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Old February 22, 2013, 04:21 PM   #26
dgludwig
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I have owned and shot both the Mini-14 and the AR-15 rifles for many years and, though I like them both, if I had to choose one, for most of my purposes it would be the little Ruger. That said, there is one important (to me) caveat: Because I compete in Service Rifle matches, the AR-15 is the only rifle suitable in this venue.
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Old February 22, 2013, 05:41 PM   #27
WiscBuckmaster
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I appreciate the great responses i didnt really think i would get such good responses. I should have added exactly why i asked. I have never been registered to any gun forums but have lurked a few and i always seen people bashing on them. I'm new to the forum as you can see but i still have learned in the short time i have been on here generally all the members here are much more mature and honest than on other forums i have looked at. Besides this one, forums in general for any subject not just guns. It seems like everytime someone asks a question some all knowing member puts them down but i havent felt that here. Just a helpful place to be.
And also i understand the AR platform has an infinite amount of setups with all the changes you can make with them and that would be best for say 3-gun or something. I guess i just have the hunters mentality, i only need one shot, hopefully.
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Old February 22, 2013, 05:52 PM   #28
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If you only expect to need one (or two shots) why have you chosen the Mini-14? It's not really known as a hunting rifle.
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Old February 22, 2013, 06:19 PM   #29
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I chose it because I was 12 years old. I moved up to a remington model 7400 .30-06 when i was 15. This past gun season i bagged a nice 8-pointer with it opening morning. and i'd be willing to bet if you visit any rural areas, at least northern wisconsin you will find a huge part of the hunting population owns a mini-14. When sitting in a stand I would always choose my 7400, but when making drives and having to carry a rifle not slung over your shoulder but at the ready, miles through the forest and dense brush, you would soon find out, many hunters choose the mini for that kind of hunting, and it also makes for a nice coyote and bobcat rifle.
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Old February 22, 2013, 06:27 PM   #30
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I hear ya but I'd like to know why you think it is the tool for that job.

Thanks again
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Old February 22, 2013, 06:28 PM   #31
WiscBuckmaster
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you mean why would i choose it for hunting?
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Old February 22, 2013, 06:32 PM   #32
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Yeah and since I'm not experienced in the type hunting you mentioned, why would you prefer the mini?
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Old February 22, 2013, 06:49 PM   #33
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well maybe its just popular in wisconsin, maybe its used all over the country. but a method of hunting used in wisconsin is called, a deer drive, or a push. basically you have a certain amount of "drivers" and "posters". the drivers all line up on the edge of a field or forest spaced out from eachother, and walk through the woods in a horizontal line, for my hunting group it was usually a 40, or 80 acre square plot of land, we had about 25 total people. On the other side of the woods the posters are sitting waiting for the drivers to jump a deer from the woods and push it out the other side of the woods where the posters are waiting. The drivers will sometimes jump a deer and get a shot at it. Alot of people i know including myself will use a mini-14 with a 20 or 30 shot magazine, when acting as a driver because it is very light and short so its easy to carry and maneuver through thick brush. when pushing deer through an open field sometimes at far distances you need more than 5 shots, the mini is great in that situation. My mini-14 does not get much use anymore as my dad, grandpa and myself stopped making drives with our group and just stuck to our own private land to develop it during the spring and summer, and then just sit in tree stands during the season, because making drives is a very dangerous thing to do. but when pulled off succesfully there is nothing else like it. with a group of 25 guys it was a shame to not have atleast 40 deer hanging from the meatpole on the last sunday of the season, many 150 class and up bucks were shot and a good amount made boon and crocket.

I hope what i said wasnt too confusing. I found this on google that might be able to help understand what i said. http://www.huntingnet.com/staticpage...il.aspx?id=121
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Old February 22, 2013, 07:02 PM   #34
CharlieDeltaJuliet
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Because the A-Team isn't on TV anymore....lol. I don't think I ever saw an episode without the mini-14 in it...lol. Seriously though, I think more just choose the AR over it. The mini-14 and mini-30 are great rifles, just not as appreciated.
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Old February 22, 2013, 07:06 PM   #35
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I really, really wanted to like the Mini-14. I bought two, both Ranch Rifles and adored the way they looked and handled. But the truth of the matter is that when I took them to the range with my Colt AR-15 they were out shot every time.
I truly wish I'd had a different experience.
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Old February 22, 2013, 07:07 PM   #36
Art Eatman
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Striker1, I've had four early-model Minis. Two blued, two stainless. SumDood would come along and want mine worse than I did, and profit's profit. And I'd later trade into another one. I always stuck a Weaver K4 on top.

Since they were always first-shot reliable for aim and impact, I used mine as a truck gun and wandering-around varmint gun. And, occasionally, casual plinking. Back then I could buy reloaded 55-grain SPs for $120/thousand.

I'd probably have one now except that they've become priced above my interest level. But, I live in a state of sticker shock, mostly.
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Old February 22, 2013, 07:14 PM   #37
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to be honest even the people that don't enjoy them as much as i do i respect and value your opinion just as much as everyone else. some guns just dont fit well for some people whether it be the application of use or something else. I just enjoy textured wooden stocks and beat up blued steel over the all black tactical look. my duck hunting gun, a remington 1187, is covered in spots of surface rust, the wooden stock banged up. but i wouldnt trade it for a new one not in a million years. to some people a beat up gun means its time for a new one. to me it means a lot of memories. like sitting in 30 degree weather with the wind blowing freezing rain coming down, and still goin home with a days limit. to me wood and blued steel allow a gun to gain character. everyone i know with an AR babys it, cleans it all the time, its always in a hard case, wont take it out in the rain, even though they are reliable in any weather. I've been belly down crawling through a muddy cut cornfield in pouring rain many times just to sneak up on some ducks, and my gun has fired everytime without missing a beat.
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Old February 22, 2013, 07:24 PM   #38
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I no longer have one, but it was one of my favorite guns. It was fun to shoot, and had a definite retro look to it.

It always kind of reminded me of an M1... I hope someone doesn't consider that sacrilege.
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Old February 22, 2013, 07:26 PM   #39
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I think todays recreational shooting scene just puts alot of emphasis on following the straight and narrow line without straying from it. When AR platforms became popular with the average joe everyone was talking about them and all new shooters doing research heard the hype and followed suit. spending big bucks on a rifle, alot of money on accesories, and alot of money on a scope.
That's another thing that gets me, scope elitists. people who say, you gotta get a leopold, or a zeiss or some other big name big money scope. I had a $60 tasco world class on my mini when i shot my first deer. and in my first post i talked about it. it was a 200 yard shot, standing with no rest of any kind, it was dark, and it was about -20 outside, and i was 12. so when i hear people say you need a big name scope to be succesful i cant help but laugh.
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Old February 22, 2013, 07:36 PM   #40
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I'm no hater, that's for sure. I love my 581 series Mini, it's definitely accurate enough for any purpose I could imagine for it. With a low power variable it makes a great little rifle. I've never been an AR guy, I don't particularly like them even though I shoot them well enough. The AR is a great rifle (for someone else) just not my cup of tea. As stated by the previous posters most of the Mini bashing you read comes from the pre 2004 Minis (anything before the 580 series), they suffered from vertical stringing caused by the thin barrel heating up. They also were prone to barrel whip, both issues could be lessened with the addition of a barrel strut. Personally I don't see the price issue others have a problem with. Put it in perspective, the Mini is an all steel and wood rifle it really shouldn't be less expensive than a rifle made with plastic and aluminum (that was not meant to be a cheap shot at the AR). Mini magazines are definitely more expensive than the AR mags but they're better built too, definitely more heavy duty. The only place I've found where the AR outshines the Mini is modularity but this doesn't particularly interest me, I like having different guns for different purposes

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Old February 22, 2013, 07:40 PM   #41
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Lack of accuracy and lack of reliable 20-30 round magazines for most of its history. The horrible ramped front sight didn't help either.
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Old February 22, 2013, 07:54 PM   #42
WiscBuckmaster
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A 12 year-old version of myself would beg to differ about some claims of "bad accuracy"

edit- unless you are a competition shooter where the slighest amount of movement can mean losing points.

Last edited by WiscBuckmaster; February 22, 2013 at 08:01 PM.
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Old February 22, 2013, 08:43 PM   #43
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The only problem I have heard with Mini 14's is in the accuracy department. Not that they are inaccurate, just not as accurate as some have hoped. Personally if I wanted a .223 auto-loader I would go with an AR. If I wanted something similar to the Mini-14 I would go with an M1A or M14 with the bonus of it shooting .308 vs .223.
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Old February 22, 2013, 10:35 PM   #44
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I guess I only have 2 complaints about my Mini-14. First is the mag situation. For years, Ruger wouldn't sell 20 and 30 round magazines to mere mortals. You were either limited to aftermarket mags that in many cases didn't work or you were paying through the nose for factory magazines. It took the old man to finally assume room temperature before Ruger would start to make them available to the the public but even then, the prices are steep compared to other magazines.
The other issue I had was the poor accuracy I contribute to the whacky rounded front sight that comes standard on the Mini. Trying to focus on a clear sharp front sight tip is a problem when there is no sharp front sight tip! I finally got fed up with the setup and put on a Choate M-14 style front sight and flash suppressor. This corrected the crappy factory front sight problem, GREATLY improved the accuracy and also cut down the fireball during low light shooting.
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Old February 22, 2013, 11:00 PM   #45
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Every gun has it's detracters. If I listend to them I wouldn't own any guns.
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Old February 23, 2013, 02:23 AM   #46
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Who cares about the haters? I like them both...
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Old February 23, 2013, 07:17 AM   #47
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A lot of times Minis aren't being compared to one gun but a variety of ARs and for different reasons. Also on the internet being a little worse at something is almost as bad as being a huge pile of duke to begin with. So it won't be as accurate as a guys White Oaks upper, won't be as cheap as another persons PSA kit gun and won't be the modular platform of the guy with 4-5 different uppers. Sometimes though it seems like the guy with the 4moa red dot on his M4gery (shooting surplus M855) will be complaining about the lack of accuracy of a Mini compared to the match grade upper he doesn't even own.

I think Minis are great and mine has been far more reliable than the M16a2 and M4 I deployed with. Mags the pivot in take longer to reload than a mag that gravity will pull to the ground but it isn't like the Mini mags are one of a kind. I don't ever hear people saying they bought an AR10 over a M1A because of how you insert the magazine into the gun.
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Old February 26, 2013, 10:30 PM   #48
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I'd love to own a mini, I've wanted one for a long time and just when I saved up enough spare cash to buy one the southhook shooting went down and the supply dried up overnight. The mini will definately be my next rifle though.
I love the fact that it's a reliable rugged semi auto shoots a very good and common round and it doesn't look like an "aussault rifle".
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Old February 26, 2013, 10:42 PM   #49
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i personally have always like the mini-14 and never had much use for black rifles. I have used a mid 80s Mini 14 on quite a few cull deer and a poop load of coyotes, feral dogs and cats, general varmints and pests. It beat around behind the seat of my truck until I had to get something that I could easily mount a scope....that being a new Mini-14 Ranch rifle. The glass is nothing fancy, a Leupold vx3 2-7.

The only argument I have with the mini14 is the trigger...very sloppy, It is something you have to accept and learn to shoot. Mine newer model is an early 2000s stainless. It won't shoot MOA but it will roll a coyote if needed.
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Old February 27, 2013, 06:16 PM   #50
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I think the thing that irritates me the most about almost any Mini 14 thread that someone posts up is that someone invariably starts to compare it to the AR15. Often, nobody asks for a comparison, simply a question like, "where do get an aftermarket sight" or how to field strip the rifle or somesuchthing.

I really like the Mini 14, and would love to own one. Perhaps one day I will. I won't pay the prices I've seen them offered at here recently, but eventually this legislative nonsense will calm down again, and I may get one at that time.

To me, one of the greatest selling points of the rifle is the inexpensive ammuntion that one can run through it. That now seems to be a thing in the past. In response to the ammo situation, I've reinvested in 7.62x54r, and use that for centerfire plinking. Few years back I rolled a coyote at just shy of 400 yards with a Mosin Nagant faux sniper.

Truthfully, I can find something to like about nearly any rifle, Mini 14 included.
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