If I remember correctly, I bought mine in 1979. Since I bought it out of state, I had to get the Sheriff to sign some kind of letter for me to give to the dealer. I think the letter told the dealer I was a good ole boy.
The price on the Ruger was $200 new at that time in a retail gunstore. It came with an extra 20 rd magazine I believe. Though I'm not sure if I bought the extra one then or not.
Anyway, I can't tell any difference between my rifle and the Mini my brother bought a few years ago except that the stocks are different in thickness. My older model has the thicker stock. This is especially noticed in the grip. If I were blindfolded, I would be able to tell which gun from which simply by feel.
The Mini 14 is a wonderful gun and you certainly don't need high capacity clips to enjoy it.