I SOLD MINE FOR AN AR-15 !! Yep, when you consider the price of weapon along with expensive factory mags, it adds up.. The 12 dollar Tapco Mini 14 mags are great and work pretty well. But for extreme reliability and rugedness the 30-42 dollar factory mags are where its at.
Also, the weapon is heavier than an AR15. With just a red dot, forgrip, and 6 in bottom rail which should have came with gun in the first place instead of that lame 2 in. , the weapon weighed in a little over 8 pounds !! and all of this weight seems to be in the folding mechanism and pistol grip area. In other words, horribly balanced. The stock and cheek piece feel cheap and not durable at all. The Iron Sights are almost un-usable with the top rail installed. My AR15 weighs about 6 lbs with the same accessories attached. I would not want to carry the Mini 14 ATI on a hike, in combat, WROL, SHTF wutever, its just too damn heave for a 30 round 223.
And don't even get me started on cleaning it, i almost had to break down and go to the gun shop just to get the bolt back in, luckily i somehow finagled it in and decided to never remove it again. _:(
I bought my Mini for $668. I bought my AR-15 for a lil under 600. Plum Crazy Lower(120), ZM4, Modle 1, or Ranger Sales Upper(275-330), Bolt Carrier Group(100), Charging Handle(15) with the rest, I bout a sweet BUIS, 10 magazines, and a sling. And with Piston retrofit systems ranging from 170-400 with many options in between, there is no reason not to have an AR unless ur trying to go for the 2nd kind of cool.
I know People hate to jump on the AR15 bandwagon, but seriously, there is nothing a Mini 14 can do that an AR cant do better....alot better. Besides, Ruger SR 556 pretty much puts this thing to shame.
All of this is not buds fault, the order was fast and smooth and Ive since bought other weapons from buds, but i will never own another Mini 14 unless its free and has been converted to take AR15 Mags.
Rating: 2 of 5 Stars!