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General all around plinking & SHTF rifle: M&P Sport or Mini 14

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by Vantage, Jul 6, 2012.

  1. Vantage

    Vantage Pacific Standard Time Active Member

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    I know this has been done on other forums. It might have been done on this forum, but I couldn't find it.

    I'm getting ready to buy a "General all around Plinking/Practical Rifle/SHTF, semi auto, rifle. I'm trying to decide specifically between the Smith and Wesson M&P Sport and the Ruger Mini 14.

    I'm mostly interested in ranges around 200 yards +/-. I'm NOT interested in having it dripping with tons of accessories other than possibly and optic and sling. MAYBE a light, but most likely not.

    Points I'm cosidering.

    M&P Sport: Like the Chevy 350, there are a million out there. There's a billion options and accessories for it.
    Cons: More moving parts, more complicated than the Mini. Not Complicated overall..... just MORE complicated.

    The Ruger: Based on a simple, proven system. I'm attracted to the nostalgic appearance of a classic rifle.
    Cons: Rumors about mag availability and expense vs AR mags. And of course the infamous inaccuracy issues, which I suspect are probably mostly bunk by now.

    Both are similar in overall dimension and both can be had for around $650.

    What's your thoughts? I'm sure it will probably come down to personal preference, but I'm curious to see what others have to say.

    I appreciate all input, but please only respond with regards to these two specific guns.

    Thank you.
     
  2. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner You'll Never Know Well-Known Member

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    I have a Mini, wish I had an AR....But then I'd want an AK! :D

    Both guns will perform out to the range you intend to shoot at.
     
  3. stmcelroy

    stmcelroy Madras, OR Well-Known Member

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    AR15:thumbup:
     
  4. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I've always wanted a good ol' Mini 14 much more than an AR 15, but if I was shopping now, I think I'd be looking for an older Colt Sporter.

    However, to answer your question with a slightly different answer, SKS.

    Reliable as a steel handled hammer. Ammo is cheap and widely available. Fits your criteria to a "T" and is very inexpensive compared to youe original 2 choices.
     
    soberups and (deleted member) like this.
  5. Vantage

    Vantage Pacific Standard Time Active Member

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    Thanks.
    I've already considered both the SKS and the 7.62 and decided against them or my own reasons.

    Which is why I'm asking specifically about these two guns.
     
  6. erslll

    erslll Hermiston OR Active Member

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    AR. No question. I own both and my Mini hasn't seen the light of day for years. Almost always have an AR near me. My least accurate AR with a red dot is more accurate than my Mini with a 4.5-14 Leupold.
     
  7. Boats

    Boats Flicking A Switch To Open My Third Eye Well-Known Member

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    I'd say that if it is a newer Mini versus a low end AR, the choice isn't as clearly in favor of the AR as it used to be.

    The newer generation minis are quite easy to shoot accurately, at least as well as most entry level ARs, which are not the AR rifles their fans endlessly gush over.
     
  8. Trailboss

    Trailboss Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    I have both a low end AR and a recent Mini and shoot and enjoy both. The AR mags are cheaper at $15 (PMag) versus the Mini at $30 (approx). For my Mini, I have four 20 round mags. I like that they don't hang too low versus the 30 rounders. I also feel that if 80 rounds is not sufficient for an incident, then I probably have bigger problems anyway. I also have a couple of 5 rounders for hunting. I like the Mini for being less alarming looking and have carried it for deer on occasion (something I would never do with my AR). I have a 2x scope that attaches with the factory rings and a penny and zeros pretty well. Mine is a newer Mini with the heavy barrel and shoots groups of 1 1/4" at 100 yards with a 4 power scope. With my 2 power, I'm probably more in the 2-2.5" group size due to poor eye sight. Still fine though for a 200+ yard rifle. My AR shoots 1.5" groups at 100 with a 4 power. Normally keep it with open sights though. I have more AR mags because they're cheaper though I still feel the same way. If I ever need to shoot more than 80 rounds in an incident, there are some pretty serious things going on and the casualties are going to be high.

    I suspect the mini would be a best choice for you and I would also have a good pistol with high capacity mags. I believe we will see a gradual decline in civil culture and the pistol will be used more in day to day life with the rifle being used to hunt or to defend a location.
     
  9. NativePride

    NativePride Vancouver WA Member

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    oops voted for the wrong one....

    -1 ruger... go with the AR!!!!
     
  10. boxer13

    boxer13 PNW Active Member

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    I'd have to give it to the MP Sport.

    Its lighter (SHTF ounces matter), parts are more readily available, accessories are cheaper/prevalent, and its modular to accept all kinds of different setups.

    The Mini is a good rifle by all means but optics mounting is worse on a mini, good luck mounting a light, and magazines are expensive and heavy unless you get some tapco mags and even then they have to be the updated gen 2 mags as the first gen ones were awful.

    While the M&P Sport may not be the ideal AR or rifle for that matter, its a step above the Mini-14 for what your needs.
     
  11. salmonriverjohn

    salmonriverjohn N.W Oregon coast, Gods country Well-Known Member

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    I have both the newer mini 14 and the thirty. they are rock solid and shoot well given the applications your looking for. I don't own the M&P to compare them with, but have had a bunch of experience with the platform. They do have a MANY more moving parts, although reliability doesn't seem to have been much of an issue if kept clean. The nod from my point of view goes to the mini. As a take anywhere, do anything unit, it's hard to beat. I like the style and it is hands down a more solid platform.
    Just my opinion. Trailboss said it far better than I.
     
  12. gaijinsamurai

    gaijinsamurai Beaverton Well-Known Member 2016 Volunteer

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    The AR, without a doubt.

    Sure, there are more moving parts, but those parts are a lot easier to replace should the need arise. Also, look at the availability and cost of magazines ($15 -/+ for a PMag vs. approx. $40 for a Ruger factory mag). Also, unless things have changed, the Mini-14 is chambered for .223, as opposed to 5.56 NATO. Forget about shooting lots of military surplus ammo through it.

    How many armies use the M16/M4 platform and how many use the Mini-14? Maybe there's a reason for that.....
     
  13. Boats

    Boats Flicking A Switch To Open My Third Eye Well-Known Member

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    All current Minis, save for the dedicated "Target" model, have their chambers cut to accept 5.56 ammunition, besides Minis are routinely used to fire steel cased ammo that most AR owners won't run through their guns.

    Additionally, though Mini magazines are more expensive up front, they are very rugged, made out of steel as they are. They simply aren't as "disposable" as the AR's aluminum and plastic mags are.

    Lastly, I don't think the AR being in military service as opposed to the Mini speaks to anything about most civilian ARs on the market or says anything about the Mini, which by almost every account is a tough and reliable rifle. Besides, the VZ-58 only served one army, does that make it a bad rifle? The Beretta ARX-160 only serves Italy, but I'd buy one today over most any DI AR on the market if I could only get one.
     
  14. Vantage

    Vantage Pacific Standard Time Active Member

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    Thanks for commenting.

    Not trying to be snotty or anything but the Mini is chambered in 5.56.

    Mini14.jpg

    Ruger does make a "target" version that is .223 only though. That's probably what you're thinking of.
     
  15. bruzer

    bruzer Grants Pass, OR Well-Known Member

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    Last year at a local shooting match I was talking with a recently retired corrections officer. He had lots and lots of good things to say about the Mini. I value the opinion of a man that has staked his life on the performance of the tools he uses. Of coarse the Mini will not be as versatile when adding all the goodies to it. Maybe that is why it is not the internet commando's choice of weapon.
    Good luck and stay safe,
    Mike
     
  16. Bigfoot

    Bigfoot Clack Co. OR Well-Known Member

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    My dad had one of the first Mini-14s, I've had a Mini-30 since the 90s. They are fun little rifles that want to be ARs when they grow up.

    I'd take the AR.

    Another one to throw into the mix is the SU-16. Very light and I like the 30 rd spare mag storage in the folding stock. It's kinda like a Glock an AR and an AK all had a wild night together.
     
  17. salmonriverjohn

    salmonriverjohn N.W Oregon coast, Gods country Well-Known Member

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    To be honest, it's personal preference. I have A Galil that is the perfect go to unit, but that's not what were talking about here. The OP asked two specific questions about two specific rifles. I don't have an M&P, but I didn't say I didn't have other AR units. And for the reliability, form and function that he is inquiring about I believe the mini to be the better choice. Simplicity and based upon a unit that is a superb battle weapon.

    As a side note, take a look at the history of the mini. It was made in full auto also. The AC-556.
    @ 6.6 lbs. it's hard to call her heavy. And when it comes to replacing parts in a SHTF situation, when you don't have to, you don't need to, and frankly, well who the heck has time to do that when stuff hits the fan? Although the average accuracy is supposed to be 2 MOA @ 100 yards. I've shot many that were better, and some that were worse, the same thing for plenty of AR platforms I've used.

    To the OP,,, you see what you have started? Now for grins and giggles folks Which is better, the .30-06 or the .270:bluelaugh:
     
  18. Zepoll

    Zepoll Keizer Active Member

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    Never fails...

    From the OP:
     
  19. gaijinsamurai

    gaijinsamurai Beaverton Well-Known Member 2016 Volunteer

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    Thanks for the correction! I had a Mini-14 back in the 1980's, and it was chambered for .223. I was not aware that they were now in 5.56, and I appreciate the update.

    I would say "to each his own", regarding the choice between the two. My uncle, a retired Lane County Deputy Sheriff, prefers the Mini-14 because that's what he carried in his patrol vehicle, and what he trained with. I can understand that.

    I'm still strongly in favor of the AR, and Boats certainly makes a strong counter-argument to my assessment that the AR/M4/M16 is in use by military organizations, unlike the Mini-14. Fair enough (I like the 6.5x55 Swede round, and have always admired the Armalite AR-18, so I can't really argue with you! :) ).
     
  20. Silver Hand

    Silver Hand Southern Oregon Coast Well-Known Member

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    I made the choice to purchase the mini 14 and have never looked back. No scope I worked up a quick piratical load for it. Probably the least time I ever invested in building a bullet or two at the reloading bench. Never intending to use it as a tack driver. It shoots with my old eyes under 1.75'' all day @ 75 yards with several bullet types, it is chambered for military ammo.
    With open sights I shot dead a forked black tail in one shot @ exactly 100 yards from the barn to the living room window of a friends home.
    Sr.# series 182 - 09xxx in Stainless steel. If this was not the first rifle built in stainless steel [Mini-14] it was close to it. Today we take Stainless for granted, back then it was the first miracle in the shooting industry in a long time and what a gun! At that time everyone was buying the AR 15 and parts to convert there AR 15 to a full auto [From what I understood the parts were legal if not installed]. I had no need for ether the gun in blued steel or the parts to convert the Colt AR-15 to full auto.
    The 182 series puts the expended brass almost straight up an to the right. Making a scope not so practical [Though B-square made a scope mount available for it real quick] Ruger created the ranch model soon after. From what I remember in blued steel only and it throws cases more favorably [lower side eject]. As from what I have been told the newer Mini 14s do also, You might ask others about recent history. -I like the AR15s but have no need for a gun of this nature. A pack in situation or a long long stay or some place I needed to be but didn't want to be, Maybe. I don't foresee that happening for me. I like the weight and feel of Mini 14 and it is hard to beat Ruger quality, Let me know how the stamped out kit guns hold up in about thirty years.
    Mine has been used well over time and still shoots like the first week I bought it.