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Old September 7, 2017, 01:14 PM   #26
Model12Win
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They are a handsome little gun, like a baby M14, but other than that... no real draw. They are so expensive, too! Nearly twice so than a budget AR that still shoots. Years ago the Minis were LESS than an AR and had appeal, but now that's switches. And proprietary mags?? Not cool, Ruger. Should have ditched those years ago when Bill died.
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Old September 7, 2017, 01:22 PM   #27
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used?

Once again, the Mini is taking a beating from its detractors. But as I wander the gun/pawn shops in my area, I seldom see a used Mini14, and a Mini30 is even more scarce. We all know for certain that a bunch of Mini14's were sold in the mid '70's forward up until the AR craze landed. Where are they?

Why aren't all those Mini owners dumping their inaccurate, old school rifles and running out and buying AR's? Sure, some on this forum have stated they sold theirs, but I do not see the guns surfacing on the used market to believe that the design is completely abandoned and detested. I suspect that lots of Mini are still in use, rattling around in pickups, propped up in the corner of summer cabins, serving in all sorst of GP roles, and their owners are entirely satisfied with how they perform.

One thing I am surprised I am not hearing about here is the ability of the Mini's to take a folding stock. One of the newer 16" rifles and a folder would make a very portable package for truck, camper, boat...you won't do that with an AR unless it was an SBR carbine. Back in the day, we stowed our LE folding stock Mini's collapsed, in vertical locks between the seats of LTD-II's. Even with the 18.5 barrel, it was still a tidy number.
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Old September 7, 2017, 02:49 PM   #28
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I bought my first Mini-14 in 1979. It was less expensive than an AR-15 at the time, but my reason for choosing it was the mini's simpler gas action and the fact it was steel rather than aluminum. It has been very reliable, particularly with quality magazines. It has always been more accurate than I (or any of my friends) am capable of exploiting. My mini is still my go-to rifle for shooting, self defense and harvesting light game. And it will probably stay that way until I die. Not a fan boy as much as I am someone who has found something that works and works well and has gotten comfortable with it.

Today the mini is more expensive than a so-called entry level AR and there have been problems of spotty quality control, so even though the mini will stay my (and my father's) go-to rifle, the next generation is learning on ARs.
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Old September 7, 2017, 02:56 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by bamaranger View Post
Once again, the Mini is taking a beating from its detractors. But as I wander the gun/pawn shops in my area, I seldom see a used Mini14, and a Mini30 is even more scarce. We all know for certain that a bunch of Mini14's were sold in the mid '70's forward up until the AR craze landed. Where are they?

Why aren't all those Mini owners dumping their inaccurate, old school rifles and running out and buying AR's? Sure, some on this forum have stated they sold theirs, but I do not see the guns surfacing on the used market to believe that the design is completely abandoned and detested. I suspect that lots of Mini are still in use, rattling around in pickups, propped up in the corner of summer cabins, serving in all sorst of GP roles, and their owners are entirely satisfied with how they perform.

One thing I am surprised I am not hearing about here is the ability of the Mini's to take a folding stock. One of the newer 16" rifles and a folder would make a very portable package for truck, camper, boat...you won't do that with an AR unless it was an SBR carbine. Back in the day, we stowed our LE folding stock Mini's collapsed, in vertical locks between the seats of LTD-II's. Even with the 18.5 barrel, it was still a tidy number.
You said it best, USED.

NEW Mini-14s just don't make sense in a world full of much cheaper, more accurate ARs with way, way more aftermarket and magazine options.

If those good ol boys down in Bama want to have a new $800 Mini-14 sliding around their truck beds, good for them. For us boys up here in Kansas, an AR only makes sense in that roll. It's not 1970 anymore. Minis are NOT cheap, and hell like you said, they're hard to find used and find used for a good price. The Mini HAD a place back then, but today, with the AR in the position it is in, it's a real hard sell.
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Old September 7, 2017, 03:26 PM   #30
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Ruger Mini 14. Why?

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Originally Posted by Model12Win View Post
You said it best, USED.

Think you missed the point with that... you don't see them being sold off. Walk into anywhere that sells used guns, you always see a handful of ARs... sold for whatever reason. It isn't that the AR is bad, but people didn't want to keep it. People tend to keep a Mini-14, unless it is a lemon... and you hear about it online.

New, you see them... just not as much. They are kind of like CZ75s, they turn up in certain places.

Whether you like them or not, can't argue they are workhorse firearms... just like 3rd Generation S&Ws, Ithaca 37s, and Remington 870s. Plenty of L/E have and still use them, for good enough reason.

If they were doing so bad, Ruger would have dropped them. They stopped the Red Label (second time) after a year and a half, due to not making money. If the Mini-14 wasn't selling, you wouldn't see it in their catalog.
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Old September 7, 2017, 03:48 PM   #31
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It wasn't accurate enough (with the available ammo) to consistently hit a yotie beyond 150 yards.
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That does seem unreasonable. Could it have been a lemon?
No, not at all. It's a standard run of the mill Mini-14 product, which is to say, in the accuracy department they're junk.

An out-of-the-box Mini that's actually acceptably accurate is the rare exception. It would mean, obviously, that one of the factory rats screwed up.

Last edited by agtman; September 7, 2017 at 05:08 PM.
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Old September 7, 2017, 04:03 PM   #32
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My local Bi-Mart has the wood/blue steel version for $699. Nice looking guns. I'm on the fence between it and a Vepr in 7.62x39 for $799.

The newer Mini-14's have better accuracy than the old ones. Heavier barrel and trunnion from what I have read. I really like the looks of them. Wish I had jumped on the walnut stock ones CDNN had a couple years back.

They are a handy size, can accept a folding stock and factory mags are easy to come by now. In years past you had trouble finding the 20 round mags as they were LE only marked I think.

I already have an AR in .223 so will probably lean towards the Vepr, but I really like the looks of the Mini. Plus they used them on the A-Team!
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Old September 7, 2017, 04:37 PM   #33
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How many different brands of AR15 are there?
There's only 1 Ruger Mini-14/30.
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I like my mini more over all other rifles. Some people just do. If you get one that's accurate, you'll love it.
+1 Pretty much everyone I know that is into guns has at least one AR and mostly they look pretty much the same. Besides, I had wanted a Mini 14 since I first saw one in 1978. Finally bought one a few years ago. Bought an AR a couple of years after. I still haven't warmed up to it like the Mini. I think I would like a M14 but cost of rifle and ammo keep me from it since all I shoot is paper.
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Old September 7, 2017, 05:14 PM   #34
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You could buy a much nicer rifle for that kind of money be it an AR or bolt action.
You can't get a wood stocked, semi-auto, 556, similar aesthetics and finish as a mini for that. You could get a bolt gun or a more accurate semi-auto, but not more accurate and wood stocked with better finish. No mini has an upper that wobbles either.

I think the serial series are 1XX, 580, and 581. Pretty sure there are really three breaks. My mini is from the mid series and is quite an improvement over the old ones with minute of barn accuracy ON HOT BARRELS DUE TO PENCIL BARRELS.
My barrel was shortened and accuracy improved more.
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Old September 7, 2017, 06:51 PM   #35
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I sold my last AR in the late 80s, during the opening phase of the first assault weapon hysteria. Got $900 for a $450 rifle. I kept my Mini-14.

Few people today realize that the Mini-14 was never meant to compete with the AR, was not meant to be a military weapon, it was meant to be an improved M1 Carbine (with a longer ranged round) and aimed at the civilian sporting and law enforcement market.

In those days, Police didn't have, or get M16s free, or even at cost from the Fed, Govt.

It is also somewhat ironic that, while Mini-14s were never tackdrivers, NEITHER WERE ARs, in those days. It wasn't until the redesign of the AR, with free floating handguards and heavier barrels that they became the accurate rifles we know today.

To me, one of the biggest advantages of the Mini is that it has a charging handle that works BOTH WAYS. ARs, do not.

If you ever get a batch of crap ammo, like I once did, you will appreciate the difference. I don't need a semi auto to be hyper accurate, I need it to work, and in my experience, the Mini runs ammo that will choke an AR, and runs it like a sewing machine! And, on those rare occasions when the bolt doesn't fully shut, a wack on the op rod handle does it. Much better than the AR's forward assist.
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Old September 7, 2017, 07:14 PM   #36
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I used to vehemently stand up for Mini14s because I had a positive experience with them, but it's not worth trying to change anyone's mind because you can't.
I have not found another machine that can come close to the reliability of the mini. They are ridiculously reliable. I'm trying to think of a stoppage, but I can't remember. The magazines are built like a tank. The first shot out of a cold bore will only be limited by the shooter. Mine was used as a ranch rifle and it was always cold bore zeroed. Always zeroed with hunting ammunition.
I honestly never cared how it performed with cheap bulk ammunition. I surmise it was 3"+ groups with bulk ammunition. Throw a mag full of V-max in it, that's when it shined for me.
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Old September 7, 2017, 08:02 PM   #37
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Few people today realize that the Mini-14 was never meant to compete with the AR, was not meant to be a military weapon, it was meant to be an improved M1 Carbine (with a longer ranged round) and aimed at the civilian sporting and law enforcement market.
Well said, unfortunately most people won't accept this explanation, and often become even more insistent that the opposite is true.
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Old September 7, 2017, 08:08 PM   #38
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When I bought my mini-14, I bought it for what I considered it was...an iron sighted carbine that fit the nitch of the .30 M1 Carbine. It works in that role very well...a handy iron-sighted little carbine. One curious characteristic of mine was when I shot from the bench, the ejected casings all went in the same little pile...if I had put a hat on the ground, almost all would go into the hat, I am sure. I really liked that little gun.
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Old September 7, 2017, 08:33 PM   #39
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Why a Ruger Mini-14?

Because believe it or not, there are some of us who don't like pistol grips on long guns and/or who think AR's are boring or ugly, that's why.

While it's true the AR-15 is inherently more accurate then the Mini-14 the Mini has come a long way from it's early days when the reports of it's inaccuracy became known. Today's models are more then accurate as a close quarters battle carbine.

One big issue that many have with the Mini is that is cannot accept standard AR mags. If Ruger were to change this, they could be sure of selling a lot more Mini's.

Last edited by Concerned Citizen; September 7, 2017 at 09:31 PM.
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Old September 7, 2017, 08:54 PM   #40
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Besides, take the magazine out and suddenly it looks harmless. Could look like grandpa's harmless .22 to a nosey neighbor across the street. Less like an assault rifle and it's 30rd clip, if it's a black rifle, it must have one of those 30rd clips.
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Old September 7, 2017, 09:22 PM   #41
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I don't need a semi auto to be hyper accurate, I need it to work, and in my experience, the Mini runs ammo that will choke an AR, and runs it like a sewing machine!
Also well said.

Not sure why so many people gripe about the magazines.
They're not AR magazines, if you try to manipulate them like you do an AR magazine it's not going work out well, understandably.
It really is apples to oranges.
Handle them the way that they're meant to be handled and they work fine.

I always like the look of the Minis, but just never took the plunge until early 2015.
Paid twice what it went for new at $525 for a stainless 188 series in a Butler Creek folder.
The shop threw in a wood stock out of the back room and the factory scope rings he had in the case.
I was completely satisfied with the deal, but not the accuracy.
Lopped the barrel down to 16.5 and crowned it myself, added stabilizer strut to the barrel and viola!
Considerable improvement in accuracy and my satisfaction.

Liked it so much that in 2016 I found a 580 series synthetic Mini 30 in pristine condition with the box and gladly paid $600 without wincing.
Bought a wood stock for a Mini 14 and did the fitting.

You just can't beat the aesthetics and handling of a Mini in wood furniture for me.

I have purchased ARs in .223 for both of my sons, but none for myself and
I honestly don't feel the need to.
I do own one of the Windham .308s in the wood furniture, but just don't find it as much fun to play with, and honestly though it is beautiful it is still not as nice to look at to me!

Guess that makes me a Mini guy.
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Old September 7, 2017, 09:40 PM   #42
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Not sure why so many people gripe about the magazines.
They're not AR magazines, if you try to manipulate them like you do an AR magazine it's not going work out well, understandably.
It really is apples to oranges.
Handle them the way that they're meant to be handled and they work fine.
I don't think the complaints are about the way they work, it's more about their cost and availability from what I've been hearing. The 30rd. Mini mags were all but impossible to find during the crazy rush on guns and ammo of 2013 and they aren't always easy to come by even in normal times. I don't often see them in stores in my area even today but AR mags are everywhere. If you're a prepper, it is far more likely you will come across AR mags in a bad scenario then you would Mini mags so having an AR would be preferable, or so they say.

I suppose those are legitimate concerns, but if you're a prepper with a Mini then you should've already had an ample supply of mags beforehand anyway.

Last edited by Concerned Citizen; September 7, 2017 at 10:12 PM.
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Old September 7, 2017, 10:20 PM   #43
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...if it's a black rifle, it must have one of those 30rd clips.
20rd magazines were standard on the first M16's to reach Vietnam. As a matter of fact, NRA Service Rifle Match shooters prefer the 20rd magazines to enable using the bottom of the magazine to support the rifle with their left hand during the standing phase of the competition where as the 30rd magazines are way too long.
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Old September 7, 2017, 11:31 PM   #44
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The 30rd. Mini mags were all but impossible to find during the crazy rush on guns and ammo of 2013 and they aren't always easy to come by even in normal times.
I found them easily during that time, all I had to do was look in the right ammo can, and there were a dozen or so, along with some 20s, a couple of the 5rnd, and a 90 rnd drum.

It was, actually the cost of 30rnd sticks that led me to get an AR in the early 80s. After my military experience, I swore I'd never own an AR, but my resolve broke down, as at that time, a 30rnd Mini 14 mag was $12-15 and a 30 rnd AR mag was $3. Yes, that's right, $3.

OF course, all that went away thanks to the Clintons and their administration. Be sure to remember their party properly every election cycle (because they are STILL at it!) .

Those who think Ruger ought to use AR mags, are simply whining, as far as I'm concerned. Take a look at all the other semis and select fire arms that use detachable box magazines, and you'll find the majority use the "rock and lock" system. Somewhere I have some 30rnd sticks that will work in both the Mini and the AR, don't know if they still make them, though...

Remember that at the time the Mini was designed, the only AR maker was Colt, and Colt wasn't (at that time) interested in making any deals so others could use any part of the AR design. Plus the rock & lock system simply "goes" with that action design.
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Old September 8, 2017, 12:53 AM   #45
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that's it

Thanks Screwball, you said in much clearer and simpler terms what I was trying to state earlier "...you don't see them being sold off."

Regards Model12, no I don't see $800 dollar Mini's in trucks, I don't see new Mini's anywhere.... except on the racks at Wally World, and as you noted, they are way overpriced. I have no idea who might be buying them, or if Ruger is selling many new Mini's at all.

But I know guys who have kept their Mini's, purchased new 20+ years ago.
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Old September 8, 2017, 01:55 AM   #46
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Why not?

My Mini-14 is a 2011 581 Series Model 5858. That model was a special run for Davidson. I bought it brand new for $450 because it was tagged as a factory blemish. It has a very small blemish on the rear of the heel of the receiver.



I thought that it was a good looking little rifle. The blemish didn't bother me nor did it affect functioning or safety of the rifle. I had always wanted a Mini-14. It was a very good price.

As far as accuracy goes, with this Mini-14, if you can't hit what you're shooting at, it would simply be because you can't shoot. It would be no fault of the rifle.
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Old September 8, 2017, 08:19 AM   #47
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So... to summarise then, the Mini 14 is like an AK in that it may not be super accurate but it just keeps on running on whatever you put in it.

It is better looking and less intimidating alternative to either AK or AR thanks to fit, finish and furniture. Only magazine availability is a concern in terms of consumables.

Does that sum it all up?
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Old September 8, 2017, 09:36 AM   #48
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I'm gonna say maybe. :P
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Old September 8, 2017, 09:43 AM   #49
Model12Win
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Well other than the fact that the Mini is darn near twice what a solid new AR costs, sure.

Or you can try and find one of those used ones that nobody has for sale.
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Old September 8, 2017, 09:48 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by Tad_T View Post
Why not?

My Mini-14 is a 2011 581 Series Model 5858. That model was a special run for Davidson. I bought it brand new for $450 because it was tagged as a factory blemish. It has a very small blemish on the rear of the heel of the receiver.



I thought that it was a good looking little rifle. The blemish didn't bother me nor did it affect functioning or safety of the rifle. I had always wanted a Mini-14. It was a very good price.

As far as accuracy goes, with this Mini-14, if you can't hit what you're shooting at, it would simply be because you can't shoot. It would be no fault of the rifle.
I would buy that rifle for $450.

If they were priced that low I could live with the other issues.
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