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Mini-14 Target- Harmonic Dampener Adjustments

This is a discussion on Mini-14 Target- Harmonic Dampener Adjustments within the Ruger Semi-Auto forums, part of the Rifle & Shotgun Forum category; I made it out shooting again and had much better results this time I was still shooting Fiocchi 50gr V-MAX with my shims in the ...


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Old December 9th, 2015, 06:30 PM   #16
 
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I made it out shooting again and had much better results this time
I was still shooting Fiocchi 50gr V-MAX with my shims in the damper and being sure to always tighten the damper in the same order. I started 1/2 turn out from flush and worked my way all the way in. As you can see in these 4 targets I never obtained what I would consider a good group at 50yds. I have spent the all of my time and ammo working between 1 turn out and all the way in since that is where all the reports I've read state they've had the best luck. Since that just wasn't working I went back to 1 turn out from flush and worked my way out from there.

Turning the damper sure can make a HUGE difference on point of impact!

**See next post**
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Old December 9th, 2015, 06:52 PM   #17
 
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These 3 targets are all working out past the muzzle. I thought I was getting there at 1 3/4 turns out but I couldn't duplicate the results. At 3 full turns out I got acceptable results with 2 different groups and I was pretty much spent for the day so I decided to quit adjusting and move out to 100 yds.
T7---My first group was high and right with a group size of 1.77". I made a scope adjustment and shot at the top right target. After 2 shots I decided I would make another scope adjustment and shoot 4 more at that same target.
I then made one final scope adjustment and shot at the bottom left target to get the group you see there. This is much better than what I had been doing in the past. I can't wait to get back out and continue to adjust all the way out then return to whatever setting gave me the best results and fine tune the damper from there.
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Old December 9th, 2015, 09:01 PM   #18
 
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I have a target mini 14, but I haven't done much testing with it yet. I think I remember reading some place that most mini 14 rifles don't like boat tail bullets. I handload my own ammo so when I have time I plan on testing a bunch of loads with different bullets and powders. If I remember I'll come back and post my results for what's the best combinations and harmonic dampener settings.

With the limited testing I did already I think I remember the best groups were half way between being flush and all the way out. Which might have been the same 1 3/4 turns out, but I don't remember and I was using factory ammo so I didn't care as much as I will with my handloads.

Last edited by SafetyJoe; December 9th, 2015 at 09:04 PM.
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Old December 28th, 2015, 07:17 PM   #19
 
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I got a Hyskore DLX rest for X-Mas and tried it out Saturday. I wasn't able to bolt it down so I just used some large ratchet straps to hold it down to the bench. Not as good but got me by. I switched to a red dot scope for a rabbit hunt and needed to sight it in. My last 4 shot group was about 1.4 inches at 100 yards. I couldn't do that without the rest.
I'm sure it would be tighter if I had the rest bolted down and a regular scope on it so I could verify it's on the bulls-eye before I pull the trigger. The groups seem to be tightening up on this baby
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Old February 2nd, 2016, 06:07 AM   #20
 
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Hey TAXMAN, have you been out shooting any more? If so how's it going?
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Old February 2nd, 2016, 07:26 AM   #21
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I will join the discussion, I have been shooting the target mini since I purchased mine in 2009, love the feel of that rifle. I use a nikon bdc 4x14x40bdc on it, factory rings. I tried several rounds in mine, 75bthp, 69bthp, 55fmj, 52bthp, and 40 vmax. I reload a 40 grain vmax at max velocity in mine, and have produced .500 groups, 3 shot at 100 yards. It was under 1" at 200 on the bench. I can give you the specs if you guys reload for my rounds so you may duplicate and try them if you would like. The handload produced better results than factory ammo, between 2.250, and 2.260 coal. I have found that on mine the damper likes to be screwed outward about 1 " from being flush with the end of the barrel. I have tried to keep my set screws planted, but even with blue or red loctite after 100 rounds it had to be re tightened or the groups will grow, and it loosens. I have found no way to keep it secured, even if torqued. It states that in the ruger manual for the harmonic damper. I wish the would have designed it with a clamping design instead of the current set screw configuration. Anyways I am actually taking it back to the range today, along with my mini 30, so i will try to snap a few photos to add.

Here is an average results I am getting.. 1 flyer but you get the just.




Here is my mini targets setup.

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Old February 5th, 2016, 05:18 PM   #22
 
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A good reminder for anyone shooting their mini...

Using quality store bought ammo does not always mean it will be the best shooting ammo. One has to try several different brands and weights. My Ranch Rifle with 1-9 twist shot best with cheap 55gr and 62gr FMJ ammo.

Minis are also hold sensitive. How you hang on to these will affect your shooting.

Count how many rounds you shoot from clean barrel until you reach a "good" group. Some rifles like a little fouling for better accuracy. Then they will shoot a certain amount of rounds before the accuracy falls off.

Keep a log of how many turns you went for that particular ammo. Every ammo shoots different, and you may end up moving the tuner for a particular brand/load of ammo.

I have been eyeing a Mini Target rifle at a local gun shop myself. Keep on shooting!

Last edited by BuryTheHatchet; February 5th, 2016 at 05:22 PM.
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Old February 6th, 2016, 08:01 AM   #23
 
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Tacky That's great shooting. I haven't reloaded 223 yet but it's in my future. I bought 1,000 Hornady 60gr SP for $100 to the door. That seemed like a good price these days.

Those Laminate stocks are beautiful!! I carry mine hunting so I opted for the lighter Hogue stock which is no where near as pleasing to the eye.
I'm not sure what changed on mine but my setscrews on the damper stopped coming loose. All I used was blue loctite but maybe I just got enough buildup that it holds???
When I can shoot 1" groups at 200 yds I will be very happy! That's awesome!

Hatchet, I agree that we need to explore different ammunition to find what our gun likes best. The damper allows us to tune the gun to the ammo similar to a handloader tuning the handloads to the gun. But even handloaders have to experiment with different bullet/powder/primer/case combinations to find the best match.

I also agree that anytime the ammo is changed (especially bullet weight) that the damper must be tuned to that new ammo. I am using the number of turns as a rough adjustment and then use my calipers and measure the distance the damper is from the muzzle to be more precise.
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Old February 6th, 2016, 10:34 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by goosehunter312 View Post
Tacky That's great shooting. I haven't reloaded 223 yet but it's in my future. I bought 1,000 Hornady 60gr SP for $100 to the door. That seemed like a good price these days.

Those Laminate stocks are beautiful!! I carry mine hunting so I opted for the lighter Hogue stock which is no where near as pleasing to the eye.
I'm not sure what changed on mine but my setscrews on the damper stopped coming loose. All I used was blue loctite but maybe I just got enough buildup that it holds???
When I can shoot 1" groups at 200 yds I will be very happy! That's awesome!

Hatchet, I agree that we need to explore different ammunition to find what our gun likes best. The damper allows us to tune the gun to the ammo similar to a handloader tuning the handloads to the gun. But even handloaders have to experiment with different bullet/powder/primer/case combinations to find the best match.

I also agree that anytime the ammo is changed (especially bullet weight) that the damper must be tuned to that new ammo. I am using the number of turns as a rough adjustment and then use my calipers and measure the distance the damper is from the muzzle to be more precise.
Yes, it always produces great groups for me. The other day I did not snap a photo, I had 4 rifles with me, the target being 1 of them. It did the usual great groups, 3 rounds under an 1" at 100 yards. I perfer the laminate stock, it just feels great in my hands, like it was built custom for me. Its does look good to boot. I have a 88 std mini 14 with a hogue ghille green stock, and 98 mini 30 with a ghille tan hogue, both feel good, but I like the laminate the most. The other day the mini out shot the 24" dpms .936 custom I built with handloads, the dpms cost 2 times as much, and I could not get my groups down to the mini's size, I am still researching what its gonna take, refining my handloads, reworking the rifle, I dunno yet. It has about 300 rounds through it so far. But the mini target is a moa or better shooter. As for the stabilizer usually I carry 100, rounds with me to the range. Usually when the barrel, gets hot, thats when the set screws loosen.I have tried red and blue, and apply it everytime they get loose, but if I could find a way to keep, them planted I would gladly try it out.
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Old March 22nd, 2016, 08:11 AM   #25
 
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I have been out a few times but am now starting to reload. However the Fiocchi 50 gr V-Max shoot very well in my gun. I shot .8" groups at 4 different settings of the harmonic dampener!

I am now reloading Hornady 60 gr SP and expect to get them to shoot even better. I haven't adjusted the dampener for the reloads yet.

I've attached 3 targets below. 2 with Fiocchi and one with reloads.

Sorry they're so scattered looking. Changing the Dampener sure can change where the point of impact is!

**I don't know why the photo's loaded sideways or how to fix that. Sorry.
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Old March 22nd, 2016, 08:19 AM   #26
 
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You may also want to try good old Sierra 52 or 53gr HP match bullets. They shoot pretty well in my strutted Ranch Rifle. I typically get 1.5" groups @100yds.
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Old March 22nd, 2016, 02:28 PM   #27
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You may also want to try good old Sierra 52 or 53gr HP match bullets. They shoot pretty well in my strutted Ranch Rifle. I typically get 1.5" groups @100yds.
I use those in one of my 16" ar rifles, under 1" at 100 yards. The best bullet I have found with my mini target is the 40 grain vmax with h335 powder and a mag primer, under 1/2" @ 100 yards
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Old March 22nd, 2016, 02:41 PM   #28
 
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Thanks for the bullet and powder tips guys! I'm trying to stay with a heavier hunting bullet with a higher ballistic coefficient for coyotes for now but when I load strictly for accuracy I will definitely look into those.
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Old March 22nd, 2016, 03:29 PM   #29
 
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The various 52 & 53gr HP match bullets are built a little bit harder than a varmint bullet so they will open up on a coyote sized animal whereas the P Dogs & ground squirrels my get punched through before the match bullet opens up. They opened up well on the two coyotes I got with them in my RR.
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Old April 22nd, 2017, 08:22 PM   #30
 
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Mini 14 target harmonic damper adjustment

I'm a new forum guy, and I recently bought a mini 14 target, I've been working with this gun for awhile now to get it to MOA. I first had to fix that trigger, I started at over 6lbs and a lot of travel, I watched three different videos and learned what to do and got the trigger down to 3lbs and 95% of the travel gone, that made a big difference in my groups, if you're not comfortable doing this spend the $60-$75 and get it done. then I worked up a hand load, I tried three different powders, 4 different bullets and landed on a 55gr. Nosler ballistic tip with 24.5grs of Varget powder. Then I found there is a total of 8 1/2 turns on the dampener from total out to total in. I started 5 shot groups first with no dampener and then groups every half turn from out to in. This was also done at 100yds with the rifle in a shooting rest with a Vortex 4-16 50mm bdc scope. I found the groups would tighten and then spread a little and tighten again as I went through this trial. I landed on 1 1/2 turns from total out as my best groups, this is with the load I use that adjust could vary with a different hand load. One thing I found is that the shot location changed a lot through process left right up and down, and I had to re-zero a lot. This took a lot of trips to the range and a lot of time to allow the barrel to cool after each group, but this was fun for me. As of right now, I,m just at MOA, I'm improving my shooting skills some as I go as well, I have shot some 1.25" groups at 200yds, but I still average closer to 2". I'm still going to try some other loads as well, I hope this helps anyone who's tuning a target model
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