View Full Version : Ruger Mini-14 or Mini-30?

David the Gnome
June 3, 2010, 01:41 PM
I have been wanting a lightweight all-weather ranch style rifle and I am pretty settled on the Ruger, but what I can't decide is if I want the Mini-14 chambered in .223 or the Mini-30 chambered in 7.62x39. I already own AR's and AK's so I already have ammo for either gun on hand. It pretty much boils down to which caliber makes a better ranch rifle. The .223 is a pound lighter and easier to find magazines for, but the 7.62 is able to bring down much larger game than I would feel comfortable using the .223 for. On the other hand, the 7.62 would be over kill for varmints and the like. Which gun would you choose and why?

June 3, 2010, 01:44 PM
Its a varmint... I doubt you will be eating it :D

I would much rather have too much power than not enough. Besides all a FMJ will do is poke a hole in it.

I vote Mini-30. If I am going to have a fairly inaccurate rifle, I at least want it to have some power to it.

June 3, 2010, 03:28 PM
Go with the 30. Ruger makes factory 20rd mags now which work great, and Promag has recently started making 30rd steel mags, though I haven't tested one yet.

June 3, 2010, 03:36 PM
The 14 is lighter, and the magazines are easier to find. GOOD ammo is, for me, easier to find. Can't go wrong with either rifle though.

June 3, 2010, 04:11 PM
Get a new mini-14 with a tapered barrel.

June 3, 2010, 07:30 PM
If you go with the 223 round go with the mini-14. If you decide on the 7.62x39 I would buy an SKS. I think they do better with the surplus ammo. The accuracy seems to be about equeal between the two.

June 3, 2010, 07:35 PM
beardenbc states:

Go with the 30. Ruger makes factory 20rd mags now which work great

Unable to find the Ruger 20rd mags for my 30, where can I get some?

Flatbush Harry
June 3, 2010, 08:22 PM
The 7.62x39 is approx. the equivalent of the .30-30. The choice depends on what you'll be shooting at and how.


June 4, 2010, 06:00 AM
I'll stick with the 14 just because the ammo is not only cheaper now (good ammo not that myserious commie crap) but you can get a better variety of rounds in .223.

You can get high cap. factory mags for the mini 30 now and that is kind of neat. Unless you are going to hunt bigger game with either.... I'll stick with the 14.

June 4, 2010, 06:57 AM
I was in this exact position a year ago. I got the Mini-14 and I'm very pleased with it. No regrets and no desires for the stubby 7.62x39 cartridges instead of the 5.56. I'm not a deer hunter, but 223 is legal for deer here in Texas and a lot of hunters use it effectively.


June 4, 2010, 07:13 AM
Unable to find the Ruger 20rd mags for my 30, where can I get some?

June 4, 2010, 07:24 AM
Don't base your decision on magazine selection. I've tried many different brands of mags in mine over the years and most of them have been trash. Other than a few 10 round mags the only ones that I've found to be trouble free in my mini are the ones that are actually made by Ruger. Thankfully they have gotten cheaper over the last couple years. I'm not so sure that you want to use the mini for a "varmint" gun either although I hear the newer ones are much more accurate than older models. Mine is about 15yrs old so I can't really comment beyond my own experiences, but It's definetly no varmint gun! That being said, it's still one of my favorites and it's a hell of alot of fun to shoot.

June 4, 2010, 09:57 AM
I have both and they shoot well if I do my part. They are small enough to carry all day and not feel like you moved a house full of stuff when you're done. My Mini-14 likes 62 gr Wolf hollow points best and the 30 is the same way. I keep them both and past them on down to my son and grandson when I'm done with them.

June 4, 2010, 02:55 PM
The Mini-14 would be my choice.

Inside of 200 yds. the deer will be just as dead with the 5.56 as with the 7.62 round.

TX Hunter
June 4, 2010, 03:17 PM
I would go with the Mini 30, Cheaper Ammo, and 30 Caliber.
Better I think.

Onward Allusion
June 4, 2010, 03:22 PM
While I love the AK platform, IMO the 7.62x39 shouldn't be in anything buy commie rifles. :D

For a Ruger, I'd go with the .223. Besides, you said you already have 7.62x39.

June 4, 2010, 07:38 PM
i would go with the .223. never really been a big fan of 7.62x39 round. if i was going to get a rifle with that caliber i would get a ruger. todays mini's are alot better than they used to be. my mini-14 shoots moa after about 200 dollars in upgrades. unless you reload, its hard to find quality ammo for mini-30 at a reasonable price, and there is tons of options in .223 caliber.

June 4, 2010, 11:55 PM
Mini-14 in 5.56 and AK in 7.62. All bases covered. All guns reliable.

Lloyd Smale
June 5, 2010, 06:48 AM
id go with the 30 myself. Its just as accurate (or inaccurate) its powerful enough for under 200 yard deer bear and pig hunt and ammo is cheaper. Im not a big fan of minis. Ive had quite a few of them over the years. The last one i parted with was a 30. I held on to that one for quite a while and it was a decent gun. I bought a bushmaster ar in 762x39 and it too finally went down the road. Im not saying id never own another mini but if i did it would be a mini 30 again

June 5, 2010, 09:46 AM
Ammo is expensive if you don't reload but you might consider the Mini in 6.8SPC.

June 6, 2010, 09:12 PM
I'd say, go Mini-14, leave the 7.62x39 to the AK's, Vz.58's, and SKS's. Which by the way are all great guns.

Ignition Override
June 6, 2010, 09:23 PM
Although my really old Mini 14 never had a FTF, as happens now and then with my Mini 30, the 30's power easily compensates for any drawbacks.

Both have only used Wolf ammo. Other guys put it in a nutshell.
If you want the 7.62x39 caliber, the SKS (maybe AK) is even better value for the dollar.
A rear aperture sight from Tech Sights seems to really improve accuracy for both Russian designs.

June 7, 2010, 12:29 PM
My choice would be neither, but the Mini 14 in 6.8 :-) Ruger, confusingly--after years of folks thinking (and continuing) "Mini 14" and ".223" as being synonymous-- chose to call the 6.8 a Mini 14 as well. Makes you wonder why they didn't just do the same for the x39 Mini 30.