Depending on what the AR’s or Mini’s are used for, we can all agree that the AR’s is better for most situations. (SHTF, home defense, hunting, etc..) But, if we talk about the costs to have either a low end or tricked out piece of hardware, I guess the discussions can go on almost forever with the die hard AR’s and Mini-14 folks. Or, better yet which one is most accurate?
For the Mini-14 fans here are 8 reasons why its better than the AR15.
has a Low Profile – looks more like a hunting rifle a subtle looking
Stock Trigger – outstanding trigger on the newer version (580 series) 5.5 to 6 lbs crisp pull
Maneuerability – The length is shorter than the AR another to note is the recoil forward of the stock – you can now make the length mini-14 shorter.
Longer Sight Radius – Rear sights same location but at the front the mini-14 sight is further out.
Piston Operation – Fixed gast piston is a cleaner gas system, plus less blowback if using a suppressor
Accuracy – Ruger has come up with a revised gas system that is less turbulant and fewer vibration helps the gun more accurate.
Cold Hammer Forged Barrel – gives you greater durability and longer barrel life.
All Stainless– complete rifle
Let’s hear what some are saying on AR15Forum and Reddit about the accuracy:
Poison_Tequila: the truth is a little different. An AR can be picky or reliable, a mini is probably more accurate than 95% of shooters. Comparing an AR to a mini is a little like comparing an iPhone to some Android device. There are plenty of great android devices but with a million manufacturers and so forth it can be hard to decide who is good and who is bad.
I like wooden stocks so I have a mini. I love it, it throws brass a long way. It throws steel a long way. I can hit a paper plate at 200 yards. That said the AR is cheaper (maybe) more fun to build (really) and just about as much fun as you can have with a gun.
If you want an out the door cheapish shooting gun, go mini. If you want a great experience the, you want to be one with the rifle, (if your range time is limited) go AR. Though I don’t think you can really go wrong either way.
LCDJosh: Unbiased appreciator and user of Ak,AR15,Mini14 platforms here: The new Mini 14’s have a different, heavier barrel and are significantly more accurate. This change was made around 2005.
The newer Minis are also not as finicky about mags as the older models. I like Ruger factory mags the most, but I’ve never had a faliure to feed from the cheap plastic eagle mags(not the greatest feed lips though), the polymer thermolds(though I do not recommend thermolds because I couldn’t insert the mag with the bolt closed), or even the pro mags.
AdmiralTiberius: Biggest advantage is if you were either living in a place you have to be 21 to purchase a “military style rifle” (i.e. Minnesota et al.) or need a permit to purchase a “military style rifle”. Also, mini is cheaper, and looks more classic, grunt, m1 style badass instead of modern, stealth, badass.
Edit: also I don’t buy the accuracy argument. $100 says 95% of shooters can’t put rounds down accurately enough to matter. If you can, that’s awesome, but I haven’t invested the time to be an expert marksman; I just love guns.
Edit 2: just thought of this. Mini is a simple gun. If it were a “survival” or brush situation or whatnot, I would absolutely pick the mini. Quick and dirty teardown, can get dirty, rugged in my opinion. But… If you plan to oper8, obviously pick ar.
Edit 3: mounts on mini are shit. Biggest weakness imho.
LCDJosh: I neither live in a state that has regarding age or needing a permit. I actually thought the Mini-14 would have been A- cheaper then the because its made with wood furniture or B- More accurate than the AR.
DaSilence: I inherited the Mini-14, and rarely shoot it.
The AR is the barbie doll of guns. You can do literally anything you want to it.
They’re both fine rifles, and either would be a good choice.
white17509: The minis are OK as long as you get a ranch rifle. They are later in production and have a better rear sight and known to be more accurate. You will have a harder time finding mags.
AR-15 style rifles are as good as the parts they are built from. Comparing a cheap poly AR and a ranch rifle, the ranch rifle wins. But generally and decent AR beats a mini in adaptability, parts availability/price, magazine availability, accuracy and ease of use. Your wife may benefit from the adjustable stock. Also, you can swap out uppers intended for different applications.
9millaThrilla: I got a mini due to a local AWB. Every day I wish I could get an AR. I really like the action of the mini, but mag changes and the ergos of the AR are much smoother. Plus the fact that every part you’ll ever need for an AR is readily available locally while mini parts need to be found online makes it a more versatile weapon and easier to maintain in a pinch.
mewarmo990: OP, whichever rifle you pick I don’t think you will regret it. But here’s my two cents:
After some consideration, I went with the AR-15 because I wanted to put it together myself, and learn a thing or two about rifles while I was at it.
Since I parted it together a little bit at a time over most of last year, I was able to build a considerably nicer rifle (maybe $1300?) than I would’ve had if I had bought a complete rifle on an immediate budget of around $800.
That said, I have shot my friend’s Mini-14 a bit and have only good things to say about it. The only thing that could have been better were the “ghost ring” iron sights – if I bought a Mini I would personally put the excellent Tech Sights on it for the (American) service rifle aperture sight picture I am used to.
As others have said, the mechanical accuracy of the Mini-14 is going to be somewhat less than an AR-15 — especially if you’ve built the AR to be more accurate than stock M4 style setup — but unless you are seriously into rifle marksmanship you will never see the difference.
AR15Forum Fozzy: I’d go with the AK. My mini 14 is the least accurate and least reliable gun I own. Granted it is an older model one, so it ‘s expected to be a little inaccurate, but I also have not found any mags that are reliable enough for me to trust the rifle if SHTF. If I were you, I’d tell him to get the AK, or be a good friend and spend some time talking him in to an AR.
PredatorWhacker: I’ve had several minis over the years and currently have one of the newer ones. They are ok rifles if expectations are not that high. They are robust. With my handloads it is pretty accurate. (for a mini) Right at 1 1/2″ groups. With ball ammo it is typical mini accuracy. About 6″….with a scope. I haven’t employed any of the touted accurizing techniques other than retourqing(sp) the gasblock, which did help.
My complaints with the mini-14
Spare parts availability.
Mag price and availability (although much better in recent years).
Long term durability.
Hard usage durability, like extended firing. Not designed to be drug around in conflict long term.
At the moment for AK pattern rifles I only have a Norinco 7.62×39, Arsenal 5.45×39 and IMI Galil 5.56. All these will shoot more accurately than the ball ammo fueled mini.
Moondog: Take your friend to the range, and demonstrate the reliability of the AR platform. Also, give him a history lesson about how the AR has been improved in the last 45 or so years, and part of the problem in Vietnam was bad ammo.
The arguments goes on and on, tell us what your experiences with either and what you prefer.
Source: AR15.com/Forum and Reddit/guns/, TFB TV Youtube
Here are the 8 traits that makes the Ruger Mini-14 better than the AR-15.
Lower Profile – doesn’t look aggressive as an AR15
Stock Trigger – 5.5 to 6 pounds trigger
Shorter enhances maneuverability
Longer Sight Radius
Piston operated resulting in cleaner versus gas system of an AR15
Accuracy – revised gas system
Cold Hammer Forged Barrel – gives you greater durability and barrel life
All Stainless – huge advantage in high humidity or salt air along the coasts environment
James Reeves of TFB TV discusses 8 traits of the humble Ruger Mini-14 that actually best the infamous AR15. James also gives viewers a brief history of the Mini-14, including a discussion of improvements that have been made to boost the historic Mini-14’s poor accuracy.
James in the end demonstrates the firing, unloading and reloading to show the main differences between the AR’s and Mini-14.
Production of the Mini-14 started in 1973 by Strum and Ruger. The rifle caliber is 223 Remington and is basically a scaled down version of the M-14.
Mini-14 has more of a personal feel than the AR-15. Maybe it is the wooden stock of the Mini that gives it more of a hunting rifle look and feel than the AR?
One of the negative thing about the mini-14 is the magazine has to catch on the front and then be pulled into position, similar to an AK47. Magazine changes with the AR are much easier.
Another cool feature with the Mini-14 is that the factory stock can be replaced with a folding stock. This makes it a wonderful compact rifle.
Sources: TFB TV, Wiki, AllOutdoor, Firearm Blog, Kevin Felts