TFBTV: 8 Reasons Why the Ruger Mini-14 is Better Than the AR15 (4K UHD)

In this episode of TFBTV, James discusses 8 traits of the humble Ruger Mini-14 that actually best the high-speed, low-drag AR15. James also gives viewers a brief history of the Mini-14, including a discussion of improvements that have been made to bolster the Mini-14’s notoriously poor accuracy. Finally, James walks viewers through the firing, unloading, and reloading sequences to show the main differences between the manual of arms for the AR15 versus the Mini-14.  It’s an assault rifle face-off in this episode of TFBTV!

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Transcript ….

[coming soon]

James Reeves

• NRA-licensed concealed weapons instructor, 2012-present
Maxim Magazine’s MAXIMum Warrior, 2011
• “Co-Director” [air quotes] of TFBTV
• Former Regional Sales Rep, Interstate Arms Corp., MA
• Champion, Key West Cinco De Mayo Taco Eating Competition
• GLOCK® Certified Pistol Operator, 2017-2022
• Lawyer
► Instagram: jjreevesii
► Twitter: @jjreeves
► Vimeo: JJReeves
► 500px: JJReeves


  • Mmmtacos

    Finally some love for the Mini-14! Yes, the AR is, for all practical reasons, a superior rifle to the Mini-14. I still love the hell out of my Mini though.

  • valorius

    I owned a series 178, 180 and 182 mini-14. Liked all of them.

  • Michael Gallagher

    ” It’s an assault rifle face-off in this episode of TFBTV!”

    Thanks for propagating the liberal hype and hate about modern sporting rifles. Good Job, keep it up and the lemmings that the left continues to pander to will never get the truth.

    Assault Rifle, LOL not one in your story.

    SMH………………………come on guy, you ought to know better.


    • valorius

      F them, they dont have enough votes to pass gas. We can call our rifles whatever we want. I call mine my black beotch.

      • KestrelBike
      • Bolt Vanderhuge

        For once I agree with you Valorious. Hear hear.


        • valorius

          Only once? Even a broken clock is right 2x a day! I feel gipped.

          • Crunch Buttsteak

            We can agree to disagree on many other topics? I’m grasping for straws here but it’s all I’ve got.

          • valorius

            lol. women are great as long as you can send them home, muscle cars are awesome, so are sports cars, motorcycles are dangerous but fun, real men never eat quiche!!!

            Gotta be at least one or 2 things you agree with there. 😀

          • Kivaari

            Real men eat whatever they like.

          • valorius

            So then you agree with the rest of my list? 🙂

          • mazkact

            Its not quiche, its a breakfast souffle.

      • Phillip Cooper

        But the work will turn, they will come to power again…

        • valorius

          Not if they don’t come way back to the center they won’t. Remember, when they won all those seats and Obama won, for about 5-6 years they had absolutely dropped gun control as a party plank.

    • Twilight sparkle

      I mean it would be an assault rifle face off if they changed the guns to the ac556 and the m4

    • Harden Up

      “Modern Sporting Rifle” is such a cop-out phrase. The 2nd Amendment doesn’t say jack about “sporting.”

      I call all my guns Liberty Insurance Policies.

      Dirtbag Cleaners.

      Tyrant Slayers.

      Shoot we should call them “Shoots through schools and assaults transgendered gay autistic elderly folk” rifles.

      They’re too coddled, we need to harden them the f$&# up a bit.

      • roguetechie

        Gersh says hello…

        He still stinks like from soiling himself to keep the AR15 from raping him… But he says hello

    • Anonymoose

      Any rifle used in an assault is an assault rifle. Any weapon used in an assault is an assault weapon. Writing utensils and eyeglasses are assault weapons. Ban everything!

      • mazkact

        John Wick’s pencil………………….Assault Pencil #2.

  • Houston Moore

    lol ok, fake news.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      Anything for clicks

      • iksnilol

        At this pace he’ll start doing lewd stuff for clicks. Can’t wait.

        • ostiariusalpha
        • Paul White

          this is honestly more’n a little creepy at this point

          • iksnilol

            Eh, gotta take the joke to it’s logical conclusion.

          • mazkact


          • iksnilol

            A keymod adult toy in the shape of James?

            Now that’s kinda messed up, dude.

          • Anonymoose

            The logical conclusion being where James finds you outside his window and you try to rape him and he shoots you to death, like in some kind of twisted, gay Lifetime movie?

          • iksnilol

            What are even lifetime movies?

  • valorius

    Best part of the mini-14 is the safety location.

  • Heartbreaker

    Let’s see:
    Heavier, check
    Less accurate, check
    Less modular, check
    Limited optic mounting options, check
    Heavy and expensive proprietary magazines, check
    Terrible trigger that’s difficult to work with, check
    Hard on brass, check
    More expensive, check

    No contest (unless you are in an embattled state).

    That said, I do own both an AR15 and a Mini 14 and they’re both good guns but I would not buy another Mini 14.

    • 1) A 6920 and Mini are about the same weight
      2) I’d generally agree with this, but I can confirm the new Minis are sub-2MOA with American Eagle or better, and I have had inexpensive ARs that couldn’t do better.
      3) Definitely less modular, no contest.
      4) Again, I think this is generally accurate, but the new Minis do come drilled and tapped, plus rings, plus a small/bare minimum pic mount platform.
      5) While not as bad an issue as it used to be, no contest on mags between Mini and AR
      6) The trigger out of the box on the Mini is much, much improved, and is, imo, superior to the standard GI trigger. That said, a new trigger is an easy drop in on an AR.
      7) Oh yeah. Overgassed, usually.
      8) Yup.

      Agree – no contest in terms of which is better, but the video highlights a couple of the advantages of the Mini that don’t get recognition. Thanks for the comment.

      • CommonSense23

        How many rounds are you shooting to confirm new minis are 2MOA with American Eagle.

        • mazkact

          I never would judge an individual SKS before shooting Fed AE through it, that was in the heyday of the SKS and when we bought them by the gross.

      • TechnoTriticale

        I owned a stainless Ranch in .223, and was appalled at the accuracy (compared with experience on ARs back into the 1970s).

        I noticed the later introduction of the special “target” model Mini (which I took to be an admission that Ruger wasn’t going to fix the problem anytime soon for the other Minis), and eventually traded off the Ranch.

        If Ruger has fixed the problem, they need to say so plainly, and ID both the fix, and the s/n break at which the key changes were made.

        The Mini-14 may have some advantages, but if the bullets don’t go where it’s pointed, what’s the point.

        • El Duderino

          The heavy barrel came around 2007 and serials 580-35000 or so. Serials starting in 1 are the older range.

          The heavy barrel is what you’re looking for, and it’s easy enough to determine.

        • Joby

          My dad has a mini from the 80’s that’s just short of MOA capable. Granted, he sent it to some company who put a heavy bull barrel on it and probably some trigger work to boot. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the company name or even if they are still around. For some reason I want to say they were based out of Texas.

      • Flounder

        James, this is the best reply i have ever seen. Excellent work.

      • mazkact

        James your sly grins throughout the video lead me to believe that you do not believe the statement of the title, wink, sly grin wink. Is that Audubon Park in the background ?

        • Yep! I love filming the commentary bits in Audubon. Little known fact: Audubon Park was designed by the same landscape architects that laid out Central Park.

          • mazkact

            I grew up on Bayou Blue (near Houma) my last name is Boudreaux. I live near Houston these days for occupational reasons.Really loved Audubon Park when I was young and still do.

  • EzGoingKev

    The AR is the NBA. The Mini-14 is shirts and skins.

    • EzGoingKev

      Oh yeah, Ruger really blew it by not having commonality with AR mags – and IDGAFF about the reason.

      • nadnerbus

        They could have at least used Galil magazines if they wanted rock and lock.

        • Anonymoose

          Galils didn’t exist when they were designing the Mini. That’s worse than asking HK to use AR15 mags in the HK33 (although they did in the G41). Heck, the AR18 doesn’t even take AR15 mags- the mag catch is on the opposite side to avoid infringing on patents they sold to Colt.

          • ostiariusalpha

            Patents. It’s that simple.

          • Tassiebush

            In other words patently simple…

          • nadnerbus

            I learned something new today, thanks.

      • Tassiebush

        Going on your comment you probably won’t care but a quick look suggests it was developed very close in time to the AR15. I don’t think the AR15 was anywhere near to being free of it’s bad reputation for being unreliable yet.

      • mazkact

        Ya know until the RPR Ruger really stunk the place up with proprietary mags. Now , if the scout rifle or the Mini used commonly available mags I would own both.

  • TC

    Now maybe you could do a comparison between a Mini 30 and an AR15 in 7.62 X 39. That’s where the Ruger ‘Mini’ platform really shines. The Mini 30 is a modern day Winchester 94. Use it for home defense and hunting small to medium size game.

    • Brett baker

      Actually, I have a Mini 30 and wish I had a 14. The trigger group tabs broke and the trigger group falls partially out at least once a mag. Then I have to put the guard Bach in to keep FIRING. I’ll get it to the gunsmith eventually.

      • TC

        If your trigger group is falling out, your can bend the trigger guard slightly to give it a little more pressure to stay latched. If you broke off the tabs, sounds like it’s going to need some new parts. My Mini 30 works 100 percent on any decent brand of ammo, but not the Chinese surplus crap, even with a Wollff hammer spring.


    Stop tryin’ to fake us out for clicks, homeboy. You know we done gonna click already.

  • iksnilol

    The torch has been passed. From Nathaniel to James.


    • Dougscamo

      “SIR” James to you…

      • Paul White

        iks just calls him Daddy

    • JoelC

      I can’t believe you wrote a post where you didn’t ask James to take his shirt off… Are you feeling alright?

      • iksnilol

        Not really, been pulling double shifts. Working two jobs over the summer. I’m running on fumes (and an unhealthy amount of energy drinks and self loathing)

  • James Earl Jones

    When I would go to a public range I would have to make sure I was in the lane all the way to the right if I were to pull out the mini-14. Otherwise my neighbors up to 4 lanes down would get pelted with brass. Accuracy was pretty good though. Could consistently nail clay pigeons at 100yds and then break up the pieces to about quarter sized.

    • Jeff

      In other words, Mini-14s have superior ejection…

  • adverse4

    I do not want to join your newsletter.

  • SGT_B

    The Mini is a seriously neglected product line. First they killed off the 6.8 SPC (whatever), then they axed the target models, and there hasn’t been a factory folder in years. Kudos to Ruger for adding the 300 aac to the lineup, but why no 6.5 Grendel, 5.45×39 or 450 Bushmaster? With the WIDE availability of bargain basement AR15’s Ruger has to either drop the price on the Mini, or provide more “value” somehow.

    • DrewN

      Grendel is a bitch to make feed in a Mini. Ask me how I know, and how much it cost me to find out.

      • Twilight sparkle

        How do you know and how much did it cost you to find out?

    • Audie Bakerson

      Soldier of Fortune edition: A-Team folding stock version that takes AR mags. Not sure why Ruger can’t do that with Bill and Bill gone.

    • Big Daddy

      I almost bought a mini 30 but it doesn’t shoot the cheap ammo well. So what’s the point? Might as well get a 300BO. I’ll stick with my ARs. I have them in 9mm, 45 ACP, 5.56mm, 6.8mm SPCII, 300BO, 7.62×39 and 308.

      • Karl Vanhooten

        My Mini .5.56/.223 plows thru Bear, Wolf & TulAmmo like tic-tacs – no problem, except cleaning after them is a pain in the a$$. If you are well off enough to afford 9mm, 45 ACP, 5.56mm, 6.8mm SPCII, 300BO, 7.62×39 and 308 barrels and innards, well, good for you. I’m just an old retired fart.

        • Big Daddy

          The Mini 30 doesn’t unless you modify the bolt. They put in a little hump in there for some reason that has to be ground down. I can only afford that because as a retired older guy I have no other hobbies and I have no children. Other than the basics I only spend on my guns and ammo. I do what I have to and other than that I shoot.

    • Karl Vanhooten

      Neglected by Ruger? Absolutely! I feel Ruger has thrown the Mini rifles under the bus. Thank goodness for Accuracy Systems – they supply everything Ruger should have. They set me up with a two-step trigger with a crisp 3 lb trigger. Perfect.

      OK . . . accurate? Yes! With my 68 year old eyes and a scope, I can hit two inch groups at one hundred yards with my 582 series. Jeeze, whaddya want for a defensive round? Since .223 falls at zero at 200 yards once zeroed at 50 yards, hitting 200 yards in an eight inch steel is a piece of cake. Again, whaddya want? Better eyes and better shooters could do better. And I can disassemble and reassemble a Mini with my eyes closed. You black plastic AR fanboys are just being closed minded and jerks. Thanks, James.

    • gunsandrockets

      I managed to come across one of those 6.8mm Mini-14 recently, I’d never even seen one before. After doing some research I decided to buy it.

      Now I think of it as the M1 Garand rifle that never was, but should have been. Mid calibered like the .276 Pederson, gas piston instead of muzzle gas trap, and detachable box mag instead of clip feed.

  • Ricky Bobby

    reason number 1.) I’ve suffered severe brain injury and don’t do “reason” very well anymore.

  • Bill S. Preston Esquire

    Clickbait notwithstanding,

    Reason #1 does not apply – I don’t give 2 shits about what my neighbors think about the looks of my guns–I would argue them that we need to desensitize them anyway, so the more people loading ARs into their vehicles that they see, the more acclimated they become and better for us all.

    Reason #2 does not apply – with all of the ARs available out there, there are plenty of decent ones that come with good triggers; even the moderately-priced Armalites have phenominal triggers (their match triggers) in them.

    Reason #3, ok I’ll give you that one, but there are dozens of other rifles out there that do that too that are better weapons (MCX, Galil ACE, etc.)

    Reason #4 buy an AR with a full-length Free Float and the irons will be better sight radius, yet another moot point considering the vast spectrum of AR variety out there (there are no more “stock format” since so many come stock with upgrades on them)

    Reason #5 the AR is in fact NOT Direct Impingement, it’s Internal Piston (IP) utilizing direct-impingement gas transfer. And the gas does not go directly into the chamber, but inside the carrier and if your gas rings are in-spec, very little gas should make it into the chamber area. MacFarland/JP Rings anyone? But yeah the suppressor argument is mostly valid (depending on suppressor).

    Reason #6 If Ruger was serious about accuracy they would do away with their 2-piece screwed-together gas block (the biggest accuracy killer on that design). If they went with a 1pc gas block that’s one major variable in harmonic differential (heating/cooling of either gas block pieces independently of each other)

    Reason #7 <– You skipped number seven

    Reason #8 Stainless…really? Go home James, you're drunk.

    The way he oversimplifies his points, you'd almost think he was….a lawyer *cough cough*

    • I applaud the effort, but please, allow me to retort;

      1) My point’s invalid because it doesn’t matter to *you* specifically? If this was a list for *you* specifically, then this might be a counterargument. However, I am surprised because for *you*, Bill S. Preston, Esq., a resident of San Dimas, CA, this is the most important aspect, because it makes the Mini kosher in Cali. I actually caught a lot of heat for not emphasizing this as a “featureless” gun for AWB purposes.

      2) While I didn’t expressly say it, this was a comparison of an off-the-rack M4. If I was comparing this to modified or premium M4s, it would be a pointless comparison. Nonetheless, I specifically say that you can buy a drop-in trigger for the AR.

      3) Thanks. And this is AR versus Mini, not AR versus every rifle ever made. 🙂

      4) Again, we are talking a plain M4. Again, it’s probably impossible to compare any platform to every configuration of AR at the same time.

      5) This is a semantic argument.

      6) I mean, it shoots 2 MOA as is. Not saying that it shouldn’t be improved to do better, but this doesn’t detract from the point at all.

      7) Haha, I did. How are you the only person that noticed this? LOL.

      8) Uhhh, having an all-stainless gun is really important to some people. While it doesn’t matter much to me, I think this option is one of the more drastic distinctions between the two. A better response would have been “an AR is mostly aluminum”.

      The worst part about being a lawyer is being unable to resist a numbered argument…Thanks for watching and commenting.

      • Ted Theodore Logan

        Thanks for the reply, and respect and appreciate you and your efforts here in TFB.

        I still feel Ruger had plenty of years/chances to bring the mini-14 to where it should/could be. They’ve had what… 45 years?

        I guess their biggest mistake was not consulting me

        Anyway, keep on doing what you’re doin.

        • Haha, thanks, but you didn’t say “be excellent, and party on”

      • JoelC


      • mazkact

        That’s one tasty burger.

      • mazkact

        An AR is mostly Aluminum but then there is the Bi-metal electrolysis to contend with when encountering salt water.

      • Bradley

        If you’re comparing to a milspec rifle then you are comparing the mini-14 to a rifle half it’s price. For the price you could get an AR with parts that would defeat most of the comparisons.

    • JoshuaK27

      a gali is not a better weapon, unless you need to open a beer in the middle of the freaking desert…..

    • The_Champ

      Just because things like low profile and stainless steal don’t apply to your particular situation, doesn’t mean they don’t have value to others.

    • JoshuaK27

      Wow, you mad bro? I really did watch the video and come here for fanboy flame comments such as portrayed by yourself . Your rage is soothing music to me

  • Klaus Von Schmitto

    “8 Reasons Why the Ruger Mini-14 is Better Than the AR15 ”

    Says targets everywhere.

    • Paul White

      i just put bourbon through my nose you basttard that hurts

      • Klaus Von Schmitto

        You want to know what goes good with Bourbon up your nose? Coke.

        • Paul White

          putting coke up your nose attracts allt he wrong attention.

          • georgesteele

            He means Coca-Cola.

  • Audie Bakerson

    1: Wooden ones have pretty wood
    2: The wooden ones are probably better for beating people over the head with
    3: Uh…

  • Kivaari

    At first I thought James had gone mad, then I watched the video. It’s OK.

  • USMC03Vet

    James, as your troll power increase your gains decrease. What a dilemma!

  • Joel

    You would have gotten bonus points for doing the video as Mr T.

    • mazkact


  • Big Daddy

    I clicked to read the comments. As for the video, no thanks,

  • Paul White

    I am in redneck Texas. The odds of someone calling the cops on me because they see me loading AR’s up is very low. The odds of the cops doing more than shooting the breeze about brand/setup is even lower

    • mazkact

      I live in Galveston county ( rural) and I back up my vehicle to my garage to load firearms on range days. Never know when the drones from Ellington will be flying over.

  • Capn Jack

    Ascetically, I’ve always liked the Mini-14, but I went with the AR15 due to the multi calibers available, from .177 pellets all the way to .458 SoCom

  • tiger

    Ruger’s are fine. If you Drive a Black GMC van & have a theme song…..

  • borekfk

    Damn I miss the stainless GB I had.

  • Jim

    The title of this posting alone is blasphemy!!!

  • Brick

    Wait, the Mini-14 has accuracy issues?

    So THAT’s why nobody ever got shot on the A-Team!

  • Gun Fu Guru

    I think you forgot the most obvious: it isn’t banned in the “less” free states.
    The only “feature” on it is the detachable magazine.

  • Ark

    I actually do want one, they’re just too damned expensive! And the magazines cost a fortune!

  • Anonymoose

    Give it up, James. You’re never going to outfudd James Yeager after he ran his carbine courses with a scout rifle and a revolver. And now I have his stupid laugh stuck in my head.

    • Phillip Cooper

      Link, please?

      • Anonymoose

        It’s on youtube. There’s a bunch of videos where he started messing around with a Savage Scout, then a 1911, and then revolvers.

        • .45

          What? Why would Mr. All-Handguns-Should-Be-Glocks do any of that? (I am not watching any of his videos.)

          • Anonymoose

            He had some kind of weird thing going on with this dude from Remington who let him shoot their early prototype Armalite AR15 and gave him a couple DPMS G2s and a 1911R1. Then the guy moved on to a different company. He did a series of revolver videos just for the heck of it.

    • Paul White

      that might actually be kinda worth watching. I usually can’t stomach Yeager but…

      • Anonymoose

        It’s not. Don’t bother.

  • trjnsd

    I’ve had the pleasure of owning a Mini14GB since the mid 80’s. Paid $300 for it, a Law Enforcement trade in (they were switching to M-16’s from military…). It has a 20 inch barrel and is more accurate than I am. I changed out the gas vent to a smaller one. Now the brass exits to the right and forward about six feet. I also have a good AR15, but the Mini is lighter has the good looks of old wood and steel. If I had to choose one for battle it would be the AR; I really like to shoot that Mini; It just feels good. It will go to my son when I’m done with it.

  • Rick O’Shay

    Huh. My jimmies were rustled a lot less than I was expecting.

  • codfilet

    Back in the late ’70s, the Mini-14 was the setup of choice for “Soldiers of Fortune” going to fight in Rhodesia. You had to have a Mini-14, and a Gerber Mk.1 knife, and you were Tier One. My Mini was so old, it had the wooden handguard. It’s main virtue was that it would slam shut on any reload I would feed it, where my SP-1 might not close fully on them without help from the forward assist .

  • Raginzerker

    Lol all the butthurt ar neckbeard operators

  • BillC

    Sight Radius? How’s that an advantage? This is the 21st century, if a person doesn’t have some sort of optic on their main rifle(s), they might as well be from the stone-age.

  • john huscio

    Mini 14……tactical rifle of Fudds everywhere.

  • mazkact

    Minis are great for shooting out car tires……………………………….
    I pity da fool dat do metro sexual gun review xoxoxoxoxo 😉
    I tried to watch A-team recently on cable, the show somehow is not as good as I thought it was when I was fifteen.

  • UCSPanther

    I would take a wood stocked Mini 14 over a quad railed M4 any day.

  • gunsandrockets

    Pretty good review.

    But you did miss some advantages of the Mini-14.

    1) The steel magazines of the Mini-14 are more durable than the aluminum AR-15 magazines. And you can even get Ruger stainless steel mags for Mini-14.

    2) The safety and magazine release of the Mini-14 are ambidextrous, unlike the AR-15.

    3) The height of the Mini-14 iron sights are closer to the bore than an AR-15, minimizing parallax error at close range.

    4) The Mini-14 is easier to clean than an AR-15.

    5) The conventional layout of the Mini-14 confers greater practical accuracy when employing some snap shooting techniques.

    6) Mini-14 is more reliable in very cold environments than the AR-15.

    • DW

      >point2: you know ambi done bad means “equally awkward for both hands ” right? That Garand-type safety arguably belongs in the category.
      >point4: not really.
      >point6: we need more tests about that, theoretically Mini14 can tolerate freezing in the action better.

      • gunsandrockets

        “>point2: you know ambi done bad means “equally awkward for both hands ” right? That Garand-type safety arguably belongs in the category.”

        Arguably awkward? Riiight… because a safety which only requires a motion of the trigger finger alone to activate it or deactivate it is so awkward!

        “>point4: not really.”

        Yes really. An AR-15 is pain to clean with all its tiny nooks and crannies. How often does anyone need toothbrushes or pipe-cleaners to clean a Mini-14?

        “>point6: we need more tests about that, theoretically Mini14 can tolerate freezing in the action better.”

        No reason to believe a Mini-14 would perform any worse than an M1 or M14 in cold conditions, and the M1 and M14 have been extensively tested in cold conditions.

  • The_Champ

    How dare someone say some positive things about a rifle other than an AR?! Rabble rabble rabble!

    Just wish they were a tad more accurate, might consider making one into a fun little coyote/varmint gun.

    • UCSPanther

      The newer ones are built to tighter tolerances and did away with the old paper-thin barrel. My 580 series ’14 isn’t as tight in grouping at 100 yards as my FAMAE SG 540, but it is still very good.

  • supergun

    I will keep my Colt AR 15 hand built in Texas that shoots bullets into bullet holes at 100 yards. If I want to quickly switch to a 300 Blackout platform, I have that available. If I want something bigger, then the 458 will do the job. The mini-14 is a beautiful gun, but I will keep my Colt CRX all day long.