Marlin Firearms Forum banner

21 - 34 of 34 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,084 Posts
Discussion Starter #21
Great read, advice, and pics there sandog- I would LOVE to find a Mini-30 locally for a decent price, but they don't show up often, or when they do, sellers want way too much for them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
361 Posts
I have been fortunate to have found 3 used ones that were not abused or "Bubba'd up" and all cost me around $450. With one of them the guy was hoping to get $600, I pointed out that brand new ones were going for a bit over $700, and were "much improved", so he came down on his price.
But I prefer the older ones, quality and QC seemed to be better, and when these 189 series were made, the tooling was only a couple years old.
All older Mini-30's never had the .560" "pencil barrel", they were all made with a .625" barrel, same as the new tapered barrel Mini's.
You won't have the same accuracy and stringing issues as the old pencil Mini-14's.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,823 Posts
I have been fortunate to have found 3 used ones that were not abused or "Bubba'd up" and all cost me around $450. With one of them the guy was hoping to get $600, I pointed out that brand new ones were going for a bit over $700, and were "much improved", so he came down on his price.
But I prefer the older ones, quality and QC seemed to be better, and when these 189 series were made, the tooling was only a couple years old.
All older Mini-30's never had the .560" "pencil barrel", they were all made with a .625" barrel, same as the new tapered barrel Mini's.
You won't have the same accuracy and stringing issues as the old pencil Mini-14's.
I have 2 Mini's. One is an older blued 181 series and I have a newer stainless 185 series. Both are original wood stock with the fiberglass ventilated forward handguard that clips on. Both have been modified with the adjustable gas system and the barrel stabilizer strut system. My blued one has been modified to have the M14 style Frt sight with the rear peep. The stainless one has a 2-7 power Burris scope on it with a S&K steel scope mount. Both of these have had the receivers glass bedded into the stocks with the same process we use on the M1A rifles. Both of my Mini's shoot 2 inch grps at 100 yrds. I'm happy with this level of accuracy with an open bolt style rifle. With the adjustable gas system I can cut down the gas to where the shells just land next to me.
You cannot compare this system with the AR. My AR is much more accurate but this is a completely different design. The AR will jam if left dirty and it is easier to clear a jam on the Mini due to the open bolt .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,977 Posts
I know that a lot of people buy the 6.8 but I believe the 762x39 has a lot more to offer. It is just about as fast, ammo is way cheaper and easier to find. I still remember the first Mini in 7.62x39 I owned, they had not been out very long and I saw a ad in the paper where a guy had one for 500 dollars with a scope on it. I kept it for a year or two and sold it to fund somethig else. The advertisement they ran on the mini 7.62x39 was awesome with the good looking cowgirl holding the rifle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
361 Posts
I got my latest Mini-30 out yesterday ( the one on the right in the first pic of my reply on page 2). I decided to put it in a Choate pistol grip stock, as I already have one in a Ruger wood stock and one in a Ruger synthetic stock. The Choate has a good, quick pointing feel to it with the pistol grip, and is very light. I cut the barrel to 16 inches and put on a Choate flash supressor like my wood stocked Mini-30.
I got up to my range yesterday to try it, not an easy thing to do this time of year, as there was a foot of snow up there.
Was worried about getting the old F-350 ranch truck stuck, so I walked in the last 1/2 mile.
Mounted a cheap Centerpoint 2-7x scope that is used on various rifles to test loads, until I can get better glass for them.
After a few shots to zero, I shot the two loads I have an abundance of, and they both shoot great in my other two Mini's.
My plinking load is the PPU factory FMJ, and I reload the empty PPU brass with my SHTF load of a Hornady 123 grain SST over A2105 powder.
I shot a target of each. The PPU is pretty good for a mid priced 7.62 x 39 FMJ, but the SST load always amazes me. It shoots 1 MOA in the other two Mini's, and it looks like this newest Mini likes it as well.
I might add that once the scope comes off, I'll never shoot groups this well again. I like to shoot with irons on occasion, but my eyes aren't so good anymore with irons. Up to 100 yards, I can do almost as well as a scope using a red dot, beyond that the dot covers too much of the target.
But the dot equipped Mini is "minute of man" up to 300 yards and a bit beyond.
The Mini is not near as light and handy with a scope, after I see what it can do, and what loads it likes, it'll never have a scope on it again.
This one will get the Tech Sight rear sight upgrade, and a Burris FastFire III like the grey M-30 on the other page.
I like the 7.62 x 39 round more all the time, been shooting it for about 16 years now, first in a Romanian AKM, then a Colt AR upper in that caliber. I'll never get rid of these 3 Mini-30's, although this O.D. Green stocked one I'll eventually give to my daughter, so it'll still be "in the family".


 

·
Registered
Joined
·
259 Posts
Begs the question because you've owned so many, which AR would you recommend under $1,000? I've always wanted an AR and have hesitated because there are so many on the market with varying ratings. Granted, a Vinci is next on my list for turkey reasons, but my first AR isn't far away.

I would beg to differ with you on reliability. Had 1 Mini 14 Ranch and it was minute of 55 gal drum at 100 yds. Have owned and fired many AR-15's over the years both built or complete guns. No issues at all with proper ammo. Biggest downfall for the Ruger is the proprietary magazine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
361 Posts
I would beg to differ with you on reliability. Had 1 Mini 14 Ranch and it was minute of 55 gal drum at 100 yds. Have owned and fired many AR-15's over the years both built or complete guns. No issues at all with proper ammo. Biggest downfall for the Ruger is the proprietary magazine.
Really ? You were shooting groups the size of a 55 gallon drum at 100 yards ?
Were you shooting with your eyes closed ?
I'm pretty sure I could hit a 55 gallon drum every time at 100 yards shooting from the hip.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
226 Posts
Living In good ol kaliforny the AR platform is slowly getting phased out( I personally put blame on the gratuitus use of the term "Assault Rifle") I believe that the popularity (and price) of the mini 14 will skyrocket!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
366 Posts
Took my first generation mini 14 out today for only 2nd time and wanted to bench shoot to check the accuracy as the first time didn’t seem to be. Didn’t really have a very stable platform as was shooting from an ATV but from 65 yards was grouping at an inch and a quarter so better than I thought. I’m going to set up a table next time and try at 100 yards to see what it’ll do. If I get 3 or 4 inch groups I’m happy. Really like this gun.

Jim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
889 Posts
I have both an AR and newer Mini 14 in 5.56. I honestly like the way the Mini handles much more. ARs handle like weed eaters to me. That said, the "controls" on an AR leave very little to be desired and are very ergonomic. Cleaning and gun smithing an AR is much easier. Magazines? PMAGs are cheap and always work in my gun. Accuracy? This is a toss up for me, I guess the AR is better but I am not sure. Ease of scope/optics mounting? AR wins by a mile. If I were headed to battle, I would pick the AR every time.

As a side note, my father was career 82nd Airborne and served in Vietnam. I had the opportunity to ask him and his buddies to compare the M14 with the M16. To a man, each greatly preferred the M16.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,823 Posts
Living In good ol kaliforny the AR platform is slowly getting phased out( I personally put blame on the gratuitus use of the term "Assault Rifle") I believe that the popularity (and price) of the mini 14 will skyrocket!
I figured it was only a matter of time before they decide to ban the AR altogether. When CA banned 50 cal from private ownership the 2nd A was already dead in CA. Now they are coming for all semi-autos. I have many friends in the Aerospace industry that have moved out of CA for this reason. Many manufacturers will just no longer sell to CA as that is easier than conforming to stupid feature mods to make it CA legal. I already know of many ammo distributers that do not even want to ship ammo through CA as it is a hassle with paperwork even if it is a freight forward to Hawaii.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
I do like my Mini 14s . I had the barrel on the top one chopped to 10.5" and the flash hider pinned and welded , the groups tightened up significantly taking the whip out of the barrel . It makes a pretty handy truck gun .
. mini14.jpg
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,080 Posts
While not a fan of ARs, I liked the Mini 14, also like Ruger products. I will say Ruger is well made as far as functioning/ durability, but
so is AR. When I had shop back in 70-80s I had a lot of customers who were very disappointed with accuracy of Mini-14. Especially
the stainless models. Never had the problem with ARs. I have recently decided to hold my nose and buy a semi auto 223, it's going
to be a AR. My opinions are based on stock models of these rifles
.
Ruger makes those too.
 
21 - 34 of 34 Posts
Top