I have to admit I am impressed. I would not choose to leave a gun in the state of this one but that it can, and will function makes me really happy.
Personally I like the 30 best of all, little more bang, same great size.
This gun is owned by an essentially non-gun person for ranch use and it makes me happy to see it already proven to work as I do not think it will get a cleaning after every shooting, I am advising strongly that they clean it every 6 months or 500 rounds though I question very much that it will ever see 500 rounds down the tube before 6 months rolls around.
It's a very close friend of the family that I had mentioned the mini-14 to and had figured they would look at one in a gun shop, somehow this one used fell into their lap and was filthy, and has an aftermarket folder and railed cover that I am not a fan of. The cover because it replaced the top of the gas block and provided no means of staking down the gas block screws hence they were all loose, the folder for it's sucky ergonomics esp for a novice shooter.
I am using locktight on the gas block bolts, if that does not work I will stake their heads. Will see about the stock, maybe shooting my 30 they will decide a real stock has it's benefits, esp in this use / configuration.
I appreciate the AR platform and own several, I did not intend nor do I wish for this to be yet another min vs. ar thread, more a statement of amazement that any gun would run with that much crud crusted on it. Frankly I will freely admit any of my trusty wheel guns would have likely bound up with that amount of crud on the front of the cylinder.
I understand the mini's limits on accuracy and all I have to say on that is if I plan to reach out further than 100 yards I look to larger calipers than 223. Just personal prefferance, and I understand why many users might chose otherwise.