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View Full Version : Mini-14 versus SU-16


TonyNorCal
02-10-2005, 6:25 PM
Has anyone here fired both? Done a head-to-head comparison? Which is more accurate after repeated firing (hot barrel)? Which feeds moe reliably? Which is less ammo sensitive?

Mini's leave a lot to be desired out of the box...but one can work on them (check out www.PerfectUnion.com (http://www.PerfectUnion.com) ). They have an accurizing board on which people post fairly inexpensive mods. There's even a San Francisco chap who is gearing up to produce a rigidity strut (barrel brace) to dampen harmonics.

Just interested impressions from someone who has fired both.

Thanks

Leon DeGamme
02-10-2005, 6:35 PM
now, if they could only make good 10rd mags for the mini-14.

HeHateMe
02-10-2005, 7:48 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>now, if they could only make good 10rd mags for the mini-14. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

They do. I've had no problems with the 4 new 10 promags I have bought. Sure, they don't hold as many as my old PMIs, but they work just fine.

Mike
02-10-2005, 7:54 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Sactown:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>now, if they could only make good 10rd mags for the mini-14. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

They do. I've had no problems with the 4 new 10 promags I have bought. Sure, they don't hold as many as my old PMIs, but they work just fine. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Speak for yourself--I have FACTORY Ruger 20s and 30s (I wish now I would have sold all of them and made good money) that function decently, and I ordered 2 10 round mags from ProMag, one blued and one nickel plated--both have the rounds diving and jamming..POS's, I sent them right back.

maxicon
02-10-2005, 8:20 PM
My neighbor has a couple of wood-stocked Mini 14s that haven't been tweaked any, and we've taken them out with my SU16 a few times. I haven't shot the Minis a whole lot, but here's my take on them:

- The Mini's a much sturdier feeling gun; classic steel and wood. It feels more solid and heavy. It fits me better, too; the SU16 is a bit short for me, particularly with a traditional scope. Keltec sells butt extenders, but were out last time I called them.

- Getting the mags in on a Mini is a bit of a pain for me. I'm sure it would be easier with practice; I'm just not used to it.

- The SU16 is much easier to scope with the built-in rail. Neither of my neighbor's guns are ranch rifles, and I installed an Amega scout mount ($100) on one of his that's very nice, but has the limitations of a scout mount (no hi-mag scopes, only red dots/holos or LER pistol scopes). It shot well with an Ultradot and an Eotech, but so did the SU16. I also tried a B-Square scope mount for the gas block plate, which was cheaper ($40?), but not a great mount. This may all change with the Ranch Rifle, but I have no experience there.

- The Keltec was definitely more accurate than the Mini, but not by a whole lot. We didn't try the Mini with good ammo, and it couldn't use the 14x scope that got the best groups with the Keltec, so this will take a bit more apple-to-apple comparison.

- The Keltec handles a lot better because of the lighter weight.

- The Keltec's barrel got a lot hotter, but we only had 5 and 10 round mags for the Mini, while the Keltec had 30 rounders that we loaded to 20 mostly. Still, the Mini's got a lot more steel to absorb, spread, and dissipate the heat. With the bipod open on the Keltec, you'd get a nasty surprise if you grabbed it wrong after 20 relatively quick shots.

- Neither one had any feed problems with a variety of mil-spec and commercial ammo.

- The trigger on the Mini really sucked - I've heard it described as a "bed of gravel" trigger, and that was appropriate. I tried to clean it up with some abrasive compound and dry firing (worked great on my Ruger P95), but it didn't help. Since it's not my gun, I didn't want to start stoning surfaces. The Keltec trigger is heavy and crisp, the Mini trigger is heavy and gritty and sloppy.

- For customization and add-ons, the Mini's definitely ahead of the game by a long way. That may change over time as the Keltec gets more popular, but we'll see.

All in all, I like the SU16 better than the Mini; it's more fun to shoot and easy to swap all kinds of optics on. I'd like to lighten up the trigger and free-float the barrel, though.

He's talking about getting his tweaked for accuracy, so we're doing a bit of research. Probably go with the muzzle brake de-harmonizer and trigger job first to see how much bang he can get for the buck, then follow it up with more aggressive treatment if necessary.

I'd like to have a Mini, but I'd like to have one of just about everything. If I find one for the right price, I'll pick it up and start tweaking.

There's been a bit of talk about having a local shoot-out with Mini-14, M1 Carbine, SU16, SKS, Fab 10, and anything else people want to bring, so if you're in the San Jose area, keep an eye out. I'm waiting for my varmint kit for my Fab 10, and once I get it built up, I'm hoping a bunch of us can get together for some head-to-head comparisons.

max

Leon DeGamme
02-10-2005, 9:44 PM
I agree..promags are junk. I have gone through about 6 of them and they are all different dimensions than factory. One of the little crap mags even scratched and gouged the inside of my mini everytime i inserted it. The little catch at the back of the mag doesnt protrude far enough from the back like the factory one does. This caused the mag to be pushed too far into the mag-well when it was inserted.

TonyNorCal
02-10-2005, 11:48 PM
Maxicon,

Great post. That's exactly what I was looking for. I've been reading about mods people to do minis to accurize and am considering getting one as a project. Over at PerfectUnion.com they say a muzzle break alone can cut group sizes in half. Some also cut barrels back to 16 inches and of course most do the tigger job ('heavy, gritty, and sloppy'...now that's a trigger descrition! lol).
Re: your shoot-out...a Fab10 with Varmint barrel should shoot circles around those other contestants accuracy-wise. But, sounds like a good time should be had by all. I've heard the Ygo SKSs are actually the most accurate (the lack of chrome being the key). I've only fired chrome-lined SKSs.

gunsmithcat
02-11-2005, 12:58 AM
I may be wrong on this...
but based on my experience allruger factory rifles have crap triggers...

my 10/22, my friends 30, and a random strangers min 14 i tried out...

Thank God for aftermarket triggers...

DrunkSkunk
09-29-2008, 6:18 AM
i'd still go with a ruger though

samuelkowal906
09-29-2008, 7:05 AM
Maxicon made some very good points, and I have to agree almost entirely.

As an owner of both a Mini 14 and an SU-16CA, the SU-16 is a superior rifle in my opinion.

cal3gunner
09-29-2008, 8:07 AM
Before finding calguns I went with the newer retooled ranch mini 14. Now my mini and my 10/22 both have hogue rubber stocks, bushnell 3-9 scopes, and 2 lb triggers. Accuracy Systems did the mini trigger and it feels great. Its a 2 stage that is very clean. I like having the matching guns for plinking and hiking.
As far as accuracy goes, the mini can usually keep it under 2 inches at 100 from the bench with good ammo, but when shooting from the bench I don't shoot fast and heat the barrel up. Its accurate enough for what it was designed to do. I dropped a coyote that was on the move at about 50 yards and where I hunt its hard to get a shot at much more than 75-100 yards. I havn't seen a coyote at 200 yards while carrying the mini but I wouldn't hesitate to take the shot if it presented itself.

The mag situation with the mini does suck. I have found the promags to be hit or miss with reliability. Its expensive but has anyone bought ruger 20 rounders and converted to only hold 10?

The only experience I have with Kel tecs was watching the guy at the bench next to me clear jams all day but there could 100s of reasons why it was doing that. With good mags, my mini eats any ammo thrown at it

The mini is a great 100% legal plinking and coyote gun at decent ranges.
Neither the mini or the kel tec compare to a quality AR accuracy wise but hopefully with them you won't have to convice a game warden, park ranger, or any LEO that its legal.

oldschool88
09-29-2008, 9:20 AM
In regards to the ten round mags, try the ones from John Masen. Ive got six of then now and have never had a problem. They do seem to need a break in period but after only 20 or 30 rounds they work as good as factory.

FEDUPWBS
09-29-2008, 9:23 AM
Why is there not a pole?This subject has been covered many times before.

Racefiend
09-29-2008, 9:26 AM
You do realize this thread is from '05?

WokMaster1
09-29-2008, 9:26 AM
Why is there not a pole?This subject has been covered many times before.

Pole? Are you gonna dance?:D

rix
09-29-2008, 9:30 AM
WOW! this post is over 3yrs old...nice!:D

jlh95811
09-29-2008, 9:51 AM
Maxicon,

Great post. That's exactly what I was looking for. I've been reading about mods people to do minis to accurize and am considering getting one as a project. Over at PerfectUnion.com they say a muzzle break alone can cut group sizes in half. Some also cut barrels back to 16 inches and of course most do the tigger job ('heavy, gritty, and sloppy'...now that's a trigger descrition! lol).
Re: your shoot-out...a Fab10 with Varmint barrel should shoot circles around those other contestants accuracy-wise. But, sounds like a good time should be had by all. I've heard the Ygo SKSs are actually the most accurate (the lack of chrome being the key). I've only fired chrome-lined SKSs.

This seems to b e the case in my experience as well. I have 6 sks in total and shoot them all a lot. My most accurate is a 1954 Tula russian that was rebarreled without a chrome lined. I just have the original iron sights too. It pisses guys off when I beat them in accuracy when they're shooting their scoped AR's:D
My yugo is definately second best in accuracy bust bt far the worst in quality.

ohsmily
09-29-2008, 9:53 AM
i'd still go with a ruger though

:ban: for bumping the 3 year old thread for the above comment? ;)

1911_Mitch
09-29-2008, 12:19 PM
I have both and am going to be selling the Ruger Mini-14.

I like the kel-tec better because of its ingenuity and features.

samuelkowal906
09-29-2008, 1:25 PM
:ban: for bumping the 3 year old thread for the above comment? ;)

i guess i kind of exacerbated it by replying second :o

All i saw was a newly replied to thread about su-16s... i didn't even notice the date til now.

Hopi
09-29-2008, 1:28 PM
Why is there not a pole?This subject has been covered many times before.

This is not a strip club, nor a firehouse....

Rabidmonkey777
09-29-2008, 4:18 PM
I think the SU-16 gas piston system is superior, but the mini-14 materials are a little stronger than the poly the su is made from. The su-16 i think is very upgradable, with new pistol grip stocks, folding etc, and it accepts ar-15 mags, a big big plus. It has a rail built into it where the mini does not. The su-16 is generally speaking more accurate, and can come in more configurations from the factory. Kel-tecs customer support is the best in the bussiness IMHO hands down, where i dont have much experiance with ruger. Both are great rifles though, but my money is on, (and in) the su, and it is just simply more innovative than anything else out there.

c good
09-29-2008, 4:56 PM
See my old post of a buddy's Kel Tec titled "Photos of Blown up SU 16". I hope this will answer some questions and prevent anyone from being injured in the future. c good

Rabidmonkey777
09-29-2008, 6:42 PM
Your buddy's case is very rare and I would disagree with you that all su-16's are prone to catastrophic failure. Your buddy might of did something goofy on his part that caused the blow up, or a factory defect in the round he was using that the su-16 couldn't withstand with its polymer receiver.

c good
09-29-2008, 6:52 PM
I never stated that "All SU 16's are prone to catastrophic failure". I'm not trying to stir any anti Kel Tec animosity. I'm simply showing something that happened to a very good friend that was lucky to walk away with all his fingers, and eyes intact(Always wear eye protection!!). He did nothing "Goofy", on the contrary, he did everthing right, otherwise he would have walked away with ALOT MORE than just a scratch. Hoping that this info will be taken for what it is: Informative. That being said, it's kinda scary that other's have had this exact thing happen to them or have witnessed this type of failure with the SU's. Pretty much makes up my mind if I'll touch one again. c good
P.S. The factory consensus was that it had broken a firing pin, firing pin was stuck in forward position, this caused an out of battery ignition of the primer. Bolt not completely locked up when round is ignited causes a Kaboom!

redcliff
09-29-2008, 7:23 PM
I took a friend out shooting his brand new su16ca and the first time he pulled the trigger it ripped off a 2 round burst. Before I could stop him he did it again for another 2 round burst. After that I made him put it away; the disconnector wasn't engaging and the hammer was following, which could of led to a KB like in the photos. (The selling dealer fixed it immediately)

My experience with Mini-14's has been better, but the accuracy on the ones I've handled has been so disappointing I couldn't recommend one. I hear some of the new models are better.

Personally I'd build an OLL instead of getting either.

a1fabweld
09-29-2008, 10:03 PM
Is there something to be said about the Mini 14 being chosen to arm the guards in prison watchtowers?

SJgunguy24
09-29-2008, 10:11 PM
Is there something to be said about the Mini 14 being chosen to arm the guards in prison watchtowers?

Yep lowest bidder.

Get a Saiga. Russian made AK style that can be had in .223/7.62X39/.308.
.223 and 7.62 are around 300-350$ and .308 450$ and up.

sorensen440
09-29-2008, 10:45 PM
Ive shot both there both great
It really all depends on what you want them for
I like the weight and size of the SU-16 and I liked that I could use my hicaps with it

the ruger is heavier and more customizable


I have never had a feeding problem with either of them and I find that the out of the box accuracy of them is about the same with the same type sights