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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been wanting a rifle that could be a true SHTF rifle, and as usual that has led me to comparing the mini-14 rifle to some of the AR style offerings. I need to keep my expenditures under $1,000. (I will be adding optics later, so the $1,000 is for the rifle, extra magazines, and some ammo.)

OK, here are the options that I am considering:

The NRA Mini-14 Rifle with 2 20-Round Magazines. ($848 including tax)
2 additional Ruger 20-Round Magazines. ($100)
100 -120 Rounds of Ammunition. (That should last about an hour! :D) ($50)
Total - $998

On the other hand, I could get a decent AR for a similar price. Obviously I can't afford a Colt 6920 or a Noveske N4 for under $1000, but there are still quite a few options in this price range.

I am leaning toward the Mini because of greater reliability and because sub-MOA 5-shot groups at 100 yards is not as critical as the ability to get food for my family and to defend them against predators both with four legs and two. If (as someone once posted) the Mini becomes less accurate after firing 80 rounds fast, I will most likely be dead anyway! <_<

Opinions and choices are welcome, and if you prefer the AR, what model/build do you recommend for my budget? ($900 for the rifle.)

I am not just trying to rehash the dead horse of the Mini-14 vs AR debate. I am asking the question as it relates to a specific purpose - Survival. Not punching paper, competition, cool factor, ability to attach most accessories, or revolution, just which is preferable for independent survival.

Thanks,
HitBackFirst
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Or you could pick up an AK-47 and a Ruger Mini-14!!
Carrying two rifles and two types of ammunition seems less than ideal in a survival situation. That said, finances permitting, I would love to own and use as many different rifles as I can, but for a SHTF rifle, I need to settle on one.
 

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If its between the AR and Mini-14, I suppose go with the mini. Either would be fine though. Or you could team up with someone and have them carry the AK-47 and watch your 6! lol

Kelly
 

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I own both a Colt Match Target Lightweight and a MINI-14 Stainless with synthetic stock. I'd go with a MINI stainless with synthetic stock for SHTF for greater reliability in harsh conditions. I wouldn't go with the NRA MINI because it isn't stainless. I like the 16" barrel on the NRA MINI but stainless would override it for me. My MINI is actually cut down to 16" including flash suppressor. I'd prefer a 16" barrel without flash suppressor. I'm hoping Ruger will come out with a 16" barrel MINI stainless.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm hoping Ruger will come out with a 16" barrel MINI stainless.
I know, right?! It seems like kind of a 'duh' thing. The stainless is easier to maintain, and the NRA Mini has the features, barrel, and magazines we want! Come on Ruger, get with the program! :D
 

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Get an AK-74 for SHTF.

Military mags are plentiful, 100% reliable and relatively cheap.

Military mags fit well in readily available web gear. (I like the Chinese stuff. (Battle Proven, rugged as iron, simple, utilitarian and cheap.)

Buy your ammo from Century and get FREE shipping.

The savings in ammo costs alone will result in an essentially FREE rifle, mags and web gear.

Part of SHTF preparations is practice...and practice is EXPENSIVE, but, NOT with 5.45x39.

You can get 5.45x39 for as low as about $.11/round delivered.

5.45x39 is the ONLY ammo bargain out there.

A lot of guys have really nice rilfes that they can't afford to shoot any more. :blink:

I would put 10+ tins aside for long term SHTF.
 

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I have been wanting a rifle that could be a true SHTF rifle
which is preferable for independent survival.

Thanks,
HitBackFirst
The Mini 14 hands down. And you CAN get cheaper mags which are just as reliable with just a little work...5 minutes tops!!!!
 

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Reliability and ease of cleaning goes to mini. Cheaper mags, accuracy and parts readily available goes to AR. In NY I bought a new SS synthetic in 05 for $530.00 and a Century arms AK WASR-10 for $348.00 a year ago (two shtf gun's for the price of one). Poke around and you'll see that you can find used mini's for a decent price and some are already modified w/short barrel, trigger jobs, bedded and extra mags. wich saves ya huge. SS synthetic Mini's have approached the $650 mark in western NY and the Century Arms AK WASR-10 is about $400 now. I like the AR for said reasons but I couldn't pass on the 2 for 1/reliability scenario when I don't intend on bull's eye shooting.
 

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For a SHTF weapon thats cheap..

Get a Mossin Nagant. Pretty accurate, ammo is CHEAP, and it will take down any game you will want. (Thats if you want a bolt action rifle.)

Gun is around 99 dollars
Ammo is around 4 dollars for 20..

Between the AR-15 and the Mini-14...

Mini-14:
Buy Mini-14 for around $550-600 dollars. (Don't buy the NRA one)
Buy a M-16 Cleaning Kit for around $15 dollars (You can always use one).
Buy 100 rounds of ammo (You can get 20 rounds for 5 dollars at Academy) $25.00
Buy 5x 20Rd Promag METAL magazines $80-$100

Total Cost around $650-750 ish.

AR-15:
Buy a AR-15 for around $800-850 dollars.
Buy a M-16 Cleaning Kit for around $15.00
Buy 100 rounds of ammo at academy ($25.00)
Buy 2x USGI 30rd Magazines (Gun should come with 1x 30rder) $25-30

Total Cost $850-920 ish

For any SHTF weapon, I wouldn't go out and buy any special edition version.

Personally I own a AR-15 and a Mini-14, and I would probably take the mini-14 over the AR-15 in the trenches of a SHTF situation. (Just easier to take care of and and reliability.
 

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If you want one rifle for SHTF I would go with the AK. It will work in any situation and the 7.62x39 caliber is much more capable of a round for hunting. In a real SHTF situation, you most likely will be shooting more deer than people. $1000 will get you almost any AK you want with money left over for mags, ammo, and gear.

Depending on your location and what SHTF will mean for you, a mauser or enfield is also a good choice.
 

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223 ammo is more available than the 7.62, reloading will also be an option when there is no power to open stores. Neither is really a bad choice but on a mini 14 forum, we love our mini's.;)
 

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I love them too...AndI'm a Garand-M14 guy. My SHTF rifles are M1A's.

That said between yours I'd go AR15. CMMG has rifles for $550. Mags are LOTS cheaper. USGI is good to go. Parts would be easier to find if you need them. I prefer the older Mini's. I think the Mini's are a great rifle and I would be fine with it in a SHTF situation. I just think the price is going up where it is not practical. Used older Mini's can still be had for $350 and then you can get lots of ammo and mags. 120 rnds isn't really a lot at all.

So that said I'd either get a used Mini and lots of ammo or a used AR and lots of ammo.
 

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If it is between the AR or the Mini consider this please

Spare parts:

AR
you can buy a firing pin for less then $10
Mags Less than $15
Bolt around $90
Other parts are easy to acquire

Mini
Firing pin can not be bought direct from Ruger must be installed there
Same with bolt
Mags that are 100% reliable are around $40-50 each

Just sharing
Kid (who turned in his Minis for AKs)
 

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I own both Minis (2 right now) and ARs (3 plus an unbuilt lower currently). With the situation posited, I'd probably opt to purchase an M4 clone from a decently regarded maker or build it myself (are you handy and like to tinker?).

CMMG has some excellent deals out of their bargain bin, I think their rifles are going for around 570ish. I have a CMMG M4 clone, not from the bargain bin, that I think is an excellent rifle.

Mags, accessories and parts are much more available for the ARs. They aren't hard to keep working if you're dilligent about cleaning your weapon.

You can actually get used Colts in your price range. I paid around 800 for a used A2 style HBAR (an older pre ban rifle) last year and about 900 for an old SP1.

I don't know about the feces hitting the proverbial fan, as I use my M4 clone as a basic home defense rifle. One mag in place and another attached to the stock. It's quite handy.
 

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I am not just trying to rehash the dead horse of the Mini-14 vs AR debate. I am asking the question as it relates to a specific purpose - Survival. Not punching paper, competition, cool factor, ability to attach most accessories, or revolution, just which is preferable for independent survival.

Thanks,
HitBackFirst
Why does it have to be a .223 at all?
Yeah, the .223 is a great round, great accuracy, can take down a deer no problem.
Both the AR-15 and the Mini-14 are great rifles, very capable and versitile.
Personally, I lean towards the Mini-14, and in all honesty would grab a new (not surplus) Kalashnikov reproduction before I even considered an AR-15.
This debate goes on and on, and saying for a survival situation, really just says to me that you might want to consider other rifles.

But these are assault rifle formats, using a man-hunter round.
In a SHTF survival situation, the best option is usually to run and hide, and continue running and hiding.
I'm honestly suggesting that the best rifle for surviving in the North American wilderness is a semi-automatic .22LR. It's light, the ammunition is light and small, and it's able to take down plenty of game.
What do you really want, to stay alive on the run? Or to fight it out to the last man?
If you're going for the one man army, or are in an urban area - then by all means pick the AR-15.

If you want to evade numerous people who are tracking you in the wilderness? Please do the sensible thing and pick something smaller and take a good sidearm as well.

Personally, in SHTF, I'm off into the Canadian wilderness as soon as possible with one to two other people. Taking the Mini-14, the 10/22, and the 1911.
Though I think the radios and binoculars will save my life more than my firearms.
 

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an unconventional response...

My choice? Honestly?
A Springfield M-6 Scout. I have one in .22 Hornet/.410 Shotshell.
Simple, light, and capable of getting game and the odd predator.
A .410 slug can really put the hurt on the odd zombie following you too.

Here is a decent review of the firearm in question.
http://www.smallarmsreview.com/may.htm
 

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Well, I guess I'll chime in here with my personal favorite. It's not cheap and may not be everyone's cup of tea but it works for me. Lots of mags, lots of ammo and a SA XD 9 Tactical as a companion piece. Let the good times roll! :D
 

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Why does it have to be a .223 at all
There are compelling reasons for .223 or 5.56x45. The most compelling is: availability. Mil & LEO use it (for that matter both also use 7.62 x 51, but not in equal numbers). I won't argue with those who already have a million rounds stockpiled, but they are probably already setup for SHTF, anyway.

Here's what I would do with, $1K: a used mini-14 for ~$500 and a SAR 3 (it's an AK that shoots 5.56) for ~$450. Two robust and reliable platforms (what's more reliable than a Kalashnikov?) sharing the same, available ammo.

BTW, I do know that AKs will eat the cheaper Wolf 5.56, but do not know what the Rugers will do. Yet another factor to get more bang for the buck.

My .02.

MR2
 
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