New Mini 14 owner, Boy, do I have questions
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Old 02-23-2012, 02:01 AM   #1
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Default New Mini 14 owner, Boy, do I have questions

Hello everyone
I have been looking around the internet for more information on my Mini-14 an you guys look to be the ones to pester with all my questions!
I was in the Navy for eight years and have used both the M-16 and M-14 rifles. When I left in '96 the Navy was still using the M-14, shipboard (they won't throw anything away). I have seen a recient picture of an unrep and they are still the M-14 for the shot line.
I have gotten a wild hair and decided that I wanted a 5.56 mm simi auto rifle. I am only going to use it for plinking, varmits, and the range for practice. I really liked the Garand style system of the two rifles I'm familiar with so I went with the Ruger.
I love it. I put about 200 rounds through it Sunday with some friends, shooting at cans and such. My marine buddy really liked it too, I am pretty sure he wants one now.
While I was cleaning it I noticed the gas port, in the gas block was loose. Is this normal?
I bought it new (581 serial number), does shortening the barrel and adding a flash suppressor still increase the accuracy of the newer models?
Barrel Strut?

I plan on bedding the receiver, trigger job, bushings and changing the size of the gas port as those seem to be good changes. It was like Easter Sunday trying to pick up brass.

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Old 02-23-2012, 02:29 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Commocarl View Post
Hello everyone
I have been looking around the internet for more information on my Mini-14 an you guys look to be the ones to pester with all my questions!
I was in the Navy for eight years and have used both the M-16 and M-14 rifles. When I left in '96 the Navy was still using the M-14, shipboard (they won't throw anything away). I have seen a recient picture of an unrep and they are still the M-14 for the shot line.
I have gotten a wild hair and decided that I wanted a 5.56 mm simi auto rifle. I am only going to use it for plinking, varmits, and the range for practice. I really liked the Garand style system of the two rifles I'm familiar with so I went with the Ruger.
I love it. I put about 200 rounds through it Sunday with some friends, shooting at cans and such. My marine buddy really liked it too, I am pretty sure he wants one now.
While I was cleaning it I noticed the gas port, in the gas block was loose. Is this normal?
I bought it new (581 serial number), does shortening the barrel and adding a flash suppressor still increase the accuracy of the newer models?
Barrel Strut?

I plan on bedding the receiver, trigger job, bushings and changing the size of the gas port as those seem to be good changes. It was like Easter Sunday trying to pick up brass.
welcome to mini ownership. i'm no expert, but i think a little "wiggle" in the gas port is normal...at least i know mine has always been that way.

sounds like a good start on mods....i'm a fan of struts as well myself. my advice would be just enjoy the first few hundred rounds, then start testing accuracy to see if you want to make mods to improve the performance. but bedding and trigger jobs will normally help any rifle become a little more accurate and seem to be especially effective on the mini.

enjoy that mini...i think they are great guns. be sure to post a pick of your new toy on the mini gallery!
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Old 02-23-2012, 05:55 AM   #3
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It's a sickness, and now you've got it!

That wiggle is normal. The trigger job will be your biggest benefit out of the box. If it's a new tapered barrel, you shouldn't need a barrel strut. They do benefit, but not as much as the earlier thin barrels. Look at Accuracy Systems pillar bedding with screws. It's pretty nice.

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Old 02-23-2012, 11:55 PM   #4
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It's a sickness, and now you've got it!

That wiggle is normal. The trigger job will be your biggest benefit out of the box. If it's a new tapered barrel, you shouldn't need a barrel strut. They do benefit, but not as much as the earlier thin barrels. Look at Accuracy Systems pillar bedding with screws. It's pretty nice.
Ditto.

The strut did help my accuracy (newer barrel), but it was minimal. I think my biggest gain from the strut is when the barrel heats up. And yes they are addictive. All of the tinkering you can do is part of what makes them so fun.
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:14 AM   #5
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Thanks for all your help. When I first started cleaning around the gas tube it seemed tight but it had some wiggle to it when I got all the gunk out. Don't worry, I didn't use a chisel and hammer, just a toothbrush.
The mods are going to be later. I need to go to a range and really look at how it performs. Sunday it seemed a little erratic, then I realized the rear sight screw had vibrated loose >.<. I also noticed the front sight will hide a can from about 75 yards.
I don't plan on making any cosmetic changes I like here just the way she is. Well I would love to have a wood,or M-14 handguard.
I would also like to get an M-1 carbine type sling, just need to hunt one down.

Thanks again.

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Old 02-24-2012, 02:20 AM   #6
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Thanks for all your help. When I first started cleaning around the gas tube it seemed tight but it had some wiggle to it when I got all the gunk out. Don't worry, I didn't use a chisel and hammer, just a toothbrush.
The mods are going to be later. I need to go to a range and really look at how it performs. Sunday it seemed a little erratic, then I realized the rear sight screw had vibrated loose >.<. I also noticed the front sight will hide a can from about 75 yards.
I don't plan on making any cosmetic changes I like here just the way she is. Well I would love to have a wood,or M-14 handguard.
I would also like to get an M-1 carbine type sling, just need to hunt one down.

Thanks again.
I actually read not to clean the bushing. The carbon build up on it actually seals it. That's why it was tight to start with. But that's an easy fix, just run some more rounds through it. Of course I read that right after cleaning the bushing on mine.
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Old 03-08-2012, 02:52 PM   #7
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Hello everyone
I have been looking around the internet for more information on my Mini-14 an you guys look to be the ones to pester with all my questions!
I was in the Navy for eight years and have used both the M-16 and M-14 rifles. When I left in '96 the Navy was still using the M-14, shipboard (they won't throw anything away). I have seen a recient picture of an unrep and they are still the M-14 for the shot line.
I have gotten a wild hair and decided that I wanted a 5.56 mm simi auto rifle. I am only going to use it for plinking, varmits, and the range for practice. I really liked the Garand style system of the two rifles I'm familiar with so I went with the Ruger.
I love it. I put about 200 rounds through it Sunday with some friends, shooting at cans and such. My marine buddy really liked it too, I am pretty sure he wants one now.
While I was cleaning it I noticed the gas port, in the gas block was loose. Is this normal?
I bought it new (581 serial number), does shortening the barrel and adding a flash suppressor still increase the accuracy of the newer models?
Barrel Strut?

I plan on bedding the receiver, trigger job, bushings and changing the size of the gas port as those seem to be good changes. It was like Easter Sunday trying to pick up brass.
I believe the gas port is only one size: too large. The gas port bushings are little tubular things. They come from the factory way too big. In addition to passing gas, they act as alignment pins for the gas block and retainer pin for the gas pipe. A couple of people on the net make smaller bushings. A smaller bushing will cut the violence of the action and keep the brass from being thrown into the next zip code. It should also reduce barrel flex and may help to improve accuracy. I think I finally settled on a 0.042” bushing for mine. Now it just throws brass about 8 to 10 feet. While you have the gas block apart, if your gun is blued, you might want to consider replacing the blued gas pipe with a stainless one. They are pretty cheap from Brownell’s. It will help to prevent the gas pipe rusting in the slide assembly if you don’t clean it after shooting. The gas pipe has a little wiggle in it. It helps it with alignment on action closing. While you have things apart you might give thought to installing a 1911 shok buff to reduce the pounding of the slide assembly. During reassembly of the gas block assembly be sure to maintain an even pressure distribution of the screws by tightening them in small increments in an X pattern.
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Old 04-06-2012, 03:18 AM   #8
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Default and.......back

Sorry I have been out of pocket for a bit. My job >.<. Thanks for all the help. I am currently collecting up some parts to make my mini my own. not much, mind you but I'm waiting on an Amega scout rail and a compensator/flash hider. I am also looking into getting the mods done I mentioned before. From talking to by friends with firearms, the gunsmiths in my area are "parts changers" so I am going to have to ship my rifle off to get it all done. I fear the seperation anxiety, lol.

Once its done I would promise pictures, but she will still be a plain old Mini-14, not like the amazing ones in the picture thread.

I do have another question, if you will humor me. I have a plain old 2 point sling but really like the M-14 web sling with the clip at one end, so it is easy to seperate. That sling is a 1.25 inches, will it still fit the Minis swivels? Or would I have to modify it? I plan on using my current nylon sling, but with the clip installed. I don't understand why it isn't used very much. It looks like they only way you can get it is to buy the M-14 sling and harvest it.

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Old 04-21-2012, 11:07 PM   #9
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I have around 650 rounds through my mini as of this morning, This is the first time I have field stripped, cleaned and reassembled without the video. Getting the hang of her now
While inspecting the bolt i noticed the firing pin not having free travel, it would stick before the tip could exit the front of the bolt. I played with it a bit to make sure that it was in fact a problem. Thanks to the awesome video I disassembled the bolt and found it had some crap in it, not any metal that I could tell. It is all clean now and functioning properly. I know Ruger specifically says not to disassemble the bolt, is this common?
On my charging handle just forward of the right angle grip there are brass marks. I can only assume that these are from spent brass striking the rifle, as they are on the right face (away from the ejection port) I am at a loss to why they are there. Any ideas?
She seems better with every round I put through her. Cycling the action after cleaning it is smooth as glass now.
Thanks again for all the help.

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Old 04-23-2012, 03:17 PM   #10
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Hello everyone
I have been looking around the internet for more information on my Mini-14 an you guys look to be the ones to pester with all my questions!
I was in the Navy for eight years and have used both the M-16 and M-14 rifles. When I left in '96 the Navy was still using the M-14, shipboard (they won't throw anything away). I have seen a recient picture of an unrep and they are still the M-14 for the shot line.
I have gotten a wild hair and decided that I wanted a 5.56 mm simi auto rifle. I am only going to use it for plinking, varmits, and the range for practice. I really liked the Garand style system of the two rifles I'm familiar with so I went with the Ruger.
I love it. I put about 200 rounds through it Sunday with some friends, shooting at cans and such. My marine buddy really liked it too, I am pretty sure he wants one now.
While I was cleaning it I noticed the gas port, in the gas block was loose. Is this normal?
I bought it new (581 serial number), does shortening the barrel and adding a flash suppressor still increase the accuracy of the newer models?
Barrel Strut?

I plan on bedding the receiver, trigger job, bushings and changing the size of the gas port as those seem to be good changes. It was like Easter Sunday trying to pick up brass.
I have a new 581 series Ranch Rifle. I've yet to get it out to shoot it, but I've done a lot of mining of the this and Perfect Union forums. That prompted me to do the following to my mini.

Trigger job. --- per Gundoc's video.

Bedded the action --- again per the Gundoc's video.

Mo-reaper Muzzle Brake. -- to reduce muzzle rise and to disipate heat. It might also improve accuracy if it affects the barrel harminics the right way.

Front and rear buffers. I sanded them both down to less than .1" thickness.

Reduced gas bushing. I got a set from Gundoc and have the .05 in there right now.

I have the Mo-Rod, but I haven't put it on yet. I want to try the Limbsaver Deresonator first. By all accounts the Mo-Rod works and can wick heat away from the barrel, but it does add a bit of weight. Not a lot, but you can feel it. So I want to see how the Deresonator works. Some report a 60% reduction in group size from the Deresonator. Once I play with that, I may put both the Rod and the Deresonator on to see if combined they do better than either.

Choate hand guard. Increased cooling. I like the looks better, too.

I also polished the slide block.

From everything I've read, I should have the rifle tuned pretty well. I'll find out here in the next couple weeks. I'm looking for 1-1.5 moa.
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