21 Sept 01
From an LEO friend in Texas on Mini-14s:
“We recently received several Ruger Mini-14 rifles that were donated by a group of local businessmen. While shooting these rifles in training, a couple of things were discovered that may benefit others.
First, lubricating the rifle according to the Ruger instruction manual is not sufficient. Sustained firing heats the metal to the point that oil evaporates, causing the action to bind shortly thereafter. However, by lubricating the friction points with grease, as one would a Garand, function problems were all but eliminated. The manual warns of accumulations of dust and dirt if grease is used, but, with regular maintenance, that can be easily controlled. Temperatures are moderate here, so frigid weather is not a concern.
Secondly: the rear sight that came on these rifles has such a small aperture that shooting with the sun in your face is almost impossible. Low-light shooting is also difficult. We will be acquiring rear sights with larger apertures when the new fiscal year begins.”
I still recommend the Mini-14. It does not head the recommend list, but it is perfectly factional, and it is relatively inexpensive when compared with other military rifles. Military rifles are designed for high-volume fire and heavy, strenuous use. Unlike commercial rifles, military rifles are designed to get hot and still remain functional. The Mini-14 is not quite as good as the others in this category, but still acceptable. Grease, instead of oil, is helpful, as we see.
Heading the list of recommended 223 rifles is the Robinson Arms R96. It has been excellent. Heading the list of 308 rifles is the DSA/FAL. None better!