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Actually, if you shop around, you can get a new Mini 14 for around $600. Our Wal Mart has a new blued one for about $640.
 

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Just checking on a popular internet firearms auction site, I find a new blued Mini 14 for a Buy Now price of $643.
 

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Even at that price the Mini is not what I'd call a good buy. Why anybody would pay over six-bills for a 4" at best rifle is beyond my comprehension.

Pat also brought up some good points, Colts' been living on it's name for a long time, decent guns but, way overpriced. Union problems, etc have nothing to do with it, Colt sells totally on name-reputation. I recently looked at a new Commander, base model, blued. $990.00. Dealer wouldn't budge on the price either. When I asked why he smiled and said, "It's a Colt." I smiled back and told him I wouldn't pay over $150.00 more for a gun that wouldn't shoot as well as what I already had, wasn't as smooth or had the extras mine came with. He smiled again and said, "Yeah, but yours isn't a Colt."

Based on the ATFs' figures so far, it looks like Colt is about to drop to third place behind Kimber and SA. If you look at the last published figures turned into the ATF by the manufacturers and take away Colt Defense, they only sold 24,000 and some change 1911s in 2009.

As for Rugers' 1911 entry, it's a Caspian 1911 with Rugers' name on it. Ruger has been making Caspians' Frames and slides at it's Pinetree Casting facility since the beginning and they're using the same frame/slide for their build. Not that there is a single thing wrong with that, Caspian stuff is top-notch. As usual, Ruger just took a logical step.
 

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bestseller92v2.0 said:
Actually, if you shop around, you can get a new Mini 14 for around $600. Our Wal Mart has a new blued one for about $640.
When the new, greatly improved Mini appeared a few years ago, asking prices on used Minis in my area were in the $400-450 range. The new one was at Walmart for, IIRC, $560. I thought sure that the new, improved one at that price would drive down the price of the old ones, hopefully under $300, but I haven't seen that happen. They're still asking $400-450 for the old ones. I wouldn't pay that for one of those. I MIGHT consider one at three bills.
 

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Charlie Petty said:
You've really got to wonder what is going on inside the offices of Hartford. The closest Colt I can find to the new Ruger lists about $300 higher, and it has a crappy grip safety.
I've always felt that Colt was their own worst enemy. They had the 1911 market as a private pond but they kept raising prices and- IMO- lowering quality- and they created the market for Springfield and other aftermarket parts.

When S&W was at the crest of the .44 Magnum wave Colt certainly had the ability to make something in their revolver line but it was like 10 years before they did.

They totally abandoned the small revolver market to S&W so now Ruger is competing very successfully there.

The name alone is going to sell a certain number of guns but that seems to get smaller every day.
That's EXACTLY how I see it.

However, these days the Colt's I've been seeing look pretty darned good, a step up from most makers and the price is not horrendously higher than the competition. I'm very happy with my S&W LW Commander (M1911PD), but if I had the choice to make today, I'd probably buy the Colt's. My S&W has been a solid performer from day one, but there are numerous flaws in the fit and finish, which just doesn't exist when you look at the Colt's. And all of the newer Colt's I've shot such as the XSE's have been flawless performers as well. Colt's certainly was their own worst enemy and have managed to paint themselves into a corner where civilian gun sales are concerned. But the 1911's they're turning out these days are clearly the equal of most any of the competition in the same price range, with a finer level of finish and attention to detail. And that finer attention to detail has always been the niche of Colt's IMO.

Is a Colt's built the way I would build a 1911? Certainly not, but no one makes "that" gun at that price point. Today, Colt's makes a pretty good gun once again, but still lacks the ability to market their products; which will be the death of them.
 

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Snake45 said:
bestseller92v2.0 said:
Actually, if you shop around, you can get a new Mini 14 for around $600. Our Wal Mart has a new blued one for about $640.
When the new, greatly improved Mini appeared a few years ago, asking prices on used Minis in my area were in the $400-450 range. The new one was at Walmart for, IIRC, $560. I thought sure that the new, improved one at that price would drive down the price of the old ones, hopefully under $300, but I haven't seen that happen. They're still asking $400-450 for the old ones. I wouldn't pay that for one of those. I MIGHT consider one at three bills.
Okay, my .02 on the Mini-14 and its suitability as a combat weapon; this may stir up some fierce argument against my point of view, or stern rebukes from Mini 14 fanatics…

For just a little more than what a new Mini-14 goes for, you can get a GI M-1 carbine, which IMO is a VASTLY superior defensive weapon. Sure, its' hindered with a lesser cartridge, but the Mini is hindered with VASTLY, inferior quality*. Still, for some strange reason I've always liked the Mini-14, but not so much as a defensive/combat weapon because it has proven time and time again, when pressed hard, they tend to fail in a number of different ways. I like the Mini 14 as a fun sporting rifle for hunting or plinking and IMO it can pinch hit as a defensive rifle if your threat assessment doesn't expect heavy duty.

At the end of the day, while the Mini is military-esque, it is NOT a military rifle. It's a great design, but it has never been subjected to the military development that true military arms receive. If you like the Mini-14 but you really need top quality, to me the M1 Carbine is THE way to go because it's a true military arm (talking GI Carbines here). Or another alternative for a traditionally stocked semi-auto combat rifle is the SKS, which depending on your needs, could be a better choice than the little M1.

Regarding the M1 Carbine, In 3 gun competitions it's rare to see the little carbine show up, but when it does, you tend to notice it's almost never the one that has the operator cussing at, where the Mini-14 and the "tricked out" AR's typically are. The cartridge is sufficient for its intended purpose, and if a person can afford it, the Cor-Bon 100 grain Barnes X bullet load is downright excellent with terminal performance inside of 250 yards that exceeds the 5.56 FMJ. And since most 5.56 FMJ's tend to lose their terminal effectiveness beyond around 225 yards, I would say that this load in the M1 Carbine brings terminal ballistic parity. True the 5.56 will still have the exterior ballistic advantage, but I personally have never found it too hard to hit with a Carbine at 250 or even 300 yards. The sights tend to be "off" by about 50 yards on average, so in my experience your typical M1 will need to be set at 300 in order to hit pretty much spot on at 250, and a touch of Kentucky elevation for shots out to 300.

But like I said, even with said quality "flaws" I've always liked that little rifle. Let's be realistic, if Ruger developed the Mini like a military arm, it would either be a loss leader for 20 years, or be far beyond any reasonable price point. Despite all the complaints of inaccuracy++ the times when I've had one in my hands out in the field, the Mini has never failed to hit was I was shooting at because the rifle wasn't accurate enough. I'm told the newer ones are more accurate and even more reliable, both of which are welcome to any Mini 14 fan.

*My opinion based on my personal observations, and the fact the Mini 14 is NOT a military weapon.

++ I know I will offend, but I'll lay it out there… Far too many American "riflemen" don't know squat about what kind of accuracy is REALLY needed in the field. Far too many have formed their idea of what they "need" by reading gun magazine reviews where rifles are shot exclusively from the bench, by writers who typically don't know Jack squat about what is really needed in the field and what you can really do with a 3-4 MOA rifle. "The natural habitat of the general-purpose rifle is the field, the forest, the desert and the mountain -- not the shooting shed with its bench rest." - Jeff Cooper
 

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Discussion Starter #7
My own thoughts on my own Mini...it has never malfunctioned, it is accurate enough that with open sights I have no doubt I can tag a man sized target at 100+ yards, it is short, handy, fairly light and it's stainless, which I prefer. I would have no qualms about using it as a defensive weapon in any short to medium range encounter. If, God forbid, I ever had to engage hostile targets beyond 200 yards, i'd either decamp or grab my scoped .30/06. All in all, for the purposes I use it/keep it ready for (primarily estate defense and recreational shooting) I like it. A lot.
 

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I have to agree with Kevin again but, not for the same reasons. In it's normal 5.56 chambering, I consider it woefully inadequate for most defensive purposes. In a rural situation or, an Urban situation for that matter, it doesn't provide the penetration against hard cover that's required. Nor is stopping power with it an answered question. Then, there's the fact that it's a sporting weapon in Military-guise. Exterior looks do not a Battlerifle make.

Now, in it's 7.62x39 rendering it's better but, only slightly so. With steel-core or AP, it's better against hard-cover such as automobiles(Which B.G.s could be using as cover) but, not a whole lot better. Personally, I'd feel much better armed with say, a Model 94 in 30-30 than a Mini with either loading and much better armed with a M1 Carbine.

Seems like in the last fifteen years or so everybody's done nothing but drink the Assault-rifle Kool-aid without really using their own Mk1 Computer. At 100 yards a 30-06 or 308 AP round will pass through a 24" Oak tree with enough left to decimate the opposition. No Assault-Rifle round will do that. A Standard 30-06 or 308 Ball round will go through an automobile end to end at that range, an AR round won't.

At any reasonable range a 5.56 will require multiple-hits to be effective, I'd rather shoot once and move on.
 

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Retmsgt; other "EXPERIENCED veterans OF club" members; All,

fwiw, i HAD a Mini-14 once. - sold it to a TX game warden for $ 250.oo (if i remember correctly.), as i found it BOTH underpowered & INACCURATE at anything over 100M.
(fwiw, he kept/shot it for about 6 months, sold it & replaced it with a HRA Garand, so i guess that her was UNIMPRESSED, too.)

like Retmsg, i'll trust my trusty M1 Garand in .30/06 on "that bad day", backed up with my pistols & riotgun.
(i have 800+ rounds of Greek GI M2 ball "squirreled away" for just that purpose, THANKS to the CMP.)

yours, sw
 

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OK, Kevin, I have to agree with you on the M 1 carbine. I don't own a mini, too expensive, but I do have the carbine and a sporterized 30-06. Both are good rifles and accurate. I'd love to get a CMP Garand. From the first day I saw one in military school (1938 I think) I've wanted one.. I'm saving for it.

I also have a Krag 30-40, scoped, that is damn good for game and defense. 8)

I also hve a pair of GM 1911's in .45 & .38 Super, both accurate. These two are early Colts and very well finished. Except for holster ware they show no other ware. :thumbsup:

BobMac
 

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Paid $250 for this new Mini back in '86. Seems to me about like my M4 Bushmaster, except like you say barrel not as good and bigger spreads. Plenty of ammo should be available when the zombies rise...
 

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I have owned a Mini since the 80's - it has never malfed and is just fine for its intended purpose.

It's not a tack driver, but then again at mid ranges, it doesn't have to be.

I have other tools, like all of us, to handle those jobs for which a Mini-14 may be less suited.

It's fun to shoot; I think I'll keep it.
 

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Walt

I am 100% with you! I am keeping mine too. I like it better than my AR. I only have a couple of plastic rifles....and they just don't feel real to me. I just like WOOD and STEEL!
 

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As I get older, those light weight little guns look better and better.

Geoff
Who has a Ruger Mini-14 181 series, but here in FL with the "assault weapon laws" I'll stick to a 20 bore pump with a dot sight.
 

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I've hankered for a Mini from time to time, but either that pesky money thing got in the way, along with the reports of erratic performance. The magazine situation was a factor, since just about all the reports of aftermarket mags was that they were unreliable, and of course Ruger was very stingy with theirs. However, the Mini, when it's good, sounds like a gem!

I finally got an SU-16 to fill the niche, and am very pleased with it. The deal-maker for me was the box of AR mags that I had sitting around after I (stupidly :x ) sold an AR.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I wouldn't mind having an AR; the SR556 looks really good to me. But since I already have a Mini in .223 and am pleased with it, I'd probably choose an FAL or a Springfield M1A in .308 over any AR.
 

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What I'd really like to see is for Ruger to take another try at the XGI project, get it right this time, and produce it in the $800 (retail) range. Ah, dreams....
 

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With the availability of factory magazines these days, the mini has a new lease on life.

I have one of the new ones for a very specific purpose. I found accuracy to be much better than the older ones.

One thing I admire about the Garand bolt, is the ease of explaining it to new shooters, a feature the Mini shares with the M1 Carbine.
 

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Al Thompson said:
With the availability of factory magazines these days, the mini has a new lease on life.

I have one of the new ones for a very specific purpose. I found accuracy to be much better than the older ones.

One thing I admire about the Garand bolt, is the ease of explaining it to new shooters, a feature the Mini shares with the M1 Carbine.
A big plus of the "M1 action" is that it's incomparably easier to clean than th AR type. Point for the Mini, one against the SU. A new generation Mini-14 is still a "nice-to-have", somewhere down the road. 10-20 round mags are fine for me.
 
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