New Ruger Mini 14 Tactical VS AR-15?


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wildchild2010
February 2, 2012, 07:51 PM
99% are going to say AR-15. Just want a Plain Jane gun with iron sights, for plinking, hunting deer, pelts.

So you guys who are shooting, the Newer Tactical Ruger Mini 14"s how do you like em? What ammo are you using Mil Spec, Wolf, other steel cased? I hear they pretty accurate from doing some reading. Most any rifle can out shoot most guys behind the trigger. I seen guys who couldn't hit a barn wither there rifles at 300 yards where another could use the same rifle and hit it at 600 yards.

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courtgreene
February 2, 2012, 11:56 PM
I have both. if you like irons and you don't need pin point accuracy then I would go with the mini. Of course, NEITHER will guaranty pin point accuracy. at 100 yards my mini will hang with my AR, and they both cost about the same amount once you factor in the stabilizer bar for the mini... and you will want that eventually.
I guess I would say six to one, half a dozen to the other, except they are so dramatically different as systems. Just factor this into your decision. When you have an AR, you have a huge array of possibilities if your interest shifts. When you have a mini14, though, you have a mini14... period. There's no swapping out the upper, or barrel, or any of that. At least not without a lot of tools or an expensive trip to a gunsmith. Again, I have both, I like both, I shoot both, and if you're sure you aren't going to change your mind then get the mini because the tactical one folds up REAL small and is easy to haul around. If you think you may change your wants down the road, get the AR which isn't exactly hard to lug around either.

LoonWulf
February 3, 2012, 12:04 AM
I have a mini, dont really care for ARs. The AR does offer alot of add on bits tho, if thats your cup of tea. I havent found too many ARs that were more accurate then MY mini(each one is different), in its price and weight range. Ive shot steel cased ammo with no issues, but i generally buy PMC, since its only a buck or so more expensive here.

Mounting a scope can be a bit of an issue with a mini, you dont have alot of room to move it around unless you add a rail.

Personally I prefer the feel of the minis action and stock, nothing saying that ARs arnt good guns also. Also, tho ive used the .223/5.56 to kill a whole pile of deer, its still not my first choice for that purpose. Id probably be looking at a ranch in 6.8 or x39, or an AR with an extra upper in either caliber.

whalerman
February 3, 2012, 12:07 AM
Courtgreene, what is a stabilizer bar?

toivo
February 3, 2012, 01:57 AM
Courtgreene, what is a stabilizer bar?

I'm not Courtgreene, but I'll jump in. It's one of these:

http://www.gunblast.com/images/TrueShot/DSC00192.JPG

It's meant to keep the barrel from getting too whippy when it heats up. I've never used one, but I've heard that they work.

Bill_Rights
February 3, 2012, 02:46 AM
I am hearing that the stabilizer bar (Accu-Strut) is not much help with the new serial number 581-XXXXX units. (And the factory probably won't fix anything for free on such a user-mod'd gun with after-market parts. Ruger gives no warranty.) The newer units have a thicker barrel profile.

Double Vision
February 3, 2012, 08:37 AM
I love my Minis and will take them over my AR every time. Just my 2 cents.

Skyshot
February 3, 2012, 09:07 AM
I have a 581 mini as well as an AR. First, I will say that the AR is just a little bit more accurate, but not much. Using best case groups, the AR shoots 1 1/2 MOA at 100 yards and the mini shoots around 2 MOA at 100 yards. And that is with factory ammo. With reloads both firearms will do better. And both my rifles shoot 55 to 70 gr. bullets very well. I do not shoot Russian steel case ammo. I know it's very economical, but I've seen problems with firing pin and extractor breakage in AR's and in Mini's with the steel case stuff. I do have a stabilizer on my 581 and it didn't help cold barrel accuracy, but it did help hot barrel accuracy. I can rapid fire a full 20 round mag from a sand bag rest and keep all 20 rounds inside a softball size group at 100 yards, which without the stabilizer the point of impact would start to walk when the barrel got hot. So inrespect to my mini the stabilizer did help. So there are some trade offs for the AR vs. the mini. The AR is a touch more accurate, but the mini will run when it's very dirty and nasty with out any FTF's or FTE's. I don't use open sights as my eye's are aged. Both rifles have 2x7x32 nikons on them.

kaferhaus
February 3, 2012, 09:12 AM
Skyshot: you have a terrible shooting AR! I've not seen one that wouldn't shoot 1" groups with good ammo. Many shoot much better than that right out of the box.

gotigers
February 3, 2012, 09:17 AM
I have ARs, i have shot several mini's and know several owners of mini's. I have never seen any mini shoot as good as an AR. Most mini owners i know have quickly sold the mini to get an AR due to the terrible accuracy of the mini's. I am not bashing the mini. I actually like it. I just think the AR is a better rifle.

Most ARs may not shoot "pin point" accuracy vs precision guns, but an AR can be set up to be a precision rifle. apples to apples, stock mini vs stock AR, i would bet on the AR being more accurate everytime.

i tend to agree with kaferhaus. I have 2 ARs that shoot much better than the foementioned 1-1/2 MOA with good ammo. Most ARs are not 1MOA rifles, but a mid quality or better AR will be very close.

Skyshot
February 3, 2012, 09:45 AM
Skyshot: you have a terrible shooting AR! I've not seen one that wouldn't shoot 1" groups with good ammo. Many shoot much better than that right out of the box.
I have owned several different AR's. In the M4 carbine style, that I would compare to the mini, all the AR's would shoot on the average 1 1/2 MOA with 5 shoot groups. I could easily get well under 1MOA with a 3 shot group but IMO a 5 shot group tells more about the rifles true accuracy. So I just haven't seen that remarkable accuracy out of a 16 in carbine AR in my world.

toivo
February 3, 2012, 12:24 PM
I am hearing that the stabilizer bar (Accu-Strut) is not much help with the new serial number 581-XXXXX units. [...] The newer units have a thicker barrel profile.

Well yes, but... the Accu-Strut is not much help with the newer ones because they don't need as much help: the thicker barrels are stable enough just as they come.

WVRJ
February 3, 2012, 09:07 PM
My vote has to be for the AR.More versatile,more accurate,more bang for the buck.I looked at both when I wanted a good beater to keep handy on the farm.I settled on a Bushmaster and was really impressed with the way it shot.It went from being a beater to one of my most cherished rifles.Nothing at all wrong with the mini,I might yet get one to keep behind the truck seat.The AR stays in a more secure location.

Art Eatman
February 3, 2012, 09:52 PM
Even my early Minis were quite reliable for the first shot or two to go exactly where I wanted and expected. For hunting, they're as good as any AR ever was. If tight five-shot groups on paper is the deal, those old Minis weren't the answer. Otherwise, they worked as good as anything.

So, if these new ones shoot tighter groups and hunting/plinking is the main deal, there's no reason at all not to use one.

shootniron
February 3, 2012, 10:03 PM
For hunting, they're as good as any AR ever was.

I totally agree with this statement. I have multiple AR's and one mini, and have actually had the AR platform for more years(since mid 80's) than I have had the mini (1990). These guns are so different that in many ways, it is hard for me to fairly compare them. The AR is a fine rifle that is designed more for assault use than general shooting and personal defense, in my opinion. The mini just handles so much easier for defensive type use and out to 100yds it is lights out accurate with iron sights for my hunting situations. I like the AR a lot, but I love the mini.

wildchild2010
February 3, 2012, 11:19 PM
Even my early Minis were quite reliable for the first shot or two to go exactly where I wanted and expected. For hunting, they're as good as any AR ever was. If tight five-shot groups on paper is the deal, those old Minis weren't the answer. Otherwise, they worked as good as anything.

So, if these new ones shoot tighter groups and hunting/plinking is the main deal, there's no reason at all not to use one.
Art rumor on the net is you are the Mini 14 king. Very knowledge about the mini's.


Thanks for all the input guys.

ugaarguy
February 3, 2012, 11:27 PM
Just want a Plain Jane gun with iron sights, for plinking, hunting deer, pelts.
I'm a hard core AR guy. However, for your intended use a Mini will work just as well as an AR. Handle both before you buy. Try to shoot each before you buy. Get whichever you're more comfortable with in terms of gun fit, control layout, etc. Get what works best for you.

Art Eatman
February 4, 2012, 12:36 PM
I bought a blued Mini when they first came out. Then a buddy wanted a stainless for his boat, so I bought two and sold my first one. Time went on and i wound up trading into another blued Mini and then into another stainless. All early models. All had a K4 stuck on top in the old B-Square mount. All were about 1.5 to at worst 2.0 MOA for the first three shots.

I probably ran somewhere around three or four thousand rounds through, in total. Back in the '70s and early '80s, the extended mags were quite reliable and not particularly expensive.

My overall preference for mags is the factory ten-round; as I've said, I often carry at the balance position and the ten-rounder doesn't stick down enough to matter.

The key for me, of course, is that I'm much more of a hunter than a paper-puncher.

FWIW, I'm on my fifth AR at the moment, so I know a wee tad about those. :)

kfgk14
February 4, 2012, 01:52 PM
I say AR, but I'm into the whole "tacticool" thing (I.e. carbine classes, HD gun is an AR, etc.) if you aren't that's cool, but I see too many Mini 14's fail at classes, at high round counts. Whether it's magazines, ammo, lemon rifle, or whatever, they fail. It doesn't inspire confidence in me. I'll stick with my AR's personally. More power to you if your Mini is squared away.

Robert
February 4, 2012, 02:33 PM
I'm a hard core AR guy. However, for your intended use a Mini will work just as well as an AR. Handle both before you buy. Try to shoot each before you buy. Get whichever you're more comfortable with in terms of gun fit, control layout, etc. Get what works best for you.
This.

I own both an older Mini 14 and an AR. Both are fun to shoot and as long as I don't over heat the Mini it is pretty dang accurate. I have never grouped it but I hit what I am aiming at so it works for me. I like my AR better as it is easier to add a scope and bi pod to if I want varmint gun. And just as easy to remove for competition. But either one will work. Get what is the best fit for you.

Bill_Rights
February 5, 2012, 03:11 AM
Toivo said: Quote:
I am hearing that the stabilizer bar (Accu-Strut) is not much help with the new serial number 581-XXXXX units. [...] The newer units have a thicker barrel profile.

Well yes, but... the Accu-Strut is not much help with the newer ones because they don't need as much help: the thicker barrels are stable enough just as they come. That was PRECISELY my point.

whalerman
February 5, 2012, 03:17 AM
Thanks for the stabilizer bar info. But I'm confused. One of the big sells on rifles is FREE FLOATING. We don't want anything touching the barrel after the barrel leaves the receiver. You know, the dollar bill being slid up the barrel thing that shows its real good. Now I'm being told that we want a clamp affair attached to the barrel of a Mini. Can you see why I get confused?

toivo
February 5, 2012, 03:25 AM
Toivo said:

I am hearing that the stabilizer bar (Accu-Strut) is not much help with the new serial number 581-XXXXX units. [...] The newer units have a thicker barrel profile.

Well yes, but... the Accu-Strut is not much help with the newer ones because they don't need as much help: the thicker barrels are stable enough just as they come.
That was PRECISELY my point.
Sorry -- I misunderstood you to be saying that the Mini was still inaccurate. My bad. :o

toivo
February 5, 2012, 03:28 AM
Thanks for the stabilizer bar info. But I'm confused. One of the big sells on rifles is FREE FLOATING. We don't want anything touching the barrel after the barrel leaves the receiver. You know, the dollar bill being slid up the barrel thing that shows its real good. Now I'm being told that we want a clamp affair attached to the barrel of a Mini. Can you see why I get confused?
Well, you could look at it this way: Walking with crutches is harder than walking normally, but if you've got a broken leg, you have no choice. :neener:

Bill_Rights
February 5, 2012, 03:47 AM
wildchild,

One way to decide AR vs Mini would be re-sale value (not that that is as important as function), as a guy did a this thread (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=640879). However, some of us just like the Minis for what they are. In addition to many other good words about the Mini, and some warnings, I tried to summarize and extend the good words in post # 29 (http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=7934820&postcount=29) of that same thread.

Now, based upon your uses/interests as OP, and at the risk of going slightly OT, I ask you to consider whether the best thing about the Mini 14 might be the Mini 30? I think so. Unless you have thousands of rounds of 5.56x45mm stored up and desire commonality of ammo, the Mini 30 may serve you better (and the ammo is cheaper, to boot).

For hunting deer (which you mentioned) at < 150 yds (which is farther than most of us can humanely shoot with iron sights, which you also mentioned), the Mini 30 would be more humane. The .30 cal bullet has more stopping power, particularly the Prvi Partizan RNSP (round nose soft point). But just in general, the 5.56x45mm is a high-chamber-pressure screamer of a round but small diameter, while the mid-power 7.62x39mm rifle round the Mini 30 uses is no slouch and its larger diameter gives it much more energy transfer to most targets. It's worth a little thought and research. Here's a start, for the two most common loadings of the two chamberings:

_______________________ 7.62x39mm Russian _____________ 5.56x45mm NATO

Bullet diameter: __________ 7.92 mm (0.312 in) _______________ 5.70 mm (0.224 in)

Rifling twist: ____________ 1 in 240 mm (1 in 9.45 in) _________ 1 in 229 mm (1 in 9 in)

Bullet weight/type: ______ 123 gr (8.0 g) FMJ ________________ 4 g (62 gr) SS109 FMJBT

Maximum pressure: _______ 355.00 MPa (51,488 psi) __________ 430.00 MPa (62,366 psi)

Velocity: _______________ 731.5 m/s (2,400 ft/s) ____________ 940 m/s (3,100 ft/s)

Energy: _________________ 2,073.6 J (1,529.4 ft•lbf) _________ 1,767 J (1,303 ft•lbf)

Test barrel length: _______ 415 mm (16.34 inch) ______________ 508 mm (20 inch)

BigN
February 5, 2012, 06:02 AM
I owned a Mini 14 years ago and it wasn't very accurate, even at 100 yards. It was an old one though and maybe they've made accuracy improvements to them in the last 25 years. It was fun to shoot though.

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