A Jeep Gun

Sheriff Jim Wilson has chosen the Ruger tactical Mini-14 as his go-to Jeep gun.
For a while now I have been searching for a rifle to just leave in my jeep. Oh, I keep a tricked out Remington 870 in the Jeep and have been known to have some sort of pistol in reach pretty near all of the time. However, a lot of the country that I live in is wide open and isn’t really shotgun or pistol country. And, since it is pretty close to the Rio Grande, I figured that something that held a whole lot of bullets might not be all that bad.

Without intending to take anything away from the various AR’s and AK’s, I must admit to having always had a soft spot in my heart for the Ruger Mini-14. I like the Garand-like safety which works well of a left-handed person like me. I like the portability of the Mini-14, too. It reminds me of the old M1 Carbine, but with a better cartridge.

A few years ago, Ruger simply stopped production of the Mini-14 and revamped their machinery. Essentially, they tightened up the rifle’s tolerances and slightly beefed up the barrel. No, it’s still not an MOA rifle, but it is also not designed for an MOA task. But it will qualify as a MOC rifle….that’s minute-of-cartel for your northern folks.

The Mini-14 that I chose is the tactical model with the black synthetic stock. I like it a lot and it sure likes the good Black Hills ammo that I have been feeding it. Right now I have no plans for putting a scope on it. The iron sights seem to be just fine, although I will probably grind off those silly wings on either side of the front sight.

We don’t have much trouble along this particular stretch of the Rio Grande; it’s too rugged for most of the dope smugglers and ne’er-do-wells that haunt the country further downstream. But, when you do get in trouble down there folks, you are on your own. There’s not any cell service and you may go all day and not see another person. What I’m saying is that you kind of have to take care of your own business down in those canyons and the vega of the river.

So I think this Ruger Mini-14 will do a yeoman’s job as a Jeep gun. In a way, it sort of reminds me of Frank Hamer’s Model 8 Remington, in .25 Remington, that he used to tend to a lot of business.

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18 Responses to A Jeep Gun

  1. Jim Wilson says:

    Some folks make an issue over accuracy. In fact, the Mini is more accurate than the M1 Carbine, the AK47, and 30/30 leverguns.

  2. JS says:

    heck of a patrol rifle to

  3. Jack says:

    I live in Southern Arizona, drive a 08 Rubicon unlimited and carry a new model Mini 14 as well. I’ve yet to figure out a good way to carry it. I use a leather scabbard attached to the back seats and am trying to incorporate the roll bar. I bought the same model as you but my love for wood forced me to find a take off wooden stock. It now is Muy Grande.

  4. ensitue says:

    The new Mini Ranch is a fine rifle, far more ergonomic than the AR/AK. You’ll find a 2-7 scope and a trigger job will move it into the MOA realm. Keep the front sight ears intact they can actually be used to gage lead and distance using an object of known size

  5. Larry Venable says:

    Speaking of the Remington model 8,
    can you recommend a gunsmith to work
    on a model 81 in .35 Rem ??
    My dads old gun.
    Firing pin issue.

    • Jim Wilson says:

      Larry…I really don’t know of anyone in particular. Any professional gunsmith ought to be able to fix it, though.

  6. Steve Wice says:

    Jim, I had a Ruger Mini-14 years ago, but sold it because I could not find reliable hi-cap mags. Back then Ruger did not offer them to the public, and the aftermarkets just did not work. I would fire one round and three more would eject behind it. Kept me busy gathering up unspent cartridges. It worked great with the little 5 round Ruger mags. I don’t know if the new Ruger 30 round mags are dependable. I hope they are!

  7. Verlin Rector says:

    Hi Jim,
    Bought a new mini14 recently in 7.62/39. Did trigger job from Accuracy Systems in Byers Colorado,,Awesome Rifle!! V.Rector

    • I think the 7.62 x 39 Round is for the Roger Mini 30 not the Mini 14 — it originally fit the AK47 I believe —
      I have both the Ruger Mini 14 (5.62 / .223) and the Ruger Mini 30 (7.62 x 39) —

  8. Karl Spencer says:

    Love my Mini-14 and it is MOA with iron sights. I have AR’s, AK’s and HK’s among others and still love this rifle.

  9. Mike Partain says:

    My question is also how are you carrying it in your jeep. I unfortunately live in an urban environment and will be carrying a mossberg 590 20 inch barrel. Just can’t figure out a good place for it in my Jeep Wrangler unlimited.

  10. Pete Keigher aka pksgundogs says:

    Sheriff Jim,

    I have not owned a Ruger Mini 14, but I have a law enforcement client in rural Alaska that has been using the Mini for the past 20 years or so. They have recently decided to go to a Rock River AR15 type direct impingement rifle. I can say that I do love all of my Rugers, Blackhawk 45 convertible with Power Custom upgrades, Ruger Redhawk 44, Model 77 Mark II in 30.06, Single Six Convertible, and most recently a trade for a Ruger Gunsite Scout rifle in 308 Winchester. This is a very accurate rifle with a Vortex 3×9 variable. Pksgundogs

  11. Ed says:

    How’s that Mini-14 holding up? How many rounds have you put through it?

  12. Pingback: Those Handy Carbines - Sheriff Jim WilsonSheriff Jim Wilson

  13. Joel Swenson says:

    Love the articles! Trying to sign up on FB but am having trouble.

  14. Kevin Ward says:

    Carry the mini 30 tactical in my cj7, same concerns here in Az

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