why does everyone hate on Mini 14's?

why does everyone hate on Mini 14's?

This is a discussion on why does everyone hate on Mini 14's? within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Ive been looking to add an AR to my stable for quite some time. My boss has wanted one for years but he got an ...

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  • entry level AR platform

    144 48.00%
  • Mini 14

    71 23.67%
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    85 28.33%
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Thread: why does everyone hate on Mini 14's?

  1. #1
    Member Array Erik M's Avatar
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    why does everyone hate on Mini 14's?

    Ive been looking to add an AR to my stable for quite some time. My boss has wanted one for years but he got an excellent deal on a mini and he says he could not be happier. This has got me looking at a Mini 14 insted of an AR, mainly because of pricepoint, secondly because of ther gas tube desing of the AR. From the thread reading I have done on other sites I have heard that the Mini is nothing but a magazine money pit, terrible inaccurate, and a waste of money. Would you recommend that I honestly check out a Mini, or stick with the original plan and buy a base model AR?

    Budget is around $800.

    Weapon to be used as part time home defense, amature target shooting, plinking.
    Last edited by HotGuns; December 6th, 2009 at 01:29 PM. Reason: corrected the title
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  2. #2
    Member Array Jim Macklin's Avatar
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    I had a Mini 14 back in 1976. They got a bad rep then for accuracy, partly because of barrels and bedding.

    They have an advantage in that they are not EBR with bad press, neither are they AK/SKS .

    The current production Mini is fine and Ruger is now [once again] selling 20/30 rd magazines. The new Ruger's have better barrels and stock bedding.

    I would buy a conventional looking Mini [wood or Hogue stock] unless I intended to trick it out with all the wiz-bang stuff, then ratehr than buying a fancy Ruger I'd get the AR. The Ruger AR SR 556 is pretty well tricked out with excellent BUIS, quad rail, etc and such but is more money than an entry level gun.

    On a budget, there is nothing wrong with an SKS if that is all you can afford.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Array RebelRabbi's Avatar
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    Tough Guns

    The Mini 14, SKS and AK's are all tough guns that are far less $$$ than an AR. If you go AR...DO SOME RESEARCH! There are a lot of people producing AR's and there ARE quality control issues.
    For a Cop Gun... i.e. Patrol Carbine I would opt for a Sig 556.
    For a fun gun I would opt for any of the above three.
    If this were a gun I might use for civilian self defense I'd get a Marlin Lever 30-30 or a wood stocked Pump 12 Ga.
    Cruiser safe; Magazine full & chamber empty.
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  4. #4
    Member Array MrReady's Avatar
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    I have an SKS and I like it. I wont shoot a golfball at 200 yards but I did not
    buy it to be a super marksman shooter. Its for hitting stuff centermass
    in a SHTF situation and fun shooting. I never did like the 5.56 round and
    I am in the military. I prefer a larger 7.62X39 (or .308) for a defesne rifle. Just my 2cent.
    Ruger P345, S&W 637
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  5. #5
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    Go with the AR.

    Infinite amount of parts and after market items, very customizable,even to the point of changing calibers.

    The Mini has no such luxury.
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


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  6. #6
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    I don't think any knowledgeable person is going to say the mini isn't a nice little package, but it is what it is, and it isnt a lot of things. It doesnt really excel in a particular area, like the AR's do. Its just there. I think that is why it doesnt get a whole lot of attention.
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  7. #7
    BAC
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    Just to spare some confusion later, the M14 and Mini 14 are not the same weapon. The Mini 14 is a scaled-down descendant of the M14.

    If you're looking to add an AR to your stable, then add an AR; there's really nothing a Mini 14 can do that an AR can't do better (yes, at a couple hundred bucks more). If you're looking to add a rifle to your stable to fill a particular role, first define the role, then pick the rifle that best fills that role at an acceptable budget. That may include the Mini 14, or may not.


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  8. #8
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    Part of the problem with the Mini is the action.

    There is too much mass in the bolt for such a small caliber and it really shakes and vibrates the gun around when it is shot, one of the several reasons for reduced accuracy.

    Its a good action on the .308, which is a much heavier gun that does not suffer from the same problems that the pip squeak .223 does.

    While the whole idea of a scaled down action sounds great and looks good on paper, in actual application it doesn't work as good as it should.
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


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  9. #9
    BAC
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    Adding to HotGuns' post how long it took Ruger to start making acceptable barrels for the Mini...

    When first introduced, the AR-15 and Mini 14 were each others' competition from the onset, and were both really the only ones in the game. The AR-15 won, commercially. It's not especially hard to see why.

    Then again, as I said, if the Mini 14 meets your needs or you just want a Mini, then by all means get one. If you want an AR, though, a Mini probably isn't going to get you what you want.


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  10. #10
    VIP Member Array TN_Mike's Avatar
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    This is just me but, I went with an AK for my first battle rifle I bought and I couldn't be happier. I now own an AR as well. I like it too but, the AK is way easier to clean and take care of. And it cost just $350 but that was like 10 years ago.
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  11. #11
    Member Array Goodtime Charlie's Avatar
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    I have a Mini-14 All-Weather Ranch that I bought new back in 1999 for Y2K. Since then, I've tried to trick it out with the tactical goodies. IMO, you would be ahead to just get an AR (supposedly DPMS is a good buy for the money). If you aren't going to shoot it much, you don't need to worry about the direct impingement vs piston question, just get the regular DI type and be done with it. As mentioned by others, there are tons of parts and accessories made for the AR platform, and you can tailor your gun exactly the way YOU want it--the Mini-14 is more difficult to do that with, and IMO more expensive to customize. The steel Ruger magazines are heavier and can rust, too. If you want drop-dead reliability, then you have to buy the Ruger OEM magazines, not the aftermarket mags, which cause most of the operating problems that people report.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member Array Sarge45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik M View Post
    Ive been looking to add an AR to my stable for quite some time. My boss has wanted one for years but he got an excellent deal on a mini and he says he could not be happier. This has got me looking at a Mini 14 insted of an AR, mainly because of pricepoint, secondly because of ther gas tube desing of the AR. From the thread reading I have done on other sites I have heard that the Mini is nothing but a magazine money pit, terrible inaccurate, and a waste of money. Would you recommend that I honestly check out a Mini, or stick with the original plan and buy a base model AR?

    Budget is around $800.

    Weapon to be used as part time home defense, amature target shooting, plinking.
    If you've been wanting an AR, get it. You won't be happy with a substitute. The new Mini-14 is however a great gun for what you want to use it for.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Array redbird's Avatar
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    I think if Ruger would make the Mini 14accept AR15 mags they could not make enough to keep up with the demand. Why don't one of you engineer types make a retro fit for Mini 14 to accept AR mags I bet you could make a fortune.

  14. #14
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    If you want to spend less money (than the AR), still have fun, and reach out a little further than a .22, look at the Henry lever action .22 mag. I have one with the octagonal barrel...great looking rifle.
    I sold my AR, bought a Marlin 336, an Henry .22 mag, and still had money left over for ammo.
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  15. #15
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Go with the AR in my opinion. I don't have any dislike for the Mini-14 or Ruger for that matter, but something just aint right with them from what I've heard, and I've never seriously taken a look at them as a want item for me no matter what I've read in the magazines. I do know that some law enforcement agencies rely on them to this day, but then again, they have way better armorers than me. I've probably been around some ten years previous to the intro of the Mini-14. Better platforms for the .223 including a bolt action IMO. My 2 If I was given one, I might not turn it away until I had things worked out to my liking, and if I couldn't, it would go out in trade.

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