A few days ago, a photo leaked of a possible new tactical version of the Ruger Mini-14. At the time, I stated that it looked like a Mini-14 with the ATI stock on it. Well, that is exactly what it is.
Ruger was showing the “new” Mini-14 at the 2009 Media Day at the Range. According to the Ruger rep, ATI is manufacturing the Strikeforce stock with the Ruger emblem and shipping them to Ruger, where the Mini-14 is assembled and shipped to dealers. According to the rep, that’s it: no other new features or items that you wouldn’t get by ordering your own ATI Strikeforce stock and putting it onto a Runger Mini-14.
The Mini-14/20CF is finished in matte black and fitted with the ATI stock. This stock has a quad rail fore and an adjustable, side-folding buttstock. It is a nice set-up and feels solid. The folks at Ruger say these are already shipping and are already on some dealers shelves. The MSRP is $872.
I said at the time that I didn’t think this was a show stopper, and it wasn’t. Very few people were looking at it, and fewer still were shooting it. The Ruger LCR was clearly the big announcement from Ruger.
Regardless of what gun qualifies as a show stopper at the SHOT Show, the new tactical Mini-14 rifles from Ruger will likely be a hit. The company does not offer many tactical products, and these are the guns that are becoming much more popular with the buying product. Bill Ruger, long since gone from the company, had a bad reputation with some gun owners regarding Second Amendment issues. The Ruger company definitely is separating itself from the legacy of Bill Ruger with these tactical Mini-14 rifles. These are clearly not something he would have developed or sold.
It appears that the Ruger “show stopping” product may be a gussied-up Mini-14. It seems that TD over at The Unforgiving Minute (site now defunct) found a picture of a Mini-14 rifle tucked away on Ruger’s website. The rifle (pictured here) appears to be of a Mini-14 with a quad-rail and a folding, adjustable buttstock.
I speculated that Ruger may introduce something to attract the AR15 buyers, as that market is white-hot right now. Frankly, I was expecting more. As I was discussing with Eric Shelton of the Handgun Podcast, the photo looks like a Mini-14 with a TAPCO or ATI stock. The rifle looks very much like the Mini-14 with the ATI Strikeforce stock that sells for $109.00. While interesting, I would not consider it a “show stopper.”
Maybe I’m missing something, but I hope Ruger has more than a Mini-14 with an after-market stock for us in a couple of days.