Mini-14 - Practical Accuracy?


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wlewisiii
February 27, 2010, 07:25 PM
Ok, I'm considering a Mini-14. I've read all kinds of things about how it's so inaccurate. How accurate is accurate?

Can it shoot a minute of paper plate? As in, can you keep all the shots in a mag on a paper plate at 100 yards? That's my real world test as a white tail deer's kill zone can be visualized quite well that way.

Thanks,

William

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jimmyraythomason
February 27, 2010, 07:28 PM
A Mini is plenty accurate for hunting. All versions.

kayaknjames
February 27, 2010, 07:32 PM
I have 2, and a paper plate is no problem. If you buy a mini with the understanding it will shoot just fine for hunting, but not so good as showing off at the range you will be very happy. I shoot 55 grain by any manufactuer. Never fails to feed, and handles great

wlewisiii
February 27, 2010, 07:41 PM
Ok, that's basically what I wanted to clarify. If I want a tack driver, that's a very different kind of firearm and I'll expect to pay appropriately. That's not what I'm looking for in a Mini-14, so thank you for the information.

William

X - Man
February 27, 2010, 08:01 PM
One needs to keep in mind that the Mini has been produced over a number of years, and there can be variations of performance between the different series. One of the changes has been to the rate of barrel twist; there have been 1:10, 1:7, and 1:9. Each version has its own liking for ammo. Matching the ammo to barrel twist is important in order to maximize its performance.

The newer models have been reported to do well out of the box. The older models tend to need a bit of homegrown TLC. Make a couple of modifications and the older models will shoot quite well.

XxM0nEyMaKeRxX
February 27, 2010, 08:05 PM
Are you really going to hunt deer with it?

wlewisiii
February 27, 2010, 08:12 PM
With a .223? Of course not, I don't consider that an acceptable deer cartridge. That said, the nine inch paper plate still makes a good practical base line of accuracy. If I can put 20 rounds into 9" at 100 yards, it's good enough for any purpose a .223 is suitable for.

When I am chasing Bambi, I'll have my Mauser 93 and some nice 175 grain soft point 7x57 along ;)

William

jimmyraythomason
February 27, 2010, 08:14 PM
62-75 grain soft point ammo makes a very good bambi buster.

timfromohio
February 27, 2010, 08:22 PM
I about to "pull the trigger" on purchasing a new Mini-14 from CDNN sports - they have excellent prices on all variations. As far as accuracy goes, everything I've read (no I have not shot one) indicates that the newer 580 series are improved over the older 180 series and that they can be 2MOA or so at 100 yards with appropriate ammo. I recommend reviewing the many threads on THR as well as an article on www.gunblast.com.

frankiestoys
February 27, 2010, 09:02 PM
I guess the reason i keep getting into these, is that i have a true love for the little Ruger .:)
Ive owned my little ss 580 series carbine for a couple of years and i have come across all too many mini 14 vs this,or that .The truth is as we all know the mini 14 wasn't built to be a tack driver ,if it was, it failed horribly! What the mini does offer is a rock solid platform ,eats just about any ammo, and accurate enough to get the job done as well as a nostalgic look.
Theres been several debates here on THR ,please check them out,:banghead: theres lots of other great info to , check out the perfectunion site. Heres a couple of old targets i posted last year in a previous thread . Ive seen a couple of guys out shoot me and ive fired slightly better on my last shoot (sorry no pics).I really can't speak for the older model im sure some of the poor accuracy claims are true but Ruger
reworked there little mini and the improvements may not have turned this thing into a driver but what i will guarantee is that ive never seen one not go bang!

HOLY DIVER
February 27, 2010, 09:36 PM
i have one of the new MINI 14'S in 6.8 spc i'm yet to shoot it guess i need to.....might do that tomorrow

W.E.G.
February 27, 2010, 09:41 PM
Oh joy.

The Mini-14 accuracy thread.
http://thehighroad.org/search.php?searchid=7170141

TexasPatriot.308
February 27, 2010, 09:47 PM
I have owned minis for years, long time ago tried all kinds of quality scopes and few good results but I still love them. I gave a buddy of mine a series 180 that I only shot open sight with and he shoots 2" groups with it using a Leupold. I got me a new tactical 14 and I kill big hogs with it all the tiime, I keep hearing from people that the .223 is not a deer round, but that is their opinion and we all know about opinions. when I was a kid, most of my friends took their deer with .222s, including big South Texas deer. I kill hogs in excess of #200 with a .223 I guess I keep forgetting the so callled "experts" say it aint a suitable round, I dont pay attention to those experts. they must actually believe what they read. I kill big hogs with a .17 hmr, we are overrun with them, they are a big problem here in this part of Texas. the .223 will do the job, do yours and you will be surprised.:evil:

Welding Rod
February 27, 2010, 09:55 PM
In my very limited experience accuracy with a newer model from a cold bore is quite decent. Probably 1.25 MOA with match ammo.

However like all light barreled Rugers I have shot, the barrel starts walking pretty severely after a couple of shots. Mine would do 5 shots (match ammo) at about 1.5 - 1.75 MOA. Continued shooting will open it up more.

Something I have noticed is that the POI changes more when changing loads with the Mini than with any other gun I can remember shooting. POI change might be 4-6 inches from one load to another.

Unfortunately, after getting used to AR accuracy, the above results didn't sit too well with me and I sold it.

Picher
February 28, 2010, 08:23 AM
"62-75 grain soft point ammo makes a very good bambi buster."

Maybe, maybe not. What if Bambi's "Uncle Buck" comes along?

X-Rap
February 28, 2010, 09:26 AM
It seems that if you have one and keep it they are the best, or you get rid of it and you don't feel that way to much.
If good hunting accuracy for you is keeping it in a paper plate you will probably be fine with the newer Mini's.

Redneck with a 40
February 28, 2010, 10:00 AM
My best group out of my 580 series Mini-14 was 2 inches at 100 yards, Winchester 5.56 nato round, 5 shot group. My handload's deliver 2.5 inches on a consistent basis, with the Hornady 55 grain spire point soft point, a bulk bullet.:) As far as accuracy with a hot barrel, mine has never opened up more than a 3 inch group.

Marty.Jones
February 28, 2010, 11:48 AM
I'm new to rifles. I used to shoot some when I was younger, but not that much. I did a lot of research and chose the mini-14. I bought a used 580 series and added a new ATI stock and a BSA Sweet .223 scope. I've found a good price at Wal-mart on Federal bulk 100 round box 55 grain, $40. Here are some pics and a target I just shot at 100 yards:
http://i889.photobucket.com/albums/ac92/someyoungguy_tgo/th_DSCN0130.jpg (http://s889.photobucket.com/albums/ac92/someyoungguy_tgo/?action=view&current=DSCN0130.jpg)

http://i889.photobucket.com/albums/ac92/someyoungguy_tgo/th_DSCN1206.jpg (http://s889.photobucket.com/albums/ac92/someyoungguy_tgo/?action=view&current=DSCN1206.jpg)

http://i889.photobucket.com/albums/ac92/someyoungguy_tgo/th_tgoavatar.jpg (http://s889.photobucket.com/albums/ac92/someyoungguy_tgo/?action=view&current=tgoavatar.jpg)

http://i889.photobucket.com/albums/ac92/someyoungguy_tgo/th_DSCN1449.jpg (http://s889.photobucket.com/albums/ac92/someyoungguy_tgo/?action=view&current=DSCN1449.jpg)

Boba Fett
February 28, 2010, 12:23 PM
Check the Mini-14 vs AR-15 accuracy challenge:


http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=485140


Should give you some idea of the accuracy.

Art Eatman
February 28, 2010, 12:23 PM
I've had four Minis; all early versions. With a K4 on top, I could reliably put the first three shots into 1.5 MOA. That's plenty good for hunting coyotes or jackrabbbits.

I'd guesstimate that the first shot from a cold barrel was always within an inch or so of the first shot of a week or month before.

I never worried about groups on paper after getting sighted in or "just checking". That's not why I bought the thing.

They all did what I wanted, and for all practical purposes, just as good as any other "first shot or two" rifles. That's not a regime where half-MOA means anything much.

targshooter
February 28, 2010, 02:02 PM
I own two stainless steel Series 580 Mini-14s and one Series 581 Tactical (blued). I shoot these rifles mostly at 200 yards. With cold and warm barrels, the Series 580 rifles yield 2 (wood stock) and 3 (synthetic stock) MOA. The synthetic stocked Series 580 rifle shifts its POI to the right about 2 MOA and opens up to about 4 MOA when the barrel is hot. The wood stocked Series 580 I own does not shift laterally, but it does open the groups to about 4 MOA when the barrel gets hot. The new Series 581 Tactical is the real winner. The front sight has flared protective wings so there is less sight clutter, the heavier barrel seems more accurate and is far less effected by heating up than the previous Series rifles. This rifle delivers 2 MOA until the barrel gets quite hot, it then opens to 3 MOA with no shift in POI. The barrel accuracy and behavior are the same as my M4. If my Mini-14 Tactical (conventional stock and flash suppressor) is representative of the breed, I would certainly use it for coyotes and such to 200 yards. Mine is accurate enough that 300 meter offhand shooting is meaningful.

jimmyraythomason
February 28, 2010, 02:40 PM
Maybe, maybe not. What if Bambi's "Uncle Buck" comes along? Still capable of a clean kill.

The Lone Haranguer
February 28, 2010, 02:43 PM
Can it shoot a minute of paper plate? As in, can you keep all the shots in a mag on a paper plate at 100 yards?
It has plenty of accuracy for that.

elmerfudd
February 28, 2010, 03:09 PM
That said, the nine inch paper plate still makes a good practical base line of accuracy. If I can put 20 rounds into 9" at 100 yards, it's good enough for any purpose a .223 is suitable for.

If that's your base line, then I foresee that you will almost always be satisfied with the accuracy of whatever gun you buy.

I think I've only had one rifle in my life that wouldn't group 9" at 100 yards and that was a thoroughly shot out Mosin Nagant that I paid something like $30 for.

Seriously, even the cruddiest Romanian AK using iron sights and the cheapest steel cased ammo available will reliably shoot 9" groups at 100 yards.

OrangePwrx9
February 28, 2010, 04:44 PM
Practical accuracy, when shot offhand, is quite good with my old 187 series. Seems to do surprisingly well on moving targets as well...though I can't quantify that for you. It's easy to get hits with it when shot offhand. This might lead one to expect something quite good from the bench. Unfortunately 2 to 3 MOA is about the best I've seen.

I think the reciprocating mass of the bolt has a lot to do with it. Things start moving before the bullet's left the barrel; that upsets aim a small amount. With the gun benched and on bags, it's more prone to move or bounce a bit. Shooting offhand, movement induced by the action cycling is controlled better so the thing starts to shine.....at least that's my theory.
Bob

OrangePwrx9
February 28, 2010, 04:48 PM
Elmer, cruddy iron-sighted AKs shooting cheap steel-cased ammo are nothing to laugh at. ;)

elmerfudd
February 28, 2010, 07:28 PM
You don't need to tell me that. I love AK's enough that I've accumulated 7 of them, including 2 Romanian guns and the only one I wouldn't count on to shoot groups smaller than 9" is the Saiga12. Who knows though, maybe with slugs and an optic it might too.

It just seems to me that the OP has set his sights rather low. Virtually every rifle made should easily shoot 9 MOA.

Vicious-Peanut
February 28, 2010, 07:40 PM
No way! They suck, most of them cant even hit the berm at the range.



Now, ask mine. It shoots 2 moa without issue.

dom1104
February 28, 2010, 08:28 PM
good gosh people.

The regularity in which the same thread comes up again and again.

The accuracy of the mini-14 is in question ok? Its hit or miss. People may have their theories, but the proof is in the pudding.

"Practical accuracy" is an excuse term. A rifle is either accurate or it isnt.

"Offhand accuracy" is even more silly.

As a machine, is it capable? Can it shoot as well or better than other rifles in its class? Does it have some sort of redeeming value outside of its accuracy?

These are the questions that must be asked.

LeontheProfessional
February 28, 2010, 08:36 PM
The models made from late 2008 to present are much more accurate than the older models. I purchased mine in April it has been plenty accurate. This rifle will shoot <2MOA all day and that is without any mods.
http://i843.photobucket.com/albums/zz360/lukedrylie/Gun%20Stuff/100_0240.jpg

jimmyraythomason
February 28, 2010, 09:20 PM
These are the questions that must be asked. Mine only has to please me. No other questions are necessary.

TexasPatriot.308
February 28, 2010, 09:42 PM
no matter what others think, I love my minis. both the 14 and 30 , but the mini 14 is very dear to me even though I got ARs and AKs.:D

GunTech
March 1, 2010, 12:56 PM
I was very sour on minis after owning 4 of the older 180 series. i kept hoping I was just having bad luck, but these rifles typically shot 4-5 MOA, and it go worse after the barrel heated up.

Lat year I bought one of the new 58x series 16" tactical rifles with some trepidation. I had heard good things and decided to give the mini another try (technically, they're all ranch rifles now).

The new rifle performs very well. Shooting M855, the rifle will reliably print 2-3 inches at 100 yards. It did kill a scope, so I installed 1911 buffers at both ends of the recoil spring. The rifle is overgassed, and the op rod banging against the receiver increases felt recoil unnecessarily. it tosses brass about 30 feet.

I installed a variable gas system and found that I could reduce recoil and brass ejection by a large degree without compromising reliability. I plan to install a smaller gas port in lieu of the variable gas system to simplify and idiot proof the rifle.

It was also fairly easy to slick up and lighten the trigger, so that it is a nice two stage with a decent break at about 3.5#

After all that, the rifle will do 2 inches with handloads, but not much better. This is clearly adequate for most applications, but nothing close to what an accurized AR is capable of. Still, it makes for a simple, reliable and reasonably accurate package at around 7 pounds.

Art Eatman
March 1, 2010, 03:27 PM
Well, GunTech, I was a lot luckier. With a K4 on top, the four Minis I messed with would put the first three shots into around 1.5 MOA, which was plenty good for the occasional coyote or jackrabbit. I don't guess I ever did do any extensive paper-punching. All I really cared about was the reliability of the first shot from a cold barrel going where I intended, and they were all plenty good for that.

My gripe now is that they're priced above my interest range. Howsomever, most everything else is, also. :D I live in a world of unending sticker-shock. Unfortunately, it ain't gonna get mo' better...

GRIZ22
March 1, 2010, 03:34 PM
I've owned 4 since about 1975 and had about 20 I oversaw at work for several years. They all would do 2-4" at 100 yards from a cold barrel. The groups will open up when the barrel gets hot but so will any rifle.

w_houle
March 1, 2010, 03:36 PM
I was under the impression that they are chambered in 5.56x45?

LeontheProfessional
March 1, 2010, 03:36 PM
I was under the impression that they are chambered in 5.56x45?
They are. Just not the target model

hillbillydelux
March 1, 2010, 03:40 PM
9" at 100 yds. Yes they will do that. Although I have flintlock muzzleloaders that will shoot better than that.

ClickClickD'oh
March 1, 2010, 03:41 PM
My mini shoots minute of hog at ever range I've tried it at.

Good 'nough.

LeontheProfessional
March 1, 2010, 03:46 PM
9" at 100 yds. Yes they will do that. Although I have flintlock muzzleloaders that will shoot better than that.
Fortunately, Rguer does not make Minis that shoot like that any more. If one does slip through that can't shoot straight for what ever reason they will either fix it or send you a new one.

Sheepdog1968
March 1, 2010, 04:21 PM
I've got a 2008 mini-14 and wanted to answer this exact question. I put an inexpensive scope (like $25) on it and tried about 6 or 8 different commerical loads (various mfgs and bullet grains from 50 to low 70s; nothing fancy, just what I could easily find for social plinking to home defense stuff). I did the shooting at 50 yards and shot 10 rounds. I then dropped the worse two from each group and measured the eight rounds. The vast majority gave between 1.5" and 2" groups. I took the brand I use the most 55 grain PMC bronze (what my local shop hasin stock most of the time) that gave 1.5" as above at 50 yards and shot it at 100 yards. I obtained a 3" grou (8 out of 10 rounds) at 100 yards.

My conclusions for the day:
*My mini-14 (stone stock from the factor) can shoot about 3 MOA at best.
*The POA, POI could varry greatly from brand to brand even when shooting the same weight bullets so you really need to keep that in mind when setting the sights.
*For self defense applications it is plenty accurate.

Since then I have removed the scope. It broke after about another 150 rounds through it. I didn't really care as I prefer just iron sights on this rifle and I had bought it just for this test. I've got on the order of 1000 to 1500 rounds through the mini-14 and it's never had a malfunction. The only changes I've got from it being stock is: 1. Had local smith enlarger the ghost ring rear; painted the front sight with a bright color paint 3. Am having the local smith install a small rail on the side or bottom so I can mount a light on it. I don't plan on fooling with anything else. Yes, it ejects the brass like 20 to 30 feet but that's fine by me. I have been impressed with the mini-14 system. Much more so that I thought I would be.

I will try and upload a photo of the range results in the near future.

LeontheProfessional
March 1, 2010, 05:00 PM
Sheepdog,

Does your mini 14 have a tapered barrel or a straight barrel.

Sheepdog1968
March 2, 2010, 02:10 PM
Sheepdog,

Does your mini 14 have a tapered barrel or a straight barrel.
It's the NRA ILA model and I'm not sure.

Sheepdog1968
March 2, 2010, 02:19 PM
Ok, I've uploaded the photos I mentioned in the post below. One of them shows the general results for all the various ammos tested. The close ups are of the first group (tighter of the two and labeled number six) and the last group (labeled number seven I think). They are of the same brand ammo. I shot the same ammo at the begining and end to test two things 1. varriability in my shoot and 2. if there was any impact in grouping as the barrel warmed up some. It was a cold day and I didn't blaze through but I also didn't try to wait for the barrel to cool down between shots. I think I shot all of these groups over an hour.

I should also point out this is the NRA ILA model and has the 16.125" barrel. In terms of my shooting skills, with a good 308 bolt action with a good scope, the best I can usually do is about 1" at 50 yards.

I should also point out that I didn't bother cleaning it before doing the test. I think I had something like 300 or 400 rounds through it when I did the test.

I've got a 2008 mini-14 and wanted to answer this exact question. I put an inexpensive scope (like $25) on it and tried about 6 or 8 different commerical loads (various mfgs and bullet grains from 50 to low 70s; nothing fancy, just what I could easily find for social plinking to home defense stuff). I did the shooting at 50 yards and shot 10 rounds. I then dropped the worse two from each group and measured the eight rounds. The vast majority gave between 1.5" and 2" groups. I took the brand I use the most 55 grain PMC bronze (what my local shop hasin stock most of the time) that gave 1.5" as above at 50 yards and shot it at 100 yards. I obtained a 3" grou (8 out of 10 rounds) at 100 yards.

My conclusions for the day:
*My mini-14 (stone stock from the factor) can shoot about 3 MOA at best.
*The POA, POI could varry greatly from brand to brand even when shooting the same weight bullets so you really need to keep that in mind when setting the sights.
*For self defense applications it is plenty accurate.

Since then I have removed the scope. It broke after about another 150 rounds through it. I didn't really care as I prefer just iron sights on this rifle and I had bought it just for this test. I've got on the order of 1000 to 1500 rounds through the mini-14 and it's never had a malfunction. The only changes I've got from it being stock is: 1. Had local smith enlarger the ghost ring rear; painted the front sight with a bright color paint 3. Am having the local smith install a small rail on the side or bottom so I can mount a light on it. I don't plan on fooling with anything else. Yes, it ejects the brass like 20 to 30 feet but that's fine by me. I have been impressed with the mini-14 system. Much more so that I thought I would be.

I will try and upload a photo of the range results in the near future.

reddingshooter
April 23, 2013, 05:28 PM
i love to find someone taunting how crappy the 223 is for deer in a thread. fact is, the 223 is DEVISTATING on deer,and depending on what ammunition your shooting, it can be OVERKILL and destroy more meat then youll be able to save.

i am a licensed outfitter in california, and have used nothing for deer but a 223 for OVER 30 YEARS, with the exception of when i was younger, i shot a sako vixen in 222 for several years. i have never wounded, lost ,ect a deer i have shot with one of those two cartridges and with the 222 sako i killed a 279lb mule deer off the top of glass mountain in extreme northeastern california at 557 years and he dropped like a stone. every deer ive shot with either cartridge has dropped like someone flipped a switch and turned them off. i know that there will be someone chime in with the old "well it will work in a pinch depending on shot placement".....UH.....ok....i have an answer for that one too. of course it will, but ill guarantee you you hit a deer ANYWERE with pretty much ANY AMMO except a FMJ and that deers going down, maybe not a "clean kill" but ill guarantee you its not going anywere. in all my years i only had one single deer go any distance ( 30 yards) and that was one i foul shot in the rear ham while it was running flat out with a 55gr hornady ballistic tip. the result? i had to completely dispose of the rear ham, it turned it into shredded razzberry jello. id be happy to post ictures of all the deer ive killed with a 223 and also pictures of the damage one will do. i took those to post online due to all of the people who holler a 223 is to small, just t show them what kind of damage it will do. 99% of them are never speaking from experience, they are just repeating what they heard online, or what their buddy who shoots the 7mag said around the campfire.

this is a front shoulder off of a deer i shot with a 223. went completely thru the shoulder broke the bones and STILL took out the heart and both lings, and lodged just under the skin on the other side
http://i1309.photobucket.com/albums/s632/bushmansojb/DSCF0012_zpsec2d9cdf.jpg (http://s1309.photobucket.com/user/bushmansojb/media/DSCF0012_zpsec2d9cdf.jpg.html)

think about it logically.....man is one of the hardest animals on the planet to kill, and our military uses it as a primary defense weapon.....what does that tell you

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