View Full Version : I'm thinking of buying a Ruger mini-14

September 19, 2012, 10:50 AM
Please see post Ruger Mini 14 or mini 30?

September 19, 2012, 11:14 AM
The mini-14 is chambered in .223. This bullet is lighter and faster than the 7.62x39. Until about 100 yards the accuracy between the two rounds is comparable. After that the .223 is the accuracy winner, hands down. The mini-30 is the gun chambered in 7.62. They look the same, the number just reflects which caliber. The 7.62 is the heavier bullet and will have better stopping power. I'm on my phone or I would try and find a link, but google a ballistics comparison chart. In particular look at how much the 7.62x39 slows down, and drops after that 100 yard mark. If you don't plan on shooting past the 100 yard mark, go with the mini-30. Ammo will be cheaper, it will have more stopping power, and will be as accurate as you want it to be. People will argue that the mini-14 is not as accurate as the .223 round. Some people say that the 200 yard mark is the max, others say more. Kinda depends on what you're looking to do with it.

September 19, 2012, 11:32 AM
Using the 7.62x39 ammo, will I have less in the clip campare to the .223?


September 19, 2012, 11:59 AM
sing the 7.62x39 ammo, will I have less in the clip campare to the .223?

No, they both come with 5 and 20 round magazines available.

Which round has more "stopping power"? The 7.62x39 Mini 30

Which round is heavier? The 7.62x39 Mini 30 (by an average of about 65 gr)

Which round is better for long range shooting? The .223 (but the Mini 14 itself is not a great long range shooter, they are typically a 3-4 MOA gun in my experiences with them)

September 19, 2012, 12:29 PM
7.62x39 generally has more stopping power and is heavier than .223.
.223 (same as 5.56) is better for long range accuracy.
Regardless of rifle, you can squeeze more .223 into a magazine than 7.62

FWIW, I really like the Mini-14. I have the full-auto version and can attest to the fact that its a gun that will last more than a lifetime.

September 19, 2012, 12:46 PM
Regardless of rifle, you can squeeze more .223 into a magazine than 7.62

Both the Mini 14 and Mini 30 have 5 and 20 round magazines available from the factory. They don't use the same magazines so saying that you will fit more 5.56 into the mag than 7.62 is false.

If you are trying to use the same magazine for each, then yes, using 5.56 will yield a higher capacity.

September 19, 2012, 12:50 PM
Duplicate - deleted

September 19, 2012, 12:51 PM
You didn't specifically ask about hunting, but if that's on your (or other readers') mind re "stopping power"...One (the 30) is potentially a viable short range (<150 yds) "deer" round--sort of a rimless .30-30--the other is not IMHO. Yes, many deer have been taken with the .223 - as they have .30 carbine and even, old days/or illegally .22 LR), etc., doesn't mean "should." The .223/14 is the choice of many a weekend warrior hunter, and I've seen all too many wounded anumals, or the mess it can do on ther ones killed. In some states, the .223 is illegal for deer.

I wouldn't actually purchase the x39 (in any platform) as my "dedicated" deer rifle (the .30-30 still trumps for the shorter ranges, and of course at longer ranges the .243, 7mm-08, .308, .270 etc, better yet. But, if all I had was a x39, and I kept my distances "reasonable," I'd not shy away from using it. From that perspective, the x39 trumps the .223 as a game-getter in terms of "ultimate" flexibility to take the larger animals more reliably...Though some will argue, probably correctly, as a "survival" weapon, the combination of more rounds (on one's person/pack) and smaller/lighter bullet of the .223 as a better for the more typical survival quarry - small game -- might be the better choice (if not in bear country!).

September 19, 2012, 02:24 PM
Thr Ruger will be for home protection and target shooting, no hunting.
That's why I was asking about the caliber 7.62x39 versus the .223.

Which is better for protection and target shootinG.

Thank you for your replies,


September 19, 2012, 03:27 PM
I prefer the .223 for defense and target shooting. It is cheap (as is the x39), but the .223 will over-penetrate less than the 7.62x39 while still packing a wallop.

September 19, 2012, 07:39 PM
I've got a 581 series Mini-14 that I love, it's a handy little carbine. Mine shoots pretty well averaging in the neighborhood of 1.5-2 MOA. For me I was looking specifically for a .223 Rem and the Mini-30 was never really considered. If you're considering a Mini-30 you may want to consider using only Brass cased boxer primed ammo in it which will bump up your ammo costs, this alone would sway me to the .223.


September 19, 2012, 08:11 PM
I have had 3 of these in .223. If you want accuracy, get a cheaper AR. Dmps or something along that. They both retail close to the same. If you want stopping power...in what I'm assuming is hunting, the 7.62 punches a bigger hole with ballistics close to a 30-30. Sure, you could kill a deer with a .223, but I wouldn't. If you are fond of the mini 14 action, go to CMP and buy a M1 garand. Then you get semi auto, accuracy and knock down power

September 19, 2012, 11:30 PM
If you're comparing 7.62x39 vs. 5.56/.223 you really should be thinking the AK and AR along with the Minis.

the rifleer
September 19, 2012, 11:40 PM
Honestly, I thin 7.62x39 is the answer to all of those, but either will serve you well. I really like my mini 14.

September 20, 2012, 12:27 AM
Honestly, I thin 7.62x39 is the answer to all of those

7.62x39....for long(er) range shooting being better than a .223?

September 20, 2012, 07:46 AM
.223 is hands down better in a mini-14 for long range accuracy. You will find that all of the Mini-14 accurizing services and products are for the .223, not 7.62x39.

Strafer Gott
September 20, 2012, 08:38 AM
All I see in the used rack are 186 or 188 series not well thought of by the internet. The only people claiming decent accuracy seem to be 586 owners.

hardhat harry
September 20, 2012, 08:47 AM
Just my two cents worth:


September 20, 2012, 09:00 AM
I had an older mini that wasn't particularly accurate but it was completely reliable. I tried different ammo but could never get more than 4 or 5 MOA. 4 to 5 MOA plus complete reliability is fine for defense in the home but I wanted more accuracy so I traded the rifle.

I wouldn't hesitate to rely on that light weight older mini for home defense but I've got other toys that are just as good for home defense and better for other applications.

Strafer Gott
September 20, 2012, 11:44 AM
So the answer is shun all the models that start with a 1, and seek a model that starts with a 5. That pretty much means a new one. I even saw a mini chambered for a .222, and I almost gave it a try, but my previous experience was too similar to Too Damn old fer this s... "s.

September 20, 2012, 12:12 PM
My wife bought me one this past Christmas,It is awesome.You can shoot the .223 and the 5.65 out of it.If you buy new,Ruger does not want you to shoot Russian ammo out of it as it will void the Warranty.I called and that is the answer I got. I use Federal ammo and I have been quite pleased so far.BTW mine has the wood stock!:) Cliff

September 20, 2012, 03:29 PM

Guaranteed sub 1.5 MOA in a Mini-14 will cost you $729. Maybe you can get it done cheaper, but you can check out the prices for this service here: http://www.ruger-mini-14-firearms.com/ruger_mini_prices.php

hardhat harry
September 20, 2012, 05:29 PM
I have sub-MOA in my Mini-14. To achieve that I had to get the following:

1. Breath control
2. Trigger squeeze
3. Follow through

I am in the process of sending my trigger group to get it reduced to 3.5 pound pull.


hardhat harry
September 20, 2012, 05:30 PM
skans, i didn't follow your link before posting mine....same place! Sorry.

September 20, 2012, 05:38 PM
I recently bought a 5801 Mini 14 and it is great. Good accuracy too with 100 percent reliability so far. Mini 14 is better for home defense if excess penetration of walls to exit a house is a concern.

September 20, 2012, 07:11 PM
I have had 3 of these in .223. If you want accuracy, get a cheaper AR.

An AR is good but it's a different type of "platform". The Mini is a rifle. An ingeniously simplified version of the Garand action. It's incredibly easy to strip, clean and maintain. The AR is a modular tactical weapons system. It's best attributes are that it can be customized and personalized for the user, by the user. And you have multiple sources of supply. There are a lot of after market accessories for the Mini, but nothing compared to the AR.

A lot depends on what you want. The only clear downside to the Mini is the price of magazines. Stay with Ruger mags. Bit the bullet and buy a bunch of them. But once you're past that, it's all good.

I have a Mini-14 All Weather Ranch and I love it. I don't yet have an AR but I'll get around to building one soon as a project. I'm looking forward to it. And I already have plenty of ammo for it.

Good luck in your choice.

Ignition Override
September 20, 2012, 11:14 PM
Have you also read info on the Mini forums at "Perfectunion.com"?

September 21, 2012, 07:40 AM
Here's the bottom line answer to the AR-15 v. Mini-14 debate.

Get both!:D

Strafer Gott
September 21, 2012, 08:48 AM
Already have two colt ar's. I just can't settle for inferior accuracy. It appears the mini has to be a 580 series or forget it. That being said, I'm still interested. Sometimes I just don't feel like an EBR, especially sneak hunting.

September 21, 2012, 08:50 AM
Please see post Ruger Mini 14 or mini 30?