Recently Pat of the Survival Blog reviewed the Mini-14, with which he has a couple of decades of experience. However, through email with that reviewer I found he has only owned and fired the older Mini-14s with the thinner barrels, and has not fired the newer model Mini-14 with thicker barrels and retooling, in production since the mid-2000s. This matters. (My review of the Mini-14 Tactical).
A few updates/corrections to the Survival Blog review:
- Newer Mini-14s get closer to 2 MOA, or better, out of the box, not the 4 MOA referred to, which is more appropriate for older, non-accurized Mini-14s.
- While some new Mini-14s are advertised in the $750+ range, CDNN sells this newer model for under $569, which is the price one of my brothers paid. Got mine from CDNN for $589. Sometimes police trade-ins of the older models are available for ~$400.
- Factory magazine are readily available for $15 less each than the $50 and $40 suggested in the Survival Blog review, for 30 and 20 rounders, respectively. Check CDNN and Cheaper Than Dirt. On sale for $5-10 less than that at times.
- New Minis now come with 5, 20, and 30 round magazines depending on the model, not just 5 round magazines as the review states.
- Contrary to the Survival blog review, firing pins available at Midway. But as the review mentions, spare parts are rarely needed with the Mini-14.
Let’s also address the myth; the Mini-14 is fine for killing varmints, but is not a combat weapon. It’s a 5.5.6mm round, same as AR variants. If it will hit/kill a small animal, it will hit a man as well. That’s just reality.
I have some experience with the AR-15 (M16 and M4). If you know how to repair/maintain an AR-15 variant, have the spare parts, have a lot of brass-cased ammo, and want to clean that direct impenitent system, then the AR is the carbine for you. They are very accurate, and reliable – when clean, oiled, and when you have all he spare parts you need.
My brothers and I chose the newer Mini-14 Tactical for a long-term survival carbine because we want an accurate weapon that’s not picky about ammo, cleaning, and won’t need a lot of maintenance.