M1 Carbine vs Ruger Mini-14

Discussion in 'Large-Bore/Small-Bore Rifle/Shotgun' started by Popeye79, Nov 30, 2012.

  1. Popeye79

    Popeye79 Former Guest

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    The M1 Carbine and Ruger Mini-14 both have a Garand type action and are about the same size and weight. The biggest difference between the two is the cartridge they're chambered for.

    If we ignore the collector value of each gun and focus strictly on the gun itself and you could get either one for the same price, which would you choose and why?

    I'd prefer the Mini-14 over the M1. I think the .223 round is superior to the .30 Carbine round, and it is more available. Plus there are many more accessories and spare parts available for the Mini-14. Another thing in its favor is that I like stainless steel guns and the Mini-14 is available in stainless while the M1 carbine is not.

    Which way would you go?
  2. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    Well, actually, as I found out a month or so back here on this board, Iver Johnson made stainless M1 Carbines.

    But, yeah. I prefer the Mini. Especially now that they have decent 20-rounders available. The Carbine is fun, but the Mini fits me a little better. And yes, the 223 is a much better "anti-personnel" cartridge than the 30 Carbine. If they have reasonably priced good 20 round mags for the Mini 30, that would be the best of the three. Buuuut - they don't. So the Mini 14 is the way to go.
  3. Popeye79

    Popeye79 Former Guest

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    Clearly you prefer the 7.62x39 over the 5.56x45. Would you mind sharing why? I personally prefer the 5.56. I like the small bore, hi velocity of the 5.56.
  4. BulletArc47

    BulletArc47 New Member

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    Kind of a big jump to say he(she?) likes one cartridge over another. He thought that the 5.56x45 was more of a anti personnel cartridge than the 30 carbine, that was it, and I agree.

    To the main question: I like both guns, but I have to lean towards the mini-14. Not sure why, there's just somethin' alluring about it.:cool: Maybe it's that "Garand action" coupled with a "modern cartridge". Who knows.:p
  5. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    It's true, I think that the 7.62x39 is a better "man killer" than 223. I'm old enough, I guess, to believe in "bigger/heavier is better". A 110 at 18 or 19 hundred ain't to be sneezed at, but it's not as good as a 123 (10% heavier) at 2400 (25 to 30% faster).

    The main problem with the 30 carbine is the bullet design sucks. It's a short-range bullet. The 223, being long, thin and pointed, is gonna reach out. I stand a chance of doing damage at 250 or 300 yards with a 223, while anything beyond about a hundred, with the 30 carbine, is a crap shoot.

    With the 30, you have a moderately heavy bullet at a moderate velocity, and the 223 gives you a light bullet at a high velocity. I'm not really thrilled with either one. The x39 gives you mass plus speed. You got the longer, pointed bullet, so the odds of hitting at 200 are much improved. I might not can score hits as far with the x39 as I can with the 223, but I believe it would do more damage when I do hit.

    And if I really need to reach out 300 yards, I need a bigger gun. Garand. M14. Full-size 30, or bigger.
  6. BulletArc47

    BulletArc47 New Member

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    It's true, high mass with high velocity will always do greater kinetic damage, but shot placement is key. All that energy is isn't worth it if you can't make the shot count.:cool:

    Really both cartridges have their places, and my choice would be circumstantial. As I assume yours would be.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2012
  7. cycloneman

    cycloneman Active Member

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    I have allways wondered why Ruger has not made one in 308.
  8. Popeye79

    Popeye79 Former Guest

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    Sorry. I did not mean to make a "big jump". I was referencing his(her?) comment about preferring the mini-30 over the mini-14. Since the rifles are otherwise identical, to me that's a clear preference of one cartridge over another cartridge. I'm just curious why.
  9. lead

    lead Active Member

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    I may be the oddball here(in many ways), but I've owned both and liked shooting the M1 Carbine better. I just found myself "underwhelmed" with the Ruger. It should have all the advantages and should be the superior rifle, but nothing about it stood out to me. The M1 just did what it was supposed to do, shoot straight and get the job done. I wish there were better bullet selections for it, but I still prefer it over the Ruger. JMHO
  10. aa1911

    aa1911 Active Member

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    .223 vs .30 carbine, no contest!
  11. jedwil

    jedwil Well-Known Member

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    Agree. Have both and would prefer the Mini14 in a real SHTF situation but find the Carbine more fun for plinking. But, I would not hesitate to take the M1 Carbine to a gun fight.
  12. aa1911

    aa1911 Active Member

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    yep! I personally love the M1 better for overall quality but the round leaves much to be desired. The mini-14/mini-30 magazines and other parts are kinda junky
  13. jedwil

    jedwil Well-Known Member

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    Ruger magazines are top notch...Just pricey.
  14. Popeye79

    Popeye79 Former Guest

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    We seem to be talking about three different cartridges, as follows:
    .223 Remington (5.56x45)
    .30Carbine (7.62x33)
    .30 for the AK-47 (7.62x39)

    Here's some basic data on each cartridge:

    cartridge / bullet wt / velocity / energy
    5.56x45 / 55 grain / 3240 ft/s / 1282 ft/lb
    7.62x33 / 110 grain / 1900 ft/s / 880 ft/lb
    7.62x39 / 123 grain / 2400 ft/s / 1529 ft/lb

    The modern US and Soviet cartridges are roughly equal at the muzzle in terms of energy, and both are significantly superior to the older 30 Carbine.

    My question was related to your stated preference of the 7.62x39 round over the 5.56x45 round. I was just curious why. You seem to be saying that your preference is due to the 7.62x39 having the better combination of bullet mass and velocity than the 5.56x45, with the 7.62x39 having essentially the same size and mass bullet as the 30 Carbine, but a much better bullet shape with a higher velocity. And you prefer this combination over the 5.56x45's small and light bullet at even higher velocity. Did I summarize that correctly?
  15. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    Yeah. Bigger bullets are better.

    So, even though the 223 is faster, the bullet is too light, in my opinion, for a serious "battle round".
  16. jedwil

    jedwil Well-Known Member

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    Gotta agree. M14 was the way to go.
  17. norahc

    norahc Active Member

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    From a reloading standpoint, I prefer the M1 carbine because straight wall cartridges are easier to reload.
  18. BulletArc47

    BulletArc47 New Member

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    I'm the who's at fault bra:eek:, I read Alpo's original post wrong and left out the the segment about the Mini 30, and Alpo's subsequent post proves your deduction was correct.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
  19. BulletArc47

    BulletArc47 New Member

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    I wish they would:D, cause I cannot afford the M1A!
  20. Popeye79

    Popeye79 Former Guest

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    Interestingly, both the Russians and the Chinese have independently gone from a 7.62mm caliber intermediate round to a sub 6mm intermediate round, with the Russians opting for a 5.45mm round (slightly smaller than the NATO 5.56mm) and the Chinese opting for a 5.8mm round (slightly larger than the NATO round). So the trend in "battle rounds" today (right or wrong) is clearly toward the smaller, higher velocity round made popular by the Stoner System and M-16 families.
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