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Discussion Starter #1
would you please tell me why?

Of course all comments would probably help us make a decision.

Tnks
 

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I've had a Mini since the 80's and intend to keep it. That said, to answer your question, no I wouldn't buy a Mini if I didn't already have one. The AR platform is more versatile and accurate. Accessories are more plentiful and cheaper, especially magazines. Parts are easier to come by as well. The Mini's a nice little rifle, but if I could only have one, it would be an AR. That would be my advice to you. Good luck.
 

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I agree with Donn, I agree so much I sold my Mini 14 a few years ago and picked up another AR to replace it. I loved the feel if the mini Garand but in the end the AR won out from a praticial standpoint.
 

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Even though I have two ARs, a Mini-30 is in my future. There may be better cheaper rifles out there, but they aren't a Mini.
 

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I love my Windham AR, it is more accurate than my Mini 14, scoped. But my Mini is accurate enough up to 100 yard with iron sites and is fun to shoot and I would not trade it. Having said that, I'm getting a replacement rifle from Ruger tomorrow because they couldn't fix an issue with FTE, I'm assuming that's no longer a problem.
 

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Would I buy another Mini? Yes, in a heartbeat. It's a fun, compact traditional wood and steel carbine and with the 20rd mag it keeps it perfect for plinking, and small game hunting. I'm considering a Mini-30 as a second Mini (better supersonic ballistics than the 300 BO) that would also be good on hogs and medium game.

I have a newer 583 Series Mini Ranch Rifle (wood stock) that I've added a few things to make it about a 1½ MOA shooter with my handloads (Choate HG, Accu-Strut, .045" gas bushing, Wilson buffers, trigger job, Mini200 rear sight with smaller aperture and thinned the front sight blade down to .050"). I also have 3 ARs; 2 irons only middy carbines that are about the same accuracy and a scoped long range AR that's I use to shoot medium sized apples with at 400+yds.

The Mini is as accurate as my M1 Garands and my M1A and more accurate than my M1 Carbines and I plan to keep all of them. It's also more accurate than all 8 of my leverguns and I plan to keep them too. How accurate? I shoot bowling pins at 200yds with it regularly and it's getting to be too easy so I'm moving out to 300yds with it. Yes, that's with iron sights.

It has the same manual of arms as my Garands, Carbines, and M1A and it feels much more handy than my bulky ARs. Since I got my Mini a year ago I've put almost 1,500rds through it and it's fast become my favorite 5.56 platform.
 

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There is something about a Mini that just can't be explained. Maybe the traditional rifle, old school looks or the easy handling, carbine style. I have both Mini's and AR's and like them all equally. A Mini is a Mini and an AR is a AR....just keep that in mind.... don't expect the rifle to perform beyond its design capabilities and you won't be disappointed. My Mini's are going nowhere and no regrets on owning them.

I believe the AR platform is inherently more accurate but a few easily made and relatively inexpensive tweaks on a Mini turns them into a respectable shooter.


Mini 14 Ranch 583 series
barrel chop, recrown, permanent Choate install....total barrel length 16.2" w/ Guncoat finish
.060 gas bushing w/ Wilson buffer
Tech Sight w/IRIS aperture
Brimstone Gunsmith trigger job
Ruger OEM stock shortened 1" w/ Choate Handguard



Mini 30 Tactical 583 series
.060 gas bushing w/ Wilson buffer
Tech Sight w/IRIS aperture
Brimstone Gunsmith trigger job
189 series wood stock w/Choate Handguard
 

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I keep my Mini14 around just because we should all have a semi-auto rifle? I really do like it. But it never gets shot in favor of my bolt rifles. I shot an AR the other day and got the same "meh" feeling. YMMV.
 

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Yeah I have two 580 series mini's both in 223. I wouldn't mind getting one in 300 blk or the mini 30. My AR is great but the mini's are just fun little carbines. Pretty sure the mini was my go to when shooting 223 this past year.
 

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I love my Mini-30's. I like the ergo's much better than the AR, and being left handed, it is much easier for me to operate. There are advantages to the AR, modularity, decent out of the box accuracy with just about any you pick up, ease of swapping out parts and easier to get parts like firing pins, magazines can be had for nearly half the price.
Advantages to the Mini platform ? Much cleaner running, safety and mag release put where you can get to them with either hand, not as "evil/scary looking/to the general public, traditional looks and feel, iron sights come standard and are low to the bore.
Stoppages in the normally way overgassed Mini, when using good magazines (Ruger factory ones), are very rare indeed.
I say this with 40 years experience with the M16-M4-AR-15. I've owned many, trained to repair them in the Army, built many for myself and friends.
I just don't get excited about them any more, the looks, the feel, the high mounted sights, the carbon fouled actions, the bulk ( heighth wise, not length).
The Mini's ? I get excited every time I take them out.
I do get uppity when someone says that all Mini's are inaccurate and unreliable, because their cousin Billy Bob had one that was. Yes, because he used cheap aftermarket magazines with soft feed lips, shot crap ammo through it and wasn't a very good shot to begin with.
Mine are just fine, and many others are too, that know a few things about running them. If the OP chooses a Mini, we will help you out, and you'll enjoy the experience.






 

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I would buy my Mini again. Built like a tank. That's Ruger's way. I bought a 1981 vintage Ruger Security Six revolver today for the same reason. Both keepers.
 

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Interesting discussion. I've gone both ways on this. I've owned a couple of Mini-14s and one Mini-30. As much as I like the platform I had trouble with two of the three I owned. Nothing serious but annoying nonetheless. Bottom line is I don't own a Mini14/30 at this time and I don't see me buying another one any time soon.

I bought a Colt LE6920 about a year and a half ago mainly because it was a bargain. It slowly eclipsed my Mini14 because it does everything I wanted my Mini to do and I didn't have to modify a thing. All I wanted was an uber reliable handy carbine to use as a ranch rifle. The Colt functioned flawlessly from the get go and has been solid as a rock ever since. I wanted to prefer the Mini but I ended up back with a Colt AR and I'm glad I did.

The only problem I had with my Mini30 was the constant light primer strikes with cheap ammo. Other than that it was a great rifle but I couldn't get past that shortcoming and I got rid of it. What's the point of a 7.62x39 carbine if you can't shoot cheap ammo? I just recently replaced the Mini30 with an AK variant. So far so good. Once again it does everything I wanted a Mini30 to do but much more reliably, so far. Time will tell.

I'm not bashing the Mini line of rifles. I like them but the cold hard truth is they take some TLC and tinkering with to get them up to par with other offerings. They are fun to shoot though. I still recommend them as long as you buy one knowing what you're getting into.
 

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If I had to do it over I would build an AR15 over a mini. The ability to easily customize and tune to exactly what you want is a huge advantage, plus careful part selection can be cheaper overall than a mini. That said, the mini is still a great gun and I have no intention of selling mine.
 

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Yes I would. I bought my 181 series in 1979 for $148.00 new shortly after attending my first major riot. At that time an AR ran $500-$600+ minimum. I carried it in my patrol car for many years and it kept me safe several times. Being a county officer it was reassuring to have when backup was sometimes far away. It never malfunctioned or jammed, and stood up to a lot of abuse. I could bounce a tin can at a 100 yds. regularly, taken several coyotes out to 150 yds. with iron sights, and burned a lot of 5.56 through it without any damage. For what it was at the time, it did it's job well. I will always keep mine even though I have an AR.

The new model Minis are definitely better rifles than my 181, and it really gets down to what platform you feel more comfortable with and what purpose you will use the rifle for.
 

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Got mine in 1987 S/S.

I will never let go of it. It's a great little rifle.
 

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I don't expect to be holding off zombies, but around the ranch/farm I have, the mini-30 is a great truck gun with its muzzle on the floorboard and bouncing around. Its a tool to me and not a fetish so I don't worry about scratches or a little rust. Whether popping coyote, the occasional dog some ahole has dropped off on the road (I hate those people), or just shooting for fun, it takes rough handling and eats the cheapest ammo going.
 

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I'am planning on buying another mini, I've always liked this gun as I like the M1A an the Garand . Theres just something about shooting them that to me is way more fun than the AR of which I have owned 2. I gave my last AR to my son. Will I ever buy another , maybe.. But for now I want another Mini.
 

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I'm pretty well set with 5.56 carbines. I have owned a 181-series Mini-14 since 1980. Like Uncle Chuck said - "from my cold, dead hands". My nephew gets it at that point - the first non-.22LR weapon he ever fired, at about the ripe old age of five. He loves his Sig AR, but worships the Mini. He has good taste!

Should a meteor drop out of the sky and demolish my Mini, I'd get another Mini (Tactical) and not an AR (after, of course, a proper burial and mourning period).
 

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Warning: rambling ahead...

Fortunately I own both AR's (or AN AR currently) and several Mini 14's... First and foremost: I LOVE my Mini's, and I trust the Garand-Action as much as anything up to and including a sharp stick. It's also hilarious to me to watch people completely jaw-drop freak out over an AR and then not bat an eye-lash at a Mini-14 in a truck. Love that.

Per the OP, the reason I would "not" buy a Mini (if I didn't own one) is: "it depends on what it's for" (and if used, what series it was). With the AR556 in Ruger's line-up, the Mini is no longer a "budget alternative" and the money you save on the AR556 nets you wiggle room to either buy more ammo or dude up yer rifle. So were it a "my first 5.56" situation or a simple Home-defense rifle buy I'd buy the AR556 or any other number of AR rifles for less. No the Mini isn't THAT much more then the AR556 depending on where you get it, but it's more expensive to mod and outfit (I only run Ruger factory mags and they're spendy and can be hard to find). It's also not as "mod friendly" as an AR (nothing is...) and if you're hiking with it, the weight can add up quickly if you're using glass on the factory steel-rings or some of the heavier "scout mount" style which are another thing that's personal preference. Also, and I DO NOT mean to insult anyone here by saying this or "dis" anyone's rifle because of what I'm gonna say but, the choice of Mini-14 Stocks SUCKS IMO. The Hogue and other "trad" style Rifle stocks are great/, but the others are either junk, heavy, HEINOUSLY expensive (*ahem* a Sage Chassis... although IF you can find one, THAT thing is cool IMO... it's like a Mini Marine EBR/DMR Rifle) or flimsy to the point of breaking under hard use. The Mini also has a lot of "little differences" between all the series changes that makes some stocks like the Archangel potentially hard to fit. All stuff to consider with the Mini-14/30/.300BO. The AR is like a Small-Block Chevy: May not be the best choice but you can pretty much rebuild one with parts from a 7-11... You can walk into any dam store that sells guns and it WILL have AR parts usually. Not so with the Mini. In fact I JUST found that a local place called Bi-Mart (it's like Walmart only not... well, Wallmart) had several 20 and 30rnd Mini-14 mags and... I bought them all. If I did that everywhere I found AR mags I'd have... a bloody HEAP of mags, or, the Gubment flying Black Helicopters over my house for having an "Arsenal" or some such garbage.

Now, if I had a collection of firearms and it was devoid of a Mini or two (I have 3 of varying era's and historical value to me including the first "real gun" I learned to shoot before I was "graduated" to the M1A by my Dad)... I WOULD buy a Mini. Definitely. Just not sure if it would be a new Ranch, or the new .300BO. (I like 18" barrels/blued/wood BUT, experience seems to show the 16" Tacticals to be the more accurate out of the box) Despite all the [email protected]#$ people love to talk about them on the interwebs and at the Range sometimes... Mini's are great rifles and IMO they're kinda "historical" in their own right for all "Bill's BS", the A-Team (been watching old re-runs lately... such a hilarious show, nobody ever really get's shot but BOY do they spray and pray, I feel like I'm watching an ISIS training video or something) and other, less positive reasons. Plus as guys like Nutnfancy have shown on vid, they can certainly hang in a "tactical"/combat situation with anything in their class if handled by a competent Rifleman.

I don't expect to be holding off zombies, but around the ranch/farm I have, the mini-30 is a great truck gun with its muzzle on the floorboard and bouncing around. Its a tool to me and not a fetish so I don't worry about scratches or a little rust. Whether popping coyote, the occasional dog some ahole has dropped off on the road (I hate those people), or just shooting for fun, it takes rough handling and eats the cheapest ammo going.
Great example of what an awesome "Ranch Rifle" the Mini IS... And I hate "those people" too. I have a older 195-series Wood/Blue Ranch-Rifle that is in this exact "Truck Gun" set-up and I don't think I'd be as happy with an AR in it's stead. There's something "right" about a Mini in a truck... wish I'd had a Mini-14 when I lived in Australia working on a Cattle Station. 70-series LC Ute, Border-collie, Stihl Saw strapped onto the bed and my Mini-14 Ranch on the rear rack. Perfection.

Cheers

Dave
 
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