Bob Dunlap is a renowned expert on most of todays and yesterdays important AND obscure firearms. He has been a warranty station for most manufacturers, both large and small. He understands the design, function, and repair of firearms in general, and certainly, the gun that has been a major success for Ruger® with law enforcement, foreign militaries, and the American public, the Ruger® Mini-14 and all of its derivatives.

If you want the quick course on how to get this super popular semi-auto center fire rifle apart, back together, and operating as intended, then this course is for you (if you want the “long course,” look into our basic 108 hour Professional Gunsmith Course.)

Among the items covered are:


  • Founded by Bill Ruger® and Alexander Sturm in a small rented machine shop in 1949, Sturm, Ruger® & Co. brought out the Mini-14 in 1971. It was their first really successful center fire semi-auto
  • The gun owes a great deal to the Garand/M-14, M-1 Carbine design, and looks somewhat like the M-14 (hence the Mini-14)
  • The trigger group is practically identical to those earlier guns
  • There was a great buzz of anticipation when the gun was announced and a big rush to buy it when it finally hit the market
  • The gun is inexpensive, reliable, and like most Ruger®s, a great value for the money

Design & Function

  • Magazine is a great deal like the AR-15 magazine and with some work, those can be made to function in the Mini-14
  • Bolt lock-up and gas system demonstrated and explained
  • How the secondary sear functions as a disconnector and also provides a two stage trigger system
  • Out of battery safety feature
  • Bolt assembly parts function described
  • What holds in the extractor which holds in the firing pin
  • Gas nozzle and action bar system bears a resemblance to that of the Remington 742 and is very trouble free
  • Demonstration and explanation of how the magazine retaining system operates, from the magazine catch to the recoil spring powered plunger that holds the front
  • Demonstration and explanation of how the bolt stop is actuated and operates, both by the magazine follower and the manual over ride button
  • How the cam slot design in the operating rod actuates the bolt
  • How the windage and elevation knobs of the rear sight operate with a bullet nose
  • Fire control system and safety operation are demonstrated and explained
  • How the safety moves the hammer off of the sear and blocks the trigger
  • How the hammer actually rotates the bolt to complete lock up if the cycle is slightly out of time
  • Cartridge feeding cycle demonstrated and explained
  • Ejector operation


  • Extensive disassembly, and instructions on how to take apart those parts/assemblies not disassembled, and explanation of why some assemblies are NOT to be disassembled
  • Field stripping
  • Bolt stop removal
  • Gas block removal
  • Magazine plunger removal
  • Rear sight information
  • Bolt disassembly
  • Trigger group disassembly
  • Pay particular attention to the magazine catch disassembly
  • You get a good look at how the various parts fit together and interact (particularly the springs) after they are removed from the gun and Bob explains things

Cleaning & Lubrication

  • AGI cleaning & lubrication methods shown, along with the reasons for their use
  • After cleaning, dry with air gun, or in the oven on Warm ~185-200 degrees (metal parts ONLY)
  • Lubing the “Bob” way, and what kind he likes


  • Pins, slave and tapered, hook, punches, etc. Helpful tools to help you get this gun back together easier
  • Gas block reassembly
  • Bolt reassembly and troubleshooting
  • How to correct the poorly fitted extractor, putting the squeeze on
  • Extractor configuration and rules shown and explained
  • Trigger group reassembly and troubleshooting
  • How to do a simple, yet effective, trigger job, but why Bob thinks you should not do so
  • Positive and negative sear/hammer engagement is VERY important
  • Make sure that the safety is SAFE and properly fitted
  • If you do not understand the preceding three sections completely, get the Trigger Jobs Course (the Garand Trigger Course will work here), or take the gun to a qualified, professional Gunsmith. Be safe, not sorry!


  • Rear sight adjustment tool
  • Replacement apertures
  • Butt pad/extender
  • Scope mount
  • Stocks
  • Handguards
  • Magazines
  • Muzzle brakes
  • Flash suppressor/sight combo

If you noticed how often the terms “explanation” and “demonstration” are used, you may be getting some idea of why this course is necessary for any Ruger® Mini-14 owner, or someone who intends to be.

Weight0.25 lbs
Dimensions7.56 × 5.44 × 0.63 in


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