Accuracy aside - Is there any good reason

Discussion in 'Mini-14 Forum' started by KHickam, May 29, 2012.

  1. KHickam

    KHickam Member

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    That the Mini 14 tactical rifle would not be a good home defense/self defense tactical carbine -

    I just think that the Mini 14 would be more reliable in tough conditions - What do you think?

    Things I want in a tactical carbine

    Practical Accuracy can it hit a man sized target at 200m?- As a Persian Gulf vet and former LEO - I believe that I can function in stressful situations.

    Is it reliable with all types of ammo - steel case, brass case - different bullet weights and configurations

    Can it mount - scopes and other optics

    Are parts/magazines readily available?

    Quality construction? There is so many opinions on what you need in an AR format that it makes my head hurt


    Please post your experiences based on these parameters - I am getting ready to get a rifle and I have narrowed it down to AR and Mini-14 - and although there are a pleothra of AR lovers - few people talk about the mini-14 as a tactical carbine

    Thanks

    Olde TSgt
     
  2. Rick1967

    Rick1967 Well-Known Member

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    I see nothing wrong with the Mini for home defense. I considered one myself. I went the AR route because I wanted the option of adding different uppers later to shoot other calibers. I also like the platform from my Army days. But if you want a Mini 14, I would not be afraid to buy one. They have lots of aftermarket stuff for them. Mags are certainly plentiful.
     

  3. hawkguy

    hawkguy Well-Known Member

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    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Fk84KLiaa4[/ame]

    this is an interesting video based on the mini 14's ability in regards to tactical shooting.

    shooting an inch tighter off a bench probably isn't much of an advantage in most practical shooting in other areas. mini 14 seemed to perform pretty well in this video against an AK and AR.

    and as far as mini accuracy goes, my mini and my AR shoot very closely so far at 50 with irons.
     
  4. steve4102

    steve4102 New Member

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    Yes. No problem.

    Most steel cased ammo is Berdan primed. Berdan primed ammo is a big problem for the Mini-30 as it breaks firing pins and is responsible for a lot of FTF. Not sure if the 14 suffers from the same issue as the 30.

    Yes and no. Some parts like Mags are available in factory or after market, but some parts like firing pins and bolts are not. Ruger will not sell firing pins or bolts to the general public or to Gunsmiths. For these parts the rifle needs a trip back to Ruger.

    Quality is hit and miss with the Ruger Mini. There are thousands of Mini owners that have zero issues and their rifles are Good to Go right out of the box. That said, there are many Mini owners that have nothing but problems and there new rifles have to be sent back to Ruger for repair after repair after repair. No different than many other companies, but IMO Ruger has zero quality control and uses it's customers to weed out the bad products instead of taking the time and money to perform this important task before the rifle hits the dealer rack.
     
  5. tri70

    tri70 New Member

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    I love the mini platform, shoots well out to 200m, I hand load ammo and will shoot all bullet weights 40-69 gr. I have not broken a firing pin and have owned a mini for over 20 yrs, shot thousands of rounds. I like the solid steel receiver, no quality issues to note. My minis will shoot factory mags and Promag aftermarket 20's.
     
  6. TLuker

    TLuker Active Member

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    I think the mini is a great platform and I love mine. It eats whatever you feed it and it just keeps going and going. Finding the right round will improve accuracy, but it spits out all of them with a reasonable degree of accuracy. It might not be the most tacticool gun out there but it gets the job done. :)
     
  7. KHickam

    KHickam Member

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    Not - looking for tacticool - seems you pay a premium for that - Just a gun that fires without fail and can hit man-sized targets to 200m because based on my knowledge and experience very few engagements will be much beyond 50 m.
     
  8. GunDoc

    GunDoc New Member

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    The tactical model suffers the same common Mini issues - poor trigger, sloppy stock fit, poor to good reliability with steel cased ammo. It can certainly hit man sized targets to 200 meters from the box, but a little work to the rifle will increase accuracy. A trigger job and stock bedding will do wonders. The iron sights can be a little crude, and I haven't found any mount/sight that will allow for co-witnessing, so you're really down to irons or optic. Steel cased ammo is an issue. A heavier hammer spring usually fixes this but ups the risk of firing pin breakage. I'd only shoot it if I had to and knew my rifle would run it reliably. As a vet and former LEO (thank you) you may find the length of pull a little long for your liking, but aftermarket stocks and shortening the stock are options. And if you're a mag well gripper doing so on the Mini is detrimental to feeding in most cases. Speaking of magazines, now that factory mags are affordable and plentiful I wouldn't use anything but factory mags if reliability is a priority.

    None of this is meant as a deterrent, I do a lot of Minis and they can be utterly reliable and accurate. With the above in mind go get your Mini and go shooting.
     
  9. scottybaccus

    scottybaccus New Member

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    I think these TNP videos go more directly to your question....

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLzxL8lH46s&feature=plcp"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLzxL8lH46s&feature=plcp[/ame]

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGdmHW1-c18&feature=plcp"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGdmHW1-c18&feature=plcp[/ame]

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0c5jf9oPedQ&feature=plcp"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0c5jf9oPedQ&feature=plcp[/ame]
     
  10. Shoobee

    Shoobee New Member

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    I like the open bolt design of the Ruger, which is based on the M-14 and the M-1, rather than the covered bolt design of the AR's and the AK's which comes from the 1940s sturmgewehr.

    I enjoyed my Mini-14 until I graduated to bolt action scoped rifles, at which point I sold the mini.

    I never put a scope on the mini, so I don't have a sense of how accurate is really was.

    But my moa was about 1 1/2 which is not bad for iron sights. It could have been my eyes, and it could have been the rifle.

    With my scoped bolt actions I am used to less than 1 moa now.
     
  11. plumbernater

    plumbernater New Member

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    I think this mini review is a good representation of what the riflr is capable of. Remember ir is a carbine.

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ej39umHaB08&feature=player_detailpage[/ame]
     
  12. KHickam

    KHickam Member

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    Thanks I had watched these already - but wanted to get more opinions.

    My problem is that I can not see paying $1000 plus for a "quality" AR 15 even though I am pretty familar with the gun (I carried one alot of years)
     
  13. KHickam

    KHickam Member

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    sights

    Since I think it would be hard to put an optic on the gun and use the iron sights are there any products (Iron sights that you would recommend)
     
  14. Shoobee

    Shoobee New Member

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    Good overview of the new improved Mini-14s.

    I had one back in 1975.

    The new ones look like they have a better heat shield on them, and also it says the barrel has been beefed up and improved.

    I like the looks of it, with the M-1 bolt and M-14 design.

    I vastly prefer the design of the Mini-14 to any of the ARs. Not sure how the two compare accuracy wise, at 500 yds?

    I wish someone would do a side by side comparison of them with iron sights at 500 yds.
     
  15. Shoobee

    Shoobee New Member

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    It already comes with an M-14 type iron sighting system.

    The front sight is a post, protected with wings, and the rear sight is a peep, which is adjustible.

    This gives you a good combat sight system for a carbine, with the circular peep helping your eyes to focus, so you naturally tend to center the front post onto your target.
     
  16. plumbernater

    plumbernater New Member

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    The mini 14 is not a 500 yard rifle it is a carbine. 200 maybe 300 yrds would be practical. I have a old mini 181 series put a mo rod and a mo reaper on her she shoots just as good as the new barrel ones. And I think she is more reliable with the old bolt setup.
    [​IMG]
     
  17. steve4102

    steve4102 New Member

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    I keep reading the word "carbine" when discussing the accuracy of the Mini as if having a barrel less than 20 inches is an excuse for poor accuracy.

    In general terms, carbines often have barrels no longer than 20 inches, and their butt stocks are often on the short side as well. They're usually light and easy to handle, which lends them to cavalry use.

    Being short and easy to handle has nothing to do with accuracy. Velocity, yes, accuracy no.

    A quote from Chuck Hawks:

    Here is a velocity and accuracy test with progressively shorter barrels. Not that even down to 10 inches accuracy was still sub MOA.

    http://www.accuratereloading.com/223sb.html
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2012
  18. KHickam

    KHickam Member

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    Plumenator - How is the low light capability of the gun with the stock sights?
     
  19. Bellum

    Bellum New Member

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    Hey Hey, just thought I'd add my 2 cents..

    I spent 18 years in the US Army, and .. I have a mini! ..

    I did a video shooting the mini at 100 yards.. I'll link it again.. and here's a pic of my working on Memorial day. As others have said, the pull is a bit long (with the standard stock, the ATI is adjustable), and recoil
    *slightly* more than the AR, but I can keep up with most of them .. =)
    I do have to disagree with Gundoc on one point, perhaps I was lucky, OR the stocks had improved on the 581's, the stock fit on mine is anything but sloppy.. again, maybe I just got a lucky stock . =)
    I am guilty of being a mag grabber when not firing off the bench, and yes, with NON Ruger magazines it will cause feed issues.

    Oh, on that note, Mag swaps are a tad slower if you are concerned with that, I typically use my new mag to detach the empty magazine.. there's a video on Rugers site demonstrating that. Basically you use the new mag to engage the mag release and push off the spent magazine then insert the new magazine. A bit akward until you get used to it..


    [​IMG]

    Video:

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jstxMgeO3eo"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jstxMgeO3eo[/ame]
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2012
  20. TLuker

    TLuker Active Member

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    I agree with your point in theory, but I'm not sure about practicality? Carbines in general are design and intended for shorter distances. Even the caliber is selected for shorter distances. I would put the effective range of a .223 at 300 yards (and 300 yards might be pushing it). It can go further but I wouldn't call it effective any further out? But by giving up range with a .223 you get a bullet with really light recoil allowing for more rapid accurate fire, and you can carry more ammo because it weights less than say a .308.

    The design of a carbine itself limits its effective range. A shorter barrel will have less velocity which reduces effective range even more. Just using a semi auto, which most carbines are, is also going to limit accuracy. The ammo must be looser fitting in semi autos to ensure reliable chambering of the round (that's why you full length size for semi auto's and neck size for bolt actions when reloading). Looser tolerances in mating parts also often makes for more reliable functioning of mechanical devices (Honda cars in general have very loose tolerances and that is in part why they are so reliable).

    Now for the quality part. Higher quality with accuracy cost more money. It costs the manufacturer more and it costs the consumer more. It costs more because everything must be more precise. The machining dimensions, the fit, the ammo, and etc. must all be more precise. Carbines in general aren't really worth that extra price for accuracy when their intended use is relatively short ranges to begin with. My mini doesn't have the smoothest barrel in the world but I didn't expect it to. The barrel as produced was capable of practical accuracy (< 2 MOA) with off the self factory ammo. I'm breaking the barrel in to make it smoother and more accurate but I do that with all my rifles (1 MOA after breaking in the barrel). Ruger could have put hand lapped barrels on them but then that would have cost more money and really wouldn't have been a benefit for most people that buy one.

    As for just quality, and forgetting accuracy, I'm willing to sacrifice some accuracy in this rifle to have a gun with looser fitting parts but functions flawlessly in a variety of conditions. I don't have to worry about cleaning as much as I would if the parts were tight fitting and precise (AR v. AK). I think that is a sacrifice that almost all people that buy a carbine (semi auto) are willing to make, and I think that is why most people expect less accuracy from a carbine?

    The accuracy of my mini out of the box was more than sufficient for my uses and the ranges I plan on shooting it. It also has functioned flawlessly. For me that makes it a quality product, and as a quality engineer I have pretty high expectations when it comes to quality. :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2012