AR15 vs. Mini14 accuracy inquiry??

This is a discussion on AR15 vs. Mini14 accuracy inquiry?? within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Well like everyone else in the good old USA, I'm finally looking into a SHTF rifle. Have been looking at the AR platform and like ...

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Thread: AR15 vs. Mini14 accuracy inquiry??

  1. #1
    Member Array Fastball's Avatar
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    AR15 vs. Mini14 accuracy inquiry??

    Well like everyone else in the good old USA, I'm finally looking into a SHTF rifle. Have been looking at the AR platform and like it over an AK, but I just can't seem to catch a break on scoring a decent make at a decent price. They fly right out of the doors as soon as they hit the shelves all over my area!

    So I have been considering going to the Mini14 platform since they are around and a bit cheaper to boot, but I'm hearing of serious accuracy whoas compared to an AR15, both in 223's with 16 to 18 inch barrels. Why the big difference? Are Ruger barrels junk??? Different twists? The receivers??

    I'm a pistol guy so the rifle thing is new to me, any help would be appreciated. I really like the looks of the collapsible stock, tactical Mini14's that are due out shortly.
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  3. #2
    Distinguished Member Array SonofASniper's Avatar
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    They are just not as accurate as an AR, but that doesn't mean it wouldn't work as a SHTF rifle.

    You probably won't get MOA accuracy out of it, but you will get MOBG and that is what counts.

    Finding good magazines for it is the biggest complaint I hear from many people.
    I will support gun control when you can guarantee all guns are removed from this planet. That includes military and law enforcement. When you can accomplish that, then I will be the last person to lay down my gun. Then I will carry the weapon that replaces the gun.

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    It appears the Mini14 and most 5.56 AR's use a 1:9 twist. The rate of twist has evolved over time in both rifles. I believe part of the problem is Ruger never intended the Mini14 to be tack driving accurate. It was designed for rough use, thrown in the back window of a truck and jostled around off road. They were designed to pull out for a quick multiple shots at varmint size animals.

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    Senior Member Array GreyGhost's Avatar
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    I've had a Mini-14 for 8 years. It's as accurate as I am out to 100 yards. That is on a paper plate. Mine is an older model. Mini's accuracy varies greatly from gun to gun. And different ammo can make a huge difference.

    There are quite a few ways to improve a mini's accuracy that are either free or quite cheap.

    BTW I love my mini and am quite confident in it's ability to handle a SHTF situation.

    Here's a link to check out. Go here and look for Mini-14 talk. There's more info here than you'll have time to read.


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    VIP Member Array sgtD's Avatar
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    I believe the main problem is in the design itself. The way the gas block is mated to the barrel seems to cause a lot of barrel flex. Supposedly the newer models have a bit heavier barrels and the problem is not quite as bad. I have an old one and it aint a tackdriver by any means, but for practical accuracy it's not the worst rifle out there. It is 100% reliable. I've had it for years and can't remember a malfunction except for the time I fired some rounds that weren't crimped well and got some jams and setback, but that wasn't the rifle's fault.

    It just depends I guess on what you think you may need to do with it. I can shoot mine well enough to engage targets at 200 yds with confidence with a center mass POA, however I could do that out to 500 with a 20" AR. As a civilian though, I don't contemplate engaging at such a distance.
    When you've got 'em by the balls, their hearts & minds will follow. Semper Fi.

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    VIP Member Array edr9x23super's Avatar
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    The AR is a superior weapon, period; recoil is softer, caliber selection is much greater (buy a new top end and some magazines and you are there), and you can build up an AR to fight or drive tacks.

    Not to downgrade the Mini-14, though. It performs as it was designed, as a ranch rifle. Bulletproof reliable, incredibly tough and simple to operate. Truly a rifle meant to be hung on the gun rack of a pickup.....
    "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined". - Patrick Henry

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    VIP Member Array Tubby45's Avatar
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    The Mini 14 is basically a .223 garand with overpriced proprietary magazines, and mediocre accuracy. The AR is a superior weapon system in every way shape and form.
    07/02 FFL/SOT since 2006

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    Member Array BlackJack's Avatar
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    Well, I don’t really think the AR is a better weapon period, but it does have its advantages.

    I have used both and recognize the advantages and disadvantages of both.

    The AR will be more accurate “out of the box”.
    The AR does have less recoil.
    The AR does have more readily available and less expensive magazines.
    The AR has more accessories available.

    The Mini is more durable.
    The Mini, at least the new ones, are reasonable accurate (~2-3MOA, but this will very from gun to gun).
    The Mini is less expensive.
    The Mini is more “Politically Correct”.


    Personally I do not care for the AR platform (This is just a personal preference and should not be taken as a nock to the AR). I have a Mini-14 that I am having accurized to be a 1MOA rifle. There are many ways to accurize the Mini that can cost anywhere from less than $100.00 to $1000.00. Since mine is older, and really needs it anyway, I am having it rebarrelled with a heavier barrel, new gas block, trigger job and new sights. The new sights are just so that I can have the same as what I have on my M1A.

    As far as the AK… I would take either an AR or a Mini over the AK. The AK is a good platform, but I am not a big fan of the 7.62x39 cartridge. You might want to look at the Saiga in .223 though.

    Good luck.

  10. #9
    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    Ruger has issues with rifling their barrels. Period. It may be the Mini contour, in relation to the stabilizing jig and the way the mandrel is fed, but be that as it may, the last 3" of the barrel are what make or break the Mini.

    I'm sorry, the Mini is not "more durable" than a mil-spec AR. The AC-556 never gained much acceptance, in any part of the world(despite being featured on "The A-Team"), because the materials really are not up to what would be termed serious social work. Bill Ruger was a politically savvy guy, but none of his products went beyond very limited Gvt./Export runs. They are decent, behind-the-truck-seat guns, and not much more. Parts are problematic to come by.

    Having said that, I won't say you wouldn't be happy with one.

    Personally, I would put the money in a Remington 7600, BAR in .270-.30 cal, or some other "sporting gun" with more punch and longer reach than the .223 or 7.62x39, if I were starting from scratch right now. We talk about stopping power- a 7mm A-max, sub-sternal, will fold bipeds in half pretty consistantly. Hunting rounds are more expensive, but they are engineered to come as close to the one-stop-shot as possible. Maybe think quality over quantity...? Especially since cases of .223 and 7.62x39 are really hard to come by, and are approaching the point of diminishing return, rounds/dollar...

  11. #10
    Member Array Fastball's Avatar
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    Great intel, gang! Thanks a ton!!!

    I would be happy as a clam with 100-150yrd shots in a paper plate! If I need to reach out further, I would surely look into .06 or 7mm Mag territory.

    I got to shoot the new S&W MP's over the weekend, which was my first experience with the AR15 platform. I gotta admit, I really liked that set up over the AK I was looking at a couple of weeks ago.

    I am open to other calibers/platforms, because quite frankly the 223 seems a bit small to me. No offense guys, please don't take that the wrong way. Great accuracy and a fine flat shooter, but I like a little more mass in the projectile. I was considering the AK platform just for that reason, but I'm hearing rumors on the imported ammo in 7.62 getting really scarce. The .308 is interesting, but that ammo is way $$$. Plus, I want to stay with a carbine or something compact. Heck, I was even looking at the old M1 carbine my Dad used when he was in the service.

    Here's a link to a new model Mini14 that got my attention;

    MINI 14 Tactical

    Please,.... keep the input coming!
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    Heck, I was even looking at the old M1 carbine my Dad used when he was in the service.
    That is not a bad answer, since you can spend your bucks on ammo!

  13. #12
    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fastball View Post
    Here's a link to a new model Mini14 that got my attention;

    MINI 14 Tactical

    Please,.... keep the input coming!
    Yes, Ruger tripled the price to make the Mini comparable in accuracy to an AR.

    Seriously, the .223 and 7.62x39 are very similar (designed for the same operational envelope), but the 39 will have better penetration against heavy concealment/cover.

    Availibility for both is pretty much the same, right now. If there is a 7.62x39 ban, you'll likely not see a whole 20 round box of .223 being sold either. It will be "next on the list", and drawing much higher prices.

    Again, I would suggest a .308, .30-06, 7mm, etc., since you'll really have longe to accessorize and lay in ammo.

    For the money, and looking at 7.62x39 and .223, I would strongly suggest the AK, as long as you're getting your rifle, mags (12-24) and ammo (2K) in the next month or so.

    Regarding the "this caliber will be banned...", frankly if one goes, both will go. They are mil-calibers.

  14. #13
    Senior Member Array Sarge45's Avatar
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    I own (2) AR-15's right now. I have owned AR's for the last 20+ years and know them well. I have also owned a Mini-14 in some form for the last 20 years. I currently own a NRA Mini-14 with the 16" barrel. Let's talk about my experiences with the Mini.

    My first Mini was a standard blue finish, pencil barrel model. Forget what series it was but it had acceptable accuracy and good reliability when I used good mags. I liked the gun and it would have made a good home defense rifle that I would have trusted through any kind of civil emergency scenario. Sold it to fund an AR purchase.

    My second Mini was a stainless Ranch Rifle with pencil barrel. I didn't like the flimsy fold down rear leaf sight, at all. I broke it once just moving it around the house. Accuracy was very good out to practical ranges of up to 300 yards. Minute-of-man as some would say. Aside from the flimsy rear sight, I would have trusted that one to get me by in a serious civil emergency. It ran 100% with good mags. Sold it because of the rear sight setup.

    My current Mini is a NRA Mini with the 16" tapered barrel. This Mini is much more accurate than the previous two and just as reliable. I purchased (10) Ruger 20-rd. mags while they were on sale so finding good mags is not an issue. The little NRA Mini is also extremely reliable. No failures of any kind, period. It's a bad-to-the-bone carbine.

    For a person needing a SHTF rifle I say the new Mini-14 with short barrel is an EXCELLENT option to the AR provided you are going to spend the money on good mags. I think it is extremely robust in design and built for rugged use. Accuracy is better than minute-of-man. When transferred into a Butler Creek folder it becomes an extremely portable and highly capable platform for the prepared person.

    The Mini platform doesn't offer a lot of solutions for the person needing a plethora of rails. However, there are solutions for mounting lights, lasers, etc. if you have the need and are creative.

    To me, the new Mini is excellent. I don't need, nor want electronic optics on my Mini. At most, a tac light is it, with a laser option. When the going gets really tough, I want a bare bones, no frills carbine that I can drag through the mud, dust and grime if needed with little to no concern about batteries or maintenance of the firearm. I need it to run at my discretion, without fail. This newly redesigned Mini-14 does exactly that. It has earned its place in my SHTF rack and is on "go-to" standby if things get really rough.

    Buy the new ones with full confidence.

    ETA: The new Mini-14's are 1 in 9 twist and are capable of standard .223 as well as NATO ammunition. Very versatile with different load weights.

  15. #14
    Member Array Fastball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob72 View Post
    Yes, Ruger tripled the price to make the Mini comparable in accuracy to an AR.
    The Mini 14 I listed a link to above lists for under $900. I figure you're talking about this model, right Rob??

    Mini14 Tactical Govt SS

    I'll go get a Sig 556 before I go that route!

    None of my local shops are carrying any 7.62 of any bulk in my area. However, I am finding .223 for around $400 per 1000 at a number of places. Sorta leads me to believe the rumors I discussed in another thread.

    Thanks Sarge!! That sounds like some promising feedback!! I have no intention of putting anything but a scope on this rifle I am looking for. The other bells & whistles you mentioned would only be good if I was using it for CQC and for that I am much more proficient, (plus trained to do so), with a pistol, not to mention I just don't believe using a carbine/rifle is a good idea to use for clearing a house by yourself.
    You never see a motorcycle parked ouside a psychiatrist's office!

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    Senior Member Array Sarge45's Avatar
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    Show us a pic when ya get it, Fastball. You're gonna like it.

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