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Old February 28, 2009, 10:12 PM   #1
golfnutrlv
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Join Date: November 5, 2008
Location: Spokane, WA
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Ruger Mini 14? Available?

Hello all,

I am thinking about getting a Mini 14 rifle for a fun shooter, and a SHTF gun. Problem is, the are nowhere to be found locally, or online that I have found. Anyone know somewhere that I could at least get a real price quote (not gunbroker prices). Also, are these available at all, or should I look at something else.

Here is the particular one that I want: Ruger Mini 14 Tactical ATI Folding Stock

I am in Eastern Washington state if that helps!

Thanks a lot!
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Old March 1, 2009, 12:08 AM   #2
sholling
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Location: Hemet (middle of nowhere) California
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I own a couple and enjoy them but it's best that you know what you're getting into...

First up is accuracy. Pre 2008 production suffered from very skinny barrels - under the handguard where you can't really see it. This causes two problems... 1) harmonics and barrel whip throwing off shots and 2) stringing as the barrel heats up. Basically you get about three accurate enough for predator control 2-3 MOA shots. After that the group opens up as the barrel heats. The first is fixed either by adding a funky looking accuracy strut, or shortening the barrel and adding weight to the end. The second is more complicated and expensive and involves bedding and cryo treatments. Starting in 2008 Ruger added a tiny bit more beef under the handguard and I'm told it helps a bit.

The second problem is the trigger. Expect about a 7-8lb pull. Again this can be fixed for a price.

The third problem is magazines. The only totally reliable magazines are the ones from the factory - the rest are hit or miss. Expect to pay $30-50 for factory 20rd magazines - if you can find any.

The final problem is repairs - nearly everything that might go wrong requires a trip back to the factory, where they will undo at your expense any improvements that you have made. Fortunately they are very reliable.

I happen to like Minis for what they are but I keep a few ARs in the safe for emergencies. Just for fun I'm attaching a photo of a custom Mini that I had built up. Of course I could have bought a really nice AR15 for what I have in it.


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Old March 1, 2009, 02:15 AM   #3
Ignition Override
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Join Date: February 18, 2008
Posts: 1,774
golfnutrlv:
Despite Gunbroker's prices, I've looked at their quantity of 14s once per week since last March and they always list at least four full pages. My plastic Promag 30-rounder has been just as reliable as the Ruger factory 20-rounder, despite a loose fit.

My mint condition Mini 30 was listed there in March and have been happy with it (later found perfect after-market mags).
If chaos somehow ever broke out here, self-defense shots would be well within 50 yards. Offensive range is not needed, unless one day going on my first hunt (am 53). My Minis and SKS are for a long-term 'Road Warrior' scenario-they don't require a clean table at a shooting range. A young Iraq (Ft. Riley) veteran told me last summer that "Our guns jam with just one grain of sand".
His words, not mine. Good luck shopping. How about at a gun show where several Minis are in one small area?

Last edited by Ignition Override; March 1, 2009 at 02:22 AM.
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Old March 1, 2009, 08:06 AM   #4
spodwo
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THe new Minis have a thicker barrel. The Mini NRA is a very nice weapon, comes with 2 mags and Ruger scope mounts, hogue stock...
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Old March 1, 2009, 10:24 PM   #5
golfnutrlv
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Thanks guys, if you were faced with this choice, would you take an AR, or the mini? I have a friend who might be able to get me a semi AR sold off from a SWAT team. He has one too. I'll see what the scoop is though.

Thanks
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Old March 1, 2009, 10:33 PM   #6
TheManHimself
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Join Date: March 25, 2008
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Depends on the make of the AR. Rifles made to mil-spec (other than the third FCG pin and the part it holds, of course) and properly lubricated will be reliable in conditions you won't be reliable in and much more accurate than a factory Mini. That means Colt, LMT, BCM, Sabre, and Noveske.

If the AR isn't up to spec with the M4 TDP, the Mini is going to be less accurate but much more reliable under adverse conditions.
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