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Frequent Denizen
of the Twilight Zone
Picture of SIGWolf
posted
I've long been drawn to the look of the Ruger mini-14. My FFL has a used one and it's reactivated the interest.

However, I've often read they are not that accurate or are rather spotty.

What is your experience?
 
Posts: 17085 | Location: Northern Vermont | Registered: September 20, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Age Quod Agis
Picture of ArtieS
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It's a matter of what purpose, and how many rounds.

I have middle age Mini; i.e., before ranch rifle, so it has the thin barrel. It's nice and light, and is coyote accurate. Earlier thin barrel Minis are prone to "stringing" shots as that thin barrel heats up. Unmodified Mini's are a work gun, not a target gun.

Their strong points are absolute reliability with factory magazines, ease of maintenance, light weight and easy carry, either by sling or in hand, and they don't look like an AR.

I like mine a lot, and had it years before I bought an AR. If I have to grab a gun and go deal with coyotes on the farm, I'm much more likely to grab the Mini than the AR.

You won't mistake it for a target gun, but you won't regret buying it either.



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Posts: 9517 | Location: Central Florida | Registered: November 02, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Fighting the good fight
Picture of RogueJSK
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Ruger revamped the Mini-14 barrel design around 10 years ago, to improve accuracy. Many of the reports of spotty accyracy stem from the old rifles.

In general, the old thinner-barrel Minis average ~4 MOA (~4" groups at 100 yards) and the new thicker-barreled Minis are ~2 MOA (~2" groups at 100 yards).

But as always, some specific rifles might be more accurate, and some might be less.

I have no complaints about my newer style Mini-14.
 
Posts: 21615 | Location: Northwest Arkansas | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Lost
Picture of kkina
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^^RogueJSK is on top of it. I can only add that if it is an earlier Mini with the thinner barrel (9/16" vs. 5/8"), one of them strut things can really make the difference. Wink
 
Posts: 11086 | Location: SF Bay Area | Registered: December 11, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of arcwelder76
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How accurate?

Accurate enough to do the job.

The old Government folders are still worth it.


Arc.
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Posts: 24954 | Location: Love that dirty water, oh | Registered: June 09, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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With irons, mine will do about 3 inches at 100 with most ammo.
With scope, I can cut that in half.
On average, anyway.
Mine is a late production Ranch Rifle. My best group with it was just under an inch for 5 shots.


End of Earth: 2 Miles
Upper Peninsula: 4 Miles
 
Posts: 7421 | Location: Marquette MI | Registered: July 08, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Less Accurate than most AR's but More Accurate than most AK's. Seem to be about as reliable as AK's and that's a big part of their usefullness.......dj


Remember, this is all supposed to be for fun...................
 
Posts: 3675 | Registered: April 06, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by djpaintles:
Less Accurate than most AR's but More Accurate than most AK's. Seem to be about as reliable as AK's and that's a big part of their usefullness.......dj


+100

I just got a 181 serial number series Mini 14 that was made in the 1980's. This is a pre-Ranch rifle which means no scope mounts as part of the receiver. I don't really intent to put a scope on it as I like the sights. It shoots much better than my AK and gets the job done for me.


-----------------------------
Always carry. Never tell.
 
Posts: 5336 | Location: Montana  | Registered: May 13, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Expert308
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I had two of the older ones, many moons ago. One was a real tack driver, the other one, well not so much. I've heard the new ones are better, but I haven't shot one.
 
Posts: 5517 | Location: Portland, OR | Registered: February 12, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of vthoky
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quote:
Originally posted by kkina:
I can only add that if it is an earlier Mini with the thinner barrel (9/16" vs. 5/8"), one of them strut things can really make the difference. Wink


Big Grin



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Posts: 8457 | Location: Hokie Nation! | Registered: July 15, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Jelly
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quote:
Originally posted by djpaintles:
Less Accurate than most AR's but More Accurate than most AK's. Seem to be about as reliable as AK's and that's a big part of their usefullness.......dj


I would agree with that statement.


....Shredding lead both barrels
 
Posts: 1702 | Registered: March 15, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I equate them to Glocks. They are tough rifles that take a beating and ask for more. Accuracy as some have stated is lacking in the older ones. I had a few over the years and kick myself for selling my "A- Team" folder. It was not the most fancy gun but it was fun to shoot and was a good looking gun. The only downside for me was the cost of mags. The only other complaint I had, but it was my fault, I replaced the top plastic cover on my one rifle with a different type and accidentally put my finger a little too close to the slide assembly and got my finger pinched. You never do that again.
 
Posts: 4369 | Location: Treasure Coast,Fl. | Registered: July 04, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I would consider a newer model Mini.... My personal experience with a brand new older model was terrible and Ruger customer service was awful.

Neat design, I just wish that it wasn't Ruger making them !
 
Posts: 760 | Location: Idaho | Registered: October 21, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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been years since I shot my 180 series (wood handguard, and slightly different receiver than the other models) but recall getting minute of person at about 100 (using cardboard cutouts)



www.chesterfieldarmament.com
 
Posts: 7126 | Location: Beach VA,not VA Beach | Registered: July 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of SIGWolf
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Thanks for the replies. I'm going to go check it out again Monday and see what vintage it is.
 
Posts: 17085 | Location: Northern Vermont | Registered: September 20, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Cool guns, I’d like to get a new model one myself. Seems like everybody up this way has them....usually rusted up and no finish on the wood but they still seem to shoot well.
 
Posts: 4742 | Location: Alaska | Registered: June 12, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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This one has the composite stock and scope rings that come with it. It's stainless and the serial number is post 580, just barely, 581-. No flash hider.

They are asking $599 for it. Looks to be in good condition, not abused. Doesn't appear to have been shot very much.

Only has a flush fit magazine. I'd need to buy some 20 or 30 round mags while I can get them here. The FFL has some in stock, but once they are gone, they are gone due to the recent legislation in VT.

I'm weighing this against an AR upgrade from my Bushmaster XM15-E2S A3. I know it's rather apples to oranges, it's about where to sink the money.

Which also raises the question of commercially built AR under $1200 or so. Makers come and go and quality changes. I'm more of a pistol person generally.
 
Posts: 17085 | Location: Northern Vermont | Registered: September 20, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Lost
Picture of kkina
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That 581 will have the larger 5/8" barrel and should shoot about as well as an entry-level AR.
 
Posts: 11086 | Location: SF Bay Area | Registered: December 11, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by SIGWolf:
This one has the composite stock and scope rings that come with it. It's stainless and the serial number is post 580, just barely, 581-. No flash hider.

They are asking $599 for it. Looks to be in good condition, not abused. Doesn't appear to have been shot very much.


That's a decent price.

Is it the 16" version, or the more common 18.5"?

I find the 16" Mini-14s without a muzzle device to be very handy little rifles. Basically the same length as a M1 Carbine, although a bit beefier and slightly heavier, and in a better caliber. I have a blued version, but they're only offered in stainless these days:
https://ruger.com/products/min...specSheets/5820.html
 
Posts: 21615 | Location: Northwest Arkansas | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I would guess, relying on "eyeballing it" memory, looking at the picture for the link you provided, it is the 18.5" version.
 
Posts: 17085 | Location: Northern Vermont | Registered: September 20, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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