Perfect Union banner
1 - 20 of 132 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't have a lot of money but I want to get a rifle for SHTF, HD and plinking before an AWB becomes law.

I cannot afford a high end AR so my options are limited.

I really like the Mini-14. I know of it shortcomings with accuracy but the gun ranges in my area are maxed at 100 yards, so I'm not too worried about long range groups where the difference between an AR and a Mini is obivious. A big plus is the Mini-14 design is similar to the M-14 my Dad used in Vietnam. I want to have that pride of pulling out a mini-14 tactical and hear my dad say "cool." Neither of us an afford to buy a Springfield M1a, so this would be the next best thing.

My other option is to get a budget AR. At this point I have a stripped receiver, but I got a guy willing to buy it from me for $25 more than I paid for it. The only way I can buy an AR outright is to keep the receiver and get a Del-ton kit and wait 12 months until it comes in, or skip the Mini-14, sell the receiver and buy a low end AR like a DPMS or an Olympic.

Here is my question, I want something that is built to last and something I can give to my children. I know the AR is a military gun but its made of aluminum, is it going to last 20 to 30 years. Is an AR-15, especially a low end one, going to stand the test of time?

The Mini-14 is steel and wood (or at least a composite stock), so it should last a lifetime, right? Also its a little more PC than an AR, so it might not be as difficult to own post AWB. I would also have that Ruger unwritten warranty if anything does go wrong.

Is a Mini-14 better in the long haul or an I still better off with an AR?

Ohh and the AK and SKS is definately not in the picture. My dad would dis-own me. :rolleyes:

P.S. If I get an AR I need to use the receiver for the build or in financing the purchase of a pre-built. If I go with the Mini, I could probably hold on to the receiver to build an AR later.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,738 Posts
The mini 14 is more reliable and things are less likely to break on the mini. Parts for the AR 15 are more available than the mini, but than again you do have the ruger unwritten waranty. Mags are cheeper for the AR, but mini mags are of better quality plus atleast for me promag steel 20 works well at $20 a mag.

IMO go with a mini 14 580 series, the accuracy is imroved over the older models. If you read on this forum people are getting 3MOA at worst many are between 1-2.5MOA. Also you mentioned not being able to spend a lot on the AR15, and ARs are only as good as you pay. Cheaper AR15s lack the reliabilty of the more expensive (well known) AR15.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,115 Posts
Buy a Mini. I myself sold my Mini and love my AR but in today's climate the Mini can still be had for under $700 and they are reliable. For a few bucks you can change out the gas bushing and make it even more reliable. You aren't going to outshoot the average AR past 100 yards but how often is one going to shoot past 100 yards (unless into highpower competitions). Get a Mini, buy the few extra backup parts that one might need and enjoy the heirloom. Plus if you get a wooden one, they don't look as nasty.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,501 Posts
Do both. :D
Buy a Mini today and the Lower and piece meal the rest of the AR. Works for me every time. :) I would always have a firearm on layaway at Scheels and do automatic payments until its payed off. As soon as I have a rifle home I already have another one on layaway. :p

But, if I only had a choice to in one rifle for a SHTF, I would go with a Mini, for now. :p
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
490 Posts
In a SHTF situation, you most definately do not want a jam-a-matic AR platform. They work fine for plinking, bench rest shooting and mild hunting in good conditions. But if you really need it in the middle of a fire fight, they have a 40% failure rate and that is per the Pentagon for Iraq and Afganistan.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
Get whichever one you want more. CDNN has CMMG AR-15s for $899 in stock. There is a link on here somewhere to a gunstore with the Mini-14 tactical in stock for $679. About $200 apart, and you sound willing to sell the receiver if you can get an AR-15. Figure you can get $150 or so for the receiver, and you're talking about a $70 difference between the Mini and an AR-15.

I wouldn't worry about the AR-15 not lasting because it is made of aluminum. Either rifle, properly maintained, will outlast your grandkids. Just set aside a few extra sets of springs, magazines, etc.

All of that being said, I would get the Mini-14.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
654 Posts
In a SHTF situation, you most definately do not want a jam-a-matic AR platform. They work fine for plinking, bench rest shooting and mild hunting in good conditions.
If you have a jam-a-matic AR, then you are either a lousy builder or you bought a POS. I have somewhere between 7.5K-10K thru two of my AR's and another that's closing in on 15K w/out a single failure of any kind, ever. The most I've ever ran thru one in a single setting was somewhere around 2K give or take a couple 100 in about 5-6 hours. Not a failure. This isn't in the lush and green part of CO, but the southeastern corner where there's nothing but dirt and wind. Not comparable to a desert by any stretch (yet, anyway), but it does cover everything in sand and dust. Maybe I just maintain them better than most? Could be. Yes, they do need much more cleaning and lubrication compared to the Mini. In an honest comparison, I've cleaned my Mini (other than a bore snake here and there for both) once in 9 years. I clean my AR's about every 1K rounds whether needed or not. But to call them "jam-a-matics" is absurd. I own both and I like both. I prefer the AR platform, but I wouldn't hesitate to pickup a Mini anyday. I will endlessly defend the Mini on ARFCOM and I will defend the AR here. They are both great weapons and do EXACTLY what they were designed to do. End of story.

But if you really need it in the middle of a fire fight, they have a 40% failure rate and that is per the Pentagon for Iraq and Afganistan.
I too have read the tests reports over the last 3-4 years about the AR platform in service. Yet, I've never met anyone, nor do I know anyone who is currently serving over there that has a dislike for the AR platform. I'm sure there is some that hate it, I just haven't met any yet. I only know about twenty people who are currently enlisted and have served in Iraq or Afganistan (THANK ALL OF YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE), so maybe I just know the lucky ones. And to say that it doesn't ever fail, would be just as absurd as calling it a jam-a-matic. Every platform has it's issues. Every single one including both the mini and AR and every other platform I sure. I doubt any warranty for either of them will do you any good at all in a SHTF scenario.

It comes down mainly to personal preference. Try to get a chance to play around w/both of them and see which you prefer the most. Or get both. Both are great rifles and both will serve you fine. JMHO. YMMV.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
490 Posts
If you have a jam-a-matic AR, then you are either a lousy builder or you bought a POS. I have somewhere between 7.5K-10K thru two of my AR's and another that's closing in on 15K w/out a single failure of any kind, ever. The most I've ever ran thru one in a single setting was somewhere around 2K give or take a couple 100 in about 5-6 hours. Not a failure. Maybe I just maintain them better than most? Could be. Yes, they do need much more cleaning and lubrication compared to the Mini. In an honest comparison, I've cleaned my Mini (other than a bore snake here and there for both) once in 9 years. I clean my AR's about every 1K rounds whether needed or not. But to call them "jam-a-matics" is absurd. I own both and I like both. I prefer the AR platform, but I wouldn't hesitate to pickup a Mini anyday. I will endlessly defend the Mini on ARFCOM and I will defend the AR here. They are both great weapons and do EXACTLY what they were designed to do. End of story.

I too have read the tests reports over the last 3-4 years about the AR platform in service. Yet, I've never met anyone, nor do I know anyone who is currently serving over there that has a dislike for the AR platform. I'm sure there is some that hate it, I just haven't met any yet. I only know about twenty people who are currently enlisted and have served in Iraq or Afganistan (THANK ALL OF YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE), so maybe I just know the lucky ones. And to say that it doesn't ever fail, would be just as absurd as calling it a jam-a-matic. Every platform has it's issues. Every single one including both the mini and AR and every other platform I sure. I doubt any warranty for either of them will do you any good at all in a SHTF scenario.

It comes down mainly to personal preference. Try to get a chance to play around w/both of them and see which you prefer the most. Or get both. Both are great rifles and both will serve you fine. JMHO. YMMV.
You obviously never been in combat with the Stoner designed POS. They sucked back in the 60's and according to the Pentagon they still suck today. But what do I know about it, you are obviously the expert, just ask you. :rolleyes:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
654 Posts
You obviously never been in combat with the Stoner designed POS. They sucked back in the 60's and according to the Pentagon they still suck today. But what do I know about it, you are obviously the expert, just ask you. :rolleyes:
Can't say that I have. And again, a big thank you to all that have, including yourself if you served, sincerely. If you want to base your arguments of off the pentagon documentation, then isn't it documented that the majority of the AR problems in the 60's was a result of changing powder types and also saying the AR was self-cleaning w/no need for lube or maintenance? I'm no expert by any stretch of the imagination, yours or mine. If you'd like to debate any points I made, then I'll be happy to debate them w/you. Like I stated, I own both, enjoy both, and would hesitate to use either platform. They both have thier pro's and con's. I merely pointed out that if you own a jam-a-matic AR then you own a POS. Sell it or rebuild it, just like w/any other platform. If you'd like to debate any points I made, then I'll be happy to debate them w/you. Who knows, maybe we would both learn something. Or you can just sling insults and roll your eyes. Your choice really.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
490 Posts
Can't say that I have. And again, a big thank you to all that have, including yourself if you served, sincerely. If you want to base your arguments of off the pentagon documentation, then isn't it documented that the majority of the AR problems in the 60's was a result of changing powder types and also saying the AR was self-cleaning w/no need for lube or maintenance? I'm no expert by any stretch of the imagination, yours or mine. If you'd like to debate any points I made, then I'll be happy to debate them w/you. Like I stated, I own both, enjoy both, and would hesitate to use either platform. They both have thier pro's and con's. I merely pointed out that if you own a jam-a-matic AR then you own a POS. Sell it or rebuild it, just like w/any other platform. If you'd like to debate any points I made, then I'll be happy to debate them w/you. Who knows, maybe we would both learn something. Or you can just sling insults and roll your eyes. Your choice really.
So explain the latest Pentagon Document that says the M-4 is still having a 40% failure rate in Iraq and Afghanistan? I found that even after the supposed ammo fix and the issuing of cleaning kits, the M-16 worked slightly better but for a battle rifle they truly sucked. A battle rifle has one thing it must do, first and foremost in all conditions, and that is to "function" no matter what. The AR/M-16 platform has never ever met that requirement. You are aware that the military did everything it could to reject the M-16, but McNamara forced it on them regardless of all the evidence that it was unacceptable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
654 Posts
IRRC, weren't the lastest tests brought on by a certain Rep who was in the back pocket of HK? After all, HK needs to the 416 a contract. I could be wrong on that, as after a certain amount of this report vs. this report vs. this story, etc. I stop keeping track. I do know that a great deal of the testing in the last couple years was funded and advertised by HK. If the 416 is really that much better, then I'm all for it. It would be an easy transition (probably the easiest) for our men and women in service. In one of the last test I read, none of the other rifles tested hardly did any better in some tests and worse in some of the others, than the M16/M4 platform. Is it the end all of platforms, of course not and it would be stupid to think that. The same goes for any other platform. Everything can be improved. Including both the Mini and the AR. And our soldiers in harms way should not ever have to be the ones to suffer from a lack of improvement in a current platform or a disregard for a better platform. Most of the things that were disregarded or ignored by the people in charge during the M16's early days, should have been punished to the full extent of the law. If there wasn't a law that covered it, then they should have made one. I can see no excuse for some of the changes they made that cost soldiers there lives. I can also see no reason for keeping the M16/M4 or any other weapon platform around if there is a better platform.

Once again, I like both platforms, own both platforms, and wouldn't hesitate to use either for anything I needed it for. I'll defend the Mini on other boards and I'll defend the AR here. However, if you own a jam-a-matic anything, whether it be a AR or a Mini or any other platform under the sky, then you need to sell it or rebuild it. I think we can both agree on that.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
127 Posts
I've never liked AR's, but if I was you, I'd save a thousand bucks and get a good one, the new mini 14's are junk, not the 580 series as a rifle, but quality control at Ruger. They don't give a **** about your gun and are cranking them out as fast as they can to try and keep up with the buying frenzy. Grab one off the shelf and feel the Oprod fit in the receiver groove-- it's about to pop out, I'd say at least 1/16" play up and down and the oprod tab ain't much taller than that. I wouldn't give $150 for that misfit POS. I don't know what happened during the manufacturing process at Ruger, but they need to pull it together. All you'll get is a warranteed POS. You can get a service grade M1 rifle from CMP for like $700, then you get to be the boss.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,115 Posts
In a SHTF situation, you most definately do not want a jam-a-matic AR platform. They work fine for plinking, bench rest shooting and mild hunting in good conditions. But if you really need it in the middle of a fire fight, they have a 40% failure rate and that is per the Pentagon for Iraq and Afganistan.
What if he isn't in those dusty places? The AR is not the greatest platform but from my experience with them for over 30 years I don't consider them POS. But of course, I am in the PNW and prefer to be able to keep only moa firearms in my arsenal. These mini v ar arguments are way too silly.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
127 Posts
To add to my previous post, over the past 4 months I have personally inspected dozens and dozens of new minis and this problem is not an isolated incident, check out the composite stock fit at the gas block also....it's about an 1/8" too short.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
490 Posts
What if he isn't in those dusty places? The AR is not the greatest platform but from my experience with them for over 30 years I don't consider them POS. But of course, I am in the PNW and prefer to be able to keep only moa firearms in my arsenal. These mini v ar arguments are way too silly.
They didn't work in the jungle either. What part of "They are a not suitable as a battle rifle" didn't you understand? Plinking, paper punching and varmints, fine. Your life doesn't depend on the damn thing working thru a day long battle, but don't bet your life on an M16 not getting you killed in a SHTF situation because of a stoppage. Oh yeah, in battle an MOA rifle for the average rifleman is useless.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
Bear I have to go with you on this one. I carried a m 16 in the 10th mountain Div would take a mini or a m1a over it. I own 2 minis one a target model. A mini 30 and my favorite a M1a 308. All my friends that own semi,s own ar type. When one friend last week said he bought a sig 223 because the mini werent worth what they wanted I said "drop your 2500$ sig in a bathtub with a 900 dollar mini for 5 minutes and full them both out and see wich one you can get to fire first.He said well its a sig they are the best I said it is still a AR platform .I wouldnt give up my M1a or minis up for an AR . Those prices for the sig and mini are calif prices and just used to compare the difference in price
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,115 Posts
They didn't work in the jungle either. What part of "They are a not suitable as a battle rifle" didn't you understand? Plinking, paper punching and varmints, fine. Your life doesn't depend on the damn thing working thru a day long battle, but don't bet your life on an M16 not getting you killed in a SHTF situation because of a stoppage. Oh yeah, in battle an MOA rifle for the average rifleman is useless.
Now play nice. The guy asked what rifle should he buy. He isn't going into a SHTF situation, he is going to buy a .223 Neither are battle rifles by the truest definition. If one really thinks that they are going get all "John Wayne or Wolverine" here in suburbia, massive fire fights one better think again. Our homes are not compounds, no one have I ever met could last two hours holding off a military or a gaggle of zombies from their home whether they have a Mini, AR, M1A, or a Barrett. And my AR has held up to stress fire classes without a hiccup. So get off your high horse, these are just guns. The majority will never see anything more than a card board cutout. If I would have to choose a "Battle Rifle", I would take my 700 .308 or a AK over any .22 rifle but he didn't ask. This sight is suppose to be fun and informative. Take a trip down to Thunder Ranch, you will find the AR fully functional in the situations here.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
490 Posts
Now play nice. The guy asked what rifle should he buy. He isn't going into a SHTF situation, he is going to buy a .223 Neither are battle rifles by the truest definition. If one really thinks that they are going get all "John Wayne or Wolverine" here in suburbia, massive fire fights one better think again. Our homes are not compounds, no one have I ever met could last two hours holding off a military or a gaggle of zombies from their home whether they have a Mini, AR, M1A, or a Barrett. And my AR has held up to stress fire classes without a hiccup. So get off your high horse, these are just guns. The majority will never see anything more than a card board cutout. If I would have to choose a "Battle Rifle", I would take my 700 .308 or a AK over any .22 rifle but he didn't ask. This sight is suppose to be fun and informative. Take a trip down to Thunder Ranch, you will find the AR fully functional in the situations here.
I would guess you can't read or have a short memory. The first sentence in the OP's original post says, and I quote, "I don't have a lot of money but I want to get a rifle for SHTF..........."
 
1 - 20 of 132 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top