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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm considering buying a Mini 14 but I want some opinions on what is the best overall caliber to get it in for SD/survival purposes? I'm thinking in terms of easy of availability, cost, as well as power, velocity, etc.
 

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A Mini 14 only has one caliber.
 

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It only comes in two calibers, .223 and .308. Both are formidable rounds and I have found the .223 quite adequate when I used to carry an M-16.

I have been hearing lately that .308 ammo can be a bit harder to find sometimes
 

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7.62X39 would be a Mini 30 then, no?
 

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They are both good. You just have to decide which one you want Mini-14 in223 or Mini-30 in 7.62x39. I have found ammo availabilty to be good for either one.
 

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As stated the mini 14 only comes in 5.56 or 223 , except for one variation which is only 223 (5.56 cannot be used. due to headspace ). The mini 30 is 7.62x39 . I prefer the mini 14 ,unless you were going to hunt larger game with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
OK... so far I have one poster (Sr40ken) saying the Mini 14 only comes in one caliber. Others say .223, .308 & 5.56, which is three, or is one the same thing? I'm confused.

Also, I didn't know about a Mini 30 in 7.62x39. I thought the Mini 14 had a few different calibers to choose from, including 7.62x39.

I'm trying to learn these things, so forgive my ignorance. I know little about these type of rifles.
 

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.223 and 5.56mm are pretty much the same thing.

A gun chambered in 5.56mm can shoot .223 all day, but a gun in .223 cannot shoot 5.56mm due to head space as said before. Atleast thats my understanding of it.

Ruger states you can use 5.56 or .223 in all minis except the target model which is .223 only.

Ive personally never heard of a .308 mini but I could be wrong.

Youve really got two choices. Mini 30 in 7.62x39 or a Mini 14 in .223/5.56. ( As long as it isnt the target model.)

Good luck.
 

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5.56 NATO & 223 Rem is same the 5.56 has thicker brass for bigger chambers on military rifles. The 7.62 x39 is a 30 caliber. They used to make one in 6.8 but haven't seen one for awhile.
 

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Any modern rifle caliber the military uses/used at some point will be adequate for self defense. If youre talking SD, youre talking about a limited distance. Any type of .30 cal has all around good performance when it comes to energy and penetration, where the .223 gives you amazing amounts of kenetic energy but its lacking on the penetration side compared to the big brother .308. Since youre asking about SD, I'm going to say that .223 is far better for an SD situation due to its limited amount of penetration on hard targets so if you shoot someone or it hits a surface, it will more than likely tumble and not be able to penetrate more hard surfaces, risking those around you.

Now if youre talking about long range shooting, hunting, combat, I'm sure the .308 is better suited for any of those. I didnt think they made a mini in .308 though. Website says .223/5.56 or mini 30 which is 7.62, either way, the .223 is going to limit penetration after leaving the room
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
OK, thanks. I've seen other calibers mentioned with this rifle but it looks like 5.56 NATO is the only version available at this time, which is the same as .223? I didn't realize the Mini 30 was something different.
 

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OK, thanks. I've seen other calibers mentioned with this rifle but it looks like 5.56 NATO is the only version available at this time, which is the same as .223? I didn't realize the Mini 30 was something different.
Yessir. If its marked 5.56 you can shoot .223.
 

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Between my Mini 14 and my Mini 30, I would choose my Mini 30. It seems to shoot more accurately than the 14 for some reason. I like the heavier bullet weight of the 30, and there are so many different companies making the 7.62x39
 

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It only comes in two calibers, .223 and .308. Both are formidable rounds and I have found the .223 quite adequate when I used to carry an M-16.

I have been hearing lately that .308 ammo can be a bit harder to find sometimes
Neither the Mini 14 nor the Mini 30 are offered in .308. The Mini 30 comes in 7.62x39. Back in the 1980s, Ruger did look at offering this rifle in .308, and even made a prototype or two, but it never really came about.
 

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Between my Mini 14 and my Mini 30, I would choose my Mini 30. It seems to shoot more accurately than the 14 for some reason.
No they don't in my Mini's case. 1 moa and less here.
 

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To the OP, in the Mini 14s case it's 5.56/.223. External diminsions are the same. SOME military cases are thicker which are of no concern unless you reload.
 

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Although probably only of academic interest at this point in this thread, I thought I'd offer that:

Caliber is a reference to bore or bullet diameter (there's more to it, but this will suffice here :) ),
Chambering is the cartridge the gun is built to fire (such as 223 Remington, 308 Winchester, 30-06 Springfield, etc).

The Mini (not separating the 14 from the 30) has, AFAIK, been made in 4 calibers over time: .22, .27 (6.8), .30, and .31 (two different bore diameters at different times for the 7.62x39 chambering).

I'm aware of it being or having been offered in 4 chamberings as well: 223 Rem, 223 Rem/5.56x45 (suitable for either cartridge), 6.8 SPC, and 7.62x39.

I don't exactly see the Mini as 'defensive,' except in fantasyland or a paramilitary context, but for general hunting any of the chamberings would work acceptably. For offensive assault work against people, I'd probably take the 6.8 SPC, but I have no intention of engaging therein.
 
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