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Never hear about the Mini-14 being a survival weapon

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  • Never hear about the Mini-14 being a survival weapon
    I have a Right to my Life; I have a Right to the Fruits of my Labor. If you concede the principle of the Income Tax, you concede the principle that the government owns ALL your income and permits you to keep a certain percentage of it.
    ─Ron Paul, interview by Time on Sep 17, 2009.

  • #2
    Re: Never hear about the Mini-14 being a survival weapon

    The Mini-14 is a decent rifle. I wish Ruger would update it, but it's nice and light weight, fairly sleek. I suppose its about as good as anything else, until you need new parts.
    How miserable that man is that governs a People where six parts of seven at least are poor, indebted, discontented, and armed. - William Berkley... Royal Governor of the Colony of Virginia (1670'ish).


    • #3
      Re: Never hear about the Mini-14 being a survival weapon

      Originally posted by Southern Shark View Post
      The Mini-14 is a decent rifle. [I]t is about as good as anything else, until you need new parts.
      That pretty much nails it.

      I was one of those that put off getting an AR M4gery for the longest time. I figured if I had my 1st issue (with the wood handguard) Stainless Mini, I'd be set... BUT the mag issue came up to bite me, and then I realized that there are no end-user-serviceable parts (gun must be sent back to Ruger for repairs)... Sorry, but that isn't gonna happen when society collapses (just one scenario), or the decides to outlaw semi-autos (another possibility)... With the AR, I can buy lots of spare parts and hold on to them. I might not need them, but at least I have them. Can't say that about the Mini...
      Just because you're not paranoid doesn't mean that they're not out to get you!


      • #4
        Re: Never hear about the Mini-14 being a survival weapon

        what round count is the average before failure?


        • #5
          Re: Never hear about the Mini-14 being a survival weapon

          Rugers fail out of the box, then the first thing to really go on a mini-14 is the barrel, and if you need a new barrel, your best bet is not to go factory. Aftermarket barrels are such a hassle to install that everyone who gets one sends it in to the barrel shop so they install it.

          It is a great big hassle but if you really are fond of a particular mini-14, you can send it in to Ruger minus the firing pin, spring, and maybe some parts out of the bolt catch assembly and they will fit new parts in and send it back to you. The firing pin is said to be fragile, but I never saw one break.

          Lots of good custom stuff can be done on a Mini-14, just nobody bothers to any more.

          This was about as good as it could get in the early 1990s. I added the bayonet lug and other stuff so that it would get papered in CA as an "assault weapon" and thus put me into that special class of licensed gun owner, kind of like class 3 guys in other states.
          Life, Liberty and the pursuit of those who threaten them.


          • #6
            Re: Never hear about the Mini-14 being a survival weapon

            My first, back in the late 70's, went over 10k rounds before it broke a firing pin. Sent back to Ruger, they replaced the trigger assembly and complete bolt, the hammer and bolt had quite a bit of metal peening from being fired. My opinion, what has hurt Ruger from the start were magazine availability, especially while Bill Ruger was running things, lack of spare parts and price. Current Mini's cost quite a bit more than typical AR-15's. AND if Mini 14's quality control has suffered in the same way many other Ruger products have lately, I'd be afraid to trust me life to one. I saw a used old model Mini in blue recently, the price was 699.99, no way I'd pay that.
            "some people never let their given word interfere if something they want comes along"
            The real problem with the world are laws preventing culling.


            • #7
              Re: Never hear about the Mini-14 being a survival weapon

              In my experience, as long as we're talking rifle-length, or at least mid-length, direct-impingment gas systems, any old AR15 thrown together from pretty much any old variety of parts, using G.I. 20 round (my favorite) or 30-round magazines, will run reliably and be more accurate than most people can shoot it under field conditions. It's when folks start messing with piston gas systems or with short direct-impingement gas systems, or using odd ball magazines.....that's when things go south on 'em.

              Throw an AR together using common ol' parts, and what you'll have is a boring rifle. But for serious purposes, boring is good.

              With the variety of furniture options, ease of mounting effective optics, lights, etc., I can't figure why anyone would mess with a mini-14. Of course in a legal situation where a black rifle is verboten but something with a conventional wood stock would get by, then OK. But otherwise, when you also consider the factor that you can practically buy replacement parts at the Dollar Store, why use anything else.
              Freedom Of Speech does not include freedom from consequences.

              When riding a horse, remember that you are not in control, but are just another voting member.


              • #8
                Re: Never hear about the Mini-14 being a survival weapon

                It was the original survival weapon back in the 70s.

                The mini has been a great weapon for many years. Tough as nails. In stainless/synthetic they are hard to beat with factory mags. I cannot testify about the ones built in the last ten years (all mine are older).

                The price of ARs has dropped to crazy cheap. Back when I started ARs were high while minis and AKs were cheap. Now it is the other way around. Supply and demand.

                If I had to bet my life on a semi auto it would be my old stainless synthetic mini 14 with factory ruger 20 rd mags.



                • #9
                  Re: Never hear about the Mini-14 being a survival weapon

                  I had one back in the 80's and loved long as I was running factory mags. Anything else was not going to work.

                  I remember that American Survival Guide did an article on an accessory for the Mini-14. It was a gizmo that fit into the trigger unit to make it a "dead mans trigger". You fired one round when you squeezed the trigger back and then a second one when you released the trigger. It cost like $40 or something like that but they had a picture of it in the to a U.S.Quarter. That Quarter for scale was all I needed to build my own but you'll never guess what it turned out to be!!!

                  That $40 gizmo was half of a heavy duty 9/16" staple like what are fired out of large staplers. So, after cutting a staple and trying it on the bench, off to the wildcat desert range I went. After several tests with increasing numbers of rounds, slow firing and holding the trigger in hard before releasing it slowly, it was time go for the it. I loaded up a full thirty round mag, set up for a two round "burst" and let her rip...except what I got was a four round burst.

                  I tested it some more and got a four round burst every single time. My brain was telling my trigger finger "One and out" but then the second round would fire, the rifle would do a little double recoil tap dance, my trigger finger would not be quite all of the way out of the way and tap the trigger again for another double tap making a four round burst every single time. What was actually kind of shocking were two things:
                  1...It really was pretty accurate. I thought it would be all over the place but it was pretty much on. Maybe because it was not a bump fire thing but an actual controlled trigger release.
                  2...What really shocked me was how fast I went thru my ammo! OMG! I went from an ammo can full of rounds to a pile of brass. Yeah, I took my time doing it and the rifle was not cooked afterwards but I had a pile of empty brass and a huge grin!!!

                  Note: This was legal back then due to the way ATF had the laws written but it is illegal now. Something about one round fired for every stroke of the trigger versus one round fired for every cycle of the trigger.