Great read, advice, and pics there sandog- I would LOVE to find a Mini-30 locally for a decent price, but they don't show up often, or when they do, sellers want way too much for them.
I have 2 Mini's. One is an older blued 181 series and I have a newer stainless 185 series. Both are original wood stock with the fiberglass ventilated forward handguard that clips on. Both have been modified with the adjustable gas system and the barrel stabilizer strut system. My blued one has been modified to have the M14 style Frt sight with the rear peep. The stainless one has a 2-7 power Burris scope on it with a S&K steel scope mount. Both of these have had the receivers glass bedded into the stocks with the same process we use on the M1A rifles. Both of my Mini's shoot 2 inch grps at 100 yrds. I'm happy with this level of accuracy with an open bolt style rifle. With the adjustable gas system I can cut down the gas to where the shells just land next to me.I have been fortunate to have found 3 used ones that were not abused or "Bubba'd up" and all cost me around $450. With one of them the guy was hoping to get $600, I pointed out that brand new ones were going for a bit over $700, and were "much improved", so he came down on his price.
But I prefer the older ones, quality and QC seemed to be better, and when these 189 series were made, the tooling was only a couple years old.
All older Mini-30's never had the .560" "pencil barrel", they were all made with a .625" barrel, same as the new tapered barrel Mini's.
You won't have the same accuracy and stringing issues as the old pencil Mini-14's.
I would beg to differ with you on reliability. Had 1 Mini 14 Ranch and it was minute of 55 gal drum at 100 yds. Have owned and fired many AR-15's over the years both built or complete guns. No issues at all with proper ammo. Biggest downfall for the Ruger is the proprietary magazine.
Really ? You were shooting groups the size of a 55 gallon drum at 100 yards ?I would beg to differ with you on reliability. Had 1 Mini 14 Ranch and it was minute of 55 gal drum at 100 yds. Have owned and fired many AR-15's over the years both built or complete guns. No issues at all with proper ammo. Biggest downfall for the Ruger is the proprietary magazine.
I figured it was only a matter of time before they decide to ban the AR altogether. When CA banned 50 cal from private ownership the 2nd A was already dead in CA. Now they are coming for all semi-autos. I have many friends in the Aerospace industry that have moved out of CA for this reason. Many manufacturers will just no longer sell to CA as that is easier than conforming to stupid feature mods to make it CA legal. I already know of many ammo distributers that do not even want to ship ammo through CA as it is a hassle with paperwork even if it is a freight forward to Hawaii.Living In good ol kaliforny the AR platform is slowly getting phased out( I personally put blame on the gratuitus use of the term "Assault Rifle") I believe that the popularity (and price) of the mini 14 will skyrocket!
Ruger makes those too.While not a fan of ARs, I liked the Mini 14, also like Ruger products. I will say Ruger is well made as far as functioning/ durability, but
so is AR. When I had shop back in 70-80s I had a lot of customers who were very disappointed with accuracy of Mini-14. Especially
the stainless models. Never had the problem with ARs. I have recently decided to hold my nose and buy a semi auto 223, it's going
to be a AR. My opinions are based on stock models of these rifles.