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Ruger AR-556

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How about a Min-14 Target model?

Five Reasons To Reconsider The Ruger Mini-14

 

I've got one. So far with off the shelf hornady I'm getting 1 1/2 inch groups at 100 yards. I've tried a little tuning with the harmonic balancer. I read an article which I believe was the American rifleman where with black hills 55 gr, the author was getting 1 inch groups. I've since picked up a bunch of those but haven't had a chance to try it out. The article gave details on where to set the harmonic balancer. What I like about the Mini-14 and M1 is the action. You can throw handfuls of dirt in there and they will keep on trucking. I've got a Bushmaster 24 inch stainless that I can't say the same about. The Bushmaster does do 3/4 inch groups though.

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I like the more tactical look of the ARs. Plus there are so many bolt on parts for it out there. I remember when you couldn't even get an AR (Obama days). But now they have really come down in price and availability.

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Both very good budget options, nothing wrong with them in terms of reliability and function and good choices to have something and not worrying about much fuss.  Kind of a set it and forget it.  What it comes down to is more looks and feel.

The Ruger Ar556 is going to be the more modern adaptation with faster acquisition and the black scary rifle look (some may not want this).  You will also learn how to use and maintain newer weapons in the AR platform.  This rifle will have more parts and cheaper good quality magazines available.  Parts are everywhere and easy to find.

The Ruger Mini 14 has the more traditional look, ergonomics and looks less evil (patterned after the M14 or civilian version called the M1A which uses 7.62x51).  The parts are more proprietary, so if things break or need replacement, will be harder to find on a wide scale.  To fix this, make sure to buy extra recommended replacement parts to have on hand.

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