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View Full Version : Mini14 or build AK/AR?


scotthmt
02-18-2008, 10:36 PM
First of all let me begin with the price im trying to work with, which is about 800, give or take a hundred, and my final goal is a semi auto rifle, with a detachable magazine that is relatively reliable and accurate.

I've been sold on the mini 14 for some time, but after reading some mixed reviews im unsure of whether i should purchase it or not.

And after reading on here for a while I've seen some of the AK/AR builds are simply gorgeous.

So what would you guys recomend I go with? AK build? AR Build? or Mini-14?


And please excuse my noobness :p

Josh3239
02-18-2008, 10:41 PM
AR fan through and through; they are accurate, reliable, and you can do so much with them. Besides the detachable magazines what do you see in a mini 14?

DedEye
02-18-2008, 10:42 PM
Definitely an AR. You can build one for as little as $700 if you get some used parts.

Prowler
02-18-2008, 10:44 PM
Why set your standards lower? Mini-14 is OK, but AR or AK is better and easily within the reach of your budget. Plus, you can't just have one! :43:

JimmyD
02-18-2008, 10:55 PM
looks like BRD isn't in full effect yet. You'll save yourself a lot of trouble by going the AR route because you're gonna get one anyway

aplinker
02-18-2008, 10:58 PM
Coming to us and asking if you should build an AR or AK over a Mini-14 is like going to a Porsche dealership and asking if you should buy a go-kart.

An AR is the way to go. You'll have lots of options, it will be very accurate and reliable. You can't say that about a mini-14 and you can't say the 1st one about an AK (as much as I adore AKs).

scotthmt
02-18-2008, 10:58 PM
I've been thinking about the mini 14 because of the detachable magazine. And we all know 10 rounds is plain boring, and from what im reading (correct me if im wrong) If i build an AR i need a fixed 10 round mag, but i could get one of those lowers that allow the use of a bullet to drop the magazine. Would it be possible to get a detachable mag lower for an AR?

sw19110adead
02-18-2008, 11:04 PM
AR...

aplinker
02-18-2008, 11:07 PM
I've been thinking about the mini 14 because of the detachable magazine. And we all know 10 rounds is plain boring, and from what im reading (correct me if im wrong) If i build an AR i need a fixed 10 round mag, but i could get one of those lowers that allow the use of a bullet to drop the magazine. Would it be possible to get a detachable mag lower for an AR?

yup

http://www.monstermangrip.com/

Read through this thread here:
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=56818

Some of it is outdated (you can be much less conservative than some of the things there)
The "OLL Flowchart" is very informative, too
http://www.calguns.net/caawid/flowchart.pdf

scotthmt
02-18-2008, 11:13 PM
OoOoO nice. So it would be possible to get a detachable mag lower and still have a pistol grip, although it would be illegal? But using the monster man grip and a detachable mag is legal, correct? Hmmm.... it seems you guys may have sold me on an AR :)

Jaiofspam
02-18-2008, 11:21 PM
yup you could go with an ar build with mmg and no aw features
orrrrr you could do bb w/ 10rd mags and go all out on tacticool accessories and features as your budget allows :cool:

orrrrrrrrrr you could go mini14 as i did and watch your buddy blow away ridiculous amounts of money on his first ar build...











wishing you were him lol :) (actually im helping him put the damn thing together lol)
on a serious note... im contempt with my mini14 and its accurate enough at 100yrds w/ 2" groups and detachable mags :D

Riodog
02-18-2008, 11:28 PM
Well Scotthmt, I will probably be banned, tarred and feathered, and called really nasty names. BUT oh fricken well.

Take what I say with a grain of salt cuz I've got most of what's available (only cuz I've been at it for about 50 years).

What do you like the looks of and what makes you feel good inside? A good shootin mini 14, 30, or the new 6.8 will do exactly everything a black rifle will and draw less attention to your self depending upon where and what you'll be doing with it. If you're into the military style rifles go for it. Very easy to change calibers, configurations if you get bored, sights vrs open sites.

Damn, now that I think about it you can do almost all that with the mini's and not get hasseled half as much. Go out of state and play all day long with the highcaps if you so desire.Just depends upon what trips your trigger.

Perfect recent example is I bought a new mini 14 ss laminated stock and it would shoot 2->3 shots in a row. Then mf. Send it back to the factory, get it back 2 weeks later and it does the same thing. Then It's time that I take matters in to my own hand and deduce what the problem seems to be. No biggy, chuck it in the lathe and about 30 seconds later the problem is fixed. It need pretty in up so I have my guys knock it down and do the "Super PimP" Polish on it and it not only looks great it fires EVERYTIME I pull the trigger.

In the past 4 weeks I've blown about 25-27 hundred bucks on these nasty black rifles and they are really not my passion in life. If it works out I will be seein Pirate tomorrow bout a nuther playtoy.

Bottom line I always grab for my Rugers before anything else for just a fun day in the field. Any hicap mags are easy to come by in this God for saken state, ya just have to do it legally.
Rio-> who never even thought about buying a blackrifle til they said I couldn't.

Git what appeals to you life style and tastes.
Rio

apbrian112
02-18-2008, 11:34 PM
1. MMG'd AR
2. MMG'd AK
3. mini-14

you can build an ar for around $800 if you do some shopping.

C.G.
02-18-2008, 11:35 PM
If you want to hit the target in front of you, get a decent AR clone.

If you want to hit the people off to your right about 4-5 benches over at the range, get a Mini.:D

scotthmt
02-18-2008, 11:39 PM
My taste is in tactical rifles, so that being said, had i purchased a Mini-14 my plans were to dress it up as tactical as possible. I also own a 10-22 and overall its a decent gun so I have no complaints about Ruger as a company itself, but all these AR pictures this AR talk honestly has me drooling.

But i see where youre coming from with the hassling from rangemasters when you decide its time to play with the newly aquired toy.

Although i will admit, i am leaning towards an AR....

oaklander
02-18-2008, 11:42 PM
If you decide to build - start with an AR, then do a FAL, then finally do an AK.

The AK is the hardest to build, the AR is the easiest. . .

Gnome
02-18-2008, 11:51 PM
Apples and Oranges. I also want a Mini 14 and an AR 15. Here's my solution/compromise (It might work for you too Scott). I'm going to buy the Mini 14 and buy an AR stripped lower receiver at the same time. I have the complete rifle ready to shoot (yes, not as accurate as the AR), and I have actively started building my AR. Great thing about ARs is you can "finance" them in a sense. Build piece by piece at your own financial pace. Just my solution to the dilema, because Prowler is right, you're gonna want more.

aplinker
02-19-2008, 12:44 AM
I did forget to mention the Saiga. It's about 1/2 the price of a Ruger, has detachable mags and is just as accurate as the Mini.

It's available in 7.62x39, .223 and .308 (little more for .308).

thedrickel
02-19-2008, 1:12 AM
800, give or take 100? Buy a FAL, or two or three AK's.

J_Rock
02-19-2008, 1:52 AM
yup you could go with an ar build with mmg and no aw features
orrrrr you could do bb w/ 10rd mags and go all out on tacticool accessories and features as your budget allows :cool:

orrrrrrrrrr you could go mini14 as i did and watch your buddy blow away ridiculous amounts of money on his first ar build...











wishing you were him lol :) (actually im helping him put the damn thing together lol)
on a serious note... im contempt with my mini14 and its accurate enough at 100yrds w/ 2" groups and detachable mags :D

I'd be full of contempt too if I were stuck with a mini-14;)

Jaiofspam
02-19-2008, 6:42 AM
I'd be full of contempt too if I were stuck with a mini-14;)

lol :rolleyes:
im in no rush for an ar... the mini14 will suffice for now ;)

ivanimal
02-19-2008, 7:08 AM
Buy both but get the AR first. I love my Mini's.

ibanezfoo
02-19-2008, 7:51 AM
I have both and like em for different reasons. Watch the classifieds and pick yourself up one of each!

Also factor in cost for reloading equipment or become best buds with someone who sells bulk ammo.... you will need it :D

-Bryan

1lostinspace
02-19-2008, 7:57 AM
I would go with an AR there is no reason to own a MIni your better off paying $279 and getting a Saiga.

GenLee
02-19-2008, 8:15 AM
AR all the way, Easy enough to build, readilly available, in your budget, and in a whole different league than a Mini-14.

Paradiddle
02-19-2008, 10:10 AM
This board is heavy anti-mini when I'd be willing to bet that many people posting about the mini sucking haven't shot one.

That said an AR is more accurate out of the box then the older mini - jury doesn't seem to be out yet on the new minis with the heavy barrel. Magazines are problematical with the mini and they are pricey.

The AR is a great rifle and very easy to build. You get TONS of aftermarket support and can basically build one to do anything. They work well most of the time with cleaning and care.

While technically legal there hasn't been a test case for the OLL yet - this may or may not concern you and I will not influence your decision on that one way or the other. Some people have more to risk then others and may not choose to even have a potential for arrest.

You can upgrade a mini, but it does get pricy if you send it off to a reputable shop.

The mini has more traditional rifle ergonomics and some prefer it to the pistol grip and high sight line of the AR. The mini is based on a very proven system and is more tolerant of dirt and stuff versus the AR design. Minis can be had with wood furniture which some people prefer. You surely will not get any grief at any range, or public shooting area with a mini.

You can hit www.perfectunion.com for a more "pro mini" stance just to get "fair and balanced" info ;)

Just my .02 - the cost of a rifle is just one consideration that you'll need to make. Do some searching on OLLs so you fully understand all the legalities of owning one.

Jeff

gunrun45
02-19-2008, 12:10 PM
I own 6 (I think) mini-14's and mini-30's. I love them dearly. I have heavily modded ones from gundoc in Oregon, stock 180 series, LE series, etc...
I also own reg AW AR's, OLL AR's (MM grips), reg AW AK's, etc...
They each have their own appeal to me but I love (really lust) after my mini's :)

If you are looking for a decent shooter you can look around and pick up a used mini for a decent price and have it sent to gundoc for one of his package deals. He's reasonable and the last one I sent him cost me $700 total after DROS, gun, tax, shipping, gundoc package, etc... It now has a 4 lbs glass rod crisp trigger and shoots 1 inch at 100 yards with 62grn TAP ammo.

I've tried most gimics over the years for the mini. THE most effective mod I've had done is to cut the barrel back to 16 1/2 inches, trhead the barrel and install a Smith muzzle break. ALWAYS cuts factory groupings in half at least.

calguns is great but there are plenty of mini-bashers here since they have caught the black rifle disease. Try another CA chat board that concentrates on the mini for some tips and tricks and the other side of the debate at:

http://www.perfectunion.com/vb/

You will also find some screaming good deals on used mini's from around the US. The mini is pretty popular in other states that DO allow all of the "evil" black rifle parts.

Bagger
02-19-2008, 12:18 PM
AR all the Way

cartman
02-19-2008, 12:58 PM
For 800 you can buy the tools and build 2 ak's

Bizcuits
02-19-2008, 1:01 PM
I love my Mini-14.

I don't have it for accuracy though. I have it for sending lead down range. I have a remington 770 in 308 for accuracy.

The mini shoots American Eagle, Wolf and Remington fine "never tried anything else". It's reliable and always goes bang.

The only thing I really dislike is the design of the magwell. I find it difficult to change mags fast.


My next rifle purchase will likely be an AK or a M1A. Although if I was to do it all over again, I'd still get a Mini-14 or Mini-30 first.


Have you considered an SU-16 or M1A or SKS?

Paradiddle
02-19-2008, 1:36 PM
Have you considered an SU-16 or M1A or SKS?

The Mini is a nicer shooter then the SU IMO and you don't have any stress of breakage and malfunctions. I have both.

The M1A is the best of all mentioned, but it's expensive to shoot and recoil is substantially higher then .223.

I had a SKS and frankly thought it shot like crap. I didn't like the ergos, and the triggers was terrible.

Jeff

tommyid1
02-19-2008, 1:55 PM
If you can wait a bit but not too long save up the extra cash for an m1a ive owned mine for a while now and its nothign but a blast to shoot. recoil for me was comparable but 308 is pricey right now so if you dont reload sorry hehe.

Tom

scotthmt
02-19-2008, 2:05 PM
the M1a is just way too expensive. Cheapest i've seen them go for is around 1200. Which is out of my price range. So far i've sourced a complete AR upper for around 600. and i'll have to find a lower and lower parts, and then i'll just need misc parts correct? (grip, stock etc). Im in the bay area and if anyone has any pointers on where i could go to buy some of these, that would be greatly appreciated.

ViPER395
02-19-2008, 2:34 PM
Maybe someday i'd build an AR. Probably not tho.

But I have a Mini-14 in the corner.

nuff said.

tombinghamthegreat
02-19-2008, 9:58 PM
I did forget to mention the Saiga. It's about 1/2 the price of a Ruger, has detachable mags and is just as accurate as the Mini.

It's available in 7.62x39, .223 and .308 (little more for .308).

The saiga's are worth buying? Heard good things about those guns.

dreyna14
02-19-2008, 10:57 PM
I shot my mini for the first time last Sat. and I loved every single round. I'm very happy with my choice. I still do want an AR, they're just plain badass, but the mini has practically everything an AR can offer but without the dumb restrictions or risks of being harassed by the cops. If you really want accurate, get a bolt action rifle.

J_Rock
02-19-2008, 11:59 PM
The Mini is a nicer shooter then the SU IMO and you don't have any stress of breakage and malfunctions. I have both.

The M1A is the best of all mentioned, but it's expensive to shoot and recoil is substantially higher then .223.

I had a SKS and frankly thought it shot like crap. I didn't like the ergos, and the triggers was terrible.

Jeff

Do tell what problems you've been having with the SU16

aplinker
02-20-2008, 12:20 AM
The saiga's are worth buying? Heard good things about those guns.

Saigas are AKs slightly modified into sporter configurations. They're cheap, reliable and fun to shoot. They don't shoot sub-MOA. They don't look sexy. They aren't flashy. They use modified mags that cost a bit more.

The .308 Saigas are HIGHLY underrated. I'd put a Saiga up against a standard M1A if you scoped them both (AK irons aren't great).

Paradiddle
02-20-2008, 9:55 AM
Do tell what problems you've been having with the SU16

I had the typical FTF and FTE/stovepipe issues until I swtiched out the extractor - which I shouldn't have to do.

I know of other issues. I like the SU I just wish it had a steel or aluminum receiver.

aplinker
02-20-2008, 1:27 PM
I had the typical FTF and FTE/stovepipe issues until I swtiched out the extractor - which I shouldn't have to do.

I know of other issues. I like the SU I just wish it had a steel or aluminum receiver.

I don't. It would, IMHO, defeat part of the reason why I like the gun - light weight.

The SU is a beater gun that usually goes bang. I like it for what it is. It folds up, it's easy to shoot, it has tolerable irons.

Iknownot
02-20-2008, 1:44 PM
I don't. It would, IMHO, defeat part of the reason why I like the gun - light weight.

The SU is a beater gun that usually goes bang. I like it for what it is. It folds up, it's easy to shoot, it has tolerable irons.

It is all true that the SU folds, is light, is easy to shoot and is an all around decent rifle.

I like it a lot.

However, there are more than a small amount of reports of quality control issues with the rifle beyond the FTE/FTeject issues, and the stove pipes. People have had loose bolt carrier pistons. People have had cracked receivers where the removable pin keeps the rifle from folding.

Visit any K-T forum, there are plenty of posts about issues and about getting the rifle to run right.

Luckily, K-T has great customer service and a life time warranty. Some people get SU's that run right out of the box, and other people seem to get one that was built on a friday.

The SU would be a great rifle if K-T could fix their quality control.

IMO, of course.

tombinghamthegreat
02-21-2008, 1:43 PM
Saigas are AKs slightly modified into sporter configurations. They're cheap, reliable and fun to shoot. They don't shoot sub-MOA. They don't look sexy. They aren't flashy. They use modified mags that cost a bit more.

The .308 Saigas are HIGHLY underrated. I'd put a Saiga up against a standard M1A if you scoped them both (AK irons aren't great).

The Saiga .308 should be a next rifle to buy? Besides gun shows, what gun stores or FFL dealers sell them in Ventura county?

45DAVID1
02-21-2008, 2:06 PM
I have both an ar and a mini-14. I'm actually thinking of selling all my ar-15 stuff and just sticking to my mini-14. I'm not worried about 100% accuracy and all the extra's that can be put on a rifle. I'm worried about if I pull the trigger and it goes click/boom. My mini does just that. I use mine for range use only and I'm not worried about having to put someone down at 100+yards, competitions, presicion shooting, or showing off. Buy whatever you think feels good for you and not based on others opinions.

BaronW
02-21-2008, 2:35 PM
I have both an ar and a mini-14. I'm actually thinking of selling all my ar-15 stuff and just sticking to my mini-14. I'm not worried about 100% accuracy and all the extra's that can be put on a rifle. I'm worried about if I pull the trigger and it goes click/boom. My mini does just that. I use mine for range use only and I'm not worried about having to put someone down at 100+yards, competitions, presicion shooting, or showing off. Buy whatever you think feels good for you and not based on others opinions.

Same here, I'm saving up for one of those NRA mini's. If Obama wins the election, however, I'm going to grab a stripped lower.

ar15robert
02-21-2008, 3:46 PM
I have both i love my mini for plinking And use the Ar for accuracy.I got my ar in 98 so its legally registered and i could shoot it where i go to.But if i dint buy it then and where to make that choice now for legality reasons i would buy the mini based on the fact that you can shoot it anywhere public shooting is allowed with out worrying about if your gun is legal or not.(OLLs that havent been added yet or LEOs who doesnt know the law on them).

Linus
02-21-2008, 4:18 PM
I have both an ar and a mini-14. I'm actually thinking of selling all my ar-15 stuff and just sticking to my mini-14. I'm not worried about 100% accuracy and all the extra's that can be put on a rifle. I'm worried about if I pull the trigger and it goes click/boom. My mini does just that. I use mine for range use only and I'm not worried about having to put someone down at 100+yards, competitions, presicion shooting, or showing off. Buy whatever you think feels good for you and not based on others opinions.

You should just buy what you like best cause for that price you can have either.
I bought a Del-ton kit for $487 shipped and you can get a Stag lower, ten-round mag and B-button for another $160 shipped excluding dros if you search around different vendor's prices.