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I LOVE the mini 14 in theory, just like I love the M1 garand, and yet everyone I've ever asked about it has talked me out of buying one. Mostly based on poor accuracy, and although the newer ones are supposedly more accurate, they would still require lots of mods before performing like a better semi-auto rifle in the same caliber, making them less cost effective.

HippieSurvivalist
 

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All around gun nut
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I have ( well my wife has ) a mini.. It's a good gun. Not a target gun... Very relieable! ( with proper mags! ) Fun to shoot.. It's like eating popcorn. You start shooting then you have to stop becuase you ran out of ammo.. Is it a good iteotwawki gun??? Yes.. but not the fisrt I would choose.
 

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To be honest, I didn't care much for it when I got the first one because I was disappointed with the accuracy. Only after having it rebarreled approximately 10 years ago with a heavy barrel did I come to love the rifle. Sub MOA with decent ammo (no handloading), It is good that they have addressed the accuracy problem in the newer rifles. They should have done something about it during the original development of the rifle and more people would like it today. My second Mini is not that accurate but rebarreling is too expensive to have it done to both. Despite thousands of rounds of various ammunition, not one failure has ever occurred.
 

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Cranky old man
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You'll be happy with a mini-14 -- provided you buy it for the right reasons. The mini is durable, well-made, reliable, easy to strip and clean, fun to shoot, and quite accurate at distances under 100 yards.

The appeal of the mini is easier to understand if you think of it as a tool rather than an implement of war. I have one of the newer minis with the heavy (heavier) barrel, and I'm very pleased with it. It's a great plinker at the range, and is useful for shooting smaller game. Frankly, I'm not a particularly good shot, but I can hit a 12" x 12" target at 100 yards with iron sights all day long with my mini. I know that isn't much of an achievement compared to what other people do with their rifles. The area where I live is hilly woods; there aren't many places around here where I have more than a 75 yard unobstructed view. Heck, with my eyes I can hardly see more that 50 yards:eek::, so for my circumstances, the mini-14's a good fit.

You will not be happy with the mini-14 if:
-You want a "combat" weapon. Buy an AK instead.
-You want to shoot dime-sized patterns at the range. Buy an AR instead.
-You want to hunt large game. Buy a large bore bolt action rifle instead.
-You want lots of tactical stuff on your rifle.
-You want an inexpensive rifle. In my opinion the mini-14 costs $175 more than it should. Mini-14s are cheaper than ARs, but they're hardly a bargain.
-You want to own lots of high cap mags. Most aftermarket mini-14 mags are junk, and the factory mags are ridiculously expensive.

The greatest mistake you can make with a mini-14 is putting a lot of money into accurizing it (cryo jobs, trigger jobs, etc.). You're better off saving up your money until you can afford an AR/M14/etc.

Let me conclude with a car analogy. The mini-14 is to rifles, what the minivan is to automobiles. It's practical, comfortable, and reliable, but it ain't sexy. The minivan is affordable and will take care of 90% of your automobile needs. If you want a truck, buy a truck; if you want a 'vette, buy a 'vette. But if you buy a minivan hoping it will plow snow and help you pick up chicks - you'll be disappointed.
 

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pro n' cons

I used to have one with the stainless barrel and composite stock. It was a cool gun. The controls were pretty good for a lefty. In the several thousand rounds I put through it I never had a stoppage. There are quite a few aftermarket parts available for it too. It is also less "scary" to non-gun people than an ar-15 or an ak. On the downside the rifle that I had wasn't accurate for crap. So far it is the only gun that I have sold. I have heard that on the new ones that Ruger is making the barrels differently now for improved accuracy. However the price has also gone up a bit. For the price you could just about get into an entry level ar-15, which has way better ergonomics.
 

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We have one of the new ranch rifles in 6.8 SPC we love it. Wish we had 20 round mags for it but it rocks as a deer rifle. 6.8 is on the expensive side compaired to .223 but that darn round works so much better. The front site on the new rifles is like a garand or .30 carbine and looks better to me than the blade on the older ones.
 

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I don't personally own one but my buddy does and it is a blast to shoot. For most people especially those trapped here in CA it is a good choice. No bullet buttons or other gizmos to make it legal. Lastly, for a defense rifle in a SHTF situation it will work fine for most peoples needs. Here in CA buy 6 or 7 10 rd mags, elsewhere buy high cap and down load by 1 in 10 rds. This has worked for my brother-in-law back in Tennessee.
 

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I bought one of the mini-14 ranch rifles in the late 90's. It would hit a clay pigeon at 200 yards, and was very reliable with the factory 5 round mag. Reliability tanked with after market mags. It wasn't a bad rifle, but I sold it after a year or so and eventually bought an AR.

The mags I bought were probably cranked out right before the 94 AWB, going for quantity not quality. Hi-caps made since the sunset may be better.
 

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I have a SWAT team mini 14 rifle that I spent about 400 dollars accurizing, after I only spent 150.00 for the thing when I bought it. Came with 5 factory 30 round mags, bayonet lug, bird cage flash hider.....so on and so forth. Had a scope mount, but no scope. For the money, there is non better. I have replaced stock with composite folder.....not that cheap azz plastic stuff, and installed a picatinny rail, complete with laser sighting system, high out put LED flashlight, and good 3x scope. It does have a heavy bull barrel. Wife carries it. I have a nice little Rock River M4 carbine. I'll stick with .223, not that inaccurate so called AK ****e. If you want to hose a fire.....use a hose.
 

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love it just bought a ss w/synthic stock it came with a 5rd mag but i have 4-20rd and 2-30rd mags. the gun is plenty accurate for me and it is very easy to take down and clean.
 

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To be honest, I didn't care much for it when I got the first one because I was disappointed with the accuracy. Only after having it rebarreled approximately 10 years ago with a heavy barrel did I come to love the rifle. Sub MOA with decent ammo (no handloading), It is good that they have addressed the accuracy problem in the newer rifles. They should have done something about it during the original development of the rifle and more people would like it today. My second Mini is not that accurate but rebarreling is too expensive to have it done to both. Despite thousands of rounds of various ammunition, not one failure has ever occurred.
Pick up one of the flash suppressor/muzzle breaks for the regular barreled mini that has a sight on it is it madsen? that makes them? shorten the barrel a sufficent length that when you install the suppressor you return the overall barrel length to 16 1/4 inches, remember to crown the barrel. and make sure you pin the supressor on. Pinned on the batfe considers it a permanent part of the barrel. You will need to open the suppressor up a bit for it to fit as the barrel is stepped and the suppressor is made for the narrower muzzle.
You will not believe how much this will improve your accuracy. The Mini-14 has horrendous barrel harmonics due to that narrow tube ruger calls a barrel. You can try the suppressor without shortening the barrel, many people report excellent results, but on mine I wanted to keep the original length and it worked beautifully. Also, as this shortened the gas pulse that operates the action it reduced the hammering of the action noticably on mine.

Oh Yeah I forgot I sold all my guns for a tank of gas...
 

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I have a fair amount of experience with both the mini and the m16a2. I prefer the mini due to stone cold reliability and the cleanliness it maintains while putting a lot of rounds down range. When I made the switch from an AR to the mini, I could not believe how much less carbon fouling there was inthe chamber... so much so that I went to my gunsmith to see what was wrong:)...

That being said.... you cannot rely on aftermarket mags... they almost all suck.... and if you have an older version, do yourself a favor and either mount a scope or get some serious work done to the sights, they are very weak.

I recently moved frommy mini to a M1a scout.... and am considering a mov back to a mini.... perhaps the target version with the hogue stock...

John
 

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Since I am a newbie I thought I would strr an old pot :

I am the owner of newer Mini-14 580 series "tactical' model and can give you a recent range report on the gun....buy one. After rough zeroing this gun at 25m using peep sights I gound it pulling about a 1.5" 5 shot group. I backed it out to the 100m line and busted 4" clays for the next 150rds without a glitch. I am 45 years old and havent used a peep sight since I ETS'd from Germany in 1986 and I could only say WOW as I walked off the range. I was using Ruger 20rd LEO mags and one 30 aftermarket and all functioned flawlessly. The only issue I had was the after market 30 rd mag did not like the "Ruskie" Wolf steel cased stuff, but any brass cased feed great.
 

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Since I am a newbie I thought I would strr an old pot :

I am the owner of newer Mini-14 580 series "tactical' model with a 16 1/8 bbl and can give you a recent range report on the gun....buy one. After rough zeroing this gun at 25m using peep sights I found it pulling about a 1.5" 5 shot group. I backed it out to the 100m line and busted 4" clays for the next 150rds without a glitch. I am 45 years old and havent used a peep sight since I ETS'd from Germany in 1986 and I could only say WOW as I walked off the range. I was using Ruger 20rd LEO mags and one 30 aftermarket and all functioned flawlessly. The only issue I had was the after market 30 rd mag did not like the "Ruskie" Wolf steel cased stuff, but any brass cased feed great.
 
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