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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
With all of what is going on right now. If you had a choice to purchase only one, either the Mini 14 or Mini 30 which would you choose and why ??? Ultimately I would like to purchase a late model TACTICAL version of either one with the shorter 16 inch heavy barrel. I like both but am having trouble trying to decide which one to settle on trying to find and purchase. Use would be for plinking and defense which I believe both would perform well doing so. Thanks for your replies and opinions. God Bless :)


****PS Even though when I was in the ARMY I would sometimes fire and hit targets from 400-600 meters, I do not plan on doing any long range firing with either the Mini 14 /30. Most I would probably attempt to fire is about 200 meters.
 

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Heres my take. Mini-14 for me. Only because Ruger doesnt make factory 10 round mags for the mini-30 (to my knowledge)
 

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With all of what is going on right now. If you had a choice to purchase only one, either the Mini 14 or Mini 30 which would you choose and why ??? Ultimately I would like to purchase a late model TACTICAL version of either one with the shorter 16 inch heavy barrel. I like both but am having trouble trying to decide which one to settle on trying to find and purchase. Use would be for plinking and defense which I believe both would perform well doing so. Thanks for your replies and opinions. God Bless :)
Really depends on what you answer to the following:
1. Are you more comfortable with
a. a varmint cartridge that is pretty destructive at close range (most of the time) but outside of about 100 yds loses much of its destructive potential as the velocity has dropped or are you more comfortable with
b. a .30-30 deer rifle analog?
2. Price: Have you got a line on either of them at a 'decent' price? Which one?
3. Accessories: Have you already found magazines? For which?
4. Ammo: Which (if either) caliber is available in your area? Where I live, the 7.62x39 is less popular so I am starting to find ammo again but that could change if (5) happens
5. How afraid are you of executive orders potentially banning imported ammo? Old scramblebrains in the WH could ream us pretty much any day of the week. That keeps me buying 'em cheap and stacking 'em deep.

I use both Mini 14 and AK series weapons (or did before they all fell overboard last week in a freak boating accident) and both cartridges work for what they are designed for. I personally feel a bit more confident with the AK's 7.62x39 (love that 154 grain JSP slug - thumper!) in a fighting role. OTOH, I really feel most comfortable of all with an M1A and its 7.62x51 cartridge....accuracy, range, plus "thump" on the target!

In terms of range, ask yourself "how long of a shot do I feel I need to be able to make" and realize that if you say "over 300 yards" then you're probably looking at the 5.56 due to the flatter trajectory (GOOD range estimation skills are essential to pull off a long shot with a 7.62x39), but realize that it also is more affected by wind so its not 100% clear cut.

If you say "I need to be able to pull off one shot kills at 600 yds in windy conditions" the correct answer is "neither". Get yourself a Garand or an M1A with NM bbl and NM sights or optic and a LOT of ammo for practice. Then practice...a LOT.

So there is no "best" answer, just the "best" answer for you and the situation you are in.

Good luck and all the best,
Grumpy
 

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Welcome to the forum, VBVAGUY! Either gun is great and, until recently, ammo was very cheap. I own two Mini-14s myself and believe that the .223/5.56 round will do just about anything I need. But there is something to be said about having a nice .30 cal semi-auto!

Good luck whichever you choose.
 

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Which one is readily available to you?

Here's a consideration:

- my mini14 digests any ammo fed from Monarch, Tula, Herters, Wolf, Federal, etc... without fail or issues.

- mini30 however has had issues with FTF using berdan primed steel cased ammo. I have surplus brass cased ammo as well as Bear ammo (golden & silver) for this rifle exclusively.

My rifles are 580 & 581 series respectively. The reports on 582 series m30's don't seem to have the issues with x39 "cheap" ammo.

YMMV
 

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I debate the .223/7.62x39 thing daily with a guy I work with. The bigger round presents a very good argument and if it were more widely available, that's the way I'd go. As it is though, non-Russian 7.62x39 rounds simply don't exist around here. You can still buy 223 rounds at a reasonable price (as long as you consider $11 for 20 rounds reasonable). To me, the 14 vs 30 decision comes down to ammo since both rounds will accomplish the task for me.
 

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I debate the .223/7.62x39 thing daily with a guy I work with. The bigger round presents a very good argument and if it were more widely available, that's the way I'd go. As it is though, non-Russian 7.62x39 rounds simply don't exist around here. You can still buy 223 rounds at a reasonable price (as long as you consider $11 for 20 rounds reasonable). To me, the 14 vs 30 decision comes down to ammo since both rounds will accomplish the task for me.
Good points headedtotexas.

On the 7.62x39, I use AK series weapons and exclusively Russian ammo - Tula and Barnaul mfg. If you do want to use brass cased boxer primed ammo only in your Mini then that is a strike against 7.62x39 at this point in time. Locally I haven't been able to source anything in .223/5.56x45mm, period. Even the high end civvy ctgs are gone.

All the best,
Grumpy
 

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I chose the Mini-30 for the following reasons:

At the ranges I'll be using it (I hopefully WON'T be using it), and against the "animals" I'll be using it against (the 2-legged kind), I preferred the harder-hitting 7.62, and had no need for the extra range of the .223

Also, if I ever need to shoot through barriers for any reason, another nod to the 7.62 over the .223

Either works, both good, might honestly come down to ammo availability, which normally would give the edge to the .223 BUT in these "no ammo anywhere" times we are suddenly in, 7.62 is actually easier to find.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Everyone again thanks for the feedback and info. Right now I have to choose from:


An older used Mini 30 with wood stock 189 12xxxxxx asking price $799
New Mini 14 with black synthetic stock and flash hider asking price $950


***Currently*** 223/556 is hard to find in my area, however there are several places that have good stock of 7.62x39.


How flimsy or thin are the barrel in the early Mini 30's ?? I am not looking for anything special, but would think that 2-3 MOA would be good.

God Bless :)
 

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uh, if my choice was an OLD Mini30 or NEW Mini14, even I would go for the 14, I think. If you do chose a 189 series 30, alot of people say accuracy can be helped by installing a barrel stabilizer.

Someone here I'm sure knows better than I, but I think there was more to the upgrades on the Mini series than just the barrel?

$950 is high, but NOT considering a possible AWB around the corner, with the Mini-14 specifically named. I'd pay $950 no problem. Hell, I paid $850 for a USED Mini30 (582 series) BEFORE Newtown happened, because I knew after the election, all it would take was one tragedy to re-embolden the gun grabbers again. Looks like I guessed right.

My sister bought the last Mini14 her Wal-Mart had, for $667. She works there, so she was just in the right place at the right time. No one likes overpaying for stuff, but I'd rather overpay and HAVE it, than quibble over price and never be able to get it, except illegally.
 

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That clarifies it a bit. In term of accuracy, the new 14 is a big improvement over the 189 series Mini 14. Not sure I've read a comparison of the new taper barrel 14 versus the older 30s. I'd be interested in that comparison though; the next rifle I buy may well be a Mini 30. My main reservation is adding another caliber. Expanding to a new caliber essentially doubles the cost of the gun.
 

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That clarifies it a bit. In term of accuracy, the new 14 is a big improvement over the 189 series Mini 14. Not sure I've read a comparison of the new taper barrel 14 versus the older 30s. I'd be interested in that comparison though; the next rifle I buy may well be a Mini 30. My main reservation is adding another caliber. Expanding to a new caliber essentially doubles the cost of the gun.
True that. So you have a .223 of some kind already?

I can tell you, I wanted an AR-15 like some of my buddies have... it's a "SEAL rifle" lol, but after reading pages of debate over .223 vs 7.62, and after deciding on caliber BEFORE gun, I have no regrets. I love my Mini-30 "M1 wannabe." (my buddy has a Springfield M1A, thing kicks like a mule in comparison to the Mini30)....

BUT- if all I could get my hands on was a Mini14 (especially a new one), I'd have zero problems with that.
 

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I'm former Army too and love the 14. I can't lend anything to the 30/14 debate - depends on what you really want it for. I really like the traditional style platform (I've got the tac. model in traditional stock), the feel of a steel action and the old school rotating bolt. It seems everyone and their brother has an AR. Mine is dead accurate (with TechSights).
 

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My choice is the Mini 14. I have one of the tacticals with the circassion walnut stock. I am lucky and got extra mags and ammo when I purchased it year before last. For 7.62x39 I have a Russian 1950 Tula SKS with a laminated stock. It will digest anything you feed it. In other words, if you go the Mini stay with brass cased ammo in 5.56. For 7.62 go with SKS, AK, saiga or CZ 57 variants.
 
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Mini 14 all the way baby. I have two and love'em to death. I have the 581 stainless Ranch; solid as an Abrams and shoots way way way more accurate than my old pencil barreled one. Although now I wish I had not sold it. I wouldn't have minded making a couple of hundred more on it.

A new mini 14 around here in southern Ohio run $1000-1200.

But, a mini 30 for the right price is not a bad choice.

I hope that cleared it all up for ya;-)
 

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True that. So you have a .223 of some kind already?

I can tell you, I wanted an AR-15 like some of my buddies have... it's a "SEAL rifle" lol, but after reading pages of debate over .223 vs 7.62, and after deciding on caliber BEFORE gun, I have no regrets. I love my Mini-30 "M1 wannabe." (my buddy has a Springfield M1A, thing kicks like a mule in comparison to the Mini30)....

BUT- if all I could get my hands on was a Mini14 (especially a new one), I'd have zero problems with that.
My 223 is a Mini 14 and my 7.62 is an M1A Scout. Both are awesome, but I'd have a Mini 30 too if it wasn't for the extra ammo.
 
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