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Posted: 12/19/2001 6:38:10 PM EDT
Is the Mini-14 good? I saw a post here a while ago and it said get a new barrel or something like that. Any way are they good? Thanks
Link Posted: 12/19/2001 6:42:26 PM EDT
Prediction: You are going to get 20 people telling you the Mini sucks.

It's not bad. It's not accurate. It is very reliable, but needs the right (Ruger made) magazines which are hard to come by without a generous inheritence for which you could have bought an AR15.

I like mine.
Link Posted: 12/19/2001 6:46:38 PM EDT
I had one and I think it is a reasonable rifle but definitely not as good as an AR.
Link Posted: 12/19/2001 6:59:57 PM EDT
I had a Mini for 2 or so years until I bought my first AR. IT quickly became obsolete. You can devote oodles of time and money towards improving accuracy on the Mini snd still be worse off than if you had bought an AR originally. I would pass on it if I had to do over again and go straight to the AR.

That said:
I do have 3 35 round Mini-14 Eagle magazines left if anyone is interested in them.

$25 each plus shipping



Link Posted: 12/19/2001 7:04:44 PM EDT
I have a 1982 Mini 14, I would not get rid of it, it is a good reliable rifle. Yes I have a an AR 15, I shoot it more, but the Mini will never be sold, in fact I bought a stainless ranch rifle recently. It might not be a tack driver, but accuracy is very good.
Link Posted: 12/19/2001 7:06:55 PM EDT
Mini 14's are ok if you shoot it like a bolt gun... They can not stand with an AR.. Just not the same quality...

Compaired to an AR, like Chairborne_Ranger
said, they suck....

Cg..
Link Posted: 12/19/2001 7:24:07 PM EDT
So its a bad buy? I want a Hi-Power rifle but i don't want to pay alot for an AR. Any thing else? one thing i don't want a AK-47
Link Posted: 12/19/2001 7:44:17 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Bushmaster_223:
So its a bad buy? I want a Hi-Power rifle but i don't want to pay alot for an AR. Any thing else? one thing i don't want a AK-47



Buy an AR. The Mini isn't a bad buy but I would wager you will be happier in the long run with the AR.
Link Posted: 12/19/2001 8:00:41 PM EDT
I've owned one for about 5-6 years so far i happy with it.The hi cap situation sucks avoid the usa brand and get the pmi,or thermolds.As far as accuracy it doesnt come close to my ar but it can pull 3- 4"@100yds and it also makes a fun plinker.
Link Posted: 12/19/2001 8:23:22 PM EDT
I owned a Mini-Thirty a year back. I took it hunting, which was a big mistake. I lined up on a doe (this was in Wisconsin, they issue doe tags) and pulled the trigger. Click. The ammo was Federal hunting ammo. I took it home and tested it with maybe 200 rds. of Federal and Barnaul. 1 misfeed every 10 rounds, using factory magazines. I sold it as soon as i could. Also, when I bought the rifle, the trigger group dropped out under recoil. A trip to the factory solved this problem, but it is a common occurence (so the factory says). Don't buy Ruger. Get an AR if you want .223, or an AK if you want .30 cal.
Link Posted: 12/19/2001 9:38:25 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Bushmaster_223:
Is the Mini-14 good?



Yes, its a nice $398.00 plinker.

Warning: you are about to get two dozen post from people that shot a Mini-30 or Ruger Ranch Rifle, and they will use those experiances, with entirely different models, to trash the Mini-14.
Link Posted: 12/20/2001 5:43:13 AM EDT
The Mini 14 is a good rifle for what it was designed for: a relatively inexpensive truck or trunk rifle. No, it's not going to give you MOA accuracy, and yes, hi-cap mags are MUCH more expensive (I've sold some factory 30's for 70-90 in the last 3 weeks), but for a fun rifle that can be knocked around and still work it's hard to beat. I won't part with mine, but I won't part with my AR either.

Bottom line: The AR is a better deal right now.
If you have to spend $400 for the Mini 14 and $280 for 4 hi-cap mags you might as well get a "lower end" AR and USGI mags. The money will be about the same but the AR wil;l be more accurate.
Link Posted: 12/20/2001 6:45:22 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Bushmaster_223:
Is the Mini-14 good? I saw a post here a while ago and it said get a new barrel or something like that. Any way are they good? Thanks



I'm probably the guy who posted about the Mini-14 barrel.
In about 1994 Ruger was paying about $8.00/barrel - most aren't very accurate but occasionally even the factory barrel is just fine.
However, I think for consistent accuracy a barrel change is necessary.
The Mini-14 was invented/designed by a former member of Eugene Stoners's ArmaLite team - the group that designed the original AR-15/M16.

Somewhere $$$ have to count. The Mini-14 is a good value - in my opinion.
Link Posted: 12/20/2001 6:59:52 AM EDT
First, I would like to mention I have more than 20 years experience with Mini-14's. I own now one Mini-14 blued, one Ranch Rifle blue, two Ranch in stainless. Had traded off a couple others for the stainless ones.

With good mags, they are very reliable. Mags that did not work well were:

Ramline, occasional misfeeds and if you bump them, they puke ammo all over the darn place. This could be bad when you really, really need to reload!

Mitchell Arms, wrong geometry, too much curve. They would not feed correctly, rounds come up tail low, bolt would ride over.

USA-thin metal, lips easily bent.

GREAT mags:

Ruger factory

PMI/Federal Ordnance (same mag with two brand labels). These are identified (many times not marked on the floorplate) by the welded on rectangular retaining tab on the upper back side of the mag.

Both the Ruger and PMI/Fed Ord mags are of equal quality, and feed perfectly. I have never had a problem. I will not pay a premium for Ruger mags, when the PMI can be found.

The Mini-14 shoots 4-6 MOA with the factory wood stock due to loose fit. Replacing the wood with Choate Pistol Grip stock, or Butler Creek folder is like an instant bedding job. These stocks turn the Mini into a 1.5-2 MOA rifle, about on par with the original M16 with light barrel.

Reliability is extremely good, as near perfect as you could want. It can go much, much longer with no cleaning without problems. It can be fired and will function perfectly with NO lubrication, but I don't recommend this.

No, it is not an AR15/M16, but it is a rugged, reliable, light, inexpensive carbine, which is all it was ever intended to be. When I hear something go bump in the night, I reach for my Mini-14.
Link Posted: 12/20/2001 7:24:40 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/20/2001 8:12:43 AM EDT by 5subslr5]
Originally posted by A_Free

Both the Ruger and PMI/Fed Ord mags are of equal quality, and feed perfectly. I have never had a problem. I will not pay a premium for Ruger mags, when the PMI can be found.
Agree.

The Mini-14 shoots 4-6 MOA with the factory wood stock due to loose fit. Replacing the wood with Choate Pistol Grip stock, or Butler Creek folder is like an instant bedding job. These stocks turn the Mini into a 1.5-2 MOA rifle, about on par with the original M16 with light barrel.

I should have mentioned bedding when I brought up the barrel change.
Although I've never changed stocks without changing barrels your idea makes sense.
Link Posted: 12/20/2001 8:08:01 AM EDT
Bushmaster,

Minis are - OK. No they don't match up to ARs for lots of reasons. I have two. Never shoot them. I have a lot of better toys now so they sit in the safe. Frankly, I would love the free up the space in my safe. Anyone interested that lives in the Phoenix area, lets talk. But needs to be done in next 2 weeks before my next trip.

James
Link Posted: 12/20/2001 10:06:58 AM EDT
If I might add a little, bear with me...

When my oldest son was in high school, he handed me some cash he had saved, asked me to order the Choate stock for his Mini-14. I replied, oh, that looks sexy, but it is just a stock, save your money. No, he insisted, it was his money, that is what he wanted to spend it on.

Well, his Mini shot MUCH better. I was amazed, so, we spent an entire day at the range, swapping stocks back and forth, testing with the same ammo at various distances... put on the wood, the groups opened up. Put on the Choate, the groups tightened. Back and forth with the stocks... and consistent results.

And we know about bedding of M14/M1A and Garand stocks. Same principle here.

I am sure a heavier barrel would give still more accuracy improvment. But this is intended to be a lightweight, low cost carbine, and 1.5-2 MOA is adequate for its purpose.

The Butler Creek folder gave similar improvements... I have one of those, all the others now have Choate pistol grip stocks.
Link Posted: 12/20/2001 10:57:44 AM EDT
So if i change stocks then can i hit a coke can at 100 yards constantly?
Link Posted: 12/20/2001 12:28:29 PM EDT
I have owned four Mini14s. None of them would pass the Coke can at 100 yards test. 3" to 6" 100 yard groups even scoped. A_Free_Man's stock change experience is interesting. I don't know if you could count on always getting such favorable results. I am not a fan of the Mini14. Watch-Six
Link Posted: 12/20/2001 12:33:19 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/20/2001 12:25:30 PM EDT by J_Smith]
No...No....No...............save up for the AR-15..........its worth it....quality, accuracy, and reliability

Regarding AR's.......... "Once you go black, you'll never go back"
Link Posted: 12/20/2001 5:05:31 PM EDT
The Mini-14 is a great, inexpensive, reliable plinker. Great piece where you can toss around, shoot in the rain and not be as concerned when out with the AR.
Although the accessories are not as plentiful as the AR it has more than its share.
Link Posted: 12/20/2001 5:26:05 PM EDT
I own one. I can’t call it junk, I do agree it is somewhat reliable. It doesn’t jam although, why should it when everything is put together on a 2 decimal tolerance?

I definitely state I am not impressed with it. In reality, I never use it. I have little use for a rifle that is that inaccurate. I didn’t think it be THAT bad when I bought it. I does have some attractive ascetics, it looks tough.

I let a friend borrow it for wild boar hunting, I let him have first shot at a hog 75ft away and he missed it.
He was unaccustomed to the gun however; anyone who has ever used them hunting will have some sort of sob story. It is horribly inaccurate, no matter what optics you fix to it.

I would not trust it for anything except putting a bullet out the barrel at 100yrds.
I’ll be another to state that it be wise to save the $$ for something else that meets your purpose.
Link Posted: 12/20/2001 6:46:14 PM EDT
So if i get a beter barrel and a new stock will it pass the coke test?
Link Posted: 12/20/2001 8:04:38 PM EDT
Bushmaster_223,

If you add a barrel and stock YOU ARE MISSING THE POINT.

At that point, you are into the Mini14 for almost as much as an AR15. Why bother?

I would suggest you think carefully about what level of accuracy you need and the purpose of this rifle. If plinking accuracy at 100 yards is it, get a Ruger 10/22 and save a ton of money shooting 22lr. When you want an accurate autoloader in 223 buy and AR. I think the Mini is a mistake based on your desired level of accuracy.

If I'm wrong, buy one of mine. I know I'll never shoot them again. For that matter, you cold buy a used bolt gun for lots less with optics that will hit that coke can every damn time.

You just can't get an autoloader in 223 in that price range (as far as I'm aware).

Also remember, when you do decide to spend more, you will not get your money back for the barrel and stock upgrade to the Mini unless you find someone looking for exactly that combo. Slim chances of that.

Frankly, I would suggest an SKS over the Mini. Cheaper (I think), more reliable, and ammo is cheap. Can't speak to accuracy personally though.
Link Posted: 12/20/2001 8:23:47 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Bushmaster_223:
So if i get a beter barrel and a new stock will it pass the coke test?



400 for a mini.
60 for a new stock
and 150-200 for a new barrel
2 hicaps for 70 each

Now you are in at least $750-800.
You can buy a Bushmaster or other quality AR for that price. If you just want to hit a Coke can at 100 yards buy a 10/22 and save yourself $600. Think of all the bricks of 22s you could buy with $600.
Link Posted: 12/20/2001 8:24:40 PM EDT
I don't know any thing about AR's.

wich brand is better?

Get a milled Reciver or a cast?

Is it easy to field strip?

What is a good price?

What is a bad price?

What is the twist on the rifling?

How much groves are there?

What Mags are best?

What is an HBAR?

Why do they cost so much?

What is the effective range for a 20"?

What is the effective range for a 16"?

What is the effective range for a 14"?

More to come

Link Posted: 12/20/2001 8:26:32 PM EDT
jimmybcool,
you beat me to it.
Link Posted: 12/20/2001 11:32:29 PM EDT
I have a mini and it shoots great. From prone I would be able to shoot a coke can consistantly. From prone at 100 yards(scoped) out of 5 shots I can put 4 in the 9/10 ring while I usually get 1 ore more fliers into the 7 ring. But shoot the gun more like a bolt gun.

But I think I got an extra good mini from the factory. I ordered one and it arrived at my gun shop broken.We called them and raised hell. Ruger then sent a new gun and it had about the best wood stock I had ever seen on a mini. I think because I got a broken gun the fist order that they had had selected me a new gun. I even got an apology letter in the box with the gun. SO perhaps this is why it shoots better...I dont know.
Link Posted: 12/21/2001 12:44:07 AM EDT
I have 2 mini 14's in the ranch configuration. I originally purchased my first one to have a rifle that was reliable I could haul thru the woods and shoot coyotes. That was a long time ago!

The Mini is very reliable. Magazines are hard to find and really pricey. Accuracy....IMO, not the most accurate gun I have ever owned or shot. If you are using it to take varmints it is ok up to 100 yards, again not the most accurate.

For the amount of money you have to spend to get magazines and such, I think the AR is a better investment. It will out live the mini.

Don't overlook the bolt action rifles on the market. There ares some nice rifles for the money. I think the Black RIfle would be better in the long run for you. Now, which one, and what barrel length?
Link Posted: 12/21/2001 3:28:21 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/21/2001 3:20:37 AM EDT by SMProud]
I found this link about the Mini-14 while surfing today. Some of you have probably already seen it, but here it is anyways.

www.iea.com/~fgrig/gun/mini14.htm
Link Posted: 12/21/2001 4:53:55 AM EDT
I think I got one of those statistical aberrations
Link Posted: 12/22/2001 4:10:35 PM EDT
I have a Mini-14 and an AR-15. There is nothing wrong with the Mini-14. It isn't as accurate as an AR-15, but it doesn't cost as much either.
Solution: Buy both and be happy!
Jim
Link Posted: 12/22/2001 5:51:41 PM EDT
I had a stainless ranch rifle that shot 2 1/4" 3 shot groups at 100yds. It was a reliable good looking rifle. For most targets I shot at(rock chucks at 100yds or so) it did fine. When I got my AR, I was impressed; 3/4" groups at 100yds every time with surplus ammo! I figured I wouldn't sell the mini, but after shooting the AR, the mini just wasn't fun to shoot anymore. It never left the house. With my sight enhancements and extra mags, I sold it for 480.00. Darn close to what I built my AR for. I used the money to buy one of my all time lusts, a Beretta 92FS Inox stainless. Do I miss the Mini-14? Not the accuracy; the looks, yes-damn good looking gun! Would I trade my Beretta back for the mini-no way.
Link Posted: 12/23/2001 7:19:57 AM EDT
And there ya have it.

Buy/don't buy - great gun/peice of crap, etc.

Overall, if you don't plan on using this rifle for anything but plinking, I would start with something cheaper still. Hell, a good 10/22 with decent 6x scope should hit a coke can at 100 and shoots for cheap. AND you can customize the heck out of these.

www.ruger-firearms.com/rfrimfire_auto.html

I have the 10/22T with a Tasco Accudot which is a blast to shoot. This is especially good if you have kids or a wife that might want to shoot but gets scared by the loud bang of a higher power rifle.

James
Link Posted: 12/23/2001 7:23:17 AM EDT
hg112,

Na na na na naaaaaaaa naaaaaaaaa

Romarona

I think you did get a statistical anomoly. Most Mini14s I have seen won't shoot much better than 3 MOA. That isn't horrible really. Just not a target rifle IMO. But I don't doubt that some shoot better than others.

BTW, I really would be happy to sell a couple of Mini 14s if I can do it before Jan 8. Gotta go back to Asia again.

James
Link Posted: 12/26/2001 4:59:08 AM EDT
Jimmybcool,
You're right 3MOA wouldn't be that bad....if they were selling for what I paid for the one I had, $289.00 new,(1986)but today, Ruger thinks they're worth, $500-550 and they're not any more accurate now, than they were when I bought mine!Ruger is well aware of the inaccuracy problems of this rifle, but does nothing to solve it,At least with a AR, you get your dollars worth in the accuracy dept.It's pretty sad when there are alot of surplus bolt actions that will outshoot a mini-14 any day of the week and can be had for $150.00 or less,Mini-14's are just not worth the money paid, for the sub-standard performance.
Link Posted: 12/26/2001 9:05:23 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/26/2001 9:06:35 AM EDT by Wyo]
Check out these two forums.

Both discuss the Mini-14 and accuracy. The people on this discussion link are as obsessed with accuracy as ANY I have ever seen in the competition forum on this website. I think both of these will add to your opinion about the Mini-14. The first link is a give and take about purchasing a Mini and the second contains a fantasticlly accurace Mini and the author (Jasons gun room) describes how he got it.


www.predatormastersforums.com/ubb/Forum4/HTML/000442.html

www.predatormastersforums.com/ubb/Forum4/HTML/000355.html
Link Posted: 12/26/2001 9:11:53 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Bushmaster_223:
So its a bad buy? I want a Hi-Power rifle but i don't want to pay alot for an AR. Any thing else? one thing i don't want a AK-47



Whats wrong with an AK-47, I have one and I like it a lot.
Link Posted: 12/26/2001 9:31:55 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SMProud:
www.iea.com/~fgrig/gun/mini14.htm

I always thought the barrel on my Ranch Rifle was bent because of how piss-poor the thing shot. After reading this guy's testimony, I'm convinced my barrel is bent!
Link Posted: 12/26/2001 10:13:41 AM EDT
I have nothing against the mini but I think it is overpriced for what it is. Personaly, for the money I would rather get an AK.

For a plinker get an AK, cheaper mags, cheaper ammo, very reliable. Either that or spend the extra change and get an AR, it's worth the extra cash.
Link Posted: 12/26/2001 2:05:17 PM EDT
I've got an old mini with a Ruger reworked barrell, shortened and with a flash hider on it. I bought it right before the ban. Someone spent a lot of money on it. It also had the original wood folder that I put away and replaced with a Butler Creek folder for light weight. It shoots OK, put about 10,000 round thru it and never had many problems that weren't mag related. I just bought my first AR, a Bushmaster shorty with a tele-style non collapsing stock. No comparison. I sighted in the Bushy in about 10 minutes at 25 meters. After that I put about 500 rounds thru it, no jams and I was nailing those 4 inch green sticky targets that get bright when hit at about 50 meters. It was very hard to miss. No way I can shoot the mini this well. At $800 I think it's a bargain, and I used 2 40 rnd mags I picked up at a local dealer for $13 each and 2 30 rounders for $10 each. All the mags fed well although the 30s load easier than the 40 rounders. I love this gun. The only thing I'd change is that I'd rather have a telestock than fixed. Maybe the ban will sunset in 04. A preban mini will still cost about $650, so for an extra $150 it's a no brainer. Get an AR!
Link Posted: 12/26/2001 4:16:01 PM EDT
My wife gave me a Ranch Mini for Christmas a few years ago and I still enjoy plinking with it. At 100 yards I'd be pretty hard pressed to do better than a 4.5" pattern. Coke can? Probably not. Coke two liter bottle? Yeah, no prob'.

I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the single most annoying habit of the ranch model. Anyone within 25 yards to the right of you is guaranteed to be pelted by hot brass travelling at about 500 miles per hour.

Why not get an SKS? More accurate, cheaper ammo, proven and reliable, and less expensive.

If you want to avoid the AK for it's appearance/image, the SKS has a traditional stock and a fixed ten round mag that makes it look somewhat civil. Do away with the bayonet and you'll have a reliable, sturdy plinker that looks less evil than an AK.

Now save up some cash and piece together an AR with the features and accuracy you want while you plink with your SKS and when you're done you'll have two different calibers.
Link Posted: 12/27/2001 6:43:46 PM EDT
I've an old 180 series 14,a 30, a 10-22, and Mark 2, all of which have been worked over by Chief AJ. I'm more than pleased with the work and performance. The 2 .22's will drive tacks with the bull barrels. The 14 and 30 will usually group an inch with cheap ammo. Depending on what you want to spend, 150.00 should get you comparable accuracy to mine. I can't run a 30 rd clip through the factory barrels and not have the groups widen. The heavier barrel on the 15 is and advantage there.

I thought the Chief was all hot air at first but he can "tune up", as he calls it, the Rugers to make shooting them a lot more enjoyable. He's actually pretty amazing behind all that hot air.

When took first gun to him, my boy asked him if he could throw the knives at the log target set up in the shop. Sure, let me show you how to do it. He spent about 30 minutes helping the boy and when we left, he reached into display case, pulled out one of the knives and a sheath and gave it to Ryan. I decided he was ok behind his hot air.

Dean, his partner, associate, or sidekick is also a fine man.

I'll check but think his web site is ChiefAJ.com
Link Posted: 12/27/2001 7:09:43 PM EDT

Mini's are good reliable rifles. They don't shoot groups but are VERY reliable. Having it rebarreled is an option but I personally would not recommend it and I've done it.

IF you do get it rebarreled DO NOT LET ARS (ACCURACY RIFLE SERVICE) in Odesa TX touch your rifle. The guy is a crook. He'll lie to you and then butcher your gun and not stand behind his work. DO NOT LET HIM EVEN LOOK AT YOUR RIFLE!!

rant mode off.........

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Eddie
Link Posted: 12/30/2001 2:29:09 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DesertRider:
My wife gave me a Ranch Mini for Christmas a few years ago and I still enjoy plinking with it. At 100 yards I'd be pretty hard pressed to do better than a 4.5" pattern. Coke can? Probably not. Coke two liter bottle? Yeah, no prob'.

I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the single most annoying habit of the ranch model. Anyone within 25 yards to the right of you is guaranteed to be pelted by hot brass travelling at about 500 miles per hour.

Why not get an SKS? More accurate, cheaper ammo, proven and reliable, and less expensive.

If you want to avoid the AK for it's appearance/image, the SKS has a traditional stock and a fixed ten round mag that makes it look somewhat civil. Do away with the bayonet and you'll have a reliable, sturdy plinker that looks less evil than an AK.

Now save up some cash and piece together an AR with the features and accuracy you want while you plink with your SKS and when you're done you'll have two different calibers.




I want something that looks so evil that the Neighbors(sp?0 crap there pants when i take it out to a car to go shooting.
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