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YOUR experience with the Mini 14

6754 Views 14 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  bikermikearchery
. Just looking for some folks experience with Ruger Mini 14.
I want to add a 5.56 caliber rifle to my collection. Most of my life I have carried a AR15/M16 provided by my employer. I am very familiar with that series of firearm and there capability's. So this is not a question about AR15 M16 M4's I would like to know about Y' alls experience with Rugers mini14.
When I did a google search I found a few negative comments about there accuracy.
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I too carried an M-16, and would not own one today. I found they are like a trophy wife - high maintenance, expensive to keep and feed, looks good but at a cost.
I do have a Mini 14 Ranch Rifle, a 195 series made in 1999. This has a 1-9" rifling twist rate. Earlier versions had a 1-7" rate which gave the entire line a reputation for poor accuracy.
There is a difference betwen shooting groups from a bench and plain old marksmanship. I have found my Mini to have acceptable accuracy for my needs, which most likely would involve some type of predator after our livestock. In the very unlikely scenario of self defense against human beings the range will be close, the rifle's ability will be good enough.
The outdoor range I shoot at has a 100 yard side and a 50 yard side. I like to just plink, making little round holes in a piece of paper is boring, so I usually place 20 ounce empty soda bottles on the 50 yard berm and knock them around using an off hand standing position.
The Mini 14 is very good at this. You can walk the bottles right up and over the top.
I paid $350, used, for mine. I do not know if I would pay full price, 'cause I'm a po' boy.
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There has been a series of changes and refinements of the Mini 14 over the years. Some early models were not particularly accurate. Also, not all issuances, while correctly labeled .223 cal, have been considered 5.56 compatible (5.56 having an .018” longer spec. case length than .223, requiring a slightly deeper chamber).

In contrast to what I just stated, my oldest son owns an old Ranch Model that is highly accurate and has taken more coyotes, (on the move and at a distance) then either of us can realistically count. He uses nothing but 5.56 ammo. I have a newer ‘All Weather’ model that has performed flawlessly in the field.

I’ve heard complaints of weak barrels, but have never seen evidence nor talked to anyone personally that could substantiate that claim. I suppose that in an unlikely defense situation where a high volume of rounds was being fired, the barrel might heat and wear quicker than a more military-oriented production rifle. I’m a hunter and not tactically oriented, so I can’t provide any insight there.
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Good weapon they are not cheap anymore. If I were going for small game with 5.56 I would save a lot of cash with a bolt action
My 2 cents. They are not very accurate and there are no aftermarket magazines that work well so your stuck with the expensive factory mags, if you can get them. They now cost as much as an M4, yet are not as versatile. There are many different optics and sights for the M4 but few for the Mini.
I have a 196 series
She is a simpleton with very few mods.
I have never had any problem finding mags...
nor mags that work well, but I haven't bought any
in several years.
Accuracy ?
Let's keep it within 150yds......
I am a shooter. I shoot with some great shooters.
Not that anyone in our group actually would 'collect'
on a shooting debt/bet.......we have them constantly.[bets]
I still own her....and I still bet her.
We have some very freaky AR guys in the group....I still own her.
Sometimes with optics, mostly not.....but I am getting older, and
may need to leave the glass on her at some point.

Mags...Hmmmm, most people don't know HOW to put a mag
in a Mini-14.....although it says it right there in the manual.
Almost every mag complaint in a Mini-14 that I have had
witness to was due to improper mag insertion. SIMPLE yet dumb.

Ammo ????????
IF IT IS STAMPED cal.223 will fire BOTH !!!!!!!!!
Ruger has said so at least a zillion times........and they always
refer the customer back to......."please read the manual that
came with it, Sir........
Friggin' regurgitated crap from forums with all sorts of mis-information !!!!!

If the caliber is roll stamped .223REM then it DON'T shoot the military, higher
pressure rounds !!!!!

This kind of mis-information spreads faster than a plague .......
and people that frequent forums without personal knowledge
that just want to be somebody important should shut
their mouth[fingers] and open their ears[eyes].......
just like re-load data.......keep it up with your wannabe crap......
and you may be the cause of someone getting seriously injured.
If you don't know it......don't say it like you do.
Maybe you WILL learn it.

Sorry.....something triggered that shit in wasn't
directed at anyone personally.
It just seems like I see it all the time.....


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Hmmmmm, this may have done it.......

"There has been a series of changes and refinements of the Mini 14 over the years. Some early models were not particularly accurate. Also, not all issuances, while correctly labeled .223 cal, have been considered 5.56 compatible (5.56 having an .018" longer spec. case length than .223, requiring a slightly deeper chamber)."--pakrat

Please, please tell me, which 'issuances' you refer to.
Also, the factory .625 barrel or the factory .562 barrel?
And is it the roll stamped .223cal or the cal.223?
What do you mean 'compatible' ?
I am now feeling very senile in my old age....[I felt fine earlier]
Please take the time to enlighten me. Seriously.
OP had made it clear he was not interested in the AR. It is a better 5.56 platform but if a Mini is what a person wants they should have it.
As for the mini and the 223/5.56 thing yes Ruger latter changed the bore a bit but did not remark them however in other .223 weapons REM still warns not to fire 5.56 in them.
My .223 Ruger M77 is not rated for the 5.56 it is an older one and Ruger says no 5.56 in it.
There were many altered chambers for a while you should know for sure if you going to do it in other weapons.
I do not think there are any low cost Mini's out there anymore new or used. I would like to find one of the old 308's they took out of production. They had some issues but it would be nice to have.
As for putting the mag in correctly, WELL DUH!!!:roll:
I have a Mini-14. If I can pop a running coyote, I can pop whatever else.

I hate coyotes.
As for putting the mag in correctly, WELL DUH!!!:roll:
Before I turned them all in I had 3 AK versions all were good but one if you did not tip the mag forward just right and rock it back in hard it would not go. You had to get it prefect .
A10 model it was a bit tight for an Ak.
I have an older Mini around some where I think one of the sons have have not seen it in years.
Although I have a variety of weapons to chose from, when I go to bed at night there is a Mini 14 leaning up at the head of the bed, a Ruger Blackhawk in 45 Colt on the nightstand, and a 20 ga SXS double barrel leaning up in the corner.
Hey, I may be "old school", but old school works.
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My Mini-14 (581 series rifle) shoots as well as any AR I've fired (barring specialized target rifles). 2" groups at 100 yds is the norm and with quality handloads 1" groups are possible. The negative comments about accuracy go back to rifles built prior to 2004 when they shut down the Mini line to retool. All stages of Mini-14 production are now done using one jig instead of multiple jigs, this allows closer tolerances. Starting with in the 580 series of rifles (approximately 1/2 way through that series) all Mini-14 were given a heavier profile barrel which helped to control the vertical stringing and barrel whip that earlier Minis were prone to. The Mini design is a time tested design of reliability, it is based on the M1 Garand/M-14 action (hence the Mini-14 designation) and will stand up to just about anything you can throw at it. Some things you can do to accurize a Mini include: Bedding the action, trigger job, re-torquing gas block screws, adding a barrel strut. All I've done to mine is re-torque the gas block screws and polish the engagement surfaces in the trigger group. I didn't see any accuracy improvement with the gas block screws but did notice a marked improvement after polishing the trigger out, it didn't lighten the trigger but it sure did make it smoother and easier to shoot. Mini magazines tend to be a bit more expensive than a comparable AR mag but they last just about forever so that may balance out in the end. Should probably mention all newer Mini-14s are 5.56 compatible except the target model, this is a .223 Rem chamber only.

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Had 2 of them over the years. 1 sold, 1 stolen. Never had any problems with them.
They also made a few in .222. Never saw one, but they were in the catalog at one time.
Thanks Some good stuff here. I think Infidel has given me some good information to use.
When I first decided I wanted a rifle that would burn 5.56 I thought of the mini 14 first. Googles it and found a lot of negative stuff abought acuracy.
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