Ruger Mini 14 accuracy?


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Randy1911
September 3, 2010, 08:32 PM
I just put a scope on my Ruger Mini 14 this week (Bushnell). I went to the range today to sight it in. I was shooting just 50 yards but the best grouping I could get was about 3". I was shooting off sandbags and on a measured course. I know I can do better because I get 3/4" @100 yards with my Rem. 700. I was getting about the same with iron sights. Is this the best the gun is capable of? I was expecting better. This is a fun gun to shoot, but not very accurate. Or I am not doing something right.

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wgp
September 3, 2010, 08:38 PM
I have a Mini (actually the Ranch Rifle) and like it, but most comments I have read about the rifle don't put "Mini 14" and "accurate" in the same sentence.

Randy1911
September 3, 2010, 08:43 PM
Mine is also the Ranch Rifle. I guess it is just not what I thought I was buying.:(

TexasPatriot.308
September 3, 2010, 08:51 PM
is this a new mini 14? the latest series 580 and 581 (I have the 581 tactical) are very accurate with the newer barrel. I have had them for almost 30 years, no, most are not shooters but fun to shoot, open sights with practice a great self defense and general hunting rifle, dont expect to put round after round in a dime group even with a good scope. I got a Redfield 2x7x33 on my new mini and I will take out when I expect to walk up on a large group of hogs.

BigEd63
September 3, 2010, 09:04 PM
Too many people buy this rifle, which in effect more of a carbine, and a semi-auto one at that.

Then cry when it does not shoot like a bolt action varmint gun or a National Match M-14/M1A.

One, thing check the handguard fit. You don't want a real loose one sliding around from shot to shot.

Redneck with a 40
September 3, 2010, 09:37 PM
My Mini-14 will do 1.5"-2" with my handloads, 100 yards prone with a rest, 5 shots. I'm pleased with it, purchased June of '09.

Joe Demko
September 3, 2010, 09:49 PM
I owned a couple. First round accuracy was ok. After that, things were not so pretty.

Randy1911
September 3, 2010, 09:56 PM
I got this gun for Christmas of last year. It is a 581 series. The handgaurd fits real tight. I guess I will just use it for what it is. Does anyone make a 223 semi auto that is accurate? 2" @ 100 yards.

jimmyraythomason
September 3, 2010, 09:58 PM
Does anyone make a 223 semi auto that is accurate? 2" @ 100 yards. See post #7.

TexasPatriot.308
September 3, 2010, 10:15 PM
husker...are you a gov't employee??

husker
September 3, 2010, 10:35 PM
Lol. No! texas patriot. not a G-man
Many accurate semi 223 on the market. & there are many things you can do to a Mini 14 to make it a much better paper puncher. All you will ever wanna know about the Mini 14 & what you wanna do to tighten up your groups can be found hear.
http://www.perfectunion.com/vb/forumdisplay.php?f=106

HGUNHNTR
September 3, 2010, 10:39 PM
GBR! ;)

From my experience with the mini you have acheived average accuracy.

FlyinBryan
September 3, 2010, 11:23 PM
Does anyone make a 223 semi auto that is accurate? 2" @ 100 yards.

yes. the ar15.

far more accurate.

just about any reputable ar will shoot around 1" @ 100yds.

http://i680.photobucket.com/albums/vv162/flyinbryan_photos/Picture236.jpg
http://i680.photobucket.com/albums/vv162/flyinbryan_photos/Picture234.jpg
http://i680.photobucket.com/albums/vv162/flyinbryan_photos/Picture233.jpg
http://i680.photobucket.com/albums/vv162/flyinbryan_photos/Picture204.jpg
http://i680.photobucket.com/albums/vv162/flyinbryan_photos/Picture203.jpg

they might not be pretty rifles, but they are accurate

FlyinBryan
September 3, 2010, 11:26 PM
the group sizes are in the lower left corners

rduckwor
September 3, 2010, 11:34 PM
You can do a bit of work and spend a bit of money and make the Mini 14 a bit more accurate, but it will rarely ever shoot MOA groups. The newer ones might and the tactical will come closest out of the box, but the Ranch Rifles are just that varmit getters.

RMD

Art Eatman
September 3, 2010, 11:37 PM
I've put lots of rounds through four of the early Minis. All were quite reliable for first-shot hits at the point of aim. After about the third shot, the skinny barrel would heat up and the groups would open up.

For a hunter it's no big deal. The first shot and even maybe a second shot are the important ones. Quite a few jackrabbits and several coyotes never complained about my accuracy.

But bench rest target shooting? No way.

These newer versions seem to perform a good bit better, but I have no experience with any of them.

They're as good as any other .223 for a truck gun or for home defense. Just as good as any of the five ARs I've played with since back in the '70s. :)

Nighthawk0083
September 3, 2010, 11:49 PM
Has anyone watched the preview of the new movie "The American" it looks like the main character is using a mini as a sniper rifle.

TexasPatriot.308
September 4, 2010, 12:20 AM
dont think he'll get the job done in real life, but it's a movie soon all kinds of thugs will be buying them for sniper rifles....

crazyivan
September 4, 2010, 12:58 AM
I shot a friends ranch rifle last year with him the day after he got it. Used some 55gr ammo. I was resting me left arm on my left knee and I think I remember geting around 3-5" but no more than 5" groups at 100yds.

Aaron2091
September 4, 2010, 01:41 AM
I have to agree with FlyinBrian....my bushmaster stock service rifle 16" (the department even refuses to let us change grips) will do a 1.5 to 2" easy prone from 100 yds.

My advice Randy, trade in the Mini on an AR platform if you just want a defense/plinker.

The Lone Haranguer
September 4, 2010, 08:53 AM
I bought a Mini-14 in early 2000. (I sold it in 2004 to settle a debt.) I never did formal accuracy testing from a bench, but did shoot 5- or 6-inch groups (and this was most likely a reflection of my own ability) at ~100 yards, from a prone position, using the open sights. This level of practical accuracy seemed quite adequate for its intended use to me. You don't buy these for benchrest competitions. ;)

mbogo
September 4, 2010, 09:04 AM
I don't know why people keep buying these guns. In their long existence, they have been plagued with poor accuracy. Even after Ruger stopped buying their barrels from low bidders and started making their own, they are nowhere near as accurate as most box-stock ARs, and they aren't much less expensive.

It was no surprise to me when the A-Team never actually hit anyone despite thousands of rounds expended. :D What is a surprise is that any Hollywood armorer would supply one for use as a 'sniper rifle'. :rolleyes: That's worse than the use of a 'sniper rifle' used in the 'X Files' series where the 'Marlboro Man' used a Ruger GP100-actioned suppressed rifle. :eek:

mbogo

Art Eatman
September 4, 2010, 09:46 AM
mbogo, why do people buy a Mini and expect target accuracy? They're hunting rifles and do extremely well at that. And they'll certainly shoot minute-of-head at any reasonable "defense" distance. No question as to reliability, for sure.

I don't use a screwdriver as a chisel, which might be the problem in my reasoning about the Mini. If I want tight groups as my be-all and end-all, I shoot something that's intended to do that. But for casual coyote-killing, the Mini is as good as any AR ever made--and that's over thirty years of experience with both guns, not a bunch of Internetitis.

ironhead7544
September 4, 2010, 09:46 AM
The Mini 14 is a good self defense carbine out to 150 yards or so. I have had several and would expect 5 inch 100 yard groups with good ammo. Cheap ammo will run around 8 to 10 inch groups at 100. They can be accurized but its expensive. The new ones are reportedly more accurate. Ruger used to call it "the world's most expensive plinker." Just my .02.

KimberLover
September 4, 2010, 11:46 AM
I had heard that the earlier Mini 14's were not too accurate. It kind of stayed in my mind until I found a used one and bought it.
Now after reading these posts, I'm leary that I may have made a mistake.
I wondered about the skinny barrel when I looked at it.
The stock had been changed from wood to black fiber and seemed to be very tightly bedded. (I have the wood one)
Havent shot it yet, waiting for the southern heat to let up a little.
I hope I haven't made a mistake.
I guess range time will tell the tale.:cool:

mbogo
September 4, 2010, 12:24 PM
Art,

If you have a (non-accurized) Mini-14 .223 (I don't know how the Mini-30s shoot), can you honestly say that your first shot from a cold barrel is within 2" of your next two shots? If so, then yours is a rare specimen.

I have fired six different Mini-14s and all have been dreadfully inaccurate and imprecise.

mbogo

wow6599
September 4, 2010, 12:37 PM
I have had only one Mini, and I still have it. A 2008 NRA edition Mini w/16" barrel. I have a cheap Nikon ProStaff scope on it and with Federal 100 rd boxes ($39.99 at WM) it will give me MOA from the 1st shot to the 50th shot. It may be that having a short barrel and being the new tapered kind, it doesn't open up as it gets hot.....I don't know.
So, my Mini-14, IMHO, looks better than an AR, shoots just as well and is more reliable (flame suit on!) than an AR.
YMMV

husker
September 4, 2010, 12:37 PM
PEEP'S
They are not a target rifle. & the best shot will always be the first shot out of a cold barrel.
Now for $40.00 you can have the barrel Cryogenicly Frozen & it will change the molecule of the barrel. This will make a HUGE!! difference when it comes to follow up shots. Then you can put an Accu Strut on it as well= helps take the WHIP out of the barrel . & if you cant shoot 1 to 2 inch or better after doing these 2 things. ITS YOU & NOT THE Mini 14
& the best part? you can be just like me= you will own an over priced money pit. :-)
Ps i do not apply any of this to the new 580 series. Im talking about the older Mini's
I now live in big 10 country

Waywatcher
September 4, 2010, 12:49 PM
There are a lot of variables I didn't see listed.

How old is your Mini 14? Is it a 580 with the heavier barrel?

What load? How many different loads have you tried? What brands? What grain weights? What powders? You might just be shooting "cheap" ammo that is loaded to be cheap, instead of accurate.

Is the scope known to be good? Are the rings snug?

I shoot 10 round 3" groups with iron sights at 75 yards with 5.56 Federal and I am satisfied. Not impressed, but satisfied.

My point is, if you are unsatisfied with the performance, try changing something.

rduckwor
September 4, 2010, 12:51 PM
Not so Happy now....
I had heard that the earlier Mini 14's were not too accurate. It kind of stayed in my mind until I found a used one and bought it.
Now after reading these posts, I'm leary that I may have made a mistake.
I wondered about the skinny barrel when I looked at it.
The stock had been changed from wood to black fiber and seemed to be very tightly bedded. (I have the wood one)
Havent shot it yet, waiting for the southern heat to let up a little.
I hope I haven't made a mistake.
I guess range time will tell the tale.

Well, it won't be a bench rest rifle or an "F" class rifle, but I predict that you will enjoy shooting it immensely. They are nice rifles and great fun as a plinker or a truck gun.

You can do simple, relatively inexpensive things to tighten the groups up a bit.

See perfectunion.com for info. All the MINI crazies hang out there.

RMD

jeepguy
September 6, 2010, 11:13 AM
you can learn alot from post the perfect union mini 14 forum referenced whith a link in post 11. there is alot of mods you can make fairly inexpensively. or you can get the target mini 14. i would just start with the barrel strut three companys make them, trigger job, & look at glass bedding the stock. the barrel strut works great for the older mini 14's. i would start with a visit to the perfect union forum first. i have a 580 series with the tapered barrel & love mine. but it was not designed to shoot sub moa groups.

dogsoldier0513
September 6, 2010, 02:06 PM
My Ranch Rifle, ca. 1986, would group its favorite load into 1.5-inches @ 100 yards. My first AR, a Colt Gov't Model Carbine, would group its favorite load into 1/4th-inch @ 100 yards.

BattleBorn
September 13, 2010, 06:41 AM
Thanks for the post.I've been wondering about the accuracy of the mini. Guess I'll have to get that m4.

herkyguy
September 13, 2010, 11:43 AM
just give it to george clooney for a few days. it'll be accurate as all hell. i know so because I saw it in a movie.... which by the way, kind of sucked.

Art Eatman
September 13, 2010, 12:25 PM
Mbogo, my various Minis didn't seem to care what I fed them. USGI, gunshow reloads, PMC, whatever. The first three shots were always plenty good for hits on coyotes and jackrabbits. With a K4 on top, I could fairly reliably figure on a three-shot group of around 1.5 to 2 MOA.

I don't think I ever bothered to shoot on paper more than once or twice for five-shot groups. Mostly, just the occasional critter, and the shots hurt them worse than they did me. :)

Damfino. Minis are as good as I've ever needed for low-key hunting. No problem with reliability, so they're as good as anything for home defense. Plenty good for a truck gun; mine accompanied me on many a 4WD mile of bad jeep trail in the back country.

They're not target rifles, but I fingered that out way long ago.

merlinfire
September 13, 2010, 04:34 PM
from what i've read, simple things like bedding the stock will have a huge improvement on the accuracy, and that the shorter barrels tend to be more accurate (less barrel whip).

doing these things should get even the older models within 2.5" moa

Average Joe
September 13, 2010, 08:58 PM
The Mini 14 is a reliable fun gun, not for accuracy, but you can normally get a 5 inch group at 100 yards.

JNewell
September 13, 2010, 09:08 PM
Well, fwiw, I have owned three or four of the original version - sold each one because they were, uhhhhhm, indifferent as far as accuracy was concerned. I bought one of the new Ranch Rifles to give the series (which I like) a final try - early results are much, much better, so the webhype about the new ones seems to be, pardon the pun, accurate.

Silent Sam
September 14, 2010, 06:48 AM
I don't think these discussions will ever end. It is what it is, not what anyone imagines it "should be". Kind of like finding out you shouldn't have expected your doctor to be your trial lawyer and then complaining that he isn't a "professional" or medical school sucks because they produce terrible lawyers. I don't know how many million? mini's have been sold, despite the near continuous bashing since the internet has existed. A lot of people must be finding something they like about these rifles. Proud owner of an NRA Mini that is totally reliable, hits what I shoot at and is invariably fun to use.

BillCh
September 14, 2010, 02:57 PM
My Mini's accuracy solution was pretty simple.
With factory ammo, Remington and Winchester, my 100 yard groups were around 6". The Remington 55gr. HP was the worst.
My hand loaded plinking ammo easily shoots 2". This is not tailored ammo either. I just pump it out on a Dillon press.
I must be doing something right.

B

JNewell
September 14, 2010, 08:20 PM
Sam, I agree and usually don't bother to read or post in these threads. I do think it's nice, in our "they don't make 'em like they used to" world, to find a product that at least as far as my experience is concerned, is genuinely improved. :)

jordan1948
September 14, 2010, 09:30 PM
Get an accu-strut from accu-strut.com , pin-on compensator/muzzlebreak, glassbed the stock, trigger job to reduce the weight. After all that try different types of ammo (brands and bullet weights) and figure out what it likes best. If you reload then work out a load that it likes. After all that you'll be running with SOME ARs but not all and it'll cost you about 750-850 depending on how much you paid for your Mini and how much of all that you can do on your own.

jimmyraythomason
September 14, 2010, 09:34 PM
Get an accu-strut from accu-strut.com , pin-on compensator/muzzlebreak, glassbed the stock, trigger job to reduce the weight.I didn't find any of that necessary for either of my Minis. I did install a pin-on muzzle brake for looks. Mine were very accurate for a hunting/plinker out of the box,a 188 Mini-14 and a 189 Mini-30.

jordan1948
September 14, 2010, 09:43 PM
I can't remember what series mine is off the top of my head but I know it's one of the much older ones. Right now I just need a trigger job and if that doesn't help as much as I would like the the stock is getting glass bedded.

hey_poolboy
September 14, 2010, 10:04 PM
I don't recall what series it was, but I owned my first/last Mini 14 in 2000. Sold it w/i a year. I was hoping to use it as a coyote gun, but I can't handle not being able to shoot half dollar groups off of shooting sticks at 200yds. It was certainly a fun gun to shoot, but even with handloads I couldn't do much better than 5" at 100yds, and that was with a scope. :fire:

Traded it in and never looked back. Come to think of it that was the only gun I have ever traded.

conhntr
September 14, 2010, 10:05 PM
It doesnt matter if its a plinker or whatever. Its 2010 there is no execuse for anyone to be making a gun that wont shoot 2moa with choice ammo. And anyone would defend a company that did so is puzzling.

CSA 357
September 14, 2010, 10:09 PM
no sir they wont shoot, loadem all up and send them to me please send factory mags with them

jimmyraythomason
September 14, 2010, 10:14 PM
And anyone would defend a company that did so is puzzling. You certainly have a right to your own opinion. My Minis WERE capable of 2 moa with SURPLUS ammo and in my personal experience Ruger does not deserve such critisism. YOUR mileage may vary but mine suited me.

CSA 357
September 14, 2010, 10:19 PM
well i love my gb and i know its not a bench rest rifle but it was never intended for that!

point452
September 15, 2010, 12:10 AM
Mini-14s are fun, inexpensive rifles. A few months back, I bought a 580 series mini (made in 2005) for $450. Before I put a home made barrel strut on it, it shot 3"-6" groups; the first round from a cold barrel was at the zero, but as the .56" barrel warmed, the groups opened.

After spending about $25 on a barrel strut, my mini will now consistently shoot 1.5" groups.

http://i1196.photobucket.com/albums/aa417/robertrfisher/Hunting%20and%20Shooting/utf-8BSU1HMDEyNzcuanBn-1.jpg

68 gr Ultramax HP
http://i1196.photobucket.com/albums/aa417/robertrfisher/Hunting%20and%20Shooting/IMG01258.jpg

64 gr BVAC bonded SP
http://i1196.photobucket.com/albums/aa417/robertrfisher/Hunting%20and%20Shooting/utf-8BNjQgZ3IgQlZBQyBCb25kZWQuanBn-1.jpg

50 gr Fiocchi V-Max
http://i1196.photobucket.com/albums/aa417/robertrfisher/Hunting%20and%20Shooting/utf-8BNTAgZ3IgRmlvY2NoaSBWLU1heC5qcGc.jpg

bubba15301
September 15, 2010, 12:42 AM
try glas bedding it the action tends to move in the stock .

orienteeer
September 19, 2010, 03:04 PM
does it make a huge difference if the barrel is stamped "TARGET"?

A and O
September 19, 2010, 03:48 PM
TARGET sells Rifles? Will have to check it out. I have a SEARS ROEBUCK 12 gauge semi-auto SG

orienteeer
September 20, 2010, 08:55 PM
A and O - you're not helping!
i've seen some mini-14s stamped just ""RANCH", others are stamped "TARGET" also.
i don't know - are the barrels or bedding different?

Ben86
November 9, 2010, 12:04 PM
Would it be safe to say that a mini-14's accuracy is about the same as an ak-47?

benEzra
November 9, 2010, 01:09 PM
Your results are consistent with the 188-series Ranch Rifle I owned from around 1990 until a couple of years ago. The best 100-yard group it ever shot was 5.5", from a rest and rear bag, with match ammo.

I believe the earlier mini's weren't too bad, and the later mini's (580+ series) aren't bad, but in the middle years there were a LOT of accuracy lemons, and mine was one of them.

Does anyone make a 223 semi auto that is accurate? 2" @ 100 yards.
AR-15. Anywhere from <0.5" to 2" at 100 yards with good ammunition, depending on how you configure it (and at the extreme accuracy end, how much you want to spend).

Would it be safe to say that a mini-14's accuracy is about the same as an ak-47?
My 188-series shot worse than my SAR-1 (with the SAR shooting Norinco and Wolf), although by that time I was getting really annoyed with the mini. The newer mini's are somewhat more accurate than a 7.62x39mm AK, though.

jeepguy
November 9, 2010, 07:31 PM
i think the best upgrade you can do for your mini is the barrel strut. if you want a sub moa mini 14 you have to look at the target model. these are fun, light, handy rifles that can be used for both hunting & self defese. mine always goes bang and i have not had one problem of any kind or even one jam with it.

FlyinBryan
November 9, 2010, 07:54 PM
if you want a sub moa mini 14 you have to look at the target model. these are fun, light, handy rifles

i was thinking they were like 9-10lbs?

PR-NJ
November 9, 2010, 09:13 PM
Note that you can shoot 5.56 in addition to .223 with the Ranch and Tactical configurations, but you can only shoot .223 with the Target model...at least according to Ruger.

Kachok
November 9, 2010, 11:46 PM
I really wish that the Mini 14 was as accurate as the ARs, I just like the look of them, but alas Ruger takes too many shortcuts with their rifles. I went to buy a M77 a few days ago, It was a huge letdown everything was ROUGH and very poorly finished. For a $600+ rifle I was expecting alot better.

mshootnit
November 9, 2010, 11:53 PM
for me to say the mini 14 is inaccurate, would be me doing something I dislike when others do it. That is to comment on something I have no firsthand knowledge of. However many have no problem talking about AK inaccuracy when they have never properly scoped one on a bag with good ammo to really see what the hell it can do. I have owned about a dozen AK's now and I think one is a poor shooter if it shooting a 4" group at 100 yards. I expect 2.5 moa or better out of my AK's. Mini's? I dunno.

jeepguy
November 10, 2010, 08:02 PM
flyinbryan i ment that the regular mini 14 is fun, light and handy, not the target models sorry for the confusion.

FlyinBryan
November 10, 2010, 08:08 PM
no need for sorrys.

actually i kinda misread it. (its 2 seperate statements)

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