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

Discussion in 'Mini-14 Forum' started by mod98ban, May 13, 2016.

  1. mod98ban

    mod98ban New Member

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    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.
     
  2. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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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.
     

  3. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member Supporter

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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.

    03
     
  4. stalkingbear

    stalkingbear Active Member

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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.
     
  5. Txhillbilly

    Txhillbilly Active Member

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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.
     
  6. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    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.
     
  7. mod98ban

    mod98ban New Member

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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.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2016
  8. COSteve

    COSteve New Member

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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).

    [​IMG]

    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?

    [​IMG]

    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.
     
  9. RJF22553

    RJF22553 Well-Known Member

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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.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. sandog

    sandog Member

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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.
     
  11. RJF22553

    RJF22553 Well-Known Member

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    It seems like a very nice rifle. I am embarrassed to say I have yet to put a single round down range with it yet, and I've had it since Christmas. Was going to zero it during the Mini shootfest I described in post #9, but Happy Hour and Dinner called, and then barn chores... My nephew left the next morning and I had to go work getting my other house ready for market.

    The Axis II XP I have came with their AccuTrigger and a Weaver scope. The AccuTrigger is probably a waste on me but every little bit helps, I guess. My nephew will inherit all my firearms, and I bounced the purchase off of him before I bought it. I'm a southpaw, and he is, too, and I asked him if he would prefer I get a lefty version and he said "no, I've grown accustomed to dealing with right-handed weapons, to include bolt guns". Kind of like me.

    Once I get my other house on the market, perhaps I'll have more time (and resources!) to do some shooting...
     
  12. mseric

    mseric New Member

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    I agree, 3-5 shots don't tell much with a rifle like the Mini that throws fliers like they do.

    How about a 20 round group at 100 yards.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. mod98ban

    mod98ban New Member

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    I'll shoot 50 rounds if that is what it takes to silence the critics, but like I do with all guns when shooting from the bench, I'll stop for a few minutes once the barrel starts to get to hot to keep my hand on. I do it with the AR, the M77 Mark II 7mm Remington Magnum, and any other rifle I shoot from the bench. It does no good to try to zero a scope with a hot barrel. All of my guns are used for hunting, so I want to know that they will shoot where the crosshairs are put. I don't shoot cheap ammo, and I handload everything I shoot, except .22 LR. You may not like what I'm doing, or how I'm doing it, and that is your choice, but at the same time I'm not telling anyone else how to do something, or not to do it.

    I don't understand why some of you are here, other than to try to act like know it all's, or bad mouth someone when they are doing something you don't like. After seeing some of the way people on here are acting like total jerks about many things, I think it's time for me to leave, and not come back. I would have thought that we all joined this forum, because we all like the Mini-14/30, but some are here to act like nothing more than big shot keyboard warriors. I'm out.:confused:
     
  14. mseric

    mseric New Member

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    WOW, were did that come from?
     
  15. hawkguy

    hawkguy Well-Known Member

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    the mini 14 is NOT "inaccurate" imo....but as others have said....NOT a precision rifle either. basically, "fish stories" and "mini haters" exist on either side for the mini platform.

    3, 5, 10, or 20 round groups.....who cares? CONSISTENCY is the KEY!

    i pushed my mini to a 2" shooter with factory ammo (mostly repeatable 5 round groups). i know what it can do. it can't out shoot most intermediate/upper level AR's. it can shoot with about every other auto loader i know of in its price range.

    its a good rifle imo....what else matters?
     
  16. mseric

    mseric New Member

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    Then why issue the Mini-Accuracy Challenge?:scared:

    Here,
    http://www.firearmstalk.com/forums/f95/riverrat68s-mini-shooting-challenge-66313/
     
  17. hawkguy

    hawkguy Well-Known Member

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  18. bamashooter68

    bamashooter68 Member

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    I have shot several 5 shot groups in one sitting with groups ranging from 1.25"-3". Its a 580 skinny barrel with accustrut, trigger job, 1911 buffers and quality handloads. it was a good shooter before I did anything to it. Its accurate enough in my opinion. Who cares if it doesnt shoot sub-moa.
     
  19. COSteve

    COSteve New Member

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    As I said in my post above, my Mini Ranch Rifle is MOBP at 200yds and that's perfect for me. In fact, with my recent trigger job, I'm now moving to the 300yd line. It will take practice to approach MOBP at 300yds but I'm determined to give it a go. We'll see if my old eyes can see that well to aim properly. (Good thing the pins are white or I'd never see them!! ;))
     
  20. therewolf

    therewolf New Member

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    Well, well, well, SINCE we're on the topic, might I interrupt this pissing contest/admiration

    club for the moments it takes to wonder why

    my mini-14 shoots 8" to the left at 100 yards? Yes, I adjusted the rear sight as far as it would

    go, didn't make a difference. It's been enthroned, as the Duke of Inaccuracy, in my safe for

    the past four years.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2016