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Wilson Sentinel compact, Ed Brown Kc9, Nighthawk T4
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653 Posts
I have owned three now all sold
Two in .223 and one mini 30 that didnt like steel ammo
Not bad ,accuracy was ok but never really did anything for me . The AR in my mind is better in every way and if I want accuracy I am grabbing a bolt gun .
Not bad but not great either for varmint hunting thumbs up target shooting meh they are not bad but a scoped AR is better in my opinion or a bolt action rifle . All depends on usage
Resale isnt great either but this is a sellers market so I got more than I paid for my last one sold .
Biggest appeal for me was the look - kind of like an M1 Garand or M14 they look cool no doubt overall I probably would give it a C+rating
 

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Wilson Sentinel compact, Ed Brown Kc9, Nighthawk T4
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653 Posts
I love the Mini 14
A wonderful rifle got what it was designed to do. It’s not an AR, it’s not a bench shooter. It’s an easy carry semi auto that is very reliable. It’s a 3-4 moa rifle, with a bit of work, it is a 2.5 moa shooter.
Well said
 

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39 Posts
After reading a lot about Mini 14's, both older models and the newer 580 series Mini's, I purchased one last year. It is a really fun rifle! Mine is a 2020 production 580 series in 223/5.56 with the thicker barrel of the 580 series. I did read that Mini's have historically been over gassed, and a number of companies sell gas bushing kits to reduce the gas volume and keep Mini's from hurling the spent cases into the next county. I purchased one of these gas bushing kits and installed a 0.45" bushing (factory is 0.80") and it now ejects spent brass only a few yards and still functions fine with factory ammo (no Wolf or other steel case ammo through it). It also improved the accuracy to ~ 2 MOA which is in the ballpark for most rack AR's. Additionally, with the smaller bushing it is super soft shooting. Another plus is the factory Ruger steel magazines are built like AK mags and seem like they could be run over by a tank and still function. I've read mixed reviews about aftermarket mags and reliability. Spend the extra and get the genuine factory mags.

With that said, I already own an AR and have shot over 4K rounds through it with no issues. Will the Mini-14 replace my AR...no. But it is a fun alternative that also doesn't look as "evil" as the AR is made out to be, and should be super reliable and easy to maintain with the downsized Garand action.
 

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Dremel jockey
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4,950 Posts
Way back when, I had a Mini-14 and then shortly after added a Valmet M71/S.
My first 556 guns.
Still have them both.
But then my first AR15 came along and those two began gathering dust.
 

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Dremel jockey
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4,950 Posts
Possibly amusing story of how I came into the Mini-14.
I had first seen one in the hands of an Arizona DPS officer and was intrigued.
A short time later a guy I worked with seemed a bit 'distracted' at work that morning.
We were chatting at our lunch break.
Seems the night before he had put his prized Boa Constrictor in his bathtub and
then threw in a live rat. This was his common practice.
This time the rat got a bite on the snakes neck (do snakes have necks?),
and his Boa was in peril!
In panic he ran to his closet and grabbed his Mini-14.
As he entered his bathroom he remembered he lived on the 2nd floor of an apartment
complex and a 556 round would have greatly endangered neighbors.
At that point he realized he did not have the proper mentality to continue to possess this
carbine.
So........I got it cheap!
 

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1,013 Posts
I guess I'm not like the rest because I like my Mini 14. No, it;s not a tack driver but it puts hogs down well enough for me to be happy with it. I also carry it in my truck during deer season so I'm not tempted to shoot something I shouldn't. Good little gun and I suspect I'll keep it. I'm not an "AR" guy so it works for me.
 

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born in the wrong century
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6,475 Posts
Guys have said it well.

They are cool guns...kindling those M1A-ish feels.

I've shot my buddy's and thoroughly enjoyed them...grin inducing rifles.

Seems like every time I went to buy one for myself.....that money would go towards an AR-15 instead.

There is a spot in my safe reserved for a Mini-14. One of these days the right gun will come into radar at a time when my wallet can indulge. 👍
 
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So soon old, so late smart...
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898 Posts
I bought one the second year they offered them. Rode around in my truck on the farm for years. Killed lots of varmints with nary a problem. Shoots good, feels good, looks good. Still going strong. I can't complain!
 

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Dremel jockey
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4,950 Posts
I could echo many of the above comments to include an RG 38 Special.
Just cause it goes bang (most of the time) and can disrupt biological functions when it does........
does not mean it's a good gun.
 

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The mini-14 is for people who live in states where the AR is illegal to own.

I really, really wanted to embrace the m14 pattern rifles. But they just don't seem to have any practical advantages over the AR.
 

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EMP, TRP
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The mini-14 is for people who live in states where the AR is illegal to own.

I really, really wanted to embrace the m14 pattern rifles. But they just don't seem to have any practical advantages over the AR.
Democrats find them less threatening. Wood on a gun really seems to have a calming effect on them. They are deathly afraid of the black plastic uber powerful .22 caliber assault rifle ghost gun that shoots 1000 rounds a minute out of an infinite clip. Gun that won WW2? Meh, not scary.
 

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Ruger bridged a gap with durability, accuracy not so much.I owned a mini-14 that I sold for a SA M1A NM .The need for wood and steel is better served in .308 . AR-15's are without doubt a better .223 platform than a mini-14.
 
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