Ruger Mini-14 Accuracy


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kayaks
June 21, 2013, 06:39 PM
All,

I purchased a new stainless Mini-14, with a laminate stock about a year or more ago. Based on the information I have seen about the rifle, it isn't noted as being very accurate. That said, it seems like the reviews and articles I'm found about it would support expected accuracy of something around 2 to 4 inches at a hundred yards.

I can't come anywhere close to this and wonder it anyone has any suggestions on improving the accuracy of this rifle. I have been trying different handloads and types of factory ammo. Can't say that I have found the best choice yet. It looks like after market barrels are available, but the prices are high.

Any help would be great...

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allaroundhunter
June 21, 2013, 07:04 PM
Are you using an optic, or iron sights?

45_auto
June 21, 2013, 07:08 PM
Have you shot anything besides the Mini-14? If so, what kind of groups do you get with that?

First thing you have to figure out is if it's you or the gun.

Bowhunter57
June 21, 2013, 07:49 PM
kayaks,
I've read countless articles and talked to those that have own mini-14s and they've all said the same thing... They make excellent tomato stakes. :p

That being said, you can spend as much money as it would take to get the accuracy of an AR or purchase an AR and you'll get the accuracy you're looking to attain. Otherwise, you can sell it, cut your loses and purchase an AR. This has been the solution of people that I know that have owned min-14s.

It's a shame that Ruger doesn't improve this rifle, as it is very reliable and a good looking functional weapon. :rolleyes:

Good luck with your choices!
Bowhunter57

allaroundhunter
June 21, 2013, 07:50 PM
kayaks,
I've read countless articles and talked to those that have own mini-14s and they've all said the same thing... They make excellent tomato stakes. :p

That being said, you can spend as much money as it would take to get the accuracy of an AR or purchase an AR and you'll get the accuracy you're looking to attain. Otherwise, you can sell it, cut your loses and purchase an AR. This has been the solution of people that I know that have owned min-14s.

It's a shame that Ruger doesn't improve this rifle, as it is very reliable and a good looking functional weapon. :rolleyes:

Good luck with your choices!
Bowhunter57

Right now, minis are going for about the same price as lower-end ARs. It is hard to get good accuracy out of them, but 2-4 MOA should not be too difficult.

Longhorn 76
June 21, 2013, 08:05 PM
There are too many issues to work on. Trigger, action, and bedding. Like an M1/M14, it is possible to make it shoot well temporarily, but if you want accuracy, look for something else.

Steve CT
June 21, 2013, 08:33 PM
I had always wanted a Mini-14, once I got one I struggled to get consistent accuracy out of it. The Accu Strut helped some, the biggest improvement I got was getting an AR. Just one man's experience with one Mini, lot's of people love their Mini, it didn't work for me.

jmr40
June 21, 2013, 09:21 PM
Mini's seem to be inconsostent. Some of the newer versions seem to shoot much better than the older guns so I'm surprised at accuracy this poor. I've had Mini-14's when they were signifiacantly cheaper than AR's. That is no longer true so I sold them and went with AR's. Can't think of any reason to go back at current prices

Ash
June 21, 2013, 09:25 PM
I can think of many reasons, but if target shooting is the thing, then an AR is just fine. Of course, in Alaska, reliability can be an issue with an AR - there's a reason many guys up there go with the Mini.

Jackal
June 21, 2013, 09:38 PM
It's a shame that Ruger doesn't improve this rifle, as it is very reliable and a good looking functional weapon.

They have, years ago.

Old Mini's were somewhat inaccurate, its true. Newer Mini's, 580 series or newer are 1.5-1moa guns, with the load they like. All the old Mini info is totally incorrect when speaking about the new ones. If anyone tells you a new Mini is inaccurate, its pure BS.

MartinS
June 21, 2013, 09:47 PM
How are you firing this thing? Not bouncing it off a hard surface right? If you have not already try assuming the barrel is flighty and high strung as a sparrow on the wing. Cuddle the forearm, soothe it, hold it the same each shot. Using a scope? Mounts and rings snug? Exhaust all the free and easy things. Iron sight not wobbling?

BruceB
June 21, 2013, 10:26 PM
In 2010 I bought a new Davidson's "Deluxe" Mini in a Circassian walnut stock. Cost was higher than the stainless "Ranch Rifle that a close triend bought at the same time. Both rifles quickly had Leupold scopes mounted.

We are both handloaders, and neither rifle has fired more than a few score factory rounds.

I once watched my friend fire FIVE CONSECUTIVE handloaded 100-yard groups with his Mini, all of which were very close to one inch, aome under, and the largest of which was barely 1,25". My own rifle, with its favored load using Hornady 55 V-Max bullets, will CONSISTENTLY group TEN rounds in 1.25" @ 100, and sometimes less than that.

A steel full-size IPSC target (meaning: man-sized) is easily hit 100% of the time at FOUR HUNDRED YARDS with this rifle.

Added to the 100% reliability (with handloads, yet), I ask you....what more could I ask??? My AR15 is a reliable package, too... but I don't see that it's one bit better than the Ruger. It's the BULLET that does the work, and I use the same bullets at the same speed in both rifles.

Anyone parroting this "inaccurate Mini-14" line to me has (a) not seen my rifle at work, and (b) will have a HELL of a time selling it to me. The same applies to that Mini of my friends, and his opinion.

I will add that we are both long-time riflemen of over seventy years' age.... we've been around the block a few times.

TexasPatriot.308
June 21, 2013, 10:30 PM
my 2 year old mini 14 tactical series 581 with a variety of red dots or regular scopes (no cheapies) does 1 1/2 in groups.

dprice3844444
June 21, 2013, 10:34 PM
http://www.accuracysystemsinc.com/index.php

Fishbed77
June 21, 2013, 10:40 PM
Just had to post this for laughs. :D

http://i1126.photobucket.com/albums/l602/gun_stuff/Forums/mini14target.png

allaroundhunter
June 21, 2013, 10:41 PM
Is the laughs because it is a target for one handed pistol shooting?

Cal-gun Fan
June 21, 2013, 10:52 PM
Depends on the rifle. My new 581 Mini with an Accu-Strut gets about 1.5 inch 10 shot groups with my 55gr V-Max reloads.

NormB
June 21, 2013, 11:06 PM
I love a good oxymoron.

firme67
June 22, 2013, 12:21 AM
Adding an Accu-Strut improved the accuracy of my 182 series a lot. Also check out the Accuracy Systems Inc, link posted above, a lot of good info there. Also you might check out www.perfectunion.com, it is a mini-14/mini-30 forum. (sorry I couldn't make the address a link). Good luck and don't give up, I got mine shooting to my satisfaction for around $250, this included an Accu-Strut, new set of iron sights and Mo-Reaper muzzle brake.

M1key
June 22, 2013, 12:36 AM
OP:

Do you have the skinny barrel or tapered barrel? The tapered ones shoot noticeably better.

Are you shooting from a padded rest with rear bag? A must IMO.

Did you open up that tiny rear peep-hole to something big enough you can actually see through?

Try shooting at clay pidgeons at 100 yds. You should be able to hit them every time with good ammo (lose the Wolf) and with careful aim. I find using a smaller aiming point (like a clay target) helps me shoot tighter groups.

Visit the Perfect Union forum for more accuracy tips.

Good luck.

M

35 Whelen
June 22, 2013, 12:58 AM
I've owned two Mini's. The first was a one of the 580 Series with the pencil thin barrel. Any attempt at accuracy was maddening. I bedded it, installed a scope, an Accu-Strut and worked over the trigger and still this:

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h6/308Scout/AR%20and%20Mini%20Groups/PPUM193_zps843764a1.jpg (http://s60.photobucket.com/user/308Scout/media/AR%20and%20Mini%20Groups/PPUM193_zps843764a1.jpg.html)

I finally ran across one of the newer 581 Series with the somewhat thicker, tapered barrel in a pawn shop. I traded my old one with an el cheapo scope and $75 for the new one. All I did was a trigger job. Ahhh....much better:

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h6/308Scout/AR%20and%20Mini%20Groups/Mini63grSierra.jpg (http://s60.photobucket.com/user/308Scout/media/AR%20and%20Mini%20Groups/Mini63grSierra.jpg.html)

Added a Tech Sight to it and since then my AR, which looks like an albatross sitting next to my Mini, sits in the safe gathering dust.

Like others have said, make sure it's the rifle and not you, especially if you're firing it with sights instead of a scope.

Good luck.

35W

Fishbed77
June 22, 2013, 01:33 AM
Is the laughs because it is a target for one handed pistol shooting?

allaround, I'm sure part of the joke is that a Mini is supposedly less accurate than a pistol.

Sapper771
June 22, 2013, 08:03 AM
I had a 180 series that was lucky to do 3" at 100 yards. I bought one of the new 582 series rifles a few years ago. It was much better. Often printing 1.5" 100 yard groups with hand loads. 2" with factory.

Reloadron
June 22, 2013, 08:19 AM
What are you shooting for ammunition? You may want to give this thread a read (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=67087) or maybe this thread (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=448402) there is also this thread (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=289231) as to the Mini 14 accuracy. While not known as tack drivers overall some do deliver good accuracy with the right loads.

Ron

Art Eatman
June 22, 2013, 11:12 AM
I put a few thousand rounds through my four early Minis. (Kept trading; profit is profit. :)) What I found was that the first shot from a cold barrel consistently went to the desired point of aim. That's about all a hunter ever needs. Worked just fine on coyotes and jackrabbits.

Three-shot groups were consistently about 1.5 MOA with a Weaver K-4 on top. I never worried about five-shot group size. Waste of time.

For hunting, plinking or defense, the Mini is as good as anything. I never figured the early "skinny Minis" as a choice for paper-punching.

Bushpilot
June 22, 2013, 05:00 PM
wonder it anyone has any suggestions on improving the accuracy of this rifle. I have been trying different handloads and types of factory ammo. Can't say that I have found the best choice yet. It looks like after market barrels are available, but the prices are high.

Trying to tune a Mini 14 that won't shoot can be an expensive exercise in frustration. I wouldn't recommend spending the money on mods or barrel swaps because the odds of seeing dramatic improvement are not in your favor, especially at a reasonable cost. This of course is assuming that you are doing your part and it's not your shooting or an issue with the scope. If it were me I'd cut my losses and swap it off for an AR. In the long run it will be the cheaper, easier route to an accurate rifle.

mtrmn
June 22, 2013, 10:04 PM
In my experience, and I do have some in this area, Just about any out-of-the-box AR would outshoot my Mini14 that I had spent over 20 years tuning and working up reloads for. No amount of love would improve it's accuracy. AR's are also cheaper in many instances nowadays and spare parts can be found at just about any LGS. Try finding a bolt for a Mini, or even a firing pin.

jimmyraythomason
June 22, 2013, 10:27 PM
Try finding a bolt for a Mini, or even a firing pin. http://www.gunpartscorp.com/Products/291460.htm

X-Rap
June 22, 2013, 10:29 PM
Cut your losses and dump that thing, listen to the words of experience in this thread. It took me 4 trys before I finally threw in the towel.
Now they say give the new and improved a shot, I've yet to own an AR that wouldn't shoot rings around any Mini I ever owned with any ammo so why would I switch back to a tempermental rifle that needs some thingamajig to make it shoot 2" groups so I can say looky there I got a good one, no thanks.

Jackal
June 22, 2013, 11:08 PM
Sell the old Mini, buy a new one.:D I own both Mini's and AR's. It comes down to whether you want a more traditional rifle feel or a pistol gripped EBR. I personally shoot my Mini better than my AR's, but thats just because I have more practice with a traditional rifle.

kayaks
June 23, 2013, 01:28 AM
Have you shot anything besides the Mini-14? If so, what kind of groups do you get with that?

First thing you have to figure out is if it's you or the gun.
I have a M77 in .223 that I shoot alongside it, got it down to less than a inch at 100 yards. Using a lead sled, so things are not moving much...

blitztech
June 23, 2013, 02:26 AM
I have a 188 series with an accu strut that gets 1.5" groups at 100 yards. There are always flyers though as the barrel begins to heat up. Usually a flyer every 5-7 rounds. This thing is just as accurate with cheap steel cased wolf ammo as it is with everything else. My dad owns a 182 series with no mods that is in the 2-3" group area and he has a 581 that I've yet to shoot. Back when I used to read the perfect union board there were a lot of guys with bedded minis with trigger work and accu struts that claimed sub moa

The thing about minis is that barrel heating up. Its going to heat up and get flyers. You almost have to be using factory mags to get reliable shooting, and without an accu strut you're just better off not even trying. If you bed it, put on an accu strut, and only use factory mags it'll be a very good rifle to you. Of course I only paid $400 for mine, so for what I've got in to it I'm very happy. Had I paid the $700+ folks are wanting these days I would be disappointed

Edit: about the guy below talking about putting the right grain bullet through it he's very right. Mine has a 8.5:1 twist while many others have a 12:1 twist and they require different bullet weights for the best accuracy. Call Ruger and they'll tell you your twist rate and recommended bullet weight.

mtrmn
June 23, 2013, 07:57 AM
http://www.gunpartscorp.com/Products/291460.htm

Well, I stand corrected. A couple years ago when I NEEDED a bolt there were none available anywhere and Ruger would only sell one if they fit it at the factory. So I sent my mini to Ruger and they told me it wasn't worth fixing when all it needed was a replacement bolt that I knew good and well I was capable of fitting myself. Long story, but Ruger ended up destroying my old mini and sending me a new one that I had to pay for. I left it in the box and got my FFL to sell it for me. Left me wondering about a company that couldn't or wouldn't fix their own guns when I was more than willing to pay whatever it took.

carbine85
June 23, 2013, 09:30 AM
The Mini can be plenty accurate. Sometimes it all depends on which series you have. I have an old Stainless 183 series with more than 5,000 down the pipe and it still shoots under 2MOA. I had a 186 series blued model that shot 3-4MOA The stainless versions tend to shoot better and the newer ones do pretty well. A trigger job and bedding the action can go a long way with the Mini. With that said the the difference in price between a Mini and a budget model AR usually makes one lean towards the AR. One thing the Mini has going for it is reliability.

35 Whelen
June 23, 2013, 11:43 AM
To the guys recommending AR's, you have to remember some people don't want an AR. That's why they buy Mini's and work to get them to shoot. It's the same reason someone buys a Chevy diesel and works on it so it'll pull like a Dodge!
35W

chicharrones
June 23, 2013, 12:38 PM
To the guys recommending AR's, you have to remember some people don't want an AR.

Yep.

bergmen
June 23, 2013, 01:22 PM
I have a brand new AR and wish I had gone with the Mini-14 instead. I just cannot warm up to the platform at all. I'm a lumber and steel type of rifle shooter and the AR is like picking up a cold crankshaft or something. Besides it would go very nicely alongside my M1A.

Dan

Skyshot
June 23, 2013, 08:43 PM
You never said what series mini you have. But, you can get good accuracy by, getting a trigger job, a barrel strut, and bedding the action, and squaring up the gas block. If doing these things don't get it a 1 1/2 MOA, then yea, I'd trade it off. But let me say, when you have a fine shooting Mini, you"ll let your AR sit in the safe. When I take folks down to my farm and let them shoot my 581 series mini and one of my 5 different AR's, even though 3 of my AR's will shoot well under 1 MOA. Everyone loves shooting the mini and that's a fact jack.

kayaks
June 24, 2013, 10:37 AM
Thanks to everyone for the advice. There are definitely some more links to follow. I'll keep looking for a load it likes...

Pilot
June 24, 2013, 10:50 AM
The A-Team never had that much luck with them either. :D

Sun Tzu warrior
June 24, 2013, 09:38 PM
Most people that complain about Mini 14 accuracy use the wrong weight projectile for the rate of twist ib their barrel, or have a composite stock in which the action floats around in!
If any of you have a 180- 183 series Mini 14 you would like to unload, for a non-accurate price, PM me.

M1key
June 24, 2013, 10:18 PM
http://www.gunpartscorp.com/Products/291460.htm

The consensus among the Mini crowd with guys who have bought these is that the firing pins are non-OEM, inferior to factory pins, and are prone to premature breakage if not fitted properly.

Send it in to Ruger...

Good luck

M

chuckpro
June 24, 2013, 11:24 PM
OP, I have a mini 14 tactical with the 16" barrel including the flash suppressor. I have talked to other owners and was told that they are a little more accurate due to the shorter barrel ( less harmonics ). The best consistent group i have shot was about 2 MOI with a decent scope. I put the ghost rings back on it and is my "SHTF" gun.


To the rest of the posters that are knocking the MINI, i can say that mine has never had a FTF, stove pipe or Jam. I have a few AR's but and the ones in the same price range that i paid for my mini ($600) have about the same accuracy. But i cant say that i have never had a FTF or jam with mine. Oh and i have some decent AR's that are accurate but even my Sun Devil has stove piped on me with cheep ammo.

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