Author Topic: Mini-14  (Read 10252 times)

Offline Sturla Snorrison

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Mini-14
« on: February 17, 2016, 03:41:58 AM »
My daughters are ready to step up from their 10/22s, and I would like to get them something like a .223 caliber or thereabouts with a semi auto action. I guess the 10/22 has spoiled them and they are not interested in a bolt action rifle. They also prefer a wood stock, which I am fine with as my neighbor, whom I currently get along well with, is also a social worker who would be horrified if she saw my daughters toting around an evil black gun, and I just don't want to open that can of worms (she is fine with us using "hunting rifles" however, ever since the coyotes ate her cat ). For these reasons, I would prefer to stay away from the traditional AR style rifle.

So- about the Mini-14. My daughters are interested in have one, but I have never owned one myself, and mostly what I read online is that the Mini cannot be counted on for accuracy beyond the first four or five shots. Others say no, that was the old ones and the newer ones are fine. For me, "accurate" means consistent 2"-3" groups. I know that would be unacceptable to many, but I can live with it. What do the folks on this forum have to say about the current production Mini-14, if anything? Can it blow through 2 or 3 magazines and maintain accuracy these days, or should I look at something else for the girls? If your view is that the new Minis still suck, I would be grateful if you could recommend an alternative semi-auto rifle smaller than .30 caliber with a wood stock and accepts magazines capable of holding 10 or more rounds. Thank you for your opinions and suggestions.

Offline Knecht

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Re: Mini-14
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2016, 06:51:28 AM »
Never had the Mini-14, so I can't comment on that. I would suggest SKS, but if you insist on a lesser caliber, that's not an option. I would also suggest it's none of your neighbor's business what rifle you use, as long as you're not breaking any law. If you insist on a "hunting" style gun, things like Galil or a 5,56 version of vz.58, or a Saiga also won't work for you, even though you can add wooden furniture on them (I know, wooden stuff with separated pistol grip and a long curved magazine make any gun an evil AK).
Since I'm not into this style of rifles much and the only 5,56 gun in our armory is my wife's Galil, I can't really help much...there would be some hunting rifles in 5,56 but they mostly don't have large external mags like you want.
The Mini-14 may be the only easy option in the end. I would suggest visiting http://www.rugerforum.com/ for some detailed experience and feedback on these.
Perhaps another option would be a different caliber choice? Maybe an easy pistol caliber like 9mm, such as Ruger PC9 (not made anymore), Marlin Camp Carbine (most likely also not made anymore, not sure), or an M1 carbine clone in 9mm by Legacy Sports (http://www.legacysports.com/m-1-9mm-carbine)

Offline Chemsoldier

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Re: Mini-14
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2016, 07:05:15 AM »
There are two Appleseeds I worked in Colorado where there was a female shooter on the line running a Mini-14. Each of them was a spouse running the gun that used to be their husband's before the husband went with another platform.  Both seemed to work fine.  The ergonomics were a little different, I thought not as good but I will freely admit I am biased towards the AR, and they were both trying to run optics and there were significant cheek weld issues to work through.  I cannot speak to the accuracy, they were both new shooters.

I would think the adjustable butt stock on the AR would be a huge advantage for growing kids and for changing conditions (summer shooting vs bundled up winter shooting for instance or traditional slow fire prone marksmanship vs. standing or moving courses).  But whatever floats your (their) boats.

Offline xxdabroxx

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Re: Mini-14
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2016, 10:49:02 AM »
I would lean towards not giving a shit what my neighbor thinks and go with the AR.  They are a lot more versatile than the mini 14 in my opinion.  They also seem to be a fair bit more accurate, or capable of being so.  You could get a conversion to shoot 22lr out of the AR, various different calibers/ uppers for different tasks, etc.  They also have very little recoil and are easy to disassemble and clean. 

Offline armymars

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Re: Mini-14
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2016, 02:19:49 PM »
   I own a Mini 14. The early ones were min. of milk jug. About 6" at 100 yards. The newer ones are much , much better. In order to get an older one to shoot good groups you have to weight the end of the barrel to change it's resonance. I did this by putting a by-pod on the end of the barrel which I never use. I keep it folded up. My groups went from 6" to 2" at a 100 yrds.
   After all that I still like mine. Unless you run the worlds dirtiest ammo from Russia they won't jam. Back when I bought mine they were half the price of an AR, didn't break bolts, and you didn't  loose pins when you cleaned it. Just as the Mini 14 has gotten better with age so has the AR. Pins are captured, price has come down and better metallurgy has made the AR the go to gun. A good AR will still cost about 10 to 20% more the a Mini 14, But you could make up the difference in the cost of magazines or not having to buy a custom stock to fit the kids.
  My other 5.56 is a Kel-Tec 2000. For me it works. 

Offline Sturla Snorrison

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Re: Mini-14
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2016, 04:25:35 PM »
Thank you all for your suggestions. If it turns out that the only rifle that is going to work is something along the lines of an AR, then I will probably go that way. I guess the girls might warm up to it, they just really liked the looks of the Mini.

Offline machinisttx

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Re: Mini-14
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2016, 04:57:21 PM »
I have a Mini 30, and would not have it if I hadn't gotten it for free. I have not checked lately, but I suspect that you can buy an AR for less, and be out far less money in the long run. There are a couple of big issues with buying a Mini series rifle, one of which is magazine cost and reliability. The only magazines that I have never heard of issues with in the Mini rifles are Ruger brand. You will spend twice as much, or more, on one Ruger magazine as you would spend on an AR mag. If nothing's changed, AR mags are still cheap at around $12 each for a quality magazine, while the Ruger mags are $25-$30(ruger brand). The second issue is replacement parts. You cannot order some parts from Ruger. They will not sell them to you unless you ship the firearm back to them and they replace the part. The firing pin is an example, and one you may need with that cheap Russian ammo. These can be had from reputable aftermarket companies, but Ruger will not sell one to you.

Something else that might be an issue for you is optics mounting. It's pretty poorly executed on the Ruger Mini(the older ones anyway, haven't looked at the newer versions), and requires either special rings or an adapter base. On an AR, you can buy special rings/mounts for the 1913 rails or you can buy standard weaver mount rings. The 1913 rings/mounts are better, but standard ones work. On my Mini-30, my red dot is mounted via a special adapter base and as a result is sitting much higher than is proper for a good cheek weld on the stock. It's usable, but definitely not like it should be.

Disassembly/cleaning are much easier with the AR. You can customize the AR to fit whatever your tastes are as well...unlike the Mini rifles.

Offline 11steve11

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Re: Mini-14
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2016, 09:17:51 AM »
I have had a mini-14 since the late 80's mainly for managing cows and coyotes.
Excellent firearm and ditto on the simplicity/serviceability, has never jammed (EVER), and cost of parts.

This all being said, one of the best things I did for it was trade another mini-14 owner my wood stock for his adjustable poly stock straight across...he didn't shoot any more and I do.

My young daughter (who shoots a Mosin Nagant) hates shooting the mini-14, it is jumpy (although I have not added weight to change it's resonance like  armymars suggested).

Our friends with ARs took my wife and daughter out shooting and they both LOVED them.  Just like machinisttx indicated; adjustability, low cost parts, mounting systems; they couldn't believe it shot the same round.

I also have AK and SKS; although the round packs a lot more punch, for ease of use, accuracy, custom-ability, and female friendliness I am going to have to buy ARs for my women; pink and purple cammo of course ;)

PLUS ONE for xxdabroxx.
I understand your concerns with the " social worker who would be horrified" yet I don't think you're giving her enough credit.  If she is educated and already on board with coyote control then I think she would be most pleased to learn that your children are trained in the use, care, control and responsibility of a tool (firearm).  Be proactive and not prejudice.

I'm certain you are a responsible parent, make sure your children see you model your concern for the neighbor's perception without letting her control your decision. Don't model crabs in a bucket. 

I like my neighbors, coworkers and family and go out of my way to be a great friend in return. I also make no apologies for the choices I make with food, finances, firearms, etc. I make choices that are the best for my family with the information I have available through the filters of my experiences. There are members of my extended family who freaked when they found out that my daughter saw me castrate the family dog...not kidding. My daughter saw that I handled it gracefully yet firmly, and now models that same behavior when peers disagree with her.

I hope this helps, and thanks for bringing up daughters to respect and use tools.

Offline Kilroy

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Re: Mini-14
« Reply #8 on: February 29, 2016, 10:01:35 AM »
My daughter prefers an AR over the Mini.  Adjustable length stock is a major thing for a smaller framed/shorter armed person.  Magazines and accessories for the AR are available.  Very little for the Mini.  Long term durability favors the AR.  Consider the Ruger AR556.  I've seen them for less than $700.00.  Brand name and hammer forged barrel.  Likely much better than the parts companies assembled guns.

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Mini-14
« Reply #9 on: February 29, 2016, 10:25:34 AM »
My daughter likes the mini she has tried as a step up from her 10-22. It is just realy similar in look and feel. And, as others have said, stocks can get changed later if you want. the sights on our old mini are also like her peep sights (her 10-22 is upgraded with tech sights for apple seed). So, for me, I like to encourage he using what she is comfortable with and taking time. So, since my dd likes wood stocks of not too different look and feel as her 10-22, that is what I hand her to shoot.

The barrels on the old mini's were thin and would get hot easily which gave less accuracy, that is why alot of round count quickly would heat up the barrel. They have changed the barrel for the ones sold now.

Offline racer038

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Re: Mini-14
« Reply #10 on: February 29, 2016, 11:22:03 AM »
I have a newer mini-14 and love it.  I also have 30.06 deer rifles, AR15s, and various other rimfire rifles.  I like the transition from the 1022 to the mini-14.  For me the feel is very similar.  I shot well with open sights with both and will work with my grandchildren with these when they are large enought. 

Offline 9mmMaster

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Re: Mini-14
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2016, 10:28:16 PM »
As A police officer I used both AR & M16s as well as the mini 14. I liked them both and I think that the Mini is underrated. It was fine for police work and would be a fine choice for you. I like the AR and it's defiantly got many advantages. But don't feel like you Need one if you like the Mini go for it man!

Offline 9mmMaster

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Re: Mini-14
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2016, 09:39:09 PM »
Racer 038 makes a good point. The mini 14 and the 10/22are similar and that's awesome.
Those two platforms are loosely based on he M1 carbine. You may keep your eyes open for one if that's your thing defiantly a great plonked and adequate defense gun. Though ammo is more.

Offline Exile72

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Re: Mini-14
« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2016, 08:41:48 PM »
I do love the Mini it is a great all around rifle ...Ranch,Hunting ,Defense and sport shooting. The ONLY thing I don't like about it is the $price$ of factory mags,which in my experience are the only mags to use

Offline iam4liberty

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Re: Mini-14
« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2016, 08:15:08 AM »
The mini 14 and 30 are great rifles.  But just an FYI, ar 15 wood stocks are popping up like crazy in states which allow hunting with ARs for exactly the PR reasons brought up.  They actually look pretty cool.  From a distance they look just like traditional hunting rifles, especially if the 30 rounders are switched out.





« Last Edit: September 16, 2016, 08:20:26 AM by iam4liberty »

Offline Carl

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Re: Mini-14
« Reply #15 on: September 16, 2016, 03:45:56 PM »
Now,that does look good to me and I don't like plastic...it really improves the AR look...as far as the magazine ,I think the 5 and 10 round mags look best on an AR...though rarely seen.

Offline blacktalon606

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Re: Mini-14
« Reply #16 on: September 16, 2016, 09:23:36 PM »
My daughters are ready to step up from their 10/22s, and I would like to get them something like a .223 caliber or thereabouts with a semi auto action. I guess the 10/22 has spoiled them and they are not interested in a bolt action rifle. They also prefer a wood stock, which I am fine with as my neighbor, whom I currently get along well with, is also a social worker who would be horrified if she saw my daughters toting around an evil black gun, and I just don't want to open that can of worms (she is fine with us using "hunting rifles" however, ever since the coyotes ate her cat ). For these reasons, I would prefer to stay away from the traditional AR style rifle.

So- about the Mini-14. My daughters are interested in have one, but I have never owned one myself, and mostly what I read online is that the Mini cannot be counted on for accuracy beyond the first four or five shots. Others say no, that was the old ones and the newer ones are fine. For me, "accurate" means consistent 2"-3" groups. I know that would be unacceptable to many, but I can live with it. What do the folks on this forum have to say about the current production Mini-14, if anything? Can it blow through 2 or 3 magazines and maintain accuracy these days, or should I look at something else for the girls? If your view is that the new Minis still suck, I would be grateful if you could recommend an alternative semi-auto rifle smaller than .30 caliber with a wood stock and accepts magazines capable of holding 10 or more rounds. Thank you for your opinions and suggestions.

I have a post-05 retooling mini-14 and I do enjoy it. You 100% can't argue with the tried and true garand style action and simple controls. I don't shoot benchrest, but prone I can shoot hand size groups at 100 yards without a sling. The factory 20 round mags function flawlessly. That was always the problem with my older one. Factory mags used to be $100 each and the after markets were all junk. Now factory mags are reasonably priced. I hear they are starting to make minis in 300 blackout. I haven't got one, but I could see that being a real sweet combination.

Offline shadowalker_returns

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Re: Mini-14
« Reply #17 on: December 01, 2016, 02:43:02 PM »
Over the years I've owned 6 mini-14 and 2 mini-30. I have no complaints. I no longer own any of these and have no intention to purchase another.
For me the Mini-14 was a perfect transition rifle. I used it to take my family to from .22 to .223 to 7.62x39 to .308. The mini-14 and the Springfield M1A are a near perfect training match-up. If I was to go back to the M1A as my primary .308/7.62 platform I would get another Mini-14. Having said that I believe an inexpensive AR would be a better choice. The AR's design is more modular, has greater number of accessories and with an adjustable stock can change to fit a variety of shooters. The AR's reliability and accuracy are proved and as a platform it can grow with the shooter. I now use AR platforms for all my .223/5.56 and most of my .308/7.62 needs.

Regards,
Shadowalker

Offline Exile72

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Re: Mini-14
« Reply #18 on: March 04, 2017, 03:56:37 PM »
I have used the Mini 14 at work and trained a lot with it,great rifle . But these days you can get a vary nice entry level AR for the same price......and also not have to worry about over priced factory proprietary mags.

Offline buckaroo

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Re: Mini-14
« Reply #19 on: June 16, 2018, 06:26:38 PM »
I've had a Mini-30 and still have a Mini-14. Love them, no issues..except as mentioned before, you absolutely must use factory mags only. I've shot them side by side with an AR and there are differences in feel...the AR has less recoil IMO, but I like them both. As you probably know, the mini-14 is based on the same blowback system as the Garand.

No accuracy problems, must just be the older ones. They have their own aura just like the ARs. For a battle gun, I'd pick the AR, for a Ranch Rifle I'd pick....well.... the Ranch Rifle.

Offline BillFoster

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Re: Mini-14
« Reply #20 on: June 07, 2019, 08:37:26 PM »
Last year I got an older mini 14 in a trade. It’s a good shooter, but I wanted an adjustable stock. Archangel makes a great one, the Sparta. To my surprise, it will not work with the older minis. The newer versions have removable rear sights, one screw. The older ones don’t, made into the receiver. Poop! The Sparta was easy to sell on EBay, but I have yet to find anything that I like that fits my vintage model.