New owner checking in!

Discussion in 'Mini-14 Forum' started by California, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. California

    California New Member

    5
    0
    0
    Hi all,

    Like the thread title says I am a new mini-14 owner, and this is my first centerfire rifle. I picked up the stainless steel ranch version of the gun, and am particularly happy with it so far (about 300 rounds through the beast with nary a complaint from 'er).

    I've been doing some poking around here, and have come to the conclusion that I'm going to get some bushings from the gundoc, and potentially have him bed my receiver into the stock.

    Aside from that, I was wondering if the newer model mini-14s benefit from the accu-strut? I was under the impression that the change to the barrel helped eliminate the stringing problem the older variants had? Any insight there would be nice!
     
  2. hiwall

    hiwall Well-Known Member

    4,269
    22
    48
    How accurate is your rifle? From a solid rest and trying two or three different loads. And if you are a new shooter, let a proven experienced shooter try it from a rest. You may receive zero benefits from anything you do if your rifle is shooting fine as-is.
     

  3. hawkguy

    hawkguy Well-Known Member

    4,973
    49
    48
    i think, as said, finding out what accuracy you are getting & going from there is the best bet. remember, you probably didn't buy it for a target rifle & it likely never will be regardless of what you do. mini's really aren't MOA rifles & most feel they have a shooter if it consistently shoots 1.5-3" groups. of course, some shooters have gotten their mini's close to MOA, but that is like a lifetime acheivement....;)

    my 580 stainless ranch was a good shooter out of the box, 2.5-3" or so. a few fixes and my groups range between 1.5-2.5 @ 100 consistently with premium ammo. i'm plenty happy with that myself.

    one of my additions was the accu-strut and i am very satisfied with it. it helped the accuracy a bit (i was stupid not measure exactly how much). but one of the best results of of the accu-strut is heat reduction imo. my mini shoots just as well hot as cool (almost no stringing at all) & i would say that was the best improvement the accu-strut brought.

    i am also very happy with how good my accu-strut looks on my mini! ;) seriously, kevin at accu-strut nailed the stainless finish and it is a perfect match, looking like it was a factory part.

    i highly recommend accu-strut. its a good product for the mini 14.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Colby

    Colby New Member

    461
    0
    0
    You know... I am puzzled by the descriptions of this gun being not too accurate. If someone could please explain why and how this could be, I would really appreciate it.
    It seems to me that it is a Ruger with a 223 16 inch barrel - basically the same as the Ruger 223 with a 16 inch barrel mounted in their AR-15. Why would their AR-15 be more accurate than their M14 (mini-14) with basically the same barrel??
    Ruger makes guns of great quality and accuracy. Even their short barrel stuff is excellent. Why, then, would a 16 inch barrel not be so accurate --- and then another one of their 16 inch barrels be more accurate?? Their "micro-groove" barrels have come to be recognized as pretty good stuff.... Why would one be - and another not so much.

    If anyone can explain this physics phenomenon, I'd like to hear...

    I actually am suspecting that both guns are very accurate. Youtube reviews seem to indicate this, too.
     
  5. tri70

    tri70 New Member

    1,324
    0
    0
    Minis are very fun to shoot! A Gundoc trigger is a great mod to get if you get a package deal of bedding/trigger and save $$$. I have 2 minis with Gundoc triggers and it will impress you greatly over the factory trigger.
     
  6. hawkguy

    hawkguy Well-Known Member

    4,973
    49
    48
    regardless of what i said, i don't consider the mini 14 to be inaccurate. in fact i think mine is a great little shooter. i've been in many battles with posters who claim the mini is "inaccurate." there is practical accuracy (which the mini has), and target accuracy (MOA...which the mini doesn't normally have).

    i think too many people expect guns to shoot MOA these days. autoloading carbines are not generally known to be MOA guns despite many claims of it being so (by internet commandos mostly). shooting MOA consistently in like 5 shots groups in very difficult for gun and shooter, regardless of the firearm.

    i have an AR also. i think it is more accurate out of the box. after i tinkered with my mini, the difference isn't all that much. my mini and AR cost almost exactly the same. and you must also remember, often people are comparing heavy barrel $1500+ AR's to the mini.....not a fair comparison. but you must remember, the basic action of an AR is very different from the mini. both have advantages and disadvantages.

    the older minis got the platform its BAD rep for accuracy....and well earned....by all accounts, it seems some were very bad. but the newer minis imo will shoot with or out shoot almost every other auto loading carbine not named AR.

    i think many just get frustrated with ruger as well, for not taking time to refine the mini 14 into a better firearm. i mean the owners have done more to improve the gun than ruger ever has.

    also, i still think my mini handles and looks better than my AR. but this is just a preference vs thinking one is better than the other. accuracy isn't the only measuring stick of a quality firearm imo.

    remember, i'm no expert on this matter. just my opinions.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
  7. hawkguy

    hawkguy Well-Known Member

    4,973
    49
    48
    and california....once you get your mini set up as you want, don't forget to post some pics in the gallery and also check out out mini shooting challenge, which is open to any willing mini owner.
     
  8. California

    California New Member

    5
    0
    0
    I'm admittedly not a crack shot (something that will come with time, Lord willing), so I don't know how much it will really effect me at this stage of the game. I really did not enjoy the brass flying all over the place, which is why I think I'll find some sort of bushings to make things less crazy on that end of the weapon.

    I noticed that it got extremely hot the last time I was at the range, and it felt like it started to wander all over the paper. I was making some very sad looking groups at 50 yards + iron sights, but not sure if that was mostly the weapon or mostly me. I'm leaning towards me! Although, I do notice that the gas block is not at all evenly spaced. When I get the correct allen-wrench, I am going to back it out and tighten it correctly. It's got ~5mm of space difference between the sides. It's really, noticably, bad.

    As for accurizing, I was looking into doing something relatively low-impact and not as expensive as the barrel harmonics job, or buying some extreme barrel. Like you (and others) have said: this isn't going to be some sort of sub-MOA tack driver.

    I have a lot of fun firing the weapon as-is, my main goal is to just kinda clean it up a little bit. I enjoy minimalism on my weapons, so to keep it looking as stock as possible would be nice. Although I might swap into a laminated stock if the price (and feel) is right! :p

    Thanks for the welcome, and once I make the weapon mine I'll post an image. Right now I don't think anyone will be too impressed by a bone-stock rifle right out of the box! Your rifle is flat out pretty, Sir. I'm not a fan of the big, black, leaf blade front sight, but I'm also not in a hurry to spend dollars on some fancy fiber optic thing. I might end up going with a bead.

    I am seriously thinking about it getting the job-A part done. We'll see how Christmas treats me this year (broke, unemployed, college student). And I'll be taking her out to the range after finals are done with to see if I can't work on my groupings and let y'all know what sort of animal I've got locked up in my house!

    Edit one: replies
    Edit two: heaping superlatives onto Hawkguy
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
  9. hawkguy

    hawkguy Well-Known Member

    4,973
    49
    48
    time. money on ammo. repeat & you'll see your shooting improve. i never minded the brass flying into the next zip code myself, i figure the mini is the only gun that is dangerous both from the front and right side.:D

    the gas block being whacked is quite normal. first thing a mini owner should do out of box is even and tourque the gas block. i simply don't understand why ruger doesn't care enough to do this right.

    and yeah, my barrel was a scorcher before the accu-strut. it really cooled the barrel down imo.

    you've got the right idea. most start at bedding and trigger job. if you have time, test everything out before and after. these types of reports help us all.

    and it shouldn't cost an arm and leg to improve the accuracy to a respectable level.

    i hated the ruger synthetic stock personally. but i always prefer wood and steel myself. but i think almost any stock would have to be better than that plastic stock it comes on.

    yeah, the irons are somewhat course, but i find they work decently enough. i shoot with scope and red dot more than irons now.

    mo-reaper might be worth checking out.

    and thanks, i set up my mini just the way i want. its a great little shooter & just fun. as long as you're enjoying shooting that mini, then it was worth it. also remember, most minis seem to smooth out a bit after a few hundred rounds.
     
  10. California

    California New Member

    5
    0
    0
    I'll keep that in mind! I'm already having a blast with the weapon, and I can't help but smile a little bit after I put a mag in, pull the charging handle back, and let it go to make that wonderful sound.

    If only it went PING at the end of the magazine! :p
     
  11. Squawk

    Squawk New Member

    864
    0
    0
    Congrats OP on the new purchase.
     
  12. Commocarl

    Commocarl New Member

    159
    0
    0
    I sent my Mini to Gundoc, what can I say it it night and day from the rifle I sent him. I would say the biggest improvement was the trigger adjustment.

    If nothing else the best thing you can do, IMO, is getting the trigger to a sane 3lb or so pull.
     
  13. Colby

    Colby New Member

    461
    0
    0
    These types of discussion seems to be based on a confusing misunderstanding of the min-14 and the AR-15. And "bad rep" follows.

    All guns follow the Minute of Angle (MOA) rule. It's just a simple way of describing the trajectory of the bullet leaving the barrel - of any gun.
    So all guns are "MOA" guns. They all follow a trajectory that can be described in angles.

    As for the AR-15 and the Mini-14 that Ruger developed - there is a lot of history.
    The AR-15 was developed by the US Army to replace the .308 caliber (7.62 NATO) M-14 - which was a heavier rifle using heavier, larger cartridges. The Army wanted a lighter weight rifle shooting more compact rounds - for easier carry. They wanted the rifle lighter and specifically wanted aluminum frames and composites - which they got with the AR-15. And they got the much lighter and smaller .223 (5.56 NATO) round which could be carried in much larger quantities, etc. This was important battlefield stuff - lighter weight - carrying nearly twice as many rounds in the same weight bulk package as the .308 cartridge.

    But after all this AR-15 development and the gun proved very popular, Bill Ruger decided to adapt the fine shooting characteristics of the M-14 (remember - this was used as a sniper rifle, too) to that smaller, lighter weight, and very popular cartridge - the .223. Thus, he introduced the Mini-14. And he used composites here too - rather than the wood and steel of the old Army issued M-14. But there is nothing "mini" about it in terms of performance. He called it Mini-14 simply because it was not a .308 cartridge based M-14 but was based on the highly successful AR-15 but smaller round - the .223. That is what made it "mini" - the smaller round.

    The AR-15, by it's design, was much more adaptable to change and "add-ons" - which continues today - with panels and picatinny rails, etc. But accuracy - both these guns have the same basic barrel and barrel length (actually both guns have had a variety of barrel lengths but have kind of settled into 16 inch carbine type lengths) and shoot the same .223 cartridge. They are both very accurate.

    If someone chooses to shoot a "heavy" version of an AR-15 type gun as a target gun - that is fine - for a heavy target base gun. And he can do that. But weight for weight (same weight versions of these two guns) - hand held - both guns have the same potential - 16 inch barrels shooting the same cartridge.

    The AR-15 was not originally designed as a heavy target gun - but actually the opposite - a lightweight gun. So these heavy target AR-15 builds may give better performance - because they are heavy target platforms - but that is not what an AR-15 was about - - and it not a reason to down-play a Mini-14 performance.

    This lightweight stuff is kind of funny when you hear guys complain about not liking or refusing to have anything to do with polymer or aluminum frame guns - usually pistol talk - this is. Because the AR-15 was specifically designed around the use of as much aluminum and "plastic" as possible to lighten the Army's field rifle - aluminum frames and receivers and "plastic" stocks, etc. And these guns were rugged. And these guys usually completely defend the AR-15 - because they own them, perhaps. But they put down pistols unmercilessly, that are not "steel" - because "plastic and aluminum make terrible guns...".
    ---- Not really - since Vietnam - that's what has been the primary gun materials in the much admired AR-15.

    MOA (minute of angle) simply describes the characteristic trajectory drop of the bullet (out of any gun) in terms of angles rather than distance. The angles are broken down into minutes of degrees - i.e 1/60 of a degree is one minute. The angle (in minutes of degrees) of drop for a particular gun and cartridge load is then converted to distance drop by applying the distance from the shooter to the target to the gun's characteristic trajectory - with that known projectile load.

    That Mini-14 you have is a fine gun with great accuracy potential - as great an accuracy as the shooter is able to control - as is the case with most guns.

    I do not own either of these guns. But I am beginning to lean towards a purchase of a Mini-14 because performance is great and I like the looks of a traditional rifle better than that of a "machine gun" look. But that's just me...
    The .223 is, by far, the cheapest modern rifle cartridge to shoot - if much practice is planned --- ignoring the Mosin Nagant 7.62 and the most obvious and truly cheapest --- the .22LR.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2012
  14. California

    California New Member

    5
    0
    0
    Thank you sir. Nice M&P in your avatar!

    I don't think anyone is arguing about it here, and you're probably preaching to the choir--me especially considering I have already bought and plan to customize (in my own manner) my mini!
     
  15. hawkguy

    hawkguy Well-Known Member

    4,973
    49
    48
    of course you are right....BUT.....related to shooting MOA is an accuracy standard set for guns as well. this why some guns may promise MOA/SUB MOA out of the box. and why scopes are set in MOA clicks.

    an MOA gun by most shooter's definition is one which can group apx 1 inch at 100 yards, 2" at 200 yards, etc. the mini 14 IS NOT an MOA gun out of the box....doubt me? well, but one and find out.

    its ok, though. many guns are not MOA out of the box, including some ARs. and then you have to be an MOA shooter as well, which ain't easy. i'm sorry but, "all guns are MOA" simply isn't correct..



    you are completely ignoring the fact that they are two entirely different operating systems. the tighter tolerences of of the AR make it more accurate in general than any other auto loader. but often, in practical terms the difference could be an inch or less.

    the same reason the AR is more accurate, also creates other problems, like the AR dumping on its action with every shot. every gun is different.

    there is a reason AR's are the choice for many competition shooter? not many mini 14's competing there.

    again, i think you are ignoring how different these guns are and you are only focused on the cartridge and the barrel....which is really the only thing the AR aand mini have in common.



    if every one hates plastic pistols, how has the glock become so dang popular? :p

    correct. but what it means to shooting is about 1 inch at 100 yards.

    ok, but an out of box mini needs a bit of work to bring out its best. if you doubt me, buy one and find out. i love my mini, but it is what it is. check the stickies in this forum related to making a mini shoot better. they were made by a guy who has forgotten more then we'll ever know about minis.

    ahhh...but you see... i DO own both guns. i have shot them side by side several times. what i am telling you is generally accepted by virtually every mini owner, most of whom love this little gun.

    get that mini....you won't regret it. i love mine, even more than my AR.

    be sure and let us know when you get it. post pics, tell us about it...and give our shooting challenge a go as well. good fun! :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2012
  16. hawkguy

    hawkguy Well-Known Member

    4,973
    49
    48
    amen! we love those mini guns around here! :)
     
  17. Colby

    Colby New Member

    461
    0
    0
    Hey Hawkguy,
    Thanks for the stuff!
    We could talk on and on, I'm thinking.
    I appreciate your input - and you obviously know more particulars about the two guns - you own them both - as you said!

    I didn't mean to imply that most people don't like plastic guns. I was just referring to the vocal ones that like to make a huge issue of it --- as if nothing is good enough if not steel... The logic just escapes me (or the lack of logic). Of all the shooters out there -- I'm sure their numbers are small...
     
  18. tri70

    tri70 New Member

    1,324
    0
    0
    A lot of us mini owners will use aluminium strut clamps or UTG rails that also work as a heat sink. I think this would cause problems with the AR variant rifles as the aluminium receiver could warp as it gets warm in extended firing. I know many have no issues, I don't own an AR but like the minis, you hear all kinds of rumors on the net.
     
  19. hawkguy

    hawkguy Well-Known Member

    4,973
    49
    48
    hey, we all know opinions are like....well, we all have them..:D

    like i said, friend....i'm not an expert, but i do try to listen to them when i get a chance. :) guys like tri, steve, masterp, gundoc and others could teach you a lot about these little mini guns, and are twice as helpful as anyone at ruger CS will be.

    hope you get that mini. like i said, i doubt you'll regret it. i like the action of the mini so much. and i also tend to prefer traditional rifle set ups. the AR is fun, but the mini is still king in my gun case.

    thanks for the discussion and keep it up. we need more posting in this near dead mini forum. :(
     
  20. California

    California New Member

    5
    0
    0
    Hey Hawkguy, is that a stock, well, stock on your mini? I have been poking around for a wooden stock (because the stainless + wood look you rock is sweet), but I don't know if I want to pay full-retail for just a factory replacement + the mounting hardware.