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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 Petrol and Powder For the most part my semi-auto rifle and black rifle days are behind me now. I gave up on ...


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Old April 2nd, 2016, 07:14 AM   #31
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Petrol and Powder View Post
For the most part my semi-auto rifle and black rifle days are behind me now.
I gave up on the Mini-14 years ago, maybe I gave up too soon.
If you're not into semi-autos, that's one thing but if you're soured on the Mini because of poor accuracy, then the new 58X series will surprise you. Out of the box they are decent shooters and with a bit of love and decent ammo, you can produce near to under MOA accuracy with them. My Mini Ranch Rifle is a lot more fun than my ARs, much like shooting my M1 Garands, M1 Carbines, or M1A.



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Old April 2nd, 2016, 07:59 AM   #32
 
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Other posters have already covered a lot of what I would say about the Mini vs. an AR. On paper the AR makes way more sense. That said, a few weeks ago I took my Mini and my AR556 to the range together and the truth is that I had more fun shooting the Mini with iron sights then the AR with a scope on it. They feel completely different when you shoot them and there is something very solid about the Garand action. So even though my logical brain says the Mini should be sold off, especially if the market rises on them, I don't know if in the end I will actually do it.
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Old April 2nd, 2016, 08:05 AM   #33
 
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I spent a lot of time dealing with M16 maintenance when I was in the Army. And I developed a cordial hatred for the M16 direct impingement operating system. It spews filth all over the bolt assembly and results in constant maintenance issues. It also makes an M16 a nightmare to clean compared to a piston system such as the Mini 14 has.

The tradeoff is that an AR15/M16 platform is lighter and there is no question that the AR15 platform allows for a more versatile tactical rail system and thus is more flexible for accessories. I can understand why some people like the AR15/M16 platform. But I personally do not.

But I like my 580 series Mini 14s. They are quite acceptably accurate, totally reliable, light, and fun to shoot. Even the old "pencil barrel" Mini 14s (I still have one) are acceptable plinkers.
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Old April 2nd, 2016, 08:05 AM   #34
 
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My mini was my first 556 platform an early 580 series that i bought about 10 years ago. I enjoy the feel and look of a traditional rifle. Also it has been very reliable and a good shooter with the iron sights. In contrast I purchased an ar556 about 6 months ago and put a scope on it from the get go. This one too has been a good shooter. As far as I'm concerned you can't go wrong with either.
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Old April 2nd, 2016, 09:18 AM   #35
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Except for my dedicated hunting rig (bolt 30-06, 3-9x40) I shoot all my rifles with iron sights. So for me a carbine AR and a Mini-14 are essentially just two different takes on the same idea. I like both. I also own an AR10 and an M1A. Again, I like them both.

Having spent the first half of my adult life toting around an M16 I don't find an AR to be particularly onerous to clean or maintain. I own Garand style rifles and I own AR style rifles. IMO neither one is any easier to clean and maintain than the other. Half dozen of one, six of the other. YMMV.
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Old April 2nd, 2016, 12:12 PM   #36
 
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Redleg , I hear you about the direct impingement system and totally agree. It does allow for a lighter/simpler system but at the cost of the hot/dirty gases in the receiver.
Given some maintenance it works just fine but as you point out it has its drawbacks.

The gas piston AR platforms may be the best of both worlds within that type. You add a little complexity and weight but not a lot.
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Old April 2nd, 2016, 01:47 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Petrol and Powder View Post
Redleg , I hear you about the direct impingement system and totally agree. It does allow for a lighter/simpler system but at the cost of the hot/dirty gases in the receiver.
Given some maintenance it works just fine but as you point out it has its drawbacks.

The gas piston AR platforms may be the best of both worlds within that type. You add a little complexity and weight but not a lot.
And cost.
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Old April 2nd, 2016, 02:27 PM   #38
 
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Agreed, I like the M1 Carbine and M1A/M14 mods as well. And as much as I like the Wood/Blue look on Mini's... I LOVE that Green/FDE Cerekote Mini above, in fact I think that picture brought me to this board from a Google search.
Thanks for the compliment. When I googled "Cerakoted Mini's" about 20 images came up, and most of them were of my Mini's!
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Old April 2nd, 2016, 02:34 PM   #39
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Sandog, if Ruger ever follows your lead and produces an FDE Mini built like yours they won't be able to keep up with demand. I'm a big fan of what you've done with your rifles. Well done.
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Old April 2nd, 2016, 03:59 PM   #40
 
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I would buy my Mini 14 again if I could find it for the same price. I only paid $310 for a NIB stainless with the wood stock in 1987. Now, you can't find 'em in that configuration and the prices for current ones are over $700. MSRP is even around $900.
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Old April 2nd, 2016, 06:49 PM   #41
 
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Thanks, Bonk. We know how slow Ruger is in improving the Mini, maybe in another 30 years they'll come out with an FDE version !
Bozz, those were the good old days, when you could buy a new Mini for $310.
Good used Mini's can be had at gunshows, I bought all 3 of mine for $400-$450.
This is what they looked like when I bought them, before all the mods. Well, I had already put an Accustrut and Tech sight on the Mini-14 when I took this pic (first pic). Last two pics are the blued Mini-30 and stainless Mini-30.
They all shot nice once I tossed the cheap scopes and cheap aftermarket magazines that came with them. One advantage to buying an older Mini over a new one is avoiding the problems that have plagued some of the new Mini's lately.


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Old April 3rd, 2016, 04:34 AM   #42
 
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So a mini it shall be, minor issue-it must have a wood stock per the Mrs. but I sorta prefer stainless, suggestions ?

Sandog, I recall your suggestion for recrowning the barrel and perhaps the strut but I thought these, especially the strut, applied to the older models- due to the barrel design used- if your preference is an older model with some changes what would your perfect mini be??
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Old April 3rd, 2016, 04:45 AM   #43
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So a mini it shall be, minor issue-it must have a wood stock per the Mrs. but I sorta prefer stainless, suggestions ?

Sandog, I recall your suggestion for recrowning the barrel and perhaps the strut but I thought these, especially the strut, applied to the older models- due to the barrel design used- if your preference is an older model with some changes what would your perfect mini be??
Buy a synthetic stocked stainless model and then search gun forums/Armslist/ebay/gun shows, etc for a wood stock. You won't have any difficulty finding one and you could probably trade your synthetic stock even up without any difficulty. It will take you all of 3 minutes to install it and 2 minutes will be spent going to get the screwdriver. I love that wood & stainless combo on a Mini-14
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Old April 3rd, 2016, 04:49 AM   #44
 
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The newer models ( mid way through the 580+ series on up) don't really need a strut. I have had good luck with the three older Mini's, but one of the newer thicker tapered barrel models would be great.
The Tactical has the thickest barrel of all, so should be the best in terms of accuracy. Also helping the Tactical is it has a shorter (16 inch) barrel and comes with a flash hider, both of which contribute to making the barrel even stiffer, and less barrel whip.
Maybe avoid a 582 series, as those seem to have had the most problems, and many sent back to Ruger (which they are good about replacing if they can't fix it).
Don't turn down an older one if you can get it for a good price. Some guys are wanting almost as much for a used Mini as what you can get a new one for, that's crazy.
If you can find an older one for $400 or even $500 if it includes some magazines (Ruger factory mags only, others are a crap shoot), you will have money left over for upgrades like a Tech sight and strut. Putting a two clamp strut on it like the Accustrut LT will improve groups near 40%, besides cutting vertical stringing to zilch, and acts as a heat sink to keep the barrel from getting so hot in the first place.
Those are good reasons to add a strut on a newer model as well, even if you don't see an accuracy improvement, the strut will help that new model Mini as far as vertical stringing and keeping the barrel cooler.
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Old April 3rd, 2016, 05:00 AM   #45
 
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Quote:
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Buy a synthetic stocked stainless model and then search gun forums/Armslist/ebay/gun shows, etc for a wood stock. You won't have any difficulty finding one and you could probably trade your synthetic stock even up without any difficulty. It will take you all of 3 minutes to install it and 2 minutes will be spent going to get the screwdriver. I love that wood & stainless combo on a Mini-14
Yes, if you find an older model Mini, you might find one that is stainless with a wood stock. two of mine came that way. On a new model, the stainless ones only come with the black synthetic stock. I actually prefer it as it is so light and trim compared to the wood stock. I didn't like the black color though, so I made mine grey.
If you want to go wood on a newer stainless Mini, though, do like Bonk says, and look at the forum classifieds or E-bay. If you can't locate one, you can order a new Ruger wood stock from Midway or Brownell's ( about $90), and then sell the synthetic one in the classifieds.
I'd recommend pitching the Ruger plastic hand guard and getting the Choate.
The Choate is only about $14, and cools better, is lighter, and much better looking than the OEM hand guard with it's ugly shroud over the Op-rod.
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