View Full Version : Ruger Mini 14 or mini 30?

September 21, 2012, 08:48 AM
I will be only using it for target practice..max 100 yards and self defense for home for home
I’m worry about the mini 14 ammo,….Penetration of walls and exiting a house is a concern.
That’s why I was more of thinking about getting the Mini 30, larger bullet.
Would like your feedback,
I don't know how to delete post I'm thinking of buying a Ruger mini-14

Single Six
September 21, 2012, 09:06 AM
If I were going to use a rifle for HD, the Mini-14 would be my pick. My Mini-14 is superbly reliable, and as accurate as I need it to be. There are HP loads out there that minimize over-penetration risks, but it's still a possibility with most any centerfire weapon...particularly rifles. Fair warning: The AR snobs will sniff disdainfully at the Mini and tell you to save up for a "black rifle". If you have your heart set on the Ruger, don't let 'em sway you!

September 21, 2012, 09:56 AM
I am an admitted black rifle junkie. But there is something very special about wood and steel. The Mini-14 is a heck of a rifle and one that will serve you very well. .223 is easy to find and reload and has plenty of power at 100yds and in. It would be my recommendation.


September 21, 2012, 03:18 PM
You've got it backwards. 223 rounds, especially softpoint ammo does not penetrate building material nearly as much as other rounds. Most handgun rounds are more likely to cause problems. The mini-30 is much more likely to do so.

You cannot beat 223 ammo prices compared to 7.62X39.

September 21, 2012, 03:47 PM
I'd rather have the mini 14 for home defense. If you want to target shoot, get a newer rifle as they are supposed to be much more accurate than the older ones. Either the old or the new mini 14s should work fine for home defense.

September 21, 2012, 03:55 PM
Mini 14 for home defense? If long gun was an option, go 12 gauge. It's going to be cheaper and better in every aspect. But back to the original question. Mini 14 carries energy and accuracy at a longer range. The 7.62x39 has a higher energy at a shorter range. I personally wouldn't use the mini 14 or 30 past 200 yards. They aren't the most accurate rifles.

September 21, 2012, 04:13 PM
While a 12 gauge shotgun can be a very effective home defense firearm, some people prefer the lower recoil and quicker follow up shots from something like a mini 14 or mini 30.

September 21, 2012, 04:19 PM
I recently purchased a Mini and had to decide what to get. I chose the Mini 14. I ended up with a Tactical over one with wood (I think the wood makes them look really nice) because it was on sale.

You can get some hallow point rounds that will not penetrate like the M855 ammo.

My Mini 14 is just as accurate as my SIG 556 was.

The balance of the Mini 14 is great. The stock can be used as a weapon or to pound on doors or such.

The mags are a bit more than 5.56 STANAG mags, I get Ruger made, the have been reliable and the steel gives the impression they will last.

September 21, 2012, 05:10 PM
Watch this video before considering.


September 21, 2012, 05:22 PM
Interesting comments on the video link. A .223/5.56 with the right ammo seems to be a very good choice for people concerned with over penetration.

the rifleer
September 21, 2012, 07:38 PM
It really is a great rifle. I got the wood version just because I'm not going to be jumping over walls with it and throwing it at zombies. The wood is very attractive.

Reloader 17
September 21, 2012, 08:58 PM
I've got a ranch rifle version of the mini 14. I've never had any problems with function or accuracy. Not really my first choice for home defense but it will do the job.

September 21, 2012, 11:54 PM
I chose the .223 Mini-14 Tactical, then put the rifle in an Archangel Sparta stock from Pro-Mag. I like the top rail, which mounts modern optics well and takes AR-15 style sights (MBUS pictured).

September 22, 2012, 06:36 AM
Instead of buying the Ruger mini 14, I was also thinking about Saiga 410ga Shotgun, 3 Inch Chamber Semi Auto Shotgun...don't have to worry about Penetration of walls and exiting a house.
What do you think?


September 22, 2012, 07:42 AM
I think a 12 or 20 gauge would be the way to go if you want a shotgun for home defense. There are a lot of reliable yet inexpensive shotguns out there.

September 22, 2012, 07:49 AM
Yep but per the OP, a shotgun is not that interesting for target practice at 100 yds.

September 22, 2012, 08:05 AM
That's true. Buckshot and slugs will also penetrate a lot of wall board.

September 22, 2012, 09:29 AM
the Saiga 410ga Shotgun, 3 Inch Chamber Semi Auto Shotgun is only a 410.
I don't think Penetration of walls and exiting a house is a concern with a 410?


September 22, 2012, 09:40 AM
00 buck from a .410 will penetrate about as much as 00 from a 12ga...there just isnt as much payload.

If you like saigas ( I do) why not get one in .223 and conver it to AK configuration?

5.56 is a great HD round and guns dont come any more reliable then that

September 22, 2012, 10:07 AM
It depends on what ammo you use. A buckshot load from a .410 will penetrate wall board just like a buck load from a 12 gauge but there will be fewer pellets. Any load you use that meets the FBI's standards for penetration is going to penetrate wall board. I would pick a firearm that you can operate proficiently, load it with ammo that does well on the FBI's testing standards, train with it and be aware of your fields of fire.

I'd much rather have a 12 or 20 gauge shotgun than a .410. A .410 would work but I'd rather go with your idea of a Mini 14. A strategically placed bookshelf loaded with books will reduce or stop penetration through walls but it's best to not miss. If you have hunted rabbits all your life and are better with a shotgun, use a shotgun. If you are better with a rifle, use a rifle. Get some training and practice with the one you decide to use.

September 22, 2012, 10:09 AM
+1 to RedBowTies

September 22, 2012, 05:19 PM
The 14 would be better than the 30 for HD. The 223 is less likely to over penetrate then the 762x39. I would recommend Hornady TAP FPD ammo for HD.

September 22, 2012, 07:42 PM
I think a 12 or 20 gauge would be the way to go if you want a shotgun for home defense. There are a lot of reliable yet inexpensive shotguns out there.

A 223 softpoint from an AR or Mini 14 has made the shotgun obsolete. The only advantage is price and with today's AR prices you can get a good one cheaper than a Mini. Both AR's and Mini's have closed the price gap considerably. Buy a couple hundred rounds of buckshot vs 223 rounds and the price is even closer.

There is no reason to take 25-30 ft lbs of recoil,( 300 win mag levels) from a shotgun when 223 has around 4-5 ft lbs of recoil and has proven to be just as reliable at stopping threats. The carbines are lighter shorter and hold 6X the ammo.

September 22, 2012, 07:52 PM
A 223 softpoint from an AR or Mini 14 has made the shotgun obsolete.

A .223/5.56 might be a better choice for some people when it comes to home defense. I happen to think a 12 or 20 gauge is a better choice than a .410 for people who prefer a shotgun over a carbine.

September 22, 2012, 10:53 PM
Did someone just compare the stopping power of the .223 to a 12 gauge 00 buck shot? I know there are alot of AR fan boys out there but come on. Recoil? Get some controlled recoil to help with that and over penetration as well. We won't even compare ft lbs of energy. Sure, the .223 can be used as a home defense round, but it is nowhere near better than a 12 gauge. Think of what stopping power is. 9 .33 caliber pellets are going to cause alot more trauma and blood loss then a 55 grain .223 round. And as for price, I shoot cheap 6 shot at the range and baught a couple boxes of 00 for home protection.

September 23, 2012, 06:24 AM
I decided that I will go with the Ruger mini 223 because I can use it for target practice and self defense for home. I will also purchase the 223 Rem 55 gr TAP® FPD™ for HD. The mini Tactical rifle has a shorter barrel length of 16.12"
, the Ranch Rifle has a barrel length of 18.50".
The only problem is the Tactical Rifle only comes in Alloy Steel, not Stainless Steel. I do like the Stainless Steel, but will be adding 2 more inches if I get the Ranch Rifle SS. I really don't know if 2 more inches makes a big difference.


September 23, 2012, 06:37 AM
I had a Mini 14 until last year. My 2 cents is - buy the Mini 14 because ammo is cheaper so you can shoot more(it is a fun gun)! Stick to only Ruger factory mags. Other brands have a tendancy to miss feed. My Ruger never did.

September 23, 2012, 06:38 AM
Good decision on the mini! Shorter barrel means better manuverability indoors, and if used outdoors stainless tends to mirror light more, not very tactical. JMHO

September 23, 2012, 07:17 AM
Would I need to worry about rust with the Alloy steel 16.12" tactical?
compare to the SS one?

September 23, 2012, 10:37 AM
There are stainless Tacticals out there---you just have to find one.

Check out model #5819


September 23, 2012, 11:22 AM
Thanks I found the one....patrol rifle in SS, 16.15 inch barrel.