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View Full Version : What's the cheapest way to accurize my mini 14?


bcavin
April 21, 2008, 10:39 PM
What's the cheapest way to accurize my MINI 14? I know about shorter, heavier, or stabilized barrels, etc., but i'm looking for accuracy enhancers on a budget. Also, to anyone that says mini 14s are NOT accurate at all, i submit to you that it's the shooter , not the weapon. Lastly, no "get an AR" comments, i'm in the Marine Corps, I'm a rifle/pistol coach, i know the stoner platform inside and out. it's a very accurate rifle, i don't have the money for it. i do have a decently well off step-father-in-law who bought me a mini 14, so again, please keep the "get an AR" comments to yourself.

kc5gxc
April 21, 2008, 10:53 PM
http://perfectunion.com/vb/
Lots of accurization stuff on this forum.
Good luck, Pete

Bogie
April 21, 2008, 11:13 PM
Be happy with what the Mini-14 is, and don't try to make it into something that it'll never be. It's reliable now, right? If you start playing with different barrels, etc., that might change.

bcavin
April 21, 2008, 11:32 PM
perfectunion wont display for some reason....

bcavin
April 21, 2008, 11:41 PM
i'm not trying to make the mini a .25" at 300 yd gun, i understand that it's not. i'm just trying to see if there are effective and fairly inexpensive ways to enhance the accuracy of the rifle itself. i do agree with you, though, i see too many people trying to make a sniper rifle out of a gun that was designed to keep behing the seat of a pickup truck, dropped in the mud, dropped again on a rock because it was still slick from the mud, and still fire a decent group (useable anyway) without a hitch. i dont intend on shooting at anything past 500 yds when i'm done. and that's probably as far as i'd push a 5.56 at anything of importance. except a deer. a man if i had to, but not a deer. of course if i have to use one of my personal weapons to engage a human target that far, something is horribly awry.

CowTowner
April 22, 2008, 05:12 AM
Try this link for Perfect Union: http://perfectunion.com

bcavin
April 22, 2008, 04:21 PM
i apreciate it, but my dam... darn, computer still wont display it. thanks though

Lavid2002
April 22, 2008, 04:48 PM
Have you tried different ammo? Maybe bed the rifle with some cheap compound. Even though you cant make this a sub-moa'er You still might still be able to make it more accurate. Try the bedding. If its still bad, change the barrel. Youll still have bedded the action. Try the 10 shot 10 cleans break in and see if its more accurate then. Let me know : D

CPTMurdoc30
April 22, 2008, 06:24 PM
sell it and buy an AR.

Harry Bonar
April 22, 2008, 07:35 PM
Sir
I have a mini 14 and have never shot it enough to see how accurate it is.
I think I would inquire into glass bedding the various recoil points and possibly a little pressure up on the barrel. I do not know if this would help but it might - also check the crown on the muzzle.
Harry B.

bcavin
April 22, 2008, 09:34 PM
i'm shooting about 2-2 1/2 in a 100 yds standing. haven't benched it yet, but i've heard alot from people i trust about the ruger factory barrel being a POS. Will probably try the bedding idea, sounds pretty good. gonna try to take it to the range and bench it next week.

to answer the other question, at the moment im just using m855 ball 62gr penetrators. i don't want to hear anyone badmouth those rounds, either. i've done and seen them do great things for being cheap. but i figure i'll get it close with those, then by a nice box of ammo to fine tune it with.

Semper Fi

bcavin
April 22, 2008, 09:39 PM
to the "sell it and buy an AR" commenteer

read my previous posts, particularly the first one.
i'm not trying to drive tacks at 500 yds, i just want to improve what i can afford accuracy wise. If i wanted a tack driver, i would sell it and buy and ar, but i wouldn't feel comfortable leaving it in my pickup. hell, if i really want a tack driver, i'll just use my remington .243 bolt action.

to all others,

thank you for your advise, keep it coming

Swampghost
April 22, 2008, 09:48 PM
I bought one of the very first ones, we were hoping that it would be a good deer/hog rifle in the swamps. We were wrong.

The Mini-14 is what it is, pretty much useless for anything that I do. I could run down the list of why it's not that accurate but you probably know all of that. If you want an accurate .223/5.65 there are plenty of them out there. Don't waste a lot of time trying to put lipstick on a pig.

Lavid2002
April 22, 2008, 09:58 PM
2" groups standing at 100 yards? What do you have to complain about. Leave it alone. If you can hit anything 2" at 100 yards with iron sights, OFFHAND leave the friggin thing alone, by the time you reach the Max effective range of the .223 youll still be in the kill zone. Just bed it if you want to.

It is a cheap rifle, trying to accurize a cheap rifle is senceless. Are you not trying to hurt your fathers feelings by accurizing the thing? I heard you were on a budget, just leave it and spend more $$ on ammo.

bcavin
April 22, 2008, 10:17 PM
more $$ on ammo sounds like a good plan. the only reason i wanted to tighten the groups, if possible, is my nagging perfectionist nature. i figured sinking $100-$200 max into making it better couldn't hurt. and you're right about the max range, still hit it comment. again, the german side of my family comes out.

p.s. keep enjoying your insanity

BillCA
April 22, 2008, 10:27 PM
You might want to try lighter weight bullets in the Mini-14. I don't recall exactly what the rifling twist rate is, but I recall it's something like 1:10 or 1:12. This works fine for lightweight bullets but a slower rate is better for the longer/heavier bullets like the 62gr SS109.

Doc_DAK
April 22, 2008, 10:38 PM
So, how many of the "don't bother with it" experts have done anything with theirs, or have even owned one? :rolleyes:

The PerfectUnion Forum site was "off" for a few hours recently, but it should be accessible now. The first link given above should work just fine.

Re the "POS" barrel: the earlier models had a barrel known for being rather "whippy," particularly as sustained fire heated up the barrel. Even something as low-budget/low-tech as a good flash hider/muzzle brake can start to correct that situation. As you already noted, a shorter barrel (brought back to legal length with a permanent FH/MB) will make a difference, too.
Cryo-treatment of the barrel (and receiver) might run about $35 plus shipping, and can make a nice reduction in group size.

A trigger job is not a lot of bucks, either, and often turns out to surprise even those who were already expecting an improvement from it. Stock bedding is also a Good Thing™, and for maybe the same price as the trigger job, at least from the one 'smith I'm most familiar with. You might be more adventurous about a DIY project for that than I would be. ;)

The ammo advice above is good. The Mini started out with a 1:10 twist rate, went to a 1:7 for a few years, and has been a 1:9 since 1995. I think I've seen at least one post where somebody said their Mini seemed to like 40 gr. and 62 gr. (or heavier) okay, but not so much the most common 55 gr. stuff.

Swampghost
April 22, 2008, 10:59 PM
I started with the muzzle brake, did my own trigger work and bedding. I'm not a newbie at this.

You're still dealing with a short, light, rifle with a short barrel and asking for -MOA performance. Want mine? It's been sitting in the rack for 15 yrs.

Doc_DAK
April 23, 2008, 09:31 AM
Sorry if my "ex-spurts" comment seemed a little broad, Swampghost, but I was taking a jab at those who haven't owned one, let alone modded one. If you did some work to yours and still feel it ought to be better, then you at least gave it a shot. (Pardon the pun.)

I need another Mini like a moose needs a hat rack, but if you really want to sell yours . . .
I'd use OnThe Fly's "mid-life crisis" trick, but I think my wife would rather I bought a Harley. :D

totalloser
April 23, 2008, 10:25 PM
I have done some of the basics to improve accuracy, and found little results in actual accuracy. I shortened the barrel, and did a trigger job (both myself) I shot about the same groups before and after. Though softening up the trigger and taking out the creep made it much more fun to shoot.

Regarding the AR thing, the mini is a better rifle with a worse barrel, but that has changed as all minis now are being manufactured with a heavy barrel. Many bolt rifles don't shoot 2", and I was happy when I found mine shooting 2" at 100 yds. I wouldn't fool with it if you are seeing that kind of accuracy unless you are seriously considering a barrel change. That's pretty good. Keep in mind, you could consistently pop milk jugs at 400 yards with the kind of accuracy you are currently seeing.

If it likes ss109's you have a 1 in 9 barrel. I have a 1 in 10 and it can't shoot 'em worth a darned. I also have a 1 in 9 mini, and it does like them. The 1 in 10 likes 55's and I've heard it's just fast enough to stabilize 60 grain bullets, but I know mine slings buckshot patterns out of the 1 in 10 barrel with ss 109's.

The best thing to do for accuracy in my opinion, is to keep the area where the op rod smacks up to the gas port clear of carbon buildup. It seriously hurts my accuracy. I also put on Butler Creek full stocks on both my mini's for accuracy and length of pull. I wish I had shot groups before and after, but it was noticeable.

Once again, 2.5" groups standing is pretty good. I would leave it alone. Just my take on it.

www.perfectunion.com/forums Try that. I think the http thing makes it not work.

Doc_DAK
April 23, 2008, 11:56 PM
All the above links should work now, even the one with "www." (Which isn't in the actual URL for the forum.) Gotta have "http, Hypertext Transfer Protocol," or it might not work. (I tried cutting it off, but my browser [Firefox] added it back on before bringing up the page. Magicool.)
The "/vb" part gets you right to the forum.* Without that, there's another page that lists the most recent threads.

*It's powered by vBulletin, same as TFL.

MosinM38
April 26, 2008, 10:32 PM
One tip.

Loosen the barrel band screws... The 4 at the tip of the stock.

Although having a seperate set of troubles on my (new) mini, I still shot for accuracy. Went from 4" to about 2" after loosening the screws (Tight enough that almost stripped them just trying to loosen them up).

Same way dad did with his, and another guy I know's Mini.

Doc_DAK
April 27, 2008, 06:55 PM
I just checked the Ranch Rifle (serial number prefix 187-188) Parts List, and of the three types of screws in there, none are "barrel band screws." I think you might be referring to the four Gas Block Screws.
"Loosening" those isn't what causes an improvement in a Mini, but rather, making sure the two halves of the gas block are equally gapped. The whole process involves getting past the staking on the factory screws without snapping one or more (doable once you know the tricks), setting the gap properly, and then tightening the screws back in place (evenly, like with lug nuts), at 24-36 inch pounds.
Opening up the gas block is also an opportunity to change the gas port bushing to one a little smaller. That will reduce the distance empty brass gets thrown when ejected, and maybe save a little wear-and-tear on mounted optics.

BCavin, did you ever get to see the PerfectUnion Forum? Tons of good info there, including some on resetting the gap on a gas block.

T. O'Heir
April 27, 2008, 07:46 PM
You can't sell a rifle your da-in-law bought you.
"...shooting about 2-2 1/2 in a 100 yds standing..." That's likely as good as it'll get and that isn't bad. Especially with milsurp ammo. A trigger job and match grade ammo(not cheap) will bring your groups down some more though. Reloading your own ammo will allow you to tailor the ammo to the rifle as well.

Alleykat
April 28, 2008, 11:58 AM
i'm shooting about 2-2 1/2 in a 100 yds standing. haven't benched it yet, but i've heard alot from people i trust about the ruger factory barrel being a POS. Will probably try the bedding idea, sounds pretty good. gonna try to take it to the range and bench it next week.


If you can get a validated video of your shooting a 2.5", five-shot group @ 100 yds. with ANYBODY'S Mini, standing, you should submit it to America's Most Amazing Videos. You're bound to win some big money for such a rare video. (Probably the only such video in existence!) ;)

DWARREN123
April 28, 2008, 01:02 PM
The easiest way to get better accuracy is good ammo.

makmak
April 28, 2008, 01:50 PM
Both act as heat sinks, with rising temperature being the main enemy to the Mini-14's accuracy. Depending on the way you go, both can be had for a price of less than $150.00. The scout mount also serves to further stiffen the barrel, helping in the accurracy dept. The ability to mount accessories is a plus, and the addition of the much tougher "hand guard" makes the platform just that much more rugged.:cool:

AutoPistola
April 28, 2008, 03:16 PM
-cut down barrel
-target crown
-muzzle brake
-accu-strut (maybe)
-retorque the gas block
-trigger job
-glass bed the stock

You might improve your good grouping somewhat by spending a bunch of $, but the barrel will get hot quick and degrade accuracy somewhat.

bcavin
April 29, 2008, 10:38 AM
depends where. show me a state law that says i can't, and i promise it won't be mine. secondly, if i can't sell it to someone, how did it go from him to me? lastly, i don't recall saying that i want to sell it. in fact, if i recall correctly, in my first post i said "no sell it and by and ar" comments.

AutoPistola
April 29, 2008, 02:20 PM
I've come to expect that kind of talk around here; members don't always read the full post before they reply.

ISC
April 29, 2008, 03:12 PM
I'll give $50 to anyone who will meet me at the range with their stock mini 14 and shoot a 2", 3 round group standing at 100 M.

I'm not saying it's impossible, but its less likely than a person tossing a playing card into a coffee can from across a 12 foot room. (I'll pay $50 for that one too)

Alleykat
April 30, 2008, 01:34 PM
I'll give $50 to anyone who will meet me at the range with their stock mini 14 and shoot a 2", 3 round group standing at 100 M.

I'm not saying it's impossible, but its less likely than a person tossing a playing card into a coffee can from across a 12 foot room. (I'll pay $50 for that one too)


I don't put much stock in 3-shot groups, but I'd bet $1000 against $500 that the guy in this thread making the claim can't do it on demand. :) (Assuming 5-shot groups, of course);)

teeroux
April 30, 2008, 01:55 PM
If you can get a validated video of your shooting a 2.5", five-shot group @ 100 yds. with ANYBODY'S Mini, standing, you should submit it to America's Most Amazing Videos. You're bound to win some big money for such a rare video. (Probably the only such video in existence!)
i didnt have a camera at the time but i shot smaller that that off a bipod with my 30.

my recomendation is to scope it and use an aftermarket synthetic stock a buttler creek is what i have and it is a way tighter fit than the factory wood you darn near have to force the trigger guard catch to engage the reciever to install the gun.

next time i go shootin in the country im bringgin my camera for the naysayers :D

Alleykat
April 30, 2008, 04:58 PM
next time i go shootin in the country im bringgin my camera for the naysayers

I'd sure prefer watching the video, rather than driving to Louisiana for a measly $500!;)

Harry Bonar
May 1, 2008, 09:36 AM
Sir.
ALLEYCAT said it all = most mini 14 will not shoot that well from a bench.
Harry B.

Lavid2002
May 1, 2008, 10:32 AM
Why do people think only acurate guns are interesting. Its a mini friggin 15. Your well out of the effective range by the time you get to your target with a .223 if youre shooting 2-21/2" groups OFFHAND. I personally..am a naysayer. But my son, if you wish to come free and cleanse yourself from your lies we will help you with your problem : D

45Marlin carbine
May 1, 2008, 10:36 AM
I have Mini30 I've done hand fitting and improvements too, nothing 'exotic' tho with a 1.5x4.5x20 'tactical' glass on that will do the 2MOA rested from bench with my good handloads or Lapua ammo. on a really good day slightly better, the elusive 1MOA it won't do however. (or rather I can't with bigger glass and a better shooter it might do it)