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Ruger Mini-14 or AR-15 (M-4)??

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by CPLofMARINES, Apr 6, 2006.


    CPLofMARINES Well-Known Member

    I would appreciate your thoughts and opinions on this one. In the near future I'll be purchasing a new rifle; should I go with a Ruger Mini-14 or an M-4? eg. (DPMS, Bushmaster, Rock River). I'm very familiar with the AR style rifles, but they are known for getting dirty, and I've heard that the Mini-14's are more reliable. I can get a Mini-14 for about $550 and the AR's go for around $950.

    Semper Fi
  2. possum

    possum Well-Known Member

    You are used to the ar-15 style already.I put 300rds of wolf through my ar-15 in one setting without a problem i have never had a problem out of it at all, i do clean it really well being an Infantryman and all, my rifle is what keeps me alive in combat so i kinda adoted that for my personal weapons as well. getting reliable after market mags for the mini is sometimes hard, and their accuracy isn't all that swell, thier barrels are thin and heat up rather quickly. You will pay more for the ar-15 of course but I think you would be happier the barrels don't heat up as fast, the accuracy is better, and finding mags is to easy, and they work reliably. all three companies that you mentioned would be great, i had a bushmaster and plan to get another one with my reenlistment bonus here pretty soon. what model inparticular were you looking at, an m-4 type a varmiter a dcm competion, all three companies have very good weapons in all the above catagories, also what is the primary use of the weapon system gonna be used for?
  3. Brass Fetcher

    Brass Fetcher Well-Known Member

    One often overlooked advantage of the 'traditional' rifle (M-1 series, Mini-14, etc.) over the 'assault rifle' (M-16, H&K series, AK, etc.) is that you are able to fire the traditional rifle while exposing less of your head to incoming fire than you could with the assault rifle. This is true with all rifles with the traditional 'dip' in the stock area where your trigger hand holds onto the gun.

    Mini-14 is a nice gun for the price.

    CPLofMARINES Well-Known Member

    Thanks Possum, did'nt know about the barrels. Just looking to own another insurance policy. Know what I mean?

    Semper Fi
  5. The-Fly

    The-Fly Well-Known Member

    the AR is far more accurate, customizable, and the mags for it are easy to get, hold more bullets, and cheaper to boot. Also, the mini 14 loses accuracy quickly when the barrel heats up.
  6. Rexrider

    Rexrider Well-Known Member

    Here is my opinion on the matter.

    As far as ARs getting dirty, it has been my experience that all firearms get dirty when fired. The whole "dirty" issue with the ARs has been blown way out of proportion. Yes the gas system does send gas/powder/soot/etc into the bolt and bolt carrier, however the effect is not near as bad as some people will have you think. Most ARs can go thousands of rounds without cleaning with just a few drops of lube here and there. Normal cleaning maintenance that you would perform on any other firearm will keep an AR running just fine.

    The Mini-14 is a solid reliable rifle. But it does have a few problems that I feel outweigh the "dirty" gas system of an AR.

    1. They typically do not maintain their accuracy as they heat up due to thin barrels.

    2. Aftermarket magazines tend to be of poor quality and not very reliable. Factory mags can be found but are much more expensive then AR mags (AR = $10 to $15, Mini-14 factory = $35 +).

    I used to own a Mini-30. So I do have experience with that type of rifle. The Mini-30 suffers from the same drawbacks as the Mini14. Not to mention the magazine issue is even worse since Ruger does not make factory hi-cap mags for the Mini-30. The aftermarket mags were troublesome at best.

    I can't make a choice for you but I have made my own choice. I currently own two ARs. One Bushmaster M4 style, and a Colt 20". Both have been trouble free and I have been very happy with them.

    If money is an issue, then I really can't argue against the Mini-14. But you may also want to look at the Kel-Tec SU 16. However, if you can afford an AR, I am confident you would be happier going that direction.

    Also, there is a way to lower the price of the AR. The easiest way is to purchase a lower and upper separately. The upper and lower can be assembled in 5 seconds without tools. Other people may recommend building the whole rifle (after purchasing a stripped lower from a FFL) to save even more money but IMHO, it is much easier to get started by getting the upper and lower already assembled. Besides, you will want a second AR. Build that one to save money.

    Another advantage to the AR is it is modular. You can buy different uppers for different needs. You can have a M4 stye for HD/SD. A longer bull barrel for varmit hunting. A .22 LR upper for plinking and practice. These are just a few examples.

    Good luck with whatever you choose.
  7. Farnham

    Farnham Well-Known Member

    You CAN afford an AR. Save another month or two and get it. I like my Mini, but I like my two AR's better. Check out AIM surplus for Bushmaster M-4's, they're cheaper than your local gun shop. Find a local FFL on Gunbroker, order it up, and have fun.

    Semper Fi from a former Corporal of Marines. Corporal is the second best rank in the Corps, you'll hit the best soon enough. :D

  8. marklbucla

    marklbucla Well-Known Member

    In the past 8 months or so, I've only cleaned my AR once. She's had thousands of rounds down her, while the only problems have been due to out of spec magazines or magazine blocks.

    I have no idea what these reliability issues are that some people speak of.
  9. tangodown

    tangodown Active Member

    Save up the extra money and get a quality AR.... Nuff said...
  10. homeka45

    homeka45 Well-Known Member

    Go w/ the ar15, it's like a 350 chevy, it's got all sorts of add-ons available from mild to wild. You can change the upper receiver to accomodate anything from .22LR up to .50 BMG. Barrel lengths and profiles are available in a wide range of variations. If the Dems ever get another AWB into law you'll already have your AR. Hi cap mags are also a lot cheaper than Ruger hi caps. Flat tops can run a variety of optics from ACOGs to EOTechs to irons and can be switched quickly. There are rail systems that can hold any conceivable combination of accesories to customize and personalize your rifle. There are even quick change barrel systems from Larue and MGI. I have both types of rifles and prefer the AR, the only thing the mini has that's superior to me is the safety, and that's just because I'm a lefty.
  11. michiganfan

    michiganfan Well-Known Member

    Had them both get the AR.
  12. possum

    possum Well-Known Member

    Yes i know exactly what you mean brother!

    you should ba ashamed of yourself, once in 8 months!:what:
  13. BozemanMT

    BozemanMT Well-Known Member

    AR, Ruger isn't even in the same class
  14. marklbucla

    marklbucla Well-Known Member

    Never needed to!
  15. chakup

    chakup Well-Known Member

    Buy an Ar. And you can find good ones for $800ish, or build for less.
  16. JNewell

    JNewell Well-Known Member

    Ditto Rexrider's post. Have owned two Minis. They're cute, but Ruger himself said they were only a plinker. This is going to offend some folks, but one of these two is a rifle, and the other's just a gun. Save and buy the AR. BTW, the fact that you've got years invested in training and muscle memory itself might be all the reason you need to buy an AR? Something worth thinking about.

    BTW, thanks -- we all appreciate your service to our country.
  17. jobu07

    jobu07 Well-Known Member

    You're right. Different tools for different jobs. I have both rifles and enjoy shooting both of them equally.
  18. HankB

    HankB Well-Known Member

    My Mini-14 (1976 vintage) doesn't jam even with cheap aftermarket magazines, and my Bushmaster AR clone is reliable with USGI magazines, So reliability is a wash.

    The Mini-14 is lighter and handier than the AR. But if fired rapidly, the barrel heats up FAST . . . unload 30 rounds from the Mini-14 in 60 seconds, and the barrel will sizzle if you drip water on it.

    ARs have many, MANY options for customizing. Not so the Mini-14.

    IMHO if the Mini-14 right out of the box is in the configuration you want, it's an OK rifle. If you think you MIGHT want a 'scope, or a better trigger, or a different stock, or anything else in the future, go with the AR.
  19. Line Rider

    Line Rider Well-Known Member

    The Mini-14 is lighter and handier than the AR. But if fired rapidly, the barrel heats up FAST . . . unload 30 rounds from the Mini-14 in 60 seconds, and the barrel will sizzle if you drip water on it.

    ARs have many, MANY options for customizing. Not so the Mini-14.

    IMHO if the Mini-14 right out of the box is in the configuration you want, it's an OK rifle. If you think you MIGHT want a 'scope, or a better trigger, or a different stock, or anything else in the future, go with the AR.
    Today 07:05 PM HankB

    I have to agree the HankB.

    I have both. I bought my stainless Mini-14 in 1990. I like it as far as what it was designed for a light weight utility rifle. Around the farm or shooting varmit it would be great.

    The Mini-14 would may a good patrol gun for the average officer. Lightweight, sample to use, dependable. I would rather turn over my personal Mini-14 to the investagators, rather than my AR-15. If patrol rifle is used in the course of duty, I don't think more than 2 or 3 rounds would be fired.
    As far as a battle rifle the Mini-14 isn't designed for that.

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