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Q:
Okay, now I need a tiebreaker. As a few of you now (and never cease ribbing me about) I bought a .300 wm as a starting rifle. No worries, I love the gun! I just need something I can put 100+ rounds thru and still be able to work out the next day. Now, my friend exposed me to something ELSE to make me drool. I had said that I was torn between a decent savage for varmint/target, and the tikka light or varminter (as they have drop mags), but today I had the pleasure of handling my first Mini-14. I NEED HELP GUYS! :P the only thing is, Im fairly big so the length of pull on the Mini is a little small, other than that a really responsive rifle and ammo is DIRT cheap

Question by fng. Uploaded on January 30, 2010

Answers (25)

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from alabamaoutlaw wrote 4 years 12 weeks ago

Only have been around the mini 14 my brother owned,Alright to 150 yards but after that it lost any acountablity as far as accuracy it put rounds everywhere.
Good luck in your choice.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 12 weeks ago

If I was going for a mini 14, I would go with he AR15 so you can change the upper out to other calibers. As for the Mini 14, not enough bang for the buck, the rear sight is a piece of trash and to really put a scope on one, you have to have it drilled and tapped.

Get'ya a bolt gun!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 12 weeks ago

100+ rounds thru and still be able to work out the next day? LOL

Should have been with me in Alaska 86-90 running the busiest range in the State. I was constantly sighting Mags for everyone and talk about some really weird wildcats in 458/460!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from fng wrote 4 years 12 weeks ago

holy crap, Coop! I know, I always admired servicemen of ALL countries... guys shooting garands? 500+ 30-06 rounds a day for 4 years! holy crap... and Im just getting started (19) so of course I want to own everything at once. As to working out, everyone talks about being "strong" does a 240 bench, 315 squat and 400+ pound deadlift put me up there?

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from alabamaoutlaw wrote 4 years 12 weeks ago

Makes you plenty strong ,oh by the way next time ikill one of those big hogs in the swamp could you drop by.Just kidding,But just remember that thing between your ears needs just as much exercise as the body.
Fnj I spent my money on the savage and am well pleased with the gun,I mean it's a savage it is a little on the rough side.My brother bought the tikka t3 and it is like silk when you work the bolt hot or not.Both guns are below 1/4 moa @100yards leopold optics on both.Best of luck in your searches

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from fng wrote 4 years 12 weeks ago

Indeed, I would help for a share of bacon, but alas I reside in Alberta. Actually, me and my father have a standing bet that I cannot lift out a Canadian buck (minus guts and head) out of the bush on my shoulders. Yea, Im thinking Tikka, because I can find them more readily here.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Edward J. Palumbo wrote 4 years 12 weeks ago

The Mini-14 is FUN to shoot. If you handload, you may need a small base resizing die (or not...see how it cycles your handloads). If you want tighter groups, check with Accuracy Systems (if memory serves me) and they'll give you some options, but you can purchase a Mini-14 for just a bit more than the price of an AR15 upper receiver. I consider the Mini-14 a great utility rifle and a decent pest-eliminator. If you want a nail-driving rifle for varminting and you know you need more accuracy than the Mini14 semiauto can provide, then the Tikka bolt action is a fine choice, of course. The difference? The Mini-14 will deliver about 2MOA out of the box; the Tikka will give you

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from alabamaoutlaw wrote 4 years 12 weeks ago

The one my brother bought is a great gun,and i think if i had to do it again i would have passed on the savage for the Tikka.But money is tight these days and i got a great deal.Good luck to you and your father in your pursuit of the great deer of the north.
I live about 2 miles from the head of Mobile bay right in the heart of the swamp.Good hunting and a prosperios future for you.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from sgaredneck wrote 4 years 12 weeks ago

fng,

IMO don't get a Mini. They are fun - alright for spraying lead. There are other things they are even real good for. Now that Obama is probably not gonna take anyone's guns here without the mother of all fights, AR's have come back down some in price. The AR in my avatar is a Rock River 24" 1-in-8 twist varmint model with a 4.5-30x50 Bushnell 6500 on it. On several occasions when my wallet would allow it, I have shot maybe half a box of ammo thru it. When talking .223/5.56, a box in my book is the O.D. green ammo tin that holds 500 rounds. I have been buying Georgia Arms 68 grain match, and it's actually been a decent deal in light of everyone and his brother freaking out around here and buying every piece of 55 grain ammo and the components too.

I realize the AR(in my configuration) is a more expensive option, but it shoots soft and is VERY accurate. However, I doubt it would be more accurate than the Tikka T3 varmint with the heavy barrel. IMO you would be more tired of loading mags and working the bolt for the Tikka than you would shooting it. You know how I feel about Tikkas - I love them. I don't think you could go wrong there either.

Best of luck and good shooting,

S Ga

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from hnestle wrote 4 years 12 weeks ago

I wish I would have never trade my mini 14. Great for open sites at the range or just plinking around, but if you want to mount a scope you have to have it drilled and tapped. So you might as well get an AR cause it will end up costing about the same and its easier to customize the AR because of after market add on and uppers. Personal I like the mini's better, but that is probaly because I grew up watching the A-Team.

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from sgaredneck wrote 4 years 12 weeks ago

LMAO
Anytime someone can work in an 'A-Team' reference there is a +1. NOTE: seemingly on that show no one ever was hit by a bullet or killed. Was this due to lack of accuracy by the Mini?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Wapiti wrote 4 years 12 weeks ago

OBVIOUSLY, the answer is to save your money and get the Mini, the AR, and the bolt gun! Come on, stimulate the struggling economy!

I feel like the Mini and the AR are each different answers to the same question. Bolt guns are a different animal entirely.

I like the Mini as a casual, fun, reliable shooter. It just feels good to grab one and start popping off rounds at sticks and dirt clods and varmints that need holes in them. In old westerns there was always a gun rack near the door of the ranch house. When trouble started, the hero would reach over and grab a handy lever rifle out of the rack and go to work. I see the Mini as a kind of modern day ranch gun. They even call it the Ranch Rifle.

If you want a serious 5.56mm war fighter, AR-types are pretty much the deal. They're accurate, rugged, reliable, customizable, and they even LOOK like they mean business. There are enough options and accessories available to keep you tinkering for a lifetime. They're a step up from the comfortable Mini in a number of ways. (But, it just wouldn't feel right to slide one into a saddle scabbard!)

Finally, a bolt gun sets the tone for calm, confident rifle work. It says we're gonna put lead on the target -- and with the very first shot. No bells or whistles. Just a barrel, a stock, a scope, and down goes the target. Blow the smoke off the end of the barrel. Slide the rifle back into its case. My work here is done.

It is your patriotic duty to get all three!

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 4 years 12 weeks ago

If the pull is too short, try adding a slip-on recoil pad. I know you guys have heard me say this lots of times but it has worked for me. That curve in the butt plate of the Mini might cause some problems though.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Drew Steven Knoop wrote 4 years 12 weeks ago

I would say the mini is not a good choice for hunting purposes, we have one, and have been trying to trade it for a few years now, its a blast to shoot, the 30 round clip makes it fun, but i cant hit a pop can at 30 yards with the dang thing, I would put it in the same category of usefullness as a SKS.. But if you want to buy one let me know...Lol

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from Cgull wrote 4 years 12 weeks ago

I'd get the savage.

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from DakotaMan wrote 4 years 12 weeks ago

I personnally would not get the mini. Initially it is fun to spray lead but it sucks at hitting targets and hunting. The guys above are right that you will have a life time of fun with a good modern AR type rifle. They are accurate but expensive. You can outshoot most people at the range with a good 24" varminter including most bolt shooters and they are great for varmint hunting. Unfortunately, they are expensive. You already have a great rifle... I would suggest that you get a reloader and make yourself some nice 110 grain Hornady loads for target shooting with your .300WM. They will probably be your most accurate bullet at 100 and 200 yards. They can be loaded to practically no recoil and you can shoot varmints with them at speeds up to 3750 fps. Experiment with 130s too. Also, I suggest you get a lead sled so you can have fun shooting hot hunting loads in your .300WM. You could shoot a thousand of your hottest rounds a day with it. I would try to get everything I could out of that great rifle before I started looking for something else to shoot. There are lots of great cartriges and great rifles out there but you already have one of the best.

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from fng wrote 4 years 12 weeks ago

Indeed guys. Thanks Dakota, you make an excellent point. The only thing that sucks about buying semis in Canada is that you're limited to five round magazines. However, 110 grains sound good (im trying 150 interlock sp bts this weekend out of Hornady's custom ammo) and when I can afford the reloading equipment, I WILL try it. Thanks once again

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from fng wrote 4 years 12 weeks ago

My one thing is, how frangible are the 110's? I need to know; the area around my friends house isn't that large (few acres) and I don't want it to punch thru a songdog and keep on rollin

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from fng wrote 4 years 12 weeks ago

My one thing is, how frangible are the 110's? I need to know; the area around my friends house isn't that large (few acres) and I don't want it to punch thru a songdog and keep on rollin

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from libertyfirst wrote 4 years 12 weeks ago

I've had three Mini-14. One would shoot reasonable well, about 21/2" at one yards with ammo that it liked. The other two were about 4-41/2" performers. All were extremely dependable. I loved the rifles and the way that they carried but I couldn't live with the accuracy and the triggers were not an easy fix.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 12 weeks ago

They are fun to lay lots of brass on the ground, but not very accurate for the most part. At open sight range they are acceptable, but definitely not a long range varminter. "Pattern" describes the groups my neighbor's Mini 14 shoots. After I tried to get it sighted in and found that about a 4" group was all that it would do, he let his Air Force Academy Cadet grandson have a go at it thinking that he had some pixie dust bestowed upon him at the Colorado School for Wayward Boys, but alas, the groups did not improve.

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from fng wrote 4 years 11 weeks ago

and mr Dakotaman, my father has quite unpolitely vetoed the idea of keeping powder in his house (our garage is unheated) so I believe I must keep looking... sigh

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from DakotaMan wrote 4 years 11 weeks ago

A three acre lot isn't much for any centerfire since most, including a mini-14 or a 110g .30 caliber, can ricochet up to four miles with enough to knock a man down from a mile away. Sorry to hear that you can't reload as that would add much to your shooting enjoyment of the .300WM. 110's are pretty frangible but not enough to trust on a plot that small. If I were you, I would consider getting a .223 or .204 Ruger in whatever platform I could afford. You can get extremely frangible bullets for them; they shoot with low recoil and are generally superbly accurate. I am a little surprised at your dad's reaction to slow burning smokeless gun powder like you would use in reloading. It IS volatile but not much more so than a can of motor oil and certainly not nearly as bad as lighter fluid or matches. If he will allow you to store powder in the unheated garage, that should be fine.You might also look around to see if you can find a buddy or mentor who will allow you to reload with them until you get used to it. Good luck and happy hunting.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from fng wrote 4 years 11 weeks ago

no, unfortunately. His friend was a gunsmith who almost diead as a result of reloading, and if it isn't in a case he doesn't want it near him :/. I personally think he's just saying no to say no, but whatever, its his house. He also goes on about how stupid it would be to let me near anything "explosive" (even tho its not an explosive, good one dad!) and I personally don't want to leave expensive powder out in an unheated garage thro a Canadian winter... so I guess for now that's a non-issue. Thank you for the advice, tho and as soon as I can get a furnace out there, or get my own place, it will be so!

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from blackdawgz wrote 4 years 8 weeks ago

I owned a Mini-14. I found it to be quite inaccurate. I searched online to find someone who could accurize it. I found someone, and their best claim was to get 1 1/8 inch groups, and then they quit communicating. Their price for their service was $1,200. I guess they got a case of conscience, but that was actually the best they could do for the amount of money, which would pay more than the price of a Bushmaster, to name one that is already more accurate. Ended up getting the AR10-T.

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from Wapiti wrote 4 years 12 weeks ago

OBVIOUSLY, the answer is to save your money and get the Mini, the AR, and the bolt gun! Come on, stimulate the struggling economy!

I feel like the Mini and the AR are each different answers to the same question. Bolt guns are a different animal entirely.

I like the Mini as a casual, fun, reliable shooter. It just feels good to grab one and start popping off rounds at sticks and dirt clods and varmints that need holes in them. In old westerns there was always a gun rack near the door of the ranch house. When trouble started, the hero would reach over and grab a handy lever rifle out of the rack and go to work. I see the Mini as a kind of modern day ranch gun. They even call it the Ranch Rifle.

If you want a serious 5.56mm war fighter, AR-types are pretty much the deal. They're accurate, rugged, reliable, customizable, and they even LOOK like they mean business. There are enough options and accessories available to keep you tinkering for a lifetime. They're a step up from the comfortable Mini in a number of ways. (But, it just wouldn't feel right to slide one into a saddle scabbard!)

Finally, a bolt gun sets the tone for calm, confident rifle work. It says we're gonna put lead on the target -- and with the very first shot. No bells or whistles. Just a barrel, a stock, a scope, and down goes the target. Blow the smoke off the end of the barrel. Slide the rifle back into its case. My work here is done.

It is your patriotic duty to get all three!

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from alabamaoutlaw wrote 4 years 12 weeks ago

Makes you plenty strong ,oh by the way next time ikill one of those big hogs in the swamp could you drop by.Just kidding,But just remember that thing between your ears needs just as much exercise as the body.
Fnj I spent my money on the savage and am well pleased with the gun,I mean it's a savage it is a little on the rough side.My brother bought the tikka t3 and it is like silk when you work the bolt hot or not.Both guns are below 1/4 moa @100yards leopold optics on both.Best of luck in your searches

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from hnestle wrote 4 years 12 weeks ago

I wish I would have never trade my mini 14. Great for open sites at the range or just plinking around, but if you want to mount a scope you have to have it drilled and tapped. So you might as well get an AR cause it will end up costing about the same and its easier to customize the AR because of after market add on and uppers. Personal I like the mini's better, but that is probaly because I grew up watching the A-Team.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from alabamaoutlaw wrote 4 years 12 weeks ago

Only have been around the mini 14 my brother owned,Alright to 150 yards but after that it lost any acountablity as far as accuracy it put rounds everywhere.
Good luck in your choice.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Edward J. Palumbo wrote 4 years 12 weeks ago

The Mini-14 is FUN to shoot. If you handload, you may need a small base resizing die (or not...see how it cycles your handloads). If you want tighter groups, check with Accuracy Systems (if memory serves me) and they'll give you some options, but you can purchase a Mini-14 for just a bit more than the price of an AR15 upper receiver. I consider the Mini-14 a great utility rifle and a decent pest-eliminator. If you want a nail-driving rifle for varminting and you know you need more accuracy than the Mini14 semiauto can provide, then the Tikka bolt action is a fine choice, of course. The difference? The Mini-14 will deliver about 2MOA out of the box; the Tikka will give you

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Drew Steven Knoop wrote 4 years 12 weeks ago

I would say the mini is not a good choice for hunting purposes, we have one, and have been trying to trade it for a few years now, its a blast to shoot, the 30 round clip makes it fun, but i cant hit a pop can at 30 yards with the dang thing, I would put it in the same category of usefullness as a SKS.. But if you want to buy one let me know...Lol

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from DakotaMan wrote 4 years 12 weeks ago

I personnally would not get the mini. Initially it is fun to spray lead but it sucks at hitting targets and hunting. The guys above are right that you will have a life time of fun with a good modern AR type rifle. They are accurate but expensive. You can outshoot most people at the range with a good 24" varminter including most bolt shooters and they are great for varmint hunting. Unfortunately, they are expensive. You already have a great rifle... I would suggest that you get a reloader and make yourself some nice 110 grain Hornady loads for target shooting with your .300WM. They will probably be your most accurate bullet at 100 and 200 yards. They can be loaded to practically no recoil and you can shoot varmints with them at speeds up to 3750 fps. Experiment with 130s too. Also, I suggest you get a lead sled so you can have fun shooting hot hunting loads in your .300WM. You could shoot a thousand of your hottest rounds a day with it. I would try to get everything I could out of that great rifle before I started looking for something else to shoot. There are lots of great cartriges and great rifles out there but you already have one of the best.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 12 weeks ago

If I was going for a mini 14, I would go with he AR15 so you can change the upper out to other calibers. As for the Mini 14, not enough bang for the buck, the rear sight is a piece of trash and to really put a scope on one, you have to have it drilled and tapped.

Get'ya a bolt gun!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 12 weeks ago

100+ rounds thru and still be able to work out the next day? LOL

Should have been with me in Alaska 86-90 running the busiest range in the State. I was constantly sighting Mags for everyone and talk about some really weird wildcats in 458/460!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from fng wrote 4 years 12 weeks ago

holy crap, Coop! I know, I always admired servicemen of ALL countries... guys shooting garands? 500+ 30-06 rounds a day for 4 years! holy crap... and Im just getting started (19) so of course I want to own everything at once. As to working out, everyone talks about being "strong" does a 240 bench, 315 squat and 400+ pound deadlift put me up there?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from fng wrote 4 years 12 weeks ago

Indeed, I would help for a share of bacon, but alas I reside in Alberta. Actually, me and my father have a standing bet that I cannot lift out a Canadian buck (minus guts and head) out of the bush on my shoulders. Yea, Im thinking Tikka, because I can find them more readily here.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from alabamaoutlaw wrote 4 years 12 weeks ago

The one my brother bought is a great gun,and i think if i had to do it again i would have passed on the savage for the Tikka.But money is tight these days and i got a great deal.Good luck to you and your father in your pursuit of the great deer of the north.
I live about 2 miles from the head of Mobile bay right in the heart of the swamp.Good hunting and a prosperios future for you.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from sgaredneck wrote 4 years 12 weeks ago

fng,

IMO don't get a Mini. They are fun - alright for spraying lead. There are other things they are even real good for. Now that Obama is probably not gonna take anyone's guns here without the mother of all fights, AR's have come back down some in price. The AR in my avatar is a Rock River 24" 1-in-8 twist varmint model with a 4.5-30x50 Bushnell 6500 on it. On several occasions when my wallet would allow it, I have shot maybe half a box of ammo thru it. When talking .223/5.56, a box in my book is the O.D. green ammo tin that holds 500 rounds. I have been buying Georgia Arms 68 grain match, and it's actually been a decent deal in light of everyone and his brother freaking out around here and buying every piece of 55 grain ammo and the components too.

I realize the AR(in my configuration) is a more expensive option, but it shoots soft and is VERY accurate. However, I doubt it would be more accurate than the Tikka T3 varmint with the heavy barrel. IMO you would be more tired of loading mags and working the bolt for the Tikka than you would shooting it. You know how I feel about Tikkas - I love them. I don't think you could go wrong there either.

Best of luck and good shooting,

S Ga

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from sgaredneck wrote 4 years 12 weeks ago

LMAO
Anytime someone can work in an 'A-Team' reference there is a +1. NOTE: seemingly on that show no one ever was hit by a bullet or killed. Was this due to lack of accuracy by the Mini?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 4 years 12 weeks ago

If the pull is too short, try adding a slip-on recoil pad. I know you guys have heard me say this lots of times but it has worked for me. That curve in the butt plate of the Mini might cause some problems though.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Cgull wrote 4 years 12 weeks ago

I'd get the savage.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from fng wrote 4 years 12 weeks ago

Indeed guys. Thanks Dakota, you make an excellent point. The only thing that sucks about buying semis in Canada is that you're limited to five round magazines. However, 110 grains sound good (im trying 150 interlock sp bts this weekend out of Hornady's custom ammo) and when I can afford the reloading equipment, I WILL try it. Thanks once again

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from fng wrote 4 years 12 weeks ago

My one thing is, how frangible are the 110's? I need to know; the area around my friends house isn't that large (few acres) and I don't want it to punch thru a songdog and keep on rollin

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from fng wrote 4 years 12 weeks ago

My one thing is, how frangible are the 110's? I need to know; the area around my friends house isn't that large (few acres) and I don't want it to punch thru a songdog and keep on rollin

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from libertyfirst wrote 4 years 12 weeks ago

I've had three Mini-14. One would shoot reasonable well, about 21/2" at one yards with ammo that it liked. The other two were about 4-41/2" performers. All were extremely dependable. I loved the rifles and the way that they carried but I couldn't live with the accuracy and the triggers were not an easy fix.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from DakotaMan wrote 4 years 11 weeks ago

A three acre lot isn't much for any centerfire since most, including a mini-14 or a 110g .30 caliber, can ricochet up to four miles with enough to knock a man down from a mile away. Sorry to hear that you can't reload as that would add much to your shooting enjoyment of the .300WM. 110's are pretty frangible but not enough to trust on a plot that small. If I were you, I would consider getting a .223 or .204 Ruger in whatever platform I could afford. You can get extremely frangible bullets for them; they shoot with low recoil and are generally superbly accurate. I am a little surprised at your dad's reaction to slow burning smokeless gun powder like you would use in reloading. It IS volatile but not much more so than a can of motor oil and certainly not nearly as bad as lighter fluid or matches. If he will allow you to store powder in the unheated garage, that should be fine.You might also look around to see if you can find a buddy or mentor who will allow you to reload with them until you get used to it. Good luck and happy hunting.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 12 weeks ago

They are fun to lay lots of brass on the ground, but not very accurate for the most part. At open sight range they are acceptable, but definitely not a long range varminter. "Pattern" describes the groups my neighbor's Mini 14 shoots. After I tried to get it sighted in and found that about a 4" group was all that it would do, he let his Air Force Academy Cadet grandson have a go at it thinking that he had some pixie dust bestowed upon him at the Colorado School for Wayward Boys, but alas, the groups did not improve.

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from fng wrote 4 years 11 weeks ago

and mr Dakotaman, my father has quite unpolitely vetoed the idea of keeping powder in his house (our garage is unheated) so I believe I must keep looking... sigh

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from fng wrote 4 years 11 weeks ago

no, unfortunately. His friend was a gunsmith who almost diead as a result of reloading, and if it isn't in a case he doesn't want it near him :/. I personally think he's just saying no to say no, but whatever, its his house. He also goes on about how stupid it would be to let me near anything "explosive" (even tho its not an explosive, good one dad!) and I personally don't want to leave expensive powder out in an unheated garage thro a Canadian winter... so I guess for now that's a non-issue. Thank you for the advice, tho and as soon as I can get a furnace out there, or get my own place, it will be so!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from blackdawgz wrote 4 years 8 weeks ago

I owned a Mini-14. I found it to be quite inaccurate. I searched online to find someone who could accurize it. I found someone, and their best claim was to get 1 1/8 inch groups, and then they quit communicating. Their price for their service was $1,200. I guess they got a case of conscience, but that was actually the best they could do for the amount of money, which would pay more than the price of a Bushmaster, to name one that is already more accurate. Ended up getting the AR10-T.

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