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Ruger Mini 14: Good AR alternative?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by A Person, Aug 14, 2011.

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  1. A Person

    A Person Member

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    I like the looks and features of the mini 14 ranch rifle alot better than the AR15/M4, and am looking into getting one. Are they pretty reliable and do they have good (or atleast fair) accuracy? I'm probably just gonna use one for plinking and popping some varmits;)
     
  2. Creature

    Creature Member

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    I have a Mini-14 that is not as reliable as my bushmaster carbine nor is it as accurate.
     
  3. sansone

    sansone Member

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    the ar vs mini thread has been beat to death, but no fault of yours..

    AR= tighter groups (much, much)
    mini= cheaper (not cheap enough)

    I like Rugers, not a basher, tried to make many mini-14's shoot like an AR, wasted bullets
     
  4. bhk

    bhk Member

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    I have had two minis and neither ever jammed, ever. I found both to have accuracy 'challanges.' I found their stocks ideal for shooting with the peep sights, but the stock combs were far to low for scope shooting.

    If you are wanting a fast shooting gun for plinking and defense with open sights, they are ideal. If you are looking at shooting 200 yard coyotes or shooting small groups on paper, get an AR.
     
  5. A Person

    A Person Member

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    It doesn't have to be quite as accurate as an AR for me, If i get one i'm gonna put a good scope on it and sight it in good anyways.
     
  6. baylorattorney

    baylorattorney Member

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    I bought the ranch version some time back and can tell you it is not half the gun my BM AR is. The mini 14 ranch rifle was inaccurate, very much so. I sold it as quick as I could.
     
  7. Jason_G

    Jason_G Member

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    That's got zilch to do with the mechanical accuracy of the rifle. You can put the fanciest scope in the world on it, and it's still not going to make the rifle any more accurate. It will just let you see really well by how much you missed the target.

    Jason
     
  8. trueg50

    trueg50 Member

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    I'd say the Keltec SU-16 a/b/c are more competitive to the AR then the mini-14's. They are usually a bit cheaper, and more accurate then the mini-14.

    Though the Mini-14's have been terribly expensive, and with the AR popularity they should be at least $100 cheaper to compete.

    Seeing DPMS Sportical rifles for $700-something, and S&W running around the same, it is hard to recommend the mini-14.
     
  9. baylorattorney

    baylorattorney Member

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    I meant with the scope. Very inconsistent. Would shoot low, then wide left, etc.
     
  10. M1key

    M1key Member

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    If you insist on the Mini-14, they CAN be made to shoot with a little tweaking, and are quite capable of taking 200 yard coyotes...

    Here are groups (not mine) from a Mini with an a stabilizer strut and handloads:

    [​IMG]

    M
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2011
  11. briansmithwins

    briansmithwins Member

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    Before buying the 'Mini-14 is cheaper' line, price magazines. The only mags that actually work right are the OEM Ruger mags, and those run $30-40 each. If you like having a half dozen or so magazines for a rifle that difference pretty much eats ups any cost savings.

    BSW
     
  12. A Person

    A Person Member

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  13. M1key

    M1key Member

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    The average shooter with an average AR will probably shoot tighter groups than with the average Mini-14, if that is your deciding factor. :rolleyes:

    Also, you can probably fix the AR yourself. Parts are available everywhere. With the Mini, if anything is wrong with the barrel, FCG, bolt, firing pin the rifle will have to go back to Ruger for repair/replacement.

    ARs are much easier on scopes, too.

    M
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2011
  14. eazyrider

    eazyrider Member

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    I own a Mini Ranch model and a Bushmaster carbine. The Bushmaster is a much better weapon for me. It is hard to find good aftermarket mags for the Mini and the Ruger mags cost quite a bit. I love the AR and I am not going back.
     
  15. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    Mini's are a good $300 gun. If you can find one at that price and don't mind paying $50 each for magazines and find 3" groups acceptable they are for you.

    Right now you can buy an entry level AR for less money than a Mini. Mags can be found for under $10 and the worst one I've ever scoped was pretty darn close to a 1" gun
     
  16. Fonzie2k

    Fonzie2k Member

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    As stated before, Minis aren't as inexpensive as the should be. If you want an AR then they are worth saving for... the mini is a totally different gun and totally different build philosophy.

    The only gun that I see as a real AR substitute is the Kel Tec SU-16. Granted its a very different rifle it is clearly intended to capture the attention of perspective AR owners. And it takes AR magazines.
     
  17. Double Vision

    Double Vision Member

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    My Mini 14 is a very good rifle and lots of fun. On a range day, I'll take the 14 over the AR every time. Just my 2 cents.
     
  18. karlb

    karlb Member

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    I agree. I'd buy a $300 Mini as a novelty . I have 4 ARs. I spent 8 years in the Army; I can field strip an AR in my sleep.
     
  19. jad0110

    jad0110 Member

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    You might also consider an SKS. They aren't as accurate as an AR, not sure how they compare to a Mini (never shot one). My father's SKS is probably capable of 4-5 MOA with surplus ammo. They are very fun rifles for $300 - $425.
     
  20. dgarvin1

    dgarvin1 Member

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    Unfortunately the mini14 is well known for issues with accuracy. I shot a mini14 that shot +6 MOA. I'm sure you can make them work with the right amount of money, but at that point, might as well by the AR.
     
  21. ugaarguy

    ugaarguy Moderator Staff Member

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  22. Hi-Lander

    Hi-Lander Member

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    I own Mini's, AR's and AK's. The newer 580 and up Tactical series mini's with the tapered barrel and factory flash hider will give the ENTRY level lower AR's a run for accuracy. They are a great gun for the non AR type and with the additions of a Accu Strut and some glass bedding will be more accurate than most shooters. Mine will shoot 1" groups at 100 yds using a bag, 1-4x24 Burris scope and 55grn PMC ammo. Mine has been 100% reliable. Is it as accurate as my Spikes AR?? No but it was not meant to be a target rifle.

    If money is truly tight then look at a AK in the WASR variety. For $400 you can find these all day long. Reliable, fairly accurate to 75yds, and ammo is cheap. You can always add a few parts for upgrades as money allows.

    I do like the Mini. I feel it is a great gun. For a HD, Varmint and plinker the newer models are plenty accurate.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2011
  23. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Member

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    I don't own either but I've always liked the Mini's. Nothing against AR's other than they're EVERYWHERE ad nauseum... I know they're a good platform but there's a little to be said for being different than the rest of the crowd.

    That being said, a friend brought his Mini Ranch Rifle to the house for me to sight in on my 100 yd. range. Even with a scope, that had to be the bullet scatteringest firearm I've ever fired in my life!! Accuracy was non-existant.

    Just my 2¢...

    35W
     
  24. mnhntr

    mnhntr Member

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    Love my Ruger handguns but would never own another Ruger rifle of any kind. Stick with an AR 15
     
  25. Creature

    Creature Member

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    If you're really strapped for cash, I would recommend that you delay purchasing a rifle. Especially if you're just buying a plinker.
     
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