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Old 06-30-2012, 09:12   #1
Rockimook
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School me on Mini 14

I'm thinking about getting one or something similar as my first rifle.
Which one should I get and why? I don't hunt.
My current pistols, which should give you a idea of what price range and quality to suggest. (They are not Kimbers, but nothing close to a Highpoint in my opinion)
G30sf, M&P Shield, S&W BG380, Ruger P95, and Ruger SR1911(coming soon or maybe later, still searching for one like most people)

Thanks for any/all input.

Last edited by Rockimook; 06-30-2012 at 10:41..
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Old 06-30-2012, 09:49   #2
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Were I buying one today, it'd be between the hardword stocked blue ranch rifle or the tactical with the simple black plastic stock. In my mind, the mini should be light and minimalist, not festooned with doodads and red dots. The difference between my two choices are looks and a flash hider.

Be forewarned that someone will inevitably come by to suggest an AR Instead. They don't get that the appeal of the Mini is directly tied to the fact that it ISN'T an AR.

Last edited by Boats; 06-30-2012 at 09:51..
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Old 06-30-2012, 10:11   #3
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Be forewarned that someone will inevitably come by to suggest an AR Instead. They don't get that the appeal of the Mini is directly tied to the fact that it ISN'T an AR.


I won't suggest one, I'll just point out that
1) you can get a AR for about the same price,
2) AR mags are MUCH cheaper, and,
3) I find a pistol grip much more comfortable than the Mini 14's "hunting-style" stock/grip

Don't get me wrong, I really want to like the Mini-14 (and I'm not a big AR-15 fan), I just wish they made one with a nice looking (wood?) pistol-grip stock that took cheap and plentiful AR mags for less than the $800 I see them going for.
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Old 06-30-2012, 10:32   #4
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some folk don't like pistol grips on rifles

Nice wood and blue steel Minis go for $729 round these parts.
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Old 06-30-2012, 10:46   #5
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I shoot the M16 and M4 at work. That's why I want something different. I will consider a AR though. I'm just trying to progress a little from just pistols. On to rifles and shotguns.
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Old 06-30-2012, 10:52   #6
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Originally Posted by Reswob View Post


I won't suggest one, I'll just point out that
1) you can get a AR for about the same price,
2) AR mags are MUCH cheaper, and,
3) I find a pistol grip much more comfortable than the Mini 14's "hunting-style" stock/grip

Don't get me wrong, I really want to like the Mini-14 (and I'm not a big AR-15 fan), I just wish they made one with a nice looking (wood?) pistol-grip stock that took cheap and plentiful AR mags for less than the $800 I see them going for.
I agree - the S&W Sporter is a good gun at a good price.

I had a mini when they first came out in the 80's.

I like the action very much.

I don't like the price at all.

Get the mini in the 350-400 price range and I'd get one.
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Old 06-30-2012, 11:07   #7
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I've had a Mini14 for about 10 years. Wood and stainless. It is one of the guns I own that I know I wont sell or trade. Very accurate (does have a thin barrel). The magazines aren't that expensive. Rugers mags. are the best and the highest but I've had good luck with National Magazines. It has a classic look. And mine has proven to be very reliable (can't remember ever having a problem that wasn't ammo caused). The rifle was also A-Team approved....
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Old 06-30-2012, 11:45   #8
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Mine has been 100%.
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Old 06-30-2012, 11:49   #9
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I have a mini 14 ranch rifle, blue and wood stock. Was during the AWB hi cap ban, so was some issues finding good hi caps that actually worked 100%. Other than that it has been great, with the factory mag never had a issue. Dont get to take it out past 150 200 yrds alot but it is as accurate as my AR.
Also have a Mini 30 SS/ Synthic stock, same issue with finding hi cap mags, but factory mag 100%. They are both great guns.
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Old 06-30-2012, 11:51   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockimook View Post
I'm thinking about getting one or something similar as my first rifle.
Which one should I get and why? I don't hunt.
My current pistols, which should give you a idea of what price range and quality to suggest. (They are not Kimbers, but nothing close to a Highpoint in my opinion)
G30sf, M&P Shield, S&W BG380, Ruger P95, and Ruger SR1911(coming soon or maybe later, still searching for one like most people)

Thanks for any/all input.

Check this forum, tons on Mini info

http://www.perfectunion.com/vb/
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Old 06-30-2012, 11:57   #11
countrygun
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Originally Posted by Boats View Post
Were I buying one today, it'd be between the hardword stocked blue ranch rifle or the tactical with the simple black plastic stock. In my mind, the mini should be light and minimalist, not festooned with doodads and red dots. The difference between my two choices are looks and a flash hider.

Be forewarned that someone will inevitably come by to suggest an AR Instead. They don't get that the appeal of the Mini is directly tied to the fact that it ISN'T an AR.

Summed it up nicely. I have an earlier thin barrel that I chose to keep and let my AR go. I know myself well enough that I am going to end up with another Mini.

Mine had a Butler Creek folder on it an a scope rail etc. It wa a "ranch" so the rear sight needed an inprovement alright. I did that and chucked all of the tactical hardware except the muzzle brake which helps accuracy with the skinny barrels, and put a wood stock back on it.

Now I want to get one of the short, heavy barreled 'tacticals" and switch the stocks out. Put the stainless ranch in the plastic stock and the shorty in a wood stock.

"Boats" is right the appeal of the Mini is that it isn't an AR.
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Old 06-30-2012, 12:34   #12
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New 580 Mini14 ranch rifles are very nice. Bought one last year. Real world accuracy and very reliable. Really like the feel and balance of it with a 20 round mag.

Last edited by Bob Hafler; 06-30-2012 at 13:35..
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Old 06-30-2012, 15:36   #13
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I like my ARs, but I love my lightly-customized Mini-14. The Clark Custom Gun Works laminated stock is mostly for looks...

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...but I made some improvements to the sights which resulted in a significant increase in accuracy. I replaced the old style Ranch Rifle flip-up rear leaf with a Williams Receiver Sight...

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...and replaced the front sight blade with an XS front sight for an AR...

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Old 06-30-2012, 15:56   #14
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"I pity the fool who scoffs at the Mini 14"....SFC Bosco A. Baracus, January 23rd, 1983.
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Old 06-30-2012, 17:20   #15
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My Mini-14 Ranch Rifle just flat out works. It shoots accurate enough for what it is and has never had a single stoppage. I don't even clean it very often, and in fact, cannot remember the last time I have.

AR's are great rifles too, but I wouldn't sell the Mini short by any means.

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Old 06-30-2012, 17:26   #16
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I like the mini14's. The new "tactical" versions have a synthetic stock and a heavier barrel than the older ones. The heavier barrel helps with the heat from extended shooting sessions.

People always talk about the AR's being more accurate, but in my own informal test with cheap 55g ball ammo I find they shoot about the same, 4-5" groups at 100yds. This is not a scoped rifle from a bench rest, this is an open sight rifle on a sandbag.

My dept still issues a few of the older 14's to supervisors. They work well and are very reliable. They do get HOT very quickly though.

If Ruger would drop the price $150 and redesign them to take standard AR mags they would sell 100k of them a year. Problem is people aren't willing to pay AR prices for one, myself included.
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Old 06-30-2012, 17:31   #17
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I guess I'll be the lone dissenter. I used them when I worked state corrections; they were our tower guns. Accuracy was okay out to 100-150 yards, but opened WAY up after that. I thought the mag loading was a bit awkward (AK-style, but from a non-pistol-grip rifle just felt weird). Plus, as others have said, they got hot quickly.

Admittedly, it may just have been the cheap, worn out ones the state DOC had that ruined me on them, or my previous military training with the M16. Moot point for me, though; current (fed) agency issues M16s and M4s of various flavors.
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Old 06-30-2012, 18:00   #18
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I bought this Mini-14 GB model from Bud's for $499....it is a Nebraska State Patrol trade-in:

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Would I reccomend it as a FIRST rifle? ABSOLUTELY NOT!

Your first rifle should be something simple, reliable and easy to maintain. What fits that category you might ask?

AK-47!!!

Most people would suggest a .22 as your first rifle.....if you're 10! If you are an adult, an AK is the perfect choice. My first was a Norinco Type 56S....and I still own it to this day!

I would suggest a WASR-10. They are affordable and reliable and are fun to shoot. Ease of maintenance is the biggest plus for these guns. They will run forever if you clean them on a regular basis.

Good luck in your search.


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Old 06-30-2012, 19:14   #19
DFin
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I have 2 thin barrel models. One Ranch & one regular. They are reliable & accurate enough to pop balloons at 150 yards even when the barrels are too hot to touch.

Last edited by DFin; 07-03-2012 at 18:29..
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Old 07-01-2012, 05:53   #20
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OP, I was in your boat about 6 months ago, and went to a local Gun Show. And I found one! Made in 1982, thin barrel, wood stock. It was in very good condition with original box and papers. $525 cash deal.

I take it to the range once in a while. Loud, but almost no felt recoil.

The older ones at least, have a reputation for NOT having "minute of angle accuracy", but it's still a fun gun to shoot.

Not a gun I keep handy for HD, though, as my 16 ga loaded with #1 buck and my G27 fill that role. It'll be one I pass along to one of the boys, though.
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