Carbine Shopping...CX4 vs. Mini-14


December 21, 2008, 08:32 PM
I currently own nearly 30 long rifles and shotguns, just got into the world of handguns about a year or so ago and most recently started attending IDPA at a local gun club. They talked about doing combo shotgun, pistol and carbine courses. I've had carbines on the brain for some time now, starting with an obsession with the M1. I've talked to some friends in the military who insist I buy an M4, unfortunately I don't know if I can cough up that kind of dough right now, and with Obamas plans, now seems to be the right time.

I did a small search today and came up with two front runners. The Beretta CX4 and the Ruger Mini-14 ranch rifle, guns on opposite ends of the carbine spectrum. I have a Beretta PX4 9mm which is one reason I'm leaning towards the CX4 (although I think I'd rather get the .40 or .45 rather than the 9mm, so magazine compatability isn't a big concern), it also has a lot more possibilities for accessorizing. The ruger on the other hand is what I think of when I imagine a "traditional" carbine (ie. the M1)

I'd appreciate some guidance on the matter, it's been too long since I bought a new gun.

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December 21, 2008, 08:37 PM
Have you considered just using one of the rifles you have? If you're not going to use it for home defense, I'm not sure you need to go out and spend any cash. Of course, they can be fun to shoot.

December 21, 2008, 10:16 PM
(Un)fortunately all of my rifles are pump, lever or bolt action. I would really like a nice semi-auto. $900 is my absolute max budget, with $700 being a bit more realistic.

December 21, 2008, 10:40 PM
Disclaimer: I'm no expert - as you said, they're not exactly the same firearm and therefore are going to approach your needs from diverse directions.

The CX4 can be matched up to a handgun, giving you two options with the same caliber - don't know if you already have any handguns or are planning on getting one/some, but that's a factor that may or may not appeal to you. I don't own one, so that's about all I'm qualified to say about it, which of course is pretty obvious.

The Mini-14 represents an entirely different approach and tends to be sort of buyer/user specific, depending on what you intend to use it for and what you expect of it. The good news is that it will fire almost any ammo, any time, under any conditions, for a long, long time. The bad news - and it's not really that bad depending on your expectations - is that it will not put five rounds in the same hole at 100/200/whatever yds - what it will do is put 20 rounds into the torso of a bad guy all the time, every time.

I own three Mini-14s, and I have them because they are what I want to have on hand for everything from fun shooting to coyotes to the ever-present SHTF stuff. I figure between a 580 series heavy barrel, a 580 series target model and a 183 series carbine I have my bases covered. That said, I also have a couple of Marlin 336 30-30s (one set up as a Scout rifle); a .300 WIN Mag, a .270 Win, a couple of 12 Ga. Winchester Defenders, a couple of 20 Ga., some .22s and several handguns - so the Mini-14s fit into the overall mix pretty well - which was the plan all along.

I had a chance to buy a NIB Colt Match HBAR a couple of months ago for $1100, didn't do it and it sold for $2000 last weekend - lost opportunity because it was worth $1100 to me (I just didn't react quickly enough) but not $2000 - so again as you say, now's probably the time to do something - depending on whether or not you think the Obama-scare buying frenzy will subside and prices return to pre-election levels or the Obama-scare turns out to be real and prices not only don't go down but just keep on climbing with ammo and everything else that's associated with the average citizen's ability to protect him/herself from a tyrannical government.

After all that comparatively useless information, I have to say I agree with TJay RE: using something you already have if it fits your purpose - on the other hand, how you spend you money is not my business, and we all know that when you get the urge to buy a gun it's not an urge easily denied.

December 21, 2008, 10:52 PM
you can probably reload a cast lead bullet for the cx4 and shoot cheaper. or, if you really like the m1, get one of those. cmp m1 carbines start at $410, a new mini at walmart is $608+tax.

December 21, 2008, 11:06 PM
I have the Px4 and Cx4 in 9mm...awful fun and convenient to have pistol and carbine that take the same mags. It's a cheap round to shoot and both are really accurate. At least, if SHTF, you would be fashionable and match...just kidding!:D

December 21, 2008, 11:07 PM
I'd take a rifle cartridge over a pistol cartridge in a rifle sized gun every time----get the Mini.

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