Ive said it before and I'll say it again. Its the shooter. I was at a ranger fairly recently with a mini 14 and everyone there was shooting ar-15's or target rifles of some sort off a bench. I walked up, said hi and extended normal courtesies, then proceeded to shoot my mini 14 with bulk ammo.
I was shooting at an 18 or 24'' steel plate and hit it 10 out of 10 times standing at 200 yards. As soon as I dropped the empty mag 3 guys walk over asking what ammo I'm shooting and what type of barrel i have and stupid questions like that. It was a brand new bone stock mini 14 that had only been shot a few times and they were acting like it was something they have never seen before.
If I was shooting like that at 500 yards, ya I could see how they were impresses, but 200 yards for ANY rifle should not be a challenge. (yes, even a 22 long rifle can put rounds on target consistently at 200 yards)
I totally agree with you, the mini 14 is a very reliable rifle that performs the way a good rifle should.
There is no such thing as a stupid question, only stupid people.