The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Art of the Rifle: Semi-automatics

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old January 22, 2013, 12:41 PM   #26
Senior Member
Join Date: January 8, 2013
Location: Washington State
Posts: 235
Ruger has some of the best customer support in the industry.
I disagree with this. Ruger stopped supporting the AC556. Not only is it difficult to get parts, because Ruger never makes parts available to the public, no one has a chance to stock up on parts before they decide not to support one of their products. To be fair, I think Ruger will still try to fix a broken AC556 if they have parts. But, the lack of support for AC556's is disappointing.
Not all of us are so lucky to be able to have an AC556. In this day and age it seems that everything is about cost cutting or companies covering themselves. Not sure if the not supporting the AC556 is similar to the 180 series Mini's due to no parts, or that they aren't as popular, or there are not many out there, or some bean counter or lawyer said it wasn't in the company's best interests. I can understand why they may not support the AC556 which is unfortunate.
blfuller is offline  
Old January 22, 2013, 01:46 PM   #27
Senior Member
Join Date: December 28, 1998
Posts: 273
No horror story here and I'm not bashing Ruger. They're a good company and getting even better with the kids in charge now. I just didn't like my 1996 Mini-14 stainless ranch rifle. Being accurate for just your 1st 3 shots is BS. There are accurizing tools out there for them, but when you add them to the price and the cost of quality magazines, you were up around the cost of an AR rifle. What finally did it for me was when I bought a 30 year older Yugo SKS that out-shot the Mini-14 from the 1st round to the last, all day long! There was no comparison, not even considering the SKS only cost $125 then. Nowadays (before Sandy Hook), for what they cost, you can easily get an AR for just a little more, and again, with magazines, the same price. The uber reliability of the Mini isn't so much of a concern with a well made AR. I was a little tempted with the newer Minis, but Saigas and now Veprs are easy to come by and offer the same accuracy with an AK action for less cost and I have my choice of caliber as well.
seanc is offline  
Old January 22, 2013, 03:51 PM   #28
Come and take it.
Senior Member
Join Date: May 16, 2009
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 999
no horror stories from my neck of the woods.

Even the skinny barreled models can be accurate if you use heavier bullets. I remember having a stainless 180 +series that I got consistent 1 and a half inch groups when using 69 grain match factory loaded ammunition. 2 and a half inch groups using 62 grain ball.

6 inch groups using 55 grain ball.

That skinny barrel did a poor job of taking out bad harmonics and the twist rate was very high for lighter bullets.

Reliablity wise I think they have all ran like a champ. You can run a mini 14 without maintenance for a very long time.

Only problem was a failure by Ruger at the time to provide high capacity magazines to civilians. So you had to get a Ramline hybrid mag if you wanted solid reliablity.
Come and take it. is offline  
Old January 22, 2013, 06:06 PM   #29
Senior Member
Join Date: March 12, 2010
Posts: 1,806
I have a 580 series with the thin barrel profile. With an accustrut added and a trigger job done by local gunsmith it made a huge difference in my accuracy. It will shoot between 1.5-2.5'' at 100yrds with no problem. My best group of 1.25'' was with 60gr sierra bullets, W748 powder and wolf magnum primers. Its a very consistent shooting rifle and its never had a malfunction of any kind in over 5yrs of shooting it since it was new. The only horror story I know of is the price some people are trying to sell mini's for right now.
Bamashooter is offline  
Old January 23, 2013, 08:28 AM   #30
Senior Member
Join Date: November 20, 2008
Posts: 10,529
Price? Yes, that would be a horror story. Old Bill Ruger would be rolling over in his grave if he knew his mini-14's were fetching that kind of price. I remember when Walmart sold Mini-14's for about $250.
Skans is offline  
Old January 23, 2013, 10:40 AM   #31
Senior Member
Join Date: December 30, 2006
Location: midwest
Posts: 967
every couple of years I forget how bad they shoot and buy another. only one of the five versions I have owned shoot well. tried the original one when it cost 179. the ranch, both blued and stainless, the min30 once.
.....even when mounting a good scope on one didn't help. it was just easier to see how bad it shot. I am scared to try one of the newer ones with the heavier barrel. bobn
bobn is offline  
Old January 23, 2013, 03:19 PM   #32
Senior Member
Join Date: February 12, 2005
Location: North central Ohio
Posts: 6,526
My series 184 Mini-14 was purchased new in 1985. It has proven to be reliable and durable. Though it's no bench rifle, it'll stay under 3" @ 100 yards, with three shots, using factory ammunition and stock open sights. Groups get around 4" as the barrel heats up but, with the factory peep sight and my 69 year old eyes, I'm ok with that. The gun is what it is: a handy, light-weight, reliable carbine that rides the trail with me, in camp, or in the truck or on a tractor in a very unpretentious, workman-like way. It's a keeper, just the way it is.
NRA Benefactor Life Member
dgludwig is offline  
Old January 23, 2013, 10:19 PM   #33
Senior Member
Join Date: November 6, 2008
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 198
My 183 series will shoot 3" groups @ 100 yards if I do my part. Not too bad for a $250 investment...
"shall not be infringed"
Black_Sheep is offline  
Old January 23, 2013, 10:27 PM   #34
Senior Member
Join Date: January 26, 2000
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 198
I have an older one built in 1995. Granted it will not shoot MOA, but with most 55grs it will keep about 3" at 100m. I did try a box of the Hornady Zoombie Ammo it did put five shots in less than two inches. Still one of my favorite rifles.
You carry a Badge, You carry a Gun
Sean Connery - The Untouchables
Here endth the lesson
6mm is offline  
Old January 23, 2013, 10:29 PM   #35
Senior Member
Join Date: November 6, 2011
Location: Sea-Tac,WA
Posts: 533
that's a nice looking classic mini-14 there black sheep.
Rugers:SR1911 CMD,MK 3 .22lr 6",Sec. Six '76 liberty .357 4",SRH .480 Ruger 7.5",Mini-14 188 5.56/.233 18.5", Marlins: 795 .22lr 16.5",30aw 30-30 20",Mossberg:Mav. 88 Tact. 12 ga, 18.5",ATR 100 .270 Win. 22",S&W:SW9VE
9mm 4",Springfield:XD .357sig 4", AKs:CAI PSL-54C, WASR 10/63, WW74,SLR-106c
silvermane_1 is offline  
Old January 24, 2013, 02:00 AM   #36
Nine the Ranger
Senior Member
Join Date: June 22, 2012
Location: Florida
Posts: 247
Not to hijack the thread, I was just wondering if anyone has a line on a good folding stock, scope, and/or flash hider for a 581 series Mini-14.

How hard would it be to have the barrel threaded?
'A Vote is like a Rifle; It's usefulness depends upon the character of the User.'-Theodore Roosevelt

'In a Man to Man fight, the Winner is He who has one more round in his magazine.'-Erwin Rommel
Nine the Ranger is offline  
Old January 24, 2013, 04:13 PM   #37
Senior Member
Join Date: June 16, 2007
Location: Ory-gun
Posts: 506
see now if i could pick up one for 250$ i think i may be able to live with myself just to have as a play around rifle. they are just sexy looking
Molon Labe
Mausermolt is offline  
Old January 24, 2013, 06:15 PM   #38
Art Eatman
Staff Lead
Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX; Thomasville, GA
Posts: 24,128
Mausermolt, just as an FYI, they are darned good hunting rifles for jackrabbits and coyotes.

There was a huge population explosion of jackrabbits in northern Nevada and southwestern Idaho in 1980 or 1981, I disremember which. Time magazine had an article on it. A buddy and I went out from Winnemucca and set up over a marshy area. Each of us had Minis. We each popped around fifty before getting bored. Came back a week later, couldn't tell that we'd even made a dent. Coyotes were sitting around picking their teeth, waiting for us. Had another hour of shooting.
You're from BATFE? Come right in! I use all your fine products!
Art Eatman is offline  
Old January 25, 2013, 12:52 AM   #39
Ignition Override
Senior Member
Join Date: February 18, 2008
Location: About 20 nm from the Big Muddy
Posts: 2,241
Maybe you've already checked "Armslist" for your state.
There might be a seller who is not trying to make a killing, but just wants to sell.

One hang-up is that when guys were too impulsive investing in accessories and only sell as a package, this keeps prices too high for others who only want the basic rifle.

I might really like a classic Pontiac Firebird from '73, but not with somebody else's junk stuck on it, and maybe not the fluffy, furry stuff on the seats as if driven by a German (or Russian) pimp near the Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof (train station).

Last edited by Ignition Override; January 25, 2013 at 12:58 AM.
Ignition Override is offline  
Old January 25, 2013, 01:28 AM   #40
4V50 Gary
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 19,342
Nine the Ranger - look at Black Sheep's image of the slip on and pinned flash hider. There's your ticket. As for scoping it, I wouldn't scope a Mini. A Ranch yes, but not a Mini. Minis given time will destroy a scope because of upward shell ejection and energy transferred from a vibrating receiver into the scope base. That's why a buffer ring was built and sideway ejection was engineered into the Ranch Rifle.
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
4V50 Gary is offline  
Old January 25, 2013, 09:56 AM   #41
Art Eatman
Staff Lead
Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX; Thomasville, GA
Posts: 24,128
"Minis given time will destroy a scope..."

Glad I didn't know that. I might not have been able to kill all those jackrabbits, without the scope. But, I only put a bit over a couple of thousand rounds through that particular Mini.
You're from BATFE? Come right in! I use all your fine products!
Art Eatman is offline  
Old January 25, 2013, 10:37 AM   #42
Senior Member
Join Date: May 16, 2008
Posts: 9,577
Yeah it would be great to get AR-15's but I dont see that happening, because we just got brand new TASERs.
If you are sworn law officers DOD will send you as many "surplus" select fire rifles as full time officers at no charge. You send a letter on official letterhead and they just show up in a week in an unmarked box. Not sure, but I think they also offer semi-auto. This is a big part of why no one uses minis anymore.
I disagree with this. Ruger stopped supporting the AC556
The AC556 hasn't been produced for civilians in almost 30 years. What company continues to officially support a product 30 years after production ends? From what I have heard they do fix them and have parts b/c they do still make the rifle for police/military even if they don't have many contracts.
$0 of an NRA membership goes to legislative action or court battles. Not a dime. Only money contributed to the NRA-ILA or NRA-PVF. Second Amendment Foundation is a solid alternative.
First Shotgun Thread First Rifle Thread First Pistol Thread
johnwilliamson062 is offline  
Old January 25, 2013, 11:56 AM   #43
4V50 Gary
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 19,342
Art - learned what I did at the factory. They had every cheap scope imaginable to Leupold scoped Minis returned to them on the rifle with complaints that the gun broke it. You're lucky and I am happy for everyone whose scope didn't fail.

Oh, if it's Mini horror stories, I was at a class and two guys brought Mini-14s. There was one M-14 type rifle and the rest of us had ARs (almost all Colts back then). The Minis had malfunctions and the one I recall was the trigger group falling out. User error because of improper reassembly.
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
4V50 Gary is offline  
Old January 25, 2013, 12:27 PM   #44
Senior Member
Join Date: December 20, 2007
Location: S.E. Minnesota
Posts: 4,295
I have a Mini-14 581 GB (heavy barrel 16", w/ flash suppressor) with a wood "ranch rifle" stock. Been thinking of putting a scope on it because it came with a set of Ruger rings -- probably a $200 Leupold 2-7X that I'm not using. Any precautions I need to take, or should this model be OK?
"The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun"
zxcvbob is offline  
Old January 25, 2013, 04:00 PM   #45
Corrections Cop
Senior Member
Join Date: September 21, 2012
Location: Lansing, MI
Posts: 390
I did not know that about the DOD. But really all our Mini's are used for Tower Rifles, or the ERT Team, but they have the tactical model's with the pistol grip stocks. I cant see the higher up's letting us get AR's, maybe in a few years, thats what our Arsenal Sgt. was telling me.
Corrections Cop is offline  
Old January 25, 2013, 06:53 PM   #46
Come and take it.
Senior Member
Join Date: May 16, 2009
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 999
I have been running a cheap bsa shotgun scope on my mini- thirty for several years. Rapid fire or whatever it hasnt failed me.

I lost a bushnell once on a mini 25 years ago, but I also lost a simmons varmint scope just a few years ago from shooting a 17hmr rimfire.

So that certianly isn't enough information to confirm a hypothesis that they are hard on scopes. I suggest a call to ruger to ask them if they are aware of this issue.

The mini has been used successfully in the roles it was designed for.

No one wants to hear that their gun is worse or better. Right now you have a lot of people owning ARs and they surely wouldn't want to be told that their gun is inferior to something that on average is less expensive.

I suggest owning all of them like I have at one time or another or all at once.

One thing is for sure is that it took a lot of time before anything was done about bringing optical sights down to a reasonable elevation for a target shooter to use effectively in an ar15.

This was never a problem with the mini 14 ranch rifle. It was the main reasons why I disliked owning an ar15. If you could not double the gun as a short range plinker or groundhog killer at close distances using a scope than what good was it in my opinion.

Also in combat the mini14 shares the same advantage as the m14 when using open sights. about 1 and a half inches more of your head is hidden behind cover when using a rifle where the open sights are just off the barrel.

So basically it took until this century before the AR could catch up to the versatility and affordablity of the mini14.

The only time the platform (mini14, ac556) was a horror story was when it was in the wrong hands such as during the platt-mattox gunfight. its reliablity made it very horrible than and I am sure a lot of people would have hoped Ruger had not built such an effective gun at the time.
Come and take it. is offline  
Old January 25, 2013, 07:37 PM   #47
Join Date: January 3, 2013
Location: PR of Kalifornia
Posts: 77
Old man got me one about 15 years ago as a "good grades"incentive.

Gets hot quickly, its an early model eith a pencil barrel. But as my first center fire rifle that weapon made the cans i was shooting explode more spectacularly than any 22 did before it.

It is not a bench gun, but neither are most ars. Seems to me it is an entry center fire rifle.

Love mine, and so will my son.
"...and which is worst of all, continual fear and danger of violent death, and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short."-Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan

...What he meant to add was, "unless, of course, all responsible citizens are armed to the teeth."
Gunnutfn49 is offline  
Old January 25, 2013, 10:31 PM   #48
Senior Member
Join Date: December 20, 2010
Location: New York
Posts: 950
I've got an older Bushnell 1.25-4.5x24 on my 581 Mini and no issues so far. Granted I don't have a ton of rounds through it with that tube on it, less than 1000 rounds. I'm a big fan of low power variables on these rifles.

stu925 is offline  
Old January 26, 2013, 02:56 PM   #49
Join Date: November 11, 2012
Posts: 72
No horror stories here, my 580 series Mini-14 will hold 2" groups at 100 yards and I get a few that are 1.5" I'm plenty happy with this.

Its an extremely rugged, fun gun to shoot. I didn't go shopping for a match rifle anyway....I have a .308 for that.

I've got a Burris FFII 3-9x40 scope on mine and I've had no issues, probably have 1000 rounds out of it. Not one FTF or FTE, not one!
Colorado308shooter is offline  
Old January 29, 2013, 07:50 AM   #50
Senior Member
Join Date: September 15, 2007
Posts: 1,707
I really like the Mini. Wish I had bought one rather than the SIG556 I bought. The SIG is utterly reliable, but I just prefer the ergonomics of the standard rifle stock better than those with pistol grips. In the end, I was concerned of accuracy and reliability, and I chose the SIG. It is both accurate and reliable, but I still just don't like it.

I think I may try to trade mine on a Mini 14 here in the near future.

And other than on the internet, I haven't heard of any Mini horror stories, all I've heard from guys I know who shoot them is they are good, reliable, accurate little rifles.
stubbicatt is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:08 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2017 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.11878 seconds with 7 queries