View Full Version : Mini 14 continues to impress.

October 2, 2012, 12:06 PM
Working here on a friends mini-14, was bough used and we shot it this weekend. Now cleaning it and it's pretty clear the prior owner had no idea as to how to do anything other than remove the trigger group. It's been a morning of getting solid, crusted carbon out of everywhere on the gun.

Very impressed it was still working. I would not advise treating any gun this way but very impressed that it still functioned.

October 2, 2012, 12:57 PM
For an all around long gun the Mini 14 has a lot going for it, reliability being at the top of the list.

October 2, 2012, 11:58 PM
A friend of mine got a good deal on a well-used Mini-14 recently. He called to tell me that the bolt was "stuck" and would not retract. After looking the rifle over, I grabbed the op rod handle and pulled back smartly. The bolt retracted and rotated just as it should. We decided it was gummed up with carbon deposits around the gas piston. It looked like it had never been cleaned. He then decided to take it to the range--still uncleaned--to see if it would function in this dirty condition (dirty enough to prevent the bolt from opening with normal hand pressure on the op rod handle). One hundred rounds later, the little rifle never faltered. Every round fed, fired, and ejected with no problems whatsoever. My friend then cleaned his new-to-him Mini and it has replaced his AR-15 as his go-to home defense gun. They are wonderful guns, super-reliable and dependable. I like 'em a lot!

October 3, 2012, 08:45 AM
The Mini is my go to rifle. AR's get tighter groups, but for me the Mini has always been more reliable.

October 3, 2012, 12:22 PM
I have to admit I am impressed. I would not choose to leave a gun in the state of this one but that it can, and will function makes me really happy.

Personally I like the 30 best of all, little more bang, same great size.

This gun is owned by an essentially non-gun person for ranch use and it makes me happy to see it already proven to work as I do not think it will get a cleaning after every shooting, I am advising strongly that they clean it every 6 months or 500 rounds though I question very much that it will ever see 500 rounds down the tube before 6 months rolls around.

It's a very close friend of the family that I had mentioned the mini-14 to and had figured they would look at one in a gun shop, somehow this one used fell into their lap and was filthy, and has an aftermarket folder and railed cover that I am not a fan of. The cover because it replaced the top of the gas block and provided no means of staking down the gas block screws hence they were all loose, the folder for it's sucky ergonomics esp for a novice shooter.

I am using locktight on the gas block bolts, if that does not work I will stake their heads. Will see about the stock, maybe shooting my 30 they will decide a real stock has it's benefits, esp in this use / configuration.

I appreciate the AR platform and own several, I did not intend nor do I wish for this to be yet another min vs. ar thread, more a statement of amazement that any gun would run with that much crud crusted on it. Frankly I will freely admit any of my trusty wheel guns would have likely bound up with that amount of crud on the front of the cylinder.

I understand the mini's limits on accuracy and all I have to say on that is if I plan to reach out further than 100 yards I look to larger calipers than 223. Just personal prefferance, and I understand why many users might chose otherwise.

October 3, 2012, 12:59 PM
^ +1 It will be nice if the AR fan boys don't clog this thread and it stays on track. Mini 14 is like the old Timex watch ad - takes a licking and keeps on ticking.

October 3, 2012, 01:33 PM
I'm an AR guy with several of them, but I picked up an early model Ranch Rifle (187 series) from a friend a while back.

It's a nice little rifle. More accurate than I expected with that funky little rear sight (Ruger has since tweaked their rear sight design), and it handles well and shoots quite nicely.

There's no reason for the two camps to tussle; they're both good rifles with some different strengths and weaknesses. I'd not consider somebody poorly armed if they had a Mini-14 instead of an AR.

Heck, messing with the Mini has me thinking about an M1A.

October 3, 2012, 04:48 PM
The older Mini I had was completely reliable. It was accurate enough (4 or 5 moa on a good day with ammo it liked) for a home defense firearm. It also was light weight and easy to handle.

October 4, 2012, 12:21 AM
I recently adopted a mini 14. I have a couple myself and am fairly familiar with this platform and their reliability as I have seen a fair number with quite a few miles on them before cleaning. But this particular one was an 80's model that I swear never saw a single drop of anything on it since it left Ruger. Out of curiosity I took it to the range to see just how reliable these guns were. It cycled perfectly without a single falter. I love these rifles they are truly a piece of craftsmanship

October 4, 2012, 12:41 AM
I am using locktight on the gas block bolts, if that does not work I will stake their heads.Might work if it's not rapid-fired. Otherwise the heat will soften the Loc-Tite and defeat its purpose.

Something worth remembering if you ever need to remove a screw that's been "Loc-Tited" in place. Touch the screw with a soldering iron for a bit and you can remove it easily.

October 5, 2012, 07:45 PM
Anybody have any experience with trigger jobs (or replacement triggers) on the Mini 14? Mine shoots great, but that trigger pull makes accuracy at 100 yds + pretty iffy. Thoughts?

October 6, 2012, 09:57 AM
DEFINITELY the "Doc"....

If you're not confident and good with a dremel and stones/cratex, send it to him for a great job and fast turnaround. He offers other accurizing services as well.

He has a great online video for the DIY trigger job which I followed to the "T"...very slowly and deliberately as this is something you can't eff up.

I ended up with a two pound trigger with only a hint of take-up and zero creep. It was used as a target gun, so I wanted a light trigger. You can adjust pull weight as you see fit doing the job.


October 6, 2012, 11:43 AM
I have an AR and two Mini 14s, which tells you how I feel about Mini 14s! All good guns and all good enough to trust your life to. The Mini is a reliable and accurate rifle, if perhaps a hair less accurate than the AR (although I am not sure about that since I typically shoot 25 yards.) One thing about Minis is that they are the Timex watches of rifles -- take a lickin' and keep on tickin'.

the rifleer
October 6, 2012, 12:22 PM
Ive said it before and I'll say it again. Its the shooter. I was at a ranger fairly recently with a mini 14 and everyone there was shooting ar-15's or target rifles of some sort off a bench. I walked up, said hi and extended normal courtesies, then proceeded to shoot my mini 14 with bulk ammo.

I was shooting at an 18 or 24'' steel plate and hit it 10 out of 10 times standing at 200 yards. As soon as I dropped the empty mag 3 guys walk over asking what ammo I'm shooting and what type of barrel i have and stupid questions like that. It was a brand new bone stock mini 14 that had only been shot a few times and they were acting like it was something they have never seen before.

If I was shooting like that at 500 yards, ya I could see how they were impresses, but 200 yards for ANY rifle should not be a challenge. (yes, even a 22 long rifle can put rounds on target consistently at 200 yards)

I totally agree with you, the mini 14 is a very reliable rifle that performs the way a good rifle should.

October 7, 2012, 12:14 AM
Mini 14's are just awesome (but then I am partial to the garand system). They shoot, and shoot, and shoot and can take that kind of neglect and abuse. I read an article where a guy did a "WCS" (Worst-case-scenario) test took a handfull of dirt and threw it into the action and fired a clip out of it to see how the mini 14 would do. Said it cycled like a champ (I DONT RECEOMMEND IT THOUGH, LOL) What great rifles! Enjoy

October 7, 2012, 09:03 PM
Anybody have any experience with trigger jobs (or replacement triggers) on the Mini 14? Mine shoots great, but that trigger pull makes accuracy at 100 yds + pretty iffy. Thoughts?
A good polishing of all the engagement surface in the trigger group can do wonders for that trigger. I did mine shortly after I bought the rifle and it made a huge difference for me. The trigger is no lighter but it's so much smoother and crisper than it was before. It's a much more shootable rifle now and I'm convinced it's what has helped me obtain the 1 1/2" groups with handloads and hopefully when I get back to tinkering with my loads I can get it down around 1".


hardhat harry
October 8, 2012, 01:04 PM
Here is a link for getting a trigger job on a mini-14: http://www.mini14triggers.com/

I am sending mine in next week, but..already shooting my Mini at subMOA.


October 8, 2012, 03:27 PM
The ramped front sight on the Mini is what makes accuracy hard for most shooters. There was one model with a post front sight and protective ears like the AR that is much easier to use.