Ruger makes a handy semi-automatic rifle, called the Mini-14. It has a rotating bolt similar to the Garand, or think of it like a M1 Carbine, but with .223 caliber. It is good workhorse of a rifle, originally intended as a "Ranch" gun. It fires the .223 varmint round so popular with the military and used in the modern Army's carbines like the M-4 and M-16. The Mini-14 small and handy as a carbine should be, in not over priced, and the small round is appropriate for a ranch hand when dispatching pests and such.
I think they named it the Mini-14 because it was like a miniature version of the M-14, just not select fire.
Ruger makes a another version in larger caliber called the Mini-30. This weapon intrigued me and I seriously considered putting it on the "List" as a cheaper alternative to an M1A. Until I found out the .30 caliber round it fired was a 7.62x39, and not a 7.62x51. In other words, for the non-gun types reading, it fires the less powerful AK-47 .30 caliber round, not the .308 Winchester which is quite a bit longer and has more propellant in the case. (Mini-30, where the 30 is stands for .30 caliber.) If I ever expand into the SKS market, I may also get a mini-30 for commonality of ammuntition and ease in inventory.
But wait, it might be a good idea on a tertiary list to have a rifle chambered in this caliber? Yes, it might, but... That goes way beyond my original lists or primary and secondary acquisitions, and if I cross that line I will be navigating deep into Gun Nut territory. Not a bad place to find yourself, but I don't think I'm ready for that just yet. Also, while the Mini-30 is undoubtedly a decent gun, if I wanted to shoot something in that caliber there are PLENTY of semi-automatic military surplus rifles coming out of former Warsaw Pact countries that are being sold VERY cheaply. Maybe one fifth the cost of a Mini-30. If I was serious about getting a 7.62x39 I'd buy an SKS today.
If I delved into the idea of getting a .223 I would consider a Mini-14, certainly. In my view it is a more reliable platform than the AR types you all know I don't like, and it is probably cheaper than most alternatives. And they are making a Target version of it now, so it is probably accurized a bit. I'd have to check it all out if I was serious about a purchase sometime.
It's a good 'trunk gun.'
MBtGE (my buddy the...) is a fan of the Mini-14 and notes that a bajillion after market accessories are made for this workhorse, if you want to customize it.
Ruger no longer makes large capacity magazines for the Ruger. I can't say I blame them as they are covering their butt in case more "Assault Weapons Bans" come down the pike. They made a sound business decision if you only consider the business side of the equation, and I don't blame them for that. And you can get after-market magazines, if you so desire, so it is less of a big deal. Ruger wants to survive any super-litigious tsunami that might come, too, so they have many warning labels on their products. Not that warning labels helped the tobacco industry much, when the lawyer got their teeth in.
Ruger came out very recently with a NEW mini, that fires a 6.8 mm round. I don't know if they will call this one a Mini-27 or something? Either way, it's nice to see Ruger pushing new products out the door as they make very sound firearms at affordable prices.
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