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Mini-14's aren't accurate????


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Old 05-13-2016, 04:41 AM   #1
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Default Mini-14's aren't accurate????

I was at the range today trying out some new handloads for my Mini. The scope was way off for the loads I was shooting, and we had to leave after I shot 5 rounds, but I was able to put a 3 shot group together that I could cover with a dime. I will be doing the Mini Shooting Challenge the next time I go to the range. If anyone has questions about what is done to my Mini, or the handload I was using, just ask.
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Old 05-13-2016, 01:09 PM   #2
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While my 581 may not be MOA it was not designed to be. I have shot 3 MOA @ 100 yards from a rest with good ammo and factory iron sights. My old eyes cant hold better than that. I hold on the bottom of the bullseye. Only mods to mine is an Ultimak rail and a muzzle brake. I can get down to 2 MOA with the scout scope.
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Old 05-13-2016, 02:03 PM   #3
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JTJ
You are exactly on target! The Mini 14 is not designed to be a precision rifle. It was designed for tactical applications and defense and is very effective as that.
I know Mod98 knows but for others anytime you change to another round after your scope has been zeroed for another. Hardly never will it be zeroed for the new round. In fact sometimes even switching the LOT# of the same brand and ammunition will result in a different impact location on the target and especially at 100 yards.
And Mod for me and the others here on the FTF I would be interested on what you did to your Mini to improve accuracy. If you were shooting at 100 yards the dime sized group is more then excellent for a Mini.

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Old 05-13-2016, 03:07 PM   #4
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YEARS ago while I was going through gunsmithing school I built a bull barrel Mini-14 that I used for mostly coyotes and walking through the desert jumping up jacks & trying to hit them on the run. It was exquisitely accurate but most Minis as they come from the factory in regular form are lucky if they group much less than 2" groups at 100 yards. There is several different versions of barrel vibration dampening or barrel stiffening "rods" available that usually instantly (from what I've seen) reduces group size by 1/2 with no other changes to rifle or ammo. They're reasonably priced for the most part too when consider the results. Pretty easy to make however.
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Old 05-13-2016, 03:33 PM   #5
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Most Mini 14's will shoot a very good group with handloads with a 3 shot group. Try a 5 or 10 shot group with it,and the real Mini 14 will show it's hand quickly.

The Mini 14 was never intended to be a precision rifle. They are fun little guns to shoot,and for the purpose that they are intended to be used,they do a good job at it.
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Old 05-13-2016, 05:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sniper03 View Post
JTJ
You are exactly on target! The Mini 14 is not designed to be a precision rifle. It was designed for tactical applications and defense and is very effective as that.
I know Mod98 knows but for others anytime you change to another round after your scope has been zeroed for another. Hardly never will it be zeroed for the new round. In fact sometimes even switching the LOT# of the same brand and ammunition will result in a different impact location on the target and especially at 100 yards.
And Mod for me and the others here on the FTF I would be interested on what you did to your Mini to improve accuracy. If you were shooting at 100 yards the dime sized group is more then excellent for a Mini.

03
I never claimed to get dime sized groups and 2 MOA is the best I have done with it. I could get a dime sized if it was a one round group. Except for the Ultimak rail and a muzzle brake it is a stock tactical meaning 16" threaded barrel with the plastic stock. Right now it is sighted in for Wolf 62 grain HP with the red dot. I can keep 20 of them in the black on a 5" target at 100 yards. Not great but it is cheap to shoot. The 62 grain Wolf is copper and lead not bimetal. I wont shoot the 55 grain Russian ammo. The scope was sighted in for 55 grain handloads and can be put back on in minutes as it is on quick release rings.
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Old 05-13-2016, 06:47 PM   #7
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Mods to my Mini are:
3.25-3.5 lb trigger
Archangel Precision stock
Accustrut
Burris Fullfield II 4.5-14x42mm scope

I know the Mini will heat up with repeated firing, but so will any gun. I'm not trying to do rapid fire groups. I'm trying to prove to the many nay-sayers that you can get the Mini to shoot just as good as an AR-15. The guy I go to the range with has been bench rest shooting for many years, and after I shot that group yesterday, he told me to burn the target, because I wasn't supposed to be able to do that with a Mini. lol I'm the type of person that if you tell me I can't do something, within reason of course, that I'll do my best to prove you wrong.
I'm not trying to change the intended use of the Mini by no means. When I shoot from the bench I check the temperature of the barrel after 3-4 shots, and if it is getting too warm, I let it cool down before continuing. The Mini has more uses than just a "truck gun", and I'm having fun with mine doing different things. Afterall, that's what this sport is all about. Trying different stuff, learning things, and having fun.

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Old 05-14-2016, 02:09 PM   #8
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Mini-14s have a checkered accuracy history with their previously poor showing using the "pencil" barreled 18X and 19X Series before the 2004/2005 introduction of the 58X series with a thicker barrel and redesigned ejector. I have a year old 583 series that I've tweaked and using handloads, it performs as well as my M1 Garand and M1A at ranges up to 300yds with 'NM' style irons, producing right at 1.25" performance at 100yds (shot by a younger, better shooter than my 68yr old eyes will produce).

Mini-14's aren't accurate???? - Mini-14 Forum

The 2 most important things to do on new style Mini is to reduce the gas bushing size (from .100" to .045" orifice) and torques the gas block screws to 30in/lbs plus add a cheap set of 2ea Wilson 1911 rubber bushings to both the gas pipe and recoil spring rod. These two tweaks reduce the harsh cycling of the Mini and stop metal-to-metal impacts during cycling.

Because of the stiffer barrel, the newer Minis don't get as much benefit from the struts as the older ones, however, they still help and are also great heat sinks that when used with a Choate HG to increase cooling, virtually eliminate vertical stringing caused by barrel heating.

Add to those a TechSights Mini200 rear sight with optional small aperture, thin the front sight down from .075" to .050" giving you 'NM' style sights, polishing the sears (or better yet, a $60 trigger job), add a decent sling and you are set.

Also, Ruger's design leaves the heel to rear aperture distance at 15.5"; a full 1.5" longer than that of a M1 Garand, M1 Carbine, or M1A's 14.0". While the Mini200 rear sight moves the aperture back .5", to get the same sight picture with irons, you must trim the buttstock 1".

When done, it looks great, and shoots even better. Sort of resembles it's namesake now doesn't it?

Mini-14's aren't accurate???? - Mini-14 Forum

While I've never been a bullseye shooter and targets are boring for me, I'm very fond of bowling pins at 200yds with it and it works very well on them. All in all a fun gun to shoot and well worth your consideration.
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Old 05-14-2016, 04:27 PM   #9
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I have a Mini-14 GB, 181-series. Have had it since 1980. I never thought it was inaccurate until I started reading this forum and PU (and the Ruger forum).

There were rumors that the early GB models got the best of the barrels off the production line (questionable) and also that the bayo lug and flash hider attenuated the stringing effect somewhat.

I don't hunt, and I don't shoot paper, and the only bench it has experienced is my workbench while I clean it. That is probably why I never considered it inaccurate...

But I wanted to be able to humanely dispatch a rabid coyote or fox out to about 250 yards should that unpleasant need ever arise. 250 yards is about the max clear distance on my property before I start running into woods.

I violated the first law by not verifying its inaccuracy before buying an AccuStrut but the reviews were pretty good and I fugured it couldn't hurt and would probably help. It was a challenge fitting it because of the bayo lug (I knew that before buying it) and once it arrived, I set about finding a suitable substitute that I could comfortably cut up without damaging the original strut. It turned out that two grounding rods that were sitting around - left at the farm by the previous owner (as well as a whole bunch of other "treasures") were the perfect diameters, so I cut one to the length of the original strut and began modifying. After a few tries (good thing there were two six-foot rods) I finally got a good fit and mounted it. As much as working around the bayo lug was a PITA, it actually helped to keep the strut from sliding (I didn't want to use the securing method of the screws into the gas block if I could avoid it).

I had also mounted a TRS-25 onto the funky mount that - aside from an UltiMak - is about the only option for mounting optics and had laser bore sighted it for 1.5" high at 25 yards (about the height of the TRS-25 above the bore).

Then I remembered...need a "before" before doing an "after". So I took off the strut when my nephew showed up for some shooting and also realized I probably needed to heat up the barrel some to test the stringing. After adjusting at a 25 yard target for 1.5" high (POA being 1.5" above POI and getting a decent three-round shot group, I adjusted to a 50 yard target (the range I wanted the rifle zeroed to). I made one or two minor adjustments for a decent 10-round shot group. This was all done in a prone position, resting on a cheap plastic Caldwell stand that bounced around a lot - requiring re-positioning it after each shot. Not exactly the best of test conditions...Not sure why I didn't use the bi-pod.

This was also done facing into the afternoon sun, so I had to set the TRS-25 setting to 7. Not sure how much MOA that makes the dot, but it was certainly more than five MOA.

To heat up the barrel, I did a 30-round and a 20-round mag dump in less than a minute (shooting creamer bottles at 50 yards and hitting most every one a few times), then popped in another 20-rounder and took aim at a new 50-yard target. I emptied the 20-rounder in just a bit over a minute, then went to check:

There was little to no vertical stringing (less than 2"), but there was some horizontal stringing (about 5" side-to-side). That was a bit of a surprise to me but at least I got the "before" condition, with a hot barrel. All twenty rounds hit the paper and within 5" of one another.

When I got around to tearing down my Mini to clean is when I noticed that the main screw that holds on the funky mount was very loose and the mount was very "wobbly". That was the only screw I hadn't "loctited"...I have since corrected that oversight.

Soooo, I'll have to go back out and try this whole "before" experiment again.

Darn!!!

Bottom line, though, is it seemed pretty darn accurate (for my purposes) even with a hot barrel and a very loose mount, so there may be some validity regarding the better accuracy of the GB models.

BTW, my original quest to be able to humanely dispatch a rabid coyote or fox was solved with the purchase of a Savage Axis II in .223 Rem with a 3-9X40 scope that is rock solid, about 1-2 MOA. At $315 out the door, it was a pretty good deal.

Will provide an update once I get a decent "before" experiment done.
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Old 05-15-2016, 12:10 PM   #10
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+1 on the Savage Axis. I have an old Army buddy that bought one in .243. I helped him lighten the trigger, and we worked up some prairie dog hand loads for it. Despite the inexpensive gun (and scope he put on it Vortex Crossfire 4-12x), and the light barrel, we were both able to shoot 1/2" 100 yard groups with it.
Savage makes some damn good barrels.
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