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07/09/2004 Archived Entry: "The good old Mini-14"
BILL ST CLAIR had a link to this enthusiastic review of the good old Mini-14. I've loved Minis since I first learned about them in Mel Tappan's classic Survival Guns.
As the review says, nobody makes much fuss over the Mini-14 any more. In fact, among people I hang out with it's become rather the thing to dis the poor, plain-Jane little rifle. After all, it's not an Ugly Black Gun. It wasn't even scary enough to get banned by Feinstein when she went after its workalike twin, the AR-15. How gauche!
Yeah. But it still costs about 1/3 what its Ugly Black cousins costs*, puts up with all kinds of abuse, and is super smooth to shoot. I'm not a big rifle shooter, myself (really not that much of a shooter at all, though I like guns). But the Mini-14 is fun. And it's a great gun for introducing a nervous newbie to shooting because it makes Serious Noise like a big rifle but has no more kick than any .22 plinker.
The only drawback I've found over the years is that the factory sights on the regular models are horrible. Takes forever to get a good sight picture if you don't practice a lot. The review linked above is for the scope-ready Ranch Model (which I wish I had). It solves the only problem.
I don't care what you say, Ian. The Mini is a sweet, sweet gun.
(BTW, Tappan's book also contains pictures of our old, now departed, friend and teacher Michael Harries.)
LATER: Ian McCollum disputes my claim that a Mini can be had for 1/3 the cost of an EBR (Evil Black Rifle). I argue back. Feel free to chip in your $.02. It's on The Claire Files forums.
* Okay, 1/3 what some of its Ugly Black cousins cost. You win, guys.
Posted by Claire @ 10:31 AM CST