How do you guys feel about the Ruger Mini 30 and Mini 14?

This is a discussion on How do you guys feel about the Ruger Mini 30 and Mini 14? within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I'm just curious how you all feel about these products. When I first heard about it, I thought the Ruger Mini 30 was the answer ...

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Thread: How do you guys feel about the Ruger Mini 30 and Mini 14?

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    How do you guys feel about the Ruger Mini 30 and Mini 14?

    I'm just curious how you all feel about these products.

    When I first heard about it, I thought the Ruger Mini 30 was the answer to my prayers for a good 7.62x39 chambered semiautomatic rifle, but the more I hear from people about them, the less certain I am.

    All Mini 30/14 owners I've known that were happy with them had gunsmithing done, everything from simple adjustments to a lot of expensive work done, usually including a rebarreling.

    The lack of factory support in aftermarket accessories kind of stinks too, and I have it on good authority after they get warmed up they are not as accurate as they should be. I personally would be nice and happy with 10 round magazines if they would only make some.

    On the bright side, I have heard it is rock solid. Well it is a Ruger after all. When I think Ruger I think of raw unrefined strength and durability. There is a lot of aftermarket stuff out there even if it's not factory, and the Mini 30/14 come in calibers I can appreciate. I know guys who base their entire gun collection around a pair of Mini 14s.

    When I considered what it was I would actually do with such a gun, I quickly decided a decent SKS was a better way to go. I think it's actually a comparable product for a lot less money.

    I don't think it's a bad gun at all, I just don't see why I should pay so much for such a thing and have to put up with such hassles. I honestly fail to see why a good SKS is not comparable to a Mini 30.

    For the record I know lots of people with bolt action Rugers and I've known a couple of people who favored their single shot rifles. I actually really like their rifles overall, I just don't care for these models.

    I'd be interested to hear from someone who has had good or bad fortune with either rifle or experience handling, shooting, or selling them.

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  3. #2
    Member Array ebd10's Avatar
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    Never saw one that would shoot...

    ...out of the box. By the time you get done tinkering with it, you could have invested in an AR-15 or a decent Kalashnikov clone and had a better rifle. Strictly a "spraygun".

  4. #3
    Senior Member Array CombatEffective's Avatar
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    Love the look and feel of them, but I wish Ruger would put a heavier barrel on them.

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    VIP Member Array ExSoldier's Avatar
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    Cool Mini-14

    Quote Originally Posted by ebd10
    ...out of the box. By the time you get done tinkering with it, you could have invested in an AR-15 or a decent Kalashnikov clone and had a better rifle. Strictly a "spraygun".
    Well, sort of. I have an original factory folding stock Mini-14. It feeds military "ball" ammo, just fine. But it often jams with .223 soft tip or exposed lead ammo. It's "combat accurate." Meaning I can run an IDPA assault course where the ranges are no more than say 50-75 yards and I'm shooting on the move and from strange positions. The little lock (stud) mechanism that secures the folded stock is pretty fragile, but Ruger was real good about repairs.
    Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.

  6. #5
    VIP Member Array ExSoldier's Avatar
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    OTOH I have never liked the 7.62x39 round, so I'd never buy a mini-30. But I'd love to see one in .308. I guess they did make one of those. It's called the M1A SOCOM 16.
    Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.

  7. #6
    Member Array Deke45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExSoldier762
    I guess they did make one of those. It's called the M1A SOCOM 16.
    Now that is IMO a fine rifle!

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    A gun is a tool...the real weapon is between your ears!

  8. #7
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    At a fine price too!

    But worth every penny I have no doubt. I wouldn't hesitate to sink that much into a good long gun.

  9. #8
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    The old Mini-14 I had way back in UK (HAD - operative word!) - was IIRC a 182-xxxxx and was actually quite a good shooting rifle, as they go.

    I now have a 185-xxxxx and tho it's ''OK'' it sure ain't anything to write home about. However - I never did and nor do I now expect a lot from these guns. True enough - whippy barrel - crap grouping (always at least one flier in five that ruins a group!) ..... but I like the Garrand action - it is pretty reliable and as a shortish range piece, it does have some acceptable usefullness.

    If I put cheapo Russian thru this one it keyholes even at shorter ranges .... feed it tho Americal Eagle or homeloads and it is acceptable. Like others have said - what's the point in throwing big bucks at one of these, when for higher dollar - you can get into AR territory.


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  10. #9
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    I like my AR way better. And you can get AR's in .308 too 7.62X51 Nato that is. Mini's are ok , but not all that accurate and hi cap mags are expensive, compared to AR mags. Maybe consider a SU 16 keltec if .223 is a choice, and ya wanna save some dough.

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    VIP Member Array CLASS3NH's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    The Minis are pretty good for what they are .. I've got the AC556 type weapons, and in Semi auto mode, they're VERY accurate in my opinion. in 3 shot burst, it's a little more difficult to control muzzle rise, due to the light weight barrel. In full auto, it's more like spray and pray. I would say, that if you see one, grab a Ruger GB20 (the semi auto version of the AC556) it has the M16 style flash hider and Bayo lug.. VERY desirable in either blue or stanless..The rifle looks like a minuture M14...The 7.62X39 is a great deer or medium Game rifle. The Garand style bolt and action is battle tested, plust the cartridge is good for hunting and also personal protection when need be.. Just my own opinions though
    As for retail sales of Mini 14's....they DO find a home, but mainly when it's a particular shooter that's looking for exactly that type of Ruger. They are a bit pricey for Rugers.

  12. #11
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    Early Mini 14

    I had a really early one. It did not have any function problems.
    A machinist locally installed a flash hider on it.
    It was OK ~ I traded it off after having had it for about 2 years.
    I don't really miss it.
    If you can buy a used one at a good price...it would be a fairly decent and inexpensive "Emergency...Keep It In The Trunk Gun"
    Ammo for it is cheap & that's a plus.
    Lots of "add on" stuff "out there" for it if you are into tricking out rifles.
    Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ

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    Senior Member Array rfurtkamp's Avatar
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    For the price, the 30 is uninspiring. I'd buy a Saiga (even at inflated no longer available prices) first or an AK and throw the $$$ saved into mags and ammo.

    The Mini 14 to me stands out in on particular instance at the range with my Carbon 15 AR-pistol and a couple guys with Minis were there. They couldn't believe you could hit anything with something that belched that much fire, and I watched them spray all over the same berm I was shooting at at 100m. An informal shootoff ensued. The Carbon 15 pistol, with horrible little ghost ring sights, smoked both the scoped Mini and the iron sighted one - in both my hands and the other guys present.

    At that moment, I understood why the A-Team never hit anything with theirs.
    Driver carries less than $45 worth of remorse.

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    Senior Member Array '75scout's Avatar
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    I know this is an old post but I figured I'd ask my questions anyway. If you could get an older blued Mini-14 for $300 and send it to Accuracy Systems Inc, totallying about the same price as a good AR, would you? I have the opportunity to buy my great uncles Mini. It's in great shape and everybody that sends theirs to ASI says they are awesome.

    I like ARs but I also like to avoid being like everybody else. I like the Garand action and styling, but want a .223 SHTF rifle. I know if I got an AR I wouldn't be able to help myself from buying all sorts off add ons like optics, Surefire lights, Vltor and Tango Down products. All I really want it to add an EoTech 512 to and accuratized Mini-14.

  15. #14
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    Question It's for SHTF? What's your life WORTH?

    Quote Originally Posted by '75scout
    I know this is an old post but I figured I'd ask my questions anyway. If you could get an older blued Mini-14 for $300 and send it to Accuracy Systems Inc, totallying about the same price as a good AR, would you? I have the opportunity to buy my great uncles Mini. It's in great shape and everybody that sends theirs to ASI says they are awesome.

    I like ARs but I also like to avoid being like everybody else. I like the Garand action and styling, but want a .223 SHTF rifle. I know if I got an AR I wouldn't be able to help myself from buying all sorts off add ons like optics, Surefire lights, Vltor and Tango Down products. All I really want it to add an EoTech 512 to and accuratized Mini-14.
    I have an example from the 1970's with an original factory folding stock and I've not had any problems with mine....except that it's not terribly accurate (certainly not as accurate as an AR) and it's a little bit tougher to field strip.

    I stand to inherit an older (waaay pre-ban) CAR-15 so I'll hold on for that. OR I may go ahead and get a flattop M4 style with an ACOG or possibly a Holosight.

    I think the terms "accurized" and "Mini-14" can't be put together with any degree of success. You want good combat accuracy for a SHTF scenario? Of course you want the same in reliability, I'd go with an AR for both; if only for availability of parts and commonality of ammo.

    Still in a REAL SHTF situation, I'm wanting 7.62x51 and that means M1A SOCOM...but that goes along with my M1A Super Match that's already a buildup by ROBAR. The SOCOM is for CQB with an availability to REACH out further than any 5.56mm. Just my .02.
    Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.

  16. #15
    Member Array Lawrence Keeney's Avatar
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    I was reading in one of the magazines the other day that the new Mini-14s are very accurate. These come with composite stocks too.
    "I Don't Want To Socialize With A Pinko Liberal Democrat Commie. Say What You Like About Republicans. We Stick To Our Convictions. Even When We Know We're Dead Wrong." Denny Crane:

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