View Full Version : i need help on varmit gun, AR or Mini 14

February 23, 2010, 11:53 PM
i am wanting a .223 ar or mini 14 platform for plinking (using 55gr surplus) and for disposing of opossum, raccoons, armadillos, and the occasional fox or coyote (using the varmint grenade round). the longest shot will be around 70 yrds. i will not be hunting deer with this type of weapon. oh the occasional watermelon and other inanimate objects will be plinked against also. i have about a 1700 budget for gun and optics, i am new to rifles, i have more experience in handguns, so i need advice

Brett :confused:

February 24, 2010, 12:09 AM
more info my main choice of caliber is a light gr high velocity varmint round, and a 55gr for plinking... what is the best rate of twist? to accomidate these rounds. manufactures will probability be black hills or double tap, once again help me with information

February 24, 2010, 12:14 AM
I much prefer the AR15 platform. It is very reliable, and accurate. Most off the shelf Mini 14's will not shoot with an AR. The AR has an endless supply of upgrade parts available, and it is easy for the home enthusiast to work on. Not so Mini 14. AR Magazines are easy to get and much cheaper than Ruger magazines.

At 70 yards maximum either should work fine for varmints.

Years ago a buddy of mine decided to own an accurate Mini 14. He bought 4 before he got one that would shoot much better than Minute of Pop Can at 100 yards. The new Rugers are supposed to be a little better accuracy wise. I have never owned an AR that would not outshoot all 4 Rugers that my buddy tested.

With 55 and lighter a 1 in 12 is best. A 1 in 9 would probably do ok as long as you do not get real light. I have never checked to see how light my old H-Bar would go. I normally shot 55 and 69's in it.

My 2 cents for what it is worth.

February 24, 2010, 12:56 AM
is 36gr too light for a 1:12 twist
i guess i want 36 gr varmint grandees to get ride of the well varmints, and the 55-62 gr for target and plinking around the 70+ archers we have

February 24, 2010, 08:13 AM
At distances of under 100 yards:

Mini14. It's a decent gun, and I like it at longer ranges, past 200, the AR15 has an edge.

But under 100: Mini-14.

February 24, 2010, 08:26 AM
every shot i will take will be under a 100 yrds...
but i am still comfused on the twist aspect. what twist is needed for 36-55gr ammo???

February 24, 2010, 08:30 AM
That twist should be fine for 36/55 and have some 36 plan on loading them soon; have fired the 40 grain out of my 1-8 and 1-9 ARs. I have seen people get really worked up over the Mini vs. AR. I have several ARs did have a Mini, under 100 yards either are great the Mini is a good gun just never seen one at High Power or ranges longer than 300 yards. They did come out with an accurate match Mini, would like to shoot one.

The 100 yard no real difference, just personal choice like the AR-15.

Bartholomew Roberts
February 24, 2010, 09:41 AM
I like the AR better as a rifle personally; but I think either rifle is capable of doing what you want to do.

No idea on the twist as the lightest load I've used is 45gr Winchester JHP; but if you are looking at 36-55gr range, you are probably not going to want anything faster than a 1:9 and may be better off with a 1:12 or 1:14 if you can find it.

February 24, 2010, 09:49 AM
I have a mini-14 and 2 ar platforms in .223. The mini is nice and reliable, but the ar is far more versatle.:D

February 24, 2010, 07:07 PM
so the ar is what i am getting, now what should i get my budget is 1800 w/ optics. any suggestions?


Paul in ND
February 24, 2010, 07:11 PM
I've owned a number both of Mini-14's and AR-15's and have found the AR's to be substanially more accurate.

February 24, 2010, 07:45 PM
$1800 for the rifle and optics will get you a very nice AR and very nice optic. Easily a Colt AR and an Aimpoint or Eotech optic.

February 24, 2010, 09:13 PM
If you are looking for an AR-15 for varmints, one suggestion the Bushmaster Varmiter 24” fluted 1-9 barrel, that is how mine came many years ago. I think any style AR would work for what you want. Also like someone has said the AR-15 platform is great to work with, just get a new upper, even a different caliber and it is like having a new gun.

I would also make a suggestion for a scope; Sightron makes a good scope for the money, have one of the SII models a 6x24. I would just say from my own experience had a Sightron SII scope and had it for many years. I was shooting and noticed the internal glass had a chip showing. I called them up and they were very decent, told me to send it in for repair. It was about 2 weeks later got a brand new better scope, they discontinued the one I had so the sent the better one in return. I also have a sightron red dot; think they make good stuff, for the price.

Just my 2 cents

February 24, 2010, 09:26 PM
Bushmaster predator 20" fluted. Not a bad rifle at all! My most recent best 3-shot group was 5/8" and I'm not a very good shot (68gr black hills blue box). The 1:8" twist likes the heavy bullets, but seems pretty accurate. Ive been down the mini14 route, won't ever go there again--its short LOP made it uncomfortable to shoot. Also, the mini14s accessories were all pretty crude, and a pain to acquire.


February 24, 2010, 09:46 PM
For under 100 yards i would suggest the shorter 16" barrel just because its more handy and more than accurate enough for that short of distance. With the budget you are suggesting you can get yourself a top of the line AR with pretty much any good optic and options. What do you want the Optic to do? are you looking more for a scope or a reflex/red dot sight or an ACOG type low magnification?

February 24, 2010, 10:01 PM
An AR-15 has many more options than the mini 14

February 24, 2010, 10:27 PM
I own both. AR-15 is the best choice. 1 in 9 twist is versatile with bullet weights from 52-69 grains.

Big Bill
February 24, 2010, 11:40 PM
I'd go with the mini 14. You should be able to get a good used one for a good price.