to mini 14 or not two


February 14, 2009, 01:20 AM
i have a couple of mini 14 opportunities. both are the ranch rifle with steel barrel and wood stock.

one is at $600 but will probably come down more. it is a used mini with only rifle and mag from a pawn shop.

the other is a $607 nib at walmart, ranch rifle with steel barrel and wood stock.

both are the same gun.

should i haggle more at the pawn shop or go to walmart or save my money?

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February 14, 2009, 01:26 AM
new and make sure its the new 580s and not the old ones.

February 14, 2009, 01:39 AM
spend as much as a build your own AR and get 1/8th the gun...

no thanks

screw ruger, screw their previous politics, screw their shotty recalled products, screw their constant failures on the mini line

i have said it. kiss TFPMA (The Fattest Part of My A$$) if you disagree.

February 14, 2009, 01:45 AM
ya hoppys right. i was so pissed at my self after i bought my mini14 a month later i bought a colt AR15. i keep the mini just to remind me of what happened when i jumped to fast on the mini14. now i do my home work before i buy.

February 14, 2009, 01:47 AM
wow i had no idea.

i could put an ar together for this much?

February 14, 2009, 01:52 AM
parts are getting hard to find for the AR or so i hear. but in the long run an ar build is somthing you will be proud of for the rest of your life. the$ value will prob. keep going up to. and the ruger will never ever ever be in the same class as the AR.its night and day

February 14, 2009, 01:54 AM
i am not sure. i am looking for a factory weapon. home made is not quite my style. like i say with my harley, it only runs good because i haven't customized it.

February 14, 2009, 02:00 AM
just so ya no. they look better than they shoot. and the 580 are better than the old ones. i can hit the barn door at 150yrds with the mini, i can shoot the hing off the door at 150yrds with the AR

February 14, 2009, 02:01 AM
an AR rifle ( specificaly the lower) is basically knock 2 pins in, and place the trigger group.

not much for you to screw up. uppers from most companies will show up completed and ready to go.

i wouldnt consider it the same as constructing/modifing an engine.

more like changing oil. if you have 2 cents and a thumb, you can do it.

this video will show you how simply the lower assembly is. the upper will normally come as one completed piece that u just pop in

February 14, 2009, 02:03 AM
added. you can build an AR for this price if you can find a lower at a reasonable price ( under 150$) and are willing to wait the time ( months + ) for a parts kit.

February 14, 2009, 02:11 AM
current times you are looking to spend $900+ for a basic AR

if you want to shoot under 150yds get a mini-14 or a mosin !!!

February 14, 2009, 02:11 AM
if i have to. i guess i can say one good thing about the mini i have. the dam thing will eat any ammo from the nasty wolf to hornidy. and iv never had a jam yet. and i beat it like a red headed step child. now that i said that i have to go brush my teeth and rinse with mouth wash. i hope your happy one of my fillings just fell out

February 14, 2009, 03:06 AM
"...or not two..." Or what?
Any standard Mini-14 is too expensive for the accuracy they give. You can have a CMP M1 Carbine for about $200 less that'll shoot circles around any standard Mini-14.

Ignition Override
February 14, 2009, 03:17 AM
Despite being a rel. novice, have read lots on "Perfectunion" and Ruger lost many formerly loyal fans to not only ARs, but SKS and AKs/Saigas, partly due to the fact that they would not produce or sell high-cap. mags to the public, until recently....after the election.

And they either never built or sold any high-caps for the Mini 30, which helped doom that rifle.

Ruger Inc., even after Bill Ruger's death, might be N. Pelosi (= 'H. Jane')/
C. Schumer's dream come true.

Zach S
February 14, 2009, 07:55 AM
spend as much as a build your own AR and get 1/8th the gun...

no thanks

screw ruger, screw their previous politics, screw their shotty recalled products, screw their constant failures on the mini line

i have said it. kiss TFPMA (The Fattest Part of My A$$) if you disagree.
Not very High Road, although I wont disagree.

I never was impressed with the Mini's.

A few years ago I shot a Mini 14 and then a Saiga in .223. I was pretty impressed with the "inaccurate" AK that got better groups. I wish I'd got my 7.62 Saiga before the panic prices kicked in, now excuse while I kick myself in the butt again for not doing so.

February 14, 2009, 08:13 AM
I would save the money and buy a better gun. I was never really impressed with my Mini. If you are a reloader, good luck finding your brass. There are alot of better guns out there for that kind of money.

February 14, 2009, 08:24 AM
The Mini-14 has S-L-O-W-L-Y gotten much better than even the first 580 series. The last one I sighted in at the range for a friend kept 1.25 MOA at 100 yards. I fired it again last week after 2 two years and it's still right there at 1.25 MOA. I'm personally considering the Mini Ranch in 6.8 SPC right now if I can find brass for reloading.

February 14, 2009, 08:40 AM
The rifle itself is just pat of the package. Magazines for the Mini-14 cost several times that what good AR mags cost. Spare parts for the Mini aren't available because Ruger won't sell them to you and they are the sole source.

I had an older Mini-14. I could never get aftermarket mags that worked good enough for me to get the rifle hot enough to experience stringing of the shot pattern. Sold it pretty darn quick.


February 14, 2009, 08:49 AM
Mini 14's are great little rifles for half the cost of the AR15. I have both and prefer the AR15. My older Mini is actually very accurate, not as good as the AR15 but still pretty good. The Mini has never failed in any way with around 10,000 rounds down the tube. If you like the idea of 2 Mini's then go for it. You can alway sell one and get your money back.

February 14, 2009, 09:56 AM
a lot of passion against the mini 14 with a little bit of appreciation mixed in.

thanks guys, now i am really confused!

February 14, 2009, 10:34 AM
dont be confused. just under stand that the mini has a lot of draw backs to it. in the accuracy department. and a lot of muzzel jump to. theirs also alot of people who hate ruger on the pollitical side of things. he didnt do him self any favors with the public when Clinton was in office. it was a big stab in the back for a lot of people. if i could only use the 5 round mag id throw my mini in the fire place and be done with it. save your money. thiers a good chance the same things are going to happen again with ruger now that Oboma in the white house

February 14, 2009, 11:13 AM
If anyone who hates Ruger because of Bill Ruger's political activities must also hate Volkswagens and not drive on interstate highways because they were created by Adolf Hitler. Not much difference.

February 14, 2009, 11:30 AM
mini 14 just doesn't appeal to me. add a hundred or two and get a used ar15. do what i did, buy the complete bottom receiver, then later buy the complete upper.

February 14, 2009, 11:43 AM
Unlike some, I love my Mini 14. Super reliable and rugged. I have AR's too. Fine guns.

The newer Mini 14's have a rep of much better accuracy than the old ones. Take that into consideration between the two.

Art Eatman
February 14, 2009, 12:48 PM
I really do wish that follks could read all of an opening post, instead of struggling mightily to work through the thread title and completely ignoring the topic of the thread.

The question was about which of two Minis to buy. Not about whether or not to buy a Mini.

To stay with the off-topic nature of the thread, the Mini is just as good as any AR when it comes to putting the first shot into a coyote or jackrabbit. It's agreed upon by almost everybody that the Mini heats up and its groups open up as one gets past the first three or so shots.

If your use for a Mini is for hunting, it's as good as most anything. If you want tight groups at the benchrest, forget it.

I've had four Minis. Two blued, two stainless. They did just fine for me on coyotes and jackrabbits. I've had four ARs before the present #5. Three were just average shooters, not particularly impressive; the Bushie Match Target was outstanding. The AR I now have, I can hold about 1.5MOA with the factory sights.

As far as the actual subject of this thread, I answered it over at TFL. :)


February 14, 2009, 01:00 PM
I think I would buy the new one at Walmart for the difference in price between the two.... I just bought a 180 series mini-14 and I really like it and it shoots accurate enough for me..

February 14, 2009, 01:03 PM
I own 2 580 Mini's-- perfectly fine weapons--and in some ways better than AR's--- I have AR's too.

I'd get the Walmart one---it should be the improved 580 version---you'd have to expand more on the pawn shop rifle--is it a 580 or an older one?

CSA 357
February 14, 2009, 01:04 PM
I love my 182- ss gb mini 14, no its not a bench rest gun, if thats what you want dont get the mini 14 or the ar 15, get a bolt action! The mini 14 is a fine gun, for what its made for, i have a ar 15 bushmaster m4, i have more faith in the gb, if you dont have one, you need one, i bet most of the folks talking bad about them never had one, csa

February 14, 2009, 01:07 PM

i believe i was the first to throw this thread off topic, i apologize for that.

but if some one posted a thread asking if they should shoot them self in the foot, or in the hand im certainly going to try and convince them not to do either.

iv never been much for binary choices, especially when both options suck... i suppose thats why i hate elections

February 14, 2009, 01:52 PM
I guess my question is how much and for what purpose you want the mini??if you are planning to shoot beyond 100yds (assuming with a scope) i'll say go with an AR but if its only for plinking from 25 to 75yds(open sights) the mini is more than enough, I just bought one(circa 1984) and i'm very happy with it becs its only for plinking and additional HD gun, i have owned all kinds of AR brands from LMT to CMMG they are fun rifles to have its just i don't use it as much as i want to becs of the ammo prices, i got the mini just to have a semi auto rifle that have enough power just in case i need one, I'm more of a handgun kinda guy thats why i traded my AR for a 1911(dan wesson cbob).

February 14, 2009, 02:41 PM
I like my mini-14 but I wouldn't pay $600 for one, new or used.

February 14, 2009, 03:10 PM
the mini is what it is. a totally reliable semi-auto rifle. it was not designed to be a target rifle. it will go bang long after the other semis are being cleaned because they stopped running. don't compare it to the ar platform because it was never designed to compete with it. they are a very handy, nicely made rifle that will normally shoot every time you pull the trigger. they may not match the accuracy of a 1000.00 dollar ar out of the box but they will still be running when the ar is down for cleaning. they can be made to shoot moa for not a lot of money with some very basic mods. if nothing else, they are one of the most reliable semi-auto's out there. unless you think the garand action is unreliable. not everbody has a love affair with the ar.

February 14, 2009, 03:17 PM
The price is right. Something nice for your collection if anything.
I have one in mind also a mini 30. It's a Ruger and for that price you can't go wrong.

February 14, 2009, 03:39 PM
Get the new one unless you can get the pawn shop down at least 30% less than the new price. That is in fact if they are both the latest model. If the one in the pawn shop is the older model don't bother definitely get the new one.

February 14, 2009, 05:13 PM
Mt answer to the OP is to get the new gun from WM. It should be the new 580 series and have the heavier barrel.

I bought a new mini last april. On my second outing I shot thirty quick shots to get the barrel hot. Then I shot a ten round group that stayed in a 2" circle with open sights. That gun has the straight taper barrel also. I saw none of the wild shooting or stringing from a hot barrel.

I was so impressed with the first gun I found a second one and bought it. It has the "flared" barrel. I really can't tell if it is more accurate than the first gun but will also stay in a 2-3" circle at 100 yards. That is with open sights and a 51 year old shooter. I never just shoot 3-5 rounds. I load my mag with 10 rounds and don't stop untill its empty. I use the Pro-Mags I get at academy and have never had a single malfunction.

My first gun did throw brass. I put in an ASI gasport bushing (the middle size) and now the brass goes about 8' and lands together. The newer gun has a hole in the barrel that measures around .050 and empties go about 10-12'.

My first gun was $625 total and the second was $670 total. Both are wood and stainless steel. I wouldn't trade either one for an AR unless it was to sell the AR for a profit so I could replace the mini.

I haven't shot an older mini to make a comparison with my guns. My buddy had one of the first minis and he never was happy with its grouping. Get the 580 series rifle and I think you will be satisfied.

From what I've seen on TV the ARs weren't all that great when they first came out. They did get improved. The same thing has happened with the mini. It just took way too long to happen.

February 14, 2009, 06:23 PM
To the OP, get the new one.

As to mini-14 drawbacks,
1)The Mini is not as accurate as an AR can be.
2)Mags are an issue.
3)Thats all I can come up with.

Other than that they work well, are not ammo sensitive, accurate enough for real world use, and are quite robust.

Get the new mini, then get an AR later, or vice versa.

February 14, 2009, 07:35 PM
As to mini-14 drawbacks,
1)The Mini is not as accurate as an AR can be.

This is not a true statement. A mini can be made as accurate as any semi auto it is just not as easy to find the parts or inexpensive to do.

February 14, 2009, 09:47 PM
Get the new mini. I have an older mini that I have had for over twenty years and it has served it's purpose well. I own AR's, an M1A, and a Garand among others, each has it's purpose. As for the people who dismiss the mini their language shows them for what they are.

February 14, 2009, 10:14 PM
go with the new on e from Walmart, I have one of the newer ones and i love mine.

February 15, 2009, 05:04 AM
i could put an ar together for this much?

Six months ago, yes. Not likely these days.

I own both (mini and AR-15), and enjoy both. If I could only keep one, it'd be the AR. But I have no intention of selling my mini. A tack driver it is not, but dead reliable and lots of fun. I've altered mine a bit to suit my desires:

Ignition Override
February 15, 2009, 05:25 AM
For the little bit it might be worth, a polymer 30-round mag from Promag last spring has only been loaded to about 18 rounds maximum, but has never misfed my Mini 14, and I only shoot Russian ammo. This is despite being a bit wobbly in the mag. well.

The gun was built in '90 and since I bought it last March, no ftfs. It is a really solid gun, better-built than the brand-new 'AO' M-1 carbine which was a major disappointment.
Again, only Russian Wolf.

February 15, 2009, 10:15 AM
Unless the one in the pawn shop is a 580 series (i.e., serial number 580-xxxxx or higher), get the new one. Pre-580 series guns are hit or miss (mostly miss) in the accuracy department. My 188-series Ranch Rifle shot a best ever group of 5.5" at 100 yards, from a rest and rear bag with a cold barrel, and that was after trying premium and match loads between 40 and 69 grains and various optics.

The 580 series guns are more consistently accurate, it seems. Still not as accurate as an out-of-the-box AR, but better than the old ones.

frank c
February 15, 2009, 10:41 AM
I just bought a ruger mini 14 target rifle,needless to say I am impressed with its acurracy so far.You will get alot of folks telling you what to buy.IMHO unless you are going to be doing serious bench shooting just buy the mini 14.It will kill anything out to 150-200 yards:D

Redneck with a 40
February 15, 2009, 10:46 AM
My dad's 580 series Mini will only do about 5" at 100 yards, I'm not that impressed. Yes, its a very reliable, fun gun to shoot. My SKS will beat it in the accuracy arena, as I can do 3" groups with it.

February 15, 2009, 01:47 PM
I don't have any older Minis, just two of the 580-series. They seem good to me, but then, I have yet to scope either of them, and I can't crisply focus on the factory iron sight, so I cannot say what their accuracy potential might be. I cannot see MOA, with my aging eyes, so it doesn't matter if they shoot MOA, at this point.

Going by what has been said to me by friends with both a Mini and an AR, owned and fired over many years, the Mini is certainly a reliable weapon, needing little maintenance.

I own an AR15 HBAR myself, and used to own a Colt AR15A2 Govt Cabine. Well, the Mini and AR are, to me, ideally suited for different roles. Close-range utility, which DOES include defense of home and self, are well-suited to the Mini. Fighting wars, and long-range work, are best-suited to the AR15.

I live near salt water, and sometimes mess about in boats. Therefore, I like stainless Minis!

A Mini, with a standard rifle-style stock, fits into slim cases such as lacrosse racquet bags.

As for the subject of the original post, well, if both have serial numbers starting with "580-", you are good to go with either one. If only the Walmart Mini is a 580, it IS worth the higher price.

February 15, 2009, 05:27 PM
I would also however buy as many factory mags beings the 30 rnd mag only has a cap of 18 flawlessly. On some blog I read and the factory mags did go up 10.00 to 39.99 at ruger online but nothing compare's to the factory mag I also have one with a tapco set up and can be a personal peace of mind knowing as said earlier you can count them to go bang ever time... I aslo have the other black rifle you know the AK...and knowing I would be able to choose quality on both planes.IMO....:cool::D

Redneck with a 40
February 15, 2009, 06:18 PM
You can buy the Pro-Mag 20 rd magazines from midwayusa, for $20/peice. My dad bought 5 of'em and they work great, no mis-feeds or jams.

February 15, 2009, 09:43 PM
I bought the Walmart Mini-14 for $604 plus tax. I like it better than any AR-15 I ever owned. of course I don't plan to use it as an assault rifle either.....:D

February 15, 2009, 11:00 PM
screw ruger, screw their previous politics, screw their shotty recalled products, screw their constant failures on the mini line

i have said it. kiss TFPMA (The Fattest Part of My A$$) if you disagree.

So ahhh, What do you really think?;)

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