Ruger Mini 14

This is a discussion on Ruger Mini 14 within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Thank you all for the great advice thus far I do my boating in saltwater with excursions into the Bahamas for long weekends. Anyone that ...

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Thread: Ruger Mini 14

  1. #16
    Member Array socuban's Avatar
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    Thank you all for the great advice thus far

    I do my boating in saltwater with excursions into the Bahamas for long weekends. Anyone that knows the saltwater environment also know how harsh it can be on most things.

    I do own a Remington 870 marine magnum that is the primary boat gun. I also would like to own a .223 rifle. I try and factor in the boating environment when I look at equipment because I spend a lot of time on boats and hate to have something that will start to rust if I'm not all over it (read high maintenance).

    So far it sounds like the mini 14 is a mechanically reliable gun (from the lack of negative operational performance issues), but lacks accuracy and the mags are expensive.

    I'm also reading that the AR is the way to go in terms of accuracy and options, including special coatings to resist rusting/corrosion.

    I was hoping to keep it simple with a no nonsense, low maintenance rifle in a popular round, but it sounds like you guys are going to suck me into the "dark side" with the AR rifle and the 5,000 different configurations

    So, I have to ask (because I don't know any better);

    If you were building an AR rifle from scratch, knowing that the unit would spend time in a harsh environment in terms of humidity, salinity and sand, what would you build price equivalent to a stainless steel mini 14?

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  3. #17
    Member Array garn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by socuban View Post
    If you were building an AR rifle from scratch, knowing that the unit would spend time in a harsh environment in terms of humidity, salinity and sand, what would you build price equivalent to a stainless steel mini 14?
    Actually,

    for what you are looking for, I would go with a Cavalry Arm polymer lower to start off with. It's super lightweight, very durable, and being polymer would be totally impervious to any salt corrosion or rust issues.

    Cavalry Arms

    I have one myself and it is an excellent piece!

    Then I would go with your upper receiver of choice, CMMG, RRA, Mega, CMT, LMT, etc etc. They are all pretty much the same, I would go with an A1 carry handle upper for the simplicity of the sighting system, rarely need windage adjustment on the fly using irons.

    For the bolt carrier assembly, I would either go with a Young Mfg hard chrome assembly or an Ion Bond BCM assembly.

    Here is the Ion Bond version: BRAVO COMPANY ION BONDED M16 BOLT CARRIER GROUPS OUT OF STOCK - BCMM16IONBOND

    For the barrel, I'd go with a WOA stainless barrel, some of the better stainless barrels you can get, and they are priced fairly:

    White Oak Armament POB 74 Carlock, IL 61725 (309) 376-2288

    I prefer midlength gas system in 16" and a medium or light contour, throw in an aluminum gas block and a sabre defence stainless gas tube.

    I think it would end up costing a tad more than a mini 14 but it would be a super versatile, more accurate than most shooters, and about as rust/corrosion resistant as possible!

    Obama didn't get elected to warranty your muffler. He's here to warranty your life.

  4. #18
    BAC
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    Quote Originally Posted by socuban View Post
    So far it sounds like the mini 14 is a mechanically reliable gun (from the lack of negative operational performance issues), but lacks accuracy and the mags are expensive.
    Don't be as quick to jump to that conclusion; like you said, salt water is a horrid environment for equipment, especially mechanical equipment. Many big name shooters and former shooters (Rogers, Vickers, those folks) have flat said they rarely, or haven't at all, seen a Mini 14 make it through a weekend carbine course. Take what you will from that, but I'd trust an AR over a Mini any day (ARs aren't near as fragile as folks make them out to be).


    If you were building an AR rifle from scratch, knowing that the unit would spend time in a harsh environment in terms of humidity, salinity and sand, what would you build price equivalent to a stainless steel mini 14?
    Garn is exactly right. Cavalry Arms is a fine company to work with and their polymer is a great base to start from to make a good "maritime" rifle (White Oaks is an excellent barrel maker). Couple Garn's suggestions with Pmags and you're good to go.

    ETA: Actually, building of Garn's template above, you'd get a pretty nice rifle for just about $800, plus shipping: mid-length gas system, basic mid-length handguards, 16" stainless steel barrel, A1 fixed stock, A2 sights with standard front sight post, and a standard A2 flash hider. Add four PMags (arbitrary number) for another $60, and you still end up with a better rifle with three more mags, all mags having higher capacity, than a NIB stainless Mini 14. socuban, if you want I'll PM you the list of that build (or just email you the Excel spreadsheet I drafted it in).


    -B
    Last edited by BAC; March 26th, 2008 at 12:27 AM. Reason: Added price estimate for "maritime" AR

  5. #19
    Senior Member Array MR D's Avatar
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    good advice - I got rid of my stainless mini 14 when I left Florida prior to 90...

    AR will serve you better IMHO

  6. #20
    Member Array johnisaly's Avatar
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    socuban -

    I have a new Mini for sale. Check for PM I sent you.
    John -
    "The story you are about to hear is true; the names have been changed to protect the innocent."

  7. #21
    VIP Member Array ghost tracker's Avatar
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    Y'all consider Calvary Arms Polymer Lower a fine-quality, good place to begin an AR build? Whoa!

    Trust me Socuban...buy the Ruger!
    There are only TWO kinds of people in this world; those who describe the world as filled with two kinds of people...and those who don't.

  8. #22
    BAC
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    I'm curious, now: why they would be a bad idea for this build? And I ask this honestly, because the Cavalry Arms products, including the polymer lower, that I've handled in the past have all be good stuff. Certainly not the best, good enough that I'd use for a boat gun and, if built right, trust.


    -B

  9. #23
    Member Array garn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghost tracker View Post
    Y'all consider Calvary Arms Polymer Lower a fine-quality, good place to begin an AR build? Whoa!

    Trust me Socuban...buy the Ruger!
    Well...yes!

    Have you ever seen one firsthand? Owned one?

    I would challenge you to find a negative post about the cavarms polymer lower. Cavalry arms is a stand up and QUALITY company, top tier customer support, and they support shootings sports constantly.

    Not to mention the lifetime warranty, but hey, what do I know, I've just had experience with them

    Socuban, I would recommend you take neither or our words, and go research the cavarms polymer lower on ar15.com to come to your own conclusion!
    Obama didn't get elected to warranty your muffler. He's here to warranty your life.

  10. #24
    VIP Member Array ghost tracker's Avatar
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    Okay...I'm caught. I have never owned an AR featuring a Calvary Arms poly lower. But I shoot with a bunch (two or three dozen) of pretty serious AR builders. I've built some (uh...five) myself. One of our gang made a well-intended, vallant effort to (ignore the rest of us and) base his first AR on a CA poly lower. The results were less than satisfactory. He eventually went with a more conventional alloy lower (there are several perfectly good ones) and found the performance of the otherwise identical components much more to his liking.

    If your experience with CA has been excellent, I'm pleased for you. My admittedly limited exposure leads me away from selecting them as a starting point. I would simply prefer a factory built Mini.
    There are only TWO kinds of people in this world; those who describe the world as filled with two kinds of people...and those who don't.

  11. #25
    Member Array garn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghost tracker View Post
    Okay...I'm caught. I have never owned an AR featuring a Calvary Arms poly lower. But I shoot with a bunch (two or three dozen) of pretty serious AR builders. I've built some (uh...five) myself. One of our gang made a well-intended, vallant effort to (ignore the rest of us and) base his first AR on a CA poly lower. The results were less than satisfactory. He eventually went with a more conventional alloy lower (there are several perfectly good ones) and found the performance of the otherwise identical components much more to his liking.

    If your experience with CA has been excellent, I'm pleased for you. My admittedly limited exposure leads me away from selecting them as a starting point. I would simply prefer a factory built Mini.
    I see, the cavarms polymer isn't meant as a replacement for a traditional forged lower, but an alternative. You wouldn't choose it to build an accurized 1/2 MOA range gun, or an SPR build, etc. etc.

    But for an all purpose, reach out to 400 yards with irons, lightweight build, truck gun/boat gun/etc., it would be a great choice.
    Obama didn't get elected to warranty your muffler. He's here to warranty your life.

  12. #26
    Senior Member Array Scot Van's Avatar
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    Just a quick note...that ATI stock that you showed the picture of is STILL not available, even though they premiered it at SHOT Show 2007 (yes...over a year ago). Ddon't ask me why, but ATI has been advertising three stocks for over a year now that you can't even buy because they don't make 'em. As a former employee, I can only suggest you look elsewhere if you want one of those stocks for your Mini sometime this decade, because you won't be able to count on seeing them any time soon.
    A man in the hands of his enemies is flesh, and shudderingly vulnerable. - author unknown

  13. #27
    Member Array socuban's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scot Van View Post
    Just a quick note...that ATI stock that you showed the picture of is STILL not available, even though they premiered it at SHOT Show 2007 (yes...over a year ago). Ddon't ask me why, but ATI has been advertising three stocks for over a year now that you can't even buy because they don't make 'em. As a former employee, I can only suggest you look elsewhere if you want one of those stocks for your Mini sometime this decade, because you won't be able to count on seeing them any time soon.
    WOW! Sounds like the market is not there? Or maybe Choate or muzzlelite or somebody else is eating up the aftermarket market? Interesting to know, thanks.

    I do have a bunch of ATI stuff on my Remington 870;



  14. #28
    Senior Member Array Scot Van's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by socuban View Post
    WOW! Sounds like the market is not there? Or maybe Choate or muzzlelite or somebody else is eating up the aftermarket market? Interesting to know, thanks.

    I do have a bunch of ATI stuff on my Remington 870;


    Stellar additions to the 870 P...might I suggest you also look into adding and ATI forend for that? It is abbreviated, so you won't snag clothing or a sling when you work the action.

    Don't get me wrong...I love most of the stuff that ATI makes...but this Mini 14 stuff, along with the AR15 stocks and the AK side folder they're advertising SIMPLY AREN'T AVAILABLE AND MAY NEVER BE!!!

    ARRRGH!!!
    A man in the hands of his enemies is flesh, and shudderingly vulnerable. - author unknown

  15. #29
    AEA
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    Quote Originally Posted by takurpic View Post
    I like the looks and feel of the Mini-14. I used to own one prior to getting my 1st AR-15.

    The mini had some accuracy issues that weren't an issue in the AR.
    That is correct. The Mini-14's LOUSY accuracy is well documented.

    Other than that, I like the gun too........but what is the purpose of the gun......to look at or to hit the intended target with the fired projectile?
    I guess if yo could spray and pray like Mister T, you would eventually hit the target!

    I agree that the 870 Marine Magnum (in any configuration) is a fine weapon for you boating pleasure! I own one and I don't even have a boat!

  16. #30
    Member Array bcvojak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AEA View Post
    That is correct. The Mini-14's LOUSY accuracy is well documented.
    If you have a mini-14 and aren't happy with it I have only one suggestion. . . Accu-strut.com. . . $120
    Somewhere in the Pacific NW

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