need help deciding Mini-30 or Mini-14?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by socalbeachbum, Jul 20, 2016.

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  1. socalbeachbum

    socalbeachbum Member

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    I have owned the Mini-14 in the past and enjoyed it. So I'm looking at getting a new Mini in stainless, and am undecided about 7.62x39mm or .223 version. Either does the job for me as to a fun to shoot light carbine, both types of ammo are readily available and priced about the same.

    So I'm wondering is there much difference in accuracy or is there any other real compelling reason to choose one over the other?
     
  2. jehu

    jehu Member

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    I can't make that decision for you but the way the land of Fruits & Nuts is going you better hurry up and get what you want quick!!:uhoh:
     
  3. Skyshot

    Skyshot Member

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    Very happy with my mini-14. It gets as much range time as my AR's do. Can't speak on the mini-30. But the Carbine version seems very nice. The Mini is not quite as accurate as my AR is but it's not far behind. Mine will go 1 1/2" MOA with good reloads and around 2 to 2 1/2" MOA with M855 ball. Had it for a few years now and it's been 100% reliable.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2016
  4. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    I would go with the 223 because I just think its a better round. I had one back in the 80's when they could be had for $275, and a Colt AR was 2x that amount. Nowadays I would go with a AR like the S&W sport just for the flexibility and competitive prices considering what a mini costs. Also, aftermarket mags that work reliably in a mini are few and far between, compared to AR mags.
     
  5. C.R.

    C.R. Member

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    Depends on what you want to do with it,If you are going to deer hunt the 7.62x39 would be the way to go . Lots of places do not allow deer hunting with .22 caliber rounds. if you are into varmit hunting or target shooting the .223 would work. If you have an understanding wife, maybe one of each ? :evil:...... Now watch all of the AR fanboys come outta the woodwork and tell you why the AR is the only way to go:barf:, it always happens .....
     
  6. readyeddy

    readyeddy Member

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    I've always wanted to get a Mini-14. I got the AR and AK, but the Mini is still on my wish list.

    I would get the Mini-14 because it's the original.
     
  7. carbine85

    carbine85 Member

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    If your mind is made up to buy a Mini I would buy it in 5.56. It's the better round.
    I own Minis however I wouldn't another unless it was $500 or less.
     
  8. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    I think I would stick with the original .223 chambering in a Mini-14. Must be the traditionalist in me.
     
  9. orionengnr

    orionengnr Member

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    One of each. :)

    I've had three Mini-14s and a Mini-30.
    I personally prefer the x39 round. Both rounds are available in steel case Russian stuff, at or around .25/rd, so IMHO, you really can't go wrong either way.
     
  10. greyling22

    greyling22 Member

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    see, I'd get the mini-30. if you want a 223, an AR is just a cheaper better gun. (and I don't even really like AR's.) But the 7.62 offers more punch for hunting. (if less accuracy, but again, if you want accuracy, the ruger is not your gun)

    really, the only things the mini offers these days is a) less scary looking. B) more reliable with 7.62x39.
     
  11. Jackal

    Jackal Member

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    The factory Mini-14 target model was one of the most accurate rifles I've ever owned. Consistently put cheap Federal 50gr HP's into 3/4", I never did try "match" ammo. I sold it for a healthy profit during the last panic and have missed it ever since.
     
  12. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    Last count I had were 4 states that allow center fire rifles and not 22 caliber. There are a few places that are restricted to shotgun/muzzle loader as well. It would be wise to check local laws if you do plan to hunt with it. The 7.62X39 may be legal, but in reality offers no advantage as a hunting round.

    I'd stick with 223, unless your plan is as a primary hunting rifle. Then I'd keep looking.
     
  13. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Member

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    My state (Alabama) allows rifles or handguns with centerfire mushrooming ammunition for deer. There are no caliber restrictions or magazine capacity restrictions (on private land)here. I have both Mini-14 and Mini-30. I love them both but would opt for the Mini-30 if deer hunting was the rifle's purpose.
     
  14. SSN Vet

    SSN Vet Member

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    Does Ruger sell a reliable feeding factory hi-cap for the mini-30? The answer to this question would drive my decision.
     
  15. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    With some careful shopping you could get an AR and an SKS and have both rounds covered for the same price as a Mini-14 or 30.
     
  16. Jason_W

    Jason_W Member

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    For those suggesting the AR instead of a Mini: The OP is a California resident and yet another round of gun control laws were just passed that makes owning a California legal AR pointless.

    A featureless mini (meaning no pistol or protruding fore grips, no threaded muzzle, and a few other things) can still take advantage of a standard mag release and be legal in CA. An AR can no longer even use a neuter button and the only current work around means breaking the rifle open to reload.
     
  17. RecoilRob

    RecoilRob Member

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    AFAIK Ruger is still building the Mini-30 chambers to SAAMI specs and specify American ammo be used. Using Russian CIP spec ammo can and has caused misfires due to the difference in headspacing and shoulder angle between the two specs of same cartridge so if you plan on using cheap Russian ammo...I'd get the Mini-14 because the CIP and SAAMI are close enough to be indentical so it'll eat anything you feed it.
     
  18. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    30 round Ruger mags are available, and probably the only reliable mags for a mini. They also cost a lot more than AR mags.
     
  19. Stuffs

    Stuffs Member

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    Just wondering if either one can shoot steel cased ammo reliably.
     
  20. Kame B.

    Kame B. Guest

    My 188 Mini 14 has never had a problem putting deer meat on the table.
     
  21. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    Stuffs- I tried shooting wolf through a mini14 (223) and the cases kept getting stuck in the chamber (yes the chamber was clean, yes the extractor worked fine- it functioned flawlessly with PMC when using Ruger factory mags). The rims kept bending on the cases- had to get popped out w/ a cleaning rod.
     
  22. stinger 327

    stinger 327 Member

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    I was told never to use Wolf ammo .223 in the Min-14.
     
  23. Robert

    Robert Administrator Staff Member

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    Folks, stick to the question asked in the OP. He's owned them before and knows what he is getting into so let's provide some insight on calibers.
     
  24. Kame B.

    Kame B. Guest

    With simple mods and tuned loads you can accurize either caliber, but I found it to be easier for me to shoot a .223 more accurately, and find a wider variety of that ammo to test different loads. As far as simple mods, you can try smaller gas bushings, making sure the gas block screws are evenly torqued (30lbs). I put some 1911 recoil buffers in my 188 and really made a difference with the metal on metal contact and the action doesn't seem as violent anymore. Didn't really help with brass being flung into right field but that does not concern me, but the op-rod feels like it runs smoother. Good luck on your purchase!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 22, 2016
  25. orionengnr

    orionengnr Member

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    As regards steel cased ammo, my Mini 30 has had exactly one box of brass cased rounds through it, and I've owned it since 92 or so. No troubles whatsoever.

    My current Mini 14 (third one I've owned, manufactured in 1999-2000 IIRC) was on loan to a friend for about ten years. His son and their Boy Scout troop, etc, put many thousands of whatever they could lay their hands on through it--I'm sure a lot of it was steel cased. They reported no troubles either. His son went from Boy Scouts to Eagle Scouts, used the Mini 14 to harvest his first deer several years ago (and several more since) and has now graduated HS and is in college...so I recently got the Mini 14 back.

    Either way you go, I don't think you will regret it. The Minis are quality rifles, fun to shoot and engender a pride of ownership. I also own ARs and I have owned an AK, and I understand the position that the state of CA has put its residents into (I lived there from 1982-2001, and still have friends there.)
     
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