Monday, August 13, 2012

Tapco's Gen 2 Ruger Mini 14 Magazines

Regardless of all the guns I have had a chance to shoot and own over the years, there has been something that always intrigued me about the Ruger Mini 14. Based on the same action as the M1 Garand and the M1A but chambered in .223/5.56 NATO, the Mini 14 and it's variants has been a solid choice of American gun owners for varmint control, pest dispatching, recreational shooting, and home defense since 1973. It's a reliable design, simple to operate and while not super accurate, it is adequate for what it was intended to be. The one thing that has been a real problem for Mini 14 owners for a long time is a lack of decent quality aftermarket magazines for this weapon system. Sure, there have been some hits and misses over the years but for the most part, the best way to keeping your Mini functioning and feeding properly was to use the Ruger factory magazines. And unfortunately Ruger factory magazines are quite expensive, unless you find a good source out there on the internet ( a great place to find them is on your favorite gun forum's swap meet sections). So in looking for a viable alternative to the factory magazine, I came across the Tapco Gen2 synthetic magazines. Honestly, Tapco products have been hit or miss with me over the years, some I have liked,others....not so much. I had read about some serious issues that owners had with the Gen 1 magazines, such as the feed lips flaying open when left loaded,cracks in the body of the mag itself, and the hole in the front of the mag with it locks into the mag well tended to wallow out. Not really a comforting thought when looking for a strong contender for top aftermarket magazine. But I kept an open mind when I decided to try out the Gen2 Mini 14 magazines. So I had Sal at Carolina Guns and Gold order one and let me run it for awhile, and see what happens.
( gotta give a shot out to my peeps, ALWAYS A GOOD SOURCE for firearms and accessories in the Central NC area, check out at and on facebook at
 My initial thoughts when it arrived: It's light, much lighter than the standard factory steel magazine. So when loaded, and in the weapon, this polymer mag is going to save you on weight to a degree. The seams on the magazine seem good, feels solid. The magazine follow is anti-tilt, the spring seems strong, and the new metal reinforcement on the front of the magazine should help extend the life of the magazine's locking lug.
 After looking it over, I took it out to the range to test it out. I started with a full 90 rounds( obviously, not all at once...30 rounds in 3 sessions of loading and shooting) of PMC brass .223 Rem, as fast as I could hangups. It fed smooth and no issues whatsoever. I'm feeling pretty good about this. I filled the mag with another 90 rounds ( once again, obviously not at once, 3 loads of 30....) of Winchester 5.56 NATO (brass case as well). Once again no issues. I am now feeling even better. I figured I would mix it up a bit, and I loaded it with lacquer coated Wolf Military Classic .223 Rem steel cased ammunition, and let her rip. I had a slight hangup right at about the 13th round, but I think it may have been an issue with how I had loaded the mag. The rest of that set of 30 fed properly. And finally I ran 90 rounds of MFS brand .223 Rem which is a zinc plated steel cased ammo, and no issues occurred. This was by no means a scientific or professional test, but I am neither scientific nor professional. But from what I saw that day, I am definitely willing to give the Tapco Gen 2 mags a second look. I will be ordering a couple more from Sal and the guys at CG&G in the near future, and I hope to be able to give them a far more extensive test. Price point on these mags are somewhere between $15 and $20, depending on your source. Also for you poor souls living in a Communist-occupied state such as California or New Jersey, these are a no-no for you since they are 30 rounders.

 ADDITIONAL INFO: Cheaper Than Dirt's Article on The Gen 2 Mags as well as

1 comment:

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