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This 580 carbine will put all 20 rounds into a 4” circle, slow-fire, offhand at 100 yrds. Uses a Tech-Sight peep. I have a red dot for it, but can’t bring myself to mount it, yet. I’m going to cover the cheek rest with foam pipe sleeve.
 

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good looking mini! if you shoot that well off hand, your mini is a shooter and so are YOU!

View attachment 180817 This 580 carbine will put all 20 rounds into a 4” circle, slow-fire, offhand at 100 yrds. Uses a Tech-Sight peep. I have a red dot for it, but can’t bring myself to mount it, yet. I’m going to cover the cheek rest with foam pipe sleeve.
 

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Thank you, Gentlemen. I will try the Accustrut first as it seems to be the simplest way to go. My friend recently bought a Stainless Ranch Rifle which we sighted in with a Bushnell 3-9 scope. Absolutely no problems except he kept adjusting the knobs. My old Mini will group just fine when the barrel is cold. Shoot one shot, lay the gun down, smoke a Kool and fire another one. I have accumulated scads of assorted .556/.223 ammo which is what I play with.

My other question is regarding the difference between .223 Remington and .556 military ammo. Somewhere I read (long ago) that there is a difference between the two. My last AR has a .223 Wylde barrel (don't recall the twist). What gives with this ?
 

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I think you will be pleased with the strut results on that thin barrel. watch it for slippage after you put it on. some use a drill to slightly "dimple" the gas block, so the back screws won't slip. myself, I applied the purple Loctite directly on the barrel at the clamps (as advised in directions) and it has been good to go.

the 223 and 556, although looking almost identical, are loaded at different pressures and the dimensions are ever so slightly different. the general rule is that you can fire 223 in a 5.56 chambered barrel, but don't fire 5.56 in a 223 chambered barrel. minis are chambered in 5.56 (except the target model), so you can shoot either round safely.

Thank you, Gentlemen. I will try the Accustrut first as it seems to be the simplest way to go. My friend recently bought a Stainless Ranch Rifle which we sighted in with a Bushnell 3-9 scope. Absolutely no problems except he kept adjusting the knobs. My old Mini will group just fine when the barrel is cold. Shoot one shot, lay the gun down, smoke a Kool and fire another one. I have accumulated scads of assorted .556/.223 ammo which is what I play with.

My other question is regarding the difference between .223 Remington and .556 military ammo. Somewhere I read (long ago) that there is a difference between the two. My last AR has a .223 Wylde barrel (don't recall the twist). What gives with this ?
 
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Sheriff, there is indeed a difference between .223 REM and 5.56 NATO, and without checking the stampings on the base of the case, it is darn near impossible to tell which is which. The technical difference is the shape/length of the lede and the chamber ratings for allowable PSI. Plenty of discussions on the interweb. A Wylde barrel is optimized for either round. The Minis (except for the Mini Target model) have the functional equivalent of a Wylde chamber/barrel: They handle both cartridges just fine, even though early models (mine included) are stamped .223. This has been a perpetual question regarding Minis, but the owner's manuals specifically state they can handle 5.56.

Most 5.56 chambers can handle .223 REM just fine, but a rifle chambered exclusively for .223 (like my Savage Axis or the Mini Target) cannot safely shoot 5.56 repeatedly. I switched to .223 REM almost exclusively to feed my two Minis and my Savage: performance is similar and I no longer wake up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night wondering if any of my old 5.56 found its way into the mags for the Savage... I buy in bulk on-line, and my preferred brand is PMC Bronze. There is certainly better ammo out there, but it gives me the best mix of reliability, accuracy, cost, and commonality. My two Minis and my Savage are all zeroed in for the PMC Bronze. Then again, my preference is plinking but with the required secondary role of HD/SD/FD. As long as it takes down a silhouette at 300 meters, I'm good with it. And it does.

Good write-ups here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.223_Wylde_chamber
https://bearingarms.com/bob-o/2011/...s-556-nato-what-you-dont-know-could-hurt-you/
https://www.americanrifleman.org/articles/2013/3/4/223-remington-vs-556-whats-in-a-name/
 

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I have 2 AR's and 2 Mini's. They are different guns and comparing them is borderline useless. My DPMS A4 Panther is 1 MOA pretty much stock. I did change the handguard and it has a quad gas block instead of the sight. It is carrying a 1-4x24 scope. My other AR is an Adams gas piston and almost but not quite as accurate as the DPMS but it stays a lot cleaner. It is carrying flips and a Sig Romeo 5XDR red dot. The 581 Mini 14 has an Ultimak forward rail and a strut. It is currently wearing a 1.75-4x32 scope but I like the gun a lot better with a red dot or scout scope on the front rail. It is just handy and I can take it to Kalifornistan if I need to. It shoots close to 1 MOA with hand loads. I think it would shoot to 1 MOA with a stronger scope and better shooter. The 583 Mini 30 is wearing the same scope and will go to a red dot on a forward rail as soon as I install the Amega. It would make a great fast handling light weight gun for hogs. It will keep PPU 123 grain SP inside the 2" center dot on my tagets at 100 yards. My American Ranch bolt will do 1 MOA with the same ammo. Strangely the Mini likes Silver Bear 123 Grain SP and will stay on 2 MOA while the American Ranch hates it. 2-3MOA with Wolf 123 grain HP. Always a flier in both rifles. If I want oustanding accuracy with 5.56 I go to my Mossberg MVP bolt which is consistantly sub MOA. I dont doubt the American Ranch will be sub MOA once I start handloading for it. I was not raised with or had service time on the AR platform. It is a good platform but I am old school. I like the feel of the non pistol grip stocks even though I have several guns with pistol grips. Sooting the S&W 15-22 is a lot of fun but Ilike shooting my 10-22 also. Maybe I am being lazy but bolts and singles are much easier to clean than semi's and I can work a bolt pretty quickly.
 

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danoobie, this is post 91....a good place to start....If you ever really wanted help w/your mini?

again, try your questions as a polite and thoughtful person,...and I have no problems doing my best (I admit I am no expert) to try and help you. FIRST...information on your part is helpful.

1) when you were unable to zero your rifle, and you shot shotgun patterns at 50 yards...did you try and contact ruger regarding your issues? what did they tell you?
2) due to the design, the mini is known for recoil that will shake loose both the open sights and scope rings. one time my groups were all over the place (as bad as yours) and I noticed one of my rings shook completely loose. I thought my optic was effed, I just overlooked something simple. were you using an optic or irons? have you tested both optics and irons for accuracy? were all locked down completely? Loctite is your friend.
3) what ammo did you test? tula, wolf, or premium match/hand loads? hate to be obvious, but even the factory ammo I have tested has as much as a 2" difference at 100 yards. the mini is ammo finicky, more so than some other rifles, most admit it. what brands? what bullet weights? are you trying to match bullet weight to twist and running various premium ammo to get the best results? if not, what hand loading data can you provide?
4) how many magazines did you test during your shooting? what type?
5) have you inspected the front sight for potential canting in the manufacturing? the inability to zero is more likely something to do with sights or optics the vast majority of the time.
6) your inability to zero the rifle has often been fixed by properly torqueing and evening the gas block. have you inspected the gas block? does it appear to be uneven or "wrong."
many feel that if it was put on sloppily at the factory, this will help improve several issues with zero and accuracy. my first mini's gas block was WACKED. just even it up and torque it properly.
7) when you added your strut, did you notice any improvement in groups at all?
8) what stock do you have? have you changed it at all? the factory stock is known to be a sloppy fit. as you know, a stock change can and will improve or worsen accuracy. mini shooters have gotten awesome results by bedding their factory stock (a common practice for accuracy improvement in many rifles). when I went to a wood stock, it locked up so tight, I passed on bedding the stock.

top 3 most effective accuracy mods among most mini owners: quality ammo or hand loads, bedded stock, strut (mostly for thin barrels), change of bushing (this is more for settling it down than accuracy imo), torque and even gas block.

feel free to respond. as I said, I am no expert or gun smith. if you have considered all the possibilities here that might be obvious to most relatively experienced shooters....then my personal diagnosis is YOUR MINI IS A LEMON. IT HAPPENS. no way it should shoot this bad out of the box, much less modified in any way. TALK TO RUGER.

every firearm company has made has its share of lemons. go to you tube and watch exploding AR's and malfunctioning guns of every type, including mini 14s.
sucks you got one.

I have personally sent 2 brand new firearms back to factory for malfunctions/defects (neither a mini), and was very happy to find they were DEFECTIVE and were easily repaired.

good luck. if you have nothing further to add other than the glories of other rifles compared to your defective mini, then please seek help elsewhere. my advice again, is a technician at RUGER will be happy to talk to you..
 

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good looking mini! if you shoot that well off hand, your mini is a shooter and so are YOU!
I haven’t shot it in this configuration, yet.
This was the old configuration that shot so well. I was looking for a longer length of pull, and a real carbine setup for a single point. So now, it sports the Hogue folding stock, pistol grip, M4 flash hider, Choate handguard. Once I make a cheek rest, it’ll be off to the range to see if I can maintain the accuracy. If not, back to the green stock.
Ruger really made magic with the 16” heavier barrel, eliminated bad harmonics. The .45 buffers front and back also help a lot.
 

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Maybe I am being lazy but bolts and singles are much easier to clean than semi's and I can work a bolt pretty quickly.
don't forget levers! super easy to maintain! I find myself spending more time with them for the reasons you said....so easy to clean and maintain.
 
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don't forget levers! super easy to maintain! I find myself spending more time with them for the reasons you said....so easy to clean and maintain.
With you, there, Hawk. Just picked up a Henry big boy in .41 mag. Man, what a shooter. I have no qualms taking it hog hunting. Great companion for the OM Blackhawk.
 

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Picked up a very good Marlin 1894CS 357 magnum at the end/beginnig of the year gun show. Installed XS sights and sling swivels.
 

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*crickets?*...ok, well....I tried....guess you were here for other reasons?

danoobie, this is post 91....a good place to start....If you ever really wanted help w/your mini?
 
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could it be that the gb802's were mostly destine for govt use, that gave them more attn. to detail? mine was fine. or was it hit or miss across the board on all mini's?
fyi... back in 1980ish, the gun dealer wasn't going to sell me one but when I showed him my military i.d., he sold it to me since I was govt employee.
 

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could it be that the gb802's were mostly destine for govt use, that gave them more attn. to detail? mine was fine. or was it hit or miss across the board on all mini's?
fyi... back in 1980ish, the gun dealer wasn't going to sell me one but when I showed him my military i.d., he sold it to me since I was govt employee.
good question. I couldn't answer that with any certainty, but I would say from just reading casually, more seem to be satisfied overall with the gb's as opposed to the standard pre 580 minis.

I think all minis pre 580 were subject to being anywhere from terrible shooters to very good shooters. likewise, craftsmanship ranged from superb to issues like crooked barrels and canted sights. one of the main issues, it seems, is that ruger's consistency in manufacturing was very suspect....proven by the fact they shut down and changed their entire method of operation prior to re-starting with the 580 series.

obviously, there are still 580+ series issues. but in general, most seem to agree the accuracy and manufacturing are more consistent. so, just my opinion, from all I have read and absorbed, some of the old minis were actually better than the new ones...but most were much, much worse. in general, and overall....most agree the 580 series was a huge improvement. perfect? no-far from it, but still an improvement nonetheless.
 

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Can't cite the source, so this is at best rumor/gossip-level, but I recall reading a few years ago that early GB barrels were selected as the "cream of of crop" from the production line. If true - and I am NOT saying it is - that might explain GBs generally being better than non-GBs during the late '70s/early '80s. If I ever get a bench (other than a work bench) and have the patience, I'll see what it can really do. I do know that on a crappy (plastic pistol) rest in a prone position shooting 50 yards with factory ammo (PMC Bronze), into the sun with a TRS-25 set to the "7" intensity so I could see it, a "chin weld", and with a loose mount that almost fell off when I was prepping it for cleaning, it was a 4-5 MOA shooter AFTER a mag-dump of two 20s and one 30 round mag (wanted to check out vertical stringing). The stringing was more horizontal - primarily (I suppose) because of the loose mount. I was also in a rush to finish up for Happy Hour...

With things all tightened up (with copious amounts of blue loctite) from a decent bench and support not facing into the sun and the TRS-25 down to a setting of "2" or "3", and patience, of course, I have little doubt it is at least a 2-3 MOA shooter (even with my 65-year-old crappy eyes), unmodified except for the funky side-mounted P-rail and buffers fore and aft. This is an early 181GB, made in 1977; one I've had since early 1980. My first firearm.

I was doing this (shooting paper) as the "before" test in anticipation of adding my "Bubba-Strut". In the end, I decided it didn't need it for my purposes or needs, so the hand-tooled Bubba-Strut and Kkina's AccuStrut rest comfortably in a file cabinet with other Mini-14 stuff. As long as it can make plastic coffee creamer bottles dance and sail into the air at 50-75 yards, I'm happy. And it does, even when doing a mag dump, which I seldom do.

So, just my 2¢ worth. With the exception of the side-mounted P-rail and buffers and a factory wooden stock, it is/was as it left the factory back in 1977, with untold thousands of rounds through it. I'm a happy camper.
 

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There is a tremendous amount of information here and I've got to take some time to read it all. A couple of questions though

-How do you know which generation Mini one has. Mine is in SS and the barrel appears to be tapered, that is, thee is what can best best be described as a "ring" about midway down the barrel. It's very difficult to discern but it appears to be a taper point, or rather the barrel diameter is a bit smaller at that point. The serial number on mine is 185-68xxx.

-Does the lower part of the acu-strut attach in some way to what I believe is called the gas block at the head of the stock.
 

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Navigator, welcome to the world of the Mini!

The first three digits of the S/N generally indicate the "series". There isn't a real "generation", per se, but ranges of S/Ns.

There are three basic "generations" of Minis:
Mini-14
Mini-14 Range Rifle
580+series

The first two have "pencil-barrels", the early 580s also did, then Ruger went to a "tapered" barrel. It is generally agreed that the tapered barrel Minis are more accurate out of the box.

This link helps a bit:
http://sunflowerammo.blogspot.com/2012/11/ruger-mini-1430-barrel-twist-rates.html

Your Mini is a 1:7 barrel twist, which generally means it can handle well heavier bullets.

"-Does the lower part of the acu-strut attach in some way to what I believe is called the gas block at the head of the stock."

Yes, Depending on the model of AccuStrut, it will come with either one or two clamps. The inventor of this wonderful device recommends securing the 'strut to the gas block with screws (provided). This helps keep the strut from traveling fore-and-aft due to the recoil and is recommended. It is more a means to keep it from sliding back and forth, rather than mounting. Drilling a small "dimple" into the gas block helps secure it. The gas block material is tough stuff, so use new carbide drill bits and be patient.

Based on your S/N prefix, a 6" LT Accustrut should do well. There are other means to improve accuracy (such as cutting the barrel to 16.1"), but those are a bit more complex. If you have the means and desire to chopping off 2" of the barrel (and a crown job) and putting on a combo front sight/flash hider from Choate, you would be well rewarded.

The "early Minis" (that includes yours) are generally referred to as "pencil barrels". They have a bad rep from the AR crowd and all others not knowledgeable of Minis. they are a treasure and can be a fine shooter. And shooting them is the most fun you can have with your clothes on!!!

They are carbines, not sniper rifles. Just keep that in mind. 2 MOA should be acceptable. Much better, and you might be better satisfied with a bolt gun, but there are members here that get 1 MOA and better with a few tweaks.

I have two: a very early model 181 and a current 583. Both are wonderful, but different. Happily, they both handle the same mags and stocks. They both serve my needs and desires quite well.
 

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Thanks so much. I found the 6 inch LT in SS on Amazon for $149.00 and am ordering it.

I don't know any local gunsmiths that I'd trust with cutting down and crowning the barrel so I'll try the Acustrut and see how it goes. I'm going to post a pic of my mini tomorrow.

Oh and one of our members posted a pic of his with a Butler Creek folding stock. I have one of those and while it is cool looking with the stock folded, open it is, well, not a joy to shoot. I took a piece of black fuel line, cut it along the length and wrapped it over the top bar. It sure feels better than having that that piece of steel on my cheek. There are other options like foam rubber, heavy black tape etc., but it works just fine.

Edit: And jackrich, I've always wanted to go hog hunting. In Washington state there is no season nor limit because they are considered non-indigenous pests. I believe Texas or Oklahoma are the places to go. I'd take my 1936 Marlin 30-30.
 

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-How do you know which generation Mini one has. Mine is in SS and the barrel appears to be tapered, that is, thee is what can best best be described as a "ring" about midway down the barrel. It's very difficult to discern but it appears to be a taper point, or rather the barrel diameter is a bit smaller at that point. The serial number on mine is 185-68xxx.
as a 185 series your mini is definitely not a tapered barrel.

hmmm....does anyone else think this is a GB mini and the "ring" is the bayonet lug/sight?

don't GB's present some difficulty with struts? and if a strut is feasible, then the 2 clamp is the absolute way to go.

looks like your mini was made 89-90. here is a quick and rough estimate.

https://ruger.com/service/productHistory/RI-Mini14A.html
 

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I just took a pic and some measurements of the barrel of my Mini. The pencil is pointed at the ring. The measurement on the barrel forward of the ring with my dial caliper is 11 thousandths inch less than the measurement along the barrel aft of the ring.

I probably should have waited for comments on this before buying the Accustrut. Hopefully this difference does not cause a problem with fitment and function of the device. Oops, inverted pic..Not sure how that happened.

Mini barrell.JPG
 
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