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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking into the Mini 14 Tactical Rifle (5847). I like the durability/ reliability, as well it's a good looking rifle. I've read reviews, looked at comparisons, watched footage. Seems that accuracy is getting better. It would be my first firearm purchase. I found one for around $740 new. My question to the forum, is there anything else I should consider? Any suggestions before I pull the trigger on this purchase? Also, why is the newer Ruger AR-556 much cheaper...is the mini 14 a better rifle? Many thanks!
 

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Buy quality full power (GI ball) ammo to break it in. Now is not the time to get cheap ammo. Learn to take the rifle apart for cleaning and lubing. Even more important learn how to re-assemble the rifle correctly. (It's not as easy as it sounds)

You will need a cleaning kit and I highly suggest you get a bore snake (.22 caliber only for a Mini 14) to pull through the chamber and barrel especially during break in. I also recommend a quality oil that is not too thin. (RemOil is to thin) Buy factory magazines. The 5 and 20 rounders seem to be the least problematic. I would stay away from the 30 rounders. Although I do have some ProMag magazines in 10 and 20 rounds that work great.

Most of the information you need is here on this web site. Don't be afraid to ask questions here.
kwg
 

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I can tell ya this about a mini 14, it will last you a life time. Mine is 21 years strong, they are hefty rifles with milled steel receivers, solid bolts, and a operating rod that can take a man out with a single blow. I can't say anything about the AR556, but Mini's could be had for the same price before the San Bernardino shootings. I swear they went up on BudsGunShop by 100 bucks the day after it happened.
 

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I would also take a look at the mini thirty tactical. I would add a red dot sight (I have a FastFire III) and you will have a rifle that is a lot of fun to shoot. I echo what kwg020 wrote.
 

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My mini 14 was purchased new in the later 70s for 225 dollars that is how long I have had mine. I had it rebarreled after 20 k rounds.
 

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Righteous Dude
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If you have the desire, get one! It's a great carbine. Unless you want an AR (like the AR556- ARs are fun, too!), have fun with a Mini. Grab factory mags. I usually just use 20-rounders. They have been great.
 

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Exalted One
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Well, nobody else has said this yet: Welcome to the forum!

$740 seems to be about the going rate nowadays. The price did bump up about $100 after San Bernardino. Can't remember how much I paid for mine (used) in 1980, but I have never, ever, had a single failure with it. It was my first firearm and my "first love".

The AR556 has competition with a gazillion other AR platforms/manufacturers; the Mini-14 doesn't. Hence, the price difference.

If you get a chance, check out the serial number on the "new" mini. The current production starts with a 583- S/N, but there may be some old-new stock of 582-series S/N. Some folks had problems with the 582s (that Ruger fixed or replaced), but the 583s seem to be rock-solid.

You will absolutely love the rifle! Get it!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Flash Suppressor

Is a flash suppressor necessary on the Mini 14? Offer particular benefits?

And do Ruger mags work interchangeably with Ranch and Tactical models? I'm guessing yes.

Thanks in advance!
 

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Righteous Dude
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Flash suppressors are nice for those nocturnal firefights! ;)

The mags are interchangeable (generally) between the models in the same calibers (223/556/300blackout all use the same mag). The models you mention should be no problem.
 

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Welcome!

I had a 556 for a very brief time and traded it for Mini Tactical.The Mini just felt better to me,handier,slim forearm. Excellent design.Maybe it's just the fact that the Ranch/Mini has been around for so long, and for good reason.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Got it!

I got the Ruger Mini 14 Ranch with synthetic stock (with 2 5 rd mags and 1 20 rd mag). It's my first rifle. My first firearm. It looks great. Feels great. Broke it down and put it back together. And took it to the range today for the first time. I love it! I was using the iron site at 50 yards and was in the center of the target all day...and I'm an amateur. Shot 60 rounds of American Eagle 5.56 55 grain to break it in.

The only thing I am wondering about is the ejection is about 3 o'clock and was about 10' to 25'. A couple times going way over the two guys to my right. Is this okay? Because it was firing great and on target for me (though I'm not going to or trying to win any accuracy competitions...just want to hit the center and head of the target sheet).

Going to clean it tomorrow.

Thanks for the tips!
 

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The only thing I am wondering about is the ejection is about 3 o'clock and was about 10' to 25'. A couple times going way over the two guys to my right. Is this okay?
That's pretty typical for a Mini 14 and one of its few downsides. It really likes to throw the brass a long way! There are two options to deal with that. First, there are brass catchers that mount on the gun and catch it. I have a homemade version of one of those using some cheap netting and some wire. Second, you can change out the gas port (it's small piece with a hole in it that shoots gas captured from the shot at the brass so it ejects) with a smaller one. In most cases that causes the brass to travel a shorter distance when ejected, but you may have to experiment with a few different sizes to find which one your gun likes because if you reduce it too much then the gun doesn't function correctly. And each individual gun is different as far as where that point is (plus ammo impacts it as well.)

Have fun!
 

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Reducing the gas bushing not only reduces the length the brass is flung, it reduces the denting of your brass because your cycling forces are reduced. For the Mini 14, the stock bushing size is .100" while the best choice for a reduced bushing size is .045"-.050". The Mini 30 seems to like a .060" reduced size bushing best. These sizes reduce the cycling forces but still maintain enough force to fully cycle your rifle 100% reliably. Check out Perfect Union's Mini forum and learn all the simple and effective methods to increase the accuracy, reduce the cycling forces, and overall make your Mini a better operating rifle.
 

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Welcome to the forum,great info has been given,all I can say is get out and shot and enjoy your first firearm,you can't go wrong with the Mini.
 

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I currently own 3 mini 14s and 1 RRA AR15. There is a reason I own so many mini 14s. That is because I love them. Two of mine are 580+ series rifles, the tactical versions with the flash depressors. One of mine is an older ranch rifle that is all stainless. They all shoot flawlessly with the newer ones being slightly more accurate. They are awesome rifles and I love them. Buy Ruger 20round mags or buy Promag 20 round steel mags. The Ruger 30 rounders work perfectly but they do throw off the balance of the rifle some. Go to CDNN to buy your mags. They have the best prices.
 

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Is a flash suppressor necessary on the Mini 14? Offer particular benefits?
Thanks in advance!
The main reason I added a flash suppressor to my Mini was more to keep any obstructions (dirt, mud, gunk), from accidently getting into the end of the barrel causing an obstruction and blowing up the barrel. IF anything DID get on the end of the barrel, the flash hider/suppressor would definitely make it easier to see and be a good warning not to shoot.

Why they call them flash hiders or suppressors is beyond me. If you shoot after dark, they sure don't hide or suppress much of anything. :p

Bought mine new in 1977 (181 series) and it's never let me down.
 
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