I know you hate opinion threads, but...


July 18, 2007, 01:06 AM
Howdy folks. I know you hate opinion threads and complain about them all the time, but I'm curious about a specific post in the Mini-14 Accuracy (again) Thread (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=289300)
JESMith posts:

the thin barrel. - heats up quickly, drifts and has bad harmonics. Changing out to a heavy barrel, shortening the barrel, adding a muzzle brake, flash hider and or strut helps considerably.

the rough trigger - a good trigger job is must on my list.

the stock - it's short and the action is loose in the stock. Adding a good after market stock and or bedding the reciever helps.

JESmith, this is not intended to flame you, but your posts made the most sense when thinking about gun physics (esp with your bbl comment).


1. I know an AR-15 seems to be good for accuracy out of the box, but the budget would prefer an Mini-14 (I'll be able to afford both, though).

2. Is a Mini-14 worth the price compared to a decent quality AR-15 if you order a new barrel and trigger job?

3. I can get a Mini-14 for 400-600 (cheaper than MSRP) on Gunbroker.com. Would you rather get the accuracy out of the box from a $1000-$1500 AR upfront or get a Mini-14 and build it up from a base platform?

The uses of this rifle would be shooting targets until about 2010 targets and occasionally a few critters 1-2x a year. After that, it will be serving as a truck gun for little critters and bigger critters (coyotes and larger) when I go back to farming (in a hardcase in the farm truck).

I'm working my ace off at work so I won't be able to reply until about 6:00 pm Pacific time. Reply all you want, but I'll be too busy at work to do more than read and if it lets off, reply a short reply.

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July 18, 2007, 01:12 AM
Don't worry about opinion threads. Everyone disagrees with everyone but themselves (and even thats debatable) HAHA.

To answer your question. IF I were to want an AR-15 today I would just order one complete from Rock River Arms. I really do like their triggers as they come complete in a Varmint package for way under your budget (You should pull one for 10-15% off the MSRP from your local gun dealer after he orders it). And of course they do hit sub MOA.

So thats my cents. Mini's are nice too I would just stick with out of the box because gunsmithing costs can sometimes eat your wallet before you even get it out of your back pocket.

(A Side Note) You might want to consider the new Panther type .308 that just came out not too long ago. I have seen many posts here and on other sites that claim they are superior. And with the 5.56/.223 ammo drying up I might consider going that route for my next 600m service rifle :D

July 18, 2007, 03:15 AM
skip the mini's , they will only make you unhappy, if you ever fire an ar, whether you fire an ar first, or after, you fire a mini. Heck , you can get a complete Olympic arms ar, for 600 bucks nowadays, and you can get a rock river, in the 7's, or even better a Stag.

July 18, 2007, 03:28 AM
Even if the accuracy debate about Mini's wasn't at all an issue, the AR family has nigh on forty years of market support - spare parts, experience, magazines, optics, so forth and so on. You could almost certainly get a good AR for the price of the Mini and the mods you're talking about.

That said, I can certainly see the appeal of the Minis - like the concept of a short, light semi .223 in a sporter stock. But somehow the rifle just never seemed to live up to the promise of the idea, if that makes sense. Anyhow, I've had two over the years, and sold two. I want to like it, but the thing just never grew on me. Take it for what it's worth.


edit - just saw you're in CA. Nevermind. The Mini's better than a sharp stick for the next couple years. :)

July 18, 2007, 04:39 AM
Since you are in CA...

Build an OLL AR-15. It'll be more accurate than a Mini-14.

If you don't mind the accuracy level of a Mini-14, why not get a RAA Saiga-223 or Kel-Tec SU-16CA? Since, the Saiga would be cheaper than the Mini-14 but have better reliability and the SU-16 would be the roughly the same price as the Mini-14 but you can use AR15/M16 magazines in it.

July 18, 2007, 05:58 AM
Agreed. I like the looks of the Mini, but the complete lack of accuracy and poor magazine selection (either high cost if you find the ultra-rare factory 30 rounders or sloppy construction for the aftermarket ones) make it a no go for me.

July 18, 2007, 07:45 AM
Never fired a mini but if I wanted a rifle in .223 that was accurate, accessorizable and a semi auto then I pick the AR-15 platform hands down.

July 18, 2007, 07:02 PM
For almost the same price of the mini out of the box you can and I did buy a Remington 7615P. They suffer from NONE of the mini's vices and do not require hundreds of dollars worth of gunsmithing and or accessories to shoot good CONSISTENTLY.

Even if mini's were all super accurate the whole magazine issue would still turn me off to them.

July 18, 2007, 07:46 PM
I own a Mini-14 I bought new right before the Y2K Presidential election. I've never run into the accuracy problems.

The newer ones... mine at least... is a 1:9 twist rate. It shoots 68gr BTHP's quite accurately. Hornady makes a 75gr A-Max and 80gr A-Max... I think I'm fixing to try those and see how they perform with that twist rate. Those are considered expanding hunting bullets.

The mags can be another story. I have the factory 5rd and it's fine. I got ahold of two 20rd Ruger mags and they're fine. I also got ahold of four 30rd aftermarkets and one of them, the feed lips needed tweaking. But I like those 20rounders real well.

Would I rather have a Mini-14 or an AR-15? There were plenty of AR's available on that same store's rack when I bought my Mini-14. They'd been trying to push me into buying a AR-15 for six months when I bought the Mini. I like my military rifles and I like my civilian rifles, but I just can't get excited over an AR (and when the threads involve AK's, I can't get excited over them either; for my own use, I just don't care for "black rifles" in general). Does that answer the question?

Art Eatman
July 18, 2007, 08:27 PM
The Mini is fine for hunting. Odds are, the probability of the first shot going to the intended point of aim is as good as any AR that's box-stock.

No box-stock Mini will be pleasing as a benchrest target shooter. Tin cans at 50 yards? Plenty good for that sort of plinking. Or jackrabbits to a hundred or so yards, all day long.

As a "truck gun", I've liked the Minis I've had better than the ARs I've had. I stick some equivalent to a Weaver K4 on top and forget about it. And, I've never given a hoot about mag capacity, other than to say I like the Ruger 10-round mags.


July 18, 2007, 08:45 PM
Oh - if you do go for the Mini, may I suggest the stainless/synthetic model? The stainless is nice if you're gonna be leaving it in a truck, and the synthetic stock does handle better I think than the wood. Not quite as chunky, and it's already "checkered." And the conventional rifle stock is just fine, no need for a pistol grip. It's already scary-quick to the shoulder. :)

Honestly, if I was in CA and wanted a reasonably-priced .223, I'd not be too terribly upset to settle for the Mini. Not my favorite certainly, but it's cheaper than an M14 clone, metal construction*, and still for all its faults a nice handy carbine. And it doesn't need a jury-rigged stock or be halfway dissassembled to stay legal.


* the KelTecs might hold up over the generations, but I doubt as well as the Minis. And in CA when you don't know what's going to be banned from sale next, I believe that's an important consideration. In an environ as anti-armed citizenry as CA, I believe the first question when buying any weapon should be "will my grandkids be able to use this?"

July 18, 2007, 09:28 PM
Don't worry about CA Legal issues. I will be getting an out of state military assault weapons permit. I can have anything I want.

July 19, 2007, 03:32 PM
Don't worry about CA Legal issues. I will be getting an out of state military assault weapons permit. I can have anything I want. Huh? :confused:

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