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Mini-14 Rancher

This is a discussion on Mini-14 Rancher within the Ruger Semi-Auto forums, part of the Rifle & Shotgun Forum category; Gents, I am purchasing a New Mini-14, I have read lots of horror stories about the Mini, or are the stories bogus, I guess I ...


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Old March 7th, 2009, 04:41 PM   #1
 
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Thumbs down Mini-14 Rancher

Gents,
I am purchasing a New Mini-14, I have read lots of horror stories about the Mini,
or are the stories bogus, I guess I need some straight skivvy about this rifle.
Do youall feel that the Mini is a valuable investment?
It is a .223 cal with rings and warranty.
I own a lot of guns, Pistols and Rifles, But this will be my first Ruger!
and I am hoping that the Mini is a scaled down version of the M-14 I used to qualify as an Expert in the U.S. Army, Is It?
Guess that ages me, Huh!!
Any input would be appreciated

RVN 1968-1969- Special Forces, 5th Group

Regards

Bob



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Old March 7th, 2009, 09:46 PM   #2
 
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I can't speak to all the stories but I can say that mine has done a nice job. I got mine because of the "noise" about the little black rifles several years back. Mine shoots well, I've not had any failures and it's just plain fun to shoot.

I would say it is a 100yd rifle as I can ring the steel plates at 100 yds with no problem. If I want to shoot further I go get my M1A (civilian M-14) to have a lot heavier bullet.

It is not in the 200 to 300 yd sod-poodle class, but it also is a lot less expensive.
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Old March 7th, 2009, 10:34 PM   #3
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Accuracy was a major issue with the pre-Ranch and the first Ranch models. If you keep the cycle rate down to one round every 5 minutes, you could expect about 2.5 MOA. At one round per minute, the groups would spread to 5 MOA.

The new Ranch models are a world of difference. The heavier barrel will stay accurate to about 2 MOA at much faster cycle rates of one round every 30 seconds. The groups spread to maybe 3 MOA in rapid fire.

As for function, Minis have always been excellent ... actually better than most AR 15s. My old pre-Ranch has yet to have a malfunction of any type. Like Pat-inCO said, a very suitable gun for 100 yards but it sure wouldn't be my first choice for 200+ yards.
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Old March 8th, 2009, 12:36 PM   #4
 
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It's always been one of my favorite rifles, and the one I regret the most ever parting with.
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Old March 8th, 2009, 03:19 PM   #5
 
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When I first bought my 197-series Mini Ranch, it wasn't terribly accurate. After about 30 rounds for a break-in, I could get 2" groups at 50 yards from a rest using the factory peep sight.

Ruger advertised the Mini Ranch as something to protect your "ranch" from varmints be they 4-legged or 2-legged. MOA accuracy out to short distances like 100-150 yards didn't seem to be that important.

I wound up doing some mods to my rifle by installing a smaller gas port bushing, a muzzle brake and having a trigger job done. With that, I can easily get quarter-size groups at 50 yards from the same rest and peep sight.

Minis' can be fussy with bullet weights. Mine doesn't shoot worth a d*** with 62gr SS109 ammo. Varmint ammo like 45 grain Winchester is not accurate either. I have the best overall accuracy with either the Wincehster Q3131 or Remington/UMC 55gr FMJ. It doesnt' matter if it's specifically .223 Remington or 5.56 NATO.

The older Mini's with the thinner barrels are not going to hold decent groups with a fast rate of fire; I don't believe the rifle was actually designed for that.

The new Target Mini is probably much more accurate out of the box and the thicker barrel does play a part.

I like my Mini for what it is: a very reliable rifle that will put rounds downrange in reasonable groups and it's fun to shoot. I just added a scope to mine and I have to get out to the range to dial that in and see what it will do at 100 and maybe 200 yards.
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Old March 13th, 2009, 04:20 PM   #6
 
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I have an older mid-70's mini-14 and I have been thinking about installing the smaller gas bushing, I've heard it can improve accuracy. Is it a relatively simple thing to do?
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Old March 13th, 2009, 05:28 PM   #7
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SwampYankee, The gas bushing has nothing to do with accuracy. With the factory gas bushing, the Minis like to throw spent cases about 25 feet. The smaller gas bushing makes the empty cases sling about 3 feet.
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Old March 13th, 2009, 05:49 PM   #8
 
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Well that is definitely reason enough to install a smaller bushing!
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Old March 25th, 2009, 02:50 PM   #9
 
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I have had my Mini 14 since I was 19 years old. I have shot countless numbers of Feral Goats with it. I mounted a Leupold 6x scope on it and I get groups of about 2.5" at 100 yards. It has never jammed on me, nor has it let me down in any way. Recently I purchased another Mini 14 in stainless this time though. A friend of mine had bought it 20+ years ago and never took it out of the box! I finaly convinced him to sell it to me because I wanted a Mini 14 for my son. I have not fired it and it will stay that way until my son is ready to shoot it. He is 7 years old now and I am working with him on safety and hunting ethics. In my opinion, you cant go wrong with a Mini 14 unless you are expecting a tack driver. Not to say that extreme accuracy is not possible from a Mini 14, But I don't think they were looking for that when they came up with it. I have heard of many modifications to improve on the accuracy. for me 2.5" at 100 yards is good enough for what I use it for.



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Old March 25th, 2009, 02:56 PM   #10
 
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I love my Mini-14
It shoots Excellent, Accuracy is great and it is 100% Reliable.
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Old March 25th, 2009, 08:10 PM   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by torasperry View Post
Gents,
I am purchasing a New Mini-14, I have read lots of horror stories about the Mini,
or are the stories bogus, I guess I need some straight skivvy about this rifle.
Do youall feel that the Mini is a valuable investment?
It is a .223 cal with rings and warranty.
I own a lot of guns, Pistols and Rifles, But this will be my first Ruger!
and I am hoping that the Mini is a scaled down version of the M-14 I used to qualify as an Expert in the U.S. Army, Is It?
Guess that ages me, Huh!!
Any input would be appreciated.
Hi Bob, What kind of horror stories have you heard?
OK, My mini is an early one, so take this with a grain of salt when comparing to the Ranch Rifle.
Mine has never been a bench rifle, and I've never been happy with either the factory sights, or scope mounting options. (The Ranch Rifle is better on both counts.) The upside is the gun shoots minute of varmint consistently, and goes "BANG" with every pull of the trigger as long as there's ammo in the mag. That's very comforting. The Ranch Rifle should be able to do these things better.
I'm looking at eventually getting some mods done for mine like bedding the action, massaging the trigger group, and maybe even break down and get a heavy barrel for it.
If I can get mine to print like an AR while maintaining Mini 14 reliability, I'll be one happy camper.
On the other hand, A Buddy has an Olympic Arms AR that just is not reliable at all, even after switching mags, bolts, ammo, etc.
-Bruce
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Old March 25th, 2009, 09:31 PM   #12
 
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Good when the stuff hits the fan rifle to 125 yards, not a sniper rifle or a 308.
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Old March 25th, 2009, 09:59 PM   #13
 
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The new Mini 14s benefit from Ruger's inhouse barrel making, hammer forged. The older barrels were outsourced and quality could vary. IME, those Rugers prefixed with 580 serial numbers have shown consistent and good accuracy. After fiddling with several handloads, mine has settled down to 1.5 MOA 5/100, 90 seconds between shots. Now, that target version has been really accurate with several of our customers bringing back 5/100s (five shots, one hundred yards) consistently subMOA.
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Old March 28th, 2009, 05:31 PM   #14
 
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I have a new 580 series with the tapered barrell and can highly recommend them. JMHOYMMV

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Old February 6th, 2011, 04:24 PM   #15
 
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Appears to be 2 SwampYankees listed. This was not my post.

I can add something else to my name if you like.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SwampYankee View Post
I have an older mid-70's mini-14 and I have been thinking about installing the smaller gas bushing, I've heard it can improve accuracy. Is it a relatively simple thing to do?
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