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Educate me M1 Garand vs M14 vs Mini 14

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by JDSTG58, Jul 9, 2012.

  1. JDSTG58


    Feb 4, 2008
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2013
  2. b_oglethorpe


    Nov 14, 2011
    I'm pretty sure you just worked it out on your own. A show called top guns just did that episode. Maybe you can find it.

  3. Jason D

    Jason D INFRINGED Silver Member Millennium Member

    Jun 16, 1999
    Mivonks, MI
    The M1 and M14 were real battle rifles. The mini 14 is mostly a shrunk down civilian ranch rifle that takes design ideas from the M14.

    All those I have looked at have been mostly rough looking junk.

    You can go CMP and get a real rifle.
  4. Unk


    Jul 27, 2010
    West Central FL
    Mini 14's were notorious for shooting patterns rather than groups...that may have changed, never owned or fired one. Garands- shoot a lot.
  5. JDSTG58


    Feb 4, 2008
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2013
  6. 45caldan


    Aug 27, 2007
    central Florida
    Their actions have a lot in common.
    Your guess was a good one. The M14 is basically an evolved Garand and a Mini 14 is shrunken one.....basically.
  7. Baba Louie

    Baba Louie

    Sep 6, 2001
    John Garand originally design his self loading rifle to be a 10 shot .276 Pederson chambered weapon. MacArthur nixed the round, so it became a .30-06 firing only 8 rds. It worked. Some say it worked quite well.

    Post war saw development of a .30 cal. shorter action, full auto version, but lighter than the WWII veteran (how smart is that? Make if FA and lighter in weight?) and was adopted in '57 IIRC. Oops, that FA didn't work out so well. Remove the selector guts, good to go.

    A lot of controversy surrounding that particular selection, but it did become the M14 in 7.62NATO. While no one adopted it (or darn few at any rate) the FN FAL was rechambered to the new NATO round as well, as opposed to a .270 (again IIRC) that Saive originally designed it to fire.

    Also see Beretta BM59/62.

    Bill Ruger scaled down the design to a ranch rifle sized version also usefull to PoPos and prison guard crews using origianlly the .223 known as a mini14, later adding the 7.62x39, named mini30.

    More or less, that's what I recall. I could be wrong.
  8. Decguns


    Dec 29, 2003
    I think you got it figured out. The M1 Garand was rather finiky, required constant cleaning and grease to work in the desert, suffered from rather high rates of malfunctions and part breakage. But it evolved into a decent rifle by war's end.

    The M14 was a product improved Garand. Detachable magazine, improved gas system, etc... but still very similar to the Garand. It's sad to say the US Gov't spent 10yrs and millions of dollars getting the M14 to work as well as the FN FAL did at the get-go. The main flaw of both the M1 & M14 is that the entire action is open to the elements. Drop it into sand or mud, and you've got a single shot... if you can work the bolt handle at all.

    The Mini-14 is Bill Ruger's effort to make a cheap .223 rifle. He copied the M14 where possible, used loose tolerances, cheap materials, and modified the gas system. The end result was one inaccurate little rifle. But, by 2008, the Mini was finally "fixed"... now a decent 2 MOA rifle.
  9. JDSTG58


    Feb 4, 2008
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2013
  10. countrygun


    Mar 9, 2012
    Despite what some have claimed the M-1 was a reliable rifle, in many ways no different from other, later semi battle rifles. Each have their strengths and weaknesses. FN fans overlook the "Sand-cut" issue with the bolts in oreder to get them to function in the desert. What they don't admit about the Garand, is an issue very similar to "boots vs sandals" in the desert. The open design allows "crud" to leave, or be ejected, as fast as it enters. after the "gas trap" very first version of the M-1, the only parts breakage of note (and it was serious and dangerous) was the operating rod and this was due to the increased pressure from firing rifle grenades, which the rifle wasn't designed for. A relief cut in the junction of the Op rod and handle cured the problem by eliminating the sharp 90 degree corner.
    The Garand's trigger design has been used and copied by many military rifles and, if one looks at how the AK-47 works one can see the similarity.

    The M-1, as issued is rather "ammo specific" but that is because military ammo was, itself, pretty "specific". Modern aftermarket adjustable gas plugs relieve this problem to a great extent.

    The M-14 was actually an extension of John C Garands experimenting with his own design. He constantly experimented and tweaked his own design. With a large number of soldiers having been trained on the M-1 and the fact that Americans were not familiar with the type of grip style of the FN type rifles, Armalite had the AR-10 In the works, the Military decided to stick with something similar.

    Of interest to note is how the M-1 carbine fit into the picture. It was altered to full auto (M-2) but had a number of problems due to a high cyclic rate and magazine issus at that rate. However, when the military showed interest in a small caliber rifle, Melvin Johnson, the man who's rifle was the Garand's greatest competitor in trails and adopted briefly by the USMC, simply necked down the M-1 carbine case and rebarreled the carbine for the ".22 Johnson". But the AR design won the day.

    The Mini-14 does indeed take much from all three of the guns mentioned. It was created, not as a "ranch rifle" (that model and designation came along much later in it's history) but for Law Enforcement agencies and civillians who wanted to fire the military cartridge but did not want to lay out the cash for AR-15s. It also appealed to the former soldiers trained on one of the previously mentioned rifles.

    Also of note was the fact that, in the early 80's, Ruger was set to release a 7.62 nato/.308 version and they were going to call it th "XGI". The name illustrates the market they were looking at. it was supposed to use the M-14 mag rather than a proprietory one. design problems and some type of performance issues (and I have a strong suspicion, Bill Ruger's politics) caused the project to be dropped just at the monent of full production beeginning. (It was saving up for one of those that caused me to turn to the M-1, by pure chance).
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2012
  11. Bob Hafler

    Bob Hafler

    Sep 13, 2011
    I do some volunteer work where I come in contact with a lot of WWII vets who actually used the M1 Garand in battle against the Germans and the Japanese. I can honestly say that I've never heard one of them say the M1 Garand was finicky. Most will tell you that it was a fabulous rifle and was glad to have such a fine weapon to rely on. I have a Circa 1955 Springfield M1 Garand, it is by far my most prized gun possesion. I also have one of the New 580 miini 14 ranch rifles and like the M14 and the and the M1 Carbine you can see where it's design came from. IMO it is a very good design that has stood the test of time. As proven by the fact that the M14 is still used in our military to this day.

    That new 580 series mini14 with the tapered beefed up barrel is quite a rifle.
  12. AZ Jeff

    AZ Jeff

    Aug 20, 2003
    middle of AZ
    Incorrect information. The M1's real issue was in RAIN, not the desert. The water would drive the lubricant out of the bolt cam track, and the op rod/bolt lug interface would gall and then sieze. It was never really solved, but Lubriplate helped. Oddly enough, the BEST lubricant was sheep tallow with lanolin, but that's hard to make widely available, and hence the Lubriplate.

    Don't forget the bolt roller, which minimized the need for the Lubriplate.

    And the sand and mud issue is rubbish, and unsubstantiated by real world documentation that I am aware of.

    The Mini-14 is a COMMERCIAL RIFLE. It does NOT need to survive in a COMBAT environment. The earlier ones DID suffer from relative inaccuracy (no worse than your average AK-47), but then again, it was NOT marketed as a combat rifle, so don't compare it to such. And by the way, it is NOT made of "cheap materials" when measured against current standards.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2012
  13. Markasaurus


    Dec 13, 2009
    The M1 is of course a great rifle but they are often more expensive then an M-14 (M1A) which is far superior, all things considered.
    I used to own a Mini-14. The trigger is similar and disassembly is somewhat similar but the gas action is totally different (there is no gas tube only a gas "plug" that uses the gases of firing to just blow the slide back). The above posters are right Mini 14 is NOT accurate. Ruger did make an attempt to fix the accuracy issues with a bull barrel and some other minor mods but even the cheapest AR will outshoot the best Mini any day at any range.

    It is very difficult to mount optics on a mini and probably a waste of time and money to do so. I didn't like it. I only put 100 rounds through it, had 2 jams (probably mag related) then put it away for two years until i traded it in, for a huge loss, towards a Stag M4gery. I am much happier with the Stag.

    Anyway of all the 3 rifles the M-14 is easily the best.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2012
  14. countrygun


    Mar 9, 2012

    Why don't you wander over to and see about the accuracy of the new Rugers. I am sorry, but 100 rds fired and a judgement on all mini-14s:yawn:
  15. yellowhand


    Feb 1, 2012
    Got all three.
    Each do something better than the other.
    All three are good weapons, as designed and for intended use.
    HOWEVER, this old combat medic still prefers his AK's for short range and FN FAL's for longer range, if the boots ever need to be pulled on again.
    If ever faced with an emergency where I need a battle rifle, there will not be an arms room/ rear area supply point to get a new rifle that works for the asking or mine repaired.
    Never had an AK or a FAL stop working.

  16. wow where did you get your m1 vs m1a prices..generally the m1 garands run between 650(very good service grade) to when available correct grade at $ almost never find a m1a even used under $1200
  17. countrygun


    Mar 9, 2012

    I didn't even comment on that because I thought I was misreading it. You are spot on for prices in my area. The only m-14 I have seen below $1,000 was a Norinco. The only Garand above $900 was all matching, correct.
  18. The Pirate

    The Pirate HARRRRR!!!

    Nov 7, 2006
    Walltown, KY
    An old guy that lives by me said he saw a bunch of those in south America years ago when he was in the service. He's not a storyteller, it'd be interesting to find out more.

    Outdoor Hub mobile, the outdoor information engine
  19. countrygun


    Mar 9, 2012

    Similar thing here. I know someone, who is very reliable, that worked in a huge Texas gunshop back then and told me he knew of one that was owned by a civillian in the US.

    As far as I had heard only 1 or 2 "toolroom models" that were passed around to gun writers existed. I used to have a magazine with a picture of one of them.
  20. AK_Stick

    AK_Stick AAAMAD

    Jan 20, 2004
    Alaska, again (for now)

    Then I suspect that thou has never taken an AK or FAL to combat.