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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Over the last couple of day's, in a motorcycle forum I belong to I've been in some heated conversation. A person asked how a newbie, goes about buying an AR based rifle (it's confusing to him) and if there are any other rifles, that are equal to the AR platform.

You would not believe the bashing that took place, when a Mini-14 was introduced into the conversation.

People, that openly admit, they know nothing about the Mini, only things they have heard or read, proclaim how mighty their AR's are over the Mini. Or any other rifle for that matter.

One of the most stated things, if a Mini cost $700 an AR wins hands down, because an AR can be bought for $600. I am totally confused by this kind of thinking. How?????

Another other most stated is, an AR is more accurate then a Mini. And when asked how do you come to that concussion? There is nothing presented to back up the statement. Other then, the Mini is crap and the AR is better.

So I am sure there are many who own both AR's and Mini's here. Both have their place but, is an AR truly better then a Mini though (or any other semi-auto .223/5.56mm)? I would be interested hearing peeps thought's, without all the bashing that takes place. I personally think, for myself, a Mini is a much better platform then an AR. But I've owned my Mini for 25 years and I'm a bit bias towards it.
 

· AC-556 Owner
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Over the last couple of day's, in a motorcycle forum I belong to I've been in some heated conversation. A person asked how a newbie, goes about buying an AR based rifle (it's confusing to him) and if there are any other rifles, that are equal to the AR platform.

You would not believe the bashing that took place, when a Mini-14 was introduced into the conversation.

People, that openly admit, they know nothing about the Mini, only things they have heard or read, proclaim how mighty their AR's are over the Mini. Or any other rifle for that matter.

One of the most stated things, if a Mini cost $700 an AR wins hands down, because an AR can be bought for $600. I am totally confused by this kind of thinking. How?????

Another other most stated is, an AR is more accurate then a Mini. And when asked how do you come to that concussion? There is nothing presented to back up the statement. Other then, the Mini is crap and the AR is better.

So I am sure there are many who own both AR's and Mini's here. Both have their place but, is an AR truly better then a Mini though (or any other semi-auto .223/5.56mm)? I would be interested hearing peeps thought's, without all the bashing that takes place. I personally think, for myself, a Mini is a much better platform then an AR. But I've owned my Mini for 25 years and I'm a bit bias towards it.
Most AR-15's are more accurate than the Mini. Its just the nature of the guns design.

In all fairness, the Mini-14 was originally designed to be a low cost semi-automatic rifle for the Ranch or Truck. Even Ruger's testing was only done at 50 yards. If the gun shot 2-3" groups at 50, it was acceptable.

Back in the day, the AR-15 was 2-3 times more expensive. The Mini-14 was affordable to most people while the AR-15 was not. Today, the mini's price has increased so much, that it rivals the AR-15 in price. With all the issues ruger had with the Mini's in the past and with Bill Rugers Support of the first Assault Rifle Ban, it turned a lot of people away from the Mini's.

Ruger really handicapped itself when it refused to sell parts to resellers and when they retooled, they failed to update the platform. Had Ruger put a decently thick barrel and made the magazine system to take the AR-15 style magazines (NATO Standard), then it would have removed a lot of downfalls of the system. It seemed Ruger threw in the towel when the Introduced the SR556

Again, I'm not bashing the Mini. My biggest beef is with the companies policies. I've owned a Mini-14 for over 10 years and I've also owned an AR-15 about the same period of time. Only recently did I finally sell my Mini-14. I still own my AR-15 and a few more. I still own my Ruger AC-556

AR's have their advantages. You can buy parts off the shelf, do anything to them you want, change calibers, etc. They are a very modular design.
 

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I also believe the mini's are overpriced. I got mine for less than $500 or I would not have bought it. It is a mini 30 by the way. I'm also an SKS shooter so the 5.56 round just has no appeal for me. I have enough calibers to feed already. No way would I buy one new. I would go ahead and save up and go get an M14.
 

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200 yds 20 rounds of 62grain green tips


I done it with this colt 6940 and trijicon ta 31f acog 4x magnification



my mini wont do that at 100 yds . no big deal though it just needs to shoot minute of coyote at 200 yds and I am happy. whats it prove ? my ar is more accurate . what I cant understand is why people just cant let things be there is no need to have this vs that threads it is what it is . run what ya brung and be happy . unless the other person is feeding you , paying your bills or lending pleasure of the worldly kind then what they think dont matter.
 

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I could not warm up to the AR style, I like the hunting feel of the mini platform. I outshoot my brother with his AR all the time. Solid feel, very robust, reliable gas system.
I could bash the AR flaws, picky about ammo, shoots 1/2" groups with my custom hand loaded ammo, shoots 2-3" groups with shelf ammo, aluminum reciever, it does break parts so you need a kit, gotta keep it cleaner than your underwear, stock pile 5000 rds of ammo it won't shoot well, I built my own gun, every mall Ninja is an expert, hang 100 lbs of accessories on the barrel, can't carry gun with 100 lbs of accessories, carry 2 cans of CLP to shoot foreign ammo with and clean every 60 rnds, Otis clean system in stock. :D

It goes both ways...buy what like and enjoy it!;)
 

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I good not warm up to the AR style, I like the hunting feel of the mini platform. I outshoot my brother with his AR all the time. Solid feel, very robust, reliable gas system.
I could bash the AR flaws, picky about ammo, shoots 1/2" groups with my custom hand loaded ammo, shoots 2-3" groups with shelf ammo, aluminum reciever, it does break parts so you need a kit, gotta keep it cleaner than your underwear, stock pile 5000 rds of ammo it won't shoot well, I built my own gun, every mall Ninja is an expert, hang 100 lbs of accessories on the barrel, can't carry gun with 100 lbs of accessories, carry 2 cans of CLP to shoot foreign ammo with and clean every 60 rnds, Otis clean system in stock. :D

It goes both ways...buy what like and enjoy it!;)
my condolence to your brother for being a terrible shot .:ar15:
 

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They are both decent platforms, I own both. My AR's are set up as fighting rifles. My Mini is a working rifle that would do just fine as a fighting rifle. I have the Mini out way more then my AR's. I use it on the ranch. I train with my AR's but I also run the drills with the Mini. You can't really tell much difference when the targets are scored. AR's might have an accuracy edge but it does not show in a run and gun when you get the heart rate up and a hard time getting your breath.
 

· AC-556 Owner
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As much as I like the AR's the thing that annoys me the most about them is "Quad Rails".

I like a light weight handy rifle, but so many people put 10 pounds worth of crap on the rails that its rediculas. I've seen people at the range who's AR weighs MORE THAN MY Springfield Armory M1A.

Like I said, I like the AR's, and I like the Mini Platform, just hate rugers policies.
 

· Arizona Gunner
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I good not warm up to the AR style, I like the hunting feel of the mini platform. I outshoot my brother with his AR all the time. Solid feel, very robust, reliable gas system.
I could bash the AR flaws, picky about ammo, shoots 1/2" groups with my custom hand loaded ammo, shoots 2-3" groups with shelf ammo, aluminum reciever, it does break parts so you need a kit, gotta keep it cleaner than your underwear, stock pile 5000 rds of ammo it won't shoot well, I built my own gun, every mall Ninja is an expert, hang 100 lbs of accessories on the barrel, can't carry gun with 100 lbs of accessories, carry 2 cans of CLP to shoot foreign ammo with and clean every 60 rnds, Otis clean system in stock. :D

It goes both ways...buy what like and enjoy it!;)
Wow! I have both an AR and a Mini for over 20 years. What does your brother have a piece of junk? I had a 181 and now have a 581 and both
shoot great with very few problems. I also have an AR and have never
had a problem with it. They all get cleaned together and sparingly.

The few problems I had with my Mini was self induced when I first started
reloading. BTW, the AR shoots tighter groups than my Mini, but both
seem to shoot better than me. I like them all!:D

Edit: I came back to edit this because I see the same bull**** on AR-15.com
If the elite aren't bashing the Mini-14 then the COLT owners are
bashing all other brands of AR's. Sure the DI system on an AR is dirtier
than a piston rifle, but it's a lot lighter. It's like brand of cars, it can
go on forever.
Shoot your dam Mini or AR and be happy with it. If not, get something
else. I also like both Glocks and 1911's, so there!:)

Another edit: oops, I didn't read you last line. So solly......
 

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Personally, I'm thrilled to have both platforms! My mini is setup in a SCAR stock & feels rather similar to my AR.

To each their own, but I wouldn't hesitate to grab either rifle out of the safe in order to defend my family.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Nice, some really good response...which is cool. Thank you!

My intent wasn't to start yet another AR vs. Mini-14 thread. I honestly want to know why an AR owner feels their AR is a better rifle.

A lot of the reasons I've read and that have been presented with, doesn't really answer the question. It’s just a rehash of things, like the barrel whip issue (all rifles suffer from barrel whip, just some, more then other’s, you learn to work with them). Mini’s are too expensive (I can buy an AR for $500, and the quality of that AR?). The Mini doesn’t take AR mags (why would it, it’s a Mini-14). The rifle doesn’t work with aftermarket mags (that’s not Ruger’s fault, hold the aftermarket to a higher standard, stop buying their junk!). The barrel needs to be bigger (how big do you want it? 0.875”, 0.920”, 1.00”?). Bill Ruger is responsible for the Mini’s inaccuracy (he’s dead, if you didn’t know?).

I have a Mini, that is 25 year’s old. I can take my Mini and sit down next to a like built AR and shoot just as well, if not better then that AR. I’ve watched my brother, who served two tours in Vietnam with the Marine’s, clover leaf five rounds at 100 yards, with the rifle (I took it away from him, because he was out shooting me with my own rifle). So its very hard for me to see, how a Mini, is any less of a rifle, then an AR?

I’m not trying to bash the AR platform. Its an amazing rifle. There is so much you can do with it, its mind boggling. Switch this, add that, pull it all apart and make something else. That’s pretty cool in my book. But, it doesn’t make it any better of a shooting rifle, just because its an AR.

If you were to take a Tactical Mini-14, and then configure an AR, to the same basic spec’s. I’d bet $100 with anyone, the two will shoot very similar in accuracy. It’s when you start throwing money at the AR, it then can be configured into a better shooter. That is where the Mini, was never really intended to go. A modular firearm system. The Mini is just like an old tool, in the tool box. When you need it, its there, it works, toss it back in until the next time its needed. Every once in a while, pull it out, clean it, toss it back into the tool box.

Buy what you can afford, buy what you like and shoot as often as you can. Both rifle’s have their quality’s and their short coming’s. Neither is really better then the other. It boils down to personal preference’s. Some like both other’s favor one over the other. In the end, its really all about the sport and sharing the experience with friends, family and other’s.
 

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beware of you premise, it may affect your conclusion

The ONLY similarity between the AR and mini is the cartridge! I am owner of a small business which specializes in custom AR builds. IT is a very popular platform and therefor good for business. The mini has the edge in reliability, the AR has the edge in accuracy and after market additions. Ironically, it would seem, I have chosen a mini as my primary rifle. I have added: mo-rod strut, mo-reaper flash hider/front sight, tech sight rear sight, Great west gunsmithing gas bushing. Total cost, about $900. (a used but unfired 581 series with an extra hogue stock and 2 20round factory mags-$650. In comparing any similarly equipped mini with a comparably priced AR, I would have to give the nod to the mini. It seems this AR vs. Mini "conflict" is without end. Ultimately the resolution lies in what you like....and that's my humble opinion...and I'm an old fart so I'm allowed to rant!
 

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Selecting a TEOTWAWKI Carbine: Mini-14 Tactical « Suburban Survivalist

I've posted this before, it's an article on selecting a carbine for his family. It's a very fair and extremely well thought out analysis. Although he ended up selecting the Mini over the AR and AK, he concludes by saying all 3 are good weapons with pros and cons and selecting the right one depends on what you want to do with it. I read many reviews before deciding to buy another Mini to go with my 25 year old one and this article made the most sense. Like you I was surprised at the venom of the AR crowd when it comes to the Mini. On most other sites you can't say a single good thing about the Mini without being attacked from the AR owners that never had experience with the new Mini's or knew how to tweaked the old ones for a few bucks. Most just regurgitated the same old intenet crap about the old ones.

Someone always brings up how one of the carbine schools won't allow Mini's because they are so unreliable. I personally have never shot an AR, but the one carbine class I went to had me with a 25 year old Mini and 20 AR's. The Mini was flawless. One AR didn't start the class because some small part popped out and he couldn't find it and he had to rent a gun. The guy next to me had one that jammed on every round halfway through the class. Two others jammed repeatedly and some jams took quite some time to unjam. The other 16 AR's ran flawlessly. Maybe if there had been 20 Mini's there, some of them would have had problems, but my personal opinion is I doubt it.
 

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I have an AR and I have a Mini 14. I also have an 870. Hate to meet that coming up the stairs uninvited. Different horses for different races.
A big 10-4 on the 870, thats what I grab whenever theres a bump in the night. A person will be well served with either an AR or Mini for a defense or SHTF weapon. Just learn your weapon and practice with it. Better yet learn and practice with as many different platforms as you can. I am familiar with a number of different weapon systems, AR's, Mini's, AK's a few different HK's and a few sub-guns. I've messed with a couple of belt feds also, and am pretty well rounded on a bunch of different sidearms.
 

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In regards to the OP, the answer is yes, to them. Most of us have a built in "mine-is-best 'ometer", see it all the time Ford better than Chevy, Fender better than Gibson, and on and on. The best is what you have and what you become familiar with. I am sure the AR's that malfunctioned probably were not maintained as well as the ones that didn't. As far as accuracy, well the next time anybody has a chance to break out your lead-sled in an actual self defense or even an SHTF scenario let us all know it works out. I tend to believe either weapon, maintained properly and practiced with, would perform well in the situations they were built for.

Jimbo
 

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200 yds 20 rounds of 62grain green tips


I done it with this colt 6940 and trijicon ta 31f acog 4x magnification

my mini wont do that at 100 yds . no big deal though it just needs to shoot minute of coyote at 200 yds and I am happy. whats it prove ? my ar is more accurate . what I cant understand is why people just cant let things be there is no need to have this vs that threads it is what it is . run what ya brung and be happy . unless the other person is feeding you , paying your bills or lending pleasure of the worldly kind then what they think dont matter.
If you were to take a Tactical Mini-14, and then configure an AR, to the same basic spec's. I'd bet $100 with anyone, the two will shoot very similar in accuracy.
Here is my 100 yrd 5-rd. group with my 580+ Mini Tactical with a Nikon 1-4 M223 (BDC reticle). NO MODS. I've done this twice.The stray, I pulled. Maybe my rifle is an an anomaly, but it shows what the stock platform is capable of.
 
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