Mini 14 vs Ar-15 .223


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Pure Kustom
October 13, 2008, 02:28 PM
Mini 14 vs Ar-15 .223 Which one would you choose? Is there any advantage to either one?

I came across mini 14 .223 with bushnell scope and collapsible stock. For 600.

Good deal?

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bmitchell
October 13, 2008, 02:45 PM
I've seen Minis cheaper but I guess it depends on whether or not you want it. The collapsible stock and scope do nothing for my want-o-meter.
Bushnell is not bad as far as optics go, but I wouldn't think it'd add more than $30-40 value unless it's a nice one.
As far as general comparison to ARs:
ARs can be assembled for around 6-700 depending on options.
I like the classic wood rifle stock on the Mini better than the plastic pistol grip and stock combo on ARs, but that's a personal taste more than anything else.
If you want more than 20 round mags (or even 20 rounders that don't break the bank) you will want an AR as the larger capacity mags for the Mini are hard to find and expensive.
I've read a lot more about AR vs. Mini and I don't know how much to believe.

Tarvis
October 13, 2008, 02:55 PM
There is a pretty good comparison of the two done by a magazine (iirc) on the web somewhere. Basically it comes down to personal preference. I say get both.

Omaha-BeenGlockin
October 13, 2008, 03:27 PM
Have both and like both.

Illeix
October 13, 2008, 03:31 PM
the way I find it is what you want and what you need it for.

plinking goes to the mini IMO, and HD/varminting the AR (albeit two seperate models...)

i believe you can easily set up one of the three models for at least two purposes

plinking and hd can be had with a mini or AR carbine, but varminting will be difficult with the loss of accuraccy. and an AR rifle can easily do for plinking and varmints, but the larger size may slow it down for HD.

R.W.Dale
October 13, 2008, 03:32 PM
does how well the rifle shoots matter to you at all?

If so then skip the mini

Illeix
October 13, 2008, 03:41 PM
well, further thought on the subject.

you could get an AR put together with a rifle barrel and a telesoping stock (i.e. c.a.r. or M4) so that you can take off some of the unnessicary size. then you have a compromize that can fit any resonable use of an AR, and a rewarding (and affordable! >$900) project to boot!

General Geoff
October 13, 2008, 03:41 PM
The Mini-14 is cheaper.


The AR-15 is arguably more versatile and more customizable.

ArmedBear
October 13, 2008, 03:46 PM
With a collapsible stock, I'd take an AR.

I like my stainless/synthetic Mini with a factory stock. It's reliable and accurate enough for iron sights; the new ones are supposedly better. But what I like most about it is that it's a light, sleek, quick-pointing little rifle, akin to a lever gun in balance and feel. It's a great gun to carry in the brush. It shoulders fast and carries easily.

Take that away (by putting on an AR-style stock) and the AR carbine is a more accurate rifle with more readily available parts and upgrades.

Pilgrim
October 13, 2008, 04:11 PM
I have both. The Mini-14 travels with me as a politically correct carbine because I visit the Peoples' Democratic Republic of ********** often.

I put the Accu-strut (http://www.accu-strut.com/) on the Mini-14 and it has improved the groups.

Pilgrim

Pure Kustom
October 13, 2008, 04:12 PM
Is a Mini 14 not as accurate as a AR?

R.W.Dale
October 13, 2008, 04:16 PM
Is a Mini 14 not as accurate as a AR?

an average mini 14 isn't as accurate as a 50 yr old rusty SKS from a com block satellite state.

Not even close to your average AR15 of similar weight and configuration

ArmedBear
October 13, 2008, 04:17 PM
Is a Mini 14 not as accurate as a AR?

All things being equal, it's fair to say it's not.

However, AR's vary from pencil barrel carbines with standard forends to 24" heavy barrel fluted varmint rifles, and there are heavy barrel target Mini's from the factory, as well as aftermarket-tweaked rifles that are quite accurate. Therefore, the question has to be a tad more specific.

However, like I said, mine points really well, and its inherent accuracy is sufficient for its intended use. I've hit hand-thrown clays in the air with it; it points that well. When I shot at paper yesterday, though, I used a 20" AR.

wally
October 13, 2008, 04:23 PM
The M14 is my favorite rifle so I had to have a Mini-14 and Mini-30. Magazine issues make the AR a far better choice to buy first. The price differential between a Mini and an AR parts gun is minimal to non-existent. ARs are easier to find used and dollars to donuts will be more accurate out of the box.

But I do enjoy shooting my Minis once the hassles of finding 20 or 30 round mags that worked was solved (what makes the Mini probably more expensive overall unless you are happy with only one magazine).

But the Mini shares the easy handling of the M1 Carbine and makes a fine general purpose handy rifle. I'd jsut suggest getting the AR first.

IMHO the collapsible stock is only an asset if the standard stock is included as well.

Make sure you are not sacrificing the rear sight to get the scope mount, IMHO Minis are best with iron sights. The "Ranch Rifle" rings from Ruger are about $60 so if it comes with them (as opposed to a third party scope mount) its probably a decent deal if you must have a scope.

--wally.

ArmedBear
October 13, 2008, 04:24 PM
Hey Wally-

Where did you find 20 and 30 round magazines that work?

Pure Kustom
October 13, 2008, 04:59 PM
The one I am talking about looks like this but with a Bushnell scope and a bigger clear plastic clip.:eek: Is this a Ranch Mini 14?

http://san1.atlanta.gbhinc.com/GB/111697000/111697747/pix1702725750.jpg

Ceemack
October 13, 2008, 05:16 PM
Is a Mini 14 not as accurate as a AR?
Not even close.

The barrel on the Mini 14 isn't very well-made--they sacrifice accuracy to keep the price point down a few bucks.

Worse, the barrel on the Mini is thin--thinner than anything you'd find on an AR-15. As it heats up, groups deteriorate even further.

In my experience, a Mini-14 is good for 4-5 MOA. "MOPP" (Minute Of Pie Plate) is a term sometimes used to describe the Mini-14's accuracy. Even a bad AR-15 can do uder 3 MOA with iron sights, and most of the ones on the market today will do better--especially with a scope of some kind.

I've heard people say "Aw, but the Mini-14 is a plinker, not a target rifle!" Well, I did some "plinking" with a buddy's Mini a while back. I took five shots at a clay pigeon from about 60 yards out. I bracketed the thing, but didn't hit it. Frustrated, I went and got my CAR-15 and blew the clay pigeon away with one shot.

Plinking's only fun if you can hit what you're aiming at.

elkhuntingfool
October 13, 2008, 05:22 PM
I know guys who have purchased a mini-14 for about $600-700 - then spent another 1k to make it a 'shooter' seems pretty stupid to me. You can build an AR15 that is a shooter from day one for about $600-$650. You won't need to spend another 1k to make it a shooter - you can spend 1k and buy another AR kit and go from there.

Just stay away from the mini :D

benEzra
October 13, 2008, 05:25 PM
Is a Mini 14 not as accurate as a AR?
No, not even close.

The late 1980's/1990's mini's seem to be the worst accuracy-wise, at least if reports from the Internet are to be believed. I just know that my 1989-ish, 188-series Ranch Rifle shot a best ever group of 5.5" at 100 yards, from a benchrest and rear bag. To get that group, I experimented with two different scopes (+ irons), premium and match ammo in various weights from 40 to 69 grains, and 3 different stocks. It was absolutely reliable but wouldn't shoot well. Mine may have been worse than average, though.

It is said that the newer mini's are a bit more accurate, and I have no doubt they are. But IMO the only Mini's that can truly match typical AR-15 accuracy are the $1000+ Target models with the adjustable barrel weight, IMO. The relatively thin cantilevered barrel, heavy reciprocating mass, and somewhat overpowered gas system work against the mini relative to the AR.

The one I am talking about looks like this but with a Bushnell scope and a bigger clear plastic clip. Is this a Ranch Mini 14?
Yes, that appears to be a Ranch Rifle with an aftermarket Butler Creek folding stock (stock retails for about $80 these days). It should say Ranch model on the top of the receiver behind the rear sight, but the fold-down rear sight and the scope bases in front of and behind the ejection port in the photo are clear indicators of the Ranch Rifle. This rifle came from the factory with scope rings, BTW, so make sure you get them, if you choose to buy it.

wally
October 13, 2008, 05:41 PM
Where did you find 20 and 30 round magazines that work?

For the Mini-14 I got a bunch of non marked no name 20 and 30 round metal from a dealer at a gun show just before the '94 ban, I think I gave $200 for the lot. Of the 22 I got I ended up with 18 that worked after a little cleaning up of the bodies and followers. Ruger is now selling 20 round Mini-14 mags for about $40 each :(


For the Mini-30, can't say I'm there yet. But after filing the ProMag 30 rounder so it actually goes into the mag well it almost worked (one round bolt over base on the 4th or 5th shot; its fed all 20 every time I've only loaded 20), I think if I clean up the follower and inside the mag it might be OK. I've got a 20 round steel mag that feeds well (after I cleaned up the feed lips) but its undersized and won't stay in the gun unless I hold it in, but if I do it actually feeds fine. I'm going to try welding up the tab to make it stay in, compared to the Ruger factory five rounder, its ~0.060 shorter from the back of the locking tab to the front of the mag about half the shortage is the body length, the other half the tab thickness comes up short.

The ProMag plastic are only about $12 at gun shows, and the metal 20 rounder is $10 from CDNN (Haven't tried their $13 metal 30 rounder yet), so far one of each and neither working out of the box is not good, but I still have hope. Worst case I think I can just use the ProMags as 20 rounders and be reasonably happy.

--wally.

Omaha-BeenGlockin
October 13, 2008, 06:35 PM
The Target Mini's are $700 around here.

My plain jane 580 Mini was hitting a 12in x 12in steel plate at 300yds with ball ammo off a rest---3x9x36 scope.

I haven't messed with loads or fiddled with the scope much yet---I guarantee my Mini will do even better than that once I get serious about it---was just using old WWB loads.

Ratshooter
October 13, 2008, 07:03 PM
Heres my post from perfectunion that I posted after I shot my 580 sereis for the first time.

http://www.perfectunion.com/vb/showthread.php?t=64361

I'm pretty happy with my rifle. I hope I can find the time to shoot it so more now that my work season is over.

Academy has the Bushmaster with a 16" chrome lined barrel for $900.00 right now. I'm thinkin' about it.

NotSoFast
October 13, 2008, 08:29 PM
I bought the Mini-14. It is a friendlier looking gun, and it is a whole lot of fun to shoot for less than I could build an AR-15. Here in CA the cheapest I could build for is about $200 more than I paid for my Mini. The Mini is easy to strip and clean as well. I like the look and feel as well, it not being an "evil black rifle".

The only thing is that they aren't as accurate as some other rifles out of the box. But I have found that Perfect Union Forums is the place for accurizing tips for the Mini-14.

- Elkhuntingfool
I paid a total of $75.00 to accurize my Mini-14, not a thousand as you imply. I might spend 300 more on a trigger job, muzzle brake installation and stock bedding, but that is something I think a lot of other gun owners spend on their rifles, Mini-14 or otherwise.

Art Eatman
October 14, 2008, 12:02 AM
What I found with the several Minis I've owned is that the first three shots will group quite decently. With a Weaver K4 on top, I could reliably get about 1.5 MOA. That's plenty good for the occasional coyote or jackrabbit, which was what I used it for. And, the first shot always went to the same POI as it had the week or month before.

A bench rest critter it ain't. So? That's not why I had mine. It's a great using gun, a truck gun. Always works as well as one is likely to need.

Professor Gun
October 14, 2008, 11:47 AM
I have owned both types of rifles. Got rid of the Mini-14s, still have the ARs.

briansmithwins
October 14, 2008, 12:17 PM
Advantages of the AR over the Mini-14:

1) Better out of the box accuracy.
2) Better support and modularity. You can do ANYTHING with an AR.
3) Parts availability. I have a spare bolt for my AR along with a complete trigger group. Try and get Ruger to sell you those parts.
4) Magazines. Cheaper and better on the AR side.

Mini-14 advantages over the AR:

1) Looks cooler*.
2) Might be more reliable in adverse conditions. I'm always suspect of any weapon that wears its guts on the outside as opposed to keeping gravel out of the action.

The only way I would even consider a Mini-14 is if I lived in Kali or NY. Even then I would probably go with the SKS. BSW

*If you're a big A-Team fan. OTOH, they couldn't hit **** with a Mini-14 either.

ArmedBear
October 14, 2008, 01:08 PM
1) Better out of the box accuracy.

I'm not sure whether that's true of the new ones (assuming you're talking about a lightweight 16" AR, which is most comparable to a Mini in size and weight). But in general, the AR's much-maligned gas system makes a more accurate rifle all things being equal, and easy to strip and clean. I can't get into the constant bashing of the AR gas system; it has some real advantages over other semiauto designs.


2) Better support and modularity. You can do ANYTHING with an AR.

...except make it a quick-pointing gun like a Mini-14 is.

Still, I really like this feature of the AR. That's why I have an AR or two. The ready availability of a good-quality .22LR upper seals the deal, for me. Fun, durable, easy-to-clean, and cheap to play with.

OTOH, many people here ask which AR to buy, and have some sort of mental block about buying modules. They want to buy a rifle in a box. Especially given the price premium, I don't quite "get" that -- to me, 99% of the value inherent in the AR platform is its modularity. As a "rifle in a box", it's a pretty damned expensive little thing.

3) Parts availability. I have a spare bolt for my AR along with a complete trigger group. Try and get Ruger to sell you those parts.

Have you ever tried?

Those wouldn't be the parts I'd be most likely to carry for a Mini-14, but if for some reason you want to, Ruger will sell them to you AFAIK. For that matter, when something has broken on a Ruger I've owned, they've just sent me the part in the mail, immediately, no hassle, no charge. Try that with an AR.

The real upside of the AR here is the ready availability of upgraded parts from multiple vendors, like match triggers, different sights, etc. The AR wins this contest hands down -- not that these things are free, or even reasonably-priced much of the time, but they are highly available.

4) Magazines. Cheaper and better on the AR side.


The AR wins this one, for sure. Ruger should at least make factory 10-rounders for restricted states. It would help their sales, IMO. I'm going to try to get a 20 or two.

1) Looks cooler*.

Again, I prefer the current factory Mini configuration for its excellent pointing ability and convenient carry in the brush. Without all the protrusions of an AR, it's a much more unobtrusive working gun to throw on a sling while concentrating on other things. The AR is designed to be used by someone whose full-time job is to carry an AR, and sometimes this shows.

Now if you do want a folding stock, the Mini will take one easily. Only a stupid-expensive AR can be fitted with a folding stock.

2) Might be more reliable in adverse conditions. I'm always suspect of any weapon that wears its guts on the outside as opposed to keeping gravel out of the action.

Last Sunday, I discovered another way to jam an AR. Somehow, a cartridge got stuck ABOVE the bolt. This doesn't and will not happen with a Mini. An AR relies on a precise mechanism working fine when it cycles; a Mini relies on a big spring slamming a loose bolt shut.

The idea that you keep the crud out of an enclosed action only works until you get some in. Once it's in, it stays in. You can pour dirt through a Mini-14, and it comes out again right away.

cat9x
October 14, 2008, 01:10 PM
AR's are inherentely more accurate.

Soap
October 14, 2008, 06:26 PM
I really like my 580 series Mini. Mine fills a similar role to what Art describes. However my go-to rifle is a Bushy AR that I've competed with and shot quite a bit over the years.

Pure Kustom
October 14, 2008, 08:44 PM
ok now the owner want's to trade. My 6" 629 square butt for the mini straight across.

Good deal?

Glock Holiday
October 14, 2008, 09:26 PM
http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x42/Glockholiday/ateam1.jpg
These guys couldn't hit anybody or anything with one.
Think about it.
Get an AR.

CSA 357
October 14, 2008, 09:32 PM
Have Both, Like Them Both, They Each Have There Highs And Lows,

Pure Kustom
October 14, 2008, 10:20 PM
http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x42/Glockholiday/ateam1.jpgThese guys couldn't hit anybody or anything with one.
Think about it.
Get an AR.

:eek: Yeah I remember that show!!! The only thing that died was the show................:D

SwampWolf
October 17, 2008, 04:42 PM
Like some others have opined, I like 'em both and would hate to have to give up either. I see the Mini14 as a relatively close range sd carbine with iron sights and the AR15 as more of a longer range, scope- equipped rifle for varmint hunting and "sniper" tasks- except when I'm using it in Service Rifle, iron-sighted competition!

Reid73
October 17, 2008, 07:23 PM
AR-15s are inherently more accurate, but have some reliability issues (not usually critical for most purposes). Mini-14s are inherently more reliable, but have some accuracy issues (not usually critical for most purposes). Both models can be tweaked to improve their respective shortcomings.

To non-shooters, the AR looks like a 'machine gun', while the Mini looks like a rifle. If you want to look 'cool', the AR is definitely the way to go. If you want to appear non-threatening, the Mini is a much better choice.

The Mini has a cheap plastic buttplate and the length of pull is too short for most males (although that does make it faster-handling). This defect can be easily remedied with inexpensive aftermarket buttpads.

Both are decent firearms, and I don't think that you would be disappointed with either one.

Soap
October 17, 2008, 07:29 PM
The Mini has a cheap plastic buttplate and the length of pull is too short for most males (although that does make it faster-handling). This defect can be easily remedied with inexpensive aftermarket buttpads.

That was true, but the new 580 series Minis have a conventional buttpad setup.

Crazy Fingers
October 17, 2008, 11:19 PM
For any person who has to be concerned with silly things like money and finances, the AR is clearly the better choice. Why buy two rifles when the AR does everything the mini wishes it could?

My lightweight profile, chromed, 16" Del Ton AR shoots 2 MOA with a red dot sight. It is every bit as quick handling as a Mini. It is much more customizable. It has high capacity magazines that actually work and are cheap as well. It eats anything I feed it. I can reliably hit man sized targets at 200 yards without great concentration or effort.

The Minis I have shot have been very inaccurate. Badly inaccurate. The only advantage the mini has over the AR is that you can get it totally in stainless. So if you are the laziest slob ever when it comes to cleaning guns, it'll keep on trucking.

The AR can actually be cheaper than the Mini if you are willing to do some work. I built my AR for $650, which is less than I see used minis selling for around here.

Gunsby_Blazen
October 18, 2008, 05:10 PM
My mini shoots fairly good. Haven't tuned it due to ammo prices but it gets groups a little bigger than an inch. Its the most fun gun to shoot that I own other than my lever action... The only problem is that its handling is not as good as I would like it to be. Over on PerfectUnion some of the folk claim to get amazing results with this rifle with handloads. I plan on seeing how well it can shoot sometime this fall. Minis are Great, but ARs are Great too. I really like them both. On the mini, i do like the operating system better. I like old school rifle ergonomics. The biggest ergonomic feature i like about the AR is the mag release. I wish the minis had those.
I have no regret in buying it

Rshooter
October 18, 2008, 07:11 PM
Have both. If you want a rifle that will save you in the long run and like black rifles get an AR. If cost is not issue and you want a neat politically correct rifle get a mini. After market and the like will eat you up like $25 to $40 dollars for a mini 20 round magazine compared to $10 to $15 for an AR 20 round AR magazine.

Girodin
October 19, 2008, 12:06 AM
I would for sure get the AR. One can build an AR that will be a better shooter than the mini for nearly the same price. Additionally there are also loads of inexpensive functional 30 round mags available. Mini mags often are unreliable or expensive and can be both.

I would offer a thrid option of the saiga in .223. IMO it does everything better than a mini and does it for half the price ($300). With a few after market parts it will accept AK mags which are more common and less expensive than the mini mags.

The mini is a nice looking gun but honestly one that makes no sense to purchase IMO

If cost is an issue look at buying a lower and a Del ton upper. If cost is really an issue (or if you just want a solid, dependable carbine) check out the saiga.

RockyMtnTactical
October 19, 2008, 12:27 AM
AR15 is better, it's not even close.

Art Eatman
October 19, 2008, 01:00 PM
It all depends on what you want to do. If carrying in a truck to shoot the occasional coyote or jackrabbit is your deal, the Mini is as good as any other rifle I've messed with--and that's a bunch of sub-MOA critters over these last 45 years. As long as the first shot or two from a cold barrel hit the same POI today as they did last week, I'm happy.

Home defense? A Mini will shoot minute of torso for the next month, if you need to.

People who go to a benchrest and expect tight groups from pencil-thin barrels are in for a rude awakening. That includes a lot of stuff like Weatherby, for that matter. Thin tubes heat up and walk.

I like ARs; I've had four before the one I have now. But there are a lot of box-stock ARs out there that won't do much better than two to three MOA. Some are super accurate, but they're not bought NIB for $500, either...

Reid73
October 20, 2008, 02:40 PM
Mini mags often are unreliable or expensive and can be both.That has not been my experience.

Sam Adams
October 20, 2008, 03:20 PM
The Mini-14 is cheaper.

The AR-15 is arguably more versatile and more customizable.

The AR is also lots more accurate - believe me, I've owned both.

My first rifle was a stainless, scopeless Mini. It'd shoot into about 2-3 MOA if cool. When it got warm or hot (which didn't take more than about a dozen shots in 5 minutes, not a lot for a semi-auto), it'd become a 4-5 MOA gun and string shots toward the top of the target. I ditched it for rifle #2.

My second rifle was a blue Mini-14 Ranch, to which I added a 3x-9x Leupold. I figured that the first rifle's problems had to be related to me not seeing the target well enough. That was only partially true. When cold, I could shoot about 1 MOA at 100 yards. Beyond that (distance- or temperature-wise), nope.

I finally ditched the 2nd one for a Bushmaster AR upper with a heavy barrel. I already had a lower with a match trigger. The two mated up in about 10 seconds, and it has shot 1 MOA-1.5 MOA consistantly, hot or cold, ever since. Standard capacity mags are also a LOT less expensive.

I like taking the Mini down - it is a relatively simple mechanism, and shows its relationship to the Garand (for which I have a soft spot, and a bruised shoulder). I simply cannot understand why Ruger cannot make an accurate rifle out of the box. I think that a lot of people would pay $50 or $100 for a heavy barrel that was reasonably well made, but they haven't.

Go with the AR.

Soap
October 20, 2008, 05:42 PM
I agree 100% with Art.

I don't think that anyone can argue that the Mini is a better combat weapon than the AR. The Mini is a fine rifle for its intended purpose. Notice they call it the "Ranch Rifle" not the "Extended Combat Operations in the Mountains of Afghanistan Rifle".

Also, I find it interesting that plenty of people show affection for the M1 Carbine but moan about another carbine that will only do 2-3 MOA.

ArmedBear
October 20, 2008, 05:47 PM
Some of the Mini-14 hatred comes from the fact that most people buy guns as toys, instead of tools.

There's nothing wrong with that.

If you want a range toy, get an AR. You'll like it FAR better than a Mini. It's more accurate, it can be dolled up six ways from Sunday, and it's a fun gun.

The AR is also pretty well-suited to military applications, obviously.

However, if you want a knockaround tool for dirty civilian environments, the Mini offers a lot, especially in stainless/xytel. It's light, sleek, compact, tough, rust-resistant, low-maint, dirt-tolerant.

mljdeckard
October 20, 2008, 06:42 PM
The only guys I know who prefer the Minis are the ranchers I grew up with. They keep them in their trucks for the occasional coyote or plinking, and like to have rifles they can beat up a little bit. They are also very stubborn and never change their minds about anything. If I bumped into them now, I'd show them an SKS, cheaper, about as accurate, and much more 'beat-upable'. They still believe their uncles' Vietnam stories about M-16s jamming in the mud, and wouldn't touch an AR.

With the options, history, and shootability of an AR, they're VERY tough to beat in this caliber range.

Art Eatman
October 20, 2008, 09:40 PM
Trouble is, mljdeckard, you don't know many folks. :) It's casually easy for a tri-focal fella to put a scope on a Mini, which can't be said for the average AK/SJS critter. And, since the Mini is equal to most anything for the casual coyote shooter, why worry about "better"?

I guess what bugs me, these last ten years of TFL/THR, is that it's so difficult to get folks to understand that the Mini just isn't a benchrest, tight-group critter. Why all the peeing and moaning when the reasons are known? Why go out and buy one, and then go to whining about it not giving tight groups?

My only gripe is the price, but then at my age the whole world is a source of sticker-shock. :D

Art

benEzra
October 20, 2008, 10:13 PM
I find it interesting that plenty of people show affection for the M1 Carbine but moan about another carbine that will only do 2-3 MOA.
My mini wouldn't do 2-3 MOA. Best-ever group was 5.5" at 100 yards, and it wouldn't shoot consistently enough to properly sight in a 2.5x shotgun scope. That was the last straw for me; I sold it and put the money aside for an AR.

dispatch55126
October 20, 2008, 10:30 PM
Does the mini have a .223 or 5.56 chamber?

Soap
October 20, 2008, 10:32 PM
My mini wouldn't do 2-3 MOA. Best-ever group was 5.5" at 100 yards, and it wouldn't shoot consistently enough to properly sight in a 2.5x shotgun scope. That was the last straw for me; I sold it and put the money aside for an AR.

Maybe I view the Mini world through rose-colored glasses because my first and only Mini is a 580 series.

Gunsby_Blazen
October 20, 2008, 11:56 PM
when did the high road turn into AR15.com with all the mini bashing. this is supposed to be a friendly place where you dont talk down other peoples things. I haven't been here for all that long but it sure has gone down hill........
there is a reason I dont log in to AR15 and those snobs anymore....

FlyinBryan
October 21, 2008, 12:59 AM
when did the high road turn into AR15.com with all the mini bashing. this is supposed to be a friendly place where you dont talk down other peoples things. I haven't been here for all that long but it sure has gone down hill........
there is a reason I dont log in to AR15 and those snobs anymore....

i wont bash the mini really, but having owned more than one of both types, have gotta say, there is really no comparison.

the ar is a FAR FAR superior firearm.

its not bashing, its just reality.

i have never owned a mini that would shoot 6 inches at 100yds.

ive never owned an ar (colt and bushmaster) that wouldnt shoot 1 inch at 100yds.

accuracy is very important to me. if it werent i might feel differently.

SHvar
October 21, 2008, 01:40 AM
Ive owned a mini-14 for many years, Ive tried several scopes, scope mounts, ammo of all kinds, stocks, you name it. Its a fun rifle to shoot and not expect alot of accuracy. In fact with some real "accuracy nuts" helping me years ago we determined that in order to shoot decent groups with it you must have a very good powerful scope, and take about 1 shot every 10 minutes with perfect conditions at 100 meters.
There is no comparison between it and an AR-15 at all. The AR was designed as a civilian version of a precision shooting mil-spec battle rifle.
My AR is extremely accurate, at 100 meters with a 1X red dot scope I can make groups .5-1 inch easily, and can do it with rapid follow up shots, in fact the entire 30 rd mag can be fired easily into a 2 inch circle at 100 meters.
Other AR experience, with open A2 sights you can knock down human silouettes at 400 plus meters all day. With a 4X scope on that same AR you can knock down sillouettes at 650 meters.
The mini-14 is an inexpensive all purpose ranch rifle. Its accurate at 50 yards, I found it a waste of time to set the scope beyond that. The mini has a barrel length advantage over the AR carbine, but it doesnt make a bit of difference at all. My AR (I picked a 16" with a match heavy barrel) is great for follow up shots, Ive yet to heat the barrel up enough to really effect the accuracy.
The AR is lighter, more durable built, better durable design, far superior in quality and much more user friendly.

Jackal
October 21, 2008, 01:44 AM
AR-15. Superior to the mini in every way and competitive in price.

Soap
October 21, 2008, 07:30 AM
For an objective review see:

http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=315718

22-rimfire
October 21, 2008, 07:55 AM
Unless you like to clean guns a lot (assuming you shoot them), my vote goes to the Mini for durability and nearly flawless operation. If you can hit a 8" paper plate at 100 yds. plenty accurate for me (for what it is).

benEzra
October 21, 2008, 09:11 AM
Maybe I view the Mini world through rose-colored glasses because my first and only Mini is a 580 series.
Mine was a 188-series Ranch Rifle. I enjoyed it, and it was rock-solid reliable, but wouldn't shoot worth a darn.

when did the high road turn into AR15.com with all the mini bashing. this is supposed to be a friendly place where you dont talk down other peoples things. I haven't been here for all that long but it sure has gone down hill........
Speaking for myself, I'm not bashing; the OP asked the mini-vs.-AR question, and as someone who owned a mini-14 (188-series Ranch Rifle) for over 15 years, I felt I was qualified to contribute my own experience.

My rifle was handy, reliable, and fit and finish were first-rate. But the accuracy was indeed quite poor, and being unable to properly sight in a shotgun scope due to POI shift as the barrel heated was the last straw.

Art Eatman
October 21, 2008, 10:15 AM
I bought one of the very first Minis, new; and, later, a stainless. I traded into two others, through the years.

I always mounted a Weaver K4 on mine. I always got three-shot groups of, commonly, 1.5 to 2 MOA. The POI was constant, from week to week.

So: How much better could I want? I killed coyotes and jackrabbits to 150 and occasionally 200 yards. No problems. Did a "shoot" up in Nevada in 1981 during the big population explosion of jackrabbits. A buddy of mine and I used our Minis and killed over a hundred in a little more than an hour. Not many misses, either, with max ranges to maybe 125 yards or so. Made for lots of happy coyotes...

Magazines produced in the 1970s were as reliable as anybody could ever want, and not expensive. I even bought a silly 40-round mag, once, for giggles. It was quite reliable.

My first three ARs were about two MOA at best, but "irons is irons", even back before trifocals. I had a Bushmaster Match Target which was half-MOA all day long at 24X, but it wasn't exactly what I'd call a typical, run-of-the-mill AR. I now have a Colt, and it shoots pretty good groups--for iron sights and my old eyes.

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