MINI 14 GAS PISTON HELP NEEDED

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Rainman

Blackhawk
Joined
Mar 13, 2009
Messages
505
Location
Land of the Cherokee , Georgia
I recently got a 185 series Mini 14. It shoots great but I don't think it had ever been cleaned. It's blue and when I was cleaning the area around the gas piston, I noticed it was seriously pitted. Inside the operating rod is fine but the gas piston itself is rotten! It is loose to the touch. How much trouble is it to change out? Would you recommend replacing with a stainless one while I have it apart?

Thanks,

Dan
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
21,748
Location
Lake Lure NC USA
Ok, I've never had to remove or replace a gas piston. However, I did a little research into the disassembly of the Mini. All the manuels I have recommend that you NOT take apart the gas block assy, unless necessary. They also say that if the gun is working ok, do not mess with it. (If it ain't broke,, don't fix it.) Also, oil inside the piston area is not recommended.
But, if you feel the need to replace it, I'd get the book "Gun Digest of Firearms Assembly/Disassembly Pt 4 Centerfire rifles, Revised edition." It has EXCELLENT pics of a complete teardown of the mini.
I hope this helps a bit.
 

bub

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jul 28, 2007
Messages
245
Location
NE Ohio
Rainman, I don't know of you are a member on the "other" Ruger site, www.rugerforum.net but Iowegan, a retired gunsmith, has IBOKs (Iowegan's Book Of Knowledge) on several different types of guns and has just come out with one for the Mini 14. Included are complete, detailed instructions for detail stripping the entire gun, including the gas system. Doesn't seem too hard, the most difficult part seems to be finding a torque wrench that will read in inch pounds (the bolts on the gas block require torquing to 20 inch pounds, IIRC). Join and get 10 posts and all the IBOKs become available.

On a side note, although I don't own a Mini, I read the Mini 14 IBOK and learned a lot about the Mini. I always assumed that the gas piston was an actual captured, non-removable gas piston, like on an M1 Carbine, and that turned me off of Minis. If I own a gun, I like to be able to strip it for cleaning, gas system included. Thanks to the detailed pics and descriptions, I now know that the Mini gas "piston" is more like, I dunno, a "spigot" that goes into a hole in the slide, which then acts like a piston. I've always liked the way the Mini looks and am now considering one in stainless for a "General Purpose" gun. Now, if mags would just come down in price to where AR mags are, I'd be a REAL happy camper!

Bub
 

Rainman

Blackhawk
Joined
Mar 13, 2009
Messages
505
Location
Land of the Cherokee , Georgia
Thanks for your help guys. Even though I haven't been a member on here all that long, I have been reading this forum for quite some time. I have noticed you can always count on Contender and others to share helpful info.

I looked at it again today and noticed one of the 4 hex screws holding the gas collar on was half way out- another testimony as to how tough these critters are and can still function normally. I'm going to order a new stainless gas pipe piston and bushing to have on hand. I'll probably change it out pretty soon since I can get pretty anal about petty stuff like that.

Thanks again.

Dan
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
21,748
Location
Lake Lure NC USA
I haven't checked the "other" site for an IBOK for the mini,,,yet,,,,! But I will soon. Iowegan is an excellent source of info. Kudos to him for the IBOK's he does.
 

Rainman

Blackhawk
Joined
Mar 13, 2009
Messages
505
Location
Land of the Cherokee , Georgia
Removing the gas blocks, changing the bushing and gas piston is a non-event! Actually I will do it again occasionaly when a detailed cleaning is warranted. It reveals a lot of crud under there that caused some corrosion. I cleaned and replaced with new parts (stainless) but some fairly severe pitting was already done.

Replace the gas blocks using an "X" pattern and make sure the spaces on both side are equal and screws are snug. It's a piece of cake and works like a champ.

Thanks for the help guys.

Dan
 

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