease the carry weight of your firearm. Wood stocks are constructed of a solid piece of wood and can be heavy on long winded hikes or prolonged handling of the rifle. Synthetic stocks are definitely lighter, however don’t provide as much recoil mitigation.
There are plenty of synthetic stocks that can be just as heavy as wooden stocks. Check the synthetic stock for the necessities before choosing. If weight is the concern, stay away from synthetic stocks that have extra material in the buttstock, more rails than you can count, and other unnecessary parts that increase the weight of the stock.
On the other side, wood and metal stocks can be lighter when designed properly. There are some metal stocks that are a skeleton style frame and have the bare bones structure, thus cutting the weight down. Wood stocks can have material removed as well to lighten the load.
Length of the Rifle
The Ruger Mini 14 Ranch Rifle comes with a factory length of 38”, but don’t be deceived by the length, a folding stock or adjustable stock can ensure a short length to fit your needs. There are many folding Mini 14 Stocks available to increase portability and concealment. Tactical style adjustable position stocks can be used to shorten and lengthen the stock for close quarters or to fit the shooter.
Mini 14 folding stocks are hinged directly behind the receiver, greatly reducing the length of the rifle. This is useful for transporting the rifle in various situations. Make sure you get a folding stock that locks solidly in both the folded and unfolded positions.
Adjustable Mini 14 stocks usually have 3-6 positions to move the stock in or out. This function is used to get the right length of pull for the shooter, no matter the size or clothing of the user. It is particularly usefull in close quarter situations, such as in the home.
Mini 14 Appearance
Sometimes an important feature of our rifles is the appearance, although it certainly should not be the most important. Your taste and your budget will guide you in this area.
Some folks prize the beauty of a traditional wood stock above all else, while some enjoy the sleek tactical styling of a black synthetic stock. The choice is yours and there is a stock out there to meet your taste.
Shooters and Shooting Style
That’s because people come in all shapes and sizes and Mini 14 stocks do as well. We know that men and women are different sizes and that some people have longer arms than others, so your stock should be fit to you. You can’t change your size and shape, but you can change your stock to the one that fits best or is adjustable to your needs. Shooting styles also differ; hunters hold their rifles differently than tactically trained individuals.
Recognize you size and issues that you have with longer or shorter stocks. Make sure that you get the stock that fits you. If multiple shooters may be using the same Mini 14, look into an adjustable type stock.
Many tactical shooters are trained to get in closer on the rifle and sights with a square stance, while hunters often use canted stance and have their head farther back on the rifle. Know what type of shooter you are and the style shooting that is most comfortable and effective for you.