AR-15 VS New Ruger Mini 14

This is a discussion on AR-15 VS New Ruger Mini 14 within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I am going to purchase a new "Family Defense Rifle". I was pretty sold on the AR-15 and started saving up for it. Someone threw ...

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Thread: AR-15 VS New Ruger Mini 14

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    New Member Array anishemaya's Avatar
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    AR-15 VS New Ruger Mini 14

    I am going to purchase a new "Family Defense Rifle". I was pretty sold on the AR-15 and started saving up for it. Someone threw a kink in my plans by introducing me to the New Ruger Mini-14. I was wondering what the consensus is here concerning the differences in these two firearms? I realize the big thing is price but I am sure there is more. While I would like to save some money, I want to make a good purchase. As a friend once told me buy once, cry once! Thanks for your input.

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    Senior Member Array raysheen's Avatar
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    they are both fine guns if you ask me...
    The AR can be a bit more accurate and there are more aftermarket parts for it...it's also a bit easier to find parts for but they are both pretty popular so that may be a wash.
    Even considering the price I'm still an AR fan but this is just personal if you ask me.

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    By New Mini 14 do you mean the Target version they just came out with? If so, there is a sorta discussion on it here: http://www.defensivecarry.com/vbulle...ad.php?t=27863

    Or just one of the Mini-14 Ranch Rifles since they have started production again?

    If it is for home defense, I would not get the new target model, for several reasons, including the lack of sights.

    However, I do like the Mini-14. From what I have gathered most people consider AR's to be more accurate, while the Mini has an edge in reliablity, and is a little more handy and better balanced rifle.
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
    NRA Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun/Reloading Instructor, RSO, Ohio CHL Instructor

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    Who considers the Mini more reliable? That may be the first time I have ever heard that statement... :)

    I'm no expert on the Mini (especially new ones, as I gave up on them around 1990) but I had enough problems with them in the reliability category to not even bother getting worked up over their mediocre (to put it mildly) accuracy. I really wanted to love the Mini (as I so the 10/22), but the ones I knew were all dogs, and were put out to pasture.

    An M4 sized AR is about as handy as a rifle gets, while still maintaining 300m + accuracy, a decent length of pull, and a decent sight radius. Yes, expensive, but a far superior product, IMO.

    Caveat: I say again that I have very little experience with "new" Minis, and I know that some people have had nothing but good experiences with them. I just can't count myself in that category.
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

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    Well, I haven't had any problems with my Mini, which has seen a fair amount of work in the 3 years I have owned it. It is a newer production model Ranch Rifle.

    It is based on the Garand operating system, which is rather proven.

    So that comment was based on my experiences, what I have read in the "gun rags", and statements I have read on forums.

    I have never handled an real M-4, I have handled a fair number of AR's though, and they do not balance as well or feel as good in hand to me.

    If I had to be making 300 yard shots, I'd take an AR hands down. For a working rifle on a farm where no shot will exceed 100, I'm fine with the Mini, because I know it will run dirty and full of dust and all sorts of other things. (Image does contribute to this, as well, since someone driving past will not consider the Mini as "evil looking" as an AR variant.)
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
    NRA Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun/Reloading Instructor, RSO, Ohio CHL Instructor

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    Fair enough. Like I said, many people are pleased as punch with their Minis. Also, I agree the Mini is much more "Sheep-friendly" in appearance, but I don't have a gun rack in my truck or work a ranch, so very few people see my rifle (unless I'm on duty, then it doesn't much matter what they think )

    As for "handiness," this is a very subjective matter. I used to carry the Mini quite a bit trudging through the central Florida pine and palmetto woods, and it was pretty handy. Today, though, the M4 has become so integrated into my body/movements/thinking that it basically disappears.... Or at least I bump it into a lot fewer things these days then I did when I first enlisted!
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

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    Member Array craze's Avatar
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    I have both. If I were only to keep one I would have to pick the AR. Having said that the Mini-14 is as reliable as can be, if quality mags are used. If you get the Mini and decide you want more than the 5 rounds from the mag that came with it. I would highly recomend you get Ruger factory 20 round mags. Problem is Ruger will not sell them directly to you. You can find them on the wed but you're gonna pay. Cheaper than Dirt has them from time to time but they run about $50 each. Minis are known to be picky about mags. I can tell you from experience stay away from Tripple k Mags. I bought two and niether one worked. I later sprung for two factory 20s. The rifle functions flawlessly with those. That rifle is only as reliable as the mags. True for all guns but especially the Mini.

    I still like the AR better. If you keep up on maintenence and use good ammo it can be just as reliable. I just like the platform better and find the controls are much more egronomic. Its aslo more accurate, but for home defence with a long gun thats not so much of a factor.
    "The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good.
    --George Washington

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    JT
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    Which one has 40+ years of proven combat experience? Case closed, IMO.
    Last edited by JT; June 25th, 2007 at 05:15 PM. Reason: typo
    Blessed be the Lord my rock who trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle. Psalm 144:1

    Si vis pacem, para bellum

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    No doubt about it... the AR is the better gun provided you choose a quality make.

    The mini isnt a bad gun at all, it just doesnt stand a chance up against even a decent AR. Parts, mags are much tougher to get, you trip over those items for an AR in any gun shop or show.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    Member Array njeske's Avatar
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    after handling and shooting both an M4 style AR15 and a new mini-14, i grit my teeth and shelled out the cash for the AR15. it felt better, shot better, has more after-market options, and (not that it matters practically) it looks cooler. :)

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    Senior Member Array Chuck R.'s Avatar
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    I agree with the other guys. I owned a mini-14 while in college it’s a good carbine and accurate enough for its purpose. Finding good magazines was/is a challenge though.

    IMHO though the AR15 is a much better choice, it just wins out in too many categories:

    Accuracy
    Ergonomics
    Reliability
    Modularity

    About the only categories the mini wins out on are:

    Cost
    “It doesn’t quite looks as evil” which is purely subjective because with a 30 round mag, flash suppressor, and folding stock they look evil enough.

    Bottom line is, my current 6920 runs circles around the mini I used to own in just about every category that counts.

    Chuck
    homo homini lupus est

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    VIP Member Array rodc13's Avatar
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    For me, it's the AR, hands down. Plenty of good points made about them here already. The other big reason for picking one is the flexibility you have with the ability to mix & match uppers and lowers. In just a few minutes, you can easily have one specifically configured for practically any task. From calibers, to barrel lengths, to optics, to bipods, and on and on. It's a great platform to work with.
    Cheers,
    Rod
    "We're paratroopers. We're supposed to be surrounded!" Dick Winters

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    VIP Member Array Sig 210's Avatar
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    For me it is not even close. i'm still chafing over that sorry Mini-14 i bought years ago. The the thing had the accuracy of an SKS for many times the price. My new Stag Arms left hand AR-15 makes near .75 inch groups at 100 yards.

  15. #14
    Member Array whamonkey's Avatar
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    Go for the AR.....but seriously look at the Springfield M1A Socom 16.


    Oh.....if I had the cash........

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    Member Array GlockinItUp's Avatar
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    The main reason Mini 14's are so popular is that they are reliable. But so was every quality AR I've ever picked up. Go figure. Personally, for the price give me an AR any day. Hell, some rock rivers are guaranteed to shoot 3/4 MOA, with no adjustment of any harmonic dampners. The "Target" Mini 14, if it can be called that, is a HUGE waste of money, when there are plenty of AR's out there that are lighter, cost the same, and shoot better.
    Gun control is hitting what you aim at...

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