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mini14 tough or not?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by ulfrik, Nov 3, 2010.

  1. ulfrik

    ulfrik Well-Known Member

    i heard stories of mini14s breaking down alot during basic training with the Bermuda Regiment, then they had to replace it with the m16.

    and then i heard stories about the mini14 firing 100,000 rounds whithout failing,in some kind of test.

    is the mini14 a delicate sporting rifle? or is it a rugged and reliable utility rifle?
  2. WardenWolf

    WardenWolf member

    It's a rugged and reliable utility rifle within civilian and law enforcement requirements. It's not military-grade, but it's quite durable and will hold up well. However, it is not known for being very accurate. That being said, there are many better rifles for the price nowadays, such as the 16" Saiga .223 or other high-end AK platform rifles. You'll get something more accurate and true military-grade for half the price. Saigas are typically around 2.25 MOA. Many are better. I've not heard of any worse than 2.5.
  3. LoonWulf

    LoonWulf Well-Known Member

    I agree that the mini has had accuracy issues in the past, but the newer ones hold there own with pretty much all the short, lite barreled carbines ive seen. 2" or less is pretty standard for the 3 that ive had the chance to mess with. Again thats not a whole lot of specimens but so far they have been doing pretty good. I like the controls alot better on the mini then on the Aks also, but thats personal preferance.
  4. ulfrik

    ulfrik Well-Known Member

    how many rounds do you think you can fire thru it (on average) before it needs spare parts and or a gun smith? (more or less than ar15 and ak47)?

    as a hunting, plinking and self defense rifle, how would it hold up over the years?
  5. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

    The mini-14 is very reliable, but (like the Garand that it shares some design features with) it likes to be lubricated at key points, and it will become much less reliable if neglected. If you run it dry---especially a stainless model---or if you get sand in the slot for the bolt cam pin, you will have problems. It also has a gap in the receiver that can let sand in if you drop it in the dirt, so don't drop it in the dirt.

    The mini is also not particularly heat tolerant, but should continue to run OK when hot as long as it is kept well lubricated.

    As to durability, I'd say it's on par with an AR-15, and perhaps a bit less robust than a civilian AK, but that is entirely subjective. I don't *think* you can get a mini with a chrome lined barrel, and if that's the case then the mini's barrel will wear out before a chrome-lined AR or AK will.
  6. skipbo32

    skipbo32 Well-Known Member

    minis look cool, but anyone thinking of getting one..........just go all out and get a good AR.
  7. TX expat

    TX expat Well-Known Member

  8. HorseSoldier

    HorseSoldier Well-Known Member

    Less robust than an AR (+/- low end ARs perhaps). The Bermuda Regiment aren't exactly known for running their weapons really hard and they still haven't had great results. Minis are nice and handy guns, but not serious gunfighting weapons.
  9. desidog

    desidog Well-Known Member

    Hypothetically, I'd crawl through bogs all day long with my Mini and expect it to work...just a look down the tube to make sure there is no blockage...i would not assume the same of my AR without breaking it down and re-lubing.

    Accuracy wise, old mini's get a bad wrap; that's because they have thin barrels that get hot quick. Shot for shot with a cold barrel, Minis are plenty accurate.

    And were you to use one as a club, a Mini's wood stock would leave a much larger bruise than an M4 tele-stock....so yeah, pretty rugged and reliable utility rifle.
  10. briansmithwins

    briansmithwins Well-Known Member

    Hypothetically, I think you'd have a lot better luck with that using either a AR or AK, both of which are actually a lot better sealed against outside debris than the Mini-14.

    The Mini-14 isn't a military rifle and hasn't passed thru acceptance trials anywhere that I know of. BSW
  11. Sheepdog1968

    Sheepdog1968 Well-Known Member

    There are some states (cough CA cough) in which if you want to own an AR, you need to neuter it to the point IMO (bullet button and other things) where it is no longer an effective self defense weapon (fine for social plinking). In this case, the mini's and M1A's are a better choice IMO.
  12. HOWARD J

    HOWARD J Well-Known Member

    I like my Mini-14. It's a fun gun to shoot especially with a 30 round Mag.
    With good scope --- it is good for small game.
    But, I like my Mini-30 much more. I have taken half a dozen deer with that rifle using
    PMC 125 gr SN. A 3-6 Leupold scope. I would rather not give it the dirt & mud test.
    I will leave that to our AK/////////////////////// :):):)
  13. Rshooter

    Rshooter Well-Known Member

    I would agree with this statement but also like to point out that the mini-14's action was accepted in both the M1-Garand and M-14. I believe that the mini-14 does well in it's role as a tough little rifle with acceptable accuracy for most shooters.
  14. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    I had two blued and two stainless early model Minis. I bought a blued model when they first came out, and then sold it when the stainless models were introduced. I let a guy trade a blue to me for it, later, and then sold the blue to another guy and "stole" another stainless. :)

    Never the first sign of any reliability problem with any of them. I dunno. Maybe three thousand rounds, total, through them, mostly plinking and messing around. Since I used them primarily as a truck-gun hunting rifle, tight-group accuracy was not relevant for me. The first shot from a cold barrel always went to the same point of aim/impact, give or take an inch. Three-shot groups of less than two MOA were quite common.

    I used a Weaver K4 and was quite satisfied. Coyotes and jackrabbits were displeased.
  15. Al Thompson

    Al Thompson Moderator Staff Member

    Prison guards around here use them. No idea of the annual round count, but the guards I know like them.
  16. frankiestoys

    frankiestoys Well-Known Member

    I have a SS 580 series for a few years now and its been a great performer, eats anything i feed it. With only a 1000 rds through it ive had no parts fail ! And its as accurate as i need, I own an AK and a AR and my AR has been the only one in the shop, so its as durable as any of the carbines i own. There good rifles that excell in some areas and not so in others. Ruger's are solid guns no matter wich model you have.
  17. Oceans

    Oceans Well-Known Member

    When I worked in LE, I saw Minis eat up thousands of rounds without a problem, as long as they used the Ruger factory magazine. Stay away from aftermarket ones. At 200 yards they will cut center of silhouette. If you got the old Minis hot, they would start to throw fliers, that is true, but it is also true, the newer ones have a thicker profile barrel. I have seen more than a few Winchester 94s get hot and string rounds, as well as Garands, Mausers, and Enfields. The Army in combat studies years ago, proved in combat situations, that EXPERT rifleman had only a marginal chance of successfully engaging enemy personnel at 300 yards or farther, due to limited exposure time of target, physical stress, etc. At 200 yards and under, your chances really pick up. The Mini is perfect for these distances. The big drawback to the Mini today, is that it is hard to securely mount modern optics, like the Aimpoint or the EOTech. They are reliable and robust weapons that do not require babying.
  18. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

    Tough? I'm not sure you can destroy one. I have an old one, 181 or 182 series (early 80's) and it's never been cleaned, had countless thousands of rounds through it, and spent a good 20 years riding around behind the seat of a pickup getting bashed in daily. I used to squirt a little oil onto parts a couple of times a year, that's about it.

    Never had any reliability issues at all. Accuracy is another story but with factory mags I don't know how you could make a Mini NOT run.
  19. gunnutery

    gunnutery Well-Known Member

    <...OT Noise removed...>

    Tell that to the FBI agents back in the 80's. I can't remember too many details at the moment, but I think it happened in Florida. If by "gunfighting" you mean military conflict, you're probably right. But for civilian/LE combat, it'll do just fine.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 4, 2010
  20. jeepguy

    jeepguy Well-Known Member

    i think my mini would run longer without anyting being done to either one longer then my ar15. the only thing is some dont like the cheep steel cased ammo, it can cause the firingpin to break. i only shoot brass and haven't had any problems with mine. when i go shooting the mini always comes along & the ar stays home. ps i only use ruger mags.

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