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Posted: 8/6/2003 10:13:21 AM EDT
This is my first post. I've been "lurking" for a while trying to gather information on my first AR15 purchase.

I do have a couple of questions.
How will the accuracy of an AR15 compare to the accuracy of my Ruger Mini-14?
Can I use the same ammunition in the AR15 that I use in my Mini-14?

I'd also like to get opinions on any advantages/disadvantages to the AR15 over the Mini-14.

I haven't yet decided on the brand of AR15 I will get. I've just been looking and pricing, but it shouldn't be long.

Thanks

Link Posted: 8/6/2003 10:28:29 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/7/2003 7:09:54 AM EDT by Forest]
Originally Posted By sanddune: I do have a couple of questions. How will the accuracy of an AR15 compare to the accuracy of my Ruger Mini-14?
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Wow that's got a be a first using the word 'accuracy" and "Mini-14" in the same sentance. [;)] Seriously the AR is FAR-FAR more accurate than the mini.
Can I use the same ammunition in the AR15 that I use in my Mini-14?
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Generally - YES. If you're shooting 55gr then there are no issues. If you want to shoot the heavier loads - then check to make sure the twist rate of the barrels are the same.
I'd also like to get opinions on any advantages/disadvantages to the AR15 over the Mini-14.
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[b]Advantages of the Mini-14[/b] -Rifle is cheaper -Rifle is a bit lighter -Rifle is more PC so it doesn't scare people as much. -Available in CA (thanks SMGLee!) [b]Advantages of the AR-15[/b] -System is cheaper (rifle + 8-10 high capacity magazines) -Parts are FAR more available -Good Hi-cap magazines are much more available and cheaper -Much More durable -Better Sights -Easier to Mount Optics -Easier to field strip -Much easier to customize or reconfigure (say go from a tactical carbine to a super accurate varmint rig) -Far more accurate -You can do the work on your rifle - it won't need to be sent back to the factory for fitting of specific parts. -Bushmaster didn't sell us out like Ruger did during the AW ban.
I haven't yet decided on the brand of AR15 I will get.
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Colt or Bushmaster - go with quality and you won't be dissapointed.
Link Posted: 8/6/2003 10:35:06 AM EDT
Their is no comparison, Ar wins hand down. My Bushmaster is an HBAR, Will simply shoot better than I can. My mini 14 Pukes rounds in Patterns. Both Are extremely reliable. I have had One Jam in the Bushy, with wolf ammo. I Don't know if the ammo is what caused it. I never shot Wolf again and have never had any problems. QUALITY Magazines are easily obtainable for the Ar. Good Mini mags will set you back a bit. The only Jams out of the Mini were also when Shooting Wolf Ammo.
Link Posted: 8/6/2003 11:02:49 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/6/2003 11:38:18 AM EDT by Lockedon]
[b]First of all WELCOME TO THE BOARD!!![/b]
Originally Posted By sanddune: ...Can I use the same ammunition in the AR15 that I use in my Mini-14?...
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I don't think they do. I believe the mini-14 is only rated for .223 Caliber ammunition. AR-15's however are chambered for both .223 cal, [b]AND 5.56 NATO[/b]. Though there are no differences in dimensions, 5.56 is the prefered round for home defense situations and longer range shooting, since it contains more charge than the plain .223. The Military uses 5.56 NATO. You can find out more about the ammunition isssue at [url]www.ammo-oracle.com [/url] Personally, i'd take a AR-15 over a Mini-14 every day. Here's why: Once you have one AR lower receiver, you open yourself up to a world of possibilities. you can easily convert it to almost every caliber imaginable. anything from .22LR to .50BMG([url]http://www.bushmaster.com/shopping/accessories/jac-008.asp[/url] and [url]http://server50.hypermart.net/50bmg/001.htm[/url]). and you can switch back and forth between them in a matter of seconds! Without the use of any tools. From what i've seen, AR's aren't that much more expensive than mini-14's, but they're well worth it. ARs are far more rugged (just about every military of the free world uses them BY CHOICE), far more accurate (you're talking 1 inch groups as opposed to 13 inch groups with the mini14), and lightyears more advanced than most other firearm avaliable in the market today. About the brand issue, Go with either Bushmaster or Colt. They are the industry leaders, and second to none. Personally, all my AR's are Bushmasters. With colt, you're paying alot more money just for the name. I have no expenriences with Colt Customer service, but Bushmaster is outstanding. I've never been on hold for more than two minutes and they reply to your e-mail within two days tops. Check out bushmasters knowledgebase, you can learn a wealth of information from them. [url]http://www.bushmaster.com/faqnew/content_by_cat.asp?keywords=&do_search=1[/url] Last but not least, with the purchase of an AR you join the brotherhood of Black Rifle Disease Victims. you'll find yourself coming to this board to exchange information and learn more about your newest hobby. We will be able to answer most of your questions and concerns. Either way you go, enjoy, firearms are great fun! Edited to add: Bushmaster offers a 1:9 inch twist which many claim does a better job stabilizing a wider variety of bullet weights, as opposed to the 1:7 twist offered in colts. You can learn more about this topic at the ammo-oracle link i provided above.
Link Posted: 8/6/2003 11:43:53 AM EDT
I have a top of the line Mini-14 and am now only 200.00 away from buying my 1000.00 AR-15. I would say The mini is a good begianner gun as it's hard to brake ,does'nt require lots of cleanning to work and is cheap 200-400 that's alot less than a good AR15 .For shooting cans at 25yds a mini will do but when you get serious about shooting the Mini-14 is'nt up to the task. They claim 2inch groups with a stock mini-14 but I can tell you from experience it misses a basketball sized targer 2 out of 5 times at 100 yards. I have a friend who is a LEO and he loves the mini in close quarters as it is easyier to clear a bad jam . But that's not a poplar opion.
Link Posted: 8/6/2003 11:44:04 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/6/2003 11:45:57 AM EDT
Originally Posted By sanddune: How will the accuracy of an AR15 compare to the accuracy of my Ruger Mini-14?
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[ROFL2] I once pondered the same question. Do the research my son and the answer will reveal itself to thee.
Link Posted: 8/6/2003 12:48:19 PM EDT
Welcome to the site. I won't reiterate the good advice and observations already offered by the others. The mini is a fun gun. If you want tighter groups, replace the stock with a tighter fitting after-market stock like the Choate. This alone will greatly improve accuracy. Nevertheless, the mini will never be as accurate as a good AR. If you want to check out some ARs and accessories first hand, come to a group shoot sometime. We mostly shoot at the Charlie Elliott WMA range outside Conyers, as it's convenient to most of us. Also, please drop by the Georgia board sometime. We love to help out the new guys when we can. See ya. [:)]
Link Posted: 8/6/2003 12:50:19 PM EDT
Originally Posted By 2-gun: .For shooting cans at 25yds a mini will do but when you get serious about shooting the Mini-14 is'nt up to the task. They claim 2inch groups with a stock mini-14 but I can tell you from experience it misses a basketball sized targer 2 out of 5 times at 100 yards.
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The Mini-14 is not a tack driver like some AR's but most are not that bad. If you can't hit something the size of a basketball at 100 yards every shot with your mini 14 you have a serious problem with your rifle or you need to learn to shoot.
Link Posted: 8/6/2003 12:58:50 PM EDT
The Mini-14 has an excellent action and design. However, the barrel cost was $9.00 in about 1994 and the barrel (and bedding; or lack of) prevents the Mini-14 from shooting with much accuracy. ArmaLite's new AR-180B with a RETAIL of $650 will shoot circles around most any stock Mini-14.
Link Posted: 8/6/2003 1:27:58 PM EDT
I have a Mini-14, and, after about $40 of improvements, it became a good varmint rifle. It took bedding the stock, new gas bushings, and a brake/flash hider before it became accurate at 100 yards. But out of the box my RRA shot better than the Mini did even with the Mini-14's upgrades. As of now the RRA shoots anywhere between .875" and 1.1". The Mini-14 w/ upgrades shoots about 1.2" to 1.8" which is better than the 3"-5" it originally shot. Hopes that helps.
Link Posted: 8/6/2003 1:33:01 PM EDT
As others have stated the problem with the Mini 14 is the barrel. It is too light and when Ruger makes them they turn it down from a blank too fast overheating it. Because of this accuracy suffers as it heats up, have it replaced with a good barrel and it becomes an excellent little rifle. Bad news is that a good accuracy job will bring the price up to $1000 or more, and good mags are much more expensive. Here is a link to a company that installs good barrels. http://www.mini-14.net/ Mack
Link Posted: 8/6/2003 2:24:07 PM EDT
I've had 3 Mini-14s,nice rifle for the money. I've always wanted an AR-15,and finely broke down and got a J&T 16" Car Kit,& Bushy lower,and can't belive how much nicer & more accurate it is than any of my mini-14s! I still like the mini's mind you, but the AR is in a totaly diferent class.
Link Posted: 8/6/2003 2:36:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/6/2003 4:37:54 PM EDT by SMGLee]
Originally Posted By Forest: [b]Advantages of the Mini-14[/b] -Rifle is cheaper -Rifle is a bit lighter -Rifle is more PC so it doesn't scare people as much.
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[b]May I add[/b] [red]It is available in Kalifornia.[/red] My 14.5inch Mini14 shoots about a 10MOA at 100 vs. my 14.5 inch M4 at 1 MOA at the same distance. of course the M4 base price is around a grand vs the 500 I spend on the Mini.
Link Posted: 8/6/2003 3:57:25 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/6/2003 3:58:47 PM EDT by Gunslinger808]
chaos4570 My mini 14 Pukes rounds in Patterns.
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Damn, that's a good one. Can't wait to use it on someone at the range.
Link Posted: 8/6/2003 4:53:23 PM EDT
The Mini does not and never will equal the AR in accuracy nor technology. If you posess some nostalgia over what you, your father, or your grandfather shot in service, then the Mini is a square deal for the money. Third generation Garand type design, unbeatable reliability. Its too bad Mr.Ruger did not recognize or act upon its shortcomings. I have owned two Mini's and sold one to purchase an AR. I just purchased a CAR. Just beware the Black Rifle Disease.
Link Posted: 8/6/2003 5:00:16 PM EDT
i had a mini 14 and liked it until i shot an ar15. i sold it ealier this year i had not shot in nearly 8 yrs. the ar is a much nicer rifle. my .02
Link Posted: 8/6/2003 5:36:02 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/6/2003 5:36:50 PM EDT by michael_seltenright]
After having bought an AR, I wouldn't go back to a Mini. But I do have to say that some can be accurate. I popped 3 ground hogs with a Mini, at nearly 450yds across a bean field with an old Weaver 4X scope. Not to change the subject too much, anyone ever seen gound hogs climb trees? I've shot 4 or 5 out of trees at my house in the last 3 years. Mike
Link Posted: 8/6/2003 7:09:14 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Forest: ...Colt or Bushmaster - go with quality and you won't be dissapointed.
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Don't leave out Rock River Arms or Armalite!!!
Link Posted: 8/6/2003 7:51:57 PM EDT
The best way to describe the differences in accuracy between an AR and a Mini-14 is an afternoon of beer bottle shooting. With the Mini you stand up the bottles about 2 feet apart so that one bottle won't break another... then have at it. Now with the AR you do things alittle different... You lay the bottles down with the tops facing you with about 8 inches between each bottle. The goal here is to shoot the bottom out of the bottle thru the neck. And after you have - you can stand them up for the guy with the Mini... [b][PSA mode] By the way, the spot we shoot glass is a 10 foot wide spot - any glass item is shot only there, and it has been that way for years. The crushed glass is about 7 inches deep. Don't go shooting glass all over the place. - If shooting in a non-range area - bring a cheap plastic tarp so you can pack out your mess! [/PSA mode][/b]
Link Posted: 8/7/2003 10:21:54 AM EDT
Originally Posted By sgtstinger:
Originally Posted By Forest: ...Colt or Bushmaster - go with quality and you won't be dissapointed.
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Don't leave out Rock River Arms or Armalite!!!
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Forest beat me to it. Generally speaking, the following are all safe choices:[list][*]Armalite[/*][*]Bushmaster[/*][*]Colt (very pricey for no good reason)[/*][*]DPMS[/*][*]Eagle Arms(Armalite's less expensive brand, the original company name before they bought the rights to Armalite)[/*][*]Rock River Arms[/*][/list]Two to [b]stay away from:[/b] [u]American Spirit Arms[/u] and [u]Hesse[/u]. One that gets both high praise and complaints: Olympic Arms. I would stay away from the Plinker model, which has a cast receiver, known to fail. JMHO C_M
Link Posted: 8/7/2003 6:53:49 PM EDT
Thanks to all for the input. I knew I could count on you guys to help. I think I'm getting the "bug" cause I don't even have my first AR15 and I'm thinking about getting a second upper. What other rifle calibers are readily available. I know there is a 7.62x39, but I'm not very impressed with that round. I've seen the .308 AR10 (I think that's right). Can I put one of those uppers on an AR15 lower, or do they require the AR10 lower. I mainly want a caliber that I can take deer hunting. Are there any others? Thanks
Link Posted: 8/7/2003 7:13:44 PM EDT
Originally Posted By sanddune: I've seen the .308 AR10 (I think that's right). Can I put one of those uppers on an AR15 lower, or do they require the AR10 lower. I mainly want a caliber that I can take deer hunting. Are there any others? Thanks
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Yes it's the AR-10. You can't put the upper on the AR15 lower. The magazines require a larger well. As far as caliber choices there are a lot out there. The most common are 5.56, 7.62 and the pistol calibers. The others mostly require special ammunition.
Link Posted: 8/7/2003 11:15:54 PM EDT
My mini-14 patterned 6-8 inches at 100 yards (5 shots, scoped). The WORST AR I've ever seen shot 2 inches at 100yds (30 shots, scoped). I wouldn't wipe my ass with the owners' manual for a mini-14.
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