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ruger mini 14

This is a discussion on ruger mini 14 within the M16 AR15 forums, part of the Rifle Forum category; This looks like the closest forum for the questions. My apologies if it isn't. Do any of you have any experience with the Ruger Mini ...


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Old August 18th, 2011, 07:53 PM   #1
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ruger mini 14

This looks like the closest forum for the questions. My apologies if it isn't.

Do any of you have any experience with the Ruger Mini 14? I'm considering picking up one of the ranch rifles with a wood stock and would like some feedback before I take the plunge. Accuracy; reliability; etc.: all are questions that concern me.


Many Thanks,



Paul Moore
Colorado Springs, CO

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Old August 18th, 2011, 10:02 PM   #2
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I've had the opportunity to do a good deal of shooting with a Mini 14 ranch rifle in a fiberglass stock. Sadly all my shooting was done with cheap ammo, but the groups were still very poor. As my memory serves, we had a hard time keeping shots on an 8.5"x11" sheet of paper at 100 yards. Also there were feeding issues that any M14 would be ashamed of. I really think it should have performed much better.

It seems to me that when Ruger scaled down a M-14, they not only scaled down size, but the quality as well. I think there are much better .223s in the same price range.

I had a poor experience, but that could just be one lemon. I may have an opportunity to shoot the Mini 14 head to head with a comparably priced AR15 in the next couple weeks if you'd be interested. If you are, just remind me so I don't forget.

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Old August 18th, 2011, 10:22 PM   #3
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I think of my mini 14 as a Maxi-Carbine rather than a Mini-M14.

Biggest problem with accuracy of the 223 is that the rifling twist does not match the bullet weight. That was the root of those old stories about the M16 rounds that "tumbled", or "tore a guy in half"- poorly stabilized bullets. Back about 1990, American Rifleman had an article about hand loads for the mini. Heaviest bullet at the time, umm 69 grains? plus a compressed load of 4895, and magnum small rifle primers. Plus a fully adjustable rear sight, as close as I could find to the REAL M14. I got MOA groups.

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Old August 18th, 2011, 10:49 PM   #4
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I've owned three Mini-14s over the years. All were very reliable and decently accurate. The old series Minis are not as accurate as ARs, but will hold 2-3" groups at 100 yds with factory ammo. I had no problems whatsoever with my Minis mechanically.
Be aware that the biggest problem you'll have with any Mini-14 is finding decent 20-30 round magazines unless you buy Ruger factory mags. Aftermarket mags are just not reliable. The only reliable aftermarket mags I owned were made by Ram-Line, but they stopped manufacturing them due to the "Assault Rifle" ban back in '94. Ruger 20 and 30 round factory mags are now available, but they are expensive ($30-40+ depending on source).
The new "Ranch Rifle" series came about to tighten up manufacturing specs and improve accuracy. I've shot one new Mini and it held about 1.5" groups @ 100 yds. using American Eagle 55 gr. ammo. The owner also had some new Tapco and ProMag 30 rnd mags, and they functioned quite well. We had only 1 failure to feed (Tapco) during a 500 round session and all mags held the bolt back when empty. Check on some of the other gun forums to see if others have had the same experiences with the 30 rnd polymer mags.
Mini-14s are good, reliable rifles. I would have no problems owning another one as long as reliable mags were also available. Just know that with careful shopping and/or building yourself, you can get an AR-15 type rifle for almost the same price.

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Old August 19th, 2011, 06:07 AM   #5
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I've got one of the old ones - circa 1981. I've never had any kind of jam or failure. But accuracy is pretty poor, at least compared to most modern guns. I think of mine as a super dependable home defense or SHTF gun, but not one I'd try 200yd shots with. The old joke was that they were Minute of Barn shooters.

I have heard that they are much improved in recent years. I seem to recall someone here buying one of their newer Match models with a laminated thumbhole stock and improved barrel a couple years back but don't know how it shot..

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Old August 19th, 2011, 07:20 AM   #6
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Thanks for all of your replies. for some reason, I still like wood and steel. That's the reason I don't get excited about AR-15's or M4's, even though they're probably better guns.

From what I read last night, the Mini 14 was improved around 2005 and is a better, more accurate gun now than before. However, just about everything all of you have said seems to fit in with experiences others have had with the gun.

At this point, I'm pretty ambivalent and may not get one.


Thanks,


Paul Moore

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Old August 19th, 2011, 09:15 AM   #7
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If I were going to get one now I'd be sure to get a new one with the thicker barrel. Mine is the old style It's been 100% reliable with ruger mags (which are not as cheap as AR mags, but are steel). Accuracy was poor before I added the accu-strut, and is 'fair' now. I haven't benchrested it, but I can shoot about tennis ball sized groups, standing, at 50 yards, which is good enough to hit pop cans with. I also shot a 3-gun match with it and hit the 200-yd torso easily with it, as did 2 other people I let try.

go to the perfectunion forums for more than you ever wanted to know about minis.





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Old August 19th, 2011, 10:14 AM   #8
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I have a newer 581 series and I find the accuracy out of the box was fine and it shot better than I did, but was noticably improved in the consistency of the groups an accu-strut installed. If you are looking for super accuracy, then the ranch may not be your best choice, but if you are looking for a fun plinker with 3" accuracy at 100 yds, that is reliable as one can be, and can be accessorized to the extream, then maybe it is right for you.

Here is my 581 with TechSights rear adjustable sight, hand finished stock and hand guard, and Socom accu-strut.


Here it is sitting next to my 1943 Standard Products M1-Carbine prior to the strut being installed


I like it and for me, it shoots just fine...

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Old August 19th, 2011, 10:59 AM   #9
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Nice.

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Old August 19th, 2011, 04:15 PM   #10
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My Dad has owned a few. Like the others have said accuracy was average to poor. I picked up a 581 at a great price a few years ago. I have not put it on paper but he and I both felt it was more accurate than any of the ones he'd owned. I have some of his old steel aftermarket mags which work but I trust the factory mags. I just need to pick up a few more. I admit I prefer my ar.

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Old August 19th, 2011, 07:44 PM   #11
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thanks

Thanks, again, for all the great info. I'll check out perfectunion forums.

jismail, how difficult (and expensive) are the mods you did to yours? I really like the looks of that with the accustrut and replacement sights! That turns it into a good looking gun and, as you indicated, helps the accuracy. I had no idea that the M1 carbine was that much smaller than a mini 14. Since I don't own a mini 14 I've never compared one to my M1 carbine.

What started all this was a phone call from a friend informing me that the Big 5 Sporting Goods near my house has a "sale" on Mini 14's. However, their sale price is still pretty high--$699 for the blue mini ranch with wood stock. They are all over the internet for far less than that. There's an online gun seller in St Louis MO that sells them for $650 with a 20 round mag, but he has so much negative feedback that I doubt I'd deal with him for even a smokin' deal.

Many Thanks,


Paul

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Old August 19th, 2011, 08:16 PM   #12
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I have a 182 series stainless model that I bought back in '82. Never shot it on paper but it would hit what I aimed at and never had any reliability issues. It is at Accuracy Systems getting some work done as we speak. When I get it back I will see how it performs and post some pics and range report. Here is their website just in case you are interested.

http://www.accuracysystemsinc.com/index.php

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Old August 19th, 2011, 09:00 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skyraider1 View Post
Thanks, again, for all the great info. I'll check out perfectunion forums.

jismail, how difficult (and expensive) are the mods you did to yours? I really like the looks of that with the accustrut and replacement sights! That turns it into a good looking gun and, as you indicated, helps the accuracy. I had no idea that the M1 carbine was that much smaller than a mini 14. Since I don't own a mini 14 I've never compared one to my M1 carbine.

What started all this was a phone call from a friend informing me that the Big 5 Sporting Goods near my house has a "sale" on Mini 14's. However, their sale price is still pretty high--$699 for the blue mini ranch with wood stock. They are all over the internet for far less than that. There's an online gun seller in St Louis MO that sells them for $650 with a 20 round mag, but he has so much negative feedback that I doubt I'd deal with him for even a smokin' deal.

Many Thanks,


Paul
not much at all. The strut was $79, the sight was $65, the wood upper was $30, the leather sling was about $20, and the can of stain was about $10. After that, it was just time and patience. Go for it!

Good luck....

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Old August 19th, 2011, 09:59 PM   #14
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where did you get the wood upper?

paul

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Old August 19th, 2011, 10:05 PM   #15
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Two of my friends have mini-14's. The accuracy gets worse the hotter the barrel gets. I seem to recall that the trick to accuracy was replacing the factory barrel with something heavier.

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