mini 14 Tactical v. AR-15

Discussion in 'Mini-14 Forum' started by HAFBSP, Nov 28, 2011.

  1. HAFBSP

    HAFBSP New Member

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    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.
     
  2. HAFBSP

    HAFBSP New Member

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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.
     

  3. plumbernater

    plumbernater New Member

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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
     
  4. hawkguy

    hawkguy Well-Known Member

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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! :cool:
     
  5. H2oWerker

    H2oWerker New Member

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    Well said. Those are the reasons I bought mine.
    Very. Practical. Weapon.
    And yes this is a loaded question.
     
  6. TLuker

    TLuker New Member

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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!!!:)
     
  7. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

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    "They are also known for having to be kept miraculously clean..." ??? You really, really need to google "Filthy 14"! :D

    Nothing wrong with the Mini, I wouldn't mind having one but why do so many Mini fans keep repeating untruths about the AR?
     
  8. hawkguy

    hawkguy Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  9. Marlinman

    Marlinman New Member

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    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.

    God didnt make all men equal colonel sam colt did
     
  10. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

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    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.
     
  11. hawkguy

    hawkguy Well-Known Member

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    understood, friend. like i said, i was just basing my posts on my experience with an AR only. i'm not saying that all AR's have trouble jamming/staying clean. if you have better expereinces with AR's being maintenance free, i respect that. i have better expereince with mini accuracy than many posters, so i understand where you are coming from.

    i just wanted you to know i had no intention of offending anyone. mini 14 vs AR debates can get ugly, and i didn't want that to happen.
     
  12. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

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    No problem here, Hawkguy! And I also respect your opinion. We're all on the same side at FTF...
     
  13. TLuker

    TLuker New Member

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    Quentin, is this a citizens arrest? ....ROTFL

    I think I was pretty clear about my opinion being "based on a lot of hearsay" and "reputation"? I think I also mentioned something about not having to worry "as much about functionality"? All semi auto's have to be cleaned at some point and can malfunction.

    I wasn't a mini fan bashing an AR when I posted yesterday (I really wasn't). I bought my first mini yesterday and for all I knew it could have been pure junk. I bought it because of everything I have read and heard from mini fans, AR fan's, and people that wouldn't give you .02 for either. Now, after going to the range today, I am a mini fan.

    I've never been an AR fan because I've heard they are prone to jamming for as long as I can remember (long before the internet). And I didn't hear that from mini fans. Bottom line is that AR's have a bad reputation for reliability among almost all gun fans, except for AR fans, and have from day 1. Maybe part of the reason for that reputation is that there are so many different manufactures of AR's including some poor ones? For most people, who made a gun and the gun are one in the same. So the poorly manufactured AR's are just lumped together with all AR's? Maybe AR's will just have a bad reputation from now on because of the problems when they were first issued? To be perfectly honest I don't know why AR's have such a bad reputation, but they do. Look at on the bright side though, they also have reputation for great accuracy:)
     
  14. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

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    Y'know TLuker, nothing you said there makes any sense except that you like your new Mini-14. And it is a nice rifle, enjoy it!
     
  15. ANGRYcanary

    ANGRYcanary New Member

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    I'll agree with that Quentin, but I don't wanna give you a bad reputation, so I guess it would be best if I just kept rambling on. AS if I really had an opinion as to which action is better since you should clean every gun after you shoot it and I like the mini platform as well as the ar platform but would only buy the ar first because I am familliar with it and stuff etc etc etc
     
  16. TLuker

    TLuker New Member

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    What?

    You mean you didn't get the "citizens arrest" reference? Oh well.

    Thanks for the last part.
     
  17. hardluk1

    hardluk1 Active Member

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    Hafbsp If up close accuracy is all you need then simple flip a coin and call it. Both Ruger and S&W will be around to stand behind there product if you have issues. I have had a mini some years back and all most as quick sold it. just could not cozzy up to it. And I like rugers alot but never got tight with the mini and now have a m&p15 sport. Very suprised buy the accuracy. 1" groups with cheap junk 55gr ar223 ammo, a federal label. Pick up some IMI 62gr m855 and it is a bit better on accuracy and cost affective from Widner shooting supply. The m&p15 works like an ar should . With a bit of research you will find the only thing wrong is in the eyes and mind of people that never shot it. The AR snobs, and to them its junk because its not made buy old long astablished ar companies. S&W makes all the metal work in house. You know how many others do that. Parts guns for the most out there.

    If what you want closer up protection but can still do the job to 150 yards. Maybe you want to add a 44 mag lever action like a marlin '94 to your list of possible rifles. Way harder hitting , with serious heavy bullet2. Weigh the same, Thinner more compact lower cost and still easy to shoot. Just add a gost ring or red dot. But I am very pleased with th M&P sport. I piscked up a few AR STONER 10 round mags from midwayusa ,cheap and they also work great with out the overhang from a 20 or 30 rounder.

    If you find your self carrying on a sling. Check out Booni Safari Sling. Different kind of sling. Works on a AR and leaves your rifle hands free up and ready with needed. No hanging up swinging like so many ar slings do and not suck with it hung over a shoulder. I have one them for 20 years. Something to try.. Good luck with your choice.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2011
  18. Z-Man

    Z-Man New Member

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    I'm going to weigh in here, as I have experience with both.

    It depends.

    If I want a tac rifle I can drop in mud, water, dirt, or human remains and be 100% sure it will fire...I'm a Mini Man.

    If I want a tac rifle I can drop in mud, water, dirt, or human remains and be 97% sure it will fire...and also hit a target at 400m...I'm an AR Man.
     
  19. jismail

    jismail Member

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    I'm not a statistics guy myself, but IIRC the .223 and NATO rounds both drop below the minimum fps for lethal bullet expansion at that range so, while you may be able to hit something with it at 400m, it may not be effective. Am I mistaken?
     
  20. Z-Man

    Z-Man New Member

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    Statistics and the "real world" often contradict each other. I don't have my ballistics manuals at hand now, but, I do believe that both the .223 and the 5.56 rounds fall below accepted limits somewhere between 340 and 370m.

    Despite the ballistics charts and statistics, I've personally witnessed one-shot body kills well in excess of 600m from .223's in both Iraq and Afghanistan. On the other hand, I've also personally witnessed a center of mass shot at about 90m where the bad guy ran off and up over a mountain and disappeared. Go figure...