Should I buy an Inland M1 Carbine or Mini 14


July 31, 2009, 12:26 AM
I know that for some, ok most of you, this might not be even be a legit question. But I was stalking the gun shop again today... favorite hobby, other then actually shooting... but who can afford that, alright I know, the reloaders can... but anyhow here goes.

I have been wanting to buy a Mini 14, newer or new one, so it's at least minute of barn (for all the mini 14 haters). While I was checking one of the Local Gun Stores(LGS) for a Mini, I came across an Inland M1 Carbine, while it looked sort of rough, I found it strangely attractive. Maybe because when I was a kid I had one of those M1 Carbine BB guns. Anyhow they are asking $650 for it, I didn't fondle it since I had to meet my wife soon. That price is just about what I can get one of the new mini-14 tactical models for, I am not in to tacticool, but I like the adjustable folding stock on the mini-14.

Please don't hate on the Mini-14, I know that it's over priced, that mags are expensive, that it's not accurate, and that it's a Ruger. I also realize I could get an AR for just about the same money, but the AR prices around haven't dropped yet. I don't want a Saiga, I am selling my SKS because it just doesn't fit me, I am a big guy and it doesn't feel right and the sights suck.

But comparing an old rough shape M1 carbine to a new/er Mini what do you think? It seems to me that 5.56 is still cheaper then 30 carbine, and more readily available. So that seems like a point in favor of the Mini, of course the M1 is historical and I love history (ask my wife, she HATES the History Channel). So I am 55% leaning to the Mini, but it wouldn't take to much to change that.

So what says the collective wisdom THR?

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July 31, 2009, 12:52 AM
It really depends on how "rough" the Carbine is. M1 Carbines are by no means rare so you may be better off going with the Mini until an M1 comes along that is just too good to pass up, that's how it worked for me anyway. I've wanted an M1 Carbine for years and years but I held off knowing that one day I would stumble across that rifle that just screams "take me home". Well that day finally came just a few weeks ago and I am glad I waited as long as I did. See thread below....

Both rifles would be fun to own but you are correct in your thinking that the Mini would be cheaper and easier to feed than the M1 Carbine. I haven't shot my Carbine a whole lot since I got because ammo is so expensive and difficult to find at decent price. However I love the historic aspect of the M1 Carbine myself and I'm happy to own one even if I don't shoot it as much as my other rifles.

Wolf 30 carbine is 15 to 25 dollars cheaper than 223 per 500rds at sportsmans guide
I'd be hesitant to buy the Wolf .30, I've read a lot of negative reviews of it. Natchez has S&B .30 for $21.49 a box which is pretty reasonable.

July 31, 2009, 01:43 AM
Well, first I would keep the SKS. They are getting harder to find and they are really a respectable rifle. I collected American rifles for years and then a few others and this year finally got around to an SKS. I wish I had looked at them when they were a quarter of what they are now.

As far as the mini, I would not buy the folder, I would buy the tactical with the flash suppressor. Folding stocks are a pain in the rear and you never have a really good reason to use them because if you squirrel your gun away it is "concealed". Or I would just buy a run of the mill gun. I own an older ranch in stainless with a special edition stock.

As far as a Carbine, they have never made me happy. Too little stopping power and they feel like toys. Watch me get flamed for that statement. :cool:

July 31, 2009, 01:56 AM
Buy the m1 carbine and send it directly to me for a proper inspection:D

July 31, 2009, 02:04 AM
Thanks for all the quick responses. I just can't love the SKS, it just doesn't fit right for me. I did handle a Mini 14 with the flash suppressor and the synthetic stock, it was nice and fit me pretty good. The Mini's sights are far sight (for me) better then the SKS, the SKS has a lot going for it, nice reasonably powerful round, even good for hunting. I wanted to like the SKS and if that was I all had, I would be happy with it. I feel ambivalent towards the SKS. You are right that they are getting harder to find for a good price.
I may have been harsh when I described the M1 as rough, it had a 30 round mag with it and the wood, looked OK, not near as nice as nwilliams's carbine though. I will go back and check it out when I have more time.

Thanks for the input all and keep it up!

July 31, 2009, 02:07 AM
i vote you reconsider the saiga

July 31, 2009, 07:10 AM
I vote you get your M1 carbine from the CMP.
The M1 carbine makes an excellent HD weapon, and is a blast to shoot.

July 31, 2009, 08:25 AM
the m1 is back in production, the newer mini 14 is alot better than the older ones. if it's the 7.62x39 that you like in the sks, get a mini 30. problem solved :neener:

cortez kid
July 31, 2009, 09:53 AM
I've got an Inland. It's seems to be all original, stock is even numbered. It's been used some. Not in rough shape, but it has marks of being in the field. The cheek area is worn more than the rest. Again not abused, but used. I bought it because it DID speak to me. All the other guy's looking at it wanted to know how hard it would be to refinish it:eek:. It'll never see anything other than an oiled rag. As I said. It's speaks, quietly, but very clearly:D.

July 31, 2009, 10:24 AM
It seems to me that 5.56 is still cheaper then 30 carbine...

Not when you cast and reload.;)


July 31, 2009, 10:25 AM
You don't say what you want the firearm for.

If you want an accurate target rifle, neither the Mini nor the carbine would be a good choice. Same comment applies if you want a hunting rifle.

If you want a fun, fast-shooting, low-recoiling 'plinker', both the carbine and the Mini can perform that role very well. However, so can a 10/22, at much less cost and with less noise.

If you want something 'historical' (i.e., an ex-military weapon), clearly the Mini-14 doesn't qualify and the M1 carbine does. On the other hand, so would a Garand: which to my mind is head and shoulders above both the carbine and the Mini, and it would probably fit you better too.

July 31, 2009, 10:48 AM
It depends on the condition of the Inland. If it is in good condition, the inland all the way. If it is beat up, pass for the mini14.

although one consideration might be the cost of ammo. .30 is expensive! .223 would be less pain on the wallet.

July 31, 2009, 10:52 AM
I hunt with my Mini 14, mostly hogs.:)
If you want a piece of history go with the m1 C. if you want something that resembles a piece of history but can be run cheaper (factory ammo) go with the mini. I believe prices are coming down and you could probably find one for close to 650 maybe a little more (base model)

or do like the first responder said and get the mini and wait for a really good m1 C.

Good luck with which ever you choose, and keep us informed.

July 31, 2009, 11:58 AM
This is why I don't ask (okay,I did ONCE)for opinions on what I should do. No help here. Pick the one that makes YOU happy. Or buy one and save up for the other. Plus(it never fails) when asking for opinions between two given guns ,people can't stay on topic, and invariably add their own favorites. I didn't vote so you are on your own.

July 31, 2009, 01:21 PM
If you like folding stocks you could buy an M1 carbine and buy a repro folding paratrooper stock for it.

July 31, 2009, 01:25 PM
The Carbine is the most fun you can have with your clothes on. I own both and by FAR the Carbine is more fun to shoot.

July 31, 2009, 01:34 PM
The M1 Carbine handles better, points naturally, and has some history.

July 31, 2009, 02:00 PM
The Carbine is the most fun you can have with your clothes on.

Try it with your clothes off sometime. Just watch for hot flying brass!

Seriously, though... I have one of the oft-maligned Universal Carbines from the '70s. It goes bang every time with 10 and 15 round magazines. (It hates every 30 rounder I've ever tried. I don't know why I keep buying them.)

I can also carry it around and toss it it the back of the car without feeling like I'm mistreating a historical artifact. I hope to have one of the real GI M1 Carbines someday, but I know I won't shoot it as much as my "crappy" Universal.

July 31, 2009, 02:27 PM
Wolf 30 carbine is 15 to 25 dollars cheaper than 223 per 500rds at sportsmans guide

July 31, 2009, 02:27 PM
you can buy brass cased aguilla .30 carbine via cmp for $150 per 500 rounds, backordered atm though. go with the carbine

July 31, 2009, 05:24 PM
I happen to own both of them. Also own a Mini 30. All good arguments above! If you want to still use your 7.62 ammo get a Mini 30. If you want 223 go with the Mini 14. My M1 carbine tends to be a (gulp) safe queen even though I try to shoot it on occasion. It tends to be my least used firearm (125 + presently). But have shot one deer with it nonetheless.

July 31, 2009, 05:41 PM
I know that it's over priced

Not really, you can get a new one for $650.

that mags are expensive

$29.99 for a 20 rounder isn't bad to me. Some people pay over $100 for HK magazines, which are still just a folded piece of steel...

that it's not accurate

The new ones are accurate enough, much better than the older models.

and that it's a Ruger.

That guy died. I wouldn't worry about what he did or said.

I also realize I could get an AR for just about the same money, but the AR prices around haven't dropped yet.

You could get a junker AR from the bottom rack, that won't be anywhere near as reliable (and probably not as accurate) as the new Mini-14 is. Crappy ARs are just that, crappy. A quality AR15 costs a couple hundred dollars more than a Mini-14.

If you want the Mini-14, get one while you can, because the newer guns are much better accuracywise than the older ones, and they're still 100% reliable with the now available factory magazines.

August 1, 2009, 12:55 AM
Get a Carbine from the CMP. I just bought one this morning.

August 1, 2009, 02:01 AM
Thanks for all the "food for thought" I have several Rugers, so I'm no Ruger hater. I want the gun for fun, maybe hunt our extremely small blacktail deer we have around here... 'Bout the size of a great dane. I have a 10/22, the "new" gun is for whatever comes up, zombies or pop cans, either one. I'm still leaning more towards the mini.

I'll let y'all know, when I know :-)

Hard to type on a blackberry!


August 1, 2009, 03:59 AM
Rshooter, tssk tssk... too little stopping power compared to what, a war elephant? :D
If plinking's the idea, FMJs or hard cast are the way to go.
If it's "stopping power" you want, there's little to complain about when using SPs or JHPs.
Something that generates carnage equivalent to or greater than that of a point blank stoutly loaded 125gr JHP .357 magnum to anything within 100 yards 15 to 30 times between reloads might yield at least a little in the way of stopping power.
Though I wouldn't mind actually having a war elephant now that I think of it.

August 1, 2009, 03:07 PM
Get the Mini-14...........:D

August 1, 2009, 03:46 PM
I am a big guy

I just can't love the SKS, it just doesn't fit right for me.

You might want to handle a M1 Carbine before you get to far into the decision making. By the two above qoutes, I would venture a guess that the Carbine will be too small for you as well.

The normal complaint about the SKS is the LOP. Well the Carbine LOP is even shorter. I'm an average size guy (height wise, heavier build/frame) and the SKS fits me relatively well (just slightly small). The Carbines, as much as I love them and love to shoot them, are too small for me.

If my assumptions on fit are correct, I'd suggest you opt for the Mini. And save the Carbine purchase for a collection builder. Get what you need first. Get what you want later.


August 2, 2009, 12:49 AM
But comparing an old rough shape M1 carbine to a new/er Mini what do you think?I think my old beat up Inland will outshoot most Mini's I've run across that didn't have a lot of time and effort sunk into 'em. Plus, it's the most fun firearm I've ever shot.......maybe with the exception of a Tommy or MG34 someone let me shoot.

Go for the Inland.

ETA: Eye candy to reinforce my view:

What would you rather have, this old, quality warhorse of a firearm, or something that Ruger's still making (and will be for a while) as a new, commercial firearm?

August 2, 2009, 01:45 AM
I have an Inland, and I consider it to be the perfect HD carbine. I don't stack it next to the Mini-14 in purpose. As for having a truck gun, plinker, etc for general utility use. I put a Tapco stock and Tech Sight on my SKS, and I don't know why I would ever need a Mini-14 now. The SKS stock was designed for Muppet pygmies, almost any replacement is better, and putting on the Tech Sight and a thinner front blade about doubled my 100 yard accuracy. You do what you want.

August 2, 2009, 03:13 AM
FMJMIKE that is a very nice looking Mini. I like that, really reinforces me desire for a mini. Eightball you have a very valid point, I tried the Mini and it fit me fine, I haven't tried the M1, so that could be hang up for me... I am a big guy, gland problems and all... long long long story. I really appreciate everyone's input and thoughts and insights, that's why I started this thread.
Thank You all.

I am pretty sure the mini is for me, now to find one in the right price.

There are some good buys on, but I am reluctant to buy a gun unseen and unfondled. I use fleabay for some things, so buying off the net isn't a problem. I just like to handle my guns before I plop down the dough. I did find this listing on and it looks like a good buy with all the mags (quality could be an issue) and the original stock too. Any guess on this will end up going for? Educated or just shots in the dark?


August 2, 2009, 07:25 AM
Forget either one of them, find a classic military M-14,they cost a little more and ammo is'ent exactly cheap;but it is a far superior rifle.

August 8, 2009, 02:33 AM
OK, all I bit the proverbial bullet today and bought one...

Mini 14 Tactical or is it tacticool, I wanted the collapsible stock so it could be adjusted to fit my wife or my kids. I also bought some ammo for it, LGS has lots of 223, 308, and 7.62x39 in stock, so I picked up as much as my budget would allow for now. Will get a range report and some pics in the near future. Now how do I tell my wife :p Actually I think she knew/knows I am up to something, since I sold a gun last week to fund this purchase. But I will break it to her someday after our anniversary... oooohhhh I could always tell her I bought it for her for our anniversary!!! But then again, I don't think that would go over very well... she might use it on me :D


Old Guy
August 23, 2009, 10:30 AM
The M1 Carbine is a Mil Spec weapon, it works first time all the time, love mine, I also have a stainless Mini 14 (Don't think I have ever fired it?)

The OP has made his choice, kind of hard to fault either one, if I was going for a Ruger now, the Ranch in 7.62X39 would be my choice.

As others have stated "what do you want it for" might be the defining question.

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