Newer Mini 14

Gene LGene L Senior MemberPosts: 10,132 Senior Member
My buddy got a tactical Mini 14 the other day. I'm no fan of the Minis, we got them for our patrol rifles when I was working and they held up at 75 yards pretty well, but weren't nut-cutting accurate. They would place shots well within the chest of a silhouette, but head shots weren't always guaranteed. But it was what we could afford. I think we paid something over $300 each for thirty of them about 15 years ago, and ours had no provision for mounting a scope...not that you'd need a scope on a patrol rifle. Ruger held on to the magazines like rare postage stamps, too. The company was supposed to come down and give a class on them, but they never did. Put a bad taste in my mouth on the Mini.

BUT, my bud's Mini has heavy barrel, a flash hider, and shot really well. Has the plastic stock. I was totally surprised at the accuracy, on which I will report later. I'd prefer a scope to test the gun for groups, but my buddy doesn't like them in a HD rifle. If it were mine, I'd have to mount one just to see how well it would shoot. But I still don't like them. I'd much rather have an AR for about the same price. The AR looks toyish to me, kinda cheaply put together.

Adjustment for windage and elevation are on the rear, unlike the Minis we had which had windage on the rear and elevation on the front sight, like an early AR. For elevation on his, you have to turn the peep sight to raise or lower it. I'm not crazy about that, but it's solid.

Looks like I may have to revise my opinion.
Not too many problems you can't fix
With a 1911 and a 30-06

Replies

  • gatorgator Senior Member Posts: 1,689 Senior Member
    http://www.tech-sights.com/mini14.htm

    This is what I put on my Ranch Rifle..........much easier to adjust than the stock sights.

    For a scope just get a set of Ruger rings and your golden.
    USMC 80-84
    -96 lbs
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,606 Senior Member
    I would be interested in a Mini 14 that shot 10mm, but the AR platform suits me fine for .223 because you can scope it easily and make a precision shooter out of it. I'm always thinking M1 Carbine functionality, when I see a Mini 14.
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,990 Senior Member
    Ruger Ranch Rifles have different rear sights than Mini 14s, fold down rear leaf, but have integral scope bases. Or at least mine from the 90s does. Now all newer Mini 14s have it. Also, will feed and fire both .223/.5.56

    I've heard good things about the newer Minis. I got lucky my RRR is pretty accurate for what it is. Newer ones have a thicker barrel and other changes making them potentially more accurate.

    Hi-cap Magazines are available now made by Ruger. Aftermarket ones pretty much sucked that I ever tried in one.

    I think a couple members on here have one of the newer models and could chime in with all the differences better than I on them.

    There have been threads on here before about a Ruger Mini/Ranch new and old vs ARs.



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruger_Mini-14
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,990 Senior Member
    Far left is my Ruger Ranch Rifle, made in the 90s. It has a Burris Timberline scope mounted. Pics are from a TX shoot few years ago.

    [IMG][/img]IMG00065-20110702-1351.jpg
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • shotgunshooter3shotgunshooter3 Senior Member Posts: 5,385 Senior Member
    Minis make me yawn, especially at the price point they go for these days (I saw one recently for $835, sitting right next to a $650 AR). To each their own however.
    - I am a rifleman with a poorly chosen screen name. -
    "It's far easier to start out learning to be precise and then speeding up, than it is having never "mastered" the weapon, and trying to be precise." - Dan C
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,990 Senior Member
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 18,726 Senior Member
    Minis make me yawn, especially at the price point they go for these days (I saw one recently for $835, sitting right next to a $650 AR). To each their own however.
    :that: :agree:
    Only thing they have/had going for them was the wooden stock IMO
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,990 Senior Member
    knitepoet wrote: »
    :that: :agree:
    Only thing they have/had going for them was the wooden stock IMO

    I usually like me some wood too!

    ARs make me yawn ................I just can't get excited about them, although I have been quite impressed by a few I have handled and fired.

    Anything over $500-600 Bucks fer a new or LNIB Ruger Mini/Ranch is over priced to me. I'm talking standard ones.

    You sure have a lot more choices in an AR and aftermarket stuff, but they won't kill anything any deader than a Mini 14 shootin .223/5.56 will.

    There is a fun factor in my RRR too that ARs don't give me. For my uses which may be SD/HD I'll keep my Ruger, if I had a serious day to day jbb requiring a semi .223/5.56 where I had to tote one and in all kinds of conditions, I'd pick an AR too.

    I'm just a Retired/**** ole fart now.................but can shoot OK still.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,825 Senior Member
    Big Chief wrote: »
    I usually like me some wood too!

    ARs make me yawn ................I just can't get excited about them, although I have been quite impressed by a few I have handled and fired.

    Anything over $500-600 Bucks fer a new or LNIB Ruger Mini/Ranch is over priced to me. I'm talking standard ones.

    You sure have a lot more choices in an AR and aftermarket stuff, but they won't kill anything any deader than a Mini 14 shootin .223/5.56 will.

    There is a fun factor in my RRR too that ARs don't give me. For my uses which may be SD/HD I'll keep my Ruger, if I had a serious day to day jbb requiring a semi .223/5.56 where I had to tote one and in all kinds of conditions, I'd pick an AR too.

    I'm just a Retired/**** ole fart now.................but can shoot OK still.

    If they can make a mini-ranch rifle accurate I would prefer a Ruger over the AR, because i like the looks and if it's accurate that would seal the deal. I never really loved the looks of ARs-M16s. But the minis and Ranches never shot with ARs. ARs were always much more accurate.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 10,132 Senior Member
    I think (don't know) that an AR will generally be more accurate than a Mini. But a Mini is "accurate enough" for plinking and pest control. The Minis are good in clean environments but I always thought that big bolt hole in the top of the receiver invited dirt to come in.

    The Minis with pistol grips and folding stocks are IMO plain awful.

    I'm in the opposite camp from Snake. I like the looks of an AR, if looks are important. I don't like the looks of a Mini, which looks cheap to me. However, I think the Mini MAYBE handles quicker, if THAT'S important. The sights are closer to the barrel, which I like. But accuracy sells me on a rifle, and in my limited experience with a Mini, an AR will generally shoot tighter groups.
    Not too many problems you can't fix
    With a 1911 and a 30-06
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,825 Senior Member
    Gene L wrote: »
    I think (don't know) that an AR will generally be more accurate than a Mini. But a Mini is "accurate enough" for plinking and pest control. The Minis are good in clean environments but I always thought that big bolt hole in the top of the receiver invited dirt to come in.

    The Minis with pistol grips and folding stocks are IMO plain awful.

    I'm in the opposite camp from Snake. I like the looks of an AR, if looks are important. I don't like the looks of a Mini, which looks cheap to me. However, I think the Mini MAYBE handles quicker, if THAT'S important. The sights are closer to the barrel, which I like. But accuracy sells me on a rifle, and in my limited experience with a Mini, an AR will generally shoot tighter groups.

    Yes we are on opposite ends in the looks department. However if I got a mini it would be wood. And as far as that big hole on top I don't think it's any worse than a Garand. I love an have always loved the looks of mini 14s. But like you, accuracy will trump looks AND handling with me.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 9,683 Senior Member
    Minis make me yawn, especially at the price point they go for these days (I saw one recently for $835, sitting right next to a $650 AR). To each their own however.

    Yeah, back when the Mini was $200 cheaper than the AR, and all the ARs had carry handles- the mini was a reasonable alternative. Now, not so much
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 18,726 Senior Member
    Big Chief wrote: »

    You sure have a lot more choices in an AR and aftermarket stuff, but they won't kill anything any deader than a Mini 14 shootin .223/5.56 will, as long as the mini can hit it
    FIFY BC.

    A lot of people classify the 223/5.56 as a varmint cartridge, and in some loadings, it's a fine one. HOWEVER some varmints are small, and are shot at some distance. None of the mini14s I've ever been around had the accuracy potential for that sort of work.

    Are the mini-14s "bad" rifles??? Nope, not saying that in any way, shape or form. Just thinking back to that quote attributed to Col Whelen (don't know if he actually said it or not :uhm: ), "Only accurate guns are interesting" (to me)

    My 799 is at a certain forum member's house in south central TN because it couldn't be made to shoot up to my accuracy requirements for a deer rifle, in it's modified form (Pillar/glass bedded, barrel free floated, then full length bedded when FF didn't help)
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • 1965Jeff1965Jeff Senior Member Posts: 1,601 Senior Member
    Thinking of trying to outfit my mini 14 with low \ no light optics. A red dot or acog like optic, has anyone here put one on their rifle. Thinking about a varmint or things that go bump type of setup. Even a scope with a lighted reticle would help in low light situations. The ruger supplied rings won't work in most of situations.
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 18,726 Senior Member
    1965Jeff wrote: »
    The ruger supplied rings won't work in most of situations.
    I THINK (without checking) that someone makes a weaver/picatinny rail that will fit the ruger's built in mounts :uhm: If not that, These folks make a "scout" mount that clamps to the barrel.
    http://www.amegaranges.com/
    I have one of their Garand mounts and it's been SOLID


    edited to add: It appears Weigand makes one Not sure if it's for your exact model though :uhm:
    http://www.jackweigand.com/ranch.html
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 18,726 Senior Member
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    They do. I have one around here somewhere that I bought for the PC-9 I owned briefly. It worked as advertised.
    There ya go :beer:

    Someone with actual first hand knowledge :up:
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • 1965Jeff1965Jeff Senior Member Posts: 1,601 Senior Member
    I was doing some checking as well, there were accounts of empty cases deflecting off the rail, being a lefty getting smacked by hot cases is a fact of life... Thanks for all your input guys.
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 25,957 Senior Member
    I have one of the Minis from the early 80's. Back then they had a pretty slow twist rifling which made them not very accurate. Shoot anything heavier than 62 grain bullets and accuracy really sucks. The new ones are supposed to have a lot faster twist rate barrels.
    Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.


  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 18,726 Senior Member
    1965Jeff wrote: »
    I was doing some checking as well, there were accounts of empty cases deflecting off the rail, being a lefty getting smacked by hot cases is a fact of life... Thanks for all your input guys.
    Hey, that's what we're here for, PLUS, us 1965 models need to look after each other :beer:

    edited to add:(especially since we hit the half century mark this year)
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • toymachinetoymachine Senior Member Posts: 761 Senior Member
    knitepoet wrote: »
    There ya go :beer:

    Someone with actual first hand knowledge :up:

    BAN THEM!!!!

    Seriously, what are you doing lousing up an internet debate with first hand knowledge?
    "Is 'milk bottle' literally a racist term?"
    "It is now." - Jack Fraggs
  • DanChamberlainDanChamberlain Senior Member Posts: 3,365 Senior Member
    In 1976, I spent several nights huddled in a church steeple with a Mini-14, watching the front entrance of a nursing home that a source identified as a target for drug thieves. Another cop was behind the counter in a white lab coat with an 870 hidden. My Mini could hit a 5 pound coffee can at 200 yards with its 6 power scope, but the hits were pretty much scattered all over the coffee can. The range I needed was 95 yards and head shots were easily accomplished at that range. It's funny, but my AR (a DPMS Sportical) will keep 10 shots clustered into the size of a 50 cent piece at 100 yards, and back then, I was satisfied with 3" groups.

    Hope today's Mini will do better, but having held one, I'll take the AR any day over the Mini platform.

    The thieves never tried, though we think they made a roll-by one night and maybe they just didn't have a good feeling. Perhaps ESP played a part as they were being tracked in a 6 power scope.
    It's a source of great pride for me, that when my name is googled, one finds book titles and not mug shots. Daniel C. Chamberlain
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,990 Senior Member
    Y'all like carrying handles on yourins ARs?

    I have no plans to sell my RRR...............or plans to buy an AR (yet :tooth:)

    I have no spectacular claims to make about it except it works and works well with anything I have fed it.

    Could it be more accurate and easily modified.... sure, but it is what is and it ain't what it ain't :guns::guns:
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • will-jwill-j Member Posts: 50 Member
    JEFF..... B-SQUARE makes a mount( or they did in 2000). I put one on my laminated-stock Mini in '02 and mounted a HI-LUX ES1X50TP along w/a 45* off-set rail on the front of the B-SQUARE for a laser sight. Peeps and optics. Can't be beat. Switch out to a scope at will for whatever trips you.
    GOOD LUCK......WILL
    :confused:
    [email protected]; I need my meds.
    THE WINDS OF TYRANNY ARE BLOWING FROM OUR OWN CAPITOL.
  • toymachinetoymachine Senior Member Posts: 761 Senior Member
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    The Mini 14 was never meant to be a precision shooting platform. It was a "chase a jackrabbit or coyote with fast shots down the field until you nail him" gun. And at that it did very well. The addition of rings and capability to scope extended the range on them a bit.

    They are expensive to make and prices have been going up accordingly. I think ultimately that and the surplus availability of AR parts and ease of rolling your own) will be it's demise. But in the end it's a neat gun that had it's place in it's prime time a few decades back and will always have a following amongst AR haters and lovers of classic designs.

    "No honest man needs to hit his target on the first shot."- Bill Ruger on Mini 14 accuracy
    "Is 'milk bottle' literally a racist term?"
    "It is now." - Jack Fraggs
  • 1965Jeff1965Jeff Senior Member Posts: 1,601 Senior Member
    will-j wrote: »
    JEFF..... B-SQUARE makes a mount( or they did in 2000). I put one on my laminated-stock Mini in '02 and mounted a HI-LUX ES1X50TP along w/a 45* off-set rail on the front of the B-SQUARE for a laser sight. Peeps and optics. Can't be beat. Switch out to a scope at will for whatever trips you.
    GOOD LUCK......WILL

    Hey thanks for the info, do you have trouble with empty cases hitting the rail mount?
  • FlashoverFlashover Member Posts: 388 Member
    Mini-14 looks attractive to Canadians, since the only AR varients that we can legally own without regulatory hassle are north of the 2000 dollar mark, most above 3K.
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