Heavy barrel or not?

Discussion in 'Mini-14 Forum' started by kott, Nov 24, 2013.

  1. kott

    kott New Member

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    I just got to take my new Mini out for the first time and it performed basically like I expected. I had no problem hitting silhouettes and other metal targets at 100 meters and got about 1.5 - 2 inch groups at 50 meters standing with no support with iron sights with cheapest 55 grain ammo I could find. So, factor in human error and cheap ammo and the accuracy is really not nearly as bad as people make it out to be. Only thing, is I fired around 60 maybe 70 rounds in an hour, and the barrel was HOT - like, you could not touch it with out getting burned.

    Any body got any suggestions on how to reduce it? Like, some sort of heatsink or radiator? I was initially thinking about getting a heavy barrel but for the same price I could probably pick up a barrel strut, a gas block, and maybe even a cheap optic.

    Also, the way I figure if you cut your barrel, it has less mass and less contact with air so it would over heat faster? So, any suggestions if its really worth it, because even now its more and more noticeable with every magazine I went through that rounds would hit farther to the right and higher. And, how hot can it get before you have to worry about malfunctions or damage?

    Thanks :)
     
  2. MisterMcCool

    MisterMcCool Well-Known Member Supporter

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  3. hawkguy

    hawkguy Well-Known Member

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    same problem with my mini. barrel was smoking after about 50 rounds. my solution was a strut to act as a heat sink and it does pretty well imo. now my mini shoots pretty much the same on the 1st shot as it does the 100th. and yeah, people truly exaggerate the mini 14 as an inaccurate rifle....mine is pretty damn good shooter when i do my part.

    http://accu-strut.com/

    skip the heavy barrel imo. if you ever have to send it in for repair (like a FP break)...i have heard rumors (i don't know if the stories are 100% true) of them returning the guns to stock without owner permission and then you are out that $$$ on those mods.....:eek: its an advantage that the strut can come off with little or no evidence of it ever being there.

    if you get set on a new barrel, i would call ruger and get their policies on this before you pay the $$. that way you can hear it from them if this is true or not.

    i don't think you have to worry about damage, but you will see stringing for sure when the barrel reaches that scolding point.

    i guess everyone's experience may vary....but after i added my strut, the extreme heat build up was a thing of the past for my mini.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2013
  4. kott

    kott New Member

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    Thanks for the input. So, I am rather sure I will go the strut route at first. Now, it seems there are different manufacturers and all claim to do the same thing. From my research, it seems the accu strut is preferred by most people. Does yours actually cut your groups by 50-75%?

    Also, it appears they mount on the barrel and then the gas block, but what does it bolt into? :confused:
     
  5. therewolf

    therewolf New Member

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    The strut is the way to go...

    I'm a bigger guy, so I don't mind heavier barrels,

    but the mini is supposed to be a light, easy to

    carry rifle.
     
  6. hawkguy

    hawkguy Well-Known Member

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    the struts, regardless of brand, should all basically do the same thing. i prefer accu-strut because he was the original producer of the strut and he had a lot of expense testing it to prove it worked. also, IF your mini is stainless....accu-strut is the ONLY strut that matches the finish exactly.

    the strut will cut your groups 50-75% ONLY IF your mini is an older, thin barreled version.

    after my strut on my 580 series (tapered barrel) my overall groups shrunk .5 to 1" maybe....but i do not know how much of that was the strut or other adjustments i made at the time...the main benefit has been how much it cooled the barrel down during sustained shooting (and eliminating stringing). i didn't really test any of that as well as i should have. my overall feeling is that it did help my accuracy, but not as substantial as a 50% reduction in groups.

    look closely near the gas block. there is a set screw that secures it to the gas block. without this, the strut is pretty ineffective, as it will slip and move during recoil. accu-strut will provide you with a purple loctite to fix the strut to your barrel....you need to use this on the barrel clamps to make sure the strut doesn't slip.

    its easy...just basically a bolt/glue on number......remember if you have a new tapered barrel to attach the clamp slightly off (1" or so) from the gas block.

    http://accu-strut.com/pages/application guide.htm
     

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  7. kott

    kott New Member

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    Hm... sounds awesome! Yeah, mine is a 188-xxxx so it should be a huge improvement I gather, and inexpensive. Thanks again guys and I think I just might order one tonight! :)
     
  8. kott

    kott New Member

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    Actually good point there. I thought it was very easy to handle but my girlfriend was already struggling with it off the bench. Then again, if you are a 100 pound female youd probably have a hard time with any rifle aside from nice AR's :)
     
  9. nitestalker

    nitestalker New Member

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    Shooting a CF rifle at 60 meters is not a test for rifle accuracy or skill. Shooting 1.5" groups at 100 meters with a rifle barrel too hot to touch would need some convincing to an informed rifleman.
    It sounds like you could use some time with an experienced marksman.:)
     
  10. kott

    kott New Member

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    Of course its not a test, but its fun none the less. :)

    As for time with an experienced marksman, well, yeah... that probably would not hurt. However, I never had issues qualifying in the Army and it was rare that Id shoot below 36. I think the one thing I really NEED if Im going to shoot with iron sights is glasses. :)
     
  11. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    An Amega or Ultimak scout rail replaces the upper barrel cover and act as heat sinks while giving you a scope or red dot mounting area in front of the action. I had an Amega on a Mini 30 and it was a major improvement in accuracy. I have the Ultimak on order for my 580 series Mini 14. I had a 2.5x pistol scope mounted on the Mini 30 and it worked very well. Irons wont be affected by the rail.
     
  12. sandog

    sandog Member

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    Anything metal that you clamp to or around the pencil barrel will draw heat from the barrel and help accuracy at the same time. After installing the Accustrut, my groups were cut almost in half. I've now threaded my barrel and installed a flashider, and put on an Ultimak railed hand guard. The Ultimak, besides being a great place to mount a scout scope or red dot, and acting as a heat sink, also mounts very securely. The front end of the rail replaces the top of your gas block, and bolts to the lower part of the gas block. Back towards the receiver end, a clamp bolts around the barrel, securing that end. I would not be surprised if the Ultimak doesn't give another increase in accuracy.
     
  13. kott

    kott New Member

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    Oh man... so many ideas. Im right back to not knowing where to start :) I definitely think the strut is a must have, though.
     
  14. Mercator

    Mercator Active Member

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    You're asking of your Mini what it was not meant to do. It is not a benchrest rifle. It is for quick target acquisition and engagement. If you want maximum accuracy, allow it to cool between strings, maybe run a wet boresnake every now an then. If you shoot rapid fire, expect it to hit 1 Minute of Adversary and then need more cooling time. Be realistic.
     
  15. kott

    kott New Member

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    -_^ actually thats basically what I want. Id like to be able to get 4-ish inch groups at 200 meters because my eye sight limits me basically to that range... maybe 300 in perfectly lit conditions at best, but I dont really plan on shooting past that, really. Also, I am sure I did mention that the results I got was standing :) I kinda feel like bench is for testing and zeroing only and never shoot off of one for recreational purposes. Id just like to be able to go through a couple magazines back to back and not get burnt :)
     
  16. hawkguy

    hawkguy Well-Known Member

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    well, it sounds like you and your mini are capable of that. the accu-strut should help matters overall. your POI will likely shift significantly after the strut, but i can only imagine after you re-zero that the groups will get smaller and the barrel will stay quite a bit cooler after installing it.

    i'm only basing on my experience, but i know exactly what you mean....i would get SCOLDED by accidentally brushing against my barrel before my strut. now, i can touch the barrel after sustained (not rapid) fire....its still very hot, just not dangerous hot.

    its normally the mini guys with the thin barrels that get amazing results form the strut! (of course, it sounds like your thin barreled mini shoots better than most)
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2013
  17. hawkguy

    hawkguy Well-Known Member

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    oh.....and btw....check out the shooting challenge in the stickies. once you are finished tinkering with your mini.....give the shooting challenge a try and post your targets.....see if you can beat it! it sounds like you certainly could! :) there is also accurizing and reloading threads you are welcome to contribute to if you want to.

    and don't forget to post pics of your mini 14 in the gallery. :)
     
  18. kott

    kott New Member

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    Thanks for the support :) And, yeah, so far my mini makes me possibly the happiest any rifle ever did. :p

    The challenge sounds fun, though. If I got some extra money to burn this weekend I will definitely attempt it. Got to get stuff for New Years, though, like tickets and stuff. Bad timing, because only thing I want to do lately is tinker with my new toy and get more range time! haha. :)