Friday, February 15, 2008

Ruger Mini 14 Ranch Rifle in 6.8SPC

Ruger Mini 14 All Weather Ranch Rifle in 6.8SPC

While walking past the magazine rack in the local grocery store a very familiar looking rifle caught my eye. The Ruger Mini 14 is a great lot of fun to shoot, but lets face it, .223 is .223. Just about everyone EXCEPT our military have figured out that it's a great prairie dog round, but it's just too small to have any serious knock-down power.

The 6.8SPC round, jointly developed by the Marine Corp and Remington, if I remember correctly, is just what the Mini-14 needed. It shoots flat, has decent power, and is quite accurate, too.

Currently Ruger is only offering the 6.8SPC chambering in their all weather matte stainless ranch rifle version. One of the early complaints about the 6.8SPC was ammo cost, but if this Mini-14 catches on, a much greater demand should encourage ammunition manufacturers to start producing it in sufficient quantity to bring the price down to a reasonable point.

Time will tell, but it looks like Ruger has made another smart move................


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33 Comments:

At Saturday, February 16, 2008 7:59:00 AM, Blogger Tam said...

IIRC, 6.8 was pretty much an in-house, on-their-own-time SOCOM project.

 
At Saturday, February 16, 2008 8:08:00 AM, Anonymous tkdkerry said...

Now if Ruger will allow the peons to have magazines with more then 5 round capacity...

 
At Saturday, February 16, 2008 11:27:00 AM, Blogger Michael Hawkins said...

5.56 NATO is a great round if you have soldiers with select fire rifles that can lay down suppressive fire, and are able to carry loads of ammo.

And I'm sure that if thee catch on, there will be aftermarket magazines available.

 
At Saturday, February 16, 2008 7:58:00 PM, OpenID murdocjern said...

I'm copying this comment from one I left at Say Uncle's:

I shot a bunch of 6.8 at an LWRC event at last year’s SHOT Show. I made a point of shooting some 5.56 immediately after, and I must say that the difference on full auto seemed almost negligible. Not that I’m experienced enough to really be able to tell.

The 6.5 Grendel numbers look good though. Also, does anyone have any experience or opinion on the 6.5 Creedmoor from Hornady? I didn’t know anything about it until I saw a DPMS rifle chambered for it.

 
At Sunday, February 17, 2008 9:37:00 AM, Anonymous tkdkerry said...

Holy crap! Did I actually type "more then" instead of "more than"? Now I must go abase myself at the range, offering oblations to the gun gods and begging forgiveness for allowing my digital dexterity to become sloppy.

 
At Sunday, February 17, 2008 4:18:00 PM, Blogger Carl H said...

Good. Per some of the SHOT show info, Ruger just released an NRA-ILA Mini 14 (16" barrel) that comes with not one, but two (2) of their 20 round .223 magazines. I had to save my milk money for a week to buy just one of those factory 20 round mags for my old Mini, here's hoping they flood the freakin' market with 'em now.

 
At Monday, February 18, 2008 9:31:00 AM, Blogger 762me said...

It's about time they put this gun in a decent caliber since Ruger long ago cancelled the XGI project in 308. Hopefully Ruger has addressed the inaccuracy issue like the one I found in an 80's vintage Ranch Rifle. Finally traded up to a Bushmaster.

762me

 
At Tuesday, February 19, 2008 2:48:00 PM, Blogger Sigivald said...

Yeah, but does it shoot worth a damn (to echo 762me)?

I've never heard good thing about Mini-14 accuracy; which is a shame, since it's an attractive rifle, and generally nice in other respects.

 
At Thursday, February 21, 2008 8:15:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what's wrong with 5.56?
Mark

 
At Thursday, April 03, 2008 7:37:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I googled for a forum about this to see if anyone else had my experience. I owned a Mini 14 in 6.8 Rem SPC. Note the past tense.

Couldn't get it to fire reliably. Sent it to Ruger 3 times. They finally gave up and sent my money back. Has anyone else tried it yet? I'm hoping my experience was a fluke.

 
At Friday, April 04, 2008 8:18:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i just ordered a 6.8spc mini, and i understand this round can be used in 223 mags as both rounds are same lanth.

 
At Wednesday, April 16, 2008 2:33:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just ordered the 6.8 mini.

As far as the magazine concerns go, I simply use a standard 5.56 30 round magazine for my 6.8. I can get 10 or so rounds in them. Load one in the chamber and load your mag and then you have at least 10 rounds.

I get about 1.25 inch groups out of mine pretty reliably but I keep that fucker pristine.

I would like to see an aftermarket barrel developed soon seeing how this is the only rifle of mine that shoots over a minute.

 
At Friday, October 10, 2008 9:05:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recently bought thr Ruger 6.8 and I love it. I do not love the price of ammo- however Silver State Armory has it very reasonably priced.

Tony- Minnesota

VOT McCain-Palin

 
At Wednesday, November 26, 2008 7:43:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gentlemen, Ruger is running a pre Obama special on 20 round clips for the Mini 14 @$29.95 per clip. I ordered 3 clips and a new Mini 14. The waiting period on the Mini 14 before the election was about a week. After the eletion it is about 16 weeks? I found one with the Hogue Stock and stainless and ordered it.
Good luck and Happy Thanks Giving

Bob...

Northern Mn.

 
At Thursday, November 27, 2008 6:11:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

5.56 NATO is a great round if you have soldiers with select fire rifles that can lay down suppressive fire, and are able to carry loads of ammo.

Ask the V.C. & NVA what they think of the 5.56 round. A whole bunch of them are no longer here. Many ended with a single shot not full auto. Too many folks with guns have no clue what the real world of guns is about. Ask a vet. Been there, done it. USMC 64-70

 
At Friday, December 05, 2008 2:17:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where can I buy a 6.8? Local dealers here only have the .223 and 7.62. perpetuityfarm@yahoo.com

 
At Saturday, December 13, 2008 1:52:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I ordered my Ruger 6.8 from Walmart in Fredericksburg, VA. It is a sweet shooting gun. The only downfall is the availability of ammo and its price.

 
At Thursday, January 01, 2009 9:01:00 AM, Blogger brantley31017 said...

After 30 rounds or so, my 6.8 Mini delivered .75 inch 3-shot groups with 115 factory loads. My reloads using 27 gn of IMR 3031 over 110 BT are even better. I'm going to try H322. Whatever is in the factory weighs 30 gns and is very hot. It might be H322 but I'll start around 27. I think this gun will be sub MOA and a great white tail gun. I do hope I can find a source for higher cap magazines as 5 rds in protection circumstances just is not enough.

 
At Sunday, January 04, 2009 4:22:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

a ruger 20rd mag will hold 11rds or 6.8. i use the 223 5rd with 3rds of 6.8 for hunting. i have 5 minis and love them all. the 6.8 worked very well on deer, and took the abuse of foot hunting and fits my 3x9-40mm vx1. keep up the good work bill.

 
At Thursday, January 22, 2009 3:58:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so sick of hearing about the 5.56mm being weak, underpowered plinker. I did two OIF deployments a few years back when I was in the Marine Corps,and I've seen the effectiveness of the 5.56 round first-hand. The 5.56 drops a full grown man quite efficiently, despite all the whining of armchair experts who have never shot anything besides a paper target.

 
At Friday, January 23, 2009 7:33:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd be happy if I could buy extra 6.8 magazines for my Mini 14. So far, I have found NO ONE that has them. Frustrating. If they can't support the rifle, they should not have put it out.

 
At Wednesday, January 28, 2009 3:15:00 AM, Anonymous RRNemesis said...

Well I'm in Iraq right now and I can personally attest to the fact that the 5.56/.223 is a pea-shooter and a .22 hornet will drop a whitetail better thats pretty sad if the army had stuck with the m14 in 7.62 we might have not left veitnam after 11 years of fighting with our tails between our legs tha ak is stronger if we go one on one with someone holding an ak we better hope we can shoot straighter cuz we sure cant out gun them I would even take a high-point 9mm carbine over an m4 any day INFANTRY FOLLOW ME

 
At Thursday, January 29, 2009 1:51:00 PM, Anonymous RRNemesis said...

I believe that the 6.8 has to be adopted by our military. These days of terrorism and insurgency the battles are fought in urban territory where guerillas blend into the populace and use their neighbors as human shields. The army teaches zeroes at 300m. Even at that range 6.8 at 850ft-lbs has almost twice the energy at nearly the same velocity as the 5.56 at 450ft-lbs. A 7.62x39 at that range pails in comparison at around 630ft-lbs. Not to mention the fact that the 5.56 is also half the weight of a 6.8 while a 7.62x39 weighs 10 grains more. Look it up. With 6.8 we wouldn't even have to switch out our magazines just our bolt carriers, buffer springs and upper receivers not to mention tha army wouldn't have to re-teach the soldier how to use a rifle though that wouldn't stop them from doing it. The army may surprise us here but look at the army uniforms; Useless as camouflage in any terrain and half the life of the old BDU's. No one knows how to throw away time and money like Uncle Sam So get ready for forty more years of the NATO 5.56mm a glorified squirrel gun that just won't go away.

 
At Sunday, February 01, 2009 11:45:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

RRNemesis said

First; we didn't leave VN with our tails between our legs. We left because whining Americans and politicians didn't have the stomach to fight the war the right way.
Second; if you were really in Iraq, and an American Fighting Man you would know better than make a statment like that about VN or the .223/5.56. I think you are a typical no nothing about guns whose only experience is shooting at trees and paper targets.

A former U.S. Marine and two tour Viet Nam vet.

 
At Wednesday, February 04, 2009 4:38:00 PM, Blogger Douglas said...

First time I've ever blogged. Let's see how it goes. I bought my mini-14 in 6.8 last spring. I couldn't get the bolt to go back in the receiver. I took it to the dealer where they tried for about 15 minutes with no success. One of the clerks said a lot of mini-14s have this problem. They took it back to the gunsmith. When they brought it back out the bolt was back in the receiver. They said I might have to do some filing or grinding to smooth the bolt. The gun also fails to chamber rounds sometimes. It's pretty frustrating when you have a coyote in your sights and all you hear is "click" when you pull the trigger. I didn't expect a "tackdriver" when I bought the gun, but this rifle is terrible. I can get some sort of group with the first 2 or 3 rounds at 50 yds, but after that the bullets are all over the paper and at 100 yds I have trouble even keeping the rounds on the target. I sent the gun back to Ruger in Dec. and they sent it back marked; bolt repaired, slide repaired. No way! It does the same thing as before. I just sent it off again this morning. If they don't fix it I'm asking for my money back.

 
At Saturday, March 28, 2009 12:53:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think some of the confusion over the effectiveness of the 5.56 nato has alot to do with barrel legnth.When fired from a 20" barrel the bullet has enough velocity so that it fragments violently upon soft tissue impact.However when fired from a shorter weapon it only retains this ability against short range soft targets if at all.Without this frag effect you have a .22 cal. bullet.The reason for the development of the 6.8spc was our modern combat environment.It would be rather hard to clear a small mud brick hut with multiple rooms with a 20" barreled rifle.Also will 5.56 nato penetrate the mud brick interior walls.I bet 7.62x39mm AK fire will.6.8spc was specifically designed to 1)be more effective when fired from short barrels.2)provide superior incapacitation.3)not to rely on unreliable fragmentation(it tumbules end over end within 1-2" of penetration and continues for about 10-13").4)improved barrier penetration with less deflection.

 
At Tuesday, August 11, 2009 4:54:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pro Mag now has 20 round mags for the 6.8 ranch rifle. I have 2, long wait but they work fine.

 
At Sunday, November 22, 2009 8:54:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The 6.8spc was delovped by 7th SF & Rem. as a more potint short range round for the M-4,in this respect it is quite an imporvment on the 5.56 round.Cheaper than dirt has mags. for the mini 14 6.8 in 19 &25 rd. caps.Anonymous said; you need to grow up... 3 tours to summer camp < VN> and the 5.56 is still a piece of crapp. USA Sniper.

 
At Monday, November 30, 2009 7:45:00 PM, Blogger Elm Creek Smith said...

I just got a 581-series Mini-14 in .223Rem/5.56x45mm for Christmas. I know it's not a sniper rifle, but neither was any issue M16A1/A2 I ever carried during my 20 years active duty. The advantage I have now is that I can test and load whatever ammo is the most accurate in my rifle, including soft-points, ballistic tips, partitions, or OPMs. If I have to shoot someone a long way off, I have a Roosian 7.62x54R with a scope.

I'd like to have a 6.8mm, but my wife was ready to buy my rifle last night. Strike whilst the iron is hot.

ECS

 
At Tuesday, February 23, 2010 4:13:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

tkdkerry- You'll have to go TWICE, bro, since what you meant to say was 'ablutions'. Did you do that on purpose for a little extra trigger time? :-)

 
At Tuesday, March 02, 2010 2:27:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

while my interest in this rifle would be formost as a deer rifle still hunting style,i have always liked the mini BUT found cartridge sellection not suitable for good wound canals and blood trails.Important for retrieveing the animal. I waited for ever it seems for the mini 30 hoping for a308 but the AK round isn't it. Its a fact that bigger holes going in well give better trailing blood [because they all dont fall insight]. So for me the 6.8 shows promise bout I think a longer barrel and slower powders to get velocities up will be a must to be areal white tail gun. By the way, I now use aBrwning 308 lver for walking and aRuger #1 in 270 weatherby when stan huting.Over 50 taken gun and bow. Even the old 3030 gave good trails. I think if you are hunting over plots or in blinds and berry pickin those deer you should be able to pick your shot so caliber choice shouldn't make a big difference unless its borderline trick shots, its not like taking big fish on light line. Time will tell on this 6.8 but i wish it was at least7mm,thats my 2 cents i'm big JER

 
At Monday, December 19, 2011 5:57:00 PM, Blogger JZachariahG said...

Okay when it comes down to caliber, I know a couple people that have been shot by the 7.62x39, lots of damage but their okay now. 7.62x51 is better, lots of damage, only know 1 guy shot with one, my grandpa took a few hit from the 7.62x54, pretty big round but not 100% kill, 6.8 seems pretty good. .300 win magnum and .338 laupa magnum are the best for more than 6.8 range. But the .223 is one thing that the people shot with them, they do die, it is a different kind of bullet. It is made to not kill but wound, so that the enemy must look after them, it is like a small grenade in that it tumbles in human tissue, it breaks apart and then when it finally stops moving you bleed out. So you go put your life on the line next to our soldiers, airmen, seamen and marines, get shot with a .223 then come tell me what a pea-shooter is.

 
At Thursday, February 16, 2012 10:49:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a current reservist, 3 deployments in the last 10 years, previous deployment with the 2nd mar det in 1991, getting ready to go again. I have seen people shot with the 5.56, 7.52 (39 and 54), 9mm, 45, 357, and 38. I have seen men die of a well placed 22 LR round in the ED, and walk away from large bore handgun shots (though they don't like it much).

Caliber: will the 5.56 do the job? Yes, it can. Well placed bullets are the goal of any round (remember the 22LR above? Went right into the guy's left ventricle. small hole, we just couldn't keep blood in him.) The 5.56 does not "tumble", it has "Yaw", as does every bullet that comes from a rifled barrel. It is made _NOT TO KILL YOU_.

The 5.56 is inadequate in most circumstances... when you have to shoot the bad guy 2-3 times (more so iwth the 9mm than the 5.56) more ammo doesn't really help. your going to need it.

The question isn't will it do the job, the question is, is it the best tool for the job? No, it is not. Can you hunt with the 223? yes, should you? not unless you like following blood trails. Is a larger caliber more suited to dispatching your opponent? yes, it is. 5.56 is fine on full auto, and is why the m4 has a 3 round burst... one is not enough, and you can't control a m4 on full auto. Suppressive fire is with a machine gun... SAW.

The 223 is a pea shooter. Sorry if this hurts your sensibilities.

 

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