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Old March 9, 2015, 12:19 PM   #1
Catpop
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Mini 14 accuracy

What kind of accuracy could I expect at 100 with a 3 x 9 scope?
Reason I ask is yesterday I got to sight in my used 3 x 9 at 70 yards (best I could do). Shooting Fiochi ammo, the best group I could get from sandbags in 9 power was 2", 2-7/8 was the worst. Best group was from warm barrel although it was little high to the left. First cold shot this am was dead on, but groups got no better wit cold barrel.
Is there something I should look for with the Mini 14 to improve this?
I've got some 50 gr Hornady varmint loaded up over H 4198 next.
Tx, catpop
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Old March 9, 2015, 01:14 PM   #2
jim in Anchorage
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First question is going to be what vintage mini?
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Old March 9, 2015, 01:19 PM   #3
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Catpop, what is the 3-digit prefix on the serial number?
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Old March 9, 2015, 01:58 PM   #4
Catpop
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Gun was bought used in 1989, but I'll have to check serial # tonight. Bore and muzzle (crown) look good.
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Old March 9, 2015, 02:20 PM   #5
roadchoad
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Probably not what you want to hear, but Minis of that era were not known for accuracy. What you found out group-wise is fairly common.
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Old March 9, 2015, 02:53 PM   #6
19-3Ben
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Do a search for the accu-strut. I've seen good reviews but have no personal experience. I still would not expect it to be a sub-MOA type gun, but it just may help stabilize the barrel enough to get you a little more consistent grouping.
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Old March 9, 2015, 03:09 PM   #7
Z71
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That's really not that bad of accuracy from a Mini 14...I would have gladly accepted 2"-2 7/8" 100yd groups from my Ranch rifle(1990's vintage)....It's just that the Ranch rifle couldn't do better than maybe 4" to 5" at 100yds(or worse!)...It was pretty bad. I traded it on an AR 15 A2 rifle and never looked back.

Later I bought an even older LEO trade-in stainless Mini 14. I didn't expect too much out of it..however the stainless Mini 14 shoots fine! Only real issue with it is it uses the old style side-mount scope system...which I happened across a used B-Square silver aluminum mount that matches the stainless Mini.

The stainless steel Mini will put good commercial .223 ammo into 2" groups reliably(as long as it's not 30 shot groups!)...nato ball ammo not so good a groupings..but still way better than the Ranch rifle did.

The newer made Mini 14 rifles have a redesigned barrel and supposedly will shoot more accurately....the older versions you just get what you get. Some shoot fine..some stink...
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Old March 9, 2015, 03:12 PM   #8
TexasPatriot.308
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the older ones are definitely hit and miss (pardon the pun) I got a series 189 that shoots 1 1/2" groups out of a cooled barrel, some in that series shoot all over the place after barrel heats up, ought me a seried 581 Tactical couple years ago with the heavier barrel, sometimes can get 1" groups with 53 grain loads. got a Leupold 2x7x33 on it.
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Old March 9, 2015, 03:14 PM   #9
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Frankly, 3-ish MOA from a Mini doesn't sound bad.
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Old March 9, 2015, 05:46 PM   #10
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I had one bought in 86-87 lucky to hit a paper plate at 100 yds Ruger said the barrel was bad, Ive never known a mini to be accurate my buddy has a mini 30 about 3-5" is about it.
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Old March 9, 2015, 06:07 PM   #11
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This is not what I hoped to hear, but thanks for the great info. Mine is a 187-0xxxx. Don't know what year that is---- do you?
Accu-strut may help. I'll research that next.
I'd rather have a bolt anyway as I hate chasing and losing brass I've invested so much time in getting ready to reload.
But I'll "run what I brung" for the time being.
Tx for the input
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Old March 9, 2015, 06:12 PM   #12
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I have a 581 serial number tactical version Mini 14 and I installed the accu strut on it, first 3 shots starting with a cold barrel are within a 1 inch group but as the barrel heats up it strings up vertically as the barrel gets hot. After the barrel is hot at 100 yards it shoots higher the hotter the barrel gets until it is about 3 inches high and it stays that way until the barrel cools down, before the accu strut it shot large groups with a hot barrel, now it shoots dead center just the group is a verticle string. I hope that helps some, at least that is my experience with the accu strut. I still shoot it occassionally, now I shoot my AR`s more than anything else.

Edited to add, I changed the gas bushing to a smaller ID bushing, now my brass lands within a few feet of my firing position instead of raining down on the stations 5-8 away from where I am firing from.
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Old March 9, 2015, 06:12 PM   #13
courtgreene
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I've got an acustrut on mine. It works well. I don't shoot my mini14 much but last time I did it shot well (about 1.5" five shot groups).
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Old March 9, 2015, 06:18 PM   #14
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Catpop, I have always had good accuracy from the minis that I own. I did put a smaller gas bushing in the newer one I have. That really calms down the brass flying so far and I think it helped with accuracy even though it has always shot well. In my opinion, minis shoot as well or better than a similar priced AR. ARs have better potential for accuracy, but you have to pay for it.
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Old March 9, 2015, 06:43 PM   #15
Pete D.
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Quote:
That's really not that bad of accuracy from a Mini 14...I would have gladly accepted 2"-2 7/8" 100yd groups from my Ranch rifle(1990's vintage)....It's just that the Ranch rifle couldn't do better than maybe 4" to 5" at 100yds(or worse!)...It was pretty bad. I traded it on an AR 15 A2 rifle and never looked back.
Yep. ^^^^
That was exactly my experience also.
I gave the Mini to one of my sons and shoot the AR.....accurate from the get go.
It is a Colt H-bar....gave me the best groups I have shot from any rifle: one half inch five shots at 100 yards with the iron sights. Right out of the box.
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Old March 9, 2015, 06:52 PM   #16
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I can group 3/4-1" @ 50yards rested, open sights with junk tulammo. Mines an old factory folder model....
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Old March 9, 2015, 07:28 PM   #17
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I have True Shot struts on my 14 and 30- they do help.
Maybe about 2 MOA groups with both.
I also installed a smaller gas bushing to drop brass 6 ft away instead of 30!
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Old March 9, 2015, 07:58 PM   #18
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Where do you buy the smaller gas bushing and accu-strut, Ruger?
Tx, catpop
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Old March 9, 2015, 08:24 PM   #19
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You dont have to pay for accuracy with an AR. Just get a delton midlength heavy barreled upper, 49 dollar lower and enjoy shooting at or under 1 moa with your new $600 dollar AR. (Scope extra.)
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Old March 9, 2015, 10:50 PM   #20
jim in Anchorage
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I asked about the mini 14 strut here. Notice I requested no "sell it and buy a AR" posts which of course is happening on this thread.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=621088
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Old March 9, 2015, 11:07 PM   #21
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I have a 182 vintage Mini 14. I cant hit crappola with it, however my 21 year old son hits soda cans at 75 yards all day long. No scope, standard factory peep sight as a scope is awkward and unstable on the side mount. Anyway I cant figure the sights out, but my son apparently has. It is his favorite rifle.
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Old March 9, 2015, 11:16 PM   #22
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This diagram should help


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Old March 9, 2015, 11:28 PM   #23
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I was issued a Stainless Mini-14 GB as a Patrol Rifle about 15 years ago. With whatever ammo you fed it, at 100 yards it would put two rounds about an inch apart and the third round about three inches out. Everytime.

With Match Grade ammo like Black Hills or Federal Gold Medal I could get the groups down to 2-2.5 inches but the third round would always be sticking out. Everytime.

Just my .02,
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Old March 10, 2015, 12:38 AM   #24
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I got the smaller gas bushing from Accuracy Systems. I think I used the .040" and it has been reliable, still plenty of pressure.
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Old March 10, 2015, 01:22 AM   #25
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Most minis shoot patterns, not groups. If you're under 3 MOA, you got a decent one.
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