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.223 or or sks???

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Old 09-16-2014, 05:06 AM   #1
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Default .223 or or sks???

I'm looking for some input here. Lately I've been thinking I need a go to/truck/SHTF gun to add to my tiny collection. Something that's good to about 200 yards but doesn't have to be a tack driver. I would like to be able to take it into the woods for protection and go pinking now and then without it draining the bank account to feed it. It must be easy to operate/clean and be reliable. Sounds easy doesn't it. So what I've come up with is either a mini 14 or SKS. Both seem to have what I'm looking for but the caliber is the only problem. I did finally decide on a SKS since most of what I've read and seen on youtube the 7.62x39 has a little more punch than the .223. Besides the Russian stuff is cheap! Then I was reading how the ATF was banning the steal core 7.62x39 from Russia, saying it was armor piercing. Which got me thinking that with all the problems with Russia lately they could easily stop the flow of ammo from Russia saying its sanctions. Then the price would go way up.

I know this is a topic that always seems to come back from the dead. And I'm not wanting to stir the pot or cause any arguments/problems. Just wanting to get some opinions. Just some opinions from people who have been there.

Thanks for your time.
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Old 09-16-2014, 05:19 AM   #2
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First off, welcome to the FTF from Tampa bay.

Let me start by stating I own a couple SKSs and a mini-14.

Many will disagree with me, but first off, the SKS is

350$ to 650$, vs 750$ to 1150$ for a mini, depending on condition.

Second, and I consider this more important, the SKS is far faster

and easier to strip and clean. You can clean the SKS from the chamber

side of the barrel, which helps preserve the muzzle crown.

The SKS is a great beater, and a very well balanced, dependable

rifle. I'd go with the original 10-round internal mag.

That said, the mini is nice, but if you get one, I would be sure

you get a ranch model or one chambered for 5.56. That way you

can shoot both 5.56 and .223. Be sure to get a guide for your cleaning

rod, or you will hog out the muzzle crown.
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Old 09-16-2014, 08:13 AM   #3
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There is still plenty of Russian ammo available. China and others make 7.62X39. A number of manufacturers make 7.62X39 in the USA and if push comes to shove you can always roll your own.

I prefer the 7.62X39 but others prefer the 5.56. Each caliber has its benefits and weaknesses, it is the weight you put on each benefit that will total up to a winning score for you. I don't think there is a wrong choice here.
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Old 09-16-2014, 09:42 AM   #4
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Russian ammo import is banned under the sanctions, but Ukraine alone makes up for it. Red Army, Golden Tiger, WPA all come from Ukraine.

The Ruger Mini is a modern rifle, handier, with better sights, optics ready, and it comes in 7.62x39. But it is more expensive, even used.

An American-assembled new AK bridges the gap...
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Old 09-16-2014, 03:43 PM   #5
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If you want a 7.62mm WP weapon, go for the SKS. The Mini-14 is fine in .223 but the Mini-30 appears to have all kinds of problems. There have been many posts here and elsewhere from owners trying to figure out how to fix them. They just seem to have reliability problems, which is odd considering the reputation of the Mini-14.

Mini-14 in .223 or SKS would make a decent truck gun and varmit killer.
"For every problem there is always a solution that is simple, obvious, and wrong." - Mark Twain
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Old 09-16-2014, 11:58 PM   #6
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I didn't know Ukraine made those brands of 7.62. So the sks may still be possible. I too have read about the mini-30 and it's problems with cheap steal ammo. That and the price is why I stayed away. Reloading is possible but I just don't think I can right now with time considerations.
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Old 09-17-2014, 02:31 AM   #7
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A lot of people become discouraged by the moa of the Russian guns -- anywhere from 3 to 5 inches at 100 yds.

The Ruger Mini-14 is certainly not a tack driver, but the moa's for them are closer to 1 1/2.

Neither of these needs to be cleaned, and they are both muzzle cleaned not breach cleaned, and that is a pain for both of them.

The Ruger is harder to disassemble, that is correct.

I like the open bolts of both designs, and myself I prefer the Mini.
File Type: jpg RUGER MINI 14 01.jpg (30.5 KB, 100 views)
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Old 09-17-2014, 04:58 AM   #8
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one of each please, and a large coke
There are no dangerous weapons. There are only dangerous men. -Robert A. Heinlein
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Old 09-17-2014, 05:08 AM   #9
disappointed & disgusted, But DETERMINED...
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And Add 1,000 rds of ammo

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"No One, and I MEAN NO ONE Craps on me and Gets away with it!!! Those days are gone...
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Old 09-17-2014, 05:43 PM   #10
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I have a type 56 SKS. It is just as accurate as a Marlin 60 at close range. You can have all the surplus ammo. I would rather shoot one box of quality brass cased ammo than a pick up load of surplus ammo. Back when Russian hollow points were $2 a box I bought a bunch of them. I gave them away, I could not find a buyer for a Russian hollow point at any price.
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