SKS MINI-14, Accuracy?


May 29, 2003, 02:40 PM
Which is the more accurate and reliable weapon, the SKS or the MINI-14?
Which would be the better weapon for general plinking, occasional dances with coyotes and all around HDR?
Thanks for the input and opinions!

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May 29, 2003, 02:43 PM
I would say the higher quality SKS's such as the Russian, Yugo, Albanian and even the Romanian are in the same league reliability wise as compared to a typical mini, and the accuracy is also about the same, maybe slightly worse at 100 yards.

The Chinese SKS's are the bottom of the barrel though.

May 29, 2003, 02:56 PM
Auntie em, what's that dark cloud on the horizon??

Oh no! A forum shift!


away to rifle country we go!!



May 29, 2003, 03:07 PM
I've owned 3 SKS's and have shot my neighbors tricked out Mini14 plenty of times. And I've got to say, definately go with the SKS. Cheaper gun and bullets, but better accuracy, especially after a couple of rounds. After a couple of rounds with the mini, the accuracy is significantly worst. I can't speak on reliability, because IIRC, both went bang every time. The mags for the Mini are up there, something like $50 a mag. The mini is about 3 times more expensive. But it is a good looking gun after all the fun accessories you can get for it. You can trick out an SKS just the same. Buy the SKS and a 1000 round crate for half of what the just the Mini would go for.

Med 10
May 29, 2003, 03:20 PM
Another vote for SKS.

AZ Jeff
May 29, 2003, 04:33 PM
One thing that everyone seems to not mention in this comparison--the sights on the two rifles.

The SKS sights are very poor when compared to those on the regular Mini-14 (NOT the "Ranch Rifle") Those inferior sights WILL have an impact on the overall performance of the shooter and his rifle.

Also, your run of the mill surplus ComBloc 7.62x39 ammo is NOT as inherently accurate as commercial 5.56x45 (.223 Rem.) ammo will be. Thus, another element of variability needs to be added to the equation.

Using stock sights, with the cheapest bulk ammo available (not custom handloads), the Mini should be every bit as accurate as an SKS, and probably better.

Now the balance can shift quickly if one starts changing sights, ammo, barrels, etc. on either gun.


May 29, 2003, 04:34 PM
Adding more accessories and money to an SKS seems to have a detrimental effect on reliability, usually.

Accuracy is a tossup. It can be good or bad with individual examples of each.

May 29, 2003, 04:42 PM
I have a Russian SKS and a Mini-14. I would choose the Mini-14. You can mount a scope easier on a Mini than a SKS. .223 is cheap. 10rnd mags for the Mini are cheap. Can't buy any new mags with greater than 10rnds in Cali, but good thing you bougth your 30rnd mags waaaay back before the ban and buried them in your backyard for future use.

May 29, 2003, 04:48 PM
another vote for the sks.

the big downside of the coparsion is the fixed mag...but at least it is already 10 rounds, and you get to use stripper clips.

i've always felt that the sks was more rugged...can't prove it as i've never had a mini-14 jam on me it has a battle record (at least my russian one does) to fall back on.

the mini-14 barrel is just too thin to maintain any advantage of the 5.56x45mm over the 7.62x39mm over a string of fire (the sks just buries the mini-30)

May 29, 2003, 05:25 PM
If you're going to be shooting under 100yds go with either. If you're shooting past 100yds go with the Mini 14.

Try shooting match ammo out of a Mini 14 and then compare it to an SKS.

Both are good guns.

Of all the semi-auto rifles I own, my SKS is my 1st grab for SD because its the fastest and easiest gun to reload.

You can also fix a bayonet on jack-rabbits if you're close enough. :D

I still haven't missed what I was aiming at with my Mini 14. I think its a slightly better gun then the SKS.

May 29, 2003, 05:53 PM
try shooting match ammo out of the sks

May 29, 2003, 06:19 PM
Buy a mini 14 and a mini 30 you wont be sorry, oh and buy a sks fpor all the steelcased stuff thet the mini's dont eat.

Art Eatman
May 29, 2003, 06:54 PM
If you think society is gonna collapse, leave California and go ahead and buy a full-house AK-47 and a bunch of mags and ammo. :) For basic reality in home defense, IMO it's six of one, a half-dozen of the other for SKS/Mini-14.

If you're gonna play with Ol' Wiley Coyote, more than other uses besides tin cans and informal target, I'd prefer the Mini. Stick soemthing like a good used Weaver K4 on it and call it good.

And in Kaliforn-eye-ay, the Mini upsets/excites folks a lot less.

:), Art

May 29, 2003, 08:15 PM

Andrew Wyatt
May 29, 2003, 08:48 PM
sks's have inferior sights, an ok safety, and BLOOY HORRIBLE triggers.

the mini-14 has excellent sights, a good safety and pretty decent trigger.

the mini-14 is THE way to go.

Dave Markowitz
May 29, 2003, 09:03 PM
Both guns have their pros and cons. I have a Chicom SKS and a 182-series Mini-14.

-Utterly reliable
-No need for detachable mags
-Does need stripper clips for rapid reloading (ASSuming you get one with the normal mag).
-Very rugged.
-Simple to field strip.
-Ammo is dirt cheap, common, and with soft points usable on deer.
-The sight stink.
-So does the trigger.
-Stock safety poor for southpaws but can be replaced with an ambidextrous one (as I have).

-Utterly reliable with good mags.
-Good mags are mucho dinero and hard to find.
-Pretty rugged.
-Even simpler to field strip than an SKS.
-Ammo is common but not as cheap as 7.62x39.
-NOT suitable for deer hunting, if that matters to you.
-The Garand-style safety is excellent and ambidextrous.
-Better trigger than an SKS.
-The standard Mini-14 peep rear sight is oK, although the ramp front could use improvement. Don't get a Ranch Rifle unless you intend to scope it, since the rear sight is flimsy, and meant only as a backup.

The rifles are comparable accuracy-wise. The Mini is handicapped by the thin barrel, but can be improved.


May 30, 2003, 02:26 AM
I have both and I have to vote for the Ruger Mini 14 for reliability. Accuracy is better on the Mini 14 also but not by much. They are both pretty good for accuracy, better than average I think. I must have got a couple of good guns because I have heard horror stories about both guns in the accuracy dept. I think the .223 would be a better round for coyote.

May 30, 2003, 04:13 AM
I also have both and vote mini. The SKS is really fun to shoot but not more accurate nor more reliable and it's a whole lot heavier. My mini is a ranch and the peep site on it does suck, but I have it scoped. I don't really like the sites on the SKS any better. I've never had a jam in the mini in a few thousand rounds. The SKS (Yugo) tends to jam 1/50 or so with the cheap ammo. My buddies (Norinco) is a lot less problematic. Since you live in PRK you don't really need to worry about finding good hi-cap mags. Both are just as easy for me to clean.

If I had to make a choice to keep only one of the two, I would not hesitate to pick the mini. If you do get one just be prepared for the snickers and comments from the guys hanging out in gun shops.

May 31, 2003, 12:03 AM
I added a Choate sporter stock and Williams Firesight front/peep rear sights to my SKS, and it really is in a different league than my (prviously owned) Mini 14. With stripper clips costing only about .70/each, it's easy to pack a lot of ammo easily. I only have $250.00 invested in my SKS "Ranch Rifle". It seems to pack more of a wallop under 50 yards, and it travels well in the tractor cab. Quality ammo seems to make a big difference in accuracy.

Go with the SKS, and you'll be ahead of the game.

May 31, 2003, 06:52 AM

Kest, ya picked a proper dust up between the two. I can't add much to the experienced opinions above. I have both, but the SKS is my plinker. It's outrageously cheap to shoot. As Jame sez, $250 for a rifle, bayonet, sling, mount, scope, and a thousand rounds of ammo is without peer in centerfire rifles.

But I love my Mini-14. Do I wish I had an AR, sure. But in **********, that's out. The lack of funtional magazines is the peoblem, as the folks say. But if this is to be a plinker/varmit/ranch/defense puppy, the mini is a proven workhouse. Mine has a 4x scope to help old eyes, but they are fun. Bottom line is price, but ya can't go wrong. Both will make ya happy.

June 1, 2003, 11:40 PM
I own both guns and have to tell out of the two my Russian SKS out shoots the Mini any day.
Groups better groups at 100 yards and in weather is more reliable.

If you are looking for a good coyote killer get a Russian Model or Yugo, or Albanian.

Good Luck: banghead:

June 2, 2003, 05:22 AM
hell, I'd take both! what's a surplus SKS going for now, like $200? Those are the two guns at the top of my "want" list.

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