View Full Version : unsolicited advice for mini-14 newbies
August 30, 2010, 08:48 PM
Hello: about 6 months ago I bought a very reasonably priced second hand 1999 Ruger mini-14. When I first took it to the range, I was getting pie plate-sized groups. Currently, I have the same rifle shooting 1.5" at 100 yards. If by chance there any mini-14 owners out there who are unhappy with the accuracy of their weapon, I will pass the following along, for whatever it is worth. (a) accustrut - 98 bucks but it seriously tightened my groups. There are other makes around if you don't like the look of accustrut. (b) glass bedding - it cost me $100 for my local gunsmith to do this for me. If you're good at that sort of thing, you could do it yourself for less than half that cost. (c) new springs (talk to your gunsmith) my cost for this item was $12.00 installed. (d) handload. My 1999 mini likes bullets heavier than the usual 55 grains (it has a different twist than the early minis). My most accurate load to date is 23.5 gr of 4064 behind sierra 69 gr protected sp bullets. I know 4064 is not supposed to be a good powder for the .223 but, hey, it works great in my rifle. It does not meter well so I have to use an electronic scale to weigh the charges individually.
I truly think my mini could shoot a little better with this load but I am getting on in years and I am just not as steady as I used to be back in the day. Anyway, I hope this might help someone out there who is perhaps having the same sort of problems I had. And of course, if you use the loading data listed here, start a grain under for safety's sake.
Good luck and good shooting
August 30, 2010, 10:19 PM
The accustrut is good, but you can make your own for $35 if you want to save some cash (and don't mind it looking somewhat ugly). Some people have also had some success with the Limbsaver De-Resonator. It's something like $11 at most sporting goods stores. It's just a bit of a pain to get up over the front sight, and you have to experiment with the position.
Also this forum: http://perfectunion.com/vb/forumdisplay.php?f=86 probably has the most comprehensive information for accurizing the mini-14 on the internet.
August 30, 2010, 10:34 PM
The Mini-14 is a solid performer. It doesn't take much to get the older Mini's to perform well, and the newer Mini-14's with the thicker tapered barrel are pretty accurate right out of the box. The barrel stabilizer is a great idea (several on the market). Here are a few other tips to help improve accuracy:
- Loosen the 4 gas block screws and re-tighten them in a rotating sequence, & set the torque tension at 30 lbs.
- Replace the factory gas port bushing with a reduced inside-diameter bushing.
- Replace the recoil spring with an extra power Wolff spring.
- Get a quality trigger job from an experienced gunsmith.
I know the AR crowd hates to hear it, but my Mini-14's are reliably accurate.
August 30, 2010, 11:53 PM
you are right jam, with a little work they are solid performers. mine shot good out of the box but i love to tinker so i figured i could get more accuracy. i have done a trigger job, strut, retorqed and polished gas block, new stock, and 1911 recoil buffers. it is a skinny barreled 580 series and my best group so far is just under 1'' at 100yrds. with my 60gr. sierra handloads. it no longer strings shots after heating up so i know i can rely on it to hit its mark. great rifles.
August 31, 2010, 01:26 AM
Interesting. I have some 69 gr SMK on the shelf with 22.5 4064...they do shoot good (from my AR). I haven't shot any of them out of my Mini. I should dust it off and go shoot it.:D
The early Mini-14's all had 1-7" twist so some 75 gr bullets might work even better.
August 31, 2010, 01:57 PM
My 1990 Mini shot the best with 25 grains of 2230 and the 64 gr Winchester PP bullet, and Rem 7.5 primer. Turned it from a 6 inch rifle to a 1 inch rifle at 100 yards. That 64 PP bullet was death on coyotes as well.
August 31, 2010, 03:19 PM
Mini's aren't bench rest rifles, but they weren't intended for this purpose.
The Accu-Strut or Mo-Rod or whatever does help. So does an add-on flash hider.
Perhaps the most important thing that can be done is a good trigger job by an experiences smith.
They are just great fun to shoot.
August 31, 2010, 05:00 PM
Ah wonderful. A thread where people ain't bashing the Mini-14 out of hand.
I've got an AR15 and a Mini-14. Both are good rifles and have their merits. The AR15 is a jamm-o-matic like some say and the Mini ain't the long-range shotgun a (lot) say. :D
August 31, 2010, 05:02 PM
Here is a good site (http://ruger-mini-14-firearms.com/mini_14_30_accessories.php) for mini 14/30 owners.
August 31, 2010, 07:35 PM
Aw, C'mon, we're not allowed to make A-Team jokes about the mini-14???
"Aim carefully at a person with a Mini-14, it will miss them completely...that's the A-Team way" ;)
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