Advantages of the AR over the Mini-14: 1) Better out of the box accuracy. 2) Better support and modularity. You can do ANYTHING with an AR. 3) Parts availability. I have a spare bolt for my AR along with a complete trigger group. Try and get Ruger to sell you those parts. 4) Magazines. Cheaper and better on the AR side. Mini-14 advantages over the AR: 1) Looks cooler*. 2) Might be more reliable in adverse conditions. I'm always suspect of any weapon that wears its guts on the outside as opposed to keeping gravel out of the action. The only way I would even consider a Mini-14 is if I lived in Kali or NY. Even then I would probably go with the SKS. BSW *If you're a big A-Team fan. OTOH, they couldn't hit **** with a Mini-14 either.