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Old May 26, 2018, 23:37   #1
OLDMANPBK
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The Mini 14!

The L1A1 Bermuda kit in the MP got me curious. This is what the Royal Bermuda Regiment replaced the L1A1 with in 1983.


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Old May 26, 2018, 23:49   #2
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Friend had one the bolt broke in it. Ruger told the gunsmith they don't make parts for the older Mini 14s. It was sold for parts.
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Old May 27, 2018, 07:34   #3
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The L1A1 Bermuda kit in the MP got me curious. This is what the Royal Bermuda Regiment replaced the L1A1 with in 1983.


Good grief, it's the A Team.
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Old May 27, 2018, 08:21   #4
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Friends don’t let friends mini14
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Old May 27, 2018, 08:56   #5
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Actually I think it was the select fire version called the AC556
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Old May 27, 2018, 09:52   #6
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Ruger doesn't make some parts for the original 180 prefix mini's. You can tell them at a glance by the external bolt hold open parts. I love the mini-14. I've owned several over the years and never had a single issue with any of them. The new ones have fatter barrels and I get 1 1/2' groups from mine. Getting good mags was an issue back in the day. Ruger mags were hard to find and high priced. I used Federal Ordnance and PMI with no issues at all. Ruger mags are now available for $25 and the tapco gen 2 mags function perfectly and are $12 ea. A stainless 181 series was my first store bought firearm in 1981. It would reliably eat ammo my Colt SP-1 wouldn't! My brother Bulldog 21 had a mini set up just like the ones in the photo with the Choate stock.
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Old May 27, 2018, 11:40   #7
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I have an M1 carbine that was severely butchered, errr, "sporterized". In restoring it I put in a Choate stock like those, makes for a neat little package. Owned a few Minis with no problems, but was never enamored with them and eventually sold 'em off.
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Old May 27, 2018, 15:51   #8
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Mini-14s work just fine against unarmed people. Just sayin'...

Having said that, I have a 200th year 180 series Mini-14 purchased back then that has served me just fine through several hundred rounds over all these years. Just sayin' again...

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Old May 27, 2018, 16:24   #9
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MAG FOUL X 4!!
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Old May 27, 2018, 19:57   #10
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To all you Mini haters out there: Did any foreign military successfully conquer Bermuda while the Mini was their service rifle? I rest my case.
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Old May 27, 2018, 20:07   #11
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To all you Mini haters out there: Did any foreign military successfully conquer Bermuda while the Mini was their service rifle? I rest my case.
Neither before, nor since, either.
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Old May 27, 2018, 21:36   #12
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To all you Mini haters out there: Did any foreign military successfully conquer Bermuda while the Mini was their service rifle? I rest my case.
But they've got the triangle for a first line of defense.
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Old May 27, 2018, 21:53   #13
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" The new ones have fatter barrels and I get 1 1/2' groups from mine."

Ruger paid you to say that,,,() !

I had a '182' series' some years ago. Never a problem , and I shot it quite a bit. Reloads , surp, steel case. ate anything w/ an insipid indifference. It was also more than indifferent to the target.

I'll admit , if I stumble on a deal on a 'newer' version, I'd be willing to give it a try.
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Old May 27, 2018, 21:57   #14
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Old May 27, 2018, 23:06   #15
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MAG FOUL X 4!!
They probably won't allow them mags or ammo. Not that it would matter....
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Old May 27, 2018, 23:48   #16
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Old May 28, 2018, 03:46   #17
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Neither before, nor since, either.
Well before is easy to explain, they had a rifle so respected that it's significance it still discussed regularly by the cultural elite of the firearms world on a website dedicated to it.
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Old May 28, 2018, 11:59   #18
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In 1983 "A shot across the bow" became an act of randomly and potentially deadly force. So they took away their magazines.
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Old May 30, 2018, 22:37   #19
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Ruger doesn't make some parts for the original 180 prefix mini's. You can tell them at a glance by the external bolt hold open parts. I love the mini-14.
The 180 series also had a wooden handguard. I still have one I bought in the seventies. It was a lot of fun and was very reliable. I haven't shot it in years, but never got rid of it. One of my boys used to like shooting it when he was young. The first shot or two were often dead-on, but after the barrel heated up it had a problem with a wandering zero.
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Old May 31, 2018, 15:26   #20
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The L1A1 Bermuda kit in the MP got me curious. This is what the Royal Bermuda Regiment replaced the L1A1 with in 1983.


When you get to dress up all military like but know ships, planes, and all sorts of $#!+ enter a black hole before becoming a threat...
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Old May 31, 2018, 15:44   #21
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I think know they have replaced them with used ..god help them .. L86 rifles from England ..

And yeah most of them were not FA just semi auto in silly stock

Fun fact the French special police still use there own model of full auto mini ...
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Old May 31, 2018, 21:04   #22
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I think know they have replaced them with used ..god help them .. L86 rifles from England ..
Yep, a step backward, let that sink in for a minute.

Thank goodness they have the Triangle for their air and naval defense, although I have to say it has caused a lot of collateral damage to non combatants over the years.
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Old June 01, 2018, 01:34   #23
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I'm a fan of the Mini-14, its one of the best semi-auto sporting rifles ever made. But make no mistake, it is a sporting rifle; not a military rifle. It is a solid sporting rifle that is reliable enough that it can fill in as a defensive rifle in a pinch should it be needed. But to buy one for the primary purpose of defense; well that's not a great idea.

If for some reason your defensive rifle has to have a wood stock and a classic sporting rifle "profile" then pick an M1 Carbine (GI carbine that is). The M1 carbine is at a ballistic disadvantage with FMJ ammo, but if you use JHP's, the .30 carbine becomes a VERY potent cartridge out to 200m.

I think the Mini-14 is probably okay for law enforcement use. I is reliable enough that most any law enforcement situation you're likely to find yourself in, the Mini would be sufficiently reliable. But heavy training with high round counts will expose some weaknesses and show you that it's not a military rifle made for extremes. It is very susceptible to heat related issues. So if someone were to find themselves in a siege where rifles will be pushed hard, the Mini just wasn't designed for that.

Another reason its a bad choice for a military is; it's not built to any military spec. Since it has never been adopted as a military rifle, no one has ever established a military spec for the Mini-14. So Ruger builds the Mini 14 to their own internal quality specifications, and doesn't answer to any outside agency who verifies standards for quality.

This is not to say Ruger just casually builds crappy rifles. As a purely commercial rifle, the Mini 14 is very good. Every one I have owned has worked very well, and while many griped about accuracy, I can't recall ever missing a shot in the field because the rifle wasn't doing its part.

I would be really sad to have to turn in an L1A1 for a Mini-14. Its good to hear they at least have L85A2's now. The L85 is a solid design (function wise), but it's management as a military rifle program was an absolute train wreck. We had much the same story (although not nearly as tragic) with the M14.

Most of the L85's problems were manufacturing related, processes and materials. H&K was hired to set the rifle right, and it's a pretty reliable weapon these days. But the whole program reminds me of the our issues with Springfield armory during the 1950's and early '60's that lead to us dropping the M14 rifle. Like Springfield, Enfield was the tail wagging the dog. There were changes made to the rifle that were never reviewed or tested, and then approved. Just a guy on the manufacturing floor had an idea how to do this or that "better" and some manager said "sure, why not!".

Functionally the design is solid in concept; it's an AR18 made into a bullpup. A good design from which to start, but where they took the design was ill conceived, and they ended up with a 10lb 5.56 bullpup rifle with SERIOUS reliability issues. Those issues were from day one, and continued throughout the whole program. Enfield played fast and loose with the "rules" for what was considered a malfunction, or a "critical" malfunction. Pushing those rules was deliberate and they knew they were playing a rules game to pass a rifle that they knew wasn't fit for the field. Someone...more like MANY someone's should have went to jail.

It's good H&K got them working. Now it's at least a reliable crappy rifle.
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Old June 05, 2018, 12:13   #24
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Too many people compare this rifle to the AR "platform". It is no more an AR than a Yamaha Roadstar is a Harley Softail. They are too different animals.

I've never felt under-gunned with mine. But, then, I ain't Joe Tactical either. Maybe thats the difference.

I get 2.5 MOA all day long and sometimes 1/2 that. Is that by accident? I don't think so. About 10 years ago I spent a weekend bedding the action, doing a trigger job and putting the Accubar (or whatever they're called) on it to keep the barrel from wandering when it heats up. Cured all that was wrong with it. Still run mine with a 5 round factory mag and a 3-9x32 Leupold VX1.

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Old June 05, 2018, 12:58   #25
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I have seen Mini-14s in service of the Honduras National Police Force, who used Argentine FALs previously [and concurrently]. Like Bermuda, no invading forces have conquered Honduras since the Mini-14s arrived and were distributed.

I think that when you look at the Bermuda date of adoption [1983] you must consider that this was still the time of the Colt M16A1 / AR15 SP1, and not any of the flat-top, tactical rifles that have come to dominate military use in the past 20 - 25 years. Back in the early 1980's, the Mini-14 wasn't really at much of a disadvantage when compared to the M16A1/ AR14 SP1, and it had some advantages over that rifle in that it was more traditional in construction [like an M1, M14], manual of arms, and availability on the commercial market. Plus Mr. T used one!

Just Sayin'
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Old June 05, 2018, 13:18   #26
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I had on FTE with a mini-14 that probably had 700 rounds through it and had never been cleaned, and it was with wolf polycoated ammo.

seems a rugged enough little rifle for most basic needs.

Minute of pie plate groups at 50 yards with iron sights
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Old June 05, 2018, 18:33   #27
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If I recall correctly Ed Harris (who used to work for Ruger) felt the Mini-14 was not made robustly enough for military use.
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Old June 05, 2018, 21:09   #28
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You can get a mini, an SKS and AR for the same money...Why would you buy a mini?
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Old June 05, 2018, 23:21   #29
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You can get a mini, an SKS and AR for the same money...Why would you buy a mini?


Funny is when the mini came out they were cheeper then the 1k + Ar that were the only option back then ..Now the mini are 600-700 and AR are 350-400 oh how times have shifted
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Old June 06, 2018, 05:46   #30
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Plus Mr. T used one!

Just Sayin'
Excellent point! I pity da fool who disagrees.
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Old June 06, 2018, 10:26   #31
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You can get a mini, an SKS and AR for the same money...Why would you buy a mini?
I really like my Mini, but I have got to agree with you. Nowadays, it just doesn't make sense. The AR is a clear winner in most categories. My Mini was a college graduation gift from my parents back when they cost $700 less than an AR.

I've considered selling it a few times, but the sentimental value is high. So, I'll keep it and pass it on to one of my sons.
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Old June 06, 2018, 12:35   #32
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I got my Mini-14 to shoot pretty decent groups with my 64 gr WW PP handloads, groups that a standard AR15 would be hard to beat for at least the first 5 rounds. The 55gr FMJ surplus would not shoot for chit.

Now the Mini-30 was a bullet hose, never reloaded for it but tried some good SA 7.62X39 and S&B ammo. It shot better than an AK47, but not by much.

Pie plate groups at 100 does not cut it for me, so I sold it for a profit during one of these "buy-it-before-its-banned" moments..

Only to have my wife tell me later "You sold MY gun!"

Have to add, I bought the Mini-14 for $365 in 1990, the cheapest AR15 was running about 1K. Now AR's can be found for $365, and Mini's are $700+. So it had a price point advantage at some point, but it is long gone.
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Old June 18, 2018, 01:50   #33
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Now if they made a Mini-30 that used AK mags....
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Old June 18, 2018, 05:30   #34
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Now if they made a Mini-30 that used AK mags....
Norinco makes an 'M1A' that does. Only available in Canada though.

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Old June 18, 2018, 18:36   #35
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Now if they made a Mini-30 that used AK mags....
I have never looked at doing such a conversion, but I can't imagine it would be all that tough.
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