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Thread: Thoughts on the current Mini-14...

  1. #1

    Thoughts on the current Mini-14...

    Saw something this morning that made me realize I need to start carrying a rifle with me again on my daily travels.

    I know that some folks here are adamantly against a "car gun". For the sake of discussion, understand that I am aware of the issues with doing so, choose to take the risks, so please don't let this devolve into that particular urination competition.

    I don't want to take those risks with one of my Colts, and do NOT want a "lesser-tier" AR, so to speak (I just wish I had snagged another 6920 when they $799, but spilt milk and all of that), so I'm considering the Ruger. Back (WAY back) in the day, I had a 180-series example that wouldn't stay on a pie plate at 100 yards. So I've basically ignored the rifle in the ensuing decades. But I'm told that the current production guns, while not Wimbledon-grade, are adequately accurate for a SHTF piece.

    I'm looking at two specific versions; the #5846 tactical-schmactical, and the plain vanilla #5801 Ranch Rifle. I would appreciate any experienced observations/comments, both positive and negative.

    If you have a counter suggestion, I'll listen to those as well. I considered a bullpup of some sort, but the only experience I have with those is a short stint with an FN 2000, and I was underwhelmed both with the concept and that particular "rifle". Besides, I could just get another Colt carbine for the prices I've seen current bullpups going for.

    And I briefly considered the Kel-Tec folder; until I held one.

    Anyway, I'm looking for a decent .223/5.56mm light-duty self-loader that will take a 20 round magazine.

    .

  2. #2
    Member
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    Jun 2012
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    The Dark Continent
    Since Colt 6720's can be had for $799, and the stripped 6920 OEMs are starting to trickle out into the market for $670-ish, I'd have a tough time justifying putting much money towards a Mini-14. I suppose that in some locations, the wood stock might be viewed as less evil and scary, but I doubt that's a major consideration where you live.

  3. #3
    Member Gadfly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Texas
    http://palmettostatearmory.com/index...view/id/14434/

    Blem lower, complete, $129

    http://palmettostatearmory.com/index...ng-handle.html

    Complete mid length CHF upper with BCG, $399

    total $529 +tax and shipping. Probably less than the cost of the Mini.

    This would be far better than any Mini 14. (And that is said with me growing up with 2 mini 14s in the house. They are OK, but nothing to write home about.)
    “A gun is a tool, Marian; no better or no worse than any other tool: an axe, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that.” - Shane

  4. #4
    Site Supporter
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    Aug 2011
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    TEXAS !
    I had a mini 14 when I was a kid. My dad bought it for me with my odd jobs money. Minute of pie plate was about right.

    A few years ago I picked up one of the new style, NRA edition 16 inch mini 14s. It is a great improvement over the original mini 14. You have both decent iron sites and the ability to mount optics all in one package though adjusting the new rear site is kind of a pain. Accuracy is greatly improved, 2 to 3 MOA with ammo it likes.

    Honestly, I bought it out of nostalgia and the fact that I still had a bunch of Ruger factory 20 round mags in my possibles box. Back in the day my mini 14 was $250 versus a whopping $450 for a colt AR. The new mini 14's cost as much as a decent AR, in the $700 to $800 range. You could buy another colt for that if you search around.

    Honestly, Gadfly's suggestion for a PSA is solid. Several of my coworkers have bought PSA uppers and lowers. As long as you stick to the PSA and PSA premium lines they are solid guns. Avoid the PT AC and freedom lines and you'll be good to go. Another solid suggestion in the same price range would be the Smith & Wesson sport. Chuck haggard has been putting one through its paces and is one of several people who have had really good things to say about the sport.

  5. #5
    Hillbilly Elitist Malamute's Avatar
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    Oct 2013
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    Northern Rockies
    I've had several mini's in the past. They werent spectacular groupers. One was particularly bad. I bought a plastic stock for it, it was really tight going in, but groups went from 8-10" to 3-4". It was a bedding problem apparently. I like the concept, but the guns just dont perform that great.

    A entry level M&P-15 or Ruger gas gun-15 may be worthwhile. For a car gun, a side folder AK would be on my short list. The romanian side folders are solid (can be installed on any fixed stock AK), and better cheek position than underfolders. 20 rd mags make them pretty compact. Even a cheap used romanian would probably work fine as a car gun. I think the 7.62x39 has better penetration on vehicles than 5.56. Nyeti mentioned that once also I believe. Practice ammo is dirt cheap also.

  6. #6
    Member JodyH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    New Mexico
    S&W M&P Sport AR15, as cheap as a Mini and nearly as good as a Colt AR.
    Lot of desert out here.
    Lot of holes in the desert.
    Lot of problems buried in those holes.

  7. #7
    Site Supporter
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    Nov 2011
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    Richmond, Va
    Quote Originally Posted by LSP972 View Post
    Saw something this morning that made me realize I need to start carrying a rifle with me again on my daily travels.
    .
    Of course it's none of my business why you want to carry a long gun but if I'm not prying too much and you're comfortable talking about it what happened?

  8. #8
    Member Gadfly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Texas
    I have several PSA rifles built from their parts kits. All run just fine, suppressed or unsuppressed, dirty or clean, dry or lubed. I have yet to have an issue with the PSA gear. Like HCM said, make sure it is PSA, not PTAC as both brands are for sale on the website.

    We had a standard mini 14 with iron peep sights and a ranch rifle. Both purchased '79-'81 time frame. I have not bench rested them in a decade, but they were "minute of jackrabbit" accurate at 30-50 yards all day long when I was a teen. They ran fine with Ruger mags although I hate the "rock and lock" style mags. Most aftermarket mags we tried had issues...

    My dad is 72 as is talking about sending his guns to live with me now. So I may end up with the Minis soon...
    “A gun is a tool, Marian; no better or no worse than any other tool: an axe, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that.” - Shane

  9. #9
    STAFF Tom_Jones's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave J View Post
    Since Colt 6720's can be had for $799
    http://palmettostatearmory.com/index...il-barrel.html

  10. #10
    If you are a Veteran or active/retired LEO, you can get an M&P15 optic ready carbine (not the Sport, this is a standard M&P15 sans sights) for $725. Also, I just got a new 6920 w/Magpul furniture from Buds for $840. Deals are out there, just gotta look.
    I would not get a mini 14, especially for defensive use. They are way too finicky. On 2 examples, I have seen the gas piston come loose and lodge itself down inside the end of the stock, effective deadlining the gun. Complete disassembly was the only fix.
    Also, look at Palmetto State. You can get a carbine kit with upper from FN & have a very nice complete rifle for about $600.
    Last edited by WDW; 03-13-2015 at 12:56 PM.

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