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Is the Ruger Mini 14 a "reliable" semi auto? If so, I think it has some advantages over ARs (price, and the fact that "legally"

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  • Is the Ruger Mini 14 a "reliable" semi auto? If so, I think it has some advantages over ARs (price, and the fact that "legally"

    Is the Ruger Mini 14 a "reliable" semi auto? If so, I think it has some advantages over ARs (price, and the fact that "legally" in some cases, is not considered an "assault weapon" :P) It comes in the same caliber too. Why is this gun not more popular?

  • #2
    The Mini-14 is a very reliable rifle in .223 or the Mini-30 in 7.62x39 (same rifle in different caliber).
    Mine is the ranch rifle version and very accurate (see target on my photos). I use it mostly for coyotes.
    They do not have a bayonet mount, pistol grip and come with 5 round magazine so it depends on the wording if it is grouped in with AR type platforms.

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    • #3
      I had the ranch rifle and found it extremely reliable. I put a Weaver K3 scope on the receiver, and it was a good choice as a utility rifle. It wasn't as accurate as my bolt action varmint rifles, but I didn't purchase it with that role in mind. I regret having sold it, and considered another but prices have gone up since I purchased that first one. Keep it relatively clean (not at all difficult, I assure you) and it will provide you with reliable performance. If you handload your brass, use a small base resizing die, and enjoy your rifle.

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      • #4
        they arent popular because apparently they dont shoot worth a damn....like 3" groups on average at 100 yards. for a modern day rifle, that is crap.

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        • #5
          The strongest proponents of the Ruger Mini-14 are those who've owned one and had reasonable expectations of it. My stainless Mini-14 was more accurate than my lever action .30-30, and it was significantly less expensive to fire, but it was my utility rifle. Actually, mine delivered 5-shot groups between 2 and 3 inches at 100 yards. That's not impressive for a varmint rifle, but it's drill a coyote handily. If tack-driving accuracy is a priority, I'd suggest a bolt action. If you're considering a Mini-14, define your needs before you make the purchase and get input from those who've owned one. Fire it, if you get an opportunity, and make an informed decision. Personally, I was very pleased with mine.

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          • #6
            I have a Mini 14. It's very reliable and shoots 2-3 inch groups at 100 yards with a scope on it. Cleaning and maintenance are simple. Ammunition is (used to be) relatively cheap. It works 100% as intended as a utility rifle.

            It doesn't have the popularity of the AR platforms because it doesn't quite have that "black rifle" look that have been trendy over the last few years.

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            • #7
              I too had a Mini/14-.223 when they first came out(1976-77) and the Accuracy was Real Bad at 100Yd 4"-6" groups benched,I tried all types of ammo at the time.
              I traded it back to Solomons Gun shop for the Ruger Model/44.Mag Carbine and I still have it! On the Mini/14 Ruger came out(2002) with a more Accurate Mini/14 and the Ranch Rifle/30

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              • #8
                I shoot the Ruger Ranch in 6.8mm Rem SPC.
                Like EJP, I wasn't looking for bench accuracy. My rifle will maintain a 4" group at 100 yds with ghost ring sights. That will take a white tail. I actually bought the gun for rooting ferals out of thickets, and for that, it works superbly!
                Quick note!
                Hi-Cap mags for the 6.8mm are literally, unavailable! Guesswhat? A 20 round .223 mag will hold 8-10, 6.8 rounds and still F,F and F!

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                • #9
                  scratch golf, it might not shoot minute of angle, but it shoots minute of coyote!

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                  • #10
                    I have the more recent version of the ranch rifle and it is very reliable. My purpose was to have a rifle that can take a beating and still function. It does fulfill that requirement. It cleans up quickly and will shoot a 2 inch group if I do my part. I think a better trigger would help accuracy quite a bit.

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                    • #11
                      if you guys are happy with the mini-14 then more power to you, i just wouldnt purchase a rifle that wasnt capable of even 1" groups at a hundred yards with a scope. your shooting 3 inch groups at 100, god knows where your at shooting a 200+, making the rifle, at least for me, essentially useless. unless i was firstbubba who is busting hogs out of thickets, which would be a close range affair and needs more then a .223, i can find a more accurate rifle to dispatch coyotes. an AR would serve the same purpose much more effectively.

                      granted, this post is coming from someone that demands a deer rifle to give him accuracy under an inch at 100 off the bench.

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                      • #12
                        scratch
                        I don't think the Ruger Mini/Ranch was ever intended to be "super" accurate at range. My "deer" (hunting?) rifles I do expect 1" or better groups at 100.
                        BUT, I have no intention of hauling my Parker-Hale or No. 1 Ruger around in my farm truck.
                        Can't remember the guys name, but he bought an absolutely beautiful Browning B78
                        (single shot falling block) in 7mm Rem Mag and put a nice Leupold 3x9 VXI on it. It was his "truck" gun! A year later, it looked like he'd used it for stretching barb wire, a cheater pipe and a canoe paddle! ....and shot like a champ!
                        Using a gun is one thing! What HE did to that rifle was unspeakable! But it was hismoney!

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                        • #13
                          My Ruger Mini-14 has a 1x4.5 weaver scope on it and shoots several rounds touching at 100yds. A photo of my target is posted on my profile.
                          BTW, the M-1 carbine i shot in '66 was twice as accurate as the M-16. Granted , the AR types have come a long way but it is possible to get a good group out of a Mini-14.
                          I consider mine a good 250 yd coyote gun which is what i got it for.

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                          • #14
                            As a side note, I believe the rifle that George Clooney built the suppressor for in th movie "The American" was a Ruger Mini 14.

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                            • #15
                              FirstBubba,
                              You bring up a good point. My varmint rifles spend time in the field but are pampered compared to my two utility rifles, which seem to absorb plenty of abuse. one or both will bounce around the truck, fall off the rear seat to the floor, get dinged on the door frame while removing it from the vehicle, etc. My varmint rifles are usually cased until I reach my destination and are carried like precision instruments until I set up in the field. A working rifle collects scars, and it's abusive to a fine rifle. My varminters may look better, but I appreciate my utility pieces with all their wear & tear, and wouldn't relinquish them without a good reason.

                              ChewyLouie,
                              I'm guessing the reason the Mini-14 isn't more popular is because the first were reliable but not impressively accurate and consequently got some bad press. At its introduction, the barrels were made for Ruger by a mass producer. Ruger now makes its own barrels and exercises better Quality Assurance in the process. Also, the rifle immediately appealed to those who appreciated the similarity to the gas system of the M14 and M1 Garand, but 40+ years of military personnel have cut their teeth on M16/AR15-type rifles and they understandably relate to what's familiar to them. I have little disagree with those who prefer different equipment, but I better appreciate it when they speak from experience instead of second-hand knowledge. Ultimately, as shooters, we are constantly experimenting and learning. I enjoy that process. I hope you get a chance to fire or at least handle the firearms that interest you before you empty your checkbook, and thoroughly enjoy shooting whatever you choose.

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