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Thread: Samson Mfg and the Mini-14 Folding Stock

  1. #11
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    Why I don't hate the Mini (But am still pissed at Bill Ruger)

    Quote Originally Posted by SteyrAUG View Post
    Didn't you read gun rags in the 80s? At least these don't jam like those POS AR-15s that got everyone killed in Nam.
    There was much of that back then, and it's fun to rag on that.

    But it would also be a mistake to overlay modern AR reliability and availability onto the Colt of the late 70's and early 80's.

    I was actively shooting AR's, HK's, Mini's, and similar in that time frame. Several realities:

    - The Colt CAR's of the time were not the M4 clones of now. Half moon bolts, different buffers etc. Measured by our modern AR groupthink you'd be hard pressed to say they were better than the bottom feeders we love to hate.

    - Availability was a big issue. I lived in the Metro Atlanta area, relatively large and firearms friendly. I could buy (and did) a Mini-14 and factory mags from any number of Ace hardwares and small shops. (Yep, Ace hardware a mile or less from my house). Including factory 20 round mags for $6-7, etc. Mini's were everywhere.

    - Contrast that with Colt's, very limited distribution. You'd have to drive downtown or cross town to 1-2 gun stores to find a CAR-15. Factory mags were the same price as HK-91 mags and 30 rounders were non-existent new.

    - CAR-15's were ~3x the price of minis, accordingly. I bought Mini's in the 100-150 range. Colt's (and HK's) were in a different class. Though there was a time in the late 70's the HK-91 was cheaper than the CAR-15 (when I got mine). And was 308 to boot! (see mouse gun thing below). I know you posted SGN ads showing Colt's cheaper from mid-80s, but late 70's they were not, at least street price. Exchange rate probably had much to do with that.

    - The few 30 round mags you could find were gun-show & surplus store beaters, culls from the military. Which I'm pretty confident contributed to, if not was the main source of the unreliability we saw with the early CAR's. Even 20 rounder's were not cheap/available. I could get factory HK 91 alloy 20 round for the same as Colt 20 round mags.

    - Aftermarket for the AR largely did not exist. Not only did we not have the stock, trigger, barrel options, even basic parts were unobtainium. You lived or died with what you could get through surplus or sent it back.

    - CAR-15 reliability just was not great. AR-15 (rifle) was a bit better. But relative to competitors, it did not have a compelling advantage, and maybe was a bit of disadvantage. Remember, we did not have near the information we do not on how to make AR's run. Unless it was in a book (it wasn't), gun mags were the only other source. That and local gun shop scuttlebut.

    - Bulk 223/5.56 was not a thing. Yet I could buy surplus German 7.62x51 very cheaply. PMC came on the market and changed that some, and that's when I picked up a Mini again (had sold my original one). I used it like a .22, and in fact referred to it as my .22. Kept it in my FJ-55 landcruiser. But until PMC, cheap 223 was unobtanium. Meanwhile, I could buy commodity 308 hunting/plinking at the local hardware store.

    Here's the part you can legitimately criticise: 223 was viewed as OK for paper punching, but not a serious round. High Power/CMP shooters dominated the group think. AR's were "Mouse guns", shot by women who could not hold up a M-14/M1A. Real men shot 308. If your primary rifle was 223, you were looked at like someone who said their 30/30 was just as good as an M-4 would be in this forum now. With the same condescending tones used on this forum.

    So yeah, A-team and bubbathink did influence mini-14 popularity. Fun/popular to rag on them.

    But availability, price, relative reliability, etc also were huge factors. Unless you were actively shooting multiple contemporaries in the late 70's, you probably would not understand.

    I did a ton of shooting with mini-14's and they always went bang. I stuck with factory mags, learned aftermarket was no-go. I now know and see the mini's weaknesses relative to modern M4's. But also see why they worked and often the CAR's of the time did not (Mags and lube).

    To be very clear: I'm not saying the mini rules, is superior, or even as good as modern alternatives. For the money, they don't make sense now, especially when reliability/functionality is factored in.

    I just don't have the hate/derision for the mini that cool guys do now. I'm glad the mini was available back then, as Colt's were not. I'd love to have an old ex State Patrol GB with flash hider in stainless again.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ramairthree View Post
    I have too much disposable income, nostalgia, and DGAFness to make bang for buck, accuracy, reliability, and ergonomics my only considerations when buying a weapon.
    SNIP
    It’s ok to enjoy stuff that is not the latest and greatest and most refined.
    And

    Quote Originally Posted by Firefly View Post
    I have two types of guns:
    My “killing guns” and stuff I saw as an 80s kid on TV.

    Mini 14s aren’t the worst and yes they are heavily outmoded by ARs but they just are a throwback to a time gone by.
    I'm there. And regret getting rid of my dinosaurs: HK-91 and ex State patrol stainless GB


    For the right price, I’d buy a TEC 9 so I can save Chinatown
    As a kid barely in college I bought serial number 0000750 of the brand new KG-9 from a LEO FFL who was selling them. Yep, the "file the disconnector to get select fire" open bolt version. Had a Samsonite slim briefcase with foam cutouts for it and mags that I made. Ordered a spare disconnector via paper letter for $3 and experimented. Learned that I was more deadly with a commander and less ammo. Fun to shoot, very controllable. But with no stock, largely useless. I traded it for a FN-49 in 30/06, which I also wish I still had.

    But the KG-9 was still neat at the time, was more elegant than the crude MAC-10s. And I can say that having visited Werbell's farm in the late 70s where the Ingram's were being cranked out and Sionics was born.

    We refered to mac-10 owners as kudzu commandos, and rightiously looked down our nose as HK owners should.

  3. #13
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    Sidebar: writing the above made me remember driving all over Atlanta to the primo gun shops in the late 70's. Chucks in Buckhead. David's gun room in the middle of nowhere Norcross (at the time).

    Euclid avenue Pawn shop, who was one of the major class III shops at the time.

    Then Oshman's in the malls started carrying Colt and HK. Did not have to drive as far, but still was very expensive and hard to find. High Country downstairs for outdoor gear, Oshman's for firearms stuff, Mall's were more fun to go to back then.

    Also, you could legally (but expensively) convert stuff to full auto. Really regret not doing so to the relatively cheap HK-94's which just became available)

    Apologies for the detour... Ruger should just sell their original stock. But if not, glad this is available even if expensive.
    Last edited by pinzgauer; 05-05-19 at 10:00.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinzgauer View Post
    There was much of that back then, and it's fun to rag on that.

    But it would also be a mistake to overlay modern AR reliability and availability onto the Colt of the late 70's and early 80's.

    I was actively shooting AR's, HK's, Mini's, and similar in that time frame. Several realities:

    - The Colt CAR's of the time were not the M4 clones of now. Half moon bolts, different buffers etc. Measured by our modern AR groupthink you'd be hard pressed to say they were better than the bottom feeders we love to hate.

    - Availability was a big issue. I lived in the Metro Atlanta area, relatively large and firearms friendly. I could buy (and did) a Mini-14 and factory mags from any number of Ace hardwares and small shops. (Yep, Ace hardware a mile or less from my house). Including factory 20 round mags for $6-7, etc. Mini's were everywhere.

    - Contrast that with Colt's, very limited distribution. You'd have to drive downtown or cross town to 1-2 gun stores to find a CAR-15. Factory mags were the same price as HK-91 mags and 30 rounders were non-existent new.

    - CAR-15's were ~3x the price of minis, accordingly. I bought Mini's in the 100-150 range. Colt's (and HK's) were in a different class. Though there was a time in the late 70's the HK-91 was cheaper than the CAR-15 (when I got mine). And was 308 to boot! (see mouse gun thing below). I know you posted SGN ads showing Colt's cheaper from mid-80s, but late 70's they were not, at least street price. Exchange rate probably had much to do with that.

    - The few 30 round mags you could find were gun-show & surplus store beaters, culls from the military. Which I'm pretty confident contributed to, if not was the main source of the unreliability we saw with the early CAR's. Even 20 rounder's were not cheap/available. I could get factory HK 91 alloy 20 round for the same as Colt 20 round mags.

    - Aftermarket for the AR largely did not exist. Not only did we not have the stock, trigger, barrel options, even basic parts were unobtainium. You lived or died with what you could get through surplus or sent it back.

    - CAR-15 reliability just was not great. AR-15 (rifle) was a bit better. But relative to competitors, it did not have a compelling advantage, and maybe was a bit of disadvantage. Remember, we did not have near the information we do not on how to make AR's run. Unless it was in a book (it wasn't), gun mags were the only other source. That and local gun shop scuttlebut.

    - Bulk 223/5.56 was not a thing. Yet I could buy surplus German 7.62x51 very cheaply. PMC came on the market and changed that some, and that's when I picked up a Mini again (had sold my original one). I used it like a .22, and in fact referred to it as my .22. Kept it in my FJ-55 landcruiser. But until PMC, cheap 223 was unobtanium. Meanwhile, I could buy commodity 308 hunting/plinking at the local hardware store.

    Here's the part you can legitimately criticise: 223 was viewed as OK for paper punching, but not a serious round. High Power/CMP shooters dominated the group think. AR's were "Mouse guns", shot by women who could not hold up a M-14/M1A. Real men shot 308. If your primary rifle was 223, you were looked at like someone who said their 30/30 was just as good as an M-4 would be in this forum now. With the same condescending tones used on this forum.

    So yeah, A-team and bubbathink did influence mini-14 popularity. Fun/popular to rag on them.

    But availability, price, relative reliability, etc also were huge factors. Unless you were actively shooting multiple contemporaries in the late 70's, you probably would not understand.

    I did a ton of shooting with mini-14's and they always went bang. I stuck with factory mags, learned aftermarket was no-go. I now know and see the mini's weaknesses relative to modern M4's. But also see why they worked and often the CAR's of the time did not (Mags and lube).

    To be very clear: I'm not saying the mini rules, is superior, or even as good as modern alternatives. For the money, they don't make sense now, especially when reliability/functionality is factored in.

    I just don't have the hate/derision for the mini that cool guys do now. I'm glad the mini was available back then, as Colt's were not. I'd love to have an old ex State Patrol GB with flash hider in stainless again.
    I think everyone knows that, and anyone who doesn't probably deserves to roll a Mini with a half assed mock up of their retro folder that looks like something CAA would make except it isn't plastic.
    It's hard to be a ACLU hating, philosophically Libertarian, socially liberal, fiscally conservative, scientifically grounded, agnostic, porn admiring gun owner who believes in self determination.

    Chuck, we miss ya man.

    كافر

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteyrAUG View Post
    Are they literally chopping a wood stock and bolting that thing to the rear?

    The picture looks like crap.
    One of the comments brought up the grip gap and their response was stay tuned.

    Been awhile since I have handled a Mini, but I kinda doubt I could manipulate the safety while holding on to the grip as it is pictured currently.
    Last edited by jsbhike; 05-05-19 at 15:59.

  6. #16
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    Cool

    I went through a "Mini Phase" with 2 Mini14s and a Mini30 in 80's-90's. At the time, I was looking for a reliable, accurate long gun and finding a decent AR was difficult but Minis were abound in LGS. I couldn't get the Mini 30 to run right, no matter what I did! It wasn't fun at all so was sold with full disclosure to guy who thought he could get to run right, didn't happen. I used the funds to buy an early Bushmaster and it was all over then. The Bushmaster ran and ran all the time, was accurate and easy to shoot/good ergos. The Mini14s were used as trading fodder as both were picked up in "divorce" and "moving" sales respectively for good prices along with accessories etc. I used the proceeds of one to buy an Eagle Arms EA-15 Dissipator that came into a LGS and (finally!) a Colt SP1 thats 50% A1 50%A2 in Colts weird and peculiar way of making Civy Rifles during that time period. I never shot the Mini 14s due to the negative experiences with the Mini 30. I regret that a little now as I do get a bit nostalgic about them when I see them in movie or tv show. Who knows, I might be inclined to pick up a stainless one, get that stock and just have a little mindless fun at the range one day!! Sometimes you need to just have a blast at the range!!
    Last edited by GNXII; 05-05-19 at 16:51.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ramairthree View Post
    I have too much disposable income, nostalgia, and DGAFness to make bang for buck, accuracy, reliability, and ergonomics my only considerations when buying a weapon.

    I beat the piss out of four cars with carburetors, non overdrive manual or automatic transmissions, and AM radios with 8track players. When concurrently owning a new Hemi Challenger and 5.0 Coyote Mustang.

    It’s ok to enjoy stuff that is not the latest and greatest and most refined.
    Awesome post dude! Sometimes we do shit just for [gasp] FUN.

    I have a Postal Meter M1 Carbine I bought and my wife quickly annexed it. I then bought a new production Inland Manufacturing one that (due to purported soft bolt and hammer issues) I had upgraded to a USGI bolt and hammer. Even bought a set of headspace gauges to make sure that was correct with the bolt change. Spent WAY more than I should have, everything included just so I could also have an M1 Carbine. Will I grab it when/if the SHTF? Very unlikely, I have more than enough quality AR's to choose from. Is it ballistically equal or superior to 5.56mm? Nope, not even close. But I find them cool little guns and wanted my own since the CO confiscated mine!

    The only quite unlikely justification for owning one other than I want to is that a future AWB might exclude the Carbine and therefore would be one less thing I'd have to cache.....oops, I mean get rid of to be in compliance with the law. But the 99% reason is that I WANT one and could afford it.
    Last edited by ABNAK; 05-05-19 at 17:53.
    11C2P '83-'87
    Airborne Infantry

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsbhike View Post
    One of the comments brought up the grip gap and their response was stay tuned.

    Been awhile since I have handled a Mini, but I kinda doubt I could manipulate the safety while holding on to the grip as it is pictured currently.
    It's not just that. On the original GB model the hinge is well into the stock up to the trigger group.



    That gives you a stable folding stock. If you just bolt some crap onto the back of chopped off wood you are going to have crap. A Choate folding stock is literally 100 times better than this crap, and Choate Mini folding stocks suck.
    It's hard to be a ACLU hating, philosophically Libertarian, socially liberal, fiscally conservative, scientifically grounded, agnostic, porn admiring gun owner who believes in self determination.

    Chuck, we miss ya man.

    كافر

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ABNAK View Post
    Awesome post dude! Sometimes we do shit just for [gasp] FUN.

    I have a Postal Meter M1 Carbine I bought and my wife quickly annexed it. I then bought a new production Inland Manufacturing one that (due to purported soft bolt and hammer issues) I had upgraded to a USGI bolt and hammer. Even bought a set of headspace gauges to make sure that was correct with the bolt change. Spent WAY more than I should have, everything included just so I could also have an M1 Carbine. Will I grab it when/if the SHTF? Very unlikely, I have more than enough quality AR's to choose from. Is it ballistically equal or superior to 5.56mm? Nope, not even close. But I find them cool little guns and wanted my own since the CO confiscated mine!

    The only quite unlikely justification for owning one other than I want to is that a future AWB might exclude the Carbine and therefore would be one less thing I'd have to cache.....oops, I mean get rid of to be in compliance with the law. But the 99% reason is that I WANT one and could afford it.

    An M1 Carbine is ridiculously fun.
    So is stuff like not having a .40 when everyone else is raving about it.
    Then getting and shooting one when nobody else is.

    “Where weapons may not be carried, it is well to carry weapons.”

  10. #20
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    I seen GSP draw down unironically on folks with them stainless Mini 14s up until like 5 or 6 years ago.

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