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Discussion Starter #1
:wave:

I've been doing a little research on these two weapons. The reason I'm comparing them is their price is within $50 of each other. Same caliber, two different platforms.

Mini 14 should be easier to maintain


Sportical should be easier to accessorize

I've read reports that their both comparable in accuracy at around 200 yards.

Alot is going to depend on it's uses according to the user. If you want a tack-drivin', prairie dog killin' @ 300 yds +, then I would think the nod would go to the Sportical...

If you're looking for a plinkin', coyote killin', zombie killin' low maintenance, then I'm thinking that the Mini might suffice.

Let the barrage begin....:boese51:
 

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Personally............(in my opinion) both have their pros and cons (of course), and you might beat the bushes on the internet for a while other than here. I would say you'd probably be better off with the DPMS and some MagPul magazines for it (since I've heard the factory mags are junk). I have nothing for or against either one since I've never had either. It's just what I've heard over the years that causes me to lean away from the Ruger 'Minis' for reasons I'm unable to completely explain. Some law enforcement agencies still employ the Mini 14 for special purposes, and that may seem like one of the good points. I think there are plenty of accessories available for either one actually. You'll just have to hunt around.
 

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Sportical will be easier to get parts for and they are cheaper. Parts can be had anywhere.

Mini magazines are had to get, expensive and are made by a very limited number of manufactureres. Everyone makes AR mags.

Sportical platform is more customizable, Mini is very limited.
You can change tophalfs on the Sportical, go from a SBR to a 24" barrel with a simple switch. Sportical can host several calibers,Mini...is just Mini.

Sportical will hold its value,and nearly anyone will buy it, the Mini only has a niche market.

The Mini has a limited ability for a scope, the Sportical is virtuall unlimited.
 

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I'm not a big fan of the sportical. I owned one, I don't own it anymore. I am however a fan of AR-15s. I'd suggest spending $100 more and get an entry level AR.

But if not. I'd go with the mini.
 

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I have both and I like them both. But the AR has more going for it in options, use, etc. But I like my mini too. choices, choices.....
 

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I used an AR rifle (M16) in the Army. I have a Mini 14 as a civilian.

Personally, I like the Mini better. I just hate the direct gas system on most AR rifles - blows hot dirty gases right into the action. This was done to reduce weight by eliminating the operating rod. Makes for baked-on crud that is hard to clean.

I also do not like all the little pieces the AR breaks down into for cleaning - especially the darn cotter pin. Very easy to lose in the field. The Mini breaks down much like an M14 into big pieces. I've never needed to break it down further than field stripping it.

The AR will likely be more accurate at longer range. It is more adaptable.

Since I do not envision "defending" myself from someone 200 yards away ("Yes officer, even though he was so far away I had no choice but to shoot him." :blink:), and I like my rifles plain (no optics, lasers, flashlights, cup holders, etc:rolleyes:), those are not issues for me.

Hence, the Mini.:smile:
 

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Every Mini-14 I have ever fired never compared in accuracy with any AR, even at 100 yards; people keep bashing the gas system on the AR, but like the 1911s, if you use the weapon within it's design envelope, it is every bit as reliable as any other gun; I prefer the AR because of its ergonomics. Stoner's genius was not in the fact that he designed a light, easy-to-fire weapon but in the fact that hands-down it is still the fastest assault rifle to reload and get back in the fight because of the orientation of the controls....

But take what I say with a grain of salt - go check it out for yourselves, go to a USPSA 3-gun match and see what the serious competitors are using. That bunch knows real well what works and what doesn't, and they are the ones solely responsible for the cottage industries that have grown up around the AR-15 and 1911 platforms......
 

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I used an AR rifle (M16) in the Army. I have a Mini 14 as a civilian.

Personally, I like the Mini better. I just hate the direct gas system on most AR rifles - blows hot dirty gases right into the action. This was done to reduce weight by eliminating the operating rod. Makes for baked-on crud that is hard to clean.

I also do not like all the little pieces the AR breaks down into for cleaning - especially the darn cotter pin. Very easy to lose in the field. The Mini breaks down much like an M14 into big pieces. I've never needed to break it down further than field stripping it.

The AR will likely be more accurate at longer range. It is more adaptable.

Since I do not envision "defending" myself from someone 200 yards away ("Yes officer, even though he was so far away I had no choice but to shoot him." :blink:), and I like my rifles plain (no optics, lasers, flashlights, cup holders, etc:rolleyes:), those are not issues for me.

Hence, the Mini.:smile:
You make some excellent points here...thus why I sold my AR-15 and purchased two rifles: A Henry Rifle in .22 mag, and a Marlin 30-30... and plenty of ammo. (Bought both for the price of an AR.)
I'm happy...:danceban::danceban:
 

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Every Mini-14 I have ever fired never compared in accuracy with any AR, even at 100 yards; people keep bashing the gas system on the AR, but like the 1911s, if you use the weapon within it's design envelope, it is every bit as reliable as any other gun; I prefer the AR because of its ergonomics. Stoner's genius was not in the fact that he designed a light, easy-to-fire weapon but in the fact that hands-down it is still the fastest assault rifle to reload and get back in the fight because of the orientation of the controls....
I agree with you. Most civilians will never fire enough rounds in a defensive encounter for the direct gas system to become an issue.

However, that still does not change the fact that this is not an optimal design. It violates the "don't poop where you eat" rule, by "pooping" waste into the feeding/operating system of the rifle.:gah:

As far as accuracy, it's a moot issue, as most civilian defensive encounters will be at very close range. The difference between the AR and the Mini will likely not be a factor.

The ergonomics on the Mini are pretty good, IMHO. I like that you can see the bolt over the top of the carbine - you're better able to see when your bolt is locked open and you are out of ammo.

I will concede that the straight up magazine insertion of the AR is faster, versus the rock-it-in of the Mini (and AK, and M1A, and FAL, etc).

To each his own, but I do prefer the Mini.:smile:
 

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I strongly prefer the ergonomics of the Mini. I am a lefty, and the Mini's safety is ideal for lefties, and the operating rod is perfectly positioned for lefty manipulation. The Mini's stock dimensions fit me perfectly. I don't like to have to remember the offset factor for CQB, due to the AR15's high sight radius over the bore axis, when a Mini-14, my duty/HD shotguns, and duty/HD/CC handguns all have the line of sight right over the bore axis.

The safety position of the AR15 causes me a crisis of confidence, as I thoroughly indoctrinated myself to NOT "get caught with my dingus down" when shooting certain DA autopistols. Well, with the AR15, in semi-auto mode, the rifle IS ready to fire with the dingus DOWN. Dingus, for those too young to remember, refers to the safety lever. No amount of training can seem to totally give me faith, when my brain goes into primitive fight or flight mode. (Yes, I have been there with an AR15A2 Govt Carbine in my hands.)

Obviously, these two factors are individual to me, so your "mileage" may vary.

FWIW, I do like my half-Colt HBAR, for longer-range shooting, but NOT for close-range defensive use. So, I am not taking sides or beating any expired equines. If I had to go to war, and had to choose between a Mini or an AR, I would probably go AR, specifically an M16A2.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
What would be some examples of an "entry level AR"?
I thought the Sportical was an entry level AR. It is an AR, just without a dust cover or forward assist.
 

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I thought the Sportical was an entry level AR. It is an AR, just without a dust cover or forward assist.
This is purely my own opinion. But when I think of an AR, all those little features that the sportical is missing, should be standard. It's like buying a car with no locks. The brass deflector, forward assist and dust cover should all be standard features on an AR.

Don't get me wrong, if you're looking for something to shoot holes in paper. Then by all means, if you can find a sportical that runs without multiple FTFs, go for it. From my own personal experience, I would not use the sportical for a serious rifle. Although a Mini 14 would not be my first choice, it'll do. Again this is purely my opinion. Heck some people trust their lives to a highpoint...I'm just not one of those people.

random said:
What would be some examples of an "entry level AR"?
If we're sticking with DPMS. My local store has PANTHER RFA2-AP4A for $770.

Stag has their model 3 with no sights, model 1 with. RRA's has their standard A4. DTI (del-ton) is pretty much entry level across the board. All can be had for around $700-$800 range.
 

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I've read from other trainers that the mini isn't as reliable as the AR, M1-A1, FAL, G3, AK, and SKS in an extended exercise. I believe serious action competitors favor the 1911 and AR platforms. My DPMS customers have been very happy, so far. I have a DPMS LR308B, but it's more than I need for defensive use. I hate to deviate from your thread, but I've had more darn fun with the AK/SKS out to 100+ yds, and used the savings to get the 308, a bit more serious caliber than the 223.

IMO people just have to get over this whole accuracy thing in a defensive arm. Think running and running. It's different if you're hunting or going on the offensive, Mr Snipes.

Sorry to add any confusion. But don't worry, it won't be the last rifle in your safe.
 

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Personally, I like the Mini better. I just hate the direct gas system on most AR rifles - blows hot dirty gases right into the action. This was done to reduce weight by eliminating the operating rod. Makes for baked-on crud that is hard to clean.
You realize that the AR doesn't need to be clean to run well, and that most ARs are more durable by far than Minis, right?

As for the original post, I'd get the AR. As others have said, the AR will hold resale value much better than the Mini, has a much stronger market following for parts and accessories, and is most likely going to be much more accurate. I'd personally get a different AR; DPMS has done little to endear themselves to a rather large number of people who spent a lot of money on their products but have not seen them over a year later, nor have had any calls or emails responded to. Until they start making a solid product and clean up their business practices, I cannot recommend DPMS.

Gunthorp, for a defensive firearm I am especially concerned about accuracy. There is no margin of error if a lawyer follows every miss and every miss might ruin someone else's life. If I'm using a firearm to defend myself, it'll be hard enough as it is to hit what I want with the adrenaline pumping with an accurate weapon.


-B
 

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DPMS has done little to endear themselves to a rather large number of people who spent a lot of money on their products but have not seen them over a year later, nor have had any calls or emails responded to. Until they start making a solid product and clean up their business practices, I cannot recommend DPMS.

Gunthorp, for a defensive firearm I am especially concerned about accuracy. There is no margin of error if a lawyer follows every miss and every miss might ruin someone else's life. If I'm using a firearm to defend myself, it'll be hard enough as it is to hit what I want with the adrenaline pumping with an accurate weapon.


-B
DPMS fell way behind because they make one of the best. They wouldn't give out delivery dates, because they were so swamped and didn't want to over-promise. I'm sorry you and your friends are disappointed. Mine took a year, but it was well worth it. It stays inside an inch at 200 yards.

Concerning accuracy: In a DEFENSIVE use, at what range do you suppose you will engage? Take my DPMS, at 50 Yards it has 1/4" groups. Take any SKS, at 50 yards it has 1" groups or better. If 3/4" or less group size difference makes that big of a deal, carry on. I am simply more concerned with running reliability in a sustained exercise. If I want long range accuracy and effectiveness, I'll reach for my 338 bolt gun. It will reach out and turn cover into mere concealment, even better than my DPMS 308.
 

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Actually I was thinking of the couple family-member hostages taken during break-ins within the last few years (looking for links, but it's admittedly been a while). I understand and fully support the search for a durable, reliable firearm, but accuracy is not unimportant. Anything that helps me to successfully put that quarter-to-third-inch pill into a dangerous foe is as important to me as the weapon's proper function.


-B
 
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