Mini-14 or Mini-30 ? - Shooting Sports Forum


Ruger Mini-14 and Mini-30 Ruger Mini-14 and Mini-30 family of rifles

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Old 11-27-2005, 16:08   #1
 
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Just found this board. What a cool place.
I've just recently been looking at Ruger's site for the Mini's. I am trying to decide which way I want to go. Mini 14 or 30? I've owned a Mini-14 for about 13 years. I shot it some when I first got it, but since then it has pretty much been a closet piece. At least it was until it was recently stolen from my home. Anyway, I remember thinking that as much as I liked it that the Mini-30, with more punch, might be an even better rifle. So my questions are:

1. If buying new, which model would you choose?

2. Is the availability of rounds in this country an issue at this point? (7.62 vs. .223)

3. Is there really a difference in the new model of Mini's? Are they better than the previous models?
(Thinking about the sights and such. That front sight looks a little funny to me in the picture compared to the old ramp style.)
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Old 11-27-2005, 16:36   #2
 
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what are you using it for? if you'll be hunting with it, get the 30. for plinking and varmint hunting, get the mini 14. there are a ton of upgrades for the mini 14. if your going to get a new one, i'd get the mini 30. i don't think all the aftermarket stocks for the mini 14/30 will fit the new ones. people tell me they are more accurate though. as far as ammo goes, i've seen .223 rounds everywhere, 7.62 will be harder to find, but you can order it in Cabela's or off the internet. there are alot more experinced people on this forum so correct me if i'm wrong.

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Old 11-27-2005, 16:47   #3
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question to ask before deciding:
1) where do you live (is a mini your only option in semi's)
2) what will this gun be used for? (home defence, hunting, or just plinking).
3) is hi-cap mag a factor?
4) do you like to tinker, can you afford to tinker (lots of spare time, lots of range visits)


Have fun
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Old 11-27-2005, 18:47   #4
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If I had to get one, I'd get the 30. It will do everything the 14 will do plus you can shoot deer with it. I don't think ammo will be an issue either. Almost every place that sells 223 also sells 7.62x39. I have the 14 and every deer season that comes and goes leaves me wishing it was a 30. Let the flaming begin....
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Old 11-27-2005, 19:11   #5
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AK-47's are also chambered in 7.62;more of this ammo on earth than any other. B)
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Old 11-28-2005, 05:17   #6
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You'll find just as much 7.62 as 223 ammo out there. Plinking and varmint, 223, doesn't tear the hide up as much on coyotes/bobcats. Self defense --you want a round that will stop a person, go for the 7.62. Troops in Iraq are not happy with the 223. I have both including a competition AR15 but if needed for my protection, I'll pick up the 7.62 over the 223 hands down! Several years back I took both to the junk yard for car penetration tests, ( also on wood, cylinder blocks, metal 55 gallon barrels, etc.) when done, the 7.62 was better in ALL areas of penetration (doors, widows, shooting at various angles,) than the 223. I've never seen a gun shop or gun show that does not have a good variety of both ammo including surplus ammo, at least here in the mid-west.
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Old 11-28-2005, 06:01   #7
 
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Thanks for the replies, keep 'em coming.

I was happy with the way my 14 shot stock out of the box. I did put a Butler Creek folding stock on it and used some hi-cap RamLine mags that worked great. The folding stock was just that. A folding stock. Functional if needed, but I really didn't like the way it felt as much as the wood stock. I would like a longer stock though. I heard some of the synthetic stocks were slightly longer.

I plan on having this weapon for:
1. Target shooting/Plinking (mostly)
2. Home defense (reliable rifle)
3. Maybe some occasional hunting (small Florida deer)

Would like to have a few hi-cap magazines on hand.
Maybe there is another option in rifles I should look at. I am not into tinkering with the weapons too much, though I would consider having someone perform any needed modifications. I was happy with my Mini-14 for the most part, but always thought that the 30 would be a better defense round. That's why I just thought of replacing with another Mini. Are there any issues with the 30 that the 14 does not have? Are there any thoughts on the new models?

I think I'm leaning to the Mini-30. It's just hard for me to change from what I'm already familiar with and I don't want to rush into anything without looking at the best options.
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Old 11-28-2005, 15:32   #8
 
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Welcome to the forum cadrum. Since the Mini's are very similar, I would look at the round. The main diff. in the Mini-14 vs the Mini-30 is it is much easier to get a reliable hi-cap magazine for the mini-14 i.e. 20 to 30 rnd. The Mini-30 10 rnd mags. are about the limit. Course if you live in Calif you are limited to 10 rnds eitherway.



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Old 11-28-2005, 18:10   #9
 
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sounds like a mini-14 is for you since you'll be mainly plinking with it. my thirty is my main home defense rifle (after the shotgun) and I plink with a 10/22. The only time I get the 30 hot and bothered is to check out mods and make sure it will hit where I aim it. The mini-14 is a good in-betweener though. You can get a long barrel hunting rifle for pretty cheap these days. Between the 14 and the long barrel, you should be all set.
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Old 11-28-2005, 18:17   #10
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I have both 30 and 14, can't decide which I like better. If I had to pick just one, probably go with the 14.

The 30 round will plow thru stuff better than the 14(other than thin steel plates) that is it's one real advantage.
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Old 11-28-2005, 18:17   #11
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Yo Cadrum, just a few thoughts,

High cap mags : mini 14 (there is a great NEED out there for mini 30, 20 shot mags, anybody listening !!&#33

Target / Plinking : mini 14.

Home defence CQB : mini 14 / mini 30, HOWEVER punching thru a car door & windshield which is full of mutant zombie bikers : mini 30.

Hunting small Florida deer (goat size) : mini 14, maybe double tap or 64g WPP, HOWEVER while out hunting the "small deer" out of the bush charges a 400lb wild boar at ya, with the mini 30 you KNOW you can take it on.

7.62x39 @ 100yds : 123g 1125 - 1189 ft lbs energy
.223 @ 100yds : 55g 890 - 929 ft lbs, 64g WPP 1024 ft lbs energy.

Hell Cadrum I dont know buy both !!!!!
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Old 11-28-2005, 18:17   #12
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7.62x39 is not a better round than 223, not in a HOME defense situation. The heavier/fatter 30cal bullet tend to over penetrate, even throught thick building material. 223 on the other hand will change course on impact, go sideways and stop sooner. Every stray bullet is a potential law suit......

Mini-30's accuracy is easier to work on (just torque the gas block and semi-bed the stock should bring accuracy to 2-3moa, with full length barrel. Don't chop a -30's barrel&#33, but if home defense is in mind, the hi-cap factor can not be ignored. It is very very hard to find 100% reliable mags for a -30. My USA's worked great but I still didn't trust them enough, so I end up buying Thermolds. Thermolds are expensive and hard to find.

There are tons of 7.62x39 around and price can be really low, but for accurate target shooting there isn't too many factory ammo to use, most cheap stuff doesn't shoot well enough (except Barnaul).

one advantage the -30 has over -14 is the barrel is slightly thicker, and heat build-up is not as serious (but still significant), but -14's hi-cap option can easily offset that.

I bought my mini-30 a few years back, and recently added a -14. if I were to do it over again, I would only get a -14. I originally planned to use 30 to fit every needs: deer hunt, home defense, target shoot, plus cheap ammo plinking. But it turned out I have more powerful guns for hunting, for home defense hi-cap's are hard to find, -30 is not that accurate for target shoot, and for plinking with cheap wolf ammo....the wolf shot awful in my 196 serie. I guess that "one fits all" rifle doesn't really exist.
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-- mini's are great rifles, the firing pin is the only weak link.
-- So, to be safe, never buy a used mini (you can never really tell how many rounds had been fired by the firing pin)
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Old 11-29-2005, 06:33   #13
 
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Thanks again for the feedback. Sounds like some interesting things to consider If I go with the Mini-30. I didn't realize there weren't any reliable 20 rnd. mags for this rifle. With regard to using it as a defense weapon, I didn't think over-penatration was a bad thing. At least when compared to under-penatration. I'm still curious about the new model of Mini's. Whether I should look for an older model or go for the new model. If anyone knows of any comparison articles or reviews or opinions I would sure like to see them. guncats last line probably nails the rifle I'm looking for, a "one fits all".
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Old 11-29-2005, 11:29   #14
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I bought my Mini-30 after returning from Iraq. 7.62x39 is a great anti-personnel cartridge and I saw a BMW 7 series shot thru from bumper to bumper with about 60 rounds of FMJ 7.62 out of an AK. Cut through it like butter. That said, Guncats is right-on: it’s not the best for home defense when your wife and kids are sleeping in the next room. I’d argue that .223 (or 5.56) is a poor choice too. The military uses 5.56 because it is a good “all purpose” combat round. We all try to load our first couple of mags with 77 grain match-grade bullets, because the normal 55 and 62 grain rounds are having issues with over penetration and failures to stop targets after 4-5 shots. Granted, the targets eventually go down, I guess that’s what a 30 round mag is for in the 5.56 rifles!
I personally keep a .40 pistol w/surefire tac light for home defense. I recently bought a PC-4 in .40 for home defense too – I like a carbine over a pistol. Get those PC-4s while they last! I heard that Ruger plans to discontinue them. The Mini-30 is a great SHTF rifle though – something to grab if a tornado hits and I have to deal with looters etc. 7.62 x 39 is a proven man-stopper with any ammo. I’m also using it to hunt whitetail this Christmas. Under 250m I feel the Mini-30 is the way to go. If you do go with the 30, I recommend you buy lots of the promag 10 rounders. They work great. I love hi-caps too, but hey, we won WWII with the M1 Garand = clip capacity of 8! The ACF in Iraq typically have 30 round AK mags taped together “Johnny commando style” etc - thankfully, they are generally poor/untrained marksmen and make very few kills with their small arms fire. It’s more important to be a skilled rifleman than have tons of hi-caps.
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Old 11-29-2005, 12:02   #15
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It doesn't matter, you get to get another gun!! Its all good!!

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Old 11-29-2005, 17:06   #16
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if it under penetrates, just fire more into the target, that is why we have hi-caps you are still in control.

But if a round over-penetrates, the strayed bullet can end-up anywhere, you can't call it back.....you lose the control over what kind of damage it can do (sort of).

And control is power
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-- mini's are great rifles, the firing pin is the only weak link.
-- So, to be safe, never buy a used mini (you can never really tell how many rounds had been fired by the firing pin)
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Old 11-29-2005, 18:04   #17
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If you go with 30 and want to use for home defense, use Uly hp or Sapsan hp. These fragment reliably, better than m193. Looks like the 77 grainers in gelatin but even bigger cavity. Less likely to have the rounds go zipping thru a bunch of walls and nailing an innocent. I would go with shotgun or pistol with fragmenting ammo, unless it's really shtf stuff.

Good hicaps for 30 are not easy to find, but can be found. Lots of folks get good use from USA ones, with maybe a little tweaking. Thermolds work good for me, but are hard to find now and expensive.

About the Iraq Hadjis or whatever you want to call them, not going down with m193 hits, lots of those guys are higher than sh2^ on heroin and stimulants. Might have something to do with the stopping power problem.
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