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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; would you please tell me why? Of course all comments would probably help us make a decision. Tnks...


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Old March 31st, 2016, 11:21 AM   #1
 
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If you would -not- buy your mini 14 again-

would you please tell me why?

Of course all comments would probably help us make a decision.

Tnks



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Old March 31st, 2016, 11:37 AM   #2
 
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I've had a Mini since the 80's and intend to keep it. That said, to answer your question, no I wouldn't buy a Mini if I didn't already have one. The AR platform is more versatile and accurate. Accessories are more plentiful and cheaper, especially magazines. Parts are easier to come by as well. The Mini's a nice little rifle, but if I could only have one, it would be an AR. That would be my advice to you. Good luck.
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Old March 31st, 2016, 11:51 AM   #3
 
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I agree with Donn, I agree so much I sold my Mini 14 a few years ago and picked up another AR to replace it. I loved the feel if the mini Garand but in the end the AR won out from a praticial standpoint.
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Old March 31st, 2016, 12:21 PM   #4
 
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Even though I have two ARs, a Mini-30 is in my future. There may be better cheaper rifles out there, but they aren't a Mini.
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Old March 31st, 2016, 02:07 PM   #5
 
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I love my Windham AR, it is more accurate than my Mini 14, scoped. But my Mini is accurate enough up to 100 yard with iron sites and is fun to shoot and I would not trade it. Having said that, I'm getting a replacement rifle from Ruger tomorrow because they couldn't fix an issue with FTE, I'm assuming that's no longer a problem.
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Old March 31st, 2016, 02:36 PM   #6
 
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Would I buy another Mini? Yes, in a heartbeat. It's a fun, compact traditional wood and steel carbine and with the 20rd mag it keeps it perfect for plinking, and small game hunting. I'm considering a Mini-30 as a second Mini (better supersonic ballistics than the 300 BO) that would also be good on hogs and medium game.

I have a newer 583 Series Mini Ranch Rifle (wood stock) that I've added a few things to make it about a 1 MOA shooter with my handloads (Choate HG, Accu-Strut, .045" gas bushing, Wilson buffers, trigger job, Mini200 rear sight with smaller aperture and thinned the front sight blade down to .050"). I also have 3 ARs; 2 irons only middy carbines that are about the same accuracy and a scoped long range AR that's I use to shoot medium sized apples with at 400+yds.

The Mini is as accurate as my M1 Garands and my M1A and more accurate than my M1 Carbines and I plan to keep all of them. It's also more accurate than all 8 of my leverguns and I plan to keep them too. How accurate? I shoot bowling pins at 200yds with it regularly and it's getting to be too easy so I'm moving out to 300yds with it. Yes, that's with iron sights.

It has the same manual of arms as my Garands, Carbines, and M1A and it feels much more handy than my bulky ARs. Since I got my Mini a year ago I've put almost 1,500rds through it and it's fast become my favorite 5.56 platform.
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Old March 31st, 2016, 03:03 PM   #7
 
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There is something about a Mini that just can't be explained. Maybe the traditional rifle, old school looks or the easy handling, carbine style. I have both Mini's and AR's and like them all equally. A Mini is a Mini and an AR is a AR....just keep that in mind.... don't expect the rifle to perform beyond its design capabilities and you won't be disappointed. My Mini's are going nowhere and no regrets on owning them.

I believe the AR platform is inherently more accurate but a few easily made and relatively inexpensive tweaks on a Mini turns them into a respectable shooter.


Mini 14 Ranch 583 series
barrel chop, recrown, permanent Choate install....total barrel length 16.2" w/ Guncoat finish
.060 gas bushing w/ Wilson buffer
Tech Sight w/IRIS aperture
Brimstone Gunsmith trigger job
Ruger OEM stock shortened 1" w/ Choate Handguard



Mini 30 Tactical 583 series
.060 gas bushing w/ Wilson buffer
Tech Sight w/IRIS aperture
Brimstone Gunsmith trigger job
189 series wood stock w/Choate Handguard

Last edited by Bepe; April 9th, 2016 at 02:53 PM.
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Old March 31st, 2016, 04:12 PM   #8
 
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I keep my Mini14 around just because we should all have a semi-auto rifle? I really do like it. But it never gets shot in favor of my bolt rifles. I shot an AR the other day and got the same "meh" feeling. YMMV.
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Old March 31st, 2016, 05:24 PM   #9
 
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Yeah I have two 580 series mini's both in 223. I wouldn't mind getting one in 300 blk or the mini 30. My AR is great but the mini's are just fun little carbines. Pretty sure the mini was my go to when shooting 223 this past year.
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Old March 31st, 2016, 05:27 PM   #10
 
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I love my Mini-30's. I like the ergo's much better than the AR, and being left handed, it is much easier for me to operate. There are advantages to the AR, modularity, decent out of the box accuracy with just about any you pick up, ease of swapping out parts and easier to get parts like firing pins, magazines can be had for nearly half the price.
Advantages to the Mini platform ? Much cleaner running, safety and mag release put where you can get to them with either hand, not as "evil/scary looking/to the general public, traditional looks and feel, iron sights come standard and are low to the bore.
Stoppages in the normally way overgassed Mini, when using good magazines (Ruger factory ones), are very rare indeed.
I say this with 40 years experience with the M16-M4-AR-15. I've owned many, trained to repair them in the Army, built many for myself and friends.
I just don't get excited about them any more, the looks, the feel, the high mounted sights, the carbon fouled actions, the bulk ( heighth wise, not length).
The Mini's ? I get excited every time I take them out.
I do get uppity when someone says that all Mini's are inaccurate and unreliable, because their cousin Billy Bob had one that was. Yes, because he used cheap aftermarket magazines with soft feed lips, shot crap ammo through it and wasn't a very good shot to begin with.
Mine are just fine, and many others are too, that know a few things about running them. If the OP chooses a Mini, we will help you out, and you'll enjoy the experience.






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Old March 31st, 2016, 05:38 PM   #11
 
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I would buy my Mini again. Built like a tank. That's Ruger's way. I bought a 1981 vintage Ruger Security Six revolver today for the same reason. Both keepers.
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Old March 31st, 2016, 06:44 PM   #12
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Interesting discussion. I've gone both ways on this. I've owned a couple of Mini-14s and one Mini-30. As much as I like the platform I had trouble with two of the three I owned. Nothing serious but annoying nonetheless. Bottom line is I don't own a Mini14/30 at this time and I don't see me buying another one any time soon.

I bought a Colt LE6920 about a year and a half ago mainly because it was a bargain. It slowly eclipsed my Mini14 because it does everything I wanted my Mini to do and I didn't have to modify a thing. All I wanted was an uber reliable handy carbine to use as a ranch rifle. The Colt functioned flawlessly from the get go and has been solid as a rock ever since. I wanted to prefer the Mini but I ended up back with a Colt AR and I'm glad I did.

The only problem I had with my Mini30 was the constant light primer strikes with cheap ammo. Other than that it was a great rifle but I couldn't get past that shortcoming and I got rid of it. What's the point of a 7.62x39 carbine if you can't shoot cheap ammo? I just recently replaced the Mini30 with an AK variant. So far so good. Once again it does everything I wanted a Mini30 to do but much more reliably, so far. Time will tell.

I'm not bashing the Mini line of rifles. I like them but the cold hard truth is they take some TLC and tinkering with to get them up to par with other offerings. They are fun to shoot though. I still recommend them as long as you buy one knowing what you're getting into.

Last edited by Bonk; April 1st, 2016 at 05:27 AM.
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Old March 31st, 2016, 06:48 PM   #13
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If I had to do it over I would build an AR15 over a mini. The ability to easily customize and tune to exactly what you want is a huge advantage, plus careful part selection can be cheaper overall than a mini. That said, the mini is still a great gun and I have no intention of selling mine.
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Old March 31st, 2016, 08:50 PM   #14
 
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Yes I would. I bought my 181 series in 1979 for $148.00 new shortly after attending my first major riot. At that time an AR ran $500-$600+ minimum. I carried it in my patrol car for many years and it kept me safe several times. Being a county officer it was reassuring to have when backup was sometimes far away. It never malfunctioned or jammed, and stood up to a lot of abuse. I could bounce a tin can at a 100 yds. regularly, taken several coyotes out to 150 yds. with iron sights, and burned a lot of 5.56 through it without any damage. For what it was at the time, it did it's job well. I will always keep mine even though I have an AR.

The new model Minis are definitely better rifles than my 181, and it really gets down to what platform you feel more comfortable with and what purpose you will use the rifle for.

Last edited by OlCop; March 31st, 2016 at 09:14 PM.
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Old April 1st, 2016, 04:11 AM   #15
 
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Got mine in 1987 S/S.

I will never let go of it. It's a great little rifle.
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