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Old February 28, 2020, 08:06 PM   #1
Aguila Blanca
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7.62x39 preference

Looking at having something in 7.62x39 "just because" -- would you prefer a Ruger Mini Thirty or an SKS? Why?

P.S. -- I'm in a state that's limited to 10-round magazines.
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Old February 28, 2020, 08:41 PM   #2
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I get that you are looking for a semi, but I would prefer a CZ 527 Carbine. Nice good handling rifle...been thinking I should have one.
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Old February 28, 2020, 09:07 PM   #3
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I would second a light short handy bolt gun over either of the two listed. If it has to be a semi, i would go Mini 30. Detachable mags, better sights, just a better rifle.
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Old February 28, 2020, 09:32 PM   #4
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I own a mini 30 but not an AK..

Mini 30s are great provided you are ok with running brass. I have never run steel in mine but similarly I don't run or stock steel ammo, period.. someone will come through and state theirs runs great on steel, totally possible, but this is what many reviews say..

If you insist on running steel ammo get an AK..

Neither are platforms for supreme accuracy, either shoots a man minute or a deer all day.

If you just want a high quality rifle IMHO a mini 30 or a high end AK with a forged receiver like some of the Arsenals are both good choices. Ruger tends to have some duds but does an outstanding job of customer support, so if you go that route rest assured you will have a good rifle one way or the other (they are made here in NH)..

One benefit of a mini 30 is they always seem to slip AWBs and likely for similar reasons, if you get a standard looking model they are not embarrassing to hunt with. Stainless models are a nice touch; they are very handy and reasonably light too.
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Old February 28, 2020, 09:51 PM   #5
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I would take the SKS. You can reload pretty fast with stripper clips. I actually enjoy using them, because I like history stuff.

I find the SKS to be a pretty pleasant shooting gun.

I don't see any real advantage of the Mini-30 if you can't have a mag with more than 10 rounds. Especially if you intend to just shoot with iron sights.



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Old February 28, 2020, 10:04 PM   #6
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What do you want it for? The SKS usually does not have a return spring on the firing pin and with commercial ammunition, particularly using small pistol primers doubling will sometimes happen. The Mini is ammo sensitive so that the heavy military primers needed to make the SKS safe won't reliably ignite. So both have issues. The SKS is not particularly accurate, but neither is the Mini 30. My buddy put a strut on his and it made a world of difference. The Mini had easy to change detachable magazines and the SKS uses stripper clips. The Mini is the better platform for use with optics. The SKS probably has better open sights. The Mini and SKS are both gas piston driven. The SKS gas piston is larger and easier to clean. The barrel on the mini is skinny under the forearm and was in recent years modified to be thicker at the end. Really stupid as the increase in accuracy is minimal and still sucks. Ruger should have made it thicker the whole way. The SKS barrel as far as I know is a bit more rigid but the way both gun actions attach to the stock, neither is particularly accurate. Really it's a toss up, whatever floats your boat. The SKS was a bargain at $100. At $700 you may prefer a mini.
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Old February 28, 2020, 10:22 PM   #7
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For some reason I jumped right to AK when I read that. If you truly mean a classic SKS, I don't think there is a comparison at all - no idea why you would want one, if you are going to just add detachable mags to it then basically you kinda want an AK, in which case same thoughts as I wrote above...

I don't see a point to anything other than a revolver that lacks a detachable magazine, even a bolt action just makes more sense to load that way.
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Old February 28, 2020, 10:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AgedWarrior
I get that you are looking for a semi, but I would prefer a CZ 527 Carbine. Nice good handling rifle...been thinking I should have one.
Thanks, but I'm asking for input specifically regarding the Mini Thirty and the SKS.
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Old February 29, 2020, 12:42 AM   #9
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SKS, proven design that has lasted 70 years and is still a viable battle rifle for militia use. The Ruger Mini 30 likely won't even be around in 10 years.
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Old February 29, 2020, 01:34 AM   #10
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Back in the 1990s a local store had a close-out sale on “beater” Chinese SKS rifles for $70 each. Those guns had been “rode hard and put away wet”. The one I took home had a hole corroded through the top of the gas tube, and the handguard was split in two, lengthwise. Every time I shot it, I could smell the hot gas burning the wood….but it still functioned like it was supposed to.
Those things will stand up to a lot of abuse and neglect….
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Old February 29, 2020, 02:03 AM   #11
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I had a norinco SKS back in the 1980's, very cheap back then. Nicely made, very reliable, but as I remember usually shot 5 or 6 inch groups at 100 yds. That can be significantly improved upon if you want to get deep into customization.
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Old February 29, 2020, 08:19 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aguila Blanca View Post
Thanks, but I'm asking for input specifically regarding the Mini Thirty and the SKS.
Then I would lean toward the mini thirty. IMO a better quality rifle than the SKS and good handling characteristics. I do not hold either in high regard for my preferences, but I would go with the mini thirty within your choice spectrum.
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Old February 29, 2020, 07:07 PM   #13
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I go with the SKS. I have two, a newer Norinco and an older Chinese-Albanian that looks like hell and out shoots the newer Norinco. I like them both.
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Old March 1, 2020, 12:12 AM   #14
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I had a Russian SKS that I loved dearly.
I'd buy an SKS in a Mike Bloomberg New York minute.
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Old March 1, 2020, 07:42 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AgedWarrior View Post
I get that you are looking for a semi, but I would prefer a CZ 527 Carbine. Nice good handling rifle...been thinking I should have one.
I tend to agree.
AK's aside... I have way more fun with my bolt action x39's than I do with semi-auto x39's.

OP... I would take an SKS over the Mini...
Reliability
Quality
History
No mags
Resale
Etc
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Old March 1, 2020, 07:44 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by AgedWarrior View Post
a better quality rifle than the SKS
I would strongly disagree with that assertion.
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Old March 1, 2020, 08:44 AM   #17
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I have Russian and Norinco SKS. I don't use them for precision shooting so I can't tell which is more accurate, but shooting water jugs and bottles, steel plates, can usually hit what I'm aiming at. But I also built a 7.62x39 AR-15, using KAK Industries barrel and bolt. With dedicated 7.62x39 magazines it shoots great and the ergonomics match my other AR rifles.
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Old March 1, 2020, 09:46 AM   #18
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I have a couple of SKS and I have no complaints. I am even considering a third one. True that I got the first two for somewhat less, but they aren't going to get any cheaper...

Solid design, easy to work on, decent iron sights, eats steel cased ammo with no problem. If I knew I was limited to a 10-round mag going in, all the more reason to go SKS with the factory mag.



The only thing I will give a Mini over the SKS is that it is probably more refined aesthetically/not as chunky.
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Old March 1, 2020, 02:44 PM   #19
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The SKS without thinking about it. Even though it's a 'battle' accurate, Commie, 'stop gap', battle rifle with poor sights. MSRP on the Ruger is $1069.00.
"...state that's limited to 10-round magazines..." That for hunting or just because the civil servants think it'd matter? Just curious.
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Old March 1, 2020, 05:56 PM   #20
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Just to be fair, a mini 30 will run you more like $850. Still admittedly they are not cheap.
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Old March 1, 2020, 08:28 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riffraff View Post
For some reason I jumped right to AK when I read that. If you truly mean a classic SKS, I don't think there is a comparison at all - no idea why you would want one, if you are going to just add detachable mags to it then basically you kinda want an AK, in which case same thoughts as I wrote above...

I don't see a point to anything other than a revolver that lacks a detachable magazine, even a bolt action just makes more sense to load that way.
If you're stuck with 10 round mags in a ban state, the SKS actually makes a lot of sense. Good mags are at least $10, but stripper clips are much less. With the $10 Chinese bandollers, you can carry 300 rounds of ammo on clips. In a ban state, you'd need 30 magazines to hold that same amount and would cost you well over $300 minimum to do that.
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Old March 2, 2020, 12:00 AM   #22
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One thing I want to add is that for the Caliber, the general accuracy of the ammo from a semi auto is generally lackluster. Of course with good handloads it can be improved. Those voting for a bolt gun are looking for the best accuracy from the caliber. But there are better choices for bolt action hunting guns like 308. I would say from a semi auto 4 inches at 100 is great! Some of the bolt guns can cut that in half.
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Old March 2, 2020, 01:25 AM   #23
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Mini

I'm a big Mini30 fan for the following reasons:
-Mini's are made here, by Ruger, and if you should need one plumbed, or need
parts, Ruger is well known for customer support
-Mini's are easily scoped, with Ruger's nifty rings supplied with new rifles
-Mini's will come with peep sights, superior to the SKS leaf and blade
-Mini's are a true carbine, shorter and lighter than the SKS
-Mini's are a better buy...that SKS originally sold for less than $100 most
places, what they get for an SKS these days is criminal

I've had one since about '95, hunt it a bit every year. Shot all sorts of ammo through it, always reliable. Accuracy is so-so, but acceptable for what it is.
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Old March 2, 2020, 08:04 AM   #24
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Quote:
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the general accuracy of the ammo from a semi auto is generally lackluster
And the myth continues....
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Old March 2, 2020, 10:33 AM   #25
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Another thing I forgot to mention. You can pick up SKS that Bubba only touched a little bit still for around 300. And still buy a couple cases of x39 before you start approaching the cost of the Mini-30.

I picked up my SKS a year or two ago for 250. The only thing "wrong" with it was no bayonet, Crapco stock, and magazine.

For about 20 dollars I bought a replacement factory internal magazine.

I never got around to buying a different stock for it. I sold it because I needed money and had an AK.

Wish I would've kept it.

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