Range Report on New Mini

Discussion in 'Mini-14 Forum' started by TLuker, Dec 11, 2011.

  1. TLuker

    TLuker New Member

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    I tried my first mini today and for the most part I was really impressed. It’s a plain ranch with a Nikon 3x9 and it has the tapered barrel. I bought it used but only a few rounds had been fired through it. I did not go through my normal break in process for a new barrel because it had already been fired but I did break it in. I cleaned the barrel and fired three shots. Max shot distance was 2.8” (100yds with one flier). Then I cleaned the barrel with J-B bore cleaner and followed that with a normal cleaning. Max distance on next group was 1.78” – Point of impact also changed by about 2”. I cleaned after each three shot group and followed up with JB again after 9 shots. My final two groups were 1.4” and 1.6”.

    Observations:

    The barrel is the roughest I’ve ever seen on a new gun as far as copper fouling goes. I went through a lot of patches getting all the copper out but it’s settling in. I’m also not surprised by the fouling since it was designed to be a carbine and not a tack driver, and it’ll be fine after a little more cleaning and shooting. It’s almost there now.

    The balance of the gun is poor, which is not helping accuracy any, but again it’s a carbine. The muzzle really wants to rise but it’s not so much from the recoil as the balance. I don’t see this being an issue because there are a number of ways to fix this. Anything forward like a muzzle break or bipod will add weight forward and help balance it. I’m also guessing a new synthetic stock should take weight away from the rear and help balance it. It could be left as is and still make a great carbine but for my personal taste I want it balanced better.

    Accuracy was OUTSTANDING! I was a little worried after hearing so many different things about their accuracy, but groups are around 1.5” after only trying one box of cheap factory ammo in a stock rifle. Fouling was a problem to start with and was hurting accuracy but that was an easy fix. I have no doubt that this will be a sub MOA gun, and it’s a semi auto carbine! I couldn’t be happier with where it’s at on accuracy.

    Loading the 10 round magazine takes some getting used to as does the safety. A 20 round magazine will be much easier just because I’ll have something to hold onto, and the safety will be fine after I get used to it. The trigger also needs just a little work, but it was much better than I expected and I could live with where it’s at now.

    Most important of all, it performed flawlessly just like I expected it would. The stock factory mini needs some minor work for my taste, but I’ve got a great action to work around. This gun is definitely a keeper. :)


    Left is the first group, Middle is the group after cleaning with JB, Right are the last two groups after more JB and moving the scope left. I never adjusted for height (shows how much fowling and cleaning can change point of impact.)
     

    Attached Files:

  2. roscoguy

    roscoguy New Member

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    Yep, I'd say you've definitely got a keeper. Some fine shooting, too. Minis get a lot of bad-mouthing, but they're pretty darn good at what they were meant to do. :cool:
     

  3. hawkguy

    hawkguy Well-Known Member

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    looks like a great start. minis have plenty of practical accuracy, and with a bit of TLC, they can get better.

    some ideas:

    a strut might help with weight, balance, and barrel heating.

    front buffers will smooth things out

    shoot premium ammo or hand load

    polish contact areas on op rod and bolt

    torque and even gas block


    glad you're enjoying that mini! they are great, fun guns. oh, and great shooting!
     
  4. Clem

    Clem New Member

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    In addition to the above listed items, you might want to consider a smaller gas bushing. It will reduce the gas flow to the gas piston and reduce the bending generated in the barrel by the overly enthusiastic gas system.
     
  5. TLuker

    TLuker New Member

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    Adjustable Gas Block and Strut?

    That's next on the list. I was looking at the adjustable gas block but I was a little concerned about the adjustment bolt interfering with the strut (not a lot of clearance in there).

    So has anyone tried the adjustable gas block with a strut? :confused:
     
  6. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I had my older Mini 30 out today after installing a strut. I had some mixed results. Win White is not shooting very well. I guess the gun just does not like it. Silver Bear 125 grn soft point was giving me a nice 4 shot group and a flier, usually the 1st round. The Hornady steel case red tip is shooting about 6" higher and 3" right of the Silver Bear. Still 1st shot flier and next 4 nice group. Fliers are about 2" low and left. I retorqued the gas block last time out which helped. The store was out of the Silver Bear 122 grn HP so I got the 125 grn SP. I need to find some bullets and start loading. Anyone using Wolf in their Mini 30? Dont buy any Tula. I am going to give the barrel a thorough scrubbing before I go out again.
     
  7. Snakedriver

    Snakedriver New Member

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    You may want to look at getting a Mo-Rod. It makes a perfect place to mount a bipod. The folks the offer the Mo-Rod also have a combination muzzle brake and sight called the Mo-Reaper that you may want to look at for the end of the barrel.

    Here's what the front end of my Mini looks like with the Mo-Rod and bipod:
     

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  8. TLuker

    TLuker New Member

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    Mini.JPG

    I've got the accu strut and it helped. I'm shooting just under 1" groups at 100yds with Federal blue box FMJ. I'll probably add the Mo-Reaper at some point, but I want to change the gas port first. It's embarrasing to have to ask the people at the other end of the range to watch for flying brass.:D

    JTJ, I would guess that scrubbing will help with the fliers? Let us know if does.
     
  9. beaglesam

    beaglesam Active Member

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    When I shoot my mini I always look for the bench on the far right.
     
  10. Clem

    Clem New Member

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    Putting in a smaller gas bushing will also give it less enthusiastic ejection. I reduced my ejected case pattern from 25' right to 8 to 10'.

    Old and new Minis.
     

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  11. Byrdguy

    Byrdguy New Member

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    Where can one get the different sized gas block bushings?
     
  12. Viking

    Viking Active Member

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    Amen on the statement of overly enthusiastic, my was flinging brass at least 20 feet. I haven't had a chance to fire it since installing a smaller bushing as well as a rear buffer but it's got to be better than it was. From talking to others, they all are very pleased with just the bushing change.
     
  13. Viking

    Viking Active Member

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    Bought my bushing and buffer at Doc Holidays' Gun Shop in Grants Pass. I wouldn't guaranty that it would be that easy to find them in other gun shops, Doc's owners seem to be above the norm for good people with the wisdom to keep up with their customers needs.
     
  14. jackrich3

    jackrich3 Active Member Supporter

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    After buying a 581 tactical, I put on an ATI stock, Nikon scope, and bipod. I ended up with a 10.5 lb. carbine WITHOUT the 30 rnd clip. I painted the orig. stock in Aluma-Hyde OD green, installed a Tech-Sight peep, and a strut. I now have a 6.5 lb. carbine that is capable of 20 rnds in a 2' circle. I learned about the paint, strut, and peep on this website, alot of good info here. Oh yeah, and buffers from Dillon.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2012
  15. Bellum

    Bellum New Member

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    Nice.. =) Below is off one of my videos (live shots) @ 100 yards, straight out of the box (after cleaning of course).. The new mini's are great!

    [​IMG]
     
  16. hawkguy

    hawkguy Well-Known Member

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    whoa! you got a shooter on your hands! i wouldn't touch it myself. also, it takes a great rifleman to shoot that well.

    don't forget to put a pick of that beauty in the gallery!

    great shooting.
     
  17. Viking

    Viking Active Member

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    That's great shooting Bellum, I've had older Mini 14's that just couldn't do that. I had one I bought in the early 1990's that was very accurate. Stupidly traded it off for an automatic tranny for a car that the engine blew not too many miles later. Still haven't had time to really site in a mid 1990"s series yet but the gas bushing made a big difference as the brass only travels about ten feet now. The bushing is half way between factory and smallest aftermarket available.
     
  18. Bellum

    Bellum New Member

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    Thanks guys! I posted a pic in the gallery and a link to the video (someone asked for it) .

    I had an old 180, I think the best I could muster with that was 5MOA but it went bang every time! There's so much available now days to help with the old thin barrels, wish we had it back in the day =) ..

    --Rob
     
  19. TLuker

    TLuker New Member

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    It just doesn't get much better than that for any rifle. That's impressive period.
     
  20. Bellum

    Bellum New Member

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    Thanks.. I blame the 18 yrs in the Army lol :p .. I wish I could shoot a pistol though.. can't hit the broad side of a barn with my 9mm heh..

    --Rob