thinking about a mini 14

Discussion in 'Auto & Semi-Auto Discussion' started by rugermatt, Jul 23, 2010.

  1. rugermatt

    rugermatt New Member

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    i have been wanting a mini 14 for a while now and have heard mixed reviews. i know that they have improved accuracy over the years. i just want it for target and maybe the occasional ground hog or coyote. i have a 336 that serves this purpose as well as others, i just want a semi-auto also in a lighter caliber. any thoughts on this or other suggestions?
     
  2. CA357

    CA357 New Member Supporter

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    Many of the guys here will give you the biblical chapter and verse on how great the AR platform is and that Mini's suck, aren't accurate, are a dated design and so on.

    I'm old, and I'm old school. I've had three Mini 14's and I've enjoyed every one. I just had to sell one and now I am down to one. I had it out to the range this morning and it was accurate at 50 and 100 yards. I was shooting PMC 55gr. FMJ's and it performed well with them. I generally shoot Federal/Lake City XM193 55gr. FMJ's and it's a touch more accurate with them.

    I have 60 year old Mark 1 Eyeballs and I shoot the Mini with open sights. I'm happy with the way it performs and it's more accurate than I am.

    If you like them, buy one. ;)

    BTW, if I have to shoot longer than that, I've got a 1917 Eddystone with good glass that will get the job done. ...and .30-06 makes a nice hole. :cool:
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2010

  3. KMO

    KMO Member

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    First of all, don't believe everything you read about the Mini-14's accuracy. Many such statements are over-embellished, and I'm sure that many are also made by those who have never fired a Mini-14. The Mini is a rugged well-designed carbine, and as dependable as they come. I do believe the latest generation from Ruger are more accurate out of the box, mostly attributable to the revised barrel design (thicker at the gas block and tapers down in diameter). However, even earlier versions can be accessorized to improve performance, and without spending too much money. There are plenty of add-ons & accessories available for the Mini. Go ahead & pick one up. You won't regret it...;)
     
  4. Deadman1

    Deadman1 New Member

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    I've got a couple myself, pretty much my favorite platform. ;) Both guns are plenty accurate and will eat any ammo you want to feed them. I have a stainless model with a few cheap mods that out performs my AR. Used mini's are going in the $450 range around here right now, ya just can't get an AR for that, or even a decent AK anymore. :eek:
     
  5. M14sRock

    M14sRock Active Member

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    Mini 14's are great and many of those who talk smack about them have never owned or used one.

    I have a couple and always will. And I have never had one malfunction with decent mags.
     
  6. CA357

    CA357 New Member Supporter

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    Oh yeah, that's right. Stick with factory mags and you'll do fine.
     
  7. masterPsmith

    masterPsmith New Member

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    I'm old school also. I love the Mini-14 platform as well as the Garand and M1A. My accurized Mini will shoot sub-MOA when scoped, although I prefer iron sights and can keep it under 2" all day, if my old eyes allow me to when I go out. I have been shooting and smithing the Mini since they first came out back in the mid 70s or so and would not be without one..

    Jim............
     
  8. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

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    Well at 62 I'm an old guy too and since I've bought four Rugers handguns from 1973-2006 I'm a Ruger fan, however my rifles were Marlins (one a 336C like yours rugermatt).

    About ten years ago I began warming up to 5.56 and 7.62x39 and being a Ruger fan the Mini-14 and Mini-30 were at the top of my list. Then the AWB sunsetted so I also looked at ARs and AKs and chose the WASR-10 over the Mini-30 mainly on price and the availability of parts. I did fire a Mini-30 but have to say the fun factor of an AKM also played in my decision. I have never been sorry with the AK.

    Then last year I decided it was now or never on the 5.56 so I researched long and hard deciding the best route was to build a custom AR. I have nothing against either Mini but they lose out when compared to the military designs. I am very pleased with the AR I built.

    Getting a Mini-14 is not a bad choice (and I do like the Garand/M14 style action) but do some research on ARs first.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2010
  9. CHLChris

    CHLChris New Member

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    For a long time I was looking at the Mini-14. The main reason I went with the AR-15 instead is that I knew I would only get a chance to buy 1 rifle right now. For that reason I thought the AR filled more of my needs. But I still want a Mini-14. For 1 thing, it looks like a real rifle! Especially the ranch rifle (beautiful!!)

    My SUR looks like a tactical thing and anyone seeing me walk down the street (in a SHTF situation) with my AR would get really scared of me. But carrying a Mini-14 I could just look like a hunter.

    Someday I might get one, but for right now I'll have to be content with my black rifle (and believe me, I'm grinning!!). :D
     
  10. rugermatt

    rugermatt New Member

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    my father has an ar-15 and it is a sweet shooting gun, but the price on one is about double a mini-14. i am a huge ruger fan also. i just want to get something with out breaking the bank( i'm looking to buy a 1911 also). i have just heard so many mixed reviews on them. does anyone have a preference of of mini 14 or mini 30?
     
  11. CHLChris

    CHLChris New Member

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    No, that can't go unchallenged, like a Q.E.D. math formula.

    A Mini-14 is about $650 for a good deal and can easily be found for $750. I built my AR for about $850 and could have put one together for under $800. AR-15's are not, by definition, twice the price of a Mini-14.

    They are in the same ballpark as far as price. Now, one can definitely go whole-hog and build an AR for $1600+. But we all know that a Mini-14 can also be pretty tricked out and quickly exit the sub-$1000 range.

    I'll leave it at that. I don't have any desire to turn this into a bash-the-Ruger thread. Just don't assume that an AR (built in a couple of hours from some parts) is that much more expensive than a Mini-14.
     
  12. rugermatt

    rugermatt New Member

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    did you build it made in U.S.A. for that price? just wondering, this is important to me. i'm not bashisng yours by any means, i just would like to know.
     
  13. mrm14

    mrm14 Active Member

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    Any of the newer 580 series mini-14's will shoot sub moa with the right ammo. My brother and I bought new mini's in 2008, his in 6.8 SPC and mine in .223. They both shoot sub moa with no mods.

    Now, the older 180 series mini's can be a "crap shoot" when it comes to tight groups @ 100. I had a 180 sereis in .223 in the late 1970's and it would shoot no less than about 3" groups @ 100, however, I had shot other unmodified 180 series mini's that would group at about 1" @ 100.

    The newer unmodified standard 580 series seem to be constant at about 3/4 moa.

    Not too shabby in my book. I think they are great rifles for their intended use.
     
  14. CHLChris

    CHLChris New Member

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    Yep. Lower is a combination of parts (all USA). The upper is Del-Ton with some Yankee Hill parts. Here's my build thread:

    http://www.firearmstalk.com/forums/f20/first-ar-15-build-here-i-go-28708/

    Again, I only bring it up to help dispel the common fallacy (I believed it, too, just a few months ago) that an AR costs at least $1200. Not true.
     
  15. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

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    Rugermatt, take a look at Chris' AR building thread, it's a sticky. He documents things very well and I think you can assume his parts are US made, take a look to be sure.

    I also built an AR last summer for about $800. It could be built cheaper today.

    Lower Receiver:
    Smith&Wesson Model M&P-15 Stripped Lower $130 ........ Springfield, MA
    Del-Ton Lower Parts Kit $50 ......................... Elizabethtown, NC
    BCM M4 Milspec Stock Kit/H-buffer $70 ......... Hartland, WI

    Upper Receiver:
    ArmaLite U15A4CB MidLength Upper Receiver ....... Genesco, IL
    ArmaLite E20151 Railed Gas Block Sight (total of $500) .. Genesco, IL
    Wilson Arms 16" HBAR Barrel (included above) .................. Branford, CT
    Colt A4 Carry Handle (Cardinal Forge) $27 (used) ........... Hartford, CT
    Bushmaster 0.04" taller front sight post $6 ...... Windham, ME

    Miscellaneous:
    CQB Universal Fit 3-Point Tactical Sling $10 (used) .... Visalia, CA
    USGI/NHMTG Magazine $10 ........................ Hartford, CT

    [​IMG]

    ETA: Whoops! Shoulda known he'd post while I slapped this together!
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2010
  16. CHLChris

    CHLChris New Member

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    rugermatt,

    This is kinda funny looking at this thread. A few months ago I posted the same kinda thread: http://www.firearmstalk.com/forums/f18/survival-defense-if-only-one-rifle-25602/

    I had made up my mind that a Ruger Mini-14 was the right rifle for me. And then a bunch of these radical whackos started telling me to build an AR for the same price. I just thought they were firearm extremists until I started doing my homework.

    And 3 months later...I've got a pretty cool US-made, Oregon-assembled (in my office) AR-15 for $850.
     
  17. rugermatt

    rugermatt New Member

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    now if i can actually build an AR for the same , or about the same price, then this sounds too fun to pass up. my father has a s&w that has all the gadgets, i think he piad in the $1,500 range for it. this sound like an awsome project. i love me a ruger, but i love me some building my own gun too.now i am even more confussed on this subject.lol. keep em coming though. that's a sharp looking rifle you got there Quentin, i like the carry handle instead of a scope (even though any Marine knows that you don't use the carry handle to carry your rifle). i am already an expert at shooting the m-16 according to the Marine corps, so this is a definate option.
     
  18. Deadman1

    Deadman1 New Member

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    Sounds like these guys changed your mind for ya. If you're thinking about an AR build now, may I suggest this kit at midway:

    [​IMG]

    It's priced at $499 and you should be able to get into a quality stripped lower for under $150. ;)
     
  19. CHLChris

    CHLChris New Member

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    My main suggestion is go to the AR-15 sub-forum and read all the stickies, then just start looking around. And choose what items you could go inexpensive on and still be good parts. And then choose which items (I'm thinking gadgets now) you wouldn't want to cheap out on...so you just put it off.

    I really believe you could buy for $800 plus a tool or two.
     
  20. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

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    Matt, don't completely give up on the Mini-14 but definitely compare it against an AR. And those of us here who've done it can tell you building your own AR is a whole lot of fun. I think the AR is a better rifle but the Mini is no slouch.

    I listed where the components were made in my earlier post and to the best of my knowledge every one, including the small parts, was made in the USA. I felt that was a requirement since I was building a near copy of The US Rifle. And those parts were assembled into the rifle right on my coffee table in Boise, ID.

    Good luck whichever way you choose to go.

    Here's an older picture of it right after I built it. Even the little US flag I put on it was made in the USA. Since you like 1911s I chose a pic that also has my Colt Series '70 that I bought in 1976.

    [​IMG]