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A little info about the Mini-14 please.

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by 2@low8, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. 2@low8

    2@low8 Well-Known Member

    A neighbor is offering to sell me a Ruger Mini-14, SS, wood stocked Ranch Rifle. He bought it new 25 years ago after the panic of a possible weapons ban caused by the shooting of children in California during the late 80s.

    He paid $500 (I saw the receipt) for it and it has never been fired since he took possession. He said to make him an offer.

    I have an AR-15 and I like it very much, but I have no personal experience with the Mini-14. I did take a carbine course about ten years ago where 2 out of 20 shooters were using the Mini-14. They had no failures (only a DPMS AR-type failed), but I did notice that they were significantly louder than the other AR-type rifles.

    My questions are:
    1 - Are they reliable
    2 - Are they accurate
    2 - Are they prone to any major breakdowns
    3 - What would be a reasonable offer to make him

  2. Jackal

    Jackal Well-Known Member

    This has been beaten to death on this forum and elsewhere online... But heres a quick answer:

    1. Yes, very reliable
    2. Older ones are generally 3-4moa rifles, newer ones 1-2moa
    3. No major breakdowns or issues
    4. They are selling on Gunbroker right now for about $800-$1200 new in box. I would offer him somewhere around $400-$600 to be fair.

    I speak from experience, not internet hyperbole. I have had 4 Mini's. Two older ones and 2 newer ones (3 basic and one factory target). The target model is a .68 moa rifle btw:D
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013
  3. ID-shooting

    ID-shooting Well-Known Member

    Love mini's, have a few...

    They are extremely reliable, with factory magazines.
    They are "combat rifle" accurate. The sights on the one you are talking about leave a bit to be desired, scoped they are not "sniper" accurate but plenty accurate enough.
    No real breakdowns of any kind except for non-ruger mags and bad ammo.
    As for offer, they were quite high a few weeks ago but since they made the "not to be banned" list the price should drop accordingly. I paid $450 for a used stainless one with a wood stock this last summer. Offer what you are comfortable with.
  4. TexasPatriot.308

    TexasPatriot.308 Well-Known Member

    I have owned minis off and on for 30 years, currently got a series 181 and a new series 581 tactical. people either hate them or love them.accuracy is a hit or miss (pardon the pun) on the older minis. the new ones like the 581 are very accurate with a heavier barrel. you do not want to be standing to the side of the mini when someone is firing cause they eject big time. like all semit auto firearms right now, prices are outrageous as driven by the market. a tough time right now to buy or sell a rifle like this to a friend.
  5. Litefoot

    Litefoot Well-Known Member

    Jackal has it pretty much pegged. I have 4 AR's and 2 Mini's. When my son and I go out shooting for fun, we usually pick the Mini's. Just more fun, to me and easier to clean. A wood and stainless Mini is a beautiful rifle. And to top it off, the older rifles have better rear sights and the metal finish is superior to the new Mini's. I'd jump on it!

    Edit: If you don't buy it, PM me his info.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013
  6. Loc n Load

    Loc n Load Well-Known Member

    Mini 14

    Been shooting Mini's since they came out, they are reliable, rugged and as stated in previous posts, 3-4 MOA and better for the newer ones.....Over the past 30 years I have shot thousands of rounds thru Mini's.....have one now with the Choate front sight and mounted in a Choate side folder.....this carbine has rode thousands of miles with me.....it is stainless and has been duracoated( not into big shiny guns).
    The problem that people have with the Mini is that they try to make it something that it was never intended to be. If you keep your expectations real, It will serve you well.
  7. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    I've had four of the early models. All were quite reliable for the first shot going where I wanted, so for me as a hunter, they were as good as any of my better-group bolt actions. I'd likely still have one, but people kept waving green stuff at me and profit is profit.

    With my tri-focal eyes in those days, I always put a Weaver K4 on top.

    I always, repeat always, had 1.5 MOA groups for the first three shots. Again, my interest was first as a hunter and then as a plinker. Did in a fair number of coyotes and a good many jackrabbits.

    Even the detractors are honest enough to not bum-rap them for reliability.

    Noise is a barrel-length function, so they'd be the same as an equivalent length AR.
  8. 2@low8

    2@low8 Well-Known Member

    I appreciate the advice.

    I went over to his place and offered him $500 (in the middle of Jackal’s range) and he said, “Show me the money”.

    I brought it home and tomorrow I’ll give it a cleaning and pop off a few rounds on the back 12 to test for function and some off-hand plinking. The private range I belong to reopens on Feb. 15th and I’ll bring it out on a weekday after that to break it in and see how accuracy shapes up.

    Again, thanks to all…..Frankie
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013
  9. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Well-Known Member

    My cousin has one. If you were in a firefight, you would not have to cover your right front flank: the ejected empties would have you covered. They eject like the CZ52 pistol with firmness and vigor (only your rear right flank is covered by the CZ52 ejection pattern out to 15 paces 4:00 to 5:00 o'clock).
  10. ID-shooting

    ID-shooting Well-Known Member


    Did you get mags too?

    If not you might need to take a mortgage out to get a couple.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013
  11. Sun Tzu warrior

    Sun Tzu warrior Well-Known Member

    I am a fan of Mini 14's, never seen an issue with a SS model, I have had one blued model with the gas tube and piston worn out. (bought it used, it wasn't kept clean) I replaced these two parts with stainless replacements, (about $10) and the friend who bought it from me has been using it for 20 years now without any problems. Most folks that complain about these early models use cheaply made aftermarket mags, and the wrong weight projectiles for the barrel twist. I have had AR's and by comparison, unless it's a newer model with a gas piston they are jam-o-matics! Mini's are the American AK as far as reliability goes. I'm sure there will be those who would like to debate this, but they will not change my mind.
  12. Jackal

    Jackal Well-Known Member

    Good job. They are great rifles, always been my go to gun for sub 200 yards coyotes (any further, I have my CZ 527 Varmint for that:D). Mini's are just the rifle you grab when you need it to work.
  13. Litefoot

    Litefoot Well-Known Member

    You did extremely well, my friend; especially considering the mood of the nation. Heck, one of my fellow workers just bought a NIB model 5819 (somewhat rare) Mini-14 for a grand and I thought he got a good deal. Please post a picture.
  14. TexasPatriot.308

    TexasPatriot.308 Well-Known Member

    a 5819 ? thats lots of numbers.
  15. paintballdude902

    paintballdude902 Well-Known Member

    id say 600 is a good deal. the new basic ones are supposed to go for like 650-700. i wouldnt pay more than that.

    the current climate right now is kinda stupid. i think in 2 months (unless something happens) the market will be flooded with mags, ar lowers, and all the other stuff people have been panic buying. and since there will be so many the price will be back to normal.
  16. Quentin

    Quentin Well-Known Member

    Sounds like you bought Vulcan, Hesse and Blackthorne! :D Anyway your AR experience is far, far from the norm.
  17. Litefoot

    Litefoot Well-Known Member

    A 5819 is the stainless tactical. I was afraid that might be confusing. I guess most are accustomed to using 180 or 580 series serial numbers.
  18. rhinoh

    rhinoh Well-Known Member

    I have a 14 and a 30. They throw brass into the next county as delivered. I replaced the gas bushings in mine to neatly drop the brass about 6-8 ft to my right.
    As for accuracy, well, they do drift as the barrel heats up. Sight it in for the first shot if hunting with it.
    Many of us have had issues with some mil style steel cased ammo not lighting off reliably, the firing pin just doesn't hit hard enough. Be aware if you break a firing pin trying to solve this problem with a stouter spring that Ruger will NOT sell you a replacement. They demand the gun be sent back to them for fitting. IMO that really stinks.
    Still I have no plans to get rid of my 2:)
  19. buttrap

    buttrap Well-Known Member

    I have not seem one for sale for under 1200 bucks used for like 2 months.
  20. ID-shooting

    ID-shooting Well-Known Member

    That was when people thought they would be banned. Then "the list" came out, they were not on it.

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