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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Having grown up on the A-team while it was prime time I have always been enamored with the Mini-14. With all the varients (makers) of the AR-15 style and some of the issues I've heard about, I was wondering.....

Given the choice, which wepon would you choose? AR-15 or Mini-14

Why?

If AR-15 style, what manufacturer/model?

Thanks
 

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Hands down the AR-15.

The mini-14's can't hit the ground when dropped.
Horrible accuracy. I'm talking minute-of-wash tub at 50yds!
Hi-cap magazines expensive and hard to locate.
Crappy sights.
Cheesy scope mounts.
Putting a scope on a Mini-14 is a waste of money and a complete excercise in frustration.
Cost darn near as much as an AR.

AR-15 platform has many advantages.

Plenty of magazines, spare parts, accessories.
Scope use
Very accurate gun.
Can be had in a variety of configurations(M-4, A2,A1,etc)
 

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Local BAMF
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AR15, no question. Bushmaster, Armalite, Colt, etc. one of the big names. Mine is a Colt with 20" heavy barrel, A2 configuration.

I know too many guys that went on FTX with Mini-14 only to return with pieces of what used to be a Mini-14. Fine as a ranch rifle, but not rugged enough to be depended upon for hard use.
 

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AR15.
I have an mini because I got it through a trade. I won't knock the accuracy as bad as moon pie did but they are no tack driver. The mags are the big problem as mentioned above and spare parts are nearly impossible to get.
For what a mini costs now I can't see a reason in the world to get one.
 

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Son Of Liberty
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The Mini 14 was made to be a fun gun , not a combat worthy weapon. in fact i cant say one good word about the ruger mini 14.

On the other hand the AR15 is a staple in the combat theater and is well worthy of hard combat use. The parts availability is second to nun, the accuracy is a benchmark, the agronomics as superb.
 

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If i had to choose one i would get the AR15 first but would look into a nice used Mini14 for 450.00 for backup . The new ones are made to better specs. on brand new machines and have better sights and scope mounts.

I would consider my mini14 pretty accurate and rugged but the factory 20 rounders are 45bucks a pop and the aftermarket mags are cheap-o.

For an ar15 i am preferable to Bushmaster but you can't go wrong with a RockRiverArms,DPMS,or Colt.
 

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I have found over the years that people that bash the mini's have never owned one. I have oned 7 or 8 of them over the years. I have shot tens of thousands of rounds and have never seen one jam. I used all kinds of aftermarket mags - never a problem. As I understand it, the new mags out now eliminate any problem that the old ones had, and they are METAL non aluminum. I have seen some mini's shoot brutally accurate, while I have also had a few that would shoot into an inch. My last AR15 also shot brutally and it sported a heavy barrel (and yes I can shoot - I am a designated marksman for the RCMP). I bought a new "580" stainless last week that has the new for 2008 barrel contour. It shoots into 1.5" all day long with a 4x scope - even with a hot barrel. I have owned many AR's and many mini 14's. One thing is for sure, I'll cover you with my mini while you are unjamming your AR!
 

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American fearmaker
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Go with the AR-15. A mini-14 is a lousy firearm. As you shoot them, the point of impact for a mini-14 wanders upwards because the gun gets hot and some of the parts expand. I've owned 3 of them over the years and all 3 of them were not as accurate as they should have been. The AR-15/M-4 is much more accurate than a mini-14. I'll never own another mini-14 from Ruger ever again.
 

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[I've never been a fan of Ruger ...not since he dirtied his hands with the Crime Bill and the Clintons by proposing limits on magazine capacity.

As I understood it in 1976 when thre Mini's first came out. any firing pim repairs needed had to be done at the factory. Parts were really scarce back then. Thirty roujd mags were only for law enforcement.

Ruger, no thanks, I'll pass..AR all the way.


URL="http://http://www.thegunzone.com/rkba/papabill.html"]http://http://www.thegunzone.com/rkba/papabill.html[/URL]
 

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Endure-Adapt-Overcome
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I own a Mini-14 and don't have any trouble with hitting the target. At 50 yd I can shoot a group that will fit inside of a 8" paper plate. I don't shoot top of the line ammo. I don't like the Mags for it, most won't fit till you tweek them. And the problem with high cap mags don't faze me here in the land of Cali you can only have ten shot mags. I buy the Pro Mag Blue Metal ten shot clips for my Mini-14 and don't have have problems,(that is after I fix the mag) I know of peoples distaste for the Mini-14, but I still don't know why it is a great little gun. And with some mods you can make it even better.
Now with that all said, if I could only have one gun the Mini-14 or an AR 15, I would go with the AR 15, it is a better gun. I just don't think the Mini-14 is a bad gun.
 

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I have found over the years that people that bash the mini's have never owned one.
Here come a busted cherry on that one.
I have owned several over the years and although they are not a bad rifle necessarily I don't think they are all that sweet a deal either.
Especially not for $700.
I can build a decent, reliable AR for $700 that will outshoot that mini all over the place.
And no, I don't have reliability issues with my ARs.

(and yes I can shoot - I am a designated marksman for the RCMP).
Yaaaaay! We are almost neighbors.......I shot Marksman in the USMC....oh wait...Once we handicap you we will be neighbors....


Dude, just kidding............don't get your cute little breeches in a bunch!:D

I bought a new "580" stainless last week that has the new for 2008 barrel contour. It shoots into 1.5" all day long with a 4x scope - even with a hot barrel.
See...that's cheating, I have never handled a new one....and likely won't either.
Not 'til Ruger removes the corporate head from the dark stinky place it currently resides in.
S&W was saved....so can be Ruger!

I have owned many AR's and many mini 14's.
I find owning an M1A cures multiple personality disorder.

One thing is for sure, I'll cover you with my mini while you are unjamming your AR!
Clueless Mountie.................... that's what the bayonet is for....people who don't ever clean their rifles.
Speaking on M1 rifles....while you are covering the dolt who didn't clean that off brand junkyard homebrew AR he didn't clean and was shooting bubbas reloads through after trying the AK47 hand full of sand in the action trick I will cover both of you with my M1....from an additional 300 meters back.


All silliness aside the mini is a good rifle when used for what it was originally intended for.
And that isn't as a deadly accurate marksman's fighting rifle.
Old dead Bill had sporting/ ranch utility and the occasional LEO in mind when he morphed the Garand action into a carbine for civie utility purposes.

The magazines found aftermarket blow goats.
You should never have to tweak a magazine to work in your rifle.

The factory mags are great but at minimum $35 a pop Ruger has delusions of grandeur.
Their policy of withholding those very mags from the general public is why I never buy nor advocate buying anything new from Ruger.

The rifles themselves are too expensive....I thought investment casting was cheap.

That wandering zero is annoying.
If you want a plinker for fun shooting I guess a used Ruger on the cheap would be a good choice.
They do have good points.
They are boring reliable. Even with cruddy ammo they seem to work ok.
They are nice and light.

If I was shopping a new rifle for general purpose that included self defense I'd go AR.
The package is sooooooo much more versatile.
I want to se you pop the upper off that mini and five minutes later be shooting targets 900 meters away with a .50 BMG and the same receiver.
So there.
:eek:
 

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A friend of the Site
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I would agree to purchase the Ar 15 over the Mini 14. (in almost every circumstance)

It depends on the use you have for it. If you envision having to use it for defending you person or possessions from one or more people trying to take them away, then go for the AR 15.

If you are going to use it for what it is intended for pest control (where the pests don't shoot back) it is a fun gun to have.

Which ever firearm you choose to buy, practice with it.

Most of the criticisms of the Mini 14 (listed above) i have found to be true.
 

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AR-15 is more modular which means you can swap out parts and add ons more readily. Go for the AR15 they weigh a little less too.
 

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SCPO USN (RET)
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Good discussion. I am kind of a Ruger fan, but I love my AR15.

I own both rifles.

I got the KMini-14 years ago, standard version (Not the ranch model) when they still had wood handguards. I've never had any accuracy problems with it, and you have to admit, it's a handy little package. I picked up a bunch of hi-cap mags when they were still cheap.

My vote would have to go with the AR15 if I had to choose one. Mine is a pre ban Colt HBAR A2. Mags are plentiful and inexpensive. There are so many accessories and goodies for AR15s. I even found complete "Field repair kits" for mine (all the little springs and pins, spare firing pin, etc.)

On another note, one little rifle worth looking at is the Ruger PC9. I have one, and it uses the same mags as my ruger 9mm pistol. Very handy if you like pistol caliber carbines.
 

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Getting there....
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AR-15 because Ruger won't sell parts for the Mini-14. Plus, I agree that the modular, Lego-like construction of the AR makes it infinitely more versatile. To me, any Mini-14 is worth about $350 max. I bought one NIB at a show for that price and sold it due to my complete lack of enthusiasm for the little carbine.
 

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There are mini's and there are MINI's. The only "tricking out" this one had was for accuracy (heavy barrel and flash sup. by Accuracy Rifle Systems in Texas). Sub MOA with no effort. Wished I liked the AR platform but I am an old guy who saw them in use in the late 60's in SE Asia. Maybe they are better now so my opinion may be outdated. All I know is this puppy doesn't jam.


Mini14.jpg
 
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