Ruger Mini 14 Vs. AR-15

The Mini 14 and the AR 15 have some strong similarities. But does one have an advantage over the other? This is an excellent question that doesn’t really have a straight forward answer but we will give you all the facts so that you can make that decision for yourself.

First, what will you be using the weapon for? Target Shooting? Hunting? Or are you using it for more tactical applications? For the sake of this article we will be focusing more on the tactical aspect.

before you purchase any gun it is important to know the capabilities and limitations of that weapon system. I have highlighted major specifications below.

Ruger Mini 14

ruger Mini-14

Weight: Just under 7 lbs.

Length: 37.25 inches

Cartridge: .223 or NATO 5.56

Aftermarket parts / options: Limited

Price: $800


AR-15 (Mil-Spec)

ruger mini 14

Weight: Just under 7 lbs

Length: 29.75 inches (stock collapsed with standard 14.5″ barrel)

Cartridge: .223 or NATO 5.56

Aftermarket parts / options: Vast (will make your head spin)

Price: $1,000+


As you can see, the Ruger and the AR have a lot in common. They both fire the same caliber round so they are interchangeable in that sense. Because of this, the two rifles will also have similar ballistics with max effective ranges out to about 500 yards point target. Both rifles are very close in weight coming in at just under 7 lbs. This of course will vary depending on your setup.

Now for the differences. The AR-15 is 7.5 inches shorter when the buttstock is collapsed all the way down. From a tactical aspect, this is a significant advantage, especially if you’re working in tight spaces or inside buildings and urban environments.

The AR 15 also has almost limitless options and aftermarket parts. All of the parts on an AR are interchangeable with the M4 and M16 that the military uses which is an advantage in a post end of the world scenario. The AR15 is extremely popular and there are countless aftermarket suppliers. You can modify these weapons any way you see fit with lights, lasers, optics of every variety, etc. You can even swap out upper receivers that have different barrel sizes for different shooting applications. Your options are limitless. Hands down, the AR wins in this category.

Lastly, we get to price. The Ruger typically runs about $800 new for a standard model but you might be able to save a few bucks on A true Mil-spec AR-15 is typically going to cost you at least 1,000 bucks but you can easily spend $1,500-$1,700 to get what you want. I always recommend Bravo Company for AR’s, their manufacturing process is top-notch and they are a leader in the industry. All of my AR’s are from Bravo Company.

A cheaper and better option in my opinion is to build your own AR15. This will save you a little money and the end result is a rifle exactly the way you want it totally customized to you. If you’re interested in this option, check

So my conclusion is this… If your a simple man (or woman) with simple tastes, go with the Ruger. It’s a great rifle and it wont let you down. But if you’re a true tactical shooter, you absolutely must! have an AR15. No question about it.