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Old August 17, 2011, 10:41 AM   #1
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new mini 14 or mini 30?

I do not have a semi auto in my line up currently & am leaning towards one of these two. I had two ar's and have decided to go a different way. This will be a short range rifle outfitted with a red dot only. Whichever I choose, I will be laying in a few cases of ammo for it as well as spare mags. Pinpoint accuracy is less of a priority than steadfast reliability & durability. This is not an eotwawki thread but suffice it to say that I have my concerns. For these requirements would you choose the 5.56 or the 7.62?
So many little time....
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Old August 17, 2011, 10:51 AM   #2
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It sounds like you're imagining some "post-apocalyptic" scenario as opposed to another legitimate sporting purpose.

Either way, either gun will do. I've owned both and barring hunting restrictions (as in living in a state that doesn't allow less than 30 cal for big game) the 14 and 30 performed about the same.

I would suggest you get the new tactical version of whatever you choose. I've been hearing good things about it.
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Old August 17, 2011, 10:53 AM   #3
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I'd go with the Mini-30 since you already have AR's. If you had a Mini-14 you'd quickly find that you'd never use it with AR rifles in the safe. The 7.62 round can be a pretty effective deer round at 30-30 ranges
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Old August 17, 2011, 10:57 AM   #4
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I would go with a mini 14 in 5.56. Ammo is relatively cheap and readily available, and the mini is considered by many to be a great mid range semi automatic rifle that is plenty accurate at the range you want to shoot (short to mid) I have not been too pleased with the mini 30, and the size of the bullet does not matter, the placement does, and being able to carry more ammo is always a plus in any "situation" your concerned about
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Old August 17, 2011, 11:58 AM   #5
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I would go with the Mini-30. Ammo is cheaper than 5.56, and works better than 5.56 at the short and medium ranges you would be defending yourself or taking game. FMJ 7.62 also tends to penetrate barriers like brick and concrete better than FMJ 5.56, FWIW. Soft-point 7.62x39 is, as another poster noted, very similar to 30-30. In fact, I think of my SKS as a semi-auto 30-30.

If you live out west where longer shots are the norm in the scenarios you envision, then you may want to consider the Mini-14. It won't be as good for hunting medium game, but it will probably be better outside 200 yards.
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Old August 17, 2011, 12:17 PM   #6
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To clarify, I have had ar-15's but both were sold. I am not preparing for a post-apocalyptic zombie infestation so lets not journey down that road of locked threads. Let's call it a short range self & home defense rifle. I've never owned a 7.62x39 so I was curious about its performance given my parameters. The mini 14 was already in the lead because I have a progressive stage press set up for 223 & can load a lot of rounds quickly.
So many little time....
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Old August 17, 2011, 12:24 PM   #7
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Given what you have said I would go with the Mini-14.

You say that you hadload .223. Thus you have plenty of options for ammo: Buy steel cased plinking ammo. Reload cheap plinking ammo. Develop and reload loads that the Mini likes to give whatever performance you are seeking.

Reloading 7.62x39 is not as easy. Mainly because brass and bullets are not as readily available in the US as .223 components are.
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Old August 17, 2011, 12:34 PM   #8
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For shorter ranges (under 150 yds) I would lean in favor of the Mini 30 in 7.62x39mm due to the fact that a larger bullet diameter will give your a higher probability of hitting a vital organ, thus causing quicker incapacitation.

Now for ranges beyond 150 yards I would lean more in favor of the Mini 14 in 223 due to less bullet drop off. As you stated, your optic will be a red dot.

Go Mini 30!
"The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." - Thomas Jefferson
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Old August 17, 2011, 01:12 PM   #9
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I dont know about the mini 30 but I would think that the red dot covers 5moa and a new Mini14 should be able to get 2moa some a little better. In other words with a red dot you turn a 2moa rifle to a 5moa or worse

but you said short range
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Old August 17, 2011, 03:41 PM   #10
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For something a bit "different"...and with more kinetic energy and accuracy than the 7.62 x 39...why not consider the 6.8 SPC?
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Old August 17, 2011, 06:26 PM   #11
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I want a very common caliber for this rifle ergo 6.8 spc is out regardless of superior performance. I know that may not make sense to some while others will understand perfectly.
Feels like the 14 will get the nod. It has tangible benefits (in my opinion) that go beyond those of the 30. If the red dot will turn it into a 5 moa rifle then I may as well save some cash and buy a good older one for a couple hundred off new price. Turn the rest of the money saved on the rifle into more ammunition.
So many little time....
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