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Old 02-28-2011, 06:46   #26
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Originally Posted by qwman68 View Post
My 580 series mini-14 has an accustrut, trigger job, retorqued gas block, 1911 style recoil buffers, and a tapco stock. My best group with handloads was 1.1''. There is no more shot stringing when the barrel heats up. Very inexpensive mods and she's an moa shooter. I bought 4 20rd. mags a couple months back for $23 apiece. Given the reliability, accuracy, and overall ease in function I would go with a mini-14 all day long. Not to say the sks isnt a good rifle cause it is. The mini is just better.

I don't dislike the mini series, I have a mini 30 myself. That said, the mini was never designed as an actual combat weapon, it's design is based on a combat weapon, but that is not the same thing. The sks was by design a combat weapon.

The sks, depending on the country of manufacture and the exact model (screw or pinned barrel, etc), can be a fairly accurate to a very accurate weapon. In all cases it will outshoot an ak. The only "mods" really called for on an sks are the bolt mod to facilitate mag changes, and a better sight system to improve accuracy potential. If you do go to detachable mags, you are going to need to "legalize" you sks, for a chicom a tapco stock and mags is enough to do that. Tapco mags are usually under 20 dollars. As long as you stay away from yugo models, you get a chromed bore as well.

For the price of a modded mini 14 one can buy a chicom sks and a couple thousand rounds of steel case ammo....and the sks will eat up that ammo. To me that makes an sks better. I can also use the lower price of an sks to justify the higher price of an AR for a 5.56 weapon. If I want to have both major military small arms calibers represented in my gun safe I prefer an sks and an AR to having a mini 14 and a mini 30. The mini's are nice guns, the sks, ak, and AR are nice weapons. I would never turn down an ak either.
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Old 02-28-2011, 08:49   #27
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Originally Posted by reverendg View Post
For the price of a modded mini 14 one can buy a chicom sks and a couple thousand rounds of steel case ammo....and the sks will eat up that ammo.
When you compare the Ruger Mini-30 to the SKS, I believe you have a more realistic "apples to apples" comparison, due to both rifles using the 7.62x39 cartridge.

Without question, the Mini-30 is a good rifle, and it will serve many shooters for their individual shooting needs. However, the exact same thing can be said of the SKS rifle.

Between these two rifles, accuracy will depend on several things:
  • The ammo used (presumably brass-cased handloads will shoot better than steel-cased Russian ammo).
  • The condition of the firearm.
  • The sighting system being used.
  • Trigger pull.

As far as a comparison between the two...

The Mini-30 is going to cost you about $800+, the rifle (and Ruger) will prefer you feed it brass-cased ammo, and it will most likely be a 3-4 MOA rifle from the factory.

As far as the positive aspects of the Mini-30, it is going to have a better trigger pull, there are many upgrade and/or stock options available, it is easy to mount a scope to, high capacity magazines are available, and it utilizes the Garand-action.

An SKS rifle is going to cost you about $250+, it will eat ANY 7.62x39 ammo you feed it, and will most likely be a 4-6 MOA rifle. (Yes, some will shoot better. But, I'm talking in general terms here.)

As far as the positive aspects of the SKS rifle, it has a milled action, the barrel is chrome-lined (except for the Yugo's), there are an increasing number of after-market upgrades and/or stock options available, they're very easy to break-down, clean and maintain, and they retain their "collector's value" over time.

As far as price goes, reverendg makes a very good point...you can buy a Chi-com SKS for about $250-$300 and quite a bit of Russian ammo for the price you'll pay for a "modded" Mini-30.

Again, the Mini-30 is a good rifle. And, the SKS rifle is a great option to consider too!
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Old 02-28-2011, 16:49   #28
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I dont shoot steel cased ammo in anything, and never will. I dont have a problem with sks rifles. I have owned a couple of them and they were accurate. I just think the mini is a better rifle. I have run my mini just as hard as any gun I have ever owned. I know for a fact I can depend on it. There is a reason sks's only cost $100 and the mini $600. Actually, the first sks I ever bought cost me $75. The only reason they are higher now is becouse the supply is running out. My opinion is you get what you pay for. I will say it again. I dont have a problem with any sks. I like them. I just dont think its a better rifle than a mini.
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Old 02-28-2011, 23:00   #29
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4-6 moa with an SKS sure isn't trying. AK's can shoot that well, better when you replace the trigger with a 30 dollar tapco unit. The SKS is more accurate than an AK any day. And they are shooting cheapo ammo. The reason SKS are cheap is that they are milsurps...and designed to be in real life battles. They have actually been carried on battlefields. Many militaries still use then for ceremonial purposes since they look nicer than an ak in that regard. The mini 14/30 have a garand style action but they aren't garands. If you are comfortable using a mini when the chips are down, go for it. I don't think any of the branches of our military made any field publications related to it though.....
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Old 04-01-2011, 23:45   #30
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Question

beardenbc: Thanks for the link to his "420 yards" videos.
He also makes excellent shots with his iron-sight German Mauser at about 800-900 yards.

You might have seen nice videos by "Hickok45"?
Being almost computer illiterate, is it a complex process to create a link to a Youtube video?

As for my SKS or Mini 30, if the ammo is fairly cheap and the floating target is destroyed from 100' and sinks, that's good enough.
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Old 04-07-2011, 07:55   #31
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sks vs mini

I've seen a few minis that were great shooters as is no mods. both 14's and 30's. quite ammo sensitive it seems.
sks will digest any ammo it seems. mini30 pukes on the cheap stuff.
an sks can be made to be a shooter it seems as can minis. the mini trigger (as bad as it is) is better than the sks.
some years back I had a choice of 2 sks's for part payment on some welding work I'd done on an out-of-work house painter's ladder trailer (when the real estate mkt busted) he had 2 sks's a Norinco that while mechanically ok was beat around a bit. (later I wished I'd bought the other one he had for myself and took this one to sell to my nephew) the other an early chinese made in the russki plant which looked good and bright bore - I took it.
sold it to a nephew just getting into guns/shtf realization. he stripped it down useing an online guide (sksboards maybe?) and I got the trigger group here and worked it over according to an online guide (same board IIRC) and got a decent trigger out of it just some creep but when took up a good let-off. w/my guidance he tightened everything in sequence when reassemble after a crown and bore polish. fitted a 4X scope (NC Star I think) useing the reciever cover mount - not the best but we took pains w/it and used locktite and it came out OK.
lo and behold - at the range after we (I mostly) fired a couple 100 through it getting zeroed @100 it began to print silver bear fairly well. a good bore cleaning later we switched to some Sako and man that thing knocks on M.O.A. off our crude rests on the bench. I actually got 3 shots near atop each other then blew the group w/2 called flyers. we ran out of time after takeing a break to print my 30 and his 336 awhile.
I'm fairly sure it would do M.O.A. with good rests and ammo. that means with a 200yd sight in a man @300 is in deep kim-shuueey. that's as good as my hand-tweaked M30 so I ain't gonna be negative of the good sks's. have seen some that flung the cheap wolf blackbox at pie plate groups though. same as the early M30's.
C.E. Harris of American Rifleman fame also did noteably with the same model of SKS - he wrote about it years back. my nephew's sks would do good service as a 'designated marksman' rifle if called upon to do so in shtf situ.
he opted for a Marlin 336 30-30 that I worked over some and 3X9 Burris that shoots M.O.A. w/my good handloads so now that's his go-to after his AK 'bullet hose' he seems to prefer, but his sks is ready as a 'loaner' for kith and kin if/when it's needed.
a '03 Springfield or Finnish X54 it ain't but nonetheless a good shooter in South-Eastern woodland bush, he got a dozen or so strippers for it ready to go.
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Old 04-07-2011, 16:50   #32
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You spun me in too many directions lol ;-)
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Old 04-24-2011, 21:48   #33
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Originally Posted by louie1961 View Post
own both an norc SKS and a mini 30. Norc is a little more comfortable to shoot, but other than that, they both perform the same. Same accuracy (3-4 inches offhand at 100 yards), both wearing tapco stocks. The real difference is the price of the SKS and the trade offs you make for a lower price. My mini has a truly detachable magazine, my SKS does not. My mini came in stainless which I prefer my SKS does not. My mini has a much nicer trigger and no problems with slam fires or the hammer following down, doubling, etc., which can be quite common on the SKS. My mini cost me $700, my SKS cost me $100. Now that you can't seem to touch an SKS for under $400 here in CT and the SKS-D and others designed to use the AK mag are approaching AR-15 prices here in CT ($900-$1500), I don't see much advantage in buying further SKS rifles. For the money the advantages of the Mini seem to outweigh the meager savings in buying an SKS, if there are any savings. Now if the SKS ever drops below $200 again, I'd probably buy 10 of them. But right now they are just to expensive to put up with the trade offs, in my opinion.
Gotta agree with you Louie. The sks is not the bargain it once was. I have a couple of each (SKS & Mini) If i had to bug out I would grab the stainless ranch rifle. The 2 to 3 lb. weight advantage of the mini is significant, as is being stainless and commonality of the 5.56 nato ammo. Get a few spare op-rod springs, and a new bolt assy. from ruger and your all set. That and the fully detach mags and the flatter shooting ammo tips my choice to the mini.

That said, an sks is an ideal knockabout truck gun or close-in home defense and cheap high power plinking rifle.
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Old 11-01-2011, 17:34   #34
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I like and enjoy both I just wish the SKS and the Mini 30 had cheaper better mags. The SKS prices are stupid now and the mini's are not any better. I know that Ruger will take care of their stuff and $400ish for a SKS now is ridiculous, but thats what happens the things go to SHTF!
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Old 11-01-2011, 18:21   #35
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actually, in the era of the $599 AR ( Palmetto State Armory 16" M4A1 Carbine ), I really don't think there is any reason to own an SKS or a mini. Now that I own all three, I can tell you I will be getting rid of both the SKS and Mini to buy more ARs. No reason to own anything else. The AR is just an all around better gun.
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Old 11-01-2011, 20:26   #36
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I dislike the .223 cartridge which is only a middling varmint round, preferring the 7.62X39 cartridge which I consider to be superior for most purposes.

I'm not a huge fan of the SKS but don't think the sun rises and sets in the AR 15 either.

I like the M1 and M1A much better than either of the above.

I really do like the notion of the 7.62X39 for some reason and the SKS is dead reliable, if short stocked for my 6'3" frame and 36-inch sleeves.

I've got all the above rifles and have had them for many years.
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Old 11-02-2011, 12:07   #37
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This is an old thread, but I figured I'd chime in with some real thoughts this time after having owned a mini-14 for two years and multiple SKS's for one. I'll compare the mini to my current favorite SKS, a romanian with tech sights.

Price:
My mini 14 set up was about $1,100 by the time all was said and done. My SKS was $375 plus the tech sights, it comes to maybe $425, and for $20 you can get more stripper clips than you'll ever need. SKS wins.

Reliability:
SKS shoots all brands of ammo, never ever ever ever fails. The internal mag might seem archaic to the tacticool crowd, but it has a prone friendly profile, reloads fast with strippers, and never fails. The mini-14 was picky on ammo, and my super expensive pre-ban mags would have failures about 1 out of every 60 rounds. SKS wins.

Hand to hand:
The mini was a solid bat, the SKS is a solid bat with a pike on the end. SKS wins.

Weight:
Since I don't consider the SKS to be heavy by any means (I have man arms), it is sort of like patching a tire that had no hole... But fine, mini-14 wins.

Accuracy:
With wolf, M67 yugo, or Tula, my SKS can shoot 2"-3" groups at 100 yards with regularity, and can even throw down some 1"-2" groups on a good day if I really take it slow. My mini-14 could do about the same, but that was with a 3-9x scope and expensive ammo. Sorry to say it homies, but in my experience, the SKS is more accurate than the mini-14.

Looks:
Both are damn handsome rifles, it's a toss up.

History:
The SKS hung tough with both the M16 and the AK47 in various conflicts. While the mini-14 has not, it has proven to be an effective police carbine in several departments. I personally think the SKS is the winner, but a solid argument can be had for the mini-14.

Handling:
Mini-14 wins this over the front heavy SKS, but like with weight, I feel like the difference is hardly more than nominal.

Care and maintenance:
Both are very easy to maintain, I can't make a call without having done a "fire till dead" test.

Aftermarket:
Original style parts for the SKS are readily available and dirt cheap, and there is a strong market of tacticool gear... But since most of that tapco stuff is garbage, I think I'll have to give this one to the mini-14 on aftermarket goods.

YMMV, but what I learned over the last two years is: My mini-14 was a waste of money I could have spent on more ammo for the SKS.
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Old 11-02-2011, 22:29   #38
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I don't see the tapco stuff as junk, but otherwise I am pretty much in agreement. The SKS is more rugged than the mini, and handles any cheap ammo you can toss at it without a problem.
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Old 11-03-2011, 06:01   #39
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I just think tapco could have better thought out their products. My biggest problem is with their magazines, they do not load well from stripper clips, they have a tendency to fall out when they take a hard bump, and their shape makes them very awkward to use like a normal detachable mag. I think tapco would have been better off making an AK mag adapter. The t6 stock does seem to be well liked by those who use it, but to me it felt toyish.

Maybe I'm just being a geezer. I just prefer steel and wood over poly/plastic when it comes down to it.
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Old 11-03-2011, 20:25   #40
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Exclamation AR? This is the SKS page...lol

Originally Posted by louie1961 View Post
actually, in the era of the $599 AR ( Palmetto State Armory 16" M4A1 Carbine ), I really don't think there is any reason to own an SKS or a mini. Now that I own all three, I can tell you I will be getting rid of both the SKS and Mini to buy more ARs. No reason to own anything else. The AR is just an all around better gun.
If this was an AR post I might agree. The SKS come with a bayonet, you can't do a bayonet charge without one! I think for the price the SKS is a winner. Under $400 all day long!
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Old 11-04-2011, 06:52   #41
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Originally Posted by louie1961 View Post
actually, in the era of the $599 AR ( Palmetto State Armory 16" M4A1 Carbine ), I really don't think there is any reason to own an SKS or a mini. Now that I own all three, I can tell you I will be getting rid of both the SKS and Mini to buy more ARs. No reason to own anything else. The AR is just an all around better gun.
LOL

After experiencing what a 15 year old military issue M16 is like in basic training, I can tell you that my reasons for owning an SKS are that it is nearly just as accurate and far more reliable despite being 52 years old.

Not to mention, your AR is not even military issue, it is a military issue knock off. Does it hold some advantages over an SKS? Yes, yes it does... But your statements "I really don't think there is any reason to own an SKS or a mini" and "no reason to own anything else" and "the AR is just an all around better gun" are completely myopic and ignore the advantages of other rifles.

I really don't understand why that mentality of "mine is the best, everything else is inferior" exists so strongly among AR guys. AK guys, mini guys, SKS guys, FAL guys, M1 guys, bolt action guys, lever action guys, and every other following of firearms owners tend to be honest about their chosen platform's shortcomings... But my AR buddies can be sitting next to me, shooting the same sized groups as my SKS, clearing their 5th jam of the day, and they still will pretend like the AR has zero shortcomings.
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Old 11-04-2011, 23:40   #42
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Agreed with above. On another note I have had good luck with both the Mini and the SKS eating cheap ammo(bulk spam can cold war stuff) as a regular diet. Much better than the AR. I enjoy the Old military stuff that is out there and think the SKS is great and has good points as well as a few downsides, and for me it is worth the price of admission to be an owner of a few and spend money on them.
Most of the people I know that complain about them had one and it... blah, blah, blah, wine, wine, wine, they forget they bought a used gun? Imported to this country by Century Arms, etc. I remind them the could have bought something else, and often I hear, but I wanted an SKS.
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Old 11-11-2011, 23:12   #43
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Now that I've been able to put some rounds through my Norinco SKS I've been able to make some of my own comparisons to my early (.308) stainless Mini-30 Ranch.

On my initial disassembly & cleaning I found that it is likely the SKS had never been fired. I could not find a speck of carbon anywhere. The bore is bright & shiny and the crown looks mint.
The front sight was also as far right as it would go. Looking on the internet I found a couple instances of them leaving the factory that way. I bought a standard sight tool & made it work by grinding some metal off the tool so it would fit the Chicom front sight.

The SKS is more accurate than the Mini. Neither is a target rifle but the SKS surprised me. I was feeding it Wolf SP and milsurp Yugo brass ammo. Advantage SKS.

The SKS loads plenty fast with stripper clips. Since there is no mag removal step it may actually be faster than the Mini. Ruger doesn't offer 10 rd magazines for those of us in states that require them. So for me it's 5 rd mags or aftermarket 10 rounders. If I can find a 10 round aftermarket mag that actually works I'll let ya know. The 2 ProMags I bought wouldn't even fit in the rifle. Of the other 4 I bought, 1 works "OK" but I wouldn't trust my life to it. The other 3 are useless.
Ruger 5rd mags are $20+ each. 400 rounds of non steel Yugo milsurp in stripper clips is a bit over $100. Add in that my SKS with factory fixed magazine has been 100% reliable and...
Advantage SKS. A no brainer for Kalifornistan.

If my SKS firing pin breaks, I already have a spare from Murray with early style return spring. If the Ruger breaks it's pin, I can either buy a (reportedly) inferior aftermarket pin or send the whole rifle to Ruger for a replacement.
Advantage SKS

The SKS is designed to gobble up any sort of steel or other cased ammo.
Ruger says I need to use expensive commercial stuff.
Advantage SKS.

So if it came down to it which rifle do you think I'm gonna grab? The SKS is a combat rifle. The Mini is not. But I'm keeping the Mini. It actually is 100% with the 5 rd magazines and is accurate enough for social occasions. It is most definitely the second fiddle in the safe tho.
And ya never know. I may not live in Kalifornistan forever and being able to use 20rd magazines might tilt the scales just a little.
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Old 11-13-2011, 00:27   #44
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Having bought a Norinco SKS with very little wear, I also bought an old ('90) Mini 14 and Mini 30 ('04) with limited use, in spring '08.

The only reasons I sold the Minis were that I did not like the thick post sights (lack of shooter skill) on these older models, and to find quick cash for my first Enfield "Jungle Carbine" in spring '09, and last May wanted handy cash for the very unlikely case a Spanish FR8 was seen at a Clarkesville TN store (yes!) on a road trip.

If it were not for the appeal of certain milsurps, I would have kept all of the Minis.
That old Mini 14 (the silver sticker said "State of KY") was the most reliable gun I've ever owned, including the bolt actions!

Even though the SKS has a stovebolt now and then (I know zero about power tools in chambers), that rifle will never leave until it wears out. Then it will be replaced.

Last edited by Ignition Override; 11-16-2011 at 23:19.
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Old 11-13-2011, 08:50   #45
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Fishslayer: I'll be glad to take the Pro Mags off your hands.

I have a few Pro Mag 30 rounders which fit perfectly, feed flawlessly and drop free when released. The 20 rounders have to be sanded down with 320 or finer sandpaper to get them to fit and work. Tapco also makes good magazines for the Mini 14 as well. I don't trust any other aftermarket magazines for the Mini 14.

The SKS is also a reliable military weapon. With stripper clips it's easy to reload since the bolt carrier has a stripper clip guide. I wouldn't try to modify it and it serves its purpose.
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Old 11-13-2011, 21:20   #46
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Originally Posted by uzitiger View Post
The SKS is also a reliable military weapon. With stripper clips it's easy to reload since the bolt carrier has a stripper clip guide. I wouldn't try to modify it and it serves its purpose.
I have zero plans for molesting the SKS in any way. I like the rifle a lot just the way it is. At the very most I may put on a Tech aperture rear sight. These old eyes just ain't what they used to be.

I haven't given up on trying to make the ProMags work. But IMO they put out a pretty crappy product. How hard is it to build a box with a spring in it?
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Old 05-07-2012, 20:36   #47
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IM A RANCH RIFLE kinda guy i love my ranch but i got a yugo sk i like it alot i actually just bought it to show my buddy what a hunk of crap his wasr10/63 was for the 125.00 i paid for the thing i can shoot the pants off any stamped ak. and it does man i know its kinda cheating with this barrel thats approx 5" longer. But it just would bother me so bad watching him hit everything but his target at a distance. the LOP on those romanian ak's are for a midget or a little kid (little kids) so short that if he actually shouldered the rifle it would punch him right in the mouth! GARBAGE

the sk still has a place in my gun vault BATTLE RIFLE its not a sniper but hits out to 200 m on a torso sized targets show its worth its not a modular rifle not intended for optics although a select few were actually outfitted with a telescopic sight my yugo is a battle rifle and with a handy supply of stripper clips its a pretty quick little gun. the yugos have a flip up glowing night (possible early tritium) sight that flips up. the 7.62 x 39 is a great round mucho energy and stopping power. and its legal for big game in nm

THE MINI IS AWESOME I use it for varmints and predators its my go to gun i want to start shooting competitively with it in 3 gun it is plenty accurate with a trigger job and optics only. but than again its my best buddy i practice with this gun at least 2 times a week and it listens to where i want to place the bullet its brought home deer and antelope to eat and countless yotes to skin.
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:03   #48
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Originally Posted by louie1961 View Post
actually, in the era of the $599 AR ( Palmetto State Armory 16" M4A1 Carbine ), I really don't think there is any reason to own an SKS or a mini. Now that I own all three, I can tell you I will be getting rid of both the SKS and Mini to buy more ARs. No reason to own anything else. The AR is just an all around better gun.
Good luck with that..
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Old 07-12-2012, 18:13   #49
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Ruger Mini

Originally Posted by qwman68 View Post
My 580 series mini-14 has an accustrut, trigger job, retorqued gas block, 1911 style recoil buffers, and a tapco stock. My best group with handloads was 1.1''. There is no more shot stringing when the barrel heats up. Very inexpensive mods and she's an moa shooter. I bought 4 20rd. mags a couple months back for $23 apiece. Given the reliability, accuracy, and overall ease in function I would go with a mini-14 all day long. Not to say the sks isnt a good rifle cause it is. The mini is just better.

You have made a dream Rifle of your Mini. I love the rifle because it just fits. I have the Mini 6.8. I do have to say that an SKS with a little love and care will shoot almost as well for less. But its just not the same (fit and finish). The ergos on the Mini exceed the SKS. If I had a choice, which I do, I would have both. So I do. I have done most of the same mods on my Mini. Worth every penny. And a few to my SKS as well.

For example, I have two Mausers a M96 and a 98. I have three Mosin Nagants. Which of the five do I shoot the most, my M39 Fin. Why because it has character and shoots so well. Sure the action isn't as smooth as the Mauser, but it clunks with the best of em. All for a low price of $29 in 1986.

So fix up your SKS, and fine tune your Mini. Shoot em as often as you can and enjoy each for what they do.
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Old 08-08-2012, 08:49   #50
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there are aftermarket stocks for the mini 14 that have picitiny rails. and ultimak makes a hand guard with rails on it. and i have seen people bolt on rails to standard polymer stocks
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