Let's beat a dead horse. Mini 14 Tactical vs. DPMS Sportical

This is a discussion on Let's beat a dead horse. Mini 14 Tactical vs. DPMS Sportical within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I still have not gotten around to putting glass or other optics on my 580-series Minis, and my aging eyes can't see irons well enough ...

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Thread: Let's beat a dead horse. Mini 14 Tactical vs. DPMS Sportical

  1. #31
    Distinguished Member Array Rexster's Avatar
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    I still have not gotten around to putting glass or other optics on my 580-series Minis, and my aging eyes can't see irons well enough to shoot small groups at 100 yards, so I still don't know if my Minis will do better than 3" at 100, but, I don't really care. 3" at 100 would make a lot of AK lovers ecstatic, and wars have been won with AKs. 3" at 100 will more than suffice to hit a felon in the melon at 40 yards, which is OK for me, in my environment.

    In the hours of darkness, when I am normally going to need a firearm, when things happen fast and close, I am usually quite content with a pump shotgun, and to be clear, I wear a badge. Arguing Mini-vs.-AR for civilian self-defense is much like debating how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, IMHO, and I include domestic law enforcement in the civilian category. At work, enough of my co-workers carry AR15s now, that I no longer carry one to work, and have elected myself to be the designated shotgunner. Someone has to be able to breach doors, and with the shotgun, a helmet, and heavy gloves needed to breach, along with the large boltcutters and small wrecking bar, I have quite enough stuff without having to figure out where to carry a rifle, too. (I voluntarily carry all this stuff, BTW; I am only required to bring the one duty pistol to work, and the issued go-bag contains nothing more dramatic than a gas mask and light plastic chem-bio suit.)

    I am not trying to de-rail this in the directions of shotguns; just sayin' what I use for myself, real-world.

    I have an AR15, and a couple of Minis. For private citizen self-defense, in most environments found in civilized areas, either will suffice when a rifle is needed, IMHO. I like the Mini's ergonomics better.

    Seeing that the Sportical has no dust cover, means that I would rate the Mini higher, of just these two. An AR really needs a dust cover, IMHO.

    FWIW, I just had a local dealer put a Tantal on a five-day hold for me. I may be about to visit the dark side.
    Last edited by Rexster; October 17th, 2009 at 02:56 PM. Reason: one clarification and one typo

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  3. #32
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Rexster - +1!

    I would agree that for most civilian self defense situations, a shotgun is the ideal tool. My 870 pump is my go-to long gun. I have a Mini, just in case, but the probability of needing it is very slim.

    Even in a temporary breakdown of law and order scenario, every defensive shoot is eventually going to be scrutinized. Can you really justify a defensive shot at 100 yards?...never mind 250 yards! As the range increases, it becomes harder to argue that you had no other option but to shoot someone.

    Most defensive encounters will likely be within 25 yards...or much closer. At those distances, accuracy differences become a moot point.

    Great post!
    The more good folks carry guns, the fewer shots the crazies can get off.
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  4. #33
    BAC
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10thmtn View Post
    Most defensive encounters will likely be within 25 yards...or much closer. At those distances, accuracy differences become a moot point.










    I'll keep that in mind.


    -B
    RIP, Jeff Dorr: 1964 - July 17, 2009. You will be missed.


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  5. #34
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    So, you're a sniper, are you?

    If you are really worried about executing a hostage rescue, you'd be better served with a bolt action rifle.

    IF a Mini shoots a 4" group at 100 yards, and an AR does a 2" group - so what? Are you taking that hostage rescue shot at 100 yards? No. Most SWAT shots of this type are also at much closer range. Snipers practice stalking close to their target for a reason. Stalking and camouflage are as important to a sniper as are shooting skills - perhaps more so.

    If you are faced with this situation at across-the-room distances (home invasion), the rifle you use will not be the deciding factor - your skill WILL. As a matter of fact, you'd be better off practicing that shot with a pistol, as you will likely not have time to go get your rifle.
    The more good folks carry guns, the fewer shots the crazies can get off.
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  6. #35
    BAC
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    Okay, let's try this again so there's no confusion.

    We're not talking about hostage rescue or urban sniping. We're not talking about distances more similar to across the street as opposed to across the room. We are talking about violent home invasions in which we are bringing to bear a weapon that can kill with each trigger pull. Every time you pull that trigger, you carry the personal, and usually legal, responsibility to make sure that the bullet you're sending out is a danger to the bad guy and only the bad guy. I don't live alone, which means I have an even greater responsibility to make sure my shots are hits. This is going to be hard enough to do with the stress of a violent home invasion going on right freakin' now.

    Our skill level is an integral part of this discussion, absolutely. I'm sure we can both agree that stress knocks us down a few pegs as it is. And you'd advocate that accuracy is moot at close range? Seriously?

    That 4 MOA Mini must be newer; the two I'm familiar with and have experience with patterned, and 4 inches at 100 yards would've required proper alignment of the planets. I could never trust those rifles to make a shot even in skilled hands at close range in situations where you've only got a couple inches in which to put a bullet (you know, like those pictured above). Maybe those fellows just got unlucky with their Minis. Maybe not.

    Your standards might be different, but mine require that the gun help me make a shot, not hinder me in making it. I hope to God I never have to shoot past a loved one, but just in case I do I want to know that the only thing I'm worrying about is making that shot, not whether my rifle (or pistol) can make that shot. I'm already fighting myself to make a good shot. I'm not going to fight my gun, too.


    -B
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  7. #36
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    I'm not saying that accuracy is moot at close range. I am saying that any difference in accuracy between an AR and a Mini at close range is so insignificant as to be meaningless.

    Try it yourself. Set up a target at 7 yards or so, and fire an AR and a Mini. Try an AK and an SKS while you are at it. I doubt the limiting factor will be the gun. Try a M1 carbine. Try a pistol caliber carbine. They will all do the job at that distance...if you do yours.

    You make it sound like bullets come out of the Mini going sideways, for crying out loud! Maybe the ones you fired were smooth bore?
    The more good folks carry guns, the fewer shots the crazies can get off.
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  8. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10thmtn View Post
    I'm not saying that accuracy is moot at close range. I am saying that any difference in accuracy between an AR and a Mini at close range is so insignificant as to be meaningless.
    +1=moot

    My cheap AK is a social weapon for crowd control out to 50 yds, provided I have time to get it deployed. My cheap 870 slug gun has too limited capacity for that, and I don't have to breach doors looking for trouble. A rifle has too much penetration IMHO within the home, and would be most unwieldy in tight confines. That's where I'd use my expensive EDC. The hostage situations pictured at close range can be solved with my Kimber. For the long range stuff and prairie dogs, they make expensive bolt guns.

    Maybe they don't brag about it, but a lot of operators in the sand box are using AK's and M14's instead of 22 cal.

    I just want to grab something cheap that runs and runs with high capacity. I will leave my accurate AR and bolt in the safe until I have a long range problem to solve.

    For accuracy and reliability in a civilian context, I'd go with the sportical and keep it clean.
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  9. #38
    Distinguished Member Array Rexster's Avatar
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    Well, since someone posted hostage shot photos, I will once again mention that the iron-sighted Mini does not have the offset factor to deal with. I would RATHER have a Mini for those shots, than an AR, assuming typical self-defense distances. The AR brings that two-plus-inch line-of-sight-over-bore to the table, from the outset, and is a critical factor inside 25 yards or so.

    Well, actually, the bottom shot is problematic, as the relevant portion of the terr's brain is not clear of the girl. That is not a good shot for a scoped bolt rifle to make. Photo MT2 is also problematic, as there are TWO bad guys, and if the switch held by Mr. Bomb Vest is a dead man switch, that is, it is set to detonate when he releases pressure, that could be a no-win situation. The risk of taking that shot, and inducing an explosion, would have to outweigh the risk of leaving things alone.* The shots presented in photo MT2, in and of themselves, do not require rifle accuracy at the range presented, and I would rather have my Vang-comped 870 than just about anything else in the world. (It will keep all eight pellets of Remington buck inside the outline of a B-27's head at 15 yards.)

    The other photos' hostage shots are well within the capabilities of handguns, shotguns with slugs, and SOME shotgun/buck combos, at the ranges illustrated, assuming the shooter is skilled and confident, and KNOWS his weapon.

    Just to be clear, shooting a bad guy at the moment he has his gun pointed at someone is a DESPERATE measure, as even a sniper with the skill to hit the medulla oblongata is at the mercy of a movement that the bad guy makes at the time moment the good guy presses the trigger. Missing the medulla oblongata could result in the dying bad guy convulsively pulling the trigger.

    *Preventing bad guys, as shown in MT2, from going mobile with a hostage, might be worth risking an explosion, as MOST victims who are transported from an original scene do NOT survive. Moreover, in some settings, such as a school, those bad guys might just be moving toward more kids, thus ramping up everything. Losing one kid, along with myself, might be worth saving a larger number of kids; the old Star Trek line of the "needs of the many outweighing the needs of the few" comes to mind. (Don't think I have not thought this one through. Though I wear a badge, there are indeed extreme times when going home at the end of the shift is not #1.)

    If a hostage situation presented itself in my home, and I can have the luxury of getting my hands on one, I am going to put a .308 from a Browning BLR through the bad guy's head; forget the Mini and the AR. My first BLR seemed to have radar, as I shot it better than any weapon tried up to that point. I now have more of them. I do indeed keep one handy. Not that a BLR is a war-fighting weapon, and of course, we are not talking about warfighting here, anyway.
    Last edited by Rexster; October 18th, 2009 at 12:16 PM. Reason: clarification

  10. #39
    Distinguished Member Array Rexster's Avatar
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    FWIW, my wife works as a forensic investigator for the M.E. of a very large county. (Think CSI.) Her defensive carbine is a Rossi Puma lever-action replica of the Winchester '92, loaded with .357 Silvertips. She is not armed as a part of her duties; I am talking personal self/home defense. At distances within a home, this lowly replica of a relic will be as accurate as any AR or Mini, from a practical viewpoint.

    Moreover, let's not forget that, as gunthorp indicated, we need to be ready to solve these problems with our carry guns, which for most of us are handguns. The shots presented in most of the photos CAN be made with handguns, if the handgunner is up to it. This is not the same thing as recommending handguns in favor of a long gun if one is available.

    A long gun is most likely to be feasible if we have an early warning system, such as alarms or dogs, and strong windows and doors that can withstand some damage.

  11. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rexster View Post
    Well, since someone posted hostage shot photos, I will once again mention that the iron-sighted Mini does not have the offset factor to deal with. I would RATHER have a Mini for those shots, than an AR, assuming typical self-defense distances. The AR brings that two-plus-inch line-of-sight-over-bore to the table, from the outset, and is a critical factor inside 25 yards or so.
    A point well worth repeating. How many mental gymnastics due to offset do you want to do quickly for the sake of "accuracy" at close range during high stress situations. Will you remember? I rather enjoy the interpolation of the mil dot reticule for range finding and corrections. An unsuspecting rock or log muy lejos is not the same. Even with a handgun there is a small offset to consider for a brain stem shot.
    Liberty, Property, or Death - Jonathan Gardner's powder horn inscription 1776

    Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito.
    ("Do not give in to evil but proceed ever more boldly against it.")
    -Virgil, Aeneid, vi, 95

  12. #41
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    Agree...good point on the offset sights on an AR. This was Stoner's design compromise to get the recoil directly into the shoulder, for less muzzle flip.

    How many folks shooting an AR from behind cover see the target in their sights, pull the trigger...and shoot the cover right in front of them. A training issue, but easily forgotten under stress.
    The more good folks carry guns, the fewer shots the crazies can get off.
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  13. #42
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    My Mini 14T shoots great. I'd bet a buck, better then a comparably priced AR. I can consistently hit a 6 inch gong at 300 yards. That's far more precise than I think I'll ever need it to be. And it has NEVER failed to load or fire a single round. OK, except for the time someone convinced me I needed a buffer... That was a disaster... I take full responsibility for my stupidity...

    Mini 14 Tactical, hammer forged with factory flash hider, ATI stock, and a 3 to 9 illuminated recticle scope, sighted in for 200 yards with factory 55 grain loads.

    To scare away all of the Mall Ninjas, I also added a laser under the barrel. It's sighted in for about 25 feet.

    I love my Mini.
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  14. #43
    NCM
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    My first rifle was a Mini-14 I bought on impulse just before the 94 ban. I wasn't into guns at the time, and 500 bucks seemed a reasonable price. As of now I'm trying to sell it.

    Mini-14's use to be notorious for poor accuracy; this has changed a bit with the newer models with a thicker barrel beyond the gas block, but any AR will still beat it with ease. This isn't to say newer mini-14's are inaccurate, just that they are still less accurate than a comparable AR-15; and when you are paying similar amounts of money, I'd say that is a mark against the Mini-14.

    Today the biggest issue with Mini-14's are the outrageously expensive magazines. 40 to 50 dollars for factory magazines compared to ~11 dollar quality AR mags.

    That alone is enough to go AR.

    NRA Mini-14 = ~700 dollars
    10 thirty round mags = 400 dollars
    Total = 1100 dollars

    Basic AR = CMMG Bargain bin = 600
    Carry Handle sight = 75
    10 mags = 120
    Total Cost = 795

    So about 800 bucks for a similar package, and AR has superior sights, spare parts availability and modularity.

    If Mini-14's cost around 350-450, they would be great little alternatives, but the reliable factory mags are outrageously priced for what they are, the iron sights are still pretty bad (should have gone back to the Garand style sights with click adjustments) and their accuracy is still behind the AR.

    If you really dislike the DI system, get a piston AR, ruger even makes one, or get a Robinson Arms XCR. Heck even Arsenal built AK's are down to about 500 bucks now at K-Var.

    The concept of Mini-14 is ok, but the execution is lacking. Nothing wrong with a M1 Carbine system in 5.56mm, but it should take AR mags, have easily click adjustable sights for sighting in, and shoot a consistent 2.5 moa with bulk ammo. Kind of sounds like a Keltec SU-16.

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