Less expensive alternative to ar-15

Discussion in 'Auto & Semi-Auto Discussion' started by Dan The Man, Nov 5, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Dan The Man

    Dan The Man New Member

    27
    0
    0
    Less expensive alternative to ar-15?

    Possibly a Ruger mini-14. Performance, ammo cost, scope mount available?
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2008
  2. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

    23,972
    1
    0
    Define Expensive.

    You might want to check out this thread from the very knowledgable guys over at Sniper Country. They pretty much spell it out for a guy wondering close to the same thing.

    A Mini 14 is NOT an M4/AR or an M14 - Don't expect to get the same quality out of the former in comparison to the latter without some extra cash being laid out....
     

  3. Dan The Man

    Dan The Man New Member

    27
    0
    0
    thanks for the help

    I am looking at spending $700 for a rifle.
     
  4. hillbilly68

    hillbilly68 New Member

    994
    0
    0
    Dan you can get a great AR for around 700. It wont have all the lickies and chewies that you can get on one, but it will damn sure be better than a mini 14. ANd will give you plenty of room to improve, a mini is what it is essentially. Cant throw a 20" bbl and then a 16" bbl on amini in a matter of a few seconds and have two very different rifles. You can "build" one yourself with very little research then slap a completed upper on her and save some serious $. Good luck.
     
  5. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

    23,972
    1
    0
    Sorry for the curtness in the first response, I honestly had you confused with a recent troll of a damn near identical name...

    For $700, you can build a very good AR platform. There is a guy here, my young AR Padwan, named Junho who built a very good one for around $600 and he has a complete parts list in his thread on the subject.

    Now, if you are looking for a Mini 14 because you like the model, great. There is some stuff that you should know.

    The Mini-14 is an op-rod driven action and on top of that, it has a skinny barrel. Both of those factors lead to less than great accuracy. Can you make it accurate? Sure. Out of the box will it hit Minute of Bad Guy all day long out to about 300 or so yards? Absolutely. Will it hold Minute of Angle out to 100 yards? I highly, HIGHLY doubt it....

    Now, for $700, current price hike not withstanding, I could probably build you an AR platform that would shoot the living daylights out of the Mini-14.

    Now, there are those that will immediately tell you that an SKS would be a better choice for a "battle/assault" style rifle and I would agree. The AK/SKS/Mini-14 are all Op Rod driven, which means they will run dirty and they will run cold and they will run when you pick them up...

    Now, there are also people who will tell you an AR is maintenence heavy, it won't run dirty, it's a pain to take care of and that if will fail you when you need it most. Don't believe those people. ;)

    If you know how to take care of your weapon, which includes routine maintenence and cleaning, anything that "could" go wrong will be discovered long before it does go wrong. AND, in the unlikely event you find yourself at the range and your firing pin breaks ( never seen it happen ) or your extractor fails ( rarely if ever seen it actually happen ), or any of the other "horror" stories around the infamous Black Rifle happen to you, you will have the knowledge to fix it yourself instead of relying on someone else.

    JD
     
  6. Dan The Man

    Dan The Man New Member

    27
    0
    0
    Thank you both, I would love to build my own and am more than capable so that is the most appealing option to me. I will look at the drawings to see. As for the curtness, I think nothing of it. I assure you I am not the aforementioned troll. Just a very concerned young American.
     
  7. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

    23,972
    1
    0
    Dan - I was the one who was off base. There was another with the exact same name, but with no spaces, and I answer and/or view almost every thread to monitor the goings on, so I was the one in error and apologize.

    I would be happy, as would many members here, to help you build your first complete AR, or at the very least, your first lower so you could buy the AR upper of your choice.

    I assure you, building your first lower is quite easy and doesn't require a hell of a lot of tools or "special" knowledge....
     
  8. Dan The Man

    Dan The Man New Member

    27
    0
    0
    I look forward to getting help from anyone willing to give it. I am sure that once I start I will need guidance. My wife is already worried.
     
  9. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

    23,972
    1
    0
    Building an AR Lower is quite easy. Can you replace a shower head? Can you change a tire on your car? Yes, you too can build an AR Lower...And the Upper isn't THAT much harder. :)

    Here is a great how to guide sponsored by our good friends at Brownells
     
  10. Dan The Man

    Dan The Man New Member

    27
    0
    0
    So let me get this right, Can I throw any random gun topic at y'all and get a similar plethora of info? Either you have these sites at hand or are a quick on the draw in terms of research, either way I know where consult for info. Thanks again!!!!!!
     
  11. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

    23,972
    1
    0
    We have some VERY knowledgable members here. We have some great guys who have been shooting for decades. We have some great guys who have been reloading and tinkering in their garages since they were kids.

    And the best part is, there are here to help out and share what they know. We have guys that know at least a little bit about most everything gun related. If you post a question, it may take a day or two, but someone will be along to help you out.

    Welcome to the site!

    JD
     
  12. bgeddes

    bgeddes New Member

    441
    0
    0
    Basic Ar build equates to buying a lower and a kit from a reputable dealer. I bought a stripped lower from a local dealer, and a kit from an online place.
    Any hands on person can build one. Mine was less than $700, nothing special, but it will shoot decent groups with open sights at 100 yards. Mag fed, cheap mods, and fun as it gets.

    Welcome to the forum, the other side of the build is the pride of knowing it was your work that made it go, that's priceless.
     
  13. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

    11,380
    1
    0
    Someone (or 3) will chime in on nearly any subject under the sun here. Save the frustration with the Mini-14. An AR is at least 2X the gun for just a bit more than the Ruger.
     
  14. jeepcreep927

    jeepcreep927 New Member

    1,105
    0
    0
    The Mini 14 is historically plagued with sub-par accuracy. As far as I can tell it is usually attributed to the gas block design and mounting. I could only get about 3" ish groups at 100 yards with mine. Now my brother has it but his standards are lower.

    The newer Target version has a fatter barrel and accuracy has supposedly been improved but the price is a little over your $700 limit. I built a sub $600 AR that will easily do MOA with surplus ammo (scoped for accuracy testing, then removed scope after I proved to myself it would shoot).

    Everyone else is right, skip the Mini and build the AR.
     
  15. Dan The Man

    Dan The Man New Member

    27
    0
    0
    Thanks y'all I mentioned this at work and now I have 2 others who plan on building their own. Also, every one has echoed your sentiment on the mini 14. I am glad I asked for advise. Thanks
     
  16. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

    23,972
    1
    0
    Make sure you send them this way so they can draw info from the same great group of guys. We have some great former trigger pullers and guys who have built hundreds of these things, plus we don't have a select group of "In Crowders" who won't share info...

    Also - You guys might want to think about getting a stripped lower on the books before the end of January...

    JD
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2008
  17. junho806

    junho806 New Member

    909
    0
    0
    yeah man
    you got this
    heck i'm only 19 with minimal knowledge about guns and i built my AR-15
    you just need a good pair of hands and a head on your shoulders
    :D
     
  18. stalkingbear

    stalkingbear Well-Known Member

    4,094
    28
    48
    I've had a few of the new mini 14s come in and when mounted scope/boresighted,and helped them (customers) sight in,I was highly impressed. They actually shot almost as good as my mini 14 I built with shilen barrel. Recently,ruger switched to all new tooling. Will that make them "as good" as an AR?-all depends on what type rifle you want and the purpose you'll be using it for,but in general,no. The AR platform is highly versaitle,and the sky is the limit with them-keep in mind that I'm saying this while personally I DON'T like ars.
     
  19. Ebee

    Ebee New Member

    12
    0
    0
    I would choose the ar start off with a nice upper and lower then you can upgrade and change parts as you want. The aftermarket for ar's is extensive you can change anything you want to fit your specific needs or personal preference most upgrades are pretty straight forward and most can be completed with basic hand tools.
     
  20. masterPsmith

    masterPsmith New Member

    1,346
    2
    0
    I agree, I personally don't care for the AR type platform. Don't get me wrong, I have built many special purpose and competition ARs for customers and friends. I have also used them in competition. The AR is just not my choice. It may be a perfect rifle for you and you can build a nice one in the $600 to $800 range. I am also OLD SCHOOL. I prefer the M1 Garand, M1-A (especially the Super Match) and the Ruger Mini-14. Granted, most of the older Mini-14s
    were minute of pie plate at 100 yards and a lot of that was using the 55gr. loads in a 1-7 to 1-9 twist barrel. The barrels were also so called pencil thin. Barrel harmonics, gas block design and action to stock fit played a major role also. But the Mini-14 is one of the most reliable and in my opinion, probably on of the best all around rifles the average person could own ( that will get a few frowns). The newer Mini-14s have been improved on and are more accurate today. When you come right down to it, the choice is yours and yours alone. Whichever way you go, you will find more help than you could ever need here in building your rifle. Welcome to the forum...

    I might add also that the Mini can be (with a little work) a very accurate rifle. My primary Mini-14 stainless, 186 series, is capable of and will shoot MOA @ 100 yards using a scope. The scope was used for accuracy testing only. I use irons on it (Williams Foolproof) for all of my shooting with it, as I wanted to retain the utility aspect of the rifle. With irons, I can hold groups to 1" or under at 50 yards and 2" or under at 100 yards. My other Mini's are right behind it........................................

    Don't be afraid to ask questions, we are all here to help each other !!!!!!!!!!!!

    Jim..................................
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2009
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.