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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am going to get one of these rifles in SS and synthetic stock which one should I get this gun would be mostly for plinkin and target shooting.
thanks
greg
 

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Either the -14 or the -30 will do you fine.

If you want to put a scope on it, the -30 is always a "Ranch Rifle", designed for scope use. If you get a -14, you'll have to specify the Ranch or Std model.

I think people are getting better accuracy out through 100yds from the -30. Ammo is cheap, but mag capacity is lower, and mag choices are fewer.
 

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I own both a stainless steel Mini-14 Ranch (wood) as well as a stainless steel Mini-30 (synthetic). They weigh almost exactly the same. The wood stock is more of a traditional looking gun, but the stock is slightly larger. The polymer stock is sleaker and has checkering on the handgrip and the forearm.

For plinking, the Mini-14 is VERY easy to keep on target. At 50 yards, I can put 20 rounds through a 4-inch square in about 7-8 seconds. With the Min-30, it would take about 17 seconds. This is because the kick of the 30 is greater, largely due to the bullet weighing about 122 grains instead of 55 grains. When you fire a Mini-30 the "recovery" time to get back on target is much greater. It kicks noticably to the right also, due to the torque generated by the larger diameter round.

If you're looking at power, the 7.62x39mm has about 1139ft.lbs. of energy at 100 yards, versus the .223 with about 891 ft.lbs. at 100 yards.

The mini-30 is more effective stopping power, but is harder to keep on target. This is why the military switched over from largely 7.62x39 M1 to the .223 (5.56x45mm) M-16 in Vietnam. You can put more (smaller) rounds through the same area in less time.

The muzzle velocity of the .223 round is MUCH greater - 3700fps versus the sluggish 2355fps for the 7.62x39mm round.

At 100 yards, the .223 round is still going 3166fps and the 7.62x39 has slowed to 2039fps. This is a dramatic difference when you are trying to plug a jackrabbit bounding right and left at 100 yards away.

As far as accuracy, this is an item of great debate. I'm finding better results with my mini-30. I don't know if it is the shooter, the barrel or what it is, but you have to keep in mind that any manufactured gun will have differences. I've heard of some Mini-14s that shoot less than 1 MOA out of the box, and others at 4 MOA. I've also heard (but not tried) that some shooters have amazing "accurizing" using a simple muzzle brake.

Long story made short - if you're not using the rifle for home defense, and just plinking, the Mini-14 is your best bet. The synthetic stock is nice if you're in all-weather conditions.

However, if you are going to buy a brass catcher (highly recommended), then get the wood stock because it allows you to remove one of the reinforcing screws to be replaced by a small allen screw, which slips into a hole on the brass catcher, holding it in place... Its pretty slick.

On the synthetic stock, there is no reinforcing screw to use, so the brass catcher tends to slip upward. This doesn't really cause any problems, its just not as secure.
 

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Originally posted by Satan2655
The muzzle velocity of the .223 round is MUCH greater - 3700fps versus the sluggish 2355fps for the 7.62x39mm round.

At 100 yards, the .223 round is still going 3166fps and the 7.62x39 has slowed to 2039fps. This is a dramatic difference when you are trying to plug a jackrabbit bounding right and left at 100 yards away.
Great details...

But I don't know what kind of .223 is going 3700fps! That's up there with .22-250!

55gr typical .223 does about 2900fps unless it is M193 (milspec) equivalent, then it is doing about 3200fps.

But the point remains.... 7.62x39 is slower, and not as flat shooting. .223 is faster, flatter shooting, but not as appropriate for, say, small deer. But a much better choice for rabbits, gophers, ground squirrels, etc.
 

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refer to chart:

Winchester charts

Good point, it does vary quite a bit depending on bullet weight. I just picked the top one.

Winchesters 55grain .223 goes 3240fps. Depends on mfg, how much powder etc.

Also, don't be fooled. The 5.56x45mm is NOT the same as a .223 Rem.

A gun chambered in 5.56x45mm will fire a .223 round with no problems, but there are supposedly long-term effects when using 5.56x45mm rounds in a .223 chambered rifle. This is due to leade differences between the two chamberings.
 

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Here is a great ammo review, in the form of a spreadsheet sent to me by someone who chrono'd these ammos in 16" and 20" barrels.

It's a real basic chart, not fancy. Check it out.

Ammo Review

Note: Each "sheet" in the spreadsheet is a different make of ammo.

All .223/5.56x45
 
G

Discussion Starter · #7 ·
whoa this is a tough decision the 30 sounds better though because of the cheaper ammo and I don't mind some kick just makes things a little more exciting. I don't know I will have to think about.
I live in CA so high cap mags are going to be a problem no matter which gun I buy. any more thoughts.
 

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I'm in CA too, so I feel your pain.
 

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this is the first time i have ever heard that the 5.56 and the .223 arent the same thing, satan, methinks you are wrong on this call, i have 3 reloading manuals and NONE of them say this, in fact the Hornady book mentions that the .223 was originally designed as the U.S. military round to replace the M-14, i think that the 5.56 designation is simply a NATO thing because the rest of the world uses the metric system, i have shot mil-surplus 5.56 for years with no probs. if i am wrong on this, then my most humble apologies...but i'm thinkin if indeed they there is a difference, then the reloading books would have separate loading data on the 5.56x45.....but the manuals make no distinction between the two rounds.....gut
 

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The following is from the Winchester website. I did not write this, I'm going solely on what I read. Cheers.


.223 Rem VS 5.56mm

Paul Nowak
05/04/2001
.223 Rem VS 5.56mm
There are a lot of questions about these two cartridges. Many people think they are identical - merely different designations for commercial and military. The truth is that, although somewhat similar, they are not the same and you should know the differences before buying either cartridge.
The cartridge casings for both calibers have basically the same length and exterior dimensions. The 5.56 round, loaded to Military Specification, typically has higher velocity and chamber pressure than the .223 Rem. The 5.56 cartridge case may have thicker walls, and a thicker head, for extra strength. This better contains the higher chamber pressure. However, a thicker case reduces powder capacity, which is of concern to the reloader. The 5.56mm and .223 Rem chambers are nearly identical. The difference is in the "Leade". Leade is defined as the portion of the barrel directly in front of the chamber where the rifling has been conically removed to allow room for the seated bullet. It is also more commonly known as the throat. Leade in a .223 Rem chamber is usually .085". In a 5.56mm chamber the leade is typically .162", or almost twice as much as in the 223 Rem chamber. You can fire .223 Rem cartridges in 5.56mm chambers with this longer leade, but you will generally have a slight loss in accuracy and velocity over firing the .223 round in the chamber with the shorter leade it was designed for. Problems may occur when firing the higher-pressure 5.56mm cartridge in a .223 chamber with its much shorter leade. It is generally known that shortening the leade can dramatically increase chamber pressure. In some cases, this higher pressure could result in primer pocket gas leaks, blown cartridge case heads and gun functioning issues. The 5.56mm military cartridge fired in a .223 Rem chamber is considered by SAAMI (Small Arm and Ammunition Manufacturers Institute) to be an unsafe ammunition combination.
Before buying either of these two types of ammunition, always check your gun to find what caliber it is chambered for, then buy the appropriate ammunition. Most 5.56mm rounds made have full metal jacket bullets. Performance bullets - soft points, hollow points, Ballistic Silvertips, etc. - are loaded in .223 Rem cartridges. Firing a .223 Rem cartridge in a 5.56mm-chambered gun is safe and merely gives you slightly reduced velocity and accuracy. However we do not recommend, nor does SAAMI recommend, firing a 5.56mm cartridge in a gun chambered for the .223 Rem as the shorter leade can cause pressure-related problems.
Winchester Law Enforcement Ammunition East Alton Illinois

 

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satan, thanks for the info, interesting stuff, huh. i wonder why the leading reloading manuals dont address this issue. thanks again, gut
 

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The .223 Remington and the 5.56mm cartridge have no functional difference in the Mini 14.

The Mini 14 handles both cartridges equally well (as do the magazines for the Mini 14).

I've shot 100's of rounds of both cartridges through my mini 14 with no difference (other than a slight difference in accuracy).

I don't have any first hand knowledge of how the difference in these cartridges effect other rifles, however, even the owners manual for the Mini 14 refers to ".223 Remington (5.56mm) ammunition" as the caliber.

Russ
 

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Yes, I too noticed that the Ruger manual says both calibers, but the back of the receiver is stamped "CAL. .223". I was much confused :confused: as well, so I did some research and found this at the Winchester site.

Now, I'll be the first person tell you not to believe everything you read. But the article seems straightforward and logical.

The difference, as indicated in the Winchester article, is barely perceptible. Since the shells are externally identical and only the charge and primer, possibly shell thickness differ, they would naturally both work in the Mini-14 magazines.

And of course, Ruger over-engineers the chamber as all guns are, to handle the increased pressure, despite what SAAMI says about the 5.56x45mm: "The 5.56mm military cartridge fired in a .223 Rem chamber is considered by SAAMI (Small Arm and Ammunition Manufacturers Institute) to be an unsafe ammunition combination."

Paul Nowak of Winchester may be full of BS, but I'll just use .223 ammo, thanks.
 

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Don't worry about using milspec ammo in the Mini-14.

BTW, the 55gr .223 FMJ from Winchester (White Box, Q3131 and Q3131A) is M193 compatible, i.e. higher pressures.

The point is that the Mini-14 has a loose chamber and leade to accomodate all .223/5.56x45 ammo.

A match chambered rifle will probably be set to .223 dimensions, and therefor can cause problems with USGI ammo or equivalent. The other way around, though, like in your case is no problem whatsoever.
 

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Don't laugh.

A common problem with Garands converted to 7.62NATO is that people leave out the spacer that prevents loading .30-06 clips into the mag well.

So they bolt picks up the .30-06 round, slams it home, which isn't all the way. Often results in a slam fire, destroying the rifle and maybe the eyes and hands of the shooter as well.:eek:
 

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I gently "tried" same with my Mini-14, (putting 7.62 ammo in) and the shell didn't go home far enough for the breach to close.

Result was, no way to pull the trigger and drop the hammer. Even if the firing pin could be struck, it would not have hit the primer, since the carrier never locked onto the base of the shell.

Maybe results with using .223 ammo in a 7.62x39mm chamber would be ugly, but I didn't want to drop a .223 round into my 7.62 barrel - might get jammed pretty good.
:rapid:
 
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