.223 compact semi auto


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JohnnyCal55
February 8, 2011, 12:54 AM
I'm looking for a .223 semi auto truck gun that will be in the truck when I drive in the country or up to our cabin. I will generally be using this gun for shooting coyotes, varmints and defense up at the cabin. I really want a semi auto rifle, but I can't seem to find the perfect blend of:

1. Accuracy - varmint and coyote sized targets, preferably around minute of prairie dog
2. Compactness - I want a short rifle that is easily manuverable in the truck and for getting out of the truck to take the shot, I've thought about a folding stock as a possibility too
3. Robustness/reliability - pretty much goes bang every time

The closest thing that comes to mind is the new mini14 tactical but I am worried about the accuracy issue and if it will be good enough for coyotes and varmints. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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jerkface11
February 8, 2011, 12:59 AM
How about an AUG? Can't get shorter than a bullpup.

reuben mishler
February 8, 2011, 01:11 AM
I actually like your idea of the Mini14 tactical model.

Modern day firearms are more accurate then most shooters. In my opinion you won't have any accuracy issues with the new mini14 tactical model. I have experience with older mini14s and have had great success with them both with optics out to 200 yards, and with iron sights at 100. Irons at 100 standing I can manage 2-3 inch groups.

I thought about suggesting an AR variant, I don't think police will question a mini 14 with optics on it, as much as an AR with optics on it. Plus, the mini 14 will cost less and do the same as the AR.

just my 2 cents
good luck with your search

greyling22
February 8, 2011, 01:16 AM
ruger mini,
an AR
keltec su-16
maybe a saiga with an aftermarket folding stock if such a thing exists.

Girodin
February 8, 2011, 01:18 AM
Are SBRs out of the question?

TonyAngel
February 8, 2011, 01:29 AM
Sounds to me like you need a 14.5" AR with collapsable stock. It's pretty compact as long as you don't go hanging all sorts of "tactical" stuff on it. Considering the price of a Mini these days, I'd take an AR any day. I think an AR would do better as a truck gun too.

JohnnyCal55
February 8, 2011, 01:41 AM
An sbr may be a viable option for me, but I'm not sure if I will be able to drop the extra cash on the weapon and tax combined at this time :(

tactikel
February 8, 2011, 04:02 AM
Be sure to check out the Kel-tec SU-16C. I use mine for Coyote shooting. It's light (4.7 lbs) takes AR mags, folds to 26", and shoots 1.5 MOA.

http://www.keltecweapons.com/our-guns/rifles/su-16c-2/

FourteenMiles
February 8, 2011, 08:36 AM
1. Accuracy - varmint and coyote sized targets, preferably around minute of prairie dog
2. Compactness - I want a short rifle that is easily manuverable in the truck and for getting out of the truck to take the shot, I've thought about a folding stock as a possibility too
3. Robustness/reliability - pretty much goes bang every time


You just described the SU-16C. They can be had new for around $550.

JohnnyCal55
February 8, 2011, 11:17 AM
After doing some research last night, I think that an SBR really could be what I'm looking for, and the cost isn't as bad as I was thinking. What would the accuracy and range of say a 14.5" or 10.5" ar be?

FourteenMiles
February 8, 2011, 11:31 AM
If you go with a 14.5" barrel and have a muzzle device that measure 1.5" or greater permanently attached, it would not be defined legally as an SBR and that would save you some time and money.

txhoghunter
February 8, 2011, 11:55 AM
For "minute of prairie dog" I would not recommend a Mini 14, they are too hit and miss with accuracy. However, I have a 16" AR that cost around $700 that shoots 1.5" groups at 200 yards. Most AR's are very accurate and shoot around 1-2 MOA

JAV8000
February 8, 2011, 12:47 PM
I personally own one of the new 591 series mini 14 tactical carbines. Its light weight, has a small footprint (no pistol grip), robust reliable action (requires very little maintenance to keep running, think ak), offers serviceable iron sights, and best of all has solid accuracy. Out of the box with a leupold vxiii 1.5-5x20mm scope mounted I got 1.5-2 moa with various standard range fodder. With the addition of a $70 accu-strut groups shrunk by about 1/2 an inch on average with longer strings of fire opening up groups a lot less. Some higher grade varieties of ammo got me within 1 moa. It has been a joy to shoot and with 20 round magazines to be found at reasonable cost it makes a great handling rec sport/hunting/defense carbine! I lovingly call mine the practical-tactic(ool)al! Oh ya, just got a nice three ppoint sling for carry ability in the field......a trigger job is in the works, see if I can shrink those offhand groups a bit!

TonyAngel
February 8, 2011, 05:51 PM
Over time, an AR will be less expensive to own. I also don't buy into that whole thing about ARs being less reliable than other rifles. I have enough rounds through my AR truck/4-wheeler gun to know better. I've used ARs with 14.5" barrels to shoot at targets as small as minute of angle out to three hundred yards with success. I know quite a few guys that shoot their 14.5" ARs beyond 300 yards to bang steel. Regardless, a 14.5" AR will do anything that a mini will do, with more accuracy.

Just keep in mind that I'm referring to a quality AR. If you just get the cheapest kit out there, you can expect to get what you paid for in terms of accuracy. If price is a concern, I'd call Ranier Arms and see what they'd charge to put together a basic 14.5" rig based on a White Oak 14.5" barrel. That will almost certainly meet you minute of dog needs and more.

minutemen1776
February 9, 2011, 12:08 AM
I don't think police will question a mini 14 with optics on it, as much as an AR with optics on it. Plus, the mini 14 will cost less and do the same as the AR.

Why raise an issue about police perception? Also, have you priced Minis versus entry-level ARs lately?

Girodin
February 9, 2011, 02:01 AM
You just described the SU-16C.

I'm not sure I would call it "robust".

Tirod
February 9, 2011, 11:06 AM
The difference between 14.5" and 16" at legal length is the amount of the A1 flash hider, about 1 1/4" inch. Add in the loss of range at the limit of effective expansion, which might amount to 30-50 yards, I have to ask, why bother?

A CMMG Bargain Bin carbine for $599 will shoot just as well and be almost virtually interchangable in a gun rack behind the seat as one an inch or so shorter. I think what the 14.5" crowd is really selling is the cost to play with an arbitrary BATF rule and think they are getting away with something they really aren't.

Minute of praire dog to me is 3" at 200m+, the money is better spent on a quality barrel and good optic with at least 4X. The scope mount won't be cheap to match being on a bang it up truck gun, consider Larue as a standard.

An AR with pistol grip and mag isn't as compact as a lever gun, which is an alternative. The Browning BLR could be considered, it offers some interesting calibers, along with the traditional Winchester and Marlin. Something a little smaller and faster than .30 would fit the minute of dog standard, as bullet drop comes into play beyond 200m. Nobody likes skipping dust at them ten yards short.

jerkface11
February 9, 2011, 11:50 AM
Why not the AUG? Or an FN FS2000? Or a used bushmaster bullpup.

BrocLuno
February 9, 2011, 11:58 AM
JohnnyCal, where are you located? If in the Kommunist Kollective of Kalif, your options are slim :(

The SU-16 fits your original description. We need a better description of "Robust". If that means dirt and rust resistant (truck gun, no maintenance) - that's one thing. If it means prying open the barn door, that's another?

JohnnyCal55
February 9, 2011, 12:31 PM
BrocLuno, I live in Idaho, so I have a lot of options available to me.

To me, robust means that it won't break when it's dropped, that it can handle the abuse of being a truck gun, and that the stock and forearm are solid as can be

Crowcifier666
February 9, 2011, 04:00 PM
I have owned the Mini 14 tactical for a year now and she's a good shooter. Haven't done any hunting with her but I can hit a beer can at 100 yards 9/10 times with irons. That seems good enough for me to hit a coyote. She takes the rough stuff too :D. I don't mind the scratches...IMO the Mini is a perfect truck gun: low maintenance, simple and rugged, accurate enough, and reliable. You could throw a folder on it if it's too long with the 16" barrel. I think it'd be perfect for a rack or under the seat.

karlb
February 9, 2011, 08:31 PM
Saiga .223 converted w/folding stock

HOLY DIVER
February 9, 2011, 09:54 PM
well the new Mini-14's are allot more accurate than the older ones for sure. i bought a new 1 last year chambered in 6.8 and i'm very happy with the accuracy.took a 100lb doe at 135yd and dropped her right in her tracks. now i will admitt i'm a huge fan of the AR-15 and if i was going to get a truck rifle i'd get a new mini14 or a quality AR (if i got a great deal on it $500 max) u don't wanna spend $2000 on a rifle thats gonna bang around behind the seat of the truck etc. infact i would not buy a brand new mini for a truck rifle. shop around and find a good deal on a used mini or AR

45Fan
February 9, 2011, 10:09 PM
Id go for an AR, 16". The new mini-14s may be more accurate, but the old ones were also not the most reliable rifles when used with aftermarket hi-cap mags. If defensive use is on the menu, I wouldnt limit myself to low round mags, or expensive factory hi-cap mags.
The AR also is available with the faster twist rate barrels, so it would stabilize heavier bullets than a 9-1 twist barrel of the mini-14.
There aer other choices that may fill the category well, but none that have the modular versatility, or aftermarket support that the AR platform has.

Crowcifier666
February 10, 2011, 03:30 PM
I dont think $25 is that much for a 20 round ruger mag. Especially since I have never had any malfunctions with any of mine. You're right though, ARs definitely beat out the 14 mag-wise, and modularity. But I think a mini beats out the AR in the "truck gun" arena, easy. JMO

TIMC
February 10, 2011, 04:31 PM
This one does it for me! 26.5" OAL .223 with 30 round capacity and decent accuracy at 100 yards. The E4 version like I have takes standard AR mags.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v369/timc/MSARE4.jpg

JohnnyCal55
February 10, 2011, 06:14 PM
For my intended purposes, the ar15 seems to fit the bill nicley. I will own a mini someday, I just don't want to have any regret with the minis accuracy knowing the ar15 is almost if not equal in price. Now the question is, do I build or buy an assembled one? :)

45Fan
February 10, 2011, 09:53 PM
Building an AR isnt that difficult, but building it right can be tricky, especially where reliability is concerned.
Cost wise, they can be built for less than an assembled one, depending on what parts you use. It isnt difficult to go way over the cost of an assembled rifle either, sepending on what you put in it, and where you buy the parts.

As far as a "truck gun", I think the AR has been beat around in some of the roughest terrain any truck will ever go, and still does its job. The mini may be a good rifle, but it wont likely ever have the field experience of the AR rifle.

HOLY DIVER
February 10, 2011, 10:19 PM
you can get a better quality AR for cheap if you build it urself. del-ton has a 1/7 chrome lined barrel HP+MP tested (mil-spec) rifle kit for $530 thats EVERY thing you need except a stripped lower reciever. you should be able to find a good stripped lower under $100 now allot of people on here think del-ton does not offer a mil-spec hp/mp tested barrel but you can go 2 there site a see for yourselfhttp://www.del-ton.com/AR_15_Barrel_Assembly_p/dt1028.htm

JAV8000
February 10, 2011, 10:28 PM
ARs are very field (I know from experience) reliable IF you know the tricks of the trade and have the time and motivation to implement said SOPs. The mini-14, in my opinion, makes a better truck gun because all you've really got to worry about is keeping the bore clean and lubricated to prevent rust. One good lubrication of the action with light grease and heavy oil will keep the weapon operating for at least 1000 rounds without any further maintenance. Oh, you do pay a bit more for the Ruger mags, but they're also made of steel rather than aluminum and quite robust. The 20 rounders also offer a good compromise between capacity and ease of shooting from the prone.

frankenstein406
February 11, 2011, 12:04 AM
Ps 90

crazyivan
February 11, 2011, 12:26 AM
With my new Saiga .223 with 55gr. tulammo I get 2 1/2" to 4" 5-shot groups with a 3-9 scope.
With the irons its 3"-5" depending on how long I take to aim.


Getting ready to make it 922r comp so i can set it up to take AR mags and galil mags aside from the saiga and surfire mags it can already take.

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