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View Full Version : Mini-14 versus SU-16CA...battle of the non-OLL 5.56 carbines


TonyNorCal
08-22-2006, 3:39 PM
Ok, so let's say you had to choose either a mini-14 or an SU-16CA (might as well go with the best SU-16 as the mini can be upgraded). So, no M-96, no OLL, no VEPR in .223, etc. Just these two...head to head.

Here's the way I see it...

Mini-14

Pros - feels more like a rifle (metal, etc - to me anyway), likely able to take more of a beating, reliable if you have the right mags, lots can be done to improve/upgrade it (from do it yourself mods on Perfect Union to full blown expensive Accuracy Systems make-overs).

Cons - accuracy generally leaves a bit to be desired (barrel is to thin, etc.), point of aim shifts as it heats, having the 'right mags' is a drawback unless you already have some from before the ban, some parts need to be 'factory fitted' (firing pin).

SU-16CA

Pros - more accurate out of the box than the mini, takes AR mags

Cons - hasn't been around long enough for a proven track record, I question it's durability over time and for any hard SHTF use.

~~~

My conclusions? For the least money the SU-16CA will likely give you the greatest accuracy. However, if you're willing to invest some time and money into the Mini you can get an equally or more accurate carbine. Check the posts over at http://www.perfectunion.com/vb/forumdisplay.php?f=86 and see what those guys do.

~If you want to plink right out of the box and have an accurate carbine with no additional work needed then the SU-16CA win.

~If you want a bullet hose with accuracy that might leave you wanting then get the mini.

~If you want to buy a Mini, are fairly handy and resourceful, and want to work/tinker with your gun and probably spend some money, but nothing too extreme. then you may end up with something that rivals (perhaps better?) the SU-16CA (and may not). Some of those guys on Perfect Union really do a number on their carbines.

~If you send your mini to accuracy systems you'll have a better carbine than the SU-16CA (and also be out some serious $$$).

~If you want something for SHTF duty well, I'd say mini. But of course of the firing pin breaks Ruger ain't open to help.

:)

GTKrockeTT
08-22-2006, 3:42 PM
where's option #3 - Both

C.G.
08-22-2006, 4:05 PM
You did it now!:eek: Time to dust off the old Seabiscuit.:D

Q
08-22-2006, 4:11 PM
i like the mini14. it always worked for the A-team. :D

grammaton76
08-22-2006, 4:18 PM
SU-16CA. In an SHTF situation, it folds nicely. And, it's accurate enough to acquire a real M4 with, should the situation arise. I have no doubt there'd be more than enough hosers out there with stolen real M4's that need put down.

Mudvayne540ld
08-22-2006, 4:21 PM
+1 for the Mini. I love the Garand action and saftey. Magazines are hard, but I have 2 5's and 2 20's that are factory made and have yet to fail! The barrel only gets whippy on me when im shooting on a real hot day (100Fº+) Then again, im not the guy on the range yanking the trigger as fast as I can ;-)

ocabj
08-22-2006, 4:42 PM
Honestly, I'd probably go with the SU-16 since I can use my 20 and 30 rounders in it.

Unless it's severely less accurate than a Mini-14...

rssslvr
08-22-2006, 5:01 PM
At first I didn't like the su-16(Only had seen the a and b models)and bought the mini-14 instead.After handling another members su-16ca I found that I really liked it and would take it over the mini any day.The mini is my least favorite of all my rifles.

VeryCoolCat
08-22-2006, 5:07 PM
I know the Mini-14 isn't the most accurate weapon, but the SU16 feels way too much like a toy.

Considering all aspects of weight, durability, and considering I would be using it in combat and shtf situation. I'd rather get a mini14.

grammaton76
08-22-2006, 5:27 PM
Unless it's severely less accurate than a Mini-14...

Actually, the converse is true. The SU-16 is much more accurate, out of the box, than a Mini. To get a really accurate Mini, you have to put more money into it than you would put into a brand new AR.

maschronic
08-22-2006, 5:31 PM
i would take the SU. i have SU-16B model. yeah, its not the CA model, but it shots really good....except for wolf ammo. i've played with both at the same time. everyone is right. the mini feels like a realy rifle while the SU feels like a toy gun.

if i had to pick between the two, i would go with SU all the way!!!!!

Clodbuster
08-22-2006, 6:38 PM
Sounds to me like this should be settled at the range. :D

Clod

Mudvayne540ld
08-22-2006, 6:52 PM
with Wolf ammo. :p

Teletiger7
08-22-2006, 7:24 PM
First off I have never shot a mini and only have experience with the SU so I will share my experience with it. I would say that the SU-16 is fairly accurate out the box. Not as accurate as an AR, but chest size targets out to 100-150yds are Very Easy to hit with iron sights. After alot of research and personal tinkering I found out that if you want to get it to be reliable there are a few very cheap mods that need to be done. 1) change Case Deflecting Handle(standard on the CA,C and D models) with the original round one(eliminates alot of stovepipes) 2) change the stock Kel-tec extractor with a Bushmaster AR extractor(eliminates FTEs) 3)Change the flimsy bipod/foreend with the compact forened kit(much more sturdy and allows attachment of accesories to rail) After I made these changes i ran a bunch of M193 through the SU and have not had one failure. Also, the SU has a built in rail which allows you to easily attach optics. I have a cheap M2 clone on it, which seems to hold zero pretty good(Im actually suprised how durable it is for a cheap overseas knock-off)

HUTCH 7.62
08-22-2006, 8:35 PM
SU 16 is more reliable, the mini Jams so much and good mags are hard to find. The effective range of a mini is something like 50 yards. The Kel-Tec is lifetime warrantied. The mini is expensive the Kel- Tec is not, I paid 550 OTD for my SU16CA. After owning both I would have never bought my Mini If I had owned the Kel-Tec first.

whlgun
08-22-2006, 8:41 PM
I cannot acredit this rumor but i have been told by a fellow employee that we have had as many as 4 keltecs blow up at the range. Also i see way to many people with taped up stocks for me to think that it is a acceptible battle rifle.

My vote is for the mini

GTKrockeTT
08-22-2006, 8:43 PM
SU 16 is more reliable, the mini Jams so much and good mags are hard to find. The effective range of a mini is something like 50 yards. The Kel-Tec is lifetime warrantied. The mini is expensive the Kel- Tec is not, I paid 550 OTD for my SU16CA. After owning both I would have never bought my Mini If I had owned the Kel-Tec first.

please tell me your post is a joke. effective range of 50 yards?!?:eek:

btw, you can get a mini-14 for right around $550 OTD.;)

50BMGBOB
08-22-2006, 8:58 PM
I have both, I like the mini. I have put a Clark barrel stabilizer on mine. They shoot about the same off the bench but I shoot the mini better offhand.

damon1272
08-22-2006, 9:00 PM
I have owned the mini. Owned. I say the mini makes a better club than the su-16. Too much plastic.As far as shooting them, go with the su-16.

Veritas_223
08-22-2006, 9:02 PM
Mini 30..Is the better of the two. Rule 762.

TonyNorCal
08-22-2006, 9:27 PM
The poll is closer than I would have anticipated...

29 votes for the SU-16


27 for the Mini-14

The mini is getting some love afterall

HUTCH 7.62
08-22-2006, 9:28 PM
please tell me your post is a joke. effective range of 50 yards?!?:eek:

btw, you can get a mini-14 for right around $550 OTD.;)

I'm not trying to start A war but this is my honest opinion and experiance with both my K-MINI14/5P and My SU-16CA, I bought my mini Five years ago new for about 500 and that is what I feel is reasonable for a mini 14. I have friends who have paid for new mini's in the last year for around 650 to 700 dollars Ruger said they were supposed to be better than the old minis, but they still had the same magazine feeding problems, I just don't see paying that king of money for a mini considering the alternatives we have today. My mini does not like 5.56 mm and is not chambered for it, Like AR's or SU-16's. I'm sure I would love my mini if it did not have magazine feeding problems. BTW I did have the chance to sell it the other day, but after alot of thinking I did decided to keep it. Figuring that I would never get one as well maintained as mine at the price I paid for it in the future. And yes I have problems taking down coyotes with my Mini at anything more than 50 yards. For the price, reliability, customer service and most of all the warranty, I choose the SU-16CA; sorry mini lovers.

ivanimal
08-22-2006, 11:59 PM
I like the mini 14 just fine. even when you could go to the store and buy an assault rifle off the shelf I had a mini. I have hunted all my life. The mini feels like a hunting rifle. I can blast squirrels all day for next to nothing with my mini and a 10-22. Forget about accuracy debates and feeding problems. I reload and have 20 round mags with thousands of rounds through them. Those issues do not exist in my world. As for the lifetime gaurantee, both have one so that argument is moot. I do not own an SU-16. I have shot one and I liked it. As Elmer Kieth once said of of Jack O'Connors 270, it makes a right fine varmint rifle. I am just used to the mini and all of its quirks. Mine is golden.

FUSE
08-23-2006, 12:29 AM
Well I decided to choose the su16ca for a few main reasons.
#1 which was a HUGE factor was that it accepts the AR mags...
#2 which is not as important was I personally liked the looks of Kel-tec over the Mini. I was really turned off by the look of the mini...
(I have a 22Cz bolt action that looks very similiar to the Mini and I just couldn't see myself getting a semi-auto that looked like my CZ..I wanted something that looked cool but functioned great right out of the box. After seeing what the kel-tecs looked like with the Compact Forend I was completely sold)
#3 Since I'm in Commyfornia I wanted to own this rifle before someone decides to add this to there nono list. Not that they are anytime soon that I know of, but now I own it and don't have to worry about not being able to get it.(Doesn't really apply to the mini-vs-KT but hey what the hell right?)
#4 Was the price, IMO it's great compared to how expensive everything else is these days! and from what I've read the accuracy of the KT out of the box to the mini is big. I would rather spend my money on accessories such as a sight and laser or light extra mags etc..IMO it would suck to have to spend more money to make it shoot better and then dump more money on accessories...Just get something thats awesome to begin with...

I'd like to say that I've had a lot of fun with my KT I've had 2 sights on it already. I started with the ATN digital which was really cool, but Seemed like it wasn't the right fit for the gun.. I also didn't like the special batteries those CR2032s so I returned it. I then threw on a telescopic sight 3x9 I think and I have been able to shoot 1inch groups at about 100 ft.. and even shoot through the same hole!! no bs!..Now I know thats not like 300yds or anything, but I would say that its damm accurate and fun! However, I'm getting kind of bored with this telescopic sight and am itching really bad to purchase an Eotech, I think that will be a perfect union! and I would go for the one that accepts standard AA batteries...(because you can find them easier just like you can find AR mags easier ;)

About the KT being plastic and the mini being wood..I think the mini's got KT on that one... A wood stock is obviously going to be more durable then a cheaper synthetic stock but I think the KT's stock is good enough for me to buy it. I personally liked how light it was, and acknowledge that it feels like a toy, but it's still functional and I like it. In fact everytime I fiddle with it, I really start to like it more and more because its light, it feels good and since I'm not the terminator, I feel like I would have an easier time holding it up for long periods of time as compared to something a bit heavier...

Anyway thats just my opinion I have never shot a Mini so my perception may be skewed.. But I can say that I am really happy owning this gun and have a ton of fun shooting it! Buy one today! and get the CA model!!!!! No exceptions!!:)

grammaton76
08-23-2006, 12:53 AM
Just a note - CR2032's are probably the most standard slimline batteries out there. I've got several red dots, each of which use 'em.

FUSE
08-23-2006, 1:03 AM
Oh I'm sure they are! I don't know something just irks me about them lol... I guess I'm wierd about that.. haha Anyway..That ATN was great but it felt like it would only be usefull for CQB..I kind of got the impression that it would be a perfect fit for an MP5 but thats just me... :)

kilword
08-23-2006, 11:17 AM
id get a su16ca nuff said

kilword
08-23-2006, 11:18 AM
just make sure you get the compact forend for it

50 Freak
08-23-2006, 11:53 AM
I vote for Mud's new carbine....That one is going to be a winner....

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v309/JustaBlokeAnywhere/Picture_0556.jpg

sac7000
08-23-2006, 3:39 PM
[QUOTE=50 Freak]I vote for Mud's new carbine....That one is going to be a winner....

Not seen this, what's the story? Looks interesting...

C.G.
08-23-2006, 4:08 PM
[quote=50 Freak]I vote for Mud's new carbine....That one is going to be a winner....

Not seen this, what's the story? Looks interesting...

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=30568&highlight=Mud

maxicon
08-23-2006, 6:31 PM
Tell you the truth, I don't see a whole lot of practical difference between my Mini 14, SU16, M1 Carbine, and SKS. Each has their high points and low points, but they're all reliable, light use, middling accuracy, medium-to-low power rifles.

The M1 Carbine is the carbine design for the 3rd quarter of the 20th century, the Mini 14 is for the 4th quarter, and the SU16 is for the 1st quarter of the 21st century. The SKS fits in the M1 Carbine time frame, but if I had to stock up multiple inexpensive guns and ammo for SHTF, the SKS would be the one.

max

TonyNorCal
08-23-2006, 7:10 PM
I had to stock up multiple inexpensive guns and ammo for SHTF, the SKS would be the one.

max

I'll +1 to that. I love my M1 carbines and would feel secure with them for SHTF (and I also dig the connection to history they give), but given my druthers I'd have to grab my Russian SKS out of the carbine mentioned choices.

dhl
08-23-2006, 7:28 PM
I own the original SU-16 and Mini-14s and I've never had a mechanical problem with any of them. Yes, the SU is more accurate. I really like them both but, if I had to choose one or the other I'd go with the Mini-14 because it's sturdier.
The SU has too many cheaply made parts. I do love the SU's light-weight stock and it's compactness when folded and the ability to carry a second 30-round AR magazine in the buttstock. That make's for a great 'survival' type rifle.
IMHO, the Mini will outlast the SU on a daily use basis and that is why I would choose it over the SU if I could only choose one.

Both are great and I've gotten lots of enjoyment out of them both.

Satex
08-23-2006, 9:25 PM
Any Ruger product comes in second for me due to Bill Ruger's "contribution" to the firearms community in our nation.

xenophobe
08-23-2006, 10:02 PM
Expect to see caliber conversions for the SU-16... .204 Ruger, 6.8 SPC, and a lot inbetween.

The Kel-Tec is still a new rifle and design... Wait for all the crafty aftermarketers to realize what a great platform the SU-16 will end up becoming.

3GunFunShooter
08-23-2006, 10:26 PM
I have both. The SU16 CA is a fun gun. But for SHTF I would take the Mini.
I have 2 Mini 14, one is a basic stock, trigger job, AK 74 brake, extended mag release, shoots ok. I also have a ASI custom conversion, yes it cost as much as a JP AR, but since I can't get one the Mini was the next best choice. Until the Volquartsen 223 Evolution comes on the market. I can hit 8" plates at 355 yards, with a heated up barrel. I can't do that with the Kel-Tec. or the stock Mini. But to be honest, I would want both. Mini 14 is a proven gun and the Kel-Tec takes AR mags. Now if Ruger would just offer a bull barrel on the Mini and make it to take AR mags, priced at $900-1000, that would be the rifle that would end the great debate.

ivanimal
08-23-2006, 10:53 PM
Any Ruger product comes in second for me due to Bill Ruger's "contribution" to the firearms community in our nation.


Yeah alls he did was make guns affordable for 40 years.:confused:

grammaton76
08-23-2006, 11:13 PM
Yeah alls he did was make guns affordable for 40 years.:confused:

Wasn't he also one of the guys pushing for 922(r) and the various import restrictions on foreign milsurp rifles? He wasn't into keeping 'em cheap, just keeping out competition so his rifles REMAINED the cheap ones.

ivanimal
08-23-2006, 11:33 PM
Wasn't he also one of the guys pushing for 922(r) and the various import restrictions on foreign milsurp rifles? He wasn't into keeping 'em cheap, just keeping out competition so his rifles REMAINED the cheap ones.

I did not say he was perfect, just he was not the anti Christ. Good buisness for one will be bad buisness for others.

You cant say we feel as though anyone remembered us here in CA. I get tired of people knocking Ruger and his guns when someday they may be all we can buy unless we have residency in a state that allows freer sales. Have you looked for a model of Ruger that you could not own in this state? Even if you dont want one they are there for the asking. I like all of my Rugers, I would not sell a one.

Clodbuster
08-24-2006, 12:26 PM
If his guns, someday, become the only weapons we can buy in CA, then it's because he worked to support the ban on everyone else... Good business is about open competition with great products, not about playing both sides so that you can be the only game in town.
I like the 10/22 and all it's aftermarket accessories, but Rugers, along with S&W are mfgs I would never support.


Clod

I did not say he was perfect, just he was not the anti Christ. Good buisness for one will be bad buisness for others.

You cant say we feel as though anyone remembered us here in CA. I get tired of people knocking Ruger and his guns when someday they may be all we can buy unless we have residency in a state that allows freer sales. Have you looked for a model of Ruger that you could not own in this state? Even if you dont want one they are there for the asking. I like all of my Rugers, I would not sell a one.

Stanze
08-24-2006, 12:28 PM
If his guns, someday, become the only weapons we can buy in CA, then it's because he worked to support the ban on everyone else... Good business is about open competition with great products, not about playing both sides so that you can be the only game in town.
I like the 10/22 and all it's aftermarket accessories, but Rugers, along with S&W are mfgs I would never support.


Clod

Smith and Wesson are once again, American owned and working hard to rebuild their tarnished image.

Clodbuster
08-24-2006, 12:36 PM
True. But the knife that was plunged into my back was placed in one of those hard to reach spots.

Clod

Smith and Wesson are once again, American owned and working hard to rebuild their tarnished image.

Clodbuster
08-24-2006, 12:39 PM
Sounds good. But use the old Wolf Ammo, not the new stuff. First rifle that fails to extract loses. Should throw in a OLL into the mix.

Clod


with Wolf ammo. :p

xenophobe
08-24-2006, 2:46 PM
True. But the knife that was plunged into my back was placed in one of those hard to reach spots.

Clod

The knife was plunged into your back by a Brit. So you're going to hold Americans accountable? Typical liberal bs. ;)