Originally Posted by Border Fox
This has undoubtedly been hashed over here repeatedly, but I can't find any threads on it - so here goes: which is the better combat/defense round in the Mini 0 the 223 or the 7.62 x 39? Which has the best downrange ebergy retention? And accuracy?
I would really appreciate your opinions. I presently own a wood stocked stainless mini 14, and love it. But I am also looking at a blued mini 30 with black folding stock, mint. This would be ideal for me in border work, especially the non-reflective blued finish.
Please, boys, fire away.
OK, heres my thoughts on this issue:
Lets look at the ballistics:
First of all for this discussion, I am using the bullet velocities as defined in the Sierra Edition 5 manual for the 7.62x39 cartridge fired in a mini-30 and a 223 cartridge fired in an AR-15 (the closest information I could find that would match the ballistics of a mini-14).
Note: most velocity data listed in other sources is for bolt action rifles and these velocities are higher and not equivalent to gas operated mini actions.
In addition, all velocities listed below are for the Sierra listed hunting loads which are the highest velocities available with good accuracy based upon the testing at Sierra.
Also, all bullet trajectory data listed below is for bullets zeroed at 200 yards. All trajectories listed below are from the Big Game Info Web site (http://www.biggameinfo.com
Therefore, based upon the Sierra manual and the ballistics tables listed at the Big Game Info site the following information is presented:
Mini-14 ballistics at 50 yards (Hornady V-Max Bullets):
BW____BC______Drop___Velocity____Energy_____Drift_ ___Opt Wt
40g___.200_____.4_____3144fps____878 ft/lbs___.3_____75 lbs
50g___.242_____.5_____2996fps____997 ft/lbs___.3_____101 lbs
55g___.255_____.7_____2815fps____968 ft/lbs___.3 ____101 lbs
60g___.265_____.7_____2774fps____1025 ft/lbs__.3_____115 lbs
Mini-14 ballistics at 100 yards (Hornady V-Max Bullets):
BW____BC____Drop___Velocity____Energy_____Drift___ Opt Wt
40g___.200___1.3____2902fps____748 ft/lbs___1.3___59 lbs
50g___.242___1.5____2802fps____871 ft/lbs___1.1___82 lbs
55g___.255___1.8____2637fps____850 ft/lbs___1.2___83 lbs
60g___.265___1.8____2605fps____904 ft/lbs___1.2___95 lbs
Mini-14 ballistics at 200 yards (Hornady V-Max Bullets):
BW_____BC____Drop____Velocity____Energy______Drift ___Opt Wt
40g____.200____0.0____2455fps____535 ft/lbs___5.6____35 lbs
50g____.242____0.0____2437fps____660 ft/lbs___4.9____54 lbs
55g____.255____0.0____2304fps____648 ft/lbs___5.0____56 lbs
60g____.265____0.0____2286fps____696 ft/lbs___4.9____65 lbs
Mini-14 ballistics at 300 yards (Hornady V-Max Bullets):
BW____BC____Drop____Velocity___Energy______Drift__ __Opt Wt
40g___.200___-7.2____2052fps___374 ft/lbs___13.6____21 lbs
50g___.242___-7.4____2103fps___491 ft/lbs___11.7____35 lbs
55g___.255___-8.4____1996fps___487 ft/lbs___12.1____36 lbs
60g___.265___-8.5____1990fps___528 ft/lbs___11.8____43 lbs
Mini-30 ballistics at 50 yards:
BW____Brand_____BC___Drop___Velocity____Energy____ __Drift___Opt Wt
110g___V-max___.200___1.7"____2259fps___1246 ft/lbs___.3____209 lbs
125g___TNT_____.242___2.0"____2128fps___1257 ft/lbs___.3____226 lbs
150g___SST_____.255___2.3____2007fps___1342 ft/lbs___.3____273 lbs
Mini-30 ballistics at 100 yards:
BW___Brand____BC____Drop___Velocity___Energy______ Drift____Opt Wt
110g__V-max__.200____3.1"___2122fps___1100 ft/lbs___1.4____173 lbs
125g__TNT____.242____3.6___2010fps___1121 ft/lbs___1.4____190 lbs
150g__SST____.255____4.0___1917fps___1225 ft/lbs___1.2____238 lbs
Mini-30 ballistics at 200 yards:
BW___Brand____BC___Drop___Velocity____Energy______ Drift____Opt Wt
110g__V-max__.200___0____1862fps_____847 ft/lbs____6.0____117 lbs
125g__TNT____.242___0____1786fps_____885 ft/lbs____5.8____134 lbs
150g__SST____.255___0____1746fps_____1015 ft/lbs___4.9____180 lbs
Mini-30 ballistics at 300 yards:
BW____Brand___BC____Drop____Velocity___Energy_____ _Drift____Opt Wt
110g___V-max__.200__-13.2___1625fps____645 ft/lbs___14.4___78 lbs
125g___TNT____.242__-14.5___1581fps____693 ft/lbs___13.8___93 lbs
150g___SST____.255__-15.5___1586fps____837 ft/lbs___11.5___135 lbs
From the above data, I can draw the following conclusions about the 223 and the 7.62x39:
-The heavier the bullet the greater the energy and the heavier the game that can be taken.
-The maximum game weight that the 223 can humanly take at any distance is 115 lbs.
-The maximum game weight that the 7.62x39 can take is 273 lbs.
-At 200 yards the difference in trajectory between the 223 and the 7.62 x 39 is 2.2 inches (when both guns are zeroed at 200 yards.) where the mini-14 has the advantage.
-At 200 yards the 7.62x39 can humanly take game up to 134 lbs using standard weight (125g) bullets, the 223 can only take humanly game up to 56 lbs at 200 yards using the standard 55g bullet.
-Neither rifle seems to be able to take man sized game humanly at 200 yards using standard ammo (125g/55g bullets).
In addition, I will also draw the following conclusions:
-Multiple bullet types are available for both cartridges thus negating any bullet type advantage to either cartridge.
-A tricked out gun may shoot differently than a standard off the shelf gun; however, if all things remain equal the above information should be valid.
If I have mis-typed any of the above information, I will defer to the Sierra manual and the BigGameInfo web site. Thanks.