mini-14 as a battle rifle


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carlrodd
December 26, 2007, 10:42 PM
i always see people posting about how, despite what they think about the mini-14, one thing it isn't is a battle rifle. this got me thinking...what makes a battle rifle? in my mind, regardless of caliber, a battle weapon would simply be one made with materials and a design that could withstand the potential rigours of field service(weather, elements), as well as the abuse of potentially poor cleaning regimens. i don't believe the number of rounds put through it would be an issue....during my four years with the same unit, i think i probably put 1,000 rounds through my m16a2. though, you would still want to be confident that if necessary, it could endure sustained use.

with all that said, what is it about the mini-14 that makes people scoff at it when considering it in regard to service in a combat environment? let's say someone chopped his barrel and popped on a muzzle break to improve accuracy.....what then is missing from this particular weapon to make it function acceptably in combat? my A2 was a finicky piece of crap that was intermittently reliable in dusty, gritty iraq environment ...i felt it was a liability. i would have swapped it with mini-14 in a second. who knows...maybe if i would have had to put a few hundred rounds through it fast in a bad situation, i would feel differently, but for the life of me, i can't see a reason why. has anyone ever taken a mini to one of these civilian, 2 or 3 day combat training things? any stories for us?

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dispatch55126
December 26, 2007, 10:56 PM
Read the threads and you have the answer.

If you read most people's SHTF/BOB/WWIII items, they list that they carry several hundred rounds not thinking that they may actually have to carry those rounds. People expect more than whats needed and don't think practically.

In the case of the Mini 14, most people want a sub MOA rifle and they assume the Mini 14 is a poor choice because its not.

What they don't realize is a USGI M16A2/M4 is NOT a sub MOA rifle. It carries decent accuracy BUT "Minute of Torso" is all thats really required. There is a reason the qualifying silhouette is an upper torso and head. If you can hit that, you can hit the entire torso.

The USMC advanced marksman program (not the right term but what do you expect from an Air Force SSgt) has a whole program dedicated to making the M16/M4/M14 a sub MOA for competitions.

The Mini 14/Mini 30 is a fine rifle for what it was made to be. A simple, reliable rifle using common ammo capable of dropping a combatant at moderate ranges. Who cares if each bullet passes the fifth rib on the left side as long as it hits.

jmr40
December 26, 2007, 11:07 PM
There are 2 problems that I can think of. The 5 round magazines that are standard work fine, but anything over 5 rounds that is dependable is hard to find and expensive. If Ruger or another manufacturer would make reliable 20 round mags at a fair price it would help.

Several years ago a mini-14 could be had for about half of an AR-15's price. Today the price is so close, with some budget AR's actually cheaper, I see no advantage. Unless you live somewhere that AR's are banned and Ruger's are not.

goon
December 26, 2007, 11:35 PM
I also noticed the price of the Mini the other day and thought the same thing - why buy one when you can have a Bushmaster for almost the same price?

I've only shot two of them. Accuracy seemed adequate but reliability was bad because of the poor magazines.

Avenger29
December 26, 2007, 11:37 PM
Several years ago a mini-14 could be had for about half of an AR-15's price. Today the price is so close, with some budget AR's actually cheaper, I see no advantage. Unless you live somewhere that AR's are banned and Ruger's are not.

I think you can still get the Mini at Walmart for ~$550. But of course, that brings into competition the Remington 7615, a pump .223 that takes AR-15 mags...the Mini-14 is overpriced for what you get, IMHO. At least the newer series is supposed to be better...

And of course, the budget ARs are down near that mark, too. And I believe that the Saiga series totally blows the socks off the Minis.

I don't see a Mini 14 in my future....it'd work as a decent defensive rifle, but it is not a "battle" rifle by any sense...no military force in their right mind would adopt it...

TexasRifleman
December 26, 2007, 11:43 PM
I got a Mini for Christmas when i was like 14 or so. It's been ultra reliable and I've treated the thing like crap. It rode in the floorboard of a pickup truck for years, can't remember the last time I cleaned the thing. It's had thousands of rounds through it.

It was never particularly accurate but always fired. Now, I had Ruger magazines since this was bought before Bill Ruger decided that we all sucked, I have never used an aftermarket mag with the thing.

I am glad I had it, it's been a great rifle, but I can't imagine buying one today with the alternatives available.

stevereno1
December 26, 2007, 11:44 PM
Wal Mart stopped carrying the mini's a few years ago. They have shifted the remaining guns to the stores that still sell firearms. The only arguement that I have heard against the mini, is that they have thin barrels.

stevereno1
December 26, 2007, 11:46 PM
I work a wal mart. I saw a mini 30 come in there at $175.00. It sold before I got off work, D#$%!

Benelli Shooter
December 26, 2007, 11:48 PM
1. If you shoot more than a couple hundred rounds in a SHTF scenario, you will

a. Be dead
or
b. Have a cool new gun collection.

2. Minute of torso is a myth. When the shooting starts, people hide. All you will get as a target is a head, foot, arm ect.. You need

a. An accurate gun
or
b. A gun that shoots through things.

gcrookston
December 26, 2007, 11:50 PM
I shot a nice little Ruger with 3-burst ability. It was kind of fun. I get a kick out of arm chair folks all battle ready and all, so I'm going to sit this one out. So I really don't know wee wee about this

W.E.G.
December 26, 2007, 11:50 PM
Remember too, you can piece-together an AR.

FUN and affordable if you are on a tight budget.

Try to piece-together a Mini-14.

I can't say I agree with your proposition that "popping on" a muzzle brake would have any beneficial effect on the accuracy of a Mini-14.

The current version of the Mini-14 rear sight is a significant improvement over the previous version. Athough, the Mini-14 sighting system is still several steps behind the A2 sighting system on the AR-types.

I'm willing to say the Mini-14 is an "OK" gun - maybe even a "good" gun for "battle rifle" applications. I'm unaware of any test that has put a Mini-14 alongside an AR-type in conditions of fine-grain sand contamination. I think such a test would be very interesting. In the opinion of many of us, if we were required to use a rifle under conditions of serious sand contamination, the rifle of choice would be neither an AR-type or a Mini-14.

jpwilly
December 26, 2007, 11:54 PM
The AR-15 / M16 is a far better battle rifle anyday than a Ruger Mini...but for the purposes of accurace and penetration an AR-10 in ..308 is next on my list!

MrAcheson
December 27, 2007, 12:06 AM
has anyone ever taken a mini to one of these civilian, 2 or 3 day combat training things? any stories for us?

People have done it, but from what I've heard they don't hold up as well as the ARs. Try searching since I'm almost positive I heard it here.

takhtakaal
December 27, 2007, 12:12 AM
This Ruger design is unproven in anything even coming close to what history has wrung out of the AKs, the ARs, the FALs, the Galils, etc.

The original crop of Minis mostly sold (IMHO) because of the A-Team, frankly. They're fine for occasional plinking, and informal varmint extermination, but they don't seem to hold up well for MBR conditions. What I remember of the two originals that I had was that they would warm up and the shots would crawl all over the target. Not enough barrel, and the gadgetry to make them more useful is wicked expensive.

Just Jim
December 27, 2007, 12:33 AM
Early Mini 14s had a wood stock including the handguard. They had no bolt hold open button and they heated up pretty fast. The rear site was loose as a goose and accuracy wasn't to be had. Ruger did offer high caps with the first gun but even with Ruger mags you had to really watch what ammo you used.

Todays improved Mini still eats the magazine lips in short order and they will jam quickly on most after market mags. $50 for Ruger 20 rounders is a joke and one good ding and there goes $50.

In my opinion I would soon use an SKS of good quality than any Mini they have made. Ammo is the same and stripper clips that hold ten rounds are cheap. I bought a NIB Chinese one when they came out and it outshot any Mini I have ever seen as a life member of our gun club. Wish I had kept that $89 SKS

jj

meef
December 27, 2007, 12:36 AM
I figure it'd be just dandy if you were going into a mini-battle.

:cool:

cbn620
December 27, 2007, 12:41 AM
From one perspective and one theory, the battle rifle is the predecessor to the assault rifle. Typically these weapons are semi-automatic (rather than selective fire) and fire a larger caliber (as opposed to the intermediate calibers found in assault rifles) . Famous battle rifles from this definition include the M14, the FAL, the Gew. 43, the SVT 40, etc. Usually by this definition a battle rifle is semi-automatic. They are also military designs.

From this definition, clearly the Mini-14 is not a battle rifle. That doesn't make it a bad rifle, it just doesn't fit the aforementioned definition.

Another definition of a battle rifle or more specifically and commonly referred to, a "main battle rifle" refers to any weapon that stands as the primary infantry weapon of a given army/militia/civil guard. Examples from this category are more broad, anything from a Mauser K98, all the way up to the M16 and M4.

From this definition, even still, the Mini-14 is not a battle rifle. Once again, that doesn't make it a bad rifle.

The Mini-14 is a civilian rifle, it was designed as a sporting and hunting weapon. I don't think we need to use terms such as "assault rifle" and "battle rifle" for these types of weapons. It just gives the media more fuel for badly definining and mis-reporting firearms. I think everyone needs to have a competent understanding of the differences between military and civilian weapons. Just because someone adds a folding pistol grip stock and a thirty round magazine to an Mini-14, that doesn't really make it anything more than a modified civilian weapon, in my oh so humble opinion. Calling it anything else just adds a negative spin to it we as the gun owning community really don't need. I mean especially lately when the Mini-14 is beginning to be labeled as a criminal's gun (entirely not true, but the other day the chief of police in my town, after an officer involved shooting, referred to the Mini-14 as an assault rifle. That's pure propaganda and it breeds misconceptions and other reptiles of the mind).

Now of course, people's definitions and opinions will vary. I respect that. But I just can't see calling the Mini-14 anything more than a civilian semi-automatic rifle.

edit:

To add my opinion on the Mini-14 and Mini-30 designs specifically, I'll further on what I said. For sporting and civilian purposes, it is just fine. I just don't think I'd trust one if the SHTF. The system is really not that rugged and has a tendency to choke on cheaper ammunition. In a tight spot, I don't think I personally would like to trust my life to the Mini-14 or Mini-30 design. I do not own one but got to spend some decently considerable time with one on a trip up to the mountains I took with some friends to field test and sight in our rifles. I hunkered down in the dirt with the Mini-30 using ten round mags. Ammunition used was Wolf Classic 7.62x39 steel lacquered case. Also had some Brown Bear of the same case type. The Mini choked on this ammo repeatedly when other weapons such as the SKS ate it with ease. It basically got to the point where I couldn't tell if the gun was jamming or not, and preparing for my next shot I was surprised to pull the trigger and have nothing happen. At which point I'd have to pull the bolt back, noticing the ammo was either getting jammed up, not feeding well, or not seating properly.

Accuracy was nothing to write home about either, at least with this particular example. This Mini had a red dot sight installed, I want to say it was a Trijicon but I don't recall. I couldn't hit crap with it beyond 20-30 yards. It could be that it needed to be sighted in better but no matter how I adjusted for windage or elevation I just couldn't get it to shoot POA, and for some reason--even firing from a bipod-- I couldn't get shot consistency. It shot fliers like nothing I personally experienced. Up close and dirty I could hit cans with it all day, like I said out to about 25-30 yards it was fine. I went out and set some stuff up about 80 yards from our firing line and after emptying a magazine my friends spotting had called only one hit--and it was barely that, it went through the side of the can. I didn't do an MOA reading on it since we weren't using large paper targets but I'd estimate it was about 5-6 MOA at 50 yards. With work, of course this could be remedied and improved--but considering the entire rig including the sight totaled $1000+ I just can't see it being worth it.

DannyinJapan
December 27, 2007, 01:00 AM
Didn't our country use the M-1 carbine in combat? Granted, they are not the same rifle, but very similar. Is there not sufficient similarity between those two rifles to extrapolate the performance of Mini-14's, should they be used for military use?

TheGrimReaper
December 27, 2007, 01:06 AM
Had a Mini-14, sold it and never have regretted it. Get an Ar instead!!! You'll never regret it!

roscoe
December 27, 2007, 01:09 AM
Uuuum, no. The other thing is that there are other excellent alternatives, like Saigas, SKSs, and SU16s that are more reliable, as (or more) accurate, and cheaper.

TheGrouch
December 27, 2007, 01:22 AM
<IMO>

I'm stuck on the whole rifle deal. ARs feel like toys to me and for the most part have to be kept clean. Minis have problems with accuracy and expensive/hard to find mags.

You get a mini-14 with a heavy barrel (consistent 1-2 moa accuracy) with $20 Ruger factory hi-cap mags and I think AR purchases will be cut in half.


I'd like to see this:

Semi-auto
wood stock
stainless
5.56 or 7.62x39
inexpensive hi-caps
no BS factory warranty
minimum 2moa accuracy
Retail price $600-700


I'd buy three.



</IMO>

Oohrah
December 27, 2007, 01:27 AM
Nope, not an assult rifle nor a target rifle. What it lacks in MOA it makes up
for in reliability. Had mine since 82 and has been 100% with factory fives or
after market high capacity mags. Gee no bayonet lug on the standard?
Maybe don't need one like that early jamin M-16!!! It will take care of center
mass hits to a couple of hundred yards as well as other carbine platforms and
better than many others. Oh yeah, also own a Bushy so really don't have a
a dog in that fight! My choice for anything serious that might shoot back
would be a thirty that I seem to have more of:neener: A wet test favors
the piston run platform over the gas puked into the action. The Mini would
be a good choice with .223 ammo, but not many seem to care for the weak
caliber for all around use.:D

MachIVshooter
December 27, 2007, 01:40 AM
I shot a nice little Ruger with 3-burst ability. It was kind of fun.

Unless some SOT or a (now) felon concocted a burst FCG, you didn't. The AC556 is full auto (as in, empties the mag).

I am always so amused at how many people are so quick to bash teh mini, and tout the AR and SKS in the same paragraph. From someone who has owned several of each

-The mini is less ammo finicky than an AR or SKS. You can use heavy loads with extruded powder and 40 grain varmint bullets in the mini. AR's, not so much.

-I have never owned an SKS that didn't jam occasionally, regardless of ammo type. And yes, this happened with the stock fixed magazines. My Russians have the best track record, but still jam more frequently than the Mini, AR's or AK's.

-Hi capacity mags. Yes, this can be an issue with mini's. The 40 rounders are all pretty much junk. However, I have 20 and 30 round aftermarket magazines that work just fine. USA and promag. Ruger factory mags work too. The Mini magazines do tend to be a little more delicate than AR and AK mags, just the way they're built. Don't use rifle magazines to drive nails and you should be fine. I have got hold of AR and AK that were abused to the point of being unreliable as well. They're all sheetmetal, guys; you can destroy them.

-Reliability-Because of the huge gas port and generous tolerances of the mini's gas system, fouling is a non-issue. I've run my mini's with enough residue to completely fill the gas tube and chamber of an AR and they still cycle fine. And I've run everything from 3,800 FPS handloads to cheap military ball and wolf with no issues. The AR didn't care for the hot stuff so much.

-Accuracy. AR's definitely accel here, but it has been my experience that the mini is at least as good as AK's and SKS's (as well as other military auto's). I've never owned/fired one that couldn't do better than 3 MOA at 100 with ball ammo. That's a torso hit at 400 meters. You wana shoot further, probably shouldn't be counting on 5.56mm to get the job done. Not that it isn't nice to have a rifle that will hit the enemy at twice that distance, but it's really not in the parameters of this class of weapon. It is an intermediate cartridge, hence effective at intermediate range.

-Ergonomics-Largely personal preference, but the mini fits more people comfortably than an SKS or AK. I do prefer an AR myself, but the mini comes before the com bloc stuff.

The mini is not a battle rifle by any definition. Neither are it's contemporaries; The AR, AK and SKS. Could the mini be an effective combat rifle? Well, it's design was adapted from one of the best ever built, so I'd have to say yes. But it never will be a military arm, as even the space-age-by-comparison AR is growing long in the tooth from a military perspective.

All that said, I now propose that unless one has owned a mini, you should not bash them. And unless one has owned a mini and one of the other rifles it is constantly compared against, don't compare them.

TexasSkyhawk
December 27, 2007, 01:41 AM
I love these "when the crap hits the fan" scenarios . . .

Jeff

def4pos8
December 27, 2007, 01:50 AM
I gave my last remaining AR-15 to my Jarhead son because it's the only rifle he knows how to clean after a session at the range.:scrutiny::D

For my part, I was OVER having to scrape carbon grunge out of the bolt carrier.:rolleyes:

I learned, back in the Bad Old Days, what humping 270 rounds, the rifle, the (old fashioned) armor and forty pounds of field gear was like. --and I was in the ChAir Force!:what:

I've accurized my Mini. It's a good example of a KISS carbine -- easy to clean/maintain, extremely handy and minimal mass to hump. It's NOT a battle rifle. My M-1A NM is a battle rifle, right down to the bayonet, but I wouldn't want to hump 140 rounds of 7.62 and a nine-pound rifle anymore. I'm just too damned old and feeble!:evil:

neby98
December 27, 2007, 02:21 AM
The British used the mini 14 as a battle rifle for a while. At least that's what wikipedia says.

Dollar An Hour
December 27, 2007, 02:35 AM
Is there anything the mini-30 does better than a Saiga 7.62 at half the cost? Better sights probably, anything else?

If I want a cheap to shoot rifle, these two or an AK seem like top choices, I'm just having a hard time justifying the Ruger over the Russian gun.

Rifleman 173
December 27, 2007, 05:13 AM
I've had several mini-14s. As I shot them, the point of impact wouldn't stay still. It would literally wander all over the target. All 3 of them were like that. On top of that, there weren't any jam-free high capacity magazines anywhere for them. On a good day, any of my mini-14s were lousy pieces of junk that I did NOT feel comfortable carrying. I got rid of them, never looked back and started picking up ARs and AKs for my shooting needs.

buck00
December 27, 2007, 07:00 AM
Several years ago a mini-14 could be had for about half of an AR-15's price. Today the price is so close, with some budget AR's actually cheaper, I see no advantage.

That was the appeal. It was the "poor man's AR."

Marlin 45 carbine
December 27, 2007, 07:38 AM
ditto Buck, I bought a S/S M30 in 1992 for 220$$. and thought it was a premium price but the FFL shop owner was an acquaintance and I figured what the h%@# feller has to make a living. after some tinkering with this carbine shoots 1.5 MOA with good ammo(I have a 1.5X4.5 tactical scope on it). it doesn't care for the steel-case stuff , however a caveat on the owners manual addresses this issue. so I don't use it. I like mine and have tinkered with some 20 round mags to get them doing well. I'll grab it in a heart-beat for anything.

I shot it for groups off a rolled up sleeping bag rest on the bench using Lapua ammo and some of my good handloads with Hornady 123 gr. slugs. PMC fmj doesn't do nearly as well, nor does Win. fmj, my hunting loads of Speer 150 gr. does nearly as well.

Roadkill
December 27, 2007, 07:43 AM
I've had several mini-14s. As I shot them, the point of impact wouldn't stay still. It would literally wander all over the target. All 3 of them were like that. On top of that, there weren't any jam-free high capacity magazines anywhere for them. On a good day, any of my mini-14s were lousy pieces of junk that I did NOT feel comfortable carrying. I got rid of them, never looked back and started picking up ARs and AKs for my shooting needs.

What the man said. I've had three, all shot most of the time depending on magazines.

armoredman
December 27, 2007, 09:50 AM
I have a newer series 580. I had a Mini-14 wayback in the early 80's, and it worked just fine, sold when I went into the service. My new 580 works just fine, and it occupies a niche asa carbine to both have fun with, and a defensive rifle within 100 yards. I do handload for it, and have a few loads that will do 2MOA, and the factory load I use a defensive load, (Remington 45gr JHP), is also a 2MOA round in this rifle.
I don't expect to go into combat with it, and all of my goofy whizbang "tactical" gear, (what little I had), is going bye bye. All I have is a home setup active shooter bag with 3 spare mags in it, and the rifle with a Ruger factory 20 round mag.
It works with whatever I put in it. It shoots minute of man at 100 yards. BTW, it does shoot straighter than any of the three SKS rifles I have owned, and better than the wifes' WASR-10, which is definately a 50 yard carbine.
Besides, I will never be able to afford my FAL, so this is what I have. :)

K3
December 27, 2007, 09:57 AM
I would think that an SKS with some good handloads would be perfect for SHTF. I would also think that 80 - 100 rounds would be more than a person would need and could realistically carry along with other gear in a SHTF situation.

With good handloads, 2" groups at 100 yards is certainly attainable.

Neo-Luddite
December 27, 2007, 10:03 AM
The AC556 is full auto (as in, empties the mag).

They have been configured w/ 3 shot burst to meet specific customer needs (likely to be viewed as a low-cost alternative to the m16a2 back in the early 80's). I don't know if Ruger shopped them out to be set up that way or did them in house.

The dissapointment with the mini always seems to grow from folks expecting it to be something it isn't. To draw an analogy, when Pontiac brought out the Fiero some people looked at it and saw a mid-engined fibreglass two-seater and decided it was an exotic sportscar. Those people were the ones most disapointed. There was NOTHING wrong with the car, but it was designed to be 'sporty' and fuel efficient; it was a commuter car.

People look at the mini and want to see a little M-14. I know I did when I bought mine. I got passed that.

My biggest gripe about the mini--Cheap plastic buttplate. It's a solid little gun that is over-priced next to the AR's in today's marketplace.

Ed Ames
December 27, 2007, 10:28 AM
Is there anything the mini-30 does better than a
Saiga 7.62 at half the cost? Better sights probably,
anything else?

Go back to the factory for repairs.

Seriously... part of what you are buying when you buy a name brand rifle from a major US manufacturer is the knowledge that they will stand behind their product. Whoever imports the Saiga may stand behind it... I'm not sure... but you can bet money that Ruger will stand behind the mini.

As for the mini as a battle rifle... what does it matter?

I've only fired one mini. It was fine.

Would I want it if the alien horde landed? Sure, why not? It would make pretty sparkles dance on their force shields as well as anything else and would maybe be useful for hunting up some dinner too. It would work... At least until I figured out how to operate their advanced alien weapons.

Would I choose it to carry out my single-handed invasion and conquest of Greenland? Probably not. I'm not that into Greenland actually. That don't make it junk.

Eyesac
December 27, 2007, 11:24 AM
Would I want it if the alien horde landed? Sure, why not? It would make pretty sparkles dance on their force shields as well as anything else

LOL!!!!

Dr.Carbine
December 27, 2007, 11:25 AM
I think the Mini could be a fine military rifle. If the Mini 14 became a military issued weapon there would probably be a few design changes to meet the needs of the military. For instance, the military may require a slightly thicker barrel for greater accuracy, or they might require a straight-insert AR-type 30 round magazine. They might require the same sights as on the AR or other sight as standard. If Ruger got a huge contract from the military, I'm sure they would be glad to make these changes; Ruger isn't making them for the civilian market that they presently have. It's not like the current ARs are the same as the originally issued ones in the early '60s. I like the look and feel of the Mini 14 and believe it could be as good as the the AR with a few small changes that would likely happen if it was an issued weapon. Personally, I feel pistol-gripped rifles feel odd to handle and that a straight stock is easier to carry and shoulder, but that's me.

kBob
December 27, 2007, 12:01 PM
Well, it hardly counts as a battle rifle but, when I was assigned to 3rd Armored DIvision, Division Artillery as the HHB DivArty XO in 1982 I had no assigned rifle or handgun. We were litereally at full strength plus and there were neither available in the unit. The guy I was replacing explained that he had carried his POW (Privatly Owned Weapon, prisoners of war were PWs at the time) a Colt Commander in .45ACP. As we still issued the M1911A1 this made perfect sense. I had brought my Colt MK4 Series 70 in that chambering to europe with me ( actually bought it there on an earlier tour) and so after a discussion with the DivArty CO (eagle with visions of stars) was assured that I was OK for anything I could qualify with. Being an xGrunt I realized a handgun is not the best choice for going to war with, even if you are surrounded by nuke capable 155mm guns and 8 inch howitzers.

I rapidly found that the ROD & GUN club would not attempt to import an AR-15 as the Germans were a bit weird about importing article of warefare (though they would happily sell you an HK91), oddly they did have in stock an FN FNC semi only 5.56mm rifle (not the CAL but the later actually fielded model) but I was unimpressed with it.

Before I could do much more shopping one of my NCOs had to be reassigned stateside in a hurry and was being forced to leave before he could get his Customs forms (6A I believe) to import his privately owned firearms. Two other NCOs bought his shotguns and bolt action and I ended up with his stainless Mini-14 and S&W Model 19. For the rest of my tour that Model 19 road around in my breifcase ( I sometimes carried documents that needed to be handled only by some one under arms and this made it easy even when I did not have my BDUs and Colt on) The Mini got shot a bit for familurization and zeroed with some Rod & Gun bought FMJ then broken down into the three basic groups and stuffed with several loaded mags in to my field duffle.

The mini went with me up to our "battle sites" on the boarder or along the road to our fall back positions. I figured it beat a sharp stick or saying "BOO!" by a pretty good bit. Especailly as my drivers issue weapon was a 1911A1 and so we were often alone and under armed. So I guess you could say that a mini-14 has served on the boarders of freedom, sort of, semi secretly, stuffed deep in a locked duffle bag inside a locked Jeep trailor.

My only regret with regaurd to the Mini was that I did not trade it even-steven for a Finn M71s a Major was having fits with. He had bought it for the same reason I had the mini and one of his troopers pointed out that one of the rest of us might shoot at the AK looking thing in the dark. Then he had problems getting more than his three magazines, and then it had repeated failures for him. I showed him what he was doing wrong (not rocking the mags into lock) instead of ripping him off. Sometimes I am just to honest.

The Mini went to help me do some Post Grad work later.

-Bob Hollingsworth

kBob
December 27, 2007, 12:20 PM
Re Mini in Carbine class,

Lady shot one next to me in the Morigan Counsulting Carbine Operators class.

It was an older model with the exposed parts on the left of the reciever covered by a plate in later models.

Zero malfs FTF jams or what have you other than those intentionally induced for the immediate action drills.

She used Wolf steel cased polimer coated FMJ for the intire course.

She shot a qualifying score on the Police standards course used by several states at the end. It was a realistic Police standards course with the max range at 100meters, but not shot flat footed or belly wamping of as a desk job either. Minute of A zone works just fine.

I breifly shot a Ranch Rifle in the class just for giggles. For those few magazines it did as well as some of the ARs on the line. I also broke out an M-1 Carbine for a section of the class as well, it did fine. The assistant Instructors suggested I not bring out the SKS I had planned to use for part of it as well. I did all but the two sessions mentioned with an AR-180 BTW.

I was told though that there were reports of Minis not lasting a course....a couple of the ARs on the scened did not did not last thae course I took and the Mini did....hmmmm.

The class before mine a guy took the course with a GI M-1 carbine and did just fine and qualified as well.

I suggest that folks get what they can afford, what they like and what they can shoot. If all I had was a Mini-14 I would spend more time worrying on how to get the most out of it rather than fretting over what I wish I had.

BTW there is a Mini Stock out on the shop right now being shortened and refinished, short as original stocks are, ladies and kids need guns that fit and not everyone can afford a new AR with a colapsing stock to fit them.....I already own a saw and sand paper and I have the original stock for when I want to shoot that rifle.

-Bob Hollingsworth

Bailey Boat
December 27, 2007, 05:26 PM
I've heard most all of the stuff mentioned above about the Mini's and since I only have experience with ONE, maybe my experiences aren't typical.

Back during the Y2K days (remember those) I felt that I needed something to shoot "things" at 100 to 150 yards out, had readily available ammo and a couple of hi cap mags. I looked at a number of options and for some reason I settled on a SS Mini with the black composite stock. It didn't "look" like an assault rifle (whatever that is) and it handled pretty well.

I proceeded to do nothing more than mount a red dot sight and go to the range. A few sighter's later I was pretty much at POA with all shots. My club range only goes to 200 so I put targets at 100 and 200 (B-27's) COM hits were duck soup and I could rattle them off as fast as I wanted. No malfunctions and nothing blew up.

Where I went wrong was in letting my wife give it a try. Very low recoil, really cool little red dot thingy, put the dot thingy on the target do-hicky and boom !!!!! When I bought the rifle at a gun show I also got 1000 rounds of WW .223 ammo. when I finally got away from there I had less that 500 rounds to pack up.

If I were any of you I wouldn't want to stand at 150 yards and tell her that those jeans make her butt look BIG......... I dare ya........ :what:

carlrodd
December 27, 2007, 05:48 PM
a few good replies, but back on track.... i was hoping people wouldn't start telling everybody why ARs are better and you should buy them, or what ammo is best etc. i am talking specifically about the mini-14, and for those who detract, what it is that makes it not combat worthy, and for those who feel it would function fine in such a role, what evidence there is of this(why i asked about carbine courses). for those who disagree that it could function in a combat situation, i'll have to say i have heard no convincing arguments....really i haven't read any arguments at all, aside from that it jams, is wildly inaccurate, and ammo finicky, none of which i have personally experienced with mine.

so back to the original question.....let's say you chopped your mini's barrel and put on a muzzle break(both of which very much do markedly improve accuracy on this weapon)......what is it that makes it so clearly a rifle that couldn't be used in a combat situation? saying that it was designed and is manufactured for the civilian market has nothing to do with anything....so are all your ARs, and so are M1As, for instance, which probably all the mini-14 dissenters would claim serve as fine combat weapons.

by the way, whoever posted earlier that the idea of minute of torso is silly, because all you'd ever see in a combat situation are heads and feet, has never been in any sort of combat. every branch of the military teaches you to shoot center mass, and for good reason....it appears often as a target, and always has.

benEzra
December 27, 2007, 07:09 PM
As a longtime owner of a mini-14 Ranch Rifle (which I recently sold) and a civilian AK (which I kept), here are my thoughts.

Strengths:

Reliability if kept clean and lubricated. Mine never malfunctioned except for the time a friend accidentally gave me some of his dad's super-hot "5 grains over" .223 reloads. Locked up the bolt tight, and I had to kick it open like the proverbial buried-for-a-year AK. Worked fine afterward. Also, according to John Farnam, mini's can be prone to locking up when they get HOT if you lubricate with light oil, but seem to run fine if you use grease.

Easy to field strip and clean. Perhaps the easiest autoloader to maintain.

Weaknesses:

Magazines. Reworking the design to take standard milspec AR magazines would make a lot of sense. Yes, the AK uses rock-and-lock magazines, but they are built like trucks. The mini magazines are slower to change than AK magazines (that little hole does not self-align on the pin very well), and are at least as flimsy as AR magazines--worst of both worlds, IMO.

Accuracy. My 188-series Ranch Rifle shot a best-ever group of 5.5" at 100 yards, from a benchrest. I tried match ammo in a variety of weights; mine was just not an accurate gun. Reportedly accuracy is better on the newer models, but a heavier barrel (and a flash suppressor) would be welcome.

Modularity. Try attaching a light to a mini, or an Eotech, or an Aimpoint; not as easy as with an AR. There are aftermarket stocks and rails to remedy this, though.

cbn620
December 27, 2007, 08:00 PM
I'm not saying the mini is junk. But it either needs some serious design implementations (better sights, better magazine system, heavier barrel) or a 100-200 dollar price drop.

blackhawk2000
December 27, 2007, 09:51 PM
What is with you mini people? It has expensive magazines. It is as accurate as an AK, but costs twice as much as a WASR, and is damn close to AR price. It generally doesn't hold up well in high round count classes. It doesn't have the modularity of the AR. If you wanted something to bounce around in the back of a truck, why not buy an SKS, or an AK?


The worst thing about them, is that you guys who own them are supporting a company that craps on the 2A. So basically you are crapping on the 2A, by buying Ruger.

Neo-Luddite
December 27, 2007, 10:16 PM
What is it that makes it so clearly a rifle that couldn't be used in a combat situation?

Nothing really would prevent it from a practical standpoint. We've been propagandized by Ruger that it is a 'sporting' rifle. If they sold those nice, beefy folders w/bakelite pistol grips to the great unwashed (and put a flash hider, bayo lug, etc. on) it would be easier to buy into. People pay insane prices for mini's that are 2nd or 3rd hand because they are parked and have a military 'look' to them-and have the nice factory folder.

Also missing is actual combat experience with the platform--good, bad or otherwise.

22-rimfire
December 27, 2007, 10:19 PM
I have had no problems with my mini-14. The bolt locks up occasionally, but I just wack it and I'm back shooting. Wouldn't do that to another rifle. I only need to hit 8" pie plate accuracy at 100 yds and it usually does that. Don't like the sights; never have. In a fight, do stand at 100 or 150 yds and say.. can't hit me with the x%# mini-14. I'll show ya. Heck I can do it with a revolver, I can certainly do it with a rifle.

I wouldn't call it a battle rifle either. But I am quite comfortable with it for civilian needs. In a big fight, I'll take another rifle off a dead terrorist and use it or use my Mini. But I would prefer something with select fire in a battle situation. I don't plan on being in any firefight. I'll let you macho AR guys take care of it.

The worst thing about them, is that you guys who own them are supporting a company that craps on the 2A. So basically you are crapping on the 2A, by buying Ruger.
How's that?

carlrodd
December 27, 2007, 10:57 PM
Nothing really would prevent it from a practical standpoint. We've been propagandized by Ruger that it is a 'sporting' rifle. If they sold those nice, beefy folders w/bakelite pistol grips to the great unwashed (and put a flash hider, bayo lug, etc. on) it would be easier to buy into. People pay insane prices for mini's that are 2nd or 3rd hand because they are parked and have a military 'look' to them-and have the nice factory folder.

Also missing is actual combat experience with the platform--good, bad or otherwise.


good post. i believe the royal ulster constabulary used select fire minis in northern ireland in the 80s. i'll try to do some research and dig up info on whether they were ever used in any combat engagements. by the way blackhawk2000, by purchasing any firearm and owning it responsibly, i'm very much supporting the 2nd ammendment. the ruger is an evil company silliness is getting old.

JKimball
December 27, 2007, 11:11 PM
Are you familiar with Accuracy Systems? Check out their website:
http://www.ruger-mini-14-firearms.com/index.php

They can make your Mini-14 shoot MOA or better. In answer to your question, I would prefer an accurized Mini-14 to an AR-15 in combat based on reliability alone. My mini-14 has never had a malfunction, and though I've never owned an AR, I've seen too many problems with my shooting buddy's. And their reputation of being finicky doesn't leave me with much confidence.

Magazines are too expensive, though the factory 20 rd I ended up getting has been flawless. The after market mag I bought off the internet didn't even fit in the magwell.

I do prefer the ergonomics and controls of the AR-15. The push button magazine release is the feature I miss the most in the mini.

jerkface11
December 27, 2007, 11:45 PM
Rumor has it that Ruger has ordered a rather large number of AR15 raw forgings . The day of the Mini is probably coming to an end.

armoredman
December 27, 2007, 11:48 PM
A Ruger AR-15 would be kinda weird...

Ed Ames
December 28, 2007, 12:03 AM
I wouldn't be at all surprised by an R15. I'd just be surprised the receiver wasn't cast by Ruger. :D

Ruger seems to be regretting the whole "10 rounds" thing. The SR9 (17+1 capacity pistol) seems to be part of a trend away from "politically correct"...at least that's what they are saying publicly. One of their spokesmen recently said something to the effect that the reason they aren't making/selling bigger mini-14 mags "yet" is that the tools that could make them are all running at capacity making parts for other guns and they've been dedicating their resources to newer guns like the SR9. Dunno how true that is but at some point you've got to get over old insults and move on.

4v50 Gary
December 28, 2007, 12:11 AM
A military gun has to be durable. The Mini-14 is not. It's too easy to not install the trigger guard properly and have the trigger group fall out when you need it (I've seen that happen at a police range). Even if its installed correctly, that thin trigger guard is too easy to bend out of shape in the field. The rear sight isn't the best either (and I'm not thinking the Ranch Rifle). Sling system has to be changed so the arm may be slung in front and ready to use. That's easy enough with the side sling mount made by Ruger (but sold only on a few guns).

blackhawk2000
December 28, 2007, 12:39 AM
If Ruger got Zumbo'd in 1994, they would be bankrupt right now, or Bill would have changed his tune to try and make ammends immediately.

By continuing to spend money with Ruger, you only show them that they can continue trampling our rights when it suits them. You are basically keeping them in business, so they can crap on us. Stop supporting them financially, and they stop their assault on our rights.

jpwilly
December 28, 2007, 12:51 AM
Personally I don't own a Mini 14 or 30. I have shot a Mini 14 and it seemed like a decent carbine very light weight too. The parts including the bbl are quite thin to keep it that way.

If the rifle was built well enough for battle you would be rightback to the M1A/M14 or very similar. They call it a Mini because they downsized it so it would be handy around the farm or in your truck.

Neo-Luddite
December 28, 2007, 10:55 AM
Rumor has it that Ruger has ordered a rather large number of AR15 raw forgings.

In 1990, owing to political preasure, the rumor was that the Mini-14 was being re-designed as a 'Mini-1' and would have a fixed mag to be top loaded via stipper.

Not saying your intel isn't correct--but I would be surprised. I would be happy in fact.

Ed Ames
December 28, 2007, 11:05 AM
A modern stripper-fed semi-auto in .223 would be cool.

I much prefer stripper clips to magazines. A $0.50 bit of folded sheet metal small enough to hold 50 in one hand -- and which has no influence on the function of the firearm so a damaged or cheap one won't cause jams/failures -- in conjunction with a well designed fixed magazine wins every day in my book. Add the easy ability to top off the mag as you go and you've got a real winner for the real world. I'd take that over a pile of $20+ box magazines that may or may not feed properly and can be dropped or damaged in storage and will result in jams and misfeeds if not running properly.

IndianaBoy
December 28, 2007, 11:21 AM
I gave my last remaining AR-15 to my Jarhead son because it's the only rifle he knows how to clean after a session at the range.

For my part, I was OVER having to scrape carbon grunge out of the bolt carrier.


If you are talking about the rear of the bolt.....

You know you don't need to scrape off that solid carbon... right?

lathedog
December 28, 2007, 02:43 PM
I had two mini-14's - a 180 series and a 183. Both in the mid to late 80s.

They were not truly reliable when used with some reloaded ammo. This is more the ammo's fault, but fair enough the ammo in question worked fine in an AR-15 SP1.

Also, I took one on a long hiking/hunting trip in the backwoods and got snowed on. The cold temps and ice and slush made the mini hang up a few times. This could have been due to the type of oil, etc, but my hunting buddy had no problems with his AR-15. we shared a cleaning kit.

My experience with the mini-14 is that their "utter reliability" is largely a factor of not being truly put to a hard test.

One place they hang up is in the gas system, where the op rod rides over the gas cylinder. I've seen Mini-30's get stuck even with good factory ammo in a fair climate. The first time I saw this happen I thought it must be an anomaly or statistical fluke or a serious broken part. The gunsmith that fixed it with a rubber mallet thought I was simple minded to believe that.

I can't comment on the intended use for SHTF, TEOWAWKI, or whatever acronym for bad times, but I have been bummed on hunting trips and the rabbits laughed at me. I started taking a manual action (bolt or lever) rifle. also mini-14 accuracy is minute of rabbit only out to 50 yds or so. Might as well take a .22lr if I have to get within 50yds.

The bottom line is to try out any product yourself in the environment you expect to use the product before placing trust in it's performance.

benEzra
December 28, 2007, 05:51 PM
The bottom line is to try out any product yourself in the environment you expect to use the product before placing trust in it's performance.
Very, very good advice (and not just for guns).

armoredman
December 28, 2007, 05:53 PM
But for us chairborne commandos, they're just fine. :) I don't expect to use it in the Artic, or the tropics, just at the range, and Good Lord forbid, here in the house/city.

CAnnoneer
December 28, 2007, 06:14 PM
By continuing to spend money with Ruger, you only show them that they can continue trampling our rights when it suits them. You are basically keeping them in business, so they can crap on us. Stop supporting them financially, and they stop their assault on our rights.

Sorry but the above makes no sense whatsoever.

First off, Ruger is not a legislative body nor a law-enforcement agency. There is no way for Ruger to trample our rights. It would be better to channel your anger where it ultimately belongs - at the doorstep of gungrabbing lawmakers and the socialist/elitist circles that finance them.

Second, Ruger Sturm & Co. is a great American company that offers American-made quality products at affordable prices as well as remarkable warranty and customer support. For that alone, it deserves our support as well.

Third, Ruger is a business, and as a business, its primary responsibility is to its shareholders. If in a difficult political climate, the company has to play ball with scumbags, then that's the price for remaining in business. Things are not always ideal in the real world.

Fourth, let's assume for the moment that Ruger were Zumboed and went out of business. What would be the net effect on RKBA? The other companies will "learn their lesson"? Not bloody likely. Other companies will just move in to fill the opened void. A bunch of foreign companies won't shed any tears.

Fifth and final, if such criteria of boycotting would be applied, then nobody should be buying guns from German, Austrian, Belgian, or Czech companies either, because most of the respective factories or firms used to supply the Nazis as well. You should not support the NRA either, taking into account it helped (if naively so) in the initial bans, AFAIK.

RSVP2RIP
December 28, 2007, 06:44 PM
I think the Bermuda army has the mini 14GB as standard issue with Choate stocks. So this makes it a military weapon, although a small military. I have a Mini 30 580 series and it is reliable with 5, 10 and some seriously worked on Promag poly 30's. Lack of good mags are a serious drawback. Other than that it is a reliable design that can eat a load of dirt and I have shot steel cased corosive ammo and havent broke a firing pin yet, or blown the barrel up. You should see how much freebore is in it, swaging down .310 to .308 is no big deal IMO.

armoredman
December 28, 2007, 07:30 PM
Bermuda has an army?

HorseSoldier
December 28, 2007, 07:52 PM
It has a "defense force" composed of a single battalion of Territorial infantry (reservists to us Americans). For some reason, the UK military is pretty flexible on what colonial defense forces use for small arms -- besides the Bermuda Regiment using the Mini-14, if I'm not mistaken the Falklands Territorials have been using the AUG for a while.

armoredman
December 28, 2007, 09:27 PM
interesting, learn something new everyday.

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