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The Mini-14

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by The Janitor, Nov 7, 2008.

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  1. The Janitor

    The Janitor Member

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    Not sure why this rifle gets so much flak. It's not a precision rifle by any means, but it is lightweight, rugged, fairly cheap, and accuracy is about on par with your average AK. Hell, I might even go as far as to call it the American take on the AK.

    Never had any reliability problems with mine using Promags and SS109. Got mine rigged up with a holographic sight and a sidefolder. Makes a good little coyote blaster/general plinker.
     
  2. Phil DeGraves

    Phil DeGraves Member

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    Totally agree. It was never designed to be a competition rifle. It was a factory version of the M1 Carbine set up in .223, a pretty good all around idea. I remember seeing M1s rechambered to ".22 Johnson" way back when, so Bill Ruger knew he had a market for it.
     
  3. foghornl

    foghornl Member

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    I haven't looked lately, but I remember Ruger marketed the Mini-xx rifles/carbines along the line of "..When a FEW quick shots are needed."

    NOT designed to spend all day dumping lead downrange as quick as you could change magazines.

    In the latest incarnation, I understand they have beefed up the barrels a bit and offer 20-round mags for some of the Mini-14's.
     
  4. The Janitor

    The Janitor Member

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    Supposedly, you can spend a few hundred on a kit and get MOA accuracy out of it. But yes, your group sizes can double or even triple after the barrel gets hot.
     
  5. Ratshooter

    Ratshooter Member

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    I have a 2007 Mini with the skinny barrel. After all the bad I had read about it I was surprised by how well it actually shot. I retorqued and evened the gas block, added home made buffers and installed the ASI middle sized gas bushing.

    I tested it and after 30 shots when the barrel was blazing hot it still shot less than a 2" group with open sights and a poor rest. Plus with the new gas bushing the brass only goes about 8' and lands in a neat little circle.

    My mini is one of the neatest, funnest guns I have ever fired. I can hit 2 liter bottles off hand at a hundred yards with nearly every shot. What more do you want?
     
  6. AirForceShooter

    AirForceShooter Member

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    I've got mine for a SHTF situation , which we sometimes get here in Florida.
    Put a Madsen muzzle break on it and Mike Konifong's tiny gas valve.

    I'll shoot 2" groups until the barrel really heats up and then it starts stringing.

    But it's reliable . It's never failed no matter what ammo I've stuffed in it.

    And that "clank" of the op rod when the looters are around really gets their attention.

    AFS
     
  7. LJ-MosinFreak-Buck

    LJ-MosinFreak-Buck Member

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    how much do Mini's usually go for?
     
  8. Omaha-BeenGlockin

    Omaha-BeenGlockin Member

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    NIB $600 to $800-----depending on model.
     
  9. 45B@cav

    45B@cav Member

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    Mini rifles are great. Some specialty models get a little pricey but I'd pay it for the reliability. There are a good bit of hop up parts on the market also.
     
  10. wtfd661

    wtfd661 Member

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    Bought mine a month ago, the all weather model with heavier barrel, shot several hundred rounds through it on the first day out and noticed no appreciable decline in accuracy. Did notice a potential decline in my wallet when using 20 rd. magazines (man they can go fast), started to stick with the 5 round mag. at the range to slow the process down. It is a fun gun.
     
  11. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    My ranch rifle always works but shoots 5-inch groups at 50 yards, prone, scoped. I need to try the easy fixes...
     
  12. The Janitor

    The Janitor Member

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    For prices, I got mine used with a side folder, 4 hi-cap mags, and a couple hundred rounds of Wolf Ammo. $600. I don't like to use the Wolf though. It will get an FTF every 5-15 rounds with non-factory mags.

    1KPerDay, what are these 'easy fixes' you might be referring to to help the accuracy?
     
  13. BHP FAN

    BHP FAN Member

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    Mine is ancient,with the no longer available wood handguard.I couldn't find a decent rear sight [they all seem to be for the Ranch Rifle] so I scoped it.I have seven California legal 10 round magazines for it.If I ever need more than that,I am in deep kimchee.
     
  14. ilbob

    ilbob Member

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    mine shoots 2-3 inch groups at 100 yards, for the first few shots. :)

    after the barrel gets even a little warm the group opens up to 6 or 8 inches.
     
  15. dagger dog

    dagger dog Member

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    Yeah, most M1 30 cal Carbines shoot the same grouping as a Mini, but they don't get the same bad rap.

    I wonder why the response to the Ruger handguns, revolvers in particular, is so much more in praise than the bum rap the Mini's incur?
     
  16. Zebraranger

    Zebraranger Member

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    Picked up this Mini 14 a couple of weeks ago, its a 2008 series 580 with the new barrel. Have'nt had a chance to take it out yet, but hopefully I will this weekend. I mounted a Nikon Prostaff scope on it and a quick adjust sling.
    Here's a review by Bart Skelton from Rifle shooter Magazine. Quote (Four shots with Hornady's 75-grain BTHP grouped just under an inch at 115 yards--outstanding accuracy for a factory Mini-14. A flyer extended the five-shot group to 17/8 inches. New tooling and CNC manufacturing processes are the reasons for the carbine's improved accuracy.) I hope mine does as well, Heres the link to the Rifle Shooter Magazine review.
    Link http://www.rifleshootermag.com/featu...granch_071807/
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2008
  17. Blacksmoke

    Blacksmoke Member

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    I love mine and just ordered more 20 round magazines from Ruger. I also ordered the 75 grain ammo from Hornady and am curious to see how a heavier bullet shoots and what kind of damage it does. My Mine-14 is strictly for self defense and the occaisional Prairie Dog. I put a 4X Weaver on it.

    With fmj 55 grain it does a good job of chipping concrete at 136 yards. Groups would be in the 10 inch category. That was probably me more than the carbine.
     
  18. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    Mine was purchased purely for a fun gun and possible SHTF rifle. It always works which is not true of most AR's without a lot of rgular cleaning. If I can shoot 6" groups at 100 yds, it is good enough for me. After all it is a semi-auto. I really like the new models. Wish I had one rather than my 1980's model.
     
  19. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    I've only read about them here and elsewhere... listed here in order of cheap to expensive
    1. loosen and re-torque the gas/barrel block to proper torque and spacing it equally all around

    2. try a flash hider or remove the one you have

    3. Try different gas port sizes

    4. Try an accu-strut

    5. trigger job

    6. cut the barrel shorter to reduce whip

    7. bed the rifle

    8. new barrel

    9. buy AR-15

    :D


    I may have missed some options; these are just the ones that spring to mind.
     
  20. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    I have a Ranch Rifle and I like it. It's a light, sleek, easy-carrying, great-handling reliable little power tool. Paper punching isn't the best, but plinking at reactive targets at 100 yards plus is a lot of fun.

    I think the bum rap is due largely to the .223 being a varmint round. People have rifles that will put 5 shots inside a dime at 200 yards. So the ideas people have about .223 come from a different application than the Mini-14 is intended for.

    The .30 Carbine round is a skinny pistol round. People just don't expect it to be an accurate long-range rifle round, so they don't think anything of it, when it shoots softball-size groups with a scope.
     
  21. luft97

    luft97 Member

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    Ranch Rifles are a lot of fun to shoot. I went with the Mini 30 as I already owned a nice AR. Although my father owns a Mini 14 Target and it's plenty accurate.

    My Mini 30 looks almost identical to the one above. I have the same 3-9x40 Prostaff on mine as well.

    Something to think about if you want a Mini 7.62x39 is much cheaper to shoot than .223

    My .02
     
  22. BHP FAN

    BHP FAN Member

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    Well,mine became more accurate when I took the bayonet lug/compensator/flashider doohicky [tech term] off and went back to factory sights.I have mine scoped anyways,so I didn't really need all the crud hanging off the barrel.
     
  23. bkb0000

    bkb0000 Member

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    1/9 twist on a 18" barrel.. it'll shoot 55-69gr best, in theory. 1/9's not really enough for 75gr.

    anyone rocked different loads through the same mini?
     
  24. Txhillbilly

    Txhillbilly Member

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    I have a 180 series Mini 14 made in 1976 and have always enjoyed shooting it. It is a great carry around the farm/ranch gun for offhand varmit shooting, and no it won't come close to any of my AR's in accuracy,but it will hang right with my Saiga 223. As long as you don't rapid fire the Mini 14 will keep enough accuracy to hit a running coyote at 75-100 yrds all day and night long. Mine prefers to shoot 55-62gr bullets.
     

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  25. Ignition Override

    Ignition Override Member

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    Yep, my Mini 14 and 30 are fun, reliable, but so is the lower-cost SKS, and the larger bullet does a lot more damage to certain targets than the higher-cost (Wolf) .223.

    The looks of the SKS might get one's attention quicker than a Mini, if attention is ever a factor.
    Its similarity to the world-famous AK might even help.

    Good luck with your search and decision. As fun and nice as the Mini 30 is, I could have bought both an SKS last spring plus about 2,500-3,000 rds for the price of the rifle, but I ignored advice from several people...having never touched an SKS. Its unAmerican, less attractive looks are far outweighed by its simple, rugged function and main objective-to shoot and keep on shooting.
    And the SKS needs no (elusive) reliable higher-cap. aftermarket mag to hold ten rounds.

    Mini 14, 30, SKS and MN 44. Each rifle=:) .
     
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