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The 300 Blackout cartridge is really starting to hit its stride. Just about every manufacturer makes a gun in the wonder caliber, and ammunition is finally available in most big box sporting goods stores. Now it seems that the 300 BLK cartridge is starting to reach beyond the confines of the AR-15 platform, branching out into other firearms as well. The latest is Ruger’s latest Mini-14, a firearm considered so evil by Dianne Feinstein that it was specifically banned in her last proposed Assault Weapons Ban bill, but A-OK as far as California and other states with an Assault Weapons Ban is concerned. It might be a nifty choice for a lightweight hunting rifle especially for those in The Golden State, and we’ve asked for one to review.Β Don’t touch that dial.

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    • Generally the mini 14 & big brother 30 aren’t known for being tack drivers.
      That said you can have mine when you pry it…….

      • From what I’ve heard, Mini-30 is better in that regard than Mini-14. Hopefully the Blackout version will be more like the former.

        • As I recall they tightened them up starting with the 500 serial numbers. Mine was good enough to get me through an Appleseed shoot, no problems.

  1. Nice to have options, but this is pretty pointless in Ca. (unless you already had a bunch of mags I guess). No threaded barrels or suppressors here, so might as well get a -30 and save on ammo.

    • Gotta watch for those evil barrel threads, some poor innocent child might mistake your dirty evile gun for a bolt!

    • Don’t know where you get your info from but threaded barrels are not an evil feature in Kalifornia. You can also use 10 round mags with the Mini unless you have pre-ban magazines (which you can still possess and use in some instances) and it would still be legal.

      • Yeah, I don’t even bother to try and keep up anymore. No threaded barrels is just for handguns then?

        • Should work with regular mini-14 mags. That was the point of 300BLK I thought – uses regular 5.56 cases but opened up for a .30 projectile. Probably uses the same receiver and bolt – should only need a different barrel/chamber.

        • Agree with MIkeP.

          *Should* work.

          I have a large pile of stainless mags for the ’14 I had, this has my interest.

  2. Awesome! Another rifle chambered for the solution I don’t have a problem for.

    Honestly – the more guns, variants, etc, out there – the better for the cause.

    This one just doesn’t do anything for me.

      • The 300 blkout addressed reliabilty issues with the 7.62×39 in an AR which really just wasn’t designed to operate in an AR. The supersonic variety is almost identical, ballistics wise, to the AK round, fits in a standard AR mag, using a standard AR bolt – all with better accuracy and better reliability (when compared to the 7.62×39). So yea – it fixed problems.

        • Which is why it makes no sense in a Mini-14 when there’s been a perfectly reliable Mini-30 available for decades. Other than the fact that Ruger will sell a ton of them because it’s the latest craze. The folks running Ruger aren’t stupid.

      • .300 BLK is basically a better 7.62×39 – more flexible wrt magazine geometry, better in shorter barrels, better ballistics, great options for both subsonic and supersonic, but overall the same niche. I don’t think that incremental improvements are worthless.

      • I took interest in the round due to its subsonic capabilities. It makes a great home defense platform when you don’t want to crank off high velocity rifle rounds in an urban environment. Not to mention the reduced recoil, flash, and sound that a subsonic .30 cal round provides. If you have ever done any room clearing armed with a rifle, especially in the dark, without hearing and eye protection (I have), you will appreciate the difference a subsonic round provides. I would equally consider a pistol caliber carbine, however the options are few, and because the AR and Mini are platforms I have spent decades and thousands of rounds training with, personally it makes it an exceptional choice for home defense.

  3. Unless your suppressing it I don’t know why you wouldn’t get a mini 30. Except for the fact I can use slightly cheaper mini14 mags

    • This might be a stupid reason, but for me its the ability to stockpile bullets that I can load into either my 308 win or my 300black.

      • Do you like to use the same bullets in the .300 and your .308? I share some bullets with my .300 Weatherby and the .30-06, but that is a different ball game than the .300. I suppose if I worked up a subsonic round for the .300 I could use those in the Weatherby.

    • Whatever you save will be blown before you shoot half a magazine worth of ammo.

  4. The 300 blkout is nice for short range, suppressed, and CQB. Leaves a lot to be desired past 200 yards. It would be nice if Ruger would make a semi auto 308 version of the mini. I would be very much impressed with that offering. Still the 300 AAC is a great addition.

    • Well if they made a 308 version they really wouldn’t have a mini anymore. More like an m1a lol but I’d still buy one lol

      • I (obviously by my screen name) own a Mini-14 and wanted something in .308 so I bought a M1A. Problem solved. Love both and since the Mini is a scaled down M1A the cleaning and manual of arms is basically the same, the only major difference is the gas block.

    • >> Leaves a lot to be desired past 200 yards.

      Well, for starters, this is obviously an alternative to Mini-30 more so than Mini-14. But then also, .300 BLK retains more energy at longer ranges than either 5.56 or 7.62×39, due to better BC.

    • Past 200 yards? … supersonic 300 BLK still kicks butt past 300 yards. Outperforms 5.56 and 7.62×39 at those same distances.

  5. While I like .300 whisper…err blackout, I have to admit a mini chambered for it isn’t exactly inspirational.

    On the other hand, I’d really like to see someone producing 9×39, & firearms that will chamber it. Any arguments against roughly similar flight characteristics with superior terminal performance, especially at long (for subsonic) ranges? Yeah, didn’t think so. πŸ˜‰

    Certainly I would love to come across an AS Val, Vikr, VSK-94, or Vintorez (they can keep the Groza, not interested). That won’t happen until they’re retired from active military/FSB/GRU/etc service, & further, another less communist minded POTUS or Congress relieves the Russian import restrictions currently in place.

    It will probably be quite a while before either of those last two parameters becomes reality unless I feel like taking a trip to say Chechnya, or the Crimea. Ofc, I’d still be unable to import it regardless. I haz teh sadz. πŸ™

    • Yep, 9x39mm is a dream caliber for me, although not as much as it used to be due to developments like 300 BLK and improvements in suppressor technology. I like all the rifles you mentioned, but my favorite is the VSS Vintorez. I’m not a proponent for subsonic for CQB if it can be avoided but I think the Groza does have a niche. I also fantasize about the VKS. It doesn’t have the range limitations of 9x39mm and opens up a lot of possibilities. If it wasn’t so heavy and I had one I’d hunt with it! I would hunt with a VSS, within limitations of the cartridge (judging by energy it’s more suited to small game and pest management, I generally would be reluctant to use it on animals larger than coyotes). While we’re at it, I’ll take anything chambered in SP-4 (captive-piston ammo), which includes handguns like the OTs-38 revolver and PSS pistol. It would be interesting to see if a practical rifle cartridge could be developed on similar principles. And while I’m here in the fantasy gun shop, I’ll take a PSDR-3 and Knights Armament Company revolver rifle and pistol as well.

  6. OK I know many (Nick) love the blackout cartridge but I am put in the position of Capt. obvious here. Hello, Mini-30! Not that different. At least the discontinued mini in 6.8 was different enough, in terms of ballistics, to be justified. Yeah, mini’s are cool but a bit pricey for what they are and I bet this one will be the priciest.

    • Same price as the same version in 5.56.

      I bought mine a year and a half ago for $650. That was about bottom dollar for a cheap AR at the time and it came with sights and scope mounts. I think if you’re comparing them to cheap ARs they come out looking pretty good, but you’ll have to deal with the AR snobs who spent $3000 for their AR and yes, they are better than a $650 Mini-14, but they usually overlook that they could have bought 4 Minis and a ton of ammo for that price.

      If they came out with another 6.8 (with the Spec II chamber this time) I’d line up to buy one. That would make an excellent deer rifle out to 300-350 yards or so.

  7. This elicited a resounding “meh” feeling from me. Much too late to the party for the majority of the market. I suppose this is good for those few slave states where they cant own un-neutered AR rifles, but everywhere else I dont see these selling unless they are below or at the cost of a 300 Blackout upper.

  8. I just don’t like the mini line anymore. Even in a crappy state I’d rather have an AR with a bullet button. I can buy an all right AR for sub 800, but the mini series all seems to be 800+. Pair that with weaker aftermarket support, more expensive accessories and frequently disappointing accuracy and I don’t get it. When they were a couple-four hundred cheaper than ARs it made sense if you wanted a truck gun but nowdays….eh. And this is coming from a Ruger fanboy; 1/2 my handguns are Rugers and the next 2-3 are going to be as well.

    For the 1k this has as MSRP I could build a fairly decent. 300 blackout AR.

      • last mini-14’s I’ve seen on the shelf were in the high 700s range. I can get an all right AR in the 600s. That’s here in TX.

        I understand some countries out and out ban ARs or restrict them way more than even California does, but here in the states…yeah, minis are more expensive most of the time.

    • I only paid $650 for mine a year and a half ago, but it’s the (slightly cheaper) woody. The ARs have come down a bit since then, but at the time that was bottom dollar for a cheap AR. I can’t argue about the aftermarket but if you’re comparing cheap ARs to the Mini expect to get a better trigger on the Mini. There’s a fair amount of take up but a much lighter break than the mil-spec triggers.

    • Just walked by a used Mini-30 in the Dale City, VA gun show for $900. Must have been a crack table somewhere, too.

  9. To be clear, Feinsteins bill would have only banned the tactical model of the Mini 14 because of its pistol grip – the other models still would have been ok. Rugers announcement for this new version indicates tactical model only at this point, meaning the picture accompanying this piece is inaccurate.

    • The basic Tactical version is exactly the same as the synthetic stock Ranch except for the addition of the flash hider (or whatever Ruger calls the muzzle device). Which, it so happens, is enough to make it an “assault weapon” in NY. Any muzzle device at all, ot the threading to accommodate one. So, I’ll have to wait for the caliber to be available in the standard Ranch.

  10. As far as I’m concerned Ruger can take the “ranch rifle” and stick it in their ear. Several years ago I made the mistake of buying a 6.8spc mini because the caliber was interesting and it didn’t require an obnoxious mag. lock in my home state of Commiefornia.

    Now I am stuck with an overpriced lemon that only uses expensive 5 round magazines, cost way too much and has at best mediocre accuracy. Ruger never even bothered to make slave state legal 10 round mags to support this caliber and the after market 10 round magazines are about as reliable as a 1970 Fiat.

    Eventually I wised up and put this orphaned oddity in the back of my safe and got a really nice 6.8spc upper for my AR, which was cheaper, much more accurate, and even with the despised bullet button, a lot more fun to shoot.

    Why anyone would waste money on an $800 mini 14 when (even in this messed up state) you can get a perfectly good AR-15 for $600 is beyond me.

    • Ouch.

      I went with 6.8, .50, and 300 BLK uppers and subsequently got dedicated lowers. They are decently accurate and tons of fun to shoot.

  11. Exactly what does .300 Blk do better than 7.62×39? Supresses. Maybe feeds better in an AR pattern for reliability and similar performance. So in a non AR, non supressed platform it is officially useless. This is officially re-inventing the wheel, with more expensive rubber.

    • One potential advantage in the future is that .300 is manufactured in US. OTOH, the only guys making 7.62×39 in US that I can remember are Hornady, and what they make is high-end, expensive stuff. Everyone else imports, and occasionally slaps their logo on the box. If imports are banned for whatever reason (hello, ATF), that can screw a lot of people up.

      Still, for a gun like that, I’d rather get it in 7.62×39 and stockpile ammo.

  12. C’mon Ruger. If you are going to make anything in .300 BLK, why the Mini 14?

    The AR-556 is cheaper, lighter, and more accurate, not to mention that AR mags are more common than Mini 14 mags. Get with the program.

  13. I’m starting to see the Ruger AR. Anyone have experience with Del-ton? They’re going super cheap(under $500) on the internet. I know they make parts for other companies.

    • Twin beard over at Gunblast likes Delton. I was thinking of making a super light and cheap AR with a New Frontier poly lower and probably the Delton lightweight upper, but it’s unavailable right now.

  14. After running a couple thousand rounds through my SKS, I acquired a Mini 30. I like the 7.62 X 39 much better than the .223/5.56, and I do not care to own an AK. (Well, maybe a pricey milled-receiver AK.)
    I also grabbed some 10, 20 and 30 rd mags that were legal at the time.
    I found the Mini nearly as accurate as the SKS, and reliable when using mags that it liked. This for about twice the price of the SKS. Nowadays the Mini costs nearly twice what I paid for mine.
    Then, like a fool, I sold the SKS to help finance an AR in X 39. After some teething problems related to the mags, that AR is now running smoothly.

    Which is a long way to say, if you’re on a budget, get an SKS. The Mini will be effective within reasonable range, and the AR will be useful if it runs, and you don’t mind the extra hassle of operating and maintaining an AR.
    I see no advantage for a rifle in .30 BLK over the X 39. This expensive, alternative chambering may be better suited to the AR platform. The X 39 will do whatever a .30-30 will do…But that’s just my $0.02.

    Now, what I WOULD like to see, is a new run of Ruger Deerfield type carbines in .357 or maybe 9mm or.45 ACP.
    Please, Ruger?

  15. Ruger is just trying to capitalize on the 300 BLK’s current popularity. It’s primary strengths are for suppressed, short barreled AR’s. Not bolt actions and minis. Still fun to shoot regardless.

  16. All you haters can keep hating, leaves more .300 on the shelf for me. I get giddy everytime I see a new firearm chambered for .300 blackout because it’s one step closer to finding CHEAP ammo on the shelf.

  17. I don’t understand why there isn’t more love here. This announcement makes me GIDDY! The only question is whether the gas system is optimized for subsonic (awesome awesomeness) or for supersonic (worthless piece of crap).

    With subsonic rounds, this ready-for-suppressor rifle would be half the price of any AR in 300Blk. What’s not to love? With supersonic rounds, this rifle has no reason to exist.

      • Perhaps a budget cheap-o, you’re right. And then at least we’d be able to use AR mags instead of the proprietary Ruger mags. I see your point.

        Still, is this rifle set up for super or sub?!?!?

  18. i use to think the 40 cal was just another caliber invented to sell guns and ammo until i saw what it was capable of doing [i now carry one 24-7]. i look at new calibers and new guns with a different mentality now. i guess you could say i now have the lets wait n see mentality. still i can see where some would think its re-inventing the wheel. oh n as far as ruger mini prices goes in South Texas there average about $650.00 out the door. at least at walli world they do. For now ill stick to my AR and AKs though and lets wait n see.

  19. Well, for what it’s worth, it appeals to me. I’ve been considering an AR hog gun in 300 blackout but the dollars get out of control way fast. I’m not an AR fan to begin with because I’ve never held one that hasn’t felt unbalanced and front heavy with he exception of an FN Scar. Would love to own one, but that gun is just too dang much money. And, most AR’s that I’ve considered are too pricey for my taste. Lastly, I don’t really know what I’m buying when buying an AR or components if I were to build one from scratch. The modularity of the AR platform is cool, but it’s difficult to know which components are of good quality or not. I’ve read and studied a lot about it, and I’m still just as ignorant and confused as when I started. A 300 Mini will meet my price and meet my requirement of a balanced feeling rifle from a company with a great reputation. A trigger job and bedding the action will help the accuracy of the gun if it needs it while not breaking the bank too.

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