Some ?'s on the Mini 14


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DJ E.
January 23, 2004, 04:41 AM
I was thinking about picking one of these up as a plinker and maybe a CQB weapon. I hear alot of different things about the accuracy, but maybe as a long term project I could work on that. I've heard that the barrel warps easily, but just how easy are we talking? Could it take five 10rd rapid fire strings in succession, or is that just asking for trouble? And how hard is it to mount some type of holosight or EOTech on the regular and ranch rifle? Is the rear sight on the ranch really that bad?

Darn it, I know I have some other questions, but being what time it is while starving, my mind is beginning to bug out. Thanks for any input.

DJ

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308win
January 23, 2004, 08:27 AM
The barrel is thin so your poi will definitely be affected by heat. For CQB five ten round mags in rapid succession won't affect it enough at close range to make much difference unless you are going for eye shots.:p

You can usually get under 2moa at 100 yds with a two simple steps, bedding and a muzzel brake to help with barrel harmonics. Also check the crown on anything you're are looking at.

The rear sight on the mini ranch is not something I would want to bet the ranch on. You can get a nice rail system from Weigand that will give you a lot of options.

The regular mini doesn't have the scope bases machined into the action so your low cost options are limited to the side mounts. Owners have had mixed results with these. I would go with the ranch unless you want a 7.62X39.

Daedalus
January 23, 2004, 08:44 AM
I would pick up an AK in 223 if you are interested in that cartridge instead of supporting that tool Bill Ruger.

Murphster
January 23, 2004, 08:54 AM
You might ask around and check the percentage of people who have had them and didn't like them vs. those who got them and like them. I've had two. Got them for essentially the same reason you're thinking of them. Got my first one as a more affordable alternative to an AR15. Liked it for about a week. Didn't like the stock, the sights, the price of good magazines, the way the top of it looked, or the terrible accuracy with any kind of string of shots. It was reliable. Got rid of it within a month. Got the second one after an apparent bout of amnesia. Got a ranch rifle stainless synthetic second time around. Better sights. Still couldn't stand the weapon. Same reasons. Dumped it after about a month. I don't know if I can put my finger on why I didn't like them. It seems that everything it is and everything it does, there's something else that's much better. Felt like I was having to "make do." With apologies to everyone who loves their Mini's. Just want you to be sure of your purchase so you don't blow a chunk of money on something you regret.

dave3006
January 23, 2004, 09:24 AM
The key to making it a good gun is cutting down the barrel to 14.5" and installing a muzzlebrake to make it 16" overall. This cuts groups to about 2" and ELIMINATES POI drift with temperature. Buy the XS Sights rear sight apperture to replace the factory sight. Buy PMI 30 round mags for about $30 each and you are good to go.

It will be more reliable and work in conditions an AR will not. Unfortunately, it is not tactical cool. If you live in occupied Kali, it is your best choice.

http://www.perfectunion.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=2372&st=0&#entry28757

dave3006
January 23, 2004, 09:26 AM
...I mean find the PMI 30 round mags you purchased before the ban. Or buy Promag 10 rounders.

Mulliga
January 23, 2004, 09:27 AM
Don't support Bill Ruger. Spend some money on people who actually respect our RKBA.

The general consensus I've read is that Mini-14s, out of the box, are about as accurate as throwing bricks. For the time/effort/money spent "parting up" a Mini-14 (adding good peep sights, fixing the barrel/stock, hicap mags, etc.), you could get a decent RRA AR-15.

TODD3465
January 23, 2004, 10:15 AM
I've owned 4 different Min-14's over the years.
The first one I owned and the last one which I currently have were both capable of 1-2 MOA groups depending on the ammo. Both were 182 prefix rifles.
The other 2 I owned were later production stainless ones. One of them was purchased new and would do 2 MOA at best. While the other was purchased used, looked like it had never been cleaned and the best I could ever get it to do was 4MOA. Don't remember the exact prefixs but all were 80's production.
Quality of the newer ones I don't know about.

R127
January 23, 2004, 11:52 AM
I had a 186 series in stainless steel. I don't respect the 5.56mm NATO/.223rem as a fighting cartridge, but I do sorta kinda miss the gun. It's cute, handy, reliable and mine was fairly accurate. Not match accurate, but not too bad. Mine was never modified in any way, but if I still had one and were going to fix it up, I'd send it to

http://ruger-mini-14-firearms.com/index-2.html

for a .687 gas block, matching barrel(over 16" inches, please) and scout mount that allows use of open sights. I can "modifiy" my own handgaurd. There are a lot of other cool doo-dads, and honestly you don't need that scout mount, but I'd enjoy a setup like that as a toy or if I was someone who was satisfied with the performance of the cartridge, and it wouldn't cost much, especially if built on a used Mini 14. Oh yeah, have a synthetic stock for it.

You know, these things really aren't that bad. Yeah, it sucks about Ruger's politics and all, but you're fooling yourself if you think most of these big corporate types are any different. Look at what Colt and Smith did. Buying used means you get the gun but Ruger doesn't get the money. As mentioned earlier, an AK in .223 will do the same, though I like that cartridge even less through a 16" barrel. Heck, get a 7.62x39mm AK. Either way I'd take a Mini or AK in this caliber over an AR-15, unless part of the deal was I could sell the AR-15 for one of these guys. At least I trust a stainless steel Mini to work every time, and ironically, it's also lighter. You gotta love it when a solid steel firearm is lighter than a plastic and aluminum/plastic/steel hybrid. Kinda like the M-92 Vs CZ 75.

My ultimate advice is, unless you have lots of funding or an extensive collection already containing such a thing, forego the pea-shooter for a man's rifle in a serious caliber. An FAL, M1A, CETME/G3, SAIGA, VEPR will work just as good close in as they do far away. If overpenetration is your concern, get a SAIGA 12. Those things are impressive!

dave3006
January 23, 2004, 12:01 PM
Mulliga, he lives in Kali. AR15s are scary black baby killing machines that fire evil mean bullets. The Mini-14 is a happy gun that shoots friendly bullets.

(I already covered the accuracy thing. It is a non-issue with a chopped barrel)

P.S. Would I love to own an AR? You bet. I can't. They each have their advantages.

Buckskinner
January 23, 2004, 12:08 PM
MIni 14, possibly the most contentious rifle question there is.

Mine works great, and the action is very cool because its reminiscent of the M1 family.

CQB? Me too! Because if 5 or 10 rds don't do it with the .223, its time for a shotgun.

How close? Expect 4" or less at 100 yards. But that's fine! Are you hunting or competing with it? NO! You've got other rifles for those things hopefully. At under 100 yards, its minute of beer can, no prob!

Find those preban factory mags (you only need two for now) and go shoot up some National Forest!!

There are lots of folks who can work on the gun for not much money. Be careful though, cuz you could spend the same amount as getting yourself a used M1A...

Andrew Wyatt
January 23, 2004, 12:18 PM
okay, first off, most of the accuracy problems relate to two factors. factor one is the factory overtightens the gasblock. factor two, the factory takes too much material off each pass when turning the barrels in an effort to save time, which jacks around with the stress relief.

In any event, www.perfectunion.net has a mini-14 board that's considered a pretty fantastic resource for mini-14 shooters, and you won't get stupid comments like "why don't you just buy a rifle that's illegal in your area".

Art Eatman
January 23, 2004, 12:27 PM
I've had two blued and two stainless Minis. I used the scope-sight base that mounts in the rear sight bloc. With a Weaver K4, I regularly got three-shot groups inside two MOA.

For varmints, the only thing that really matters is whether or not the first shot from a cold barrel goes pretty much to the same place. Mine always did so. Group size beyond three shots or so just doesn't make any difference.

For self defense, pin-point accuracy is unimportant, as pointed out in an earlier post.

Reliability? I never had a problem with GI ammo, commercial, or gunshow reloads.

The real weakness of the Mini is the availability and high cost of the twenty- or thirty-round magazines. My personal preference is the factory ten-rounders, which are no longer made. They are now available as after-market.

But they just ain't target rifles...

:), Art

benEzra
January 23, 2004, 01:07 PM
I've heard that the barrel warps easily, but just how easy are we talking? Could it take five 10rd rapid fire strings in succession, or is that just asking for trouble?
Easily. It's not that it "warps," but that it gets slightly more flexible, changing the harmonics. This happens to all rifle barrels as they heat up (it's a property of steel), but the mini is more prone because (1) the barrel is relatively thin, (2) the barrel is cantilevered off the gas block, (3) the heavy gas piston launching off the gas block introduces extra vibrations in the barrel, and (4) the action-to-stock fit is not all that consistent. You can shoot quickly all you want, but your 100-yd groups may open up to 8-12" or so after a couple of 30-round magazines . . . but it will not be permanently damaged or "warped" beyond ordinary barrel erosion. My mini Ranch has at least 2000 rounds through it and still shoots about as well as it did when new (~6" groups at 100 yd with 55-gr ammunition).

And how hard is it to mount some type of holosight or EOTech on the regular and ranch rifle?
Not hard. Check out the UltiMAK Picatinny (sp?) rail that replaces the top half of the gas block. It's pricey, but rock-solid and puts the sight well forward, probably the best place for it. Someone else may make a less expensive version. I understand there are also sight rails that fit the Ranch Rifle's built-in bases.

Is the rear sight on the ranch really that bad?
Yes and no. As far as sight picture, it's not significantly different from the rear sight of the regular mini (i.e., a small hole in a large wall). The advantage of the Ranch rear sight in CQB applications, as I see it, is that you can fold it down out of the way and shoot using a cheek weld and front sight only, which is amazingly fast and quite accurate inside 25 yd or so. People also talk about it being fragile, which it may be compared to an AR rear sight, but again it's not really worse than the standard mini rear (IMHO).

I have a Choate pistol-grip stock on mine, slightly shortened (my arms are short). With that stock and a 20- or 30-rd magazine, it handles very much like an AK, except lighter.

Ram-Line 30-round "Combo Mags" (also fit AR-15 and AR-180) work extremely well in the mini, just don't drop the rifle on the magazine or the mag will probably break. Stay away from the nickel-plated magazines with the stamped retaining catch on the back (welded-on catches seem to work better).

Kestryll
January 23, 2004, 01:43 PM
The gentleman asked about a Mini-14 for plinking and CQB.
So far we've had several derogatory responses towards the rifle mentioned and a couple of people urging him to commit major felonies that would ruin his life. That's helpful.
There have been some good responses as well and some usful information given. Bravo to those who put the man's question ahead of thier personal biases.
So far we hear that the Mini shoots "Minute-of-beer-can" and "as bad as 4MOA".

Miunte-of-beer-can, so by inference I can hit a beer can at 100 yards? That sounds like a mighty fine plinker to me. I may not hit the exact middle of the Budwieser label but if the can dances at 100 yards I'm happy.

4 MOA, so three to five shot groups of four inches at 100 yards. I'm to be disappointed that my CQB weapon can put 3 to 5 bullet into a mans heart at 100 yards? Somehow I think I can live with that.

The odd thing is, most of the accuracy mavens lamenting the Mini-14's flaws would be the same people telling you that at long range you need to be firing somrthing in the 7.62 range as the 5.56 just doesn't have the power at range.

For the most part the two areas people slam the Mini in are accuracy and Bill Rugers politics.
Mini's can be made to be very accurate with a little work and care, and Bill Ruger is dead. That should handle both of those complaints.

Rant mode: Off

Badger Arms
January 23, 2004, 01:48 PM
I would pick up an AK in 223 if you are interested in that cartridge instead of supporting that tool Bill Ruger.Don't support Bill Ruger. Spend some money on people who actually respect our RKBA.For your information:

WILLIAM RUGER DIED on 6 July 2002!

Could somebody please explain how buying a Ruger Mini-14 designed over 30 years ago by a guy who later died supports gun control? I'm all for boycots and the guy made a bad decision in his elder years; this is beyond extreme. He agreed with a limitation on magazine capacity when he was in his seventies. That's it people. Let his idea... stupid as it was, die with him. I'm sure if you spent 24 hours conversing with John Moses Browning, you'd probably hear something that didn't make you comfortable. But should that prevent you from buying a Browning over 60 years after he died? Get real.

SodaPop
January 23, 2004, 02:07 PM
okay, first off, most of the accuracy problems relate to two factors. factor one is the factory overtightens the gasblock. factor two, the factory takes too much material off each pass when turning the barrels in an effort to save time, which jacks around with the stress relief.


You left out the third factor............some people can't shoot straight.;)

Mine shoots 8inch groups at 500yds and it's a stock Ranch Mini 14.

Joe Demko
January 23, 2004, 02:15 PM
I owned a stainless Mini-14 and a blue Ranch Rifle. Neither was particularly accurate. Cold barrel groups ran to fist size at 100 yards. Hot barrel groups were all over the paper and looked more like shotgun patterns. This was with 55 grain ammo from various makers. Never reloaded for either rifle. Both were rather slovenly in their fit and finish, wood and metal both. As for the Ranch Rifle rear sight, yes it is that fragile. Mine self-destructed twice just from the recoil forces generated by the mighty .223 cartridge. Ruger charged me for replacements both times. Ruger does make some good stuff. I have a MkI and a MkII that I love. Have had a couple of 10/22's that were reliable and accurate. Have a.357 Blackhawk that is a lot of fun. But our friend the Mini? No thanks. I have no desire to ever own another.

AZ Jeff
January 23, 2004, 02:16 PM
I'll throw my 2% of one US dollar in here, too.

I find it interesting that many of those who criticize the Mini-14 for it's accuracy use the various AK-type rifles in .223 (or 7.62x39) as a benchmark. Those rifles are certainly NO MORE accurate than your typical Mini-14, and when firing crappy ComBloc ammo, are probably WORSE.

The fact is that the average Mini-14 is a 3-4MOA rifle, and makes an excellent ultility rifle, but not a match rifle.

Many of you may not remember, but when the Mini-14 came out in the early 1970's, Ruger billed it as "the world's most expensive plinker!!"

DougCxx
January 23, 2004, 02:21 PM
I had a stainless ranch purchased in the early '90's, I sold it in the late '90's for various reasons. It functioned well enough but wasn't very accurate. At that time I had never heard of shortening the barrel; the certain way to make it an accurate gun was to put a match barrel on it for $300 or so.
---------
I don't know of they're Cali approved, but if you want a cheap plinker in 223 the Saiga guns are available and only cost around $220--quite a bit less than the $450+ asked for a new mini-14.
~

Kestryll
January 23, 2004, 02:36 PM
The Saiga's are base on an AK action and are illegal in California.
Even without hte pistol grip or any of the barrel attachments they still have that AK style receiver that can make you snap and shoot up a busload of Nuns.

HIPOWER
January 23, 2004, 05:48 PM
Hello. The Mini-14 has had its fair share of detractors on this and other discussion boards, and I don't doubt that many have had serious problems. But I personally like the darn thing. Mine has been stone cold reliable with any cheap surplus ammunition, and the 20 and 30 round PMI mags have worked flawlessly for me. Sure, its not a tack-driver, but it is accurate enough to kill most critters and two-legged predators out to 200 yards. I nailed a white-tailed bunny at about 80 yards with mine, using iron sights, which aint all that shabby in the accuracy department. Barrel does heat up quickly, but only when you're in "blasting mode."
It is a lot of rifle for 450 bucks. Go for it!

Mulliga
January 23, 2004, 06:32 PM
From Dean Speir's "The Gun Zone":

http://www.thegunzone.com/rkba/papabill.html

...on 30 March 1989 [Ruger] had his proposed legislation delivered to selected members of the House and the Senate. A portion of his document read:

The best way to address the firepower concern is therefore not to try to outlaw or license many millions of older and perfectly legitimate firearms (which would be a licensing effort of staggering proportions) but to prohibit the possession of high capacity magazines. By a simple, complete, and unequivocal ban on large capacity magazines, all the difficulty of defining "assault rifles" and "semi-automatic rifles" is eliminated. The large capacity magazine itself, separate or attached to the firearm, becomes the prohibited item. A single amendment to Federal firearms laws could prohibit their possession or sale and would effectively implement these objectives.

It wasn't the seventies, guys. Buy a used Mini-14/30, if you must. Hell, buy whatever you like. But maybe with every Ruger sold Sturm Ruger and Co. should get a letter criticizing Bill Ruger for appeasing the gun grabbers...

MeekandMild
January 23, 2004, 06:36 PM
Back when I was young and naive I wondered why my mini 14 couldn't get 3/4 moa groups like the model 77 I had at the time. I showed the rifle to a former marine who was sitting at the next bench and asked him to check it to see if it was broken.

He got a much smaller pattern than I was able to accomplish, I forget how much smaller, maybe teacup sized instead of dinner plate sized and told me there was nothing wrong with it. :neener:

Kestryll
January 23, 2004, 06:43 PM
.......a letter criticizing Bill Ruger for appeasing the gun grabbers......


Not really sure how to respond to this. Both Badger Arms and I tried to make it pretty clear but perhaps it was to small to see, I'll try it a bit bigger.


WILLIAM RUGER DIED on 6 July 2002!
WILLIAM RUGER DIED on 6 July 2002!
WILLIAM RUGER DIED on 6 July 2002!
WILLIAM RUGER DIED on 6 July 2002!

Badger Arms
January 23, 2004, 06:53 PM
It wasn't the seventies, guys. Buy a used Mini-14/30, if you must. Hell, buy whatever you like. But maybe with every Ruger sold Sturm Ruger and Co. should get a letter criticizing Bill Ruger for appeasing the gun grabbers...MULLIGA:

BILL RUGER IS DEAD AND HAS BEEN DEAD FOR 18 MONTHS. I SAY IT AGAIN, BECAUSE YOU OBVIOUSLY DIDN'T READ IT THE FIRST TIME. PLEASE ADDRESS HOW WE ARE TO PUNISH A DEAD GUY BY SENDING LETTERS TO THE COMPANY THAT BEARS THE NAMES OF TWO DEAD GUYS?

You might want to reread my post before you defend this also. I said that RUGER was in his 70's as in his age. To be clear, he was about 72 or 73. I certainly did NOT say that he'd said these things in the 1970's, but that is when the gun was introduced. If you haven't checked lately, Bill's still DEAD!

SodaPop
January 23, 2004, 06:55 PM
.............But Bill Ruger Jr. is running the business.


He was on Gun Talk a few months ago. I wonder if anyone ever ripped him about his Dad.

Badger Arms
January 23, 2004, 06:58 PM
Bill Ruger Jr. might very well support gun control. If he or anybody in charge of any gun company bends over for the Gun Controllers, I'll certainly support a boycot. Look what we did with S&W. I was all for that and supported it by not only refusing to deal with new S&W products, but I took S&W off my links list and bad-mouthed the company at every chance I got. But that all stopped the day Safe-T-Lock took control. The day Bill Ruger died, my gripes with him ended. The son should not suffer for the sins of the father.

Paradiddle
January 23, 2004, 07:10 PM
Reading what Bill said makes me think he might have had another idea - don't try and classify assualt weapons (the mess we have now) - just limit magazine capacity. We can all agree that a .223 out of a bolt action does the same thing as a .223 out of an AR. So why make the AR illegal - just make it only legal with a 10 round mag. Of course, the best solution is no control, but that wasn't going to happen. Clinton and Brady wanted the guns and nothing was going to stop him.

If all the government did was require small mags I might be able to get an AR15 in California to shoot HP with now, with a small legal mag, as apposed to the entire gun being outlawed because it became classified as an assault weapon.

Just food for thought and nothing to do with the Mini. I had a mini briefly - it was a fun gun. My Garand is much more accurate.

Jeff

Skunkabilly
January 23, 2004, 07:14 PM
I want a Mini-14 and all, but if Bill Ruger is dead, why isn't the company making almost-dishonest-man 10 round magazines?

Badger Arms
January 23, 2004, 07:38 PM
IIRC, the logic at the time was strictly business. Maybe I'm wrong, but the compromise ban was bounced around that would outright ban any magazine over 15 or 20 rounds... which seemed reasonable to people who aren't Gun-Libretarians like myself. Even the NRA and ILA had toyed with the idea of supporting 'reasonable' bans like this. In the end, they pissed me and lots of other people off AND we got a drastically worse ban also. The French are experts at this kind of negotiation. There is no negotiation allowed in the Second Ammendment.

Machineguns for Toddlers! :evil:

Kestryll
January 23, 2004, 07:39 PM
.I want a Mini-14 and all, but if Bill Ruger is dead, why isn't the company making almost-dishonest-man 10 round magazines?


Because the law bannig then is still in place.
Unfortunatly Bill's death did not repeal the AWB

Joe Demko
January 23, 2004, 08:01 PM
Because the law bannig then is still in place.

The AWB doesn't ban 10 rd mags. Ruger chooses not to market them for reasons of their own.

Kestryll
January 23, 2004, 08:04 PM
Your right, I misread Skunks post.

Buckskinner
January 23, 2004, 08:08 PM
CA has inflated gun prices. I've seen decent deals on other BBS classified, including here, and even Gunbroker, etc...just Caveat Emptor...

DJ E.
January 23, 2004, 09:40 PM
Man, so many different opinions on the mini. Like I said, it would mainly just be a plinker and possible defense weapon. I'm not planning on shooting ice cubes at 100 yards, but like another poster noted, if the beer can dances...

The main thing that really concerns me is the flimsy barrel. I don't want some out of whack barrel the first time I ever light up the barn, which I'll hopefully hit:p I like the fact that almost everyone says that it is reliable. As long as I can hit man sized targets at 100yds, I'll take reliability any day of the week.

DJ

Buckskinner
January 23, 2004, 10:24 PM
just "thickness challenged"...;)
Seriously, its a stout little rifle. Based on the M1 garand...

It is as reliable as your magazines.

rde
January 23, 2004, 10:28 PM
I've had 2. Regular and a Ranch in blue. Both were reliable and both could thump a bad guy (target) in the chest at 100 yards no problem. Hot or cold barrel. ProMag 10 round mags worked great. Like the peep sights on the regular better than the peep on the ranch..and better than a scope which added a little weight and was slower to get on target (for me anyway). Never tried the mini-30 but I would like to. There are better "values" available to me in my area whereas some people do not have these options so I traded out. But given the criteria that was asked I could make the Mini-14 work. I would just add a compensator ($20), pick up a couple of ProMag 10 rounders (cuz I know they work), and practice.

Dave Markowitz
January 23, 2004, 11:05 PM
Ignore the folks talking smack about the Mini-14 who say it's inaccurate and then go on to recommend an AK. I have both. A Mini-14 and an AK will give comparable accuracy from the factory, but a Mini-14 is a lot easier to make more accurate. The Mini-14 is extremely reliable with decent ammo and good magazines. Since you're in Kali, that means Ruger factory 5 rounders, or 10 rounders from Masen or Pro-Mag.

If you don't want to go to the expense of getting your barrel chopped, you can improve accuracy by installing a John Masen Black Warrior muzzle brake. The extra weight on the end of the barrel seems to dampen the oscillations that cause poor accuracy. The Perfect Union BBS has a lot of other good tips on accurizing the Mini-14.

Unless you are going to scope the rifle don't get a Ranch Rifle. The rear sight is rather flimsy.

If possible, I would try to find an older Mini-14 in excellent condition, though. Based on what I've read, the older Minis exhibit superior workmanship. Mini is a 182-series made in 1981 or 82 and runs like a champ.

DJ E.
January 24, 2004, 01:28 AM
Unless you are going to scope the rifle don't get a Ranch Rifle. The rear sight is rather flimsy.

That's what I was thinking also. But how hard would it be to mount a Bushnell Holosight on the regular mini?

DJ

Andrew Wyatt
January 24, 2004, 02:39 AM
Not that hard. the reciever has a nice, flat side. you could make a workable mount with a mill and some angle aluminum.

DJ E.
January 24, 2004, 03:27 AM
No thanks, I don't want to get into the work of trying to make a custom rig. They don't make a mount that's just bolt on and go for the regular mini?

DJ

BamBam-31
January 24, 2004, 04:16 AM
:confused: I thought Mulliga was being sarcastic. Maybe I misread....

My Mini-14 (Stainless Ranch, Burris 1.5-6x, Ramline stock, BW double brake, Knifong trigger job & reduced gas port) shoots under 2" groups at 100 yds, but only if you measure left/right. When it heats up (and it heats up darn quick), POI shifts downward, and I'll put together a string about 6-7" long.

I like my Mini. Fun to shoot. Seriously considering ASI's upgrades, tho. Don't much like the stringing....

Mulliga
January 24, 2004, 04:39 AM
Fine. He's dead. He was a genius of firearm design, and in a moment of weakness, he wanted to save the rifles from being banned. I understand.

standingbear
January 24, 2004, 06:37 AM
They don't make a mount that's just bolt on and go for the regular mini? yes..there are bolt ons that slide into the newer style sideplate(where the old stle bolt release was).they use a nut to remove and attach the base.problem is 1 the base plate is steel..the nut aluminum and the base aluminum.strips the threads very easily if you overtighten it.supposedly..its for quick detach type deal but I have found them to be 1 timers that dont last and wont retain any zero because the whole thing is screwed onto the sideplate by 1 knob that strips out easily.

308win
January 24, 2004, 08:43 AM
As long as I can hit man sized targets at 100yds, I'll take reliability any day of the week.

If your target will be wearing body armor you are talking head/neck shots i at 100yds - the Mini is capable, are you?

benEzra
January 24, 2004, 10:14 AM
Mine is 188-series (1989) and has never had a failure of ANY kind that was not a magazine malfunction. I did just replace the recoil spring with a new Wolff unit since the old one seemed to be getting a little weaker, but that was less than $10 and the rifle still functioned fine with the old one. (I was mainly concerned about beating up the action, not reliability.)

k say
January 24, 2004, 12:23 PM
i sure have had lots of fun and security from my ss ranch. loved it then ---> still love it now. purty and sweet :D

SodaPop
January 24, 2004, 02:30 PM
If your target will be wearing body armor you are talking head/neck shots i at 100yds - the Mini is capable, are you?


M855

Andrew Wyatt
January 24, 2004, 03:42 PM
williams also makes a base. you need to D&T the reciever to install it, and it's not weaver compatable.

you can also get an ultimak forarm rail for the eotech.

Badger Arms
January 24, 2004, 04:36 PM
If your target will be wearing body armor you are talking head/neck shots i at 100yds - the Mini is capable, are you?Frankly, if the guy is at 100 yards and wearing body armor and you still consider him a threat, I'd suggest you are in some DEEP CRAP and are probably being accused of commiting a crime yourself. IIRC, Randy Weaver's friend was carrying a Mini-14 and used it quite effectively in CQB to dispatch the guy that Murdered Weaver's son and his dog. Weren't the Jackbooted Thugs in this instance armed with MP-5's?

Sorry for that tangent, but that's the only similar situation I could come up with. Your typical home intruder will NOT be wearing body armor and standing at 100 yards.

AZ Jeff
January 26, 2004, 11:06 AM
Not only will your typical "home invader bad guy" not be wearing body armor, but even if he does, good old fashioned M193 ball ammo (the 55gr FMJ stuff) will go through the soft body armor no sweat.

The hardened plates used in most of the more sophisticated (higher threat level) body armor DON'T cover the entire torso.

Actually, this entire discussion of shooting at "man sized targets wearing body armor" at 100 meters is silly. The probability of such an event happening is about the same as Elvis being sighted at Graceland (alive).:D

Skunkabilly
January 26, 2004, 11:17 AM
Actually, this entire discussion of shooting at "man sized targets wearing body armor" at 100 meters is silly. The probability of such an event happening is about the same as Elvis being sighted at Graceland (alive).

Well, not that slim, but I'll put it under 'possible but not probable', as I like to tell my mother when she asks 'are you ever going to get a girlfriend?'

Onslaught
January 26, 2004, 02:17 PM
Get one.... They're fun!!! They tend to be 100% reliable, and they're fun!

If you want one for any other reason than that, get something else.

Anybody who says they can't be used in self defense has never seen the A-Team! Oh, wait, they never shot a single person in 3 years with 4 mini's and 50,000 shots fired... maybe that was a bad example.

m.i.sanders
January 26, 2004, 10:40 PM
I've got a blue ranch Mini. It's a fun little rifle that's fairly accurate, at least minute of coyote, and one that I'm not going to get rid of. Would I buy one now? Only if that was my only choice for a .223 semi-auto, otherwise I'd shop around. I really don't think that it's really worth the 500+ that I've seen them selling for. Just my .02 cents.

And yes I can hit a head sized target at 100 yards ;) At 200 hundred, I can only hit the torso. Eyes aren't what they used to be.:p

mrcr0603
January 27, 2004, 02:51 PM
Sorry if I'm repeating the other responses ....

I was thinking about picking one of these up as a plinker and maybe a CQB weapon.

I'm an active-duty soldier, and I originally bought my Mini in order to keep in practice while I was on Recruiting duty, and because an AR was out of my price range.

It has served well for this purpose, and as a general plinker too.

I hear alot of different things about the accuracy, but maybe as a long term project I could work on that.

I've never conducted accuracy "tests", but for practice prior to an M-16 range, I'd shoot 100 rounds prone at a paper plate @ 100 meters, and the shots would stay on it with no problem.

And how hard is it to mount some type of holosight or EOTech on the regular and ranch rifle?

Here's my Mini with an Ultimak rail that I've just installed:

http://www.imagestation.com/picture/sraid101/p84e9a17af67b2d858b27272a817e7219/f9de4e95.jpg

http://www.imagestation.com/picture/sraid101/p8ba4a0f1cdda43ea0f8b299605ca3c2b/f9de4e8b.jpg

Fairly easy installation and even though the Reflex optic window sits a bit high, my cheekweld is just fine with no riser or pads needed.

I do like my Mini, but if you could get into an AR, I recommend that you do.

There's just alot more parts & accessories available for an AR over the Mini.


Chris

SodaPop
January 27, 2004, 07:38 PM
NOW THAT IS A LIGHT AND HANDY RIFLE!!:D

benEzra
January 31, 2004, 10:14 AM
mrcr0603, where'd you get that light mount? Is it part of the UltiMAK kit?

BTW, my mini also wears the Choate E2-style stock, which IMHO is perfect for the mini. Because I'm short, I shortened mine by an inch or so and added a custom-made buttplate that is slightly wider and more contoured than the back of the bare stock, and I also sanded down the checkering a little for better grip when wet.

Is the loop in the rear of the stock for attaching a tac-sling?

mrcr0603
January 31, 2004, 10:37 AM
Originally posted by benEzra :
mrcr0603, where'd you get that light mount? Is it part of the UltiMAK kit?

The rail and light mount, and the sight/mount too, are left over parts from my AR's.

The rail is the UFIR by GG&G, the light is a Surefire 6P handheld with a Z32 bezel that is attached with a KAC 1" light mount.

If you want to do something similar there are lower cost components to do it with.


Is the loop in the rear of the stock for attaching a tac-sling?


Not a tac, 3-point sling, but a standard, long GI sling that I rigged with a quick release up front.


Chris

mrcr0603
January 31, 2004, 10:42 AM
Originally posted by SodaPop:

NOW THAT IS A LIGHT AND HANDY RIFLE!!



Mini-14's might not be the *best*, but they are as you say AND mine has been 100% reliable to boot!

If you can't afford an AR, I think the Mini is great for most of us enthusiasts to take to the range.


Chris

benEzra
January 31, 2004, 11:09 AM
How did you attach the light rail to the stock? Drill through and rivet?

mrcr0603
January 31, 2004, 11:47 AM
Originally posted by benEzra :

How did you attach the light rail to the stock? Drill through and rivet?



Drilled the stock and attached the rail with the supplied three bolts/nuts.

I did have to do some creative countersinking with a handdrill on the inside of the stock in order for the stock liner the clear the protruding nuts.


Chris

Kaylee
January 31, 2004, 11:54 AM
I had a stainless ranch for a while.. light and handy yes. :)

PROS --
It shoulders quick, to me felt nice, and was decently accurate. Not great mind you... but that could have just been my discomfort with the sights and not the intrinsic accuracy of the rifle. Mounting a compact scope likely would have definately helped. Another neat thing is the dinky little rear sight can be folded down, letting you use the front sight almost like a shotgun bead. It lines up nicely with the scope mounting grooves in the top of the receiver and is VERY fast.


CONS --
If you're carrying it as a bumming around/ranch carbine and bring it to shoulder, it's quick. If you're thinking more in terms of keeping the rifle at low/high ready, never leaving your shoulder, it's noticbly slower than an AR. More weight out front, more inertia, slower to move.

More importantly.. the darn assembly of the things. To me the Mini is a GREAT idea poorly executed. Once I pulled mine from the stock and saw the coarse work on the internals, and the funky screw-together gas block.. yuck.

In short... it's not a good rifle for the money. If it was in the 300-350 range, about half that of a decent AR, it'd be a great gun within its limitations.. kinda like a SAR.

If Ruger cared to make it a GOOD rifle and redesigned the gas system, gave it a decent barrel, and but a little more work into polishing the operating surfaces, they'd have a good 600 dollar gun.

But right now they're trying to sell a beat up ol' nag for prime race horse prices.

-K

Omega_7
January 31, 2004, 03:38 PM
In the 80s before Bill Ruger went kooky. One was very inaccurate and I traded it. The next one was a 3 inch at 100 yards gun, I use it for my truck gun with 30 rd US made Thermolds/Mitchell arms/Federal Ord mags, and several different side mount scopes (Night vision and illuminated reticle) It has a M14 style flash supressor and bayonet lug and Choate folding stock.

The last one is a tack driver. It is a 1 to 1.5 inch gun art 100 yards. It has the same features as the above gun but I rearely shoot it. The important thing about minis is the magazines. Get thermolds, Mitchell arms/Fed Ord or the horribly expensive Ruger factory mags if you can. Most of the rest are junk

All 3 are 100% reliable WITH THE ABOVE MAGS.

Omega_7
January 31, 2004, 03:54 PM
With an Inova X5 and Tac Star mount. I like it mounted forward so that my thumb can momentarily hit the rubber pressure switch to ID a target:

Omega_7
January 31, 2004, 03:58 PM
*

Omega_7
January 31, 2004, 04:37 PM
The mini's Choate M14style sights are regulated for 55 grain ammo. I had to file down my front sight (you can see it in the pic above) so that I could use SS109. With the rear sight maxed out I was hitting 6 inches high !

But if it's a post 1994 ban gun the flash supressor/sight is a no-no anyway. We don't want to make our Nazi Big Sister mad at us, do we?:scrutiny:

NewShooter78
February 1, 2004, 12:32 PM
I like mine. I'm going to get a different stock once my tax return comes in and probably a couple of new mags. But for plinking it is a fun little gun. And it might be too pricy brand new, but who says you have to get a new one, or pay for it. You can always buy used, because they definetly don't hold their retail value, or trade for one.

Omega_7
February 1, 2004, 02:29 PM
I have the same setup with a Weaver rail top and night vision scope instead of the dedicated illuminated reticle scope you see here. I can switch to iron sights or the night vision is seconds. It's no HK but it makes a very versatile truck gun :cool:

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