ruger mini 14?


July 2, 2006, 02:18 PM
Want to buy a ruger mini 14 ranch carbine.... I've heard they are very unacurate ( shoot large groups).. I don't have money for an AR. So is there anyway to acurize them better.

- Gunslinger15

Edit: what would be another good truck gun?

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July 2, 2006, 02:44 PM
I hear there is a lot of BS online from haters. :D

Seriously though, how accurate are you wanting? Enough to kill a cyote at 200 yards or something for competition?

July 2, 2006, 02:51 PM
well , they improved their specs, their pores, their machinery, etc. , this past year, but they are still innacurate. yes a lot of guys hate them and any ruger for that matter, for what bill Ruger did to help along the hi cap ban and the so called "assault weapons" ban.
If i were looking for a semi in 223 i would go with a Saiga, keltec, or others before a ruger, for many reasons: cheaper, more robust, more accurate, more magazine availability, etc. Ruger is much more proprietary in those matters. But there is a lot of aftermarket stuff for the mini's so it is really if you like them or not. Right now though, Saiga's are chrome lined , coldpour, hammer forged bbls, on an ak platform, they also can be had for less than 300 bucks. the keltec is foldup, can be shot like a pistol, has built in bipod legs(very handy) and takes ar parts such as front and rear sites , ar mags, and uses a milspec type flat top rail. Also very nice.

July 2, 2006, 03:08 PM
I'm definately not bashing ruger. Oh and yes im looking for a good coyote/hog gun for chores and hunting around the ranch. Thanks for the input

- Gunslinger

July 2, 2006, 03:25 PM
A lot of the comments you hear about the Mini-14 are more for political reasons than practical reasons. A lot of people seem to believe that Bill Ruger was the anti-Christ of the gun world.

The Mini-14 is not a target shooting rifle. Its light barrel barrel won't shoot dime sized groups as it heats up. But with a scope it's plenty accurate for killing varmint sized critters. If you put a folding stock on it, it's amazing how little space the thing takes up -- an ideal truck rifle.

As for the mag issue, there are 20rd factory Ruger mags available on the Net. Just do a little searching and you'll find them.

On the other hand, be sure to look at the Kel-Tec SU-16 also. The reliability of Kel-Tec's are always a bit questionable, but the SU-16 is a nice looking little rifle.

July 2, 2006, 04:08 PM
If its the heat that messes with these barrels do they make any composite barrels to put on? I'd like to know where to get my hands on one if they do. however i doubt it.

- Gunslinger15

July 2, 2006, 04:17 PM
Gunslinger: There appears to be both good and bad Mini-14's in the terms of accuracy. I bought a used .223 Range Rifle with a muzzle brake that shoots great groups at 50-75 yds. I have see others shoot 11/2" groups at 100 yds and some shoot 31/2 to 4" groups at the same distance. It must be a combination of barrel and ammo that makes them a good shooter or not. I have been shooting Lake City military thru mine.

Thin Black Line
July 2, 2006, 04:44 PM
Got rid of my mini (bought brand new) after: blown extractor, gas
tap falling out inside the stock, rear site breaking off. The extractor
blew with factory ammo within the first few 100 rnds of factory ammo
I put thru it and the gas tap when it was just "too cold" outside (but,
the factory had the nerve to accuse me of attempting to disassemble it).
I'll take responsibility for the rear site --I think I bumped it too hard one
day against the dry wall inside my closet when I put the POS away...
funny it didn't hurt the wall.... :rolleyes:

But accuracy was "acceptable" at plink ranges and it fed fine with original
factory 20 rd mags (what are those? $39 right now?)....when it wasn't
sitting at the factory for a few months at a time.

The "I can't afford an AR-15" thing comes up a lot here. If you really want
a semi auto 223, sure you can. Buy the lower and a parts kit with the
pre-assembled upper and head over to the local gun club and someone
will have you up in running in an hour. I suppose the mini is nice for states
where you can't have the pistol grip.

I'm not anti-Ruger, they make nice bolt actions.

July 2, 2006, 04:47 PM
There appears to be both good and bad Mini-14's in the terms of accuracy. I bought a used .223 Range Rifle with a muzzle brake that shoots great groups at 50-75 yds. I have see others shoot 11/2" groups at 100 yds and some shoot 31/2 to 4" groups at the same distance.

My mini-14 shoots a fairly tight group even when the barrel heats up. I wonder if some of the accuracy issues are related to cleaning. .223 is a tight bore and mini-14 barrels are cleaned from the muzzle end. A little nick on the muzzle with a cleaning rod could cause all kinds of accuracy problems.
July 2, 2006, 05:17 PM
The biggest problem I see with the Mini is that they seem to be getting more expensive, while base AR platform rifles get cheaper. Awhile back, a $350 Ruger vs. a $900 Colt was a tough call. Nowadays, you can put an AR together for $600 or less, while a Mini under $500 bucks is a rare find indeed. By the time you change out a barrel or have some other sort of accurizing done, you've more than likely spent more than enough money to have bought an AR in the first place. My $1/50, FWIW.


July 2, 2006, 05:22 PM
I ditto many of the above comments. The Mini can be a decent gun for coyotes, but when the barrel heats up the accuracy goes away. By the time you customize one into working shape you have bought an AR.

July 2, 2006, 07:06 PM
dcloudy has it right. An AR is no longer 3x the cost of a mini so it makes more sense just to save an extra couple months longer and get an AR if that's what you really want.

July 2, 2006, 07:50 PM
The AR series has a superior gas tapping system that doesn't disturb the barrel as much during firing. That said, the Mini 14 uses the same operating rod and bolt system as the M1A, it's major failing is the thin barrel. There are aftermarket companies that can replace it with a heavier barrel,at which time it approaches AR accuracy. Here in Ca. we don't have many options.

July 2, 2006, 10:04 PM
Ruger has, according to some gun mags, improved the Mini-14 quite a lot with the new redition. The price has gone up also.
For a less expensive alternate to the Mini-14 a Norinco (Chinese) SKS or a reguler 59/66 SKS will work.

July 3, 2006, 10:50 AM
The mini-14 is a good gun for what it is. I have a SS/synth. model that has been completely reliable and will shoot 2-3" 100yd. benchrest groups with a given load. Many of my friends have/had mini's as well and I would say to expect accuracy in the 2-4 MOA range. Not a good praire dog rifle, but fine for coyotes and other larger vermin.

Accuracy systems, inc. does customize mini's and their top of the line packages guarantee 1/2 MOA. But by the time you've bought the rifle and paid them, you could have bought a match-grade AR. Of course, ASI will also do the package in any caliber you want that will fit the action (.17 rem, .204 Ruger, .222, 6x45, etc). Last I looked, that package ran about $900.

July 3, 2006, 12:08 PM
Gunslinger15, the best group my 188-series Mini-14 Ranch Rifle (ca. 1989-1990) has EVER shot, from a cold barrel, was 5.5" at 100 yards, from sandbags. That's bad.

However, for shots under 100 yards, I do like my mini. It wears a Butler Creek folding stock and would be my go-to defensive rifle around the house. But if I had it to do over again, I'd get an AR. Between the rifle, stock, and magazines, I have spent way more than the cost of an entry-level AR on this rifle.

July 3, 2006, 12:15 PM
My 187-series Ranch Rifle could shoot 62-gr American Eagle FMJs into 2" at 50-yards all day long with a hot barrel. At 100-yards 5"-groups were boring. I had a 4.5x-32mm scope on it.

And never an issue with malfunctions of any kind. Super reliable, light, quick- handling.

July 3, 2006, 12:59 PM
I have a 182 series that has functioned perfectly for over 20 years. I don't have a scope on it but with the iron sights it still shoots better then I do. It took care of lots of Jacks and Coyotes in my younger years and I have never had a FTF even using cheap 80's mags. I can't comment on the newer rifles but this rifle is the reason I don't own a AR style rifle, The Mini14 just does everything I need in that segment. I will say that my main varmint gun was and is the only other Ruger rifle I own which is a 1976 M77 in 25-06 with a heavy Varmint barrel, that rifle is 1 in 1000 as far as trigger and accuracy goes. I would say if you like traditional stocks more then detached pistol grips go for it, I know it's easy to picky about incremental differences on the Internet but the Mini14 is a good serviceable tool IMHO.

Thin Black Line
July 3, 2006, 01:13 PM
Maybe 2 in a thousand compared to the 77V tack-driver (stock barrel) I once
had....just hate their mini considering once rifle should not have had that
many problems brand new....

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