All posts tagged Mini 14

Optics, batteries, tritium and fiber optics!

There are huge differences in the types and applications of various combat optics.   When many people think about red dot optics there are big differences in the way that they are setup.  Some come with mounts, quick detach ones or thumb screw.  The differences between Aimpoints, Bushnells and C-more red dots are considerable and it’s not just the quality of the optics.   I am very picky about clarity of reticles and it’s kind of funny that the more I use Trijicon optics, the less I like red dots and Eotechs.   The thing that always hits me are the costs of Eotech sights, but the TA26 or TA44 scopes are so clean and crisp compared to the Eotech or C-more optics.

When do you really want an ACOG?  Trijicon ACOGS are really a medium range optics, optics like the Trijicon TA31F-G for saleTrijicon TA31F-G for sale are just simple that.  Sure you can nail targets out past 600 yards with them, but if you want close range engagement you will probable want a different setup.  The RMR sights that are mounted at the top of an ACOG will cost more, but it really all depends on what you want to do with the sight.   Optics that take batteries are going to be around for a long time, as a matter of fact The TA02 is a new battery powered optic, but the new thing is going to be rechargeable and solar powered optics.


Combat guns and plinking guns and just having fun

I remember all of those times I spent arguing with people on gunboards about which gun was better and which guns were pieces of junk.   I started out collecting many of the Soviet era military style rifles, namely the SKS rifles.   There are some fun accessories from Tapco that can make even an old relic like an SKS into a more modern looking rifle, but even if it’s not an AK, you can always customize the firearm to your liking.   I wouldn’t expect to use an SKS for house to house clearing, but if you got it for $200 and want to improve the fit to your liking, go right ahead.

One problem I have found with many of the semi-autos I owned was that the length of pull on the guns was very short.  This was not something I go too worked up about with the plinking firearms I owned, but for a primary weapon, the rifle stocks you use on them should fit you like a glove.   Customizing a firearm to fit you is an important step in learning how to effectively use a firearm.   I have learned that the hard way with various rifle scopes that ended up putting a ring around my eye because the stock was so short, I forgot to adjust my bean and got a good thunk.  There is nothing wrong with changing the butt pad on any gun you own to fit you.  Just be aware that when you are wearing a heavy coat or winter clothing that LOP might need to be shorter, so don’t modify your stocks too much, and think about an adjusteable stock for just that purpose.


Buying guns for novice and youngsters

I have had several regrets in selling off firearms that I wish I would have held on to.  One of  my biggest regrets was selling a Russian Saiga rifle off because I couldn’t get anything but 5rd magazines for it, and then I found out that it was possible to legally alter the firearms so that it could take 30rd magazines.   It was a very small gunsmithing alteration that would have been done in a few minutes.  You just had to know that it could be done.


Another regret I had was selling off a Ruger 10/22 rifle because the gun wasn’t very accurate compared to my Marline bolt action rifles,  but after taking several kids to the range, I found out that the children under 8yrs old had trouble with the length of the rifle stocks and something as small as the Ruger 10/22 would have worked since it had such a short LOP.   If a gun isn’t junk, you may want to think about why you should hang on to it, because you may wish you did.


The Mini 14 in it’s secondary format

The Mini 14 seems to have a love hate relationship with gun owners.   There are a lot of gun owners that were mad at Bill Ruger for his lack of a spine during the Clinton years and his support of the Assault Weapon ban, and many people were irked by the fact the Mini 14 was not sold with 20rd or 30rd magazines which were supplied to Law Enforcement and AC556 owners.   The Mini 14 is one of those guns that everyone wishes would hold up to the same reputation of combat worthiness that the M1 Garand and M14 or M1A had, but it couldn’t.   There were design flaws that kept the Mini 14 from ever being anything more than for a few quick shots.

The Mini 14 with all of it’s shortcomings is still an extremely reliable firearm under most conditions.   It does not hold up to the amount of fire that an M16 can tolerate, but although it is very good as a truck gun or varmint gun, it can be used for home defense because the .223 is actually a very good close range caliber if using the correct kind of defensive ammunition.   Butler Creek rifle stocks have given another angle to the Mini 14, and if you using fragmenting ammunition, the Mini  14 is as destructive as any AR15 rifle is.   This urban Carbine is light and easy to store in your gun safe.  Heck, I’ve actually had more room in my gun safe for more firearms since I swapped a few standard Mini 14 stocks in for these folding stocks.


Are Promags magazines any good?

Here’s the really short answer to that, that are good and they are better than they were a decade ago.  For those that went through the horror of having to deal with the 1990s and the BS from the assault weapons ban, many of us had to scrounge around looking for pistol magazines that cost 1/4 of what factory gun magazines cost.   I would normally say that you should really stick with the factory magazines that you have for your firearm, but MecGar and Promag do make decent magazines and they are considered in he B+ category.   I would say that the cost of these mags vs factory magazines insn’t significant, but you can get them for a reasonable price.

My Beretta 92FS is probable the most tested out gun I own that has used non-factory magazines.  I even have some no name magazines that hold 18rds each, but I to this date have no idea who made them and they have been extremely reliable.   I had a pistol course a few years ago in New Jersey where I had to leave all of my 15rd + magazines at home and only bring 10rd magazines with me, Promag Magazines ran the course and although I was shooting ball ammo, I had zero malfunctions out of over 300rds fired.   I never got around to testing them out with defensive ammo, but I highly suggest you test magazines with the ammo before you get into your comfort zone.


Ruge 10/22 possible the most fun semi-auto

I’m sure there are plenty of guys out there, or ladies that have a lot of military experience and got to shoot some neat stuff.   Comparing the Ruger 10/22 to being  in fire control on an AC130 Spectre gun ship is comparing apples to oranges.  I will say that I have shot a lot of semi-auto military style weapons and although I have fun shooting them, bringing a wife or friend that lacks the experience or has a fear of recoil can limit the types of firearms you are using.   The first Ruger 10/22 I owned had a pretty long break in period.  I had a lot of issues getting it to reliable cycle, but I had  a lot of  friends that gave me advice on how to tweak these firearms and having a reliable break in period was normal.
A friend suggested that I just fire a lot of ammo through it and eventually it will break in.   Anothe friend said to use some hot ammo like 22lr stingers and it will speed up the process.   I tried both of these, but after about 500rds, I still was annoyed at how many jams I had, I thought it was the gun magazines, but we’ll soon find out.   My other friend suggested I take the gun appart and try to polish it with nylon pads, very similar to what you use to clean dishes.   I took  his advice and spent about 15 minutes polishing the gun, I used a little CLP inside and took it out for another range trip.    I tried shooting some cheap Remington 22LR ammo and the gun functioned almost 100% of the time.   I was probable getting a failure to fire less than every 300rds which for a 22LR rifle, that is not that bad.


Tools and accessories and practicality

Once we out grow the arguments about which gun is better than the other and which caliber has more stopping power, the next bit of squabbling is usually about accesories and gizmos.   There are absolutely higher quality tactical scopes and combat reliable flashlights like Surefire and Streamlight, but there are still credible debates about how much of a white light you should have on a firearm.    If it’s too powerful, you’re more than likely going to be draining batteries for more than what you need and a light can easily get in the way and begin to snag on things especially if it’s too big.

Tactical gear like rifle stocks like VLTOR and Magpul have a very good reputation from users and those that sell them.   We have very few complaints about durability and even though the average weekend warrior can put one of these on their Bushmaster or DPMS AR15, these tactical rifle stocks will last the life of the firearm.  When you are trying to decide on what to put on your AR15, think about everything you expect to use the firearm for and leave yourself some room for future modifications without having to overhaul the stock. If you think  you’re going to be putting a laser or flashlight on the gun, get the appropriate rail configuration.  If you are looking for long range shooting, a red dot or Eotech may not be something to put on your gun, just leave it setup for iron sights until you find the right tactical rifle scope that your money can buy.


Mini 14 Magazines and hunting

I must admit, I was  lucky enough to be able to stock up on PMI magazines in the 1990s and never had to worry much about finding after market rifle magazines for the Mini 14.   While admit I have seen plenty of poor performing Mini 14 rifles on the ranges, it was always because the user was not using Ruger factory rifle magazines.  If you are fortunate enough to live in a State that allows the use of semi-auto rifles for deer season,  there is no lighter and faster Carbine for Coyote or white tails than the Mini 14.   I have personally witnessed deer being taken with 75gr HPBT with the Mini 14, so don’t tell me the .223 isn’t good for the job.
Inside of 200yds and with a 4x optic, a Mini 14 is well within the tolerances of being able to take a 150-200lb animal.   Considering the flat trajectory, hold overs are virtually none existant at these ranges.  Since you can get 20rd and 30rd factory magazines for the Mini 14 again.   There still are reasons to not want to heat up the rifle and it is well known that the Mini 14 is not a military rifle.  The accuracy will begin to decline after approximately the 3rd shot is fired which gives good reason to only stick with the factory 5rd magazines.


Carbine malfunctions, what to blame?

gun magazinesI first stepped into the world of tactical carbines after years of toting around an M16A2 for close to 10yrs.   We basically had to clean and maintain our firearms daily when deployed and I often wondered what we might have been able to do during the day if we didn’t have such a high maintenance rifle.  Looking back, I realized there wasn’t much else to do and this was something that we did to just occupy time.   The M16A2 is not a very clean running firearm, but it can go for hundreds if not thousands of rounds without cleaning if it was lubed correctly from the beginning.   In all of my years of service with the M16A2, and the years standing next to operators with AR15 rifles, I’d say 90% of malfunctions were bad magazines or improperly loaded, and bad ammo.   The next was improper lubrication.   It’s been a few years since I’ve been on the range during hunting season, but It was about 5yrs ago that I ran into an AR15 owner that said the key to running an AR15 reliable is to run it dry.   Well, if you own an AR15 and you think this is true, I can’t help you.

I recently watched a DVD about advanced Carbine tactics and although I thought it was of some value to Novice Carbine Operators, they left out something that I found to be crucial to all operators.   PUSH, PULL will eliminate 99% of your magazine malfunctions and I couldn’t believe that after close to 10yrs of video, I never saw this tactical being used.   Sometimes a magazine will insert into a Carbine and load a round, but by the 2nd round and after the recoil of the first round, gun magazines will drop loose.  I actually witnessed this on a Carbine course this week and the operator didn’t even know his gun was unloaded until he moved 10ft forward.


Need a suggestion on which gun for home defense?

rifle stocksIf you are thinking about buying your first gun for inside the home, there is no better option than a shotgun.    Some rookie gun shopper may think a shotgun is too powerful, but the reality is there is no better defensive weapon that can be so versatile when it comes to projectile ballistics.  The difference in bullet penetration between a shotgun slug and size 9 shot is tremendous.  Both are incredible leathal at close ranges, but energy is lost very quickly which is an assett in close situations.   Due to modern home construction, there is no better reasoning than to consider what happens to a bullet if it misses the target or if it happens to hit the target and still go on.   There is a saying that there is a lawyer attached to every bullet that exits your gun if it is used in a defensive situation and this very true.

I think the notion of having an Elmer Fudd type of shotgun for home defense is a funny idea, but it’s a very practical defensive weapon.   If you have access to plenty of ammo, shotguns can be reloaded quite easily.   The reality is a pump shogun is a better option due to magazine capacity, but I always warn people that pump shotguns need to be operated properly and people need to understand that they can be very difficult to operate in certain positions.   Short stroking them can also be a problem for a less trained operator, so don’t hand one off to a novice without giving them training.   The Remington 870 has always been my primary shotgun recommendation, but that’s mostly because they can be found for under $250 used, and with just a few bucks  more, a side saddle or magazine tube extension can increase your firepower.   There are also many rifle stocks and accessories that you can mount on them, but please keep in mind that smaller operators will not function as well with heavy guns.  Keep it simple and be practical.

1 2 Page 1 of 2