It was a bog standard 6.4 lb. wood stocked 18.5" 1:10 barrel with a plain muzzle and a five round magazine.
But it was my "assault rifle".
I got it for a whopping $375 used at Jacobson's Gun Center in Story City, Iowa. In 1991.
Because it was my "assault rifle" I needed to add some features. Bear in mind that this was a bit before the assault rifle ban. What I really wanted was a Galil (too expensive at $1,200), not a Mini-14; so I set out to make one...
First I changed the stock out for a polymer one with a metal folding stock. $89.
Then I bought a bunch of USA brand 30 round magazines. $14.30 each.
Then I tore off the front sight and replaced it with a combination front sight, flash-hider, muzzle brake. $37.50.
Then I added a sling stud to the front of the stock and a Harris bipod. $59.66.
All told I turned it into a 9.5 lb. gun. At least it was lighter than the 11.3 lb. Galil!
A 9.5 lb. gun that would not hold a zero. That had trouble hitting a coffee can at 50 yards.
Must be the sights! So I bought an Aimpoint 1000 and a B-Square scope mount for it. $270.
Now I have a 10.3 lb. gun! That won't hold a zero, that has trouble hitting a coffee can at 50 yards. That cost $905 including tax, $616 before optics. A Colt AR-15 Match Target HBAR was $932 new at the time and was a mere 8 lbs.
I have a couple of AR's that don't cost that much and certainly don't weigh that much. I didn't manage to make a Galil out of a Mini-14 and when I was finished I'd managed to ruin all of the good attributes of it.
By way of comparison, Dottie is all decked out modern style. She ran me $2,486 including optics and light ($1,550 for a bare rifle). She's 9.5 lbs all-up. No wandering zero, can easily kill a coffee can at 200 yards repeatedly. No bipod though... But an unfair comparison considering that she's also in 6.8.
A better comparison would be The Lovely Harvey's Kevina. $1,163 for the bare rifle plus $459 for the EOTech and $200 for the light. STILL no bipod. The best comparison might be her bare bones KISS carbine, Cheyenne, for $692.
Kevina, top. Cheyenne, bottom.
Seems like a bunch more doesn't it? $616 in 1991 is $973.48 in today's money.