First, I would check here in the For Sale - Complete Firearms section of this site. For example, there is one here that was posted just yesterday (16-11-03) that looks like a good deal.
If not here, there is always Davidson's that can be used through dealers all over the US.
While I like our friendly department stores, they do not depend on firearms sales to stay in business. And as their selection is usually quite meager (I have NEVER heard of one ordering special/unusal/rare items for their customers.), I prefer to give my money to a more firearm centric dealer.
New? WalMart can beat most dealers due to sheer volume. Unfortunately.
Used? Check GunBroker, Gunsamerica, here in For Sale, and definitely AR15.com's Equipment Exchange (lots of people want to trade up from a mini 14 to an AR)--and last but not least, your local gun shows. You can find them very reasonably priced (<$400) used.
Every Wal-mart has a secret catalogue behind the counter. You can order about any rifle. Check prices though on some they may be the same as a gun shop. A large gun show yields some competition in prices. I bought mine at the Houston gun show. The dealer in the back was $20 cheaper than the dealer by the front door.
You may find one on the net cheaper, but you will have to pay a FFL 10% or $50 for his end.
If you buy a used one do not buy a 180-series. Ruger doesn't support it with parts, and most aftermarket suppliers don't either. Not even a stock.
If you live in the Pacific NW, Bimart has good prices. Gun shops usually do not price their firearms like the mini even close to the stores like Bimart or Walmart. The gun shops I have visited around here are pretty snobby towards the mini's.
__________________ "I have no issues with people of all types being here, I do have a problem with the more extreme ends of any spectrum trying to dominate and push out moderates and opposites." Bill Plein
I agree. I try to support my local gunshops as much as I can but up until recently my most used FFL told me flat out he can beat wal-mart and that's why he doesn't even stock Mini-14s. He said he can't even come close. But now that my local Wal-marts don't carry firearms due to some stupid CA legislation he started carrying them and they are indeed cheaper than what walmart was selling them for!
Southern. And yes, I heard that too. A friend of mine works at the Walmart in question and I keep hearing what he is hearing, which is the same as what you have heard. Soon. But I've heard soon for the last 6 or 7 months.
I have 2 ranch rifles I am thinking of selling if anybody is in the western NC area,
both have sweet Mike K trigger jobs, Mike K port kits and M Brakes
have not figured the price but will not loose $ on the deal,,,not a "have to sell situation",,,,,just want what I have in them, one new shot mayby 20 times, the other used 500 rounds or so, have ruger rings for both and weaver see through rings for both.
If you go to gun shows and you're not in a real big hurry to buy right now, you might want to catch a gun show in December.
I bought a regular Mini-14 stainless with wood stock, Brand New, at a gun show 2 years ago for $378. It was a very good price and I am very happy with it. Seems some of the vendors will steeply discount guns in December to keep from paying taxes on Year End inventory.
The Houston Gun Show is where I got the good deal on my Mini 14, and I believe it was from Bachman out of DFW area. They always usually have some of the best prices anyway, but at year end, they were trying to get rid of inventory and prices reflected that.