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ARGAO2
May 23, 2007, 08:33 PM
I recently put a post on AR15.com asking the AR fans what any of them thought of the new Ruger Mini 14 in 6.8 SPC. I would have to say I was shocked at how many people said the mini is a pice of junk and how the AR is so much better. Needless to say Im here now asking the firing line what you guys think of the new mini and the reliability of the mini itself. Thanks

zoomie
May 23, 2007, 08:50 PM
I'm sure knowledgeable guys will reply. In the meantime, here's what they've already said:

http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15013
http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=126019
http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=140088

Trapper L
May 23, 2007, 09:08 PM
I would listen to the guys at AR15. The Mini 14 is a fun spray gun, but that's about it. You want accuracy, you want an AR. FWIW, the early 181 Minis were not bad little shooters but the ones made after that are junk.

Bigfatts
May 23, 2007, 10:17 PM
Not another "My $5000 AR can outshoot your $500 Mini" thread. The AR-15 is in the civilian market is usually a precision rifle. It is meant to be accurate and accessorized. The Mini 14 is a utility rifle. Decent accuracy (2-3" at 100yds), rugged, reliable, lightweight, handy. And those things it is. It makes a great hunting rifle or beat around the back of the truck rifle, Hence "Ranch Rifle." They most definately are not junk. IMHO they are based on one of the greatest actions ever, the M1.

It so happens that the Mini can also be pressed into the role of the defensive rifle, and there are plenty of tricks to get better performance out of them. Even so, it will never be on par with the AR. They are in different classes altogether. If you just want a rifle to hunt and have fun with get a Mini, but don't expect it to do things it wasn't intended to do. If you want to punch nice pretty groups on paper, or want a really ninjafied tactical gadgetizeable rifle to practice your shoulder rolls in your dark living room, get an AR.

That being said, I love my Mini and will not part with it.

Limeyfellow
May 23, 2007, 11:41 PM
If you are buying an Ar15 for $5000 around here you are paying way too much. You can get an entry level Ar15 for the same $500 in places. Still the Mini 14 is not in the same class of weapon.

john in jax
May 24, 2007, 08:18 AM
Mini's are good rifles, I've owned three and am trying to buy the last one I sold (a dressed up mini-30) back from the guy I sold it to.

AR's used to be a lot more expensive than Mini's, but AR prices have come down as more and more mfg's are competeing for your business. Usually AR's are more accurate than Mini's. There are a lot more accessories available for the AR than the Mini and they are usually cheaper.

It's that old "different strokes . . ." saying. Both are good rifles, just depends on what you like.

FALshootist
May 24, 2007, 08:34 AM
Normally I would say get the AR 15. More accurate, more accessories, and more and cheaper quality mags.

However, I am really interested in seeing the mini in 6.8. Hopefully there will be one at the gunshow this weekend.

Magnum Wheel Man
May 24, 2007, 08:43 AM
without taking this too off course...

what is the 6.8 ???

hmmm... something similar in power to 243, 257 roberts, 270 or ???

Magnum Wheel Man
May 24, 2007, 08:48 AM
sorry... answered my own question... found this source that helped with cartridge info...

http://www.rifleshootermag.com/ammunition/remington_0303/

blume357
May 24, 2007, 09:42 AM
there is a big difference between pointing out a guns good points and bad points and just saying it's trash. There are a few brands I don't like, most of these I've had no to little experience with....

I have had expericence with the standard mini-14 and 30. I can first hand tell you the disadvantages. I can also tell you what I like about them. The one time I used two different AR models they jammed several times.... but then I've had this happen with minis too..... if nothing else it sure seemed a lot easier to clear a jam in a mini-than in an AR.

But then flat out I'll admit my predudice... if you've got over a $1000 invested in a mini-14 you better like it.

http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f140/blume357/Gun%20Pictures/Web%20Gun%20Pics/DSC_0163b.jpg

FirstFreedom
May 24, 2007, 09:52 AM
I would have to say I was shocked at how many people said the mini is a piece of junk and how the AR is so much better. Needless to say Im here now asking the firing line

I say that.... the mini is a piece of junk and the AR is so much better (in rough terms). In my opinion. :)

oldcars
May 24, 2007, 11:22 AM
I like the little Minis, they always work and feed ammo that will choke an AR (at least the ar's that I have owned) True, they are not the most accurate rifles, but 3" groups at 100 yards will still get the job done in most cases. I just bought a Bushmaster dissipator upper, so I will try my luck with AR's again, but for a .223/5.56 rifle I can rely on, I pick up one of my stainless mini's . Here's my oppinion: If you like to tinker and target shoot=AR, If you want a good servicable rifle to toss behind the seat, strap down to a horse or quad, and know it will always work=Mini (or lever or AK!!!!)

c4igrant
May 24, 2007, 12:20 PM
The Mini-14 is of course less accurate than most common AR's. The mags for them are also more expensive and sometimes have QC issues. There also aren't as many aftermarket type parts for them.



C4

SteelCore
May 24, 2007, 02:47 PM
It should be pointed out that even an AR will often shoot 2-3" groups if high-quality ammo isn't used. Here's an illustration of this:

http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/edu8.htm

Even this high-end AR with SS heavy barrel was shooting nearly 3" groups with some milsurp stuff. That this was not the fault of the rifle, scope, or shooter is shown by the one-hole group made with handloads.

Still, the AR is generally agreed to be the more accurate rifle. The Mini's groups are said to open up a lot more with rapid fire (I don't own a Mini-14, but I hear this a lot). I've also heard that the Mini is more rugged and durable, but I don't know what the consensus is on that.

If it's possible to replace the stock barrel on the Mini with a good heavy barrel, that might change a lot.

Rimrod
May 24, 2007, 02:53 PM
I don't care for the ARs, but I don't care for the Minis even more.

c4igrant
May 24, 2007, 03:37 PM
It should be pointed out that even an AR will often shoot 2-3" groups if high-quality ammo isn't used. Here's an illustration of this:

http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/edu8.htm

Even this high-end AR with SS heavy barrel was shooting nearly 3" groups with some milsurp stuff. That this was not the fault of the rifle, scope, or shooter is shown by the one-hole group made with handloads.

Still, the AR is generally agreed to be the more accurate rifle. The Mini's groups are said to open up a lot more with rapid fire (I don't own a Mini-14, but I hear this a lot). I've also heard that the Mini is more rugged and durable, but I don't know what the consensus is on that.

If it's possible to replace the stock barrel on the Mini with a good heavy barrel, that might change a lot.


This really depends on the quality of the barrel, trigger and shooter. I use Noveske PACNOR barrels, Geissele trigger and M855 and my guns shoot under one inch groups. So AR's with mil-spec ball can shoot under one inch.


C4

Jamie Young
May 24, 2007, 03:46 PM
400yd Accuracy results with Mini 14 (http://www.therallypoint.org/forum/index.php?topic=1077.0)

My Ranch Rifle does fine with handloads and suits me just fine for my purposes.

BUSTER51
May 24, 2007, 05:13 PM
As far as I'm concerned there is no way this is ever going to end ,the AR guys and the Mini guys will never agree. over all the AR is a far better weapon ,that said need we go any further? so for the Mini lovers if your happy that's all that counts ,but be honest and admit the AR is the better weapon and move on .:eek:

JR47
May 24, 2007, 05:14 PM
This really depends on the quality of the barrel, trigger and shooter. I use Noveske PACNOR barrels, Geissele trigger and M855 and my guns shoot under one inch groups. So AR's with mil-spec ball can shoot under one inch.

You can get an entry level Ar15 for the same $500 in places. Still the Mini 14 is not in the same class of weapon.

Please show me the shop where I can buy such an equipped AR for $500.00.

Please lead me to a shop that has a new AR in Georgia for $500.00, as well. Now, for $700.00 I can get an entry-level AR at a couple of places. These will NOT shoot sub-MOA with Milsurp, but will be in the same 2-3 MOA as the Mini. They will also, assuredly, be less reliable than the Mini-14.

As a hunting rifle, which the Mini-14 was designed as, if you need more than 3-4 shots to hit the game, stringing from the sport weight barrel may occur. There are any number of semi-automatic sporting rifles out there that will exhibit that same phenomena.

I have never heard of any QC problems with OEM Ruger magazines, either 20 or 30. Aftermarket mags are spotty in reliability. There was also a group of National made mags that had the base-plates replaced with Ruger units, and were sold as OEM, until the seller was caught, and warned, by Ruger.

The AR and the Mini-14 are different. They were built for different purposes. It's like comparing an M1 Garand with a Remington 7400 in .30-06. As with the other pair, the only similarities would be in manner of action, and caliber.:)

Bigfatts
May 24, 2007, 05:28 PM
so for the Mini lovers if your happy that's all that counts ,but be honest and admit the AR is the better weapon and move on .

This is not a fair statement. Neither is better than the other, they both have their intended purposes and they both fill the requirements well. I would not take my Mini to the range and shoot it in a competition, I would not throw an AR in the bed of a pick up truck and use it as a beat around working gun. Neither is setup to fulfill the other's duty. The only similarity between the two is that they shoot the same cartridge. This isn't a reason to compare them as if they were on equal ground and it never will be.

WhyteP38
May 24, 2007, 09:57 PM
This really depends on the quality of the barrel, trigger and shooter. I use Noveske PACNOR barrels, Geissele trigger and M855 and my guns shoot under one inch groups. So AR's with mil-spec ball can shoot under one inch.And how much did all of that cost compared to a $550 Mini?

I have seen AR barrels that cost almost as much as an entire NIB Mini. For that kind of money, I certainly hope you are getting MUCH better groups than with a Mini.

I have several ARs and one Mini-30. Since I have multiple ARs and only one Mini, I have definitely put my money where I was most interested, and it was not with buying another Mini. So I'm not biased against ARs. I find the ARs more interesting and enjoyable. But my Mini is a rugged gun and fun in its own way, and I would trust in a SD scenario because I have no expectation of charging a terrorist stronghold or needing to defend myself against someone more than 100 yards away. Frankly, I doubt I'll ever face a bad guy more than 20 yards away. At those ranges, my ARs and my Mini are accurate enough.

For most folks, SD accuracy beyond 50 yards or so is overhyped. If you need great accuracy beyond 50 yards, get the more accurate rifle. If you don't need it, get what works best for you.

4V50 Gary
May 24, 2007, 10:08 PM
The AR with its gas-impingment action is inherently more accurate than the Mini-14 with its modified M-1 Garand action. Fewer moving parts with the Stoner system means more harmonic consistency.

Does this mean the Mini-14 is without merit? No. It's a fun gun and I've got one myself. It wasn't meant to be a match gun that some AR builders make their guns into. Now, there is an exception with the newer Mini-14 Match (forgive me if I don't have the right name).

Given the choice, I'd still take the AR over the Mini. The AR is easier to work on. It's the first gun since the flintlock or percussion rifle that an average guy can build and you don't even need the skills of a flintlock builder to build an AR. When a Mini-14 goes down, you can swap out some parts, but at some point like rebarrelling or changing the bolt, it'll have to go back to the factory (unless you're set up to swap barrels).

line1
May 25, 2007, 05:08 AM
It may be more of a problem of weak barrel steel flex than design.

blume357
May 25, 2007, 07:43 AM
again, and again. The barrel gets hot and the point of impact moves... after 3-6 rounds.... I tried to fix this problems but am not sure I did. I had my barrel cut down to less than 16"... whoa... before ya'll get your britches in a bunch.... the barrel is just over 16" with muzzle break... it's legal.

Accuracy is still not that great... part of it is me... part is that it is a standard stainless mini and I'm not sure the b-square scope adapter is the best way to go... One thing shortening the barrel did is stop the 'walking' of the hits as the barrel warms up. I'm not sure the receiver bedding job did anything but make it harder to take the gun down. The trigger job did help a good bit. I'm sticking with iron sights on this one and it's use would always be within 100 yards. I think she is pretty though.

I still would like someone to address if it is harder or easier to dislodge a jammed round in an AR than a Mini...

c4igrant
May 25, 2007, 07:51 AM
Please show me the shop where I can buy such an equipped AR for $500.00.

Please lead me to a shop that has a new AR in Georgia for $500.00, as well. Now, for $700.00 I can get an entry-level AR at a couple of places. These will NOT shoot sub-MOA with Milsurp, but will be in the same 2-3 MOA as the Mini. They will also, assuredly, be less reliable than the Mini-14.

As a hunting rifle, which the Mini-14 was designed as, if you need more than 3-4 shots to hit the game, stringing from the sport weight barrel may occur. There are any number of semi-automatic sporting rifles out there that will exhibit that same phenomena.

I have never heard of any QC problems with OEM Ruger magazines, either 20 or 30. Aftermarket mags are spotty in reliability. There was also a group of National made mags that had the base-plates replaced with Ruger units, and were sold as OEM, until the seller was caught, and warned, by Ruger.

The AR and the Mini-14 are different. They were built for different purposes. It's like comparing an M1 Garand with a Remington 7400 in .30-06. As with the other pair, the only similarities would be in manner of action, and caliber.


You really cannot build a quality AR for $500 and wasn't my point. The comment was that a precision built AR will shoot 3-4 MOA with mil-spec ball and that just isn't true.

Most aftermarket Ruger mags run in the $25 range while USGI AR mags can be had for $10. When looking at a weapon platform, you have to look at everything and mag cost is certainly something to consider IMHO.


C4

5whiskey
May 25, 2007, 08:08 AM
What, is there a monthly requirement to have an AR vs. Mini showdown thread on TFL? Just when I thought everyone had given up the debate and we would finally miss our quota, here it is again.

Give it up already. If you're missing the debate then do a search on AR or Mini and I'm sure you'll have plenty of choices.

They're both beautiful in their purpose! (This from the guy that started the taurus thread on the semi auto handguns... I could practice what I preach)

Joey

Magnum Wheel Man
May 25, 2007, 08:52 AM
Probably will quit reading this thread...

IMO, here we have almost 2 clashing cults... the thing I find interesting, is how the AR has morphed from what it should have been, to where it is today...

... go to any AR site & listen to all the problems people have with them... probably most related to the accurising of a military designed rifle... the AR was ( or at least should have been ) designed to be dropped in the mud of the trenches of war, & still been a reliable light arm for the soldier it was issued to... but we've all heard the storys from Vietnam of the original unreliabilty... the gun just doesn't love rolling in the mud like a pig...IMO, it was overdesigned & built to too tight a spec right from the start...

now that I've got the AR guy's all "up in arms"... however this "overdesigned & built to too tight a spec" rifle, seems to have found a place with the American shooter ( I have one that I built for prairie dogging... & it's good to about 500-600 yards consistantly on doggies, with the 20X scope... there is nothing more fun than having my buddy get up & look at me discustedly, after he emptied is smaller clip on a light bolt action rifle, trying to reach for a particular doggie that's way out there, only to have me pop em, after he's empty, & before he even pulls the scope from his eye... seems the AR can more easily be built as tack drivers than be "loosened up" enough to be reliable "mud guns"

I've never owned a "mini" but have shot a few of them, & as designed ( as a "ranch rifle" ) they seem to perform well for thier designed purpose... the basic design is less than optimum to build as a tack driver, than the AR, but if the AR was built as it really should have been for it's intended purpose, it likely would have been just as difficult as well...

...

... ... way, way off on another tangent... those Glocks, SKS's & AK,s are what I find amaizing... that they can be fixed to shoot reasonably accurately, yet can roll in the mud with any old pig, & still shoot like a they do...

JR47
May 25, 2007, 09:30 AM
Just to add a little more to the discussion. You do realize that the new Mini-14 Target has won the Manufacturers Trophy against other factory teams using ARs, don't you? It's being advertised in a number of ads that Ruger has taken out recently. It would appear that, within the confines of that competition, the Ruger is quite capable of competing against the various AR platforms.

Not all that much difference there. The AR was converted from a military rifle to a target weapon, in 40+ years of government/civilian development. The Mini-14 was a knock-about rifle, converted in 30+ years by Ruger into a target capable weapon.

As to building your own, I can build an FN-FAL from a kit, and any number of AK derivatives. I've also pieced together a Model 1919-A4, from a kit and a sideplate. So what? MOST people buying weapons today want the WHOLE thing NOW, not a bag of parts. Today's shooters, in many ways, cannot use hand tools beyond a hammer and screwdriver (and often that as a chisel).

Those who like the AR have every right to their choice. Those who like the Mini-14 have the same right to their choice, without the snide, and usually inaccurate, comments of the ARfers.

essexcounty
May 25, 2007, 11:13 AM
I used to sell new ones and have shot a number of them. None I have seen could stack up next to an AR. This is too bad, as I consider them a neat package, but the accuracy and magazine issues are more than I want to deal with. Essex

JR47
May 25, 2007, 01:39 PM
That's a lot like saying that I used to sell AR15s, and they were hardly reliable. The Mini-14 was recently upgraded, and we know that the AR has been receiving military and commercial upgrades since 1965. Neither is the same weapon as it was originally introduced. That's like assuming that all 1903 Springfield receivers are brittle.:)

cuate
May 25, 2007, 01:58 PM
Got both, love to shoot both. Installed adjustable gas system in Mini-14 Ranch rifle, it no longer hurls fired brass from here to the Rio Grande, just right by my feet. Yeah, I reload.

BUT.........I love my Bushie M4 !!!! Probably love it the best.

Denny Hansen
May 25, 2007, 02:43 PM
A lot depends on what you plan to use the rifle for. If your goal is punching small groups in paper, the AR will win in the hands of equally capable shooters. No offense intended here, but I read a lot about sub-MOA groups on the Internet, but I see very few shooters who can actually do that on demand.

If the carbine is to be used for self-defense as a fighting gun, the differences are less noticeable. A few weeks ago I had two shooters on the range; one with a SLR15 and the other with a Mini-14. Running them on the MEU (SOC) M4A1 Qualification course, which includes a lot of shooting on the move and multiple targets. The AR shooter scored 86 out of a possible 100 and the Mini shooter scored 84. Passing score is 80. This is not an easy course of fire, and both shooters, IMO, shot very well.

While I personally prefer the ergonomics and accuracy of the AR, I don’t think the Mini is a piece junk if the shooter is up to the task. It's the singer, not the song.

Denny

PTR 91
May 25, 2007, 02:44 PM
Well I realy don't like the AR-15. I have shot them and I was not impressed at all. Actualy I found the rifle to be cheaper feeling than I thought before. The AR-15 was a Bushmaster match rifle, heavy barrel, the works. Sure it was accurate but a little while after it started jamming and not firing. I have only held mini 14s but they didn't seem to bad. One time I was at the range and a women showed up with one, she couldn't seem to get a good grouping with it though.

Gewehr98
May 25, 2007, 03:23 PM
I would not take my Mini to the range and shoot it in a competition, I would not throw an AR in the bed of a pick up truck and use it as a beat around working gun.

I mean, do they actually buy a gun with the intent of thrashing it around in the back of a pickup truck, rain, snow, a couple yards of gravel, empty beer cans, etc?

What kind of gun functions and maintains accuracy after that?

Better yet, don't sell it, because I don't want to see something like that on a used gun rack anywhere. :eek:

5whiskey
May 25, 2007, 03:36 PM
Better tell everyone American troop in Iraq that their M16/M4 is a jam-o-matic and will never cycle reliably no matter what.

I'm fighting really hard to not get in this one. MUST... NOT... GIVE IN...

PTR 91
May 25, 2007, 03:46 PM
I'm not trying to start a whole speal about AR-15s are bad and what not I am just saying what I think about them and what happened to the AR I was shooting.

SteelCore
May 25, 2007, 04:40 PM
This really depends on the quality of the barrel, trigger and shooter. I use Noveske PACNOR barrels, Geissele trigger and M855 and my guns shoot under one inch groups. So AR's with mil-spec ball can shoot under one inch.
The comment was that a precision built AR will shoot 3-4 MOA with mil-spec ball and that just isn't true.I don't doubt at all that some ARs, such as your high-end piece, can shoot under 1 MOA with good milsurp. Some rifles just "like" certain kinds of ammo. But the fact that the shooter at the link I provided was getting one-hole groups from his handloads while getting much larger groups from surplus shows how the ammo can certainly be the limiting factor. If your ammo is only capable of 2-3 MOA due to inconsistent powder loads, slightly varying bullet shapes, etc., then 2-3 MOA is the very best you'll get from it in any rifle. (Unless there's sheer luck involved.)

It also depends on the number of shots per group. I personally use groups of 10 shots, as 3-shot groups are meaningless IMO. 10 shot groups will always be larger. Even so, my plain-jane 20" Bushmaster shoots under 1 MOA with Black Hills. That becomes 2-2.5 MOA with milsurp.

JR47
May 25, 2007, 04:44 PM
Mr. Hansen is correct. The abilities of the weapons are usually far better than those of the shooter. You pays your money, and takes your pick.:)

Bigfatts
May 25, 2007, 05:06 PM
I mean, do they actually buy a gun with the intent of thrashing it around in the back of a pickup truck, rain, snow, a couple yards of gravel, empty beer cans, etc?

You would be surprised how people abuse working rifles. More than once I have had people tell me how they left their rifle in the bed of their pickups or left it out in the woods or leaning on a fence post for WEEKS at a time. I have seen more ruined Marlin lever actions and Winchester '94s than I care to relate. I would not treat one of my guns like that, but I have seen Minis that have stood for it when the others didn't. I have never actually seen an AR used like that but I can imagine the results.

prime8
May 25, 2007, 06:41 PM
First, why where you shocked at the results to your question posted on, of all sites AR15.com?


The mini was based on a very reliable action. Is very reliable, but will occasionally jam. All guns eventually do. They are not very accurate, and probably over priced in my oppinion. I would still buy one but not at retail price!!! Maybe even dealer price...... If I bought a minni, it would be at a gun show, and wouldnt pay over 350 bucks.

The AR is like a sports car. It can out perform alot of rifles, but are finiky, and require alot of cleaning, and tuning. Very accurate if you invest 1000 bucks. Most stock ars shoot 1-2 moa, but can be tuned to sum moa w/ mods.
JMO

I like my AR, but I love my PTR!!! Sorry, Im biased too....lol:D

BUSTER51
May 25, 2007, 07:03 PM
I must be very lucky because the M16 I was issued in 1971 and used in some slimey jungle conditions and the 7 AR 15's I own now and the 3 I have had and sold NEVER jamed or malfunctioned . this must be a fluke because other than this my luck sucks. :D

blume357
May 25, 2007, 07:32 PM
heard the initial problems with m-16 jamming in vietnam was not the weapon but that the military changed the ammo and didn't realize it wouldn't work well in the gun...

The ones I saw jam....it probably wasn't fair... they had been tuned for use with silencers which had been removed.

nemoaz
May 25, 2007, 09:55 PM
heard the initial problems with m-16 jamming in vietnam was not the weapon but that the military changed the ammo and didn't realize it wouldn't work well in the gun...

And removed the chromed bore...and issued them without cleaning kits... or instructions on maintenance.

I'm not a big conspiracy theorist, but it's hard to imagine that anyone who knows anything about guns could do this, much less the armors and weapons experts of the greatest army on the earth. It's also hard to imagine that no one at DOD lost their job over this (at least as far as has ever been reported). If my suspicions are correct and some 7.62 lovers with procurement responsibilities purposefully did this, they should have been hung for treason.

JR47
May 26, 2007, 07:23 AM
There has never been any proof shown that the issue was anything but incompetence. Olin refused to provide any more of the powder Gene Stoner spec'd. Seems that there were pressure problems associated with achieving the velocities required. Ball powders also burn slightly cooler, and there is less wear due to this. Faced with these problems, Ball powder was substituted, and velocitied were maintained.

Why this problem wasn't quickly discovered and dealt with is the stuff of legends.

ConfuseUs
May 26, 2007, 03:13 PM
I must admit that I've only seen Mini 14s in gunstores and never actually fired one. That said, all Mini 14 owners really wish they'd gotten the AR-15 because it is the rifle that Darth Vader reaches for when the batteries in his light saber go dead. Trash me all you want, Mini 14 owners, but you know it is true. ;) :p

Average Joe
May 26, 2007, 08:48 PM
Get the AR, in the end, you will be glad you did. I owned a mini, and sold it, its a good rifle, but its not an AR.

T. O'Heir
May 26, 2007, 11:05 PM
"...won the Manufacturers Trophy against other factory teams using ARs..." That doesn't exactly mean anything. It's like believing what the gun rag writers say. The Mini-14 Target is too new to be proven by non-industry shooters. If and when a real match is won by a shooter using a Target Mini, then it'll be proven to be what Ruger is claiming. Meanwhile, it's just marketing.
Too expensive too(MSRP is $995). Mind you, so is the MSRP($775 and $835) of any Mini-14 for the accuracy. Granted you rarely pay the MSRP. As much as Mini's are well known for poor accuracy, they are also well known for their reliability. However, comparing one with an AR is an apples and oranges thing. T'ain't the same thing.
As to a 6.8 SPC Mini, I'd look in your local gun shop to see if they have ammo or brass. Midway lists it, but the shipping costs will hurt. And until you see the rifles in stock in your local gun shop. Ruger has announced stuff in the past they didn't build.

blume357
May 27, 2007, 07:34 AM
I'll grab my mini-14.... Like I've mentioned, I have limited experience with the AR platform... besides being generally more acuarate at 100 yards and beyond... I haven't heard anything that makes an AR better. I don't think if things go real bad.... I would still be shooting past 75 yards. And if I need to reach out further and 'touch someone' I'm going to go with a bolt action in 306 or 308 or such... not a 22(3).

Bartholomew Roberts
May 27, 2007, 10:30 AM
This really depends on the quality of the barrel, trigger and shooter. I use Noveske PACNOR barrels, Geissele trigger and M855 and my guns shoot under one inch groups. So AR's with mil-spec ball can shoot under one inch.

When you say that the AR groups under one inch with mil-spec ball, what distance are you shooting and how many rounds are in the groups. Also, are you saying it does this consistently or occasionally?

I've shot a couple of precision ARs and own a few high-dollar ARs myself and with the exception of the Santa Barbara SS109 that is no longer on the market, I've never come across a mil-spec ball ammo that would group 10 rounds in less than 3" consistently at 100yds.

As to Mini-14s, you can sum up my opinion as great rifle at $350, way overpriced for what you get at $550+. I've got around 17k rounds through ARs since I started logging rounds, so I feel very comfortable with that system and it has run well for me. I have less than 500 rounds through three Mini-14s (none of which I owned) and two of those Minis had parts breakage during the shooting session. So that tends to color my opinion of them.

JR47
May 27, 2007, 10:59 AM
"...won the Manufacturers Trophy against other factory teams using ARs..." That doesn't exactly mean anything. It's like believing what the gun rag writers say. The Mini-14 Target is too new to be proven by non-industry shooters. If and when a real match is won by a shooter using a Target Mini, then it'll be proven to be what Ruger is claiming. Meanwhile, it's just marketing.

I see, so what you're saying is that, if it doesn't come from some Internet Expert, it's not true? Does anyone honestly believe that an ad like that would run uncontested if it weren't true?

What, exactly, is a "real match"? The Manufacturer's Competition is an on-going competition. It occurs year after year. That it even rates such a poor attempt to discredit it obviously means that you're familiar with it.

Under your bogus theme, I guess that Ferrari can't claim to have a winning car, either. As there are no competitive Ferarri Teams except that of Ferarri.

It's simply amazing that people actually believe that such a contrived excuse makes sense.

Too expensive too(MSRP is $995). Mind you, so is the MSRP($775 and $835) of any Mini-14 for the accuracy. Granted you rarely pay the MSRP. As much as Mini's are well known for poor accuracy, they are also well known for their reliability. However, comparing one with an AR is an apples and oranges thing. T'ain't the same thing.

Have you priced an AR lately? One that is capable of matching the accuracy of the Mini-Target? (Whooo, now THAT's a switch). Most upper grade AR platforms are broaching the $1500 MSRP, and many are well above that mark.

You are correct, the AR and MIni are different things. I have repeatedly stated that, but to no avail. The AR shooters are JUST as likely to compare their rifle to the Mini-14 as the opposite.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but the Mini-14 of 30 years ago has changed today. Then again, so has the AR. Both are capable of much more accuracy and reliability than even 10 years ago. That applying the standard modifications used in competitive shooting will result in a more accurate rifle is a given. Why, then, do the AR shooters seem so hell-bent on denying that the Mini-14's accuracy has improved?:confused:

Bartholomew Roberts
May 27, 2007, 11:23 AM
Just to add a little more to the discussion. You do realize that the new Mini-14 Target has won the Manufacturers Trophy against other factory teams using ARs, don't you? It's being advertised in a number of ads that Ruger has taken out recently. It would appear that, within the confines of that competition, the Ruger is quite capable of competing against the various AR platforms.

What are the confines of that competition? What were the targets, distance, rate of fire, course of fire, etc? Without knowing those things, it is difficult to say what it tells us.

In an IPSC-style match with no mag changes on a 50yd bay, a Mini-14 that keeps running will be perfectly capable of running with an AR15, even though on a 100yd range it would be stringing shots badly.

Have you priced an AR lately? One that is capable of matching the accuracy of the Mini-Target? (Whooo, now THAT's a switch).

What is the accuracy of the Mini-Target? I've witnessed this model ofDPMS rifle (http://www.dpmsinc.com/firearms/223/bull_24.aspx) do a five round sub-MOA group at 100yds with Hornady 55gr TAP. It has an MSRP of $950.

Rimrod
May 27, 2007, 11:31 AM
What! Ruger running misleading advertisements! That's absurd!:rolleyes:

JR47
May 27, 2007, 02:20 PM
Nope, the only thing that's been mis-leading is the constant and inaccurate Internet Commando statements about the accuracy of the new Ruger Mini-14s.

What are the confines of that competition? What were the targets, distance, rate of fire, course of fire, etc? Without knowing those things, it is difficult to say what it tells us.

In an IPSC-style match with no mag changes on a 50yd bay, a Mini-14 that keeps running will be perfectly capable of running with an AR15, even though on a 100yd range it would be stringing shots badly.

Perhaps this will help.http://shootingindustry.com/06SIMstrs.html

Your last sentence is yet another quote from the past. Nobody has ever accused the Mini-14 of problems with "keeping running", that would be the Arfers lament. Barrel heat causing stringing? Have you shot a Mini-14 Target? Otherwise, you're just blathering away.

What is the accuracy of the Mini-Target? I've witnessed this model ofDPMS rifle do a five round sub-MOA group at 100yds with Hornady 55gr TAP. It has an MSRP of $950.

Ok, and the Mini-14 Target has an MSRP of $995. That's just about equal when you move into "street" prices. If anything, the Mini will be slightly less expensive.

FYI, http://www.galleryofguns.com/, and find these low priced Ars. I actually went to the DPMS site, and yes, I found SEVERAL Ars that were priced QUITE reasonably. None, however, are beneath the low $700 dollar mark that was bandied about in the beginning of this thread. You can believe that I will direct any of my friends looking for Ar types to DPMS.

Here we are again. The new Mini-14 Target is just that, new. It is a different product than the past Mini-14 rifle. They have been upgraded throughout the line. Against an AR, as manufactured in 1970, they would no doubt look great. So, why must we harp on the 1970s and 1980s era Mini-14? As I mentioned repeatedly, the average AR has been the recipient of 40+ years of both government and commercial R&D to reach today's performance level. Comparing today's AR via memory to the past Mini is dishonest. The Mini-14 just came out of an eighteen month long retooling and research and development program. It will stand or fall on the current merit.

The Team DID win the Competition, look at the site listed. Deny it, or "but wait" it as you want, the Trophy is still theirs.

The only advertising hype seems to be the "ARs are more accurate than MInis" chorus in this case. :D

Gewehr98
May 27, 2007, 03:07 PM
I'm interested in what the accuracy potential is of the "new" Target Mini-14, myself. Numbers, please.

I may give them another try, after selling my Mini-14 and Mini-30 rifles due to lackluster performance compared to my AR and AK rifles. I've sworn I would never touch one of the Ruger Minis again, but maybe they've turned a new leaf with accuracy and hicap mags available to all.

Make me a believer.

Bartholomew Roberts
May 27, 2007, 06:21 PM
Perhaps this will help.http://shootingindustry.com/06SIMstrs.html

Thanks for the link; but it didn't really answer my question as to what the parameters of the match were. It just tells me that Team Ruger won the Industry Class (without telling me what that consists of) and Team DPMS won the Open Class.

In addition, it seems to suggest that the event included sporting clays and pistol shooting. So what points did Team Ruger score in each event to win the overall Industry Class? For that matter, did they actually win rifle or did they just finish high enough in the points to let them win overall?

Nobody has ever accused the Mini-14 of problems with "keeping running", that would be the Arfers lament.

I can only speak from personal experience and as I mentioned earlier, of the three Minis I have shot (less than 500 rounds overall), I've seen two parts failures. I've yet to have a part break on an AR and the ones I've owned run well when given good ammo and magazines.

Barrel heat causing stringing? Have you shot a Mini-14 Target?

No I haven't, which is why I specified Mini-14 instead of the Mini-Target. Have you fired a Mini-Target? If so, maybe you could be more specific about the accuracy potential I asked about on my second question. You discussed MSRP at length; but you never really answered the question (How well does the Mini-Target shoot?)

Let me be clear here - I am not impugning your honor or suggesting that your preference for the Mini-14 platform makes you less of a man. I'm not even saying one platform is superior to another. I am just trying to get some actual hard data on performance of this new rifle - the parameters of the competition it won or what it can do in X conditions. If you don't know that information, then I fail to see how you can reach the conclusions you are reaching. If you do know that information, then simply sharing it will be a more effective argument than most of what you've typed so far.

JR47
May 28, 2007, 11:02 AM
The Trophy, as was mentioned in the article, was a Three-gun competition. That would account for the mention of the shotgun and pistol.

I only googled that far. I believe that one of the magazines will have covered this, and the article is due out soon.

I do not, and have never, worked for, or even talked to Ruger Corporate. If you read the other posts in the thread, I never said that the Mini-14 was the superior rifle. I repeatedly mentioned that it was an unfair comparison, as the two rifles were designed for different purposes.

No matter. There's always going to be some yahoo pushing their hackneyed old "my AR can" when anyone else talks about the MIni-14. If you're going to do that, then I feel quite good about pointing out the AR's weaknesses.

The Mini-14 was withdrawn from production for 18 months, and the tooling completely replaced, especially the barrel-making tooling. They are capable of "better" accuracy. They are STILL, however, designed as "Farm Guns", to be capable of taking pests and small game at 100-150 yards, while not needing any particular maintenance to do so in a farm enviornment (put back in the truck, and used again and again, without cleaning). No matter how much the "TactiCool" crowd wishes, I don't think that they'll ever be Assault Rifles.

I have handled, but not yet shot, the Target. That should occur in the next few weeks.(It seems that they like money BEFORE you pick up a weapon at most shops)

I'm not worried about anyone impugning my honor, sir. A question is a question.

I'm not sure why your only experience with the MIni-14 saw only failures. I own two, one early, and one SS All Weather, and both have literally 10K plus through each with no parts failure. I believe my experience to be more to the norm than yours. Both of these rifles will deliver the first five rapid-fire shots into less than 2"@100 yards. The only modifications have been the addition of a muzzle-brake to both. Both shot these groups with PMC 55 gr., and (believe it or not) Norinco Yellow Box 55 gr.

I'd love to wow everyone with tales of 1/2" groups, but it isn't happening with stock, old style, Mini-14 rifles.

I will, however, be pleased to post my results with the Mini-Target.

In the end, if you want an Assault capable Rifle, buy an AR. If you want a 50 state legal semi-auto in .223, that is capable of being used and abused, and still provide pest and small-game control, get the Mini-14.

If you want to blur the lines, the Mini-14 Target, or a cheaper AR15 (why break up a $1500 gun) CAN be used. :)

Merkaba
May 28, 2007, 02:12 PM
The AR-15 is in the civilian market is usually a precision rifle. It is meant to be accurate and accessorized. The Mini 14 is a utility rifle. Decent accuracy (2-3" at 100yds), rugged, reliable, lightweight, handy. And those things it is. It makes a great hunting rifle or beat around the back of the truck rifle, Hence "Ranch Rifle." They most definitely are not junk. IMHO they are based on one of the greatest actions ever, the M1.

It so happens that the Mini can also be pressed into the role of the defensive rifle, and there are plenty of tricks to get better performance out of them. Even so, it will never be on par with the AR. They are in different classes altogether. If you just want a rifle to hunt and have fun with get a Mini, but don't expect it to do things it wasn't intended to do. If you want to punch nice pretty groups on paper, or want a really ninjafied tactical gadgetizeable rifle to practice your shoulder rolls in your dark living room, get an AR.

That being said, I love my Mini and will not part with it.

he took the words out of my mouth

AR-15 vs Mini-14 is comparing apples and oranges.

I picked up a like new mini-14 made in 2000 for $300 with a decent scope and nice Choate stock (good friend gave me a good deal :) ). It has been one of the best purchases I've ever made. Fun and cheap to shoot, accurate as I knew it would be and they are known to be and durable as hell. The Mini-14 is ultra-reliable (based on one of the greatest actions ever, the M1).

They are a good deal if you can get one at a decent price. New ones seem overpriced to me.

mooky
May 28, 2007, 03:23 PM
....hmmmmmmmm can't get an AR here in the PRK (a real one anyway) and have a mini 14 which I enjoy for what it was designed for (in my case, plinking). I have shot some AR's and do enjoy them very much.

I solved the whole problem and got a Socom in 308. Small, accurate and fun. Wait, one problem, ammo is EXPENSIVE! :D

http://216.165.194.66/ktmtalk/photogallery/galleries/Parts_Mods/socom_II.jpg

Pecos21
May 28, 2007, 05:02 PM
If you want a combat or benchrest rifle, you will find that the Mini will be junk.

If you want a durable ranch rifle or hunting arm, you will find that the AR will be junk.

It is comparing apples to oranges.

PTR 91
May 28, 2007, 05:05 PM
Why would a mini 14 be junk for combat. I would rather have one of them then an AR.

Pecos21
May 28, 2007, 10:53 PM
Mini's are good enough for any combat scenario that I can think of, but many will claim that the lack of an adjustable stock, pistol grip, and selection of accessories (and iron sights, accuracy, etc, etc,) make them inferior to other military rifles. The mini wasnt even produced as a military rifle but as more of a utilitarian ranch tool, which I think is where it glows.

On the other hand, I just don't find that ARs make natural truck guns or hunting arms. Again, two different guns for two different purposes and they just dont seem to do as well when you start mixing their roles.

YMMV

dispatcher
June 2, 2007, 12:56 AM
I believe the AR is a superbly engineered weapon. It is accurate and easily adaptable- that’s why it’s the favorite of many shooters. My problem with the AR is that when it jams (all semi-auto rifles will at some time) the closed bolt system can create some serious problems when you least need them- as blume mentioned.
If you want range accuracy and flexibility, get an AR.
If you think you might have to fight with it, Mini 14

Manedwolf
June 2, 2007, 01:07 AM
They are STILL, however, designed as "Farm Guns", to be capable of taking pests and small game at 100-150 yards, while not needing any particular maintenance to do so in a farm enviornment (put back in the truck, and used again and again, without cleaning).

So they're AK's, but not as accurate, and over twice the price? :confused:

Art Eatman
June 2, 2007, 10:42 AM
I've owned four ARs and four Minis. Maybe I'm stupid, but I enjoyed all of them, and they all did what I wanted of them. That is, hit what I was shooting at.

My Bushie match target was a half-MOA critter. The other ARs were roughly two-MOA rifles.

My two blued Minis and my two stainless Minis always shot some 1.5 MOA with a K4 on top. Two MOA with irons, back when I could see much better than now. The first shot always went to the same point as the day before. That did in coyotes and jackrabbits quite nicely.

I never had any sort of failure to function with either an AR or a Mini.

Because of all the yap-yap in these sorts of threads, and looking at my own experiences, I've sorta come to the conclusion that some folks oughta take up knitting 'cause they don't shoot so better. :D Some, they oughta quit buying all this frou-frou aftermarket stuff to mess up perfectly good rifles. :D

I'm a hunter. Always have been, since I was a little-bitty. What's important to me is that the first shot from a cold barrel always goes to the same place, day after day. The Mini does that. I imagine the AR also does that. Heck, probably an AK variant, as well. After that, it's minute-of-torso, so who cares?

:), Art

ATW525
June 2, 2007, 03:33 PM
Why would a mini 14 be junk for combat. I would rather have one of them then an AR.

Clearly you never watched the A Team. Highly trained former Special Forces operators used the used the Mini's selective fire sibling, the AC-556, for four years and never killed a single bad guy. It's a miserable track record matched only by the blue laser shooting rifles issued to G.I. Joe.

JR47
June 2, 2007, 08:51 PM
Look at the various weapons used against them, including the AR and M16. They never got hit, either. Sounds like there isn't a weapon out there that's any good under A-Team standards.:)

Art Eatman
June 3, 2007, 10:26 AM
"That horse is blind!"

"Yeah, I told you, that horse don't look too good."

Looks dead, to me...

Art