View Full Version : New Mini 14

December 13, 2009, 09:06 AM
I recently purchased a Ruger Mini 14, basically went with it because of the price, i was just looking for something to have some fun with without costing an arm and a leg. Any suggestions for what i should sight it in at? General consensus is 200 yds but like i said i'm new to a rifle!

December 13, 2009, 09:41 AM
Just bend over buying mags is all.

December 13, 2009, 09:53 AM
I was thinking the same thing on mags but, they have dropped over the last year or so, inspite of the obama's coming price gouging. If you check midwayusa.com and cheaperthendirt.com they both are listing mags fairly cheap. I had a mini several years ago. Not the most accurate in the world but at 100 yards it was decent usually around 3 1/2 inches from a good prone position. Super handy little carbine though, kinda heavy but balances really well, points really well, I loved it. Shot a few coyotes with it and lots of paper bad guys got shot to hell. Mags were expensive then but, it was during the clinton era and were alot few of them available then AR mags.

200 Yards is about right. The cartridge is capable of alot more, but the minis, from what I have heard and seen with mine, start getting a little iffy past about 300.

December 13, 2009, 09:53 AM
I have an early 90's ranch stainless model and it is still going strong, none the worse for wear. plenty of accuracy and mine is totally reliable. As for sighting in that is up to you and what you plan to do with it. Mags go for 15-20 bucks range.

December 13, 2009, 10:09 AM
Yes you can get mags for the things in the 20 buck area but they are hit and miss. Decent mags that you can trust are like 45 bucks on a good day.

December 13, 2009, 10:13 AM
I had one, once upon a time. It was never the most accurate little rifle, but it wasn't bad. You'll enjoy it. And there are enough after market accessories out there if you want to "doll it up"

December 13, 2009, 11:00 AM

$15 a piece for members. :)

December 13, 2009, 11:33 AM
I never had a problem with mag reliability. My only problem has been that they are not the easiest mags to insert into a gun quickly.

Bud Helms
December 13, 2009, 01:03 PM
200 yds?

A Mini 14? :eek:

Oh. You said sight it in, not zero it. My bad.

Relentless Pursuit
December 13, 2009, 01:05 PM
Shot a new S/S Ranch yesterday(wearing Leupie glass) and despite the hype,they still agg in accords to the Mini's of old.

They are shoddy from stem to stern and pale to most everything in the accuracy department.....................

December 13, 2009, 01:57 PM
First post, so be gentle with me.

I too own a newer Mini-14. It is a 580 series Tactical ( I hate that word :barf:)with the 16" bbl. I have found this rifle to be extremely accurate for a semi-auto. I have found the 580 to be as accurate as any M-16A1 I was ever issued during my tour of duty, and I maintained an "Expert" qualification during my five year tour.
An extremely well built rifle, the Mini is designed for use on a ranch/farm, and I have personally found this application to be true. The rifle will feed any practically ammuniton that you shove into it. It is a very accurate little carbine in the 50-75m ranges, and acceptable in the 100-125m ranges...I personally would not call this weapon a 200+m gun, but I would not call most autos a 200+m guns...but that is me, and not a good consensus.
Magazines fo rthe Mini, can be bought from several aftermarket manufacturers, but Ruger factory mags are recommended. I have some unknown AM mags that function flawlessley, and many Mini owners like the Pro-Mag, AM steel mags. Try the Pro-Mags, for an AM solution, but right now you can get Ruger Factory 20 rounders from CDNN Sports for $24.99


Hard to go wrong here at CDNN for this price. They seem to be the best suppliers of Mini AM mags and factory new mags.

Here is a 16 roung magazine dump @50 yards I shot out of my 580 the other day. I was just trying to empty the magazine.

BTW...I really like this forum, and look forward to being a member, learning new things, and meeting new people.

Relentless Pursuit
December 13, 2009, 02:01 PM
AR's will shoot circles around fullhouse Mini's.

.5MOA is easily coaxed over the counter,less reliability concessions,snug chambers or any other fluff.

AR triggers trump the Mini too,such things in conjunction,do add to a literal landslide.................

December 13, 2009, 03:14 PM
You are correct, AR's are much more accurate, by a long shot, but my mini was much more reliable than several M4's I had. So it is a trade off. The mini I own is also quite accurate and at 100 yards has consistently shot 2-3 inch groups with ball ammo from a solid kneeling position. I have an aftermarket folding polymer stock and this may be the reason for the better accuracy, I don't know. However, I got this stock at the same time I got the rifle circa 1991-2.

Relentless Pursuit
December 13, 2009, 03:20 PM
An M4 that doesn't run,is assuredly devoid of proper lubrication.

There are many over the counter AR's,that will reliably shoot sub 3" groups at 300yds,with quality factory fodder. That is a given..................

December 13, 2009, 03:51 PM

Relentless Pursuit
December 13, 2009, 03:56 PM
Gets sweeter at the loading bench,but that is sorta apples/oranges,as per the crux...thus far................

December 13, 2009, 03:57 PM
yes lubrication was at a minimum on all the guns. M4's are very accurate, way more than any mini could ever hope to be. But the mini was still a very good gun. I have been out of touch with minis since the mid 90's. Has something happened to quality of these guns? The minis of the 80's and early 90's had a fine rep, not the bad rap they are getting here today.

Relentless Pursuit
December 13, 2009, 03:59 PM
Mini's have always been far better devices for sending distress signals,than precision platforms for clustering bullets in a predetermined POA.

They are Improved Cylinder,at best and that isn't the 223's Swan Song..............

December 13, 2009, 05:57 PM
You can find FACTORY 20 rounders all day long for $30-----often for less than that if you look around a bit.

Considering there are many crap mags out there at the $30 mark---the factory Mini mags are a bargain. The Butler Creeks for the 10/22 come to mind first---plastic junk and they're $30 everywhere you look.

Relentless Pursuit
December 13, 2009, 06:02 PM
BC 25rd steel lips,feed/function like they have eyes.

I've a few dozen.....................

December 13, 2009, 06:08 PM
Here we go again.:rolleyes:But stupid me, I will bite anyways.

The Ruger Mini-14 ss with a factory folder and factory 20 rounders is quite possibly the best truck,trunk, hd, woods loafing, tin can popper, etc.etc.etc. ad nauseum, rifle that can be had today.:cool:

Ar's jam to much.;)

Relentless Pursuit
December 13, 2009, 06:13 PM
Just what LR venues does the Mini roll onto?(grin)

The Mini is a great fit,for folks who know nuttin' and wish to stay that course.......................

ranger dave
December 13, 2009, 06:30 PM
the ruger is a great rifle all the way around . it will do anything the ar will . 2 to 3 moa is good enough. its not a target rifle . and it never showed up an any baned list witch is great . the only thing i dont like about it is you are limited to what kind of scope you can put on it

Relentless Pursuit
December 13, 2009, 06:33 PM
Very humorous,how those that do the least,seem bent to justify same.

A 3MOA 223 is akin to your girlfriend having an adam's apple..............

December 13, 2009, 06:39 PM
:) Always the charmer!

December 13, 2009, 06:49 PM
To answer the OP's original question...

Step One- ignore all the howlers who show up in every thread on these guns, berate the late-model (580 or later) Mini 14. The 'ignore' feature is your friend. Mine (http://sargesrollcall.blogspot.com/2008/10/mini-14-580-series-ranch-rifle-last.html#links)has been an excellent rifle and fully as good as numerous M4's I've sighted in for the PD's I've trained on them.

You have already decided what you intend to accomplish with the Mini, so Step Two is taken care of. This will likely change as you learn the rifle and become more and more proficient with it.

Third, pick a load that is in good supply locally and does what you want it to do. Ball is fine for paper punching and I'll use it on coyotes or other nuisance critters, but it is generally accepted that softpoints are better for hunting. 55 grain loads have run and shot very well in mine, although some users report excellent accuracy with 62 grain and heavier. Stick with one weight, whatever you choose.

Fourth, sight-in up close for starters; say 25 yards. You are simply setting your windage (left-right deflection) at this point. The manual has instructions for adjusting the sights; adjust yours until your chosen load prints right on top of the front sight or under your crosshairs at 25 yards. You should be on paper at 100 yards with that sight setting, but use a good sized target when you move back. Expect to make a few minor sights adjustments at the longer ranges.

One you have the rifle shooting to your sights at 100 yards, shoot at 200 when you have an opportunity. Careful hold and trigger control are crucial at the longer distances, so work toward mastering it before you get here. Shoot off a bench and adjust your sights or scope carefully until you're on the money. Once you're zeroed (http://sargesrollcall.blogspot.com/2009/08/importance-of-zero-i-shot-quite-bit-on.html) for this distance, any target within about 270 yards is toast.

The Mini isn't an AR; it was never designed to be. It is an excellent adaptation of Garand/M14 reliability and handling characteristics, to a widely available smallbore military cartridge which also does pretty darn well in defensive, law enforcement and hunting applications. If you stick with it until you can call your shots at the longer distances described above, you'll probably be well satisfied with what you have.

December 13, 2009, 06:52 PM
Ar's jam to much.

Do you own an AR?

I am not an AR defender by any means. I have owned an AR 15 and a couple of AR 10s. I don't care for them because they just don't fit me well for some reason. That's a shame too, because functionally they were perfect regardless of what I fed them. Also very accurate.

That being said, I have also owned a Mini 14 and currently have a Mini 30. Tons of fun, they fit me well, and very quick handling for me. It's what I carry when I bird dog whitetails out of really thick river bottoms. It wears an Aimpoint 5000, which has no magnification. Shots are expected to be anywhere from pretty much point blank to maybe 50 yrds. The rifle does all I expect it to do FOR THAT TASK. However, it is very obvious that if I want to make a longer range weapon out of it, alot of work and some dollars will be needed; struts, gas bushings, bedding, etc. And still could very well end up with mediocre accuracy. I'll use my Mini for what it's good for, and not ask it to do what it can't. There are other rifles that will fill that bill without all the parts and labor.

December 13, 2009, 06:54 PM
A 3MOA 223 is akin to your girlfriend having an adam's apple..............

Now THAT'S dern funny, I don't care who you are...........

December 13, 2009, 06:58 PM
In fairness,the SKS is a better mouse trap than a Mini...............

Can't argue that, owned 2 of those at one time too. The Mini just fits me better. Can't explain it, just the way it is. I'm fortunate enough to evaluate my guns realistically and don't expect them to do what they aren't capable of. After all, they are all just tools, right?

Relentless Pursuit
December 13, 2009, 07:02 PM
Curiously enough,there's no false pretense with an SKS.

Anyone that could stomach a 3MOA 223 Mini...would swoon an SKS's penchant for unwavering reliability...............

December 13, 2009, 07:12 PM
One of the SKS rifles I had I put one of those cheapo dust cover scope mounts on it, and could still hit softballs all day long at 100 yds. Never had and function nor accuracy complaints with either of them. Bought them back (late 80s / early 90s - can't remember exactly) when all the gun stores had them laying out on the show room floors still in the crates and covered with Cosmoline. You just dug through a crate till you found one you liked. They were $89 a pop, sometimes a shop would run a special for $79.

Wish I could get those pistol grip rifles to fit me better...

Relentless Pursuit
December 13, 2009, 07:15 PM
Mid 80's was the SKS/AK hayday(s).

Cracks me up that dudes will spend $600+ clams on a scoped Mini,that an iron sighted SKS will smoke with steelcased ammo.

Pretty funny.................

December 13, 2009, 07:25 PM
The Mini is a great fit,for folks who know nuttin' and wish to stay that course.......................

Oh gag. I've got two 180 series Mini-14's and an AR (my own build with a 20" FN barrel on Noveske and DMPS parts). I like all three of them. Can't argue the accuracy of the AR but I've never had a feeding failure with either Mini-14. I have had a bunch of failures with my AR. Usually with reloads that aren't double sized with a SB die. The Mini has it's place. And frankly, I think its more fun to shoot than the AR.

And I can easily get 2 MOA out of the Minis. I've never tried for better.

Relentless Pursuit
December 13, 2009, 07:29 PM
Let me get this straight,you purposely induce sizing woes to your AR? But don't try to shoot your Mini well on paper?

Please continue!...............

December 13, 2009, 08:07 PM
Being as gentle as possible, what Relentless Pursuit, is making you such an unhappy person?

In the day since you've joined TFL, you've made almost 150 posts and almost all of them are nasty one-line zingers. It's just not nice nor necessary.

December 13, 2009, 08:21 PM
Any suggestions for what i should sight it in at?

Are you going to use the iron sights or are you planning on mounting a scope to it?

December 13, 2009, 09:51 PM
The OP asked about the best approach for sighting in a Mini-14. Telling him he's got garbage is not useful nor is it truthful. If you don't think the gun is accurate, suggest 50 yards as a good range. Or say nothing. No one is forcing you to type insults. I would not use a Mini-14 for ranges beyond 100 yards. Within that limit it is certainly serviceable. Perhaps scoped and tuned it could do better, but that has never been my personal need.

It does seem odd though that Relentless Pursuit and Simply Stated joined a day apart (yesterday and today) and have an abnormally high number of posts? And they seem to be thinking along the same wavelength, if you get my drift- abusive and nasty. It occurs to me that having two user names may violate the TFL terms of service...

how many inaccuracies you resolved?

It's hard to resolve nonsense. That's the point.

Ignition Override
December 14, 2009, 01:10 AM
That might still be true, but some things have changed.

Ruger only began selling their factory 20-round mags to the non-LEO civilian (Mini 14) market after the presidential election.

They now also sell, for the very first time to civilians, 20-round Ruger mags for the Mini 30s.

December 14, 2009, 01:42 AM
I suggest a standard 100 yard sight in for a Mini but honestly it would help to make a better suggestion if we knew what you were using - iron sights or a scope - and what you planned to shoot at mostly?


December 14, 2009, 01:57 AM
Relentless Pursuit, I'm not gonna try to beat you up for your post content, this IS an internet forum after all. I will however point out a few facts - I said I have owned ARs, 15s and 10s. Also SKSs. I will not argue any of the points you made about both of the former platforms being good weapons; they are indeed. However, there must be some validity in the existence of the Ruger Mini series rifles, as Ruger has made and sold a ton of them over the years. Some Ruger aficionado can probably come up with production numbers. There IS some reason these rifles sell. For me, it's the handling. They are lightning quick in the target aquisition department, and are reliable (which I don't think you argued). The ones I've owned or shot have all been minute of whitetail at the ranges I used them for. That's what I need them for. And they are just plain fun to shoot.

Come and take it.
December 14, 2009, 02:19 AM
The mini 14 is a far better rifle for home defense than an ar15. It has superior reliability and handling.

It is a far better rifle for political correctness and to appear not as threatening. Which was one of the reasons why the British used them in Northern Ireland.

I have both an AR and a mini. I have owned several of both over my time. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.

Keep in mind that most mini14 criticizers are on the AR bandwagon not for function but cosmetic reasons. The black gun is in fashion right now.

I will admit though that the AR has a noticable accuracy edge. I assume that is one of the very few good reasons it still serves our military.

December 14, 2009, 02:37 AM
my 580 series shoots 1.5-2 in. groups all day long... good enough to kill anything im gonna shoot with it.. i have ruger mags and pro mags and both are reliable.. actually prefer the promag.. i havent liked AR'S since i was in the military, and prolly never will, but i dont go around bashing AR owners..i dont really care what you think of mini's... i love mine..

December 14, 2009, 02:59 AM
I concur. Mini 14 is useless for accuracy. I got a 180 series SS that had a folding stock and original walnut stock. I bought from an HP buddy many years back when he retired. It had a Leupold VXIII 2.5x7 on it and that was way too good of a scope for a mini so I put a Buschnell 3x9 on it. A couple of years ago I drug it out of the safe to see if it would make a good truck gun.

Folding stock, which I hated, would do about 4" 5 round group @ 115 meters. The walnut stock tightened the group up to 3.25". Both unacceptable. About the same time I had bought a Howa .243 target that came with a Hogue Competition Stock. I couldn't believe the accuracy and I loved that stock. So I checked around and found the same stock for the mini, and low and behold I was getting right at one inch groups at 115 M. Now there is a company in Co. that will guarantee 1.5 MOA after they rebuild your mini for $3400.

I took the scope off and mounted one of those flat plane Holo-Sights for yote chasing. The attached photo is 18 rounds shot at 115 M with Holo shooting straight north and 30-35 mph west wind. I can't figure why anyone would buy a mini for a truck gun!54856

December 14, 2009, 07:08 AM
So I checked around and found the same stock for the mini, and low and behold I was getting right at one inch groups at 115 M.

Wait a minute, didn't you just say the mini was useless for accuracy? Looks like you did pretty good once you changed the stock! :)

However, there must be some validity in the existence of the Ruger Mini series rifles, as Ruger has made and sold a ton of them over the years.

uncyboo, I don't think you are going to get into a productive conversation with Relentless Pursuit. I agree with you, but you are likely to get the following comment of his thrown back in your face, as a counter to you argument:

The Mini is a great fit,for folks who know nuttin' and wish to stay that course.......................

Both Relentless Pursuit and Simply Stated have stopped posting after a day of furious activity (probably record breaking activity) AND their post counts have both dropped by more than a dozen. I think they have both been permanently removed from service, if you know what I mean....

December 14, 2009, 07:52 AM
Not sure why we keep having discussions on the AR's vs mini's seems like every thread turns into pros and cons on each. I bought my mini to have fun with not to shoot at 300 meters. I did discover that it is a good 50 to 75 yard deer rifle. Where I hunt that is about the max distance for a shot. My daughter likes the recoil and she likes using the soldier gun as she calls it. I knew when I bought it was not an AR, I did not want to spend the money on an AR for something to play with. Also when I am driving around the farm the mini is a good brush wolf rifle. With a 10 roung mag I once got 3 of the little buggers before they were out of range. It took all 10 rounds but after the first they were running so not bad. I love my mini but I also know it is not an AR.

December 14, 2009, 10:51 AM
Both Relentless Pursuit and Simply Stated have stopped posting after a day of furious activity (probably record breaking activity) AND their post counts have both dropped by more than a dozen. I think they have both been permanently removed from service, if you know what I mean....

I certainly hope so.

Simply stated,

Art Eatman
December 14, 2009, 01:04 PM
My favorite magazine for the Mini is the factory 10-rounder. It doesn't protrude so far that you can't carry the rifle at the balance point.

I always mounted a Weaver K4 on my Minis and sighted in for about 1.5 inches high at 100 yards, which basically gives a 200-yard zero.

My four Minis over a 20-year period generally shot three-shot groups of around 1.5 MOA, which is plenty good for jackrabbits and coyotes. All that really counts is uniformity of point of impact of the first shot, anyway.

Fun plinking gun, of course. Kills empty beer cans and such just fine. :) An empty soda can full of water makes a fun show. Line 'em up, water the lawn. :D

They're just not benchrest target guns. So what? Who cares? That's not what they're made for.

December 14, 2009, 01:41 PM
Very well stated Art, thank you

December 14, 2009, 05:53 PM
Always stick with factory magazines for the mini....they cost out the algore, but your soul will thank you in the next life.

December 14, 2009, 06:10 PM
I've had no problems whatsoever with the Pro Mag 20's, but YMMV.

December 14, 2009, 07:44 PM
Talking about magazines, reliability, comparisons to alternatives, accuracy, etc. isn't something that belongs on this thread.

Sight in 1" high @ 100 yards.

December 15, 2009, 05:41 AM
"Cracks me up that dudes will spend $600+ clams on a scoped Mini,that an iron sighted SKS will smoke with steelcased ammo.

Pretty funny................."

well that was the purpose of my thread, to crack you up.. never said anything about a scope either...
Thanks for all the other good replies on here (sarge) i'll take them all into consideration!

Art Eatman
December 15, 2009, 11:47 AM
Winston81 seems content, so enuf.