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Accurizing the Mini-14

This is a discussion on Accurizing the Mini-14 within the Ruger Semi-Auto forums, part of the Rifle & Shotgun Forum category; I have an older Mini-14 and I have been trying to find the most cost effective way to get a significant increase in accuracy. I ...


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Old January 29th, 2011, 10:52 PM   #1
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Accurizing the Mini-14

I have an older Mini-14 and I have been trying to find the most cost effective way to get a significant increase in accuracy. I would like to be able to get at least 1.5 MOA but I would prefer sub-MOA which I have seen is possible but seems very costly. I found that Accuracy Systems has a great accurizing package but its a lot of money and I am considering a Mo-Rod or Har Bar but wanna seem if their are other cost effective options.



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Old January 30th, 2011, 12:17 PM   #2
 
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There are many ways and tricks that can be used to improve the performance of the Mini. Here are just a few ideas:

Check and if necessary reset the torque and squareness of the gas block assm. Change the gas port to a smaller size. Improve the trigger pull. Add a flash hider. Bed the stock to the receiver. Add some design of barrel stabilizer - strut. Most of these upgrades can be done by most shooters, and not break the bank.

And, take some time to find which round of ammo works best for your Mini.

Changing the barrel to a target weight barrel defeats the purpose of a carbine. It's all up to you on what you would like.

A Mini which holds 2 moa will score well at a two/three gun shoot.

That's a brief overview and a way to start. You should post which series (first three digits of the series number) you Mini is.
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Old January 30th, 2011, 12:50 PM   #3
 
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mine did best with a muzzle break, reloads and a trigger job in that order.
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Old January 30th, 2011, 06:01 PM   #4
 
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Your Mini-14 will never be a tack driver, but on my newer ranch model with the thicker barrel, I found some improvement with the Accu-strut. At 100 yards I can achieve 3MOA, which I am happy with.
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Old January 30th, 2011, 07:37 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info, after reading this I pretty much know how I am gonna go about it.
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Old January 31st, 2011, 03:01 PM   #6
 
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Accurizing the Mini 14

Strut, muzzle brake or even shorten the barrel to 16".

All can aid in keeping the barrel consistent.

I see above ........ trigger job, bedding and reloads. All good suggestions.
Later you should consider cryo treatment and you can find info at Cryo Pro.
Cryopro Cryo Accurizing

I found reloads were not much help until I got the barrel tamed down a bit.
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Old January 31st, 2011, 03:15 PM   #7
 
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Over at the Perfect Union forum, there is an entire section devoted to accurizing the Mini-14.

As The Man Called X pointed out, there are a number of ways to get the Mini to be accurate at 100 yds and beyond. My 197 series Mini has some of those improvements save for the target barrel or strut (yet ) and with the right ammo, it will shoot quarter size groups at 50 yds and 2.5" groups at 100 yards from a rest and a scope set at 6x

It seems to like the Remington/UMC 55gr .223 round best. I've tried some 45gr and 62gr and neither seems to be consistent, much less as accurate as the 55gr.
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Old February 1st, 2011, 05:28 PM   #8
 
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RobertsUSA adds two more points; Tame the barrel then work up your hand loads. I'm working though various loads currently.

I've also had the Mini's barrel cryo-treated as well. And at Cryopro. I sent the entire barrel/receiver/bolt/slide assm out to them. Every little bit helps when taming the barrel.

Yes, I'd send out several other of my rifles for the treatment when I get around to it.
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Old February 1st, 2011, 05:42 PM   #9
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Trade it in on an AR. Even the cheap ones shoot MOA. Really though, most older mini's shoot 2"-3" groups, the new ones are slightly better.

Last edited by TMD; February 2nd, 2011 at 03:55 AM.
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Old February 4th, 2011, 05:22 PM   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMD View Post
Trade it in on an AR. Even the cheap ones shoot MOA.
C'mon, that's such a broad statement. The AR is a design of rifle with literary thousands of different parts combinations and configurations.

If you like the AR style, fine. But the OP asked about a how to question relating specifically to the Mini.
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Old February 4th, 2011, 06:09 PM   #11
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Xman, the OP is asking for sonething that is almost non existant. Old model Mini's are very reliable but not very accurate. A decent one is barely capable of 3" groups. For the several hundred dollars that it would take to get true 1.5" groups it would truely be cheaper to sell it and buy an AR. New AR's such as DPMS, Stag, or S&W's can be had for under $800 new. Used ones for around 500 to 600. They will shoot sub-moa with a varity of ammo.
You can spend hundreds on the mini and still not get that king of accurcy.
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Old February 4th, 2011, 06:14 PM   #12
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Xman, the OP is asking for something that is almost non existant. Old model Mini's are very reliable but not very accurate. A decent one is barely capable of 3" groups. For the several hundred dollars that it would take to get true 1.5" groups it would be cheaper to sell it and buy an AR. New AR's such as DPMS, Stag, or S&W's can be had for under $800. Used ones for around 500 to 600. They will shoot sub-moa with a varity of ammo.
You can spend hundreds on the mini and still not get that kind of accurcy and if you ever try to sell it you will not recoupe a dime that you put into it.

Last edited by TMD; February 4th, 2011 at 07:40 PM.
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Old February 5th, 2011, 04:25 AM   #13
 
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As others have said. Simple things can improve accuracy greatly in the Mini platform.

Quick background on my Mini 30. It was very accurace by carbine standards when I first bought it, giving .75-1.25" groups at 100 yards. I installed a recoil buffer on the rifle that ended up causing my rifle to bind when trying to cycle. The binding was so bad that I had to disassemble the rifle to get the bolt to move forward and close. After that my accuracy went way down with barrel heating causing stringing up to 15" from cold barrel POI. (This taught me a lesson. It is generally OK to replace parts in critical areas, but not a good idea to add parts to critical areas).


What I did on my Mini-30 first was clean clean clean. I say this because I used to shoot the pre-wolf white box comblock ammunition. It left a thin layer of cryosol like material in the barrel. When it builds up it really hurts your accuracy. An easy test is to run several patches down the barrel (dry and wet). Hold the rod close to the barrel, and check for resistance. If you find resistance (typically feels like you are running a cloth over tacky burt on grease from cooking), you have a lot of cleaning ahead of you. Also look at dry patches to see if they have a pail brownish tan color to them (another indicator) . It took my father (he decided to take on the task for me while I have been stationed overseas) about a month and a half of cleaning 1-2 hours a day 3-5 days a week to get the barrel clean. Now the inside of the barrel is as smooth as silk.

Brownells sells a J-B non-embedding bore cleaning compound and Kroil package that really helps. With the Kroil make sure to use it only with a loop, no jags. Limit your use of the J-B Bore compound, and use it as a later near finishing step to smooth everything out.

The Final step is to use J-B Bore Bright to really polish up the inside of the barrel and make it harder for fouling to embed in the barrel. I use Bore Bright on all of my firearms, and really see great improvements in cleaning requirements and accuracy consistancy, even my M77 MKII VLE.

Next I tamed down the recoil impulse. I did this with a combination of the gas block bushing kit by Gun Doc at Great West Gunsmithing and a wolf extra power recoil spring. Now my brass ejects about 10 feet away, and recoil impulse is greatly reduced allowing for quicker follow-up shots. While I was doing this step I also trued my upper and lower gas block mount.

I have not tested the bench accuracy at this step yet, but I have seen a great improvement of practical accuracy. I did test bench test accuracy after my father cleaned the rifle, and noticed that the group sizes were improved, and POI shift associated with barrel warming was almost eliminated.

My next step (if the above does not give me the accuracy I desire) will be to install the accu-strut. I prefer the accu-strut because it is the original. The guy developing it did all the work, and the others just copied his design. I am also contemplating a cryo-treatment.


You can also do some things to increase your accuracy potential with the rifle. One that I did was install the adjustable trigger by Accuracy Rifle Systems availible at brownells. I really like this as I was able to tune everything, including overtravel. Gun Doc can tune your trigger for you though.


Charlie

Last edited by Leucoandro; February 5th, 2011 at 04:28 AM.
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Old February 5th, 2011, 05:50 AM   #14
 
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I spent way too much time over there at range 201 and 301.....alot of time at Coberg and Hof as well....of course back then you couldn't go any further east without causing a major fuss.

I think you may have actually reinforced the point being made about the ar vs. mini rather than helped it out. I like my mini 30 but would not trade my SKS's or ak's for more mini 30's any time soon. They function more reliably and are just as accurate. Matter of fact I learned a lot about those weapons at some training run there in Graf.

It is true, you can build yourself a quality AR for 600 bucks pretty easily, have outstanding accuracy, easy maintenance, and parts availability.....or you can get a mini 14. I would avoid piston system AR's for the time being, DI may be dirty, but it is proven. Let someone else do the beta testing for the manufacturer's.

Last edited by reverendg; February 5th, 2011 at 05:52 AM.
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Old February 7th, 2011, 09:19 AM   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reverendg View Post
I spent way too much time over there at range 201 and 301.....alot of time at Coberg and Hof as well....of course back then you couldn't go any further east without causing a major fuss.
Most of the time I spend at range 301 is maintaining a sensor that we have out there. Pretty cool seeing the Apache's launching helfires overhead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by reverendg View Post
I think you may have actually reinforced the point being made about the ar vs. mini rather than helped it out. I like my mini 30 but would not trade my SKS's or ak's for more mini 30's any time soon. They function more reliably and are just as accurate. Matter of fact I learned a lot about those weapons at some training run there in Graf.
Not sure how I proved anything other than my Mini functioned perfectly until I tried an aftermarket part that inhibited the action from functioning correctly. The majority of the fix actually included removing buildup in the barrel that was causing restrictions.

AK's and SKS's fuction more reliably and are just as accurate as the Mini 30, or AR's?

Quote:
Originally Posted by reverendg View Post
It is true, you can build yourself a quality AR for 600 bucks pretty easily, have outstanding accuracy, easy maintenance, and parts availability.....or you can get a mini 14. I would avoid piston system AR's for the time being, DI may be dirty, but it is proven. Let someone else do the beta testing for the manufacturer's.
From what I have found the only AR's you will be building for $600 are the standard fixed stock A2 models. Those weigh in at 8.6 lbs with a overall length of 39.5". A Ruger Mini with synthetic stock weighs in at 6.75 lbs with an overall length of 37.5".

I have also found my M16/M4/AR 15 a pain to clean and maintain. Even though it is DI, dirt and debre becomes trapped under the handguard requiring semi-frequient cleaning. Additionally cleaning the female end of the locking lugs is a real pita. Far more disassembly is required of the M16/AR15/M4 to clean than for the Mini.

Standard parts availibility is about the same on the AR as the Mini. Main difference as far as I can see if a larger selection of aftermarket parts.

I have also had more magazine problems with AR's than I have with any other platform. Sensitivity to lubrication is another issue I have had with the AR that I have not had with the Mini.


Charlie
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