.223 or 7.62x39...mini-14 or sks???

Discussion in 'Auto & Semi-Auto Discussion' started by buddee, Sep 16, 2014.

  1. buddee

    buddee New Member

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    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.
     
  2. therewolf

    therewolf New Member

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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.
     

  3. Caribou

    Caribou Member

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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.
     
  4. Mercator

    Mercator Active Member

    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...
     
  5. CrazedJava

    CrazedJava New Member

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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.
     
  6. buddee

    buddee New Member

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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.
     
  7. Shoobee

    Shoobee New Member

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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.
     

    Attached Files:

  8. LikeABoss

    LikeABoss Member Lifetime Supporter

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    one of each please, and a large coke
     
  9. DrFootball

    DrFootball disappointed & disgusted, But DETERMINED... Lifetime Supporter

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    And Add 1,000 rds of ammo


    Sent from my iPhone using Firearms Talk
     
  10. John_Deer

    John_Deer New Member

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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.
     
  11. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

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    Well you've got to decide on 7.62x39 vs. 5.56. If you go with the former I'd get an SKS or AK which work much better than the trouble prone Mini-30.

    If you decide to go with 5.56 then the Mini-14 is a good choice but look at ARs too. You can get a very good AR such as PSA for the entry price of a new Ranch Rifle ($725-750)

    The SKS is the cheapest way to get into the game but I'd go with an AR.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2014
  12. therewolf

    therewolf New Member

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    I prefer the AR because you can clean

    the barrel from the breach.

    Not to mention the fantastic selection

    of every component. Get a 5.56 chambered barrel

    combined with all your personal favorite components.


    It's a rifle you can buy on time, getting all the

    best parts, one a month, as you go.

    Quentin and many other AR experts can provide

    you with a lot of tips and advice on builds and

    parts brands in the AR section of FTF.

    It's a wealth of very useful info.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2014
  13. hawkguy

    hawkguy Well-Known Member

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    like some others i would say,

    if you want 7.63X39, i'd say SKS

    if you want 223/5.56, i'd say mini 14

    a few hundred $'s price difference, but based on the SKS's i have shot/handled....its very easy to see where the money went. SKS are rugged, reliable, and fun....but purely functional, and the "cheapness" has always been apparent imo.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2014
  14. hawkguy

    hawkguy Well-Known Member

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    a mini 14 can be cleaned from the breech as well (flexible cleaning rod).....why do people keep saying it can't be easily cleaned form the breech? i really don't understand this at all.....:confused:

    the AR is a great choice. the mini 14 is a great choice also, and IS the rifle the OP asked about......

     
  15. sandog

    sandog Member

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    therewolf, ALL Mini's are compatible with 5.56mm ammo except for the Target model, which would not be a viable choice compared to an SKS or non target Mini for SHTF or a truck gun.
     
  16. therewolf

    therewolf New Member

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    YES, you technically CAN clean it with a

    flexible cleaning rod. I don't know about YOU,

    but I find this time consuming, and solvents

    expensive. Copper fouling can be a real test, IME. All to compensate for a design which

    never embraced any retrofit for breech cleaning

    with a solid rod.

    I' m seriously considering getting barrels with threaded muzzles

    for all my Garand-style rifles when the barrel goes bad.

    This way cleaning will not be so difficult, when I can switch

    target crowns...
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2014
  17. therewolf

    therewolf New Member

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    So what you are ssying is it would be possible for

    the OP to purchase the target model, then be stuck

    using .223 ammo? THANK YOU for clarifying that

    little technical tidbit.

    Because Ruger Mini mags are finicky enough without

    adding ammo difficulties.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2014
  18. Mercator

    Mercator Active Member

    There is nothing to worry about if you use a graphite cleaning rod from the muzzle. It is expensive, but worth it in the long run.
     
  19. hawkguy

    hawkguy Well-Known Member

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    you're experience is simply different from mine, no worries. :) i just can't understand stating the mini 14 cannot be cleaned form the breech when it is actually very easy to do it with the right tool for the job.

    with the mini, there are difficulties cleaning (like many auto loaders)....but i discovered some simple tricks...(flexible rod being one of them)...that work very well and quickly....flexible rods are very cheap and imo work quickly and effectively...so much so that i use them on my AR as well....in fact the OTIS cleaning system, using a flexible cleaning rod, is one of the most popular choices for the AR as well.

    pound for pound...the AR is far more difficult and time consuming to clean by far. and i have many friends that are AR owners that agree. but it could be my method for doing so (i'm sure i could use better methods/tools)

    .....i think the AR has some advantages over the mini 14 (and vice versa), but cleaning is NOT one of them in my opinion.

     
  20. hawkguy

    hawkguy Well-Known Member

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    yup. target model is chambered 223 only. the rest are 5.56.

    ruger factory mags are finicky? i have never had a problem with them myself? do you mean aftermarket? :confused:

    i think he was basically saying the target model is a poor choice for a "truck gun"....which imo is true.