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View Full Version : Mini 14 vs. Saiga .223


Mossy Man
04-21-2012, 4:17 PM
Stainless 196-series (pencil barrel) mini 14 with accustrut

or

Basic Saiga .223

How accurate are Saigas? I've heard good and bad about them....my personal experience with my Mini-14 is that it's around 5-6 inches @ 100 yards after the barrel heats up with the strut and my poor vision

which one will last longer? The mini 14 has about 800 rounds through it, the saiga around 200.

I ask this because i might ask to trade with my brother in law (ffl of course)

I realize the price difference is pretty big (the mini-14 costs about 2x as much as the saiga .223 was) but i'm looking at potential here.

I don't expect the saiga 223 to do anything my mini won't, which is to say that i expect a relatively accurate (dinner plate accuracy) plinker/target shooter that is reliable.

I've got nothing but praise for the mini....but the AK bug might be hard to resist.

Thoughts?

BHPFan
04-21-2012, 4:26 PM
Stainless 196-series (pencil barrel) mini 14 with accustrut

or

Basic Saiga .223

How accurate are Saigas? I've heard good and bad about them....my personal experience with my Mini-14 is that it's around 5-6 inches @ 100 yards after the barrel heats up with the strut and my poor vision

which one will last longer? The mini 14 has about 800 rounds through it, the saiga around 200.

I ask this because i might ask to trade with my brother in law (ffl of course)

I realize the price difference is pretty big (the mini-14 costs about 2x as much as the saiga .223 was) but i'm looking at potential here.

I don't expect the saiga 223 to do anything my mini won't, which is to say that i expect a relatively accurate (dinner plate accuracy) plinker/target shooter that is reliable.

I've got nothing but praise for the mini....but the AK bug might be hard to resist.

Thoughts?

For the money, I'll take the Saiga.

Comparing them is like comparing the AK system to the M14/M1 Garand system (which the Mini-14 is supposedly based from). The mini-14 is "based" on a proven system, but the Saiga has and uses a "proven" system as all Saiga rifles are made at the same Izmash (spelling?) factory in Russia that makes the AK rifles for its military.

To me, the Saiga can pretty much do the same job as the Mini14 so I choose it, the Saiga, due to price and you pretty much got an "AK in disguise".

Mossy Man
04-21-2012, 4:27 PM
i pretty much know the history of both rifles, and i own the mini 14

but i kind of want to trade with my BIL even though i'd take a value hit (mini 14 is worth more)

just so i can try to convert it...lol

gotshotgun?
04-21-2012, 5:11 PM
DO the trade but get a few hundred back or some ammo at least. If your mini is anything newer than a 180 series it is worth more.

I agree, shoot it for a while and then do a rear end conversion for $150.

kwansao
04-21-2012, 6:49 PM
Consider the value, Put the mini with its pencil barrel next to the saiga and a pile of ammo. Saiga wins.

Plus there are more AK accessories and you can convert it to Evil Black Rifle very easily.

I own a mini and an AK, and i kept the mini only because i like the Garand so much.

Mossy Man
04-21-2012, 7:51 PM
How accurate are the saigas in .223?

ANG Tactical
04-21-2012, 8:30 PM
I would say the Mini 14. Great options from the start on which model. Solid and American made. They're also way accurate. I have a stainless Mini 14 with a Hogue stock and some internal modifications and it's a tack driver.

Mossy Man
04-21-2012, 8:47 PM
mine is decent, i suppose, as far as accuracy. i'm no sharpshooter myself but from a rest i can get maybe 5-6" groups at 100 yards, which is fine for me

piratebike
04-21-2012, 9:46 PM
Keep the Saiga and convert it. When I bought the Saiga a few years ago, I debated between the mini and Saiga 223. It was easy to convert and there are more aftermarket parts available. It's accurate enough for me and eats any ammo you use w/o issues.

Phi Yiu
04-21-2012, 10:15 PM
I am well over 4000+ Rounds into my Saiga 7.62x39mm. Sure of course I have had cheap ammo issues, but that was my fault. This Saiga AK Loves FMJ, and hates anything else that has a soft tip etc. When 7.62x39 is as cheap as 9mm you can afford to shoot and plink all day. This is my first Rifle, and do not regret it.

-Accuracy is suprisingly amazing for a AK platform "16 Inch Barrel", it does what it was designed for 100m-300m. Comes with a Brand New Chrome Lined Barrel I mean come on!

I practice shooting at 20oz CO2 Tanks/Car Rotors at 50-150Yrds, Steel Plate at 222Yrds easy. I am using a Micro Red-Dot Cowitness with my Tritium Night Sights.

-Reliability is bar none.
-Value is superior, you get a BRAND NEW "AK-47 in disguise" made in the same Factory as Izhmash. A Piece of crap Wasr-10 doesnt even compare.

NorCalK9.com
04-22-2012, 12:05 AM
I have 2 saiga 556's one is the 20in the other is 16in. Both shoot about 2moa
If you look up some of my old threads ive hit coyotes on my property out to 350+ yards no problem! Ive never cleaned either one.
I'd endorse the saiga556!
But the minis are cool too!

tm_jones123
04-22-2012, 12:35 AM
The Mini is king!

Atekhed
04-22-2012, 1:48 AM
I've got a Mini-14 as well and love it but also have my eye on a Saiga in either 7.62x39 or 5.45x39. If I get one I'll probably keep it featureless even though the thought of doing a conversion to full AK format is intriguing.

I'd say keep the Mini and get a Saiga in a Commie caliber! :)

tacticalcity
04-22-2012, 1:49 AM
If it were me? Neither would be my first choice for a rifle. It is not that they are not very nice rifles. They are. But there are so many great rifles out there that catch my eye more. As additions to a collection either would do fine, but would be way down near the bottom of my wish list. The only Saiga I am honestly interested in is the 12GA, and I have a long list of shotguns I prefer over it. I'd rather have a more traditional AK, and if I did get the Saiga rifle I would end up doing a conversion on it. I'm not a fan of the Mini-14, especially the pencil barrel. As it heats up the accuracy shifts dramatically.

All that said, both are nice rifles. If they float your boat, that is all that matters.

f308gt4
04-22-2012, 2:20 PM
How easy is the Mini-14 to take down and clean? The Saiga rifles are really easy, not alot of parts there to take apart. Of course, some people never clean AK-style rifles...

Atekhed
04-22-2012, 2:57 PM
Mini is pretty easy to strip and clean. Only tricky part is getting the bolt assembly back in sometimes. You have to catch it just right but nothing major.

Ruger has some good videos on YouTube on disassembling/assembling and cleaning the Mini.

Donkeypunch0420
04-22-2012, 3:05 PM
I say keep the Saiga and sell the Ruger. At some point the Ruskies will figure out that they can charge American's 500-600+ for their rifles and we will still buy them. Ruger's on the other hand I don't see going up in price much as there is too much competition with the AR platform. Just my humble opinion.

smle-man
04-22-2012, 3:15 PM
I have both and like the sights and eronomics on the Mini (at least the way it is set up by me) better. They are equally accurate and will both feed and shoot any ammo I've introduced them to; Tula steel case, Olympic SS109 that 'blows up' AR15s, Federal, PMC brass case all go in the breech end and bullets come out the other end. The safety on the Mini is easier to work. I like the Mini and if I wasn't thinking of giving the Saiga to my younger son I would have sold it by now.

KandyRedCoi
04-22-2012, 3:16 PM
I say keep the Saiga and sell the Ruger. At some point the Ruskies will figure out that they can charge American's 500-600+ for their rifles and we will still buy them. Ruger's on the other hand I don't see going up in price much as there is too much competition with the AR platform. Just my humble opinion.

^i agree with that statement and why i chose the SAIGA in 762 over any type of "black rifle" available

emptybottle151
04-22-2012, 3:21 PM
Depends if you have the pre ban mags for the mini. If not, stick with the saiga.

Mossy Man
04-22-2012, 3:53 PM
Depends if you have the pre ban mags for the mini. If not, stick with the saiga.

Ended up just keeping the mini for this reason.....got a couple of prebans.

gorenut
04-23-2012, 9:28 AM
I've got a Mini-14 as well and love it but also have my eye on a Saiga in either 7.62x39 or 5.45x39. If I get one I'll probably keep it featureless even though the thought of doing a conversion to full AK format is intriguing.

I'd say keep the Mini and get a Saiga in a Commie caliber! :)

Even before I saw the OP decided to stick with the Mini.. this was going to be my suggestion.

Now that you've decided to keep the Mini.. you should look into getting a Saiga in 5.45 or 7.62x39. For me, the biggest reason to get a Saiga is to shoot cheap ammo reliably from a cheap rifle.

For me though.. the Mini offers me more overall vs a Saiga.. but I also have a 581 series Mini. I like that I can easily just attach a scope over the receiver with no additional add-ons. I also think the Mini looks better.. the Saiga has its own crude charm going for it though. Also helps that the Mini is American made and comes with a lifetime warranty.

If actual dollar value/bang for your buck is the most important thing to you.. very VERY hard to beat a Saiga.

robcoe
04-23-2012, 9:38 AM
Stainless 196-series (pencil barrel) mini 14 with accustrut

or

Basic Saiga .223


I would take the Saiga over a 196 series mini-14. Though I would take a stainless 580 or 581 series mini-14(major accuracy improvements in the latest versions) over the saiga.

FourLoko
04-23-2012, 9:40 AM
Crap, now I want a Saiga in 7.62x39. Makes sense after my failed SKS adventure.

FX-05 Xiuhcoatl
04-23-2012, 9:48 AM
go with SAIGA, only bad thing about saigas are the sights, easy fix with tech-sight or http://www.texasweaponsystems.com/id10.html

gorenut
04-23-2012, 10:36 AM
I would take the Saiga over a 196 series mini-14. Though I would take a stainless 580 or 581 series mini-14(major accuracy improvements in the latest versions) over the saiga.

This is pretty much how I'd rank them too. The newer Ranch model also comes with better irons.