mini 14

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mini 14

Post by BOOM-stick » Thu Jan 06, 2011 10:23 pm

Hi all, Got a line on a mini-14, anybody have one ? The price is reasonable and in great shape. Thanks for any info.

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Re: mini 14

Post by Folly » Thu Jan 06, 2011 10:30 pm

My dad used to have one, fun to shoot and very accurate with the right optics. Can be a cool battle carbine if you are so inclined.
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Re: mini 14

Post by gelgoog » Thu Jan 06, 2011 10:34 pm

need more info. What year was it made, what kind of mini-14 ( there are many) and what price?


Generally a mini-14 is a decent rifle depending upon the price.
- only use factory mags, everything else is crap
- accuracy is on par with an AK (reliability not so much...but reliable enough)
- PC friendly

During the assault weapons ban years, a mini-14 was not a bad buy. But considering that you can get a decent AK these days for the same amount of cash, it doesn't make much sense to go for an mini-14 unless you specifically want one, because it offers nothing over the AK.

I had a mini-14 and it was an original factory folder (sort of rare). It was the first rifle I ever bought, paid $600 for it. I thought it was a fine rifle and realistically would do everything I needed it to do. Never had a problem with it reliablity wise, and it would shooot 3-4 MOA (I sure I could have done better if I really tried). Sold it when I became heavily invested in AKs for $1000 (again original factory folders are rare), and so it became rather redundant in my arsenal.

I have no objection to buying another one in the future as I have seen some rather wicked looking mods out there recently. However it is not high on my list.

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Re: mini 14

Post by raptor » Thu Jan 06, 2011 10:42 pm

You can expect a lot of Ruger bashing.

That said I have 2 mini-14s and like them. One made in the 70's and one in the 80's. I have found them to be useful. Mine are reliable and relatively accurate. They are not tack drivers but they are certainly usable. Finding good magazines cheap may be a problem but the Ruger mags are available and function well.

I would not hesitate to grab one of my Mini-14s for self defense or home defense purposes.
Last edited by raptor on Thu Jan 06, 2011 10:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: mini 14

Post by Jeriah » Thu Jan 06, 2011 10:42 pm

Depends on how "reasonable" the price is, and what you want to use it for, and whether there is an assault weapons ban where you're located. (Nebraska, so I assume not.)

If the price is $400 or less, you might as well go for it. At that price you're up against a used SU-16, or saving a few bucks and getting an SKS, or rolling the dice on a Century AK. Even at $400 you might be able to find a good AK if you shop around.

Closer to $500 and I would be looking at other options, including an AK or a bargain bin AR-15 (which will run a bit more, but is worth it).

The Mini-14 has a few adherents but in the few threads we've tried to have about them, they have consistently failed to make any rational arguments in their defense.

They are sometimes claimed to be cheaper than an AR-15 but this is no longer true; a CMMG Bargain Bin AR and one magazine is the same price as a Mini-14 and one magazine, citing the cheapest available on-line price for a Mini.

Their accuracy is generally reported as being no better than that of an AK, perhaps worse: possibly okay for a close-combat carbine, but definitely inferior to an AR for precision shooting.

They are not built particularly ruggedly; I have handled and fired them and the metal parts feel thin and fragile. In fairness they feel at least as rugged as the (polymer) SU-16, but they weigh more, so you aren't getting anything for your tradeoff.

The price of high-quality 30-round magazines is much higher than for AR mags, and the cheap magazines regularly are reported as causing problems.

The ergonomics and manual of arms is about on par with an AK, which is to say slower and more awkward than an AR-15. The AK offers a similar to lower price, similar to better accuracy, much cheaper magazines, and far more rugged construction.

If you want a highly effective fighting gun, get an AR-15.

If you want something cheaper than an AR that is still effective, get an AK.

If you want something even cheaper, and lightweight, get an SU-16.

If you want something cheap and rugged, get an SKS.

All told, the only real reason to get a Mini-14 over one of these other options is that you've either got a smokin' (sub-$400) price on a Mini, or else you just like the way they look/feel/shoot and want one. In either of these latter cases...go for it.
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Re: mini 14

Post by Badger24 » Thu Jan 06, 2011 10:48 pm

I like the mini 14, its a handy little rifle. If you got a good price, would be ok.
IIRC they were about $200 to $300 back in the 1990's I can't figure how they weaseled up to 6-$700 now.
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Re: mini 14

Post by J.C. » Thu Jan 06, 2011 10:53 pm

The more recent ones are supposedly more accurate; so you are better off if it is a 580 serial number.
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Re: mini 14

Post by gelgoog » Thu Jan 06, 2011 10:56 pm

to add another point, they make a fine woods gun. They are non-threatening in appearence and do not tend to excite the anti-black rifle crowd or fudds. They are more durable then a kel-tec SU-16 and can be found cheaper. IMHO they would make a good truck gun if as Jeriah said you can get them ~$400 or less. Its a general purpose rifle, not a combat rifle. So if you look at it from that perspective then it is just as good of a choice as a lever gun. I would have no problem carrying one if I went backpacking and I find them asetically appealing in wood furniture.

I could be persuaded to own another :mrgreen:

not mine, but I wish.

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Re: mini 14

Post by Kommander » Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:44 pm

If you get a Mini-14 it will consume your soul! To see our last debate on this soul destroying monstrosity click here.
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Re: mini 14

Post by psychomajortom » Fri Jan 07, 2011 1:00 am

Get it, man. They're great rifles. I love mine, a 2001 synthetic stock, and it is what i need it to be- a brush gun where the biggest threat is a javelina hog.
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Re: mini 14

Post by jor-el » Fri Jan 07, 2011 1:48 am

Kommander wrote:If you get a Mini-14 it will consume your soul! To see our last debate on this soul destroying monstrosity click here.
THAT chile?

You want the full monty, meet its mother: http://zombiehunters.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=8419" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

That said, it appears somebody at the company got the message I tried to convey Christmas, 2005. 580 series and up now feature forged barrels, integral Ruger scope mounts/rings, better sights and quasi-affordable factory mags in 20 and thirty round capacities.
They even make a target model with a bull barrel with adjustable harmonic stabilizer.

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Re: mini 14

Post by DaveTrader » Fri Jan 07, 2011 2:00 am

I strongly dislike them. My family had four of them, 2 14s and 2 30s. We sold two of them because they had problems, one 14 which suffered from FTEs even after a factory fix and a 30 whose magazine well was not cut properly, the lines were not straight even just eyeballing it and Ruger would not fix it since it would still feed from a five round factory mag. We sold them for 500-600 each and bought a NIB Norinco AK and a slightly used Norinco AK with 4 30s and 2 Chinese drums. They are not very accurate, 2-4in groups at 50 yards while both our 98K Mausers with their pitted barrels from WWII will shoot one holes at the same distance.

Unless you really love them for some reason, or it is so cheap your paying with throw away money, I would buy something else that fits your needs.

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Re: mini 14

Post by Merovech » Fri Jan 07, 2011 4:19 am

Grew up on one. I love mine.

Get a newer, stainless model and you are good to go :)

And yes... use factory mags.
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Re: mini 14

Post by Crex39 » Fri Jan 07, 2011 4:33 am

They seem a little pricey. Some of the new polymer ones look kind of tacticool ( http://www.impactguns.com/store/ruger_s ... ifles.html, but I myself would go with something a little more battle tested like an AR or AK variant. I seem to remember the prisons using them back in the 80's. I have fired one it didn't seem as rugged as a battle rifle or military carbine, but used in a controlled situation (fileld work at a homestead for varmint control) it may not be too bad. I personally don't care for a .223 round, so I would go with an AK, but I would not turn down an AR for the right price.
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Re: mini 14

Post by austin93906 » Fri Jan 07, 2011 5:34 am

alrighty, i feel the need to chime in here. hatred, come my way if you please lol

I own, and would trust my life to, a 581 series mini 14 ranch rifle
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ive done a couple mods to her, and yes, you can get a bargain bin AR for cheaper than what ive got into her, but i dont regret my decision to buy her.

people complain about accuracy, but i have no problems.
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now this one is with her, bone stock, my first time shooting her, with iron sights. not freaking great, but all you need from a rifle like her

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and this is what i can regularly get her to do with the accu-strut, Amega ranges scout mount, and the EOtech
how can you ask for better from a toss around rifle?

my last trip to the range over at Laguna Seca, i hit the gong (steel plate, around 5 inches square, hanging at 250 yards) 24 out of my last 25 shots at a one shot per second rate of fire (fastest theyd let me shoot). the ONLY one at the range to hit it that consistantly. even hunters with scoped, high powered rifles couldnt match it. and remember, EOtechs arent precision scopes.

now im not claiming theyre the most accurate rifles in the world out of the box, their not, but theyre within tolerance for me.

as for reliability, ive never had a problem, except for jams during break in. the first hundred rounds, expect her to jam, but after that, nada. she throws brass like a mother fucker, hits people next to me at the range, but the point is she gets it out of there very well.

now with all that said, make sure that if you get one, it has the serial number prefix of 580 or higher (this is when ruger re-tooled and changed the barrel to the tapered barrel instead of the pencil barrel, you can see the taper in my pics if you look at the one showing the Accu-strut) The old ones, you can expect Minute-of-pie-plate accuracy
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Re: mini 14

Post by Kommander » Fri Jan 07, 2011 6:34 am

So for an extra $250 in parts a mini can do what an AR can out of the box?
Why must all the hoops be on fire?

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Re: mini 14

Post by Lodewijk » Fri Jan 07, 2011 6:35 am

That's not really as bad as it sounds considering what you can get a used Mini for and what a good AR costs.

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Re: mini 14

Post by Kommander » Fri Jan 07, 2011 7:33 am

You can get used ARs to.
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Re: mini 14

Post by pyratemime » Fri Jan 07, 2011 7:35 am

Lodewijk wrote:That's not really as bad as it sounds considering what you can get a used Mini for and what a good AR costs.
But you have to compare apples to apples and the price on a used Mini vs. a new quality AR is apples to sports cars. If you look at the new price of a Mini + $250 in add-ons to make it a reliable and accurate carbine v. a new AR of comparable quality to the Mini-14 you come up with the AR being cheaper and less hassle right out of the box and still more accurate and reliable. There are several price point comparisons in the August Mini-14 linked earlier in this thread.
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Re: mini 14

Post by Jeriah » Fri Jan 07, 2011 11:30 am

austin93906 wrote:alrighty, i feel the need to chime in here. hatred, come my way if you please lol

I own, and would trust my life to, a 581 series mini 14 ranch rifle
You're in California, so it makes a lot of sense for you. Detachable magazines without a bullet button, and a more comfortable (and better looking) stock than a Monsterman or Hammerhead. I'm pretty sure if I still lived in CA, a Mini might find its way into my gun safe as well.
my last trip to the range over at Laguna Seca, i hit the gong (steel plate, around 5 inches square, hanging at 250 yards) 24 out of my last 25 shots at a one shot per second rate of fire (fastest theyd let me shoot). the ONLY one at the range to hit it that consistantly. even hunters with scoped, high powered rifles couldnt match it. and remember, EOtechs arent precision scopes.
Nice shooting. I've got to ask, though: did you somehow manage to acquire 30-round magazines prior to the 2000 ban on magazines over 10 rounds, or is the time you quoted above including two magazine changes? (Good shooting, regardless!)
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Re: mini 14

Post by Bad Penny 08 » Fri Jan 07, 2011 11:39 am

Buy it.

Buy only the expensive Ruger brand (oem) mags though or you'll be disappointed.

Then, you can thank Bill Ruger for not making it to accept M16 mags.
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Re: mini 14

Post by USPHack » Fri Jan 07, 2011 12:35 pm

LADOC has used Mini 14's for years, and still does unless something has changed recently. I've seen some of these that were so mistreated that the trigger group fell out of the weapon on the firing line, but on the reverse side I have seen some of the more well taken care of specimens survive a fall out of a 4 story tower with little more than a stock ding. Just like any weapon, you have to treat it properly. (Except AKs of course ;p) As far as accuracy goes I can support that the rifles not any sort of tack driver, but it can hit a man sized target at any reasonable distance that you would want to use iron sights at.
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Re: mini 14

Post by Gingerbread Man » Fri Jan 07, 2011 12:36 pm

7 pages then lock. :|
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Re: mini 14

Post by Stercutus » Fri Jan 07, 2011 2:00 pm

I would trust Austin's life to one! Picked up one for $350 with a cheap scope before the market went all loopy. It is the least accurate gun I own. It hurls brass into the next county or beats it against the range roof, rarely jams. But at that price I never looked back. Dressed it up in one of those TAPCO stocks. Now it looks purty. Makes a good companion to the 10/22s. But I never shoot it anymore. I might cache in case of the apoco-clipsy. If there were such a thing.
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