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Posted: 8/24/2003 9:52:02 PM EDT
This may be a stupid question but its one that I really have to ask. Does Q3131A, or any other 5.56 ammo suitable for defense, still perform as well as they do in other (non-AR) guns?
Link Posted: 8/24/2003 10:19:18 PM EDT
Yes.
Link Posted: 8/25/2003 12:44:59 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/25/2003 7:58:03 PM EDT
It would actually have better terminal ballistics from an 18" Mini-14 than a 14.5" or 16" AR. Assuming you could put it in the vitals with the Mini....
Link Posted: 8/25/2003 9:32:03 PM EDT
Originally Posted By AR15fan: It would actually have better terminal ballistics from an 18" Mini-14 than a 14.5" or 16" AR. Assuming you could put it in the vitals with the Mini....
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A Mini-14! You read my mind. Can`t have an AR so I might get a mini for the time being.
Link Posted: 8/25/2003 10:08:02 PM EDT
Originally Posted By spork:
Originally Posted By AR15fan: It would actually have better terminal ballistics from an 18" Mini-14 than a 14.5" or 16" AR. Assuming you could put it in the vitals with the Mini....
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A Mini-14! You read my mind. Can`t have an AR so I might get a mini for the time being.
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I have an enjoy shooting a Mini-14. but the best Cali legal magazine fed semi auto is the M1A. I really like the M1A Scout.
Link Posted: 8/25/2003 10:45:47 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/25/2003 10:46:26 PM EDT by spork]
Originally Posted By AR15fan:
Originally Posted By spork:
Originally Posted By AR15fan: It would actually have better terminal ballistics from an 18" Mini-14 than a 14.5" or 16" AR. Assuming you could put it in the vitals with the Mini....
View Quote
A Mini-14! You read my mind. Can`t have an AR so I might get a mini for the time being.
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I have an enjoy shooting a Mini-14. but the best Cali legal magazine fed semi auto is the M1A. I really like the M1A Scout.
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Once again, you read my mind! I am also considering the M1A. Tell me about your M1A. How is the reliability, accuracy, ect... How much should I be paying for a new one at a So.Kal gun store? And the most important question: do you know of any .308 ammo that has good stopping power but won`t overpenetrate at close range? The role for the rifle of my choosing will be home defense.
Link Posted: 8/26/2003 12:12:06 AM EDT
What about the Kel-Tec SU-16? Are those California legal? If so, you might add this to your list of options. The Springfield M1A is a fine rifle. I have an early 1980's pre-ban NM M1A made with many USGI parts that I wouldn't consider trading or selling. Mine is super reliable and accurate. It does everything I could ask a rifle to do. But being full-size doesn't really make it well suited to home defense. If I considered an M1A for home defense purposes, I would seriously look at the Scout or Bush versions with the shorter barrels. The new ones seem to be just as reliable and accurate, but most of the military parts have dried up and I hear many of the newer guns aren't as durable as the old ones. I assume this has something to do with using cast parts instead of forged ones. I have never owned a recent M1A so I can't say how good they really are. Nevertheless I would strongly consider looking at one of these and asking around about them before buying. They are expensive and the 10 rd Springfield Armory factory mags are rather pricey too. So make sure you feel confident in the weapon before buying it. For .308 ammo, the 155 gr Hornady AMAX loads seem to work VERY well. They fragment dramatically, creating a more severe wound than the best .223 while offering optimal penetration. These are hard to find now commercially, but if you reload you can get the bullets easily and load your own. Otherwise, the Winchester 150 gr Supreme Ballistic Silvertip, Federal Premium 150 gr Nosler Ballistic Tip or the Black Hills Gold 150 gr Nosler Ballistic Tips should all be excellent choices for defensive ammo. I would advise you steer clear of the Mini-14 if at all possible. I do own one of these and I keep it for plinking and because I understand it's limitations. With proper magazines, the Ruger Mini-14 can be as reliable as any semi-auto made. But finding good magazines is very difficult. Ruger only makes factory 5 rounders now for civilians. Other than these, the only thing I have heard of that's even close to reliable are the Pro-Mag 10 rounders (that actually only seem to work right with 9 rounds). It seems these rifles also have quite a bit of difference in how the mags fit. I have seen some Mini's that aren't exactly friendly when it comes to mag insertion. Mine seems to accept any mag I have tried. But I have a friend with one that looks identical to mine that will not accept most of my hi-caps! I cannot understand this. On top of this, the Mini really isn't very accurate. At CQB distance it will more than suffice, but after you use it in other ways, you will likely find yourself disappointed in the gun. So unless you can't do any better, I would avoid this gun. You might also look around and see if there are any AK variants that are CA legal. I know there are a couple of types on the market that only accept 10 round single stack mags. And Saiga may make a model that only uses limited capacity mags as well. The Saiga also is without the pistol grip, so this might be another option. Another carbine-rifle worth considering are the Marlin lever guns. Since you are gonna be limited in ammo capacity anyway, I really would not consider one of these guns as a disadvantage. They are durable, reliable, handy and come in many hard hitting calibers. They are also more politically correct. This same basic design has graced nearly every western ever made. Hunters use them by the thousands. Therefore they don't terrify soccer moms quite as bad as some other designs. One excellent example is Marlin's 1895 Guide Guns. Or if you wish you could get a .44 Magnum, 30-30, .35 Remington, 444 Marlin, and various other calibers. Even the full-size 20" rifles can be customized by a good gunsmith, and you can have the barrel taken down to 18" or even 16.5" or so, if you wish. Off course ghost ring sights can be added as well as various other things. And you can even get them in a stainless finish! If you would like a picture of one of these, IM me your email address and I will send you one. I think you would find this gun to your liking. I also think you will not have to worry about poor terminal performance with a 45-70 at your disposal! If this causes an over-penetration fear, a 30-30 with 125 gr Federal HP's may be the best way to go. And before I close, let me apologize for any poor grammar, incoherent thoughts or rambling, as it is very late and I am half asleep as I type this. LOL. -Charging Handle
Link Posted: 8/26/2003 1:34:03 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Charging_Handle: What about the Kel-Tec SU-16? Are those California legal? If so, you might add this to your list of options. The Springfield M1A is a fine rifle. I have an early 1980's pre-ban NM M1A made with many USGI parts that I wouldn't consider trading or selling. Mine is super reliable and accurate. It does everything I could ask a rifle to do. But being full-size doesn't really make it well suited to home defense. If I considered an M1A for home defense purposes, I would seriously look at the Scout or Bush versions with the shorter barrels. The new ones seem to be just as reliable and accurate, but most of the military parts have dried up and I hear many of the newer guns aren't as durable as the old ones. I assume this has something to do with using cast parts instead of forged ones. I have never owned a recent M1A so I can't say how good they really are. Nevertheless I would strongly consider looking at one of these and asking around about them before buying. They are expensive and the 10 rd Springfield Armory factory mags are rather pricey too. So make sure you feel confident in the weapon before buying it. For .308 ammo, the 155 gr Hornady AMAX loads seem to work VERY well. They fragment dramatically, creating a more severe wound than the best .223 while offering optimal penetration. These are hard to find now commercially, but if you reload you can get the bullets easily and load your own. Otherwise, the Winchester 150 gr Supreme Ballistic Silvertip, Federal Premium 150 gr Nosler Ballistic Tip or the Black Hills Gold 150 gr Nosler Ballistic Tips should all be excellent choices for defensive ammo. I would advise you steer clear of the Mini-14 if at all possible. I do own one of these and I keep it for plinking and because I understand it's limitations. With proper magazines, the Ruger Mini-14 can be as reliable as any semi-auto made. But finding good magazines is very difficult. Ruger only makes factory 5 rounders now for civilians. Other than these, the only thing I have heard of that's even close to reliable are the Pro-Mag 10 rounders (that actually only seem to work right with 9 rounds). It seems these rifles also have quite a bit of difference in how the mags fit. I have seen some Mini's that aren't exactly friendly when it comes to mag insertion. Mine seems to accept any mag I have tried. But I have a friend with one that looks identical to mine that will not accept most of my hi-caps! I cannot understand this. On top of this, the Mini really isn't very accurate. At CQB distance it will more than suffice, but after you use it in other ways, you will likely find yourself disappointed in the gun. So unless you can't do any better, I would avoid this gun. You might also look around and see if there are any AK variants that are CA legal. I know there are a couple of types on the market that only accept 10 round single stack mags. And Saiga may make a model that only uses limited capacity mags as well. The Saiga also is without the pistol grip, so this might be another option. Another carbine-rifle worth considering are the Marlin lever guns. Since you are gonna be limited in ammo capacity anyway, I really would not consider one of these guns as a disadvantage. They are durable, reliable, handy and come in many hard hitting calibers. They are also more politically correct. This same basic design has graced nearly every western ever made. Hunters use them by the thousands. Therefore they don't terrify soccer moms quite as bad as some other designs. One excellent example is Marlin's 1895 Guide Guns. Or if you wish you could get a .44 Magnum, 30-30, .35 Remington, 444 Marlin, and various other calibers. Even the full-size 20" rifles can be customized by a good gunsmith, and you can have the barrel taken down to 18" or even 16.5" or so, if you wish. Off course ghost ring sights can be added as well as various other things. And you can even get them in a stainless finish! If you would like a picture of one of these, IM me your email address and I will send you one. I think you would find this gun to your liking. I also think you will not have to worry about poor terminal performance with a 45-70 at your disposal! If this causes an over-penetration fear, a 30-30 with 125 gr Federal HP's may be the best way to go. And before I close, let me apologize for any poor grammar, incoherent thoughts or rambling, as it is very late and I am half asleep as I type this. LOL. -Charging Handle
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Thanks for the informative post CH. I don`t want to take a $500+ chance on a mini as much as I used to. I am leaning more towards the M1A and now considering the kel-tec you mentioned.
Link Posted: 8/26/2003 8:30:00 AM EDT
Big 5 stores, which are all over California, have some god sale prices on lever guns. They had Winchester and Marlins, in .30-30, 44mag, 45Colt, and .357 Mag on sale for $299.99 earlier this month.
Link Posted: 8/27/2003 8:13:10 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/28/2003 9:15:09 AM EDT by mini14jac]
If you want a reliable Mini 14, reliable 30rd mags can be found for around $30 each. PMI and Thermold are both as good as factory. Try the Mini 14 user's group for some good info: [url]http://www.perfectunion.com/forums/index.php?s=1518606336445fa8862b5aad5338abc9&showforum=8[/url] I just finished a glass bedding job on mine. Now, shooting Q3131a, I get 2.5" groups at 100 yards with [b]open sights[/b]. (I don't have a good scope mount.) It' hard to get good Mini 14 information on an AR board. [:)]
Link Posted: 8/27/2003 8:30:29 AM EDT
Originally Posted By mini14jac: If you want a reliable Mini 14, reliable 30rd mags can be found for around $30 each. PMI and Thermold are both as good as factory.
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Don't forget, he's in California. He can't get 30 round mags any longer. It also seems the average price of the PMI mags is closer to $40 than $30 these days, so this is a valid point for those who still live in hi-cap freindly locations. By the time one modifies a Mini-14 to get the same level of accuracy as the average out of the box AR, they will have spent enough money that they could have just bought an AR anyway. With quality AR mags available for as little as $15.50 each (the British mags) or US GI for $20-$25, if you buy many mags the sensible choice would be the AR over Mini. Not to mention that if the Mini breaks a part you will have to send it back to the factory for replacement, whereas you can just order whatever AR part you need. -Charging Handle
Link Posted: 8/27/2003 8:40:31 AM EDT
All AK variants are illegal in California. As are magazines over 10 rounds if you did not own them before Jan. 1st, 2000. .223/5.56x45mm autoloaders: Mini-14, good rifle, all you need to do is glass bed the stock (kits are like $20-25) and it'll shoot 2" @ 100 yards. Barrel is thin though, so sustained firing heats it up real quick. For some this causes accuracy to decrease, other's it doesn't. YMMV. No preban features allowed in California! Robinson Armament M96 w/o pistol grip: Very nice, reliable, if a little heavy. No preban features allowed in California. This means you don't get the nice pistol grip. You have to shoot it a bit oddly, and well, it's not completely confortable for some, especially with small hands. Others enjoy it just fine. FAB-10 AR-15: Basically and AR-15 with a fixed 10 round magazine. You have to pull the takedown pin to load it with stripper clips. Other than that you can build yourself a very nice AR-15 with all the preban features you want (since it does not accept a detachable magazine). This is what I'm doing, then when I move out of state I can buy a preban lower or maybe the AWB will have sunset by then. Kel-Tec: I don't know if this is legal, I think CA might ban it on a technicality, calling it's break-in-half capability a folding stock *shrug*. .308/7.62x51mm autoloaders: M1A: Very nice rifle, durable, accurate and expensive, no chrome lined barrel, cleaning can be a pain. California legal FAL: They do this one of two ways. Remove the pistol grip. And you thought the M96 w/o pistol grip is uncomfortable... try handling .308 recoil without it. The other way they do this is to attach a fixed 10 round magazine. On this rifle I don't think you have to break it open you just load it from the top. However, I'm not real familiar with FAL design so I don't know if it's as simple as switching out a lower when you move out of state to get detachable magazine capability. FAL's are very nice rifles, just as reliable as the M1A, if not quite as accurate. 7.62x39mm They do make pump-action AK's which are legal. Your other option is a Mini-30 or SKS with grenade launcher removed. Both are very good and reliable. SKS is more accurate out of the box and loaded with strippers clips from the top. I'm sure there are others as well. Siaga's are illegal because they are AK-style actions. Hope this helps.
Link Posted: 8/27/2003 8:49:17 AM EDT
Yes, I second Charging_Handle. Mini-14's and Mini-30's can be expensive to own in the long run. Plus, there is less info, parts available, etc. and even though it is based on the M1A action, it's still not as tried and true as an AR-15 IMO. That's why I went with a FAB-10 AR-15 clone. Oh, also, one of the biggest complaints about the M96 is there is no bolt holdopen/release. Well, there isn't one on the FAB-10 either. You have to use the Charging handle every time. Where you'd normally put the bolt hold-open there is a guide hole for a stripper clip guide. If you want a nice reliable, and battle-accurate rifle for SUPER CHEAP with super cheap ammo, get an SKS. You can get a nice Yugo SKS for $200. Yugo's are very good quality, as are Russian which are more expensive and rarer. I'd avoid the Chinesse SKS's, later in production they used a lot of stamped, low-quality parts, but that's just me.
Link Posted: 8/27/2003 9:13:29 AM EDT
Actually, [url=http://www.johnmasen.com/]John Masen[/url] makes 10 rd. Mini-14 mags that are quite reliable. If you get a Mini-14, I recommend either getting a synthetic stock model or keeping a close eye on the stock reinforcement screws on the wood stock model, especially if you intend to shoot M855 ammo through it at all. There have been reports of the stock reinforcement screws backing out under recoil with heavier bullet weights, and I believe this is what happened to mine. Fortunately, the gun is OK, but I still haven't gotten around to getting a new screw and lock washer for it and don't want to shoot it till I do.
Link Posted: 8/27/2003 1:08:02 PM EDT
I have already decided on the an AR with a FAB-10 lower since I almost have enough money for one. Thanks anyway.
Link Posted: 8/27/2003 7:33:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/27/2003 7:35:21 PM EDT by wyv3rn]
securitysix, thanks for sharing that. That's good info, make sure to use some blue loctite when you get the new screw! spork, that's probably your best choice in .223/5.56mm unfortunately. I doubt you will be dissapointed by the rifle itself, although the price of the lower is pretty ridiculous. The quality of it is good though. It's very well made, the only problem I've had with mine is the buffer retainer and buffer not lining up quite right. This may or may not be a problem with the lower, but I suspect the lower because the stock is a 2003 RRA 6-position (good quality). I think they might have just placed the retainer hole a 1mm backward from where they're supposed to. It wasn't a big deal, I just shaved a little off the buffer with my dremel. Where are you located? I'm in the Sacramento area and I can recommend places to get a FAB-10. My upper arrives tomorrow! Then my rifle will be complete, I can't wait! Going to take it out this weekend. :)
Link Posted: 8/28/2003 8:55:54 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/28/2003 9:17:43 AM EDT by mini14jac]
Well, I don't want this to turn into a "ARs are better than Mini 14s" thread. You can get PMI 30rd blue mags at [url]wwww.gunpartscorp.com[/url] for $30+ change, plus shipping. If you want the exact part number and price, drop me an email. (The listing doesn't say "PMI".) PMI mags are heavy steel, so they will last longer than aluminum mags. As for cost, the bedding kit was less than $30 and a second hand Mini 14 cost <$350. Not hardly into the AR price range yet. Can a Mini 14 be made as accurate at 500 yards as an AR15? I honestly don't know, but if it could, you would have as much invested as an AR, if not more. But, how many of us ever shoot at 500yds? I can barely make out a man-sized target at 100 yards. And, for someone in California, it wouldn't matter even if the AR was a better choice. And, it may be, depending on what you want to do. I wanted a low-cost, reliable, reasonably accurate .223 auto-loader that would take hi-cap mags. The gun would be used mainly for plinking/target shooting at 100yds or less. Shooting open sights, which I prefer on a defensive carbine. (Actually, unless I am checking out new mods, I shoot at a 25yd range.) It would also fulfill the role of home defense. And, just ripping off an occasional 30rd mag full of ammo for fun. I had a Bushmaster that I loved, but I just couldn't justify having an $800+ "toy" when there were so many other things (toys) that I wanted to buy. Given the above qualifications, you can see why the Mini 14 was a good choice for [b]me[/b]. I also like the "civilian" looks of the Mini 14. As with many things, these are personal choices. Just don't say the Mini 14 is not reliable, or can't be made 100yd accurate. As far as getting parts, I think there are 1 or 2 parts that have to be factory fitted. (The manual says that the gas bushing is one, but I've changed mine out.) Everything else is available at a reasonable price (or free) from Ruger. (They have sent me free parts for several guns, and they replaced the entire trigger assembly, on my Mini 14 free of charge.) You can say a lot of things about Ruger, but their customer service is top notch. Most parts can be also purchased from gunpartscorp or Brownell's for a little more cash. Let's keep our facts straight. [:D]
Link Posted: 8/28/2003 8:30:50 PM EDT
Anybody had a Mini barrel worked to improve the accuracy and get rid of that front sight? Most seem to be of the $1k+ to get AR accuracy jobs but some seem to be cheaper for a social rifle. I've tried contacting [url]http://www.drccustomgunsights.com/[/url] but my emails keep coming back.
Link Posted: 8/29/2003 9:43:20 AM EDT
Try the Mini14 user group: www.perfectunion.com/forums/index.php?s=1518606336445fa8862b5aad5338abc9&showforum=8 One place you may try is ASI: [url]http://accuracysystemsinc.com/mini_14_30_accessories.html[/url]
Link Posted: 9/1/2003 1:03:27 PM EDT
Good luck there Spork with that Fab 10. If it was me I would go with an SKS if limited to stripper clip loading.
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