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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
You'll find me mostly over on the fishing side of this forum, but I decided to wander over here and see if I can get some opinions on a rifle that I've been looking at.

I had a friend turn me on the Ruger mini-14 as a good quality semi-auto... and also a cheaper alternative to an AR-15. I never did buy one. However, recently I've been looking hard at the Ruger mini-30 [7.62mm] as a rifle that I could use if (when) I decide to take up deer hunting (hopefully next season). I know that there are better rifles out there for range and accuracy, but is it a solid choice for a semi-auto, and also a decent deer rifle. I'd appreciate anyone's insight.
 

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Great rifle and passable round for deer at short to moderate range...PROVIDING you use good "made for hunting" ammunition. There is a lot of full metal jacket type ammo out there in this caliber that is absolutely NOT good for hunting. Use only expanding bullets for hunting.
 

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Unless you spend some extra hard earned cash on some accuracy upgrades to the Mini 14, you will never get the same level of accuracy that you should expect from an AR15. There are also many more accessories for the AR, and magazines are a whole lot cheaper and more available. The AR is available in the 7.62x39 as well as several other calibers more suitable for big game hunting. The Mini 14 is a fine plinker, but I would spend my money on the AR. Just my opinion.
 

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Loke said:
Unless you spend some extra hard earned cash on some accuracy upgrades to the Mini 14, you will never get the same level of accuracy that you should expect from an AR15. There are also many more accessories for the AR, and magazines are a whole lot cheaper and more available. The AR is available in the 7.62x39 as well as several other calibers more suitable for big game hunting. The Mini 14 is a fine plinker, but I would spend my money on the AR. Just my opinion.
The mini has for years been known as minimal in accuracy. There is a new one out that is suppose to be better , but I have not heard from anyone that owns one. I think for the money you could find a very adiquit bolt gun. IMHO.
 

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I agree. A mini is fine to plink with, but if cost is an issue and it is going to be your primary hunting tool, go with a bolt.
 

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If you're looking at something in 7.62x39, then the SKS or an AK type would be worth looking at. You can pick up an SKS that would be just as accurate or more than the Mini-30 for about 1/4 the price. Plus, the SKS has all kinds of toys available for it. Ruger mags are expensive, and the factory ones are usually the only ones that work right.

Mini-14s are usually cheaper than AR-15s up front, but start adding on magazines and it doesn't take long to wind up costing more than AR. I would imagine that the mags for the Mini-30 are just as expensive.
 

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Just to clarify, I was limiting my comments to auto loaders. For the best accuracy for the least money, the bolt gun is your only choice. A target grade AR will rival the accuracy of some of the best bolt guns, but your wallet will definitely feel the hit. A Remington 700 SPS can be had for less than $500, and will shoot better than the majority of us can.
 

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Loke said:
Just to clarify, I was limiting my comments to auto loaders. For the best accuracy for the least money, the bolt gun is your only choice. A target grade AR will rival the accuracy of some of the best bolt guns, but your wallet will definitely feel the hit. A Remington 700 SPS can be had for less than $500, and will shoot better than the majority of us can.
+1
 

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DESPERADO: If you're looking at something in 7.62x39, then the SKS or an AK type would be worth looking at. You can pick up an SKS that would be just as accurate or more than the Mini-30 for about 1/4 the price. Plus, the SKS has all kinds of toys available for it. Ruger mags are expensive, and the factory ones are usually the only ones that work right.

Mini-14s are usually cheaper than AR-15s up front, but start adding on magazines and it doesn't take long to wind up costing more than AR. I would imagine that the mags for the Mini-30 are just as expensive.
My thoughts exactly - Forget the Mini and go with one of the others mentioned.
 

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One of my friends has both the mini 14 and the mini 30. They are fun to shoot, no doubt, but rough on accuracy. Just the other day out shooting he had to take the scope off of his mini 30 to shoot BETTER! In my opinion, that's not worth the trouble. I'd much rather have a gun that shoots point-on every time I pull the trigger, than one that you can crack off all 30 rounds in just a few seconds. Like i said, fun to shoot, but not the best hunting/target gun.
 

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If you are going to be plinking with it, then you will be going through lots of ammo. The mini-14 or -30 will wear out its thin barrel too quickly and then it won't seem so cheap anymore.
I'd go with an AK or SKS. They are fun, the ammo is still relatively cheap, and the Russian and Eastern European guns are built to chew up that cheap Russian surplus ammo (Wolf, etc.) like candy. The American built guns don't like the cheap ammo and therefore require some of the more expensive brass cased 7.62 ammo.
 

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Me and Jim Zumbo say leave the "assault" rifles home and hunt with a "hunting" rifle.
 

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Nibble Nuts said:
If you are going to be plinking with it, then you will be going through lots of ammo. The mini-14 or -30 will wear out its thin barrel too quickly and then it won't seem so cheap anymore.
I'd go with an AK or SKS. They are fun, the ammo is still relatively cheap, and the Russian and Eastern European guns are built to chew up that cheap Russian surplus ammo (Wolf, etc.) like candy. The American built guns don't like the cheap ammo and therefore require some of the more expensive brass cased 7.62 ammo.
+1. I've got the Mini-14 and a relative has the Mini-30, and everything just stated is true. They are just not a consistent shooter. They do ok for jump shooting rabbits, but that's about it. I've put less than half the amount of bullets through my Mini as I have my AR and it already needs work done.
 
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