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Mini 14: Bolt Removal With Scope Installed

This is a discussion on Mini 14: Bolt Removal With Scope Installed within the Ruger Semi-Auto forums, part of the Rifle & Shotgun Forum category; Removing and installing the bolt on my Mini 14 Ranch Rifle requires at least one bottle of beer after completing the process. Now that I ...

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Old April 4th, 2013, 04:17 PM   #1
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Mini 14: Bolt Removal With Scope Installed

Removing and installing the bolt on my Mini 14 Ranch Rifle requires at least one bottle of beer after completing the process. Now that I have mounted a scope, it seems that removing the bolt is one step short of impossible (I got it out one time) and installing the bolt is impossible (ended up pulling the scope). Beer don't help and I was about to reach sledge hammer attitude when in pitched in the towell. Anyone know a trick to remove and install the bolt in a scoped mini 14?

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Old April 4th, 2013, 10:34 PM   #2
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I 100% get were you are coming from.

When I first started disassembling my mini, the bolt would piss me off like no other.

When I added the scope it made it worse, at first.

The thing is, the more you do it, the easier it gets. There is a sweet spot for removing, and especially replacing the bolt. I have found that removing the bolt catch makes it a ton easier to replace.

But the best part is that I barely clean mine anymore. I used to clean it after every shooting, but I would never find much to clean. Only the barrel needs a run through. I will clean it, just not as often as other rifles. The barrel gets cleaned often, especially with dirty ammo, but there is really not much else that needs to be cleaned super often.

Additionally, removing the scope and leaving the rings in place allows for a re install without out losing to much zero.

But overall, you can lube the bolt without removal, and I can not find enough dirt mess on it to clean very often.
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Old April 5th, 2013, 12:06 PM   #3
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I got the bolt out one time after 30 -45 minutes. Since it was a miraculous thing and my frame of mind was not great, I could not figure out what I did.

I totally removed the scope & mounts. Figured the Ruger mounts would come back close to zero. Not quite as good as I had hoped.

Next time I have the urge to pull the bolt, I will remove the scope frome the rings. Since the hang up point was on the adjstment cover, this should let me fight the bolt in and out. Maybe if I mark the scope on either side of the rings and torque the screws it will come back close.
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Old April 5th, 2013, 03:20 PM   #4
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Before cleaning my mini I always remove the scope by loosening the rings nuts and then lift the scope with rings attached off of the receiver. Removing the mag catch cover plate makes it easier to remove and reinstall the bolt. I've not had any zero issues with my scope with this method. As mentioned previously, there is a "sweet spot" and all you need to do is jiggle the bolt a tad for it to slip in when reassembling. NEVER use force.
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Old April 5th, 2013, 07:45 PM   #5
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I leave the bolt in place and spray my receiver and bolt down with cheap carb cleaner. I re-oil and drive on. The barrel and chamber is a different story. But; as for the bolt, I was born at night but it wasn't last night. kwg
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Old April 6th, 2013, 12:37 PM   #6
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Well now I have two approaches. Leave the bolt alone & clean with carb cleaner or pull the scope. I think I will start with the carb cleaner method. Some day when I am Happy, Happy, Happy (per the Duck men), I will set up the rifle in a lead sled and a 25 yard target, set the cross hairs on the bulls eye, shoot a laser bore sighter on the target and mark the spot, then pull the scope. This should allow me to use up my happy time until I get like the old buzzard that says "Patience Hell - I'm gonna kill somthing". Maybe in 2 or 3 days I can find the sweet spot, put the sope back on, wait for more happy days and try to pull the bolt with the scope. If I leave all my junk in place, I might get the scope back on line or real close. It is good to find out that I am not a totally clumsey doofus that just can't hold his tongue right.
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Old April 17th, 2013, 10:29 AM   #7
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I rolled the scope 90 degrees to get the windage adjustment out of the way. Bolt comes in and out without any problem. May have to pull scope and do the mechanical and optical center exercise again. Scope way off after I rolled it. Took up most of the adjustment travel to get elevation back on zero. Having the rear base screw loosen up during an outing to evaluate some loads may have compounded the problem, it sure messed up my load evaluations.
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Old April 17th, 2013, 01:46 PM   #8
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Ring height also will have an effect on how easy or hard it is as well. I have a target mini with a set of high rings and a nikon 4x12x40 bdc. I always remove the bolt catch assembly before removing the bolt. ( I completely field strip it for cleaning everytime.) After shooting the rifle a couple hundred rounds it does get easier. I also have a mini 30 and mini 14 std with GG&G 1913 mounts which are really lower to the receiver than a scope in the factory rings, and can still use the bolt catch removal method. The reassembly is tricky but is possible. One thing that helped me was watching how the brass ejects from the gun when firing, the is almost the same angle that the bolt needs to be to remove it and reinstall it in the action. Hang in there bud, many have been down the same path you are on, and navigated it fine after some time, and now enjoy their beer afterwards.
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Old April 30th, 2013, 05:25 PM   #9
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I don't like doing a field strip with the scope on - All the handling involved in the field strip is more likely to knock the scope off zero than removing the scope from the receiver. On the matter of removing the bolt, the thing that works best for me is to come in at pretty much a 90 degree angle, in other words I don't try to slide it in parallel to the receiver, I go in end down (with the bolt face up). It actually shows this as the best method in the manual. One other note - I was having trouble with the ejected shell pinging off the windage knob of the scope. It was a problem because it kept throwing me off zero. Finally I thought to swivel the scope 90 degrees counter clockwise so that the windage knob actually controlled elevation and vice versa and that moved the windage knob out of the way of the cartridge ejection and solved the problem - this was mentioned above. It looks a little screwy but who cares.

Last edited by semperparatus; April 30th, 2013 at 05:30 PM.
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 02:11 PM   #10
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seriously, if you are going to clean your mini regularly, as i do, it is worth the cost of these pricey rings. i can pop my scope on and off in a matter of seconds, and only once has it come off zero after removing it dozens of times. they are pricey, but a product that does what it claims. i love shooting scope and irons and i do it every time i am at the range with my mini! just get the QD rings!

next, as for getting out the pesky bolt, there is only one answer. do it over and over and it gets easier each time. also be sure you always remove your bolt stop assembly before taking the bolt out or you'll be swearing far more than needed.

hope this helps....

Last edited by hawkguy; May 2nd, 2013 at 02:14 PM. Reason: typos
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