Armory, Self Defense, And EDC > Modern Rifles, Shotguns and Carbines


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Sturla Snorrison:
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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