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Old 04-23-2012, 12:46 AM   #21
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Hawkguy; You put quite a bit of effort into your review. I enjoyed it and thought you did a decent job. You are not an experienced reviewer but as you gain more experience, your reports will get better so dont let the negative comments discourage you. Learn from them. We need younger shooters that are willing to do the work and report on it. Us old guys get grouchy from time to time and some of us are jealous because we cant see the irons well enough anymore.
Amega makes a rail that replaces the hand guard and the top of the gas block. I have one on my Mini 30 and like it.
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Old 04-23-2012, 12:47 AM   #22
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Hey Hawkguy, I liked your review of the two guns, good job!

I have an older 183-series Mini-14 and a new RRA AR-15 and I enjoy shooting both of them very much. My Mini has a strut on it too, has more than acceptable accuracy and has 100% reliability. It has a 1:10 twist in the barrel, so I shoot 55 gr. ammo in it. It's always been a total hoot to shoot.

My new AR is in a different class IMO, it's hard to not like it. In fact, I haven't found anything to NOT like about it.

I wouldn't feel outgunned at all if I only had my Mini in a SHTF situation. I have 12 preban metal 30-round mag's that all work like a champ, so I would be good to go.
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Old 04-23-2012, 12:49 AM   #23
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Hey Hawkguy, I liked your review of the two guns, good job!

I have an older 183-series Mini-14 and a new RRA AR-15 and I enjoy shooting both of them very much. My Mini has a strut on it too, has more than acceptable accuracy and has 100% reliability. It has a 1:10 twist in the barrel, so I shoot 55 gr. ammo in it. It's always been a total hoot to shoot.

My new AR is in a different class IMO, it's hard to not like it. In fact, I haven't found anything to NOT like about it.

I wouldn't feel outgunned at all if I only had my Mini in a SHTF situation. I have 12 preban metal 30-round mag's that all work like a champ, so I would be good to go.
The only person outgunned in a SHTF scenario is the guy that can't hit the target.
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Old 04-23-2012, 12:54 AM   #24
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Hey Hawkguy, I liked your review of the two guns, good job!

I have an older 183-series Mini-14 and a new RRA AR-15 and I enjoy shooting both of them very much. My Mini has a strut on it too, has more than acceptable accuracy and has 100% reliability. It has a 1:10 twist in the barrel, so I shoot 55 gr. ammo in it. It's always been a total hoot to shoot.

My new AR is in a different class IMO, it's hard to not like it. In fact, I haven't found anything to NOT like about it.

I wouldn't feel outgunned at all if I only had my Mini in a SHTF situation. I have 12 preban metal 30-round mag's that all work like a champ, so I would be good to go.
Prior to 1994 and serial number 188-71086 the Mini 14 had a 1:12 twist. Ruger went to a 1:9 twist after that. Try shooting some 45-50 grain bullets and the accuracy will probably pick up.
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Old 04-23-2012, 01:06 AM   #25
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i really appreciate all the kind words.

and trust me, i know my review was not "professional", but i did put a lot of effort (and $) into it for the amount of time i had. and i never claimed any professional status to begin with, i'm just a regular guy that enjoys shooting guns.

long story short, wife and young 'uns were out of town. i get a rare chance to spend about 4+ hours on the range and take advantage. i was typing up the review as the family was about to roll in. pretty hard to write reviews with anklebiters all over you. so i guess it was a bit sloppy overall, should have thought the whole thing through a bit more i guess.

but i thought the basic results/experiences might be helpful to someone considering the rifles at the price point. not everyone has an AR and mini that cost almost the same amount, so i thought i'd share what i know to this point. please remember, as i stated, much is just my preferences.

any constructive criticism is always appreciated.

and if you have any questions for me, i'll answer to the best of my ability.

ps-i would like to post a basic review of my rossi ranch hand as well. when i get the time
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Old 04-23-2012, 01:26 AM   #26
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Prior to 1994 and serial number 188-71086 the Mini 14 had a 1:12 twist. Ruger went to a 1:9 twist after that. Try shooting some 45-50 grain bullets and the accuracy will probably pick up.
JTJ, you had me doubting myself so I went and dug-out the Owner's Manual for my Mini-14, which was made in 1982 and sure enough it's 1:10 just as I thought. Given that, the 55 gr. bullets seem to be the best choice and believe me I've played with all that a lot. Ruger changed it so many times that it's hard to keep up with. I think there are also some 1:7 Mini's floating around out there too.
ruger-mini-14-manual-pg-12.jpg   ruger-mini-14-manual-cover.jpg  
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Old 04-23-2012, 01:40 AM   #27
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This is a forum for gun aficionado's, not professional writers who nitpick every little detail. Was it the best ever review? No. But it was unbiased and honest. He gave his assessment, and I think it was fairly accurate and he worked hard to get it right. Everything he missed can be corrected, and one doesn't write at a superior level on their first try.
If you don't like the article, then write your own.
I found it thought out. Only issues, which I think are minor? Shoot the same loadout in each magazine. If you shoot 55 grain federal with ten rounds, then shoot the same load on the AR, an compare them that way.
The critique, I give you credit for. You acknowledged the accuracy was because you hadn't shot the AR before. The only thing I'd ask on that? You said your buddies AR had issues. My questions would be what kind of AR does he have, the BCG within it, and his maintenance and upkeep of it.
Overall, it was thought out well and reliable. It gives someone who isn't well versed enough information to eliminate some of the rumors concerning both firearms.
Good job.
lets see, i tested all the various ammo because i wanted to see it all function well in each gun. (also, i buy a little ammo at a time over a long period, so some also represents sales ) but i only used the hornady 55 grain v-max in each gun on the posted targets for accuracy.

my buddy's AR is a bushmaster. i think overall he is doesn't clean his guns near as much as he should, and has a habit of leaving them dirty for extended periods of time. that is why i am only basing the compared reliability of the two rifles on the ones i own. and so far, my AR has functioned perfectly.

hope this answered some of your concerns. thanks for the positive words.
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Old 04-23-2012, 02:18 AM   #28
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JTJ, you had me doubting myself so I went and dug-out the Owner's Manual for my Mini-14, which was made in 1982 and sure enough it's 1:10 just as I thought. Given that, the 55 gr. bullets seem to be the best choice and believe me I've played with all that a lot. Ruger changed it so many times that it's hard to keep up with. I think there are also some 1:7 Mini's floating around out there too.
The Ruger rep lied to me. I called Ruger to check on twist and he gave me the information. Now I passed up a good buy because I did not want a 1:12. Thanks for correcting that in case I run into another good buy.
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Old 04-23-2012, 02:34 AM   #29
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Hawkguy: i have something to add/ask. You say your ar is a stripped down version that does not include forward assist or dust cover. 2 weeks ago my shooting buddy brought home a dpms oracle. Basically a flat top no frills ar, but did have a dust cover and a forward assist. He paid $630 for it without sights. I know because i was there when he bought it. (Helluva price if you ask me! I couldnt build one for that!) After shooting it, i have to honestly admit that it gives up NOTHING to my armalite which cost twice the price. Ok, the dpms trigger is not as nice as the armalite, but in a non-precision target geared ar, i cant in all fairness hold that against it. So all that being said, if your rifle was on this level, ie: has dust cover, forward assist, and shoots as well as a rifle costing twice the price, all for the same or less price than your smith, do you feel that it would have changed your rating of quality/craftsmanship vs the mini?

I have shot a smith ar and thought it was outstanding quality although i do not know which model nor the price it was.

There is no wrong answer here, im just curious what you have to say. I too, have read all the negatives on the mini's but have never had the chance to fire one myself.
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Old 04-23-2012, 02:35 AM   #30
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The Ruger rep lied to me. I called Ruger to check on twist and he gave me the information. Now I passed up a good buy because I did not want a 1:12. Thanks for correcting that in case I run into another good buy.
Yep JTJ, it breaks down essentially like this:

1978-1985 = 1 in 10" (e.g., 181 series)
1986-1994 = 1 in 7"
1995-2004 = 1 in 9" (e.g., 197 series).
2005-Present = 1 in 9"

It's no wonder everyone is confused about what ammo to use for best accuracy.

While the old M16A1's were 1:12, I don't think the Mini-14 was ever made in a 1:12 twist.
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