Mini 14 or Wimchester .30-30

Discussion in 'General Rifle Discussion' started by Georgiahunter, Apr 7, 2012.

  1. Georgiahunter

    Georgiahunter New Member

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    I am trying to decide between buying a new Mini 14 or buying a used, but in very good condition Winchester Model 94 in .30-30. Te Mini 14 will cost $620 while the Winchester will coat $400. The Winchester has a scope with see through rings, although the scope is cloudy. I would use this for closer shots on deer, while I would only use the mini for coyote and target shooting. Price wise the mini would be cheaper to shoot. Right now I can only afford to buy one. Which would you choose?
     
  2. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Neither. How about a mini 30 instead. It will do both and ammo is still cheap.
     

  3. hardluk1

    hardluk1 Active Member

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    Order a S&W M&P15 sport if you want a rifle that will shoot 5.56 and .223 ammo. LGS prices are around 600 dollars and way more accurate than a mini anything. For a 30-30 get a marlin not a winny. Typicaly a better shooter and put a scope on that you want. See thru rings are not liked by many as they set to high and a cloudy scope is worthless. Marlin can be found for 350 on up used. Another choice, Savage /stevens 200 bolt actions in 308 LGS prices are right around 300 dollars. . Way better deer cartidge.
     
  4. Intheshop

    Intheshop New Member

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    In my pea brain,shooting 30-30's....or any of the old BP cartridges....goes hand in hand with cast bullits.But then so does a bunch of newer loadings as well,duh.

    Marlins and their dang Micro-groove's is just plain nonsense.I have an old 336 and would'nt part with it for anything,yadayada.But its likes/dislikes or load window is extremely small.

    Just sayin,Marlin dropped the ball big-time,not putting "proper" rifling in their lever guns.A pre-64 Winchester will leave a Marlin looking pretty foolish when cast bullits are on the menu.To the point,that I've outshot scoped Marlins w/iron sited Winchesters,its that obvious.

    Good .308 turnbolts are an excellent way to get into shooting the cast stuff.With just a little effort,groups right around MOA are pretty routine.Best of luck,BW
     
  5. nhsuper44

    nhsuper44 New Member

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    What JTJ said !!:):)
     
  6. Georgiahunter

    Georgiahunter New Member

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    Although I appreciate the suggestions about a mini thirty and the S&W I am not really in the market for an AR or a gun that shoots 7.62x39. I understand that the S&W and the mini 30 are good guns, but I'm just not looking to get either right now. I already have a Savage bolt action .308, so I'm not really looking to get another .308 at the moment. I'm leaning towards the Winchester because I loved the wood and the feel of the gun. I'm pretty sure it is pre-64, but not entirely sure. If I got the Winchester the scope would be removed. I really don't have a problem with see through rings because I have shot my dad's Remington 700 in .270 multiple times and am actually quite fond if them. So between the two I have mentioned, which would you choose? I would also like to hear how you feel about the 94 versus the 336.
     
  7. BlueTurf

    BlueTurf New Member

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    Okay, here are my thoughts on your question. I do not have a Mini 14 but I have the real thing, which is a SA NM M1A. I have had a Model 94 for 40 years. My model 94 has always been my favorite rifle. The lever-action 30-30 will always be a lot of fun to shoot. I doubt you would ever get tired of having one. My M1A is a great gun to shoot but it would never take the place of my Model 94.

    The Mini 14 and Model 94 are two very different guns. While the Mini 14 is semi-auto and can be shot rapidly, I feel the Model 94 is the better gun. It is a better rifle for hunting game such as deer. The early model Mini 14s had problems with accuracy. I have never heard someone complain that they didn't like or were bored with their lever-action rifle, so for me this would be an easy decision.
     
  8. cottontop

    cottontop Guest

    I still can't understand the fascination with the 30-30???? when there are so many good modern, even in lever actions, out there. The 30-30 is a rimmed, flat nose cartridge with a rainbow trajectory and a small powder capacity, that was originally designed for black powder. I know, I know, it has killed more deer than any other cartridge; but it has wounded (and missed) more deer than any other cartridge also. I can't understand why it is still hanging on. The gun writers hardly mention it anymore. I suppose that all of the Marts still carry it and as a result most of the uninformed shooters still buy them. I still can't understand why people often equate it with the .308, the 30-06, etc. It isn't even in the same ballpark. That's like comparing a little league hitter to Albert Pujols. They ain't even close.
    To the OP, if you must have a lever action, check out the Browning LAR, the Savage 99, or the Winchester 88 in a higher intensity modern center fire round such as the .243, .308, .284, or .358. If it has to be between the '94 or the 336, the Marlin action w/ its side ejection is hard to beat, but I would get it in the .35 Remington, even though it's old it is a much more improved cartridge over the old 30-30.
    cottontop
     
  9. elmerfudge

    elmerfudge New Member

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    I trophy hunted Dooley County, Ga for 15 years before moving back home to the rather small Whitetails of Texas. The stands I had in the thick stuff, I shot a .35 Marlin 336. The weight of the bullet and powder load were the reason. Hunting the parameters of cotton fields, I used a Ruger 77 in 30.06.

    I also briefly used a Mini 30 but found the rounds deficient for woods hunting and the short barrel a problem for 200-300 yard shots across cotton fields.

    You selection also depends upon hunting terrain.

    Personally, my .35 Marlin is my favorite.
     
  10. HockaLouis

    HockaLouis New Member

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    I do NOT agree ammo is cheap for the the Mini-30 -- it is essentially only reliable with US spec brass ammo. So much so I won't even buy my buddy's and he'd give it to me at any price I offered and I'd pay him any price he asked. Understanding that the Mini-30 is still an interesting suggestion...

    I will say this about your decision: prioritize your choice and bump it up against the situations. If the .30 is what u see as a "deal," it'll be gone tomorrow (unless the .30-30 guy'll take a deposit and you trust him). The .30-30 you can always easily sell again at hunting season for your money back. But do you want/need it as much as the Mini-14 which might be a little harder to get these days...
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2012
  11. BlueTurf

    BlueTurf New Member

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    I don't think it is the 30-30 cartridge some people like so much; it is the lever-action rifles. I can't speak for the younger people but when I was a kid the Winchester lever-action rifles gained a lot of popularity through the movies and television. Of course, these rifles were glorified on screen. People saw John Wayne being a hero with one. Chuck Conners took the popularity of the Winchester lever-action rifle to even greater heights as The Rifleman. Just like today with the Aks and Ars, lots of people wanted a Model 94 because of what they saw on screen. I remember when the second Rambo movie came out "survival" knives were selling like hotcakes. Even today lots of people like shooting them because they are small, light and easy to use. I love shooting my 94 but I have a .243, .270 and a couple of .308s that are great also. People who like their 30-30s are touting the ballistics of this cartridge; they just like shooting their rifles. The 30-30 is not a total dog of a cartridge. I have a friend who has a Henrys chambered in .44mag. With my Model 94 I can outshoot him hands down. Well, of course I have been shooting my rifle for 40 years.:)
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2012
  12. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You specified two different uses for the rifles so I gave you a compromise that would cover both uses. The 30-30 would be the better hunter while the Mini would be the better plinker. What is more important to you? By the way, you can pick up 50 yards with 30-30 Leverlution ammo which has a pointed soft plastic tip and is safe in tube magazines. In shorter range areas the 30-30 is still a very good cartridge and has probably taken more deer than all the other calibers combined. A good pre 64 Winchester 94 for $400 is a good price. I am puzzled by the scope though. It would have to be side mounted and probably offset. Were mounting holes drilled in the receiver which would reduce value? The much newer 94AE had holes drilled in the top for a scope.
     
  13. HockaLouis

    HockaLouis New Member

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    BTW, I sold an insistant buddy my .30-30 Marlin -- mint gun and nice arm. But he got tired of it for target/plinking and insisted on buying my shortened-to-18" Ruger 77 All Weather bolt in .223.
     
  14. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'd go with the .30-30.:)
     
  15. TLuker

    TLuker New Member

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    My first center fire rifle was a Winchester 30-30 lever action and I currently have a mini 14. Both are great guns and it all comes down to what you want to do with them.

    The mini is a lot of fun to shoot and ammo is cheap. You can also do a ton of tinkering with the mini as far as set up and improving accuracy, which is part of the fun of owning a mini. Accuracy is also pretty good on the new models with good ammo (1in groups at 100yards are not a problem for me).

    As for the Winchester, well there's just something special about a lever action Winchester. As you mentioned the Winchester would be good for deer as well as some target shooting. The Winchester would also be a better long term investment especially if you go with an older model like a pre 64.

    Again, it all comes down to what you want to do. If you want to tinker with the gun and do a lot of target/varmint shooting then go with the mini. If you want something to shoot occasionally, hunt with on occasion, and have a nice rifle in the cabinet from a collecting standpoint get an older Winchester. :)
     
  16. cuate

    cuate New Member

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    There are three Winchester Lever Actions in the gun safe here, a 30-30 Trapper Model.
    a .357 I think its a Winchester, maybe not, it's the Son's rifle, and my Winchester Model 1892 in .45 Long Colt caliber...talk about a hog gun, that one will cut the mustard .
     
  17. mudpupp

    mudpupp New Member

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    I own a mini 14 and a mini 30.

    The 30-30 is what you should get. The feel, the history, the smell ( yes smell), you will be glad you did.

    A Winchester 30-30 just say's

    "I AM AN AMERICAN RIFLEMAN.."
     
  18. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

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    Get the Winchester and you will never regret it. I have both and love both of them, but the deal makes all the difference. Use the Hornady Leverevolution ammo. Personally I don't like scoped lever guns but to each his own. Wait for another great deal on another Mini 14 in the future.
     
  19. Viking

    Viking Active Member

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    When I was very young my foster dad had a Winchester 30-30 lever action, what a great firearm, the look, the feel, yeah and the smell. I've thought of owning one, they are compact and are great for up to 100 yard shots. I don't think I'd want one scoped. As to a Mini 14 generally ammo is always available, that being said there has been a huge demand on .223 ammo and here in S.W. Oregon there is non on Wal-Mart shelves or other sporting good stores (Fear of Obama being reelected). I'm not sure I'd want a newer model lever after talking to a gunsmith friend about the quality of some of the firearms manufactured these days but would not hesitate getting an older Winchester lever.
     
  20. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

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    Its kind of to late to start now, but if you reload for either one it is a little cheaper to shoot. Plus the benefits in accuracy are well worth it. My Mini is very particular with ammo. Some of that Federal American Eagle Tactical and the AR will literally bounce off the ground in front of the target on some shots and the Black Hills will get 8 or 10 inch "groups (more like a "pattern"). The handloads with 55 grain Hornady FMJ is at a 3 inch group (bone stock iron sights Mini, at least until I put the Mo-Rod and Mo-Reaper on next week). I have not fully developed my loads for it though.

    The .30-30 is good for 2 inches at 100 yards, iron sights. Maybe the boys shoot it better as their eyes are younger.