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School me on Mini 14

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by Rockimook, Jun 30, 2012.

  1. Rockimook


    Oct 19, 2011
    I'm thinking about getting one or something similar as my first rifle.
    Which one should I get and why? I don't hunt.
    My current pistols, which should give you a idea of what price range and quality to suggest. (They are not Kimbers, but nothing close to a Highpoint in my opinion)
    G30sf, M&P Shield, S&W BG380, Ruger P95, and Ruger SR1911(coming soon or maybe later, still searching for one like most people)

    Thanks for any/all input.
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2012
  2. Boats

    Boats Not Assimilated

    Dec 22, 2002
    Somewhere in Oregon
    Were I buying one today, it'd be between the hardword stocked blue ranch rifle or the tactical with the simple black plastic stock. In my mind, the mini should be light and minimalist, not festooned with doodads and red dots. The difference between my two choices are looks and a flash hider.

    Be forewarned that someone will inevitably come by to suggest an AR Instead. They don't get that the appeal of the Mini is directly tied to the fact that it ISN'T an AR.
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2012

  3. Reswob


    Mar 8, 2009

    I won't suggest one, I'll just point out that
    1) you can get a AR for about the same price,
    2) AR mags are MUCH cheaper, and,
    3) I find a pistol grip much more comfortable than the Mini 14's "hunting-style" stock/grip

    Don't get me wrong, I really want to like the Mini-14 (and I'm not a big AR-15 fan), I just wish they made one with a nice looking (wood?) pistol-grip stock that took cheap and plentiful AR mags for less than the $800 I see them going for.
  4. FLIPPER 348

    FLIPPER 348 Happy Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    Bend Oregon
    some folk don't like pistol grips on rifles

    Nice wood and blue steel Minis go for $729 round these parts.
  5. Rockimook


    Oct 19, 2011
    I shoot the M16 and M4 at work. That's why I want something different. I will consider a AR though. I'm just trying to progress a little from just pistols. On to rifles and shotguns.
  6. Dexters


    May 3, 2004
    I agree - the S&W Sporter is a good gun at a good price.

    I had a mini when they first came out in the 80's.

    I like the action very much.

    I don't like the price at all.

    Get the mini in the 350-400 price range and I'd get one.
  7. mark68


    Jun 14, 2009
    I've had a Mini14 for about 10 years. Wood and stainless. It is one of the guns I own that I know I wont sell or trade. Very accurate (does have a thin barrel). The magazines aren't that expensive. Rugers mags. are the best and the highest but I've had good luck with National Magazines. It has a classic look. And mine has proven to be very reliable (can't remember ever having a problem that wasn't ammo caused). The rifle was also A-Team approved....
  8. ESI Agent

    ESI Agent

    Dec 31, 2004
    L.A. Ca
    Mine has been 100%.
  9. michael e

    michael e

    Nov 20, 2010
    I have a mini 14 ranch rifle, blue and wood stock. Was during the AWB hi cap ban, so was some issues finding good hi caps that actually worked 100%. Other than that it has been great, with the factory mag never had a issue. Dont get to take it out past 150 200 yrds alot but it is as accurate as my AR.
    Also have a Mini 30 SS/ Synthic stock, same issue with finding hi cap mags, but factory mag 100%. They are both great guns.
  10. faawrenchbndr

    faawrenchbndr DirtyThirty fan CLM

    Nov 24, 2005

    Check this forum, tons on Mini info
  11. countrygun


    Mar 9, 2012

    Summed it up nicely. I have an earlier thin barrel that I chose to keep and let my AR go. I know myself well enough that I am going to end up with another Mini.

    Mine had a Butler Creek folder on it an a scope rail etc. It wa a "ranch" so the rear sight needed an inprovement alright. I did that and chucked all of the tactical hardware except the muzzle brake which helps accuracy with the skinny barrels, and put a wood stock back on it.

    Now I want to get one of the short, heavy barreled 'tacticals" and switch the stocks out. Put the stainless ranch in the plastic stock and the shorty in a wood stock.

    "Boats" is right the appeal of the Mini is that it isn't an AR.
  12. Bob Hafler

    Bob Hafler

    Sep 13, 2011
    New 580 Mini14 ranch rifles are very nice. Bought one last year. Real world accuracy and very reliable. Really like the feel and balance of it with a 20 round mag.
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2012
  13. badge315


    Aug 14, 2008
    Middleburg, FL
    I like my ARs, but I love my lightly-customized Mini-14. The Clark Custom Gun Works laminated stock is mostly for looks...


    ...but I made some improvements to the sights which resulted in a significant increase in accuracy. I replaced the old style Ranch Rifle flip-up rear leaf with a Williams Receiver Sight...


    ...and replaced the front sight blade with an XS front sight for an AR...

    Last edited: Jun 30, 2012
  14. SouthpawG26


    Sep 4, 2004
    "I pity the fool who scoffs at the Mini 14"....SFC Bosco A. Baracus, January 23rd, 1983.
  15. H&K 4 LIFE

    H&K 4 LIFE Leonum A Ignis

    Jan 27, 2009
    My Mini-14 Ranch Rifle just flat out works. It shoots accurate enough for what it is and has never had a single stoppage. I don't even clean it very often, and in fact, cannot remember the last time I have.

    AR's are great rifles too, but I wouldn't sell the Mini short by any means. :)

  16. collim1

    collim1 Shower Time!

    Mar 14, 2005
    I like the mini14's. The new "tactical" versions have a synthetic stock and a heavier barrel than the older ones. The heavier barrel helps with the heat from extended shooting sessions.

    People always talk about the AR's being more accurate, but in my own informal test with cheap 55g ball ammo I find they shoot about the same, 4-5" groups at 100yds. This is not a scoped rifle from a bench rest, this is an open sight rifle on a sandbag.

    My dept still issues a few of the older 14's to supervisors. They work well and are very reliable. They do get HOT very quickly though.

    If Ruger would drop the price $150 and redesign them to take standard AR mags they would sell 100k of them a year. Problem is people aren't willing to pay AR prices for one, myself included.
  17. CJStudent

    CJStudent Fenced In

    Nov 3, 2005
    I guess I'll be the lone dissenter. I used them when I worked state corrections; they were our tower guns. Accuracy was okay out to 100-150 yards, but opened WAY up after that. I thought the mag loading was a bit awkward (AK-style, but from a non-pistol-grip rifle just felt weird). Plus, as others have said, they got hot quickly.

    Admittedly, it may just have been the cheap, worn out ones the state DOC had that ruined me on them, or my previous military training with the M16. Moot point for me, though; current (fed) agency issues M16s and M4s of various flavors.
  18. The_Gun_Guru

    The_Gun_Guru Build the Wall

    I bought this Mini-14 GB model from Bud's for $ is a Nebraska State Patrol trade-in:


    Would I reccomend it as a FIRST rifle? ABSOLUTELY NOT!

    Your first rifle should be something simple, reliable and easy to maintain. What fits that category you might ask?


    Most people would suggest a .22 as your first rifle.....if you're 10! If you are an adult, an AK is the perfect choice. My first was a Norinco Type 56S....and I still own it to this day!

    I would suggest a WASR-10. They are affordable and reliable and are fun to shoot. Ease of maintenance is the biggest plus for these guns. They will run forever if you clean them on a regular basis.

    Good luck in your search.

  19. DFin


    Mar 22, 2008
    I have 2 thin barrel models. One Ranch & one regular. They are reliable & accurate enough to pop balloons at 150 yards even when the barrels are too hot to touch.
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2012
  20. ADK_40GLKr

    ADK_40GLKr Adirondacker with a Glock

    Nov 14, 2010
    RFD NY Adks
    OP, I was in your boat about 6 months ago, and went to a local Gun Show. And I found one! Made in 1982, thin barrel, wood stock. It was in very good condition with original box and papers. $525 cash deal.

    I take it to the range once in a while. Loud, but almost no felt recoil.

    The older ones at least, have a reputation for NOT having "minute of angle accuracy", but it's still a fun gun to shoot.

    Not a gun I keep handy for HD, though, as my 16 ga loaded with #1 buck and my G27 fill that role. It'll be one I pass along to one of the boys, though.