Semi-auto: Which way to go?


November 22, 2008, 08:26 AM
Like a vast majority of THR members, I decided to get a semi-auto rifle. Two weeks ago I put my name on the waiting list at for a flat-top AR15-A2 in .223 (no 5.56 were available, from what I gathered). At that time, the woman *thought* I might have a shot at getting one before Christmas. Price was $700, but may go up a bit.

The wife & I are going out for an all-day date :) and, even better, she said I could go shopping - Academy, here I come :cool: I know that no one in Houston has an AR on the shelf, but a few stores still have Mini-14s. I had originally thought of going the stainless mini-14 route, but when I found the Doublestar AR within $75 of the mini, I decided to go the AR route instead.

Knowing todays climate, and not knowing when the AR might be delivered, is a bird in the hand worth two in the bush - would a 580-series mini 14 today be better than stuck on a wait of unknown length?

(FWIW, the Academy website now has the mini-14 for $700, so cost is now a wash).


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November 22, 2008, 08:58 AM
No question... AR.

ETA, My Academy and Gander Mountain (Spring) had AR's about a week ago. I'll stop into both today and post back. Spectre firearms might have an AR on the shelf. I know they have AK's at the moment.


November 22, 2008, 09:18 AM
Ar!!! Ar!!!! Ar!!!!!

November 22, 2008, 09:34 AM
Visit your local Academy again and talk with them about when they get shipments in. I know mine gets them on Tues & Thurs because they told me back when the 7.62x39 sale was going on. Try going in around noon and see what they might have in stock for ARs, even if you don't see any on the shelf ask if they have gotten any in that they haven't put up yet. On thursday my local had just gotten three in but they were busy with other stuff and hadn't even had a chance to put them out. They didn't expect them to last overnight, but they are getting regular shipments.

November 22, 2008, 10:19 AM
To clarify...

This rifle would be an all-purpose one: range, fun, varmints, etc.

If Academy's website is accurate, I don't have enough shekels saved to get one of their Bushmaster ($1000) or S&W ARs ($900). I can go $750 (ish) but not much more if I want to have ammo to shoot. If I go the AR route, it's a wait-n-see game from centerfire. If I go the Mini-14 route, Academy has those in-stock (at least, they seem to have them coming in pretty regularly).


November 22, 2008, 12:20 PM
$700 is steep for the mini----
but a Mini isn't a 'substitute' for an AR for ALL purposes (for SOME folks, like me, under 200M it is a BETTER choice, but I don't WANT and AR).

My point being, if you like the Mini for WHAT IT IS--buy it. I've had mine since 1990 and, when AWB 1 hit in 1994 the little gun filled the niche I needed it too when I had no money to buy an AR (I was in school).

Within 200M for *MOST* practical uses a Mini will do just fine and will function reliably with less cleaning than an AR. Most AR's can run circles around a Mini in the accuracy department. If you've been trained on the AR---GET the AR. If you favor the M1/M14/M-1 Carbine--the Mini is a natural choice.

November 22, 2008, 12:24 PM
The best things in life are worth waiting for. I'd get the AR.

November 22, 2008, 12:25 PM
AR. All around better choice.

November 22, 2008, 12:27 PM
Go AR, because it most likely WILL arrive, it's just a matter when. There is nothing that a Mini 14 can do that an AR can't do better. Besides, $700 is STEEP:uhoh: for a Mini 14, no matter what model it is.

November 22, 2008, 12:37 PM
i would get the AR, just because aftermarket stuff is cheaper and more likely to work. my friend cody bought a mini because it was cheap. every mag he has jams like a blues album.

November 22, 2008, 12:41 PM
I would go AR-15, I already own a Mini-14 and the mags are a pain to get.

November 22, 2008, 05:22 PM
This rifle would be an all-purpose one: range, fun, varmints, etc.

If it's not a dedicated home defense/SHTF/TEOTWAWKI/zombie gun, there's really not much point in getting something more expensive than a DoubleStar, DPMS, Del-Ton, etc.

$700 is definitely overpaying for a Mini-14. Actually, a friend of mine may be willing to part with his Mini for $350-ish, though he may not be able to find the magazines (price will be dependent on whether mags are included, of course). I can ask him about it if you want.

I absolutely would never buy a Mini-14 for $700! Really, I see the Mini as more of an intermediate between Kel-Tec SU-16 series rifles, and ARs. Not a replacement for either.

November 22, 2008, 05:37 PM
Top Tier AR, while you can. If you cannot, concede as little as possible to make a given price point.

Dollar An Hour
November 22, 2008, 07:11 PM
AR's win all polls.

But I'd say get the Ruger. ;)

November 22, 2008, 07:24 PM
AR is like a Harley.

Any other gun is sorta, kinda like a Harley. But it's NOT a "Harley."

Does that help? :D

November 22, 2008, 07:30 PM
AR's win all polls.

Except when the m1/M14/M1A is there:neener::D

November 22, 2008, 07:35 PM
I like my Mini.But go with what you were trained on.In stressful situations you always fall back on your earliest training.

November 22, 2008, 07:52 PM
I thought the price was high, too, but apparantly it's not - at least, according to Ruger. Just to show you I'm not full of bean-dip:

Academy mini-14 ($700):

it's not even out of line, compared to Buds - ($670):

That said, I think I'll wait for the AR. I'm one day closer than I was yesterday to the magical phone call. Apparantly mini-14s aren't in short supply (yet) and if I need to go that route, that door is open.

Thanks, all, for the advice.


November 22, 2008, 10:33 PM
Bought my Mini 14 and Mini 30 SS Ranch at Sniper Country PX for $672 ea.

November 23, 2008, 10:03 AM
I love my Mini 14, but get the AR first. Much more versatile.

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