M-1 carbine vs. Ruger mini 14.


Ignition Override
November 7, 2007, 03:22 AM
With the M-1 carbine versus the Ruger Mini-14 (5.56), which will be the most reliable after firing (i.e.) 100 rounds through each, assuming that both guns are brand-new? This is based on both being basically brand-new, or the equivalent. For those preferring the M-1 C., which manufacturer would you avoid, if any?

If each uses hollow-point bullets, is there much difference in stopping power against a solid (live) target 20-50 feet away?

Also, an article on the Internet tonight-quoted from some gun magazine-claimed that (advising a guy how to arm his daughters' residence with a carbine etc...) the M-1 does very well with fmj bullets but not good with either soft lead or hollow-point.

Looking forward to your comments. Maybe I've worn out this topic on 'HighRoad'.
I've only owned a .22 single-shot and rarely shoot but want to upgrade to a lower-cost carbine, due to cost 'justification-imitations'. Some target shooting would be a good bit less for ammo. The Belgian FN FAL would be fun but requires too much dough for gun and ammo, and as for the AR-15/clones, like old fashioned wooden stocks.

My wife (a music major through graduate level...;)) said "OK-just go buy it, but spare me the (boring) comparisons".

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November 7, 2007, 07:51 AM
M-1 carbine. Fun to shoot. The Mini-14 is a nice concept, but I truely could throw the gun more accurately than shooting the thing. I love Ruger guns, but that is one that I have absolutely no use for.

Ed Ames
November 7, 2007, 08:12 AM
There probably isn't much difference in reliability. Maybe you could argue that reliable magazines are easier to find for the M1.

The .223 is more powerful. 1100 ft/lb energy vs 950 ft/lbs or so.

Probably the most significant point is the range of ammo available in .223. Everything from frangible home defense ammo to long distance match ammo is available off the shelf.

November 7, 2007, 08:30 AM
ok alot of people are going to come in and say that the mini 14 is so inaccurate, which in my experience is complete crap. no they are not on average as accurate as an AR or many other guns, but in my experience it is alot more accurate than the average sks and even most AK variants that I have shot. Both the M1 carbine and the mini-14 will be good guns, but if price is a concern you might want to consider an SKS. Out of the 3 I like the M1 cabine the best but the SKS would be the most versitile with the mini-14 being close behind. Also on ammo the SKS ammo is the least expensive then the mini-14 ammo with the M1 carbine ammo being considerably more expensive than the other option and with less availability.

November 7, 2007, 08:33 AM
The Mini worst case will be at least as accurate and cheaper to shoot with more flexibility in ammunition choice if you don't reload or even if you do.

November 7, 2007, 08:49 AM
If each uses hollow-point bullets, is there much difference in stopping power against a solid (live) target 20-50 feet away?

You'll likely here opinions from both 5.56mm-fragmentation schools of thought as well as bigger-is-better fans of 0.3" holes in things.

At the kind of range you are talking about, however, either one will do the job pretty reliably with a torso hit. Think in terms of controlled pairs with either one, however -- if one does not suffice a second one right after it will almost always settle the discussion.

November 7, 2007, 08:54 AM
With the M-1 carbine versus the Ruger Mini-14 (5.56), which will be the most reliable after firing (i.e.) 100 rounds through each, assuming that both guns are brand-new?

Finding a "brand new" M-1 carbine might be a trick. Let me know what you turn up. They will be about the same in regards to reliabilty after 100 rounds although I would give a slight edge to the mini. I have shot maybe 2000 rounds through my mini and it has never jammed, not even once. The M1 may allow a higher sustained rate of fire than the mini (if you care about such things).

This is based on both being basically brand-new, or the equivalent. For those preferring the M-1 C., which manufacturer would you avoid, if any?

I avoid Rugers and won't buy any new ones. This is more for poor customer service and bad politics than defects in the guns themselves (although some have issues).

If each uses hollow-point bullets, is there much difference in stopping power against a solid (live) target 20-50 feet away?

Wider, slower and heavier vs. slimmer, faster and lighter. There have only been about 5400 threads that debate this point. Generally the edge is given to the .223 round, especially if it is in the heavier loading. But you can argue it either way.

The Mini worst case will be at least as accurate and cheaper to shoot with more flexibility in ammunition choice if you don't reload or even if you do.

Let us go ahead and say much cheaper... by half or a third as much. Keep in mind guns are like dogs... it isn't the cost of the dog... it is the care and feeding. It alos hard to find much except 110 gr ball in .30 Carbine.

November 7, 2007, 09:02 AM
Finding a "brand new" M-1 carbine might be a trick. Let me know what you turn up.


You didn't say USGI :evil:

November 7, 2007, 09:03 AM
my vote is for the M1 carbine....lots of history and a hoot to shoot

November 7, 2007, 09:08 AM
I own an M1 carbine, and like it a bunch. Ammo is fairly easy to come by, at least has been easy to find lately, which has not always been the case.

My buddy has a Ruger Ranch version of the Mini 14. Shoots ok iron sighted, but can't get it to work woth a crap with a scope. He's tried, I've tried, different rings, scopes, etc. Just won't work for some stupid reason or other, can't hit squat!

My buddy and I must fall into the "full of crap" catagory!

I was going to buy his Ranch rifle off him, but after two attempts myself to get it scoped and shooting, gave it back to him.

I like the Mini 14 concept, others have had great luck with them, but this one ain't going in my arsenal!

November 7, 2007, 09:09 AM
All 3 guns mentioned are reliable and accurate. They will all take out the bad guy at those ranges listed. The SKS is much heavier than the M-1 or the Mini unless you have the carbine version. Forget stories about Mini-14s being inaccurate,most of the time that is only hearsay. I have found them to be sufficient for the job that they were designed for. For the purposes that you have described,all will give satisfactory results. I think personal tastes and availability/price of ammo to be the bigger factor here.

November 7, 2007, 09:13 AM
You didn't say USGI :evil:

Alright, you got me. I have not shot one of these new ones yet. How are they?

November 7, 2007, 09:45 AM
Mini for practical reasons of ammo supply and varriety. Only buy one if you get a good deal--they are overpriced for what they are. That said, they are pretty reliable and will eat most ammo (with widely varrying accuracy).

Yes, Ruger has the new tuned-up one (for some $$$) and ran an ad a few months back that actually disparaged and mocked those of us who had bought one of their 'old' minis. Yeh, it made me feel warm and fuzzy about Ruger and their $%^& attitude.

Buy a second hand mini if you can.

November 7, 2007, 09:51 AM
I have had a couple of minis, my latest being a new 580 series model. Neither of my minis have ever jammed, ever. This includes using the factory 5 round mags, 20 factory mags, and a variety of after market mags. Maybe I have just been lucky. I use my mini for a truck gun (incidental coyotes). It is not as accurate as my real varmint gun, but plenty accurate for any reasonable farm/defense purposes. The newer minis have great front and rear sights. Plus, when you get the stainless/synthetic model rust/maintanence issues are reduced.

November 7, 2007, 10:18 AM
Go with a Mini 30 (7.62X39mm). Cheaper ammo and bigger bullet.

November 7, 2007, 10:34 AM
Go with a Mini 30 (7.62X39mm). Cheaper ammo and bigger bullet.Decent guns, but not worth paying three times an SKS for.

November 7, 2007, 10:37 AM
I love my ranch rifle. It has the stainless steel barrel which supposedly is more accurate. I have also shot an M1-C. I like both. I would choose the Mini just for the fact that I am biased because I own one and due to the fact that when I shot my buddy's M1, it kept misfiring which made me dislike the gun. The truth is that the ammo were were using was reloaded by my buddy in the late 60s but I still havent had a chance to shoot it with good ammo. Over all, I like the look of both and I think you wouldnt be wrong with either.

Dave Markowitz
November 7, 2007, 12:51 PM
I have a couple each M1 Carbines and Mini-14s. After 100 rounds there should be no meaningful difference in reliability, assuming the use of good quality magazines and decent ammo.

WRT to Carbines not liking JSPs or JHPs, this is untrue as a blanket statement. Some Carbines don't function well with anything other than Ball (FMJ), while others run fine with expanding ammo. For example, Remington 110 grain JSP runs just as well as Ball in my Underwood and Rock Ola M1s.

According to posts by Dr. Gary K. Roberts on Tactical Forums, the Remington 110 grain JSP does just as good as the best 5.56mm rounds in gelatin testing. Winchester .30 Carbine JHSP is almost as good, while Federal 110 grain JSP did not expand. Performance and real tissue may or may not match these results, though according to Jim Cirrillo, .30 Carbine JSPs dropped criminals as good as anything else.

November 7, 2007, 03:35 PM
I've put a lot of thought into the concept of a lightweight carbine that could be pressed into taking deer. I was very impressed with how incredibly lightweight the M1 carbine is. In fact, at 5.2 lbs, it is lighter than an ultralight SU-16 (5.5 lbs). The mini 14 is also pretty light at 6.3 lbs. I have an SKS, which weighs in at a beastly 8.5 lbs.

In the final analysis, I'd prefer the M1 Carbine for its ultra lightweight and history.... but I'd still feel more confident in the modern Mini-14s reliability, warranty, and ammo availability.

November 7, 2007, 03:59 PM
SKS isn't exactly a carbine though, is it?

unless you're talking about one of the paratrooper models....but their not exaclty $200 mil. surps are they?


If our friends gonna drop $600, all I can say is ...

I know exactly what I'd get....

Brand spankin' new Auto-Ord. (Karh Arms) M1 Carbine....and a stash of relatively cheap ($20) Hi Cap mags off of Gunbroker.com ... and quick, before the Dim-whit-o-crats ban them for good.

the Mini-30 would be my second choice....


my money is tighter than others, so it was AK all the way for me.....which isn't a carbine, but it does go

bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, click!

November 7, 2007, 04:00 PM
My Mini 14 Ranch Rifle (generation just previous to this one) in stainless and plastic is the most truly practical gun I own. It's a great tool.

I don't have to worry about scratches, rust or dings. No babying it in the field, no oiling it all over as soon as I get home, even if I did sweat on it. And it keeps on shooting with minimal attention. It's about the right weight; it points well and shoots well offhand, but isn't hard to carry in the brush all day.

As a toy, the M1 Carbine is a great little gun. As a tool, the stainless/synthetic Mini is a better choice, at least for me. I like having ONE gun that I can treat like it's made to be used, not fussed over.

The .223/5.56 round is readily available and relatively cheap for practice. And for defensive rounds, you benefit from the knowledge brought by years of use by everyone from varmint hunters and the military to the police. There's a round for everything, and data to show how it works. It's been the primary US military issue rifle round through 4 wars and many more smaller military actions.

The .30 Carbine round, on the other hand, has not seen serious use like that since Korea, and there's been little to drive the sort of innovation and variety that .223 rounds have seen over the past 40 years.

Again, I like the M1 Carbine. It's neat. I'm speaking strictly about practical use, here.

The only bummer is the price of the Ruger in stainless/synthetic these days. It's improved since mine was made, but it's also notably more expensive.

November 7, 2007, 05:54 PM
I owned a mini-14 (188-series Ranch Rifle) until a few months ago. It was 100% reliable; the only failures I ever experienced (two) were a couple of ultra-hot reloads (supposedly "five grains over") that were accidentally given to me, and the overpressure locked up the action so tight that I had to kick the bolt handle to open the bolt. The rifle was completely unharmed, FWIW.

Accuracy-wise, my mini-14 shot around 5.5" at 100 yards, from a rest. Still, at 20 to 50 feet, you're talking sub-1" groups, which is entirely adequate. The new mini's are reportedly 3 MOA or better.

Regarding stopping power, I think either rifle loaded with JHP's would be plenty effective at the ranges you are speaking of. If the M1 carbine wouldn't feed JHP's reliably, though, I'd lean strongly toward the mini.

Otherwise, the rifles are very similar; the mini is arguably a closer cousin to the M1 carbine than to its namesake the M14.

Ignition Override
November 8, 2007, 01:34 AM
Thanks very much to all of you gentlemen (and any ladies).

Keith Wheeler
November 8, 2007, 05:21 PM
My mom's M1 carbine was the first center fire rifle I ever shot; my stainless folder Mini-14 the first I ever owned.

Both work every time. Both are great plinkers, and provide the "minute of beer can" accuracy that's important to me.

Just for a great rifle to have around, it's a tough call. .223 is abundant; these days I've broken down to buying Aguila for the carbine. (Technically still "mom's", but has been in my possession for many years). More history in the carbine, more add-on "stuff" for the Mini-14. Carbine mags are more likely to be reliable, but aren't as cheap as they used to be!

One thing about that little M1 -- it's the gun that (to me at least) is the meaning of the cliche "sweet shooting". It fits right, a great point and click sort of thing. I was at a shoot earlier this year at a rather famous and fun Texas range and had a blast plinking "into the river" without the sites and still hitting things. Fun.

As far as reliability from "brand new"....well, 'my' carbine is a '43 Saginaw, and I'm guessing it's seen a few more than 100 rounds, and it still doesn't complain. Starting to think it might need a new recoil spring, which I'm sure I'll be needing more than that when I'm 64.

While I'll always love it when a plan comes together, holding that carbine, knowing what it did, imparts a certain sense of honor of duty.

November 8, 2007, 06:01 PM
I''d go with the M1. While the round doesn't have the development the 223 has, there are loads that should work for HD:

Save the brass and reload it or sell it.

November 8, 2007, 07:33 PM
One vote for the Mini-14. I have one (early stainless with decent scope) shoots minute of jack rabbit after jump around the back of my pickup seat all week. I have used it coyotes also. Ammo is at every Wally mart.

November 8, 2007, 08:59 PM
Setting aside that the M1 Carbine is light and fun and sweet, and that the Ranch Rifle is rugged, I notice one thing right off.

The 30 Carbine round weighs about twice that of the .223/5.56 and has about the energy between 50 and 100 yards that a .357 mag has up close. Feel free to correct my math if that's wrong.

(However, you're better off with soft points rather than hollow. The Carbine isn't always happy with hollowpoint.)

My reliability money would be on the Carbine after 100 rounds.

Accuracy is probably a wash. From the anecdotal evidence I've encountered, I guess the M1 Carbine is somewhat more accurate at 100 yards, but I don't know if it's an order of magnitude.

You should get better penetration with the .223/5.56 round, given the substantially higher velocity.

Analytically, the Ranch Rifle (especially the newer one) is probably the superior weapon under clean/light duty conditions.

As conditions get icky and mucky, I would lean toward the Carbine. No scientific reasoning for that, just a sense that it's more likely to work under harsher conditions.

My ammo prices over the last two years have had .30 carbine pretty much on a par with .223 ball.

The .30 carbine ammo is easier to carry. The mags are arguably more reliable. The gun is lighter.

I don't see a clear winner.

It's going to come down to some personal preference aspect or some scenario aspect that makes one preferable to the other.

All other things being equal (ammo availability and such), I think I'd go with the M1 Carbine.

But I'm also a sentimental sap.

Dave Markowitz
November 8, 2007, 09:55 PM
You should get better penetration with the .223/5.56 round, given the substantially higher velocity.

Maybe in something like sheet steel but against brush, I'd bet on the .30 Carbine for better penetration. The round is actually known for pretty good penetration, especially with Ball. In contrast, I have personally had multiple 5.56mm M193 rounds stopped cold by a green sapling no more than 3" thick at a range of about 40 yards. (.303 Mk.VII sailed right though it. :evil: )

Ignition Override
November 9, 2007, 01:01 AM
At the risk of disappointing those with more enthusiasm for the Ruger, I just bought the (Auto-Ordnance) M-1 Carbine. Can not afford/"justify" both + two types of ammo. The store still had one brand-new carbine in stock, but had numerous Mini 14s.
The comparisons here were enjoyable and educational.
I also bought the 30-round clip, even though the smaller size was included.

Now, I must spend money to join a rifle range and can't wait to shoot it!
It would be more fun if Somebody within 30 minutes of here (even west of Jackson or near Holly Springs) would let me give them $20/month, just to shoot some cataloupes from Schnuck's or beer cans in a low-lying pond or small creek. Any cans would be attached to long strings for retrieval because I hate to see litter all over our green Tennessee landscape. People would not believe how nice some foreign lands look, where pride costs nothing (maybe our freedom means that we should litter...).
Ejected shells would be picked up by the Carbine Student. Maybe I am crazy, but $400 for the first year (includes NRA fee) at the better range seems nuts, in my opinion, simply to legally shoot something (near a city) more solid than black rings on a piece of paper. Any .22 can do that.

Anyway, it would be so much simpler if a guy could pay somebody a little bit of money for this instead of joining a range, following a "'successful interview". About one square mile would work for bullets which first go into water, mud or floating "Wild Weasel" canteloupes/ 'Taliban tomatos', if you prefer. The irresponsible people out there over many years with neither self-discipline nor integrity mess it up for the rest of us. An old acquaintance not far from here does not want 'his' deer to be scared away for an hour or two. Contact with any similar ideas. Beating a dead horse.

Otherwise, is there a mail-order place where one might save on good (American etc...) $20/50-round box .30 carbine ammo, or by the case, before the prices keep going up?

November 9, 2007, 01:44 AM
I bought a former GI carbine a while back. Before I got around to shooting it, one time I pulled back the charging handle, as a routine safety measure when picking up an unattended weapon, and the whole bolt assembly ejected from the weapon. I wrapped the bolt assembly in a paper towel, planning to have it looked at, but the wife was housecleaning and tossed the wrapped bolt assembly into the garbage. That is my experience with the M1 Carbine. Not a good first impression, to say the least.

November 9, 2007, 03:01 AM
Ignition Override I have bought FMJ and Soft point .30 carbine from Georgia Arms check them out.Here is my Auto Ord .30 carbine with a wood folding stock and side see-thru scope mount.


November 9, 2007, 07:26 AM
I have both, and have had and shot them since the 70's.

The M-1 Carbine is superior, IMO. It's a thoroughly proven combat arm, capable of serving under the very hardest conditions. I can't say that about the Mini. The Mini just seems clunky and dinky next to the Carbine.

The .223 round is the better 'stopper' of the two... but at the ranges you mention, the Carbine is fine.

November 9, 2007, 10:38 AM
$400 for the first year :what::what::what:

man....you got to move out of the city.

I thought land was pretty cheap in TN.

Had a co-worker move down there two years ago and they got a lot of house and a lot of land for $100K

November 9, 2007, 11:15 AM
This is a little different than what you listed, but have you thought of the pistol caliber carbines for your home defense gun? The Marlin model 9 can still be found on gunbroker for around $300.00 to $350.00. THe last one i bought cost me $286.00 total. The ruger pc9 is more expensive but is a very well built gun.

My shooting buddies son killed his first deer with a Marlin 9. He said the deer ran about 40 yards and died. Just about like any other gun making a lung shot.

Nines are cheap to shoot, have exelent SD ammo available, and have almost no recoil or ear busting muzzle blast.

Most people will pooh pooh the idea, but a .22 semi auto rifle works much better than you think for defense. A brand new ruger 10/22 cost around $175.00 or my Walmart has new Marlin model 60s for about $130.00.

November 9, 2007, 11:32 AM
Get an AK for about 500 and get it over with.
Also if you want good stopping power go with 7.62x39 with SP is hard to beat

November 9, 2007, 11:40 AM
Got rid of my M1 Carbine
Cartridge is really weak and underpowered.
The carbine was extremely easy to shoot, small and
very very accurate.
Great gun for police as mine was originally a police dept. gun.
Yeah, if you are looking for what is essentially a handgun cartridge then
the carbine is for you.
If you want some velocity the Mini 14 is about the same size package,
However when you are pushing a round that fast there are also a few

November 9, 2007, 12:40 PM
Thanks Keith. I enjoyed reading that and share your feelings for the M1.

November 9, 2007, 12:42 PM
Ratshooter, The Marlin Camp Carbine also came in .45acp.

November 9, 2007, 02:26 PM
Hello JimmyRay,

I know the Camp Carbine comes in 45acp. You don't see them much and when you do they are normally around $500.00 or so. Plus ammo is more expensive and since the 45 is a low pressure cartridge it doesn't gain the velocity boost the the 9mm enjoys.

My freind in N. Carolina wanted one for quite a while. He finally found one for $450.00 and bought it. He had problems with the bolt over riding the rounds. I told him the mag springs were most likely weak. After that i think it fell out of favor with him.

If a bigger bullet than the 9 is wanted the Ruger pc40 or the inexpensive Hi Piont is an option. I had forgotten in my original post that i own a Hi Point 9mm that my son has at the moment. I paid around $150.00 for it. The only FTF i had was when i tried lead bullets in it. The nose dug into the feed ramp. Other than that its a great shooter out to a hundred yards or so. It also has some of the most useable sights i have ever looked through.

November 9, 2007, 06:12 PM
Jeez. My Ranch rifle will put three rounds into 1.75" at 100 yards and five rounds into 2.25". That's with a Leupold 4x scope and American Eagle 55-grain FMJ.

November 9, 2007, 06:56 PM
I use my M1 as a HD gun. If I really wanted to upgrade I'd by my buddy's No.5 Mk1. As a bonus, I can volley fire one of those things and empty the mag in about 8 secs.

If the cartridge is the question here are the brassfetcher links:

.30 M1 (http://www.brassfetcher.com/30carbine.html)

.223/5.56 (http://www.brassfetcher.com/223REM.html)

Ignition Override
November 9, 2007, 10:14 PM
The problem now is that the brand-new carbine misfires.

A local Deputy gave me a good idea where to go shoot.

But with a good brand-new round in the chamber, most of the time it just clicks.

After about 5 minutes, I managed to shoot about 0 shells.
Everything is clean and looks perfect. Then called the gunsmith at the gun shop, and he said to force the bolt forward with some force. Despite his advice, it fired about five times, but otherwise just made a 'click'. :confused: It was awkward not knowing whether it would work.

Will take it back to the shop.

November 10, 2007, 12:32 AM
I own all three rifles discussed. 30 Carb, Win., Mini 14,81 Series, and
a couple of SKSs. With FJ bullets the .223 or close up 7.62x39 is a better
stopper. With expanding at 100yds and under I would pick the 30 Carb.
using Hornady 100gr half jackets as the king of the pick. It parts a
running jack rabbit, and instant kills on coyotes and feral shepard sized
dogs. Feeds well in my carbine and out performs my .357 when driven at
2000 fps. The second choice being the .223 with expanding or hollow
All have a positive side to them along with malfunctions limited to
magazines on one, rather than an ammo problem. The Carb. magazine
was thrown away after a failure to feed a second time. The others
never a failure yet.

Ignition Override
November 11, 2007, 12:28 AM
A guy should not admit this, but due to this total ignorance of semi-auto ops, I never knew that the first round in the chamber must come from the clip, due to the 'lip'. :o

Also, many new guns reportedly require a bit of oil-so spake the man at the gun store today. The weapon was delivered into the caring hands of the knowledgeable.

Pardon the confession outside church. It is just barely Sunday morning now on this hotel computer...

November 11, 2007, 02:00 AM
I guess it's irrelevant since you already bought your M1, but I thought since people were throwing the SKS into the mix that I'd throw in the Saiga in .223 with the 16" barrel:


Under $300 last time I looked.

November 11, 2007, 10:54 AM
first round in the chamber must come from the clip, due to the 'lip'.

Normally magazine, not clip.... Now go forth and sin no more.

Ignition Override
November 13, 2007, 01:06 AM
1) How about a .30 carbine bullet's ricochet energy?

Is it possible to generalize about the approx. range of a bullet fired into water at about a 2-3 degree angle. i.e. from a standard Remington box?

I suspect that most bullets might tumble or 'wobble' up to about half of their normal max. range-maybe much less.

After seeing quite a splash (missing the apple or cantaloupe-whichever "attack fruit"), maybe they skip and travel less than a quarter mile or so, if at all?

2) What are HMJ bullets?
A site, "chuckhawks.com. had interesting descriptions of various weapons etc, and stated that the M-1 carb. HMJ bullet is quite lethal (within whichever short range).

November 13, 2007, 02:18 PM
wow, what an interesting topic to comment on for my first post. First off: credentials. I bought a mini 14 ranch that was originally a police dept gun for $400. Since then, the only problems i have had were crap magazines (of course), reloading (brass problems: mis-shaped shoulder from brass out of my dad's mini 14), and the scope i put on it (never buy millet). Now, as far as carbines go, i have read a bit and i picked one up once (cool, huh). I consider myself impartial to opinion and base what I think and say on logic and scrutiny of ze facts.

My questions are these:
1. what are you using it for? killing running rabbits at 10-200 yards id say mini14, tested and proven over the heavier carbine. Ballistically, .223 has the advantage as a larger diameter bullet is not necesary. Is it for Home defence?? Lord, i pray im not your neighbor when you light up an intruder. Try a shotgun or possibly a pistol for the house to save collateral damage. Plinking(cantalope)/shooting pictures of Hilary Clinton at the range? Either is a good choice, though if i went tomorrow and had a choice, i'd choose the carbine as ive never shot one and its a cool old gun.

2. Whats your price range?? I don't know what carbines go for "new," but a new mini is moving upwards of $6xx, more towards the AR range (ive seen em built for $750). I bought my mini used and in excelent shape for 2/3 the new price. My rifle is just as good as new and will do anything one from the store will. That being said: make sure you always always check the tell-tail signs, such as excessive wear, bore pitting, bad finish yada yada.

3. As far as ammo is concerned, thats really a question of what you are using it for. You want to know about hollow points? I dont think a pumpkin will feel differently if you shoot it with a HP or a FMJ. Shooting small furry things? HP definetly preferred for .22 LR, but this is a 30 caliber cartridge designed for people killin. Remember, this is a war gun (albeit a light model). .30 carbine shells got plenty of poop for small critters, and possibly up to antelope sized game. I'm not sure how .223 and .30 carb compare, but .223 is capable of taking deer sized game (seen it done). If you're looking to defend yourself at home, once again shotgun is the preferred short-range weapon, but it is a free country.

Closing statement: Opinions are like a**h*l*s, everyone has one and they all stink. If you buy a carbine and like it, great. if you buy a mini 14 and like it, also great. If you think one is better than the other, well maybe it is for you and what you were using it for. In a perfect world, you would buy both and a ton of ammo, shoot until your shoulder bleeds, then decide which is best for what application.

EDIT: as far as accuracy goes on the mini: it is true, not a target rifle. Wasn't made to be. Its a truck gun that sits in the rack collecting grime dust and goo, until the unsuspecting coyote is caught by suprise, or yonder jack rabbit ventures too close. Why do they make 20-30 round clips? Because if at first you dont succeed, try try try again. Besides, youre not gonna use it for a biathalon are you?

November 13, 2007, 04:24 PM
.223 = AR-15. M1 Carbine = FUN
Mini 14 = junk

November 13, 2007, 05:47 PM
.223 = AR-15. M1 Carbine = FUN
Mini 14 = junk

I cleaned my Mini-14 yesterday after I put about three hundred rounds through it. No malfunctions, of course, which I can't say about an AR-15 (AR15=jam-o-matic). It took me about five minutes to clean the rifle. Of course, it helps that the bolt doesn't get covered in crud everytime I pull the trigger. I sure wish the AR-15 was as well-designed. :neener:

November 13, 2007, 06:19 PM
I had in the range of 50,000 rds. from my AR-15 before the barrel was replaced. Literally the only time it jammed was when I tried Wolf ammo. True story. Myself and a friend were shooting 3/8 in. steel plate from roughly 50 yrds. We were shooting from the same can of ammo Mil-spec 55 gr. FMJ. My AR-15 punched holes like a paper punch. The rds. from the mini14 bounced off. Thanks but no thanks. You can keep the mini pooch.

November 13, 2007, 06:26 PM
So now in addition to it's other wondrous attributes the AR-15 magically adds velocity to the cartridge? Uh-huh.

November 13, 2007, 06:29 PM
Like it or not, it happened. Not that the AR-15 adds FPS. More that the mini pooch is so inefficient that it loses FPS.

November 13, 2007, 06:32 PM
Can the mini-pooch do this at 100 yrds?

November 13, 2007, 07:16 PM
Yeah, they can. There is a company called Accuracy Systems Inc. (http://www.accuracysystemsinc.com/testimonials.php) that builds sub-MOA Mini-14's all the time. It adds anywhere from $400 to $750 to the cost of the rifle based upon particular bells and whistles. I paid $450 for my Ranch, which does 2" right out of the box. For $300 more I can get a harmonic stabilizer that will cut that down to 1". Wow, plenty of accuracy for less than $800.

Gee, that's about what a Bushmaster AR-15 retails for, plus I get superior reliability. Now, if you really want to convice the rest of us that your rifle went for 50K rounds without a malfunction, well, good luck.

I call BS on the penetration claim of yours. The velocity of a 55-grain bullet out of a Mini runs between 3100 and 3200 fps, depending upon factory brand. The mil-spec requirement for 55-grain ammo out of an M-16 is 3250 fps. That's with a 20" barrel versus an 18" barrel like the one on the Mini. Hardly enough to write home about. I'd say your anecdote has more to do with the quality of the ammo than the quality of the rifle.

Now, I will admit that the Mini-14's trigger leaves a bit to be desired and the permanently mounted sling attachment on the gas block drives me nuts. But that's what is reasonable to expect for a $500 rifle.

I can buy a factory Target model for less than the cost of an AR-15 that will shoot 5/8 inch groups all day long without a malfunction. A "pooch" it ain't.

November 14, 2007, 12:45 AM
Well still the same. True story, like it or not. The ammo was from the SAME can, not boxed. I fell off the truck one nite, but not last nite. I have played with, shot and inspected the mini-pooch. Still a piece of junk. Why military no use? No comparision. Oh, real AR-15s are made by Colt, not Bushmaster or whoever. Colt AR-15, standard model, right out of the box with match grade ammo, 1 MOA or less. But if you like your mini-pooch, that's ok, you can have it.

Hank Dodge
November 14, 2007, 01:32 AM
In places like ********** where "evil black rifles" are a no-no, the Mini-14 has a strong following. True that some are not that great out of the box, but they do clean up alright.

As far a choosing between an M-1 carbine and a Mini-14, it would depend on my intended usage. The carbine would be my first choice as a "house gun" where the range is relatively short and maneuverability is required. The .30 carbine round is fine for close in confrontations. The Mini-14 would win out if the distances were to open up to becoming a "ranch gun". The .223 is a light round, but it is good out to a few hundred yards with decent effect. The Mini can also be scoped if that lends itself well to your purposes.

November 14, 2007, 12:37 PM
[QUOTE]Oh, real AR-15s are made by Colt, not Bushmaster or whoever./QUOTE]

You keep making my arguments for me! So now I have $1,200 to work with in my comparison instead of just $800. For the price of a Colt I can buy a Target Mini-14 AND a really nice scope to put on it. And I STILL get equivalent accuracy and better reliability! This just keeps getting better and better.

November 14, 2007, 12:57 PM
That's good. After you buy it go see what it's worth. Apples to oranges. To compare the Mini-pooch to the AR is like comparing a Geo Metro to a Beemer. There is no comparision. It's like comparing the Oregon Ducks to The NE Patriots. You get the mini-pooch and I'll get my old extemely used AR and get your butt out here and let's start shooting things at 300, 400, 500, yrds. Then tell me how wonderful the pooch is. I know what the results will be.

November 14, 2007, 12:58 PM
Somebody is off their meds.

November 14, 2007, 01:17 PM
Functioning either one should go that distance without a hicup!
Neither caliber in it's military form would be my choice. Close up
and personal, I would choose the .30 with an expanding 100 or 110,
at about 2000 fps. As a HD not an over penetrator, but probably
just as effective or more so, than a lt. bullet .357 Mag out of a

November 14, 2007, 01:48 PM
OK, OK, enough said. I just don't like Rugers. I don't think they are a quality firearm. You get what you pay for. Would I stand in front of one ...... heck no! But I'll take my Colt AR over the Ruger, any time, any where, under any circumstances :)

November 14, 2007, 02:33 PM
Hey lencac:

If you think the mini is crap because your ar-15 is better, good for you. High five. You deserve the Nobel Peace Prize. Unfortunately, you tooting your own whistle has nothing to do with what this post is about, which is the m1 carbine in comparison to the mini 14. Personally, I have no experience with the AR-15, shot one once. However, I have heard they have problems with the gas impingement system. And yes, Colt did design the original AR-15, that doesnt mean that Bushmaster or Wilson Combat or DPMS do not make an equally excelent weapon. How would you know Colt makes the only good AR unless you had shot ALL models of ALL the other manufacturers weapons. Apparently you haven't discerned the difference between reality and your opinion.

As for no military use, Um, hello, does the ar-15 see military use? NO, the m16 does however. The AR is based off of the M16, the mini 14 is based off the M14. while the difference between the m14 and mini 14 is greater than the diff between the M16 and AR15, the fact remains that ruger designed the mini to be an economical autoloader. It's not a target rifle, nor is it a $1000 gun.

I have shot wolf ammo through my rifle without a single hiccup (minus magazine failure, dont buy cheapies) or accuracy problem. If you serisously think that the mini has reduced fps shooting the same ammo, i suggest you do a test and post your results in a subjective manner, as opposed to your objective opinions. Take 2 rifles with the same barrel twist (yes twist plays a huge roll) and the same barrel length on 2 standard rifles and put them through a chrony. It may be true that the AR15 has a higher fps all else the same, but I doubt it until i see the proof. I don't see how any one could believe your comments without a little proof to back it up. The mini doesnt stabalize wolf ammo you say? The ruger website states 1:9 on new rifles, I'm sure this is hasnt changed. Tell me, what do you know about rifle twist? I know that 1:9, even up to 1:12 is suficient to stabilize a 55gr bullet. Maybe the bullets you were shooting were too heavy or too light for the twist, which wouldnt make the rifle crap, just suited for a different size bullet. Its rather ignorant to call a rifle junk just because you were using the wrong ammo.

If you still think the mini is junk (im sure you do), read what a knowledgeable proffesional thinks instead of assuming your opinion is the end all to debate.


If you still think all mini 14's should be taken out of the hands of thousands of americans, placed in a rocket, shot into space, then blown to bits by seven nuclear bombs, good for you. Go cuddle with your AR while my ranch rifle and I slaughter rabbits with my mini shooting wolf ammo :D

Happy Hunting

Mini 14's are used by police departments, mine came from a local PD so dont assume Mini 14s have no place in the work environment. In addition, If fps were higher (how would you know without a chronograph), its probably because mini 14's have a 16.5" barrel, while your AR may have a longer barrel which would produce a higher fps.

November 14, 2007, 02:43 PM

November 14, 2007, 03:49 PM
the fact remains that ruger designed the mini to be an economical autoloader.

and at this point, I think they failed

November 14, 2007, 03:59 PM
M1 Carbine gets you a piece of history too. The Ruger just gets you a piece. :)

November 14, 2007, 04:21 PM
I have two m1 carbines, from the CMP. They are both accurate enough for me. However one of them has trouble feeding the rounds out of the magazine. I don't know what the problem is, because the same magazine in the other m1 seems to feed fine.

I am wondering if there is a problem in the way the magazine is being locked into the receiver.

I guess the answer is that you need to use the rifle enough to make sure it is reliable. Accuracy is an issue to worry about after that.

November 14, 2007, 05:52 PM
Comparing a Mini-14 to a standard AR-15 is not comparing apples to oranges. The 20" AR-15 is more accurate than a standard Mini-14 (although the post 2005 models have narrowed the gap considerably). I admit that. But lots of folks seem to think that the Mini-14 is not capable of decent accuracy. That's just not true. If fed quality ammo it can shoot groups that are more than good enough (2-3 inches at 100 yards) for the use for which they are intended. The rifles can also be economically accurized if further accuracy is desired.

The Mini-14 is not the equivalent of a Geo Metro. I used to own both a Metro and a Lumina and I can say that the Mini-14 is a solid Chevy Lumina. But anyone that thinks an AR-15 is a Beemer has never shot a Blaser or even an AR-10. The AR-15 is at best a Lincoln Continental. It looks pretty but it needs a lot of work to keep it running.

November 14, 2007, 07:07 PM
An AR can be more like an old Jaguar. Don't forget that Ford actually improved the QC.

November 14, 2007, 07:10 PM
I have a mini-30 that will shoot groups less than 2" at 100 yards. A couple thousand rounds and no malfunctions. It's far from a piece of crap. My dislikes are quality aftermarket mags and prices that keep getting higher. I am waiting for my local gunshop to get a mini-ranch chambered in 6.8. Problem is they're nearly as exspensive as a Bushmaster in 6.8. As far as reliability, I will have to claim I find the mini more reliable. Not by much, but a little. I have 14 years experience with the M16, so I'm not speaking out of my butt and trying to make my opinions fact, like some do on here and other websites. And once again, a thread has wondered off in a different direction.

November 14, 2007, 07:52 PM
and at this point, I think they failed

In what regards? I'm not disagreeing with your position, just curious where you think they went wrong. I agree that it will never be prominent in any competition shooting, even the Mini14 target rifle. I do think that for the price i paid ($400), i got a good truck gun that shoots strait and does everything i need it to. I guess I got lucky and bought a gun that doesn't have problems due to excessive wear or manufacturing defects, as it seems others have more problems.

Or maybe I'm an idiot, hell I don't know.

November 14, 2007, 08:01 PM
I have 2 AR, 2 M1 Carbine, 2 Mini14, 3 sks, 1 Ruger PC9.

The AR is very accurate. cleaning the gas rings and the bolt can be a real bi*** when carbon gets all caked up. eventually I just decided that whatever I could get off with a CLP'ed rag I'd simply ignore until it got bad enough that I'd need to scrape it off. the Pistol grip is nice to have but runs into all sorts of complications if you live in Ban states. sabre defense lower, dpms 14.5 upper with perm attached muzzle brake. $650 base price new, with a U15 beechwood stock $165.

the M1 is tons of fun to shoot and is beautiful. I like sleeping curled up with guns sometimes. the m1 is like a sleek petite woman; the ar15 is a chain smoking goth who has more metal in her face than a fistful of nails. $575 inland 90% condition, used

the mini14 is very nice to shoot and handy and accurate enough for anything but benchresters and benchresters are a silly bunch of ducks anyway (phbttt!!!!!). like the m1, no pistol grip and sights are very good (mine are 580 series, ghost rings). my favorite mini14 has been shot a lot but in terms of cleanign ive only done the barrel and the action. I dont disassemble at all. i will eventually but not worried about it. $450 used. the mini14 most closely resembles an american housewife. too much money is spent on making them pretty and for the most part it makes absolutely no difference in their performance anyway. just love her for her nice brownies and quit dreaming about having foie gras for dinner.

the chinese paratrooper sks is a real fun gun to shoot, is decently accurate but the sights aren't so hot, magazine is not detachable, and now that it is worth $400 I don't really want to damage it too much. the yugo M59 sks is probably the best cheap sks, at $250 for a 90% condition gun I cant complain. haven't had a chance to shoot for accuracy but the sks very reliable although to be honest the supposed "100% reliable" isn't. they jam just like everything else and yes Ive done it before. as a matter of fact jams in sks are worse - if they jam you drop the entire magazine, and then you ahve to reload it. you cant use "STOP" (i forget what it stands for now, its the army's menomic device for dealing with stoppages). the real appeal of an sks is that the damn thing is built like a tank and doesn't mind being slapped around. my 90% m59 and para stay in the safe though since they are quite pretty. however, i just bought a non-matching, rusted over, buggered up rear sight ugly arse M59. that one im going to repark, then put inside a tapco t6 stock with the appropriate replacement parts. why? just because, its fun. oh, and in keeping with the metaphorical trend - the sks is like a russian peasant woman. muscular, worn from years of work, and expecting to work many more. makeup is wasted on her but then she isn't very critical of your looks either.

the ruger pc9 is a very very nice gun. bang, ding! bang, ding! a very nice home defense gun for cityslickers. the pc9 is like a teenage girlfriend. she's cheap to take out and what a thrill. you dont expect 100 yard MOA out of her but that's okay because she's totally impressed because you have car.

which one to get? oh, heck. buy all of them. that is, unless you are one of those ar15 guys who had the rotten luck of their first loves being goth metalheads and then being forever scarred. =P

Keith Wheeler
November 14, 2007, 08:07 PM
(....wish I could get broadband out here!)

Keith Wheeler
November 14, 2007, 08:11 PM
Or maybe I'm an idiot, hell I don't know.

No, start making claims about the "efficiency" of a rifle (as an engineer, this is a term I've never heard with regards to a firearm), then perhaps you can be in the running for one.

Bottom line, from someone who owns both. (And a whole lotta other guns, ARs, FALs, bolt-actions, stamp collections, belt feds).

Both are great, fun rifles. The question you have to ask? Do you want history, or a "poor man's AR"? I doubt any honest man with such a budget would feel bad about either purchase, unless it was to want both.

November 14, 2007, 08:26 PM
Silverlance, are you suggesting that we trade the Mini-14 for the PC9? Or should we shoot the PC9 behind the Mini's back?

November 14, 2007, 08:34 PM
Both are great, fun rifles. The question you have to ask? Do you want history, or a "poor man's AR"?

Owning an AR doesnt necesarily mean you own a piece of history. Now, if you owned an M16 that saw combat in VN, then yes, you do. But then again thats not an AR. Like I said in my first post, the AR is based off the M16, mini off the M14. Both are civilian rifles. Yeah yeah, Colt makes better firearms than Ruger. But owning an AR doesnt mean you get a placard on the wall saying "Thank You for Preserving History. You're a good guy." My mini symbolizes the M14's used in combat around the world just as much as your AR symbolizes the staple of the United States military. Both were made for civilians based on a military weapon platform.

In closing: Buy both. If you don't like one of em, sell it, keep it in the safe, or blast it into space *wink*

Keith Wheeler
November 14, 2007, 09:12 PM
Owning an AR doesnt necesarily mean you own a piece of history...

I was referring to the original question of M1 Carbine vs. Mini-14...though I will disagree on something that is often repeated online. Yes, the Mini-14 is "based" (I would say "inspired by") on the M-14. No parts exchange, but it's a similar system. Also similar to M1 carbine and M1 Garand. The AR-15 isn't "based" on the M-16. It's the same bloody gun, minus a couple of parts, a milled area in the receiver, and a hole in the lower. I've built ARs from forged blanks that could also be used to build an M-16. Same "gun", different parts.

November 14, 2007, 10:32 PM
Travis tell me something I DON"T know. Gees this thread just keeps going on and on and on and on and on ...... kinda like the energizer bunny :barf:

November 14, 2007, 10:53 PM
I've shot the M1 Carbine (my Fathers) very fun wouldn't call it accurate. Haven't ever shot a Ruger Mini so I'm not help with that but the DPMS AR-15 I have is a very nice rifle and shoots great too. I personally prefer the AR rifles in .223





November 15, 2007, 02:57 AM
see above? see what I mean by chainsmoking dull eyed goth? no vibrancy, no warmth, no silky goodness. she will get you your fix then kick you out.

Silverlance, are you suggesting that we trade the Mini-14 for the PC9? Or should we shoot the PC9 behind the Mini's back?

heh- the now-discontinued PC9 is like the wife's hot 18 year old cousin. you flirt with each chance you get, and all the guys at the range want to talk to you when you bring her out. no kidding. each time im at the range with the pc9, everybody wants to shoot her. she's a little rough on the edges, and the trigger pull is the absolute wierdest ive ever seen in a firearm, but there's a certain virgin charm to shooting 9mm in a rifle that I dont get anymore in any of the rifle calibers since Ive shot them all so often.

Keith Wheeler
November 15, 2007, 04:16 PM
Oh, real AR-15s are made by Colt, not Bushmaster or whoever

I thought "real" AR-15s were made by ArmaLite?

Bartholomew Roberts
November 16, 2007, 01:14 AM
If you notice your posts missing, then it was either because you were attacking the person and not the argument. Please take the hint for future conversation.

November 16, 2007, 10:56 AM
I was actually attacking his opinion. How about putting the post back on and deleting the last line?

Ed Ames
November 16, 2007, 01:05 PM
Aren't people sort of missing the point of the question? The original poster wanted a wood stocked and more or less traditionally-styled rifle. Doesn't matter how snazzy a DPMS, Colt, or whatever is unless you can fit a conventional wood stock on it.

I was basically given a mini-14 a while ago. It's not something I would've purchased but hey I'm not complaining. I had kind of dismissed them as not accurate enough or special enough to be worth paying over $500 for. And it isn't all that accurate (though it's not my least accurate either). It has been completely reliable so far and it's a lot of fun against reactive targets.

I'd rather have a M1 carbine for the history.... but if you want a fun gun the mini-14 is a better choice. If you want a practical home defense gun the mini is a better choice. For economical plinking a major factor is that you can get .22lr conversion for the mini-14 for less than the price of most semi-auto .22lr rifles and you can't say the same of the m1 carbine. $150 wil buy you the converter and 1000 rounds of .22lr. That makes the mini a far more practical "economical fun" gun than any of the other options listed so far.

I like the mini-14 more now that I've owned it than I ever thought I would. That doesn't make it my ideal rifle by any stretch but it's got a lot going for it in this context.

Ignition Override
November 17, 2007, 02:17 AM
Thanks very much for all of your observations and sincere advice. Pardon me it this topic is beating a dead horse.

Again, I have very little experience with any guns except for the old single-shot .22 bolt action (1930's?) Savage which I inherited from a grandfather.

Having just bought a brand-new Auto Ordnance M-1 carbine (had an identical bb-gun as kid) and with no exposure to semi-autos, am also wondering why a round often jams after about 6-7 rounds, from the standard (included) small magazine.

This is the only other gun I've ever owned or bought! Might buy a 'mini' in the future. Could not justify the money for an FN FAL.

Should the small and large magazines also be oiled, in order to help the springs?
The gun was left with the store where I bought it just before firing it again, and they lubbed it with the 'white stuff', whatever that is.

As for beating a dead horse, so to speak, instead of that (with lots of target practice) I would not mind being with a very conservative guide (modest price?) and one day hunting a wild pig somewhere in central Tennessee (or northern Arkansas)-preferably NOT on foot (!). No kidding. But maybe this is not for relative beginners? Too many questions.....na ja/oh well.

November 17, 2007, 03:23 AM
"...does very well with fmj bullets but not good with either soft lead or hollow-point..." Absolute rubbish. Properly loaded HP's or SP's work just fine with IMR4227.

Snapping Twig
November 17, 2007, 12:09 PM
My preference would be the Mini 14. You can accurize them for little $$ with a gas block adjustment and an Accu-Strut. The gas block is no cost do-it-yourself and the Accu-Strut is under $100.

Once done, you have a more powerful and equally accurate rifle.

Reason for my selection - a more powerful round that is readily available at low cost.

That and the fact that the Mini is current production by a major manufacturer with low cost parts availability.

Dave Markowitz
November 17, 2007, 12:29 PM
Having just bought a brand-new Auto Ordnance M-1 carbine (had an identical bb-gun as kid) and with no exposure to semi-autos, am also wondering why a round often jams after about 6-7 rounds, from the standard (included) small magazine.

Field strip it and make sure that the gas piston nut is tight.

The magazine may be bad. Also, what ammo are you using?

November 17, 2007, 01:38 PM
Is the type of jam from the previous spent case not clearing the action and getting jammed up with the next round from the magazine? Or is the spent case clearing the action ok and the jam occures when trying to feed the next round from the magazine? And what type of ammo are you using at this point? Things to look at: magazine, cleaning and lubrication, short throw gas piston operation, extractor in bolt (can be very finicky due to it's very pettite nature).

November 17, 2007, 02:16 PM
For what it's worth . . .

Armalite built the AR15. The "AR" doesn't stand for "automatic rifile" or "assault rifle" as some seem to think. It stands for . . . Armalite.

Check out Armalite's new pistol. It has an "AR" designation.

The AR15 is a scaled-down AR10.

The M16 is the full-auto and/or select-fire rifle developed from the AR15.

The AR15 is not the "semi auto version" of the M16. It's the other way around.

The AR15 came first (well, okay, after the AR10), and it came from Armalite.

The M16 is the full-auto (or burst) variant of the AR15, made after Colt got their hands on it.

This information, by the way, may not be available at your local gun shoppe. It is, however available in books and (heaven forbid) on the intarwebz.

I have friends with ARs. I don't have one. I DO have a rifle in 5.56 NATO, but it's not any of the ones being discussed.

I don't have a PC9, but I DO have Marlin's Camp 9. And, for what it's worth, it is, hands down, the sweetest-shooting, most fun, easiest to hit with rifle that I own (inside of 100 yards, of course).

And you know what? It's not part of the discussion topic.

Neither is my brand of .223 rifle, either.

So, considering that NOTHING I WROTE ABOVE is really on-topic, can we get back to the actual topic?



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