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Mini 14 Accuracy Rant

This is a discussion on Mini 14 Accuracy Rant within the Ruger Semi-Auto forums, part of the Rifle & Shotgun Forum category; Why are folks on gun forums so obsessed over how accurate, or not, the Mini- 14's are? It's really starting to frustrate me. I mean, ...


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Old September 13th, 2014, 03:53 PM   #1
 
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Mini 14 Accuracy Rant

Why are folks on gun forums so obsessed over how accurate, or not, the Mini- 14's are? It's really starting to frustrate me. I mean, think about it- the Mini-14 is really a fascinating gun. Ruger takes the legendary Garand action, scales it down a bit, and puts in in a little carbine that's designed to look a lot like an M-14.

They design it to be a "Ranch Rifle." A rugged carbine you can throw in the back of your truck so it's there when you need it. Whether it's a coyote, some feral hogs, a pack of wild dogs, rodents... whatever pest out there that needs to be dispatched, the Mini-14 can be depended on to do the job, and do it well. It is plenty accurate for its intended purpose.

So, why the heck to people insist on bench resting it and keep getting upset when it doesn't shoot dime sized groups in paper at 100 yards!? While it would be nice if they would all do that, that's not what it was designed for. There are plenty of other guns out there that are much better suited for shooting groups than a Mini-14 is.

If I took someone out to eat at an expensive steak house, and they ordered salad for dinner, I wouldn't be very sympathetic to them it they weren't completely satisfied with their meal. While all the food should be good at a good restaurant, salads aren't the reason people go to steakhouses.

I have a couple of theories about this, but I'd like to hear what others say.



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Old September 13th, 2014, 04:24 PM   #2
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I'm with you. I know the beast I bought... and I am happy with it! I am not concerned if it can do 1/2MOA. Half the fun of the action is how it shoots. Besides, what I generally hit what I point at with the Mini. Others do seem to want sniper Minis... which usually leads them to disappointment.
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Old September 13th, 2014, 04:51 PM   #3
 
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When a Colt Sporter was $1200 the Ruger Mini 14 was $379. 3-5" accuracy was fine, but now with moa AR 15s avalible for $700 I can understand why someone would be disappointed when their Mini won't do at least 2 moa out of the box as claimed by Ruger. Nice design, but has a lot of flaws.

Get the trigger reworked that will help a lot.
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Old September 13th, 2014, 05:04 PM   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GSR Fan View Post
When a Colt Sporter was $1200 the Ruger Mini 14 was $379. 3-5" accuracy was fine, but now with moa AR 15s avalible for $700 I can understand why someone would be disappointed when their Mini won't do at least 2 moa out of the box as claimed by Ruger. Nice design, but has a lot of flaws.

Get the trigger reworked that will help a lot.
With all due respect, sir, I don't understand why they would be upset. First off, it has a reputation, albeit one it probably doesn't really deserve, of NOT being a tack driver. So why would anyone buy it expecting it to be one?

Second, if you're using it for what Ruger designed it for, it doesn't NEED to be super accurate. If you're shooting at pests on your property, or plinking at bottles and cans, or even defending the homestead against a mob of attacking zombies, it's plenty accurate to do the job.

If I want a rifle to shoot groups with, why would I buy a Mini-14? If I DO shoot groups with my Mini-14, why would I be surprised if they're not 1 MOA?
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Old September 13th, 2014, 05:27 PM   #5
 
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I've never had anything bad to say about my Mini. Always goes bang, never lets me down. I did not buy it thinking it was going to be a tack driver. I got it because it is a darn fun rifle! Even with my old, worn out eyes, I can still hit a paper plate at 100 yds all day long. For me, that is just plain old fun.
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Old September 13th, 2014, 06:53 PM   #6
 
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There is a basic disconnect between what "combat accurate" and
bench-rest accurate" means.
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Old September 13th, 2014, 07:33 PM   #7
 
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Hey, if you are happy with pie plate accuracy then you got the weapon to do it with. People often claim that their minis shoot well, it's just a matter of what people think "shooting well" means. For some that is shooting reliably and hitting a clay bird on a bank at 50 yards. For others that may mean a 1 MOA gun. The Mini 14 is the perfect tinkerers gun. They are fun to trouble shoot. I think they were made for popping coyotes out to maybe 200 yards if you don't mind how you hit them, but they are quite often a 10 rounds into 4" at a 100 type of rifle. Many if not most of them are heat sensitive and start to walk or string as they get warmed up.

It's just the nature of the design of the barrel, receiver and gas block.

The mini is great depending on the purpose you intend to use it for, but it's no squirrel shooter at 200 yards. It is a proven sporting gun and quite popular. There are many things it is and many things it is not.
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Old September 13th, 2014, 07:46 PM   #8
 
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I bought a stainless steel Mini-14 around 1982, and sold it 2 months later.
I still have about 200 rds of .223 ammo that I bought for it.

It drove me nuts that I couldn't keep 7 out of 10 shots on a paper plate at 100 yards.
If you are fine with that kind of accuracy, more power to you. But I don't have a ranch and I could not find anything I could use it for with that accuracy (other than having rabbits get a good laugh at my expense), so I dumped it quick.

Just was not my cup of tea, even though it was a very cool looking and fun to shoot rifle.
I have a Ruger rimfire pistol with an AMT stainless bull barrel that is still more accurate at 100 yards than the Mini 14 was, both of them scoped.
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Old September 13th, 2014, 10:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GSR Fan View Post
Hey, if you are happy with pie plate accuracy then you got the weapon to do it with. People often claim that their minis shoot well, it's just a matter of what people think "shooting well" means. For some that is shooting reliably and hitting a clay bird on a bank at 50 yards. For others that may mean a 1 MOA gun. The Mini 14 is the perfect tinkerers gun. They are fun to trouble shoot. I think they were made for popping coyotes out to maybe 200 yards if you don't mind how you hit them, but they are quite often a 10 rounds into 4" at a 100 type of rifle. Many if not most of them are heat sensitive and start to walk or string as they get warmed up.

It's just the nature of the design of the barrel, receiver and gas block.

The mini is great depending on the purpose you intend to use it for, but it's no squirrel shooter at 200 yards. It is a proven sporting gun and quite popular. There are many things it is and many things it is not.
Mine will reliably hit clay birds on bank to 300 yards.
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Old September 13th, 2014, 10:13 PM   #10
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It's not just the Mini-14 that gets a bad rap on accuracy. Seems to me most all Rugers get bad rap on accuracy except their handguns.
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Old September 13th, 2014, 10:56 PM   #11
 
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If I can consistently put all my shots at 100 to 200 yards into a 12 inch circle with my 183 and 582 minis I'm happy. They're not bench rifles. That's what the heavy barreled bolt action rifle with the beaver tail stock is for. Plus, the Minis are a lot more fun and I still hit what I'm aiming at.


PS I'd rather carry a Mini out in the field to shoot varmints than a bench rest rifle.
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Old September 13th, 2014, 11:11 PM   #12
 
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Quote:
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Mine will reliably hit clay birds on bank to 300 yards.
Now that sounds like a good video. Target model? Configuration? And call reliable 6 out of 10? And it has to be hits on the clay not from dirt and rock spray. If you could do it with a stock mini 14 I bet Ruger would buy the rights to the video.

I know there are a few out there that shoot that well. I have seen a mini 30 that will put 5 rounds into 2" at 100 yards.
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Old September 13th, 2014, 11:13 PM   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jstawasz View Post
If I can consistently put all my shots at 100 to 200 yards into a 12 inch circle with my 183 and 582 minis I'm happy. They're not bench rifles. That's what the heavy barreled bolt action rifle with the beaver tail stock is for. Plus, the Minis are a lot more fun and I still hit what I'm aiming at.


PS I'd rather carry a Mini out in the field to shoot varmints than a bench rest rifle.
What sized varmints are you shooting at?
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Old September 13th, 2014, 11:19 PM   #14
 
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It's not just the Mini-14 that gets a bad rap on accuracy. Seems to me most all Rugers get bad rap on accuracy except their handguns.
I think the sometimes problematic angled lug of the 77 reciever, the period of time Ruger outsourced their barrels and the heavy lawyer trigger years really hurt them in creating that reputation. They have been working to change that though.
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Old September 14th, 2014, 03:32 AM   #15
 
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What sized varmints are you shooting at?
These days all I shoot is paper. When I lived up north, we didn't have little varmints like prairie dogs, all we had was wood chucks and coyotes. I wouldn't use a Mini for prairie dogs, but it would work for wild hogs. Tiny targets aren't the mini's cup of tea.
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