I love the mini 14 , dependable as hell. Its not a tack driver, but close enough. I would stake my life on that rifle if need be. Get a trigger job, and a few mods, and the accuracy will improve somewhat.
On the ranch rifle. Are you talking about the mini 14 ranch carbine? That was originally designed I believe for horseback carry. And a darn good brush rifle at that.
And who can beat the 10/22 for sheer fun. ?
Much regards Jerry