regardless of what i said, i don't consider the mini 14 to be inaccurate. in fact i think mine is a great little shooter. i've been in many battles with posters who claim the mini is "inaccurate." there is practical accuracy (which the mini has), and target accuracy (MOA...which the mini doesn't normally have).
i think too many people expect guns to shoot MOA these days. autoloading carbines are not generally known to be MOA guns despite many claims of it being so (by internet commandos mostly). shooting MOA consistently in like 5 shots groups in very difficult for gun and shooter, regardless of the firearm.
i have an AR also. i think it is more accurate out of the box. after i tinkered with my mini, the difference isn't all that much. my mini and AR cost almost exactly the same. and you must also remember, often people are comparing heavy barrel $1500+ AR's to the mini.....not a fair comparison. but you must remember, the basic action of an AR is very different from the mini. both have advantages and disadvantages.
the older minis got the platform its BAD rep for accuracy....and well earned....by all accounts, it seems some were very bad. but the newer minis imo will shoot with or out shoot almost every other auto loading carbine not named AR.
i think many just get frustrated with ruger as well, for not taking time to refine the mini 14 into a better firearm. i mean the owners have done more to improve the gun than ruger ever has.
also, i still think my mini handles and looks better than my AR. but this is just a preference vs thinking one is better than the other. accuracy isn't the only measuring stick of a quality firearm imo.
remember, i'm no expert on this matter. just my opinions.
These types of discussion seems to be based on a confusing misunderstanding of the min-14 and the AR-15. And "bad rep" follows.
All guns follow the Minute of Angle (MOA) rule. It's just a simple way of describing the trajectory of the bullet leaving the barrel - of any gun.
So all guns are "MOA" guns. They all follow a trajectory that can be described in angles.
As for the AR-15 and the Mini-14 that Ruger developed - there is a lot of history.
The AR-15 was developed by the US Army to replace the .308 caliber (7.62 NATO) M-14 - which was a heavier rifle using heavier, larger cartridges. The Army wanted a lighter weight rifle shooting more compact rounds - for easier carry. They wanted the rifle lighter and specifically wanted aluminum frames and composites - which they got with the AR-15. And they got the much lighter and smaller .223 (5.56 NATO) round which could be carried in much larger quantities, etc. This was important battlefield stuff - lighter weight - carrying nearly twice as many rounds in the same weight bulk package as the .308 cartridge.
But after all this AR-15 development and the gun proved very popular, Bill Ruger decided to adapt the fine shooting characteristics of the M-14 (remember - this was used as a sniper rifle, too) to that smaller, lighter weight, and very popular cartridge - the .223. Thus, he introduced the Mini-14. And he used composites here too - rather than the wood and steel of the old Army issued M-14. But there is nothing "mini" about it in terms of performance. He called it Mini-14 simply because it was not a .308 cartridge based M-14 but was based on the highly successful AR-15 but smaller round - the .223. That is what made it "mini" - the smaller round.
The AR-15, by it's design, was much more adaptable to change and "add-ons" - which continues today - with panels and picatinny rails, etc. But accuracy - both these guns have the same basic barrel and barrel length (actually both guns have had a variety of barrel lengths but have kind of settled into 16 inch carbine type lengths) and shoot the same .223 cartridge. They are both very accurate.
If someone chooses to shoot a "heavy" version of an AR-15 type gun as a target gun - that is fine - for a heavy target base gun. And he can do that. But weight for weight (same weight versions of these two guns) - hand held - both guns have the same potential - 16 inch barrels shooting the same cartridge.
The AR-15 was not originally designed as a heavy target gun - but actually the opposite - a lightweight gun. So these heavy target AR-15 builds may give better performance - because they are heavy target platforms - but that is not what an AR-15 was about - - and it not a reason to down-play a Mini-14 performance.
This lightweight stuff is kind of funny when you hear guys complain about not liking or refusing to have anything to do with polymer or aluminum frame guns - usually pistol talk - this is. Because the AR-15 was specifically designed around the use of as much aluminum and "plastic" as possible to lighten the Army's field rifle - aluminum frames and receivers and "plastic" stocks, etc. And these guns were rugged. And these guys usually completely defend the AR-15 - because they own them, perhaps. But they put down pistols unmercilessly, that are not "steel" - because "plastic and aluminum make terrible guns...".
---- Not really - since Vietnam - that's what has been the primary gun materials in the much admired AR-15.
MOA (minute of angle) simply describes the characteristic trajectory drop of the bullet (out of any gun) in terms of angles rather than distance. The angles are broken down into minutes of degrees - i.e 1/60 of a degree is one minute. The angle (in minutes of degrees) of drop for a particular gun and cartridge load is then converted to distance drop by applying the distance from the shooter to the target to the gun's characteristic trajectory - with that known projectile load.
That Mini-14 you have is a fine gun with great accuracy potential - as great an accuracy as the shooter is able to control - as is the case with most guns.
I do not own either of these guns. But I am beginning to lean towards a purchase of a Mini-14 because performance is great and I like the looks of a traditional rifle better than that of a "machine gun" look. But that's just me...
The .223 is, by far, the cheapest modern rifle cartridge to shoot - if much practice is planned --- ignoring the Mosin Nagant 7.62 and the most obvious and truly cheapest --- the .22LR.