Ruger Mini 14 early model vs newer model

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Cort R. Shots

Bearcat
Joined
Feb 3, 2009
Messages
5
Hello,
I was at the gun shop today looking for a .223 rifle and they have two used mini 14s, one is an early model with the upper wood hand guard and the other other is what I believe to be a 90s model with the metal hand guard heat shield. Both guns are in the lower $400 price range and I am having a hard time deciding between them. Physically they are in the same shape and I think they are the Ranch model. I have heard the older ones were made better and are in higher demand. Does anyone with experience with the mini 14s have any suggestions? At this time a mini in the $400 price range seems kind of cheap, especially from a major gun retailer in this area.
additional info: I will only be using for short range prairie dogin, 3 gun competition, and having fun. I don't think they will stay on the rack for long, they are the cheapest I have seen in MN for a long time. I hoping to pick one up this weekend but would like some input on the best one to get. Help :?:
 

kwg020

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 14, 2006
Messages
59
I would look real close at them to see if they are Ranch models or standard models. The Ranch models have cast in scope mounts on the top of the recievers and the standards do not. My guess is the one with the wood hand guard is a standard but look them over. I would give $400 for the Ranch but I'd give around $350 for the non Ranch. The last non Ranch I bought I got for $320. The new Mini 14 Tactical can be had from CDNN for $600. The new Tacticals are nice rifles and worth the $600. kwg
 

Cort R. Shots

Bearcat
Joined
Feb 3, 2009
Messages
5
kwg020":faq788k0 said:
I would look real close at them to see if they are Ranch models or standard models. The Ranch models have cast in scope mounts on the top of the recievers and the standards do not. My guess is the one with the wood hand guard is a standard but look them over. I would give $400 for the Ranch but I'd give around $350 for the non Ranch. The last non Ranch I bought I got for $320. The new Mini 14 Tactical can be had from CDNN for $600. The new Tacticals are nice rifles and worth the $600. kwg
Thanks for the info, now that I think about it I did not see the scope mounts. Around here I have not seen a mini 14 of any model less then $500, especially since people went crazy with the last election. I used to see ARs for a reasonable price, now they are ridiculous. Even on Gunbroker they are going for $500+.
 

kwg020

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 14, 2006
Messages
59
An even better reason to get the new Tactical. Without the scope mounts on the receiver, the Mini's are just not as versatile and have fewer options for sights and scopes.

I know what you mean about prices going crazy. People paniced and there was a run on rifles and ammo. Primers are still hard to find. We all need to setle down and be patient. Of course, many people practiced economics 101 whith supply and demand and made some money. Right now with the un-employment hovering above 10% there are going to be bargains. Unfortunately, I am one of those 10% and I have to watch every dime that goes out. kwg
 

Cort R. Shots

Bearcat
Joined
Feb 3, 2009
Messages
5
kwg020":332h2hbd said:
An even better reason to get the new Tactical. Without the scope mounts on the receiver, the Mini's are just not as versatile and have fewer options for sights and scopes.

I know what you mean about prices going crazy. People paniced and there was a run on rifles and ammo. Primers are still hard to find. We all need to setle down and be patient. Of course, many people practiced economics 101 whith supply and demand and made some money. Right now with the un-employment hovering above 10% there are going to be bargains. Unfortunately, I am one of those 10% and I have to watch every dime that goes out. kwg
I just called another gun store about 100 miles away, they have new tactical models for $639 brand new and a store 25 miles away had them for $679. I agree that would be a better purchase for the types of accessories that come with it. Maybe prices will come down by summer if our politicians behave themselves. :roll:
 

22mike

Bearcat
Joined
Jan 10, 2010
Messages
16
I believe Ruger does not do repairs on 180 series Mini-14s. I wouldn't buy a real old one.
 

mattsbox99

Hunter
Joined
Jan 12, 2009
Messages
3,391
I agree, I have a late 90s Ranch that is a good reliable gun, but right now I'd buy the Tactical and I'd really prefer the 6.8.
 

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