For at least couple of decades, the Ruger Mini-14 was America's favorite semi-automatic rifle. But that time has passed. If you're seen with one today, The Internet is likely to label you either a Fudd or a snowflake. In spite of that, the Mini-14 is still in production today, and well loved by many shooters. But... why? In the first installment of a two-part series, we're looking at how the Mini-14 got to where it is today.