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If you would -not- buy your mini 14 again-

This is a discussion on If you would -not- buy your mini 14 again- within the Ruger Semi-Auto forums, part of the Rifle & Shotgun Forum category; Originally Posted by Maddmax Old dog here. I went through basic (FT Lewis, Washington) and AIT Ft Leonard-wood, MO.) during the M-14 to M-16 transition ...


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Old January 31st, 2017, 09:22 AM   #166
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maddmax View Post
Old dog here. I went through basic (FT Lewis, Washington) and AIT Ft Leonard-wood, MO.) during the M-14 to M-16 transition period in Jan. 70. Had to qualify twice with that "made by Mattel their swell" plastic piece of crap after already qualifying with the M-14 both times. We were some of the very first training units to get it. It was a problem child from day one.

Never cared for the plastic butt stock and recoil spring. In the heat of battle it was another weak point when it came to any hand to hand combat. It didn't hold up well to horizontal butt strokes. Hard to beat a good solid wood stock.

I too live out in the Boondocks and prefer the reach of the 7.62.
I was about 3 yrs ahead of you at Ft. Lewis (Summer, 1967) so the M14 was our basic rifle. Saw the M16A1 for the first time in RVN in late 1968, however, as a Tank Commander, I only used it during ground attacks and to go to Saigon and wasn't a fan of the 'plastic wonder'.

However, over the years I liked the idea of a .223/5.56 carbine and as the A4 style AR carbines became popular my resistance to the M16 style diminished so in the early 2000s, I decided to get an RRA mid-length A4 carbine just because. As you can see, I did some mods to it over the years. A year later, I got another RRA, a 20" A4, to which I added a scope and real walnut furniture and use it as my 400+yd apple shooter. (Medium sized apples make great reactive targets and at 400+yds they are a challenge as they are less than 1 MOA. Besides, you don't have to clean them up because they're food. )



While I have 2 ARs, I still am not a fan of them as I also have M1 Garands, M1 Carbines, and an M1A that all get shot more than the ARs. However, I do like the .223/5.56 caliber as it's cheap to handload and I have tons of components for it. So in early 2015, after reading about the success of the newer, 58X series Minis, I got my NIB 583 series Mini-14 Ranch Rifle, I set it up like my M1A and it feels right at home after the mods I mentioned above in post #70.



My M1A with NM sights and my Mini-14 with NM sights are a joy to shoot. Bowling pins at 200yds are my favorites as I'm not a bullseye shooter (maybe I'm allergic to paper ). Light for near and plinking and heavy for far or hunting; I've got the best of both worlds. While I still have my ARs, my apple shooter is the only one that sees any regular action anymore. The irons mid-length carbine while lighter than the Mini is too bulky and too 'Mattel' for my tastes. But then, I'm a wood and steel guy and even the AR I shoot doesn't have plastic, it has walnut.



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Old January 31st, 2017, 11:32 AM   #167
 
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Recently took out the old Mini-14 for a little range work. Fun shooter.

Thought I was off at first, but then I ran the ballistics calculator after thinking about the stiff wind. Sure enough, given the wind speed there was 3" of drift. Three inches brought those holes right back to center.

Do like the wood stock. Would not want plastic on a Mini.
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Old January 31st, 2017, 12:04 PM   #168
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by COSteve View Post
I was about 3 yrs ahead of you at Ft. Lewis (Summer, 1967) so the M14 was our basic rifle. Saw the M16A1 for the first time in RVN in late 1968, however, as a Tank Commander, I only used it during ground attacks and to go to Saigon and wasn't a fan of the 'plastic wonder'.

However, over the years I liked the idea of a .223/5.56 carbine and as the A4 style AR carbines became popular my resistance to the M16 style diminished so in the early 2000s, I decided to get an RRA mid-length A4 carbine just because. As you can see, I did some mods to it over the years. A year later, I got another RRA, a 20" A4, to which I added a scope and real walnut furniture and use it as my 400+yd apple shooter. (Medium sized apples make great reactive targets and at 400+yds they are a challenge as they are less than 1 MOA. Besides, you don't have to clean them up because they're food. )


.
Took me awhile (almost kicking and screaming) to actually break down and buy an M-4 in the early 2000's too. Just about all my friends have had them since they were released to the civilian market back in the 70's (?), but I was never overly impressed and they still had their issues and problems.

Now I have a "fair" variety from both ends of the spectrum in 223/5.56 and 7.62x51 from a multitude of manufactures in both gas and piston driven. And I was already reloading those calibers.

But the M1 Garands, M1 Carbines are still my go to weapons if need be and I wouldn't trade my old 181 Mini or old M-14 for all the tea in China. I'm also a bit partial to some of my old bolt action and lever action rifles too. NONE of those have ever failed to function.

I have a friend that added walnut furniture to his M4. It took a bit of eye ballin', but I do like the look.

Apples make great targets. Got plenty of wildlife around here to clean them up.
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Old February 2nd, 2017, 01:38 PM   #169
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I have absolutely no regrets and would buy my Mini-14 again. It's sad but it seems they'll never lose their bad reputation due to their early versions.
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Old February 2nd, 2017, 04:25 PM   #170
 
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I have absolutely no regrets and would buy my Mini-14 again. It's sad but it seems they'll never lose their bad reputation due to their early versions.
The old mini 14 doesn't really have a bad rep, just bad shooters.
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Old February 2nd, 2017, 08:36 PM   #171
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The old mini 14 doesn't really have a bad rep, just bad shooters.
I agree about bad shooters, but mention Mini-14's any of the firearm forums I use and it won't take long before AR or former Mini owners jump in with the usual BS.
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Old February 3rd, 2017, 02:41 AM   #172
 
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I agree about bad shooters, but mention Mini-14's any of the firearm forums I use and it won't take long before AR or former Mini owners jump in with the usual BS.
Yeah it happens in these forums also, but not as bad as others. I can't count how many conversations I have had over the mini asking owners what series they had, what the barrel twist was, and what bullet they tried to pair with it, then there is the gas block torque question and what mag they used question. Nine times out of ten they can't answer any of these questions. People who just grab any old ammo off the self and expect to see tight groups are doomed to fail every time. I finally got tired of these questions and now I just tell people that dump on the Mini to "learn how to shoot." And that includes much more than pulling a trigger.
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Old February 3rd, 2017, 05:11 AM   #173
 
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Originally Posted by KameBastard View Post
Yeah it happens in these forums also, but not as bad as others. I can't count how many conversations I have had over the mini asking owners what series they had, what the barrel twist was, and what bullet they tried to pair with it, then there is the gas block torque question and what mag they used question. Nine times out of ten they can't answer any of these questions. People who just grab any old ammo off the self and expect to see tight groups are doomed to fail every time. I finally got tired of these questions and now I just tell people that dump on the Mini to "learn how to shoot." And that includes much more than pulling a trigger.
I think you hit it on the money. Some people just can't or just don't know how to shoot, period.

The other thing. They always grab the cheapest junk ammo they can find. "We" used to buy cheep military surplus for almost nothing, you'd be lucky to keep any group sizes inside a 5 pound coffee can on a good day at 100 yards IF it'd even hit it. All we bought it for was the brass for reloading.

It makes one heck of a difference once you get a weapon dialed in to the right ammo on ANY weapon.
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Old February 3rd, 2017, 05:38 PM   #174
 
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Thumbs up

I had a newer "tactical" model before they were $900.00..... Loved it. Accurate with 62 grainers, stupid reliable with even metal pro mag 30 rounders. The sights aren't bad. I'm a set and forget person with sights when I find the right ammo so they stay put.

It just felt right. Unfortunately, bills got in the way and off she went. The one that got away. I've got a 20" AR, but they will always just be "meh" at best. The Army ruined M16A4's and M4's permanently for me. If given the opportunity, I'll swap the AR for a mini again and be complete
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Old February 8th, 2017, 07:12 AM   #175
 
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I'd definitely buy a Mini 14 again! Even though I already own two, I've been looking at a third. Unfortunately, I find myself a bit short on funds these days so don't know if it'll happen or not...

There's just something about a Mini that I can't explain. Those that own em know what I mean.
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Old February 8th, 2017, 07:24 AM   #176
 
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Redfour5 - Outstanding response. I love history mixed with personal real world experience.

I also was originally looking at the SOCOM. Always loved the look of a Marine with a wood stock carbine and wanted one for myself. Also, wasn't really into the 511 / tacticool / Falujah-ready culture. When I found out about the Mini, and the price difference, not to mention ammo price difference between .223/5.56 and .308, I jumped on it. Only had the synthetic stainless available, but will be picking up a wood stock this year. Yes, I did the mods commonly mentioned (bushings, gas block, shims, Brimstone trigger) and it shoots so smooth and sweet. I'm now working on getting my shooting skills up to match what it can do.

Except for long shots or hunting bigger critters, it is my go-to weapon for about any situation I can think of. Plus, here in Kali it doesn't have a "scary" look to most of the snowflakes. My pistol choice is my Sig 1911. Will probably get a Glock 9mm in the future, but I'm happy with my rig now. I'm just old school reliable...

Yes, I would get a Mini 14 in the future, but will probably get the Mini 30 first
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Old February 12th, 2017, 12:41 PM   #177
 
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I have owned two for many years have and absolutely no regrets that I bought them. They are as reliable as old friends.
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Old February 17th, 2017, 11:44 AM   #178
 
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I had two different mini 14's and a mini 30.....would never own another one....AR15's are way more versatile, cheap and easy to modify and in my experience are always more accurate....
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Old February 17th, 2017, 01:55 PM   #179
 
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I had two different mini 14's and a mini 30.....would never own another one....AR15's are way more cheap .
yep
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Old February 17th, 2017, 04:57 PM   #180
 
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Your typical AR will not shoot any better (1.5"@100yds) than a Mini-14 that has an Accu-strut and bedding. Both need barrel replacement to do better. That has been my experience.

Last edited by Hellgate; February 17th, 2017 at 06:31 PM.
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