Handy plinking carbine poll (M1 Carbine v. Mini-14)


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notorious
December 28, 2008, 05:09 AM
Here's another fun poll for all y'all:evil::

I am looking at a little handy plinking carbine which combines low price, easy handling, tons of aftermarket support, plentiful ammo, and would be a great choice for anti-zombie excursions.;)

So far, I have got the following issues identified::scrutiny:

Mini-14 ($730 stainless ranch with flash hider): easy to mount scope, 5.56 cartridge gives more power than .30 carbine, modern firearm, new:barf:

M1 carbine ($500-600 depending on source): won't ever break, surplus ammo more plentiful, been through hell so can be beat up more:p

BTW, I live in Kommiefornia so those two are the only choices I can entertain without going to the neutered AR or AK copies which still cost an arm and a leg and require me to load bullets 1 at a time with the fixed mags.:eek:

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notorious
December 28, 2008, 05:12 AM
Hmmm... this was post 223... coincidence?

Oh, I don't plan on doing too much other than a red dot or low power scope and a ching sling. I don't want it to look too evil.

R.W.Dale
December 28, 2008, 05:14 AM
None of the above.

Even the most poorly cared for $140 Chinese SKS will be lightyears ahead of either of the other choices you list to meet your criteria. Add a $40 tech sight and rock/n/roll

M1 carbine ($500-600 depending on source): won't ever break, surplus ammo more plentiful,

are you still living in the 1980's?

notorious
December 28, 2008, 05:30 AM
The SKS would be on the order of $250 to 400 here in Kommiefornia and it doesn't have a detachable mag. I have thought about it.

As for the surplus ammo, CMP has a ton in right now for the M1 Carbine. I just got their mailer. In any event, it can't be harder to get than the .223 which is getting very expensive here. A box of 20 PMC is $8 for .223.

woof
December 28, 2008, 07:46 AM
handy plinking carbine = Marlin 1894c .357

notorious
December 28, 2008, 07:53 AM
I can always "borrow" my dad's Winchester 1894 30-30 carbine. He has not taken his guns out of his closet for the last few... 14 years or so.

moooose102
December 28, 2008, 07:57 AM
30 carbine all the way! the ruger is a nice gun. butt ugly, but still nice. the 30 carbine is not a whole lot prettier, but at least it is a military war veteran. lots of mil surplus ammo. besides, personally, i have always wanted 2. one rifle, and one in a pistol. i dont even know if anybody except T/C makes such a pistol. but it would be a great revolver. if the case wasn't so long, it would make a great semi-auto pistol too. but you'd have a heck of a time holding onto a grip that big.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
December 28, 2008, 07:59 AM
and make sure they are all sighted in and then clean them up for him!

There, you get to have fun and not spend much money!

notorious
December 28, 2008, 08:03 AM
AMT has that AutoMag in .30 Carbine. Good gun. My buddy had one. Basically a long gripped 1911. You can probably find those things around without much difficulty.

Inspector, I am doing that innocuously. I already borrowed his field Mossberg 500A on the pretense of needing it for trap... and I cleaned it up for him, then I shot it right away... I have my eye on his Winchester for sure because it was one of the last ones before they became USRAC.

Marine_wannabe
December 28, 2008, 09:53 AM
A box of 20 PMC is $8 for .223.

Thats what it cost here, in TN. I agree on the SKS.

JWF III
December 28, 2008, 10:48 AM
I own several of each. I voted for the Mini. The price difference that you listed is (I assume) for new vs. old. Buy a used Mini, it'll be cheaper than the Carbine. Ammo goes to the Mini, it's been a long time since I've seen surplus .30Carbine ammo. Buying in bulk you'll save if you go with the .223. Dependability is a wash, both are highly dependable. But in the event that something did happen to break, the Mini would be easier to find parts for. The Carbine parts are out there, but depending on what you need, it may take some searching through endless parts bins at a gunshow to find it. Although not an issue in Cali., high cap. mags are usually better in the Carbine. It takes trying a lot of mini mags to get a set of depndable hi-caps. For the carbine, buy 1 or 2 more than the number you want, try them all, you'll usually have 1 or 2 extra. Rarely one will not pass the muster.

Wyman

Sam1911
December 28, 2008, 11:30 AM
Several thoughts: If you want a handgun in .30 Carb, Ruger makes (made?) the Blackhawk in it and it is a WHALE of a lot of fun! You could score one for ~$350, probably.

As to the rifle question: I would imagine that you could find a nice used Mini-14 for a lot less than you'd find a .30 M1 Carbine, just because the market prices are pretty high on the Carbine. I can't recommend the CMP's program enough, though! They are awesome and an unbeatable bargain.

I'd still think you could find a Mini-14 a bit cheaper than the ~$595 that CMP is charging for the Carbines, but you'll probably have to shop a little.

Ammo is going to be nearly the same in price -- but shop around. CMP will sell you 500 rds. of Aquilla .30 Carbine for $155, so around $0.31 a shot. That's comparable to .223 prices, though ammo prices seem to be going crazy right now. In the long term .223 might be cheaper due to sheer volume of rounds produced (once the market settles down) but hard to say.

Magazines *that work* are easier to find for the M1 Carbine, but if you stick with Ruger factory mags for the Mini, this isn't really much of a problem.

Buy whichever suits you, really. They are a lot of fun!

-Sam

amd6547
December 28, 2008, 12:51 PM
I voted for the M1 carbine with my wallet...I bought one two months ago at North Store, which is about 45 minutes from my house.
The price for a service grade Inland is $495, not $595.
Mine has a 6-digit serial, and came in an early I-cut stock with Ordnance cartouche on the side.
I shot it for the first time yesterday, and it worked perfectly, giving very good groups at 100 yards.
While I own an AR and an AK, I find the carbine to be much more suitable as a home defense weapon.
Besides, a carbine like mine would sell for more than $650 on the open market.

R00KIE
December 28, 2008, 02:32 PM
Forget you ever heard of that SKS ... Ugh what a front heavy bent up piece of crap that is. I have owned about four of them, all shot poorly and you cant handle them for anything.

Given your choices, the mini or the M-1 are both good choices. The 30-30 is a great choice as well. Never let you down.

Just don't consider the SKS ha.

dbarile
December 28, 2008, 03:01 PM
M1 if it is cheaper, otherwise the Mini-14.

I like them both. I know, wimpy answer.

notorious
December 28, 2008, 03:07 PM
Nice M1! Did it come with the GI bag and double mag pouch? I would definitely get a bayonet on that bad boy and complete the look!

I really dig that bayonet capability on the M1... but I have seen bayonet lugs that clamp on the barrel of a Mini-14 as well.

amd6547
December 28, 2008, 03:43 PM
The mag pouch is a like new GI item from 1943...there are tons of them avaiable cheap, and it makes a handy reload with 30 extra rounds on the weapon. The case is a current repro...$19.99.
A bayonet would be a cool accessory, but they are a bit pricey for genuine GI...I will probably pass.
The bayonet lug front band is good to have on a shooter carbine, as it is said to increase accuracy.
The racjs at North Store were filled with nice carbines when I was there.

theotherwaldo
December 28, 2008, 03:52 PM
Purely a coin flip. I've got one of each. Handy, utilitarian, fun!

chriso
December 28, 2008, 04:10 PM
Mini 14 as you know I live in california as well and that is my choice... more parts available dependable while not a tack driver good enough... I heard the new ones are more accurate but at the same time mine is going to be used as a defense carbine/truck gun... maybe I will accurize it some day though... I have trouble down here in stockton finding ammo for my m1 carbine... thats prices dont rape me...

benEzra
December 28, 2008, 04:49 PM
Is that .30 Carbine surplus ammo corrosive?

amd6547
December 28, 2008, 06:11 PM
Surplus carbine ammo is pretty rare these days...not like years ago when I bought it in spam cans on strip clips in bandoleers.
However, PRVI, Magtech and georgia arms make soft point and fmj at reasonable prices. Winchester, federal and remington still sell ammo for somewhat more. Also, Aguilla. Then there is CorBon, which sells what seems to be a great load, unfortunately at an outrageous price.

notorious
December 28, 2008, 06:16 PM
The 30 carbine ammo has never been corrosive unlike the surplus 30-06 for the Garand which are corrosive until after the Korean War.

That was another plus for the GIs who shot the M1 Carbine over the Garands.

I miss the old days when there was a local store down the street that had crates of Garands for $200 and Carbines for $100... and M16 surplus magazines were $5 each sitting in two big 55 gallon drums, filled to the brim. People walked by them all day long. AKs were $200 each as well and SKS were $100 in the crate. Colt ARs were still $600 back then so they were relatively a high ticket item and when you think about it, the prices haven't gone up on them too much compared to the other stuff. Should've just sucked it up and picked up a few Colts, including the carbine, the H-Bar, and whatever other variants they had when Colt was still in the business of making guns. Oh I forgot... I wasn't 18 yet back then....

FMJMIKE
December 28, 2008, 10:34 PM
I voted Mini-14. I got mine at Walmart for $604 plus tax.
http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e350/mbmphoto/MIniA.jpg

SoCalShooter
December 28, 2008, 10:37 PM
I have a carbine and I have used a mini-14 once I was not impressed with the mini but I like my carbine just fine.

jimmyraythomason
December 28, 2008, 10:57 PM
I like the Mini 14 and 30, the .30 carbine AND the SKS. All will do what they were designed to do. All are very fun to shoot.

lionking
December 28, 2008, 11:10 PM
Hard choice,both are fun,ammo is easy to find,both typically in the same price range.Although being that the M1 carbine is typically milsurp condition will vary widely so that is something to consider.Past 50yds I think the Mini has a edge is accuracy.

At my range one of the range officers let me try his Beretta storm in 9mm a while back.That would fit your criteria listed above.50 rounds of 9mm will be about the best bargain priced centerfire plinking ammo out there.It was a comfortable gun also.AR in 9mm would be great to have also,but they suffer from the "panic" craze lately.

Seafarer12
December 28, 2008, 11:12 PM
I would have to say neither. Neither one is low price or have a ton of aftermarket support. A leveraction would be good especially if you reload. I really like my 357. You can reload an SKS with a stripper clip pretty quick. But if I had to pick one I would say the mini 14. A 30 carbine isn't much good for anything other than plinking. At least a 223 has more punch, longer range and is cheaper and easier to find. The pistol caliber carbines are also an option. If you want cheap there is always the highpoint or the kel tec carbines.

Nugilum
December 28, 2008, 11:15 PM
No one has said it yet so I will...

Get both! :neener:

JackOfAllTradesMasterAtNone
December 28, 2008, 11:17 PM
Neither one is low price or have a ton of aftermarket support.

oh.. there's stuff out there for either the M1 or the Mini 14.


I'd say Mini14, but the little brother to that is a Ruger 10-22. Worlds greatest plinker!

-Steve

Seafarer12
December 28, 2008, 11:57 PM
oh.. there's stuff out there for either the M1 or the Mini 14.

But he said a ton. Neither one comes close to an ar, 10/22, ak, or an sks as far as aftermarket goes.

GRIZ22
December 29, 2008, 12:03 AM
surplus ammo more plentiful

Where? There used to be about 30 years ago but not now.

Based on ammo availability and prices I picked the Mini-14.

notorious
December 29, 2008, 12:11 AM
Don't forget that I live behind enemy lines in Kommiefornia... so I don't have the same aftermarket support for SKS and Mini and even 10/22 parts and AK is totally out of the question for me unless I want a fixed mag neutered version.

The two choices are pretty much the only ones I can get at a reasonable price unless I want to pay for a $1,800 SoCom II or beg the Chief for dispensation for a LE RRA DEA carbine.

notorious
December 29, 2008, 12:13 AM
Oh, I already have a 10/22 all-weather.

piratelooking@40
December 29, 2008, 12:55 AM
Are you the sentimental type? I have one of each. The Mini is probably a more practical choice: More powerful, far more common ammo, much easier to red-dot or scope. But I have a lot more affection for my (CMP) Carbine. You never know where those things have been. Anzio? Corregidor? Bastogne? Less recoil too, and blast.

A 30 carbine isn't much good for anything other than plinking.

Audie Murphy and Jim Cirillo say: That's ridiculous.

notorious
December 29, 2008, 12:57 AM
That's the good thing, maybe the M1 Carbine will stop me from bubba'ing my carbine too much because the Mini-14 will prompt me to get a scope at the minimum and who knows what else.

Ignition Override
December 29, 2008, 01:37 AM
Notorious: Does the carbine choice refer to a real carbine, or an AO carbine?

My brand-new AO "Imitation Carbine" suffered a major malfunction after two months, and the gun had been treated gingerly and lubricated.
The bolt got stuck, having come a bit upwards, out of the track.:confused:
And the magazine misfed each second or third round, until it was repaired.

The factory performed the free repair, it then worked fine, although I no longer wanted an AO product and sold it upon return.
Can't believe that I paid $700 for that gun. My wife could not believe that a gun store won't refund your money for a piece of junk.
AOs might be less than popular-it sat in a gun store (with a range where you can test it) for at least six months.

My used Mini 14 was built in '80, which I bought last spring. It has never had a malfunction, except for about two misfeeds in a Ruger factory (20-rd.) mag. My Mini 30 using only Wolf or Monarch ammo has had about five ftf (none on second primer strikes).
Over 500 rounds in each.
My choice is as clear as a blue December sky. Good luck with your decision.

Dr.Rob
December 29, 2008, 02:50 AM
Mini-14 has more range, power and is more easily scoped for that 'all around' utility rifle.

The carbine has history.

You can get buckets of dress up parts for a Mini 14, not so much for a Carbine.

notorious
December 29, 2008, 03:20 AM
If I were to get a Carbine, it would be either CMP or a good pick from the local Big 5. I wouldn't get a new manufacture because it would lose the point of having history behind it. I am on a major milsurp trip lately.

threefeathers
December 29, 2008, 10:46 AM
I like both of them, but the M-1 Carbine is a great piece of work.
http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y119/threefeathers/P6120083.jpg

jackdanson
December 29, 2008, 10:52 AM
Even the most poorly cared for $140 Chinese SKS will be lightyears ahead of either of the other choices you list to meet your criteria. Add a $40 tech sight and rock/n/roll

Furthermore, I've never felt that my sks was "handy". It feels like it weighs twice as much as an m1 carbine.

LIQUID SNAKE
December 29, 2008, 11:00 AM
M1 Carbine.

jjohnson
December 29, 2008, 11:00 AM
Another case of the pollster asking the wrong question.

SammyIamToday
December 29, 2008, 11:50 AM
Does Ruger sell parts to civilians yet?

If not, that alone would push me towards the M1 Carbine.

I guess high cap mags don't really do anything for you being in California.

Seafarer12
December 29, 2008, 11:51 AM
Audie Murphy and Jim Cirillo say: That's ridiculous.

I don't think either one of them is saying much of anything at the moment. If they were so great then why did they bounce off Koreans during the Korean war. You have to look at what they were ment to replace. A pistol, sure I would take one over a pistol but that would be about it. Sure they are fun for plinking if you reload and maybe a little pest control. I would rather have some kind of 9mm or .40 carbine like the old Rugers or Marlins, even those little Kel Tecs that take Glock mags. There is also the Beretta carbine.

notorious
December 29, 2008, 12:16 PM
Are those KelTec and Beretta carbines even CA legal? Don't recall ever seeing them anywhere.

I would get either one if I could just for the magazine compatibility.

jimmyraythomason
December 29, 2008, 01:06 PM
"If they were so great then why did they bounce off Koreans during the Korean war." This is WRONG! The M2 in .30 carbine killed North Koreans and Chinese VERY efficiently. Their heavy winter clothing was NOT a hinderance. My father-in-law spent most of '51,'52 and '53 in Korea has nothing but PRAISE for the little carbine.

SaMx
December 29, 2008, 02:24 PM
I don't think either one of them is saying much of anything at the moment. If they were so great then why did they bounce off Koreans during the Korean war. You have to look at what they were ment to replace. A pistol, sure I would take one over a pistol but that would be about it. Sure they are fun for plinking if you reload and maybe a little pest control. I would rather have some kind of 9mm or .40 carbine like the old Rugers or Marlins, even those little Kel Tecs that take Glock mags. There is also the Beretta carbine.
http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot36.htm

The .30 carbine has quite a bit more energy than 9mm or .40, even out of a longer barrel. I do think the round would be more popular if they had designed the cartridge to shoot a 9mm diameter projectile rather than a .308" diameter projectile, just because there would be a greater variety of ammo.

I've handled an M1 carbine (actually it was an M2) and it seems really great. I'd love to own one, it's just that the ammo is a bit more expensive and hard to find than .223.

Ratshooter
December 29, 2008, 02:59 PM
I picked the Mini-14. I bought my first one last April. It is a 580 series with the skinny barrel. I liked it so much I bought a second one in September with the new tapered barrel.

Both are far more accurate than I would have believed after all the negetive things I read about them. If you get a Mini get the newer ones. At a hundred yards I am getting around 3" to 5" groups with open sights and 51 year old eyes. Thats with the cheap Monarch ammo from Academy also.

If you just want something to shoot cans and dirt clods with, a 22 will be much cheaper to shoot. So will a 9mm. I have a Hi-point and a Marlin Camp Carbine and enjoy both of them.

If it doesn't have to be a semi-auto then try one of the lever action carbines in 357. I reload and cast my own bullets and these can be shot really cheap since they don't chunk away your brass.

FMJMIKE
December 29, 2008, 08:37 PM
I don't think either one of them is saying much of anything at the moment. If they were so great then why did they bounce off Koreans during the Korean war. You have to look at what they were ment to replace. A pistol, sure I would take one over a pistol but that would be about it. Sure they are fun for plinking if you reload and maybe a little pest control. I would rather have some kind of 9mm or .40 carbine like the old Rugers or Marlins, even those little Kel Tecs that take Glock mags. There is also the Beretta carbine.
If you honestly believe a M1 Carbine round will bounce off a frozen Korean jacket then you have never fired a M1 Carbine and thusly should not pretend to know what you are talking about!!! The M1 Carbine will blast through several frozen jackets no problem. When will people stop repeating this B.S.!!! I have fired a M1 Carbine FMJ round at a 14 inch diameter pine stump and the round blasted all the way through it with no problem. :scrutiny:
http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e350/mbmphoto/CMPROCKAA.jpg

benEzra
December 29, 2008, 09:11 PM
Both are far more accurate than I would have believed after all the negative things I read about them.
I think most of the negative things said about the rifle itself (including my own complaints about dismal accuracy) concerned the older, pre-580-series rifles. My own accuracy lemon was a 188-series Ranch Rifle.

The 580-series rifles are widely regarded as much better, and if I were in the market for one, then I'd definitely buy one of those. I'm quite satisfied with my AK, though.

Rifleman 173
December 29, 2008, 09:17 PM
The problem with a lot of firearms and tactical use is that all too often foreign troops and scumbags in our own country sometimes consume narcotics before pulling their nefarious acts. In Nam, it was not unusual for enemy troops to dope themselves up before combat with us so as to reduce the effectiveness of our gunfire. Same thing often happens when a doped up crackhead needs a fix and invades a home to get money for his fix or drugs. I tend to think that the idea of the .30 caliber carbine not being effective is a cross between intoxicated N. Korean or Chinese troops in heavy clothing coupled with some not so well placed bullets. So, will the .30 caliber carbine work? Sure if you place the bullet in the right spot and if the guy isn't hyper or doped up a lot. It they are hyped up, repeat until your bullets take effect or go for head shots if the suspect gets too close. What I'm advocating here is a common sense approach to shooting, not murder. Any time you shoot at another person, you run the risk of killing them when you're trying to get them to stop their attack or illegal action against you or your family. The thing is that the old story about the .30 caliber not working has been pretty much exposed as not being a real event or even closer to being a myth.

notorious
December 30, 2008, 06:09 AM
Hmmm... so far the M1 carbine has as much of a lead as Dear Leader Elect over Maverick McCain....

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