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AK 47 VS Mini 30

Updated on August 26, 2011

I was first introduced to the AK 47 in 1973 at Fort Campbell, Ky. We became familiarized with the AK 47 learning to disassemble, clean and reassemble the rifle. We had an eclectic collection of AK's, Russian, Romanian and Chinese. Early AK's up to the then fairly new AKM. I was impressed with the design and rugged feel to the weapon. At about 9.5 lbs it felt solid like the the M-1 or M-14 rifles. However when we took the AK 47 to the range I was not so impressed. The AK is a rugged and reliable rifle however accuracy is not it's strongpoint. The AK 47 was never designed to be accurate, so that's ok. It was designed to replace the battle rifle and the submachine gun and it's main mode of operation was to be in the fully automatic mode. The max effective range of the AK 47 is 400 yards, that means that the average infantry soldier has a 50-50 chance of hitting a man sized target at that range. I've fired the AK 47 at 400 yards and found it to be lacking that capability. Now the AK's we were firing were all combat captures and may not have been in the best of shape. Also the new commercial semi auto AK's may have much better accuracy, but I haven't had the opportunity to fire one of those yet. You can find AK 47's starting at about $350 and the prices go up depending on how fancy you wish to make it.

The Mini 30 is the 7.62 X 39mm carbine based on the Ruger Mini 14. Per Ruger the max effective Range is 300 yards. Now the Mini 30 is not a tack driver and was never meant to be one. The Mini 30 is a light weight, about 7lbs, working man's carbine. It's a "put it in the truck just in case gun". If you work on a ranch or farm, live in the country or just want a semi automatic carbine for hunting medium sized game in brush country, this is a handy little rifle. My Mini 30 is the stainless steel model with the hardwood stock, I've had it for close to 15 years. Bought the Mini 30 and the Mini 14 on the same day, the 30 for me and the 14 for my wife. I may be one of the lucky ones but I found my Mini 30 to be a very accurate carbine out to about 250 yards (longest shot I've made with it). The Mini 30 came with a 5 and a 20 round magazine. At 250 yards I can empty a 20 round magazine into a 1 gallon milk jug, with deliberate fire. My Mini 30 is the ranch model and I use a standard 4X scope on it, an accommodation for aging eyes. You can find used Mini 30's for around $450 and new ones for around $700. There are aftermarket stocks that can get quite fancy to include a stock that adapts the mini to a bullpup design.

The AK 47 does have the advantage of a pistol grip, which I prefer to a regular rifle stock. The slightly longer barrel of the Mini 30 may be why I find it a little bit more accurate than the AK 47, but I can't believe it would make that much of a difference. I have never had a stoppage with the Mini 30 or with the AK 47. Until I have a chance to to fire one of the commercial AK 47's I will have to give this one to the Ruger Mini 30. But have to say that the 7.62 X 39mm developed by the Russians is an excellent short to mid ranged round and is an excellent choice for a brush gun for medium sized game, wild pigs, deer etc. Also I find that my Mini 30 does best with russian surplus ammo and I use soft point and hollow points for hunting.

Thanks for reading my rants and please come back for more. As always if you have any match ups that you would like to see, please let me know.


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  • RANGER65 profile image

    Rick 4 years ago from MacDill AFB

    I have a Ruger Mini 30 and it is a fairly accurate weapon out to around the 200 yard mark with a Red Dot scope. They actually sell a barrel brace for this weapon to stop the movement inside the stock that accounts for most of the accuracy deficiencies. The price today for a new one is $849.00 thru Cabella's. $100.00 more if you want the assault type stock.