I’ve known quite a few people since the late 1970’s that have owned a Ruger mini-14, speaking for myself, I have owned two of these rifles and I have to admit, they’re loads of fun to shoot!
‘Back in the day’, the mini-14 was cheaper and compact enough to throw into a backpack if you were going out in the woods, though I wouldn’t advise using it as a bear gun (that would just piss the bears off).
So, with all of the cool versions of the AR-15 and the AK-47 rifles available on the market, why is the mini-14 still a popular rifle to own?
The big reason for the Mini 14 Ranch Rifle is that its configuration makes it legal in most states.
Even states where AR-15s are not legal in an unmolested format. Most states require you to modify your AR-15 with bullet buttons, no flash hider, and stupid laws like no bayonet lugs.
The effective range of this rifle is around 200 yards. But, the Mini-14 is fun to shoot and is accurate enough to hit silhouette size targets at 400-yards and beyond.
There are some that ask- ‘Is the Mini-14 good for deer hunting?’.
Absolutely, the Mini-14 can be used to hunt “legitimate” game. A . 223 cartridge can fell a bobcat, coyote, deer, or even a wild boar with proper shot placement. However, as mentioned by others it might not be ‘legal’ in your state to hunt big game with that cartridge.
But, despite all the criticism, the Ruger Mini-14 is still around for the same reason any gun has a long production run — people keep buying it.
Speaking for myself, I think the Mini-14 will be around for quite a while!