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Old February 22, 2013, 02:54 AM   #1
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Why so many mini-14 haters?

Just as the title asks, why so many haters? Because its not "cool and tactical"?
Because they are "not accurate"? I have a mini-14 ranch rifle from the early 90's with thousands of rounds through it and works like it did when new, just great. I always hear about reliability and accuracy being an issue. My dad nor I have ever had any real reliability issues with the rifle whatsoever. And for accuracy, it seems people are talking from their friend's dad's cousin who shot one once, or they just straight up can't shoot worth a darn. I've heard they are just plain unaccurate and after 100 quick shots in a row accuracy is compromised.
Well lets talk about that. Who is ever going to spray 100 rounds as fast as they can and then need to take a 300 yard shot? In a real life scenario you must be up against an army, and no weapon in the world is going to help you. Or it's the urban cowboy yuppies at the range trying to recreate a scene from rambo to cope with having a small pee pee. I shot my first deer when i was 12 years old with my mini-14. I was standing in a cut cornfield, it was 3 minutes before shooting closed legally, so it was dark, and it was about -20 with the wind chill. I took 1 shot at a trotting doe at 200 yards and dropped her like a sack of bricks. The only thing i have to say to most of these people is;
It's not the arrow it's the indian.

Sorry if I'm beating a dead horse but i just wanted to see if anyone could shed some light on this topic. I'm a hunter first, a recreational shooter second. IMHO most AR variants look like they are made by fischer-price, ugly plastic.
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Old February 22, 2013, 03:16 AM   #2
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Re: Why so many mini-14 haters?

I must say, i do love the look of a decked out AR. But i have a mini 14 and i completely agree with you. I have been shooting mine off and on for 20+ years. It's as good now a the first day i shot it.
It's a great rifle, and it's American made.
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Old February 22, 2013, 03:29 AM   #3
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Not by me. I had been trying to trade a mint early import SAIGA for any old Mini-14 since just after the election - no dice. Mini's have suddenly become platinum...
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Old February 22, 2013, 03:46 AM   #4
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IMHO most AR variants look like they are made by fischer-price, ugly plastic.
Funny you should mention that. There's lore that Mattel used to make the plastic furniture for the M-16s when they were first issued to soldiers. But proof of that is lacking, at best.

I love my Mini-14. Still getting the hang of shooting rifles, but it's gone bang every time so far, and I'm certain it's still more accurate than I am. Plus, you can't beat the feel of wood and steel.
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Old February 22, 2013, 08:19 AM   #5
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I think that most of the negative flap about the mini 14 is concerning the "old" style. They had accuracy problems according to some, plus in days of yore you couldn't get 20 or 30 round mags. Things have changed niow with the retooling on the mini (ranch Rifle), heavier tapered barrel, and availibility of normal 20 and 30 round magazines from Ruger.
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Old February 22, 2013, 08:49 AM   #6
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I'll trade my AR for a Mini-14 all day. The only reason I have an AR instead was the cheaper price. Nothing but love for the Mini-14 here.
"Vegetarian, an old Indian word for bad hunter."
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Old February 22, 2013, 08:57 AM   #7
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Older Mini-14's weren't as accurate as AR's right out of the box. Accuracy out of the box is about the same as an AR on the newer models.

Non-factory magazines have always been a problem - many simply don't work. Ruger factory 30 round magazines can cost you $70 if you can find them.

The way the magazine snaps into the mag-well is slightly more difficult, time consuming and requires more precision than changing magazines in an AR.

A Mini-14 comes in one platform - There's no changing calibers by simply swapping barreled uppers like with AR's.

There are NO chrome bore/lined barrels for Mini-14's....NONE.

There are way more goodies and doo-dads made for the AR than for the Mini-14.

Swapping barrels on a Mini-14 requires a gunsmith to fit and properly index the barrel and drill the gas port. With an AR, you twist off the barrel nut and swap barrels.

Mini-14's aren't "Leggo-like" and adding accessories isn't as plug-and-play as with the AR.

That said, I like the Mini-14 - I have its full-auto cousin, the AC556 which is a very reliable, tough rugged gun.
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Old February 22, 2013, 10:13 AM   #8
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Apparently guys bought early Minis and tried to do a lot of bench rest target shooting. Wrong rifle for the purpose. Once past the third shot, groups opened up.

But for a hunter? Great rifle. The first shot typically went right where it was supposed to. Easy to carry at the balance point because of the flush-fit five- or ten-round magazines.

After-market magazines of the 1970s and 1980s were quite reliable and seemed reasonably priced. I have no clue why that changed. I even messed with a 40-round mag, and it functioned flawlessly.
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Old February 22, 2013, 10:18 AM   #9
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Why so many mini-14 haters?
Probably the same reason for so many Glock haters.
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Old February 22, 2013, 10:21 AM   #10
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I don't know. I love the Mini-14 myself. It may not be all modern day tactical and all but I think the classic Mini's are some of the coolest rifles ever made.
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Old February 22, 2013, 10:37 AM   #11
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Probably the same reason for so many Glock haters.

Both get a lack of respect in some circles but for COMPLETELY different reasons. Not even in the same ballpark.
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Old February 22, 2013, 10:49 AM   #12
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The A-Tean seem to like that gun .
I have had mini 14's in the past and was a ok firearm . I have a mini 30 in 7.62x39 its thinks its a ak47 ...LOL
It runs that caliber pretty well .
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Old February 22, 2013, 10:59 AM   #13
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The A-Team seem to like that gun .
Yeah, but those guys were famous for not being able to hit anything, so that's not exactly a ringing endorsement!
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Old February 22, 2013, 11:14 AM   #14
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Some of the older Mini 14's like the one I have had since 1972 have pencil thin barrels and occassionally you will hear of someone who has their shot placement start to "string" after 4-5 rounds due to the barrel heating up and the harmonics of such a thin barrel. In the past I added one of the aftermarket struts and I only shoot my mini a few rounds at a time so it works well for me. Is it as accurate over 100 yards as my AR's? Abslutely not but for carry through the East Texas Piney woods and the under 100 yard shots available it works quite well and has never has any type of malfunction in over 41 years in my case.
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Old February 22, 2013, 11:39 AM   #15
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I LOVE Mini's. And my love stems from extensive use of the old, crappy series that most complain about.

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Old February 22, 2013, 11:45 AM   #16
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I had an older Mini-14 with the pencil barrel. 186 series. That was until a tragic fishing accident when it fell overboard into deep, deep water. At any rate, I got the Scout Mount from above. Really helped keep it cool and minimized stringing. I highly recommend one.
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Old February 22, 2013, 12:03 PM   #17
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Why so many mini-14 haters?

The Mini-14 is a quality gun, and very charming, but I think the AR platform is objectively superior if you set aesthetics aside. Modularity in particular being the driving factor.
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Old February 22, 2013, 12:26 PM   #18
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Why so many mini-14 haters?

I've long wanted a mini, and was fortunate enough to get one just before things went through the roof. I haven't had a chance to shoot more than about 10 rounds through it, but I love it.

I also have an AR. I do think the AR is easier to clean, and certainly has a better aftermarket support, but I wouldn't say it's a "better gun". Just depends on what you want.
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Old February 22, 2013, 12:34 PM   #19
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What haters?

I must have missed all the threads here about how the Mini-14 was no good. You can find people who don't prefer anything, and probably even find "haters" of anything. But there's just not that much actual and true Mini-14 hate.

Sure, the AR platform is much more popular- more manufacturers, more options, more everything. But there's plenty of Mini love out there too.

I have both. I prefer the AR, but even my thin barreled wood stocked Mini 14 is a competent and handy little rifle. It may not be as accurate and may not lend itself to some of the things my ARs can do well, but it fires the same round and someone with only a Mini-14 is hardly poorly armed.
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Old February 22, 2013, 12:44 PM   #20
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My 580 pencil barrel shoots a little under 2'' groups at a 100 off a bipod. I call that accurate for what it is.
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Old February 22, 2013, 02:16 PM   #21
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what is hate?

if you post a question such as "AR-15 or Mini-14", and 80% of the response says "AR-15 is better"... does that constitute hate? To me it does not, but to some people, the answer would be yes the 80% have "hate" for the mini.
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Old February 22, 2013, 02:27 PM   #22
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You can make a Mini-14 every bit as accurate as an AR-15. It'll just cost you! Heavy target barrel + larger gas blocks + trigger work + glass or good sights = Exceptionally accurate Mini-14.
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Old February 22, 2013, 02:31 PM   #23
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Mini 14 made in 1977 completely stock, iron sights and has never had anything shot in it except milsurp 5.5x45. Sometimes at 100 yards this gun shows up:

And sometimes this one shows up:

either way good enough for a coyote in my back field.
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Old February 22, 2013, 03:05 PM   #24
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Old Grump, I'd bet that if you either bed the stock or switched to a different stock, your shots would be more consistently like that second target.
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Old February 22, 2013, 03:21 PM   #25
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Not a hater at all. I've owned several down through the years when they sold new for under $350 and used for around $250. They were a great gun at that price considering that an AR cost $700-$1,000 at the time. I sure don't hate the gun, just consider them and the magazines very overpriced.

The last AR I bought simply does everything better and I paid $750 OTD for it along with two 30 round magazines, a hard case, telescoping stock, cleaning kit, and a picatinney rail. A comparable Mini 14 with the same accessores + tax would have run me well over $1,000. Just the basic rifle would have been $720 + tax.

I truly do like the gun and would buy another if they ever get back to about 1/2 the price point of an AR. They do the job they were designed for just fine, but they weren't designed for the same job as an AR. They were originally meant as an inexpensive, but rugged semi that could be kept behind the seat of a truck or on a tractor for varmit control. They were never intended for personal protection and certainly not military use.

You'll find that about 90% of the guys who get "labeled" as haters are former Mini 14 owners. When they point out facts they are suddenly haters.
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