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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm thinking seriously about making a Mini 30 my next gun. I don't have a proper hunting rifle, but would like to, in addition to a defensive weapon. I prefer a round larger than the .556 in the Mini 14 and would like an 18+" barrel.
I searched the forum, but there's not much current info on them.
Are the current models still as awesome as they appear?
Thanks.
 

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They are fine rifles. A little pricey in the best of times. Typically, you could get an AK47 much cheaper, but now, it's all about what's available where you are.
Some things to consider.
7.69 can be expensive unless you are buying Russian ammo. The earlier Mini-30s did not like the Russian primers. My understanding is that has been addressed, but something to consider. An AK chews them up without any problems.
Another option that would accomplish the same thing would be an AR in 300 blackout. About the same size round and velocity. Then you have the option of building an upper that fires 5.56. Cheaper to shoot and have a large quantity of ammo for.
Finally, if this is primarily a hunting rifle, why not just get a hunting rifle? If you are at 7.69 distances, a 30/30 would likely fit the bill. Any rifle can be double as defensive duty. If you are prepping for a SHTF scenario, this may not fit your needs. If you just want something for home defense (as opposed to homeland defense), it can work just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
They are fine rifles. A little pricey in the best of times. Typically, you could get an AK47 much cheaper, but now, it's all about what's available where you are.
Some things to consider.
7.69 can be expensive unless you are buying Russian ammo. The earlier Mini-30s did not like the Russian primers. My understanding is that has been addressed, but something to consider. An AK chews them up without any problems.
Another option that would accomplish the same thing would be an AR in 300 blackout. About the same size round and velocity. Then you have the option of building an upper that fires 5.56. Cheaper to shoot and have a large quantity of ammo for.
Finally, if this is primarily a hunting rifle, why not just get a hunting rifle? If you are at 7.69 distances, a 30/30 would likely fit the bill. Any rifle can be double as defensive duty. If you are prepping for a SHTF scenario, this may not fit your needs. If you just want something for home defense (as opposed to homeland defense), it can work just fine.
Thank you, Paladin, for your great suggestions. I have read some info on the Russian ammo not working well with some rifles and steel casings being a problem. I am avoiding AR platforms in order to maintain marital bliss. I think I can swing a Mini Thirty. Maybe it'll look less military. To speak to your 3rd paragraph, yes, I'd like to be able to drop deer with this rifle, but would equally like to be prepared for homeland defense. I think this rifle fits the bill.
 

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This is a very rehashed and contentious topic. The shirt of it is:

The Mini 30 is a fun and reliable semi automatic chambered in 7.62x39. Think of it as a 30-30 throwing a light projectile that is a little more aerodynamic. It works well out to 100-150 yards.

The minis are hit and miss accuracy wise. Realistically expect 4”-6” groups if you slow fire at 100 yards.

Better quality ammo can help shrink that like the Hornady Black or Winchester Dear Season offerings. That will get you into the 3”/3.5” ish- 4.x” groupings. There are some rare Mini 30s that will get you down into the 2” range for groups, all of the ones I have seen that will do that are stainless.

Where the Mini 30 excels is in the 0-75 yard range where you have a quick handling semi that gives you a chance at a quick follow-up shot.

Mini’s can be a little hard on mounted optics.

Stainless synthetic models give you a light and easily cleanable weapon great for rain and snow.

If you want to have open sights the rear peep and front sight on the Mini’s are protected from bumps and bangs.

The mini slings on your shoulder in a more traditional manner than an AR15 in my experience.

The Ruger American Ranch bolt action uses Mini 30 mags, is usually several hundred dollars less than a mini and is known to be very accurate if you really want more of a hunting set up.

For the cost of a mini 30 right now you could really get a Ruger American in a caliber better suited for hunting and an AR15 in 223.

I am not against Mini 30s or Mini 14s but every firearm is a compromise.

If you are in a wooded area where you have wet weather, and your shots are on deer under 75 yards and jump-shots are common, the stainless Mini-30 might be the perfect rifle for you. If you are in restrictive state the Mini 30 may with a 10 round magazine might be your best semi auto rifle option.

Let us know what your uses would be.
 

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I have a mini 30 and absolutely love it. Truth be told, I have all the competing cartridges as well. Mine is my truck gun. I have the “tactical” mode, which I replaced the synthetic stock with wood. I prefer wood and I got the tactical model and I have a muzzle device compatible with my .30 cap suppressor. I have a Leupold Freedom 1.5-4 pig plex on mine and with Hornady Black ammo, I can do just under 2” at 100 yards, with my handloads, I can shave about a half inch off the group size. I don’t shoot steel in any of my guns, which is simply a personal preference, so I can’t comment on current steel case issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Based on the performance graphs I've seen, This round and rifle should be pretty accurate out to 200-250 yards. I will probably equip it with a scope or a red dot. If I can hit 3 inch groups at 150-200 yards, I think I'm good. That's farther than I can see, anyway. I also like the 20 round mags. I'm in KY where we don't believe in restrictions.
 

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Based on the performance graphs I've seen, This round and rifle should be pretty accurate out to 200-250 yards. I will probably equip it with a scope or a red dot. If I can hit 3 inch groups at 150-200 yards, I think I'm good. That's farther than I can see, anyway. I also like the 20 round mags. I'm in KY where we don't believe in restrictions.
Here is a comparison between 7.62x39 and 260 Remington (very close to a 6.5 CM). 7.62x39 is pretty rainbow in trajectory. You would be hard pressed to shoot 3” groups at 200 yards with any Mini 30 or semi auto 7.62x39. If you are really looking for longer range you may want to look at another platform or cartridge. The below chart is with the center of an optic mounted 1.5” over the axis of the bore.
Rectangle Font Parallel Screenshot Circle
 

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Here is information from somebody who owns an older Mini 30 and actually uses it for hunting Kentucky size deer.

Machine gun Air gun Trigger Shotgun Gun barrel


Mine is scoped with a 1x-4x-32mm. I put a folder on, but the standard wood stock was just fine. The Bushnell optic has been on mine since the late 80s. You will see it has a 5 round mag in it so I can lay it on my coat on my stand’s shooting rail.

My Mini is about a 2.5 moa example with Herters soft point lead bullets in steel cases. I have also used Winchester brass hunting. For fun shooting I use 20 round mags and any 7.62x39 ammo. All the steel I have tried goes bang. I have killed many does with it inside 125 yards. I use it AFTER I have tagged my buck.

My primary rifle is an M77 Mk II in 30-06. My bolt gun has a 3.5x-10x-40 Leupold VX-3i. It does MUCH better between 125- and 300-yards.

Saw Wood Grass Chainsaw Soil


I always want my bolt gun for the first deer. If it’s close, great. If it’s far, I don’t have to cross my fingers hoping that I can hit it and have enough remaining energy to break down a big animal.

Some of our Kentucky deer need more caliber to be impressed.

Hunting Deer hunting Trophy hunting Camouflage Military camouflage



The Mini 30 is fun to doe hunt with; however, I have never needed more than 2 rounds. If it’s not obvious, I would use my bolt if I can only pick one.
 

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I don't think all Mini 30 rifles have an 18+ inch barrel so you will have to check the models that do. I have a Mini 30 and it is one of my favorite rifles. I also have AK and SKS rifles. As a multi purpose hunting and self defense the Mini 30 makes a lot of sense for the reason you stated. Don't discount AK or SKS rifles also.

Sent from my SM-N970U using Tapatalk
 

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The arc or trajectory isn't all that controls accuracy, consistentcy and stability is. Look at the arc of a .45-70. And folks make 800 yard bulls eyes with those.
 

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So any .50 bmg is always more accurate than any .308 Winchester?
I don't know that anyone is making that assertion, but there are rounds that are inherently more accurate than others. That is a complicated discussion and I would be out of my depth, but I have read some very interesting articles explaining why.
 

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The 7.62x39mm itself, is actually an extremely accurate cartridge. It is the "parent" case for a couple of the PPC chamberings. The platform is usually the culprit on less than stellar accuracy. My American Ranch bolt gun will put 5 rounds in one tiny hole at 100 yards.

The 7.62x39mm was designed as an intermediate range cartridge. Use it within its limitation and it will serve you well. The above ballistic comparison charts are like comparing apples to oranges. Totally different animals.

If you want "one hole" accuracy from the x39mm....get a bolt gun. If minute of combat serves the purpose a Mini, AK or SKS will work just fine.

I'd purchase the Mini 30 without reservation. Later on if desiring a bit more precise accuracy, and can afford it, buy the x39mm American Ranch. SAME magazine......SAME ammo. Holds a lot of weight for a "back up gun". A huge benefit in these turbulent times. The caveat is the American is designed and endorsed by Ruger to shoot any CIP approved steel case ammo.

7.62x39mm reloader and fanboy since the 80's.
Mini 30 Tactical...Zastava ZPAP M70....American Ranch 7.62x39mm

Bepe
 

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One thing to keep in mind is the current administrations proposed ban on import of the Russian steel case ammo. If it happens, it will likely have a big impact on the 7.62x39mm availability. Don't know if you reload. If you do you might want to squirrel up some components and a set of dies. Once the shortage hits it will be dog eat dog trying to get stuff.

Virgin x39mm brass is fairly expensive. Loaded ammo from PPU and Igman can be bought for just about the same price as brass. Good quality reloadable brass cases.

Good luck on your quest.
Bepe
 

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I completely understand about keeping the spouse happy! I'm in the same situation. If my wife saw me with an accessorized AR-15, she would be packing her bags.
So... I have a Mini 14 and I just purchased a Mini 30 with SS and Wood stock. I love the fact that each of these use the same cartridge as an AR-15 and AK-47, but the Mini's are not considered an "assault rifle". I heard that makes a difference on how they are registered with the Feds. Especially for me being in California.
Well worth the money in my opinion. Great firearm!
I also like what I read from Sandog. Seams very knowledgeable.

Goodluck and enjoy
 
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