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Old February 27, 2013, 06:22 PM   #51
Single Six
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All I can say is, I'll take a Mini over an AR any day of the week. My agency issues surplus Colt M4s, and they've run fine...but I'd still much rather have a Mini. Personal preference.
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Old February 28, 2013, 02:32 AM   #52
Ignition Override
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Mine was a '90 serial number bought in '08, with a worn, silver "State of KY" sticker on it. Might have been a prison gun?
Never wanted an AR (whether tight triggers or not...).
The Mini has so much more appeal, as with combat guns of the WW2-Korean era, on which it was based.

The only reason it was sold was because the thick front post sight didn't appeal to me and I know nothing about gun work (except placing the
Tech Sight on the SKS).
That Mini 14 was the most Reliable rifle I've owned, including six Enfields, one SKS, Yugo Mauser etc.

The magazine was the original Ruger 20 rounder.
Remember: years before Ruger finally decided to sell larger mags for the Mini 14 (After the '08 election) and then 30 on the US commercial market,
LEOs already had these magazines.
This is one lesser-known factor which years ago cost Ruger many customers, and might still cause a subconscious bias against the Ruger name.

Last edited by Ignition Override; February 28, 2013 at 02:49 AM.
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Old February 28, 2013, 06:21 AM   #53
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I have a 580 series skinny barrel I bought new in 07. Ive added an accustrut and had a trigger job done. Its a good, reliable rifle and I have no complaints. It will not outshoot my heavy barreled delton but it shoots pretty damn good with the upgrades.
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Old February 28, 2013, 06:33 AM   #54
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Remember: years before Ruger finally decided to sell larger mags for the Mini 14 (After the '08 election) and then 30 on the US commercial market,
Not true. I bought a Mini-14 in 1983 and two 30 round magazines. All were stock items at the gun shop I traded with at that time. Ruger discontinued the sale of 30 round magazines to all but LEO use after the infamous Bill Ruger "large capacity magazine" letter ....1988(?) as a corporate statement supporting his belief that civilians didn't need high capacity magazines.
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Old February 28, 2013, 09:16 AM   #55
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Rugar 14

I carried one when I was with the SO and so did alot of State boys. The departments refused to buy them for us so the local gun shop sold them to the officers just above cost.I used it several times and I gave it to one of my second wifes sisters boy to hunt with. and I bought the newer model with the better barrel. He always shared the meat with us during the deer season. I still carry it and I now hunt with a 700/243 with a Red Field 4X. It's a early model 700 and shoots as good as the 14. that second 14 I owned had a see thru mount with a redfield 4X and I could never get it to zero properly. I blamed that on the mount, and my poor eye sight. I removed the Redfield just because it stores better in the truck with out the scope. I never cared for the plastic stocks and all the gadgets. I see the Rambo's at the range all the time, with there cool AR's. The things people will do to deliver a round is truly amazing to me. Be safe and shoot clean Sunny
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Old February 28, 2013, 12:46 PM   #56
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the mini-14 hate I've seen has been entirely on the internet from mall ninja's justifying spending 2.5k on an AR.
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Old February 28, 2013, 03:11 PM   #57
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the mini-14 hate I've seen has been entirely on the internet from mall ninja's justifying spending 2.5k on an AR.
Well, here is some lack of preference (not close to hate) from someone who has never owned a $2500 AR, isn't a mall ninja and doesn't have to justify anything. I have two ARs, a Rock River Varmiter (bought for $850) and a cheap frankengun I put together from parts that were on sale (total cost around $500). A ranch rifle goes for what now, $650? Both have had thousands of rounds put through them. Neither has had any hiccups.

I borrowed my cousin's Mini-14 ranch rifle because it looked fun. It is the older thin barrel type. It was fun to shoot. I found the ergonomics to be far inferior as well as the accuracy. I won't say the accuracy was horrible, but it wasn't the same as my AR's - not even close. Reliability, as long as you used only the Ruger factory mags, was comparable. For the record my cousin (who owned the rifle) had pretty much the same things to say.

I don't hate the rifle, but I would probably never buy one and I think the AR is the superior weapon. I think most of what people interpret as "hate" is a similar attitude. I see a lot more "hate" from Mini-14 owners going the other direction.

Last edited by BoomieMCT; February 28, 2013 at 03:19 PM.
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Old March 1, 2013, 08:05 AM   #58
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Mini-14's are good little carbines, but the late-1980s and early 1990s minis were hit-or-miss as far as accuracy goes. Some reportedly shot fine, and others (like my 188-series Ranch Rifle) simply would not shoot consistently. I enjoyed the gun and it was reliable and handy, but I eventually sold it and a pistol and used the proceeds to buy an accurate AR (Rock River, 16" Wilson barrel).

As others have mentioned, Mini's are also harder to customize than AR's are.
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Old March 1, 2013, 08:36 AM   #59
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As others have mentioned, Mini's are also harder to customize than AR's are.
That is very true. However, a customized Mini-14, done right, is a work of art. It doesn't look like a bunch of bolt-together junk, like many AR's do.

Check out some of these from Accuracy Systems: Now, if I could only find a "cheap" Mini-14, it would be off to Accuracy Systems for mods.
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Old March 1, 2013, 08:08 PM   #60
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I see why the AR variant folks dont like it because of the better and easier customization of the AR's but thats why I prefer the mini. All of my rifles and shotguns are wood stocks and blued steel. I'm a hunter, have been since i was 6 years old and will be til the day my time comes. I have never been a fan of plastic stocks and foregrips and all the "cool" tactical looking stuff. The only modifications that support my philosophy of use is truglo sights on my rem 11-87 other than that everything is how it came new, besides scopes. I have a leopold on my 7400 and a tasco on my mini. For all the glass elitists out there i made a low light 200+ yard shot in -20*F with a cheap tasco world class on my first white-tail i got when i was 12. Proving your bank account cant outshoot my skill.
I just dont understand the point behind big money rifles other than it being a hobby. The people that build these complex AR's that cost a fortune all for self defense, and only shoot stationary targets gives me a good laugh. People pay for good comedy all I have to do is look at these urban cowboys and i cant laugh any harder. It seems like alot of people wish they were in the military but are too afraid so they act it out in their backyard as weekend warriors its the epitome of funny.
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Old March 2, 2013, 12:50 AM   #61
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I love my mini -14, but my Colt 6940 5.56 is far superior in every aspect!
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Old March 2, 2013, 01:19 AM   #62
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I don't think I've ever actually hated on the Mini 14 but I rarely ever recommend it.

it's just simple economics and utility. anything that a mini 14 can do a budget brand AR15 can do cheaper and better and while utilizing that AR15 modular design that has made it so popular.

I know people that own mini 14s, they have no problem at all with them. I don't poke fun, call them names or bash Ruger (I actually like Ruger a lot). I would probably never buy one but that's only because I already have a perfectly good AR in my safe.
ignore my complete lack of capitalization. I still have no problem correcting your grammar.
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Old March 2, 2013, 04:54 AM   #63
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No hate here. I own 3 ARs, 2 Mini14s and 3 223 bolts. But when i prep up for coyote hunting. I Grab one of my Minis. Neither have pistol grips...
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Old March 2, 2013, 11:02 AM   #64
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I've always liked them, even without owning one. You hear about accuracy issues now and then, but I have no direct experience.

The price is a bit steep these days, and that's not counting the insanity which began in November/December.

I may buy one sometime in the future, once things cool down some. Even with Bill Ruger's old letter, I still like Ruger products a lot.

For now, though, I have a varmint AR which suits my needs.
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Old March 2, 2013, 01:06 PM   #65
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What I've always found amusing about the gripes over a Mini's lack of tight groups is that few have ever looked at a high-dollar Weatherby Mark V in, say, .300 Wby Mag. I've seen some with "buggy-whip" barrels which in no way would ever print a tight group beyond 3 shots--which is what was shot on the target provided with the rifle.

I don't see why it's hard to understand that it is not necessary for a hunting rifle to give tight five-shot groups from the bench, if the first shot is reliably on target and the next two are close by. "Close by" as in around 1.5 MOA has been my experience with four early-model Minis and several thousand rounds of ammo.
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Old March 2, 2013, 01:49 PM   #66
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I just sold my mini tatical, it was fire everytime reliable. That said,I spent a lot of time at the range with it firing fmj Winchesters, Tulo russian stuff, reloads with different bullets and powders and always got the same results. Off the bench the first group would be the best, as small as sub moa with a 55gr handload or as large a 3 moa with other ammo. The next groups would be larger and poi would start to wander. After 3 or 4 strings the groups would look more like a pattern than a group and poi was anyone's guess.

I owned a bicentennial model and sold it after less scientific accuracy testing in the late seventies. Information only.
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Old March 3, 2013, 08:05 AM   #67
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mini acu-struts

Mine is a early thin barrel 1970 mod. I have always loved it. I have recently installed the acu-struts on her and it made a big difference in her performance
at 100 yds. I don't shoot rapid fire but when I go to the range I stay awhile.
Before the struts I would start to get flyers when the barrel started to get hot.
The struts helped that a lot. I would not trade my Mini for an AR.
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Old March 3, 2013, 05:50 PM   #68
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I all but lived at gun shows and in Gun shops my hole childhood. My dad's a gun smith. I have met many, many irrational mini "haters". So yes... there are mini haters. Most of these guys tried to use them as a bench/target/sniper rifle. If you use the gun for what it was intended you will do fine.
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Old March 3, 2013, 06:17 PM   #69
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I just don't know why anyone would buy a rifle just to use it as a bench gun. Anyone can shoot long ranges on a bench with or without a lead sled. I shoot for a purpose. To hunt, or practicing so I'm successful when I hunt. Bench shooting is for yuppies.
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Old March 3, 2013, 08:06 PM   #70
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Look gang I'm a good capitalist, I'm happy Ruger has a market for the mini, and if you don't think a bench is an excellent way to sight in a firearm I'm cool with that. I was just relating what a pig my last mini was, maybe it was a lemon and maybe the one I had in the 70s was lemon also.

I was just relating my experience, take a breath.
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Old March 3, 2013, 09:27 PM   #71
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Great Rifle

I've got a mini 14 and 30. Great rifles. I have quite a few rifles and needed some quick cash just recently. I sold my Bushmaster XM, (same as the AR), instead of the mini's. I really don't know anyone who doesn't like the mini. If you want to make it look more tactical, you can always get an ATI tactical stock. They are cheap and easy to install. My 2 cents.
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Old March 9, 2013, 03:49 PM   #72
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I had a Mini last year. Sold it when I needed the money but wish I still had it. I'm gonna pick up another one soon, and i have an AR15 already. As for the accuracy of them, mine was excellent. I stapled an empty Winchester 9MM cardboard box to the range and walked back 50 yards. maybe a 2.5 by 4 inch target. Fired standing from the shoulder. Shredded the box. 20 rounds in a group the size of my palm at 50 yards is more than acceptable.
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Old March 9, 2013, 04:12 PM   #73
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Here's what I think !

This is a very informative thread !
Shooting carp with whatever it takes !
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Old March 9, 2013, 04:14 PM   #74
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The accuracy of my 1980s vintage Mini-14 was worse than a $95 made in China SKS.

i understand new Mini-14s are more accurate.
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Old March 10, 2013, 01:35 PM   #75
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The accuracy of my 1980s vintage Mini-14 was worse than a $95 made in China SKS.
But more accurate the the run of the line ak47.
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