PDA

View Full Version : is a mini 14 good enough?


smoakingun
July 13, 2010, 09:16 PM
I am hoping to attend an appleseed riflemans boot camp with my son this winter. there is a long range component to the training that will stretch us out to 500 yards. I plan to shoot it with either my fal or my ar. My son however wants a mini 14 for the event. My hesitation is that the rifle may not be accurate/consistent enough to do the job. Does anyone here have any experience with one beyond 100 yards?

DnPRK
July 13, 2010, 09:29 PM
Get a Mo-Rod, Accu-Strut or Har-Bar for it. Then shoot good quality ammo, like Black Hills 69gr SMK. That should tighten up the groups.
Black Hills 69gr SMK 50 round count box (http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=745215)
http://www.mo-rod.com/
http://www.accu-strut.com/
http://www.har-bar.com/

Bamashooter
July 13, 2010, 10:34 PM
+1 on above post. mine shoots moa and it has accustrut,triggerjob, and i reload my own ammo. that has definatly helped my groups. my mini shoots my 60gr.sierra varmiter better than 69gr.SMK's. polishing the gas block surfaces and recoil buffers has helped my mini shoot better also. if you are going to use it in an appleseed i would recommend using the same ammo throughout.

KMO
July 14, 2010, 07:45 AM
Is a Mini-14 good enough for this event. It sure can be. And, if memory serves me, there have been other entrants in this event using Mini-14's in the past. By the OP first post, I'm left wondering if a new Mini-14 might be purchased for this event, or if the OP's son will be using a rifle already owned. If it will be a new Mini, all the more reason to be confident. The changes Ruger has made are a nice improvement, and the new Mini-14's are definitely more accurate right out of the box. If it is an earlier version, it can certainly still be used, but you might consider a barrel stabilizer to add some performance.

TMUSCLE1
July 14, 2010, 07:53 AM
I read that you mentioned out to 500 yards. Are you sure this is really 500 yds? I ask because the normal Appleseed shoots are SCALED to shoot a man size target at 500 yards but you are really at 25 yards. I'm also hoping to do an Appleseed shoot this winter.

THORN74
July 14, 2010, 08:50 AM
i took my m1a(m14) to my first appleseed back in april. the mini14 would be fine, but i would reccomend u go with a 22lr the appleseed guys prefer the 10/22 but a marlin 759 would be fine too. u would want to get the tech sights (millitary appature sights) for either before u go and a 1.5" canvas gi sling also.

the 22 would not only be cheaper, but the lesser recoil would allow u to really consentrate on the tecniques they are teaching. i was one of 2 guys with a .30 cal rifle and there were many .223s (ARs mostly), then there were the 22lrs, by far the 22lrs were the more successful shooters as far as the rifleman score is concerned.

tmuscle is right though, u will be shooting 99% of the time at 25yrd with scalled targetsfrom 100 to 400 yrds. day one is all prone work, day 2 is sitting and standing. at mine we did shoot a few rounds at 100 yrds at a steel/armored target, that was alot of fun.

Dougw47
July 14, 2010, 09:13 AM
Why does the American Public accept a product from Ruger that comes from the factory with 5+ in groups at 50 yards and requires someone to buy an after-market gadget (strut) on a $700 rifle? Just to make it do what it should out of the box? People are crazy!

Sarge
July 14, 2010, 09:41 AM
Why does the American Public accept a product from Ruger that comes from the factory with 5+ in groups at 50 yards and requires someone to buy an after-market gadget (strut) on a $700 rifle? Just to make it do what it should out of the box?

I've never given $700 for a Mini and never will.

Why? I reckon they just like the darn thing.

Crosshair
July 14, 2010, 10:13 AM
Why does the American Public accept a product from Ruger that comes from the factory with 5+ in groups at 50 yards and requires someone to buy an after-market gadget (strut) on a $700 rifle? Just to make it do what it should out of the box? People are crazy!
They do it with AR's all the time. Aftermarket trigger, sights, magazine, buffer, stock, handguard, etc.

Add to that the ARs cost hundreds of dollars more than a Mini.

Part of the problem is that nobody puts a 20x scope onto their Mini and uses it for target shooting. Mine only has a 1.5-4.5x32 scope. Good enough for shooting coyotes, BGs, deer (where legal), but not good enough for shooting the 10 ring.

It's like comparing a F-150 to a ford Mustang and complaining that the F-150 isn't as fast as the Mustang. Compare a rack grade AR with a 4x scope to a Mini with a 4x scope, shoot rack grade ammo, and that supposed accuracy from the AR just evaporates.

From the bBench the AR does have an advantage. In the field you simply can't tell the difference between a new Mini and an AR.

THORN74
July 14, 2010, 11:00 AM
doug, the m16, m14, and even the legendary m1garand in their rack grade condition are all 4MOA battle rifles. true many of them are cappable of better than 4 MOA, but for the US military issuing these rifles with 4 MOA accuracy is not an issue.

why would u expect the same or better from a ruger mini-14 when its NOT a military weapon. 5"+ at 50 yrds (or 10 MOA) might be acceptable to some, and if not DONT BUY ONE.

L_Killkenny
July 14, 2010, 11:15 AM
Why does the American Public accept a product from Ruger that comes from the factory with 5+ in groups at 50 yards and requires someone to buy an after-market gadget (strut) on a $700 rifle? Just to make it do what it should out of the box? People are crazy!


There's a bunch of bunk right there. My older Mini Ranch would easily do 3" - 100 yard groups with crap ammo (Silver Bear I think) and 1.5" with reloads. That was when they were $350. The newer models that you reference costing $700 shoot even better from all reports. 5" groups at 50 yards my butt. I've never seen anyone get groups that bad outta ANY Mini-14.

As for the original poster............ If it's truly a Appleseed you will not be shooting 500 yards. Oh, and you and everyone around you will be sick of your brass chucking Mini by the end of the day (I swear any person within 50 feet should be required to wear a helmet to avoid flying brass with Mini's, LOL), take a rimfire.

LK

Dougw47
July 14, 2010, 11:42 AM
I reported my experience...Ruger could not/did not fix it...you may have been lucky...I may have been unlucky...mine were purchased in the late 70's and 80's, but I have seen similar results in the last ten years at the range.

I would not buy another...Australia bought what was it...50,000 for their military and dumped them. YMMV

benogil
July 14, 2010, 11:47 AM
Um, cdnn has S&W AR's for $599, the old argument an AR costs more than a mini is no longer the truth. I still prefer the mini. But an American rifle manufacturer making an inaccurate rifle still galls me.

chris in va
July 14, 2010, 11:59 AM
My son however wants a mini 14 for the event.

I wouldn't go buying a Mini 14 just for Appleseed, unless you plan to really shoot it afterward.

rickyrick
July 14, 2010, 12:19 PM
You can't really compare a 1970's mini to the current versions....

and I see all kinds of accurizing tips for all sorts of rifles.

as far as I have read about appleseed is that it's based on 25m scaled targets like the army uses ehen an automated range is not available. (( I haven't attended appleseed)). In that case, the mini should perform well

I wouldn't talk anybody out of buying a rifle that they wanted unless it was dangerous, the mini is safe.

buy the rifle that your son wants, if within your means. why settle.

hoytinak
July 14, 2010, 12:25 PM
Next Appleseed I go to I've decided I'm going to use my Mini-14. It's an older one and it'll shoot 3-4 MOA all day long with Wolf ammo. I've just been trying to find some better sights for it as I don't want to use the scope that I keep on it. I've already got my Rifleman patch using my 10/22 so I'm not going for that, just going for a fun weekend of shooting. ;)

demigod
July 14, 2010, 12:25 PM
My old Mini won't group for sh1t either. I haven't tried to mod it to shoot good since it's too hard to clean the bore anyway. I haven't shot the thing in 10 years or so.

Once you've fired even a mediocre AR, the mini is hard to go back to.

People don't HAVE TO mod the AR to get good accuracy out of it. Most aftermarket junk people hang off the AR does nothing to improve accuracy. Guys just like to accessorize the hell out of them.

Big Shrek
July 14, 2010, 12:29 PM
The reason the A-Team used Mini-14's is that they wanted to be able to aim at folks, yet not hit them ;)

Yeah, I know....old joke...sad but true ;)

ISC
July 14, 2010, 12:30 PM
I've never seen an M16 that could only shoot 4 MOA. Maybe some old A1s with shot out barrels from full auto and tracer fire.

less than 1.5 MOA is average for a run of the mill M16. All of mine cost under $650 and shoot between 1-2 MOA. Even my old A1 which was built from demilled military parts shoots 2MOA. I'm not even an especially good shot, I didn't even shoot expert the last time when we qualified.

I've never seen an old mini 14 that will shoot 2 MOA much less exceed it. I here the new ones are better though. In all fairness, I also never had the patience with the three I had to wait 5 minutes between shots, which is supposed to increase accuracy markedly.

All that being said, a mini will do just fine for an appleseed shoot, you'll never be sure how much of the increased group size during the rapid fire phase is from your degraded marksmenship and how much is from the mini's notorious heat stringing.

Crosshair
July 14, 2010, 01:05 PM
ess than 1.5 MOA is average for a run of the mill M16
No it is not. Not with military ammo and not with iron sights. The guys over at the Box-O-Truth have been over this twice.

With a MATCH AR they often couldn't get get less than 1.5 unless they used a quality ammo. A rack grade AR is going to do much worse.

Educational Zone #8 - 5.56 Military Ammo Accuracy (http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/edu8.htm)

Educational Zone #21 - Accuracy of AR15 Ammo - Part 2 (http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/edu21.htm)

I've seen plenty of ARs at the range and have seen this mythical accuracy to be just that, a myth. The only way to get that supposed accuracy is to use handloads or very high quality ammunition and a quality AR. A rack grade AR won't cut it unless you get lucky.

thesheepdog
July 14, 2010, 01:10 PM
Get a new mini with a strut. I shot an appleseed with my mini that had XS sights, and due to a poor fitting of the sights, i could only qualify for Marksman.

This was also 3 years ago, before i had my M4 :D

Big Shrek
July 14, 2010, 01:24 PM
I've seen plenty of ARs at the range and have seen this mythical accuracy to be just that, a myth. The only way to get that supposed accuracy is to use handloads or very high quality ammunition and a quality AR. A rack grade AR won't cut it unless you get lucky.

I agree, but a rack-grade AR will still be better than a mini-14 :)

Bamashooter
July 14, 2010, 01:49 PM
my mini would shoot 2''-3'' out of the box, with remington and pmc bronze ammo. after 200 dollars in upgrades it will shoot 1''-1.5'' groups with the same ammo. right around an inch consistently with my 60gr. handloads. no shot stringing and 100% reliable. i have 700 dollars invested in it and i would put it up against a 700 dollar AR anyday. i will work fine in an appeseed shoot. they are better rifles than some people say or think.

Old Grump
July 14, 2010, 01:59 PM
The one I shoot regularly would be fine out to 200 but barely, its old like me and wasn't designed for sniping but sure good enough to shoot coyotes across a 40 acre field.

So the answer is depends on your gun and most definitely the ammo you are using. I am still shooting up Milsurp dating back to the early 70's and its dirty stuff. Adequate for my purposes but I wouldn't want to do an Appleseed with it.

rickyrick
July 14, 2010, 02:15 PM
I re-read the question...

After squinting, I did indeed find some vague writing between the lines, and the poster actually wanted to ask if an AR was good enough for appleseed...which is ironic because he already owns one:):):)

Mini is good enough for a carbine....want to shoot 500+, get a rifle.

demigod
July 14, 2010, 03:05 PM
I agree, but a rack-grade AR will still be better than a mini-14

End of story. I own both, and as a general rule, the Mini can't even hang with the AR. There may be some exceptional shooting minis, but those are the exception, NOT the rule.

hoytinak
July 14, 2010, 03:18 PM
I agree, but a rack-grade AR will still be better than a mini-14

See and I've got 2 AR's that don't see much range time as I prefer my Mini-14. :)

azredhawk44
July 14, 2010, 03:31 PM
I am hoping to attend an appleseed riflemans boot camp with my son this winter. there is a long range component to the training that will stretch us out to 500 yards. I plan to shoot it with either my fal or my ar. My son however wants a mini 14 for the event. My hesitation is that the rifle may not be accurate/consistent enough to do the job. Does anyone here have any experience with one beyond 100 yards?

Depends on the Mini.

My dad has one of the 1970's minis. 1:12 twist, I believe. Good for 55gr and lighter bullets. Not good for 69 or 77gr bullets that you'll want out to 500 yards. Unsure how it might do with 62gr bullets.

The newer ones will shoot heavier bullets better. And be more accurate in general.

My dad has yet to attend an Appleseed event, but I did get him to finally attend a High Power service rifle event a few months ago. No prior training on sling usage or positions other than the 20 minute primer I gave him prior to the event. He shot a 250 out of 500 possible points, but he had a really hard time keeping rounds inside the 6MOA aiming black at 200 yards (this match was all at 200 yards). I'm willing to bet that the bulk of the missing points are attributable to him rather than the rifle. A good shooter (NRA-HP service rifle, or Appleseed Rifleman) should be able to shoot a 210 on an AQT, or a 400 on a 50-shot match, using that mini.

As far as buying a new Mini expressly for the event... rifles are personal things. Some folks REALLY like Minis. I'd personally choose an AR over a Mini if I were deliberately buying a rifle to attend an RBC. The mag changes are faster and easier, and the potential accuracy of the platform is higher.

If a mini will make him HAPPY as a rifle owner, then get a Mini and learn to shoot it at the RBC.

If you're splitting hairs over a $100 difference between an inexpensive AR and a Mini, then get the AR.

rickyrick
July 14, 2010, 04:39 PM
I agree on the magazine. if you miss the little thing pokin' out in the magazine well.....you get to try it all over again..:D

if you get the mini definitely practice with the mags

GONIF
July 14, 2010, 04:45 PM
A mini is a joke.

thesheepdog
July 14, 2010, 04:54 PM
I wouldn't recommned the Mini-14 for appleseed. The object is to become a Rifleman!! The one i went to, a lot of guys became riflemen with AR's, M1A's and Garands. I would have been with them, but I had a loose rear sight issue on my mini-14, on top of it being the most inaccurate rifle on the range.

Sarge
July 14, 2010, 05:27 PM
I would have been with them, but I had a loose rear sight issue on my mini-14...

Odd you should mention that. I took my 580 out for a few rounds this AM and after the first couple of decent, offhand 50 yard groups I was, all of a sudden, shooting sloppy ones. I was shooting w/o prescription lenses, the heat/humidity was miserable and I figured it was just me. I shot my G23 a few times and called it a morning.

But after bringing the rifle inside, I noticed that the rear sight was flopping around like a loose tooth. The allen screw that holds the aperture assembly had worked loose.

Now that's not a big by any means, but it annoys me because the rifle was supposed to go back in the trunk of my assigned unit and head back to work tomorrow. Now I'm going to have to loctite it and recheck zero before it goes back to work.

This 580 will group pretty well, but gremlins like this are at least some of the Mini's reputation for inaccuracy. I suspect if they had better sights on them a lot of folks would shoot better with them. The triggers on them are nothing to write home about either, but there are ways (http://www.greatwestgunsmithing.com/mini%20trigger%20low%20quality.html) to cure that bug as well.

smoakingun
July 14, 2010, 06:41 PM
ok, here goes, i do own several rifles that would be more than adequate for an appleseed, ar, fal, garand, etc...i plan to shoot my ar. my son wants to shoot the event with me, and since i plan on making sure both my kids grow up and leave home with a pistol and some kind of battle rifle, i proposed to build him an ar, but he wants a mini 14. the event we are shooting is a riflemans boot camp, not a regular appleseed weekend event. the boot camp is a week long with a rimfire/ 25yd component, and a long range component that will stretch us out to 500 or 600 yards depending on where it is held.

jmr40
July 14, 2010, 07:57 PM
I say take what you have and do your best.

I'd never buy another Mini-14 now that AR prices have become more reasonable. www.cdnnsports.com is selling new S&W AR-15's right now for $599 and Smith is offering a $100 rebate. That will get you a quality AR for at least $100 less than the Ruger.

rickyrick
July 14, 2010, 08:29 PM
If he wants a mini get the mini, make sure its the new version, he won't be disapointed.

I wave the mini flag, however, I couldn't honestly recomend it for 500 plus yards.

its not an AR, doesn't feel like an AR, Kinda clunky, has a lot of muzzle rise.,but, I still love mine.

riverwalker76
July 14, 2010, 09:07 PM
Everyone knows I love my Mini and would never tell anyone NOT to buy one. However, in the 500 yard range .... you are betting on pipe dreams unless you are 100% proficient with the Mini-14. I'm not trying to discourage your son ... it's just that the rifle has it's limits, and those are close range .... to 300 yds. MAX in my opinion.

Ignition Override
July 15, 2010, 02:08 AM
How about the number of rounds which Appleseed instructors want people to use over two days?

I've read on their website that they prefer that people bring about 400 rds., unless I misunderstood.

This is why a very large fraction reportedly attend with a semi-auto .22 for a high rate of fire during some exercizes.
This not only helps avoid the cost (in a prolonged, deep recession), but reduces shoulder wear/tear from .308, 7.5 Swiss, 7.62x54R, 8mm Mauser ammo etc.
None of these hurt my older, skinny shoulders unless bent over.

blume357
July 15, 2010, 06:16 AM
the OP is miss informed.... I'll bet anything the Appleseed he goes to will be shooting at 25 yards... Standard AQT target with varying sized silhouettes on it. A mini-14, even an old one, will do fine at this distance..

what is more important is the sight system on the rifle.... and practice and being able to shoot several hundred rounds through it in a day.... and being able to easily adjust the sights for the 25 yards.

It's going to be tough in Florida in the Summer or even early Fall. Personally I would take a standard 10/22 over any other choice for my first day out... if I did anything I would put tech sights on the 10/22.

Bartholomew Roberts
July 15, 2010, 10:18 AM
With a MATCH AR they often couldn't get get less than 1.5 unless they used a quality ammo.

Let's look at the data from the links you provided:

They shot a five round group of 1.64" using Guatemalan 55gr 5.56mm surplus and a five round group of 1.48" using Winchester Q3131A (Winchester's 5.56mm version of M193 ball). I've shot thousands of rounds of both and both are "quality" ammo only in the sense that they are reliable and shoot about as consistently as you can expect from military ball.

In addition, they shot a 1.25" group with Israeli IMI 2002, and a 1.125" group with South African M1A3 - again, both 55gr FMJ ball plinking type ammo.

The statement "less than 1.5 MOA is average for a run of the mill M16" is probably a little over the top; but it isn't too far off the mark based on the links you provided.

thesheepdog
July 15, 2010, 10:58 AM
But after bringing the rifle inside, I noticed that the rear sight was flopping around like a loose tooth. The allen screw that holds the aperture assembly had worked loose.

That's exactly what happened to mine. I didn't have loc-tite with me at the range, nor did the armorer, so i was screwed. About every 50 rounds, i had to re-tighten the sight. But hey, I shot well enough with a loose rear sight to qualify for Marksman. Given the handicap I was experiencing, i think i shot relatively good.

Several months after Appleseed, i put a red dot on my mini-14, then accuracy was not an issue out to 100 yards or so.

ISC
July 15, 2010, 11:16 AM
When I say a rifle will shoot 1.5 MOA it refers to the RIFLE only. That would be determined by locking it into a lead sled mechanical stand and shooting it without any wind or other factors influencing the path of the bullet. A rifle's accuracy is a function solely of the group size of the bullets leaving a rifle when all other variables are removed. It depends on barrel harmonics, rifling, muzzle crown, etc.

1) The type of sites is irrelevant because using any type of sites would mean that someone is aiming, which would bring into play the shooters marksmenship.

2) The percentage of casual shooters that can shoot a 1 MOA group is very small.

3) If a marksmen that is capable of shooting a 1 MOA group shoots is with a 1 MOA rifle, the group size will be 2 MOA. Group size is determined by a combination of accuracy error of the rifle and shooter.

4) Someone that shoots a 1" group can do so by shooting a 1/2 MOA rifle with 1/2 MOA accuracy.

maybe that explains it better.

azredhawk44
July 15, 2010, 11:25 AM
the OP is miss informed.... I'll bet anything the Appleseed he goes to will be shooting at 25 yards... Standard AQT target with varying sized silhouettes on it. A mini-14, even an old one, will do fine at this distance..

No he isn't. He's attending something called a "Rifleman's Boot Camp" or RBC. Not a 2-day class... this one is a full week. It's a different event than an Appleseed weekend.

The first 1-2 days are spent at 25 meters.

The remainder of the class is spent at real distance.

Art Eatman
July 15, 2010, 11:36 AM
I dunno nuthin' 'bout the new Minis. All I know is the early models. They aren't target rifles. However, for hunting, they're as good as any other .223 on the market--in my personal experience, which includes several ARs and bolt actions and all that half-MOA stuff.

The first shot reliably goes to the point of aim, and that's all that matters for a hunter.

kraigwy
July 15, 2010, 01:06 PM
Never shot an Appleseed event, but I've shot many CNGB matches witch are similar, being they are both shot at 25 yards and on the same targets. We used USGI M-16A1s with 22 sub cal devices and they worked. I also worked with some Alaska Native (National Guard) shooting the same course of fire only using M16a1s and M-193 Ball, they worked quite well.

I've been around Mini 14s for a while, I think they would work for the 25 Yard Appleseed shoots but I'm not sure I'd go that route for 500 yards.

Does anyone here have any experience with one beyond 100 yards?

When the Anchorage Police department started their SWAT (they call it SRT) team I did the rifle training for them. They had Mini 14s and they didn't work worth a hoot at extended ranges (passed 100 yards). They weren't even close past 300.

Also before you let someone tell you to go to heavier bullets, find out the twist on your rifle 1-12s or slower wont cut it past 55 Grains.

As far as Army M-16s (we were using A1s, the A2s and later are much better for long range) I've shot several Combat Rifle KD matches, they worked good to 400 using the 55 grn M193 Ball. I've even shot a few High Power Matches up to 600 and didn't do too bad. Never saw anyone using a Mini 14 in a high power match that had any luck.

But again, the Mini 14 at Appleseed's reduced ranges would suite you good enough.

thesheepdog
July 15, 2010, 01:19 PM
But again, the Mini 14 at Appleseed's reduced ranges would suite you good enough.

If you score enough on your AQT, you'll be required to shoot at 200, 300, and 400 yards with your weapon to test your skills.

Bamashooter
July 15, 2010, 04:15 PM
ive only shot my ruger out to 400yrds. not real sure about 600. i have shot at those distances with 55gr.fmj, 60gr. and 69gr. sierra's with good results. the range i shoot at is 400yrds. and i always let my rifles stretch their legs. cant say my groups are noteworthy, but im on target. good enough at that range.

rickyrick
July 15, 2010, 04:48 PM
In the fall when it cools off, I am going clear off 400yds and test it out, too hot for all that work:( bet I'll miss LOL