Skip to comments.Considering a New Rifle: Mini14 or SR556? (VANITY)
Posted on 02/21/2014 1:18:26 PM PST by Chuckster
Seeking advice from experienced shooters. I am considering a New Rifle. I am in Alaska and the gun will spend a lot of time on a boat. I want something compact, light and semi-auto. I am trying to decide between an AR pattern or a Garand style action. I would prefer a .308 but the wife will likely be using it as much or more than me and her vote is for the Mini14. I think that is too light a caliber, and .223/5.56 ammo is hard to come by locally.
Any way, the Mini14 is half the price of the AR or any .308 I've seen so I turn to the experts here on FR for advice.
Mini30 should be a good compromise. If accuracy is not an issue - get SKS: cheap, reliable, economical to shoot.
I second the SKS.
What do you intend to use the rifle for. I’m not sure why you’re walking around with a rifle and a shotgun. What am I missing?
I have both a Mini-14 and a SIG 556. The latter is fairly similar to the SR556 is some ways (.223, piston mechanism, AR ergonomics).
The latter is a greatly superior weapon. The accuracy is superior. The ergonomics are superior. Field stripping and cleaning is much easier. You might pay more, but you will certainly get more for that money.
One major ding on the Mini-14 is that to field strip and clean it, you need to remove any optic, and hence will have to re-zero it.
Minis, even the new ones, leave a lot to be desired in the accuracy department.
Consider a 30-30 lever gun. Ammo is getable, they are light, reliable, accurate, and ammo is getable...with the addition of a pad, recoil is workable for the distaff side, and ammo is getable.
If .223/5.56, go wih the AR. Just local opinion, but the Rugers are not battle rifles. Maybe the Mini-30 for ammo availability, but......
Good luck! prices are getting reasonable after the last round of crazy times.
You can always get a AR in 223 and then get an additional upper in for instance 50 Beowulf
Mini 14 very reliable but not known for great accuracy.
“get SKS: cheap, reliable, economical to shoot..”
Boom, boom, and, boom. Fun to shoot too.
I would go with an AR-15 in 7.62mm,308 Winchester over the 5.56.I would be concerned about what you’d be using it for but the 7.62 is a hard hitting,long range round compared to the 5.56.
I’ve seen too many of those minis jam, I just don’t like the things. Designed for a 30-06.
The good news is you’ll have a fine weapon whichever you choose. The mini 14 is a very comfortable shooting rifle. Mine is very accurate up to 100 years with iron sights.
While our favored rifles are AR-15s, that’s primarily due to our limited range requirements, since a hundred yards would be a long shot at our place in the NH woods. Too, I did my army time, and got used the the thing. Too, the recoil works well with my wife.
But while wandering around a gun show with a few spare bucks, I met a Chinese AK-47 semi which came home with me.
I like the 7.62 better than the 5.56, and the functionality of the rifle in difficult to care for situations is beyond compare. I also like the 30 round mags which are cheap and available.
Consider getting one as it seems to be the best compromise in general use situations.
I’d take the worst AR type rifle over the best Mini 14. It’s WELL worth it to spend a little more money for the AR type rifle. I’ve owned both, and still own ARs.
There’s no comparison, except for the ammo they have in common.
Don’t even think about it any further.
If you’re looking to drop bears on the other hand, go with the .308(a 5.56 will just make them mad unless you make a WELL placed shot). A PTR91 or M14 would be good choices in a semi-auto. There are AR type rifles in .308, but they tend to be expensive, and parts aren’t as easy to come by.
Just do what I do, buy one, and put the other on lay away.
ping for an Alaskan shooter point of view
The Ruger AR is piston driven and a good rifle but pricey. Around here mini 14s are almost as much as an AR.
Classic Firearms has SKSs for about $300. Good rifles.
BAD idea. Over the past five years on FR, I have decided that guns and boats don't mix.
Lever action .30-30 or an SKS. Fairly simple, reliable, hit reasonably hard, light.
I’d pick something with more steam than a poodle shooter if I was thinking about a meet up with a bear.
The shotgun, a Mossberg 500 Mariner, is primarily for bear protection (And zombies) I wanted something with longer reach for small game,up to deer, when we are out in the bush. Also, I think we should both carry long guns and one of them should be a shotgun. We are frequently in remote areas where there is no calling for help.
HOWEVER, for use around the compound and SKS spitting 7.62 x 39 is hard to beat for impact, cost of tool & ammo, and reliability.
Saiga IZ 240 AK 74 Rifle imported ,545 x 39 semi auto AK 74 Hunting Rifles. $499.00
While I initially have the same thought bigger is better if concerned about Alaskan Brown Bear, the reality in such a situation is going to make shot placement and ability to control far more important. A rifle she accurately shoots with will be your best choice.
Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Firearms and Ammunition
Look into the Rowland .460 on a 1911 platform. I’ve never shot a Griz but I think that round would do the job.
They're probably just fine for a ten-yard gun against -- what? Too inaccurate to hit something little, and not suitable to shoot something big enough to hit. Great for making noise; not for target shooting or hunting.
I stick with a .30-06 or .308 for hunting. YMMV
You can pick up a Century AK N-Pap m70 (7.62x39) for about 500 bucks.Ammo is available at $225.00/1000 rnds.30 round mags and a hoot to shoot
Be careful with a possible slam fire on these models.
If bears a worry plenty of power can be had in 18 inch to 24 inch barrel
Proving and easy to use
BAD idea. Over the past five years on FR, I have decided that guns and boats don’t mix.
And all my ammo too. Ya just never know.
A mini 30 might be better than a .223 especially in AK where you really should have ENOUGH GUN. Neither the .223. Nor the 7.62x39 is really enough for AK except for 2 legged varmints.
How about a Marlin Guide Gun. Lever action in .450 marlin or .45-70 if you reload. A pump or semi auto 12 gauge loaded with sabot slugs would be a good short range bear stopped.
I have Yugo SKS and the first time I took it out it double fired. Turns out the firing pin was caked with dried grease.
AR-15 with 1/7 twist (i.e., Colt)
you can load up to 77 gr. bullet with no problem in accuracy. A 75+ gr. hollow point will do some serious damage.
aaaa kaaayyy four T seven
??? AR-10 length action for the .308 winchester not an AR-15 action.
I had a friend from Homer who used a 22-250 to keep his freezer full of moose meat. If you can brain pan em’ it is doable, but I wouldn’t want to irritate brown bears with a .223, not to mention the fact that mini-14s aren’t exactly known for their accuracy. If I planned on spending time in brown bear country, a 338 Win mag in stainless bolt action would be my minimum choice. The wife would have to get educated on the virtues of dependable bolt guns and dangerous game. You might also look into some of the AR-10 type rifles. Some of them are very accurate. I’m pretty sure you can get a Browning, BAR, in 300 win mag, and maybe 338. That would be a good choice. A Remington 7400 might be another, and a 44 carbine wouldn’t be bad for close up work. Never underestimate the virtue of big holes. Talk to Alaskans who spend a lot of time hunting and in the company of big bears.
You can pick up a Wyndham AR 15 HBC for about $900. We have one ands its extremely accurate as well as lighter than the Bushmaster.
I would think in Brown Bear country the Mini 14 would be to use on yourself in case you are attacked. :-)
Check dealers for an M1A scout. It’s a .308. See how the wife handles it. With a five round magazine you’re talking about 50% more weight than the 6 to 7 lb. Ruger. More accuracy, more power, more range. I had short barreled M1A, like the scout, with a folding stock. It was a great shoot from the hip rifle.
There is a new spring set you can get for that problem that will prevent a double tap or full auto if dirty.
I bought a Mini-30 about a year ago and love it. Recommend it to anyone.
7.62 x 39...
cheap plentiful ammo, can drop an sks in a mudpuddle, shake it and shoot it...
lots of special goodies to buy to “spruce” it up too..
I totally agree! Love my Marlin 30-30. Wouldn’t trade it for anything. For all the reasons you list and several others. And it’s just plain COOL!
Sorry, not from Alaska, but I’ve hunted there and roamed the Alaskan back country and carried a 45-70 Marlin lever gun and Ruger Alaskan in .454 Cassul. There are some big, dangerous critters there. The .223 is a varmint round.
My late wife carried a .308 short barrel M1-A with a synthetic stock fitted with a scope and laser pointer. She was 5-2 and 125#.