Mini 14


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ObsidianOne
February 1, 2012, 10:17 AM
Why do these guns fetch such a premium price? They're pretty expensive, for what they are, new from Ruger, but it seems that once people buy them, they just get more and more pricey, I've seen some that are over $1,000 without a scope.
Or $400-600 for a blued, hardwood stock used one that has dings and wear all over the bluing.
I mean Mini 14s are nice rifles, but we're talking entry-level AR money here, and they're staying pretty close to MSRP!
Is there something that I don't know?

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jem375
February 1, 2012, 10:37 AM
Yeah, they are a little over priced but I like the one I have. I put a stabilizer and a scope on mine and it shoots just fine, just don't expect it to shoot as good as an AR... Mine is one of the first ones made, a 180 series ...

henschman
February 1, 2012, 10:54 AM
What has happened is that the mini used to be a less expensive alternative to an AR, back in the days when AR's cost $900-1000 for an entry level one. Now the price on AR's has come down, but the price on Minis has pretty much remained the same. I would guess that their current price point is the price Ruger has to sell them for in order to make money on them, and that is why they are not willing to come down and keep their niche in the marketplace.

Based on observation and an educated guess, the way things are, I would say that new Mini sales have dropped way off. I'm sure that's why Ruger has now started selling an AR platform. I wouldn't be surprised if they phase out the Mini before too long.

The Saiga is now the cheaper alternative to the AR.

bearfoot
February 1, 2012, 11:19 AM
I really dug the mini and wanted one, but the prices are just too dear - I've never seen one for less than $600 (the price I paid for a M1 Garand) and I discovered the SKS (yeah, I'm late to the game) which can be found for half that.

CAR-AR
February 1, 2012, 11:38 AM
I have a 188 series (my third) and I'm waiting for my strut to show up tomorrow. Once the strut is in place I'll head back to the range and see what it will do. To tell the truth I really like the the sound of the action cycling, that kerchunk kerchunk sound. :cool:

Double Vision
February 1, 2012, 11:42 AM
My Mini 14 is one of the new models. My wife & I both love shooting it.
It's plenty accurate for our needs and rock-solid reliable. I choose it over my AR every time.

Quoheleth
February 1, 2012, 09:50 PM
CDNN has several 580-series models right now for $560 and up.
P. 45 of their current 2012 catalog, IIRC.

Q

GunnyUSMC
February 1, 2012, 10:20 PM
I have one in the safe that was built in 1976. Other then having a flash hider put on it, it's just as I got it back in the mid 80's.
I gave it to my daughter on her 14th birthday, she's 28 now, but she keeps it ar my house.
It's a great shooter and has been 100% reliable, but never all that accurate.

Omaha-BeenGlockin
February 1, 2012, 10:36 PM
Blued/wood for $617 at Walmart all day long.

alienbogey
February 2, 2012, 12:12 AM
My son keeps on me to get an AR, but they just don't float my boat. I'm very happy with my Mini-14, however and will shoot it all day long given the chance.

LoonWulf
February 2, 2012, 03:19 AM
I bought mine for 629 new, cheapest AR on the rack was an S&W sport (i think), at 990. This is from my local BigBox, not a smaller shop, most smaller shops are STILL asking atleast 900 for your average AR...course used minis are going for 550+.
Anyway Id still take the MY mini :D

M1key
February 2, 2012, 10:14 AM
+1 Walmart $617 which now sells Bushmaster ARs for $897.

M

Sheepdog1968
February 2, 2012, 08:04 PM
I personally like mine a lot. To the point where I'd choose it over an AR. From my perspective their not overpriced.

I've also noticed over the last 20+ years that if I waited for a firearm to the reach the price I'd like to pay, it would take a long time of looking for used firearms. Shortly after you buy one, you forget about what you paid for it.

TexasPatriot.308
February 2, 2012, 09:50 PM
you either like em or dont, your money. I love my minis cause I love the Garand action. Love my M1As too. my newest 581 series tactical shoot 1" groups. I love minis, like I said, if you dont, feel free to trash em, I for one dont care.

Double Vision
February 2, 2012, 09:58 PM
Wouldn't it be nice if Ruger came out with a Mini in .308?

Panzercat
February 2, 2012, 10:05 PM
Personally they feel too heavy and too overbuilt for a 5.56, but that's purely my opinion. The natural look has some draw, admittedly.

LoonWulf
February 2, 2012, 11:07 PM
Didnt ruger have a near production prototype in .308?

Omaha-BeenGlockin
February 2, 2012, 11:29 PM
Ruger XGI

http://www.perfectunion.com/vb/mini-14-mini-30-gallery/38911-ruger-xgi.html

Fishman777
February 3, 2012, 08:50 AM
Too heavy? Last time I looked the synthetic versions only weighed 6.75 pounds, which is less than most AR-15s.

MachIVshooter
February 3, 2012, 10:07 PM
My stainless/synthetic mini was well worth the $475 I paid for it in 2000 (brand new). But at the $700+ they want today? They can keep 'em.

Accuracy in stock form was ~2.5-3 MOA. After cutting the barrel to 14.6" and adding a welded flash hider to keep it a title I firearm, it groups 1.5-2 MOA, which is about what I expect from a basic, no-frills AR carbine. Incidentally, my Armalite M-15A2C does a little better than that.

Basically, at under $500, they were a viable option, especially when you couldn't touch an AR for under $800. But today, with minis priced where they are and being able to assemble an AR for ~$550 that'll shoot cirlces around the mini all day long, it's a no-brainer.

Last time I looked the synthetic versions only weighed 6.75 pounds, which is less than most AR-15s.

Most 16" ARs are 6-6.5 lbs.

Ignition Override
February 4, 2012, 02:14 AM
If Ruger decides in the future to produce either a Mini 14 or 30 with even thinner front post sights than present models, then I might look for a used example.
The only reason I sold both my older 14 and 30 is because of the older front sights. They provided the cash for my first "Jungle Carbine" and Spanish FR8 carbine, both with Much better sights.

Maybe Ruger staff could really let themselves go and install Tech Sights as rear apertures, or their own version.
On my Norinco SKS with the fancier Tech Sight, it is an excellent improvement: of nine shots, five shots at 50 yards made a 1 & 1/2" group in the center of the bullseye.

TarDevil
February 4, 2012, 11:16 AM
I kept hoping I'd one day have the extra funds for a Mini in 6.8 SPC. Regrettably, the gun is no longer offered in that chambering. I don't understand... that cartridge (IMHO) made the most sense for that rifle.

Sigh...

Art Eatman
February 4, 2012, 11:22 AM
Thinner front sight? Easy enough. Dremel tool.

Sheepdog1968
February 4, 2012, 12:13 PM
Some of the older mini-14s did have accuracy issues. The 580 models solved this. Having said that, how much accuracy do you need in a defensive firearm? Given the distances involved for home defense, you and the bad guy both moving about, and the adrelin flowing, I'm sure 4 MOA would be more than adequate for self defense.

I think the older mini's that did have accuracy issues has tarnished the mini-14 reputation to this day. Much in the same way American autos from the 70s with poor quality have tarnished the reputation of cars made today the stats show new american cars as good as forign iron in terms of quality but that's not what folks believe.

Also, you have to like the Garand style action to like the mini-14. Its been around 50 years since the AR was introduced. Many new shooters just aren't familiar with the Garand action anymore plus its not what the military uses anymore.

I like mine. Many don't care for them and I'm ok with that. Above explains in part why some dislike them.

Wes Mantooth
February 4, 2012, 03:45 PM
I have a 181 series that my father bought about 25 years ago. No idea what he paid for it, but I'm sure it wasn't that expensive.

It's not nearly as accurate as I would like. The M-16 I was issued from Uncle Sam was way more accurate as I remember. I don't currently own any AR's. With my mini 14, I really don't need one. It fills that niche just fine. That's one thing that has turned my off AR's is the price. Can't see paying that much for something that would just be apples to my mini-14 oranges, so to speak.

420Stainless
February 4, 2012, 09:30 PM
I kept hoping I'd one day have the extra funds for a Mini in 6.8 SPC. Regrettably, the gun is no longer offered in that chambering. I don't understand... that cartridge (IMHO) made the most sense for that rifle.

Sigh...
It is indeed an excellent match for the platform. I love mine and after proving it out with some ProMag 20 round mags, I'm now mounting optics (4X scope for hunting topped with a holo sight for defense). Wouldn't mind an AR in 6.8 SPC too, but even if I get a great one there is no way I'll get rid of the Mini.

jim in Anchorage
February 4, 2012, 11:10 PM
Mini-14 looks like a rifle. AR's look like Borg implant's.

rice paddy daddy
February 4, 2012, 11:45 PM
My 195 series cost me $400 used, in pristine condition, 5 years ago. It is adequate for my needs.
Long ago and far away, Uncle Sam loaned me an M16A1 to use. This was to replace the M14 I previously had.
Today, I have a Springfield M1A, but have absolutely no desire to spend my hard earned cash on an AR of any description.
At this very moment, in fact, my Mini 14 is leaning against the wall at the head of my bed with a full magazine of Winchester soft points inserted, and two more magazines laying ready to grab.

Bill_Rights
February 5, 2012, 01:14 AM
Why do these guns fetch such a premium price? They're pretty expensive, for what they are, new from Ruger, but it seems that once people buy them, they just get more and more priceyThe Ruger Mini 14 holds price pretty well, which is to say that a critical-market-mass of people value them, because:

- The Mini 14 has classic rifle looks (but now you can get a tactical-looking one, too, which is cool)
- The Mini 14 does NOT look like and AR, AK or other EBR (evil black rifle), which is a "statement" not everyone wants to make
- The Mini 14 performs about the same ballistic "niche" as an AR-15, for hunters, farmers, back-country outdoorsmen, survivalists and other non-LEO/non-soldier users
- The Mini 14 harkens back to the Garand action, which tugs heartstrings of some
- The Mini 14 is made in the USA
- The Mini 14 is reasonably well supported by Ruger (and that's gotten better recently)
- The Mini 14 benefits from literally thousands of after-market components, products, etc.
- The Mini 14 boasts a pretty respectable knowledge base over at Perfect Union; in fact, it might be the most extensive except for the AR-15 knowledge base, and that's nothing to sneeze at
- The Mini 14 is a pretty cool hobby or customization platform; some would say you must engage in this hobby ("accurizing") merely in order to achieve acceptable groups, but that is recently getting less and less true
- The Mini 14 rifle is cheap enough that you don't mind (too much) ruining it (a little) if you mess up a mod
- The Mini 14 is a full-up semi auto rifle that will darken the sky with flyiing lead, so there is significant firepower there (hi cap mags available)
- The Mini 14 carries with it a certain "mystique" (as does the AR-15, M16, etc.) all its own: the "Ranch Rifle", the Garand-action pedigree/simile, a truck gun, a saddle rifle, a little bit of survivalist/off-grid/green vibe, and more I am sure I haven't run across yet
- The Mini 14 is kinda unique: When you think about it, what other US-made .223 Rem semi-auto carbine in it's price range is out there, except the AR-15 low-enders?

So, OP, what we have here is this strange phenomenon of a "market" among free people. Are you suggesting that nobody should want to buy a Mini 14 because some AR or the other is technically better? So I am not supposed to build a shed with hammer and nails because screws and a cordless screw gun are better?

whalerman
February 5, 2012, 01:18 AM
Tell me about suggestions for scoping the Mini. I'd like to put glass on mine, as my eyes are getting older.

Ignition Override
February 5, 2012, 02:58 AM
Art Eatman:
That never occurred to me, but then I've never had such tools or used any.
Being seriously infected by Enfield "Jungle" fever (any real cure is hopeless), then for the #4, it would not have mattered.

My "Gun Guru" used a roll pin as a substitute post on an extra FR8 (Cetme) sight base. It is as thick as the tip of the FR8's post, just like the post on any Cetme.

LoonWulf
February 5, 2012, 03:16 AM
Whaler, pretty much any glass you like is a good combo for the mini. I wouldnt go too HUGE or too powerfull. (friend of mine used a 3-9x50 Leupold on his spotlighting mini-14). OBJs of 40s are a little on the large side, but fit well in the standard ruger rings, but personally i like the 32 or smaller. A top of 9x is all i think is needed, as far as power is concerned, but again I personally like it a bit lower.

I have a 1-4x20 Nikon .223 on mine in low leupold rings, works quite well besides the brass bouncing off the horizontal turret now and then. Its not a true 1 power, probably a 1.2 or so, but its easy enough to use as close as 10ft.

whalerman
February 5, 2012, 08:56 AM
Thanks Wulf.

Saw more Loons in Northern NY this year than any other.
Nice change.

Bill_Rights
February 5, 2012, 10:49 AM
whaler,

LoonWulf pointed you towards a true 1X (reflex, holographic, etc.) sight, among others. In that case, you may want more flexibility in location of the optic on your receiver (fore and aft, I mean, or solid-base like EOTech's or one-ring mounting optics). In that case, you want a Picatinny or Weaver rail on top of the receiver. Those are available from Ameritek (http://www.gunaccessories.com/AmeritekMounts/ruger.asp) or "Military Rifle Scope Mounts" (actual mfr?) (http://www.gunaccessories.com/MilitaryScopeMounts/Ruger/index.asp). I am not saying those are the only or best choices. There may be others.

A word of warning about "scout mount" scopes. As with some lever guns, it would be tempting to add a long eye relief scope out over the fore-stock. This appears not to work in the sense of holding zero, if you adapt the scount scope mount to the top of the hand guard out over the forestock. Apparently, that guard/cover is not "structural", nor is it rigid with respect to the barrel - it "floats". There may be a solution to this, but I haven't heard of it yet.

Every Ruger Mini for decades has shipped with a pair of 1" scope rings. Ruger will exchange those for 30 mm rings free of charge, if you haven't used the 1" ones. This goes for quite old rifles.

LoonWulf
February 5, 2012, 01:14 PM
There are railed handguards (aluminum) that replace your standard hand guards. Clamp to the barrel and gas block if i remember, supposed to add a bit of extra stiffness according to the manufacturer also.
http://www.amegaranges.com/
If i end up with a 2nd mini (good probability), im probably going to stick one of those on it with a small halo sight.

Bill_Rights
February 5, 2012, 06:31 PM
wulf,

Excellent! That looks like a gooder. Is the rail pattern Picatinny or Weaver?

But at $160 + shipping .... ooch owch eeek!

kaferhaus
February 5, 2012, 07:26 PM
Used mini's down this way are 400-450 bucks in excellent shape. New they're way over priced. The AR is a much better weapon any way you look at it and they can be had new for $700 if you do a little looking.

I don't do pie plate accurate guns..... life is too short

MachIVshooter
February 5, 2012, 07:53 PM
The Ruger Mini 14 holds price pretty well, which is to say that a critical-market-mass of people value them, because:

- The Mini 14 has classic rifle looks (but now you can get a tactical-looking one, too, which is cool)

The AR is classic in it's own right, especially the SP1 and A1 copies.

- The Mini 14 does NOT look like and AR, AK or other EBR (evil black rifle), which is a "statement" not everyone wants to make

I'll agree with that, though sticking a 20 or 30 round mag in it tends to make it look like an evil brown rifle.

- The Mini 14 performs about the same ballistic "niche" as an AR-15, for hunters, farmers, back-country outdoorsmen, survivalists and other non-LEO/non-soldier users

More or less, but not as accurately and with some extra weight.

- The Mini 14 harkens back to the Garand action, which tugs heartstrings of some

This is true, though it's really closer to the M1 carbine gas system.

- The Mini 14 is made in the USA

As are most AR's (and the KT SU-16 family).

- The Mini 14 is reasonably well supported by Ruger (and that's gotten better recently)

Yes.

- The Mini 14 benefits from literally thousands of after-market components, products, etc.

It does, though it pales in comparison to the AR.

- The Mini 14 boasts a pretty respectable knowledge base over at Perfect Union; in fact, it might be the most extensive except for the AR-15 knowledge base, and that's nothing to sneeze at

No argument there.

- The Mini 14 is a pretty cool hobby or customization platform; some would say you must engage in this hobby ("accurizing") merely in order to achieve acceptable groups, but that is recently getting less and less true

It is, kinda sets one apart from the AR masses a bit.

- The Mini 14 rifle is cheap enough that you don't mind (too much) ruining it (a little) if you mess up a mod

I dunno about that......

- The Mini 14 is a full-up semi auto rifle that will darken the sky with flyiing lead, so there is significant firepower there (hi cap mags available)

Doesn't set it apart from any other semi-auto with 20, 30 or higher mag capacities.

- The Mini 14 carries with it a certain "mystique" (as does the AR-15, M16, etc.) all its own: the "Ranch Rifle", the Garand-action pedigree/simile, a truck gun, a saddle rifle, a little bit of survivalist/off-grid/green vibe, and more I am sure I haven't run across yet

True.

- The Mini 14 is kinda unique: When you think about it, what other US-made .223 Rem semi-auto carbine in it's price range is out there, except the AR-15 low-enders?

Kel-Tec SU-16. It is also lighter, more accurate, less expensive and benefits from compatibility with AR mags.

There have been others, too.

I like the mini for what it is, but I am not diluded about what it is not. I've spent some money on mine, and have a lot of trigger time with it. Not planning on selling it, but nor would I buy another at current new prices. If I see a nice used one for $350 or so, I'll probably grab it. But $700 for a no-frills mini is just ridiculous, IMO.

I did alter mine quite a bit:

http://i110.photobucket.com/albums/n117/Hunter2506/100_0382.jpg

http://i110.photobucket.com/albums/n117/Hunter2506/101_1130.jpg

Bill_Rights
February 5, 2012, 11:43 PM
Thanks, MachIVshooter, for the service of commenting on my list of Mini 14 buyer value points. I mean, thanks not just for myself but also for those unfamiliar readers who are learning. I agree with your assessments.

The OP's question was, basically, why do Minis not get much cheaper with age? Or, why do they hold value? I thought of another one:

- The Mini 14 requires ~ 200 rounds down the pipe to break in (acccording to general opinion at Perfect Union). At 20 per round, that's $40.00. So a broken-in Mini is automatically worth $40 more than a new one. (Admitttedly, that's a lame argument, which mainly means that the Mini is not very well manufactured with good fit & finish on the components - but then, I would never trust my life, a competition or any important shot to a rifle I had less than 200 rounds through, just to avoid manufacturing error.)

To reiterate the main answer for the OP, there is a segment of the market that sees value in the Mini and a portion of the population that just likes it for sentimental, emotional or intangible reasons. Thankfully, most people can satisfy that desire on a non-exclusive basis; that is, they can get an AR or a KelTec SU-16, too.

I think Ruger is in an enviable market position with the Ruger Mini. The fact that they hold value so well ought to mean that there is a scarcity in the market segment, so a couple more competitors ought to enter. But, for some reason, no other rifle manufacturer acccepts the challenge. Clearly, this is not the case in the AR market, where there are two dozen manufactures if there's one. This alone is probably annoying to the AR community, that Ruger gets away with basically "sole source" status, given such a ho-hum product! :scrutiny:

Which makes me think of one more buyer value point:

- The Mini 14 is the sole member of its class and from a single manufacturer, so there is some hope of understanding and grasping the product and its variants, as opposed to the AR product space, which seems hopelessly complicated for us simpletons.

shootniron
February 5, 2012, 11:50 PM
that Ruger gets away with basically "sole source" status, given such a ho-hum product!

Given the nature of a demand driven market, if it holds it's value well...it may be better than "ho-hum"...???

35 Whelen
February 6, 2012, 12:06 AM
I have a Mini and an AR. I love the Mini, I sort of like the AR. Yes the AR is more accurate than Mini, but my bolt rifles are more accurate than my AR. So if I want extreme accuracy, I grab one of the dozen and a half or so bolt rifles I own. If I want to throw a trim, handy little rifle in the pickup and drive "down back", I grab the Mini. That sort of leaves the AR somewhere in between in this household.
Yesterday, I competed in our local High Power match with my AR. (I normally use a modified Swiss K-31) I won't say I hated it, because at least I was pulling a trigger, but firing 90 rounds at a 6" black circle at 100 yds with an AR after a 2+ years of using a long, sexy, wood stocked rifle was different to say the least. Sort of like a blind date gone bad...you just try to get through it.
I guess one thing that appeals to me about the Mini is that it's NOT an AR. I grow weary of seeing 16" AR's with collapsible stocks, flashlights, can openers, a bipod and up to a dozen different electronic sights on them. I don't mind people doing those sort of things and they're bound to be boosting our economy, I just get tired of seeing the darned things everywhere.
Regarding scopes, I have an old store brand 4X for my Mini. Mine is sighted in with the aperture sights, but I mount the scope for load testing and 4X is PLENTY for this rifle/cartridge combination.

35W

shootniron
February 6, 2012, 12:18 AM
I have a Mini and an AR. I love the Mini, I sort of like the AR.

I am very much like you, in that I have several AR's and one mini and I like and appreciate the AR's, but I love the mini. It is the gun that I reach for more than any other long gun that I own. Also, I have come to the conclusion only recently that a contributing factor to my not holding the AR in higher esteem, is due in large part to the posts that I see so many of the AR advocates making. There is a limit to the amount of non-sense that I can tolerate until it actually bleeds over into and taints what they are talking about.

35 Whelen
February 6, 2012, 01:07 AM
I am very much like you, in that I have several AR's and one mini and I like and appreciate the AR's, but I love the mini. It is the gun that I reach for more than any other long gun that I own. Also, I have come to the conclusion only recently that a contributing factor to my not holding the AR in higher esteem, is due in large part to the posts that I see so many of the AR advocates making. There is a limit to the amount of non-sense that I can tolerate until it actually bleeds over into and taints what they are talking about.
Yep. 20 years ago the .223 was generally thought of as a mid-range varmint cartridge and a short range deer cartridge. Now that everyone and their brothers are toting some M4 variant, this rifle/cartridge combo has suddenly become accepted as perfect for everything from sniping field mice at 500 yds. to quelling riots and stopping hoards of flesh hungry zombies, to downing enraged bull elephants close enough to blow snot on your EoTech sight.

35W

ShawnC
February 6, 2012, 01:21 AM
Didnt ruger have a near production prototype in .308?
Springfield makes one. It's called the M1A scout.:D

LoonWulf
February 7, 2012, 03:53 AM
Probably why the Ruger rifle never made it into full production lol. Ive always kinda wanted an M1A, but they are a little on the heavy side once scoped. I think a 6.8 will be my big mini LOL.

Art Eatman
February 7, 2012, 09:46 AM
I.O., it's sort of a habit for me: If something doesn't suit me, I fix it so it does. Cars, guns, houses, whatever. :) "Old hot-rodders never die; they just run out of gas."

I like the Mini, but the price has outrun the liking. Then again, so has most everything else. For Olde Pharts like me, life is a state of sticker shock.

JerseyChris
February 7, 2012, 09:51 AM
My Mini is probably my favorite gun.. Its a lot of fun to shoot. This one is a hand me down that was probably bought in the very early 80's..

http://i1033.photobucket.com/albums/a414/allmypictures21/6ad4d31b.jpg

Rexster
February 8, 2012, 02:47 AM
I own two 580-series Minis and an AR15. I prefer the ergonomics of the Mini, by far. I mostly bought my first AR to use as a police patrol rifle, because I had managed to get scheduled for a training/certification to carry an AR at work. Then, I managed to "age out" of being able to perform the rather athletic timed qual and training updates required of those who carry patrol rifles. (Nope, I didn't get fat; my duty belt is still at the same setting as 28 years ago. My bad knee simply does not allow me to get up quickly enough from prone and kneeling.) I subsequently built-up a second AR, but sold the first one. I may well sell the second one, too, as a part of general consolidation.

I have mostly retained the AR15, really, to have a modern military rifle based on the idea that every able-bodied American citizen should possess such a rifle. When I actually want to tote a utilitarian rifle, however, it is a Mini. My Minis also displaced my lever rifles to some extent, prompting me to sell four of them, as part of the above-mentioned consolidation.

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