Mini 14-- Advice, Where to Buy


Glock Novice
June 3, 2011, 02:16 PM
Hello All,

I am a long time lurker, first-time poster and I've finally thought up a query worth posting. After much consideration, I've chosen a *used* mini-14 to be my first long-gun purchase. After saving up some more, I plan to send it off to GunDoc to have it fixed up with the works-- bedded, barrel shortened and crowned, etc.

Now the question: Because the rifle is going to be accurized anyway, I'm not interested in one of the fancy new series. Does anyone know a reliable vendor, or venue, from which I could purchase a used Mini ranch rifle for $450-$550?

I pray that this doesn't become a thread for mini-bashing, I have my reasons for this decision and no amount of whining about expensive mags or sub-AR accuracy will make me change my mind (the factory mags at Hoffman's are actually quite reasonable).

Any help (or mini tips) is and are greatly appreciated,

Many thanks,

Glock Novice

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June 3, 2011, 02:27 PM
Just wondering, why send it out for accurizing before you know how it shoots?


June 3, 2011, 02:30 PM
The new series doesn't just have accuracy improvements, it also has a better fit of pretty much all parts. The old tooling was worn out, but still in use past where it should have been retired. If you get a 586+ new series you will be better off even with gunsmith work on top of it. And they can be had for under $600 via CDNN, and probably elsewhere too.

If you still want used, I would watch Gunbroker and check local pawn shops. Look for one that shows little wear (of course), and absolutely never was used by law enforcement or game officers (because of the likely high round counts).

Glock Novice
June 3, 2011, 02:34 PM
Can never be too accurate ;)

In all seriousness, though, the older series of Minis has some minor flaws (thin barrel, too long, too much barrel whip, general inaccuracy) that, once corrected, make for a far better rifle. The gunsmith I mentioned is widely considered an expert with Minis. Thus the necessity for getting one on the cheap.

I could pay $700 for a new one that shoots maybe 2" groups, or

pay for used, $500, plus $300 in tuning and have a rifle that shoots 1" groups.

Glock Novice
June 3, 2011, 02:36 PM

Thank you for the advice, I'll check out CDNN. I'm not fixated on the fix-up plan, I just want to get the most out of the platform.

And that's why I love THR

Glock Novice
June 3, 2011, 02:49 PM
I'm moving from Maine to California for school, and I want something I can take back and forth. If I built or bought an AR, FAL, AK, or anything with a pistol grip or "the thing that goes up", i.e. a bayonet lug, I'd have to install a bullet-button. That's like asking someone to only swill light beer or chase Christian girls.

With the Mini, I have nice wood furniture that won't scare the sheeple, a reliable platform, and the ability to carry ten rounders in CA and thirty-round happy boxes when I'm home on break.

Compromise, gentlemen, is a terrible thing, but it makes the world go round.

I wish I had enough cash for an M1A, but I have to pay student tuition, at least until I can get the military to pay for it.

June 3, 2011, 02:57 PM
Don't listen to the Mini bashers, they don't know any better.
I have a 581 series NRA Mini that will do 1" groups @ 100 yards all day long. Not a better feeling then going to the range and out-shooting all the AR fanboys.

June 3, 2011, 03:10 PM
New series 580+serialed Mini-14 is a good gun.

Old series sometimes yes, sometimes not.

Vern Humphrey
June 3, 2011, 03:20 PM



Seller: D L SHOOTING SUPL $499.99

Ruger Mini 14 Ranch Rifle

Outstanding Ruger Mini 14 Ranch Rifle. Beautiful wood stock and stainless steel finish. Great shooter. Flawless operation. Some very minor dents and scratches in the furniture. Sal... (read more)

Seller: chris911 $500.00

Glock Novice
June 3, 2011, 03:26 PM
I'll definitely be keeping an eye on GunsAmerica, too. Thanks for the help gentlemen. If anyone has any more information about minis, California, or alternative, yet similar long arms that suit my purposes, I would be more than thankful.

June 3, 2011, 03:39 PM
I moved from Kali in I am aware of the "compromise".

Minis are fine for what you want.

Good luck.


June 3, 2011, 04:13 PM
Here's a review of my 581 tactical mini......It's been a fantastic weapon system, no complaints! I think you'll find that with a few inexpensive improvements you won't need to spend a bunch to make a 581 mini shoot good.

June 3, 2011, 04:17 PM
Have you looked into the Kel-Tec SU-16CA? (

June 3, 2011, 04:26 PM
Your California issue makes sense, but bear in mind that bullet buttons can be removed in a few minutes when you're out of state, and reinstalled in the same few minutes when you go back to Kommiefornia.

As for other rifles, perhaps a Saiga in stock form? I think those are CA-legal. Possibly some other neutered AKM derivatives too. Otherwise the Mini makes sense with a sub-$1200 budget.

June 3, 2011, 05:46 PM
If you look around you could probably find a new 581 tatical for around $600. And yes they shoot very good, Before you send the gun off why don't you by a barrel stabilizer like an accustrut and install it. It might save you some bucks. It will improve the accuracy. My 581 shoots about 1 to 1 1/2 moa at 100 yards and thats about what my two ARs shoot. Good luck,

June 3, 2011, 05:53 PM
Odd how M1 & M1A fans seem to take IMHO just 1 more of Garands
designs. Yep the Ol togle bolt Mini 14/30 that Ruger made. Back
when Mini 30s wers under $200.00 new I built 2 Bisonite beded
Mini 30s for my Wife & I. Nantahala National Park means land of
the noon Day Sun. So I took 2 Butler creek Folding stocks the Wife
did a professionel camo job. Having not only built M1s & M14s/M1As
trained in the Military getting these 2 Minis to follow the rules was not
easy. I free floated rather than try to create a lock up point, I did get a crisp
4lb single stage trigger. ( Warning) the Ruger trigger is not like any
M1 or M1A trigger in fact I had to have few holes drilled & tapped for
allen set screws. Don't try honing or changing angles, get someone
who is setup to do mini trigers. Anyway with the thick foliage &
Rotodendren Hells the shots are close, so the Leoupold compact scopes
IMI brass with AA 1680 Powder & the no longer made .308 135gr
Spizer flat base single shot pistol bullet we stayed unger 1 MOA
at our range. It was a tech at Sierria who told me about how well
the 135 SSPB did on deer west of the Mississippi in the 7.62 X39.

I would have never made High Master with a Mini 30, but I would
not like to have tried to carry a full weight NM M1A down the center of
my back. That Mini folded & carried nice & light in the center of my back
While my walking stick poked & proded for Timber Rattlers & Copper
heads under rocks & logs. there thick in the south side when warm.

So get that mini 14 & build it into your dream rifle, we did & are now
using them for Feral hogs & Coyotes. I have been shooting since
the late 60s & I have never seen as many recalls on Firearms & Ammo.
Ruger is a 1 Company I still hear good things about them.


June 3, 2011, 09:51 PM
Glock Novice - PM Sent regarding 2 Minis that I am selling.

Glock Novice
June 3, 2011, 10:46 PM
Hello everyone,

Many thanks for your advice. I've received some offers of sale, and PMs are inbound. Taking into consideration what I've read on this thread, I've decided on the newer series of rifle, serial number #580 and up. I figure that I can accustrut and build up from there.

Glock Novice


Now, if anyone has a used Mini-14 of the series I mentioned, for less than $600 cold, hard American, I'd love to talk to you.

June 3, 2011, 11:15 PM
Bud's just recently had a bunch older law enforcement GB model trade-ins for cheap. If they're out then I am sure they are still floating on Gun Broker, etc.

June 3, 2011, 11:39 PM

June 4, 2011, 04:51 PM seems to advertise used minis a lot.
Mine (183 series) broke the bolt and I sent it to Ruger. They sold me a new one (entire firearm) for a special price which I won't divulge. I haven't tried it yet.

4v50 Gary
June 4, 2011, 05:04 PM
Glock Novice - I feel your pain about California.

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