Ruger Mini 14 or 30

This is a discussion on Ruger Mini 14 or 30 within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Want to get an AR with the possibility of the AWB coming back, but looked at these rifles from Ruger. Don't look too bad for ...

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Thread: Ruger Mini 14 or 30

  1. #1
    Member Array TX Husker Fan's Avatar
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    Ruger Mini 14 or 30

    Want to get an AR with the possibility of the AWB coming back, but looked at these rifles from Ruger. Don't look too bad for feel too bad. Just wanted to see what everyones take on them are if they have experience with either.
    "If ever time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin."

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    Senior Member Array Ivan4x4's Avatar
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    I have a mini 14 that I use for hog hunting here in North Texas, I also have a AR that is a dual role as home protection and light hunting ( its great for coyotes!) and although I prefer the AR ,the mini is good also, you cant lose with either
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    Member Array NativH's Avatar
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    I had a Mini 14 RR and it was a pretty nice gun. Sold it to a buddy about 6 years ago and now wish I hadn't. It would be a great gun for the wife, and would make us a deadly pair with my AR-10. I keep hitting her up EVERY night to see if I can get her to let me buy her one or a Mini 30. If all else is equal though, I'd buy the Mini 30 today for her. Better ballistics over the 223 to my way of thinking but not significantly. 7.62x39 is a little harder to find around here and you don't have the "variety" of rounds either.
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    I have a Colt AR-15 which is an excellent gun. Although I don't hunt with it, it would be a great varmint gun.

    I used to have a Ruger Mini-30 and it was one of my favorite deer rifles for stalking and hunting on the ground in the brush. Not a real tac driver like the AR-15 but great on white tail in the brush at 30-50 yards with a 4x scope. It would be good for home defense and medium size game at medium distance.

    I use a .30-06 when in a tree stand or shooting over 150 yards.

    Rather than get another Mini-30 again, I'd go with an AR-10 or SA M1A utilizing the .308 but that's a hell of a price difference over a Mini-30.
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    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

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    Member Array BlackJack's Avatar
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    The AR is a good platform, it just doesn’t do anything for me.

    I have a Mini-14 that I like. This older ones are notorious for NOT being accurate; however, I understand that the newer ones have corrected that problem. I like it because it is a nice handling, light weight rifle that is very reliable and can be accurized for relatively little cost.

    As for the Mini-30… I just do not care for the 7.62x39 round. I would spend the extra money and get a Springfield M1A. I hear good things about the AR-10, but as I already mentioned, the AR platform just doesn’t do anything for me.

    Aside from “beating the AWB”, what else are you planning on doing with it? it would help us give better advice if we knew how it was going to be used. Plinking? Varmint? Deer? Self Defense?

    In any case, take the advice you get here and think about it. Then take that advice, throw it out the window and get what makes you happy.

    Let us know what you decide.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackJack View Post
    The AR is a good platform, it just doesn’t do anything for me.

    I have a Mini-14 that I like. This older ones are notorious for NOT being accurate; however, I understand that the newer ones have corrected that problem. I like it because it is a nice handling, light weight rifle that is very reliable and can be accurized for relatively little cost.

    As for the Mini-30… I just do not care for the 7.62x39 round. I would spend the extra money and get a Springfield M1A. I hear good things about the AR-10, but as I already mentioned, the AR platform just doesn’t do anything for me.

    Aside from “beating the AWB”, what else are you planning on doing with it? it would help us give better advice if we knew how it was going to be used. Plinking? Varmint? Deer? Self Defense?

    In any case, take the advice you get here and think about it. Then take that advice, throw it out the window and get what makes you happy.

    Let us know what you decide.

    Primarily for self defense and plinking. I am very familar with the AR platform(spend a few years in the Army with the M16 and M4) just was curious if the mini's came close in accuracy.
    "If ever time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin."

    Samuel Adams

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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I have a mini 30 that I have taken 2 deer with in Ks. I have some 10 round magazines and I believe I can get some 20 rounders but they may not feed reliably
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    Member Array BlackJack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TX Husker Fan View Post
    Primarily for self defense and plinking. I am very familar with the AR platform(spend a few years in the Army with the M16 and M4) just was curious if the mini's came close in accuracy.
    The Mini does approach the accuracy of the AR AFTER it has been “tweaked”. I have seen sub-MOA Mini-14’s, but that is after they have been worked on by somebody who knows what they are doing. Out of the box, the AR will be more accurate.

    Where the Mini has an advantage is in the cost. It is much less expensive than the AR and still has reasonable accuracy out to 100 yards. I think the newer ones are about 2-3 MOA out of the box. The older ones were about 6 MOA out of the box. With minimal cost and effort the average group size can be cut in half. With some $$ the Mini can be made into a sub-MOA rifle (~$1000.00 for a new barrel, trigger group and sights with a sub-MOA guarantee).

    For me, the biggest drawback of the Mini is the lack of good, inexpensive, hi-cap magazines. The Ruger 20 round magazines are still running more than $60.00 each and the ProMag 20 rounders were about $25.00 the last I checked (I have 5 of the ProMag and they work fine for me).

    I also used the M16 in the Army and found it to be a good platform, but in my life here in the real world I find that the Mini has one more advantage that makes things much easier for me on a daily basis. The Mini is more Politically Correct; it does not carry the stigma of being an “Evil Black Rifle”.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackJack View Post
    The Mini does approach the accuracy of the AR AFTER it has been “tweaked”. I have seen sub-MOA Mini-14’s, but that is after they have been worked on by somebody who knows what they are doing. Out of the box, the AR will be more accurate.

    Where the Mini has an advantage is in the cost. It is much less expensive than the AR and still has reasonable accuracy out to 100 yards. I think the newer ones are about 2-3 MOA out of the box. The older ones were about 6 MOA out of the box. With minimal cost and effort the average group size can be cut in half. With some $$ the Mini can be made into a sub-MOA rifle (~$1000.00 for a new barrel, trigger group and sights with a sub-MOA guarantee).

    For me, the biggest drawback of the Mini is the lack of good, inexpensive, hi-cap magazines. The Ruger 20 round magazines are still running more than $60.00 each and the ProMag 20 rounders were about $25.00 the last I checked (I have 5 of the ProMag and they work fine for me).

    I also used the M16 in the Army and found it to be a good platform, but in my life here in the real world I find that the Mini has one more advantage that makes things much easier for me on a daily basis. The Mini is more Politically Correct; it does not carry the stigma of being an “Evil Black Rifle”.

    I thought that too on being the "black gun", but really I do not care what the government thinks, I will own whatever I want!(while I can) I did notice that price is the biggest advantage over an AR, the AR's I see down here are going for anywhere between $1,200 to $2,500 depending on brand and what kind of setup. Whereas the minis are around $800-$1,000 depending on where you look, gunshows have obviously been the lowest I have seen, closer to the $800 range, some maybe a little less.
    "If ever time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin."

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    VIP Member Array KenpoTex's Avatar
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    I had a Mini-14 for a while and it was okay...
    I'd get an AK so you can at least find mags for a decent price.
    "Being a predator isn't always comfortable but the only other option is to be prey. That is not an acceptable option." ~Phil Messina

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    Member Array MSGTLEGO's Avatar
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    I had a Mini 14 long ago

    I had a Mini 14 back in 1986, spent many a days putting lead down range. Them I got orders to Okinawa, so I gave the rifle to a Marine buddy. Wish I could get it back, but if I was going to buy one again I would go with the 7.62. I want a good short brl rifle I can use for deer in thick bush, and the Mini 30 would be a good back up for SD. Cheaper than an AR and can take the abuse of the Weather / Bush.


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    VIP Member Array sgtD's Avatar
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    Both the Mini-30 and 14 are good rifles. Not near as accurate as an AR, but IMO less tempermental when filthy.

    I've had both, still have the Mini-14, but sold the Mini-30 becuase I have AKs and SKSs, so i didn't really need it and I needed some money.

    I would say that as an all around rifle, the mini-30 is better. It is in a caliber that is not only good for HD, but is also a capable medium sized game round for hog and deer. The main advantage of the .223 over the 7.62x39 is extended range, but in my experience the stock Mini-14 isn't capable of the accuracy needed to take advantage of the full long range potential of the .223. (4 moa is a mighty big spread at 500yds)

    The mini-30 has more potent short range stopping power and the rifle is accurate enough to be fully effective at the realistic 200 yd effective range of the 7.62x39.
    When you've got 'em by the balls, their hearts & minds will follow. Semper Fi.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KenpoTex View Post
    I had a Mini-14 for a while and it was okay...
    I'd get an AK so you can at least find mags for a decent price.
    I thought of that too, but would like to by a firearm made here in America in these economic times to help out what little I can. Most AK's are usually foriegn made.
    "If ever time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin."

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgtD View Post
    Both the Mini-30 and 14 are good rifles. Not near as accurate as an AR, but IMO less tempermental when filthy.

    I've had both, still have the Mini-14, but sold the Mini-30 becuase I have AKs and SKSs, so i didn't really need it and I needed some money.

    I would say that as an all around rifle, the mini-30 is better. It is in a caliber that is not only good for HD, but is also a capable medium sized game round for hog and deer. The main advantage of the .223 over the 7.62x39 is extended range, but in my experience the stock Mini-14 isn't capable of the accuracy needed to take advantage of the full long range potential of the .223. (4 moa is a mighty big spread at 500yds)

    The mini-30 has more potent short range stopping power and the rifle is accurate enough to be fully effective at the realistic 200 yd effective range of the 7.62x39.

    Stupid question for you, but what is "moa"? I actually had thought that the .223 would be better for long range vs the 7.62. I did see they make one in the 6.8 caliber, however I imagine ammo for that is alot harder to find.
    "If ever time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin."

    Samuel Adams

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    VIP Member Array sgtD's Avatar
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    MOA is minute of angle, usually expressed as 1" of deviation from point of aim (POA) at 100yds distance. This distance from POA will continue to increase as the round travels on an slight angle relative to a perfectly straight line between the target and shooter.

    Hence, a 4 moa group = 4" group at 100yds, which is typical of the Mini-14. At 200 yds you would have an 8" group and so on.

    For a full and detailed description see this site:

    What is Minute of Angle
    When you've got 'em by the balls, their hearts & minds will follow. Semper Fi.

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