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Mini-14 or Mini-30?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by sig228, Nov 15, 2012.


Mini-14 or Mini-30?

Poll closed Dec 15, 2012.
  1. Mini-14

    53 vote(s)
  2. Mini-30

    32 vote(s)
  1. sig228

    sig228 Well-Known Member

    I'm getting an itch for a new gun. Looking at both, the "tactical" fixed stock version of both, 16" barrel. I have a few ARs, but sold my only AK recently (Yugo underfolder). So while I like the concept of having SHTF guns in all of the same caliber, I like the 7.62 x 39 for its sheer power. Neither are 600 yard target rifles, I understand that. What do you all think? Thanks.
  2. brnmw

    brnmw Well-Known Member

    Not being an expert in the Mini-30 setup.. however for the price listed I keep finding I would save up more and get the Spfld. Armory M1A in .308 Winchester. I am more familiar in the Mini-14 .223 Rem. setups and not the 7.62X39mm for the Ruger Mini-30's. I love the 7.62X39mm in my AK's but not too sure yet about functionality in AR's or Mini's yet, I keep hearing mixed reviews. I would get the M1A over the Mini-30, but that is just me. ;)

    OARNGESI Well-Known Member

    mini 14
  4. MrDig

    MrDig Well-Known Member

    My understanding was that the specs on the chamber and bore were not set up to handle European Tolerances, therefore Ruger recommends only American Made ammo be used in the Mini 30.
    That is why I voted Mini 14 5.56/.223 is the same everywhere and XM193 is cheap.
  5. sansone

    sansone Well-Known Member

    since you sold your AK & own an AR, I would certainly go with the thirty
  6. aka108

    aka108 Well-Known Member

    I'd go with the 30 if I were forced to buy a Ruger. I owned a 30 for awhile. I loved the action and basically the whole rifle. The only thing I disliked was that is was the most inaccurate rifle I ever owned. Not really good a 50 yards and off the map at 100. Sold it.
  7. 303 hunter

    303 hunter Well-Known Member

    Same for me,I sold my Mini 30. My old beat up SKS will shoot rings around it!
  8. Captcurt

    Captcurt Well-Known Member

    I had the same experience. You would think that a $600 rifle would be more accurate. Ruger can keep their Mini's. I will take an AR.
  9. hq

    hq Well-Known Member

    I faced the same dilemma a few years ago. What I really wanted was a light, quick-handling gun in a caliber sufficient to down a deer and double as (yet another) SHTF-carbine. Either caliber is effective up to at least 150-200 yards, but unfortunately neither of the minis is accurate enough at that range. Re-barreling and glass bedding can do wonders, but a target barrel makes the gun heavy and while I like to work on my guns, the price of parts would've made it one expensive mini.

    Solution? I bought a Ruger Deerfield carbine. Essentially the same gun in .44Mag, the only real limitation being low magazine capacity, which doesn't matter when hunting deer. It also has the advantage of sharing the caliber with some of my handguns.

    Given only the choice between 14 and 30, stock vs. stock, I'd prefer 7.62. When you don't have the advantage of accuracy or long range, maximize the power.
  10. timfromohio

    timfromohio Well-Known Member

    For the price of one Mini-30 you could get several SKS's plus tech sights. I'd go that route - good accuracy, dead nuts reliable, and shoot steel cased ammo all day long.
  11. hentown

    hentown Well-Known Member

    Since you don't live in a state run by gun control dolts, why would you get either? Why not get the much-superior AR?? :cool:
  12. sig228

    sig228 Well-Known Member

    I have several already. Looking for something different. Like a mini m-14. Thanks for all the suggestions. I thought for sure no one would suggest the mini-30. I'm sort of leaning that way. Heck, whats another caliber anyway. :)
  13. M1key

    M1key Well-Known Member

    I own both newer models M14 and M30. I like the M30 just fine and so does my wife. Accurate and hits harder than the M14, but steel ammo is NOT advised unless you are willing send it in to Ruger for periodic firing pin replacement...:eek: That dang steel Berdan case...Brass ammo (Fiocchi, WWB, PMC, Prvi Partizan, or handloads) works fine.

    In the M14 all Russian steel .223 ammo that I know of is BOXER primed and usually runs perfectly fine with no adverse long-term affects on the rifle.

    So...for that reason alone I would recommend the Mini-14 over the Mini-30 if you can't afford to buy both. At least be willing to run brass only if you go for the Mini-30 (the Tactical model would be my choice).

    Good Luck

  14. Bill_Rights

    Bill_Rights Well-Known Member

    Mini 30!

    Contra to some experience, my recent-manufacture Mini-30s will gobble any old ammo, including cheapo Communist Bloc mil surp. I particularly like the RNSP (round-nose soft point) Prvi Partisan round - pretty hot powder load and really packs a wallop! See photo. Yes, it is shorter :scrutiny:, but it feeds fine.

    Having said that, the Mini-30 is or can be a definite "hobby rifle". There is a long list of improvements you can make to the rifle over stock configuration. There exists a huge on-line community of experts and knowledge base to fire your imagination over at Perfect Union: http://www.perfectunion.com/vb/ruger-mini-14-mini-30/ Great people. You can have great fun customizing this rifle.

    Being a hobby rifle (and I think this goes for the Mini-14, too), not necessarily a professional-grade, police-grade firearm out of the box, two big points are:
    A) Buy a recent-manufacture model - a lot of the old variabilities in native accuracy of the rifle have been tightened up, and the newer units (last few years) almost all fall within 3 MOA at 100 yds and the majority are good within 2 MOA.
    B) A lot of the user mods to this hobbly rifle can increase its precision even further. You just have to discriminate mods that are intended for very old units and not needed for late-model units.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2012
  15. jim243

    jim243 Well-Known Member

    I voted Mini-30, not because it's a better rifle but a better caliber. The Mini-14 is a fine rifle, but I would rather have an AR if I was going 223/5.56.

    The down side is that the Mini-30 is not a accurate target rifle, but a good close in self defense rifle. I prefer the 7.62x39 for targets over 150 lbs.

    But that's just me, either would be a good choice, depending on your intended use.


  16. Old judge creek

    Old judge creek Well-Known Member

    My vote went to the Mini 30 and I have a Mini 14, Mini 30, and... I'll tell you after this.

    The 7.62x39 round is FAR more versatile than the 223. My experience is that the 30 and the 14 are "accurate enough" at 300 yards for defensive work. OTOH I'd not want either one for a prolonged firefight. These two rifles served me for many years until I could afford an even better one - my M1A. It's my preferred choice of the three - and yes, I still have the two Ruger Minis.
  17. Ash

    Ash Well-Known Member

    I have a Mini-14 GB surplussed from the Mississippi State Troopers. It is a thin-barrel version and is an accurate rifle. I wouldn't take it squirrel hunting, but it is as accurate as my Russian or Chinese SKS's. I take it out to the farm and never feel under-gunned. It isn't set up for a scope mount like standard Mini's, but don't want a scope on it anyway.

    I voted the 14 because you can get better magazines for the 14 in my experience and because I do like the SKS in 30. I'm in good shape when it comes to semi autos and have owned AR's in my life (Bushmaster, Stag, and RR). Everyone claims the AR is superior, and I won't argue with that. I have nothing really wrong with going full tactical on the farm, but for me, the clean lines and simple features of the Mini are better. Shooting rabid racoons or dogs, the Mini does the job just fine. I suppose I could wander about with my NDM-86 with optics and bayonet mounted or step up the power with my M14a, but the Mini is what I end up taking every time I go out.

    Others here don't like it, and the AR has become king of all things, but for me, the Mini works for what I want it to do.
  18. Ignition Override

    Ignition Override Well-Known Member

    "Perfectunion.com": Mini forums.
    My Mini 14 was built in '90. The Mini 30 about '04. Both used only Russian ammo.
    The Mini 14 had only two stovepipe jams with the Ruger-built 20 rd. mag. After I oiled the mag, no more. The rifle still had the sticker "State Of Kentucky". It had zero FTF. That gun fed more reliably than my bolt action Mauser, Enfields and FR8s. No stovepipes after the first twenty rds. from the very dry magazine.

    The Mini 30 had a stovepipe about every sixty-ninety rounds with both 20-rd. metal Promags, and needed a second primer strike just as often, but I found the Mini 30 more fun to shoot because of the increased power, mild recoil and ammo shared by my SKS.
    I only sold both Minis because the front post sights were so thick, and wanted ready cash for some milsurp rifles which haven't been produced since the 40's or 50's.

    Is a Czech VZ-58 (milled, with bho feature) out of your price range? If so, I also second the motion by "timfromohio" about an all-original SKS with a Tech Sight.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2012
  19. jmr40

    jmr40 Well-Known Member

    I you already own AR's the mini-14 will never get used. Go mini-30 or SKS.
  20. gotigers

    gotigers Well-Known Member

    I voted mini-14 just because ammo availability. It is much easier to find .223.

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