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Mini 14 vs Ar-15 .223

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Pure Kustom, Oct 13, 2008.

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  1. Pure Kustom

    Pure Kustom Member

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    Mini 14 vs Ar-15 .223 Which one would you choose? Is there any advantage to either one?

    I came across mini 14 .223 with bushnell scope and collapsible stock. For 600.

    Good deal?
     
  2. bmitchell

    bmitchell Member

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    I've seen Minis cheaper but I guess it depends on whether or not you want it. The collapsible stock and scope do nothing for my want-o-meter.
    Bushnell is not bad as far as optics go, but I wouldn't think it'd add more than $30-40 value unless it's a nice one.
    As far as general comparison to ARs:
    ARs can be assembled for around 6-700 depending on options.
    I like the classic wood rifle stock on the Mini better than the plastic pistol grip and stock combo on ARs, but that's a personal taste more than anything else.
    If you want more than 20 round mags (or even 20 rounders that don't break the bank) you will want an AR as the larger capacity mags for the Mini are hard to find and expensive.
    I've read a lot more about AR vs. Mini and I don't know how much to believe.
     
  3. Tarvis

    Tarvis Member

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    There is a pretty good comparison of the two done by a magazine (iirc) on the web somewhere. Basically it comes down to personal preference. I say get both.
     
  4. Omaha-BeenGlockin

    Omaha-BeenGlockin Member

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    Have both and like both.
     
  5. Illeix

    Illeix Member

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    the way I find it is what you want and what you need it for.

    plinking goes to the mini IMO, and HD/varminting the AR (albeit two seperate models...)

    i believe you can easily set up one of the three models for at least two purposes

    plinking and hd can be had with a mini or AR carbine, but varminting will be difficult with the loss of accuraccy. and an AR rifle can easily do for plinking and varmints, but the larger size may slow it down for HD.
     
  6. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    does how well the rifle shoots matter to you at all?

    If so then skip the mini
     
  7. Illeix

    Illeix Member

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    well, further thought on the subject.

    you could get an AR put together with a rifle barrel and a telesoping stock (i.e. c.a.r. or M4) so that you can take off some of the unnessicary size. then you have a compromize that can fit any resonable use of an AR, and a rewarding (and affordable! >$900) project to boot!
     
  8. General Geoff

    General Geoff Member

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    The Mini-14 is cheaper.


    The AR-15 is arguably more versatile and more customizable.
     
  9. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    With a collapsible stock, I'd take an AR.

    I like my stainless/synthetic Mini with a factory stock. It's reliable and accurate enough for iron sights; the new ones are supposedly better. But what I like most about it is that it's a light, sleek, quick-pointing little rifle, akin to a lever gun in balance and feel. It's a great gun to carry in the brush. It shoulders fast and carries easily.

    Take that away (by putting on an AR-style stock) and the AR carbine is a more accurate rifle with more readily available parts and upgrades.
     
  10. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Member

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    I have both. The Mini-14 travels with me as a politically correct carbine because I visit the Peoples' Democratic Republic of ********** often.

    I put the Accu-strut on the Mini-14 and it has improved the groups.

    Pilgrim
     
  11. Pure Kustom

    Pure Kustom Member

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    Is a Mini 14 not as accurate as a AR?
     
  12. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    an average mini 14 isn't as accurate as a 50 yr old rusty SKS from a com block satellite state.

    Not even close to your average AR15 of similar weight and configuration
     
  13. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    All things being equal, it's fair to say it's not.

    However, AR's vary from pencil barrel carbines with standard forends to 24" heavy barrel fluted varmint rifles, and there are heavy barrel target Mini's from the factory, as well as aftermarket-tweaked rifles that are quite accurate. Therefore, the question has to be a tad more specific.

    However, like I said, mine points really well, and its inherent accuracy is sufficient for its intended use. I've hit hand-thrown clays in the air with it; it points that well. When I shot at paper yesterday, though, I used a 20" AR.
     
  14. wally

    wally Member

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    The M14 is my favorite rifle so I had to have a Mini-14 and Mini-30. Magazine issues make the AR a far better choice to buy first. The price differential between a Mini and an AR parts gun is minimal to non-existent. ARs are easier to find used and dollars to donuts will be more accurate out of the box.

    But I do enjoy shooting my Minis once the hassles of finding 20 or 30 round mags that worked was solved (what makes the Mini probably more expensive overall unless you are happy with only one magazine).

    But the Mini shares the easy handling of the M1 Carbine and makes a fine general purpose handy rifle. I'd jsut suggest getting the AR first.

    IMHO the collapsible stock is only an asset if the standard stock is included as well.

    Make sure you are not sacrificing the rear sight to get the scope mount, IMHO Minis are best with iron sights. The "Ranch Rifle" rings from Ruger are about $60 so if it comes with them (as opposed to a third party scope mount) its probably a decent deal if you must have a scope.

    --wally.
     
  15. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    Hey Wally-

    Where did you find 20 and 30 round magazines that work?
     
  16. Pure Kustom

    Pure Kustom Member

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    The one I am talking about looks like this but with a Bushnell scope and a bigger clear plastic clip.:eek: Is this a Ranch Mini 14?

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Ceemack

    Ceemack Member

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    Not even close.

    The barrel on the Mini 14 isn't very well-made--they sacrifice accuracy to keep the price point down a few bucks.

    Worse, the barrel on the Mini is thin--thinner than anything you'd find on an AR-15. As it heats up, groups deteriorate even further.

    In my experience, a Mini-14 is good for 4-5 MOA. "MOPP" (Minute Of Pie Plate) is a term sometimes used to describe the Mini-14's accuracy. Even a bad AR-15 can do uder 3 MOA with iron sights, and most of the ones on the market today will do better--especially with a scope of some kind.

    I've heard people say "Aw, but the Mini-14 is a plinker, not a target rifle!" Well, I did some "plinking" with a buddy's Mini a while back. I took five shots at a clay pigeon from about 60 yards out. I bracketed the thing, but didn't hit it. Frustrated, I went and got my CAR-15 and blew the clay pigeon away with one shot.

    Plinking's only fun if you can hit what you're aiming at.
     
  18. elkhuntingfool

    elkhuntingfool member

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    I know guys who have purchased a mini-14 for about $600-700 - then spent another 1k to make it a 'shooter' seems pretty stupid to me. You can build an AR15 that is a shooter from day one for about $600-$650. You won't need to spend another 1k to make it a shooter - you can spend 1k and buy another AR kit and go from there.

    Just stay away from the mini :D
     
  19. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    No, not even close.

    The late 1980's/1990's mini's seem to be the worst accuracy-wise, at least if reports from the Internet are to be believed. I just know that my 1989-ish, 188-series Ranch Rifle shot a best ever group of 5.5" at 100 yards, from a benchrest and rear bag. To get that group, I experimented with two different scopes (+ irons), premium and match ammo in various weights from 40 to 69 grains, and 3 different stocks. It was absolutely reliable but wouldn't shoot well. Mine may have been worse than average, though.

    It is said that the newer mini's are a bit more accurate, and I have no doubt they are. But IMO the only Mini's that can truly match typical AR-15 accuracy are the $1000+ Target models with the adjustable barrel weight, IMO. The relatively thin cantilevered barrel, heavy reciprocating mass, and somewhat overpowered gas system work against the mini relative to the AR.

    Yes, that appears to be a Ranch Rifle with an aftermarket Butler Creek folding stock (stock retails for about $80 these days). It should say Ranch model on the top of the receiver behind the rear sight, but the fold-down rear sight and the scope bases in front of and behind the ejection port in the photo are clear indicators of the Ranch Rifle. This rifle came from the factory with scope rings, BTW, so make sure you get them, if you choose to buy it.
     
  20. wally

    wally Member

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    For the Mini-14 I got a bunch of non marked no name 20 and 30 round metal from a dealer at a gun show just before the '94 ban, I think I gave $200 for the lot. Of the 22 I got I ended up with 18 that worked after a little cleaning up of the bodies and followers. Ruger is now selling 20 round Mini-14 mags for about $40 each :(


    For the Mini-30, can't say I'm there yet. But after filing the ProMag 30 rounder so it actually goes into the mag well it almost worked (one round bolt over base on the 4th or 5th shot; its fed all 20 every time I've only loaded 20), I think if I clean up the follower and inside the mag it might be OK. I've got a 20 round steel mag that feeds well (after I cleaned up the feed lips) but its undersized and won't stay in the gun unless I hold it in, but if I do it actually feeds fine. I'm going to try welding up the tab to make it stay in, compared to the Ruger factory five rounder, its ~0.060 shorter from the back of the locking tab to the front of the mag about half the shortage is the body length, the other half the tab thickness comes up short.

    The ProMag plastic are only about $12 at gun shows, and the metal 20 rounder is $10 from CDNN (Haven't tried their $13 metal 30 rounder yet), so far one of each and neither working out of the box is not good, but I still have hope. Worst case I think I can just use the ProMags as 20 rounders and be reasonably happy.

    --wally.
     
  21. Omaha-BeenGlockin

    Omaha-BeenGlockin Member

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    The Target Mini's are $700 around here.

    My plain jane 580 Mini was hitting a 12in x 12in steel plate at 300yds with ball ammo off a rest---3x9x36 scope.

    I haven't messed with loads or fiddled with the scope much yet---I guarantee my Mini will do even better than that once I get serious about it---was just using old WWB loads.
     
  22. Ratshooter

    Ratshooter Member

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    Heres my post from perfectunion that I posted after I shot my 580 sereis for the first time.

    http://www.perfectunion.com/vb/showthread.php?t=64361

    I'm pretty happy with my rifle. I hope I can find the time to shoot it so more now that my work season is over.

    Academy has the Bushmaster with a 16" chrome lined barrel for $900.00 right now. I'm thinkin' about it.
     
  23. NotSoFast

    NotSoFast Member

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    I bought the Mini-14. It is a friendlier looking gun, and it is a whole lot of fun to shoot for less than I could build an AR-15. Here in CA the cheapest I could build for is about $200 more than I paid for my Mini. The Mini is easy to strip and clean as well. I like the look and feel as well, it not being an "evil black rifle".

    The only thing is that they aren't as accurate as some other rifles out of the box. But I have found that Perfect Union Forums is the place for accurizing tips for the Mini-14.

    - Elkhuntingfool
    I paid a total of $75.00 to accurize my Mini-14, not a thousand as you imply. I might spend 300 more on a trigger job, muzzle brake installation and stock bedding, but that is something I think a lot of other gun owners spend on their rifles, Mini-14 or otherwise.
     
  24. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    What I found with the several Minis I've owned is that the first three shots will group quite decently. With a Weaver K4 on top, I could reliably get about 1.5 MOA. That's plenty good for the occasional coyote or jackrabbit, which was what I used it for. And, the first shot always went to the same POI as it had the week or month before.

    A bench rest critter it ain't. So? That's not why I had mine. It's a great using gun, a truck gun. Always works as well as one is likely to need.
     
  25. Professor Gun

    Professor Gun Member

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    I have owned both types of rifles. Got rid of the Mini-14s, still have the ARs.
     
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