Mini- 14/30 Give me the low down!

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Greebe

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OK so I have toyed with buying a Mini over the years. I never did because it seems people bash them a lot. Maybe this just comes from the AR crowd I do not know.

I have an AR which can shoot 1/2 at 100 all day. It is nice to shoot and reminds me of my Army days. But, the Army days are what make me leary about the AR. I know that AR's are getting better but I still don't trust them that much.

Anyways back to the Mini. I would love to have a M-14 or one of the new Springfield M1A's but at $1500 its not going to happen. So that brings me to the Mini. I know that it is basically a copy of the M-14 so that might be my next best bet.

How do you guys feel about them? Are they reliable? Accuracy acceptable? Can they be smithed to get better accuracy?

One thing I noticed now is that they are getting up there in price too.

If you have pic's please feel free to show them!

Thanks
greebe
 

Firsttimegrampa

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What ever you do don't listen to sig685's comments about the Mini-14's. Sig685 I hope you know I'm good naturedly picking on you..Back to the real information. If you want better bullseye shooting them make sure it has a heavier barrel. One comes with a harmonic balancer on the end to fine tune is a good place to start. If you don't like that look just look for heavy barrel.
 

Leucoandro

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The older Mini-14's had a fairly thin barrel. They had issues when the barrels heated up, often causing changes in point of impact. The Mini-30's sometimes would and sometimes would not have this issue. The mini-30's used a larger diameter barrel.

The Accustrut available seems to rid the Mini's of this problem. Often times adding this simple strut to the Mini's will put accuracy on par with the more expensive standard AR-15's (not the tricked out varment models), often times giving the Mini's sub MOA accuracy at 100 yards.

http://www.accu-strut.com/

In a recent article I read, they compaired the older Mini-14, a base model AR-15 (around $600 new), and one other firearm (I can not remember the model). The Mini-14 accuracy was actually on par with the AR-15, with the AR-15 only showing itself to be slightly more accurate (around 1/8" MOA better groups.)

The new Mini-14's have a much thicker barrel, more metal around the chamber, and some other improvements. This has apparently solved many of the accuracy issues, and they now group much better, and inline with standard carbine accuracy at 100 yards.


Charlie
 

Sig685

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Firsttimegrampa, it's perfectly all right. BTW, I'm a second time grandpa myself.


kwg020, about the only answer I have ever seen you give anyone is to invite people who come here asking questions about Ruger firearms, to go to perfectonion.com for some reason. Do you run that site or do you have ads appearing over there?
 
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The minis are tough rifles build on the M1-M14 design... Most will shoot close to MOH at 100 yards and that is it. MOH is Minute of Head... If you have an AR that shoots 1/2" groups at 100 yards you will not be happy with a mini or probably even the newer improved ones.... From what I've heard the new Ruger SR556 is the way to go...

years ago I read the real problem with the original m-16s was not the rifle but that the Army changed the ammo.
 

Greebe

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Thanks for the responses.

If I were to get one it would be a Mini-30, and since I have an AK there is no real need to the Ruger I suppose.

I just thought that the Ruger is a neat little design. Blume is probably right though I would expect it to be accurate and if it is so-so then I might not be happy.

I like small groups, that way if I miss while shooting at something I know it was my fault and not the gun.

Thanks
Greebe
 

Leucoandro

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Greebe,

Have you thought about a frontier rifle?

The reason I suggest it, is that it is a compact carbine size. The Target Grey models also have a heavier weight barrel than the older blued frontier models, and the compact models, which gives the rifle a better shot at being accurate.

You can also get it in a multitude of calibers.


Charlie
 

I_Like_Pie

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Perfectunion is to the Mini
-what-
Rimfirecentral is to the 10/22
-and-
rugerforum (us) is to the SA Revolver.

They are simply the best at what they specialize in. In short the Mini is a fighting rifle and in that respect every bit the equal of an AR or SK in a doomsday scenario or self defense situation.

Doesn't do as well as an AR at the bench or isn't as simple as the AK, but it has its place in the gun world as another option for consumers. There is a guy at our range that has one of the pre-84 full auto versions....that thing is a mean SOB!!!
 

Sig685

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I_Like_Pie":12h03pc2 said:
(snip)

They are simply the best at what they specialize in. In short the Mini is a fighting rifle and in that respect every bit the equal of an AR or SK in a doomsday scenario or self defense situation.
(snip)

With all due respect, the Mini-14 is NOT a "fighting rifle", it is at best an LE rifle for prison guards and is simply not the equal of an AR or AK. A fighting rifle is one that fires a lot of ammo and still sends the bullets on targets. The main problem with the Mini is how bad the accuracy becomes after firing a few rounds through it. On the other hand an AR or an AK will continue to fire with virtually the same accuracy as when cold. The Mini-14 is also quite fragile (broken firing pin takes it out as has been reported here several times.) The AR and the AK are martial weapons and made to last and easily keep running.

For situations where few rounds are required (LE and SD), the Mini-14 is definitely worth considering.
 

Leucoandro

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Sig,

Slight difference of opinion. A Fighting Rifle is just a rifles that fires a lot of ammo. Does not really have anything to do with on target.

As to the Mini-14 being quiet fragile because of firing pins breaking. I check out Perfect union and Ruger forum quiet a bit, and only rairly hear about firing pins breaking.

What are your thoughts about the Army Dust test trials? The M4 did far worse than any of the other possible replacements for the M4 tested.
The M4 malfunctioned an average of one time for every 68 rounds fired.
The HK416 malfunctioned an average of one time for every 260 rounds fired.
The SCAR malfunctioned an average of one time for every 272 rounds fired.
The XM8 malfunctioned an average of one time for every 500 rounds fired.

I would be interested to see the results of the Mini-14, M14 and M1 Garand and Carbine put through the same test.


Charlie
 

MAC702

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Interesting. I've got three Mini-14s, one of which with more rounds through it than I care to justify. I've never even heard of a broken firing pin issue making them "fragile."

In fact, the only part I've ever broken was an aftermarket Choate flash hider that split from the intense heat after rapid firing several magazines in an expensive moment of sheer fun.

I have, however, seen pistol grips available for my AR-15s that are designed to keep spare firing pins...

All of my Minis are the older, thinner barrels (your post doesn't even acknowledge the existence of the newer, more accurate Minis), yet only one of them (the blued one) exhibits what I feel to be poor accuracy after the barrel gets warm. And it will still keep them in 7" at 100 yds. The two stainless models will keep them in 2.5". This qualifies as a fighting rifle, "with all due respect."
 

Sig685

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Leucoandro,

Difference of opinions is the mother's milk of forums (fora?) such as this one.

The current wars are examples of where accurate weapons are required. We have smart bombs that destroy a single building, or even a specific room and I keep reading about and being told by returning soldiers that they now use optics on the M16 and M4 are being trained to be more accurate; less spray and pray and more accurate fire.

The Mini-14 is not quiet and it is fragile. I have yet to see a broken firing pin on an AR, but I have a few spares and they only cost me $5 a pop and take 30 seconds to install. I am not saying that Mini-14s break their firing pins every day; I am saying they sometimes do and they are a pain to replace.

Every one read about the Army dust trials, and everyone has opinions on them. What is more interesting is to find out the story behind the story. In other words, what were the stoppages, what caused them and how were they fixed or what did it take to fix them.

Most of the stoppages in the M4 were magazine related. I have better magazines than what is issued, not difficult to beat. Just keep that little port closed and it does extremely well. It was interesting to note that this test had radically different results than other tests before it. So go figure.

However, all that being said, I think the Ruger corporation has shown us what they believe as they have produced an outstanding AR rifle. Interestingly enough, it does not suffer from the problems inherent to the Mini-14/M1/M-14 mechanism. The SR556 uses a piston instead of actual DI, but the rest is pure AR. The piston does make it heavier and more complex, but some people like that and I wish Ruger well with it. The Mini-14 will continue on as the bastard stepchild for some more years, but who cares?
 

Leucoandro

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Sig685":1kyh6nj9 said:
.....I keep reading about and being told by returning soldiers that they now use optics on the M16 and M4 are being trained to be more accurate; less spray and pray and more accurate fire.

A difference in opinion again. First you must remember that just because a person is in the military, they are not an expert. I am in the military, and I am not an expert, but I do have a basic understanding of individual weapons systems, and the way the military thinks.

First I will say that I am in the Air Force, but I am Army Support, so I work with the Army every day. I am also in Afghanistan at this moment.

When you hear the military talk about more accurate shooters, they are not trying to make everyone a marksman. They have even lowered there standards. Used to be the Army shot at ranges with targets at different ranges from the person. Now typically a person shoots at targets 25 meters away of differing sizes to simulate ranges. Now the talk of accuracy is to try to get people to hit the target 25 meters away 30 times out of 40 shots instead of 25 times out of 40.

As to optics, the optics I see most often are the Aimpoint Comp M2 (what I have on my M4), and Aimpoint Comp M4. Occasionally I will see an ACOG, but that is generally given to special infantry groups.

Those optics are put on not to make the person more accurate at longer ranges (they do not have any adjustments you can make for long ranges, like the open sights have), they are to make the person more accurate at night (when we like to fight). The U.S. Military has finally started to figure out what many European military's figured out years ago. The rifle is not very accurate if you can not see the sights. Also the M16/M4 night peep is really hard to see at night. A red dot sight is a lot easier to see at night.

Also, the type of fighting we see around here is typically closer range, A very large part of it is in house raids.

I really think that the M4 is a good overall design for the type of fighting we are doing. I really like the adjustable stock, because it allows you to change the length of the stock to fit the person while wearing IBA and other gear. I think that the adjustable stock length winds hands down over the bull pup design because of this.

I have also started seeing a trend of a even more compact version of the M4 issued to SF, that only has a 13" barrel. The attempt is to get the firearm as small as possible to make it even better for close quarters combat.

The only other change I would like to see made to the M4 other than fixing reliability issues, is to start using the 6.8SPC.

If you were to take the M4, keeping the way the bolt uses part of the stock for its movement, and put the gas system of the Sig 556 on it, then you would have a world class weapons system.


Charlie
 

Sig685

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Leucoandro, a very good detailed measured response and I think we are both drifting way off topic for this thread. On the other hand, our opinions are very similar.

Trust me when I say this, I totally agree that being in the military does not make one an expert. On the other hand, as you may remember I am a competitive shooter. I shoot F-class competitions with and AR and now a Ruger M77UM. I have shot alongside Army, Navy and Marine snipers and SDMs. (Sorry, I don't remember any Air Force shooters.) I would consider these people a little more knowledgeable than the average soldier, especially since they come to the competitions on their own time. Shooting these types of competition are a little more demanding than 75% hits at 25 meters. Because I shoot an AR-15 in .223 at these matches, I have interesting discussions with some of them.

I seriously doubt the 6.8SPC will be adopted by the military, especially with the Mk262 now becoming more available but what do I know?

I don't like the M4, because I think it's too short for the gas system, it beats itself up. But I sure do understand the usefulness of these small rifles.

Stay safe, and again, good comments and thoughts.
 

MAC702

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The Mini-14 is no more a "bastard stepchild" than the M-1 Carbine and M-14, so if that's really how you feel, that says a lot.
 

Sig685

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You must be joking. I have never hidden my well-founded disdain for the Mini-14 on this forum.

As for the M-14, it is a beautiful rifle but a veritable nightmare to keep accurate.
 

dfletcher

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Greebe":3bres4wt said:
OK so I have toyed with buying a Mini over the years. I never did because it seems people bash them a lot. Maybe this just comes from the AR crowd I do not know.

I have an AR which can shoot 1/2 at 100 all day. It is nice to shoot and reminds me of my Army days. But, the Army days are what make me leary about the AR. I know that AR's are getting better but I still don't trust them that much.

Anyways back to the Mini. I would love to have a M-14 or one of the new Springfield M1A's but at $1500 its not going to happen. So that brings me to the Mini. I know that it is basically a copy of the M-14 so that might be my next best bet.

How do you guys feel about them? Are they reliable? Accuracy acceptable? Can they be smithed to get better accuracy?

One thing I noticed now is that they are getting up there in price too.

If you have pic's please feel free to show them!

Thanks
greebe

Bashing the Mini 14 does not come from just the AR crowd, but I guess the AR crowd does get bit peeved when the accuracy of the Mini is held up as even comparable to the AR. I have 3 or 4 ARs and a Mini - no comparison, the least expensive low end AR is almost always more consistently accurate than the Mini 14.

BTW, I'm not an AR lover - really not too crazy about them actually - but they are much more accurate and versatile than years ago. The AR of today is nothing like the rattle trap POC I used some 30 years ago. If the expectation of the Mini is accuracy/versatility on par with today's AR, I'd say skip buying a Mini.

Yes, the Mini can be made more accurate but probably not by you or me or the average gunsmith. I sent my old skinny barreled Mini to Accuracy Systems, they did their bedding, trigger work and switched out the barrel to a heavier stainless and threaded for an AR type brake - cost about $500.00. Even though they do great work and were polite and professional - I'm happy as hell my boss is paying for it and I'm not. I hear the shorter and heavier barrel is more accurate than the old pencil barrel, it probably is because it sure couldn't be worse.

I've found my Mini to always be very, very reliable and durable and actually, I prefer the Mini to the AR for casual shooting. If I were going to shoot for $$$ I'd bring an AR (if limited to semi) and not a Mini, but so long as you look at the Mini as a sort of modern M1 carbine Ithink it will perform fine.
 
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Having two mini 14's and a 30 I've now switched over to the dark side with ARs. For some reason I like them better... but the odd thing is my two AR's, as of this moment, are not proving to be the nail drivers everybody talks about. My first one is slightly more accurate than my better mini14 but not by any great amount. this latest AR with a 20" barrel, the jury is till out on.

Of course every thing I shoot, and both the minis and the ARs are preowned... well actually the first AR was new but the barrel on it is a mystery (no markings at all)
 

X - Man

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A bit of misinformation about the early series Mini's barrels. The OD of the Mini barrel is virtually the same as a M-14 barrel. The M-14 never gets the same gripe. One of several causes of the barrel moving its poi is due to the Mini's over powered gas system and slide, putting a lot of stress onto the barrel. The early Mini's will settle down and shoot well when the gas system is re-worked to reduce the recoil.

Agreed, it takes skill and a bit of work to improve a Mini, and some people are not up to the task. But as a carbine it can be made to hold its own against other CARBINES.
 
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