View Full Version : Mini 14 or Mini 30...That is thy question...

November 9, 2010, 02:10 AM
ok guys, im torn. I cant decide weather to buy a mini 14 or a mini 30 for this upcoming Christmas. I like the .223 caliber but I also have had a craving for a large caliber semi automatic. I was thinking about getting into reloading the .223 so it swayed me to the mini 14, but I found that surplus ammo is wayyy cheaper than buying regular ammo and reloading it. (I mainly do target shooting and plinkin. nothing competitive, reloading is just a simple hobby to keep me sane while in college:p)

gahhhh decisions decisions... i have been drooling over youtube videos of both the mini 14 and the mini 30...

I was looking through CTD and it looks like the surplus 7.62x39 is slightly cheaper than the surplus .223 but the mini 30 costs a little more (a nice pocket full of change more).

So what do you guys think. Which is the better gun and why?

November 9, 2010, 04:15 AM
They're the same rifle, so which cartridge suits you?

Its the Mini-30 for me, 'cause the x39 ctg is better suited to medium game (deer and hogs). Plinking ammo is cheap (well sort of these days) and I could employ it for SD if needs be. But the factory ammo selection is sort of limited. Which bothers ME not a bit. 122-125 gr FMJ or HP. Somebody's got a v-max now. Some 150 SP but not alot

There's a wider variety of .223 ammo out there. Plenty to plink and blast with, and also true match grade ammo if you want to see what your Mini-14 can do on paper.

From a reloading perspective, again a limited amount of .311 x39 suited projectiles. But .224 bullets abound. Much brass too. Not so w/ x39 brass.

The mini-30 suits ME. Consider above for what suits you.

November 9, 2010, 06:13 AM
the problem is that with both rifles usually 'plinking' means doing a lot of shooting and that means a lot of reloading.

both rifles you could 'tweek' your rounds a lot for target shooting.

November 9, 2010, 06:47 AM
Either way the Mini 14 is a great rifle.

November 9, 2010, 11:25 PM
Gotta disagree w/ blume.

Brass for x39 is not that common. Yeah, its out there (I load for 2 x39 rifles) and own a 3rd (who loads for an AK?), but you won't find it as readily as .223 brass, which is everywhere.

Same with projectiles. The x39, at .311 is an odd bore dia and not alot of different slugs are out there. I run .308 slugs through my early Mini-30, which gives me some more latitude, but still, you won't easliy find .311 or .308 dia slugs with the correct bullet weight/ range just anywhere. Yeah, again they're out there, but mostly what you'll find is 125 gr SP or FmJ. But .224 slugs are plentiful and types and bullet weights abound.

If part of owning a Mini is you want to really play around with loads, I'd say Mini-14, (.223) but not for me.

November 10, 2010, 10:29 AM
I say go for the mini14. I have 3 and am very pleased.


looks like the surplus 7.62x39 is slightly cheaper than the surplus .223

Where are you buying "surplus" .223(or 5.56mm)


November 10, 2010, 10:32 AM
I'd go for the Mini-30. It's really a good design for this cartridge, especially if you just leave the gun "as is". But, if you want "tacticool", then the Mini-14 has a few more options + betamag availability.

November 10, 2010, 10:51 AM
Go with the Mini-30 Tactical version (heavier barrel, new sights, etc)

The .223 is fine for Hog:


November 10, 2010, 10:58 AM
30 has ate every kind of cheap bulk ammo with no issue and you can squeeze it into most of the stocks they make for the 14 with some modification. As far as magazines mine came with a 20 and then I bought another 20 from ruger not cheap but have not failed even after being dropped in dirt or off the 4 wheeler. I agree and don't think the 14 is better than the 30 its purely preference. I can't always find my brass (I shoot in my pasture) so I went for the one I could shoot the most with and not worry about picking it up. Also if your into collecting every piece of brass be prepared to walk half a mile and don't let anyone stand to your right lol, the extraction process on these rifles work like a skeet thrower. :D

November 10, 2010, 05:08 PM
I'd go for the 14 myself. Shoot the cheap stuff for plinking and pick up a few cases to load match stuff with. My Mini always slang brass at least 20 feet. Real pain to chase down.