I’ve handled, but not fired, the Ruger 5.56 mini 14, but only in the “tactical” version. It is nice and solid, and just feels like quality. I understand that earlier versions were not very accurate (not that it really matters with me at the trigger,,,,,,,,they are ALL inaccurate, and getting even more inaccurate as I age). A new one is almost $1000, and would be hard to explain to the bride. I really liked the real M-14, and shot very well with it. The M-16 was easier to carry, and fun to shoot on full auto, but I never did that great with it on the range compared to the M-14.