Ruger mini 14 accuracy: GOOD ENOUGH

Discussion in 'Mini-14 Forum' started by hawkguy, Nov 19, 2011.

  1. hawkguy

    hawkguy Well-Known Member

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    i started this thread to combat what i perceive as myths regarding mini 14 accuracy.

    the truth is, i almost didn't buy a mini 14 after researching the rifle. i would come across examples posters had written all over the web, saying things like "don't bother to scope a mini, you can't even hit a can at 100 yards." or claiming 6" + groups from their minis. and of course "if you want to accurize it, it will cost you $800." and of course the ever famous, "buy an AR." well, i didn't want an AR....still not very interested in them (just a preference).

    from my perspective these posts are either made by a small groups of individuals who got a lemon & continue to post over & over, or those who, for whatever reason...hate the firearm.

    i'm hoping someone interested in the mini 14 comes accross my post. the mini 14 isn't a perfect rifle, but it is a fine alternative to an AR, and the accuracy is definately "good enough."

    my mini is about a 2" shooter. i have no problems hitting what i am for. the only mod i have made is a strut & some minor tinkering. about a $100 bucks invested, not the $800 i keep hearing about.

    here's how my 580 series shoots. only mod accustrut and a few cheap fixes.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2011
  2. hawkguy

    hawkguy Well-Known Member

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    steve's mini 14 challenge

    here is the 2" challenge a poster gave us at another mini 14 site. the challenge was to put 20 shots inside of 2" with a mini 14 at 100 yards. here is my personal best, 17 of 20. another poster there placed 25 of 25 in 2" on another challenge. using handloads and other mods & techniques, we have many posters knocking on the door of MOA with their mini 14s.

    when i first started, i admit my groups were worse. 3-4" probably. but my mini continues to shoot better as it breaks in. and a few simple mods like the ones master p's posts will get your mini shooting. its fun to tinker, and it doesn't cost that much money, if you research and invest the mods that work best.

    and i have no idea about that one shot in another zip code! :confused: but most people claim groups of 3 for their accuracy. this one is 20, with 17 finding the mark. i'd say that is pretty consistant.

    again, not a tack driver or competiton rifle...but you can't hit beer cans at 100? really? 6 inch groups?
     

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    Last edited: Nov 19, 2011

  3. hawkguy

    hawkguy Well-Known Member

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    can't hit beer cans?

    well, i know my mini can hit a can at 100 yards! i admit, i probably shouldn't have, but after a group left at my range, i set up some "alternative" targets at my range.

    blasted the first apple offhand with my red dot at 25 yards. then i walked out to 100 and set up a small melon & another apple. set up the redfield and..

    i hit all the fruit on the first shot. think i can't hit a beer can at 100? i destroyed the apple at 100 on the first shot (nothing left to take a pic of)!

    bottom line: unless you are obsessed with pinpoint accuracy (competition shooter), you will be plenty happy with the mini 14 accuracy. it will hit what you are aiming for, provided your goal isn't hitting a bottle cap at 100 yards. its a handy little carbine with good practical accuracy.
     

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  4. hawkguy

    hawkguy Well-Known Member

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    post your experiences with mini accuracy...good or bad....and what you have done to help it shoot better. no bashing or over glorifying please....just honest results.

    here's mine (you've seen it before in the gallery) with my millet SP1 red dot (got this one used for $25...new they are about $75....a great scope for
    the $). it also wears a redfield revolution 2-7 which is a GREAT little scope for the mini imo.

    the only mods are accu-strut ($90), even and tourqe gas block (free), rear buffer (near free), and a change to a wood stock (about $50 total) and choate handguard ($15), but really the last two were just aesthetic changes. thinking about bedding, but i am happy with how it shoots, i'm kinda scared to mess with it anymore :rolleyes:.
     

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  5. Snakedriver

    Snakedriver New Member

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    If I'm not wrong, the mil-spec. for accuracy in a service rifle is 3 MOA.

    That said, a Mini-14 was never designed to be a "target" rifle. It does its intended job very well in my experience.

    I have an old skinny barrel 183-series that I bought new back in the early 80's that shoots good and hits what I shoot at.

    Here's a target I shot at 100-yards using a 30-round mag. with standard factory 55-grain fmj's, firing at a fast pace and using only iron sights. Some might say it's moment of bad guy and I'm fine with that.
     

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  6. trip286

    trip286 New Member

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    What is the verdict on the newer ones? I heard that the older ones were more accurate, then they made some with a much thinner barrel that was all over the place, and then the newest ones on the shelf now are from Ruger trying to remedy that problem with a switch to a thicker and more accurate barrel.

    So what's up?
     
  7. Snakedriver

    Snakedriver New Member

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    Mine sports Mo-rod with a bipod by the way. I haven't ever done anything to the internal parts. It goes bang every single time I pull the trigger. I can't remember ever having a jam after thousands of rounds. I have around $400 in the gun as it sits. :cool:
     

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  8. Firearms4ever

    Firearms4ever New Member

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  9. hawkguy

    hawkguy Well-Known Member

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    ALSO: use good ammo

    the mini is normally a finicky beast when it comes to ammo. i think many people get upset because they buy the bargin basement plinking ammo & then expect MOA. the targets i shot were using premium match ammo, i don't get those results using cheap plinking ammo myself. and those who hand load seem to be able to pull the best accuracy out of a mini.

    to me, lack of accuracy is not a reason to avoid the mini. its as accurate (or more so), than most any autoloader in its class (exception AR) imo, the only reason to avoid a mini is because of ruger, but again that's just mo.
     
  10. hawkguy

    hawkguy Well-Known Member

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    that's really good imo for iron sights and fmj at 100 yards. for irons, i'm only good to about 50 myself. my eyes have never been good enough with irons at 100. good shooting!
     
  11. hawkguy

    hawkguy Well-Known Member

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    from the little i know about this, all the models before 580 had a thin barrel. of these old ones, they were "hit or miss" so to speak, in the accuracy department. some claiming MOA, some saying they couldn't hit paper at 100 yards.

    ruger re-tooled the mini with the 580 and began using the thicker, tapered barrels. most seem to think accuracy improved, but many think the craftsmanship actually became poorer....

    so from what i have come to understand, the older models are better known for craftsmanship & durability...but questionable on accuracy (however, a simple strut is proven to cut groups 50-75%).

    the newer models are more accurate out of the box. however, there have been function issues in some runs (tacticals seems to pop up as problems more than the ranch rifles). and the finish is often rough and unattractive.

    someone might have other thoughts?
     
  12. OzarkRecluse

    OzarkRecluse New Member

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    The Mo-Rod really helps tighten up your groups. One of the best mods you can do for the older Mini's like mine.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. hawkguy

    hawkguy Well-Known Member

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    great looking mini! i went with accu-strut for two reasons: it was the orginal, and the stainless match is perfect. but i think both the accu-strut and mo-rod look great. as far as strut performance goes, i think they all the struts do the same thing. i agree a strut is a great investment, especially on the thinner barrels.

    if i got another mini in blue, i think i would probably go with the mo-rod/reaper combo. looks really great!
     
  14. GunDoc

    GunDoc New Member

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    As one of the guys who's accurized untold numbers of Minis I can state that they can be tackdrivers if I do my part and the shooter does theirs. And for well under $800. If your mini shoots decent now, try bedding it and a trigger job, both jobs that I have free videos for on my website. Those little touches can make a big difference even to a good shooting Mini.
     
  15. hawkguy

    hawkguy Well-Known Member

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    good advice, gundoc!

    i feel my trigger broke in decently, and considering the accuracy i am already getting, i have delayed on bedding the stock.

    but everyone who has a mini SHOULD know, you're THE man when it comes to the mini 14. keep that great advice coming & thanks for the free videos.
     
  16. jyo

    jyo New Member

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    It's been pointed out that the Mini 14 is not a target rifle---I believe that most objects (or bad guys) out to say, 300 yards or more would be in extreme danger. Good enough for me!
     
  17. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    hawkguy, do these mods work on the mini thirty too? i had a chance a couple of months ago to shoot a friends mini thirty and found that i might buy one if it come along at the right price. my reason for the mini thirty over the mini 14 is that i already have an AR in 223, so i would like something different. BTW, we got 1.5" groups out of it at 100 yards.
     
  18. plumbernater

    plumbernater New Member

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    [​IMG] Mine has the Mo Rod and the Mo Reaper. Before I put these on she hit what I shot at unless I fire alot of rounds fast , then the groups would open up. After installing the rod and reaper the groups stay tight. I dont shot fast like I use to when I was younger. Mine is a old 181 and I still use open sights.[​IMG]
     
  19. TLuker

    TLuker Active Member

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    Mini 14 Accuracy

    Like most people, I always try to get any new gun dialed in and shooting its best. I’ve started dialing my mini with the same process I normally do on any new gun and that’s breaking in the barrel and trying different ammo. With the mini I’m also planning to try some of the things posted by others here like things listed in “Tips on Accurizing the Mini”. At this point though, all the accurizing tips I’m planning are just to see how good this gun can actually shoot. In terms of practical accuracy, this gun is there and I haven’t done anything other than add a scope, break in the barrel, and try two types of cheap ammo. My last group at the range today was 1.156” at 100 yds. with Federal Bulk ammo. I’m sure there are mini’s that don’t shoot well just like there are lemons in all guns, but mine has proved to much more accurate than I ever expected. So I’ve got to agree with Hawkguy and everyone else here that reports of the mini’s not being accurate seem to be exaggerated, at least with the newer ones with the tapered barrel. Again, the accuracy tips I'm going to try next are to see just how good this gun can actually shoot. My groups are almost the size of a dime now, and it's still stock and I'm shooting cheap ammo!!! :)
     

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  20. AimHigh

    AimHigh New Member

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Don't know if it's too late to post on this. The pictures were from a "gun and range report" I did on another forum. The target was shot at 60 yards while sighting in the Millet red dot. I used a front sand bag rest only from a solid bench. The only holes worth looking at were the last 6 to hit the "shoot'n see" target. The one at 12 o'clock was a called flyer. The holes of the paper target were from the sight-in process. The red dot sight on the red dot target didn't help much but I'm happy with it.

    The Mini is a 580 series "skinny barrel" I got at Walmart. I added an Accu-strut and and ASI adjustable gas block. It's a keeper!