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View Full Version : Mini 14 bashing - what gives?


WVfishguy
September 16, 2010, 09:16 PM
I had one of the early Mini-14s, 180 series, a stainless with the original wooden heat shield, .223 of course. This was about 30 years ago. I used 30 round mags, aftermarket, with no problems. Well, one problem - the wood scorched and burned the forearm when I shot the 30 rounders (stainless gets ungodly hot!).

It NEVER jammed, no matter which mags I used. I don't even think Ruger made a 30-rounder in those days. I might be wrong about that.

Accuracy was fine - not this "pie plate" stuff people speak of now days.

My shooting buddy got a stainless mini shortly after I got mine - his was a "police package" 181 series which, according to my dealer, Ruger really did not intend for the civilian market at that time. It had the flash suppressor, plastic heat shield, etc. Performed as well as mine. He shot 3-5 inch groups the first time he fired it - and he'd never shot a rifle before.

I got out of shooting for a couple decades, stupidly sold my mini. Now I read about minis being inaccurate, and not feeding with aftermarket mags.

What gives? Did the Ruger tooling get worn over the years? Or is this just more Internet blather?

EdInk
September 16, 2010, 10:39 PM
I don't know about the old ones but the new 580 series are suppossedly pretty accurate.

RWBlue01
September 16, 2010, 10:41 PM
Your original is exceptional. Most of the modern mini-14s are not.

I have no love for the mini. I also don't have the hatred that some people have.

IMHO, If you are looking for a SHTF firearm, the mini is not it. The parts availability and costs are not good.

You could go with an AR?
You could go with an AK?
If you are dead set on getting a mini-14, check out the police trade ins at buds.

benogil
September 16, 2010, 10:54 PM
yep, mini's got bad, some were just great, most were not, bad crowns became the rule. For about the same money, an AR is more consistent.
Mini's are better now, but the AR is a rifleman's platform.
Mini's can be more reliable, and still have a following for good reasons.

Art Eatman
September 16, 2010, 11:00 PM
I don't have an answer, other than maybe lots of people think that any rifle they buy should shoot tight groups from a benchrest.

I've had two stainless and two blued; all early models, and I always stuck a K4 on top. They would all shoot about two MOA or a tad less for three shots--which was plenty good for coyotes and jackrabbits.

I got into a schutzenfest in NW Nevada in 1980 or thereabouts during a huge population explosion of jackrabbits. A buddy and I both used Minis one morning and killed over a hundred from just one location. Say, 50 or 75 yards on out to maybe 150. Went back a week later and you couldn't tell we'd made a dent. So, until boredom set in, we ruined the day for another fifty or so. Neither of us noticed any particular accuracy problems, warm barrels or no.

Not having had problems, it's rather difficult for me to complain. :D

WVfishguy
September 16, 2010, 11:24 PM
RWBlue01; Your original is exceptional. Most of the modern mini-14s are not.
IMHO, If you are looking for a SHTF firearm, the mini is not it. The parts availability and costs are not good.
I understand Mini-14 mags are more expensive than AK mags. As to the rest, care to prove it? Exactly what makes a mini not a "SHTF firearm."

Bamashooter
September 16, 2010, 11:54 PM
my mini is a 580 series skinny barrel. out the box it was shooting 2'' groups at 100yrds. after a few inexpensive mods it will shoot moa all day long. i have sat and ran 100 rounds through it as fast as i can, sit down and shoot a 1'' group. all without a malfunction. if i ever have to break and run or SHTF, or whatever my mini will be there with me. all mods were just little things like a trigger, accustrut, gas block polish and retorque,and recoil buffers. alot of folks underestimate the mini and thats fine with me. :)

Ignition Override
September 17, 2010, 12:01 AM
Over at "Perfectunion", there is a separate forum for mags-mostly due to the many aftermarket mags which often misfeed or won't feed at all.

That specific forum is for both the Mini 14 and 30, and it is sometimes hard to identify whether some thread titles or remarks refer to 30 (-rd. mags) , (Mini) 30s...etc.

Ruger began offering its own 20-rd. mags to the non-LEO civilian Mini 14 owners only After the presidential election (strange?), and Ruger 20-rounders for the Mini 30 only last spring. This cost Ruger many customers over the years.
To have a "normal capacity factory magazine" they instead switched to the AR, "G-3", "AK clone" etc.

Bamashooter
September 17, 2010, 12:04 AM
i have a mix of pro-mag and ruger 20 rounders and they work the same. in my opinion the promag's are the best mags out there other than the ruger mags.

jhgreasemonkey
September 17, 2010, 12:07 AM
I'm not sure why the bashing? My brother and I shot the heck out of his mini's back during the 90's and there were no accuracy or reliability problems. I have a cop buddy that likes his issued mini-14 just fine. I have asked him about accuracy issues because I hear that from time to time on this forum and he says accuracy is acceptable, which has been my experience with my brothers mini's. I would buy one without a second thought if I was in the market for a semi auto .223 carbine.

MTT TL
September 17, 2010, 01:56 AM
Gosh there has not been a good mini-14 hate thread in a while. The way I hear tell it:

1. It is a Ruger. Bill Ruger compromised on AWB I and therefore all of his guns are scorn worthy. Except for (fill in favorite Ruger here).
2. It is a $350 gun with a $700 price tag
3. It is not an AR
4. It is not an AK
5. It is so inaccurate that you can only strike the Earth itself by accident
6. It hurls spent brass into the next county
7. The A-Team
8. Did I say it was not an AR?
9. It is hard to hang do-dads on
10. The trigger causes warts, the stock gives you boils and the barrel causes lead poisoning
11. It is not a "terror rifle"
12. Factory magazines were not available until Ruger agreed to accept first born children in exchange for 20 rounders
13. The French made it .001 caliber smaller and made their police use it
14. It is a child of the 70s and therefore obsolete, unlike the AR or AK
15. You Tube
16. It is not a FAL/ HK
17. It was a favorite of the militias of the 90s
18. It looks old but has a plastic butt plate
19. No standard bayonet lug
20. It is a mini-14, what else do you need?

midlandwalther
September 17, 2010, 02:50 AM
I'm not sure why either but I'd really like to try a Mini-30 Tactical. If I want a bench gun i'd buy a NM AR or M14.

Anybody have feedback on the new Mini-30 Tactical?

FrankenMauser
September 17, 2010, 04:01 AM
Most people with a Mini 14/30 feed it crap ammo, but expect Minute-Of-Flea accuracy. They get upset when the craptastic ammunition doesn't provide fantastic accuracy... and blame the rifle.

Bamashooter
September 17, 2010, 04:18 AM
yep, mini's got bad, some were just great, most were not, bad crowns became the rule.

maybe thats becouse people didnt know how to clean it properly and tore the crowns up with cleaning rods, then blamed the rifle for bad accuracy.

the AR is more consistent. what does that even mean? maybe more accurate,certainly not more reliable than a mini.

Sarge
September 17, 2010, 04:52 AM
in my opinion the promag's are the best mags out there other than the ruger mags.

This has been my experience, as well. Regarding this 'basher' and 'fanboy' nonsense, regardless of the subject matter- I've got no time for it.

Come and take it.
September 17, 2010, 07:10 AM
I would trust a mini with ruger factory mags for close range defensive purposes before I would choose the best AR15 out there. It may not have the accuracy of todays ARs but with a factory mag the gun will never fail you period.

amd6547
September 17, 2010, 07:43 AM
In the 1980's, I sold a perfectly reliable, accurate M1 carbine because I "just had" to have a Mini 14...I got a stainless Mini.
When I tried it out at the range, I found it shot bigger groups at 50yds than my M1 carbine did at 100yds (I had used GI LC 30carbine ammo in the carbine, and various US commercial loads in the Mini). I used an OEM ruger 5rd and 20rd mag, and an aftermarket 30rd mag...the rifle would jam occasionally with any one of them.
I sold that rifle quickly and got a Kassnar Hungarian AK and never looked at Mini 14's again.
I understand the new Mini's are better rifles, but I dont care...I have a home-made AR15 for my 5.56mm fun, which is extremely accurate and has never jammed in any way over several hundreds of rounds. Mags are cheap, and parts are too.

thesheepdog
September 17, 2010, 07:54 AM
The Mini-14 is not the greatest weapon invented. The idea was amazing at first; by taking the M1 Garand action and turning it into a .223 chamber is pretty cool. But Ruger left out a very important part of a quality rifle-a decent barrel.

Even with the newer mini series out now, there are still quality problems out there, and for the price you pay, you could get a nicer rifle.

I liked my old mini-14 SS ranch rifle. But, it lacked a practical barrel; it was inaccurate-and I am a very good shot within 200 yards-and it would heat up excpetionally quickly.

If Ruger would just step it up with practicality, then you should see some even better barrels out there.

After-market companies need to make some better mags too.

Snakedriver
September 17, 2010, 07:57 AM
I’ve had a 183-series Mini-14 that I bought new back in the early 80’s and it has done just fine with no complaints from me. It’s been a hoot to shoot over the years and doesn’t seem picky about what ammo I decide to feed it. Same goes for the magazines; it doesn’t seem picky about what brand of mag. I decide to use either. :)

I qualified with an M-16 in the Army and carried a CAR-15 variant in Vietnam, yet I never felt the need to get one for myself once I became a civilian even though I had the means and access to one anytime I wanted one. For plinking and SHTF purposes the Mini-14 does everything that I need it to do. 2” accuracy at 100 yards is plenty fine for me. I have other rifles that will shoot a single ragged hole at longer ranges if I need. ;)

My feeling is that the Mini hate comes from folks who are trying to justify in their minds why they spent $1,000 to $2,000 for the same type of rifle when they could have had a Mini for much less. I don’t hunt with my Mini-14 and unless we ever have to carry our Mini into a SHTF situation with all the folks with their fancy AR’s and such, we’ll never know which one is best suited for that purpose. I’ll feel just fine with my Mini because it’s never let me down yet. It goes bang every time I pull the trigger and hit’s what I aiming at, what more could I want. :cool:

zombieslayer
September 17, 2010, 08:01 AM
I love my mini's. I have AR's too but I could understand AR-bashing easier than mini-bashing. My AR's are nowhere NEAR as reliable as the mini's and accuracy is about even. I think the Mini is a great all-around rifle and mine have been a lot of fun.

kd7sgm
September 17, 2010, 09:34 AM
I currently have a 581 and it is accurate and functions without flaw. Someone posted that one of the issues with the mini is that it is not an AR or AK. IMHO that is one of its best attributes, as an AK has the fit and finish and general feel of a floor jack. If you do not like them that is fine, I must not have not gotten the memo that we are no longer free to choose. I also can understand someones opinion against the mini if he purchased a bad one, I however have not with the mini, I have had issues with reliable ARs in the military and that is why I do not like them.

Bartholomew Roberts
September 17, 2010, 09:49 AM
Mini-bashing? The Mini is a tool - it either fits your needs or it doesn't. The problem with the Mini is that as a tool, there are almost always better options available. In the handy Ranch Rifle niche that it was designed for and excels at, you can have a Saiga .223 for $375 that can do everything the Mini can do. In the "tactical rifle" niche that the Mini is not as competitive in, you can pay $664 for an upgraded Mini or pay $599 for a midlevel AR currently.

I think a lot of people are under the impression that because a Ruger is a .223 semi-automatic rifle, it can do anything any other .223 semi-automatic rifle can do; but it can't. The Ruger isn't a military rifle and when you start comparing it to .223 rifles based on military designs, it doesn't compare well. This is why the only military unit in the world to ever adopt the Mini-14 is the Bermuda Regiment of the British Army. There are just some areas (CMP or 3-gun for example) that the Mini can't compete in.

However, if all you are going to do is use the rifle like a ranch rifle, then the Mini-14 will do that just as well as a $2,400 FN SCAR or a $599 AR15.

goodspeed(TPF)
September 17, 2010, 09:49 AM
Gosh there has not been a good mini-14 hate thread in a while. The way I hear tell it:

1. It is a Ruger. Bill Ruger compromised on AWB I and therefore all of his guns are scorn worthy. Except for (fill in favorite Ruger here).
2. It is a $350 gun with a $700 price tag
3. It is not an AR
4. It is not an AK
5. It is so inaccurate that you can only strike the Earth itself by accident
6. It hurls spent brass into the next county
7. The A-Team
8. Did I say it was not an AR?
9. It is hard to hang do-dads on
10. The trigger causes warts, the stock gives you boils and the barrel causes lead poisoning
11. It is not a "terror rifle"
12. Factory magazines were not available until Ruger agreed to accept first born children in exchange for 20 rounders
13. The French made it .001 caliber smaller and made their police use it
14. It is a child of the 70s and therefore obsolete, unlike the AR or AK
15. You Tube
16. It is not a FAL/ HK
17. It was a favorite of the militias of the 90s
18. It looks old but has a plastic butt plate
19. No standard bayonet lug
20. It is a mini-14, what else do you need?


Hahahahahahaahahhahahahahaha. :D

jmortimer
September 17, 2010, 09:53 AM
The thing that bugs the AR fanboys is that the Mini 14 is a better design and more reliable. It is "minute of defense accurate" - better than the AK-47.
Here are some facts from Accuracy Systems http://www.ruger-mini-14-firearms.com/ruger_mini_prices.php
The Mini 14 is a fantastic HD/SHTF rifle.

Jo6pak
September 17, 2010, 09:55 AM
Or is this just more Internet blather?

Yes, and we have a bunch more of it right here.

thesheepdog
September 17, 2010, 10:17 AM
AR fanboys is that the Mini 14 is a better design and more reliable

Actually, it's not.

Mine was inaccurate; jammed with factory mags; heated up quickly; and was a PITA to clean. Talk about a dirty gas system, the mini comes first in dirty. The GP gets so black that you can't remove the buildup without heavy solvents and a polishing tool.

I have owned both; sold the mini-14 and got a DDM4 and I have had LESS (3 to this day, two of which were operator error) jams with my M4 than the mini.

As most idiots fail to realize, a bad magazine is always the number 1 issue with semi-auto and automatic weapons, not the gas system.

Put top dollar 100% mags in both guns and see which one comes out as top.

davlandrum
September 17, 2010, 10:29 AM
Here are some facts from Accuracy Systems http://www.ruger-mini-14-firearms.co...ini_prices.php


Those are "facts" in the same way politicians and used-car salesmen use the word "facts".... Not influenced at all by the fact that they make money working on Mini's...:p

Bartholomew Roberts
September 17, 2010, 10:31 AM
Here are some facts from Accuracy Systems http://www.ruger-mini-14-firearms.co...ini_prices.php

There isn't much in the way of facts in that link. It is pretty typical of the quality of discussion on Min-14 vs. AR15 though. Rather than start beating that long-dead horse, I'll just go on to the next statement.

The Mini 14 is a fantastic HD/SHTF rifle.

Is it? The Mini-14 is generally reliable to the point you can count on it to go bang and more than accurate enough for home defense purposes. It has two minor issues that I can think of that need to be addressed for home defense though:

1. Where are you going to put a light?
2. You have to stick your finger in the trigger guard to remove the safety, presenting the potential for a negligent discharge. In a home defense scenario under a lot of stress, this is something you need to consider because of the legal ramifications of an accidental discharge during self-defense.

While the Mini is supposedly only reliable with the 20rd factory magazines, I don't really think that is an issue for home defense. And while the Garand-based design of the Mini-14 doesn't lend itself well to modern optics, it is still doable provided you aren't trying to mount a PVS-14 and PEQ-2 on there as well. ;)

So I'd say that I'd be happy with the Mini-14 for home defense and most realistic defensive scenarios. It isn't my ideal, so I don't know if I would go with the "fantastic" superlative; but the shooter is going to be the problem much more often than the rifle will.

Is it a fantastic SHTF rifle? Well, given the widely varying scenarios that people think of when they say "SHTF", I'd say that is impossible to answer. "SHTF" is such a vague term it doesn't really tell us anything beyond some vague unnamed disaster where it would suddenly be OK for you to start shooting people with a rifle.

I can say that the last rifle I'd want in some kind of Hollywood post-apocalyptic scenario is one that requires me to return it to the factory when something breaks or requires a set of machine tools to repair. If you can't fix it yourself with what you've got, then you are basically betting on it never breaking under use and all machines break if they are used often enough and hard enough.

jmortimer
September 17, 2010, 10:33 AM
Davlandrum - Do you have some specific information/facts to dispute any of their facts? I doubt it. They also work on ARs. But again, put up some facts not just some blanket statement. Every Mini 14 I have shot has been 100% and everyone I know who owns one has the same opinion - the Mini 14 is reliable period. Mr. Roberts you do make a good point I had not considered - that of fixing a major problem. With the AR there are spare parts/systems readily available. Having lived through the Los Angeles riots I don't believe the HD/SHTF situation is that hard to conceive.

riverwalker76
September 17, 2010, 10:48 AM
Is it? The Mini-14 is generally reliable to the point you can count on it to go bang and more than accurate enough for home defense purposes. It has two minor issues that I can think of that need to be addressed for home defense though:

1. Where are you going to put a light?

I'm not picking on you, but have a serious question. ;)

Why do people feel that they need a light on their weapon for home defense? It only gives the intruder something to target! If I'm in my home and someone is in there ... I'm going to be hitting light switches. A light mounted on your weapon is a 'false security' measure in my opinion. It only gives the intruder something to be able to pinpoint you with.


With that being said ....

Anyone who has ever tried the new Mini-14 Tactical has taken back anything bad that they have ever said about Mini-14s. To be honest with you ... there are a lot of AR-15s out there that shoot as bad as the old Minis. People just don't pick on them as much for some reason.

demigod
September 17, 2010, 10:57 AM
Aside from the horrible accuracy... the MAIN reason I never shoot my old Mini is that it is a pain in the ARSE to clean compared to the AR.

Cleaning the chamber and bore is just too tedious since the action doesn't break in half like an AR.

thesheepdog
September 17, 2010, 11:00 AM
there are a lot of AR-15s out there that shoot as bad as the old Minis

Facts?

Bartholomew Roberts
September 17, 2010, 11:15 AM
Why do people feel that they need a light on their weapon for home defense?

There are lots of good reasons to have a light on your firearms. Out of deference to the original poster who didn't ask that question though, I won't go into them right here. If you are curious, you can search the forums here and find several of those discussions or start a separate thread and I'll be happy to elaborate on why I find a light useful.

It only gives the intruder something to target! If I'm in my home and someone is in there ... I'm going to be hitting light switches.

The nice thing about a light on your rifle is you still have this option - it just isn't your ONLY option.

Do you have some specific information/facts to dispute any of their facts?

I do; but how about we start another thread just in case someone who wants to read about Mini-14s doesn't feel like wading through a bunch of AR15 esoterica.

RWBlue01
September 17, 2010, 11:17 AM
WVfishguy, this discussion is happening on another board last week.

Rather than write something new I will repost it here and then add what someone else typed.

For the price not bad (and if you are getting it as a collector, great), BUT.....


The reason to get an AR is not for the accuracy. I have talked to several people who got decent accuracy out of their Mini-14. The reason to get an AR-15 vs. the mini-14 is the ability to work on the gun yourself.

Let me give you an example.
Lets say your trigger starts giving you issues on your rifle. On your Ruger, the only real option is to send it back to the factory because there are not replacement parts readily available. On the AR-15, buy a Lower parts kit and replace the parts until you find the one that is an issue (or just replace them all and be up and running.)

Lets say that you find that one 223 round in a milliion that is a screwed up load and leaves a bullet half way down the barrel. While pounding it out, you bugger up your barrel. With the Ruger, it is off to a gun smith to get a new barrel (assuming they can find a mini-14 barrel). With your AR, you can swap uppers, or swap out a barrel yourself. The assumption is that even with the clinton ban, uppers and barrels were still for sale.
Edit/Delete Message

And PP says.
$500 is a low price for an autoloading centerfire rifle with a milled steel receiver, however when you look at the big picture the problems start to pile up:

Used Mini $500
1/2 box of magazines $1,500
Spare parts-difficult to find, many are unavailable except for factory replacement
Service-only ruger can work on the things

Used AR $600
1/2 box of magazines $400
Spare bolt $100
Spare LPK $50
Service-every gunshow, big police department, federal agency, military unit etc has someone who can fix an AR and has parts in stock.

Used AK $300
1/2 box of magazines $400
Spare parts-$99 for a kit or $300 for another rifle
Service-just about any handy person (welder, mechanic, gunsmith, tinkerer etc) can build or fix one

I'm sure mini owners will argue you don't need a half case of magazines for a mini, and that is true because it's not a defensive rifle at all just a plinking toy for walmart shoppers. All mini's are civilian versions because all of their owners are civilians be they private individuals, corporations or law enforcement agencies

Remember a couple years back when new ruger 30's were $125 each? If Ruger's politics change yet again the supply of factory hicaps could dry up overnight. They maintain a complete monopoly on parts, service and (quality) magazines and for that reason they will never be a legitimate option in my opinion.


PP

So IMHO, the mini is not a SHTF gun. There are better options.

Skans
September 17, 2010, 12:50 PM
As much as I like the Mini-14 and my Ruger AC556, the fact that Ruger does not make parts available and does not permit others to make parts for their guns is a huge......HUGE drawback.

Ruger recently said that it would no longer provide factory service for the AC556. How long until it does the same thing to its Mini-14's? There's no reason that Ruger couldn't make a deal with someone else to let them produce the parts. Ruger receivers and firing mechanisms are not rocket science. Very stupid PR move for Ruger. You can't have reliability without the ability to fix the a broken gun.


No service + No parts = bad business.

Patches
September 17, 2010, 01:12 PM
As most people have said here, it comes down to price. You can get a medium quality AR for close to the price you spend on a mini. From what I gather a mini will run you closer to $700. That puts you at an Arsenal Ak or some of the ARs (CMMG, DPMS). I think alot of people would rather just save up a little more cash and purchase a weapon platform you can modify.

.300 Weatherby Mag
September 17, 2010, 02:36 PM
The bashing stems from the accuracy... The fact that a surplus SKS could absolutely embarass a Mini-14 in terms of accuracy was what started the bashing. The newer ones are more accurate but the stigma remains.. I want a mini 30.. So I don't bash them personally...

jmr40
September 17, 2010, 02:36 PM
I don't think many people actually bash the mini-14. Some people just get offended easily when others give an honest evaluation of the rifle.

Bamashooter
September 17, 2010, 03:05 PM
there is no way you can get a ''medium'' quality AR for the price of a mini. you might be able to get a sportical with no foward assist or dust cover.

300 weatherby mag.... there is no way a raggedy,slamfire, piece of crap sks will outshoot my mini.

Qtiphky
September 17, 2010, 03:15 PM
Someone touched on it earlier and noone wants to admit it. I own two AR's, an AK, an SKS and a Mini -14. By far the 14 has been the most reliable with ammo across the board. One of my AR's will not shoot Wolf ammo and because of that I haven't even tried it in the other one. AK's were designed to "subdue the enemy with walls of lead being shot from the hip by advancing soldiers." Russian military doctrine - sacrifice life to take the hill. The SKS is most definitely not a tack driver either. My mini will shoot MOA or better all day with handloads, 1.5-2 inch groups with Winchester white box and center mass hits with Wolf ammo. I have a 3x9x40 scope on it with zero modifications and would feel more than comfortable in a SHTF scenario with my mini.

Are there other rifles that I would rather have in that case, yes, but again, what was the mini built for? Put it in the back of your truck, go to work on the farm and defend your cattle from predators. You don't need a gun that will hit a dime at 400 yards to do that. You need a gun that will hit a paper plate every time at 100 yards and that is what a mini does very well with any ammo that you feed it. Everything else is just a luxury and argument that doesn't need to be made.

Bartholomew Roberts
September 17, 2010, 03:32 PM
there is no way you can get a ''medium'' quality AR for the price of a mini. you might be able to get a sportical with no foward assist or dust cover.

CMMG sells its Bargain Bin ARs for $599. CDNN just recently offered the S&W M&P15 Optic Ready AR at $699 (with 10 PMAGs and a $100 rebate). Based on a quick look earlier today, plain Mini-14s are selling in the $660-700 range.

Bamashooter
September 17, 2010, 03:36 PM
thats right, bargin bin, not medium.. plain mini's go for around 600. the only AR you will get for that is a piece of crap.

Katophract
September 17, 2010, 04:45 PM
I got a screaming good deal once on a Mini. $300 for a heavy matchgrade barrel...and scope. I shot it a couple of times, found it remarkable accurate. However, I still hated it because it was heavy, complex, unreliable and most importantly, It was Ruger. It's a gun company that didn't support 2nd A rights. So, as per capitalism, I won't support them. Most are not as accurate.

A cheap AR will out shoot it. Be more 'fixable' more 'modifiable' and lighter.
A cheaper AK will be more reliable, more fixable more modifiable.
Magazines. accessories, optics.

Bartholomew Roberts
September 17, 2010, 04:57 PM
thats right, bargin bin, not medium.. plain mini's go for around 600. the only AR you will get for that is a piece of crap.

Here is the specific CMMG rifle (http://cmmginc.secure-mall.com/item/W.A.S.P.-Bargain-Bin-16-inch-M4-1402). I wouldn't consider either it or the S&W to be a piece of crap; but I suppose some might.

plain mini's go for around 600.

The cheapest I found in an online search (http://www.google.com/products?rlz=1T4GGLL_enUS341US341&q=Mini-14&um=1&ie=UTF-8&ei=CuKTTPOJHsfBnAfh4dDBBw&sa=X&oi=product_result_group&ct=title&resnum=5&ved=0CE8QrQQwBA) was $648 from Impact Guns (http://www.impactguns.com/store/736676058167.html) for the blued, wood 18.5" version with a 20rd mag. Impact also has a Bushmaster 16" AR15 for $770 (http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=Bushmaster&show=dd&cid=12288889528068496069&ei=ouOTTPuNJJD0MKSPzZUO&sa=title&ved=0CEUQ8wIwBTgA#p) - which if CheaperThanDirst is any indication ($34 for factory Ruger magazines), you can make up that price difference in the cost of 5 Ruger factory magazines vs. 5 USGI or PMAGs for the AR.

Microgunner
September 17, 2010, 05:24 PM
I've owned two Mini-14s. Both were reliable, neither was accurate. Mini-14 sales have dwindled to the point that Ruger has introduced a piston AR.

2damnold4this
September 17, 2010, 05:25 PM
you can have a Saiga .223 for $375

Cool. Where can I get one?

kd7sgm
September 18, 2010, 06:25 AM
RW Blue your contention against the Mini is the best I have heard and one that I had never considered before. I was not aware of factory only repairs for the mini although I have not had any problems yet ( better find some wood quick) but your answer is worth consideration.

amd6547
September 18, 2010, 08:04 AM
I built my AR, which is a retro M16A1 clone using a surplus GI Colt upper, for less than $500. With it, I can hit a clay pigeon at 100yds, one shot, one pigeon. I could hit clay pigeons with my old mini 14...if I laid them on the ground and smashed them with the butt.
I later found a slightly used Bushmaster 16" HBAR upper for $150...now I can switch configuration on my rifle and make it a shorty in seconds....and I can hit clay pigeons at 100yds with it too.

Snakedriver
September 18, 2010, 08:13 AM
By the way, for those who asked:

Mini-14 with a light mounted:

63125

Mini-14 with bipod mounted:

63126

I love my trusty old Mini, it shoots like crazy and does everything the AR lovers say it can't. :D

hivel37
September 18, 2010, 09:30 AM
I bought a 181 in the '70's.

It NEVER jammed.

It grouped 2-3 inches or as well as the A2 16" HBAR in the safe now.

I recently traded it for a Ruger No. 1 in 22-250.

It served me well.

kd7sgm
September 18, 2010, 09:39 AM
I went shooting clay pigeons yesterday as well, 100 yards with the mini and I only had to use the butt of the gun on a couple of them.:D

silentargus
September 18, 2010, 01:36 PM
The only issue I've yet had with my Mini is the spotty quality of aftermarket mags... and boy are some of them bad. I actually had one of the feed lips on a 30rd mag snap while cycling- and I bet the look on my face must have been pretty memorable as the next half dozen rounds got launched straight up over my head! Another time a 10rd mag spat out two instead of one and the spare whacked my Dad right in the forehead. Serves me right for buying cheap mags.

The gun, however, has been great since day 1. Eats everything I've fed it, even some very questionable Southeast Asian 5.56. When I feed it good ammo, it performs well. With crap ammo, a little less so but still more than well enough. Average groups about 3" at 100yd with iron sights. I can't think of anywhere near me where there's more than 150yd of open space to shoot across; if I mounted optics I'm reasonably confident that I'd get more than adequate groupings at any kind of practical distance.

As for other considerations- I'm not sure where all this babble about "complexity" is coming from... the minis are dead simple to operate and break down, tools free. It's no more difficult to disassemble and reassemble than an AR. Since the gas piston is an open system, the gun does get pretty damn dirty. Then again, I've yet to see being dirty affect function, and taking the stock off provides easy access for cleaning.

IMHO, it was worth the $600 it cost when I got it; I don't know if I'd buy another but that's because I already own one. No, the Mini is not a strong contender for the "tactical" role- but neither are 95% of the other semi-automatic rifles out there. It'd be pretty silly to go out shopping for an AR and come home with a Mini, but that's because they're different guns- not because one or the other is inherently better. For an ultra-reliable, low-maintenance house rifle that could be turned to putting small game on the table or whacking pests, there's nothing else I'd rather have.

dagger dog
September 18, 2010, 05:24 PM
Another MINI owners veiw;

My KMINI RANCH will feed fire and eject a WATERMELLON into the next county, as long as you use a factory magazine.

You really don't need a scope on a MINI, you can't focus on the cross hairs any way, 'cause your eyeballs will still be BOUNCING around in their sockets, from the slam bang of the op rod against the receiver, a ghost ring sight is much better.

You need a great looking pair of "zorch guards":cool: AKA sunglasses when you shoot your MINI, in low light,or night fire, have you ever seen a bigger FIREBALL.

I don't think you need to BASH any one with a MINI, they will stay shooting under the worst conditions :D

silentargus
September 18, 2010, 06:41 PM
So... the gist of it is... that they'll keep running...

...

Even after...


*looks around*

...a good bashing?:D

lefteyedom
September 18, 2010, 07:58 PM
Me thinks, and I have no proof, that this is the history of the Mini 14.:cool:

In the mid 1960s the M-16 was getting beat up over its performance in Vietnam. That is when Ruger started developing the Mini-14. Someone at Ruger thought there would be major foreign military sells for an updated Garand in .223. Great idea, but history did not turn in Ruger's favor.

Uncle Sam under wrote the cost of M-16s for our Commie hating friends and CCCP did the same for the AK-47s for their Uncle Sam hating comrades . FN sells teams were cutting deals all over Africa for FALS for countries that had reasons to be different.

Well those dream military sells markets never developed for Ruger and the company was stuck with a duck that nobody really wanted.

I am a tender 46 years old, as long as I have been interested in firearms (about 34 years) the Mini-14 rep has been bad. One would think that Ruger would have wanted to fix this P.R. problem.

Unless they never really cared about the civilian market in the first place. :confused:

imp
September 18, 2010, 08:44 PM
Take that $600 dollar Mini 14, add a couple magazines and a barrel from accuracy international, and you have a rifle almost as good as a CMMG bargain bin AR for twice the price.

:D

Katophract
September 18, 2010, 10:37 PM
It takes a lot for me to defend an AR and in this case, the AR is better in every aspect. Accuracy, practicality (lighter, more fixable, less complicated, etc) and for the money, you're getting a lot more. Also, better ergonomics. I co-teach a firearms class and I've never seen a Mini-14 go through our classes without problems. (next in line is 1911's and then AR's.) Also, it's not that only Ruger can fix them, its that Ruger has a third party that fixes them. So, it's not even ruger working on their own rifles. It seems they have no desire to actually make money. They've done nothing to help their PR and they seem to have contempt for their clientele. I thought an AR is a pain in the butt to clean...:barf:

rickyrick
September 19, 2010, 12:16 AM
Well, I finaly got around to clearing 100 yds worth of brush,120 actually for the nay-sayers.

put the mini through an accuracy test first 25 then 50 and so on.... spot on to about 75 yds then at 110yds it opened up to 2 3/4-3" groups...

I was using a mix of monarch and wolf ammo 55gr. I can't find any 62gr.
next time I will use some decent ammo, I kinda wanted a benchmark with the worst stuff

the real issue however, was the mirage in the scope, pretty rough after the first shot and gets worse with each successive shot. I had not anticipated that.
I think that it would do just as well with Irons.

Like I always say, I use the mini at less than 100yds, If I need to AT&T something I have something else.

Swampghost
September 19, 2010, 01:04 AM
The Mini bashing has to stop.

I ordered my first one way before they were released. I was younger, hot-rodded it and cracked the reciever at about 4200 FPS. It was not designed to do that and Ruger fixed it for free. Kudos.

Since then I've considered it as a .22 with some extra punch, a roll that all of them have fulfulled well. They were advertized as a 'ranch rifle' whatever that means. I take it as a replacement (at short distance) for the 30-30 Winchester or Marlin, the ultimate 'ranch rifle'.

They do fill a niche if that's your niche. Asking more is your problem.

Mine don't leave the safe very often due to newer hunting restrictions, I do like taking them to the range. My son shoots AK's and AR's @ 100 yds., The Mini's fall inbetween the two.

TXGunNut
September 19, 2010, 01:51 AM
I thought it was all in good fun, I figure one is as good a battle rifle as the other. Neither was designed as a target rifle so 2-3 MOA should be acceptable. Several companies have made millions of dollars making and selling accessories for both of them. As was pointed out above some folks expect cheap ammo to perform like target ammmo, good luck with that. ;) I have an AR but would like to have a new mini someday, wish I'd never sold my 180 series.

Crosshair
September 19, 2010, 07:08 AM
Take that $600 dollar Mini 14, add a couple magazines and a barrel from accuracy international, and you have a rifle almost as good as a CMMG bargain bin AR for twice the price.
Add an Accu-Strut, Mo-Rod,or Har-Bar and you have a gun that shoots just as good as any AR in non-bench shooting. Go out and plink pararie dogs with a Mini vs an AR of similar weight and the only way you'll notice the difference is if you use a 12 pound AR.

You only have to buy Ruger mags once. My Factory Folder came with a 30-rounder from when the gun was new (1985) and is still chugging along despite being heavily used in the owners non-folder Mini.

It takes a lot for me to defend an AR and in this case, the AR is better in every aspect. Accuracy, practicality (lighter, more fixable, less complicated, etc) and for the money, you're getting a lot more.
The major problem with the AR is a poor magazine design. (In the middle of a fight is a bad time to find out that you're magazine went bad.) Originally made for straight 20 round disposable magazines, this was found to not work well. It now has to deal with "bent" 30 rounders and being continually reused. 40 years of R&D have resulted in decent magazines, but even P-mags don't stack up to a Ruger factory mag. (I've accidentally broke two AR P-mags, 0 Ruger mags.) AK mags are in a league of their own.

Ironically we have forced this bad magazine design on half the world.

I co-teach a firearms class and I've never seen a Mini-14 go through our classes without problems.
What goes wrong on the Mini's? Genuinely curious.

Art Eatman
September 19, 2010, 09:11 AM
"You really don't need a scope on a MINI, you can't focus on the cross hairs any way, 'cause your eyeballs will still be BOUNCING around in their sockets, from the slam bang of the op rod against the receiver..."

Lordy! Don't ever put a scope on an M1-A! Or on any bolt-action that recoils in any serious manner...

Funny, though. That slam bang problem never happened with my Mini and the K4 on top. I just kept on killing a bunch of jackrabbits that morning...

Skans
September 20, 2010, 07:45 AM
FWIW, I saw a used stainless Mini that was slightly "blinged out" (fancy flash hider and stainless barrel shroud) for $600 or $650 (can't recall) at Gander Mtn. yesterday - eventhough I already have an AC556, I was tempted - it looked sweet.

Osageshooter
September 20, 2010, 08:33 AM
I have a SS rifle from the early 80s. Not all that accurate, but not as bad as some say here. I could always hit a soda can at 50 yards.

I was in the Army at the time I got my mini-14. The AR at that point in time did not have the undying affection that it has today. I would guess that Bill Ruger saw an opportunity to fill the need for a "reliable" rifle in a cartride that was low in recoil, relatively cheap to shoot, and could serve a self defense role. The sales figures at the time showed him to be correct. There were still a lot of death from AR malfuntion stories out there at that time. A lot of platoon sargents were telling the troops to use their ARs to capture an AK if there was another war.

I do agree that todays ARs are superior, and maybe always were. I shoot my AR and my Sig 556 a lot more than the old mini.

Bartholomew Roberts
September 20, 2010, 08:46 AM
Quick question: Does anybody know which military trials the Ruger Mini-14 was even submitted to? I keep seeing the assertion that the Mini-14 is a viable military rifle; but based on the record of military usage, that doesn't appear to be the case.

I'm curious if even Ruger thought it was viable in that role. Looking on the Ruger website, I can find them announcing major contracts and trials (like TACOM buying 5,000 Ruger P95 pistols in 2004); but I can't find anything for the Mini-14. Given that Ruger developed the SR-556, I'm curious if even Ruger thinks the Mini-14 is a military rifle and how often they've even tried to sell it as such?

Skans
September 20, 2010, 09:21 AM
I believe that Bermuda's army (or national guard, or whatever it is) was outfitted with AC556's - full-auto Mini-14's.

If the Ruger would have made the AC556 with slightly heavier, chrome lined barrels, a slightly more robust selector switch, and an AK-type magazine catch, they would be fine for military use.

Bartholomew Roberts
September 20, 2010, 10:12 AM
Yes, I know the Bermuda Regiment of the British Army uses Mini-14s. I was just curious if Ruger had tried to sell the Mini-14 to any other militaries lately. It seems to me that with the development of the SR-556, Ruger has pretty much given up on selling the Mini-14 as a military rifle. I'm just curious how long ago that happened or whether my impression that they have given up is even correct.

SPEMack618
September 20, 2010, 10:16 AM
Well, I know from an anecdotal account of a friend, whom is an Embassy Marine, that some Embassy detachments issue the Mini-14 in lieu of the M-16A4 because is presents a less threatening appearance.

I know that the Georgia Department of Corrections and some Troopers carrying the Mini-14, but alas they are para-military in organization, not a military unit.

novalty
September 20, 2010, 10:38 AM
I have a blued Mini-14 Ranch rifle handed down from my Grandfather when he passed. I have noticed that the barrel heats up fairly quick, and that accuracy starts to deminish as more and more rounds get fired through it. But it is one of my favorite guns to shoots, and for its intended purpose as a varmint rifle, I think it lives up to it's purpose quite well. My grandfather got his last deer with the rifle, so it has a lot more sentiment to me than most of my firearms.

Skans
September 20, 2010, 10:39 AM
if Ruger had tried to sell the Mini-14 to any other militaries lately.

I'm sure that it has not. Ruger has officially stopped supporting the AC556 - it's not producing them any longer, not making parts for them and not servicing them.

2damnold4this
September 20, 2010, 10:53 AM
issue the Mini-14 in lieu of the M-16A4 because is presents a less threatening appearance.

One of the folks that posts here did a study involving mock juries that compared the results of a homeowner using a Mini and an AR among other firearms in a defensive shooting. http://www.astcweb.org/public/publication/article.cfm/1/21/5/Weapons-Issues-and-the-Fears-of-the-Legally-Armed-Citizen It seems the Mini was less threatening to jurors than the AR.

If so, that would be one of the few advantages over the AR for someone using the Mini for home defense.

zombieslayer
September 20, 2010, 11:21 AM
I have 2 ARs, an AK, and 2 mini's. I employ a Mini-14 base model with a 20-rounder full of Federal ss109 62gr. And a 357 K-frame in the headboard cubby-hole.

skoro
September 20, 2010, 08:24 PM
I've had one of the "new" Ranch Rifles for a year now and I like it a lot.

As for the bashers; well, the probably have their reasons.

mgh
September 21, 2010, 04:54 AM
The Mini-14 is Bob Lee Stagger's carbine of choice.

If that's not an expert endorsement, I don't know what is.:)

Harmless Drudge
September 21, 2010, 01:42 PM
The Mini 14 has several endearing features:

1) It disassembles without tools.

2) It can be field stripped in 15 seconds flat.

3) It can be stuffed into a 6" dia PVC pipe and buried for decades.

4) They are so mechanically simple that they appear next to the word "reliable" in the dictionary.

5) They are small enough for women and young teens to shoot comfortably.

6) They are light and handy.

7) You don't need an engineering degree from MIT to operate them.

8) They don't appeal to mall ninjas. :cool:

Katophract
September 21, 2010, 07:26 PM
"4) They are so mechanically simple that they appear next to the word "reliable" in the dictionary."
It appears in the Antonym section. Someone asked what went wrong with Mini's during carbine courses? One jammed at least once per magazine, another the slide kept sticking, not locking back and one that I think it was the extractor because brass kept getting stuck in it.
Maybe I've just seen and shot lemons. that's quite possible. But for me I have no faith in them. They were a good concept (take an M-14 and scale it down) that was botched. Ruger needs to realize that good guns need good barrels. And Ruger needs to realize that options are a good thing.

edrice
September 21, 2010, 07:41 PM
It's interesting to watch those that boast of the economics of an AR vs the Mini and then turn right around and brag about parts and modifications they can personally do to drain themselves of gobs of bux. I could not be less interested in building, customizing, modifying something that does everything I need it to do right out of the box. My Mini is stock and intends to stay that way. Except for the occasionally trigger-job or sight change, most of my firearms will remain stock. If they weren't what I wanted initially, I bought something else. It may come as a surprise to some that not all of us intend to sit around the kitchen table making mods solely for the purpose of status or bragging purposes for boosting our self-images as wannabe warriors. Further the Mini doesn't have useless appendages hanging off of it that only have any value on a full-auto weapon. I had the M16 in Vietnam and that was suitable for that type of combat environment, but I now have greater appreciation for the sleeker compactness of a semi-auto and don't need the look of an AW to delusionally improve my image as a wannabe warrior.

Sorry guys, but I've watched a number of these Mini-bashing threads and it's more than evident that a most of the fuss comes more of an inward need to subconsciously boost self-esteem by putting others down, so they've really got their work cut out for those who don't see themselves through the eyes of others. It's not so much a failing of the Mini as substituting for something that's missing inside. Look in the mirror guys. You know who you are.

So, WVfishguy, that's what gives with the Mini bashing. Probably not one of them could give a valid reason or need for a weapon that will do better than 2 or 3 inches at 100 yards when it will never have a scope on it anyway. As Osageshooter said, if I can hit a soda can with it at 50 yards, I am good-to-go for HD purposes, and don't have to be bothered with all the appendages hanging off it or sit around the table working on it when I could be hiking in the mountains. The Mini is a backup to my 590 anyway.

Ed

Harmless Drudge
September 22, 2010, 09:19 AM
Kathphract said: It appears in the Antonym section. Someone asked what went wrong with Mini's during carbine courses? One jammed at least once per magazine, another the slide kept sticking, not locking back and one that I think it was the extractor because brass kept getting stuck in it.
Maybe I've just seen and shot lemons. that's quite possible. But for me I have no faith in them. They were a good concept (take an M-14 and scale it down) that was botched. Ruger needs to realize that good guns need good barrels. And Ruger needs to realize that options are a good thing.
_________________

Yes, the barrels on the original Mini 14's were questionable, from what I understand. I've never fired one. I have "Ranch" versions and "Ranch Rifle" versions. None of these have ever jammed on me, except that the one I bought new jammed twice in the first 25 rounds. After it was fully broken in, I have never once had a jam.

My criteria may be low because I live in a wooded area. I can't fire more than 100 yds without hitting a tree. But the accuracy has been very crisp on all of the ones I have owned.

I think the Mini-14 hate may be a vestige of the issues with early specimens. YMMV.

Bartholomew Roberts
September 22, 2010, 09:43 AM
Sorry guys, but I've watched a number of these Mini-bashing threads and it's more than evident that a most of the fuss comes more of an inward need to subconsciously boost self-esteem by putting others down

and don't need the look of an AW to delusionally improve my image as a wannabe warrior.

You must have a really well developed sense of sarcasm and irony. Either that or I'm very sad for you... not sure which.

SPEMack618
September 22, 2010, 11:49 AM
Forgive me if I'm wrong, but did Ruger ever attempt to market the Mini-14 as the end all; be all tactical weapon platform? I mean my first exposure to the Mini-14 was it's use as the favored weapon of the "A-Team", but after a little research I was able to convince Pops that it would be a handy weapon to have around, which in my belief it is.

I've never had a problem with mine, but mainly because I don't expect MOA at 200 yards from a carbine, nor do I run various tactical shooting courses with it.

If I'm going to have to go play Soldier, the Georgia Army National Guard has issued me a very nice M-4A1 with an ACOG on it that will do that job just fine, however, if I'm out riding the fences, looking for whitetail around the house, or chasing after coyotes, I'll keep my handy dandy ranch rifle.

Further more, I can throw that thing across the gun rack in the back of my truck and nobody bat an eyelash, but put an AR clone back there and people might get a little squeamish.

rickyrick
September 22, 2010, 01:26 PM
Ranch Rifle is the perfect name for the mini (although I think a lawyer had fingers in it)...It can defend against all enemies, varmint and domestic.

I was a soldier for a decade and half, I don't know what a carbine course is, but it must be pretty demanding if it breaks a mini.

Some of the varminted out AR's dont look so threatening.

soda cans are my favorite victims.

3" groups are more than good for any 'real' target

B. Lahey
September 22, 2010, 01:39 PM
Bartholomew Roberts
Is it a fantastic SHTF rifle? Well, given the widely varying scenarios that people think of when they say "SHTF", I'd say that is impossible to answer. "SHTF" is such a vague term it doesn't really tell us anything beyond some vague unnamed disaster where it would suddenly be OK for you to start shooting people with a rifle.

I can say that the last rifle I'd want in some kind of Hollywood post-apocalyptic scenario is one that requires me to return it to the factory when something breaks or requires a set of machine tools to repair.

I really hate to drag this discussion back into SHTF territory, as it is generally a goofy and pointless realm to trod upon, but I can't help it...

For a realistic SHTF scenario in modern America, a Mini-14 would be fine. When you look at the bad situations from recent history like the LA riots, Katrina, prison escapes, etc... you see that an M249 and a stack cans of belted 5.56 are not really required. A decent rifle that can be relied upon to fire a magazine-full or less without exploding will do the job as well as any other.

I know that "realistic" and "SHTF" are two terms that rarely share space on a page without heaps of irony, but that's how I see it.:)

greyeyezz
September 22, 2010, 02:28 PM
While the Mini is supposedly only reliable with the 20rd factory magazines,

Nonsense. Factory 30's work fine.

FrankenMauser
September 22, 2010, 05:03 PM
I am thoroughly enjoying this thread.

It's like all the Taurus bashers jumped on the Mini-14/30 band wagon.

Very few of the posts here talk about ever owning, or even firing a Mini. Even fewer can justify their "can't hit the broad side of a barn" comments, by providing the means they used for testing.

Even better, are the tacticool references, often reading like a knee-jerk reaction to being insulted.

It's the new cool thing to do: Bash the Minis, 'cause, you know, people don't understand my tactical Uberti Cattleman with a laser and quad rails.

You don't have to be understood. I own a rifle painted in pink and purple camouflage. I don't feel the need to justify it.

People should, however, feel the need to justify statements that are intended to be read as facts, or supporting statements for an argument. Unsupported statements just make the writer/speaker look like a fool.

And Uncle Billy's friend, Joe, that heard from his nephew's boss, that all Mini-14s are crap, does more than make the author look foolish. It's the internet equivalent of an "I'm with stupid" sticker on your forehead, with the arrow pointing down.

Support your statements.

Justify your arguments.

Anything else is a waste of time.

threecharley
September 22, 2010, 05:24 PM
I too am enjoying the entertainment. i own a ss mini14 factory folder made in 84. and love it! no problems'' http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz332/bravo619/Picture026.jpg

Art Eatman
September 22, 2010, 06:17 PM
Arrgghhh...Nuff fer now. Undoubtedly this will all come back from the grave once again...