I don’t often talk about my Mini-14 but that doesn’t mean I don’t like it. In fact its one of my favorite guns. I was in love with it the moment my coworker brought it in to sell it in August of 2011. I had never bought or owned a gun before but I knew I wanted that one. I bought it that evening.
The reason I don’t talk about it often is because I haven’t been shooting it lately. Its been much more economical to focus on my 22’s rather than blowing through boxes of .223 ammunition. But I will be shooting it more. Watching Aaron shoot it Wednesday made me remember why I loved shooting it so much. I shot it a few times Wednesday but I definitely intend to devote an entire shoot to it on a future trip to the range.
My Mini-14 came with a Federal Ordinance “under-folding” stock when I bought it. It was pretty cool looking and the wood made it feel like I was holding an AK or something. Especially when I bought my 30 round magazine made by Tapco.
Unfortunately the Mini-14 wasn’t really designed to have tactical accessories and attaching a scope of any kind was going to be a pain. So I decided to invest in an entirely new stock for it. People laughed when they saw it but it looks even more amazing to me now.
The stock I purchased for my Mini was the ATI Strikeforce side-folding stock in desert tan. With the new stock and add on rails I purchased, I was able to start adding some accessories. Within months I had a red dot sight, a bipod, and a verticle grip. Since then I’ve removed all of those and all but the sight currently call my AR15 home.
I learned a lot from my Mini-14 and I am truly happy that it was my first firearm. Not only did I learn about the mechanics involved in the firing of a gun, but I also learned a great deal about barrels and ammunition.
Mini-14’s are not known to be that accurate. They’re typically good at medium distances but groups tend to spread the more you shoot. The barrel on my early production Mini is a “pencil barrel”. This thing is basically as thin as it could be in order to reduce its weight and make it easier to carry. Unfortunately a thin barrel heats up and begins to warp very fast. My barrel in particular likes to string bullets diagonally (up and to the left) when it gets hot. The hotter it gets the farther the shots climb. Newer Mini’s come with a thicker barrel to reduce this effect. From what I’ve heard they are now significantly more accurate.
I don’t mind the reduced accuracy. I can hit a man-sized target at 50 yards no problem. While I wouldn’t want to take this thing hunting and try to kill a deer at 200 yards, it’s more than effective enough for me to shoot paper. Besides, if I wanted a precision “tack driving” rifle, I would’ve bought someting that’s bolt action. There’s just something really exciting and fun about shooting through a 30 round mag in under 15 seconds.
And when the zombies come, ill probably be using my AR anyway. 22lr rounds will work plenty good for head-shots. 🙂