View Full Version : would you buy a Ruger Mini-14 ?

Tommy Vercetti
October 14, 2004, 07:36 PM
would you buy a Ruger Mini-14 ?

October 14, 2004, 07:40 PM
heck yes, the best semi-auto rifle in .223rem for the money. all rugers are superb shooters!

User Name
October 14, 2004, 07:43 PM
When I run across one at the right price. :cool:

October 14, 2004, 07:48 PM
:rolleyes: Nah, I like accurate rifles . . . :D

Hi ya, LD! :cool:

Tommy Vercetti
October 14, 2004, 08:14 PM
Hey BD :D

October 14, 2004, 08:41 PM
I voted yes but I'm going to qualify it.

I don't think there's anything WRONG with the minis, I do think there are other guns that will do most anything a mini will and for less money.

So, I would only buy one if I could get it for a really good price.

October 14, 2004, 09:07 PM
Because I had one, and it was the worst POS centerfire rifle I'd ever owned. I suppose I could've kept it, and sunk a couple hundred dollars into rebuilding it, just so it could hit the broad side of a barn - from inside the barn. Then there's the "abundance" of good-quality Mini-14 20-30 round magazines. I wouldn't wish that rifle on my worst enemy. :o

October 14, 2004, 09:27 PM
Assuming i couldn't find one for radically reduced prices, no. IMO, there are better things to do with my money.

Some people love em
Some people hate em

For that gun, thats not a chance i'm willing to take.

October 14, 2004, 09:34 PM
For the old price, maybe. For current 'same as AR' prices, you'd have to be nuts, or in California.

Still, I'd probably just get a .223 Saiga.

45 Fu
October 14, 2004, 09:35 PM
I voted "no" only because there wasn't a "heck no" choice. I am in the "already had one" camp. I had the ranch rifle in .223 and it was a headache. It ran fine with the five round mags but I never could find any 20 rounders that would work. Don't even ask about 30 rounders.

Also, and I just may be silly, but I like my POI to stay in the same neighborhood after the first ten rounds.

When you can buy an AK varient or an SKS for less than half of what you pay for a mini, find magazines easily (and that work) anywhere, and accuracy is just as good (many times better), I just can't see why the mini is still in production. If they would add a little steel to the barrel and modify them to take AR or AK mags they might have a good rifle. But then they would probably charge $900 for it, too.

October 14, 2004, 09:56 PM
already have it. :)

October 15, 2004, 01:04 AM

MINI-14s RULE!!! :)

October 15, 2004, 01:48 AM
I would say no, I think they weight a bit too much, and for the price I would rather have a Kalashnikov design. They are a fine gun, I just wish they did a better immatation of the M-1 carbine. IF they made reliable high capacity mags for the thing, and for the mini 30, I might have broken down and bought one of each. Perhaps now someone will and i'll have to spend some coin on another ruger firearm :rolleyes: .

Tommy Vercetti
October 15, 2004, 03:17 AM
that's the one I want HKMP5SD ! :D Very Nice :)

October 15, 2004, 06:05 AM
really...i was thinking of getting one...what would you get???

October 15, 2004, 06:33 AM
At a resonable price, yes. $550+ is a bit steep for what you get. Maybe (new) $400, shortened & muzzle braked/flash suppressed. Or with a bit stiffer barrel, minus the brake/suppressor.

And some decent standard capacity (20-30 rounds) magazines.

October 15, 2004, 06:34 AM
They're a crap shoot. Some reliable, some not. Some reasonably accurate, some not.

Not a chance.

October 15, 2004, 08:46 AM
hey bullfrog, the mini-14 isn't suppose to look like the m-1 carbine it looks like the m-14 hence the name mini-14. if you wan't an imitation of the m-1 carbine look at the 99/44 deerfield!

October 15, 2004, 09:24 AM
No way, Jose.

October 15, 2004, 09:26 AM
I have 3 they all shoot great and function great with with 20 & 30 round mags. the only problem is they do get hot fast. :)

October 15, 2004, 09:34 AM
That is a great picture Samual2001...great looking gun.
I had a mini-14, and I liked it...sold it to my brother so I could put the $ towards an Amalite AR-10...glad I did. I would buy another though...accuracy is a downfall, but with the 5 round mags and some 20 rounders it was reliable. One reason I like it is that my wife could shoot it well, and liked it...cheap ammo and I love the way they look and feel in my hand. If I could find a good used one, I might bite, but it is not at the top of my list right now. It ticks me off that Ruger does not make factory Hi-cap magazines...maybe those would not have to be tweaked to feed properly.
Also, cleaning the Ar-10 after trying to clean the Mini is just plain fun in comparison...
Finally, my cousin loves his Mini-30...but I would rather have an AR-15 version rifle any day...even for twice the money.

October 15, 2004, 12:01 PM
My dad has an older Mini-14, before Ruger came out with the Ranch Rifle. It has been very reliable and with factory peep sights, I can hit 20 oz Coke bottles at 100 yards with decent regularity. It isn't a bench rifle, so it doesn't display bench rifle accuracy. It has always fed reliably with the one 30 round magazine my dad has acquired.
My great uncle has a Ranch Rifle, and it is a major POS. I can't seem to hit anything consistantly, even with a 4x scope on it. It throws brass over 50 feet and dings them up so that they look like they just came out of an HK roller lock. The action likes to seize shut. How or why we have no clue. It has been meticulously maintained.
These days, if I found a good price on an older Mini-14, I'd buy it, but I'd buy a Bushmaster or Armalite long before I bought a Ranch Rifle.

October 15, 2004, 01:19 PM
I can hit 20 oz Coke bottles at 100 yards with decent regularity.

I'd call that damning with faint praise! :eek:

Tommy Vercetti
October 15, 2004, 07:37 PM
I have a Bushmaster AR-15...just wanted another rifle :Dbesides my Browning Lever Rifle .308

October 15, 2004, 08:18 PM
I've owned 3-4 over the years, the ranch rifle being the last. I always lost interest in them quickly, they are a "boring" rifle. When I got rid of them they were always like new but other than being inaccurate, they were reliable. I have my 4th AR15 now.

October 16, 2004, 09:49 AM
I can't believe I'm saying this: "I don't need another rifle..." :eek: :rolleyes: :p

BUT, if I got one, I might consider a Mini-14 for fun.

Tommy Vercetti
October 16, 2004, 07:42 PM
nobody said anything about need :)

Jody Hudson
October 16, 2004, 07:57 PM
They are a great rifle if you can find one for less than $20 - if not they are overpriced. I've owned about a dozen of them and not one was accurate enough to use outside the house! If you find one for $20 or less and spend about $1,000 making it reliable and accurate - you will have a decent $300 rifle. Not as good as a Saiga or AK of any kind but decent...

But they Look cooooool... The best thing to do if you do buy one, for $20 or less... is to just hang it up and let it be cool. Don't use ammo in it and you will not be dissatisfied with it. :barf:

October 16, 2004, 08:02 PM
the mini-14 is plenty accurate, thats why some police departments and alot of prisons use them.

October 16, 2004, 08:27 PM
I recently got a Mini-14 Ranch Stainless and the factory flip up peep sites put 40 rounds in a about a 4-5in group at about 75 yards, I love the fit it feels and seats nice on the shoulder, I think its very accurate, wonderful for plinking.
Buying and shooting that gun has changed my whole perception of the .223 round.

October 16, 2004, 08:45 PM
now with these good reveiws and bad reveiws i do not know if i should get one???

October 16, 2004, 08:50 PM
Wait until they release the new version. The current models accuracy is not worth the $500 price tag. There are some other issues with the gun, but wait and get the new one.

October 16, 2004, 09:34 PM
now with these good reveiws and bad reveiws i do not know if i should get one???
Unfortunately, the Mini-14 is one of those guns that people either love or hate. Kinda like the Glock. For every person that says it sucks, you can find one that says it's great. And just like cars, computers TVs and wives, the instant you get one, everyone is going to tell you how bad you screwed up and wasted your money. They will tell you they got their [insert appropriate item here] for less money, it's better looking, has more features and is more reliable than yours.

It isn't designed for shooting sub-MOA at 1000 yards. It is good for knocking over cans, shooting small animals and punching holes in a target. If you want one, buy one.

October 16, 2004, 10:21 PM
Hkmp5sd that love/hate glock analogy was right on the money!

I personally own several rifles that are more atractive and a heck of a lot more accurate than my Mini-14, HOWEVER I live in the Peoples Republik and when I go out riding my ATV I can strap it on the rear rack and nobody is the wiser to the fact that I can stick a 30-40 rounder in it and it aint cute anymore! With the 5 round mags in place most people do'nt even notice it, if in a scabard most think its a 10-22, because of the similar stock and but plate.

Minis are not the easiest to take apart, most folks have a hard time getting the bolt back in the receiver so they end up not cleaning them often enough if any. Then blaming the rifle, but thats not always the case though, some times lemons do get out from the Red Barn. I have owned a couple of them and found that for the most part they will achieve about 2.5-3" groups at 100yd with factory loads.

I call my Mini the Jack of all Trades rifle, unfortunately it's a master of none! but it'll target shoot, plink, house gun, farm gun, car gun, camping gun, lil bit of everything gun. It's even an I'll defend you gun, specially with 20-30 round magazines! And still does'nt look like an "EVIL :barf: " black rifle. :rolleyes:

Man-up git yourself a Mini-14, you do'nt even need a reason!

October 17, 2004, 07:27 AM
I just wish Ruger would sell those factory folders again. I'll settle for a RamLine, I guess.

Tommy Vercetti
October 17, 2004, 09:42 AM

Jamie Young
October 17, 2004, 10:28 AM
Wait until they release the new version. The current models accuracy is not worth the $500 price tag. There are some other issues with the gun, but wait and get the new one.

I never heard about this? New ones?

I have 3 Mini's and all of them are brutally reliable. My two Ranch Mini's give me 8-10inch groups at 500yds and some claim they do that at 100yds. :confused:

I sold off a bunch of Russian rifles a few years ago because I couldn't hit squat past 200yds with them. The Mini's trigger is better than all of my SKS's, MAK90's, Bulgarian SA93, FAL ect. And the Mini 14 Ranch model can be scope better than most AK's and SKS's.

My scoped Ranch Mini's never miss.

The Mini 14 is a great SHTF or Coyote gun but I don't consider it to be a military style rifle. It won't hold up to the safe rate of fire that an AR could without warping the barrel. For SHTF purposes its a fine gun.

I didn't pay more than $450 for any of mine and when I did buy them, they came with 3 or 4 PMI mags (so deduct that from the $450 price).

My two Ranch Mini 14's will be going to Vermont sometime this winter and I've seen plenty of people take Deer and Coyotes with them.

October 17, 2004, 10:32 AM
Unfortunately, the Mini-14 is one of those guns that people either love or hate. Kinda like the Glock. For every person that says it sucks, you can find one that says it's great.

But a lot of those who say it sucks have owned better guns, and come to expect a better gun for the money spent.

In contrast, I'd wager that a lot of those who say the Mini-14 is the greatest thing since sliced bread simply haven't experienced better yet. That, or they have purposely kept their standards low. Heck, some are happy they're getting 4-5" groups at 75 yards! :eek:

October 17, 2004, 11:27 AM
the ranch, good camp gun, so,s i always thought :cool:

October 17, 2004, 12:09 PM
Soooo, why do you have a Mini? :) I know you have better rifles and I know you like tight, little groups.

October 17, 2004, 01:25 PM
Soooo, why do you have a Mini?

I had a Mini-14. For all of about one month, back when I was an unwilling resident of the People's Republik of Kalifornia. (Boy, that's 10 years of my life I'd like to have back!) I tried to make it work for me, trigger job, bedding, handloads, everything short of sending it off to Accuracy Systems, Inc for a new barrel - and I agonized over that option, too. In the end, the $400-500 spent on the new barrel just wasn't worth the investment. Kind of like a boob job on an ugly chick, as it were. ;)

I had a Mini-30 for a while there, too. It shot considerably better than the Mini-14, but didn't do anything my AK's couldn't do, and with the widespread availability of 20, 30, 40, and 75 round magazines for the latter, that Ruger was sold to pay for other firearms.

October 17, 2004, 02:04 PM
I have owned several Mini-14s, and currently have a Ranch Rifle. I have found them to be utterly reliable, reasonably accurate, and fun to shoot. The only downside has been the recently endured lack of decent 20 round magazines, and a spare parts availibility problem.
I do wish Ruger had come out with a 'tactical' version, with a heavy barrel, synthetic stock, and better sights, picatinny rail, and a flash supressor. That would have resulted in a rifle priced around $900, that would shoot a consistant 1.5 MOA. Oh well....................

October 17, 2004, 02:10 PM
Wow, guess I'm lucky. Bought my stainless Mini off a buddy for $150, threw on the folding stock and have been shooting it ever since. I did get it prior to my AR and M16, but still enjoy hauling it to the range. I admit I would not pay anywhere near $500 for one as the AR is a much better platform in that price range.

October 17, 2004, 06:13 PM
I just picked up my AR yesterday. I thought about trading in my Mini to take some off the top of the $1,600 price tag on the Evil Black Rifle. I couldn't do it. I love my Mini. I downed countless coyotes, cats, foxes, badgers, and countless other furry little animals with it. PETA hates me and my Mini. I know it's strengths and weaknesses. It's easy to clean because it doesn't get that dirty. It goes bang when I squeeze the trigger, especially in the dead of winter when I lived in South Dakota. Most of all, it's survived my neglect. I'll be honest. I haven't cleaned it after every shooting session.

I'll buy another Mini in a heartbeat. If Ruger would reissue the GB, I'd snatch one up faster than you could say Ruger Mini-14.

Dave Markowitz
October 17, 2004, 07:09 PM
If I didn't already own one, I'd buy one, especially since the AWB sunsetted and one can now buy Ruger 20 round mags (although not directly from Ruger).

I just put a Butler Creek folder on mine this afternoon, really changes the feel of the gun.

October 17, 2004, 07:54 PM
Jamie Young of the 500 yard 8-10 inch group Mini 14 rifles how many shots in that 8-10 inch group at 500 yards? Did you shoot a 2, 3 or 5 shot group please let us know? You sir are amaizing. 8 inches at 500 is 2 inches at 100, what type of rest did you use? I doubt I could shoot an 8 inch group at 500 yards with my Weatherby 30-06 with 3.5 x 10 power scope on it. I am simply not a good shot. The best I can do with that combo is .75 inch at 100!! I just don't know if I could do that at 500 yards. What power and type of scope are you useing. How did you mount it on the rifle? Please tell us what type of ammunition that you used? Do you handload?? What type and grain bullet did you use?? Was your rifle zeroed to hit high at 100, how high? Please let us know how you zeroed your scope. After 3 Mini 14s I am simply amaized at your great 8 inch group at 500 yards. The best I ever did with any ammunition I tried in a mini was 4-5 inches at 100. I guess I stand in awe of your prowess. Do you by chance shoot high power at Camp Perry? I am sure you must! I do believe Ruger has been listening however and a new mini is on the way. You all might give them a call. jimmyp

October 17, 2004, 09:55 PM
Try this site,I spent a lot of time there in the past,I did not see it linked but I didnot read this whole thread either,I have several,and one done up by ASI.
The last one I looked at was at Guns and Ammo on Summer ave in Memphis,320$ blued ranch rifle trade in not a scratch on it either, :cool:

Jamie Young
October 17, 2004, 09:58 PM
I use to have a Simmons 3-9x40 scope on it for the first 15,000rds then i upgraded to a 3-9x40 MD Sightron.

99% of my .223 ammo are handloads.

26.1gr WC844 with IMI 62gr SCBT 8-10inch groups at 500yds.
24.5gr AA2230 with Sierra 69r HPBT 8inches at 500yds.

I shoot off home made sandbags. Most people don't shoot for speed when shooting that far but I have shot 30rd groups at 500yds and my groups are 8-10inches.

I am fully aware that the barrel does heat up quick and it does start to tack around inconsistantly but I still don't miss what I aim at.

October 18, 2004, 05:26 AM
15,000 rounds through a barrel and a Simmons scope, that is just amaizing. JP

J. Scott
October 18, 2004, 06:01 PM
NO, not again. Had one once burned lots of ammo, but not very accurate. it functioned fine and looked good but thats all.

Jamie Young
October 18, 2004, 09:48 PM
Is there any credibility to this NEW Mini 14 rumor?

I know Bill Ruger Jr. was on Gun Talk a few months ago and took questions on "what people want to see made from Ruger".

October 19, 2004, 05:39 PM
Cool little rifle, neat idea to have a "mini m-14"
I don't like to speak poorly of guns, (I kinda like all guns ya know?) But I sold mine to get An AR-15 'cause I was shooting like 6" groups at 50 yards :eek:
(my kimber 1911 can shoot better groups, and that's not even a joke!)

October 23, 2004, 12:01 AM
I had one some years ago...first trip to the range, with handloads - first five shots in an inch at 100 yards. Stupidly, I sold it before I moved to California, thinking they were illegal there. Wish I still had it.

One tip for you - get rid of those slick damn plastic buttplates. The gun squirts all over your shoulder in recoil, you don't have a chance of any accuracy. This is also true of older Ruger .44 carbines.

Tommy Vercetti
October 23, 2004, 12:26 PM
I bought a stainless Mini 14 with the composite stock :D

4V50 Gary
October 23, 2004, 12:30 PM
Yes, if it's used & stainless. Why when the AR is more versatile? Because I can buy a Mini in CA whereas I can't buy an AR.

Modifications would include shortening the barrel to 16 1/2" to stiffen it. Perhaps a scope type mount that too for a red dot type sight.

Tommy Vercetti
October 23, 2004, 12:32 PM
I have an AR too :)

October 23, 2004, 12:35 PM
there is a california approved m-4 clone but i doubt it's any good.

Tommy Vercetti
October 25, 2004, 05:10 PM
I ordered a Butler Creek folding stock and four 30 round magazines today :D

DT Guy
October 25, 2004, 06:03 PM
I refuse to support a company that supported the AWB.

No more Rugers for me.


Jamie Young
October 25, 2004, 06:35 PM
The guy who supported the AWB is dead.

His son has yet to support his father's stance AFAIK.

October 25, 2004, 06:53 PM
I voted yes because I did buy one.

When I bought mine they were a good value.

Now they cost too much in my opinion.

AK accurate. Very reliable. Not in an AR-15's class however.

DT Guy
October 25, 2004, 09:39 PM

I'll change my mind when I see Ruger make hi-caps.

Which they said they won't do-


NH AR Shooter
October 25, 2004, 10:30 PM
I will need to see some changes at Ruger before I buy a Mini or anything else from them. Lets see the folder come back, just call Ruger and ask, ask about high caps while your at it, you wont like the answer.

As for the Mini, on its own merits, yes they are fun guns, but why, after 20 some odd years of production is the gun not as accurate as my Marlin Glenfield? A gun my parents bought me from K-mart for about 60 bucks. And whats with that cheap plastic butt plate? it belongs on a $29.00 BB gun. And how about better iron sights? This is not a cheap gun, its not a new gun, it should be better by now.

Then theres the Mini 30, a gun meant to capitalize on the new popularity of the Russian 7.62 x39 back in the eighties, a cool idea poorly executed.

I did buy a Mini 30 at a gun show, years ago, got a great deal on a 1987 vintage gun, only to discover Ruger would not sell me even a ten rd mag. Then I discovered that the gun was not designed to be used with actual "in spec" 7.62x39 ammo, which is .311, instead they chambered it for a cartridge that didnt exist, the .308x39....untill Remmington started making it just for the Mini. Why? why make it so hard on us? :(

November 20, 2004, 09:09 PM
Accuracy Rifle Systems
PO Box 13772, Odessa TX, 79768. Did the work on my gun. It has a 20" heavy barrel with a 1 in 9 in. twist I can get about an inch out of it with Sierra 69grBTHP's at 300 yds. I am happy with it! The only complaint I have is the scope mount could be a little better than they use. A bridge mount over the reciever instead of a side mount would be better. Go here for a photo of it. http://groups.msn.com/LandOfTheMonkeyII/shoebox.msnw. It is on page 2 I had a Simmons 6.5X20 50MM scope on it but it looked odd so I put a ProPoint on it and I like it better. It's faster to get on target and I can hit out to over 500Yds with the ProPoint easily. The Steel plate is at 537 yards. It is about 18.5 X18.5 X3/4, almost a 100 lbs. Makes a great target! If I need to shoot something far I use my Savage Model 112BVSS in .223 or something bigger.

This is what is on the Ruger Mini-14:
A SS Walther 1x9 twist 20" length .223 rem SAAMI. It had an ARS heavy gas block installed. Trigger job set at 3.5 lb pull, pillar bedding, ARS scope mount. replaced the gas port bushing, extractor plunger and cleaned the bolt. The work was done in 2000.





November 22, 2004, 10:08 AM
I'm content with my Mini. I have more accurate rifles. It's a decent little bit of this and a little bit of that gun. I only paid $375 for it new. I don't think I'd pay $500 for one. However I am in the PRK and and I think it's a good option if choices are limited.

Barrel shroud seems to have stiffend up the overly thin barrel it came with as groups got smaller (that being relative) after that change. New Hogue stock replaced the wood and groups got smaller again. Installed a new front sight and a rear peep which my eyes appreciate.

Just got a trigger job and smaller gas bushing from Mike Knifong. Once my lower back is physically up to a range session, I am anxious to see how that helps things.

I've had my Mini since 1992 and it's been 100% reliable with the exception of some reloads I picked up once. I still have a lot of 30 round Thermolds which have never given me problems.

I don't have a problem with Mini-14's. It does what I want it to do.

November 22, 2004, 10:41 AM
The guy who supported the AWB is dead.

His son has yet to support his father's stance AFAIK.

Wrongo. His son has implicitly supported his father's stance by utterly failing to right the wrong his company undertook. That company had TEN YEARS to attempt to lead the charge for repeal, but did NOTHING toward that end. Ruger is the enemy of freedom-loving gun owners.

November 22, 2004, 08:40 PM
For the old price, maybe. For current 'same as AR' prices, you'd have to be nuts, or in California.

Pretty much my take on it. Along with the "good idea, poorly executed."

I really want to like the thing, and I did have one for a while. Just..... enh.

I'm curious about the "new Mini" rumor to... :)

November 23, 2004, 01:21 PM
No. I do not own one but my shooting buddy does and every time we go to the range, he cusses the thing. It will not shoot good groups at all. He regrets buying it.
If I were to buy a .223 it would probably have to be an AR15.

November 23, 2004, 08:25 PM
I made the mistake of buying one, a new one even. Never again. Mine was reliable after the initial 100 round breakin or so with 5 round factory, 10 round Promags and 30 round PMI mags.

The first time I had it out prairie dog shooting, I pulled the bolt back to chamber a round and the insides fell apart in my hands. That always inspires confidence. :barf: Spent fifteen minutes putting it back together.

It did disgusting 8-12" groups at 100 yards. For comparison my SKS does 3-5".

Unfortunately, I've seen lots of mini's that were the same. I know plenty of other people who have had the same experience as me and ended up selling them.

Like Kaylee said, "I really wanted to like the thing...."

Ruger, the only company I know of that can consistently sell $600 centerfire and $200 rimfire rifles that need $300 in aftermarket parts to get them working right.

June 12, 2006, 09:04 AM
Nah, I like accurate rifles :)
are they really that bad ?

Art Eatman
June 12, 2006, 12:18 PM
No, not from the standpoint of hunting and plinking. Yes, from the standpoint of tight groups from a benchrest.


June 12, 2006, 12:28 PM
my uncle has both a mini 30 and a mini 14, and i wouldnt own either. ive seen him miss a yochie "coyote" at 60 yards with the mini 14. i must mention that he did get three shots off really quick though, to bad none were even close (i mean were talking yards off!) and the forth one jammed

June 13, 2006, 05:51 AM
I have seen people miss Whitetail Deer at 20 yards, no lie. Wasn't the guns fault!

June 13, 2006, 07:30 AM
Have one that was given to my by my uncle. It is a fun plinker. Would I buy one, not sure. The best virtue of a Mini-14 is it doesn’t appear to be a “assault rifle”. Some British units (police type) use to carry them in Northern Ireland in the 80’s for that reason, not as threatening as caring around an FAL. Not an accurate rifle but if you don’t have the money for an AR and want a semi .223, buy one.

June 13, 2006, 08:13 AM
Already have one and have had it for 10 years. Functions reliably and shots okay. Never expected MOA accuracy. I just don't go out and blast away 100's of rounds of 223 much anymore. Mostly shoot handguns and 22 RF's.

June 13, 2006, 09:01 AM
I have a Mini-30, and unless it's vastly different from the Mini-14, I'm surprised to hear anyone talk about how difficult the rifle is to clean. Once you remove the stock, take down is so simple and easy, most reasonably intelligent people could take the thing apart without even referencing the manual.

Yes, removing and then replacing the bolt can be a hassle if you don't know the trick, which is to keep the tail of the firing pin back so it clears the notch in the receiver. Even then, if you don't know that trick, all you have to do is remove the ejector, which takes about 30 seconds. The only problem I have now is reassembling with the Wolff extra-power recoil spring I installed, which is a definite challenge.

Anyway, I got my stainless Mini-30 (new, $450) because I wanted to shoot 7.62x39, and I didn't like the other options available at the time. I can consistently hit orange target clays at 100 yards, hot or cold barrel, using the stock iron sights and Wolf 122-grain HPs. Out of 10 shots, I can hit 8 clays. Since the clays are 4" in diameter, I guess I can claim 4" groups. (If I used better quality ammo, maybe I'd burn only 8 shots to hit all 8 clays.)

I had a good grouping Russian SKS, but it felt weird and I was always more conscious of the gun than of my shooting. As for AKs, they feel like bricks to me.

Having said all that, if I wanted a .223 shooter, I'd get an AR. While I still feel the Mini has the edge over the AR in terms of cleaning ease, the AR has the edge in terms of accuracy and aftermarket support. The nod would go to the Mini if I wanted a truck gun that would get tossed around, but even then I wouldn't pay more than $450 for a new stainless/synthetic Mini. Any money beyond $450 for a truck gun doesn't make sense to me; I'd get a Marlin 1894 instead.

June 13, 2006, 09:14 AM
the mini-14 is plenty accurate, thats why some police departments and alot of prisons use them.

Some poilce departments will let you carry just abount any rifle - with in reason - that you can qualify with. Rifle qualifications are not all that difficult. Hit center mass on a man size target at between 50 - 100 yards.

As for prisons. The Mini 14 is less expensive than an AR and if you miss your intended target and hit another inmate .....So what.

I carry a rifle in the line of duty. I carry the best that I can afford. I will stick with my AR. I had a Mini 14 but sold it as fast as I could.

June 13, 2006, 09:27 AM
I just bought an AR-15 (DPMS Lite) and like it very much. It is perhaps the cheapest high quality AR around but cost almost $200 more than the new Mini. That means it cost about 35-40% more than the Mini. I think that most AR's are 50-60% more than the Mini. I put the Mini in a Butler Creek folding stock which I like very much. I installed a home-made barrel stabilizer. The parts cost about $40. I do not see the wide groups or flyers others mention. My Mini has been solid and reliable. You can find inexpensive 20-30-40 round mags that work perfectly in the Mini. The AR is a fine rifle, but so is the Mini.


June 13, 2006, 10:47 AM
No, I'd rather buy a Saiga or Vepr.

A Mini-14 with a 16-1/4" heavier barrel, that takes AR mags would be worth buying though....


June 13, 2006, 11:41 AM
I bought one on my 18th birthday, back in 1984. Paid $175 for it new, and never had a problem with it. Back then Ruger Mags were cheap and plentiful, but I never had problems with aftermarket mags either. No idea how many rounds have been through it, but I'm sure it's a lot!. Can't wait to pass it on to my son. Only wish I'd gotten the folding stock.


June 13, 2006, 11:54 AM
Yes, if I could get it NIB for the old Walmart prices, No way I would pay over $500 for one, I rather buy a AR. Used??? I would not trust one used, not that they are bad it is just your more likely to pick up something with 10,000 ++ rounds thru it with a Mini then most other rifle (except maybe an AK).

I would get the stainless version with a folding stock, a black van with a red stripe, and a cigar. I would shoot 100 rounds at 10 bad guys and miss everyone until they surrendered. Da ta ta da.....da da da

June 13, 2006, 04:23 PM
I would have to say no because all the mini 14's that I have ever fired have been lacking in the accuracy department, maybe it was just me but I couldn't hit anything with any of them, the AR's have always worked fine for me so that is what I stuck with.

June 13, 2006, 09:34 PM
Did that (bought a Ranch Rifle), threw good money after bad in trying to improve consistency and get rid of vertical stringing, and eventually gave up and sold it.

Wouldn't buy another one unless Ruger improved the quality and beefed up the barrel.

June 14, 2006, 08:04 PM
If I could get it at the price my Dad did , yes. Todays price? My .223 is an AR-15.
Accuracy between the two? AR-15
Ease of cleaning? AR-15
Looks? Toss Up
Reliability? AR-15 (magazines)
Ease of carry as a "truck gun"? Mini-14

I guess all told, I might not after all. Can I change my vote?

June 14, 2006, 09:18 PM
Nope. Been there and done that. Never could shoot one worth a durn.

My favorite mini 14 story is one day in about '78 or '79 I was out at the range shooting sub MOA groups with my model 77 and pie plate sized groups with the mini-14. There was a Marine reservist out there and I asked him to check out the mini 14. He shot well with it, so I'm sure it was just me.

Gun was sturdy and never misfired, I'll give it that.

June 15, 2006, 12:13 AM
Had two, .223 and 7.62.

I loved the M1-like action and the overall ranch-gun (i.e. not plastic stock) look. Both shot 3-4 inch groups at 100yards with a 4x scope. Mags were the biggest problem, with the best costing around $50 back in the ban days. Overall, the gun is too short for me with a horrific LOP, making it uncomfortable to shoot when standing, kneeling, sitting, squatting, prone, supine, or prostrate.

Not too bad for a benign-looking ranch-gun with full HD, assault weapon convertability.

June 15, 2006, 08:53 AM
I have had 2 of them so far, I am going to be selling the one I have and move onto a to a gun that can shoot reasonably accurately. I do not feel a 4" group is accurate,some might and others want the Mini for other applications where a 4" group is adequate. The stock on a Mini is way too short, the new ones may be better, but I am not going to buy one to find out. I have just lost interest in this gun. I can shoot my pistol more accurately and I have an older Ruger 44 Mag carbine that will shoot into less than 2" all day. So it is NOT that Ruger "couldn't" make it more accurate, they just don't have a reason too as long as the sales are there for a poor shooting gun. I will say in its defence, the Mini's I have had always functioned perfectly everytime.

The Guy
June 17, 2006, 01:25 AM
Had to join to get my two pennys worth.

NO! I have a Ruger I like (10-22), but the mini seems to be such a crap shoot that I couldn't justify 450-500+ dollars on one. Among my shooting pals, there are 3 (2-14's, 1-30), and only one of the 14's seems to be worth a darn. Give me my M1a, weight and all any day.:D If I had to break down and get a .223, make mine a AR type.

June 17, 2006, 06:17 PM
talk about faint praise :)

June 17, 2006, 06:47 PM
I don't have a problem with Mini-14's. It does what I want it to do.

My thoughts exactly.


June 17, 2006, 07:08 PM
Nah, I like accurate rifles

that's funny :)

still 2 many choices
June 17, 2006, 08:55 PM
With the stipulation that it would have to be at one hell of a bargain! The expensive mags and whippy barrel would require a very fair price. I do like the way the Mini 14 looks(like scaled down M14), and it is what I was originally shopping for when I got my first AR.

PS- I hope my AR's don't read this:eek:, they might get jelous:D !!

June 18, 2006, 01:17 AM
Ya know I rarely even read these threads anymore but I read this last page (and the last page on the ever present 5.56mm thread) just to check out the tone of the thread.

And this is what I found: As for prisons. The Mini 14 is less expensive than an AR and if you miss your intended target and hit another inmate .....So what.
:D That might be the best Mini-14 line ever. :D

June 18, 2006, 01:32 AM
I would...

But when the absolute cheapest I can find one NIB is $540, I'll wait for an AR.

281 Quad Cam
June 18, 2006, 12:11 PM
I voted yes days ago...

I love the Mini-14. It's looks and function completely appeal to me. I became infatuated with what seemed like a little Garand. I really, really tried to like the Mini 14.

I was immediatly informed of the Hi-Cap magazine issue. And after spending about what an AR cost on a new one, I would still have to blow nearly 100 dollars just to get a few magazines. As it wouldn't come with anything over 5 rounds. Completely unacceptable for HD.

I was than informed that it heated up after only a few rounds and became very innacurate, a problem that they never attempted to correct with a heavier barrel. I was than faced with having a gun that would not help me learn to shoot better.

Faced with paying as much or more than an AR-15 to get the weapon running with accessories, etc... I eventually made my decision based on Ruger's anti-gun policies and his sons inability to reverse them.

My AR-15 decision has never left me wondering if I made the right choice.

Art Eatman
June 18, 2006, 06:28 PM
Some people get all het up because the Mini won't give tight groups from a benchrest. Some folks use screwdrivers as chisels. Others use ball-peen hammers to drive nails and try to drive spikes with a tack-hammer. Nothing about a Mini cries out, "I'm a target rifle!"

The Mini does very well at putting the first shot from a cold barrel in the same place as it did the time before. For a hunter, that's as good as a 1/2-MOA target rifle. Certainly plenty good for coyotes. It even gives groups of 1.5 to 2 MOA for three-shot groups, which is fine for a jackrabbit hunt and there's more than one bunny available.

About the only rational objection I've heard about a Mini is the price. Howsomever, just having gotten home from a gunshow, I've yet to see anything that didn't give me a screaming case of sticker shock.

:D, Art

June 18, 2006, 07:35 PM
Art. If I could hold a 1.5,, even a 2 MOA group, my mini would not be for sale. Ruger, no matter how much I like Ruger, has made NO attempt to accurize this rifle. They sell all they make to people that think 4 inch groups are really great. Mini -14's typically function fantastic, so do bolt action 223's. I bought my FIRST mini -14 when in fact I did own a small ranch in Tucson, didn't matter, any Coyotes at 100yards were safe from me for the most part, unless I got lucky or the Coyote was unlucky. If you want a gun that shoots so so, they are fine, it will never let you down. You want a rifle to pot a quail, or a jackrabbit it isn't going to happen. I suppose from the posts that Jailers use them means minute of man accuracy is fine. Sorry, not for me,, when I have to spend the price of a Mini-14. I think I have the right to EXPECT decent accuracy. If anyone wants to buy mine,, let me know, of course I am not going to give it away like a fire sale,, everybody thinks they are Gold so I will expect top dollar for mine. I have it comming from those that think Mini-14 are the best available,,, make offers, I will start it at $500.00 and include 2 5 shot and a 10 shot original Ruger mag along with aftemarket 20 round mags that work

June 18, 2006, 10:47 PM
Would I buy another Mini-14 after having owned 3 of them?

It would depend on whether or not I needed another anchor for my boat!:D

June 19, 2006, 08:37 PM
History time here. SAMMI regulates ammo production for sale to civilian market. NATO sets the standard for military ammo. While chamber drawings are pretty much the same for .223 REM and 5.56 NATO the pressures are not the same! SAMMI spec .223 REM ammo is loaded to lower pressure than 5.56 NATO ammo. If you shoot military ammo, especially russian wolf ammo, you could blow up the Ruger Mini 14. The mini 14 is designed to only handle the SAMMI spec ammo. Read the instruction manual!! it plainly states to only use factory loaded domestic ammo. (SAMMI spec) if you blow up your mini with military ammo, the factory will not warranty the remains. I know this because 2 of my friends blew up their guns and Ruger told them to pound sand. I am a police firearms instructor. I teach precision/patrol rifle classes in my state. A student with a Mini 14 has NEVER qualified on the course of fire. The rifle is not accurate enough and the rear sight is a loose fitting joke. I have shot a couple of scope sighted mini 14 rifles that shot about 2 moa. I have shot dozens of mini 14 rifles, (for students who were struggling) and the rifles would not group smaller than 5-6 moa at 100 yards. The poor quality barrel, the loose fitting rear sight, and the pressure limitations make this a rifle that is unacceptable for police use, at least in my state. If you get a mini that shoots well with factory SAMMI spec. ammo, enjoy it and realize the limitations. But if your life depends on it, buy a good quality AR15 type and keep it clean. Colt, Rock River Arms(my favorite), Armalite are my choices. Brands to avoid are Olympic arms, Bushmaster, and other cheap copies. I see way to many failures in reliability and accuracy with these off brands in the classes I teach to reccommend them, The rifles I don't recommend do not use military spec parts. They use cast parts(hammers, triggers, extractors etc) and I have examined several of these with egg shaped out of round chambers. My Duty rifle is a Colt, I have fired over 5000 rounds with zero malfunctions. It shoots under 4 inch groups at 300 yards with iron sights prone with a sling. Also, buy good magazines(the reason for most failures) and practice alot!

Art Eatman
June 20, 2006, 10:27 AM
I started in with TFL in 1998. Lord knows how many Mini-14 threads there have been since then. :)

What seems to come out from folks trying to diagnose the Mini:

Early production guns (pre-middle-1980s) do better than the later production. Quality control? I dunno.

Flash hiders seem to be of some help. Damping the barrel harmonics?

Checking and maybe realigning the gas block sometimes helps.

Some say that shortening the barrel to 16+ inches helps, via stiffening.

All my Minis were of the earlier production. All four worked as I expected. All four AR15s i've had worked as I expected. And I've had no reliability problems with either variety of go-bang...

:), Art

June 20, 2006, 12:40 PM
Mine was the most inaccurate rifle I ever owned. Sold it and bought a cheap Chinese SKS with a bunch of ammo from a friend. And that SKS was way more accurate than the Mini-14.

June 20, 2006, 01:07 PM
My, this thread has been around for awhile. I am still shooting mine, and it is still turning in +/- 2 inch groups. I pulled off the Weaver K2.5, and put on a spare EOTech. Yeah, my ARs get more range time, but the Mini-14 is still a lot of fun, still totally reliable, and still shooting as well a lot of folks wish they could. Oh, I stocked up on factory 20 round mags too. 44Mag was selling them for less than $30, so the magazine problem is solved.

June 20, 2006, 02:03 PM
no,and Friends Don't Let Friends Buy Mini 14"s Either !!!!

The Guy
June 20, 2006, 02:34 PM
Title:The Mighty Mini
Sub title: Ruger's underappreciated Mini-14

Deep into the article of usuall magazine "fulf" you will fined a passage that states that "...Some guns left the factory shooting no better than 4" or 5" groups for some years." Wow, hardly a statement to inspire confidence in QC at Ruger. Hell, I'd be so ashamed to make such an admision that I would wear a bag over my head for years to come.
Thats why I will NEVER consider buying a Mini ANYTHING untill I see first hand ALL problems fixed for many years of production (like no avalibility of factory 20 & 30 rounders, barrels prone to overheating and warping, ecessive price; 658-770 mini 14, 695-770 mini 30, same magazine article.) Sorry guys, I would love to like that lil rifle, because it does appear pleasing to the eye and handles well, but then so does my M1 carbine, which I will keep untill the Mini can be fixed.
And Art, even when I plink, I like to hit what I aim at, hence my M1 carbine, and target/benchrest duties I leave for my M1a.:D

June 26, 2006, 05:44 AM
would you buy a Ruger Mini-14 ?

not unless I found a really good deal :)

Art Eatman
June 26, 2006, 11:17 AM
Well, Guy, I refuse to feel any guilt whatsoever that I was always able to hit what I wanted with my Minis. :D


June 27, 2006, 04:30 PM
I have to agree with Art. I own two Mini-14 rifles, one for almost 26 years. I've never had any trouble putting the first five rounds into 2" @ 100 yards. Both of them will eat any ammo that you can find in .223, as well. Unlike the maintenance intensive Stoner platform.

That's the good thing about America. While unknown denizens of the Internet bash everything, you still have choices and options. Let me think, a used Mini-14 for $350.00, spend $500.00 and replace the barrel, stock, and trigger group with upgraded parts, and you have a sub-moa rifle equal to most $1200 Stoner systems.

Buy what you want, it's a free country.:)

June 27, 2006, 04:48 PM
yes, I would, I have 2 right now, one blued and one stainless. No they don't take the place of my AR's in my heart or hands when I enjoy going out shooting, but they are low cost, reliable and accurate enough out to 100 yards. They are also much less intimidating to use when teaching people how to shoot.

June 27, 2006, 05:08 PM
I will put my pay for the next month up for the man that said he could hold 8-10" groups at 500yds. I'll measure 500 off, Give 15 shots. 3 five shot groups. One group to get 9". This is with a stock mini, no work done to it (except a scope of your choice, of course). I don't want someone chiming in with a rifle they've spent 2000 dollars on and it doesn't even resemble a mini anymore.

Art Eatman
June 27, 2006, 09:59 PM
I'm more than just a bit dubious that an unmodified Mini could shoot five shots and group inside 8" to 10" at 500 yards. That sort of claim gives me a serious case of the "Show me!"

You don't need to measure it off, Wheeler; I've got a 500-yard range at my house. :)


The Guy
June 28, 2006, 01:56 AM
Ah, thank God for Texas, where you can geta 500 yard range with a house attached. Boy I wish the 4 generation farm was somewhere other than the PRI, like Texas, or maybe Wyoming. :rolleyes: (SIGH)

Didn't mean to really pick on your Mini Art, by the way. We all have our experiences with rifles that may not reflect anothers. My only experiences w/Minis have been poor. So I gennrally think of them as poor. I work on cars for a living, and my experiences w/Ford have been poor, so I think of Fords as being poor. Others have different experiences.

Like i said above, I would love to like the Mini, and if I had a chance to pick one up at what I thought was a reasonable price that was as good as what you have, I would seriously consider it. Untill then, I'll stay away untill Ruger fixes the problems they ADMITED to.:(

Minis do "feel" good to hold, and are pleasing to my eyes. Just get ME one that shoots as good as it looks and I may end up with one.

still 2 many choices
June 28, 2006, 09:50 AM
I don't think you should spend 500 dollars+, on upgrades to a rifle amounting to 850 dollars total, when you can put an AR-15 upper/lower together in whatever configuration you want for less, and be more accurate:D !

If you like the Mini, love it for what it is, not what it won't do, and don't try to make it something it's not;) . But I guess if you throw enough money at any problem, you can eventually solve it or atleast make it look better...

Still 2 Many Choices!?

629 shooter
June 28, 2006, 09:52 AM
Back in high school (25 years ago!) a friend had a Mini-14 and we thought it was the Cat's Meow at that time. Since then rifle accuracy has become a priority. Myself I have no interest in owning one.

But I can understand the appeal if someone wants a .223 where extreme accuracy is not really needed , a centerfire plinking gun is how I would rate them. No insult to those that have them.

June 28, 2006, 10:37 AM
A 'qualified' Yes. That is, if I were to buy one I would factor in the cost of Great West Gunsmithing (http://www.greatwestgunsmithing.com/) work, at least their "Package B" ($200). If I could not afford the gun and the gunsmithing, then I wouldn't bother getting it.

I just had a Package C done to my Mini, and the groups went from 6+ inches to sub 1.5 inches (@100 yards).

Art Eatman
June 28, 2006, 12:06 PM
The Guy, I'm a Chevy man, myownself. Small blocks fit well into Austin-Healeys, and big blocks into Camaros. :D

Seems to me that if somebody can advertise Bo Clerke barrels in Shotgun News for $80, somebody could set up to re-barrel Minis for a helluva lot less than any umpteen hundred dollars. Clerke told me he holds 0.0001 tolerance in his bores, and he ships 180 barrel a week.

Hmmm. Business opportunity?

:), Art

June 28, 2006, 12:43 PM
Sorry, dude, but most AR rifles aren't .5 MOA for less than $1000. The Mini-14 I spoke of belongs to a member of our club, and was done over by an outfit in Colorado. They guaranteed .5 MOA, and it delivers it with Federal Gold Medal. It also shoots 62 gr. Radway Green into LESS than 1 MOA. Rapid fire, slow fire, the gun groups well for as long as you want to shoot it.

I don't care for the Stoner system. Just a personal thing, and used Mini-14 rifles are quite available. The Mini-14 is also allowed in many areas that ban the AR series. :)

June 29, 2006, 06:47 AM
so buy one if you have a bunch of money to sink in it ?

Art Eatman
June 29, 2006, 01:19 PM
Naw, buy one if you're thinking about shooting coyotes and jackrabbits and tin cans and such like.

If what you're looking for is tight groups from a benchrest, forget it.


June 29, 2006, 06:25 PM
Not that we need another appinion:)I love my ar15 it is 14# of precision long range bliss:D That being said I have owned a stainless mini30 7.62x39 ranch rifle.It was an awesome rifle as it came from the factory(thats the best way to have a mini)with factory mag.Its not an AR but it is A great rifle if you take it for what it was designed for(RANCH STUFF:))..I could hit a can at 100 yrds with it and it was short and balanced well,What else would you ask for on a ranch???.I do like them but my true love is an ar15.

June 29, 2006, 07:04 PM
Guy sez;
"Deep into the article of usual magazine "fluff" you will find a passage that states '...Some guns left the factory shooting no better than 4" or 5" groups for some years.' Wow, hardly a statement to inspire confidence in QC at Ruger. Hell, I'd be so ashamed to make such an admission that I would wear a bag over my head for years to come."

Guy, I couldn't agree more. What kind of manufacturer lets crap like that out the door fully aware that the product needs quality countermeasures?
And..."for some YEARS."??
What do they offer the buyers of those rifles that patterned rather than grouped...a discount coupon for another Ruger purchase?
Sorry, no Mini 14s for me.

June 29, 2006, 07:08 PM
Just out of curiousity, the entire positive review was "fluff", while the single negative comment is "truth"? Talk about "liberal interpretation".:confused:

June 29, 2006, 07:12 PM
Renfield, if you want a Mini-14 that will compete with 14# ARs on the line, then yes, buy one to spend money on. It amazes me that people will spend literally thousands of dollars on the various Stoner platforms, then somehow denigrate a rifle that costs less than half of what they invested for a factory rifle. Then, amazingly, they think that upgrading the weapon is somehow bad?:confused:

June 29, 2006, 07:17 PM
I voted yes, I already own one I bought when they were a good value. I paid $125 in 1986 for a stainless new. At $550+ now, probably not. i would build an AR for another $100 or buy an AK and 500 rounds of ammo.

June 29, 2006, 07:38 PM
It amazes me that people will spend literally thousands of dollars on the various Stoner platforms, then somehow denigrate a rifle that costs less than half of what they invested for a factory rifle. Then, amazingly, they think that upgrading the weapon is somehow bad?

I paid $850 for my Armalite AR, and you can buy some for less than that? Mine shoots 2.5 moa with cheap wolf ammo, and close to 1.5 with winchester white box. It also has a chrome-lined barrel and I don't expect it to shoot sub moa, because frankly it won't with a chrome-lined barrel. The only other thing I've sunk money into was my reflex sight. $1,000's? No thanks. Oh, did I mention I can get good mags for $10? I repeat, I'm not hating on a mini, I still want a mini 30. The mini is not, however, a viable replacement for the AR as an assault rifle.

June 29, 2006, 11:19 PM
NO... That is all

The Guy
June 30, 2006, 12:59 AM
I stated that the article was fluf, is because I have hardly ever read an article on anything that doesn't have an "agenda". In this case, and in most cases in the firearms industry, the articles have little but the good to say about a product. Advertiser dirven, or guns sent to a guy who likes them, or maybe how the assingments are given from the top, I don't know, and are not for this particular string. What I have decided for myself, is to take the most useful and proveable information and use that as a basis of my oppinion of said product. Then I look to see what works for others, ask questions of likes and dislikes, and then I do my best to form a honest oppinion for myself. That is what I stand by when I open my mouth. The article (insert most for a generalzation) is writen by someone who likes the product (rifle) and it reads like he does. That is why I label the article (read most) as fluff. I still read and buy gun magazines because I realy like guns, but I cut the articles down mentally to an information state (AFTER reading) for use.

Saying this, I will, I promise, to buy a Mini someday, AFTER the following occur;
1. PRICE I will not buy any gun with the price out weighing the promise of out of box accuracy. If I decide to ever get a .223 that isn't an XCR (jury still out, not enough feedback yet), it will NOT be an AR anything. The price of the Mini is a consideration, if the product improves to a level more consisitant with its price.
2. ACCURACY I will not buy a gun that does not deliver CONSISTANT moa accuracy. On the BENCH. This is because if I miss, I want it to be MY fault, not the gun's. I bought my M1a, because if I miss the target, it is MY fault and MY accuracy (or lack there of).

and finaly, (yes finaly) number 3., which is not the gun's fault.
3. Ruger has to change their tune, and realise what a terrible thing they have done by sleeping with the enemy, and start SELLING to us, America's Citizens, and not SELLING OUT to the political Left. The left will never love them, and we (I) would love to love them again.

EARN that (1, 2, & 3), and will BUY a Mini, and yes, even say really nice things about it to others.

June 30, 2006, 09:55 AM
$850 dollars for a 1.5 MOA rifle, and you complain when someone else will have a .5 MOA rifle for the same price?

The wholesale price for a Colt HBAR, or any other, is still over $1000. Never mind retail. These are the weapons that are capable of less than 1 MOA from the box. You can assemble an AR for less, but a lot of people aren't looking to do that. They lack the tools, the ability, and the interest to do so. Manufacturers are obviously catering to a LARGE group of such people.

I bought a Mini-14, used, for $250.00 just two years ago. It's a Stainless All-Weather. Barrel is good, and it functions reliably with factory mags. Now, after we shoot-out the barrel, it will go for a trigger-job, HK-style iron sights, and a Heavy-barrel and laminated stock.(Hunter-style). The current price for all of this runs just over $550.00. I will have $800.00 invested, and a guarantee of sub-MOA accuracy.

In the end, you pay your money, and take your choice.:)

June 30, 2006, 12:46 PM
My great uncle has the older Mini-14. If he will sell it at a good price I might buy it. I just want a fun, reliable, semi-auto to use at the range and for a possible shtf rifle. If it is accurate and reliable it should do just fine.

Jamie Young
June 30, 2006, 01:07 PM
I will put my pay for the next month up for the man that said he could hold 8-10" groups at 500yds.

How much do you make? I hope you aren't on welfare, but I'll be happy to take your money.

I'll be in SC in the fall.

Here's a picture of the rifle. It does have an M14 style flashhider, but that's the only mod I've made.

June 30, 2006, 07:19 PM
Hmmmm, looks just like ours. The scope we use is a Burris. When running around, it comes off, and the iron sights are good for 100 yds.:)

June 30, 2006, 08:02 PM
LOL, I was waiting for that Jamie.

Unfortunately, I leave in 3 weeks to go to Iraq. You say that you can keep 5 rounds in 9" at 500 yds with a mini? I'm not gonna call you a flat out liar bud, but I'd have to see it to believe it.

Also unfortunately, I'm on government pay...

Come to NC turkey hunting next spring. I won't be home untill march. I'll let you ATTEMPT to take my money then, obviously after I determine that it's stone cold stock.

June 30, 2006, 08:21 PM
"8-10" groups at 500yds"

"My Mini 14's can group 12inchs at 500yds with good reloads."

"7 of 20rds hit a 6'x12" piece of paper at 500yds. I also took my Russian SKS to the range and couldn't hit anything past 200yds."

"There are so many frustrated Mini 14 gun owners out there it seems moronic that it has taken Ruger so long to fix the Mini 14's flaws."


Jamie Young
June 30, 2006, 08:49 PM
I got better and my reloads got better.

June 30, 2006, 08:51 PM
If i wanted a semi auto .223 id buy an Ar 180B. And if I were going to buy a .223 at all it would be a good one not a junker. I like ruger thats what my .270 is but i wouldnt touch a mini14 or mini30. I already have an SKS to shoot 7.62X39 and it never jams and is cooler anyway

still 2 many choices
July 1, 2006, 12:16 PM
Upgrading the Mini to squeak out sub moa accuracy is fine, but it costs 800 dollars IF you can find a good cheap Mini, and a good smith... So what stops a person from buying quality inexpensive AR-15 parts, a really good barrel, and then having a qualified smith build them a sub MOA AR-15 for the same 800-850 bucks:eek: . Sub MOA AR-15's can be done for less than a grand, and from the competition shooters targets at matches, it seems like the sub MOA AR's grow on trees. While a sub MOA Mini, would be kind of a ,"Diamond in the Rough", even after accurizing. The direct gas impingement system makes an accurate cartrigde(.223, .308, 6.5, or 6.8) all that more accurate by ,"quieting", the rifle down. I'd love to see a consistant sub MOA Mini for 800 bucks. I just wouldn't spend the money to do it when other rifles will do better out of the box, or with a simple barrel change,YMMV...

Still 2 Many Choices!?:D

July 1, 2006, 01:04 PM
I don't mind that people like to build ARs. All I said was that the Mini-14 can be made as accurate as the AR platforms. I've seen a number of "built" AR rifles that wouldn't hold 3 MOA. Again, there are an awful lot of people who don't have the ability, the tools, or the want, to build an AR. They buy from the factory, or they buy used, then have a gunsmith upgrade them. Face it, used ARs are a bit pricier, in most places, than well-used Mini-14s.

There's also the fact that the Mini-14 is available in more places than the AR, which is considered "evil".

I'd like to see Ruger build a Mini-14T, like the 10/22T.

I'm one of those people who can make the Garand and M14 run well. I like the fact that the Mini shares many of the same principles. I've never cared for the Stoner platform, except the 63 and 63A. It's not so much a matter of Mini-14 vs. AR to me. I just find it ludicrous that people have made it such a competition. Both systems have advantages and disadvantages. Both were made for different purposes. The only thing that they seem to share is the caliber. The fact that gun store commandos want to compare them is useless information.:)

July 1, 2006, 01:59 PM
The only semiautomatic you are currently aloud to hunt with in PA is a shoot gun and I personlly prefer pump actions more. I also don't buy any firearm or weapon I am not permited to hunt with be it a firearm or crossbow or whatever.:rolleyes:

July 1, 2006, 02:05 PM
there is no shortage of better rifles for less money :)

July 1, 2006, 02:09 PM
Why would anyone want to buy a Ruger Mini rifle for $500 to $600 bucks and then have to invest $800 more to get a gun that has the accuracy of a $79.00 22 rimfire. There are many better choices out there my friends. Even my 44 Deerstalker will out shoot the mini 14

July 1, 2006, 05:11 PM
I love the mini as it is but I don't think its going to be easy to get it shooting under M.O.A. @ 600+yards..The ar15 is a proven superior rifle for long range shooting even up against m14's and garand's.THe ar15's don't take much to get them shooting great and when they do they stay shooting great as long as the barrels are taken care of.My ar15 has shot close to 1/2 M.O.A. @625yrd 5 shot group one of the times I was shooting.It is a stainless dpms a3 upper assembly with jp trigger,kns pins,floating tube and weighted stock totalling 14+ pounds dry.No big money into it ,its just a well built design.As a matter of fact it is well known as one of the most accurate weapons on the planet..Some even win 1000yrd competitions with them in 223.:eek: :)

July 1, 2006, 08:25 PM
Gee, the post I made has obviously confused some. I said that a $250.00 used Mini-14, a trigger job, heavy barrel, sporter type stock, and HK-style iron sights would run about $800-850 dollars. That was the total price. Is that clear enough ? If you're going to use my figures, post them as a quote, and the others will use the actual information, and not some cobbled up number.:)

A quick perusal of the main manufacturers of AR platforms still shows that a person wishing to buy a weapon capable of winning at the 600 yard line is going to be out more than a grand. Having a gunsmith build a comparable rifle will also set you back more than a grand. As I've mentioned, while the build-it-yourselfers can save money, a LOT of people aren't going to do that. So, the prices should be compared only if gunsmith services are factored into the Stoner platform, as well.

July 1, 2006, 08:51 PM
I have no idea why people defend the Mini so much...

"Buy a used one and add this, that, and whatever.. And maybe it will shoot MOA"

<Childish comment removed by Art>

Save your money and buy a quality rifle.

July 2, 2006, 08:11 AM
I have no idea why people pretend that the Mini is somehow an Assault Rifle, either. Not it's design, not it's purpose. However, the gun shop commandos insist on trying to sell Ars by attacking it.

At least you can get the Mini to run, polished or not, without constant maintenance. That's not something that can be said of most comparably priced brands of AR.

While I can say "add this, or do that" to the Mini, I don't have to say "it's a magazine problem", or "it's an ammo problem", or, "it's dirty", or " I SURRENDER".

July 2, 2006, 11:16 AM
Jr47 you obviously don't know much about ar15's:)rumors are different than facts.And the fact is the ar15 is also one of the most reliable weapons on the planet.The problems is people like to tinker with them and not buy military grade mags and proper ammo designed for the weapon as well as not properly lubing(mostly over lubing)..You can buy an ar15 new for under $800 that will most likely spank any mini 14/30 in accuracy and reliability:eek:.Like I said I like the mini's but they are NO ar15.And its not worth spending upgrades on a mini when they are best in there original form..You can't get around the design no matter how much you upgrade..I have learned that The millions of dollars that the gun manufacturers have spent on designing these guns is about the best you can get..I have modified things before many times just to find it was better off the way it was and I didn't gain much if any by doing the mods..The ar15 is in itself an amazing design for accuracy.for the most part You won't find better(some bolt guns can do better)..The mini just has its limitations in its design that no matter what you do you will always be fighting to keep accuracy..I won't call it a -CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED- but polishing it is about all you want to do.And thats not going to get you better accuracy..

I would have been smarter to not post in this thread:)

July 2, 2006, 03:17 PM
Actually, I DO know quite a bit about the AR/M16 platform. I kept them up and running for a Class 3 club until we moved to Georgia.

You are 100% correct that not all AR platforms are anywhere near Mil Spec. That is a major problem when the issue of reliability comes to hand. Wear is also a major issue with well-used Mil Spec weapons, much less well-used commercial products.

As for being one of the most reliable weapons system in the world, that's pretty much a non-starter. You can't refer to the M16 platform, and then infer it's reliability to non-MilSpec systems. You admit that the use of commercial parts can compromise reliability, as can the use of improper ammo (although that begs the question about just what constitutes "proper" ammunition for reliability). Add to that poor magazines, and the buyer of a commercial rifle seems to be asking for trouble.

This was hashed out in another thread by a man who has quite a bit of experience with the Stoner platforms. His caveat was that the Mil Spec weapons, when properly maintained, not just cleaned, are acceptable in reliability.

If you think about it, I've repeatedly said that the Mini-14 isn't an Assault Rifle. There is no Mil Spec system that is it's equivalent. Not a problem, as there is no Mil Spec equivalent for the Winchester 94, the Marlin 336, or the Remington 760, either. Commercial economic decisions determine the parameters of the design. The fact that the Mini-14 can be made to hold well under 1 MOA is the result of those who like the weapon, and want to tweak it's limits.

By the way, at the Mid-Atlantic Sniper Shoot, in 2001, several SEALs used modified Mini-14 rifles to win some events requiring precision shooting. Their personal opinion was that the Mini-14 was more reliable when taken to the measures necessary for precision work. It also lacked the instant identification as a Western weapon.

The latest iteration of the Mini-14 also seems quite capable of 1-2 MOA. Ruger has seen fit to modify the sights, and apparently some other problem areas. It's quite possible that, as machinery wears out, the Mini-14 will advance further as an alternative in precision work. :)

July 2, 2006, 05:59 PM
This is one of those debates that is not worth the effort:)..I could find all kinds of documentation to prove what the ar15 is and what the mini14 is but its not worth the effort because in the end all that matters to me is my ultra reliable ar15(my second ultra reliable ar) that can hit under 1 M.O.A. at least to 625yards with me (and thats not saying much:))behind the trigger..I will say I like the mini as it is but it is a waste in my appinion to put all kinds of gismo's on it,A nice sight of choice yes o.k. but thats about it..I loved my mini30 ranch rifle with reliable factory mag but since I have owned and fully enjoyed a 10.5 dpms and a 24" dpms AR with nothing but reliable and accurate function I have not looked back..There is no comparison so why even debate:)

July 2, 2006, 11:57 PM
I have been following this thread to some degree and so far it is an 8% spread between those that would buy one again and those that wouldn't. That certainly is not an overwhelming endorsement of the Mini 14. I own many Ruger guns, even my screen name indicates my love of Ruger guns. I have 4 #1 rifles, 2 model 77, 4 Blackhawks including and OLD "flat top" 357, A super Blackhawk and a "Deerstalker". I feel that Ruger makes "some" fine guns, but like all companies they have some lemons. I have owned a couple of Mini 14's and NONE could shoot less than 4 " at 100 yards. No excuse for this period, Ruger has the ability to produce accurate guns if they want too. I said in an earlier post, my old .44 Deerstalker will shoot better groups in fact the first 2 shots into an inch and subsequent shots into a group no more than 1 3/4" to 2 ", and this is a 44 with stubby pistol bullets. This debate could go on forever, but there will always be those that love them,,, and those like me that are planning on selling mine and get a truly accurate 223.

July 3, 2006, 11:34 AM
Again, why does everyone drag the AR into this? They are for different purposes. I'd also like to see an AR that is capable of 1 MOA at 625 yds. that cost the same, or less, than a Mini-14, both of them new, in the box, products.

Eugene Stoner created the AR series with Accuracy as the first priority, and as a semi-auto. He didn't intend it to be adopted as a full-auto rifle. He developed the 63 and 63A for use as a more flexible combat system, with reliability as a more important feature.

If these are so reliable, why is it that the manufacturers, spending literally millions of dollars developing designs for the SCAR program, went back to the op-rod system? That includes HK, FN, and even a number of American contributors to the program?

I like the Mini-14. It works for me, and should I want more accuracy, I can easily achieve it. I can't seem to see why the AR crowd is so adamant about comparing the two. If you want a comparison, how about the HK 417, or the F2000 series from FN? At least that way you will be comparing Mil Spec systems.

You guys are 100% correct in that the Mini-14 isn't an AR, and the AR isn't a Mini-14. Thank heavens.:)

El Paso Joe
July 4, 2006, 01:05 AM
I spoze the AR vs Mini debate is similar to the redhead vs blond vs brunette debate. With a little tweaking and luck they may just do what you think you want them to... Had a M16 (briefly) in the service - never liked it. But there are a LOT of them out there. And there has been a commensurate lot of effort in working the bugs out so I would expect them to shoot circles around most other rifles. But that begs the question "Would you buy one?" which is where this thread started.

I have a stainless Mini that I picked up 20 odd years ago and most of a case of Norinco ammo. Left over from the days when I had more money than time. Now I am trying to get the thing to shoot with my non iron sight eyes (age is hell but it beats the alternative). I picked up a NcStar scope and mount at a gun show and mounted it on the gun. Took it to the range and there was no way I could get it on the paper at 50yds. The mount has a v shaped cut where it fits into the base and it is off - with the screw torqued as tight as I dared, it would still wobble. Anyone else had any experience with scopes & the like on the Mini?

July 4, 2006, 10:12 AM
I can only guess the screws are 2 long for what the reciever was tapped out to..I honestly don't know much about scoping a mini,I just used the factory sights when I owned one..Sorry I can't help you more.

July 9, 2006, 12:21 AM
I've decided that if my uncles Min i-14 is indeed reliable then I will buy it. I have several reasons for this. #1 I think it looks better than ARs or AKs, which are the other rifles I'm considering. #2 Its a little more unique than the other 2. #3 It should be accurate enough for my purposes, although I will be sending it to accuracysystems for accurizing.

I know that will make it cost more than an AR but I don't care. I plan on making the Mini into a 1.5 M.O.A., 16" or 18" barrel self-defense rifle with an EoTech Holosight. I've seen a rail system that replaces the handguard on the Minis called the "Urban Brawler". It has a single picitanny rail that I could mount any holosight on and has a hollow area under the rail so the iron sights can still be used (vewry improtant IMO).

July 10, 2006, 12:09 AM

July 11, 2006, 08:10 AM
PM out to you just now.

July 11, 2006, 09:46 AM
another pm out to you Scout.

July 11, 2006, 10:56 AM
If these are so reliable, why is it that the manufacturers, spending literally millions of dollars developing designs for the SCAR program, went back to the op-rod system? That includes HK, FN, and even a number of American contributors to the program?

IME The mini is more reliable and the AR is more accurate. So if you can get a mini and make it accurate for the same cost of getting an AR and make it reliable, yeah.

This is like a HMMWV VS. Porsche argument.

July 11, 2006, 11:16 AM
at our most recent qualification, one guy had a mini-14. even shooting from a rest at 50 yards, it took 4 tries to get all 20 rounds on a 9" pie plate using a cute little red dot sight. i got all 20 of mine in a 1/4 of that 9" pie plate using a 14.5" AR and iron sights.

you be the judge.

March 10, 2008, 06:45 PM

69 Impala
March 10, 2008, 06:49 PM
I bought one, then traded it off and now I wish I could relive my A-Team days.

March 10, 2008, 07:12 PM
I would at what I would think a reasonable price. I just don't think I would pay what they are going for new currently. I'd rather have an AR.

March 10, 2008, 07:14 PM
The mini is more reliable and the AR is more accurate. So if you can get a mini and make it accurate for the same cost of getting an AR and make it reliable, yeah.

im not sure what is being defined as "reliable"....less maintenance(cleaning/lube)?

but its my understanding that the Mini-14 isnt nearly as tough as the AR.ive heard from guys that see them come into carbine courses and they rarely ever make it through.

as mentioned just recently in another thread...i believe Pat Rogers stated he had never seen one make it through his course.

someone can correct me if im mistaken or misquoting here?

March 10, 2008, 07:22 PM
i think ruger's sucking up to clinton not fighting the freedom ban and not making mags with more than 5 rounds keeps me from bying an otherwise nice rifle

Ignition Override
March 11, 2008, 02:36 AM
Interesting. I've enjoyed all of your comments. Please help an old beginner with guns. My 'fever' for WW2-Korean style rifles finally erupted last fall, after decades of dormant inactivity.

My only real gun background-despite my middle age- began last October with my brand-new (Kahr) M-1 Carbine. Bolt broke on the right side (it came out and was stuck) after 2 months. Even before that, original spring led to misfeeds every fourth-sixth round or so.
But now the Kahr M-1 is a good carbine. Because it was in the factory a short while I developed an enthusiasm for Minis.

While it was at the factory weeks ago I bought a used Mini 14. Due to my background I'm certainly no judge, but except for two misfeeds out of about 200-250+ rounds, has been totally reliable, and I really enjoy the gun, hot barrel or not...so far just a plinker...wish they could pay me to do this part-time.

Many shooters include after-market magazines into gun reliability issues. How about just used Mini 30 rifles' mechanical dependability, totally excluding magazine problems/prices I've read about on various gun websites?

If you discount accuracy (I'm no hunter/no soldier, and highly respect them all), and from only a mechanically functional/reliability standpoint, would lots of Mini owners consider buying a USED Mini 30 (yes) from a stranger? The goals are in order to shoot the very low-cost 7.62 x 39 rounds and have some better stopping-power, in order to one day accompany an experienced wild pig hunter in LA or TX etc or long-term self-defense. Many of you might laugh (and go ahead), but I'm totally sincere about this.
My repaired M-1 carbine is fun, basically mint condition, but as a beginner and very enthusiastic deep river-plinker (very open land...), I'm now hooked on Minis, whether 'nuts' or not (as General McAuliffe responded to the Wehrmacht's surrender question in the Battle of the Bulge). I went 20 years (from '85) and only once fired the old Savage .22, then once a rented 9mm pistol. Sad but true. Paper targets were no fun...

A Mini which can operate reliably with the lowest-priced ammo and has more stopping-power, (whether for shooting at floating grapefruits or a feral pig) than the .223 looks attractive to me.
I need accurate info in order to make a decision in the next few weeks or so.
My two Russian Mosins (91 and 44) attracted me due to basic reliability/durability (i.e. rugged simplicity) ammo and gun prices (plus military looks, to say the least). With a Mini 30, a plastic stock can be exchanged for wood.

For me not accuracy, but cheap ammo plus mechanical reliability/durability is the question. Naive and certifiably insane/foolish or not, I will make a decision, and might trade the M-1 Carbine...am finished buying guns for quite a while-just want ammo to enjoy them. Those AK types are good reliable rifles, but I only want semi-autos in the old US M-1/14 style, since I was a kid.
What do Ruger present/former owners say about the 30's reliability (assuming that a very good higher-cap mag can be bought elsewhere)?
Were most Mini 30 built as rugged for the long-term as the 14?
If not, can just one reasonably-priced part replacement...including modest gunsmith fees (near home or at Ruger factory)...make an average 30 quite durable and dependable?

I need your advice.
Will the lowest-priced newer Wolf 7.62x39 ammo (i.e. "Sportsmansguide" or "Ammoman") cause any problems for the basic mechanical operation of a Mini 30?
Other than a magazine problem (I can buy a good factory mag), will cheap ammo hinder the actual gun's operation or make it unreliable? I'm in contact with a few people who own 30s, and at least two might sell or trade.

Art Eatman
March 11, 2008, 12:16 PM
I've owned four Mini-14s over the years, going back to when they first were produced. Two new, two "good-used". Never a problem.

From a hunter's standpoint, first shots from a cold barrel are repeatably as accurate as any other rifle.

From a self-defense standpoint, at defense distance, not offense range, a Mini will hold minute-of-torso forever and ever.

Use of a Mini-30 on hogs: The success will only require proper shot placement by the hunter. The rifle and cartridge themselves will do just fine.

The only reliability issue seems to be with after-market magazines, and that is likely to involve the feed-lips. A pair of needle-nose pliers can commonly solve that problem, just as with magazines for the Colt 1911.

March 11, 2008, 04:03 PM
my friend's got a mini, very reliable, its more political reasons i wont buy one myself, but shooting them is a whole different story because they are fun guns

March 11, 2008, 05:27 PM
Another resurrected thread! Yes, I would buy a Mini-14. I did.


I would LOVE one of the NRA Minis, but ran outa $.

March 11, 2008, 05:45 PM
Have 2 of 'em, also have ARs, AKs, SKSs, etc...(and I don't even really like semis:D) I am an equal opportunity gun enthusiast:)

Ignition Override
March 12, 2008, 12:19 AM
Art Eatman:

Ok, but if one finds a good factory mag, will the cheap Wolf 7.62x39 ammo noticeably affect the basic mechanical operation of the Mini 30, concerning firing, ejecting in rapid sequence, compared to US ammo?
Or do rounds suffer more stovebolts or ever get stuck in the chamber etc?

I sometimes have troubling understanding whether peoples' comments refer to the 14 or the 30 :confused:. People simply say 'Mini' but the two guns and ammo types are quite different.

I already have a 14, therefore looking at also acquiring a 30 (maybe via a trade for a new M-1 Carbine), using both mostly for plinking cantalopes etc.

March 12, 2008, 01:08 AM
Since nobody seems to be injecting any recent data on the "New" Mini-14 and only hashing the story of previous Mini problems, let me shed some light.
In the Jan/Feb 2007 issue of Petersen's Rifle Shooter magazine, page 32 introduces an article written by Bart Skelton on the "New" Ruger Mini-14. To summarize 6 pages of text, Ruger realized the problem with the Mini's accuracy and went back to the drawing board to inject some new technology into the tooling. Their tooling was the original and obviously in need of some updating. Through this, they were able to tighten tolerances and specifically, true up the gas block which was giving inconsistent contact to the barrel. Now, I cannot say for sure what kind of shot Bart Skelton is, but he did have 2 factory loads that printed less than 2" at 115 yds. This new series is recognized by the first 3 digits in the serial: 580. Also, Ruger introduced 3 new offerings in the Mini line: a Mini in 6.8 Rem SPC, a target version with adjustable barrel weight and a pepper laminate skeletonized thumbhole, and the same target model in a back composite.

In another thread, I was looking for feedback on the new Mini and especially the model in 6.8 Rem SPC, but nobody seems to have one. I just got a line on one at $700 through my local gun dealer, but they are hard to find right now.

I am a former Mini owner and am kicking myself in the rear for trading off that nice stainless ranch with a factory installed pepper laminate I puchased in 1992. The gun I had shot fine for my purposes which was to tag feral pigs inside 100 yards. :(

March 12, 2008, 01:13 AM
This is quite an old thread :o

The answer is yes, i would buy one, but my M1A serves me fine so what would be the point. I think they are fun guns, great sized and cheap.


Art Eatman
March 12, 2008, 10:09 AM
I've never used Wolf ammo. I used USGI, gunshow reloads, and "stray stuff". My only current .223 is a bolt action sporter, and I mostly use handloads.

March 12, 2008, 05:53 PM
Back when I HAD 2 mini's 1x14 and 1x30, I found a great magazine made by John Masen (? sp). They were about the closest thing to a factory magazine and were reliable: heavy steel. Those mags at that time (pre-ban) ran about $45. I since dumped the mini's for an AR and an M1A. I thought the minis were fun at first but miserable to shoot by their short size and awkward LOP/balance. Nevertheless, they push lead just like the rest of them. Though, on a good day I was holding 5" groups at 100 yards with a 4x scope.

March 12, 2008, 08:06 PM
The rifle itself is not bad, a handy little weapon. However finding a source of factory high capacity magazines is difficult and they are expensive once you find them. I sold mine and got an AR.


March 13, 2008, 11:26 AM
Why does an AK have good battlefield accuracy but a Mini-14 that shoots 4" @ 100yrds a POS????

March 13, 2008, 11:46 AM
I voted yes, because I bought one (used) and haven't had
any problems with it.

March 13, 2008, 11:58 AM
I'd rather have an SKS. Reliable, accurate(mine is 2 MOA), cheap and foolproof.:)

March 13, 2008, 12:31 PM
Yes. I've got a 30 though, not a 14.
I'm extremely pleased with it.

It's easier to clean than my M-16 was in the Marines.
With good magazines it's more reliable than my M-16 was (mini doesn't have a forward assist because it will never need one).
It shoots about 2.5moa which is as accurate as I can shoot kneeling and more accurate than I can shoot standing. That's good enough for deer and anyone dumb enough to break into my house.
It's small.
I like the way it looks.

All said and done though, I do prefer the 30 over the 14. Mags are harder to find, but I prefer the extra punch, and if China invaded I can use dead commie ammo.

Ignition Override
March 13, 2008, 11:08 PM
Beardenbc: Thanks for the positive impressions of the 30. If it is anything like the Mini 14 it will be a blast.

After far too much over-analysis of Wolf lacquer-induced jamming stories (and my wife said spend a little more on ammo if it means trouble, i.e. told her about some peoples' reported extraction problems...and she knows nothing about guns-was a music major: she says, "ok, buy it, just don't tell me..":D), decided to pursue a used Mini 30. As an in-experienced plinker, maybe Yugoslav ammo with the brass case means far less chance of jamming in a Mini 30 chamber compared to cheaper Russian steel?

Few people know anything about 30s and no stores get used ones, or seldom, if at all. Most gun store staff say avoid them. Typically I hear "get an SKS or AK for that x39 round". A manager (or seasoned marksman) at a superb outdoor gun range (rifles can only shoot at paper:rolleyes:, so I never joined) here said that the M 30 would shoot 12" patterns at about 100 yards, but that is hard to believe.
Am considering trade of new (Kahr) M-1 Carbine (bought in October), as my Mini fever will be with me for a while. My only recent frequent shooting is .22, a bit of Carbine, (used) Mini 14:), and Mosin 91/30 and 44..BOOOMMM :eek:....Boooom (echo..)!

If a possible swap does not work, how good, mechanically, are used Mini 30s on GunBroker.com etc? I've never even understood how E-Bay really works, but my wife does. Back-up plan, trade for a very good-looking used, stainless-steel Mini 14 (my 2nd) in a store not far from here.

Art Eatman
March 14, 2008, 06:11 AM
I worked gunshows for some 25 years. I don't recall ever being offered a bad rifle in trade. Most people just don't treat rifles roughly. That said, rust is obvious. Muzzle dings are obvious. Throat erosion is fairly easily spotted with a light and a white piece of paper, or one of those little bore-light gizzies. But the mechanicals are really hard to hurt.

In general: If a group is mostly a vertical string, there's a problem with the forearm bedding, or a barrel band is too tight. If a group is mostly a horizontal string, the common cause is the shooter canting the rifle away from the vertical. If five slow shots make a pattern instead of a group, sometimes all that means is that that rifle and that ammo need a divorce. Some other ammo might work just fine. Of course, sometimes it's "all of the above". :)


March 14, 2008, 07:25 AM
Ignition Override:
My suggestion if you were to get one used from gunbroker, try and go for a 581 series. Ruger tightened those up, so the performance is a little better. The best way to identify them is to look at the front sight. If you see a large single blade, you have an earlier version, but if you see a shorter black front sight with the wings on the side, you're probably looking at a 581.

Like ebay, you should look at the seller's ratings. If you find a guy with a lot of positive feedback (which is most of them) who gives a detailed description on any little flaw in the gun, then you're probably safe.

March 14, 2008, 10:28 PM
I just bought a new NRA Mini 14 yesterday. (I fell off the turnip truck the day before that)

Possibly not the smartest way to spend $800 but I bought it anyway. At least it came with two 20 round mags and a special NRAxxxxxx serial number. Supposedly the 16” barrel is less affected by heat than the standard 18”, I haven't had a chance to shoot it yet so we shall see. This is my first centerfire auto loader so maybe ignorance is bliss.


Ignition Override
March 14, 2008, 10:57 PM
Thanks folks.

The guy selling one of them on the auction called me and we have an off-line deal for the Mini 30. Looks brand-new, a wooden stock and has about 100 rounds through it.
He had the best feedback and the deal included 500 rounds of ammo and about two 10-round mags, along with the puny 5-round mag.
What is the real story on Wolf and Golden Tiger ammo? Some people claim that newer Wolf has no lacquer on the steel shells. How about Golden Tiger and the lowest-priced Yugo 7.62x39? Do all of the websites state whether a round has lacquer or polymer on the case..and which ones can jam a round in the chamber?

As a back-up to recent intense pursuit of the Mini 30, I would have bought my second used Mini 14 here. Am fairly new to frequent shooting with 'real guns' (only shot .22 when young, decades ago). One is stainless steel with a really good wooden stock, hardly a scratch anywhere. From just a plinker's perspective-no marksman-you will really like the Mini. Mine is used and had two-three stovebolt/misfeeds in about 300+ rounds. Otherwise, after using about 14-20+ boxes of wolf, it has been totally reliable.

Even with your higher price, although nothing will go wrong, you have the refreshing advantage of the warranty. My used gun with 500 rounds came to about $800 also.
If this puts the price difference in perspective, I would never have hesitated to quickly buy a second Used Mini 14 if a deal for a 30 (although many guys say to avoid them) had somehow not worked out-the gun stores here seldom if ever see a used 30, but far fewer were built and one experienced shooter told me yesterday that he has never heard of them.

I now like Minis so much:D that I'll sell my new M-1 carbine (although it is so light, simple and fun:)) with boxes of ammo to help pay for the 30. Just wish that .223 and 7.62x39 ammo were as cheap as Mosin ammo. Is it ironic, for so much more recoil, the powerful ammo is very cheap? What opposites, and military-style fun guns. Tend to only put 4-6 rounds in the Ruger mag in order to not use up too much. So far the large plastic ProMag has been perfect,but mostly use the metal (15) by habit. I could shoot Minis for a living!

My 30 will arrive with a scope, and I plan to sell The Scope if anyone is interested. Don't know anything about scopes.

March 14, 2008, 11:39 PM
Very nice Spyvie.

Long Ranger
March 15, 2008, 06:32 AM
I have two old style Mini 14 GB's. Which I bought for less money than a brand name AR would cost. However, economy was not the deciding factor when I bought them. Purpose was.

These are defensive weapons for me, one at home, one in the truck. I don't require a sub minute of angle rifle for this purpose. I do require a rifle, actually a carbine, that will go bang everytime - hence the Mini.

If you need a sub minute of angle shooter, the Mini is not for you. But if you need a fast handling defensive long arm, it fits the bill beautifully. I'm betting my life of it!

March 15, 2008, 08:50 AM
from Samuel2001's sigline

.45 ACPBecause no matter how you try to rationalize it, 9mm is still for women and pansies.

Im a pansy:D

Rifleman 173
March 16, 2008, 05:25 AM
No way!!! Over the years I've owned 3 of them and none of them were any good for keeping point of impact the same place as point of aim. They all would have the point of impact rise as they got hotter and hotter. Sure, you can have that problem of rising impact point solved by spending a grand or so to have some experts re-do the barrel and such. Trouble is that's a silly thing to do because you spend 3 or 4 times the money that the carbine cost in the first place. The idea of the mini-14 is a good one but the Ruger Company just hasn't met the mark for making a good carbine in .223 caliber.

Spade Cooley
March 16, 2008, 06:51 AM
I owned a new Ruger Mini 14 Ranch Rifle and put a nice Leapold 4X scope on it. I soon lost interest in it when it would not shoot accurately. The rifle is dangerous because most don't shoot consistent groups. I can't figure out why any prisons or Law Enforcement Agencies would use them because they need to hit what they want to hit. When Ruger comes out with one that is accurate I'll be there to buy it.

March 16, 2008, 09:44 AM
I would love to try the new NRA version with the shorter heavy barrel, but don't think I will be able to.

March 16, 2008, 01:44 PM
Has anyone had any experiance with the Target version of the Mini-14? A buddy of mine bought one couple weeks ago just so he could have something different from all us AR fans that was accurate. Nice rifle but how does it compare?

March 19, 2008, 12:19 PM
I just got a stainless steel with synthetic stock mini a few days ago, and so far I am pleased with it. I put a Nikon 3-9X40 on it, and I can hit baseball sized targets at 150 yards. This replaced my DPMS that I got a few years ago. I wanted something more reliable and simple, and I thought this may fit the bill. Yes, it is boring, but it goes bang all the time :)

March 19, 2008, 06:40 PM
It is funny to me that ruger will ship with 20 round mags and a 16"(and 1/4) barrel for the NRA, but stick to their politics for everyone else.:barf:

Lawyer Daggit
March 19, 2008, 10:29 PM
Prior to Australia's statutory silliness, I owned 2 mini 14's and a mini 30.

The second mini 14 was a 'ranch rifle'.

None of them was capeable of any sort of accuracy whatsoever- I think you would find an SKS more accurate.

The other problem was the magazines for the Mini 30. The factory only produced 5 round ones and all of the after market ones that I tried were a waste of money.

If you want a useful gun for self defence I would suggest an SKS or a Winchester 94 or Marlin lever action. At least you will know you will probably hit what you aimed at.

I read something somewhere however about new Mini 14's having tighter tollerances and being more accurate. Whether this is true or not, and whether tighter tollerances impact on reliability is a possible issue.

March 19, 2008, 10:35 PM
i cant help my self lol. this weekend i traded off two unused ruger brand twenty round magazines made way back before the LE only marked ones.
... i got a new rusky rifle for them. i figure i got the better deal. now some poor fool will buy a innacurate replica of a real gun. jmho, bob.

March 19, 2008, 10:37 PM
No... I have had pretty good luck with Ruger in the past but the 10/22's that I've owned, although quite accurate, have always had feeding issues. I have read similiar complaints about their larger auto feeders. If I'm going to buy a semiauto centerfire rifle, reliable cycling may be paramount to my safety. I wouldn't by a ranch rifle to just plink with. When I hunt I want a firearm that is very reliable for my own safety.

If I won the lottery I'd buy one just to break glass with!

Art Eatman
March 20, 2008, 10:17 AM
Enuf. Other threads on Minis are around. This one's become a dead horse...