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Let me preface this with the fact that I don't know squat about long guns. Had a few shotguns, but no rifles. Looking for something to shoot longer distances (100-300 yrds) than my shaky pistol hand will support. I know that the AR-15s are popular with the folks here. Not sure I need an assault weapon :biglaugh: for plinking, but they sure look like fun. I get a bit boged down in all the ninja options, whiz-bang add ons and other assorted accessories. Also looked at a Ruger ranch rifle/mini -14. Any thoughts? Price is an object since i have to feed my ammo addiction also. Doubt I will have to defend my castle with it, but wouldn't hurt to have the option.
Thanks for the info in advance.
 

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You hit the nail on the head with the mini-14, Nice gun , simple, easy to maintain dosent have the assault rifle look to it and will do everything you ask of it. The only probs that i have found is mags are a bit pricey for good ones. All in all a great rifle for its intended purpose, and you can pick one up new for under $500 or a used one for alot less. just my 2cents
 

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You really can't beat an ar15 for an all around rifle. Cheap to feed more accurate than any mini14 and you can add toys or not as you deem necessary.
There are several companies that offer ar's in a basic configuration that won't break the bank. You might consider an SKS for a fun plinking gun. Again cheap to feed and inexpensive for a centerfire plinker. Reasonable accuracy from 50 to 100 yds.
 

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Stormin'N said:
Let me preface this with the fact that I don't know squat about long guns. Had a few shotguns, but no rifles. Looking for something to shoot longer distances (100-300 yrds) than my shaky pistol hand will support. I know that the AR-15s are popular with the folks here. Not sure I need an assault weapon :biglaugh: for plinking, but they sure look like fun. I get a bit boged down in all the ninja options, whiz-bang add ons and other assorted accessories. Also looked at a Ruger ranch rifle/mini -14. Any thoughts? Price is an object since i have to feed my ammo addiction also. Doubt I will have to defend my castle with it, but wouldn't hurt to have the option.
Thanks for the info in advance.

Another vote for an AR. Forget the Mini 14 as they have terrible accuracy out of the box.

Dont worry about Price you'll save enough buying bulk .223 rounds anyways:)
 

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Morbo said:
Another vote for an AR. Forget the Mini 14 as they have terrible accuracy out of the box.

Dont worry about Price you'll save enough buying bulk .223 rounds anyways:)
The Mini isn't all that bad in the accuracy department, at least mine isn't. By no means is it a tack driver, but it will deliver under 2 MOA with the right ammo, which is good enough for coyotes out to 250 yards. I have found that the mini-14 will not shoot nato ammo worth a damn. If your looking for more accuracy get an AR type rifle, or a good bolt gun.
 

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My AR-180B has been FLAWLESS. This is the .223 I grab if plinking is my only concern.

It shoots 1.5" groups at 100 yds. with the IRON SIGHTS. It only gets better with the Leupold 4X.

 

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I picked up a Mini-14 with poly stock, flash hider and red dot scope for $350 at a local pawn shop. Great accuracy and the trigger isn't horrible. Great deal for plinking.

A decent AR15 will cost you several hundred dollars more, but they're fun too.
 

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Don't let yourself be impressed by all the gizmos (some very useful, some little less) people put on their ARs. A strait AR can be very affordable and very simple. No need to put all those rails and lights and tactical slings and double 30 round mags and super ergonomic grip with waterproof compartment and tritium flip up sights with a 1 grand ACOG optic collapsible stock bipod recoil buffer cyclicratereducernowalpinschromeboltsmatchtriggerpigtailgastube. *deep breath* :biglaugh:

So all this to say, a simple AR-15 with iron sights, plain stock and 20 inch barrel are all you need for years of fun. AND! If you ever feel like it, well, there are TONS of things you can change and add on it, to make it even more YOUR rifle! Isn't it just the best you can get?

I've attached a picture of my ArmaLite. Retail is $1,100, I've done a trigger job on it to make it a crisp and no creep 4lbs., and I've added a nice leather sling. Thats it! Right now I don't need anymore. Since it's a chrome lined barrel (but hand lapped) and only 16'' long, best I've done with iron sights is half an inch at 50 yards and a little less than 1½'' at 100 yards. I can plink my heart out on clay targets or steel plates because it's light enough to shoot standing, and I can also bench rest it and make awesome groups. It's a flattop so I can also put a scope on it if I ever feel like so.

For pure plinking (as in, shoot with your eyes closed), I see a lot of people with cheap SKS rifles at my range. It's crap, it's cheap, but it plinks!

Happy shopping!

Alex.
 

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I would also vote in favor of an AR15 type carbine.

They are a great all around gun. Can be used for home defense, work around a farm, plinking, varmint hunting, target shooting, you name it. They are light, fast handling, accurate, light recoiling, just sweet little rifles.

PS Alex. I love my superergonomicwithbatterycompartment Tango Down Battlegrip, so lay off. Oh and I like a singlepoint tactical sling and a vertical grip too.

:p
 

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Mus said:
PS Alex. I love my superergonomicwithbatterycompartment Tango Down Battlegrip, so lay off. Oh and I like a singlepoint tactical sling and a vertical grip too.
Haha yeah, as I said, some mods are really good to do. I actually have a Tangodown Battlegrip, but it's a defective one. It's really too bad, because I would have put it on my AR. I really like that grip! Oh well.

Alex.
 

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Because I live in CA, I have been keen on the Keltec SU-16CA lately. I have heard good things about the latest thick barreled version. It would make a good fold up truck gun, takes M16 mags, and has a regular stock(no pistol grip) that points naturally and allows it to not be an evil black gun that can be sold here.

that said...if I lived in AZ, for example, would I rather have the keltec or an AR? not sure about the AR look and direct impengement gas system.

mini 14 doesnt use GI mags or any universal parts and is not highly regarded as a marksmans tack driver.

keltec is really cheap and plasticky-- but it is purpose built , only about 4.5 lbs , has several trick ergonomic features and configurations.http://www.kel-tec.com/su-16ca_rifle.htm

I already have a larger caliber battle rifle, so that is why I think the keltec would be a handy weapon if you are interested in .223 . It seems to be about $100 overpriced as it cost about like a mini14, but we take what we can get in the PRK.
 

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Hi

A friend of mine has a CZ-527 in .223 that he likes. It's a light .223 bolt action. Don't know the price, but the CZ's are a Bruno reproduction of the Mauser action.

Mike
 

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If you can't swing the AR you may want to look at a kel tec su16. I've yet to hear anything but good stuff about them, light weight, use AR15/M16 mags priced fairly well at under 500. If you want an AR and don't need it immediatly look over at Ar15.com you can ussually get some really nice reals over there. An Olimpic Arms AR15 Plinker isn't much over 500.
 

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To keep things simple, CZ 527 or Savage boltguns. Accurate and even more accurate when you start reloading with the saved money.

A step above that, an AR-15 in either a A2 or A3/A4. Accurate with irons and with a A2 RRA NM I have no problems hitting X's at 200yds. By going to flattop you can upgrade to an optical sight down the road, you can still do the same with a A2 but it raises the platform height a bit. I also have a RRA M4gery and it's more compact and lighter and would be great for a walking piece where you have it slung most of the time.
 

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I'll admit I'm biased toward my Armalite M15A4. I've had it a couple years and it's been great.


That said, my next AR will probably be from Rock River. I sure like the Elite Car A4.



Some general comments:

Mini-14's are notorious for poor accuracy. Only accurate guns are interesting.

The full-length (20") gas-system makes for a much nicer shooting experience. Add a muzzle-brake and it's even better. If you're after a carbine, check out the mid-length gas system. The short carbine gas system gives you a lot more "pop" than you'd expect from a .223.

I'd recommend a 20" though. If you're shooting out at 300yds, a scope is handy. The Leupold 1.5-5x20mm is a popular choice.

As an aside, with .223 ammo prices rising, .308 is suddenly more appealing. The 20" Armalite AR10A4 is another GREAT choice.



On the other end of the spectrum, the Cavalry Arms "Trooper" is really handy. Sort of like the Glock version of an AR-15.



Here's my little collection:


 

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Discussion Starter #17
Gas system length?

Do you mean barrel length or are you refering to some AR specific part or system. Swimming in the dark here. Although I've been checking out the RRA Website as well, and the CAR A4's looks pretty much like what I want.
 

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The AR platform is gas-operated, and the length of the gas-tube varies.

"carbine" or short (7.5" from the chamber)
mid-length (9.5" in front of the chamber)
rifle or full-length (12.5" in front of the chamber)

There are short-term and long-term drawbacks with the short gas system, and as far as I know, no benefits.

Mike
 

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If you're looking for a .223 plinker, you can forget the SKS. It's 7.62x39. I had one that was very accurate, but I never did like how it felt, so I sold it.

As for the Mini-14, you may want to check here: http://www.perfectunion.com/forums/index.php?showforum=8

It's a forum dedicated to Mini-14s and -30s. Lots of inexpensive, even some free, things you can do to improve accuracy. I did some of those mods to my Mini-30 (7.62x39 version of the Mini-14), and it hits whatever I aim at. That's out to about 100 yards. I've never tried it past 100 yards, and quite honestly I'm not so confident it would do very well at 200-300 yards. But it works for me because I love how it feels and have no interest in shooting anything past 100 yards. Plus, it's stainless steel.

However, for your stated purposes, I wouldn't buy a Mini-30. Wrong caliber, probably not very good past 100 yards, and hi-cap mags are notorious for being both expensive and problem-plagued. Getting a Mini-14 to perform well out to 300 yards might be tough, but you could post questions to the link above and see what they say.

I've handled my buddy's Keltec, and it works fine, but it just feels shoddy. It's probably better built than I give it credit for, but I just don't enjoy it. I shot one mag and haven't had the desire to do so again.

So ultimately, for what you want, you might be better off finding a good, used AR. A used one in good condition will save you some $$ and still be good enough for plinking. Plus, there are tons of inexpensive parts and accessories you might want later on.

Here's a link to a new Oly Arms AR-15 for only $569, about what you'd pay for a Mini-14. I'm not an AR guy, so I don't know how good Oly Arms is, but I'm sure someone here can tell you: http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=38857720
 
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