How to Field-Strip a Ruger Mini-14 Rifle

by Contributor

A Ruger Mini-14 Ranch Rifle is a popular firearm among small-game hunters, law enforcement officers, prison tower snipers, target shooters and the average firearms enthusiast. The Mini-14 is chambered for .223 (5.56) caliber U.S. military and commercial cartridges or rounds. The Ruger Mini-14 is highly customizable, with a variety of accessories that owners can purchase to modify the rifle to meet needs or personal style. The Mini-14 is 6 lbs., 6 oz., and has a fixed piston and mobile cylinder gas operating system with a short-stroke piston similar to its cousin the M14, but it differs with its self-cleaning design.

1. Make sure the safety is in the "On" position. The safety is located in front of the trigger guard. The safety is on when the safety latch is pushed toward the butt or toward you. The safety is off when the safety latch is pushed away from you, toward the muzzle. The safety has to be on to disassemble the Mini 14.

2. Release and remove the magazine. To do this, push the release latch forward. The latch is located in front of the trigger, right behind the magazine.

3. Ensure the firing pin is locked to the rear. To do this, cock the charging handle to the rear and release it forward. When you do this you can also inspect the chamber to be 100 percent sure the rifle is unloaded.

4. Turn the Ruger Mini 14 over. Take a flat-head screwdriver and pop the trigger guard out of its place. There is a little hole behind the trigger guard; insert the screwdriver in that hole and pull it upward. You can also use a .223 cartridge as substitute for a screwdriver.

5. Remove the trigger assembly after popping it out of its place.

6. Flip the Mini 14 back over and remove the barrel/receiver assembly away from the wooden stock. To do this, grip the rear sights tightly, and firmly pull upward and apart from the bottom wooden stock. Just put the lower receiver/wooden stock aside and away from your work space.

7. Take the top receiver that you just pulled off the wooden stock. Remove the spring guide and recoil spring. Do this with caution, because the spring is heavily compressed. Push the recoil spring and guide into the gas tube and pull it straight out. This will allow you to do the following step, which is to remove charging slide/handle.

8. Take of the little pin and round piece.

9. Pull the charging handle/slide to the rear, aligning the projections slide with the disassembly notch on the receiver. With a light upward force, remove the charging handle/slide.

10. Take off the bolt lock plate and plunger with a drill punch.

11. After taking out the bolt lock plate and plunger, take out the other pin, next to it, inserted into the frame.

12. Remove the bolt: Pull and twist the bolt out of the receiver until it pivots out and aligns the firing pin with the slot on the bottom receiver.

13. Refer to a professional gunsmith or an experienced firearms user for further disassembly. Otherwise, clean your parts. To re-assemble the Ruger Mini-14 rifle, reverse these steps.

Items you will need

  • Ruger Mini 14 rifle
  • Designated table or work area
  • Screwdriver & punch
  • Cleaning kit


  • Get into the habit of field-stripping and cleaning the rifle each time you use it to ensure optimum operation and life span of your Mini-14.
  • Some Mini-14 variants may differ in field stripping instructions depending on added features and varying stocks.


  • Make sure you always have your M-14 rifle or any firearm pointed in a safe direction.
  • Keep children supervised or away from your work area.