Mini-14 VS SU-16C


May 7, 2006, 05:39 PM
Need some help making a choice between the Ruger Mini-14 Stainless 16" stainless bbl, with synthetic stock, and the Kel-Tec SU-16C.
Both fire the .223. Ruger seems to be a little more magazine sensitive, and maybe a little more tough. Kel-Tec maybe more accurate? and with a cool folding stock (can be fired w/stock folded). Any owners of both out there or experts who've fired both? I need info to help me decide. I want something which would double for HD and range fun out to 100yds. Not concerned with accuracy beyond 200 yds. Thnx in advance! :)

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May 7, 2006, 06:37 PM
I've fired both, and then I bought the SU. The SU is very accurate, its very light, well balanced, doesnt heat up a whole lot. Accepts some AR accessories(muzzle toys, magazine junk) and even holds the spare mag inside the buttstock.

I can fire all day at my own pace, and not think twice about what my groups may or may not be doing due to the heat. Kel-tec also supports the 2nd amendment! I can get 10-20-30rnd magazines for like 11 bucks and they wil always work without me fiddling with them, I doubt a ruger can make that claim. Besides, my SU is parkerized not blued.

May 7, 2006, 06:39 PM
The Mini-14 "feels" "nicer", but I'd go with the SU-16 any day. Easier to find magazines (that work!) and better optics mounting platform. Plus, shorter OAL and lighter weight.

May 7, 2006, 07:26 PM
SU for the reasions listed bove. Just wish they had a pg stock.

May 7, 2006, 07:32 PM
I carry a Ruger Ranch Rifle in the back of my truck every day. It is scoped and I have 30 round mags loaded. It goes bang every time I pull the trigger.
I was impressed with its accuracy. It is my get me home gun. It would not be a bad choice. Plus you can get all kinds of goodies for it.

'course I cut my teeth on a M1.

Semper Fi

May 7, 2006, 07:36 PM
I'm willing to put my SU-16CA up against any bonestock Mini or sub 500 dollar AR. Round for round accuracy and torture testing, I'm dead serious to boot.

May 7, 2006, 08:05 PM
^^Any goood pics? I love the CA. I wish someone made a pistol grip stock.

May 7, 2006, 08:18 PM
I'll take the Mini over the KelTec any day of the week. The Mini has a 30yr track record of ruggedness & reliability and still sees use w/LE & correctional facilities. Reliable aftermarket mags are now abundant and affordable (my fav is the ProMag 30rd polymer for $11 from Natchez). KelTec's warranty won't do you a bit of good if the rifle goes "click" when you really, *really* need it to go "bang". If you're worried about Mini-14 accuracy the easiest ways to significantly improve it is to shorten the bbl (which stiffens it) and/or add your fav muzzle brake or flash hider (properly torquing & gapping the gas block screws can help also). Taclights and/or optics can be easily added as well if desired.

May 7, 2006, 08:34 PM
"No honest man needs more than 10 rounds in any gun." -Bill Ruger

"I never meant for simple civilians to have my 20 or 30 round magazines or my folding stock." -Bill Ruger

"I see nothing wrong with waiting periods." -Bill Ruger

yeah I know Im a hippocrit (sp?), I own two 10/22s and I love them but they were bought before I knew about all that nonsense.

May 7, 2006, 08:38 PM
You can get a Mini and be just like Face and Hannibal! :neener:

Just never hit what you're shooting at. ;)

May 7, 2006, 08:44 PM
Kel-tec has a reputation for excellent warranty service!

The Mini has a 30 year track record of horrible accuracy and chinsy accessories.

My SU has factory a accessory rail directly over the receiver.

May 7, 2006, 09:58 PM
Mumbles_45: The politics of the designer has nothing to do with the suitability of a firearm for a particular task (there are those who won't own an AK "'cause they shot at me in 'Nam!" or some other such BS).

KaceCoyote, it's unfortunate that KelTecs tend to need their excellent warranty service (hopefully never when you need it to save your life...) Shall we go into detail about all the "fluff & buff" KelTec threads?...
"Horrible accuracy"? I guess that depends upon how much accuracy you need. As I posted earlier, it's easy to significantly improve Mini-14 accuracy if that's important to you. However, I'm far more interested in practical accuracy than intrensic accuracy. With a 4moa red dot sight my Mini's shoot 4" groups at 100yds w/Q3131 and that's good enough for me. (If I want sniper-grade accuracy then I'll grab my scoped .308 Dragunov).
"Chincy accessories"? I'll bet I can find those for just about any firearm. Fortunately, there are also plenty of quality accessories as well (just how many accessories do you need, anyway?...)
"Factory rail"? Ooh! Good for *you*! (And plastic, at that!...) Big deal, there are multiple quality ways to attach optics/rails to the Mini-14 and other rifles.
You like the SU-16 then go for it. I question the wisdom of polymer receivers on rifles as well as KelTec's QC for something (I hopefully will never need) for HD. Just my $.02 worth...

May 7, 2006, 10:19 PM

Most of the threads are first time gun owners that don't even know how to clean the thing. Normally thoese FTE threads always end up with "I thoroughly cleaned the gun including the gas system and fired 150 rounds without a hitch.. thanks guys!".

May 7, 2006, 10:36 PM
I can't comment on the mini 14 so I won't. I do have a su16a. When I first got it had extraction problems. I sent it back to keltec for repair and it now runs like a top. This rifle is fun to shoot and it will eat any ammo including the dreaded wolf 223.
Other than the initial extraction problems this rifle has been trouble free for a couple of thousand rounds, mostly wolf. Mark

May 7, 2006, 10:37 PM
Its not a plastic rail. THeres a plastic coating over an aluminum section. Most of those threads are from what sounds like, first time gun owners. How many Ruger QC complaints can you find on just this forum? There are complaints about QC on every gun forum in existance.

Tomac my offer still stands. I'm willing to go round for round with your Mini if you think it can do anything my SU-16 cant.

May 7, 2006, 10:41 PM
That was just a few quick samples to demonstrate my point.
Cleaning? I've got over 600ds through my 580 Mini-14 (mostly the dirty & underpowered Wolf .223 but also some Q3131 & Winchester 45gr Varmint) w/o cleaning or a single problem. I plan on cleaning when it hits 1,000rds...

May 7, 2006, 10:43 PM
"Any owners of both out there or experts who've fired both?"

I have not fired both, nor am I an expert.

"I want something which would double for HD and range fun out to 100yds. Not concerned with accuracy beyond 200 yds".

Me too! I bought a Mini 14 Ranch and a 3X9X50 scope.

May 7, 2006, 10:45 PM
MY SU has already made it to 900 rounds uncleaned and back, I ran out of ammo not rifle. That was all on one rainy nasty day in january.

My SU-16 on winchester black box 55 grain 96 yards off the bench, built in bipod extended.

May 7, 2006, 10:56 PM
Well Im not too impressed with the Mini's "30 year track record of ruggedness and reliability" I dont own one but everytime my friend brings his to the range he has multiple and interesting problems, including a firing pin that snapped in half, the rear sight falling off (he was using a scope so I guess he didnt notice how loose it was geting), the bolt getting stuck behind something (I think it was the ejector but I didnt get a good look at it), and several less exiting magazine related jams.

also it flings brass farther than lead.

I cant say about the SU-16 though, I know nothing about it other than it takes AR mags (which is a major plus), and Kel Tec doesn't have Ruger's bad attitude towards freedom.

May 7, 2006, 11:03 PM
I agree on the politics. It seems we can't talk about any Ruger product without that discussion breaking out.

I think I would go for an SU-16 when I get around to another .223. The main factor me is magazines. It would use the same mags I have for my AR.
My Dad has a Mini-14 that I shot some growing up. It is a great rifle. He has the Ruger 20 round mags. I certainly can't say much bad about it. The mags and ease of sight mounting are the only issues I might have.

May 7, 2006, 11:17 PM
KaceCoyote, I stand corrected on the rail.
I agree about there being QC complaints about every firearm made (nothing physical and made by man is perfect) but how many Ruger Mini-14 QC complaints are there on this forum?...
Thanks for the challenge offer but I doubt we could find anything both mutually verifiable & agreeable (however, if both rifles were repeatedly dropping onto concrete from shoulder-height I wonder which one would start shedding parts first). I'll trust to my decades of personal experience w/the Mini-14 (yes, I've owned a Mini since the first year they came out...) and every one has been stone-cold reliable and that proven reliability (any LEO's or correctional facilities using the SU-16 yet?) is more important to me than anything else the SU-16 may claim to offer...

May 7, 2006, 11:22 PM
My Su-16 hits with less kinetic force, and the whole thing is made of fairly tough Nylon Zytel. It doesnt ding it bounces. Theres nothing hanging off to break, the plastic doodad on the charging handle is just a case deflector not the handle itself.

Edit: All we need is a 3rd THR member to remain neutral and take the pictures. We have a few THR members in STL.

May 7, 2006, 11:44 PM
I had a Mini-14 that I really liked the feel of. I would perhaps have liked to shoot it more if I could get it to function with anything but the Ruger 5-round magazine that came with it. I sold it.

Years ago, back in the early 80's I had a Mini-14 that worked with any magazine I put in it and they didn't cost an arm and a leg. Back then I paid $175 for it - wish I had kept it.

I currently have an SU-16C that I love. Pull the trigger - Bang! Every time (provided there's a loaded mag in it, of course). I got rid of that gawdawful abortion of a folding bipod and replaced it with their Compact Forend Conversion Kit. Nice, way nice. Adds heaps to the looks and feel of the rifle - and you won't pinch yourself with it.

The Kel-Tec's a keeper. Wouldn't trade it for a Mini-14 if you threw in a box of aftermarket magazines with it.

May 8, 2006, 01:27 AM
i just looked at the su16 again on their had been awhile. you know what?...i wouldn't care if you could consistently nail a tick at 100 yards with iron sites.....that is, hands down, the ugliest firearm i have ever seen. and frankly, that matters...A LOT. it looks like an ugly BB gun. you have to try to design something that grotesque.

May 8, 2006, 06:35 AM
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I like the way my SU-16 looks.

May 8, 2006, 09:27 AM
Another point about the su16 and scopes. The optic rail on top works fine but if you use a full size scope that extends past the forward end of the rail, the scope has to be removed to clean the rifle. The gas tube has to be tilted up so it can be pulled out the back of the receiver, a full size scopes are in the way. That'd why I went with a red dot on my su16. Mark

May 8, 2006, 09:36 AM
i just looked at the su16 again on their had been awhile. you know what?...i wouldn't care if you could consistently nail a tick at 100 yards with iron sites.....that is, hands down, the ugliest firearm i have ever seen. and frankly, that matters...A LOT. it looks like an ugly BB gun. you have to try to design something that grotesque.
I never thought they were very nice-looking either until I saw KaceCoyote's pic in a previous thread:

Now that is pretty cool - well, in my eyes, anyway.

May 8, 2006, 10:20 AM
A rifle that gives you accurate, reliable performance has a beauty all it's own.

I kind of like the looks of the rifle in that picture. I think I would rather have than than a shorty AR.

May 8, 2006, 06:50 PM
That Russian 6x42 is a great optic too! Very very -very- bright. Its also like 92 pounds and a monster of a thing, so I dont care to hike with it.

Art Eatman
May 8, 2006, 07:46 PM
I have a little bit of a problem finding fault with a dead guy's politics. I don't figure on visiting the sins of the father onto the gazillionth generation. :D

Folks that like the SU16 oughta go out and buy one. If it shoots good, great. I just don't like black plastic. Different strokes for different folks.

My Mnis have always performed as I wanted, so I dunno what else to say. A fair number of jackrabbits and coyotes "witnessed" what it could do. it's hard to knock a gun that's never given me a problem.

:), Art

May 8, 2006, 07:58 PM
THere are rumors of Coyote brown and OD green stocked SU-16s yaknow...

May 8, 2006, 08:38 PM
hey casey. can you get a cheek weld at all with the scope that far back?

i would go with the mini-14. i really dont like plastic.

May 8, 2006, 08:40 PM
The black part is just rubber, and helps me perfect the ideal distance actually. What really is nice is that when I'm pressed into it the rain or whatnot doesnt run down into my eye. My Saiga has a pretty short pull so I'm still getting used to longer stocks.

Edit:when the rifle is all togather it doesnt feel like plastic actually.

May 8, 2006, 09:39 PM
I bought a Ranch Mini 14 today for $300. Twenty five years old, mint condition. Think this is my third one over the years, only reason I got it was for the price and its from an individual so no transfer records required here in Alabama. I reload so this will be a project toy to see whta I can do with it.


May 8, 2006, 11:59 PM
I have a SU-16Ca and will never sell that gun. It goes bang every time and I can use my AR mags. Being in Cali, 30rd mags are like gold. Its so light I can shoulder that rifle all day and not get tired.

I was one of if not the first in Cali to get the Ca model and wanted to test its accuracy so I made a bunch of different loads. I shot a few mags rappid fire getting the gun nice a hot then loaded up my reloades and begain to slow fire from a bench with a 4X scope. Most of my reloads showed groups around 1.5 inches @ 100 yards. My goal was Sub MOA. It was either my 7th or 8th batch of loads I got a nice 15/16 of an inch group. And this was the first time out with the gun with less then 100 rounds through it. I love the way it looks but then again I'm a glock guy so plastic is sexy in my eyes:D .

Here are some pics....

I hate Bill Ruger and will never buy anything of his. Those of us in cali were hurt the most by his lies and we still are today. F-him:fire:

May 9, 2006, 02:25 AM
Carlrodd said:
"the ugliest firearm i have ever seen. and frankly, that matters...A LOT."

Why would looks ever matter for a firearm? A gun is a gun, you load cartridges into it, aim it, pull the trigger, and the target gets holes in it. That's all a gun needs, everything else is gravy.
In my not-so-humble opinion, looks only matter for people who can't put holes in the target. ;)

Su-16s look really sexy to me, as they do their job, every time and well. That's all a gun needs to get me hot and bothered.
Ruger Mini 14s... well, all due respect to Mr. Eatman, but he can have all he likes. I won't be needing any, ever.
Snubbing a company that has not distanced or reversed itself from the statements and policies that have earned its deceased founder such well deserved ire is a bonus. :fire:

May 9, 2006, 08:15 AM
I am planning to pick up a SU16 B or C model this year to make a good trunk gun that folds and can fit in a back pack or even a brief case. Using standare AR mags makes it a winner. Drop a basic scope or red dot and you are good to go.

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