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FUBAR
03-15-2012, 11:43 PM
I've been wanting a Mini 14 for awhile now. Right now I've got a Marlin 1894C in 357 that I really don't shoot much. I'm thinking about either selling it or trading it for one of the newer Mini's with the tapered barrel. I especially like the 16 inch NRA edition they had. What do you guys think?

GSwain
03-16-2012, 12:00 AM
It's a good rifle but it is unique. It's no ar with accuracy, but it is super reliable. I hated mine because it puts brass into orbit and I reload. Just don't expect too much from it and you'll be happy!

S470FM
03-16-2012, 12:07 AM
had a 181 series mini, it was ok--mags are proprietary and the only reliable ones are from Ruger and they're each $35-$40. Accuracy is eh at 100m. The Ranch version has proprietary scope mounts that will only work with Ruger rings. Steel is cast. Overall, I'd recommend an AR variant over a mini.

FUBAR
03-16-2012, 12:27 AM
I actually use one at work. That's why I'm thinking about it. I have a Ruger PC9 so I really don't need another pistol caliber carbine. AR's are nice but don't peak my interest.

CessnaDriver
03-16-2012, 12:29 AM
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=538316

Saym14
03-16-2012, 12:33 AM
do you own an AR ? if not consider that first. then see if you still have questions

thedudeabides
03-16-2012, 12:35 AM
mini 14 with a accu-strut and a bedded stock is capable of shooting 1.5 MOA or lower. go for it its a simple and fun gun. i own both a ar 15 and mini 14 and love them both, they each have their own unique coolness.

FUBAR
03-16-2012, 12:40 AM
I'm not interested in AR's cause I like the traditional rifle stock. I know its not THE most accurate rifle out there but the newer barrels seems to make it good enough for plinking and having fun at the range.

thedudeabides
03-16-2012, 12:44 AM
if thats all you want in a gun, mini 14 is perfect for you. and the tapered barrel are a great accuracy improvement in the design. and you can expect around 3 inch groups @100 with pmc or federal ammo

FUBAR
03-16-2012, 12:55 AM
I use to take my AR out to the range but it would start having feeding problems if I didn't clean it after about 150-200 rounds. I have never seen a Mini jam and my co-workers and I have shot them alot.

FUBAR
03-16-2012, 1:07 AM
I'm think I'll post the Marlin 1894C in the Sales forum for a trade. Better yet I'll sleep on it and make a decision tomorrow.

thedudeabides
03-16-2012, 1:18 AM
no way keep the marlin!! that gun is badass dude. and i cant speak on dirty problems with my mini because i always cleaned it about every 200 rounds, but for that it would still shoot anything i put in it.

Mail Clerk
03-16-2012, 7:36 AM
I've been wanting a Mini 14 for awhile now. Right now I've got a Marlin 1894C in 357 that I really don't shoot much. I'm thinking about either selling it or trading it for one of the newer Mini's with the tapered barrel. I especially like the 16 inch NRA edition they had. What do you guys think?

FUBAR,

I'd save your pennies and get it before the price goes up. That's what happened to me as I saved money for a long time ans every time I went to get it on a sale the price always went up. Keep both as the Marlin is a good back-up.

Mail Clerk:oji:

TacticalPlinker
03-16-2012, 8:03 AM
My father has a Mini-14. It's a solid gun, I like it. My only two complaints are nothing new and are as follows...

#1. It won't take standard AR mags, and Ruger mags are expensive!
#2. The gun itself is expensive. Often more expensive (or about equal to) than a bare-bones AR.

calibrator
03-16-2012, 8:17 AM
Supposedly the Target Model (unlike the rest of the line) does not have the "Wylde" chamber reaming, requiring it to use .223 cal ONLY. The rest of the line can use .223 and 5.56mm interchangably. I have a #187 Ranch rifle that I performed ALL the known mods to, and it will shoot MOA if I do my part. Check out www.perfectunion.com . This is a great site dedicated to the Mini 14-30. It also has the wildest Political forum I've ever seen on a gun related website. :oji:

sd joe
03-16-2012, 8:32 AM
I just got one and have not shot it yet. It is a little carbine with peep sights, so if you buy it with that in mind it will be great. Who cares if mags are expensive, you only need a few to go out and plink. A lot of people seem to think that you need 10 mags for every gun you own. Even if you want several you can accumulate them over time. Good luck

Joe

Wingnutt
03-16-2012, 9:05 AM
I own one and love it. 2" groups at 100yrds and with factory ammo not a single problem.Picky on reloads , watch case lenght.

dfletcher
03-16-2012, 9:44 AM
It's a good rifle but it is unique. It's no ar with accuracy, but it is super reliable. I hated mine because it puts brass into orbit and I reload. Just don't expect too much from it and you'll be happy!

I hate using brass catchers, darn things never work or jam the gun. I shoot lefty and the netting hangs in front of my face. I didn't shoot my Mini at the range for the longest time because it would rocket 3 to 5 benches down, Chabot still has some of my casing stuck in their roof mouth first.

This thing fits and works perfectly:

http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=41008/Product/BRASS-CATCHERS

Catches all the brass, stays in place and never causes a jam. Holds about 200 rounds of empty 223 brass. I don't reload for my Mini so I opened a hole in the bottom for brass to drop out of.

23 Blast
03-16-2012, 9:49 AM
Minis (especially the newer series with tapered barrels) are excellent guns. No, they're not as accurate as an AR, and no, they don't take AR mags. (Actually, I find it annoying that the Mini haters constantly harp on the fact that Minis have "proprietary" mags. I mean, sheesh - by that logic, Sigs, CZs, M&Ps and Glocks all have "proprietary" mags since they don't take standard Beretta 92 mags!)

I have owned a total of three Minis: two Mini 14's and a Mini 30. The Mini 30 I traded when I found that it wouldn't reliably detonate Russian ammo. The two Minis I had were an older 185 series with the skinny pencil barrel, and a newer 580 series in stainless steel with the thicker, tapered barrel. On that one I've also since added a Hogue overmolded rubber stock and a Choate vented handguard. Accuracy is very good, although I havent benched it or anything. It hits minute of clay pigeon at 150m all day long, which is more than sufficient for me. Get one, you won't regret it. Oh - but keep the .357 carbine as well. I regret selling mine! :(

Fherot
03-16-2012, 9:51 AM
I'm 85% sure ProMag builds Ruger's magazines they even have the blank circle in the base plate where the Ruger logo would go. They're also about $15-$17 on sites like Midwayusa. I've had zero problems with these.

As far as accuracy it isn't a target rifle... but my friend with his Saiga and me with Mini would destroy cantelopes and grapefruits all day at 100 yards so... who cares if we could hit a golf ball instead?

Fherot
03-16-2012, 10:03 AM
Sorry for double post but phone won't let me edit and I wanted to add a couple points.

Ruger receiver is cast but Ruger's heat treatment is excellent, it is a very very rugged rifle. Springfield casts their M1A parts and we all know their quality.

Watch Nutnfancy's trial of an Arsenal AK, AR15, and a Mini-14. you can't go wrong with any of them.

I just love the Garand style look and went with the gun I could lubricate with my own snot and spit if needed...

gorenut
03-16-2012, 12:13 PM
Minis (especially the newer series with tapered barrels) are excellent guns. No, they're not as accurate as an AR, and no, they don't take AR mags. (Actually, I find it annoying that the Mini haters constantly harp on the fact that Minis have "proprietary" mags. I mean, sheesh - by that logic, Sigs, CZs, M&Ps and Glocks all have "proprietary" mags since they don't take standard Beretta 92 mags!)

I have owned a total of three Minis: two Mini 14's and a Mini 30. The Mini 30 I traded when I found that it wouldn't reliably detonate Russian ammo. The two Minis I had were an older 185 series with the skinny pencil barrel, and a newer 580 series in stainless steel with the thicker, tapered barrel. On that one I've also since added a Hogue overmolded rubber stock and a Choate vented handguard. Accuracy is very good, although I havent benched it or anything. It hits minute of clay pigeon at 150m all day long, which is more than sufficient for me. Get one, you won't regret it. Oh - but keep the .357 carbine as well. I regret selling mine! :(

Exactly my thoughts. I admit I get annoyed with every Mini thread eventually becoming a hurricane of AR or AK suggestions (fortunately this hasn't turned into that) and using mags as the big determining factor. Yea, cheap mags are nice and especially if you already own ARs.. but I don't and the amount of ammo I'll be spending will far exceed any differences in mag prices. Plus, factory Mini 14 mags are available at decent prices (I got 10 rounders for $10-$20). Don't see people in the handgun world scratching off various pistols because they don't take Glock mags, etc.

I too also opted out on the Mini 30 because I read they weren't the best with berdan primers.. which really negates one of the biggest advantages of shooting this caliber (super cheap ammo). If you do go into Perfect Union forum though, there is a thread on which cheap Commie ammo works well with Mini 30s though. I think general consensus is Golden and Silver Bear ammo are good. Personally, I rather just not deal with it and got a 14 (which pretty much all 223s work with, including Wolf).

I started off with a Mini 14 Target but its pretty heavy (weighs about the same as an M1A) and I preferred to have a handy carbine so I traded/sold it off for a 581 series stainless Ranch model. There are plenty of affordable tricks to get the Mini 14 consistently around 2 MOA. If you're shooting primarily off hand with this rifle.. the differences in accuracy vs an AR shouldn't make a difference (especially with irons). I like ARs (and AKs, I like almost all guns), but its funny seeing AR fanboys constantly grab on to their cherished MOA accuracy to trump everything despite an individual's preference and POU.

I say you should find a good used 581 series Mini. Barring that, you can find some really low priced thin-barreled Minis.. in which you can easily get the accuracy up by installing a strut and possibly bedding or scout rail to get the accuracy up with the money you saved.

ScottsBad
03-16-2012, 1:04 PM
I always laugh when folks get all worked up about the Mini-14 yada yada. It is actually a very nice little rifle. I've got a collection of rifles. Mini-14s, AR-15s, Bolt rifles, FNSCARs, shotguns, AK .... And frankly, I don't get why everyone wants to hate the Mini-14s. My primary Mini-14s now are the newer design. A Tactical and a Stainless Ranch which I had modified to 16 inch barrel, compensator, and adjustable gas block.

They work fine, I don't have any functioning issues and I can shoot .223 AND 5.56 in them. I don't use the struts but they really work to make the Mini more accurate (we installed one on a buddy's rifle). I don't expect them to be super accurate, however.

Someone said they are expensive....uh, no. If you buy a cheapie AR at the same price, well you have a cheapie AR. Decent complete ARs are more.

Whatever, anyway I like them they are fun to shoot and rugged, contrary to the Mini haters.

It is just a different kind of rifle. Like AKs instead, get cheap AK POS with rust in it. I won't buy a cheap AK and try to say it is better than a Mini.

Fherot
03-16-2012, 1:06 PM
Just make sure you get the Hogue overmolded stock and Choate upper handguard replacement.....

My god that handguard made my mini 14 look a bazillion times better. much closer to M14 etc.

Oh and it vents more heat I guess.

CessnaDriver
03-16-2012, 1:07 PM
They're fun and simple!
If you need to arm up other folks, it's explained in 60 seconds.

wsmc27
03-16-2012, 1:12 PM
It might be likely to find older minis' that shoot well too (despite the ongoing internet rumors)...our old 182 s/s has shot 2moa a few times when user did his job (stock irons, prone, sacked).

Love the old thing, think I bought it when my dad bought a M1A back in the eighties?

We've run it a couple times in Tac Carbine courses instead of one of the ARs, and it did fine. Don't think we've tried as much steel-cased stuff as we have with the AR...that might be something to 'test' this year. :)

Anyway, it's a keeper.

Agreed with the others in...do not sell/trade your 1894!

Have FUN OP. :)

rplusplus
03-16-2012, 1:20 PM
+1 Owner who loves his Mini-14. It's fun, pure and simple.

echo6cavedog
03-16-2012, 1:25 PM
TAPCO's new mini14 magazines work great! I was skeptical at first. I bought a 10/20 and a 10/30 and have had no problems after approx. 500 rounds through each. I sent my old tapco mags (notorious for FTF/FTE) back and they replaced them all for the cost of shipping!

gorenut
03-16-2012, 4:41 PM
Even though I personally like the Mini for its M14/Garand traditional rifle stock look.. its cool that the Mini has options like this that can be switched out with zero gunsmithing skills.
http://i99.photobucket.com/albums/l319/rockman42/Gunz/Archangel2.jpg

Sparta stock from another Mini owner in the Perfect Union forum. I know it'd probably be more cost-efficient to just get an AR if you want something like this.. but the main thing is you can switch it back and forth as you please. In all honesty, if an AR was available and able to just easily get an M14/M1A look with traditional rifle stock, I would have gotten that (I've yet to see a featureless AR that didn't look weird/cumbersome/unnatural).

Mossy Man
03-16-2012, 4:45 PM
Even though I personally like the Mini for its M14/Garand traditional rifle stock look.. its cool that the Mini has options like this that can be switched out with zero gunsmithing skills.
http://i99.photobucket.com/albums/l319/rockman42/Gunz/Archangel2.jpg

Sparta stock from another Mini owner in the Perfect Union forum. I know it'd probably be more cost-efficient to just get an AR if you want something like this.. but the main thing is you can switch it back and forth as you please. In all honesty, if an AR was available and able to just easily get an M14/M1A look with traditional rifle stock, I would have gotten that.

you'd have to dump the best part of the mini-14 for that stock....

removable/preban standard cap mags

gorenut
03-16-2012, 4:47 PM
you'd have to dump the best part of the mini-14 for that stock....

removable/preban standard cap mags

Definitely, but as mentioned, it can be swapped out in a matter of seconds. So you get the option to take the Mini in drastically different configurations that'll give you a different experience.

FUBAR
03-16-2012, 5:06 PM
This is the bad boy I'm gonna have to sacrafice to get a Mini 14
http://i939.photobucket.com/albums/ad232/PITT5150/Firearms/DSC06288.jpg
I don't have the funds so if I really want one it will have to go.

Mossy Man
03-16-2012, 5:08 PM
This is the bad boy I'm gonna have to sacrafice to get a Mini 14
http://i939.photobucket.com/albums/ad232/PITT5150/Firearms/DSC06288.jpg
I don't have the funds so if I really want one it will have to go.

as much as i like my mini.....

i'll never advocate selling a gun to buy another

you'll ALWAYS regret it

FUBAR
03-16-2012, 6:07 PM
I don't have a choice. If I want to get the Mini 14 somethings gotta go and right now it would be my Marlin. That's why I'm trying to get some thoughts from you guys. Should I do it or just keep the Marlin. It is a nice gun but lacks when shooting longer distances.

23 Blast
03-17-2012, 5:44 AM
Just make sure you get the Hogue overmolded stock and Choate upper handguard replacement.....

My god that handguard made my mini 14 look a bazillion times better. much closer to M14 etc.

Oh and it vents more heat I guess.

This - and from anecdotes I've read elsewhere, the Hogue stock holds the action more snugly, improving accuracy. While I like the aesthetics of a wooden-stocked rifle, the functionality of the rubber Hogue stock is tops.

Here's mine:

http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd128/BasinBictory/a229a577.jpg

Fherot
03-17-2012, 8:44 AM
Stupid phone. Anyway... My Mini-14 is setup same as yours in same gun butler next to me at the moment. Except for the prebans.

Good thing I turned 18 in 1999 and bought all those magazines for so many guns I can't even remember. But I put them all on storage and now they're all damaged. Sigh.

Guess I should start repairing them with parts.

prisondoc
03-17-2012, 10:29 AM
Just make sure you get the Hogue overmolded stock and Choate upper handguard replacement.....

My god that handguard made my mini 14 look a bazillion times better. much closer to M14 etc.

Oh and it vents more heat I guess.

Pix of your Mini with the improvements mentioned above???

kauaibuilt
03-17-2012, 10:55 AM
Ive wanted a Mini for a while but these latest mini threads are KILLING me!

Fherot
03-17-2012, 11:09 AM
http://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll259/teel351/CIMG4452.jpg Can't get stupid phone images onto computer but this is what I have.

If only I could have http://glaesisvellir.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/mini-folded1.jpg

yzernie
03-17-2012, 11:48 AM
I think the Mini-14s are under-rated. I have had a few of them starting in the late 70s and I can say the quality of the current production rifle is far superior to the early models. As accurate as an AR?...not the higher end models but every bit as accurate as the average or same price range AR.

We also use the Mini-14s as our patrol rifles and up here in the desert they are subject to a lot of different elements than down in the valley such as heat, cold, dust, dirt, dry air, etc. We have deployed them in several shooting incidents over the last couple years and they have all performed with excellent results. In one particular incident there was a long distance for a police patrol rifle deployment (about 105 yards) and they performed perfectly and stopped the threat immediately.

Personally, I think one of the nicest things about the Mini's is the ability to use your preban 20-30-40rd mags without the worry morphing it into an AW. Especially when you are on public lands that the BLM or Forestry Rangers patrol.

thedudeabides
03-17-2012, 2:12 PM
i agree the hogue stock looks too damn good on the mini 14. but i kept the stock hand-guard so i could shoot it however i wanted without having to worry about the gas piston hitting hand.

haven't got her sighted in yet after the new improvements but i just got the barrel cut down to 16 inches and put on a A2 flash hider, hogue stock, and .05" gas bushing. it sure as hell shoot alot smoother.

Fherot
03-17-2012, 3:24 PM
I'm not sure how one would have their hand struck with the choate handguard unless you were left handed.

I've tried it in various positions but unless I'm being weird I can't get thumb in a spot that will interfere with the guide rod.

What does the gas bushing do for your shooting exactly? I'm always looking for something to throw money that I don't have at..

thedudeabides
03-17-2012, 3:50 PM
the way i hold my gun, it would probably whack 3 of my fingers pretty good. and plus even if i were to hold it in a more cautious position, i don't like the idea of hot gasses hitting my hand

but the gas bushing restricts the flow of gasses through the gas port, giving a lot less recoil. i compared it to the original one, the hole is about 1/3 of the size. the only problem with this is you may have trouble using steel cased Russian ammo. only about 1/2 of them will cycle, the others wont blow back the bolt all the way.

kris smith
03-17-2012, 6:36 PM
Why do you need less recoil in a .223 rifle ?

gorenut
03-17-2012, 7:50 PM
Why do you need less recoil in a .223 rifle ?

For the gas bushings, it's not so much limiting the recoil of the cartridge but moreso toning down the violent action of the Mini. Doing so will help preserve scopes and other parts of the Mini. It also makes it so your brass ejects at least within your own zip code. I have a .050 I got from greatwestgunsmithing. .060 is recommended for shorter barrels.

Atekhed
03-17-2012, 7:53 PM
Why do you need less recoil in a .223 rifle ?

Makes for smoother shooting potientially enhancing accuracy but in a Mini-14 the smaller diameter gas bushings can also help the ejected cases from being flung a 8-10' to the right.

Mini's are typically overgassed from the factory leading to their high level of reliability with almost any ammo run through them. Again the tradeoff is a "sharper" recoil that may lead to some of the accuracy problems people complain about with them.

Nonetheless the Mini-14 is a good alternative to an AR-15 here in Cali especially if you have pre-ban standard magazines like I do.

CessnaDriver
03-17-2012, 7:56 PM
Some folks say a good trigger job helps a lot too.
I've been considering it, since it's so easy to ship the trigger assy in.
http://www.greatwestgunsmithing.com/

PEZHEAD265
03-17-2012, 8:02 PM
I don't have a choice. If I want to get the Mini 14 somethings gotta go and right now it would be my Marlin. That's why I'm trying to get some thoughts from you guys. Should I do it or just keep the Marlin. It is a nice gun but lacks when shooting longer distances.

My question is what pistol do you have 9mm or 357??That would help me make a choice.If I could I would sell something else[gold or silver]or borrow mony and never sell either one.

Fherot
03-17-2012, 8:03 PM
I haven't had an issue with the perceives recoil and I like knowing my gaseous rifle can handle almost anything I feed it.

But I see why people would want it, makes sense. I don't reload and my mom likes to come and pick up brass so she could use some exercise chasing the brass I fling into the horizon...

brianm767
03-17-2012, 8:08 PM
I had a Mini years ago before I could afford my first AR, it was a blast to shoot, I will probably own another one at some point in the future.

I understand what some say about never sell one gun to get another because you will regret it, but I don't always agree, I do regret selling some guns, but others I have no regrets.

I traded my first Mini to buy my first AR, no regrets.

If you like that Marlin, I wouldn't sell it, I'd start saving up and wait till you can get a Mini, if the Marlin does nothing for you, and you really enjoy a Mini more and get more use out of it, I'd make it happen.

I've also traded off guns I knew I'd replace at a later date, but the deal was so good I had to do it, like my Kahr PM9 for a Polytech M14S, had to do it , even though my PM was on my CCW it was too good to pass up, I've since replaced my Kahr, and my LCP went a couple weeks ago to fund another project and I'll buy another LCP when fund permit.

Fherot
03-17-2012, 8:14 PM
I just sold my Marlin 1894 .357 a week ago or so for a very low sum because I wanted a SIG 522 at a great sale price ...

I'm impatient and don't regret it. The Marlin was just a safe queen, .357 and even .38 are too expensive and limited. I didnt like having to loctite or tighten the screws that hold it together etc.

If the Marlin isn't sentimental to you and you now want a Mini... No harm in that. I can't afford to buy new guns without selling old ones.

My Vaquero is in danger of an AK after all..

gorenut
03-17-2012, 8:21 PM
Im also in the mindset of selling guns that I don't shoot unless there's sentimental value or the gun is rare and will go up in value. Not a fan of having safe queens around. All the guns in my stable get shot

Bobby Ricigliano
03-18-2012, 2:44 AM
I've had my Mini 14 for 10+years and I love it. Stainless and synthetic stock. No malfunctions ever.

As others have said, no Kommiefornia politics to deal with either with the Mini.

bobgengeskahn
03-18-2012, 11:33 AM
A Mini-14 RR is what I learned to shoot on, and a 188 series used Mini-14 RR was the first firearm I bought. I have always loved them, but its been a rocky relationship, I have always viewed my Mini as my project baby. Where an AR is like legos, a Mini is more like doing fine art. You really have to know your particular rifle and understand what youre doing to it when you mod it. Here are some links to the forum I usually go to for Mini information that may be of use if you decide to start down this route:

A common mod is to shorten the stock barrel, here is a fairly detailed test report:
http://www.perfectunion.com/vb/tips-tricks/34858-mini-14-rr-project-results-06-23-a.html

Here is a good thread on the capabilities of a Mini:
http://www.perfectunion.com/vb/ruger-mini-14-mini-30/86527-mini-14-accuracy-poll-modifications.html

Here is another thread with a decent list of modifications also:
http://www.perfectunion.com/vb/ruger-mini-14-mini-30/87677-mod-recommendations.html

Old Scribe
03-18-2012, 11:34 AM
I like my Mini. It's an older 180 and with a little fixin' up it shoots 1+ @ 100yds.