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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When I say "utility", I mean a handy, light wieght rifle that gets carried around alot and used for a variety of task almost daily. Such as shooting a coyote or badger on the way out to check water tanks or calving cows in the early morning or shooting a steer with a broken leg that won't let you get close. Then the odd mule deer or antelope when the meat line is getting low in the freezer.

When I was a kid my dad and uncles (and others) really liked M1 Carbines for the task. The M1 Carbine was really poppular till the Mini-14 became avaliable. Now I would have to say it's probually the most poppular "utility" rifle for folks that really use one. It would seem everytime I'm at the Super Wal-Mart there is another Mini going over the counter, usually with a low powered jap scope and why not? thats an excellent rig.

Most folks prefer auto's for thier utilty rifles, most of thee time you don't have much time to get a round in a predater and you might be happy to get a hit even if you don't kill it right off. I don't really care if a coyote runs off and dies with a shattered front leg or a badger dies in his hole with a round though his jaw, same net result. The west has never been a warm fuzzy place, and a high-cap auto-rifle handy when talking to strangers in the middle of nowhere is rather comforting. When you visit the little museums that dot the small towns of the mountain west you will find the artifacts of the early westerners. You will find that they were buying auto loaders as soon as they could, you will also find that those rifles where chambered in rather mild calibers, but folks din't care.

The 5.56/.223 is a great caliber for utility use, cheap, readily avaliable and plenty powerful enough for most anything that really needs to be shot on a daily basis. There is really nothing better.

Probually not many folks here even have use for a utilty rifle right now. Since a utility rifle isn't really a good "sport" big game hunting rifle by any stretch nor is it accurate enough to be a good varmint rifle by "varminter" standards.

As good as the .223/5.56 is in a utility rifle, it will never be a "general purpose" caliber for some folks though the utility is more important.

Teuf,
 

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when "general purpose' includes foraging QUIETLY, and fighting EFFIECIENTLY, the canned CAR-15 has a LOT more utility than does ANY 308. When you are afoot, lugging around everything, because you dont DARE leave anything anywhere, the wt and bulk savings are mandatory.
 

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Just because you are chicken<font color=red>*</font><font color=red>*</font><font color=red>*</font><font color=red>*</font>, cheap, lazy,apathetic, and inept, cant be BOTHERED to get within 100m of big game and brain it, GET a can on a good 223, etc, doesn't make a noisy 308 worth a crap. It just makes you chicken<font color=red>*</font><font color=red>*</font><font color=red>*</font><font color=red>*</font>, lazy, inept, apatheticd and cheap, that's all.
 

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Teuf, good idea on the "utility rifle" aspect of the .223 rifles. The Mini isn't a tack driver, but can get the jobs done that you're talking about. Here in the southeast, the SKS and Ak tend to take those roles. Ever consider the mini-30 for such duty? 7.62x39mm is cheap I don't know how the 30s compare to the 14s as far as accuracy goes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
JD I'm not talking about your SHTF fantasy, I'm talking about what goes on with real folks that have real need of a rifle everyday. In your twisted up la-la land, you seem to have trouble seperating your what-if world from the happenings of real people. It's too bad, it has to be that way, since it makes you come off sounding silly and inexperienced.

Mag lots of folks around here have SKS's, they sold them for $49 ea at the Co-op when they were cheap and plentiful. The Mini's edge them out though, I'm sure it's because they are easy to scope and the 5.56 is a better varmint round than the 7.62X39.

I have never personally considered the Mini-30, we have several AR's on the place so ones always handy. If I had to choose between the Mini-30 and the Mini-14, I would go with the 14, IMO the 5.56 is better suited for the task.

Teuf,
 

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If we are talking about full sized 20 inch barrel ARs, yes they are great utility rifles. But unless it's the full 20 incher and it has the detachable carrying handle, I think they are more specialty rifles. The 20 inch barrel generates enough velocity, with any weight .223 bullet, to be fairly effective from deer on down. And the detachable carrying handle allows you to put the sights LOW to the bore axis. Other wise, squirrls, rabbits, and other critters that size require some guestimation as to how much hold over OR hold under you need for a head shot. The sighs are just to high on the carrying handle.
 

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In 223, the BA Ruger MK2 Woodswalker. small, light, fun, effective.

RIKA
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
I'm not talking about the hypothetical, I'm talknig about what folks that live close to the land and actually use a rifle daily choose. From my perspective on the high plains of the mountain west that's a Mini-14 in .223.

AR's aren't particularly common, though you do see some. The folks that buy Mini's for utility use aren't all that concerned with the terminal ballistics. Thats secondary to there rugged reliability, handiness, cost and avalability. Trying to speculate that only 20" AR's are usefull is short sighted since there are thousands and thousands of examples that prove that statement wrong. Truth be known, I would venture to queery that there are three head of big game shot with .223's to every one shot by a sport hunter with any caliber and that might be low.

The .223 works just fine for varmints and big game under the conditions the folks that need utility rifles shoot them. Just because folks have a hard-on for JD doesn't change that.

Teuf,
 

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aw bs, mini doesn't have the accuracy, in a 20" barrel, to do a damned thing that a CAR-15 can't. Quite the reverse is true. Most of you are talking about doesn't NEED doing in the first place. The rest of it can be done with ANY old clunker, to include an sks, 22 single shot, or even just a good sidearm.
 

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the wussy loads YOU'd use in a 20" 223 aint got CRAP over a good handload in a 16" barrel, and the fact is, the only diff is a VERY few yards of range, on deer. So get 25m closer, big deal. for the little critters, a .22lr suffices, u don't NEED a 223 for them, and you don't NEED to hit them in the first place, and a .22 PISTOL handles them easily. I can get within 25m of THOUSANDS of prairie dogs each year, if I feel like it. It's EASY. They are road kill all around here.
 

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If u "need" a scope to hit small game, you are a LAME. :) The irons on an AR, and the .22 unit, let you take squirrels to 40m, rabbits to nearly 60m, no problem at all.
 

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Teuf- I agree, even though I'm on JD's case all the time I happen to have 2 Colt M-4 Sporters, a Mini-14 and a Pos errrr... I ment Pro Ord Carbon-15. Though I wouldn't rely on the Carbon-15 for much of anything.

From around age 15 the Min-14 was a general purpose rifle for me.
 

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This is pretty much why my main rifle is a 5.56mm AR with a 16" barrel, though if I had to switch to a Mini-14 I could easily make do.

You don't need a full sized 20" barrel. A vast and growing percentage of the world's current issue combat rifles are now fitted 18" to 14" barrels. The Israelis, for instance, use a lightweight 14.5" barrel with an M-16A1 upper and lower as their standard issue service rifle. Most of the world's frontline militaries are either fielding 5.56mm, 5.8mm (China - a souped up 5.45mm), or 5.45mm rifles.

The Mini-14 has an 18" barrel and is really quite effective. They are quite reliable and can be made to be extremely accurate.

Lots of deer and other critters get killed in the USA every year with .223 weapons. Innuits use them for dropping caribou. I know for a fact that they can drop an elk.

You can look at it this way. The mountain men of old did impressive stuff with .50, .54, and .58 caliber muzzleloaders. A 5.56mm weapon with a 16" to 18" barrel round for round has it hands down all over one of those old rifles in terms of range, power, and lethality.

My CAR-15 with a 16" barrel does also great on small game, both with 5.56mm ammo and with .22LR with the Ceiner (thinking about checking out the new DPMS unit). With the Ceiner unit you can nail a rabbit or make a coke can dance reliably at 75m.

I had a Mini-14 since I was a kid. One trick I learned early on as a child was kind of an adaptation of an old frontier trick my dad taught me. With a muzzleloader, if you have to shoot a small critter, like a squirrel, you hit the branch beneath the squirrel and you'll harvest the squirrel without blowing him to shreds. A Mini-14 can convert a rabbit to a puddle of nasty goo. If you might want to eat the rabbit, you land the round just next to him, preferably dead on but just a tad low, and you'll kill him with the frags and concussion.

People around here do tend to be defensive about the .308's since JD's perpetual habit of making unrealistic comparisons of the two rounds.
 

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I don't think the .223 is a bad round, but the 11" CAR is a bad rifle. I also think that 14.5" barrels are marginal. A 16" barrel is useful, 20" is best, but you give up little going to 18", so I guess the 18" would be the best overall "utility" length. Of course the Ruger being 18.5", relatively cheap, accurate enough for the job, and easily scoped (in the ranch rifle models) I'm not suprised it's as popular as Teuf says. I guess people like the 7.62x39 better here because the ranges are even shorter and the rifles even cheaper than the Mini-14.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
No one suggested the Mini was as accurate or anything else, just that it gets used one hell of alot by folks that actually use rifles for non-sporting practical purpopses.

How hard is that to understand JD?

Teuf,
 

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TODD 3465 said:
mrostov- A friend of mine in High School did that to a squirrel. Blew it too fuzz and red pieces with his Mini-14.
:) Mojave jackrabbits are a tad bigger than your average squirrel.
 

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223 fan said:
the wussy loads YOU'd use in a 20" 223 aint got CRAP over a good handload in a 16" barrel, and the fact is, the only diff is a VERY few yards of range, on deer. So get 25m closer, big deal. for the little critters, a .22lr suffices, u don't NEED a 223 for them, and you don't NEED to hit them in the first place, and a .22 PISTOL handles them easily. I can get within 25m of THOUSANDS of prairie dogs each year, if I feel like it. It's EASY. They are road kill all around here.
WOW! It must take a LOT of skill to sneak up to within 25m of a "Dead on Road" prairie dog! You da Man!
 

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What I was saying is the AR, with short barrels, just loses to much in range and power. Plus the sights being so high up above the bore line, force you to sight your weapon in and for such as small game you have to know exactly where it hits. If you sight in a AR at 100 yards, notice where it hits at 25. It will NOT be dead on or even close. For such as small game, 3 inches matter.

The Mini will work ok. Nothing wrong with it. It's not as accuarte as a AR, and good 20 round mags are not so easy to get (but with the sunsetting of the AWB, I hope a bunch of LEO organizations dump their GBs and 20 round Ruger mags on the market and go to the AR. That would be fine with me.

The GB does have an 18 inch barrel and a flash hider. Plus the sights are barely 1 inch or so above the bore line. That makes for head shots at 50 yards (and a good set up Mini will make head shots on squirrls at that range.)
 

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Just because you are chicken<font color=red></font><font color=red></font><font color=red></font><font color=red></font>, cheap, lazy,apathetic, and inept, cant be BOTHERED to get within 100m of big game and brain it, GET a can on a good 223, etc, doesn't make a noisy 308 worth a crap. It just makes you chicken<font color=red></font><font color=red></font><font color=red></font><font color=red></font>, lazy, inept, apatheticd and cheap, that's all.
Here you go off the rails, again. Making a post that starts by insulting everyone. You destroyed any hope of credibility with your opening sentence, driven by an apparent lack of understanding the topic at hand.

and everything in your rant is childish and silly. A .308 suppresses very well. I thought one of your complaints was that the .308 is heavy, yet we are lazy if we carry one? Most .308 auto rifles are more expensive than a .223, yet we are cheap? You claim a .308 is harder to shoot, yet we are inept?

learn to have a rational discussion, stop with the childish insults, stop with the pants on head retarded claims that are obviously false.
 
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