View Full Version : do mini-14's suck?

January 21, 2006, 11:22 AM
I'm looking for a good tactical rifle, but unfortunatly I'm on a light budget. I would love a good ar15 carbine, but lately I've been exploring cheaper alternatives. I need something I can attach a modular rail system to for an aimpoint, tac-light, and beamshot. As inadequate as I feel a .223 is, it is the cheapest and easiest ammo to find right now, so I would love to stick with it. A rear pistol grip is required. The only other option I can really come up with is a mini 14, and I've heard a few bad things about them. Anyone have any suggestions for an alternative or comments about the 14?


January 21, 2006, 11:59 AM
If you're a smart shopper, have a little patience and don't need to have the complete rifle immediately, you can probably buy the AR parts seperately and build a complete AR15 from parts for just a slight bit more than a brand new mini-14 would set you back. And what you'll save on the cost of a few AR15 mags versus the cost of a few good Mini-14 mags will easily make up the difference.

Other options I would recommend would be a good AK47. If you don't like the 5.56, try to find a good but used milled receiver Arsenal SLR95, or a VEPR in 7.62x39. If you shop around you may be able to find a decent used one for about $450-500.

High Planes Drifter
January 21, 2006, 01:05 PM
+1 on What Shaggy said. A build it yourself AR is a great alternative for those on a budget. I have one and love it. Another + for it is the fact that you did it yourself and know what parts went in it; you will gain knowledge of the firearm that way. You will not be sorry you chose the AR platform for a .223 rifle. You will be glad you waited; if you can hold out.

Art Eatman
January 21, 2006, 02:07 PM
No, Mini-14s don't "suck".

But they're not at all the platform on which to build the kind of rifle you want. Way more R&D has gone into add-ons for an AR, and they are far better for your purpose.


January 21, 2006, 03:05 PM
Mine shoots fine.... 4 shots from 80 Yards with a cheap BSA scope and Wolf Ammo........:)



Mal H
January 21, 2006, 03:46 PM
"Do mini-14's suck?"
No, not at all. Mine has been 100% reliable. With "reliable" meaning a bullet exits the muzzle every time you pull the trigger. (Ok, ok, that is with a loaded gun, of course. ;) )

However, that reliability doesn't translate to "accurate", IMX. Even as Logs photo demonstrates, a Mini-14 tends to form "walking groups". The rifle suffers from barrel whip in the first degree. And a box stock Mini-14 throws brass way too far!

Even with all that, it's still a fun gun to shoot and is a good choice for ranch work (coyotes, etc.)

January 21, 2006, 04:30 PM
On a forum I was a member on, people tried to put together the lowest cost AR as a sort of contest. You can bargain shop around on the AR for sale forums or auction places. Put an AR together with all new parts for $425, below what even a Mini14 would go for.

January 21, 2006, 04:51 PM
No a Mini-14 does not suck. They certainly aren't as accurate as an AR-15 but they do function flawlessly. I have each and would give up neither.


January 21, 2006, 08:08 PM
Here's what's you need:


Around $250 new. Quite a bit less than a mini-14. Coming soon to a distributor near you. :) Add on an ACE conversion kit with pistol grip and you have what you wanted. And get in the caliber which is not the one you don't like, which is even cheaper, 7.62x39mm. Or what shaggy said, be patient & assemble AR as budget permits.

January 21, 2006, 08:21 PM
My friends brother got one and put a red dot on. He said it was bore sighted and thought that was enough. Well, as you all know it's not. We went to sight the thing in and it was dead on at 100 withought fine tuning. I couldn't believe it. It was grouping less than 1 MOA. I still couldn't believe it. With a red dot? We were blowing up small pumpkins at 150. It was SS with synthetic stock.

January 21, 2006, 08:22 PM
I really enjoyed my Mini-14. It's no AR, but i wish now that i hadn't just sold it.:(

January 21, 2006, 08:45 PM
I agree-fine functional arm, some accessories are made for it, and it can be accurate, if you want to spend the money for one of these custom guys to put a heavy barrel on it. Then it is a heavier gun, not as handy, sort of defeats part of the purpose, a lightweight handy rifle. Sorta like when they put the big fat chunk barrel on a 10-22. So you will win matches with it, but it is no longer a handy carrying plinker, it is now heavy and cumbersome. So if you are gonna accurise a mini, the cost will put you into AR price territory, probably. But it depends on what you want to do. 100 yard coyotes or 300 yard prairie dogs? Bad guys don't require 1 moa groups at close distances. Unless you want to shoot the gun out of their hands like in the movies. Alot of Minis were sold to police depts. in the past. Must have met their criteria for a patrol rifle, as they have sniper rifles as a seperate category when extreme accuracy is needed.

January 21, 2006, 09:34 PM
Why do you wish to ruin a Mini14 with a pistol grip style stock?

Ga Johnny
January 21, 2006, 10:36 PM
wheeler says..............

" As inadequate as I feel a .223 is "


The US Military has been killing people for years with these things. Are you sure it's the .223 that makes you feel that way??

January 21, 2006, 11:59 PM

Even a cheap Romanian AK will have better accuracy UNDER SUSTAINED FIRE.

January 22, 2006, 12:29 AM
I still like my Mini 14 but the accuracy is not that great I have a cheap AK clone made in Egypt and with the cheap steel case ammo it blows away the Mini 14.

Hoss Fly
January 22, 2006, 12:52 AM
I love my Mini-14- It's not a tack driver but i would'nt want to be anything bigger than a cottontail with it aimed at me :eek:

January 22, 2006, 07:16 AM
Not the best but its a shooter.

January 22, 2006, 10:46 AM
Naw they dont suck.
I have 4
1 is an ASI converson and is a tack driver or very accurate
1 is a truck/hiking about phararm
1 is spare and display
1 is driven into the ground holdin the mail box up.
Guns and Ammo in memphis had a SS mini used ,unfired with scope mounted ,for 399.00 2 Sats past,/
A guy brought it and a few uthers and traded them in ,that is the deal to look for,it had a nice rubber stock maybe a Hogue,.
that rifle was a Ranch model.
Any way they serves a purpose.and whatever you do, Do not let any one convince you a Mini or an AR cannot be made to be accurate and reliable.:cool:

deputy tom
January 24, 2006, 10:01 PM
Mini-14's do not suck.Every one I've ever fired were just great. .223 ammo is not cheap.7.62x39 is cheap and so are the firearms that they fit.Get a Yugo SKS or a Romanian AK and loads of ammo.That is the best bang for the buck.YMMV.tom.:cool:

January 24, 2006, 10:56 PM
my dad bought one back in the late 80's for my mom. It still shoots less than 1in groups at 100yrds. It is the stainless version and has been a great gun

January 24, 2006, 11:41 PM
I have a Mini-14 and have always found it to function very reliably and it shot okay for what I wanted it for. It is not an AR-15 and it will never be. But it works for a fun gun to take out and do some noisy plinking every now and then. I need to put a scope on mine though as I hate the military sights.

January 24, 2006, 11:54 PM
On my property the longest defensive shot I'd have to make is 50 yds. This would be somebody shooting at my house from my parking area by the road, not a very likely scenario. But if it did happen, how much accuracy would be enough? 2 MOA, 3 MOA, shotgun pattern? A 3 MOA gun, or 1.5" grouping at 50 yards, which is common for the Mini-14, is more than plenty for defensive ranges. Don't you think?

Blackwater OPS
January 25, 2006, 12:04 AM
Does it suck? I would hope it shoots bullets.;)

Jamie Young
January 25, 2006, 07:37 PM
I'll take a Mini 14 over an AR almost any day.

I can hit what I aim at out to 500yds with them.

January 25, 2006, 07:48 PM
I have had 2 Mini -14's so far. Do they suck?? only in accuracy. My Mini's have fired everything I have put through them, and never a failure. They have to be the Timex's of the gun world. I still feel there is NO EXCUSE for a gun of that price not to shoot better than the cheapest 22 rimfire I can buy. I have heard all the reasons from thin barrel to gas block in the middle of the barrel etc. I love Ruger guns, but, I feel they are doing a disservice in not making a gun this expensive shoot better. Ya, there are the few that will shoot well, but the VAST majority SUCK in the accuracy department. Will Ruger care,, I doubt it, Will people keep buying them and complain.. I think so.. Will I but another Mini,, nope

January 25, 2006, 08:48 PM
They are very fun to shoot, and usually get 3moa. It can usually be made into a tactical gun with a new stock and mabey a muzzle brake. Theres a website somewhere that sells a metal upper handguard with rails, but i forgot what it was.

January 25, 2006, 09:57 PM
RUGER4570 ---- I love Ruger guns, but, I feel they are doing a disservice in not making a gun this expensive shoot better.

That's why the A-Team could rattle off all those rounds from their mini-14's and never kill anybody. It really had nothing to do with made for TV programming?:D

January 25, 2006, 10:02 PM
Define "suck".

Mine has been abused beyond belief, tossed in the floorboard and trunk of every car and truck I've owned in the last 15 years, had thousands of rounds through it when I was a teenager, plinking at nothing ( oh how I miss 1000 rounds for $65) and it still shoots as good as it did the day it was new, which is minute-of-large turtle, but that's good enough for what it is.

I rarely shoot it, and I rarely cleaned it. I have 100% faith that it will go bang every time I pull the trigger.

January 25, 2006, 10:54 PM
AkAkman: Now that was funny,, and maybe true. I really do like Rugers.. I just think that they should be doing something to improve accuracy, but as I said, why would they if they can sell as many as they make even if they have no accuracy. I am sure Ruger is aware of the lack of accuracy, and maybe when all the mini 14 are sold to people that don't care about accuracy and those that do, don't buy them,, maybe then they will fix the problem. It is crazy to spend what a Mini costs then have to spend hundreds more to get it accurized to equal an AR out of the box. I will soon sell my Mini and get an AR. I am not expecting a benchrest gun, but 3 to 4 inches at 100 yards is ridicoulous. 22 rimfires will do that good, hell I can shoot my 45 LC that well. Sorry about the rant, but this is the ONE gun Ruger makes that to me is a peice of sh-t

January 26, 2006, 06:24 AM
If you cut the barrel to 16 inches and add a muzzle brake/flash suppresser, the mini-14 will shoot as well as an out of the box AR. You can find those and more tips and tricks here:

January 26, 2006, 08:14 AM
Does the Mini-14 suck? No

Is the 5.56 round inadequate? No definatly not.

Unless you are wanting to kill men in open flat country, anything in 5.56 is ok.

As for the Mini-14, you`d be better slowly building the M4 varient of the AR15.

An excellent rifle that has alot more gear available to bolt straight on and better parts access.

January 26, 2006, 08:56 AM
The mini's don;t suck, but you have to be willing to except the limitations of the design. THe most notable is the accuracy, but it is acceptable out to 200 yards (I popped a few coyotes at close to that range with the one I had). Another limitation is that you can't put a lot of accessories on one easily (like an ar), but that was never a big issue for me (I had a ranch, and my only desired accessory was a scope, which easily attached with supplied ruger rings).

The major limitation, and the one that honestly has more to do with why I sold it, is magazines. If you want more then 5 shots, the only real option for reliable mags that I could find was ruger LE 20 rounders, which are about $40 a piece!. I did have some other 30 rounders that worked when I used 'em, but I didn;t use 'em enough to warrant calling them "stone cold reliable". I sold the gun and now have a bushmaster AR which is more accurate, shoulders better (to me), and can use readily available surplus mags (at about $15 a piece for 30 rounders).

That all said, I did love the mini and within its limitations, it is a fun gun to shoot and useful for what it was designed to be: A lightweight truck/ranch gun that is useful for taking care of varmints (4 legged or 2 legged).

January 26, 2006, 08:19 PM
I have a SS mini 30 in factory synthetic stock and have no problem hitting targets at 300 yrds. and the performance is flawless. I bought 3 ten dollar 20rnd after market mags and only had to scrap one. The other two feed very reliably. Also I put on a comp/flash combo, barrel vibration damper and AM see through scope mount coupled with a decent 3x9-40 ss scope. I get groups of 1-2 inch at 100 yrds. If you want better than that I suggest getting a good bolt action and scope.
AR's are not the best rifles in the world people. They are assault weapons. why does anyone need a tactical rifle that will hit targets at a 1000yrds. 98% of combat situations accure at much less than 300. If all you want is to get over lapping groups at 100+ yrds then get a good bolt action sniper rifle.

Sun Tzu
January 27, 2006, 02:27 AM
I have to say a couple of things about the Rugers...

I have owned 2 Mini 14's & a Mini 30. I bought them all used. They were all manufactured between 1999-2001. If ya want to cycle hi caps thru your Mini's buy one manufactured before 2004. Pre '04's will take after market hi caps. The newly remodeled Rugers, after '04, will not.

I had issues w/all 3 of my Mini's. They constantly failed to extract, cycle or feed properly. I had to keep on buying spare parts from Rugers Maine factory to fix my problems. I had broken detent pins, extractors, detent springs, etc...

And my hi caps were never reliable. In 6 years I bought like 90 different mags. I had 10 rounders, 20's, 30's & 40's for the 223, even a few polymer drums for the Mini 14. I finally decided this weapon is not an assault weapon. Its limited in its potential. And for a combat situation I would not depend on it. I'll grab my Bulgarian SLR95 or my Socom16 on the day the second revolution pops!!!

For a cheap ranch rifle w/a 5 shot, factory mags, capability its a good rifle. I suggest YOU buy a new one and keep it factory stock. It will probably work just fine...

Good luck, S Tzu

January 27, 2006, 10:36 AM
I had two mini-14s in the past...one was flawless and the other was a POS. In the POS, the trigger mechanism would fall out of the gun completely while shooting...strangest thing I ever did see.

January 27, 2006, 10:50 AM
Defenders of the Mini may say that it is fairly accurate on the first couple of shots and that it was not intended to be a quasi-machine gun (although there is an auto version). For whatever reason, some Minis are reported to be quite accurate right out of the box. For hunting or dealing with a bad guy, one or two shots should be sufficient. Many rifles with light weight barrels become erratic once the barrel heats up, so this is not just a Mini problem. Fans of the Mini will say that there are several easy, cheap steps that can greatly increase Mini accuracy. These include adding a muzzle brake or barrel strut, bedding the rifle, modifying the gas plug, etc. I think that the Mini is a reasonably functional rifle for its weight and cost. Most of them are extremely durable and reliable. Ruger has certainly sold mass quantities of them. There are many alternatives, so those who do not like the Mini can look elsewhere.


January 27, 2006, 01:12 PM
I'll take a Mini 14 over an AR almost any day.

I can hit what I aim at out to 500yds with them.__________________

What are you shooting at? The broad side of a barn? Hunting Brontasuaras?

Sorry, I couldn't resist. Mini is a fun gun in a light, reliable package. But it does not have much of a reputation for accuracy. IMHO you'd be better served with an AK, or to save a little longer and get an AR.

I've always found, when buying guns that I sometimes regret spending too little, but never too much. ;) In the long run its cheaper to buy one quality gun than two crappy guns.

Vincent Black
January 27, 2006, 07:15 PM
I have a 181 series Ruger GB that is plenty accurate enough for me, and my factory 20 rounders have been nothing but flawless.

By the way, I know where to get the factory 20's for 30 bucks a piece.

I have however, heard that the GB version was better made than the regular Mini as Ruger used select barrels and parts and matched them up to make it more accurate as Bill Ruger knew that they would be defending LEO's. And we all know how he held LEO's in higher reguard than us lowly civilians...:rolleyes:

If I ever get another, it will be another GB.



January 29, 2006, 11:22 AM
Mini-14 or AR? I'd take the Mini any day of the week. Every one I've owned over the past several decades has been 100% reliable (even w/the aftermarket mags available then). Can't say that about the AR's I've owned (everything from stock SP-1's to a custom XM-177E2). Every try to clear an AR double-feed jam? That's when the AR becomes a "crew-served weapon". :eek: The Mini isn't perfect but simple/cheap things like cutting the bbl down an inch or two, properly torquing the gas block screws and adding a muzzle brake/flash hider can really improve accuracy. Even w/o them the Mini is more than good enough for "minute of bad-guy" accuracy. Just my $.02 worth...

February 23, 2006, 02:32 PM
No ruger mini 14's dont suck, you just need to ask yourself why you are buying or looking into buying an assault rifle

i have much experience with both rifles. i was in the marines/army national guard for eight years and have a lot of respect for the ar 15 series. i carried one nearly ever day during this time period. the military would not have it as their main battle rifle if it were not an effective killing tool. period. however, they do require more maintence then a ruger mini 14. i have had my ar 15 jam on me at critical times, sometimes requiring a break down of my weapon. not often did it happen, but it did happen. my mini 14 has never let me down. i have dropped it in mud, sand etc. and it has always come up shooting. i dont want to give the impression i think ar 15s are unreliable, they just have tighter tolerances and therefor more likely to jam. the tighter tolerances of course produce a weapon that is more accurate. but for most civilians what do you need in a weapon. do you need to engage targets at 200-300 yards, not likely. it would probably be unethical to pick off people at that range. the only reason you need an assault rifle for civilian use is defensive. one does not have to look hard to see what i am talking about. look at the lawlessness during the tragedy of katrina. basically this was at times, urban combat. close quarters combat with gangs of armed looters and criminals preying on defensless people. what you would need is a reliable weapon for display of force and lethality if you did need to engage criminals. the ruger mini 14 is more than up to this task. i can hit 3-4 inches all day at one hundred yards, more than adequate to dispatch the bad guys. so if you take out the accuracy portion of the ar 15 versus ruger mini 14, you are left with....price and reliability. if you research heavily from unbiased people you will find the mini 14 is more reliable. its action, based on the rifle that won world war II is proven. it has been sold for nearly 50 years, millions of people own them for whatever reason. you dont have that kind of success unless it is a quality firearm. it never ceases to amaze me all the ar 15 guys who say the ruger mini 14 is a piece of junk. its much akin to ford versus chevy vs dodge trucks. dont listen to them. if they drive a ford, then chevy/dodge are junk. their opinion is that since they own one product then all others who choose otherwise must be morons. amazing. just as all brands of vehicles have strong/weak points, it comes down to preference. either will serve you well if the shtf.

my personal mini 14 has folding stock, ranch stainless version, with weaver adaptor that allows mounting of my bsa multi reticle reflex scope. total cost of this package was less than seven hundred dollars. i also have five factory 20 round magazines, and five forty round pmi magazines. i prefer the factory 20 rounders, makes a nice compact platform. the forty rounders are for fun. if you must buy aftermarket magazines, go with pmi. they are the best aftermarket out there and i have tried many. most of the aftermarket stuff is junk, and will cause jamming due to poor fit. i have fired thousands and thousands of rounds through this rifle and am thouroughly convinced it is an excellent weapon, just as the ar 15 is, with above weakness. you can buy a mini 14 for hundreds less and outfit it completly for same price as ar 15 w/no accessories. i would be just as secure with the ar 15, just would be more cognisant of cleaning and maintaining the weapon. think of the mini 14 as a cross between the ar 15 and an ak 47. more accurate than an ak, and more reliable than a ar 15. i know ar and ak fans will say what they will, but again, just because you have and believe in one product does not mean the rest are inferior.

February 23, 2006, 02:56 PM
they perform their intended function flawlessly, so i dont think they suck. they are not as accurate as an ar but they are not supposed to be a precision rifle.

i have heard that there are places that can make a mini really accurate for lots of money.

February 23, 2006, 04:17 PM
I have no problem with the Mini's functioning, it was flawless in the 2 I owned. I have a problem with their accuracy. I guess I don't consider a Mini an assault weapon either, maybe a M-14/M-1 spin off, a case where Mr. Ruger took a proven design, made it smaller and very handy to carry and play with. I have posted before that I think Ruger should have by now had a heavy barrel model for those of us that want accuracy without going after market to install a barrel that Ruger could have done in the first place. Tell you what, for those of you that love them, I am very willing to trade mine for a 223 bolt action that shoots accurately and of at least similar value. I also have a couple of Ruger 5 round mags, and a Ruger 20 round mag along with another one or two aftermarket mags. I just have no personal use for a 223 that can't at least shoot a moa or at least close. I can shoot my pistol with a 4 5/8" barrel more accurately than the mini. I have a Ruger 44 Carbine that is a semi auto and it will shoot under 1 1/2" all day. I even have shotguns that with slugs that are more accurate. So why can't the mini shoot at least 1 1/2 " groups? In my opinion, those of you that are satisfied with lousy accuracy are certainly welcome to make me an offer on my Mini. I have had enough mini's for one lifetime. Guess I will look for a different 223.

Marlboro Man
February 23, 2006, 04:27 PM
you can get into a new AR-15 for just a hair over $600. That's pretty cheap.

February 23, 2006, 04:46 PM
I second the Saiga. Accurate, robust, simple, and of course, extremely elegant in appearance.

February 23, 2006, 10:13 PM
I have had mine longer than I'vehad my '15.

The damnthing does not shoot where I point her,and from the bench, she will keep most of them on a dinner plate at 300'.

But, damn.

Finest looking thing I own.

Tiny little waist, bulges where they're handy....lines like a race horse.

Put a scope on her and pay attention to where your eyes rest during love making.

My rifle is named Robin. ALA early morning CNN girl. Beautiful/useless.

Maybe insulting my '14...

But shoot...does it really have to?

February 23, 2006, 10:14 PM
I have had mine longer than I'vehad my '15.

The damnthing does not shoot where I point her,and from the bench, she will keep most of them on a dinner plate at 300'.

But, damn.

Finest looking thing I own.

Tiny little waist, bulges where they're handy....lines like a race horse.

Put a scope on her and pay attention to where your eyes rest during love making.

My rifle is named Robin. ALA early morning CNN girl. Beautiful/useless.

Maybe insulting my '14...

February 23, 2006, 10:14 PM
I have had mine longer than I'vehad my '15.

The damnthing does not shoot where I point her,and from the bench, she will keep most of them on a dinner plate at 300'.

But, damn.

Finest looking thing I own.

Tiny little waist, bulges where they're handy....lines like a race horse.

Put a scope on her and pay attention to where your eyes rest during love making.

My rifle is named Robin. ALA early morning CNN girl. Beautiful/useless.

Maybe insulting my '14...

February 23, 2006, 10:29 PM
The Mini-14 is an excellent rifle and works great in its intended role. Everyone knows it's not the most accurate and I dont think anyone is trying to say it is. I would'nt give mine up for anything, but then again I wouldnt give up any of my guns. If I want a tack driver than I'll buy me a nice $2000 bolt action action with a super 10000X power scope, but for hittin my target at 100yds in rapid fire I'll take my Mini-14 any day.

February 23, 2006, 11:03 PM
I've had 4 over the years, 3 mini 14's and 1 mini 30, they were all very reliable but just couldn't get the accuracy out of them, 3 moa on a good day. Now I have a couple of AR's, one 24" heavy barrel and one colt match hbar, a little more finicky then the mini's but alot more accurate.

45 Fu
February 23, 2006, 11:08 PM
I am puzzled by the responses that say a Mini doesn't suck.. but they can't do blah, blah, blah, blah, blah - but they are reliable. How about saying, "They are reliable, and the first three or four shots will be good but, after that, it will still be reliable but everything else will suck."

The Mini sucks because it costs so much to shoot as poorly as it does. So it's reliable, big deal. Aren't all weapons supposed to be reliable? I just don't see giving something extra points for something it's supposed to be in the first place.

If you want an out of the box weapon that is just as reliable, and will be more accurate past the first three shots, will be cheaper to own, shoot and maintain, get an AK.

If you don't want an AK, the AR build is your best bet. I owned a Mini once and I'll never make that mistake again.

February 24, 2006, 07:27 AM
I am puzzled by the responses that say a Mini doesn't suck.. but they can't do blah, blah, blah, blah, blah - but they are reliable. How about saying, "They are reliable, and the first three or four shots will be good but, after that, it will still be reliable but everything else will suck."

The Mini sucks because it costs so much to shoot as poorly as it does. So it's reliable, big deal. Aren't all weapons supposed to be reliable? I just don't see giving something extra points for something it's supposed to be in the first place.

If you want an out of the box weapon that is just as reliable, and will be more accurate past the first three shots, will be cheaper to own, shoot and maintain, get an AK.

If you don't want an AK, the AR build is your best bet. I owned a Mini once and I'll never make that mistake again.

Because that would be as inaccurate as all other generalizations like "AR's are jammomatics" and "AK's can't hit the broad side of a barn from the inside". The truth lays somewhere inbetween. Yes, all weapons are *supposed* to be reliable but sadly that's not the case. Go check out the "Troubleshooting" forum for the AR at AR15.COM: 2,792 topics w/19,704 replies in the last 30 days. Is reliability a "big deal"? Maybe you're happy trying to clear jams/malfunctions but ask anyone who shoots competitively or seriously that question. I've owned several AR's and even more AK's. Based upon my personal experience I'll never own an AR again even though I believe there are reliable AR's out there (not to mention the AR-specific joys of ensuring the gas rings are spaced properly, using the right mag w/the right follower, the gas tube blowing crud directly into the bolt area, the correct lube for the current environment, is the gas tube bolt staked properly, does the AR like this particular kind of ammo, etc not to mention trying to clear a double-feed jam) and there are accurate AK's (I used to own a couple of Bulgarian SLR-95's that would shoot honest 2" groups at 100yds all day from a rest using Wolf ammo) as well as unreliable AK's (usually caused by improperly installed US-made parts). AK's cheaper to shoot than AR's/Mini-14s? You haven't priced 7.62x39 lately, have you? All platforms have their strengths and weaknesses and there is no perfect rifle/caliber combo or we'd all be using it and debating about silly things like stock color and such. While YMMV I find the Mini-14 to shoulder/aim/shoot faster for me than anything else I've tried and has been 100% reliable. I'd rather have a fast-handling rifle I can depend upon that isn't a tack-driver than a poor-handling tack-driver that isn't reliable (fast hits are better than slow/fast misses). Just my $.02 worth...

February 24, 2006, 09:20 AM
I know this is not an AR thread but for the bashers I really don't know why because I have two ARs and they are very reliable. I do treat my rifles nicely and I clean them after a range session. I don't have much money to buy ammo with like I use to (married with children), but during the times I shoot my ARs shot all day without cleaning and jamming. My experience, if you use good ammo it will shoot, extract and feed all day long. If you use match grade ammo specifically tailored to the rifling twist (with a quality barrel) 1 moa @ 100 yards is the norm.

I've owned a Mini-14 once and it was one heck of a reliable rifle. The accuracy is not worse than my AKs. 3" moa @ 100 yards with metal sights and that's plenty good enough for ranch work, defense or plinking. The problem I ran into was with mags. I could not get a 30 round mag to feed 100%, but the 20 round Ruger labeled mags were excellent. Don't even try to use a 40 round aftermarket mags, they suck big time. The only reason I got rid of it was I shot an AR and the accuracy and feel of the gun was like night and day. The AR is a better mousetrap. I was crazed about the coming armagedon during the late 80s up to the 2359Z 31 Dec 1999. You betcha... I was glad I had 2 ARs and 2 AKs with a boat load of ammo and mags. :D I feel so goofy now. Anyway, now I wouldn't mind having a Mini-14 in my collection again. I hope Ruger brings out a 16.5" version. When you find reasonably priced Ruger 20 round mags. Get them. josh

Art Eatman
February 24, 2006, 09:39 AM
45 Fu, the first shot from an ambient-temperature Mini 14 goes to within an inch of the previous first shot. Since it's primarily a rough-use hunting rifle, it meets its intended purpose. Since I've never missed the rabbit or coyote at which I shot, I've always figured the Mini was as good as I needed for what I was doing.

I've never had an AR jam on me, and the accuracy was plenty good for "as is" without any modifications. My only objection is based solely on aesthetics; I just don't like black plastic. But that has zilch to do with the rifle's usage.

And I've had four of each, since folks keep coming along and offering me a profit...

:), Art

February 24, 2006, 09:48 AM
I don't think you can fairly compare the Mini 14 with other weapons such as an AK or AR, This is like comparing apples to oranges. I own a Mini 14 Ranch in stainless, also own a Bushmaster AR, both weapons shoot reliably, and based on their respective platforms, accurately. BUT, the Mini-14 was not meant to be a combat weapon platform, it was also not designed for high capacity repeat shooting. yes,once the barrel heats up it does develop whip, like say after 30 rapid fire rounds mine will pull left 1 to 1.5" but if fired with spaced shots will stay MOA at 100 Yds all day. The AR WAS designed as a combat platform, and made for rapid repeatable fire, as was the AK, so, In answer to the original question...The Mini 14 does not suck, for the purpose it was intended, which is as a Ranch/Truck rifle. Would I use one in a SHTF situation ? Yes, I am confident I can take a BG at 100-200 yds no problem. If it is a sustained fire situation I would switch to the AR.

Just my $.02:cool:

February 24, 2006, 11:13 AM
My Mini -14 shoots REAL SMALL one shot groups everytime. Why mess it up with a second or third shot.

February 24, 2006, 12:05 PM
with the AR15 as cheap as they are now ($699.00 brand new Bushmaster) there is no reason to even look at the mini 14 unless your a woodpecker and want the wood .:rolleyes:

February 24, 2006, 12:49 PM
The 1 mini-14 I shot jammed a whole lot. I won't buy one.

February 25, 2006, 09:31 AM
I have to laugh.

Mini 14 which groups 4" to 6" = POS...Can't hit anything with it.

AK which groups 4" to 6" = Good Battlefield accuracy

I can't seem to find the troubleshooting forum at Perfect Union BBS.

February 25, 2006, 09:43 AM
They suck.

February 25, 2006, 09:48 AM
AR troubleshooting forum at AR15.COM: 2,794 topics w/19,714 replies in the last 30 days... :eek:

February 26, 2006, 02:36 PM
tomacs insight and reply is excellent and i cant agree more. the mini 14 is simply an excellent combination of reliability, size/weight, price and yes accuracy for most intended purposes a .223/5.56 round is intended for. if you want long range accuracy, get a .308 bolt action rifle with a quality scope. if you want a defensive weapon for close quarter combat, the mini 14 will serve you well. you can find ruger factory mags (20 rounders) for around 35 dollars a piece and believe me they are high quality items, fairly easily at gunbroker.com or other sources. stay away from the vast majority of after market mags, they are junk. most of the people i have encountered who have jamming issues are due to horribly cheap magazines that barely fit the weapon. pop in the factory mags and the problems vanish. to all those who say mini 14s suck, go clean your ar 15 some more so it wont jam the next time you need it to fire in a life threatening situation. just kidding:p

Death from Afar
February 26, 2006, 02:49 PM
Do we have to go through this again????

February 26, 2006, 06:09 PM
Death from Afar: I believe we do,, there are those that think a rifle that cost $700 +/- that shoots minute of elephant is a good deal. I also have a problem with those that say "what it was designed for" The Ranch model is touted as the perfect ranch rifle for shooting pests and vermin etc. I suppose it is fine at 50 yards but that is about it. Ruger has no excuse in my mind for not making a more accurate rifle for the money. They just aren't because so many think 4 inch groups are just wonderful. There are too many other rifles that cost the same or a lot less that can do better. I have pistols that shoot better I still have a DCM MI rifle that shoots better and my shooting partmer has a M1AI that will shoot minute of angle. Both have basically the same action. I don't often knock Ruger, look at my screen name, should be proof enough I am a Ruger fan. I get tired of hearing all the reasons it doesn't shoot well, and the guys that say what do you expect from an auto, or go buy a target rifle. It is all BS. When it comes to reliability the Mini is supreme, when it comes to accuracy,, it sucks.. period.. I am looking to sell the one I have, just like I did my first one that couldn't shoot.

February 26, 2006, 08:38 PM
Ruger4570, I am not a Ruger apologist nor do I believe the Mini-14 to be the greatest thing since sliced bread (to be honest there isn't a single domestic 5.56 rifle that I'm completely satisfied with). Rather, I view it as a "diamond in the rough". Sure, it's not as pretty as a polished diamond but it's still a diamond nonetheless. The biggest problems w/the Mini (accuracy & good mags, IMHO) are easy fixes since shortening the bbl and/or adding a flash hider/muzzle brake can tighten groups 50%+ and good inexpensive aftermarket mags from ProMag and others get excellent user reviews. $700? I see NIB stainless/synthetic Mini's on GunsAmerica going for $499. Many people buy AR's and other rifles then dump a *lot* of money trying to make them more accurate or reliable so the Mini isn't any different in that respect depending upon your ultimate goal/use for the rifle in question. I agree that the Mini offers excellent "out of the box" reliability (a testament to the basic design) and that means a lot to me (although YMMV).

February 26, 2006, 09:01 PM
They suck.

I agree. Buy a Saiga or any AK variant in .223 or 7.63x39 and it will outperform a mini14

February 26, 2006, 09:22 PM
and let us know which one you keep.

I have owned two Mini-14s, three AR-15s, and a Mini-30.

I keep looking at AKs wishing I had bought one ten years ago when they were cheap. Of course I wish I had bought an HK 91 back when they were $700-800 (twenty years ago). But I never did and now I won't pay $2500 for one.

Minis were a great deal 20 years ago (my first one cost me $250 with wood stock, plastic folding stock, multiple mags and a scope...unfortunately I sold it about 2 years later for the same price) and they are still a good deal today. Under four hundred bucks will find you a nice used one in either .223 or 7.62x39, and accessories are available everywhere.

AR-15s are still a great deal too...although they cost a few bucks more. And you know how available accessories are for ARs.

AKs and SKSs...I've never owned one (yet) but there are plenty of folks who will pick an AK over anything else. Every time I pick one up, I only see the lack of workmanship--the rough wood, the metal stampings...I put it back down. I know it is foolproof and reliable, but, like a Glock, it leaves me cold.

For me, in 223, I kind of like the AR, although I would not mind a stainless Mini-14. In 7.62 x 39, I kind of like the Mini-30, although maybe someday an AK might win me over.

Ah, one day I'll win the lottery, and buy one of each. Until then I'm just a serial owner. One at a time.

February 26, 2006, 09:35 PM
I had terrible luck with the first three M16 rifles I owned. All of them jammed repeatedly. All of them were bolt-over jams. I did the logical thing, and traded for my M14 back. Some of my friends didn't get that chance.

The AR/M16 platform is capable of excellent accuracy when new. Used as an automatic capable weapon, it soon loses that gilt-edged accuracy, though. It also becomes increasingly unreliable after the 7k round mark. Many people will never shoot that many rounds of ammo in their lives, so it's all good. However, the soldier may do that in a six-month tour of a hostile area. Today's spray-and-pray tactics expend ammo at a high rate.

The Mini-14, like the civilian AR, lasts longer. In the case of the Mini-14, much longer. The problem with the AR-15 "build" is that many people don't have the knowledge, or ability, to pick and choose compatible components. They want a "here and now" weapon, with a warranty.

In December, we were pricing an A2 variant. It needed nothing except to be as close to current issue 20" weapons as possible. The cheapest that we could find them in the Atlanta, North Georgia, area was $720, plus 7% sales tax. I can buy a Mini-14 for around $500.00 NIB at numerous places here.

We own two. One is an original production run Ranch Rifle, the other a more Modern All-Weather SS. Both are stone reliable. I have accumulated a couple dozen Ruger 20 rd. magazines. None cost me over $35.00, most were in the $25-30 range. I put a pin-on flash supressor on both. Our daughters like them, and shoot literally hundreds of rounds through them whenever we take them out. Their favorite target is the free CDs that we get in the mail. At 100 yards, both weapons will reliably hit that target, hot barrel or cold.

The idea that the Mini-14 is wildly inaccurate stems, I believe, more from the wildly inaccurate shooters, than from the weapon. If a 15 and a 16 year old can hold 3-4 MOA all day long with two different Mini-14 rifles, then somebody needs a little practice.

FYI, neither one cares for the AR platform. One is now a Marine, and a Sharpshooter. She still would rather have a Mini-14, or an M14, as issue weapons.

There is also the fact that many people cannot own an AR, because of local laws. So, the Mini-14, being more politically correct, is their best choice. In Maryland, where we lived before, the AR, the M1A, the Ak, and most other detachable magazine rifles, were considered "Restricted Weapons", and required an MSP check and 7 day waiting period for sales, even among individuals. The Mini-14, and the M1 Carbine, were exempted.:)

February 27, 2006, 12:00 AM
Having carried both an M14 and an M16 I couldn't agree more circa 1969. The M14 was more accurate and more reliable.

But in the here and now, I see little in common between a mini14 and an M14, and AR15's have improved a bunch. They are much more accurate than a mini14 and a better all-around weapon.

They are more than worth the extra few hundred dolars.

Rainbow Six
February 27, 2006, 12:50 AM
I thought the mini 14 I used to have was ok until I shot an AR for the first time just recently. Now I have no use for a mini 14. It would beat not having a rifle, but that's about as far as I can go with it as compared to the AR. I absolutely LOVE the AR. I bought an Oly AR a few years ago because of the price (gun shop going out of business and getting rid of inventory) but resold it for a profit without ever firing it. I can't imagine how much .223 ammo I'd have gone through by now if I'd tried it and liked it as much as I do the Rock River.

February 27, 2006, 01:36 AM
How come no one has mentioned the keltec su-16? It's reasonably priced, compact, shoots 5.56 and .223 ammo and is just as accurate as a mini 14? I'm looking for a good companion for my shooty and I've been considering the keltec and the mini-14. What say you?

February 27, 2006, 08:45 AM
Makugooh, I also considered the SU-16 briefly. However, it's a fairly recent offering (the Mini has a 25yr track record) so the long-term durability of the polymer receiver is unknown plus KelTec's QC isn't as good as I'd prefer (as evidenced w/their other products). Some people are very pleased w/their SU-16's and if it suits your particular needs better than the Mini, AR or other rifles then by all means go for it. Just remember that KelTec's warranty won't do you a bit of good if the SU-16 goes "click" when you really, *really* need it to go "bang"...

February 27, 2006, 10:34 AM
What confounds me is why the Mini-14 gets some sort of excuse for being inaccurate. There is nothing about its design, intended use, cartridge choice or sighting system that should make it anything but accurate.

Most every .223 auto is quite accurate. The M-14 and M1 Carbine are quite accurate. So why should a gun that combines M-14 and M1 Carbine design in .223 caliber fail to live up to any one of them????

February 27, 2006, 11:21 AM
I'll guess that the largest part of this is what people decide is "accurate". Rack grade M16 rifles, with issue 62 gr. ammo, are usually 1-3 MOA weapons, depending on wear. The M14 was a 2-4 MOA, again in rack grade, and depending on condition. Most hunting rifles are 2-3 MOA with standard ammo. The idea that such a weapon will be 1 MOA, or better, is pretty much a dream. Paper-punching has replaced hunting in many areas, with the attendant emphasis on small groups, and purpose built rifles.

Both of our Mini-14 rifles, one with over 10k rounds through it, will hold 3-4 MOA through a hot barrel. That is sufficiently accurate to plink and hunt with at ranges up to 100 yards. Cold barrel performance will allow shots at 150-175 yards. I wouldn't take a Mini-14, or a standard AR-15 into a Prarie Dog shoot, or any other sporter weight rifle, for that matter.

For what it's worth, I believe that Ruger will be visiting the Mini-14's barrel-making in the near future. The original machinery is nearly worn-out, and newer machines will allow for better control over the manufacture. Hopefully, this will allow the Mini-14 to approach it's potential.:)

February 27, 2006, 11:27 AM
With as many reports of 6 to 8 MOA Minis out there, I would say you have a superior example that does 3 to 4.

I'm not sure what you mean by "rack grade". That usually refers to the amount of wear and throat erosion a rifle has. Did you mean a stock M1A, or are you comparing a new Mini with a well worn rifle?

February 27, 2006, 02:06 PM
No. Mini-14s do not suck.

Pros outweigh the Cons by far for me.
Its probably the only semi-auto .223 I'll ever buy.
(next purchase is semi-auto .308, damn they're expensive )

February 27, 2006, 07:18 PM
Rack grade is not a worn rifle. It is simply the rifle as issued, without any improvements for target shooting.

It's kind of confusing, what with all of the people ripping off 20 round mags, then complaining about accuracy. Rapid fire will certainly expand the group size. I see all too many shooters dumping a 20 round Mini-14, or AR15, in thirty seconds or less, and then complaining about their group size. :)

February 27, 2006, 07:26 PM
I wouldn't take a Mini-14, or a standard AR-15 into a Prarie Dog shoot, or any other sporter weight rifle, for that matter.

Not sure what you mean by 'standard' AR but most civilian AR's are HBar configuration. The HBar AR15 is a great varmit gun out to 250-300 yds. I switched from a Savage 112 to a Colt HBar AR15 in the early 90's for prarie dogs because the Colt would group 5 shot handloads in a 3/4 inch cluster all day long. The Savage would do 1/2 inch or better but the bolt gun was so slow I missed lots of shots. My 'supplement' rifle was a swede mauser with a Leupold scope with 160gr RN bullets for torpedo shots at the base of the hole when the dogs would not pop-up.

I see the mini-14 being capable of everything I can do with a less expensive SKS, and nothing more.

February 27, 2006, 07:30 PM
This rack grade thing confuses me. A rack grade AR15 is (I assume) a battle rifle ? The mini14 is not, so there is no comparison.

The 'civilian' AR is an Hbar configuration and out-shoots the mini14 by a wide margin.

February 28, 2006, 03:14 PM
Unless you're talking about Colts, I see any number of AR15 civilian rifles without a heavy barrel. Bushmaster, Olympic Arms, etc. However, you are correct, an Hbar is an apples to oranges comparison.

Rack grade is an older military term for a standard issue weapon. The accurized ones were normally referred to as National Match.

As for the SKS, I've usually found my SKS rifles to be 4-6 MOA at 100 yds. The Mini-14 rifles we own, and our friends own, can do better than that. There's also the difference in caliber. 7.62x39 has been getting hard to find, and the price is creeping up. .223 is plentiful, and Bass Pro had it on sale for $2.88/20.

Then again, for practical accuracy, I'd rather be shooting an M1A than an AR. It's an opinion that's just as valid as that about the SKS.:)

February 28, 2006, 03:34 PM
A lightweight sporter barrel on an AR15 is still much heavier than a Mini-14 barrel.

February 28, 2006, 04:12 PM
A light-weight sporter barrel on a Rem. 7400 is heavier than a Mini-14, as well. Yet, after firing a couple of Ram-Line or Eagle 10 round mags, the POI shifts quite a bit, too.

A standard barrel on an AR, even though it's heavier, will also change POI after a couple of rapid semi-auto 30 rounders are put through it.

I'm not trying to dump on the AR. I simply pointed out that not all AR Civvies are HBARs. :)

February 28, 2006, 05:04 PM
I've owned one and was not happy with it. Accuracy was marginal at best. Mags were more expensive than AR mags. If you want a semi-auto .223 I'd go the AR-15 route in a heartbeat. The little bit extra $$ will be money well spent.

February 28, 2006, 06:32 PM
A standard barrel on an AR, even though it's heavier, will also change POI after a couple of rapid semi-auto 30 rounders are put through it.

I don't know of any handheld firearm that would hold a perfect POI after such use. And, that's no way to treat a fine firearm. Not if you want the barrel to last very long.

I don't hear about any mini-14s shooting well and I know an exceptional gunsmith who tried to get one to shoot well and gave-up. I shot a stainless mini-14 a few years back and could not manage better than 3-4 MOA no matter what I did. My Chinese SKS shoots 2-3 MOA all day long and it is much more durable than a mini-14 or a mini-30. Farmers in the midwest have a lot more SKSs in the back of their pick-ups than mini-anything.

Simply put, there are more than a few semi-automatic choices out there that are better than the mini14 in terms of accuracy.

And as far as an M1A vs an AR, well, I like M1As as much as the next guy but the little black rifles have been winning Camp Perry on a regular basis for a long time.

March 1, 2006, 09:15 AM
That's not practical accuracy. There's no comparison between a standard AR15 and the weapons used at Camp Perry. You certainly wouldn't try to use them afield. Much of the ammo used in distance shooting has to be single-loaded, as it won't fit in the magazine.

I hate to be the one to point it out, but here in the South, there are more Mini-14 rifles in the back of pick-ups than SKS rifles. Virtually all of them have a pin-on flash supressor, and that simple addition makes them capable of better groups. I don't own a 2-3 MOA SKS rifle. I have Russian, Chinese, Romanian, Albanian, and Yugos, both Model 59 and 59/66. I suppose that I could hand-load something, or try enough of the multitude of loads out there to locate the best for each individaul weapon, but that's not representative. The pair of Minis that we own will do 3-4 MOA from a hot barrel, and 1-2 through a cold barrel.They can do it with any NATO surplus that I've tried.

To be quite frank, I can do anything that either rifle can do with a Marlin 336 as far as practical accuracy goes. That doesn't mean that I always shoot the Marlin. It's inexpensive, accurate, powerful, and handloading makes ammo just as cheap. It also is subject to zero political problems.

We all have our opinions. I'm sorry that you and your gunsmith friend have had such poor luck, although I can't see how a reputable gunsmith wouldn't have replaced the barrel in a search for accuracy. You also have lots of luck, what with finding all of those 2-3 MOA SKS rifles.

I have two Mini-14 rifles that work well. An LEO friend has another, in one of those God-awful BullPup plastic things from the 1980's. :)

March 1, 2006, 09:45 AM
I have a mini 14 and find no fault with it. It's well made, fun, and inexpensive to shoot. If you're looking for a competition type rifle or something to hunt buffalo with, it's not that. Is it a tack driver? No. Was it meant to be? No. It is what it is; a reliable rifle that will give you lots of enjoyment.

March 1, 2006, 10:31 AM
I don't own a 2-3 MOA SKS rifle. I have Russian, Chinese, Romanian, Albanian, and Yugos, both Model 59 and 59/66. I suppose that I could hand-load something, or try enough of the multitude of loads out there to locate the best for each individaul weapon, but that's not representative.

It is a well-known fact that a Chinese SKS rifle is capable of 2-3 MOA with cheap Norinco ammo. If your SKSs don't shoot, I'm sorry. You must have had a real bad streak of luck on those.

As per what is found in the backs of Georgia pickups: Southerners tend not to want to be identified with Chinese rifles. I lived in Birmingham, AL for 10 years. Those southern boys will suffer things like bad dog so as not to be labelled as a commie-lover. A good southern boy will certainly suffer a mini-14 despite its poor accuracy. Midwest farmers have no such hangups. They go for the cheapest most effective shootin iron available. SKSs.

No question Camp Perry rifles differ from those we buy off the rack. Nonetheless, the Camp Perry AR15s outshoot the Camp Perry M14s and M1As all day long.

I get to Atlanta on business from time to time. I propose we have a 'pink-slip' shoot-off. Your expensive mini-14 against my cheap commie SKS. :D

PS: I have a good friend who is from north Georgia. - James Bruce. Do you know him ?

March 1, 2006, 10:43 AM
I've been able to get better than 2 MOA out of every autoloader I've owned: HK and US military type rifles.

Russian weapons have purposely sloppy chambers. I don't understand what excuse the Mini gets for groups 4 times what you'd find with just about any other Western rifle.

BTW, my brother's M4 profile AR barrel, which is not an HBAR and is only 16", produces sub MOA groups. It is simply not true that .223 rifles average well above 2 MOA in general. This is with slow, steady firing of 1 shot every few seconds. Yes, the barrel heats up plenty.

Art Eatman
March 1, 2006, 11:07 AM
"I don't understand what excuse the Mini gets for groups 4 times what you'd find with just about any other Western rifle."

Since this is far away from my experience with four Minis over a twenty-year period, I sometimes wonder if some folks just can't shoot. :)


March 1, 2006, 11:12 AM

If you had 4 mini14s that shot well you have been very lucky. I would like to go to Las Vegas and have you pull slots for me.

March 1, 2006, 11:32 AM
Do you mean "some folks just can't shoot when firing a Mini, but just can shoot with other rifles"?

Art Eatman
March 1, 2006, 11:42 AM

I bought a Mini when they first came out. Blued. I put a K4 on it. All was well; roughly 2MOA. Occasionally 1.5. First shot from cold barrel was within 1/2 MOA from the day before. Not at all picky about ammo.

Bought a stainless when they first came out. Same deal, same results.

Traded into a couple more, over the years. Same deal, same results.

As I've said earlier in this thread, what's important to me as a coyote shooter is that the first cold-barrel shot goes to the same place as the time before. The Minis did that. Hard for me to be negative about them, okay?

Were I to figure a need for self defense and a Mini was what I had, I'd figure that with me moving and the Bad Guys moving, group size would be the least of my worries, particularly with the probability that any engagement would be within 100 yards.

Magazines? Back in the 1970s and 1980s, even the 40-rounders were quite reliable, as were the 20s and 30s. I've no clue why later production has had low quality control. If I were still in the Mini business, I'd still have reliable mags from "back then". However, as I'm primarily a hunter, I prefer the factory ten-rounder--of which I still have one. :)

I've never owned a Ranch version or a Mini-30, but I'm not talking about those.


March 1, 2006, 01:00 PM
I get to Atlanta on business from time to time. I propose we have a 'pink-slip' shoot-off. Your expensive mini-14 against my cheap commie SKS.


How about it ?

March 1, 2006, 01:07 PM
I love my mini-14. Its a ranch rifle and i paid 500+change for it with rings and 4 30rd mags, in addition to the 5rd'er. When i first got it my buddy and i set up about 80 yards from two tree stumps on which we had placed 10 Ninja Turtles and Power rangers (his younger brother's :D ) each. I couldnt tell you my MOA but i didnt miss a single one, he missed 4 in 10 shots with his AR. Does this mean my mini is more accurate than an AR? Of course not! from a rest on paper he outshoots me everytime. But for practical shooting purposes a gun that shoots an inch tighter group isnt going to fix lack of marksmanship.

I want a gun that i could use as a baseball bat, pop in a mag and still have it shoot the same reasonable accuracy it did in the first place. Super tiny groups are nice but when the SHTF i want something that isnt going to jam if i cant clean it regularly, and that can take some heavy abuse, as well as consistantly hit a target the size of a man's head at 100 yards.

That being said i would much rather have an M1A, and i do like the balance and feel of an AR better, just not enough to tip the scale for me.

Also, The only (Midwest) farmers i know who even OWN any gun that isn't domestic, let alone a CHINESE gun are some of the kids who are pinched for cash. In my experiences its mostly pump shotguns and old bolt guns in trucks around here. I only know one farmer who keeps a mini in his truck, and none with sks's. BUT a lot of the farmers around here have family who work at GM, and so theres a lot of BUY-AMERICANism: which i am gladly a part of :)

March 1, 2006, 01:23 PM
Also, The only (Midwest) farmers i know who even OWN any gun that isn't domestic, let alone a CHINESE gun are some of the kids who are pinched for cash. In my experiences its mostly pump shotguns and old bolt guns in trucks around here. I only know one farmer who keeps a mini in his truck, and none with sks's.

How many farmers do you know ? I'm talking Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas. Cheap farmers with no 'buy amuricun' bias per se. The sales numbers don't lie. Millions of SKS have been bought my Americans in need of a cheap reliable and virtually indestructable rifle. Nothing compares. The Army tested captured SKSs during Viet Nam era and concluded that the SKS was 'the most reliable and soldier-proof rifle ever devised.'

Try storing your mini14 in a rice patty dike all year and then pulling it out and emptying the magazine without a hiccup. The only malfunction they had was that the wooden stock would rot-off so the Chinese made many of the later ones (used in VN) with those funny-looking red plastic stocks.

Mini14 doesn't come anywhere close to an SKS - except it's made in the USA. If you only buy guns made in the USA you are missing out on a lot of fine firearms.

March 1, 2006, 03:02 PM
How many farmers do you know

I know probably around 50-75 farming families, including both sides of my own family, although my parents went to college and work in town. I'm pretty sure Indiana represents the Midwest as well as anywhere else.

Maybe buying only American made arms is ignorant (although you kindly used nicer words :p ), but i only buy american vehicles for the same reasons. SKS may be great, but for my purposes the mini 14 works just fine (there arent many rice patties around here, and i have a gun safe to keep my weapons in), and i know my moneys going to my neighbors' dinner tables.

March 1, 2006, 04:55 PM

I get carried away about those rice paddies sometimes. :o

March 1, 2006, 06:38 PM
I get carried away about those rice paddies sometimes.

I understand completely, it is a pretty impressive example....okay i'll tell you what. if we ever go police state I'll buy an SKS and hide it in my fish tank :D

March 1, 2006, 07:46 PM
Try storing your mini14 in a rice patty dike all year and then pulling it out and emptying the magazine without a hiccup.

Try that w/an AR and see what condition it's in after a year...
The SKS is a very reliable & easy to maintain weapon, no arguments from me. However, it doesn't handle/aim/point as quickly or as well for me as the Mini plus it's much slower to reload unless you're willing to take the chance on a detachable mag conversion. I'll take the fast-handling Mini w/"good enough" ruggedness/reliability over the SKS's poorer handling & better ruggedness/reliability. Again, better a fast hit than a slow/fast miss...

Art Eatman
March 2, 2006, 08:13 AM
Er, uh, I don't quite understand why "soldier proof" is a factor in any gun I own. Nor have I seen all that many rice paddies, this side of Louisiana and southeast Texas. I certainly don't store my guns in mud, so that don't seem to make no nevermind, neither.

Purely opinion, but the Mini is certainly more aesthetically pleasing to me than either the AK or the AR. So, since my Minis have always performed as I wanted, somebody explain to me why I should worship at the Altar of Ugly...

:), Art

March 2, 2006, 08:28 AM
Art Eatman, there are some who want a rifle that can also adequately fill a HD role in which case functional reliability is a very high priority. Ex: Should I find myself in a New Orleans-type situation then I would want a rifle that can take a little "rice paddy" treatement and keep on ticking. IMHO w/the Mini we get both adequate reliability & aesthetics (I prefer function over form but will take both when I can get them...).

Art Eatman
March 2, 2006, 08:43 AM
I don't see where a little slop would particularly hurt a Mini. The internal works of the action look like they'd tolerate it. And no rifle of any sort is gonna do well if the barrel is full of goop, not even an AK; there ain't no magic.

I don't see any problem with a Mini staying well inside of a minute of torso.

As far as reliability, the Mini is noted for it. I've done the spray-and-play thing from time to time; 30 or 40 rounds fairly quickly. Never a problem...

The only real drawback to the silly things I've ever seen is when folks think they can shoot tight groups at the benchrest. Since I don't expect it to be a target rifle, it serves well for all other uses, as I've said many times.

:), Art

March 2, 2006, 08:59 AM
Art, I pretty much agree w/you. However, it seems a tendency for fans of a particular firearm to espouse a particular feature (accuracy, reliability, available parts/accessories, etc) as the "be-all/end-all" w/o looking at the overall picture or the intended role (ie: is a ballpeen hammer better than a claw hammer? Depends upon what you want the hammer to do, doesn't it?). While not perfect, the Mini fills the role *I* need it to fill better than any other current domestic 5.56 carbine (YMMV).

March 2, 2006, 02:51 PM
I Dont Think They Suck. But My Brother Has One And I Have A Mac90 That I Got For $300 That Has Been Converted To .223. On Occasion His Mini14 Jams And Has Since It Was New. He Always Has To Make Sure It Is Well Lubed And Clean. My Mac90 Has Never Jammed. There Seems To Be No Difference In The Accuracy Between The Two Guns. We Have Put A Lot Of Rounds Through These Weapons And I Preffer The Mac90 Over The Mini14. So If Youre Looking For The Best Buy I Would Go With The Mac90 Or Ak. Also I Believe They Are More Reliable Because They Have Looser Tolerances That Will Allow The Gun To Fire Even If There Is A Lack Of Lube Or It Is Dirty.

March 4, 2006, 02:48 PM
655, sorry, had a computer problem these past few days, picked up a worm in Feb. that actvated on March 1st. I feel "blessed" that I was one of the first to report it to Symantec. NOT.

As for your challenge, Ok. I don't see why, but it's fine with me. I don't know your friend, but I would be glad to meet him. We've only been down here about 8 months, and I'm the primary care-giver for a disabled son. I don't get out that much lately.:)

March 4, 2006, 07:35 PM
In a word, yes. In more than one word, see above. :)

Get an AK or AR.

March 4, 2006, 07:55 PM
A very wise lady once shared...

...don't forget that SIGs rust, 1911's jam, USP's break firing pins, Delta Elites crack their frames, and Berettas break their locking blocks right before putting the back half of the slide through your bridgework.

The faster most folks realize that all guns suck, the happier they'll be.


March 6, 2006, 11:46 PM

Sorry to hear about your son.

I'm not sure when I will be in Atlanta next but I work for the company that bought Georgia-Pacific recently, so I will be there in the future.

We need to establish the rules:

1. Iron sights. (my trusty Norinco SKS has a Williams apeture sight. Will you accept that modification ?)

2. No handloads.

3. Best of 10, 5-shot groups off bags with NRA-type (black circle) targets at 100 yds. Shooter has 60 seconds for each group. Or, best overall average group size. I'm OK either way.

Also, I use the little rubber apeture gizmo's that stick on my glasses so I can see both front and rear sights. If you don't have one I can bring an extra for you to use.

I have never owned a mini14. So after you surrender it to me perhaps you would be so kind as to show me how to clean it, etc. Much appreciated.:D

Where did you move from?


March 7, 2006, 12:38 AM
ok, I started this thread. Now let's see if this is relavent.

I'm in the Marine Corps and am very familiar with m16s (ar variant).

When I get back from my coming 6 month "vacation", I'm going right back where I came from with blackwater

Though Blackwater pays well, they're not in the habit of supplying personal equipment.

The rifle I do get needs to fill that role.

I'm fairly intelligent, but just unfamiliar with the mini

I didn't know if there was anything else that could fill this role

I hope this sheds light. From what I've heard, there is no way a mini would ever fill the role of an assault rifle like an AR, and anyone who thinks otherwise is VERY niave.

I say this because I've tried a mini since I started this thread

I don't usually knock people and their personal preferences often, but you deploy to Iraq with a mini-14 and see just how well you do as the assault element.

My M16 has jammed before, yes.

To whoever equated it with a crew-serve weapon obviously was never infantry; and if he was, he wasn't as good as he should be with his basic rifle

m-16s do double feed on occasions, but I can clear that as fast as it takes me to drop the mag and replace it, +2 seconds

I realize that while doing this process I could die

But If you clean your bloody rifle, it won't happen

AR15 variant, hands down, and I've already bought an Armalite to solve the problem

March 7, 2006, 02:20 AM
Wheeler, I think you set out to launch your own assult on the Mini-14 at the start of your thread, just look at how you titled it. From the sound of your post you know little of this rifle. Define ASSAULT WEAPON for us! Further more the Mini was not produced as a day to day full time combat weapon, if your so knowlegable about cobat weapons you should know this before you call people naive about their weapons! No the Mini-14 does not suck, far from it. If you can't get yourself out of a bad situtation, or hunt with a Mini-14 then your AR won't help you.

I've cranked on mine and they don't jam, break, melt, miss or fall apart. as far as heat, rapid fire any damn auto loader and watch the accuracy change as heat builds.

So you fired a Mini since you started this thread ha.

March 7, 2006, 08:01 AM
Wheeler, if the AR does fills your perceived needs then by all means go for it. However, it doesn't fill the perceived needs of myself and others who don't care for some of the AR's more "interesting" characteristics (are the gas rings spaced properly? right lube for the current conditions? right mags w/the right followers? right buffer? does it "like" the particular ammo I'm using? gas key properly installed? etc...), some of which are very often addressed at the AR15.COM "troubleshooting" forum (let's see, 2,832 topics with 19,940 replies in just the past 2 weeks... yep, all you gotta do is "keep it clean" [yeah, right....])
You're absolutely correct, I wasn't infantry. I was doing ELINT in the Med and ME back in the '70's.
So, your M-16 has jammed? (Shock, horror!) How could that happen if you're "as good with your basic rifle" as you should be and "you keep it clean"? Either there's a basic problem with the M-16 design or you're not as good w/the rifle or cleaning it properly. Which is it?
I agree that I wouldn't issue the Mini-14 as a military weapon but then I have no illusions as to what it was designed for. For light duty/HD use the AR has no significant advantages over the Mini-14 for my particular needs yet has disadvantages mentioned above.

Art Eatman
March 7, 2006, 11:06 AM
Wheeler, I defend the Mini only for my own use as a hunting rifle. If I were to do the Blackwater thing, I imagine I'd rather enthusiastically choose the AR over the Mini.

Purpose. Always purpose.

:), Art

March 7, 2006, 09:33 PM
I will post how my new mini14 shoots - after I get it from JR47:D

March 7, 2006, 09:54 PM
I've got a new 580 series Mini on the way back from GunDoc (John at Great West Gunsmithing) after the following mods: extended mag release, Meprolight tritium front sight, XS Systems ghost ring rear sight, bbl cut to 16.5" & recrowned, Choate flash hider installed, trigger job, gas block screws properly torqued and reduced aperture gas bushing installed. I'll range test it this weekend and post the results here (I'll try to pick up some .223 match ammo to test as well to remove the ammo as much as possible from the accuracy equation). Stay tuned!...

March 7, 2006, 10:52 PM
Tomac, I have a Mini on it's way back from GunDoc also. I bought a Mini-14 on Gunbroker and sent it to him to have the barrel shortened and a flash hider installed. Should be in early next week. I can't wait to see if it helps with the accuracy.

As far as whether or not a Mini sucks, it has been my experience that Minis are the most reliable semi auto rifles I have ever owned or shot. Period. I have owned 3 total and currently own 2. I have owned either 5 or 6 ARs in the past and currently own 2. The ARs are very reliable but every one has had a misfeed or other malfunction at some point. I like ARs a lot and they are definitely more accurate. I also own a Chinese SKS which has been very reliable, but I have had a few (very few) malfunctions with it over the years. But I have never had ANY malfunction in a Mini-14. Just my experience over the last 16 years or so of owning and shooting military style semi autos.

March 7, 2006, 11:04 PM
Man-O-War, I hope you'll post a range report for us and let us know how your new Mini fares. BTW, did you have GunDoc do a trigger job as well?

March 7, 2006, 11:13 PM
Tomac, I did not have any other work done to that particular Mini yet. I am setting this one up for my home defense rifle, so accuracy was not my main objective. I am just hoping it will be a happy side effect. I had it shortened to just a bit over 16" including the flash suppressor to make it handier indoors. For home defense, reliability is my main concern so the Mini won out over the AR in this role for me. I have been thinking about sending out my other Mini for a trigger job but I have not decided yet.

March 7, 2006, 11:23 PM
Man-O-War, I agree that reliability is the #1 priority, I won't do anything to endanger that (ex: I'll experiment w/recoil buffers out of curiosity but will dump them in a heartbeat if they adversely affect reliability at all), I prefer the KISS principle. I originally hadn't planned on a trigger job but after reading the reviews of others and remembering how fast I could double-tap COM at 50yds w/a good trigger I decided to have it done anyway. While accuracy isn't a top priority for me I would like to be able to hit COM out to 200-300m max w/aimed fire (further than that and I'll grab my scoped .308 Dragunov).

March 8, 2006, 01:54 PM
The gas block is "clamped" to the barrel and can cause a tight spot in the bore. The front sight can also cause a tight spot. These tight spots get worse as the barrel heats up. Lap the barrel if you want to improve accuracy. Also the stock should be bedded and the but plate replaced with one giving a better grip. If you want a tack driver, look at something else.
3.5 inch groups @100 yrds is pretty standard for these rifles. The newer version may be better than the old 180 and 181 series.

March 8, 2006, 01:56 PM
Yes, Mini-14's suck.

Mine alone has sucked the life out of countless coyotes and rabbits, all while spending it's off time banging around in the floorboard of a pickup truck.

Can't ask much more of a rifle than that.

March 8, 2006, 07:43 PM
Actually, I'm afraid that I'll have another SKS. Anybody want one, cheap?:)

March 8, 2006, 09:32 PM
I might take it off your hands if it's cheap enough.:D

April 3, 2006, 11:05 PM
Mini-range report (no pun intended... ;) ):
To date, appx 500rds fired w/o a single malfunction. The Mini-14 was cleaned & checked for bore obstructions initially but has had no cleaning or lubing since then (I plan on going to 1,000rds before cleaning/lubing again to see if I start to experience cleaning-related problems before then). Most of the ammo fired has been the dirtier & underpowered Wolf polymer-coated 55gr .223. I've used the factory 5rd mag plus a number of the new ProMag polymer 30rd mags. Some of the ProMags needed a nudge to finish chambering the first round but were always 100% after that and now all have worn-in and chamber the first rd unassisted. The only problem so far was my choice of ghost-ring rear size: .230" which I discovered is way too large for any kind of precision aiming (the thick Meprolight tritium front sight, while excellent for CQB snapshots also does nothing to help aiming at longer ranges). W/Q3131 I was getting 4" groups at 100yds & w/Wolf I was getting 5"+ groups. W/Winchester 45gr varmint (which most AR's choke on) I was getting 3.5" groups. Realizing my error I've replaced the oversize ghost-ring rear w/a much better .150" ghost-ring which I think is even faster (I have no problems bouncing a small plastic bottle quickly at 50yds). I haven't shot for group size yet w/the smaller rear ghost-ring but will do so in the near future and would be very surprised if group size doesn't shrink appreciably. So far the Mini-14 has shown exactly the qualities I want from it: rugged reliability, quick handling & acceptable accuracy.

April 5, 2006, 07:16 PM
I have a mini-14 in stainless. I wanted to keep the wood stock in good condition, so I bought several synthetic stocks and put the wood one back in the box. After trying several of the stocks, I settled on the Choate fixed pistol grip w/buttpad and returned the Butler Creek and various others. I pinned on a flash suppressor, added a military sling and picked up several different brands of high capacity magazines. The Ruger 30-rd mags I bought have NEVER jammed even once but every other brand I tried could be made to jam by either using different ammo or using them in adverse weather conditions(I'm one of those idiots who likes to shoot even when it's snowing, sleeting or raining). I then flipped down the back sight and added a Redfield 4x30. I have found the accuracy to be more than acceptable unless I really heat it up by fast-firing 30s. During grouping exercises when I'm shooting slowly and carefully from bags, I have been able to shoot as accurately(5 and 10 shot groups) as any of my buddies with their AR-15 variants. It is not a heavy barrelled rifle, though, so it would be unfair to compare it with an AR that has a match grade barrel. I really love the flawless reliability and accuracy of my mini and I wouldn't trade it for any AR except perhaps one with a match grade barrel.

April 6, 2006, 05:10 PM
i just bought a mini and its not a target gun you probably want a savage or a ar

44 AMP
April 10, 2006, 10:47 PM
suck the ammo out of the mag, perhaps. I have had a couple of mini's , one 200th year blue (never shoutl have gotten rid of that one), and a stainless, with a folding stock, that I traded a Star PD for:D Have had it for over 20 years, never yet printed it on paper. Shoots where I do, can't ask better than that. I have fed it everything, even crappy reloads, it has jammed occasionally, but is easy to clear. Way better performance for reliability than the ARs I have owned.

In my experience, EVERYTHING jams. Just because it hasn't happened to you,(yet) doesn't mean it never will. I have even seen someone jam a single shot rifle. Things that jam only rarely (mini 14) are considered reliable. Thing that jam frequently (AR) aren't.

I have read a lot of whining about how bad the accuracy of the Mini is. Grow up. Ruger obviously thinks it is good enough. Anyone remember the XGI ? We were drooling, waiting for that one to make it to market. Ruger never did put it into production. They said that they could not get their prototypes to shoot accurately enough, and would not market an inferior product.

Bottom line, if you like the AR, you like the AR (I'm not crazy about 'em), but don't slam the Mini because it isn't an AR. The two guns were not designed to do the same job. There is some overlap, because they both use the same ammo, but they are not properly comparable. You don't compare an AR to a NEF Handi-Rifle, but they both come in the same caliber. Nobody compares sport coupes and minivans, but they both get you around, have 4 wheels, and run on gasoline.:rolleyes:

April 11, 2006, 12:54 AM
Where's the best place to purchase a mini-14? I want an assault rifle and I have been starting to really like the mini.

Sun Tzu
April 18, 2006, 06:49 PM

YOU live in AZ f**k the Ruger Mini 14. It is not a tactical assault weapon. Believe me on this point. I tried for nearly 5 years to convert my 2 mini 14's and my 1 mini 30 into something they can never be.

The rifles work fine w/their overpriced factory Ruger mags. Aftermarket mags are a joke they all suck. Maybe the new polymer hicaps will work better. Remember buy a Ruger pre 2004. Go to their website and search the serial number/date page. It will give YOU all the intel YOU need to guarantee YOU buy a serial numbered model that will take hicaps. The new models, after the Ruger was upgraded, no longer accept hicapacity magazines. -CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED-!

Seriously, by an older used Ranch model. Keep the original stock or put a rubber Houge stock on it. Do not put folding, pistol grip style military after market gear on it. Maybe a muzzle break for cool looks and a bit more control on the mini 30's muzzle blast. Thats it though. It was never built to be a military grade rifle.

W/the 3 Rugers I used to own, repeat used to own, I had frequent issues. W/the ejector springs, the entire assembly that locks back the action, and 1 out of every 10 aftermarket mags worked reliably the rest were crap. And for these reasons my rifles were truly glorified Pieces Of ****...

And thats the truth from a guy who never sold his Arsenal milled SLR 95 and his real 30cal Carbines! Two weapon systems that are military grade and will never fail YOU when the SHTF!

Brother, YOU live in a FREE STATE take advantage and hook yourself up w/a real battle rifle. I also hate all AR 15's except for the new DPMS AK style non blow back piston system... Less fouling and way more reliable. If I liked this weapon platform thats what I'd buy. I have since sold my AR 15 circa 1982, my M4 circa 1994 and all of my new AR upper barrel assemblies... Not my cup of tee anymore. Still very popular w/LE and military. Just not me. Its not a rifle system I would depend on when the end of days come...

Sorry boys this is just my personal experience w/only 3 M16 type rifles over 20 years. In AZ their are plenty of great companies selling AR type weapons. Do some investigating. YOU will be pleased by what YOU find. Also, check out www.BobCatweapons.com they rule. Awesome custom AK variants: pistol grips, side folders, full stocks, sniper stocks, etc...

Have fun and get that AK!!!

Laterz, S Tzu

April 18, 2006, 07:18 PM
Sun Tzu,
1) The 18 ProMag polymer mags I've tried in my 2 different Mini's (a 186 & 580) all function 100% now. A big help is installing the Wolff heavy duty recoil spring. I suggest you do more research before issuing a blanket "all aftermarket mags suck" condemnation.
2) While I've heard (but cannot confirm/deny) that the newer Mini's have slightly shortened mag release catches that can cause functioning problems w/some hicaps I avoided that possibility altogether by installing Hadaway extened mag releases.
3) The Butler Creek folding stock (IMHO) is a quality item that allows storage in smaller spaces and has a useful storage compartment in the pistol grip for small items like batteries, sight adjustment tools, broken shell extractor, etc.
4) The easiest ways to improve Mini accuracy are to cut the bbl back a bit (to appx 16.5") and/or add a muzzle brake or flash hider.
5) I agree the Mini is not a military grade rifle (but then I don't believe the M-16/AR-15 is military grade, either) but has a 30yr track record of ruggedness/reliability, enough to function very well as a personal SD/SHTF rifle. (Assault weapon? I don't know about you but I don't plan on "assaulting" anyone or anything... if things get that serious then E&E will be my 24/7 strategy w/shooting the very last thing I want to get involved with...)
6) I, also, am a huge AK fan (I even have an autographed photo of Kalashnikov himself) but AK's suffer from the vulnerability of having their imported ammo cut off w/the stroke of a pen (leaving 7.62x39 owners w/few options and 5.45x39 owners w/none) plus the long-term question of spare bbl/parts availability.
Just my $.02 worth...

still 2 many choices
April 18, 2006, 09:20 PM
It don't suck compared to a pointy stick:D, but compared to good AR:barf:!

April 18, 2006, 09:39 PM
i LOVE my mini 14. They are simple less budget based reliable .223 rifle. They are well built and good for general purpose. They will shoot as fast or as slow as you want. I got one less then a year ago and have no complaint. They are the quite the platform of an AR, but also dont cost as much. There are many different ways to set them up also. U can go for fixed stock, heavy scope target to folder, stainless, all tactical. here is mine


Yea also, if the M16 was such a great hit (not bashing them cause i like them, all personal opinon) why were soldiers throwing them in the trash can when they were told they were gonna replace the M14

April 18, 2006, 09:52 PM
There is simply no excuse why a .223 can't shoot into 2 inches minimum. If you have to spend big bucks to make a Mini shoot worth a damn, it is a crap rifle to start with, and it is, Regardless of how well it functions "they suck" I have a Ruger 44 Mag carbine and a Win 100 and a Rem 7400 and 742 that shoot better, so it isn't because it is an auto. It is a bad barrel, design and Ruger simply won't change it as long as some of you think it is the greatest rifle made. 4" groups at 100 yards sucks. period. I have pistols that can do that. Wake up and quit defending a crap gun. I have one,, had 2 others, and am very willing to sell the one I have. My 30 cal carbine shoots better and it is considered less than a "gun" by many, I could do as well with a slingshot as a Mini 14. Don't even bother to flame me, I have probably owned more Mini 14's than you, all in an effort to find ONE that shot halfway decent.

April 18, 2006, 11:14 PM
still 2 many choices: "good AR"? That's a contradiction in terms... ;)

Ruger4570: No flame but you don't have to spend "big bucks" to make the Mini-14 shoot significantly better. Don't take my word for it, check here for the guys who've done it: http://perfectunion.com/vb/forumdisplay.php?f=86
A "crap gun" only because it doesn't shoot as accurately as you wish? You're entitled to your own opinion (however biased or misinformed it may be) but I've owned Mini's off and on since the first year they came out and I'll base my own opinion on my own decades of personal experience, thank you very much. BTW, I don't think it's "the greatest rifle made", rather I consider it the best of otherwise poor alternatives (at least I can live w/the shortcomings of the Mini that I can't fix, can't say the same for the AR: Troubleshooting forum at AR15.COM currently shows 2,964 topics w/20,904 replies). You don't like the Mini? Fine. Sell it and go away. Meanwhile the Mini-14 does all I and many others ask of it...

Art Eatman
April 19, 2006, 10:31 AM
Ruger4570, do you have a little black cloud that follows you around? :D Quit kicking dogs and tripping little old ladies and maybe you'll have better luck!


Just teasing. I'll take my good luck on the four Minis I've had, which all performed quite nicely. Frustration is a real booger-bear when things don't work as expected...


April 19, 2006, 04:05 PM
I've seen a couple of Remington 700 rifles that "wouldn't shoot into 2". That was, of course, in the hands of their owners. In anyone else's hands, they were 1" rifles.

Most hunters consider a 2"@100yds. rifle as acceptable accuracy, if not good accuracy. The trouble with the AR platform is that the really accurate ones have tolerances so tight that durability and reliability suffer. The military M16A3 and the M4 Carbine are considered acceptable at 4-6 MOA. That's far cry from the "any rifle chambered in .223 should be able to do 2"" school of dreaming.:barf:

I just, within the past week, bought several Mini-14 LEO mags for $26.00 each. These are the 20 rounders. The new AR mags, with the green followers, and the silicone wire springs are at least that much new. The Ruger mags are NIB, by the way.

I'm also the owner of several USGI M1 Carbines. Properly set up, these are 2-2.5 MOA weapons, until you remove them from the stock for cleaning. After that, they should be re-zeroed. The government spent a fortune trying to get repeatable accuracy from the carbine, with six different recoil plates, and three front bands. Repeatable zero can be an elusive thing in an M1 Carbine. By the way, unless you're paying $1300.00+ for a Fulton Armory, DGR, or MilTech rebuild, you'll always be replacing parts in the Carbine due to wear. They are also getting quite pricey in the market in ANY condition.

I've had excellent luck with my Mini-14 rifles. Accuracy at 100 yds. remains inside 2 MOA, and reliability and durability are great. My largest investment has been in a muzzle brake. I also checked the gas cylinder assembly for equal spacing, and corrected a minor difference left-to-right.

If you want an AR-15, be prepared to spend over $1000.00 for a NIB H-Bar capable of everything that you say you want. It's your choice. If you're still wondering what a Mini-14 can do, see the above listed link, and see what works. Simply replacing parts willy-nilly is expensive, and usually ends up with less than you started with.:)

still 2 many choices
April 20, 2006, 09:26 AM
Not a contradiction in terms, but more of a,"relative term". Again, it is only relative to what you expect from the weapon. If 2 moa is fine for your mini, be happy and don't let anyone tell you different. My H-Bar Bushmaster M4gery will do 1 moa with good eyes behind it(or a scope) and has not jammed or stove piped when I used good ammo and mags...I also am probably one of the few AR owners that don't adhere to the doctrine of ,"surgically clean the AR platform right after firing it, or it will implode next time out",:rolleyes: ...

My post was not meant to take anything away from mini's or their owners(no flame intended), just to state MY OPINION. Which is that mini's don't hold a candle to quality AR's(built or manufactured), wich is both relative and subjective...Deal with it:).

PS-My AR was $850(not counting toys and mags) and shot just fine out of the box, no accuracy enhancement needed. If you have to accurize your weapon out of the box sounds like a design flaw to me. That just doesn't seem right. I would still prefer a Mini to a sharp stick unlike Ruger 4570,lol.

April 20, 2006, 11:55 AM
Where did you find a Colt HBAR for $850 ? We spent some time looking around N. Georgia during the Xmas season, and couldn't find any new AR15s for under $750.00, plus 7% or 8% sales tax, depending on the county. The Colts were all well above the $1200 mark, new.:confused:

While I agree that 1 MOA is fine, 2 MOA will handle pretty much anything but paper punching. If I need to snipe a squirrel at 300 meters, I'll use one of my bolt guns.:)

still 2 many choices
April 20, 2006, 01:17 PM
But in my post I clearly say it's a Bushmaster. I got it back in 2002 or '03.

April 20, 2006, 07:10 PM
I hope you didn't take my statement literally (that's why I put the little winky thing after it...). I know there are reliable AR's out there, I've just never owned one. IMHO the AR is like an Indy 500 racer: when it's properly tuned, maintained & fed the right gas then there's little that can touch it. However, it's also more complex and therefore more sensitive to its diet & prone to malfunctions. The Mini is more like an old air-cooled VW: It won't get you there as fast, fancy or nice as the racer but odds are it will still be running when the racer has to hit the pits.
As you mentioned, these are all just our opinions and I have no trouble w/that. However, should someone starting presenting their opinion as God-given fact then I feel obliged to step in...
PS- If I were ever to get another AR, it would be a Bushy...

still 2 many choices
April 21, 2006, 09:41 AM
I totally missed the ;), but in my defense I'v been gone for a while:). My Bushmaster M4 with AK muzzle brake digested 650 rounds of the old laquer-coated wolf with barely a hiccup and no cleaning, I consider that reliable enough for anything I might face.

PS. I still got the WASR 10 for back up,as Murphy is an unforgiving type... :D

July 26, 2010, 07:18 PM
Hi, all. I'm new here and I am a Ruger fan.
I am making a barrel mount front hooded post sight for ALL mini's and maybe others, maybe even the ar.

Opinions are welcome.
here is a link to the first pics, they aren's that good, but new ones are coming after anodizing.

These WILL NOT be made overseas ! U.S. made ONLY !

have a good one all,

March 24, 2011, 06:37 PM
I just bought a Mini 14 form CDNN. 2 MOA is fine by me. If I aim for center mass and 2 inches off, I am ok with that.

March 24, 2011, 07:13 PM
I like mine.

March 24, 2011, 08:17 PM

March 24, 2011, 08:52 PM
Mini-14's have high lack of suck thereof.......

However, zombie threads sucketh divinely...

March 25, 2011, 03:32 PM
After a few years being a member of perfectunion - mini's don't suck, but they are odd. Their triggers do suck, that is why gundoc is so busy. Their eccentric harmonic node makes them extremely picky on ammo for accuracy.
And, Rugers quality control did suck for years; if you read about mini's, you will notice many people have not great ones, but a few people have very good ones.
Sort of the reverse of good QC.

March 25, 2011, 03:35 PM
My dad had one he carried in his Dodge Powerwagon, it would SUCK THE "BAD" OUT OF A "BAD GUY"!:)

March 25, 2011, 04:35 PM
Sucks that a 5 year old thread got revived.

March 25, 2011, 04:56 PM
The original OP said he wanted rails, I believe. The cheapest gun you can get that fits all your qualifications is either a low end AR or an AK. Mini's simply don't have the options available as the other platforms and mags are harder to find. Go with something else.

March 25, 2011, 05:00 PM
Actually there are diffrent stocks out there that have all the rails one could possibly need and magazines are 20-25 bucks and arent hard at all to find. Check cdnn and midwayusa.

March 25, 2011, 07:33 PM
Mine doesn't. :)

March 26, 2011, 08:55 PM
Mini-14's have high lack of suck thereof.......

However, zombie threads sucketh divinely...


I don't think my Mini-14's suck at all... And if there were a such thing as the undead, I'd reach for one in a heartbeat! Lol sorry, just had to. I'm looking forward to Halloween, and the zombie threads!!

March 26, 2011, 11:31 PM
The mini is one of the few guns that will actually make me defend an AR. "but if you do ____ and _____ and ______ and _____ then it'll be an alright gun!" That doesn't do it for me. It should come ready to go out of the box. That's the manufacturers job, not the buyers.

March 27, 2011, 12:41 AM
Well kato there are alot of AR's that need some tweaking to get good accuracy too. How many AR owners buy a rifle and dont do anything to it. Thats what I thought.

March 27, 2011, 04:52 AM
Well as most have to tweak the heck out of a M1A to shoot near to a AR I tend to not think a mini is in the same ball park much less game.

March 27, 2011, 08:18 AM
My Smith AR's were such lemons that one got traded for a Mini. And I have to say- those M&P's have the heaviest trigger of any proiduction rifle I've shot. They needed all kinds of "tweaking". And when they actually managed to function occasionally, they weren't any more accurate than a 580 Mini. Just my experience, but I don't need a rifle to dress up or make a whole new hobby out of. Just something to shoot wild dogs on my property, and keep by my bed.

March 27, 2011, 08:26 AM
Mine is a great shooter. It's a 186 series in stainless. I got it as a Police trade-in.

I recently was reading a lot of hype and whining about the Mini and decided to look into having mine Cryo'ed. Well, took it to the range this week to get a 'before' target so I could compare how it shot after the cold treatment. Set up on the 100 yard range and fired off 20 rounds in 5 shot strings using the peep sites.

Well, the 'before' target looked so good that there will be no 'after' target. I'm even thinking about a good scope for the Mini now...

Art Eatman
March 27, 2011, 09:29 AM
Sheesh! Necrothreadia and a pointless subject. Bad enough, five years ago.