Howdy from South Georgia - an old Mini-14 fan
My experience with the Mini-14 goes back to 1976/77.
As a small town cop I found myself posted on a roadblock waiting for a group of prisoners who had hijacked a van. My only weapons were my S&W Model 66 and a double barrel shotgun. They were apprehended somewhere else so there was no showdown on my end.
The next day I purchased a 180-series Mini-14 at a pawn shop in Valdosta run by Raymond Fiveash. Not 18x, 180 with the wood barrel guard. I never grouped it but it was deadly plinking small objects at 100 yards and I'm guessing around 3" groups which is pretty darn good for a 180 and iron sights. Not knowing any better I thought they all grouped like that.
A few years later I sanded down the stock and refinished it using chewing tobacco spit and Tru-Oil (no I'm not
kidding). After the refinish job the stock always felt a bit tacky as if the Tru-Oil never quite dried right.
It was eventually sold or traded, I forget which now.
I'll be moving a Springfield M1-A1 to make room for a new Mini 58x series. I'm excited to see Ruger has finally done something to improve the accuracy.
'Till then I'll be mostly lurking.