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Old October 29, 2007, 06:24 PM   #1
Troyus
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M1 Carbine vs. SU-16 vs. Mini-30 vs...?

Looking for an all rounder carbine for home defense, target shooting, and SHTF. I don't want an armory, just one jack of all trades tool. (And to my mind, I think a carbine is just that).

Things that are important:
Compact
Light
Accurate
Reliable

Usable at 3 meters
Usable at 300 meters
Pricetag under 1000.00

I really like the Springfield SOCOM/Scout 16, but the pricetag is... well, it's worth more than my truck. And it's also heavy.


Also, I live in CALIFORNIA, so no "ass. weapons" are allowed. In fact, I am in the area that just got hit by the big fires, and that really got me thinking, as there was some looting going on... The state isn't able to do **** for you when things go sideways.


Here is what I have figured out (heard/rumors) over the internets:


M1 Carbine
Good: Trusty
Bad: Looks old, uses funky ammo.

SU16
Good: Holds clips in stock, folds/v. compact, has a bipod, v. light.
Bad: Ammo sucks for HD (kill your neighbor accidentally), and it looks like a huge ass. dildo.

Mini 30
Good: Looks nice (reminds me of the A-Team), nice ammo, great aftermarket
Bad: Bad aftermarket magazines, inaccurate, ruger is the devil

Also, I have never been a gun owner before (unless you count air rifles), but have shot several different handguns, shotguns, and rifles, comfortable with it, and have a lot of mechanical ability. Not sure if it makes much difference really.

So any opinions on these machines?

Thanks,

-T
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Old October 29, 2007, 07:12 PM   #2
WhyteP38
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Bad: Ammo sucks for HD (kill your neighbor accidentally)
You might want to visit www.ammo-oracle.com before you write-off 5.56 for HD. I believe you'll find the ammo for the M1 carbine and Mini-30 are more likely to overpenetrate than 5.56 is.

Since you are in Cali, your choices are limited, but if you're interested in 5.56, you also have the option of the Mini-14. Aftermarket mags for the -14 are generally more reliable than those for the -30. (I have a -30 and have done the mag hunt routine.) A little something called the Accu-Strut helps tremendously for accuracy of both -14s and -30s. Check here: http://perfectunion.com/vb/forumdisplay.php?f=86

Also, there are some CA-legal AR-15s, but I don't know enough about them to help you. However, there's plenty of discussion about them on the Internet and this site, so a little bit of searching should get you the info you need. Having both a Mini and several ARs, there's a reason why I have one Mini and several ARs.
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Old October 29, 2007, 07:15 PM   #3
CmpsdNoMore
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Somewhat ironically, I'm in the same boat.

Moving to California in the beginning of next year and I'm considering between a Kel-Tec SU-16A or CA, M1 Carbine or Ruger Mini 14.

I'd get the Sub 2000 from Kel-Tec in a heartbeat, if it were CA legal. But, alas!
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Old October 29, 2007, 07:28 PM   #4
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M1 carbine or Mini-30/14 would be my picks on your list, probably go with the M1, but all three rounds are solid manstoppers at ranges where you have any legally defensible business shooting someone in a defensive scenario.
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Old October 29, 2007, 07:31 PM   #5
David the Gnome
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Why is Ruger the devil?
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Old October 29, 2007, 07:37 PM   #6
FS2K
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Of those choices

My vote goes to the M1 Carbine.

The M1 Carbine is one of the most overlooked under-appreciated choices for home defense. Sure, it does use a 'unique' round that would be more difficult to obtain in a worldwide sense but an easy remedy to that is to simply stock yourself up with a couple of cases of Ammo and you're good to go.

The M1 Carbine is a pure joy to shoot as it is one of the fastest handling carbines I have ever had the privilage of shooting. It's sleek outline makes it ideal for packing and hiking. There are no knobs or corners sticking out to jab you in the ribs and back. It's light, and so is it's ammunition allowing for the operator to carry more spare ammo on him/her. Low recoil pulse makes for FASTER more accurate consecutive shots, and the carbine can be easily handled by the smaller members of the household if need be.

And it has a butt-stock that you can trust to smash heads.

A home defense gun is a tool with a purpose, what difference does it make of how it looks? I happen to appreciate the M1 Carbines 'looks" so my opinion doesn't count. It doesn't look like an assault rifle, but it has all the capability of one: Fast rate of fire, high capacity when needed, accomodations for a Bayonet and a sturdy construction for hand to hand combat if nessesary.

I own AK47's & AR15's and if I was forced to get rid of all my guns one at a time, all but one of each of these would go before I even considered letting my lil Inland go.
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Old October 29, 2007, 07:38 PM   #7
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While I own and love my M1 Carbine it would not be my first choice here. Ammo is an issue if you don't reload, as is the issue of resupply. (If ammo was not an issue, the M1 would be my first choice.) Of course you could just stock up on 30 carbine ammo.

Out of the three, I would go with the Mini. It is a proven design. While we can debate the accuracy all day, (It isn't that bad.) nobody can deny that it is reliable. 4 MOA is good enough for the military so a gun that gets 1.5-2 MOA will do the job of defending yourself just fine.

While we have polymer handguns, I'm not quite ready to trust a polymer rifle like the SU-16.
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Old October 29, 2007, 09:08 PM   #8
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Actually the SU16 would be the aboslute best of your options for home defense, as far as cartridge is concerned. LE is switching from pistol caliber carbines to the .223 in droves...

http://www.steyraug.net/223forcqb.htm

Between the 3 choices though, I would go with the M1 Carbine. It's biggest drawback IMO is the caliber is lacking in the power category...
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Old October 29, 2007, 10:10 PM   #9
44 AMP
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Ruger is NOT the Devil!!!

Maybe a Minion, but definately not the Devil!

Not sure how CA feels about them, but if you consider the mini-30 as ok, you might find the SKS (with original fixed 10 rnd mag) to be a better deal.

The M1 carbine is ok, a classic. Worked well enough in WWII and since, but the round is not widely available as surplus anymore, and it is not really powerful enough for big game, as well as being inefficient for small game. So, kind of spendy ammo that really isn't good for much other than plinking or shooting the bad guys. And, it really has poor long range performance!

As to the other, I have no experience with that particular rifle.

"Target shooting, home defense, SHTF"? Well, there are two basic schools of thought. One, the most popular, heavily favors semi autos, with generous mag capacity. I guess the theory is in SHTF, you want to be able to put down a base of fire, to chase the bad guys away, or cover your retreat. This is find drama, but overlooks a couple of important points. One, unless the SHTF is permanent, eventually law and order will come back, and shooting people at 300 meters is real hard to justify as self defense. Two, laying down a barrage at the looters (or whoever) does two things. It uses up your ammo (and in SHTF you MUST assume you won't easily get more than you already have), and it tells them where you are, and that you have a gun they might want for themselves. You may chase them off, or you may make yourself their prime target.

The other school of thought is in a SHTF situation that you would only shoot when directly threatened, both to conserve ammo and maintain concealment. Accuracy is vital. A single aimed shot is very hard to find. As long as you are not going to seek out firefights, a good bolt action (milsurp) and a quantitiy of ammo can still be had pretty cheap. Cheap enough you can afford to practice, and get good. AND it has the benefit of not being on the top of the anti-gunners hit list right now. Soviet design guns are still pretty cheap, and while going up, Mausers and SMLEs can still be found at reasonable prices. For that matter, any good deer rifle would be useful, and used ones are everywhere (outside of big cities), even in CA.
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Old October 29, 2007, 10:27 PM   #10
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Ahh, kooky California; You gotta love this place.

The Mini 14 fits your criteria. For more info go to The Perfect Union. A site with lots of Mini info.

Don't overlook a Russian SKS (less expensive than a Mini). It meets most of the criteria except in weight. Survivor's SKS site has more info

You could probably buy either long gun above and a shotgun and stay under the 1K limit. If your so inclined...
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Old October 29, 2007, 11:55 PM   #11
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I live in CA and just purchased a SU-16a, it hasn't come in the mail yet but im excited. for HD use a shotgun, easier to aim in the dark especially if you just got startled out of bed, ammo is never a problem and neither is overpenatration. best part is you can get one with all the bells and whistles you want for less than 600 buck(probally less).
Tom
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Old October 30, 2007, 03:49 AM   #12
PzGren
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I owned a very nice M1 carbine and mine was a great shooter but the ammo is a little anemic for self defense.
I have not tried the Keltec SU16 but had a Sub2k and consider the stock sights and the straight stock great handicaps, the stock slows target aquisition down and the front sight almost vanishes in low-light.

I have a Mini 14 that shoots nicely and is not inaccurate.

Have you considered a Mosin Nagant 38 or 44 bolt action? They are not very light but short, fire a powerful cartridge, and are very inexpensive.

http://www.aimsurplus.com/acatalog/R...t_Package.html
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Old October 30, 2007, 10:43 AM   #13
chris in va
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Nobody mentioned the Saiga. Legal in CA too. Can be had in various flavors, even 12ga.
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Old October 30, 2007, 11:00 AM   #14
sevensixtytwo
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My grandfather has an old M1 carbine, a couple of them actually. They are really nice. I'd probably buy one if they weren't almost $700. (I'm a broke college student )
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Old October 30, 2007, 12:26 PM   #15
Ramcharger
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Marlin Lever action .357 Mag

I can reload the empty brass while the zombies re-group in between attack waves

Ruger is OK but When it breaks only Ruger can fix it.

Of your choices? M1 carbine. Powerful little round in compact/light rifle.

And Walmart has tons of carbine ammo for about the same price as .45 ACP and .38 special ammo.
Heck right now M1 Carbine ammo is easier to find and cost almost the same as .223 ammo!

And you can reload the carbine ammo with those "Sweet" easy to use cabide reloading dies (no nasty lube)...
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Old October 30, 2007, 12:32 PM   #16
Manedwolf
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M1 Carbine, Sub-2000, SU-16...

Definitely NOT the mini if you care about accuracy.

Plenty of them around here...lots covered with dust on the consignment racks!

The Saiga is much cheaper and more accurate than the Mini!
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Old October 30, 2007, 01:40 PM   #17
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Quote:
Usable at 300 meters
M1 Carbine?

I'd go with a real rifle caliber here, not a long barreled pistol with a stock.

I'd probably take a shot at the Mini-14 or SU-16. I'm not a fan of 7.62x39 for home defense. .223 has much better choices.

Of course, I have AR15s for this niche.
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Old October 30, 2007, 04:18 PM   #18
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Quote:
I'd go with a real rifle caliber here, not a long barreled pistol with a stock.
Quote:
Powerful little round in compact/light rifle.
Powerful? Not a term I'd use to describe the 30 carbine. It's basically a small caliber magnum pistol. Both the carbine and 30 carbine ammo are expensive.

SU16? Ruger? Neither is particularly accurate, like probably 3-4". I agree with the comment that if 3-4" is accurate enough for Uncle Sam, it's probably accurate enough for you. I don't know what kind of shooter you are, but the majority of the folks I see at ranges couldn't do better than that anyway.

I'd choose the SU16 between the two, but I have a supply of both M16 mags and 5.56. The after market mag situation for the Mini isn't very good, regardless of whether you are talking about 5.56 or 7.62x39. I agree with the post that suggested an SKS over the Mini30. Saiga would work also. Not sure if those are communist state friendly.

I cannot think of any instance in which I'd choose a .30 carbine over most other pistol caliber carbines (9mm, 40, 45) or any real assault rifle caliber (5.56 or 7.62x39).

Another thought if you are considering a pistol caliber (M1 carbine), the 357 or 44 magnum lever. Marlin or Henry are good options. They are somewhat gun ban resistant, though with Kalifornia, you never know. They will shoot 10 rounds about as fast as you can pull the trigger accurately and will be the more accurate than the SU16, Mini, or carbine. And either a 357 or 44 loaded with light hollowpoints would be far superior to 30 carbine soft point around the house.
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Old October 30, 2007, 07:19 PM   #19
New_Pollution1086
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That saiga is nice. if i had known about those i may not have purchased that SU-16. im still a firm believer in a shotgun for HD. i live in an apartment though and overpenatration is a major issue. And the saiga is legal as long as it doesnt have a pistol grip. no pistol grip with a detachable mag. THANKS CALIFORNIA LAW. and i moved here from TX.
Tom
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Old October 30, 2007, 09:02 PM   #20
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M1 Carbine. You can get 15, 20 and 30 round mags for a SHTF situation. I would shoot semi jacketed soft points.
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Old October 30, 2007, 11:07 PM   #21
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M1 Carbine. You can get 15, 20 and 30 round mags for a SHTF situation.

You forgot that we are talking about someone living in CA. 10 rounders are about all that can be had at a decent price.
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Old October 31, 2007, 12:23 AM   #22
TPAW
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You forgot that we are talking about someone living in CA. 10 rounders are about all that can be had at a decent price.

10 rounds still aren't bad for someone who lives in another country...
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Old October 31, 2007, 11:28 AM   #23
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FYI in California you can have 10+ mags if you owned them before the magazine ban went into effect.
So all those genuine GI 15 or 30 round mags that are NOT "date stamped" that you bought in the 1980's and thought you lost but suddenly "re-discovered" in your garage are infact perfectly legal....
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Old October 31, 2007, 01:27 PM   #24
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Ramcharger is that really true? If I have an old 15 round clip I always had, since the 80's... it would be perfectly OK for me to use it on a target range in California with no hassle from BATF or anyone?
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Old October 31, 2007, 01:44 PM   #25
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Ramcharger is that really true? If I have an old 15 round clip I always had, since the 80's... it would be perfectly OK for me to use it on a target range in California with no hassle from BATF or anyone?

Let's see...burden of proof is on you. BATFE agent says you're lying and just bought it.

Really want to risk that in that state?
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