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Thread: Ruger Mini 14 Feedback?

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    Member Anythingalaska's Avatar
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    Default Ruger Mini 14 Feedback?

    Anybody own one of these rifles and have any feedback they would like to share? Pros/Cons? What kind of accuracy are you getting? What do you typically use it for?

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    It's the only semi I own. Reliable, bomb proof and accurate for my needs.

    Mounted a scout scope on it for a while and it was pretty consistent in delivering groups the 1.5-2" range with factory loads. Never tried handloads with the scope. It's been back to iron sights for about 15 years since then. I use it as a saddle gun in the Southwest. Dandy. It's worked out so well, I don't recall anyone who's seen it at work who is using anything else now. It's zapped coyotes to impressive ranges, even shooting from horseback. No use for it anywhere else in my life, but there's no other gun I'd consider as a saddle gun.

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    I've owned three over the last 30 years or so. All were reliable and they would group 2-3 inches at 100 yards. They can be made to be more accurate and all it takes is money. I always tried to find a use for them in Alaska but never could so I sold my last one about 10 years ago.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    I've had several of these off and on over the years. Very reliable with Ruger factory magazines, unreliable without. Really handy size.

    The biggest negative is the lousy accuracy. None of mine would consistently group well and the POI shifted considerably as the barrel heated up. I understand that the last redesign addressed the accuracy issues but I've not had one of those.

    It's been a long time since I had one but if I recall- something like 4" or so at 100yds was probably average.

    I shot a few groundhogs with mine…that was about it other than just plinking around at the range.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    I have found the blued ones shoot fine,not so much the stainless ones. Looking for blued in 7.62x39.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    I have an older SS one. I bought it with the idea of having a canoe/camping gun I didn't need to worry about. I was one payday away from having enough $ saved to buy a Colt H-Bar when Colt stopped selling ARs to us common people. All ARs were hard to find at that time. The Mini-14 was on my want list, I saw one on the shelf, so that is what I bought. It has a very good record for going bang when I pull the trigger (grit, grit, jerk, jerk). I bought several Federal Ordinance (?) mags before the "ban". These have well worked for me. The factory mags are nice but $$$ (A side note: Ruger didn't sell hicap Mini mags to us common folk until fairly recently!). It has not been a target gun, that's not what I bought it for. I replaced the wood stock with a syn. one and my POI changed to the point my rear sight is out of adjustment. The gun sits in the back of the safe waiting some more attention. A nice fellow shooter gave me a scope mount for it; maybe I'll dust the Mini off, replace on the front sight, and work up some loads for it.

    If I didn't own a .223 semi. and wanted one I wouldn't buy a Mini-14. I'd buy an AR. You can just do so much more with the AR platform, set it up any way you want for you! You can get any part for an AR on the open market. Mags are around $12 compared to $30 or so for a Ruger Factory Mini mag. FedOrd went out of business during the "ban" and I haven't heard anything good about other non-factory Mini mags.

    As for Colt. I have a Series 70 1911. It's the only Colt I'll ever own. There's a lot of good AR makers and parts sellers out there; no need to give my $ to a company that treated gun buyers the way Colt did.

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    I know it wasn't your question exactly but I agree with the previous poster, you can put together an AR for relatively low coat that will be much more accurate, mine was about $650 in parts and a little of my time and my best load averages around .5 MOA.


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    Member Anythingalaska's Avatar
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    I guess if I were to ever get a semi-auto, I'de want something more unique than getting an AR. They are just a dime a dozen with everyone around here, and I'de want to have something different. Don't get me wrong, I'm not ragging on AR's; they are good rifles and I have nothing against them. I have always heard that the Mini 14 isn't a tack driver, just wanted some feedback on how people like them. I've heard even worse things (accuracy wise) about Mini 30s.

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    I have had several Ruger's in both calibers. Every time I got frustrated with the lack of accuracy and got rid of them.
    NRA Life Member since 1974

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    I can appreciate you wanting something different. I finally gave in and bought two AR15's this past year, a most surprising purchase for me. Best move I made in a while too. Had more fun shooting them than I ever would have thought. There are many reasons folks are AR crazy and mini 14's are not so high on the list. Accuracy is a top reason, but customization options, parts availability, all play a part as well. The mini 14 is a good gun, but nothing special in my opinion. I have shot a few over the years but never bought one. I was a prison guard for five years and we used them on all the gun towers, trained and qualified each year, and what not. At a minimum, I think you should borrow or at least shoot a mini 14 and an AR15 side by side to compare the two. While you are at it send some lead down range with an AK47 (Arsenal if possible) and a FN-FAL. Lots of great choices out there.


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    I have a stainless/synthetic chambered for 6.8 SPC that shoots about 2 MOA which is good enough for shots at deer out to the MPBR of 280 yards. It did a fine job on several deer shooting 120gr Hornady SSTs.

    It isn't cheap to shoot like a .223/5.56 but it has utility beyond Marmots and zombies. I'd use it on game up to the size of Caribou.

    I haven't had malfunction problems as of yet. My biggest complaints are the trigger which sucks by bolt gun standards but isn't any worse than most lever guns and the amount of noise it makes when chambering a round. It likes to chamber the first round by pulling the charging handle all the way back and letting it slam shut with full force. Not a big deal at the range but out hunting it could be a problem.

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    I've always thought they were attractive.

    I never owned one, because I don't like, (have any use for) either the 223, or 7.62x39, OR the short barrels.

    Stan Jackson was putting HEAVIER barrels on them, to make them more accurate. I don't know how successful that was.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anythingalaska View Post
    I guess if I were to ever get a semi-auto, I'de want something more unique than getting an AR. They are just a dime a dozen with everyone around here, and I'de want to have something different. Don't get me wrong, I'm not ragging on AR's; they are good rifles and I have nothing against them. I have always heard that the Mini 14 isn't a tack driver, just wanted some feedback on how people like them. I've heard even worse things (accuracy wise) about Mini 30s.
    Ha ha ha... That's an ironic comment considering how customizable they are, I would venture to bet there isn't another one in Alaska exactly like mine. I totally get it if your not into them, I just thought that was a funny comment!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    I've always thought they were attractive.

    I never owned one, because I don't like, (have any use for) either the 223, or 7.62x39, OR the short barrels.

    Stan Jackson was putting HEAVIER barrels on them, to make them more accurate. I don't know how successful that was.

    Smitty of the North
    The mini-14 is definitely an oddity for Ruger, seems like its the ONLY thing they make that I don't like.

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    Supporting Member Hoyt-Hunter's Avatar
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    IMHO, when I justified buying a rifle, I buy them using the following criteria and in that order:

    1. Accuracy
    2. Reliability
    3. Adaptability
    4. Maintenance
    5. Logistics of standard and after market parts
    6. Aesthetics

    With that as my criteria, the mini 14 can't compete with the worst of the AR platforms.


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    Member GD Yankee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danattherock View Post
    I can appreciate you wanting something different. I finally gave in and bought two AR15's this past year, a most surprising purchase for me. Best move I made in a while too. Had more fun shooting them than I ever would have thought. There are many reasons folks are AR crazy and mini 14's are not so high on the list. Accuracy is a top reason, but customization options, parts availability, all play a part as well. The mini 14 is a good gun, but nothing special in my opinion. I have shot a few over the years but never bought one. I was a prison guard for five years and we used them on all the gun towers, trained and qualified each year, and what not. At a minimum, I think you should borrow or at least shoot a mini 14 and an AR15 side by side to compare the two. While you are at it send some lead down range with an AK47 (Arsenal if possible) and a FN-FAL. Lots of great choices out there.


    Dan
    That is GREAT advice.

    I believe the newest versions are much more accurate, but don't know personally. My old (1989) Mini-14 was a fun little gun, but 3-4" groups at a hundred yards no matter what. I'll tell you one thing about the old Mini-14s, you'll never find the ejected brass. That thing extracts and flings the brass into the next county!

    The Mini-14 is a nearly indestructible gun, but considering the record of the AR15/M16/M4 in our wars, that isn't a huge advantage.

    Here's the accurized version:

    http://www.ruger.com/products/mini14...le/models.html

    Pretty heavy gun to get it as accurate as a good AR15.

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    Mini 14 triggers are very easy to fix. I have had several of both and if I my life were on the line I'd take the mini 14 every time. NNOBODY can shoot a half in group when in a hunting situation anyway so the most important factor is that they go bang. Ar's won't when they get a bit dirty!

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    Supporting Member Hoyt-Hunter's Avatar
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    Got a 2 piston AR and have cycle so close to 3000 rounds through each. One has had 2 double feeds and the other has yet to malfunction. Not seeing what your saying about a&e reliability.


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  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    I've always thought they were attractive.

    I never owned one, because I don't like, (have any use for) either the 223, or 7.62x39, OR the short barrels.

    Stan Jackson was putting HEAVIER barrels on them, to make them more accurate. I don't know how successful that was.

    Smitty of the North

    He is VERY successful as I owned one he rebarreled and accurized. It would easily shoot MOA after he was finished. That's why in my original post I mentioned all it takes is money. IIRC he charged me about $400 and that was 6 years ago.

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    Quote Originally Posted by elmerkeithclone View Post
    Mini 14 triggers are very easy to fix. I have had several of both and if I my life were on the line I'd take the mini 14 every time. NNOBODY can shoot a half in group when in a hunting situation anyway so the most important factor is that they go bang. Ar's won't when they get a bit dirty!
    Mini's are very reliable and I used to carry one in my plane as a survival gun. Gotta disagree on the AR though. When I had my 07FFL/SOT I set up a M4 clone to use as a suppressor demo gun and it went somewhere around 2500 rounds with a variety of cans on the front before it started to need a tear down and cleaning...with only a shot of CLP inside from time to time.

    I used an issue M16 in the early 70's in SEA and we learned to clean them daily and had VERY few problems with them...like they did in the early days when they were first brought in country. On my departure for my first trip, my Dad told me to get an M1 Carbine...they always work! Well, guess what a Carbine looks like...yip, a Mini 14. My Mini will stay on a full size man target at 200 yds so I guess it depends upon how you plan to use it.
    Somewhere along the way I have lost the ability to act politically correct. If you should find it, please feel free to keep it.

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