I shot a coyote at 75 yards out south of Flagstaff when I first got mine, and I remember jumping out of the truck, laying the rifle across the hood, Whistling to get the coyote to stop, and then bammmm.
Spent the next hour trying to find rubbing compound to take that huge black scorch mark off my white pickup hood.
I bought my mini 14 when I first moved to Arizona about 18 years ago, and loved the gun. Light weight, and the copied design is flawless. I used mine for prairie dogs, and just general burning up the cheapest rounds I could find.
Those days, 223 was available for $2.00 a box of 20, so you see how a guy could punish himself, and the rifle with a couple thirty round clips for a couple of hours. J&G guns is just down in Prescott, so we would go buy cases of the rounds.
But, getting older, the ar15 with a buffer spring doesn't kick like that mini 14 did. I don't enjoy the recoils like when I was 30. I still shoot the large calibers, but even with my 45-110 C-sharps ten rounds, and I am ready for the 223.
I shoot 4-6 rounds of trap a week over in prescott, but the recoil out of a 7-1/2 load 12 ga, is a walk in the park.
I still see the used stainless mini's over in prescott used for $450.00, and the thought has crossed my mind quite a few times.