Mini 14 accuracy

Discussion in 'General Rifle Discussion' started by shoez, Feb 5, 2008.

  1. shoez

    shoez Guest

    I have been thinking of getting a new Mini 14 in .223. I have read that the older models weren't all the accurate, with 3 or 4 inch groups being the norm. I have also read that the redesigned mini 14's are much more accurate than previous models. I am not looking for bolt gun type accuracy, but would still like to be able to shoot some reasonable groups. Does anyone have one of the new mini14's and what kind of accuracy are you getting? BTW, I do not use the cheap Russian and Chinese ammo, I handload, so I can tinker with the loads to get the most of it.
  2. pioneer461

    pioneer461 New Member

    My 10 year old Mini-14 is a good shooter, with moa accuracy at 75 yards. I've heard horror stories about Mini-14 inaccuracy and according to what I hear, mine seems to be an exception for one of the older guns. I've never actually shot one of the older inaccurate rifles, nor have I ever spoken to anyone who owns one of them. Could be an urban legend, or old wife's tales spread by gun shop commandos for all I know.

    The new Mini's are being marketed to give AR rifles some competition.


  3. hdfxrs91

    hdfxrs91 New Member

    My Mini-14 is 21 years old and it seemed to do OK by me. It has been a few years since I've fired it, though. I don't get enough range time anymore.
  4. tuckinauster

    tuckinauster New Member

    i havent shot my mini in awhile, but i would be confident in taking 200 yard shots with the iron sights. i really cant comment on any longer ranges though.
  5. slowryde45

    slowryde45 New Member

    what kind of accuracy...

    What kind of accuracy are you expecting? The main problem with the Mini-14 has mainly been the design (mainly barrel design). They have always used such a thin, lightweight barrel which is usually okay for the first couple of shots, but still nothing to brag about. As the barrel got hot, it had a tendency to basically whip around, throwing your shots off. Some have remedied this by adding a muzzle brake/flash hider or barrel stablizer to their guns, which basically stiffened the barrel action a bit, adding more accuracy.

    There are a couple companies who do complete Mini-14 make-overs, adding heavier barrels, stablizers, etc. After that, a good trigger job will help, too. It all depends on how much you want to spend to upgrade a Mini. The flip side would be, add up how much it would cost to upgrade to what you want it to be able to do...then compare that cost to an AR-15, which wouldn't cost that much more if any, but would offer you alot more flexibility to upgrade and accurize to some bolt-action accuracy.
  6. billt

    billt Active Member

    The main problem with the Mini 14 barrels is not the size. AR-15 barrels come in the same diameter or smaller and don't have the horrible inaccuracy issues that have always plagued the Ruger Mini 14. What causes the problems is the way the gas block is installed on the barrel itself. The method Ruger uses causes the barrel to be bent slightly, or else it induces so much stress on the barrel when it does get hot, bullet impact walks all over the place. Ruger has never addressed this. There solution was a Rube Goldberg sliding barrel weight. You can buy the same thing from Limbsaver for under $17:

    Instead of paying Ruger even more money for their "Target" version of the same dog with fleas. I like the design and looks of the Mini, I just can't deal with a $600+ dollar gun that is questionable to hit a softball at 100 yards. Bill T.
  7. shoez

    shoez Guest

    Thanks for all the info. I think I may stay away from the Mini 14 for now. There is probably a reason why my local shop has 6 used ones, and no new ones. I will probably go with a good bolt gun, probably Remington or Savage.
  8. Flint Rock

    Flint Rock New Member

    If you had an itch for a Mini 14,,,, a "good bolt gun" won't scratch it!!!!!!
  9. Dgunsmith

    Dgunsmith New Member

    Texas DPS dumped their Mini-14's because the troopers could not qualify @ 100 yards with them. No problem with the replacement Bushmaster AR's :D
  10. matt g

    matt g Guest

    California Department of Corrections loves the Mini 14. Accuracy really isn't an issue when quelling a prison riot.
  11. sterose

    sterose Guest

    mini 14 mounts and scopes

    I recently purchased my mini 14 and would like any sugestions on the best mounts and scope for this weapon, I have read the bolt slap is a factor for some mounts.
  12. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

    I didn't know you shot a mini-14 for groups. I thought you patterned it like a shotgun?
  13. Recon 173

    Recon 173 New Member

    "I didn't know you shot a mini-14 for groups. I thought you patterned it like a shotgun?"

    That's funny but very, very true. I've owned 3 of the Mini-14s over the years and I will NEVER own another one. I guess that a Mini-14 beats a rock from the ground but not by much. The Mini-14 was a good idea but not a reliably accurate one like an M-4 type carbine. And you know that Ruger has known about the accuracy problems for years and they STILL haven't fixed the problem. I can't believe that!! They would have cleaned up with an accurate, reliable rifle that was as compact as the Mini-14 but Ruger & Company blew it when it comes to consistent accuracy from a Mini-14. I can almost see where the Mini-14 could have surpassed the M-16 rifle if it had been done right in the very beginning. Sad. Real sad.
  14. stalkingbear

    stalkingbear Well-Known Member

    Now I realize that the Mini 14 I used to own wasn't exactly stock, but it DID produce EXCELLENT accuracy. I rebarreled, reworked, and modified the gas system on an Mini 14 YEARS back when I was going to gunsmithing trade school out west in the very early 80s. I installed a match grade blank and turned it down to heavy varmit weight made an adjustable gas port for it, totally reworked the trigger, as well as a few other goodies. It was my go to gun for yotes and prarie dogs within 400 yards. I cut my teeth on running game by jump shooting jack rabbits with that little rifle. My best friend eventually talked me out of it and I still miss it. The reason I'm posting this is Ruger Mini 14s CAN be finely accurate, but by the time you go to that trouble & expense, you could already have an VERY accurate AR. The reason I did it in the 1st place was the Mini 14 was practically given to me with a bad barrel.
  15. Gene L

    Gene L New Member

    The SO where I work issues them to patrol deputies. They're no tack-drivers, but are easy to shoot and are good enough for iron sights and deputies who don't shoot all the time. Our training is at 75 yards, and from a prone position, the deputies put all the rounds where they should be.

    It is what it is. An AR generally shoots rings around a Mini, but used to be, the Mini was about half the price of an AR, and perfectly adequate. The Mini (older ones) shoot 55 gr. bullets well, I don't know if Ruger has changed the twist lately for the new heavier ammo.

    I have never owned one, and since I have an AR and didn't want one, was never issued one. I've shot most of ours and I helped instruct deputies and get them sighted in, though. Never had any feeding problems except when they failed to seat the magazine (which is pretty easy to do and requires emphasis on training to prevent.) Shot some Wolf steel ammo, and it's nasty and causes rust in the gas system.

    Which is another area that needs attention! If you don't put a drop of oil on the piston, it's entirely likely it will rust against the cylinder and lock the rifle up. And you must kick the operating handle repeatedly and finally free the system, not something you want to happen in a defense situation. This happened with several of our rifles using Wolf ammo. I called Ruger and they told me to oil the piston, said they had the same problem with their rifles (not just with Wolf ammo). An unsatisfactory answer, but there it is. A SS gas system would be best.
  16. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

    The Mini-14 was described by a gun writer MANY years ago as the worlds most expensive plinker. For informal shooting the newer ones are pretty adequate. To expect 1.5 MOA accuracy is unreasonable. You MIGHT get lucky and find one that will shoot that well but it is highly unlikely. For what it is, it works pretty well. For a serious SHTF rifle, NO WAY IN HE!!.

    You can accurize one or get one of the factory bull barrel versions but it will not be any better than a decent AR and you will likely end up spending more than what an AR would cost. Mags are another issue entirely. While AR mags are plentiful and reliable. Mini-14 mags are scarce, expensive and (often times) unreliable.

    I too, went through a Mini-14 stage. In college, it was all I could afford. After going back to the factory 3 times, the third time it came back completely rebuilt on the same receiver, I traded it in on an AR-15. 2X the price and 3X the rifle.
  17. Laufer

    Laufer New Member

    You might check the regular Mini 14 forum at ''.
    That is the Mini website- it also has forums for SKS, bolt-action etc.
    It tells you something about Ruger Inc., that there is a forum dedicated to aftermarket magazine issues. Issues are not always clearly identified with the 14 or 30 or new 6.8.

    There are photos of NYC LEOs trying out some stainless/plastic 14s at a range.
    This familiarization with what the writer called "assault rifles" was in response to the mass murders in Mumbai, to prepare for terrorist cells.
    Germany and Italy had experience with this in the 70s and 80s, but maybe those lessons were long-forgotten. Baader-Meinhof, Rote Armee Faktion etc. linked with the IRA, PFLP etc.

    Why doesn't the police force find some AKs and let recent vets from Iraq/Afghan instruct them?
    If not, maybe the city bureaucracy does not permit this exposure to recent combat vets experienced with street, house-to-house fighting.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2009
  18. mrm14

    mrm14 Well-Known Member

    1-3/4 groups at 100 yards. Leupold VXI 2-7X30mm scope. Scope mounts that come with new gun. Also trigger job.
  19. Seanml89

    Seanml89 New Member

    The older mini-14's barrels are very thin, surprisingly thin. The newer ones however seem to have been greatly upgraded.