mini 14 Tactical v. AR 15
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Old 11-28-2011, 12:34 PM   #1
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Default mini 14 Tactical v. AR 15

I posted this in the mini forum also, but want to make sure I get input from both sides, the mini lovers and the die hard AR fanatics.

I'm looking to pick up a good tactical rifle. I'm mainly a handgun guy and have only owned one AR in the past, a Bushmaster, and never cared for it. There are so many ARs out there now that are cheap junk. I don't have the budget to go for a better Colt or F/N AR so I'm looking at the mini 14 Tactical versus maybe the Smith M&P AR or other AR in that $500-$650 range.

My question to both mini and AR fans is this.... For TRUE reliability which would I be better off with a high mid range AR like the M&P or the mini 14 Tactical?

I want a gun I can trust to fire every time; be it sitting in the safe, cleaned and oiled or 2 weeks into a back country hike and run into Mr. mountain lion.

As far as familiarity I have years of experience with the AR platform. I carried a GUU-5/P during most of my career in the Air Force even if everyone called it a GAU-5/A, and also used M16A2, M16A3 and M4 at one time or another.

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Old 11-28-2011, 02:33 PM   #2
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You might want to give a good look at S&W's M&P15sport. Look for reviews from It has S&W behing it. And unlike most every other AR builder They make all there metal works in house. The barrel is an R% rifleing profile with a melonite finish in it and on the bolt now. Price can be under 600 dollars at a good shop. No forword assest or dust cover but is not needed for 99.99% of use and you can still push the bolt forword if needed. Mine will also shoot under 1" groups with junk AR 223 ammo from wally world and is chambered for the 5.56 round. Only other rifle that has a basicaly well made product is palmetto state arms that has good factory support. In ether case look to Rockriver arms if a purely accurate rifle is wanted with there varment rilfes. I have seen several 24" barrel .223 wylde chamber rifles shoot groups of 3/4" regularly with hand loads half that. They use a wilson arms match grade air guaged barrel. Good stuff. Rock river arms has a great scope mount too at a very good price.

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Old 11-28-2011, 04:03 PM   #3
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Mini 14's are a very accurate gun if not rapid fired.While not as accurate as a heavy varmint barreled AR15,they will serve as a good hunting or protection weapon.
I had a first series 180 Mini 14 for many years,and it was minute of coyote all day long.200 yards was the farthest that I ever tried shooting yotes with it,but it always did the job.But my RRA AR15 will shoot circles around it.

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Old 11-28-2011, 05:21 PM   #4
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You said it when you said minute if coyote would be whay 8" circle. Hope thats with factory sites. Thats is the sole reason I never bought a mini 14. And I do like rugers.

If some has to have a mini then check CDNN sports for models and prices priceing and then to your local ffl. Good price's

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Old 11-28-2011, 05:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HAFBSP View Post
... I'm looking at the mini 14 Tactical versus maybe the Smith M&P AR or other AR in that $500-$650 range...

I want a gun I can trust to fire every time; be it sitting in the safe, cleaned and oiled or 2 weeks into a back country hike and run into Mr. mountain lion.

...
Take your pick, whichever you like the best, but honestly 100% reliability for a life or death situation costs much more than you've budgeted.
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Old 11-29-2011, 04:38 AM   #6
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My experience with Mini-14's has been very poor; they just don't have what it takes. I love the looks of them and will periodically buy one to see if they have improved.

The last one I had was in 6.8SPC and it was challenged to shoot basketball sized groups at one hundred yards. Turns out their are two chambers with the 6.8; one of which works and one of which is SAAMI approved. To avoid law suites Ruger will only use the SAAMI approved chamber which is the least accurate one.

I had one with an aftermarket heavy barrel and it shot OK but that is all; Just OK not exceptional. On the other hand I have five AR's right now which I built myself and each one will outshoot any Mini 14 I have ever owned.

I wish Ruger could do something about improving the firearm and I suspect they have tried but failed. They brought out that model with the barrel weight a couple of years ago but they still do not come up to AR standards.

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Old 11-29-2011, 04:43 AM   #7
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You're not going to get a good enough specimen in order to form a proper opinion at the price you listed.

The better question to ask is which firearm is being used by professional face shooters throughout the world.

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Old 12-01-2011, 01:45 AM   #8
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When Obam was elected (best firearms salesman in history) I panicked and bought a Mini 14 (Ranch Rifle) because I thought I might not be able to buy one at a later time. It turns out that after shooting it some I was not happy with its performance (it could be just me). I regretted not buying an AR15. I thought I was saving some $$$ by getting the Mini. I sold the Mini at a $200 loss and got what I should have in the first place, a Stag AR. I am very happy with it and it WAY out shoots the Mini.

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