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Guys folks go bananas over AR's and AK's, but for the difference in money, I'll take a mini-14, or even an SKS any day. The mini-14 will do anything the AR will, and in my opinion is more reliable, less finnicky and less prone to jam. The AR may have a slight advantage in accuracy, but not enough to tell in offhand firing. If you are stuck on the 7.62x39, just go to a mini-30, again, very reliable, stout, and i'd say more accurate than an AK, and definately more ergonomic. This action is based on the old garand and m-14 action, and history will tell you what they are capable of. I like my AR's, but feel just as protected with my mini-14, maybe even a little more so, due to feed reliability. Get it in a stainless ranch version with a scope.....
 

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All mini's 14's are chambered in 5.56...Some AR's are and some are not...the 5.56 chamber has slightly different dimensions (more generous) than .223 chambers. .223's will work just fine in 5.56 chamber. Running 5.56 through a .223 chamber should be avoided...So thats a Plus for the Mini...

The 182 series mini 14 has a heavier barrel than earlier series and is less prone to vetical stringing. Which is a welcome improvement to the rifle.

The mini 30 is a good rifle but there is a good chance it will not work with steel cased (imported) ammunition, especially if it's a new Mini 30. All Mini 30's will reliably feed US factory ammo. Still it's a good rifle and the gas port bushing can be tweaked (voids warranty) to improve performance with steel cased ammo.

Edit/Add
One also needs to install a heavy hammer spring in the mini 30 to get reliable primer strikes with steel cased ammo.
 

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I have not owned a Ruger Mini 14 in 20 years. It was probably my first semi auto high capacity rifle. When I hit the road I decided to
trade it for something easier to store - I think it was my Dan Wesson 22 pack with 4 barrels and case. Still have that but miss the
mini.
 

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See and I've been torn.
Thinking about getting one of the following as an all purpose rifle (jack of all trades - master of none).
Mini 14
Lever 30-30
AK-47
And what I really want is a Springfield M1A but I think we can all agree it's pricey and outside of my range.

What do you think? How does the Mini-14 stack up?
 

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The mini 14 is a great gun. Itis Ruger tough and as reliable (or more so) as any other semi-auto out there at even twice the price. You can get the heavy barrel version which keeps follow-up shots at POA but you are limited by the round for use on large game.

A better choice, in my humble opinion, would be a bolt action 257 Roberts. It is more powerful that the 30-30 or 7.62x39 and provides longer shots than the 223. It is legal to hunt with in all the lower 48 plus Alaska and you can shoot everything from squirrels to elk with it. I know, its not semi-auto but that helps because you are not limited by the power it takes to make the mechanism work.
 

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the 7.62x39 has very similar ballistics to a 30-30. so i feel it is a better all purpose weapon... you can hunt deer, boar, any mid sized game... plus makes an excellent protection platform.. Ammo was cheap...(still less than 223) and has a mild recoil..
 

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See and I've been torn.
Thinking about getting one of the following as an all purpose rifle (jack of all trades - master of none).
Mini 14
Lever 30-30
AK-47
And what I really want is a Springfield M1A but I think we can all agree it's pricey and outside of my range.

What do you think? How does the Mini-14 stack up?
I have all 4. My M1A generally stays put away. My Winchester 94 is my truck gun. The Mini 14 stays leaning next to the head of the bed 24/7/365 with a 20 round mag inserted and two more six inches away. It is there right now. The AK is unloaded, in the closet, with eight 30 round magazines next to it.
Now, to qualify, I have been issued/trained with both the M-14 and the M-16A1.
My M1A stays put up, I do not own an AR, the AK stays put up, and the Mini-14 is my immediate you-bet-your-life weapon. And that is the level of trust and respect I give the Mini-14.
Just my opinion. I'm sure someone will be along with another opinion soon.
 

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I always liked them. They shoot nice, handle nice in a traditional rifle sense, and have always been reliable in my experience. There a mini M14 in sense which is why to me. I just never like the limiting aspect of the magazines and for a prepper mentality the AR just is a much more common rifle in what's out there in rifles, parts and use. I'm no hardcore AR lover either. I only have one for commonality, a lighter recoil shooter and what used to be a cheap shooter. Seeing as I'm probably going to be getting rid of my current AR and just go back to mainly M14/M1A's, if the world doesn't go to crap (which I doubt) I think I'd enjoy a Mini-14 myself down the road as a fun gun, mouse killer.
 

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I have newer(581 series) Mini 14 Tactical model. With a Nikon 3-9X40 scope it get a bit under 1.5 moa with my reloads. And easy minute of BG with it's iron sights. One of my friends is a major PD armorer and says this new Mini will do anything any standard PD issue AR will do.
And as a provious poster said, the Mini 14s except the Target model are to fire 5.56 and .223. My Mini is near me when at home and in the back seat on long road trips.
John Garand was a great firearms engineer, as was Mr. Stoner. But I'm glad Bill Ruger appreciated the Garand design and the Stoner as well, nice choices we have. The Mini 14 and the SR556 exemplify both Garand and AR firearms.
 

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I'm actually kind of surprised no one has dropped in to bash the Mini-14 like they would on other forums. I love my Mini-14, it's a 581 series and hasn't let me down yet. Accuracy is acceptable in the 1 1/2" range at 100yds with my handloads. They are great guns.

GTGallop,
If that all around rifle will be used for Med-Big game go for the .30-30 lever over the Mini-14. You'll want a bit more power and a heavier bullet for anything larger than whitetails. If hunting isn't an issue then the Mini would be an excellent choice.

-Infidel
 

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A better choice, in my humble opinion, would be a bolt action 257 Roberts. It is more powerful that the 30-30 or 7.62x39 and provides longer shots than the 223. It is legal to hunt with in all the lower 48 plus Alaska and you can shoot everything from squirrels to elk with it. I know, its not semi-auto but that helps because you are not limited by the power it takes to make the mechanism work.
The .257 Roberts is a good gun, but a lousy suggestion compared to a .270 Win simply from a cost and availbility perspective on ammo.

I owned a mini until I got a Bushmaster AR with a varminter barrel and quickly traded off the mini 14. To say " the AR is slightly more accurate" is a gross understatement. Yes there are AR platforms that shoot 2 MOA like the mini14, my slight upgrade shoots dime patters off of sticks in the field.

With a mini14 I don't even bother shooting at gophers at 50 yards as it is just not consistently accurate enough to warrant the shot, with my AR I can varmint at 300 all day long with impressive results.

Of all the guns on your list go AK47, it is the most versatile of what you listed.
 

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Can't really find fault with any of the weapons listed, as they will all do the job if the shooter can do his/her part for the situation of defense. True the AR will reach out further more accurately, but the other have more "stopping" power due to the bigger bullet size but none are bad weapons per se. As for me, I've chosen the AK 7.62X39 for being easier to maintain, cheaper to buy, cheaper ammo. I wouldn't stand down range and want anyone shooting any listed at me and think I was safe from harm.
 

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I'm actually kind of surprised no one has dropped in to bash the Mini-14 like they would on other forums...
-Infidel
And that has been my #1 fear abt the Mini-14. I like 95% of the stuff it does and the 5% that nags at me is the public opinion in the currently "black rifle" dominated market. Sure, I'd like to drop an elk. Sure I wish it came in a variety of calibers (preferably common and cheap and easy to find calibers). But for what it does and what it costs, me likey. Trying to sort fact from crap on the internet is getting harder and harder.
 

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I had a Mini-14 for years, but never could come to mutual terms with it as the barrel heated up. I sold it after finding a suitable replacement to a buddy on the condition I get right of first refusal if he ever parts with it.
 

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All mini's 14's are chambered in 5.56...Some AR's are and some are not...the 5.56 chamber has slightly different dimensions (more generous) than .223 chambers. .223's will work just fine in 5.56 chamber. Running 5.56 through a .223 chamber should be avoided...So thats a Plus for the Mini...

The 182 series mini 14 has a heavier barrel than earlier series and is less prone to vetical stringing. Which is a welcome improvement to the rifle.

The mini 30 is a good rifle but there is a good chance it will not work with steel cased (imported) ammunition, especially if it's a new Mini 30. All Mini 30's will reliably feed US factory ammo. Still it's a good rifle and the gas port bushing can be tweaked (voids warranty) to improve performance with steel cased ammo.

Edit/Add
One also needs to install a heavy hammer spring in the mini 30 to get reliable primer strikes with steel cased ammo.
ALL Mini's really 5.56? My Pre-ban from'88 is a .223.
 

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I paid $400 for my Mini-14, used but pristine condition. If I had to pay full price for a new one, I would instead buy an M-1 Garand. I picked up a shooter grade M-1 for $600 + tax.
But then, I'm just a cranky, crusty old soldier.:mrgreen:
 

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ALL Mini's really 5.56? My Pre-ban from'88 is a .223.
All Mini 14s are 5.56/.223 remington except the Target model. The reciever is stamped .223, for caliber not .223 Remington.
I don't know how many are aware of it but Ruger retooled the Mini line in '06 with chnages like the heavier barrel etc.
 

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Yep, according to the manual I downloaded from Ruger for my late 1990's Ranch Rifle it can fire 5.56. The barrel is marked .223.
 

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my mini-30 shoots wolf and any steel case ammo i put through it... works like a dream... my favorite rifle. Its new with the tapered barrel.
My mileage is not that good...weak primer strikes and half the time they won't go off...and when I finally do get one to go bang...It appears the action is opening up before it's supposed to, which in turn strips the extractor off the (steel) rim, leaving the spent cartridge in the chamber and jamming the one in the top of the magazine between it and the bolt...in other words causing all kinds of fun to occur. All before seeing if I can get the next one to go bang...or not...wash rinse repeat...lol.

On the other hand...when using US Factory ammo this kind of fun stuff doesn't happen. It becomes dirt reliable just like my Mini 14. Could this be because US ammo is loaded to a different standard (SAMMI instead of CIP) and the primer cups on domestic ammo are thinner than whats used on the imported ammo? Thats the way I'm leaning...

I'm happy for you...you have one that works with imported ammo!...lol
Yet I cannot in good faith and in light of my experience recommend a mini 30 over an SKS or AK...just not goning to happen, I'd be a bit more open to and positive about the Mini 30 if mine had worked even somewhat with steel cased ammo...
 
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