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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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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.
I had one that was a bench shooter! 4 shots you could cover with a dime at 200 meters off a bench. Thing was my reloadable plinker. I had more fun with that thing! I lost it in a move and was about sick! My .257 Weatherby went the same way. Was I pissed! The Weatherby also had a 4 to 12 Leupold on it. I about vapor locked...
 

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I have owned three Mini-14 rifles over the years. I tried to like them, but they are mediocre rifles in a mediocre caliber. I prefer the M1A in a great caliber.

Air gun Trigger Wood Shotgun Gun barrel
 
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The mini 14 is a good riffle compared to other AR 15, the gas piston used in the mini 14 is efficient and more cleaner than the direct impingement action typically used in the AR 15 platform, the feature leads to a cleaner running rifle with less fouling and jamming in the Mini 14 than the AR 15.

The iron sights are not as nice, it's not as customizable, not as accurate, not as easy to add optics, and not as reliable unless you use magazines made by Ruger. That shows how good of a riffle it is.
 

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[...] It can shoot with stock folded.
That's actually a good point. I hadn't considered that aspect of the Mini. No need for Law Tactical Folder, or the like if you want something compact.
 
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