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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Finally going to take the plunge on a Ruger carbine. Now I am waffling between the 5.56 Mini-14 or the 7.62 Mini-30. They are both abotu the same price. I know that ammo is cheaper for the 5.56/.223 end of things but is the extra power of the 7.62 at the same price point a better buy?
 

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It all depends on what your going to be doing with it. If your looking for close to medium range id get the mini-14 unless they have added something the 14 is a 1/9 twist so dont try to put heavy grain ammo in there and try to shoot at 1000yrds it just wont happen. If you go mini 30 the 7.62 doesnt hit its potential untill around 400 yrds and if you get good with it you can hit targets at 800yrds also the 7.62 round is better for bigger game. So if your plinking go 14 if your hunting 30. Eaither way your getting a good reliable rifle. Good luck
 

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I already have two other rifles one a 30/30 Marlin 336 lever action,and a M1 Garand.(30-06) When it came time for the Mini 14 I chose to go with the 5.56/.223 model. Definately cheaper to shoot than 30Cal. rounds. The 30/30 was my shtf rifle but the Mini 14 has replaced that in the event that ever happens. 20 round mags fit very nicely in almost any pocket and seem to work the best in the rifle. IMO 30 round mag are a bit combersome and to long and get in the way more than anything. The 5 round mag disapears into the rifle and is the best to carry the rifle around with but can easily be dropped out when used and another mag put into it in a very short period of time. I really don't think you could go wrong though with either caliber it just depends on what your needs are for the rifle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If you go mini 30 the 7.62 doesnt hit its potential untill around 400 yrds and if you get good with it you can hit targets at 800yrds also the 7.62 round is better for bigger game. So if your plinking go 14 if your hunting 30. Eaither way your getting a good reliable rifle. Good luck
This is great advice. I am looking for a carbine for urban ranges (maybe 150 yards tops). What you are saying makes sense. I just assumed the 7.62 would outperform a 5.56 in terms of stopping power at ANY range. I am looking at a Mini-14 Tactical with a 20 round mag. Should be a great plinking/SHTF gun. THANK YOU and thanks Bluto!
 

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you know that the mini 30 is 7.62x39(cheap ak stuff) and NOT 7.62x51(expensive .308?). got me wondering with the comments about cost and effectiveness.
 

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It all depends on what your going to be doing with it. If your looking for close to medium range id get the mini-14 unless they have added something the 14 is a 1/9 twist so dont try to put heavy grain ammo in there and try to shoot at 1000yrds it just wont happen. If you go mini 30 the 7.62 doesnt hit its potential untill around 400 yrds and if you get good with it you can hit targets at 800yrds also the 7.62 round is better for bigger game. So if your plinking go 14 if your hunting 30. Eaither way your getting a good reliable rifle. Good luck
What are you smoking? :) You aren't aren't going to hit anything at 800 yards let alone 400 yards with a 7.62x39 which is what the Mini 30 uses. I have one, as well as a bunch or SKSs and AKs which also uses that round.
 

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My Mini 14 is the ranch model. It can't get much more simple . It has no lasers or anything like that. It does have and inexpensive scope on it that mounts very nice to the Ranch rifle using the already supplied rings. Being that it is my SHTF rifle I choose to not have anything in the way of frills on the rifle that takes a battery. When I shoot it I have just begun to take the scope off and just use the M1 garand style sights that came on the rifle. It's my opinion that with a SHTF rifle it is important to practice using them, as scopes, lasers, and things of that nature that can get damaged and knocked out of wack easier then the combat M1 sites.
Lasers and scopes are fine for hunting and target practice but in real life getting down and dirty knocked around SHTF situations I'll take the iron sites. I mostly practice between 25 and 100 yds but will eventually move that out to about 150 yds. My pistols are for 25 yds and under but if given the choice I'll shoot the BG with the rifle first. JMO of course but for SHTF weapons simple is better. That is why I prefer the 20 round magsover the 30's. The more you've got hanging off the rifle the more problems you'll have with more things to worry about.
 

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If it means anything to you, you can get 30 round mags for the Mini-14 but only 20 rounders for the Mini-30 from Ruger. Plus depending on the type of ammo you get the 5.56 will be more effective within 300 yards due to the bullet fragmentation and tumbling within a body rather than the usual in and out with ball 7.62x39.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Just wanted to check in and say I bought a circa 1983 Mini-14 in Mint condition at a gun show and, DAMN, do I love this rifle! Short, wood stocked and beautiful, she spits out .223 with authority and is plenty accurate enough for me at 100 yards. Most of all, my buddy and I had a BLAST shooting it. Why did I wait so long?
 
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