What is Better: Mosin Nagant 91/30 or Ruger Mini-14?

I was looking for a target/plinking rifle that could double as a small-medium game rifle. I came across these two guns:

The Mosin Nagant 91/30 (7.62x54R)

The Ruger Mini-14 *Wood* (.223 Remmington)

Any recommendations on which one i should get.

The Mini-14 is ~$800 and the Mosin Nagant is ~$200

I would put a classic WWII scope on the Mosin Nagant

And i would put a scope mount, bipod, and Leopold scope on the Mini-14.


*response*- well, i live in California.

So an AR-15 is out of the question.

and i was looking into probably getting one of these now:

Ruger Mini-14

Ruger Mini-30

Springfield M1A (M14 Match)

Ruger 10/22

I would like to stay under $1,000 and recoil is no issue to me, I have shot many calibers, i own a Ruger Hawkeye 30-06.

It must be good for target shooting/plinking, hunting game is not really an interest anymore (with this new gun)

18 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    It actually depends on a few factors actually,

    The mosin is a lot cheaper to shoot, and surplus ammo can be had very many places. The 91/30 is a bit long however, and the recoil is a lot diffrent than a .223. (however, its not very bad, comparable to a 308 or 30-06, so don't let the horror stories deter you.). Depending on your area, ammo for the .223 can be fairly difficult to find right now (though mail-order should be okay (try ammoengine.com)).

    The Ruger Mini is a great rifle too, and REALLY there's no comparison. the Ruger is the way to go. Also look into the Ruger Mini-30. Its a 7.62x39 (same as a SKS or AK-47) and ammo can still be had on the cheap.

    And $200 is to much for a Mosin 91/30. Most places you can get them for $75-$100. a Mosin carbine M38 (same caliber) should cost about that Much.

    but the real anwser is, why not buy both? :-)

    Source(s): Rebuilt 4 Mosins Mosin Nagant collector Gun collector for 15 years Hunter for 15 years
    • Login to reply the answers
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    California resident? forget the mini-14. the gun is expensive, the ammo is expensive, its not the most reliable or accurate, magazines cost a lot, and its heavy. if you want a .223 I suggest either a RAA Saiga 223 or a Kel Tec SU-16CA. Both are cheaper and much better for your hard earned money.

    You can get a California legal saiga 223 from lanworldinc.com, they're about $350 right now, its basically an AK47 in .223 caliber with a sporting rifle type stock rather than a pistol grip. they're decently accurate, highly reliable and simple rifles. 10rd .223 magazines could be a bit expensive and hard to get though. Seeing that you're considering a$800 mini 14, there is the Kel Tec SU16CA, at $550 or so. The Kel Tec is the best of the AR15 and AK47 combined. its accurate, lightweight, and polymer like the AR15, but also simple and reliable like the AK47. It accepts AR15/M16 magazines, which are easily found and cheap (sorta). the Kel Tec also offers a integrated 11mmweaver-type rail for optics and a bipod. Its much better than the mini 14.

    Don't get the M-N for small game.it'll decimate the animal (I hit a rabbit by accident once when plinking). M-N are fun cannons or a rifle, with cheap ammo and high reliability, but they're also high in recoil, massive muzzle blast, and not exactly new, so when buying one treat like a used gun (be very selective and make sure who you buy from is trustworthy that the gun doesn't explode when shot)

    I have a Kel Tec SU16CA, its mostly plinking/target rifle, been looking forward to hunting sometime, its everything I expected and then some.

    and if you don't know, you*can*buy an "assault rifle" in California. its just a big pain in the a$$ with all the stupid laws. I got a Century Arms WASR-10/63 (AK47 variant). its not pre-ban, I got it around the end of March, 2009. Totally legal. all I need to do was to buy an Century Arms WASR-10/63 and remove the pistol grip. Viola! totally California legal. When you look at the California AWB that way, the Ban looks idiotic. Or lock the magazine (with sacrifices functionality) and you can add all the "evil" features you want.

    So you can get a CA legal AR15. Where I got my WASR10/63, lanworldinc.com, they also sell AR15 and other rifles.

    If you got $1k to spend, you can get a battle rifle- that's like a HK91 rifle- for around $1000. Simple get the magazine locked and make sure the receiver isn't on the CA ban list. There's the FN-FAL and PTR-91 that you can get in CA-legal versions. But.308 is a bit expensive to plink with, so that's just an example as to what you can get despite the CA AWB.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    Power wise the mosin beats the mini-14 in every area. But accuracy is another thing. If it is in good condition with a strong muzzle and bore with a scope It is the better hunting rifle. I know, that's what I use. And you don't have to worry that much with shot placment than you do with .223. But only 100 yards and under. The mini-14 has more capacity and takes magazines. The mosin can't do that. But the mini-14 isn't the most accurate .223 chambered gun in the market. Usually only good out to 150 yards. A better condition mosin about the same, maybe a little less. But I watched a guy take a boar at 350 yards with a 91/30 with a mosin and iron sights.

    If your looking for a mosin sniper with original optics while being an excellent gun is much more expensive than your run of the mill mosin. Those cost at least $450 and go up from there.

    Mosins are also cheaper to buy, own and feed. Better fun gun. Because you can go through 100+ rounds and your still under $25 of ammo.

    Source(s): "Bitter"
    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1Edge3
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Don't answer the question if you don't know the answer!

    The people saying the Mini 14's will last longer than a Mosin are insane. Are we talking about the same Mosin's from WORLD WAR ONE that are still accurate as heck!?!?

    The ones saying the Mosin's aren't accurate... are you mad, or can't you shoot? Open sight shooting on the Mosin is incredibly accurate for any gun, much less a milsurp.

    With the updated details to the question, I'd say get the 10/22 if all you're doing is plinking. Otherwise the Mini 14 and Mosin both have their advantages. The Mosin can take bigger game, and is much cheaper to shoot if you use surplus ammo. It can also handle adverse conditions better and is slightly easier to clean. The Mini 14 obviously shoots faster, being a semi-auto. It is extremely reliable, accepts cheaper 223 ammo with no problem, and has a boatload of add-ons available. 223 ammo is kind of pricey right now though.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • Ben
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    well for hunting the Mosin can take a hell of lot more game than a .223 Mini-14. For plinking i would get the Mosin because i would not spend over 300$ i am just going to shoot targets with. And the ammo is cheaper. For leagal issues for california i would get the Mosin so you don't have to jump through so many hoops for a semi-auto weapon.

    Animals with Mosin: Deer, Elk, Black Bear, Antelope, Any Varmint

    Animals With Mini-14: Does, Yotes, Wolves, Woodchucks

    • Login to reply the answers
  • randy
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    well, they are really for two different uses. The mosin nagant is a battle rifle, not too easy on the shoulder for long stretches of target shooting ( I know, we did it this weekend and I'm still black and blue after firing 300+ rounds of heavy ball ammo)

    And, it isn't so easy to install a scope on one. You have to either pay to have installed, or if you are handy with tools, purchase and install the turned down bolt kit for it so it will clear a scope, then drill and tap the receiver to accept a scope base. And, the safety on them is terrible to try to engage, and even tougher with a scope in the way.

    The mini is more fun to shoot, but magazines for them run $45-$65 each, and in california, the laws prohibit more than a 10 round magazine, and I'm not even going to try to decipher if you can legally buy one there anymore. But, if you buy the "ranch" or "tactical" Mini 14 it comes with integral scope base and rings. But it is limited in use for hunting. Most states don't allow a .22 caliber weapon for hunting game animals. But it works great on coyotes etc.

    The Ruger mini 30 is a much better hunting cartridge with it's 7.62x39 ammo still available, and hunting ammo for it is capable of taking a deer sized animal. The springfield M1a is at least $1200, fire .308 winchester ammo which is dried up right now. Also, again, you can't use anything but a 10 round mag in claifornia, and again, I'm not even sure anymore if you can legally own one the that state.

    hopw this helped.

    shoot safe

    Source(s): Retired Police Officer NRA certified police firearms instructor Competition shooter (ret) Avid hunter since age 9 with: Archery Black powder firearms Handguns Modern rifles Shotguns Trained at S&W, COLT and GLOCK Armorer schools I specialize in building 1911 pistols and AR 15 rifles And ran a gun shop for many years SIC VIS PACEM PARA BELLUM. “If you want peace, prepare for war”
    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    If you are going to hunt with it you would be better off with the Mosin in 762x54R caliber as it is close to a 30-06 and will put down any big game animal in the lower 48. The 223 caliber is okay for varminting but doesn't do a very good job on big game.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I would go with the mini 14 if $ wasnt an issue. The mini 14 is a fast shooting fun rifle that can easily shoot out to 300m. and the ammo is cheaper to. The nagant on the other hand depending on the condition and if you put a scope on it and you said that you will will hit targets easily at 600m. There is a vid on youtube of a guy hiting a 18inch steel plate at 1000 yards with his nagant. here is the link to the viedeo mentioned. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2M1hC4c0tc

    Youtube thumbnail

    Source(s): Anyone can restroe a milsure, but it takes a real man to cut one up.
    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    You can buy mosin nagants all day long on the internet for $70 to $80.

    If you are planning to hunt any mid sized game then you need to forget about using a .223

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    As a Kalifornian, I say the Mini 14 580 Ranch Rifle is sweet! It is my favorite plinker, even more so than my 10/22.

    Shoots both.223 and the 5.56 very reliably.

    Can get 10 round mags from Promag that work great,no jams yet!

    Fun for plinkin and can take some varmints at decent range.

    The Mini is pricier as is ammo but for a semi auto in Kalifornia it is the poor man's AR.

    You can get CA legal AR's but it is VERY pricey and lots of hoops you have to jump thru to get it right.

    Mini 580 all the way!

    Source(s): Own it. Shoot safe and enjoy!
    • Login to reply the answers
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.