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Ruger Mini-14 Ranch Rifle

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by The Sentinel, Dec 18, 2006.

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  1. The Sentinel

    The Sentinel Member

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    I was checking out a Ruger Mini-14 at my local gun shop the other day and the guy behind the counter said he wouldn't recommend it. He said the Mini-14 just sprays bullets and isn't accurate at all.
    He really didn't have much good to say about it. I'd like to purchase a rifle and was looking toward this, but now I'm not so sure. I've never fired one. I'd like some input from others who have had some experience with this rifle; good or bad.
     
  2. Guns_and_Labs

    Guns_and_Labs Member

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    I like mine. It's not as accurate as an AR (by and large), but the newer ones are pretty good. I have one very tricked out, and it's as accurate as can be, and I have one that's pretty much stock, and it easily keeps them all in the black.

    And in CA, getting legal AR's is a bit complex. Wander over to calguns.net for much more on the subject.

    What did he want to sell you instead?
     
  3. mr. e

    mr. e Member

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    I've got a Mini 14 with a stainless barrel. I wouldn't recommend it for target shooting.

    After its light barrel heats up, six shots or so, the point of impact starts to wander around the target. Trying to sight in a scope for this rifle is a real frustrating experince.

    That said, I've put a folding stock and a holographic red dot sight on it. It is reliable, rugged, and will definitely hold minute of bad guy at 100 yds.

    Whether it's adequate depends on what you plan on using it for.
     
  4. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    I have one, the previous version in stainless and synthetic.

    I love it. It's a handy carbine, points naturally, shoots well, reliable as all get-out.

    It is not, however, particularly accurate. It doesn't just spray bullets, but it's not fun if you want to shoot targets off the bench. Offhand, at faraway targets, it works fine. It just doesn't shoot 1" groups at 100 yards, so it's not so fun for paper target shooting at an organized range; save that for a bolt gun.

    The latest model (most recognizable by a protected black front sight instead of a single blade) is supposedly more accurate.

    Bottom line? I like mine. It's worked well. Everyone else who shoots it, likes it, too. But don't buy it for 100 yard+ paper punching.

    And give it a rest now and then, when the barrel heats up (a BAR, 7400, etc. also should be allowed to cool).
     
  5. RNB65

    RNB65 Member

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    It depends on how you define accuracy. If you're looking for a rifle that's going to shoot 1" groups at 100yds, the Mini-14 ain't it. If you're looking for a reliable rifle that will shoot 6-8" groups at 100yds, the Mini-14 may be for you.

    I hate to start the Mini-14 vs AR15 war, but I used to own two Mini-14's. Sold them and now I own two AR15's.
     
  6. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    I like mine. Very reliable. No, it is not a target rifle. But it is a great rifle to take out in the desert (or woods) and bang away. I figure if I can hit a gallon jug at 100 yds with it off hand, it is good enough for me. That is certainly minute of bad guy accuracy. For target work, I'll shoot something else.
     
  7. Highland Ranger

    Highland Ranger Member

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    Seems to be a little too inaccurate no?

    I understand the concept of "working" guns that perhaps sacrifice some accuracy for reliability or cost purposes.

    But 6"-8" at 100 yards in a modern rifle .. . . . . what would you use it for?

    An AK is half that no?
     
  8. George S.

    George S. Member

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    The Mini-14 was never intended to be a MOA rifle. The "Ranch" rifle started out for civilian use to take care of varmints around your property (either 4-legged or 2 :D ). At this, it works great.

    The Mini-14 GB version has seen use as a LEO weapon, used by prison guards (I think that the guards at San Quentin or Folsom in CA still have them), and they were even sent to a few countries for military use.

    Ruger spent a number of months making new tooling for manufacturing the Mini and the current Ranch rifle is more accurate than the older versions. Ruger has just introduced a Target version which should provide some much improved accuracy right out of the box. Go here to read about it: http://www.ruger.com/Firearms/N-NewProductInfo.html

    I did about $75 worth of work to my Mini to get consistent 2- 2.5" groups at 100 yards with the factory peep sight. At 50 yards, I can shoot 1" groups off a rest as long as I take my time and concentrate. Minis can be a little picky about ammo so brand and bullet weight plays a part in accuracy.

    I guess it depends on what you want in a semi-auto rifle. The Mini doesn't look like an EBR and they are less money to buy compared to AR's. You can find hi-cap mags for them that work with no problmes although getting them in CA will be an issue unless you find the factory pre-ban Ruger hi-caps.

    It sounds like the guy int he gun shop wanted to get more of your money by steering you away from the Mini. From what you described about his comments, he is uninformed and probably has never shot one.
     
  9. CSA 357

    CSA 357 Member

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    mini 14 is a good gun, but dont put a scope on it, it will make you sick!
     
  10. Nhsport

    Nhsport Member

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    I have shot some that were ok but I also owned an early stainless one that would not hold 12" at 100 yards with any ammo no mater how slow and carefull it was shot. This was with a good scope over a solid rest ( with a sling,without a sling ,without a rest ,with handloads,with 15 or so different factory loads), It went bang every time I pulled the trigger but who knows where the bullets were going. This gun was bought new .
     
  11. Leanwolf

    Leanwolf Member

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    THE SENTINEL - "I was checking out a Ruger Mini-14 at my local gun shop the other day and the guy behind the counter said he wouldn't recommend it.He said the Mini-14 just sprays bullets and isn't accurate at all."

    The guy's an ignorant gun shop ninja.

    3/4" groups at 100 yards?? Nope.

    1 1/2" to 2" groups?? Yep.

    I've got a Mini-14 GB, 182 series that will shoot 2" groups all day with both PMC and Win. ball, and Win. PSPs.

    Let's see now. That means that at 300 yards, it's shooting 6" groups. Hmmmm. Most "practical" field targets are bigger than that. Guess I'll hang on to my Mini-14 GB.

    Just my take on it.

    L.W.
     
  12. HuntAndFish

    HuntAndFish Member

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    Well,

    My Mini-14 is about the worst one I've seen for accuracy, but shooting targets from a bench (red dot) at 100 yds I can always cover the group with the palm of my hand if I do my part. Not a target gun, but plenty reasonable for close in varmint hunting.
     
  13. Hank Hunter

    Hank Hunter Member

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    I've had 4 rugers, 2 of them Mini-14"s none of them were even close to accurate but they function well.
     
  14. The Sentinel

    The Sentinel Member

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    Guns_and_Labs
    Senior Member


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    He really didn't recommend anything else. I am also interested in purchasing an AR-15, but right now it's a little outta my price range. Is there a decent rifle for target shooting and possibly small game in the $200 to $300range?
     
  15. ndh87

    ndh87 Member

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    I've got a Mini 14 ranch. It is very dependable....i can always depend on it to have problems and p*ss me off. forget using anything except factory mags, dont shoot in tall grass, that way you can find the parts that fall off from the recoil, and becareful what scope you put on it, the crosshairs on mine cracked because of the recoil. Aside from that, i've had the accuracy go from perfect, to absolutely horrible with no link between barrel temp and accuracy.

    :fire:
     
  16. Guns_and_Labs

    Guns_and_Labs Member

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    Are you stuck on semi-auto? Not as much plinking fun, but how about a Ruger or Savage bolt action, used?

    Or new, how about an NEF ultra varmint single shot? Or a Thompson/Center Contender, and then you can add other calibers later on the same frame.
     
  17. The Sentinel

    The Sentinel Member

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    Ha..Ha..Ha..!! I'll remember the part about not shooting in tall grass.:D You're funny!!
     
  18. ECVMatt

    ECVMatt Member

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    I have had a few Mini's...

    They have always worked for me. I have never had to look for parts in the grass, but I keep mine bone stock. I do not add gem-crack dodahs to try and make it into something it is not. Ruger rings do not fall a part and do not come off the gun unless you remove them yourself.

    Mine have always been minute o' beer can (opps, I mean soda can...) at 100 yards. They seem to work when AR's don't. I have both and while my AR is more accurate my Mini jams less and it more tolerent to ammo changes.

    If I really need accuracy I go to my bolt guns. I love the mini for a fun, reliable, decently accurate rifle. I like to use it for a camping gun because it works so well. I just picked up a new 580 series and am going to the range on Friday. I a fired up to see what it can do; they are supposed to be more accurate.

    I would say get the mini and forget the guy at the store. If you really need accuracy, then get a bolt gun. You might want to check out the prefectunion.com and look at the mini section for some more informed info.

    Hope this helps,

    Matt
     
  19. Tady45

    Tady45 Member

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    Do the older high cap mags fit into the new Mini 14's? I have a Ranch and like it fine, (with high cap mags) and besides, what else can we have in PRK anyway?
     
  20. ECVMatt

    ECVMatt Member

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    My Old Mags work fine in the new Mini

    I had a bunch of Ruger 20's from the preban days and they worked fine.

    Matt
     
  21. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    That's BS.

    I can beat that with iron sights, on a paper target. (I do need to let the barrel cool, but that's true about my .30-06 bolt-action sporter that shoots tiny little groups, too. Hell, I even clean the bore every few shots, whereas the Mini gets cleaned every few times I shoot it.)

    But a 3 MOA rifle is no fun for paper punching, either. Nothing over 1 MOA is amusing on paper targets, and 1 MOA can even be a drag. Paper punching is a different game.

    The Mini-14 IS, however, quite amusing for shooting at gallon jugs, coffee cans, etc., offhand at 100-150 yards with iron sights. It "shoots as well as I do" in that scenario. And I really do love the ergonomics.

    Is an AR more accurate? Yup.
    Is a detachable-mag AR legal for me to buy here? Nope.
    Is a Mini a more convenient little gun to carry than an AR? Yes it is.
    Would I pay $1000 for a California-legal Bushmaster top-loading Carbon-15? No way, no how.

    If you view the Mini-14 as a grown-up 10/22, you'll love it.

    If you want a National Match rifle, you won't.
     
  22. RH822

    RH822 Member

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    Recoil?? your kidding, right? I think my Crossman 760 has more recoil.
    I have 4 after market mags 2 of them are over 20 yrs old and 2 are 1 yr old, never had a problem with any of them.
    As for parts falling off your rifle, you mean all the after market stuff that shouldn't be there anyway?
    To fix the scope issue, why bother with a scope, it really doesn't need one, after all it's not a tack driver.
    And finally, Yes Virginia there is a Santa Claus, and barrel temp certainly affects the accuracy on my rifle. The first three go in under 3 inches every time and tends to open up and level off to just under 6 inches at 100 yds under sustained fire.

    RH
     
  23. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    If I let the barrel of any centerfire get all dirty and heat up as hot as a Mini's gets, it wouldn't be shooting under an inch, either.

    That's what I mean when I say that the accuracy is not target grade, but it's not as bad as people make it out to be, either. It's definitely good enough to be a lot of fun. I've never noticed any accuracy problem when I shoot it offhand.
     
  24. aka108

    aka108 Member

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    The Ruger Mini's are not noted for accuracy. Had a Mini 30 that was the least accurate piece I ever owned. Several guys I shoot with have 14's. Same story. Guess I can say it was the only rifle I was really elated to get rid of. As I've stated before, I hated the thing. If I were Ruger I'd roll stamp it with someone elses name, not mine. For some reason, unknown to me, they keep selling those things so it sort of proves that like a lot of stuff today, just getting by is good enough.
     
  25. 308win

    308win Member

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    All I know is that I can pick mine up, load up any of the John Masen after market mags I have, lock it in, cycle it, pull the trigger, and it goes bang until the mag is empty, nothing falls off, it is light enough to shoot competently off-hand, and it cost less than $500 new including tax. Is it a benchrest gun? Nope but neither is my out of the box Armalite.
     
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