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View Full Version : Ruger Mini-14 Accuracy-Non-Believers Step Inside


hardhat harry
July 28, 2012, 01:59 PM
http://i1087.photobucket.com/albums/j461/Johnny3Eagles/Mini14zero.jpg

These were cut from a Scope Zeroing Target. Squares are 1 inch. These are my last 8 shots of 60 rounds fired. 3 shots on the left target, and 5 in the right---yes, I pulled 1 round but---I called it. Shot at 100 yards, using a 3X9 scope. Shot from bipod. Temperature: 100 degrees, minimal wind. American Eagle 50 grain Tipped/Varmint

I am now a believer in the Ruger Mini-14

stingray2100
July 28, 2012, 02:51 PM
Again...and again.

the mini-14 proves that the man and the rifle are accurate.

No excuses...he who blames the tool...is the problem.:eek:

olddav
July 28, 2012, 03:41 PM
I will be developing a round for my Mini in the near future, and like you I will be using a heavier bullet (69 grain). Hopefully I will achieve similar results.

hardhat harry
July 28, 2012, 03:50 PM
Believe me when I tell you this: I am on the downhill side of the 60s, eyesight ain't what it used to be. I have been pistol shooting, but it has been 15 years at least since I pulled the trigger on a rifle. Having READ the horro stories about the Mini-14, but not being sure, (and not trusting everything I read on the Internet), I bought this one and proved the Mini haters wrong.

It performed flawlessly, (and so did I).

jason41987
July 28, 2012, 04:10 PM
didnt ruger recently make changes to the mini-14 for the sake of better accuracy?.. the old ones shot like crap, but ive heard from a group of people that the new ones are fairly accurate.. not as accurate as an AR15.. but, i doubt any other 5.56mm semi is... so for what the mini-14 is i dont expect the new ones to have any accuracy worse than the average .223 rifle on the market now

hardhat harry
July 28, 2012, 04:28 PM
I know there had been some changes, how recently I don't remember. As far as accuracy, MOA ain't bad, and I believe, in the hands of a younger person, this one is sub-MOA. We will see when I can get it on the longer range, 200 or 300.

Weatherby used to sell a subMoa model in .223 but have brought out a new line, not sure of the model name.

arch308
July 28, 2012, 04:57 PM
My brother owns one of the original SS Mini's. Can't even mount a scope on it. I have seen him take the head off a rabbit @ 80 yds with open sights, first shot.
That's accurate enough in my book.

jmr40
July 28, 2012, 05:10 PM
I've owned Mini's in the past. Believe me they EARNED their reputation for poor accuracy. I'm glad Ruger has addressed the problem and is now building a more accurate rifle. I don't hate them, they are just way overpriced for what you get. I would gladly buy another if they were sub $400. But I'm not paying over $700 with tax for a Mini-14 when I can get a much better AR for $50 more that will do that at 200 yards. I can actually get an AR for almost $100 less than the Mini.

troopcom
July 28, 2012, 05:14 PM
I've been debating on a Mini myself and the price of about $700.00 is what is holding me back. I'm not a direct gas fan due to the difficulty in cleaning. How easy is it to clean a Mini 14? Also what changes have been done to improve their accuracy? I have never shot one, only handled one in a pawn shop. I think it was one of the old SS versions. The barrel was pretty thin.

Crazy88Fingers
July 28, 2012, 05:40 PM
Probably the biggest change made is the thicker barrel. It handles the heat a bit better and I'm sure the extra weight helps. You can find the Minis for about $650 if you look around. And if you want a semi-auto with a rifle stock, they're hard to beat.

buckhorn_cortez
July 28, 2012, 07:36 PM
When I bought my Mini-14 it cost $225. It was always 100% reliable - no matter what ammunition was used. Accurate? No. Fun to shoot - you bet. I now have an AR and have passed the Mini to a friend and his two teenage boys - so it lives on bringing fun to another generation of shooters.

Your targets look good - something my Mini would never do. If you could shoot a 2-inch group at 100 yards, you'd have to be lucky - and if you did that, you should have purchased a lottery ticket the same day.

My AR-15 shoots sub MOA at 100 yards and I've used it on steel targets to 400 meters. But, that pales in comparison to the AR pattern .308. That one will shoot sub 0.5 MOA and I've used it on targets to 900 yards so far.

hardhat harry
July 28, 2012, 08:14 PM
Your targets look good - something my Mini would never do. If you could shoot a 2-inch group at 100 yards, you'd have to be lucky - and if you did that, you should have purchased a lottery ticket the same day.

I confess, in my former life, I was an NRA Law Enforcement Patrol Rifle Instructor as well as for Handgun/shotgun. I also retired from the Army after 21 years in Infantry/Armor & Cavalry units.

bedlamite
July 28, 2012, 09:04 PM
Probably the biggest change made is the thicker barrel.

If you pull off the heatshield, you will notice it's still really skinny between the chamber and gas port, even the target model is still only .625", the rest were .562". They did it backwards. It would have helped much more if they had made it thicker the whole length, or at least thicker at the chamber and skinny at the muzzle.

AR varmint barrels are commonly available up to 1.08" under the handguard and .920" in front of it. .625 is considered lightweight and not appropriate for a target rifle.

hagar
July 29, 2012, 09:04 AM
I paid $350 for my Mini-14 range model in 1990. Shot terrible with surplus ammo, but less than 1 inch with my 64 gr WW PP handloads. Only thing I did not like about it was that the impact seemed to change from week to week, but it could be the $70 Tasco 2-7 scope I have on it.

tobnpr
July 29, 2012, 09:48 AM
Despite it having been posted many times, on probably every firearms forum, there seem to still be those that don't know, (or just ignore- if they're a "hater"), that Ruger shut down production of the Mini between '04 and '06 to completely re-tool the production line.

The "new" Mini-14 is a different animal from the old one.

Part of me still thinks Ruger should have just re-named the rifle, to get rid of the old "stigma" of inaccuracy.

Rogervzv
July 29, 2012, 10:24 AM
As someone else in this thread said, Ruger thickened the barrel on the later-series Mini 14s. This eliminated the "barrel flexing" that could occur when the barrel was hot from much firing. The result is said to be that the group sizes "opened up" as the rifle barrel became hotter:

The old-style "pencil barrel" of a 1982-vintage Mini 14 (182 SN)

http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a331/Roger54/Gun%20Stuff/DSC_0781.jpg

This is the barrel on a 2012 vintage Ranch Rifle Mini 14:
http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a331/Roger54/Gun%20Stuff/DSC_0775.jpg

The other big change as between older Mini 14s and the newer Ranch Rifle is the addition of scope ring holders. These can enable the attachment of a full Picatinny rail and optical sight, or Ruger scope rings. The Mini scope attachments are proprietary to Ruger but many third parties make rings or rails that will attach to them. Here is my setup using the GG&G tactical rail accessory:
http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a331/Roger54/Gun%20Stuff/DSC_0762.jpg

hardhat harry
July 29, 2012, 03:06 PM
Good comparison pix, thanks

mnhntr
July 29, 2012, 03:12 PM
OK so the mini is capable of 1 MOA accuracy. Most ARs are less than 1 MOA accuracy and have the advantage of changing uppers to change calibers. I will stick with the AR platform.

skoro
July 29, 2012, 03:18 PM
My Mini-14 is a 580 Series with the thicker barrel. Accuracy has never been an issue. My understanding is that the barrel change addressed the accuracy problems with the earlier Minis.

Rogervzv
July 29, 2012, 07:51 PM
OK so the mini is capable of 1 MOA accuracy. Most ARs are less than 1 MOA accuracy and have the advantage of changing uppers to change calibers. I will stick with the AR platform.

Well, nothing wrong with the AR platform. Versatile and practical, no doubt of that. The Mini has a lot going for it though. It is a light, handy, incredibly reliable carbine design. It is a piston design that really takes advantage of the piston concept -- the bolt on a Mini is never stressed the way the bolt carrier group is on an AR.

I like ARs and own one. But when the Zombies come, I'm going to grab my Mini 14. :eek:

rickyrick
July 29, 2012, 10:15 PM
Lol, the OP never mentioned an AR. What if he put up a.5 moa target? The would people post that every dime store AR was capable of .25?

AR's are great rifles, but give me a break. 650$ is a decent price for an American semi auto rifle, this ain't 1982 no more

mnhntr
July 29, 2012, 10:39 PM
All I am saying is the AR is better for just about all applications that you would want a Mini for and doesn't cost any more.

Fishbed77
July 29, 2012, 11:17 PM
All I am saying is the AR is better for just about all applications that you would want a Mini for and doesn't cost any more.

I own several ARs and no Mini-14s, but I still have to roll my eyes at this.

This isn't a thread about ARs. There are plenty of those those to post in. The great thing about this country is that we have to freedom to choose amongst a number of great options, with the Mini-14 being one of them.

And I can think of plenty of reasons to choose a Mini. Say you live in a state or municipality that violates the 2nd Amendment and bans (or severely neuters) ARs. Or you want a generally smaller, handier rifle. Or you just like wood & steel guns. Or you like the Garand-style action.

I can think of plenty of reasons a person would choose a Mini, even though I have never done so myself.

LockedBreech
July 29, 2012, 11:28 PM
I own several ARs and no Mini-14s, but I still have to roll my eyes at this.

This isn't a thread about ARs. There are plenty of those those to post in. The great thing about this country is that we have to freedom to choose amongst a number of great options, with the Mini-14 being one of them.

And I can think of plenty of reasons to choose a Mini. Say you live in a state or municipality that violates the 2nd Amendment and bans (or severely neuters) ARs. Or you want a generally smaller, handier rifle. Or you just like wood & steel guns. Or you like the Garand-style action.

I can think of plenty of reasons a person would choose a Mini, even though I have never done so myself.

+1. I own a Daniel Defense M4V1, generally considered one of the top-tier quality AR-15s on the market. I still intend on owning a Mini-14 - I just like the darn things.

Bamashooter
July 30, 2012, 01:25 AM
I have a 580 series with a thin profile barrel on it. I added an accustrut and had trigger job done almost immediately. After a couple hundred rounds to smooth it out its capable of near moa (1.25'' is my best group @100yrds) and is more reliable than any AR Ive ever shot or owned. Some folks say the mini-14 isnt worth what you have to pay for it but Ruger seems to sell plenty of them. I paid $599+tax for mine in 2007 and I think its better than any AR you can buy for that price. Do you guys not think the lightweight profile barrels on the AR's string shots when they heat up? Its not a ruger only issue.

I have an AR carbine with a heavy profile barrel thats extremely accurate and so far 100% reliable but it cost a few bucks more. Both rifles have their advantages and disadvantages. Both are capable.

4V50 Gary
July 30, 2012, 02:01 AM
I got minute of clay pigeon at 100 yds with my old Mini-14GB. How? Slow rate of fire to allow that thin bbl to cool.

Rogervzv
July 30, 2012, 09:14 AM
....And I can think of plenty of reasons to choose a Mini. Say you live in a state or municipality that violates the 2nd Amendment and bans (or severely neuters) ARs. Or you want a generally smaller, handier rifle. Or you just like wood & steel guns. Or you like the Garand-style action.

Yes, that about sums it up for me. I can have a Mini without messing with "bullet buttons" or hassles about "assault rifle" characteristics. It is a handy "Garand-style" carbine that packs the same punch as an AR with about the same accuracy (my skill limits me; not the rifle.) Minis are cheap, classy, and reliable. At the range I get lots of complements on my "Garand" rifle. And my groups at the range with my Mini 14 (or either of them) look remarkably similar to those produced by the black rifle crowd.

greyeyezz
July 30, 2012, 11:48 AM
All I am saying is the AR is better for just about all applications that you would want a Mini for and doesn't cost any more.

I'll take a Garand action over DI any day of the week.

Adamantium
July 30, 2012, 12:27 PM
Just remember every Mini thread is also about similarly priced ARs. As a side note ever AR thread is about how a $1000 AR is much better than an AR priced similarly to a Mini.

I shot a steel challenge on Saturday that included a rifle stage just for fun. I only own one semi-auto rifle which is a pencil barrel mini, iron sights of course. The targets were four C-zone silhouettes (50-80 yards) and an 10 inch flasher at 100 yards as the stop plate. My four times were 5 seconds, 5 seconds, 8 seconds, 5 seconds. I beat a guy with a scoped Scar-L. I think I'll stick with the Mini platform :). It's not about being a better shooter, it is about owning a better rifle. Take it to the bank.

hardhat harry
July 30, 2012, 01:25 PM
This thread sure morphed from: I'm a good shot and so is my mini, into: My $1000 AR is better than your $650 Mini.

Next week I am going to the range again. I will shoot at 200 yards and see if this piece of crap can hold together long enough to shoot a group under 10 inches, it'll be difficult, as I will be shooting over 100 rounds, it will be about 100 degrees ambient and a hot barrel, well, they may have to shut the range down:D. Now, the mini - haters can be happy, and the mini-lovers know I am being funny (I hope).

Rogervzv
July 30, 2012, 02:16 PM
I'll take a Garand action over DI any day of the week.

+1.

rickyrick
July 30, 2012, 02:31 PM
Thank you hard hat, for taking the time to post. I have never noticed an accuracy issue with my mini.

If someone posted about their pieced together dpms whatever they would be told that the were no good Only 1500 dollar ars will do the trick.

I grow weary of unsolicited AR comparisons in mini threads. The man posted without any mention of an AR, yet here we are.

PawPaw
July 30, 2012, 02:56 PM
I have to admit that while the Mini-14 doesn't really do it for me, I do think that the Mini-30 is on my short list of acquisitions. Does anyone have any input on the Mini-30? My one buddy that has one, loves his.

Botswana
July 30, 2012, 03:08 PM
I know people talk at length about the quality of the AR magazines, but if they made a Mini-14 with STANAG compatibility it would be my ideal rifle.

Alas, they do not.

Still, as much as I've waffled on which .223 rifle I'm going to go with, I keep going back to the Mini-14. Still at the top of my list. AR's have their place, but it doesn't mean everyone has to own an AR.

Strafer Gott
July 30, 2012, 03:09 PM
Maybe if Ruger had made them right in the first place, many of us would be shooting one today. I tried a mini first. Heaven and earth will pass away before I try another. Stubborn, why no! It's just that I bought the Colt, right after I gave away the mini. My needs are amply met. Big Bill Ruger, R.I.P., missed the sale,and probably for many others as well.

Crow Hunter
July 30, 2012, 03:34 PM
Next week I am going to the range again. I will shoot at 200 yards and see if this piece of crap can hold together long enough to shoot a group under 10 inches, it'll be difficult, as I will be shooting over 100 rounds, it will be about 100 degrees ambient and a hot barrel, well, they may have to shut the range down. Now, the mini - haters can be happy, and the mini-lovers know I am being funny (I hope).

Cool. I would be interested to see that data.

Make sure you keep up with time between shots too if you don't mind.

There can be a BIG difference between shooting 100 rounds in 3 hours versus 100 rounds in 15 min.;)

The only Mini I have experience with was one my brother owned to shoot my ammo back in the late '90s. I wasn't too impressed then.

I am always open to try new things though.

ETA:

Another thing that I would find interesting.

Is your intial POI the same as what you finish with? (Most aren't, with any design, but some move less than others.)

What is the overall deviation from start to finish?

One of the things that I have noticed in my limited experience with "wiggly" rifles that after the barrel gets good and hot, the "wiggling" is very small shot to shot. However, when you start with a "cold" barrel, the shots wander all over the place until it reaches a steady state on the temperature.

This is really annoying if you spent several rounds getting a gun sighted in "hot" and shooting into 1 or 2 inches, then when you make the 1st 10 shots out of a "cold" barrel on your next outing (in front of friends) and you can't even hit the target.:o

Bamashooter
July 30, 2012, 05:01 PM
Crow Hunter- any of the strut's on the market will solve the wandering or wiggling problem associated with the thin barrel mini-14's. Ive never owned an older mini but the 580 series and up are very good rifles.

Kal52
August 1, 2012, 12:13 PM
Good to see some good groups out of the New minis!

I sold my old one years ago because it..well it sucked for accuracy.
but I missed the hell out of it, handy little thing just not something worth more tinkiering.

that being said I will be picking up my new mini Tac tomarrow. I just gotta have one, and now that they have fixed alot of the issues Im ready to jump in again.

I hope it shoots as well as yours, Im about as sick of ARs as I can be, good guns but damn they are everywhere and starting to just bore me to death!
In fact Im dumping one of mine to pay for the mini LOL

As for the Mini 30, I have the Tactical, with the beefier barrel, Man do I love shooting that thing! Killed a nice Doe with it last year and plan on using it again this season.
Dont regret that purchase one bit!

hardhat harry
August 1, 2012, 03:13 PM
Here is a crappy pix of my Mini-14. Sorry about the quality, heck you can't even see the GREEN laser mounted on the left side.

http://i1087.photobucket.com/albums/j461/Johnny3Eagles/zombieslayer.jpg

rugerfreak
August 1, 2012, 10:35 PM
In the old days--a Colt AR was $300-$400 more than a Mini---guess what, a Colt is still $300-$400 more than a Mini now.

A cheap AR is no where near the gun a Mini is---if you want an AR, spend the $1100 on a Colt or better and get the real deal----if you want a less costly gun, get the Mini and don't look back.

gwnorth
August 2, 2012, 06:41 PM
For $650-$700 out the door, I do not think the mini 14 is over priced relative to the current market. There is certainly nothing I would consider cheap about the quality of mine, and thus far at least, they have performed flawlessly from right out of the box (I bought both new from Davidson's)

I have nothing against AR's or any other rifle, I just don't want to own one myself - just doesn't do anything for me (I never really feel comfortable with a pistol grip rifle - no clear reasons why, but they just don't feel right when I hold them, and I was trained on FN FAL C1A1's long, long ago).

Choice is good!

http://www.mbblack.com/pictures/My_mini14s.jpg

Father Time
August 2, 2012, 07:17 PM
Next week I am going to the range again. I will shoot at 200 yards and see if this piece of crap can hold together long enough to shoot a group under 10 inches

I'm much more interested in some 10 round groups at 100.

BTW glad you like the Mini I like them as will they just seem to "fit" my shoulder and point very naturally for me.

Ignition Override
August 4, 2012, 01:22 AM
My Mini 14 was the most reliable gun I've owned, and that includes some Enfields, a Yugo Mauser. It concerns mag springs/ammo feed issues.

You might watch "jubbles2343" on Youtube. After the long process of earning a gun license in the UK, a Mini 14 over there is a single shot rifle.
"Jubbles" must chamber every round by pulling back on the bolt each time.

Let's not forget our freedoms and much lower costs etc.

hardhat harry
August 4, 2012, 06:59 AM
http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=497422

Z400ACDC
November 24, 2012, 11:37 AM
Do you guys think that a Accu-Strut works to make the mini more accurate?

Hairbag
November 24, 2012, 01:11 PM
Ditto on that! I'll take a Garand style action over a AR all day long. I'd spend $1700 on a custom built mini from accuracy systems before I would spend $1200 on a decent AR I don't get the love for the AR's but that just me.

hardhat harry
November 24, 2012, 01:52 PM
I had these guys : http://www.accuracysystemsinc.com/index.php do the 3.5 pound trigger job. Oh Wow, what a difference. Great service and quick turnaround.

Hairbag
November 24, 2012, 02:31 PM
I'm thinking about having them build me a mini-30 with a bull barrel. That mini SCAR stock is the cats meow but way too much$$$$

iblong
November 27, 2012, 07:51 AM
I have an AR and a 580 series mini and like them both,My AR will shoot under an inch My Mini shoots just over an inch@ 100 and under 3 at 200.
For all practicle purposes how accurate does it need to be.If I hd to choose one it would be my Mini,I just like the way it handles better.
On a side note My AR is stock and my Mini has had action work but thats it.

Skans
November 27, 2012, 08:55 AM
The "pencil" barrel of the older Mini-14's is about the same diameter as the pencil barrel of the older AR-15's of the '70's / early '80's.

The biggest gripe that I have about Mini-15 barrels is that you cannot get one that is chrome lined.

benogil
November 27, 2012, 05:40 PM
From the Perfectunion reports, the struts help quite a bit, there may be a difference, since the older stainless barrels heat up faster than the regular. Those can benefit most from a strut and a cryo treatment to eliminate stringing.

ratshooter
November 27, 2012, 10:45 PM
If you pull off the heatshield, you will notice it's still really skinny between the chamber and gas port, even the target model is still only .625", the rest were .562". They did it backwards. It would have helped much more if they had made it thicker the whole length, or at least thicker at the chamber and skinny at the muzzle.

The 580 series gun I have has the flared barrel. It measures .625 all the way down and .625 under the gas port. I took it apart and measured it. The flair is larger than .625. If you take a handguard off an older mini with the straight barrel you will have to open the clip up to get it to fit over the new barrel.

I prefer the mini over an AR. I look at them at the gunshows but just don't like the way they feel. My mini is a keeper. The last time I shot it I shot off hand at 90 yards I put 8 rounds in just over an inch. I was shooting standing with my left hand braced on a tree for a rest with open sights. Thats about as good as I can do from a field postion. Hitting 13oz coffee can sized rocks at 200 yards with open sights from sitting is pretty easy. Its good enough for what I want this type of rifle for.

rebs
November 28, 2012, 08:08 AM
I do not own a mini 14 as of yet, but I have checked them out at gun shows and may just buy one for a fun gun.

rickyrick
November 28, 2012, 08:11 AM
They are fun.....


http://thefiringline.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=84901&d=1353277594

Skans
November 28, 2012, 08:33 AM
Someone made a comment about the new barrels on the Mini-14 basically looking stouter until you pull off the heat shield and see that it gets thinner around the gas block. This is true. Ruger did not update its gas block, so a stock Mini-14 will always have that thin spot in the barrel. Personally, I don't feel there is any real performance difference between the older and newer barrels because of this.

Accuracy Systems sells gas blocks for the Mini that will accommodate a true heavy barrel. You can make a heck of a Mini-14 with one of those true heavy barrels and a larger gas block.

ratshooter
November 28, 2012, 12:17 PM
Skans read post #52. I also have the smaller gas bushings that you could replace the factory gas bushings with that reduce the force that that bolt operates with. The ones I have are for the straight taper barrel and are too long to fit the new tapered barrel because the barrel is a larger diameter.

Plus the gas port hole drilled in the barrel is smaller. My mini (580 series) only throws brass about 10 foot from the gun, not halfway across hell and half of Georgia.

iblong
November 29, 2012, 08:24 AM
I should look into that as mine mini throws brass a country mile.

jackpine
November 29, 2012, 05:19 PM
I guess accuracy has become like art and opinions