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FyredUp
October 20, 2009, 03:11 PM
Okay, I have decided to add a 5.56mm rifle to my collection. I have resisted since I haven't really found a need for one. Well now the bug has bit me and I am thinking I need one. Primarily the uses would be for plinking and home defense. I own some acreage and a nice light rifle to carry with me would be great.

I have been looking at AR-15 clones and spending $1000-$2000 for one seems, well, ridiculous to me. There is a really nice looking Mini-14 Ranch Rifle with a flash hider and 2-20 round magazines for just under $900 at a local gun store. Yes, I know the mini-14 magazines cost more than AR-15 mags. But I think for the cost difference I can afford to buy a few more mini-14 mags.

So, I guess I am asking for pros and cons on my idea. I have owned a Ruger 10/22 for 32 years and have had not one problem with it. Will the mini-14 be as reliable? Will it serve me as well as the 10/22?

Thanks.

GONIF
October 20, 2009, 03:15 PM
you can buy a new AR for $800.00,and it will out shoot the mini all day long .

FyredUp
October 20, 2009, 03:29 PM
What brand and more importantly WHERE? I was in Gander Mountain and my local gun store the other day and neither had a clone at under $1100 with most in the $1300 range.

Edward429451
October 20, 2009, 03:38 PM
I got my Bushmaster XM15E2s for 800 dollars. It does outshoot my 3 Mini-14's

My Mini-14's are stone cold reliable though and accurate enough for general purpose use. So you wont win a match with one, so what? You can sure keep him off of you though.

sholling
October 20, 2009, 03:45 PM
I have and like Minis but I understand their limitations. The main one being accuracy. Minis are maybe 2-4 MOA for 3 rounds and then the groups open up as the barrel heats up. Plenty good enough for the intended use - 2 & 4 legged predator control.

For not a lot more you can pick up a nice AR15. They come in quality grades ranging from okay plinker to all out battle worthy. A good happy medium is S&W M&P15's which start (http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/cPath/36_763/products_id/58561) around $950 and go up from there depending on options. The S&Ws are getting very popular with law enforcement agencies.

olyinaz
October 20, 2009, 03:45 PM
I can usually find an AR carbine for around $800 or perhaps $900 in one of the shops in Tucson. Mini-14s can be had for around $775 but sometimes they go on sale for $699.

I'd suggest one of the new Mini-14s. The new barrel is much heavier than the old pencil tube (the weight difference tells the truth to that quite readily) and the accuracy is reportedly just fine at 1.5-2.5" at 100 yards.

I don't mind AR-15s at all (and I've got one) but I understand that not everyone wants to look like a spec ops wannabe so that's why God made Mini-14s. :p

The best looking Mini right now (in my mind) is the Davidson's-only special that has the 16" barrel and the wood stock. Hubba hubba - that's one nice little Mini-14.

If you want an AR shop around a bit - you'll find one for around $800.

Best,
Oly

bedlamite
October 20, 2009, 04:21 PM
2 reasons:

1)
http://cmmginc.secure-mall.com/shop/index.php?shop=1&cat=161

2)
http://i328.photobucket.com/albums/l342/1k_wayne/guns/MINI14.jpg

NSO_w/_SIG
October 20, 2009, 04:24 PM
I agree with the above poster, bargin bin deal at CMMG is not going to be beat at $600, there is alot of good feedback on those rifles.

Latex Ducky
October 20, 2009, 04:26 PM
haha bedlamite, nice picture

I'll put in a third vote for the bargain bin.

22_Shooter
October 20, 2009, 05:01 PM
What brand and more importantly WHERE? I was in Gander Mountain and my local gun store the other day and neither had a clone at under $1100 with most in the $1300 range.

Gander Mountain is the absolute LAST place to look for an affordable AR (or most any gun, for that matter).

FyredUp
October 20, 2009, 05:09 PM
Seriously, you would buy a rifle from a bargain bin not knowing the brand, whether it is a 'trade-in, demo, scratched, dented, discolored, over-run, special buy, ugly, etc"? Wow! I guess I am just a hair more cynical and suspicious than that. I want to know exactly what I am getting when I buy something.

If accuracy down to sniper quality is the only beef against the mini-14 I guess I am missing the point. I have a bolt gun that is more than capable of long range accuracy. What I want is an inexpensive (relatively speaking), reliable, light weight, rifle that is going to shoot all day without FTF and FTE. If there is an AR-15 that meets that then I can be more open to that. If not and the mini-14 is not the choice...what is?

Squidward
October 20, 2009, 05:12 PM
Given your stated purpose for the rifle, get the mini. The whole MOA debate is probably academic for most poeple looking for a plinker/HD rifle..

Full disclosure; I own a mini 14 :rolleyes:

Also check out PerfectUnion, if you want more mini info.

rickyjames
October 20, 2009, 05:29 PM
walmarts near me usually have mini 14's in stock i would check the prices there. btw the mini 14 was one of the first guns i bought when i moved to az. still have it, still a great gun. my ar is more accurate tho but not enuff to make me want to sell my mini :)

Bartholomew Roberts
October 20, 2009, 05:36 PM
The "Ranch Rifle" moniker is a pretty apt one for the Mini-14. It is a handy, little reliable rifle that is good for carrying in the back of the truck and using around the ranch.

The problem is price - at $900, you are paying the same price as budget-end AR15s and the AR15s will be about equal in durability, close in reliability, much more accurate, no problems with heat, better iron sights and better ability to mount optics. Not to mention that you can fix and repair the rifle yourself if necessary without having to send it back to the factory.

If you step up to the $1,200-$1,300 range, you can get hard use AR15s that will be extremely reliable (Pat Rogers reports that they finally broke down and cleaned the Colt 6940 at around 15,000+ rounds when it would no longer function reliably). The same rifle without the fancy handguard (6920) can be had at $1,250. The Bravo Company rifles (in the $1,000 range) had similar performance.

If you just plain do not like the AR, then either the Saiga .223 or the KelTec SU-16 will do the same things the Mini-14 will at a much lower price point.

The Ruger isn't a bad rifle by any means; but Ruger places a much higher value on it than I do. It has expensive accessories. It is more difficult to mount optics on. It strings shots when it heats up (and it heats up fast) and accuracy is mediocre, though acceptable. On the plus side, it is light and handy and generally seems to run pretty well; though when they do break, you are hosed until Ruger can fix it as it isn't a DIY type of rifle.

FishEngineer
October 20, 2009, 05:46 PM
Why not both? Each have their purpose and niche.

FyredUp
October 20, 2009, 05:54 PM
I am not opposed to an AR-15 at all. I just want the most bang for my buck and frankly paying $1200 for an AR-15 is just insane in my mind.

dgludwig
October 20, 2009, 06:04 PM
Given your stated purpose for the rifle, get the mini. The whole MOA debate is probably academic for most poeple looking for a plinker/HD rifle..

Well said. I've got both (AR-15 and a Mini) and, if I didn't shoot High Power/Service Rifle competition, and I had to pick one of the two, I'd opt for the Mini. It makes for a superior self-defense carbine in terms of reliability and handling. It should be noted that I'm probably in the minority with this opinion but I only have my personal experience to rely on.

Average Joe
October 20, 2009, 06:06 PM
The mini is a great gun for what it is. It will not be as accurate as a AR. If you can be satisfied with 5 inch groups at 100 yards, then the Mini is for you.

dgludwig
October 20, 2009, 06:13 PM
If you can be satisfied with 5 inch groups at 100 yards, then the Mini is for you.

My Mini with the factory peep sight will get 3" groups @ 100 yards with factory ammunition all day long-so long as you let the barrel cool a little between volleys. :rolleyes:

jgcoastie
October 20, 2009, 06:14 PM
I bought my Del-Ton AR15 for $850 out-the-door... $50 less than the Mini-14's they had, and the Del-Ton consistently out-shoots my buddy's Mini-14... Not just by a half-inch here or there, I'm talking 5-6" @ 100yds...

YMMV, but Del-Ton is worth a look if your budgeted for $800-$900

5whiskey
October 20, 2009, 06:26 PM
If you don't like the look, feel, or purpose of an AR, then by all means get a mini. If you honestly want an assault rifle, you will never be satisfied by the mini. The magazines are expensive and it is not friendly to firing more than one full magazine accurately without cool down time.

I'm not bashing minis, they're cool rifles. Just trust me. I traded my buddy (temporary swap) my AR for his mini for a couple of months. He didn't want to give my rifle up. I was more than ready to give him his rifle and get mine back. He bought an AR shortly after that. I will probably buy a mini one day. It's not very high on my priority list though, so it will probably be awhile.


Oh, and you can find plenty of ARs for less than 1200 dollars. Bushys can be had for 750 new if you shop for deals. I wouldn't pay 900 for a mini, BTW.

Omaha-BeenGlockin
October 20, 2009, 06:31 PM
Your can build a near tier 1 AR for that kind of money---and yes, I have a Mini that I like very much--but didn't pay near $900 for it.

Sarge
October 20, 2009, 06:34 PM
Mini 14 580-Series Ranch/20 Round ProMags: Review here (http://sargesrollcall.blogspot.com/2008/10/mini-14-580-series-ranch-rifle-last.html#links).

5whiskey
October 20, 2009, 06:37 PM
Adding one last thing. I AM an accuracy snob. I get mad at ARs that don't hold 1.5 moa. Minis can start close to 2.5 or 3 moa if you shoot REAL slow. Minis are cool rifles but I will never be fully satisfied with them. Still a nice platform but not for me.

It's the same with an AK. I have a saiga .223 right now. It's good for about 3 or 4 moa with the right ammo. I'm not satisfied with that. Will it take care of some business? Heck yeah. Am I fully happy with it? No, I'm not. I'm probably one of the few here that would rather perform a misfire drill once every 1 or 2k rounds and have an accurate rifle, than to have a rifle that would never misfire but hold a 4 or 5" group @ 100 yards. This post is my disclaimer. I will never be a tried and true mini fan.

FyredUp
October 20, 2009, 07:06 PM
It depends on the intended usage of the rifle.

If I want a SHTF rifle, I care more about the fact that it will fire EVERY TIME I pull the trigger and it shoots 3 inch groups at 100 yards, versus it MAYBE firing every time I pull the trigger and shooting 1 inch groups at 300 yards. My AK clone fires every time I pull the trigger and with minimal maintenace. Nope, it isn't atack driver, but I guarantee I can hit a man sized silhouette at 100 yards with it.

If I want a target rifle then a few FTF or FTE's aren't a big deal. I can always stop, figure out what went wrong and move on. Then hitting the center of a target t 300 yards is a priority and the accuracy is needed.

Usage is the key to what to buy.

I guess I am more comcerned right now about the barrel heating up on the mini and even 100 yard accuracy dropping off to unacceptable levels. Many have mentinioned this for rapid fire. Is it really that much of an issue?

finfanatic
October 20, 2009, 07:08 PM
I have a Mini-14, and it is nice platform to launch .223 downrange, but it ain't real accurate. Minute of pie plate at 100 yards with GOOD ammo. For $800-900 I would pass on a Mini-14 and get an AR.

At the last gunshow I saw plenty of new ARs for 900-something, and one table had a whole bunch of used ones for 700-800. And I got the feeling there was lots of haggle room in those prices.

I figure right before Xmas, some of the people who panic bought ARs will want some cash and will dump their high-priced rifles for a bargain. Or at least that is what I am hoping for. :D

CDNN's latest download catalog has Bushmaster M4A1 Carry Handle Carbine for $799. And the A3 Patrolman with Removeable carry handle for $899.

CMMGs ARs in various configs.... new and not in the bargain bin are in the catalog for $749-900.

Heck, you can buy an optics ready Smith & Wesson M&P15 for $799.99 and get 5 free mags.

IMO, Mini-14s are getting way too pricey. Course I only paid $249 for mine in 1980-something.

CDNN does have some Mini-14s from $589 up to $719 for one with Walnut stocks.

FyredUp
October 20, 2009, 07:23 PM
Okay, now the M&P 15 interests me. How about a specific model number?

NSO_w/_SIG
October 20, 2009, 07:23 PM
Mini-14 just can't compare to the AR when you look at some of the deals on AR's right now, even if you don't want the bargin bin rifle you can't beat the deals, quality, and value of spikes tactical right now.

ETA- and I am talking about building from parts listed on their site, there is also a coupon code that can be entered to save more. Stripped lowers for $89 right now.

finfanatic
October 20, 2009, 07:31 PM
It just says Smith & Wesson M&P15 Optics Ready Carbine.

Page 17 of the download catalog.

I note it says this model was $1209 previously.

Get the catalog here:

http://www.cdnninvestments.com/

feldspar13
October 20, 2009, 07:38 PM
I have had a mini 14 since 82 it's plenty accurate for me

44 AMP
October 20, 2009, 07:43 PM
And around here, go for $600 or so (and thats the ranch rifles).

No, they don't match the current generation ARs for accuracy. They were never intended to. The mini 14 was intended to be a light, pest rifle, like the M1 carbine, but with more range. And for that, its fine.

Because it is .223, to gets matched against the ARs, and in accuracy, comes off poorly. But notice nobody compares the accuracy of the original AR-15s against the Mini, only the newer ones with the A2 style or free floating barrels.

Never meant to burn off 15-20-30 rnds rapid fire and keep fine accuracy. Not built to be a military weapon. For What it is, the Mini 14 is a good gun. AND, in my personal experience, way more tolerant of crud, lack of lube, or poor grade ammo than ARs. I had an AR in the mid 80s that would consistantly jam on sp ammo. Ran great on ball, but not on soft points. That same sp ammo ran through both my Mini 14s flawlessly.

Look in the want ads. Lots of folks today are unloading spare guns for cash, and often priced low for a quick sale. Getting a used Mini 14 for $600, or maybe less (even though its not as accurate as newer ARs) is a better deal than paying 1,200 or even 800 for an AR. Or at least it is a better deal to me. Your wants/needs may differ.

Bartholomew Roberts
October 20, 2009, 08:07 PM
If I want a SHTF rifle, I care more about the fact that it will fire EVERY TIME I pull the trigger and it shoots 3 inch groups at 100 yards, versus it MAYBE firing every time I pull the trigger and shooting 1 inch groups at 300 yards. My AK clone fires every time I pull the trigger and with minimal maintenace.

ARs are a lot more reliable than the rumor mill would have you believe.

15,000 rounds through an M4 with 9 stoppages (none weapon related) (http://www.defensereview.com/m4m4a1-carbine-reliability-issues-why-they-occur-and-why-theyre-our-fault/)

From Pat Rogers reports of the rifles he uses in his training courses (http://lightfighter.net/eve/forums?a=tpc&f=3006044761&m=367105934&r=367105934#367105934):

"The BCM Mid Length (#14) has 22230 rds downrange. We had broken bolt lug at around 16,200 rds, but not it has not otherwise been cleaned."

"the Colt 6940 (#20) has never been cleaned- just lubed with SLiP 2000 EWL. At appx 15600 rds the gun finally choked, experiencing several Type 3’s in a row... removed wads of gunk from the receiver extension and replaced the extractor and spring. It was re-lubed and placed back in service."

Note that the last two rifles went over 15,000 rounds with NO cleaning at all. They just added lube.

5whiskey
October 20, 2009, 08:32 PM
I guess I am more comcerned right now about the barrel heating up on the mini and even 100 yard accuracy dropping off to unacceptable levels. Many have mentinioned this for rapid fire. Is it really that much of an issue?

In short, yes it is.

Also, don't over-exagerate the reliability of the mini. Is it inherently more reliable than an AR? Yeah, I'll give it that. Are most ARs jam-o-matics? No. The platform has come a LONG LONG ways.

If I want a SHTF rifle, I care more about the fact that it will fire EVERY TIME I pull the trigger and it shoots 3 inch groups at 100 yards, versus it MAYBE firing every time I pull the trigger and shooting 1 inch groups at 300 yards.

See, I'm not a relativist per say, but this statement should be made in a relativist context as apposed to an absolutist. NO, NONE, NOT ONE, EVER HAS, OR EVER WILL BE, machine made by man will be perfect. Not even the venerable AK47. Do many different machines have different strengths and weaknesses? Yeah, of course. The mini's strength is you can fire 1k rounds over 2 years time with never cleaning, and still have a reasonable expectation of it firing after a year or twos worth of storage. It IS reliable. On the other hand. You can fire 1k rounds, accurately, through a good AR in a day with no malfunction if it is properly maintained (which, BTW, isn't rocket science). If you do the same over a period of time and don't properly maintain the AR, then you can expect problems at some point. If you clean your rifles more than once a year an AR will suit you well. ARs are very reliable with a small amount of service. If you're a "fire and forget" type, then maybe a mini is more your style.

The point is ARs are fine and reliable rifles that don't require $2,000.00 worth of goodies to help them shoot under 2" @ 100 yards, as long as you treat them within reason. Minis can be rode hard and put away wet, with little to no maintainence, but don't expect any form of coherent accuracy after the 1st magazine without a bunch of capital sunk into the rifle. Don't expect any accuracy UNDER 3" without upgrades/handloads in any condition, even if you let the barrel cool 5 minutes after each shot... and that would be one of the better minis. Reliability is important, but everything fails. I've never heard of a mini 14 passing a military torture test ;).


All in all...

if you have ARs, the only purpose a mini14 serves is to reduce the accuracy of rounds sent down range

FyredUp
October 20, 2009, 09:22 PM
I looked at the Del-Ton website and they interest me too. Any feed back on them?

Sarge
October 20, 2009, 10:12 PM
Don't expect any accuracy UNDER 3" without upgrades/handloads in any condition, even if you let the barrel cool 5 minutes after each shot... and that would be one of the better minis....

Well hell, I must have gotten a WAY better one then.

Luckily, the first load out of the chute was good and it shot exactly to the UMC load's point of impact, with either the scope or iron sights. It also grouped just as well and typical three shot, 210 yard groups looked like the pair pictured below. The group highlighted in red has two shots in just under 2 inches, with a third straggler opening it up to 3 ¾ inches. The dropped shot below the bull was simply operator error.

http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x187/SargeMO/Mini210tgt.jpg

This particular specimen shoots better at over 200 yards, than many earlier Mini's would shoot at half that distance. While testing the ProMags, I managed to warm the barrel up pretty good while emptying of a couple of them. Even with a hot barrel, the last three-shot group of the day was 3 7/8 inches at 210 yards. In my experience, your average AR/M4 will not beat that significantly.

handlerer
October 21, 2009, 04:34 AM
let see if I finally was able to actually have a successful upload. If so, it will show a target fired offhand a 100yds. I believe the 30 rounds mag were only loaded to 26 rounds, cause these were $10 mags I picked up at Daddio's and are plastic, functional, but wear quickly when loaded to max capacity. The point is that a Mini-14, at least the 580 series are as accurate as need be for there intended purpose, Pest control and selfdefense. The Mini isn't a target gun, how many benches have you fired from while hunting? I will rest my rifle if I can, but sometimes it isn't possible. I have too much experience with the AR/M-16. It is more accurate, much more difficult to disassemble, IMO, and a little more particular about ammo and hygene. You can have plenty of fun with either, but I just like the truck gun aspect of a MINI. This target may look more like a pattern, but its 3 26 round groups as fast I could try for a sight picture, offhand in 90 degree heat in south Montana.

darkgael
October 21, 2009, 05:39 AM
Intended purpose vs. cost. The first semi-auto rifle that I owned was a Mini 14. I bought it used. It was a reliable shooter but never quite accurate enough to suit me. I gave it to my son who still has it. It was a SS version; he keeps it oiled up on his sailboat for SD when travelling.
Me? I bought an AR15, a Colt HBar, which I use regularly, is satisfyingly accurate and has never FTF'd. I also bought it some years ago when prices were way less than they are at present, something around or a bit under $800. Not any more.
Pete

MosinM38
October 21, 2009, 07:48 AM
Don't let all the nay-sayers scare you off ;)

The Mini's are okay guns, and trying stuff like this
http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=381015 or loosening the gas block screws a bit, will make it a 2" gun.

And the new Minis are accurate from the factory, also better because of the heavier barrel. They're what the Mini-14 SHOULD have been after they first saw the problems. If the changes had been made 15 years ago.....It would be a bigger contender and wouldn't have the stigma it does now.

The only problem is that the new ones are factory-inflated (Due to Ruger thinking their name deserves a premium), and the old ones are over-priced.

That in consideration, I advise that you choose which one you want. The AR-15's, good ones can be found with a little work at around $800. Mini's SHOULD be found for around $699 for new ones, $550 for older used ones.

If it wasn't the fact that Ruger's are over-priced at the moment, I'd recomend it.

qwik
October 21, 2009, 08:39 AM
Ruger mini 14 ss ranch rifle wood stock @ 365 $ ( just saying ) still love this gun . :D NOTE --> notforsale ; plenty of fun & still rocking

Ricky
October 21, 2009, 09:11 AM
As I read down through the posts several people said that it's easier to mount optics on an AR. If you want optics then get a Ranch Rifle (as the OP stated he is interested in) The rifle comes with built in mount and rings are included. What could be easier?
I have an old Ranch Rifle. With cheap aftermarket mags it is not reliable. With the 5 round factory mags it is very reliable. I got some 10 round "Pro Mag" mags and they seem to work well. Being in California I'm stuck with 10 round maximum. I would have liked to have bought the Ruger 20 rounders but can't get them here. It would be nice if Ruger would make some factory 10 rounders available. IMHO the gun looks and feels better with 10 rounders. A full 20 rounder sticks out too far and adds a fair amount of weight.
I'm getting 3"-4" groups at 100 yards with Mil Surp ammo. The accuracy doesn't thrill me. I've got some quality .223 ammo but I haven't tried it yet.

rezmedic54
October 21, 2009, 10:21 AM
I have an older Mini in the 180 series. It's scoped and uses after market mags so far so good. Three weeks ago I was out with some friend shooting and we discovered clay pigeons up on the side of the mountain lasered them to be ruffly 470 yds. It took 3 shoots from my Mini to break that bird at that range but I've gone to the Mini web site and did what was suggested to make it a little more accurate cost was minimal and the results was great. My Mini will hold 5 shot groups of 1 inch or better depending on the ammo used. I have both and would use either in a fight if need be as one is just as good as the other.

Omaha-BeenGlockin
October 21, 2009, 11:08 AM
Ricky----check the Ruger site.

They are now offering factory 10 rounders.

http://shopruger.com/Ruger-Mini-14-Magazine-10-Shot/productinfo/90339/

General Disarray
October 21, 2009, 01:56 PM
I've owned min-14's and 30's on and off for years. About two years ago they overhauled the whole platform which made the whole debate between minis and ARs change. They outfitted the minis with heavy barrel, put on better sites, and put a bit more work on the fit and finish. With the new heavy barrels they are as accurate as my Rock River AR.

BUT, I have never paid more than $600 for a mint used one, and I would never pay more than $750 for a brand new one. If your shop is charging those prices I would immediately stop patronizing them cuz they're taking advantage of customers.

MTT TL
October 21, 2009, 02:51 PM
Hi my name is MTT TL and I own a Mini-14.

My problem began in 2005 when I saw it on the used rack at Gander Mountain for $375. I asked if they would take $350. I should have known it was all too easy.

I had been warned by family and friends to stay away Mini's and that my life would go into a tail spin if I ever I went down that road because once you start with them there is no end to your misery. But it was 2005, 5.56mm was plentiful and cheap, surplus could be had for $3/ for a box of 20, delivered to your door by the ever smiling UPS driver, smiling his sinister smile as he dropped off case after case of ammo.... but I digress.

So I was hesitant, would the mini serve me as well as my 10/22? The plastic 30 round magazines I had bought for the 10/22 ran beautifully after lubrication. The 10/22 was nearly as accurate out of the box as a shotgun.

So I picked up several 30 round mini Ram-line poly mags and oh so carefully loaded them with 5.56. Amazingly the weapon filled a deep insecurity I had always had about the rifle by firing round after round without jamming. And sure enough it went bang every time. It had the added bonus of hurling my brass a good 20 feet to the right and clearing the adjacent firing lane quickly. At least until the cold flag went up and I was graciously asked to move to the right end of the line. Still it was more fun to shoot than a whole day working a chain saw.

Accurate? Any basketballs within 150 meters were done for. For $350 I was sold.

For $800? Buy an AR.

Quentin2
October 21, 2009, 06:03 PM
Over the years I've wanted a .223/5.56 but it always seemed something else came up. I leaned toward the Mini-14 because it's normally cheaper and looks less like an "evil black rifle".

But I carried an M16 in Vietnam so was familiar with the AR platform and liked the modularity and ease of finding parts and fixing it yourself. And with the current political climate I finally went with an AR - actually, bought a stripped S&W lower receiver and built it up with a Del-Ton kit, found the M4 buttstock I wanted then bought an assembled/testfired ArmaLite midlength upper and found a used Bushmaster carry handle and GI magazines and GI sling. Buying parts as I could afford them and cherry picking the best values for me worked like a charm and for just under $900 I got exactly the rifle I wanted, not just any ol' thing off the shelf for that amount.

Forgetting accuracy I think that being able to custom build exactly the rifle you want for under $1000 gives the AR an unbeatable advantage.

5whiskey
October 21, 2009, 09:15 PM
For $350 I was sold. For $800? Buy an AR.

I guess that's kinda my point. If minis were cheaper I wouldn't give them any grief. Unfortunately they're not. I can't justify spending over 600 bucks on a rifle I'm not going to be completely happy with.

On the other hand, if the new minis are as good as some claim, I may have to have a look see.

Sarge, you posted a nice group for a mini, but it also looks like they were handloads. I can take my Armalite and shoot 2" groups all day long with the cheapest brass cased ammo. Brown bear steel cased gets me close to 2" as well.

L_Killkenny
October 21, 2009, 09:51 PM
I'd really like to shoot one of the "new" mini's. I had a Mini Ranch 5 or 10 years ago and liked the gun but I needed better accuracy. Actually I may not have. I should of done more checking on group size with a dead cold barrel between shots, maybe it would of suprized me. But back to the new ones. I have no ambition to build an AR and I know the reliabilty of the Mini. If they have gotten the accuracy bug worked out (I.E. dumped the pencil thin barrel) and have a gun capable of close to MOA I might have to revisit them. IMO, the AR would have nothing over "an accurate" Mini. The Mini also looks a 1000 times better.

LK

Sarge
October 21, 2009, 10:30 PM
Sarge, you posted a nice group for a mini, but it also looks like they were handloads. I can take my Armalite and shoot 2" groups all day long with the cheapest brass cased ammo. Brown bear steel cased gets me close to 2" as well.

It was a handload; first one I tried.

Is your Armalite shooting those 2" groups at 200 yards?

I've shot some rack-grade M4's & AR's. I'm not disputing that it's an accurate design. They are more ammo-sensitive than I like and that, along with the Mini's Garand-based handling qualities, makes me prefer the Mini. The newer, re-tooled Mini's are closing any 'accuracy gap' that exists between these designs, substantially.

Actually I've been spoiled by an old Savage 110 in .223 that'll print thumbnail-size groups at 200 yards with any decent reload or factory load... so this whole accuracy thing is relative, in my mind at least. Any slam-bang gun that crowds 2MOA, at two football fields, is OK in my book- especially if it'll feed anything I throw at it.

I swapped into the Mini for about half of what it would have cost me to buy it outright. If I'd been digging in my shirt pocket for 7-8 Benjamins, I might have went with an AR for 1 or 2 more. I'm happy enough with the Ruger that I don't feel like I need an AR anytime soon.

Candiru
October 21, 2009, 10:31 PM
Never shot one of the old Minis, but I have put some rounds through two different new ones. Both run about 2 MOA using Prvi Partisan XM193; that's 10-round groups at 100 yards, rested, without waiting for the barrel to cool down. I wish people would quit badmouthing the Mini's accuracy based on their experience with the older models, because it's not really relevant anymore. It's like people claiming ARs are jam-o-matics based on the teething problems experienced with the pre-A1 M16s.

Ricky
October 21, 2009, 11:40 PM
I guess I'm an old fashioned kind of guy, I think AR's are just plain ugly. I guess I'll never be "tacticool" If the new Mini's are as accurate as an AR I'd buy one even if it cost more than an AR.
My apologies to the AR fans, not a personal attack, just personal taste. :o

TRguy
October 22, 2009, 08:28 AM
GONIF - you can buy a new AR for $800.00,and it will out shoot the mini all day long .

Pretty much sums it up and it was the first reply......

KMO
October 22, 2009, 02:04 PM
I wish people would quit badmouthing the Mini's accuracy based on their experience with the older models, because it's not really relevant anymore.

Well-stated. Stereotype opinions tend to linger on well after issues have been dealt with. The Mini-14 is a darn reliable rifle. Even the older ones can be inexpensively accessorized (i.e. Mo-Rod) to mitigate the accuracy & barrel whip condition described. To the OP...Go get yourself that Mini and have a great time with it...;)

Microgunner
October 22, 2009, 02:27 PM
Dumb*ss me. I've bought (2) Mini-14's in an attempt to get one that works because I wanted one SOOOO bad. Both are reasonably reliable but accuracy is lost on them. 4"-5" 100 yard groups. I stick with the AR's now. But they are interesting.

olyinaz
October 22, 2009, 03:41 PM
>>>Dumb*ss me. I've bought (2) Mini-14's in an attempt to get one that works because I wanted one SOOOO bad. Both are reasonably reliable but accuracy is lost on them. 4"-5" 100 yard groups. I stick with the AR's now. But they are interesting.<<<

Look, this isn't rocket science: stick Accu-Struts (or a similar product) on both of them and their group sizes will likely halve.

Oly

Come and take it.
October 22, 2009, 06:56 PM
The new 580 series minis use a smaller skinnier reciever than the older 180+ series.

The older design has a 1 in 7 twist rate which will stabilize the new vogue in 223 ammo right now (75 grainish projectiles) very well. The barrel may be skinny but with a more heavily built receiver I am willing to accept the trade off.

I saw a mini14 for sale for just 469 dollars the other day.

My mini 14 GB stainless 192 model cost me only 550 dollars. Thats with bayonet lug and flash hider.

To get a quality AR15 you need to go for S&W, Colt, Rock River, Bushmaster with chrome lined barrel. Anything less and you would be best served with a mini 14.

Quentin2
October 22, 2009, 09:20 PM
To get a quality AR15 you need to go for S&W, Colt, Rock River, Bushmaster with chrome lined barrel. Anything less and you would be best served with a mini 14.

Actually there are many other AR brands that would be fine for a range gun. And certainly nothing wrong with the mini-14 for many applications. But for something you're betting your life on then Colt, Bravo Company and a few other ARs are worth spending more for. Or maybe a cheaper one but carefully tuned up for reliability.