Norwegian Spree Killer Anders Behring Breivik Used Ruger Mini-14

TTAG commentator and firearms enthusiast The Stig has been Googling Norwegian spree killer Anders Behring Breivik’s murderous methodology. Here’s what he found:

From my limited research (mainly searching his “manifesto” for references to firearms and viewing his cheesy pictures) I have concluded a number of things that any journalist worth his salt would have uncovered had they not all been trying to sensationalize this tragic event . . .

1.  This individual was no “gun enthusiast” as has been reported. At least not in the sense of what we would consider an enthusiast. Of course, through the eyes of the media simply owning a firearms probably makes one a gun enthusiast.

There is glaring evidence of his lack of firearms knowledge when he states that he wanted to buy a Ruger Mini-30, but he already owned a .308 win bolt rifle and that because they were the same caliber he thought it was unlikely that the police would grant him another rifle in the same caliber.

At another point he discusses what he already owns, a pump action shotgun, a .308 win bolt rifle, and the Ruger Mini-14 while mentioning that the .308 win bolt rifle was the same caliber as the AK 47.

2.  The rifle used was a Ruger Mini-14 chambered in 5.56x45mm (.223). It appears from the photos that it is the ranch model with traditional wood stock, although at one point he discusses looking for a stock with picatinny rails, it appears as though he got some hideous picatinny tri-rail that clamped to the barrel instead. The Mini-14 was fitted with an Eotech and a 3x magnifier. He states he paid 1,100 Euros for the rifle and an additional 100 Euros for a trigger job–”to make the tigger lighter to press for rapid fire.”

From all of this, I conclude that this rifle was semi-automatic, and not a full automatic  ”machine-gun” as is being reported. On top of that, I’ve read descriptions of the rifle as being an assault weapon or a military rifle. Of course, the definition of an assault weapon is purely an American construction, but nevertheless, this rifle only has a detachable magazine. It would require at least two more banned features to constitute an assault rifle (most likely a flash hider and a pistol grip), and unless you’re Bermuda, this is certainly not a military rifle even if it purports to be derived from the M14.

3. The ammunition used was hollow point .223 purchased from a Norwegian supplier loaded in ten 30 round magazines. He claims that in order to purchase this ammo, he needed a cover story. The one he came up with was that he was going to use the .223 hollow point for “bird hunting.”  Not sure what kind of birds they have in Norway.  He did try to create “chemical/biological ammo” but concluded that the .223 round lacked size, but I gather that this was the real reason for selecting hollow points, as it already had a cavity.

I suspect that the Norwegian doctors working on the victims may not be recovering any full bullets because many of the shots were fired at such close range that they were through and throughs. There are reports that he called everyone over to him while wearing a “police uniform.” I suspect the uniform he was wearing was the one he was photographed in while holding his Ruger Mini-14-monstrosity [self-portrait above].

Needless to say I could go on, but I think it’s safe to say that this event will be spun by anti-gun activists and it’s likely that no fact checking will ever take place if it hurts the anti-gun message they are pushing.

[Note to Stig: please ping me at guntruth@me.com]

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

40 Responses to Norwegian Spree Killer Anders Behring Breivik Used Ruger Mini-14

  1. avatarJames Felix says:

    I don’t think there’s enough useless crap on that rifle. Seems like there’s still room for a bottle opener or something.

  2. avatarirock350 says:

    “It would require at least two more banned features to constitute an assault rifle (most likely a flash hider and a pistol grip), and unless you’re Bermuda, this is certainly not a military rifle even if it purports to be derived from the M14.”

    While these rifles are not being used by any military, there are plenty LEO’s who use the Mini-14.
    He also used a Glock during the attacks as well.

    • avatarNanjing03 says:

      When I was in state law enforcement, we issued Ruger Mini-14s to non-SWAT/SORT tactical officers when rifles were more appropriate than the usual Remington 870 or Mossberg 500 shotguns. SWAT/SORT officers were armed with semi-auto AR15A2 rifles. A sister state agency had some H&K MP5 subguns and they were the only full auto weapons that I had seen in our state. I have a Ruger Mini-14 like the one this guy had minus the rail and the “giggy-gadgets” at the muzzle. It is very reliable, but not the most accurate rifle in my humble collection. I am curious to know just how far away this guy’s victims were. Some of them look as though they were shot from some distance.

      • avatarcarl says:

        I own one too. I removed the factory wood stock, and replaced it with the ATI folding stock, and fitted it with an AIMPOINT RED DOT scope. You can put a round on target at 200 feet every second with it. The thing i find most interesting is he paid 1100 euros for it? You can buy an AR platform in the states cheaper than that. Now if he got the EOTECH site, and magnifier with it at that price, it was a good deal. Here in the south, you can buy mini-14 ranch rifles all day long for $400-500.

      • avatarmicky says:

        The 580 series mini 14 with the heavy barrel are more accurate

  3. avatarKevin says:

    Isn’t that a wet suit he’s wearing?

  4. avatarI_Like_Pie says:

    If it means anything the 7.62×39 cartridge does use a .310-.311 bullet rather than .308-.309.

    They are technically different bore sizes with respect to cartridge, but Ruger used .308 rather than .311 ballard rifling in the mini-30 for many years despite the larger spec for 7.62×39. If you are regulating by the firearm’s bore like some countries do then they are technically the same diameter as a .308 rifle.

    Also…the Mini was used by a couple of military outfits and some surprising specialty contracts.

  5. avatarMark says:

    He’s wearing the Third Echelon’s prototype for the MK IV Tacsuit.
    Oh, the press will be going after Tom Clancy next.

  6. avatarRyan Finn says:

    Wetsuit or not, Stig’s assumption about what he was wearing looks dead on. The Atlantic has released some pics from the island http://www.theatlantic.com/infocus/2011/07/tragedy-in-norway/100113/ The one of him walking on the rocks looks like he might very well be wearing the get up in the pic above.

  7. avatarinky mark (mp, ret.) says:

    how can anyone can rationalize an insane act of mass murder

  8. avatarPeter Ek says:

    Well, fairly good article. But as a Scandinavian I have to say that I think it’s very unlikely that he was wearing the wet suit. No-one would mistake that suit for a cop uniform. Breivik referred several times in his journal that he had acquired a cop uniform that he planned to use, and everyone, from the survivors to the police who arrested him said he was wearing a police uniform. I don’t understand why that should even discussed. The uniform he is wearing on the picture from the island quite clearly shows a uniform with the white reflexive markings present on police uniforms. Other than that a decent article, although unnecessarily snide and self assured. No-one is attacking the american second amendment, so cool down, please.
    Edited for clarification: No-one in Norway or Scandinavia is, at any rate, so please keep your local politics out of the discussion, it is disrespectful to the victims, IMO.

    • avatarSeeSpotRun says:

      Bravo, Peter. +1 on your comments and request for the TTAG Monday morning quarterbacks to chill.

  9. avatarsdog says:

    “Other than that a decent article, although unnecessarily snide and self assured. No-one is attacking the american second amendment, so cool down, please.
    Edited for clarification: No-one in Norway or Scandinavia is, at any rate, so please keep your local politics out of the discussion”

    uh i though this was an American website about American 2a issues, you do know that this tragedy will be spunn in the States as a reason to further curb our access here?

  10. avatarThe Stig says:

    It is possible I was wrong about the uniform. He does discuss acquiring, or replicating a police uniform, but mainly in his “how-to” guide for others for various other plots. I did not find any indication that he actually procured his own, and it is my belief that his “wetsuit” top (what actually looks like a triathlon compression top due to its thickness, although Skins also makes tri wetsuits as well) may have been his replica or close enough to fool others from a distance.

    It’s tough to say for sure. Part of the reason I speculated about that is because it has been difficult to get many hard facts about everything that happened. My intention is certainly not to disrespect the victims. I’m certain many people would willingly move towards an individual who looks to be a LEO after hearing gun shots in the woods.

    The raison d’etre for my post was mainly the anti-gun spin I was perceiving from the media. Whether it happened in the United States or not, it is a major tragedy and it involved a firearm. This often is enough for anti-gun activists in the United States (and presumably many other countries) to rally and push for more stringent regulation. As Rahm Emanuel is oft quoted as saying: “Never let a serious crisis go to waste. What [he] mean[s] by that is it’s an opportunity to do things you couldn’t before.” In this context, it’s no secret that this U.S. administration has been searching for ways to increase gun control after the assault weapon ban expired in 2004.

    Blatant ignorance or intentional misleading by the media often plays to people’s misunderstanding and fear concerning the ownership and use of firearms, and my effort was to simply try to wade through what evidence I could find to shed light on what will ultimately be a focus for anti-gun activists.

  11. avatarBambiB says:

    Think this Mini-14 will trace back to “Operation Snowball” (the O-Bomb-Ya! administration’s plan to smuggle guns to right-wing extremists in Norway)?

    Anyone got a map of this incident? 90 kills is a LOT of carnage in open space, even if you know what you’re doing. If you figure the first shot is the signal to start running, and that most people can cover 100 yards in 20 seconds without difficulty, at first glance, it would seem that the number of available targets should have been pretty small after the first minute. I’m surprised at the large number of fatalities (as opposed to woundings) due to the use of a .223 (not designed to kill).

    I’ve often speculated that if a terrorist group really wanted to freak out the USA, they’d form a dozen 3-man killer teams and start hitting schools in different locations all across the country at the same time. In each case, after 15 minutes, they’d move on to hit another school in the area, and then a third attack at another school. Figuring 36 shooters scoring 2 kills each per minute over a period of 45 minutes would result in more kills than the 9/11 attacks. I considered 2/minute a low-end estimate because I figured most of the shooting would take place in classrooms where the targets cannot run away.

    Of course, we don’t want anyone to carry guns LEGALLY on campus. They might get in the way of the terrorists.

  12. avatarChase says:

    A shooting is never about the victim, its always about a elitists agenda.

    Church shootings happen frequently and the perpetrators never get nearly the attention we see from this sort of thing. Knoxville one we had to hear about what books the dude had, but little notice of the fact the guy was mad his food stamps were taken. Where Matthew Murray, was a gay who hated the church and was anti Christian, who the hell would actually know about that? What about Terry Sedlacek? No one knows these people and its because the elite couldn’t use their crimes to promote an agenda, all the happened was a evil Christian died.

  13. avatarkiller99 says:

    Pitty he didn’t load a .308 in his AK and blow his face off.

  14. avatarJohn K. says:

    BambiB: Your terrorist scenario is pretty much the plot of the 80′s Chuck Norris movie Invasion USA. For some reason terrorist groups like Al Qaeda don’t see this idea as spectacular enough.

  15. avatarPeter Ek says:

    Yes, I understand that 2nd amendment rights will possibly be under political scrutiny from the anti-gun lobby in the US because of this. However, it’s only been a few days after the attack that killed nearly a hundred people, most of them children, and emotions are still high. It’s possible that I’m overreacting slightly, but see it like this; on the evening of September 12 2001 I was supposed to catch a flight. That flight was canceled, due to the Pentagon and WTC-attacks. Had I gone online then and written something that could be construed as grumbling about all those Americans who had the bad taste to inconvenience me by dying, it would rightly be seen as being in rather poor taste. Understand where I’m going with this? More consideration and care of expression would mitigate the situation, I feel. Not that your concerns aren’t legitimate, as a Scandinavian firearms enthusiast and gun owner I too have thought about how this will affect my hobby (And frankly it’s more likely to affect me than you, but I don’t blog about it. Yet.) and my gun ownership.
    Now, I doesn’t mean to be seen as uncivil, this is a fine blog that I have long enjoyed, I merely reacted with some distaste at what came off as rather churlish and insensitive to me.

  16. avatarPeter Ek says:

    And regarding the uniform, no-one has said anything about anything else than a police uniform. I just read an interview with one of the survivors who said he was approached (after the shooting started) by a man in a police uniform who claimed to be police and wanted to know what was going on and who was shooting. They were standing a few feet away from each other. Suddenly the “policeman” calmly drew his handgun and shot the girl standing next to the guy they interviewed. The kid survived by throwing himself off the cliffs into the water and diving and swimming as far as he could. When he surfaced Breivik was gone. My point is that Breivik was able to fool people standing a few feet away. No-one would have thought a guy with a gun in a diving suit was a cop. Edit: Especially after the shooting started and people know that someone was killing everyone. If he hadn’t worn a proper police uniform he wouldn’t have been able to fool people, it was a trick he apparently pulled repeatedly. Also remember that the SWAT-team who finally apprehended him also claimed he was wearing a police uniform at the time of arrest, and they ought to know what a police uniform looks like, no?

  17. avatarHamsta says:

    Just having a mag of over 10 rounds .22 or 6 rounds of a larger calibre would be enough to label this firearm as a “Military Style Semi-Automatic” or MSSA in New Zealand with its associated increase in ownership and licensing requirements.

    I suspect that many other countries would also have similar labeling and no doubt explains why foreign media have used these definitions.

    • avatarneveR says:

      If your going to comment at least get the amounts that your saying correct, having a mag over 14 rounds for .22 or over 7 rounds for larger caliber.

  18. avatarMarco says:

    Chase-The Church shootings and people you reference who did them resulted in a grand total of 5 dead. Do you really want to compare that to this mass shooting? Talk about an agenda……. Also, “Church Shootings” happening more frequently is true but it isn’t about religion or agenda. it is now a trend for Gang members to get their “targets” as they know that church is a place they will be. Two sides to every “agenda” Whether elitist or not. Seems you have your agenda to promote as much as the other side.

  19. avatarLisa says:

    What was the source of his income? Who’s behind this guy? He reminds me of Oswald…

  20. avatarThomas Nilsen says:

    What is this ridiculous notion about the mass murderer wearing a WET SUIT and that Norwegians somehow mistake this for a Norwegian police uniform?? Do you think we’re all completely ignorant over here? What people, 15 or 30 years old would run into the arms of a stranger in a wet suit when they heard someone was shooting up the island? Even in the blurred out pics of the monster taken from the helicopter any Norwegian – myself included – clearly recognize a police jacket and pants. So stop trying to somehow “defend” and keep up this laughable wet suit thing. The guy was ferried out to the island under the guise of being a police officer, do you think the people controlling the boat would confuse a wet suit for a police uniform? You’ve clearly deep dived into every detail of the sick killer’s manifesto, so why haven’t you done the same on the survivor’s stories? If you did you would have gotten your facts straight on that field as well as his weapons details. Or maybe you don’t care half as much about the victims, as you do about his weapons and modus operandi. Now if people could do like Norway and focus on the victims instead of the attention seeking killer, the world would be a better place.

  21. avatarSteve Scott says:

    What? No pistol grip? How EVER did he manage to fire from the hip?

  22. avatarRoland says:

    The qualification that it’s not a military rifle and looks tacky with all the add on crap, seems rather mute if he managed to kill 69 ppl with it.Highest kill number in history for a single shooter.No one else has matched it with other types of firearms.I think even in military history one will be hard pressed to find examples of single soldiers killing more then 69 people.

    • avatarJames Felix says:

      I think even in military history one will be hard pressed to find examples of single soldiers killing more then 69 people.

      Given that soldiers tend to shoot at people that are adult, trained, actively taking cover on a battlefield and, you know, shooting back, that’s not surprising.

    • avatarGossven says:

      “No one else has matched it with other types of firearms.I think even in military history one will be hard pressed to find examples of single soldiers killing more then 69 people.”

      * Ivan Sidorenko (WWII, over 500 kills)
      * Fyodor Okhlopkov (WWII, 429 kills)
      * Lyudmila Pavlichenko (WWII, 309 kills)
      * Nina Lobkovskaya (WWII, 308 kills)
      * Vassili Zaitsev (WWII, 225 kills)
      * Aliya Moldagulova (WWII, 91 kills)
      * Roza Shanina (WWII, 54 kills)
      All famous Russian snipers.

  23. avatarKeiler says:

    you guys are hilarious. anyway, had the chance to fire a Mini 14 with a banana clip once and it doesn’t surprise me what ABB was able to do

  24. avatarCooter says:

    Yeah, well his neighbor, the Finnish sniper Simo Hayha in WWII had 505 confirmed kills against Russian SOLDIERS (as opposed to unarmed civilians) in a relatively short period of time. I don’t find it remarkable at all that he killed that many UNARMED civilians trapped on an island in a short period of time. It just means that he had a rifle, and they had no way to defend themselves….

    Also, I suspect the police did not recover many intact bullets because the .223 hollowpoint round fragments violently (especially at close range, which I’m assuming most of the shots were at), and all they could recover were bullet fragments….

  25. avatarPervitin says:

    Interesting read. One little note, the “assault riffle” can’t possibly be a purely American construction, as you stated, since it came into English after literal translation of the Nazi-German Sturmgewehr 44, a term allegedly coined by Adolf Hitler.

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