Okay from the gunsmith’s perspective, my $.02.
The Mini’s have improved exponentially, the barrels are much better, the receivers can have scopes installed easily unlike earlier models, there are factory hi capacity magazines readily available now. Including 20 and 30 for the .223 and 20’s for the x39.
Several complaint voiced previously don’t make sense to me, so I will just skip them.
The Ruger design is stronger than most understand, ‘Ol Bill had a habit when guns were designed back then, 100% margin of safety. Meaning if it’s a 45,000 psi cartridge chambered in the gun, it’ll hold 90,000 psi. Few designs out there can make this statement.
Accuracy, many people give the Mini’s a try but don’t give them the same fair test that they do other designs because it’s just a Mini and everybody knows it’s not accurate or reliable .
The last three through my shop were as follows:
Stainless Mini .223 Ranch Rifle. Trigger job and “accuracy” complaint (2″ at 100Y originally, which coincidentally is the same group my M-4gery will shoot)
After the trigger job, touching up the barrel crown and lapping the gas block and properly tensioning the gas block screws, it shot just over 1″ with the same ammo.
Blued Mini .223 180-series, reliability complaint and accuracy complaint (3″ groups at 100Y)
Replaced the junk magazines with factory mags, replaced the recoil spring as the gun had been left with the action locked open for several decades thanks to an expert’s advice. Now 100% reliable with everything from Wolf Mil Classic through Federal 55gr SP’s.
The accuracy, depending on ammo changed from 2″ to 5″ at 100Y. The barrel tended to heat up and the groups would open up at that point. I asked the customer how often he shot more than 3 rounds at a time, he replied only when messing around. I looked at him and handed him the test targets.
The third, a Mini-30.
The usual accuracy complaints, the customer brought in a couple mags of Wolf and Tula ammo with the gun.
I went out and put it on the bench, using Federal ball ammo, it shot right around 2″ at 100Y. The Tula shot @4″, the Wolf right at 6″.
Talked with the customer, he hadn’t benched the gun, hadn’t tried good ammo and had to be shown how to clean the gun.
The Mini series are a light, reliable, decently accurate carbine. ‘
And legal in many places that other designs aren’t.
You want a gun that’s built for a conscript, get the AK.
You want a thinking mans gun, there are many options, including the Mini’s.
As an aside, I’m looking at replacing my wife’s AK with a Mini 30 or a 6.8 if I can find one.