PSA Freedom Rifle vs. Mini-14

   09.21.17

PSA Freedom Rifle vs. Mini-14

James over at The Firearm Blog put together an excellent video comparing a Palmetto State Armory (PSA) Freedom AR-15 and a new Ruger Mini-14. Let’s take a few minutes and talk about the video.

The AR-15 is one of the Freedom rifles from PSA. This is their economy line in which the barrel is not chrome-lined (and if I remember right, not hammer forged). PSA introduced this product line for people who want a low-cost AR-15 solution. Chrome-lining a barrel is expensive, and the cost savings is passed down to the consumer.

When the Mini-14 was first introduced by Sturm, Ruger and Co, it developed a reputation for not being very accurate. Unfortunately, that reputation has followed the Mini-14 through the decades.

The Mini-14 in the video is brand-new and was sent to James from Ruger for testing and evaluation.

Over at the Mini-14 forum, I posted a thread asking about the model 186 and 187.  Some of the members talk about the accuracy issues with the older Mini-14s. Hopefully, I will be putting the 187 on layaway in the next few days.

Before we get started, let’s watch.

Ammunition

Why was cheap ammo used in an accuracy video?  I can understand starting with something like Wolf, and then working towards match grade. Stopping at bulk American Eagle, in my opinion, does not allow either rifle show its true potential.

How would the rifles do using hunting grade ammunition, such as Remington Core-Lokt?  Not that Remington Core-Lokt is “that” accurate, but a lot of deer hunters use it.

Barrels

Different twist, and different barrel material. Just comparing a 1:7 to a 1:9 would have been nice.

PSA Accuracy

As a PSA fanboy, I have to admit the Freedom rifle failed, and failed miserably. But I do not understand how it did so poorly, given my own experience with PSA.

A while back I built a predator hunting rifle with a mid-length PSA Freedom upper.

Specifications:

  • PSA 16″ Mid-length, 5.56 NATO, 1:7, Melonite, Freedom, Keymod Lightweight Upper, model number 7779901.
  • Spikes tactical stripped lower.
  • CMMG lower parts kit, with fire control group.
  • Impact weapons systems receiver end plate with quick connect.
  • Bravo company receiver extension and buffer.
  • PSA premium bolt carrier group.
  • Standard charging handle.
  • Nikon P-223 4-12×40 BDC 600

I wonder how that would do compared with the rifle James used?

Final Thoughts

James always makes excellent videos, and this one is no exception. However, I feel more testing needs to be done with the PSA Freedom rifle.

The Mini-14 did very well. So well, in fact, that I was impressed. Maybe now Ruger can put those old accuracy issues to rest.

 

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