Mini 14 in 6.8spc pros/cons


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496 polara
August 17, 2010, 01:19 PM
Anyone have experience with this cartridge in this gun??Have a chance to trade for one and want to know if it is worth it?Are they reliable?
I don't hunt but do like to shoot loud things that destroy targets.

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pikid89
August 17, 2010, 01:25 PM
it would be fun if you dont like 223

or you reload it

or have access to ample 6.8...which most do not

Z-Michigan
August 17, 2010, 01:27 PM
Just in terms of concept, the 6.8 SPC was developed to get better midrange ballistics from a cartridge that fits into an AR15 magazine (or at least a magazine that will still fit into an AR15/M16 magwell). Once you go to another type of magazine, that benefit is lost - you could just go to a different platform like the M1A using .308.

For now there are no quality Ruger-Ranch 6.8 mags with more than 5 round capacity. I believe that Promag makes 10 and 20rd 6.8 mags for the Ranch, but they're Promag.

The other issue is cost. Even the best deal on Silver State ammo (generally lowest cost, also among the best) is going to be around 80 cents/round. You can get new .308 for less than that, and military surplus .308 for 45 cents/round or even a bit less. So for making loud noises and punching paper, .308 is likely a better option.

68wj
August 17, 2010, 10:20 PM
Since you are just wanting to shoot stuff and make noise, I wouldn't bother with the 6.8. Ammo is becoming more available, but it is mostly "premium" stuff and not priced for plinking. If you like the mini-14, stick with the .223 or look at the mini-30 and 7.62x39. I think that the AR platform is better and not too much more, but plenty of Mini owners swear by theirs.

longdayjake
August 18, 2010, 12:09 AM
I may be wrong since I don't own one myself but I have heard that the mini uses the old SPC 1 specs which do not get the velocities that you can get from SPCII chambers and specs. That right there would be a deal killer for me.

Boris bush
August 18, 2010, 12:52 AM
I may be wrong since I don't own one myself but I have heard that the mini uses the old SPC 1 specs which do not get the velocities that you can get from SPCII chambers and specs. That right there would be a deal killer for me.

So you are saying the chamber causes the round to be lesser of a round?

Or are you saying there are two different loads that fit the same chamber and the II version can not be shot in the Mini?

clarify please..

rbernie
August 18, 2010, 08:42 AM
The 6.8SPC chamber spec has been modified since its introduction, to reduce peak pressures. Ammo designed for the later spec will be moderately overpressure in an earlier spec chamber. Silver State Armory sells two different levels of loads (the 'tactical' fodder being the hotter ammo for second-gen chambers), for this reason.

The Ruger web page for the 6.8SPC Mini (http://www.ruger.com/products/mini14AllWeatherRanchRifle/models.html) indicates a 1:10" twist rate. That is often synonymous with a first generation chamber spec, but that is not a hard-n-fast rule.

Contact Ruger and ask 'em.

http://www.ruger.com/footer/contact.html

mes228
August 18, 2010, 08:57 AM
I owned one on the new model Ranch Rifles in 6.8 cal. about a month ago. I liked the caliber and the rifle. Mine was the most inaccurate rifle imaginable. Perhaps a fluke, but I don't think so. As a friend bought a Mini in .223 at the same time. And his was worse, if that's possible, than mine. Both were minute of "pie plate" at 100 yards. Totally unacceptable and useless as a rifle. I know that every 1911 pistol I own would out shoot that Ruger at 100 yds. By the way I'm a Ruger lover and have had some wonderful bolt guns made by them with one exception, the RSI Mannlicher's. I've owned 3 or four Mannlicher's that were acceptable and two that were awful. The .243 and the 7x57 were so bad you'd think something had to be physically broken to shoot so badly. The Ranch Rifle and the Mannlicher's were not a menace to any small game at 100 yards. You might kill a deer if shot in the heart/lung/shoulder area. Forget about a precision shot such as a neck shot though.

Tirod
August 18, 2010, 09:39 AM
The Mini's reputation as a precision rifle isn't well established across the net. Lot's of owners complain about it.

6.8 ammo is available on the net. It's not a Walmart item, and will take years to make it. Even then most of that shelf ammo is low priced fodder with less than leading edge performance, the same old stuff that's been cranked out for decades. That's not the 6.8's niche.

6.8 is meant to be a higher powered AR15 caliber, it's not cheap plinking surplus or rejects. Most folks are using it to hunt with, not blast away buckets of brass. There are plenty of cheaper rounds that will do that - but they don't have the downrange effectiveness in knocking down deer or hogs. If you want improved results from an AR15 when hunting, the 6.8 will deliver, and do it in a lighter weight and easier to carry carbine than almost any .308. Shooting .308 will get the job done, and cheaply, but if you walk a lot, stalk, or move constantly, the .308 and it's two pound heavier weight will begin to be noticed. It's one specific reason we dumped it for the 5.56 for soldiers who hump a 80 pound combat load.

Maybe someday Ruger will actually make a good Mini, I've heard nothing has changed in that regard since the combat Mini-14 fad of the '80's. They weren't all that accurate then, still aren't. Don't try to make it better with the 6.8, it can't turn a sow's ear into a silk purse. If it had, don't worry, you couldn't get one, they would be backordered for months out. That seems to be common for Ruger, it's hit and miss.

tailfeathers
August 26, 2010, 01:12 PM
I don't know guys...I sold guns for many years and refused to purchase a Mini and discouraged customers from buying one but I took a chance and bought a 6.8 Mini and was shocked at how accurate it was...My first group with reloads and a 2x dot sight was sub 1 moa at 100 yds...Your doing something wrong if your not getting 2 moa...I never thought I would see an accurate Mini but I can't imaging they all wouldn't do nearly as well as mine did...

stchman
August 26, 2010, 02:55 PM
6.8SPC ammo is too expensive. Stick with the .223 Minis.

68wj
August 26, 2010, 03:19 PM
6.8SPC ammo is too expensive [for blasting] Stick with the .223 Minis [for your stated purpose].

Fixed for ya ;)

cracked junior
August 26, 2010, 05:26 PM
I have a rock river 6.8mm spc. i like it. accurate, easy to shoot, light weight, awesome for me. i can take it deer hunting with 5 round mag. i reload so ammo cost isnt an issue. i do have some silver state ammo.

the main reason i got it. during the obama ar buying craze i found a complete lower for a good price. then got the upper on gun broker for a good price. added leupold vx-2 3-9 x40 scope. 5 25 round mags, one 5 round. still under 1200 for it all.

although the mini is probably more reliable then the ar, the mini just doesnt have the accuracy i like in a gun.

Tirod
August 27, 2010, 10:16 AM
If the mini's reliability was even as good as the AR, most PD's and entry teams wouldn't have spent twice as much for ARs. AR's are the preferred choice because they are much more reliable in real life than most of the common public knows. What the heck, a lot of them can't even find Afghanistan on a world map, and think the AK has more range and power.

As for ammo, a lot of people confuse the comparison. Sure, .308 surplus is cheap - but it's not a hunting load. It's also out of date for military use, and not guaranteed any better than 2MOA regardless of the gun it's used in. Compared to any commercial hunting loads, sure it's cheap - and inaccurate. It's often illegal to hunt with, too, as many states have prohibitions against full metal jacket. And carrying a .308 on a long hunting day in the field - no comparison. Few hunters choose 12 pound rifles, they compromise and accept more recoil from 7 pound ones for the few shots they get. With 6.8, you don't even suffer that.

Aside from SSA tac loads, most available 6.8 ammo is loaded to SAMMI specs, as the ammo makers are more conservative than the gun makers. Their worst case is the SAMMI chamber, they don't want the liability which is a political/legal situation, and strangely backwards in this case. SPCII is safer.

Unless you can and will shoot SSA hot loads, or handload your own, most 6.8 ammo won't take advantage of the lower pressures with more powder. It all shoots slower than it could go. It will take a new designation to get the ammo makers up to the SPCII standard, like 6.8 x 43 NATO or something. Until then, it's marked as a hot load - and most aren't.

It's why Ruger is offering their AR in 6.8, at least you will get more reliability, and it will shoot almost every ammo on the market more accurately. The Mini? Just a niche rifle for those who like the M14 but don't want what? - the bulk or weight of .308.

handloader357
August 27, 2010, 06:53 PM
For the sake of convenience, cost and longterm availability I'd stick with an established round - preferably one that has seen significant US military use. 5.56/.223, 308 and 30-06 are my favorites for those reasons. For some noisy target fun and most hunting applications one of those calibers will do everything you want. I've got a mini in .223 and a pair of AR's. I keep the mini around for when my dad comes to visit because he loves that rotating bolt design and its light weight, I guess it reminds him of his army days back in the 60's. The only reason I kept it all these years is because it was a .223 and he liked it. If either wasn't the case it would have been trade bait a long time ago. I shoot my 4" .357 better at 100 yards than I do the mini.

We did some work to it to make it more of a respectable shooter - lightened the trigger, bedded the barrel and put in one of those plastic spacers on the op rod to make it a little less brutal on itself. It's still no where near as good a shooter as the Franken-AR I pieced together from a bunch of mismatched spare parts. The only good thing I can say about the mini is it never failed to feed, fire or eject with quality magazines.

Deaf Smith
August 27, 2010, 07:11 PM
I wish that new Mini 'GB', 16 incher with flash hider, came in 6.8, and stainless.

THAT would be the gun. Good well past 200 yards.

Funny thing is on the range I find a fair amount of 6.8 cases (that and .45 GAP.) Weird..

Deaf

praharin
January 12, 2011, 05:52 PM
Bump looking for more opinions of people that actually own/have owned one.


Deaf Smith, I hope you collected those cases to sell ;)

sop2510
January 13, 2011, 04:51 AM
I've had my Mini-6.8 Ranch Rifle for two years and love it. I have an AR too, with 458 SOCOM and .223 uppers. I can't attest to the accuracy of the Mini because I do all my shooting offhand at just under 70 yards, but if I do my part it will always hit point of aim. The first thing I did after receiving the rifle was ream the chamber out to SPEC II for shooting SSA tactical loads. If you keep an eye on SSA's web site you can sometimes find standard 6.8 loads in 90, 110, or 115 grain for about the same price as a box of Remington 150/180 grain .30-'06 Walmart sells here in Georgia. The high-capacity after-market magazines for the Mini-6.8 work well once you tweak the feed lips. I use 30- and 10-round Promags.

Rshooter
January 13, 2011, 12:07 PM
My wife has a mini, older style. I believe that some of the inaccuracy and unreliability of the mini is internet myth. Yes they do string when hot but they mostly hit what they are aimed at.

420Stainless
January 13, 2011, 07:39 PM
I like mine a lot. Accuracy is running 1.5-2.0" @ 100yds. with a 4x scope. No reliability problems so far, but I haven't run it that much with less than 200 rounds through. Bought two 20 round ProMags and have run one mag. full through each without any malfunctions. Still early, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to enjoy it tremendously. Bought it for a do anything rifle (hunting, plinking, home defense) and I have every reason to believe it will do all well.

praharin
January 13, 2011, 08:28 PM
I think it would do that well here in PA too, but no hunting with semi-auto rifles. It's still nice to know it's capable of taking even black bears, or so I read on the SSA website. I would have to open up the throat to SPC II dimensions to use the better ammo, but if it can take those little bears it would be worth it.

TexasPatriot.308
January 13, 2011, 10:21 PM
right now the 6.8 would not be the ideal SHTF caliber to have, in any platform.

praharin
January 13, 2011, 10:34 PM
Why is that exactly?

Please don't say anything like "because ammo isn't commonly available".

Right now, it's available enough that I could have 1000 rounds or more on my doorstep by Tuesday or Wednesday (holiday weekend, d'oh) of next week.

Any ammo that you do not have when the "SHTF" is ammo you CANNOT count on having EVER.

So, whatcha got?

68wj
January 13, 2011, 10:37 PM
right now the 6.8 would not be the ideal SHTF caliber to have, in any platform.
Pretty good, it only took 22 posts before someone mentioned SHTF in this thread.:o

praharin
January 13, 2011, 10:41 PM
It also took 5 months... I apologize for bringing this back if it heads in this direction.

I am really hoping that I get a serious response to my challenge.

TexasPatriot.308
January 13, 2011, 11:04 PM
what I meant is that you would be one of the few to have this caliber....when bad thiings happen (and I know firsthand) you run out of ammo, weapon becomes disabled, you pick up what you can from an unfortunate guy. AKs for example will always be found, back years ago we looked for AKs evry chance we got. I just dont believe after you fire your 1000 rounds you are gonna find more in a pinch. I dont believe your favorite mail order guy will have his doors open.

praharin
January 13, 2011, 11:20 PM
You're right.

But...

Where are you gonna get more 308 (presuming...) in that event? You won'd be getting it at Walmart or local gun shops. They will be closed, long looted clean of anything remotely useful, or possibly heavily fortified in the time it would take to go through 1000 rounds.

I don't know where you were picking up those AK's (Vietnam, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, et al) but I doubt their mags and/or ammo fit in whatever rifle you were carrying as a US soldier, sailor, airman or Marine. In that case, you didn't get a resupply, you got a replacement firearm. That alone makes your entire argument irrelevant.

In the event of "SHTF" and you are shooting so many zombies or commies or whatever that you run out of ammo and need to pick up ammo from [insert location or dead gun wielder here] you can also pick up a weapon and be back in business.

So after the zombies eat their way through the National Guard, I'll be picking up an M249 and as much ammo as I can squish into my zombie bug out bag after dumping out all my toilet paper, food and porno mags. I'll keep my water though. 50,000 rounds of belted 5.56 is heavy and I would like to stay hydrated. I see no reason to carry any less, since I have already gone through the 1000 I had at the beginning...


You will NEVER have a need to forage for ammo. If you're out and you can't buy more, you're out.

Moving on...

TexasPatriot.308
January 13, 2011, 11:32 PM
FYI, I am almost 58, that'll tell ya where I served. the most dreaded order coming down the line was "fix bayonets" the 6.8 is a great round. I like you save my ammo dont waste it, shoot hogs and coyotes daily around my cattle. but when and if the time comes I will have plenty of .308, 223, .45acp, 9mm and 12 gauge buck cause I doubt Fed Ex or big brown is gonna be deliverin. I do think the time is coming.

praharin
January 13, 2011, 11:37 PM
Interestingly, I am 29 (it's math-teresting :D ). I never had to pick up a weapon in battle (Though I did serve in a modern theater) and it was actually STRONGLY recommended against doing so. There were a few cases of weapons being left behind intentionally and altered so that the next firer would end up being injured. I recall specifically reading about a Dragunov, or maybe PSL having (I think) the chamber cut under the handguard.

IEDs are everywhere...

Gelgoog
January 14, 2011, 01:37 AM
what I meant is that you would be one of the few to have this caliber....when bad thiings happen (and I know firsthand) you run out of ammo, weapon becomes disabled, you pick up what you can from an unfortunate guy. AKs for example will always be found, back years ago we looked for AKs evry chance we got. I just dont believe after you fire your 1000 rounds you are gonna find more in a pinch. I dont believe your favorite mail order guy will have his doors open.

If you are running out of ammo, then your probably not in a situation to go scavenging for more...most likely because you ran out of ammo and died.

If you are finding ammo, then your also likely finding the weapon that it went with, because you either killed that person or they killed themselves. I know if I find a body in the middle of the street with lootable equipment on it when the SHTF, I will be thinking its a trap while trying to do my best admiral akbar impression.

Seriously if the obama panic showed us anything its that popular calibers will disappear real quick, and anyone who has anything during the post apocalyptic world is likely to be guarding it with their lives.

....so yea this notion that you shouldn't get X rifle because Y ammunition is not as commonly available as Z round used by Nato is beyond ridiculous. If you do not have it when things go bad, then do not expect to find it.

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