mini 14 Tactical v. AR-15
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Old 11-28-2011, 12:22 PM   #1
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Default mini 14 Tactical v. AR-15

I'm looking to pick up a good tac 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.

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Old 11-28-2011, 12:35 PM   #2
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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, 01:04 PM   #3
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Go to your local gun shop and pick one up, handle it see what you think. They are reliable and the new barrels make them more accurate. I have a older one that I think the world of, and of course she goes bang every time. Its all about what you want and enjoy. Like I said go and play with one and see what you think. If you are familiar with the garand and m14 or m1 carbine . the mini is very simular

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Old 11-29-2011, 04:33 AM   #4
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this is kind of a loaded question. mini vs AR debates can often end up going the wrong direction.

i have never owned an AR, but i have a good buddy who lets me shoot his fairly often. they are good guns. very accurate and pretty reliable if kept very clean. i certainly don't mean this to disrespect anyone who owns/likes an AR, this is just my experience. the two times me and my buddy have shot AR next to mini, he spent a bit of time clearing jams and/or cleaning. i didn't have those problems.

i see the mini 14 as the "in between" gun. its the gun between an AK and an AR in most comparable ways. maybe not as durable as an AK, but normally more accurate. maybe not as accurate as an AR, but normally more reliable and matainence free. and cost wise, its normally also between the two. (more than AK, less than AR). its a gun that does everything well, but doesn't specialize in anything.

the pros of the mini: reliable. good practical accuracy (better than you'd expect, if you make simple mods and give it a little TLC). high "fun factor." many oppportunities to create/tinker with a variety of set ups/styles. imo one of the best looking modern carbines. imo, feels much more natural. solid and "handy" than other choices.

the cons of the mini: RUGER: restrictive parts/labor availability....be aware of this before you buy! factory mags are only ones worth buying and they are a bit pricey. normally takes "break in" time/mods/good ammo to get best accuracy (if you like to "tinker," then i wouldn't call this a con myself).

*also be aware that there have been reports of a few "stinkers" getting out lately. but ruger seems to have a track record of taking care of these problems.

there are my thoughts. hope it helps.

PS...my mini has been a GREAT gun! two thumbs up from me!

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Old 12-10-2011, 10:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hawkguy
i see the mini 14 as the "in between" gun. its the gun between an AK and an AR in most comparable ways. maybe not as durable as an AK, but normally more accurate. maybe not as accurate as an AR, but normally more reliable and matainence free. and cost wise, its normally also between the two. (more than AK, less than AR). its a gun that does everything well, but doesn't specialize in anything.
Well said. Those are the reasons I bought mine.
Very. Practical. Weapon.
And yes this is a loaded question.
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Old 12-10-2011, 11:45 PM   #6
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I was looking at a wall of AR's earlier today, but I walked out with my first mini 14. I really can't comment first hand on its reliability yet, but I went with the mini for all the reasons listed. It has a reputation for reliability and has an action with a proud history.

I've never been an AR fan but I was really scratching my head on whether or not to get one. They look cool and are known for their accuracy. They are also known for having to be kept miraculously clean.

The way I figure it both AR's and Mini's require work. An AR requires work to keep it functioning properly and a Mini requires work to make it accurate. Personally, I think functionality is more important than accuracy and for me that means a mini? I would rather work on improving accuracy and not have to worry as much about functionality. That's just my .02 cents based on a lot of hearsay, but I'll have first hand experience on the mini real soon!!!

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Old 12-11-2011, 12:23 AM   #7
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... I've never been an AR fan but I was really scratching my head on whether or not to get one. They look cool and are known for their accuracy. They are also known for having to be kept miraculously clean...
"They are also known for having to be kept miraculously clean..." ??? You really, really need to google "Filthy 14"!

Nothing wrong with the Mini, I wouldn't mind having one but why do so many Mini fans keep repeating untruths about the AR?
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Old 12-11-2011, 03:45 AM   #8
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"They are also known for having to be kept miraculously clean..." ??? You really, really need to google "Filthy 14"!

Nothing wrong with the Mini, I wouldn't mind having one but why do so many Mini fans keep repeating untruths about the AR?
there is where things can go bad. i personally don't think anyone meant disrespect to anyone who likes the AR. honestly, i just posted my limited experience with them. go back & read & you will see i said they are good guns and fun to shoot.

all i said was, in the times i have shot side by side with an AR, the owner had to stop & clear jams & even clean it out at the range. this is just the experience i had. my friend with his AR even admitted to not cleaning it as well as he should have. please understand, this is not an untruth, it is just my experience.

i have heard many claims about a mini innaccuracy, but in my experience, i have had pretty good luck in getting my mini to shoot pretty accurately. but its still isn't quite as accurate as my friend's AR....that thing is a tackdriver.

so please understand....i was just comparing off my experience....not trying to make anyone feel bad about the type of gun they like. when it comes to mini and AR, most of the differences are personal preferences.
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Old 12-11-2011, 04:07 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hawkguy

there is where things can go bad. i personally don't think anyone meant disrespect to anyone who likes the AR. honestly, i just posted my limited experience with them. go back & read & you will see i said they are good guns and fun to shoot.

all i said was, in the times i have shot side by side with an AR, the owner had to stop & clear jams & even clean it out at the range. this is just the experience i had. my friend with his AR even admitted to not cleaning it as well as he should have. please understand, this is not an untruth, it is just my experience.

i have heard many claims about a mini innaccuracy, but in my experience, i have had pretty good luck in getting my mini to shoot pretty accurately. but its still isn't quite as accurate as my friend's AR....that thing is a tackdriver.

so please understand....i was just comparing off my experience....not trying to make anyone feel bad about the type of gun they like. when it comes to mini and AR, most of the differences are personal preferences.
Most of your cheaper ar's ya they do need to be cleanner than a mini, but a top end ar like a DD or Spike doesnt. Even the more expensive bushmasters dont have to be clean. Thats what quentin is trying to say i do believe.

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Old 12-11-2011, 03:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hawkguy View Post
there is where things can go bad. i personally don't think anyone meant disrespect to anyone who likes the AR. honestly, i just posted my limited experience with them. go back & read & you will see i said they are good guns and fun to shoot.

all i said was, in the times i have shot side by side with an AR, the owner had to stop & clear jams & even clean it out at the range. this is just the experience i had. my friend with his AR even admitted to not cleaning it as well as he should have. please understand, this is not an untruth, it is just my experience.

i have heard many claims about a mini innaccuracy, but in my experience, i have had pretty good luck in getting my mini to shoot pretty accurately. but its still isn't quite as accurate as my friend's AR....that thing is a tackdriver.

so please understand....i was just comparing off my experience....not trying to make anyone feel bad about the type of gun they like. when it comes to mini and AR, most of the differences are personal preferences.
Actually if you go back and read my post I didn't quote you, hawkguy. In fact I liked what you said about the Mini-14 as being an "in between" gun. You made interesting points though I can't agree that a good AR needs more maintenance. I'd say a good Mini and a good AR are both very reliable with minimal maintenance.

Also it is interesting that Ruger now sells ARs. They did have the good sense to not overlap in price, if they had offered a low priced DI AR no doubt it would impact the Mini's sales. Anyway, even Ruger is onboard with both platforms - and we're all free to go with the guns we prefer.
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