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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.
At $500-$750 they would still fill a gap. At 2/3 the price of an M1a they aren’t even in the conversation. Stoner pattern is a better platform for 5.56 and M1a is a better Garand pattern rifle.
 

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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.
I don’t see the AR as better.
I say that because these two carbines really aren’t comparable. I have quite a bit of experience with both platforms.

This topic always turns into a Mini vs AR deal. For what it is, the Mini is a better platform than the AR. It’s certainly more reliable. It’s an easier carrying carbine. It can shoot with stock folded.

It’s wood & steel with sex appeal
 

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I really enjoy my 580 series Mini14 Ranch. It’s more accurate than me, and just makes ya smile. It’s a fun reliable gun and far less “scary” than an AR and because of that I use it as a home defense gun. God forbid you have to use it, consider the less intimidating look of it compared to a big bad black rifle.
Also, only paid $600 for mine. For $900 or more, I wouldn’t buy one honestly.
 

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Well, put me in the "love my Mini 14" camp. I've got a 181 series, ser. no. puts date of manufacture at 1979, so pretty early. Only mods I've done are a trigger spring (didn't help much), and UltiMAK rail, a smaller gas bushing, and an extra power recoil spring. That last made the biggest difference, rifle instantly went from a 4 MOA shooter to 2 MOA.

I don't think people get the Mini 14. It's a jack of all trades rifle, other than reliability, it really isn't great at anything, but it's good enough at nearly everything. I have a red dot on mine, which makes it very effective from contact range out to at least 400 yards, the farthest I've shot it, and I was consistently smacking a rock the size of a 5 gal. bucket at that range. It eats whatever I feed it, and hits what I point it at. What more could a guy ask? Later.

Dave
 
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