Mini-14 a la Francais

In the comments on our post of the French police shooting at the Kosher store, Chrispy mentioned in the comments that some French police forces are armed with the Ruger Mini-14. Indeed they are. And Ian at Forgotten Weapons, of course has the details.

When French national police and security forces decided to replace the MAT-49 submachine gun as a standard weapon, they decided to look for a light carbine. Something less obviously military than the FAMAS was desired, and the natural choice was the Ruger Mini-14, whose slightly civilian appearance is often considered to be one of its primary strengths. Ruger licensed the design to the French, who have assembled them in-country with a few changes from the normal production model we are used to seeing here in the US.

French police officer with a Mousqueton AMD (Mini-14)

One of our very first purchases was a Ruger Mini-14 5R Ranch Rifle. Basically it was a Mini-14 with the receiver pre-milled to accept scope rings, and with a very primitive flip up sight, instead of the more robust aperture sights seen here. It came standard with a 5 round magazine, but we also had four 30 round magazines, because we like shooting lots of bullets.

It was a nice rifle, quite handy and comfortable, and back then (1987) very reasonably priced. It wasn’t quite as accurate as our M16, but it was, in general, more accurate than we were.

The comments at Forgotten Weapons have an interesting discussion on how the Mini-14 used to be a weapon of choice for many police agencies, and how and why that seems to have changed.

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