In part two we looked at some of the places the Mini-14 has found its way into service over the years. There are three more worthy of note. Let’s take a look.
The Rugers were purchased to replace the odd assortment of SMGs the CRS had floating around after WWII. With the military replacing the MAS-49/56 and adopting the FAMAS in 5.56x45mm. The French National Police needed something in the same chambering.
The Compagnies Républicaines de Sécurité had a special contract drawn up with Ruger and adopted the Mini-14 as the Mousqueton AMD.
The contract specified that a Mini-14 with a 18 inch barrel be made for the French National Police with a checkered walnut stock, non slip rubber butt pad, M1 carbine-style oiler/sling mount, and different markings on the receiver heel.
The CRS are reserves for the Franch National Police. They’re primarily involved in general security missions, but they’re best known for crowd and riot control.
In January 2009, the French Government implemented a rapprochement (“bringing together”) of the police and the gendarmerie. While this policy falls short of a complete merger, as the gendarmes have kept their military status (while the CRS are a highly unionized civilian body), this has led to more commonality in terms of equipment for the two forces.
Additionally, the Mini-14 isn’t to be replaced and is to be kept in service since that frees up other rifles like the FAMAS and HK G36 for more front-line police units.
The CRS has been called out due to numerous terrorist incidents over the years and have taken part in manhunts and security missions that have resulted from terror attacks.
Until 2009, the Civil Police of the State of Minas Gerais had a special tactics unit called the Grupo De Resposta Especial (Special Response Group). the GRE was tasked with special police operations under the State Department of Special Operations.
Developed by the Civil Police a SWAT-type unit, the GRE had a staff of thirty agents, access to twenty-five vehicles, and a helicopter, and was equipped with small weapons such as the FAMAE SAF SMG, IMBEL M964A1 FAL, the Itajubá Model 968 Mosquefal. And, of course, the Ruger Mini-14.
The GRE was abolished in 2009 after policies adopted by the Civil Government of Minas Gerais changed the makeup and mission of the Civil Police. The Ruger Mini-14 has served and continues to serve the group. It’s seen service in the Caribbean, North America, Europe, Africa, and Latin America. Though it’s been outpaced by the AR-15. It isn’t outclassed for today’s civil needs.
United States of America
The Ruger Mini-14 has served various law enforcement agencies across the US in one form or another. Two of the more famous ones are the New York City Police Department and the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.
Here we have officers using Mini-14s in force-on-force training at the Rodmans Neck Fire Range in the Bronx, NY.
These are members of the NYPD Emergency Service Unit in firearm quals at the Rodmans Neck Fire Range in the Bronx, NY.
NYPD ESU out on the streets with both a Mini-14 and a AR-15.
But now let’s look at one of the biggest current users of the Mini-14, The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. The story of how the San Bernardino Sheriff cameo to use the Mini-14 started with the Norco Shootout of 1980.
The Norco shootout was an armed confrontation between five heavily armed bank robbers and deputies of the Riverside County and San Bernardino County sheriffs’ epartments in Norco, California on May 9, 1980. Two of the five perpetrators and one sheriff’s deputy were killed, nine other law enforcement officers were wounded, and gunfire damaged at least 30 police cars and one police helicopter.
At approximately 3:40 p.m., five men armed with shotguns, an AR-15, an HK91, an HK93, handguns, and an improvised explosive device robbed the Norco branch of Security Pacific Bank. Deputies of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department responding to the bank robbery call confronted the perpetrators outside the bank and a shootout ensued, killing one perpetrator. The perpetrators then stole a vehicle in the bank parking lot and fled the scene, leading police on a 25-mile car chase into neighboring San Bernardino County.
Riverside County deputies were joined in the pursuit by officers of other area law enforcement agencies, including the California Highway Patrol and San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. The perpetrators then ambushed the pursuing deputies and engaged them in another shootout in unincorporated San Bernardino County near Lytle Creek before escaping into a wooded area in the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains.
The day after the Norco Shootout, Sheriff Frank Bland ordered as many Mini-14s from Ruger as they could and had them flown to San Bernardino on a private plane to better equip his deputies.
Two days later, three of the four surviving perpetrators were arrested in the area of the ambush; the fourth was killed by police. The three who were arrested were convicted of 46 felonies and sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
The San Bernardino Sheriff have been buying and issuing Mini-14s since then and was one of the first agencies in the US to equip itself with rifles at the patrol level.
San Bernardino Sheriff has continued to use the Mini-14 even when all surrounding agencies have moved to the AR-15. Some of the more famous responses featuring the Mini have been during the Christopher Dorner manhunt and the 2015 Farook and Malik terrorist attack.
Another noteworthy use of the Mini-14 was when Ammon Bundy and his militia took over and occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Harney County, Oregon. The Ruger was front and center.
I’ve owned and enjoyed them for years and they serve right alongside my other non AR-15 pattern rifles.
The Mini-14 does a great job at punching paper and protecting the homestead, right alongside the others.
So stop hating on the Mini-14 and embrace your inner A-Team. You’ll be surprised at how well you might like one.