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Ruger Mini - 14

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by RWMC, May 2, 2006.

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  1. stealthmode

    stealthmode Member

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    I like that
     
  2. Foxtrot427

    Foxtrot427 Member

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    like others have said Id rather get a used AR or an Kel tec SU-16
     
  3. Tomac

    Tomac Member

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  4. bbutler

    bbutler Member

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    Id say go with it its a very cool reliable gun (SOME PEOPLE JUST ARENT HAPPY WITH ANYTHING) :rolleyes:
     
  5. colt.45

    colt.45 Member

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    if yall recall, he said he cant afford an ar-15 and wanted your opinion on the mini-14. not how much better an ar-15 would do. i think that the mini-14 is a great little rifle, and froma cold bore, its as good a gun as any. good for plinking out to 300 yards and for the yotes its great. take the mini for what it is and you will be happy with one. and as for reliability. it is a two lug open bolt gas piston rifle. it will be as reliable as any ak if you use pro mag polymer mags.
     
  6. RWMC

    RWMC Member

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    Many thanks to all of you on your great and much appreciated feed-back. I am still going to do some more thinking about the possible purchase ( money being at a premium ). Thanks again all.
     
  7. Creeping Incrementalism

    Creeping Incrementalism Member

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    Well, I've had close experience with two shooting about 2500 rounds, and I can defintiely say its the guns, not the mags. Don't even try to tell me their reliability will rival a commie gun, because I've shot a number of commie guns, and the cheapest of them is about three times as reliable as the Minis, excluding the mags. Once you count mags, the Minis get even worse. In fact, of all the auto-loaders I've shot, ARs, AKs, Benellis, M1As, Glocks, other Ruger auto-loaders, the Minis are the bottom of the barrel in terms of reliability. One of the Minis I shoot is more sensitive to dust/sand and ammo fouling than anything else, and the other came with a really rough action that just failed to extract all the time, and sometimes broke the heads off of cases. About 1500 rounds later it seems to have worn the rough edges off or whatever, and that one works better now, though. Not that the Minis are atrocious, but they are definitely in last place, from my own experience, and what I've heard from others.

    If you got 10 AKs, 10 ARs, 10 M-14 types, and 10 Minis, I'm confidant the Minis will come in last in terms of reliability. Not even mentioning the mags, which alone are more than enough reason not to get a Mini.

    Correct, I've never called them. Why would I call them when the manual explicitly says they have no warranty whatsoever, and the only stories I heard about their service is how they Narc on people for illegal guns (not that the ones I handled ever were)?

    The other funny fact I like about the Mini is how the gun says .223, but the people who've done the factory training say it's actually 5.56.

    I don't think Minis are garbage, and I like the one I personally own. It's just... everything else is better.

    If I were the guy who started this thread, I'd get a Bulgarian Arsenal AK.
     
  8. Kevinch

    Kevinch Member

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    I did own a Mini 14, the wood stocked SS Ranch Rifle. I shot it very little, buying it during those dark days when I was somewhat concerned about the future prospects of legally acquiring a semiauto "battle" type rifle.

    A few years ago I traded it in on the purchase of a Bushmaster & have never looked back. The Mini was 1 of only 3 guns I've ever sold.

    If I were looking now, I'd try to save enough money to buy a new AR or look for a good deal on a used one before I purchased a Mini 14. Not that the Mini is a bad rifle - I just prefer the AR.
     
  9. CTI1USNRET

    CTI1USNRET Member

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    AR fanatics will never keep away from any discussion of the Mini-14. It's against their religion. They will never allow someone to choose a Mini without their "superior" opinion of the AR being voiced. Reading "Mini-14" in any forum pushes a button in their minds that activates the "pro AR" program.

    Try it. It never fails.
     
  10. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    <Unnecessary comment removed by Art>

    WRT the AR vs. Mini...

    A Mini-14 fits between or under the seats of a ranch truck. It slides neatly and unobtrusively into a scabbard on an ATV (or even a horse, if you have a horse). The all-stainless one will take an unparalleled amount of abuse. It shoots just as well dirty as clean.

    An AR sticks out in all directions and, while many people get flawless performance from theirs, they do so by keeping it nice and clean. The Marines have few if any problems, because they clean theirs religiously. The Air Force personnel who were caught by "insurgents" in Iraq a couple years back didn't get a lot of rifle maintenance training, and guess what? Their guns didn't work when they needed them. Accurate and tacticool as an AR may be, it doesn't sound like a rancher's best friend. The consistent images that stick in my mind when I think of the few ranches I've been on are dust and mud.

    Accuracy is important. But you don't need a 0.25 MOA benchrest competition rifle to hunt deer in the woods, and you don't need a sub-MOA rifle to shoot coyotes with iron sights, either.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2006
  11. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    My 188-series stainless Ranch Rifle won't stay on a beer can from a benchrest and sandbags at that distance. The best 100-yard group that rifle has ever fired is 5.5" at 100 yards, from a benchrest and rear bag. I've tried premium match ammunition, optics, etc.

    As far as reliability goes--I have NEVER had a single rifle-related failure to function in the 2000 to 3000 rounds I've put through mine over the last 17 years.

    With good magazines, the mini is absolutely reliable. (Creeping Incrementalism, I think you just had very bad luck with two lemons; I've never encountered another mini owner who didn't rave about the reliability.) Finding good magazines is the trick, though; I've had some that wouldn't even feed a single round, and brands that work perfectly in one gun may not work with another.

    Ergonomics--I swapped the straight cowboy-style wooden stock on mine for a Choate E2 pistol grip stock a while back, and when the AWB expired I bought a Butler Creek folder. Does wonders for the gun's ergonomics (I hate straight stocks), but if you add the retail price of the gun + price of reliable magazines + ergonomic stock, you have paid more than the price of an entry-level AR-15.



    CTI1USNRET, I own a mini and don't own an AR (but have shot a number of them), and it is my opinion from personal experience that the AR is an all-around better rifle in many ways. The downside is that an AR is also more expensive, which is why I don't own one at the moment.
     
  12. Bullet Bob

    Bullet Bob Member

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    I have a RRA 20" AR; great gun, very accurate, high coolness factor (although I'm sure it could be much cooler if I hung a bunch of crap on it). I also have a stainless steel, wood-stocked Mini-14 Ranch rifle. Of the two, the Ruger gets more use, because it's more fun to me - YMMV. Light and handy, reliable, and for offhand plinking it's larger groups relative to the AR add to the fun/challenge. Plus I like seeing the brass get the heck outa Dodge!
     
  13. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Moderator In Memoriam

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    Creeping Incrementalism, it ain't my fault if you have a little black cloud following you and your Minis around. In all the discussions of Minis over my last eight years here and at The Firing Line, you're one of the few who's ever reported any problem with reliability of the rifle itself. Odds are, you're indeed better off without a Mini.

    For the rest of us, though, whose primary intent is plinking and varmint shooting, the rugged little Mini is quite good for the purpose. Always has been. I guess it always will be.

    I know of a big bunch of dead jackrabbits up in Nevada who sure wouldn't argue that point. :D A few coyotes down here around home, as well.

    And what an AR will do is irrelevant. I've had four of those, as well. (About 30 years ago I bought an AR kit off a guy. I screwed it all together, sort of a "This goes here, that goes there" deal. I noticed the safety moved a notch farther than I thought it should. Hmmm. Do you have any idea how fast full-auto will empty a 20-round mag? Needless to say, a bunch of parts disappeared quick-quick and it got all "legalized". :D ) I have high regard for them, particularly the Bushie Match Target. But the issue here is the Mini.

    Art
     
  14. Guns_and_Labs

    Guns_and_Labs Member

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    At least, not with a 20 round magazine. :D
     
  15. drsteve

    drsteve Member

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    I have a Mini-14 because I live in California. The day I move out, is the day I sell it for an AR.

    It is not a bad rifle; it's just that the AR is better.
     
  16. JNewell

    JNewell Member

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    Whatever else gets said here, that's certainly the truth (on both sides). It is never a hardware discussion, always a religious thing. Folks believe or they don't and we know what happens to unbelievers. Having Ruger and Colt names mixed into the debate hasn't kept things any cooler, either...
     
  17. blackedoutharley

    blackedoutharley Member

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    I have both a Mini-14 & a Mini-30. Additionally, I own an AR.

    The Mini-14 is a Stainless Ranch Rifle and is as reliable as a Timex, Period.
    I know of the problem with mags but have found that the Masen's work just fine in either 20 or 30 round version. Mine has a Hogue stock, and Nikon 3X9X40 Prostaff scope mounted in the stock rings. It was accurate enough to satisfy my needs to 100 yrds and got better when I added a Harris bi-pod mount to the barrel with a Rockport bi-pod.
    The AR is a great rifle but in a flash I would not give a second thought to grabbing the Mini in a jam to dispatch a 'yote or other adversary of any kind.
    The Mini-30...............?
    Well lets just say that it shoots okay and looks cool in my safe next to the '14.

    If you decide on the Mini, get the ranch model and add a good scope and you will be happy.
    P.S. I shoot SS109 milsurp ammo through everything with no problems. Your results may vary but I dont spend alot on ammo.
    Good Luck
     
  18. Kevinch

    Kevinch Member

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    :rolleyes:


    I would simply point out the statement by the thread originator:
    All I personally was doing was answering with my honest opinion......
     
  19. Joe7cri

    Joe7cri Member

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    I originally was looking at the Mini 14, but then decided to go with a used Bushmaster A2 XM15, and couldn't be happier. The Mini 14 felt like a toy when I picked it up. Try and shoot both, if you are anything like me you'll never put the AR down.

    You can buy a great condition used AR15 for the same price as a new Mini 14.
     
  20. JNewell

    JNewell Member

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    Out of genuine curiosity and in the spirit of light rather than heat, let me ask...

    ...is the Ranch version more reliable than the earlier "regular" version?
     
  21. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    <Unnecessary stuff removed by Art>

    Personally, I have had enough of the stupid Ruger-bashing. Ruger, frankly, does not deserve it, at least as far as their customer service is concerned.

    They've surely earned my loyalty, and since that post I talked to another guy with a Ruger shotgun. Something broke on it and he called Ruger; they said "no problem," paid for shipping both ways, and he had the gun back in perfect condition within two weeks, and it didn't cost him a dime. That is par for the course. Ruger makes solid products in the USA, Ruger employs a lot of Americans; and they get enough crap, not to mention expensive, frivolous lawsuits designed to bankrupt them, from the antis.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2006
  22. GTKrockeTT

    GTKrockeTT Member

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    have you considered the kel tec SU-16CA model?

    i have a mini14 ranch, love the reliability, and enjoy it for what it is, a fun plinking rifle.

    i also have a kel tec SU-16A, shoots with a bit more accuracy than the mini, but i still like the mini more.

    recently been hit with the BRD (black rifle disease), afflicting many CA residents as of late, so the off-list "AR-15s" have been demanding a bit more attention and affection.

    i wouldn't sell any of them.:D
     
  23. bbutler

    bbutler Member

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    I love my mini and its well made ,but if you ever have to send it off for repair you are out of luck.They have had mine forever.
     
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