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Questions about the Mini-14 and Mini-30

This is a discussion on Questions about the Mini-14 and Mini-30 within the Ruger Semi-Auto forums, part of the Rifle & Shotgun Forum category; Yup, double that "Thank You" to COSteve and RJF for their great knowledge of the mini platform....


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Old March 18th, 2017, 08:37 AM   #16
 
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Yup, double that "Thank You" to COSteve and RJF for their great knowledge of the mini platform.



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Old March 18th, 2017, 11:04 AM   #17
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Nero, happy to help. I was in your shoes three years ago.
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Old March 18th, 2017, 04:57 PM   #18
 
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Have had my mini 14 sense 1977, still love it. Sure its old and there are newer and more modern rifles but I don't think you can beat the old M1/M14 action, it played a huge part in winning WWII.
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Old March 20th, 2017, 08:00 AM   #19
 
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Best thing about the web; being able to share information, not just BS. Happy to be of assistance.
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Old March 21st, 2017, 06:11 AM   #20
 
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Good morning, all.

A deep and huge "thank you" goes out to all of you! While I admire the M4 platform for it's range of capabilities, it is a rifle/carbine that has never really appealed to me. I have owned two, a Del-Ton and a Colt, and neither was particularly impressive in my eyes. I am not a tactical sort of cat so the ability to change/add this, that, and the other thing is neither a need nor a want. I'm too old and too impatient to buy something just to turn around and drop another several hundred dollars on accessories that may or may not be worthwhile. I want rugged, reliable, and simple, and coming from a company my family has trusted since my grandfather purchased his Security-Six is just icing on the cake.

After reading over the responses, I believe I may purchase a 14 and a 30. I'd like to go with the 5846 for the 14. I'm not a huge fan of folding stocks, but I'd like to be able to carry it cased in the trunk of my Harley Freewheeler. The trunk isn't particularly wide, so the folding stock and 14" barrel will work pretty well. The 30 has to be the 5854. Simply, no frills, no stainless. My idea of a great brush rifle.

Again, I cannot thank everyone enough for the replies and allaying my worries. My very best to all of you.

Take care, and have a great day!
Aaron
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Old March 21st, 2017, 12:16 PM   #21
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The West, a good choice, but I might offer some consideration.

I have an ATI stock (similar to the 5846, but in flat-dark-earth). It is bulky and heavy, and - if you are a southpaw, uncomfortable. I got it because I wanted a folder, with an adjustable LOP and a pistol grip. It is probably the only option available with all those features. It is also the heaviest of all the stocks I own for my Minis, by a fair margin.

With my Mini in that stock, it felt more like a SAW (squad automatic weapon) than a carbine. If you want to set up a good prone firing position in advance to lay down supressive fires via a bi-pod without relocating too often, it is a good stock. If you want to move around...not so much. There are a few aftermarket folding stock manufacturers that don't carry the bulk and weight of the ATI/5846 stock. The two primary ones are Choate and Butler Creek.
Mini-14 Stocks
https://www.dowdlesports.com/Butler-...k_p_19443.html
I have a very old Choate folder (pre-1980) that is very nice (walnut - not synthetic), but looks more like the Butler Creek ones now.

If you replace the flash hider with a thread protector, you'll also save 1-1.5" off of the overall length.

Attached shows my Choate and ATI stocks with the same Mini. The Choate is close to the Butler Creek version now.

Just more info to digest (or indigest).
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 181 Mini GB.jpg (346.2 KB, 32 views)
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Old March 25th, 2017, 07:12 PM   #22
 
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Thank you much, RJF. You've given me other avenues to traverse. I've worried about the ATI stock's bulk. I have yet to handle one, but the pictures I've seen seem to indicate a great deal of extraneous mass. I prefer the looks of the Choate and Butler Creek stocks, and both are in stock on various sites. I think the Choate might be more what I'd prefer as it's neither skeletonized nor shiny (shiny seems bad if I am trying to remain undetected).

Thanks again, and have a great weekend.
Aaron
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Old March 25th, 2017, 07:31 PM   #23
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The West Virginian View Post
Thank you much, RJF. You've given me other avenues to traverse. I've worried about the ATI stock's bulk. I have yet to handle one, but the pictures I've seen seem to indicate a great deal of extraneous mass. I prefer the looks of the Choate and Butler Creek stocks, and both are in stock on various sites. I think the Choate might be more what I'd prefer as it's neither skeletonized nor shiny (shiny seems bad if I am trying to remain undetected).

Thanks again, and have a great weekend.
Aaron
My Tactical came w the conventional polymer stock. I bought an ATI, it pretty much stays in the closet, it's heavy and awkward. The conventional style stock lends its self to the Garand design and light weight of the Mini 14 platform. Jmho
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Old April 7th, 2017, 12:18 AM   #24
 
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For struts, I strongly recommend the Trueshot strut-and not for the price either.

Accustruts are Steel.

Trueshot struts are 7000 series Aluminum.

Aluminum is not only lighter, but transfers and dissipates heat nearly 6x better than steel.

The best commercial metal for heat transfer and dissipation is copper. The second best is aluminum.

Your barrel will heat up slower and cool much faster with a Trueshot strut, than with an Accustrut.

The lighter strut will also affect point of aim on a cold barrel to a much lesser degree than a heavier one.

Accustruts look nicer, Trueshot struts work better.


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Old April 8th, 2017, 07:38 AM   #25
 
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Originally Posted by Sicamosley View Post
For struts, I strongly recommend the Trueshot strut-and not for the price either.

Accustruts are Steel.

Trueshot struts are 7000 series Aluminum.

Aluminum is not only lighter, but transfers and dissipates heat nearly 6x better than steel.

The best commercial metal for heat transfer and dissipation is copper. The second best is aluminum.

Your barrel will heat up slower and cool much faster with a Trueshot strut, than with an Accustrut.

The lighter strut will also affect point of aim on a cold barrel to a much lesser degree than a heavier one.

Accustruts look nicer, Trueshot struts work better.


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Hmmm. Maybe it's time for AccuStrut to offer aluminum struts, too. For the newer 'tapered' barrel Minis, a strut isn't a 'must-have' item, but it does help with barrel heat management. For this application, I think the shorter single-clamp SOCOM AccuStrut fits and looks much better. Or TrueShot could offer a SOCOM-like strut in aluminum...
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Old April 8th, 2017, 11:41 AM   #26
 
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OK, I going to offer some counterpoint.

First, COSteve's post is comprehensive and the parts that relate to my personal experience are on the money.

Now for the OP, My experience with the Mini-14 and the Mini-30 go back to the older models. I gave up on the Mini-14 long before the 580+ series came out....
- So take this as dated info at best.

I never had a problem with the functioning of the old Mini-14's. In fact, that was their strong point. It was almost impossible to make one fail to function. Of course it was equally as impossible to shoot a less than 4" group at 100 yards and generally an 8" group was a challenge. During the same time frame I could hold 2" groups with iron sights on a M1A or reasonably well made G3, so I don't think my skills were the problem. I understand the Mini-14' & Mini-30 have improved but I'm done with them.

The Mini-30's I shot were the early ones in the late 1980's. There wasn't a lot of 7.62 x 39 ammo available in the U.S back in those days except for the Chinese surplus and some funky Eastern Block stuff that may or may not have been stolen from the Soviets. Even with that junk, including the steel core Chinese crap, the Mini-30 would run just fine.
.223 ammo was a mixture of commercial and military surplus even back then and all of it ran just fine in the Mini-14's.
So from a reliability stand point, the Mini-14 will probably go bang when you want it to.

If I was looking for some type of "end of the world battle rifle" I don't think the Mini-14 would be a bad choice. I'm not really into that mindset and would likely be the "first Gazelle to die" anyway. I did the black rifle and battle rifle thing and pretty much have that out of my system.

If I was looking for some type of .223 semi-auto rifle for the apocalypse, I would probably go with one of the piston operated AR platforms. If money was no object , the FN FNC would be cool.

If I could have .308 Win ammo my choices would be the HK91 or M1A.

Just my $ 0.02
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Old April 8th, 2017, 02:06 PM   #27
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Petrol, fair post. The newer Minis are much improved in terms of accuracy, but Ruger still considers 2 MOA "acceptable", as does the U.S. Army (I think). I have no problem with that.

My nephew has a piston-driven Sig (I think) that he is perfectly happy with and spent an unGodly amount of money for, but he has orgasms shooting my 181GB Mini - the first non-.22LR rifle he ever fired - at the ripe old age of six or seven. He's an Infantry LTC and a "collector" who knows his stuff.

He has yet to fire my newer (583 series Mini-14 Tactical) carbine, but am convinced he will fall in love with it, too. Good thing, since he is the heir to everything I and my wife have - to include our firearms.

He has (I believe)an original sample of every Infantry weapon used in WW-II, plus some WW-I rifles, plus some from the Indian wars.

But he absolutely LOVES my 181 MiniGB. Smart guy! Its MOA is no worse than 4 when hot - without an Accustrut; probably better now that I have introduced the funky side-mounted P-Rail to copious amounts of Blue Loctite (it worked loose, which - given the looseness of said mount - 4 MOA was pretty darn good).

This is all to say there are valid, emotional reasons to move on from the older Mini platform, but some of them were very great and the newer ones are outstanding. Sorry you're missing out on all of that...
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Old April 9th, 2017, 02:58 AM   #28
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Petrol and Powder View Post
OK, I going to offer some counterpoint.

First, COSteve's post is comprehensive and the parts that relate to my personal experience are on the money.

Now for the OP, My experience with the Mini-14 and the Mini-30 go back to the older models. I gave up on the Mini-14 long before the 580+ series came out....
- So take this as dated info at best.

I never had a problem with the functioning of the old Mini-14's. In fact, that was their strong point. It was almost impossible to make one fail to function. Of course it was equally as impossible to shoot a less than 4" group at 100 yards and generally an 8" group was a challenge.
Wow, 8inch groups were a challenge? I have 2 older model Mini 14's, 188's made in 1995 and they have never shot 8inch groups. In fact the worst they will shoot is 5inch groups at 100yards, and that is with the cheapest ammo, with a bullet weight that does not even coincide with the barrel twist. Only way I can get them to shoot any worse is to fire the rifle with my eyes closed

Generally the Mini 14, new or old is a 2to3MOA rifle-->"with the right ammo"<--. That's is what I am getting out of my skinny Mini with a 1in7 barrel twist, it loves a 77gr Sierra MatchKing bullet, and still has the ability to stabilize a 62gr bullet. But if I load up some 55gr tulammo, you mine as well call my Mini a shotgun. Do you remember the barrel twist rate or the type of bullet you were using for the older Mini 14 you had? Because 8inch groups is really outrageous At least with a clean bore and cold barrel you should have at least got 3MOA out of the thing. Here is an example of what I'm talking about.

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Old April 9th, 2017, 05:27 AM   #29
 
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KameBastard - I had a few Mini-14's and also shot some that were not mine. They were all 180 to 185? prefix models, so 1970's to early 1980's manufacture. I don't recall checking the twist rate but the early Mini-14's all had 1 in 10" twist. The ammo used was all 55 grain military surplus or commercial. There really wasn't a lot of choices in .223 back in those days and most of it was 55 grain. The SS109 load (62 grain) was out there but pretty rare back in those days.

I don't think 1 in 10" twist is a problem with the 55 grain bullet and it should work for a 62 grain (the M16 A1 had a 1 in 14" twist and would stabilize a 55 grain bullet).

The later production Mini-14's had a faster twist rate barrel.

I think the real problem with the early Mini-14 was that thin barrel, massive op-rod, big gas ports and generally poor barrel harmonics. I can't prove it, but I'd also be willing to bet the chambers on those early rifles were cut way on the large size. Despite the poor accuracy, the damn thing would always go bang. So in terms of functioning, they were great.
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Old April 9th, 2017, 06:33 AM   #30
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Petrol and Powder View Post

I think the real problem with the early Mini-14 was that thin barrel, massive op-rod, big gas ports and generally poor barrel harmonics. I can't prove it, but I'd also be willing to bet the chambers on those early rifles were cut way on the large size.
Not been my experience with my thin barrel.
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