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Old September 29, 2022, 07:36 AM   #1
Tailsgunner
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Old Mini 14. Is it worth upgrading?

Hello All:
I have and old .223 mini-14, it only has a folding stock. Is it worth upgrading to trigger or adding a scope? I don’t see many options and these older mini’s only shoot .223.

Any suggestions on what to do? Don’t want to drill or alter the mini were I can’t reverse the change.

I do have different capacity magazines and this old stock. That’s about it for this old rifle. I don’t shoot this mini that much.

Thanks
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Old September 29, 2022, 09:59 AM   #2
The Happy kaboomer
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No. If you want accuracy get an AR. Any AR will out shoot a stock Mini 14. Been there done that.........So save your money.
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Old September 29, 2022, 10:50 AM   #3
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Quote:
Is it worth upgrading to trigger or adding a scope?
This depends on if you are using the rifle, and its not working well enough for you, or if you are trying to sell it and get the most money possible.

Generally speaking, "upgrades" usually don't return their full investment cost when the gun is sold.

If the rifle is shooting well enough for your needs, as is, then any upgrades are a matter of desire, not need.

I'm pretty sure there are no drill/no tap scope mounts for the earlier Mini-14s. Can't say how well they perform, as I've never used one.

I've had a couple of older Mini's, one a series 181 (1976) and the other a slightly newer stainless series 183, and both had entirely adequate triggers in my opinion.

Mini-14s aren't match guns, nor varmint guns, and despite the .223 caliber, were never intended to compete with the AR-15 as a military grade rifle.
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Old September 29, 2022, 03:19 PM   #4
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Depends on if it is worth it to you. If you're keeping it, add the mods that make it better for you. They make great truck guns with those folding stocks, or occassional critter-getter.
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Old September 29, 2022, 07:33 PM   #5
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Unless you use a long eye relief scope that mounts ahead of the receiver, do not scope a non-ranch Mini-14. Mini-14s were re-engineered into the Ranch to accomodate a scope. That's why it has side ejection, a buffer and has rings. Ruger learned that Mini-14 with scopes tend to break the scope (including Leupold). Brass slams into the scope body and the receiver is a tuning fork that transfers energy into the scope. Both will cause the reticle to break. I learned this at Ruger's Armourer School for the Mini-14.

The only thing I would add on is the accu-strut and more hi-cap magazines.

Is that stock by Fed Ord?
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Old September 29, 2022, 09:44 PM   #6
Tailsgunner
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Mini 14

Thank you for all the replies.

I’ll keep it the way it is. Shoots fine and no jams.

I’ll stick with my AR’s for the bling.

Really appreciate the feedback.

I thought the only way to mount a scope mount was the tap the upper cover (or something like that).

Good to know how you guys feel about doing this. I was leaning toward the same as keep it simple and plink with it once in a while.

Gary: Yea Fed Ord stock. Still working. Have plenty of magazines too.
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Old September 30, 2022, 05:32 AM   #7
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Many years ago I had a Mini14 with a factory folding stock. I mounted a scope on it using a mount made by B-Square and shot a lot of ammo through it with just a plane Weaver scope and never had an issue with the scope getting banged up. No special drilling to mount it. Not too sure if these are still available.
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Old September 30, 2022, 07:37 AM   #8
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A mag fed, dependable, light weight, compact rifle with sights mounted lower to bore can be a very useful thing. While accuracy may not be like a well fit AR-15, it may be very useful for fast close in target practice.
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Old September 30, 2022, 03:16 PM   #9
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It's not worth the effort to scope those. If it were the Ranch rifle with scope mounts, I'd scope it.

I wouldn't go out and buy a Mini-14 over an AR. But if I already owned one and liked it I wouldn't sell it. Keep it as is and shoot it. It is what it is and is probably accurate enough for the sights on it.
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Old September 30, 2022, 04:35 PM   #10
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I’d bet someone would trade you a ranch rifle for it.
My Mini14 ranch rifle is my favorite rifle ever.
I own many ARs but I’d still keep the Ruger till the end.

I once owned an older mini14, I regret selling it in 89. But I wouldn’t scope it if I still had that model.
The one I own now I bought in 2009 when the first introduced the tapered barrel
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Old October 1, 2022, 04:14 PM   #11
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Mini-14

I also put a Square B scope mount on my mini 14 without any shell issues.
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Old October 3, 2022, 02:49 PM   #12
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Just watch a few reruns of the A-Team to get some Mini-14 ideas.

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Old October 3, 2022, 03:51 PM   #13
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A Team dude is wielding a factory issued folder. Note the sling swivel on the side of the gas block. Mini-14s retrofitted with a factory folder won't have that feature.
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Old October 3, 2022, 06:50 PM   #14
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Scope mini 14

Thank you for the input.

My mini is a 183-13xxx, 1983?

So my barrel twist is 1 in 10 twist and I think only .223 can be fired through this barrel.

I do see the little side cover that I can remove to mount the B Square side scope mount. Is the B Square mount new or fairly new? I don’t remember seeing that mount but it been at least 5 years since I looked around.

I have not been actively looking for a scope for the mini 14, as I hardly shoot that. I mostly shot the AR these days.

Most say the metal sights are decent for up to 150 yards, so maybe I’ll just leave this one alone with folding stock and the various mags. I was told I can still fold the stock with a 30 round magazine. Have not tested that theory yet.

Thanks again all
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Old October 4, 2022, 07:30 AM   #15
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Shoot what the barrel is marked for. My guess would be 223 only, no 5.56x45.

As far as the 1:10 twist, stick to 55g bullets and lighter. Heavier bullets will shoot, but most likely wont stabilize well.
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Old October 4, 2022, 09:52 AM   #16
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Got thank you for the advice.

Curious as to what damage would I do if I used NATO 5.56/55gn? I’ve read other that said they shot 1,000 of 5.56 with shooting issues but they did not state if any damage was accessed. Excessive barrel heat or wearing down the twist?

Thanks again
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Old October 4, 2022, 12:45 PM   #17
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Quote:
Curious as to what damage would I do if I used NATO 5.56/55gn?
None.

The difference in the barrels is in the rifling leade (the point and slope where the rifling begins) and is different in 5.56 barrels to allow the use of a specific NATO tracer round which had a longer bullet than standard ball ammo.

NATO spec ammo is loaded to a different, and slightly higher pressure than .223 commercial ammo, but the difference is small, and well within the safe operating range of the firearm. NO damage will result from firing 5.56 ball ammo in a .223 marked gun.
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Old October 4, 2022, 01:43 PM   #18
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There has been much debate on the 223 vs 5.56 pressures, and i have seen it turn into an argument more than a few times

The cartridge dimensions are the same, but the chambers are cut slightly different.

In general it should be safe, while 5.56 pressures are slightly higher than 223 pressures its negligible and should cause no problems, except with the tracers 44amp mentioned.

But again, with the 1:10 twist 55g and lighter bullets will most likely shoot best.
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Old October 4, 2022, 05:33 PM   #19
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mini's

I like the Mini-14-30, and always have. One option for scoping the Mini, which I have not seen discussed here, is to obtain an Ultimak mount system and replace the forward handguard with same. The carbine can then receive a "scout scope" or a compact red dot forward of the receiver. I have no experience with the B-square mount, but have an Ultimak on my AK clone, and an Omega on one of my Garands, the Omega attaches to the rifle in the same fashion as the Ultimak. They have remained solid and stable, and no harm has come to my dot sight resultant heat on the AK, and the scoutscope on the Garand has remained solid despite the M-1's slam bang action. Heat and vibration are sometimes mentioned as the weak spot for the Ultimak systems. I keep my volume of fire reasonable and have never had a problem.

But.....that said, if I could manage the factory sights as on the OP rifle, I would leave it that way. If I had to have a scope due to eyesight, I would trade for a ranch rifle. I would not dork with the trigger either. I really don't think Mini accuracy (or lack of it by some accounts) will improve with a trigger upgrade.

One change I would make to the OP rifle is to install a conventional stock. The under folder looks great, and perhaps the compact, collapsed carbine is of some benefit to the OP. But I would want a real stock if it were mine, either a factory number, or one from Hogue or some aftermarket outfit. I purchased a folder (Butler Creek} for my Mini-30, installed it, but put the factory birch number back on where it has remained now for the better part of a decade. Cheek weld was wonky, it was cold on the cheek in freezing weather, and the thing had a bit of wiggle to boot.

I would also explore the possibility of getting a short Accu-Strut. Dang things are expensive though. I also got a wood top handguard for my Mini as well, which really adds to appearance for me. The early rifles had wood top guards, and I stumbled up on a guy that sold me one....cheap.
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Old October 5, 2022, 07:21 AM   #20
Tailsgunner
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Mini

Thanks. I guess I’ll leave my mini as it is. I do have the wood stock somewhere. I do like this folding stock. To me, it’s more streamline than other folding stocks I see on the market.

Good to know I can fire a few 5.56 and won’t do any damage to the barrel.

Thanks again and I appreciate all the experienced expert advice.
TG out
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Old October 5, 2022, 10:01 AM   #21
lee n. field
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tailsgunner View Post
Hello All:
I have and old .223 mini-14, it only has a folding stock. Is it worth upgrading to trigger or adding a scope? I don’t see many options and these older mini’s only shoot .223.

Any suggestions on what to do? Don’t want to drill or alter the mini were I can’t reverse the change.

I do have different capacity magazines and this old stock. That’s about it for this old rifle. I don’t shoot this mini that much.

Thanks
Ultimak mount. See http://ultimak.com/BuyMini.htm

Back in the day there was another vendor with a similar product, whose name escapes me at the moment.

Not a permanent modification. As "44 AMP" said above, upgrades don't help resale value in the vast majority of cases.
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Old October 5, 2022, 11:47 AM   #22
4V50 Gary
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What Lee n. field suggests is the exact type of mount I would use for a Mini-14.
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Old October 5, 2022, 01:44 PM   #23
Tailsgunner
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Thank you

The M4-B is a nice clean rail mount for the mini, but the rail seems a little too forward on the rifle or do you also use a special reticle scope To compensate for
The distance. I know one’s cheek is not over the chamber.
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Old October 5, 2022, 06:11 PM   #24
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scopes

The forward mounted Ultimak rails take what is known as an IER (intermediate eye relief) scope or in common parlance.....a scout scope. The rifle is shouldered and aimed normally.......the image through the scoutscope is similar to what one gets with a pistol scope. Magnification is typically low and field of view much reduced from a conventional receiver mounted scope. You either love it or hate it.

An IER scope is not a pistol scope. Pistol scopes are LER ...long eye relief. Some makes and models of pistol/LER scopes will work on scout (forward) set ups, some will not. There may be issues regards what distance a pistol scope is in focus, and of course eye relief is a concern as well. I have a Burris pistol scope on a rifle/scout set up and it works just fine. It was common to use Leupold 2x pistol scopes on scout rigs as well.
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Old October 6, 2022, 09:57 AM   #25
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Scope

Okay, That make sense.
Thank you
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