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Posted: 9/6/2004 7:45:31 AM EST
I have always known of this gun, but never really considered it for a home defense/shtf contender.
For you guys that have them, how are they reliability wise and mag availability and accuracy wise compared to a sar or armalite 180?

Link Posted: 9/6/2004 8:01:10 AM EST
People here generally dislike them.

From my experience with them... crap.

Fun for wasting ammo but accuracy is pitiful and I have a HELLUVA time getting mags to seat correctly.

The mags don't lock in, really. You stick em up the magwell and they hook onto a little pin that goes through a hole in the mag.

The mag is literally shaky in the gun.

Personally, I'd take an AK over a mini. AR180B interests me as well, assuming they really worked on making it reliable.

- BG
Link Posted: 9/6/2004 8:38:44 AM EST
BUCC is right, they are treated like the red headed bastard step child around here.(the red head comment not intended towards you BUCC, just happened) I bought one before I bought my AR, I don't have any accuarcy problems with mine, I use mine for +/- 75 shots on average and I hit what I shoot. as for mags, they are a problem, in so far as finding high cap mags of any quality. PMI and factory are the best mags, but can be priced to kill. the sunset will help I hope. my best advice is to shoot one before you buy it, give it a good test drive. I'd use mine for SHTF if my ARs somehow disappeared, but not home defense, personal preference. again test drive it.
Link Posted: 9/6/2004 8:41:59 AM EST
Every one I've ever owned were horribly inaccurate. I'm talking 6" groups at 100 yards, using a scope, off a rest, regardless of ammo. If Ruger would build them with decent barrels and make mags available, I might change my mind and buy another one. Until then, no thanks!
Link Posted: 9/6/2004 10:21:44 AM EST
Link Posted: 9/6/2004 10:28:08 AM EST
i love my GB model and won't be getting ird of it any time soon. The only downside is the lack of magazines. Hopefully that won't be a problem for much longer though...
Link Posted: 9/6/2004 11:54:53 AM EST
I was very disappointed in mine, bought brand new in 1996. At first I thought it was just me (well, I was certainly a factor) but when I went back to my AR I was instantly a better shot. The stock trigger sucked, and the stock sights sucked, not to mention the purported barrel whip that was causing nasty 10" groups at 100 yards.

Hanging around www.perfectunion.com, I learned that you can make it into a 2" MOA rifle for under a hundred bucks. But, to get it to an accuracy of an out-of-the-box AR, you need to spend an extra $300-$500.

See here for details:

www.accuracysystemsinc.com/mini_14_30_accessories.html

Do I still have mine? Sure. The action is relatively simple, and I haven't had any FTF's or FTE's over the course of the last 1,000 rounds or so. It's a good plinkin' gun, unless you want to spend the money.
Link Posted: 9/6/2004 12:07:24 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/6/2004 12:07:46 PM EST
Why spend the money on the Ruger. If you buy one new it's in or close to some ARs. It's accuracy is nothing to write home about and the you face magazines issues. The Ruger's accuracy can be improved with an outlay of $$$$$.
Link Posted: 9/6/2004 12:25:46 PM EST
The mini-14 is a good enough gun in it's intended role. Ranch rifle. My buddy up in ND keeps one handy on the farm for picken off coyotes. It's certainly not a tack driver, and wasn't intended to be.

I think much of the "ado about nothing" comes from people who want an AR type rifle, but buy a mini because it's cheap, looks like an M-14 (to scale). Of course, with a little effort and a few tools you can throw together an AR for the price of a mini, but this is over the heads of most newbies methinks.

Bottom line, the AR is twenty times the gun for 2 times the money.

But, ARFCOM tradition does require a qualified "buy both".
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 3:14:39 AM EST

Originally Posted By SGB:
I'll take a M1 .30 carbine over the mini 14 anyday.



Considerable difference in ammo capability. The .223 is far more effective than the .30 Carbine round.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 3:21:23 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/7/2004 3:24:24 AM EST by twonami]
How come they don't make better barrels for mini 14's and 30's?
Glad i didn't buy one a few years ago
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 4:40:15 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/8/2004 3:24:16 AM EST by wgjhsafT]

Originally Posted By nationwide:
The mini-14 is a good enough gun in it's intended role. Ranch rifle. My buddy up in ND keeps one handy on the farm for picken off coyotes. It's certainly not a tack driver, and wasn't intended to be.

I think much of the "ado about nothing" comes from people who want an AR type rifle, but buy a mini because it's cheap, looks like an M-14 (to scale). Of course, with a little effort and a few tools you can throw together an AR for the price of a mini, but this is over the heads of most newbies methinks.

Bottom line, the AR is twenty times the gun for 2 times the money.

But, ARFCOM tradition does require a qualified "buy both".



I bought a mini-14 because I didn't have the money for an AR at the time and was of course disappointed. If you want AR15 accuracy, accesories, and capability get an AR, if you want a beater .223 to shoot varmits and coyotes and don't care about MOA accuracy get a mini. Mini-14 magazines are more expensive, accessories are available but not plentiful, and to make it AR accurate you'll probably spend more on a new barrel than for the gun.

Mine has been 100% reliable but I realized after I bought it why the guys on the A-Team never shot anyone, because its good for spray and pray throw a lot of lead and not hit anything. Of course after being disappointed with my mini14 I bought a mini30 so that I could be disappointed in 7.62x39mm. I split 1,000 rounds of wolf 7.62 with a guy I worked with who had a SKS. At the range his SKS never hiccuped, but my mini 30 had several FTF with about four different magazines. It didn't like Wolf. For about $100 at the time I picked up a SKS and never looked back.

The minis are decent rifles, just not the best in their caliber.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 4:47:53 AM EST
On a scale of 1-10 the Mini-14 is a solid 4.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 5:30:41 AM EST
I've never understood all the Mini bashing. Outside of the issue of quality hi-caps they're a good value. Most examples will feed anything that fits in the mag and they put all the shots in the black on a silhouette target at 200 yds if you do your part. They don't need much cleaning or maintenance either.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 6:16:32 AM EST
The Mini 14 is very accurate. The Mini 30 in 7.62X39 is not. I have had a Mini 30 and the best group I got was 4". I now own a Mini14 that as had work done by Accuracy Systems. The gun has a new barrel, new trigger, and mag release. And it is a tackdriver. I bought this Mini used with a cheap Swift scope for $650 and it shoots just as well as a AR. As far as mags go I bought a few RUGER 30 rounders and they work 100%. The after market mags give the most trouble. Give Accuracy Systems a look they do very good work.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 6:22:49 AM EST

Originally Posted By raf:
If you have nothing in hand, you are probably best off getting a good SKS and plenty of ammo and stripper clips.

If a Mini-14 falls into your hands, they are inexpensively tweaked into reliable 2 MOA carbines.




I've owned several MINI's over the years. The First early model I had was a good shooter. The rest were absolute SHIT. With Good mags, a mini is a VERY RELIABLE weapon. I have to respectfully disagree ith the 2 MOA statement. The best I ever got my last couple of minis to shoot were about 5-6 inches at 100 yards. A new barrel is not inexpensive. I trioed everything short of this.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 6:45:13 AM EST

Originally Posted By UZI4you:
The Mini 14 is very accurate.



Iv'e owned 4 of them over the years. If 6" groups at 100 yards is what you call accurate, then you're right. If you got lucky and bought one used that had $1k or so of work into it and you're getting 1" groups, then good for you. But to say the "The Mini 14 is very accurate" is the furthest thing from the truth. Compared to an out of the box AR, an unmodified Mini is a joke.

I can change an AR barrel in about a half hour, counting getting the tools out. So if I get unlucky and end up with a bad barrel, I can fix it myself for the cost of a barrel (around $200). I bet the labor alone would be higher than that for a Mini 14 barrel change. Furthermore, unless Ruger changes its long standing policy of not selling hicap mags to civilians, even without a ban, expect factory mags to remain expensive. At the same time, reliable used AR mags are now dropping below the $10 mark.

It just ain't worth the effort.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 9:09:42 AM EST
The Mini-14 offered a lot more value say 15 years ago when a new Mini-14 cost about $300 and a Colt AR-15 cost over $800.

Due to multibrand competition for the AR-15 and the military volume discounts on parts, the AR has stayed at about the same cost (or slightly lower) while the cost of a new Mini-14 has almost doubled. The Mini-14 is less of a value than it was in the past.

Bottom line for me is that I sold my Mini-14 and bought an AR-15. That said - I don't dislike or bash Mini-14 owners. I think Ruger could do a lot more to add to the value of the Mini-14 by offering a heavier barrel and selling factory hi-caps.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 1:44:50 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 1:51:12 PM EST

Originally Posted By gus:

Originally Posted By UZI4you:
The Mini 14 is very accurate.



Iv'e owned 4 of them over the years. If 6" groups at 100 yards is what you call accurate, then you're right. If you got lucky and bought one used that had $1k or so of work into it and you're getting 1" groups, then good for you. But to say the "The Mini 14 is very accurate" is the furthest thing from the truth. Compared to an out of the box AR, an unmodified Mini is a joke.

I can change an AR barrel in about a half hour, counting getting the tools out. So if I get unlucky and end up with a bad barrel, I can fix it myself for the cost of a barrel (around $200). I bet the labor alone would be higher than that for a Mini 14 barrel change. Furthermore, unless Ruger changes its long standing policy of not selling hicap mags to civilians, even without a ban, expect factory mags to remain expensive. At the same time, reliable used AR mags are now dropping below the $10 mark.

It just ain't worth the effort.




Sorry gus

The Ruger Mini 14 CAN BE VERY ACCURATE.
Link Posted: 9/11/2004 12:01:50 PM EST
Mini-14s are great!!!!!

Inexpensive and very reliable.

Rated number 1 (value and reliablity) for plinking 100 yards or less.
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