The Mini 14 stands among the most loved and widely used rifles in America. It is obviously the most popular .223 semi-automatic rifle and combines the features of many other ‘sought-after’ rifles. The market is flooded with options for upgrading the standard Mini 14 magazines, which leaves people confused about it.
Today we’ll learn about whether to use those aftermarket mags or stick with the original ones. We’ll also take a look about some of the best mini 14 magazines available on the market and if you really need one.
Quick Comparison Chart of Mini 14 Magazines
Promag Ruger Mini-14 Blued Magazine, .223 Remington/5.56 Nato, 20 Rounds
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3-pk. Of Thermold 30-rd. Mini 14 Mags
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Tapco Mini 14 30rd. Magazine
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Ruger Magazine Mini-14 223 10 Round Magazine
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Pro Mag Ruger Mini-14 .223 Rifle Magazine
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Ruger Mini 14 Magazine Magazine Capacity: 5
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What to Look for in an Aftermarket Magazine
There’s quite a few things to keep in mind when considering an aftermarket magazine. A magazine is responsible for feeding the bullets into your action. If it’s not reliable, your feed system will jam every now and then. Not a good sight anytime.
Before choosing an aftermarket magazine, you must ensure that it is reliable and feeds well. Check the spring, which shouldn’t be too tight or too loose. Also check to see if the magazine has an ‘hold-open’ follower (this can be done manually using the switch, but if it’s built in, so much the better).
Another important aspect to consider is the size. There are 5, 10, 20 and 30 round magazines for the Mini 14. There’s even some larger ones. Think carefully about what size you really need. Sometimes it can just be a preference of how much it bothers you to switch clips.
The weight and the material of the magazine also matter. That’s because a heavier magazine will add to the weight of the rifle. That in turn might affect accuracy. It is also not a good option if you have to walk a good distance with your rifle.
Most of the magazines today are manufactured with polymer or metal. The polymer lightens these mags and eliminates the problem of rusting. However, the metal mags are still more durable and long lasting.
One last factor that might not be a huge deal but is a nice feature, and that’s transparency. There are magazines where you can check out the number of rounds left without detaching them. This will be a bonus feature.
Benefits of Having Spare Magazines
Purchasing a spare magazine is an optional investment, and thus, is easily glossed over by many would-be buyers. However, there are some distinct advantages to having spare magazines, including:
Many of the magazines on our list, such as the Tapco Mini 14 30rd, improve performance with not only small details, such as improved grip when changing the magazine, but also polymer, non-tilt followers which reduce the risk of jamming. Whether the improvements are minor quality-of-life improvements or to ensure proper function of your gun when you need it most, having a spare magazine is one of the easiest and most affordable things you can do to increase performance.
Let’s say something happens to your red dot scope. You still have iron sights. What happens if something goes wrong with your magazine? If you don’t have a spare magazine, you’re out of luck. That simply won’t do, so all other advantages notwithstanding, ensure that you have a spare magazine for the same reason you have a spare tire on the back of your truck.
Improved Longevity of Other Parts
Your weapon is like your body: treat one part badly, and it affects everything. By switching your magazines to higher quality parts, you’ll put less stress on surrounding components. With features such as the self-lubricating polycarbonate in the Pro-Mag Ruger Mini-14 Magazine, you can ensure a slick operation that’ll put less wear on your weapon.
While each spare magazine has a different price point, they’re relatively inexpensive compared to other components. Additionally, classics such as the Ruger Mini-30 Magazine 7.62x39 provide renowned quality at a very reasonable price, so you don’t have to buy budget brands—just consult our reviews and get great performance and value!
Don’t make the common mistake of assuming spare magazines are unnecessary. They can improve performance, extend the life of your weapon, and are absolutely critical should something happen to your existing magazine. All of this, and they can be an exceptional value—so consult our list for the best spare magazine for you and give yourself some peace of mind.
Quick Take - The Best Mini 14 Magazines
These are our recommendations for the best magazines for the Mini 14:
Best Magazines for the Mini 14
Now that we’ve talk about what to look for, let’s see how a few different magazines stack up.
Pro-Mag is probably the most loved and trusted brand for purchasing Mini-14 Mags and other upgrades. No doubt, there’s a solid reason for their reputation for magazines. These magazines have a TIG welded carbon steel body, similar to the OEM version.
They feature a self-lubricating polycarbonate follower and a heat-treated chrome silicon spring which improve the feeding process. The magazine has a black finish and comes in 20 and 30 round variants with a minor difference in prices. It also features a removable base plate for easy disassembly and cleaning.
A ten-round magazine is a good compromise between firepower and lightness. As with the five-round model above, using a mag or any component designed and manufactured by the same company that made your rifle offers a bit of confidence and peace of mind.
Unlike with the five-round model, even the base-plate of this magazine is made of blued steel. This more complete steel construction gives the unit a real classic military look. The follower appears to be of a good, nylon anti-tilt variety. Although Ruger explicitly designed these mags to only seat in the mag well when the bolt is open, many users have a hard time getting used to this design feature. It is a fairly common feature, and most can get used to it with a bit of practice.
Given that it is only ten rounds, this mag does not require curved internal geometry. Instead, the style hearkens back to some of the original military detachable box magazines like those on the M14, upon which the design of the Mini-14 is based. These mags can be hard to find because they are much more robustly made than those by other after-market manufacturers.
Ten is a good round number to carry around in a mag. Maybe heavy and unnecessary for a long day's slog of mountainous hunting, but for plinking, a day at the range, or boar hunting, ten is the Goldilocks mag capacity. And of course, it comes with Ruger reliability.
ProMag is a high-quality firearm components manufacturer based in Phoenix. This is another great ten-round mag with a classic military design and a heat-treated steel body. This mag comes in two finishes, blued steel or nickel-plated steel. Obviously, the blued version will look better on a gun with blued steel and the nickel-plated option will best match a stainless steel gun.
Again, the ten-round capacity of this magazine offers a great compromise between weight and firepower. This model offers very similar aesthetics and functionality to the ten-round Ruger factory model above but at about half the price. Internally, this mag features a chrome-silicon spring to prevent corrosion and a precision-molded polymer feeder.
ProMag products are made in the U.S.A. and warrantied against factory defects. This is the perfect choice if you are looking for a moderate capacity with a military aesthetic at a great price. This is especially true if you want the nickel-plated version to match your stainless steel gun.
This is a great cost-saving option, especially if you treat magazines as disposable items. The choice of aesthetic is nice, especially if that's your thing. You may want to find a way to polish the follower to increase reliability. It can be nice having some affordable mags or other components that you don't care too much about if they get lost or damaged. If that's what you're looking for, this mag is for you.
If your Mini-14 is chambered in the popular 300 Blackout round and you need a light five-round mag for long days of packing your rifle around the bush, or if your state has strict capacity laws, this magazine is a great choice. Again, Ruger has a reputation for dependability that can afford.
You will be able to rest easy purchasing Ruger's own in-house mags thanks to the company's reputation and the knowledge that components such as this one are designed and made alongside your M-14. If you need a light, efficient hunting mag for your 300 Blackout Mini-14 or if your options are restricted by local magazine capacity laws, this mag is perfect for you.
This detachable five-round box magazine is constructed of heavy-duty blued steel and looks a lot like a standard mil-spec mag. For most civilian use cases, five rounds are more than adequate. Even if you are just plinking or spending a day at the range, for consistent shot placement, best practice is to give your barrel time to cool down. Reloading your mag every five shots is a reasonable way to do this.
This is an excellent low-capacity mag for average civilian use cases. Its top features are the tough blued steel design and its reliability.
Sturm, Ruger & Co. was founded in 1949 by the legendary Bill Ruger. Currently, the nation's largest firearm's manufacturer, Ruger, is known for rock-solid reliability that the average Joe can afford. You can enjoy a little extra peace of mind buying Ruger's own after-market components given the company's reputation and the fact that components such as this mag, are designed and built in the same place as your gun.
If you need a light, practical hunting mag for your Mini-14 or must abide by some new draconian magazine size laws, this mag is perfect for you. This detachable five-round box magazine is made of super-reliable blued steel and closely resembles a mil-spec mag. In fact, factory original Ruger mags like these have been used by about a dozen police forces around the world and by the Royal Bermuda Regiment.
From a military perspective, the capacity of such a magazine is mainly useful for practice purposes, but that still says a lot. For most civilian applications, five rounds are more than enough. Even if you are just plinking or shooting paper at the range, for consistent accuracy, it is good to give your barrel a break to cool down.
This is a great low-capacity mag for normal civilian conditions. The best features are the solid blued steel construction and the product’s reliability.
There is a notable effort from John Masen to imitate the Ruger factory magazines. Manufactured from stainless steel, these magazines can hold 10 rounds and are available in black or nickel finish variants.
The stainless construction provides corrosion resistance and durability. It features a black polymer follower and a shock-absorbing bottom pad.
In many cases, third parties have to improve on the original manufacturer's design. In Ruger's case that's rather rare; they usually get it right and aren't outdone by others. The same came be said for their magazines.
This Mini-30 mag holds 30 rounds and works quite well. There are occasional issues with it not working quite as smoothly as the 20-round versions. However, on the whole this is another quality accessory from the masters themselves.
If your Mini-14 is chambered in the estimable 6.8 SPC caliber and you require a lightweight five-round magazine for long slogs packing your rifle through the woods, or if your hunting grounds fall under stringent magazine capacity laws, this mag is the perfect option. Once again, Ruger is known for dependability without a hefty price tag. You will sleep easy pulling the trigger on Ruger's own factory mags, thanks to the company's solid reputation and the knowledge that after-market parts and accessories, such as this one are engineered and manufactured right there with your M-14.
If you need a lightweight, handy hunting mag for your 6.5 SPC Mini-14 or if you are restricted by state magazine capacity rules, this mag is for you. This detachable five-round box magazine is built of the toughest blued steel, and the aesthetics are a lot like a standard mil-spec mag.
For most civilian situations, five rounds are plenty. Even if you are just plinking or passing a day at the range, for consistent accuracy, the best thing is to let your barrel have some time to cool down. Reloading your magazine every five shots or so is a pretty good way to do this.
This is a fantastic low-capacity magazine for everyday civilian uses. Its best features are the rugged blued steel design and the reliability.
Tapco offers this 30-round full polymer body magazine for the Mini 14. It is a single-piece construction made from a fiberglass polymer composite which makes it somewhat durable and lightweight. The evenly-spaced grooves on the exterior provide a firm grip for easy changing of the mag.
It also features a polymer, non-tilt follower which reduces the risk of jamming while you shoot. I also has a chrome-silicon spring. The floorplate lock tab is connected with the spring and can be removed by pressing with a bullet’s tip for easy cleaning.
There are quite a few good aftermarket options for changing your Mini 14 magazines. The original Ruger factory mags are no doubt the best choice for the Mini 14, but they are quite rare and overpriced compared to the other options.
Lighter and more inexpensive models of magazines are easily available and can be used without any problems. But it all depends upon your individual discretion.