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Mini-14 Accuracy

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by ConserVet, Feb 17, 2006.

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  1. ConserVet

    ConserVet Member

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    I've been wanting a Mini-14 for years. I like the military-style rifles, and .223 is cheap to shoot. I know quite a few people who own them though, and none of them are impressed with the Mini's accuracy. Is there something they're doing wrong, like ammo selection, or are Mini-14s inherently inaccurate?

    I don't expect it to be a sniper rifle, but is something wrong with these things?:confused:
     
  2. twoblink

    twoblink Member

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    Do a search on this board and TFL, and you will find literally HUNDREDS of comments on the Mini's accuracy.

    Tighten the everything on the gun, and that will reduce your groupings by 50% :evil:

    As far as accuracy, there are postings about how to make a sub-MOA mini-14. So if need be, it can be made as accurate as you need. But on the whole? I agree.. it's not that accurate out of the box. Little (low cost/free) tweaks are available to increase their accuracies.
     
  3. shermacman

    shermacman Member

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    Wait till you see what happens to your nice, tight groups as the stock barrel warms up...:eek: By the time you upgrade and replace everything that needs upgrading and replacing, you can buy a decent AR.
     
  4. Geno
    • Contributing Member

    Geno Member

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    When I owned one the best it would do it about 3" @ 100 yards

    I called Ruger and asked what was wrong with it? They said "Nothing! That's fully acceptable accuracy." :what: Remember, ALL of my other rifles at that time were Rem M700Vs in .223, .22-250, 6MM Rem. So, for me, that was just appalling! I sold it and never looked back. A few years later, I bought my first M1A, w/ oversized stock and stainless heavy National match barrel. That was when I first came to understand that semi-auto can be both accurate and reliable. But, those cost a bit more than the Mini-14. It's just a "cheap" imitation. Buy the real thing. Or to put it more effectively--if they bad guy's outside your door, who you gonna call:

    http://springfield-armory.com/images/rifles/SA9502Large.jpg

    :D

    Doc2005
     
  5. PinnedAndRecessed

    PinnedAndRecessed member

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    It's fine for the purpose for which it was designed. You get what you pay for. I have a mini-30. I use Wolf ammo. It's not a tack driver. It is a hunting rifle for thick cover in the woods. It's also a plinker.

    Enjoy it as such. It's fun, cheap to own, and cheap to feed.
     
  6. Tomac

    Tomac Member

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  7. jagdpanzer347

    jagdpanzer347 Member

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    I look at the Mini as kind of a modern day M1 carbine. It's fun to shoot and with factory mags quite reliable. However, if you want a SHTF rifle in .223 get an AR15. The difference in price on full capacity magazines will make up for the difference in price on the rifle. Just my .02.
    -jagdpanzer
     
  8. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    Out of the box, no, mini-14's are inherently rather inaccurate. I own a 188-series Ranch Rifle, and the best group I have ever gotten is 5.5" at 100 yards, from a rest and rear bag. I tried Winchester 69-gr match rounds once, just to see if it would do any better, and it didn't.

    If you want accuracy, an AR-15 would be a better choice (inherently a much more accurate design), and they're not much more expensive than a mini.
     
  9. 45crittergitter

    45crittergitter Member

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    Mine is minute-of-paper-plate.:eek:
     
  10. AZ Jeff

    AZ Jeff Member

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    Actually, 3" at 100 yards is pretty good for ANY "non-accurized" self loading rifle. If you compare a bolt action to a self-loader, you should NOT EXPECT similar accuracy.
     
  11. colt.45

    colt.45 Member

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    true, it isnt very accurate, but there are remedies and no they wont build up to the cost of an ar-15. the first thing you can do is buy some kind of muzzle accessory, it is a military rifle and the barrel looks kinda dorky being so short, so i would pick an m-14 style flash hider. this is supposed to cut your groups by 1/2 or at least close 2.5moa aint that bad

    if you want more inexpensive accuracy, you can tourque the gas block. to do this get the CORRECT sised hex wrench and unscrew the gas block screws. now, insert the long end into the hexbolt and tighten until you think "hey this kinda hurts" you wont see much accuracy improvement with this one untill you get the barrel hot, it cuts down on the vertical stringing.

    there also is a thing you can make on your own or wait untill it is being mass produced. it is called the accu-strut its a tube that clamps onto the barrel to stop barrel whip.

    with all of these mod's it is claimed by many that you can get 1.5 moa. there will always be the problem of that damn skinny barrel, just don't shoot so fast.

    if more accuracy is desired i suggest buying a custom barrel, and getting it glass bedded.

    here are some links:
    http://perfectunion.com/vb/forumdisplay.php?f=106
    http://www.accustrut.com/
     
  12. IrvJr

    IrvJr Member

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    barrel struts...

    Supposedly, the addition of a barrel strut is a low cost way to improve a mini's accuracy. Check out this website for a product that is being developed by a member of the www.perfectunion.com forum,

    http://www.accu-strut.com/

    My mini seems to provide good plinking accuracy, probably about 6 MOA using the iron sights at 100 yards.
     
  13. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    Not all mini's will do 3". Mine has never done better than 5.5", even with premium ammunition and optics.

    Most AR's are better than 3" out of the box, with good ammunition and optics.
     
  14. 1911user

    1911user Member

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    With a free-float handguard most basic ARs will easily reach 1-2 MOA with good ammo. The ease of barrel changes is another nice feature. Whomever came up with the pre-headspaced barrel was a genius; it makes it easy to be modular.
     
  15. Car Knocker

    Car Knocker Member

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    Is it legal to use the terms "Mini-14" and "accuracy" in the same sentence? :evil:

    Just kidding!
     
  16. bowfin

    bowfin Member

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    Whether a Mini-14 is accurate enough depends on what you are going to do with it. If you never get off the bench at the range, it is probably not the rifle for you. Doing that, you will want something that makes tiny little groups to make a good impression on everybody. So the first question is, what do you plan on doing with the rifle?

    I used mine to trudge through snow along the shelterbelts to flush jackrabbits and shoot them for sausage. I don't how a sub MOA rifle would have worked better for me, it wasn't a sub MOA job I was doing.

    Prairie Dog hunting, I don't think the Mini-14 would be much fun, they are a sub MOA type target. It would be passable as a coyote rifle, but not be considered a "serious" one like a .22-250 Varmint rifle to pay for gas money.

    Self defense is best handled by other guns, I won't go into that.

    However, a sub MOA rifle is no heavier to carry while jackrabbit hunting than a 3 MOA rifle. An MOA or subMOA rifle usually will cost more, but getting the best you can afford is always a good policy. A Mini-14 was the best I could afford at the time.
     
  17. steve4102

    steve4102 Member

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    It has been suggested here quite a few time already, but, slip on over to the "perfectunion" and get to know these guys. They can help you get your mini on target for very little $$$. The number one item to accurize the mini is no different than any other rifle, "Bed The Action". This is the first step and it will control the fliers.
    I also installed this barrel stabilizer http://www.henrich3.com/biathalon_stabilizer.htm on my mini-30 and I do have a MOA mini.
     
  18. Tomac

    Tomac Member

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    The new & highly regarded ProMag 30rd Polymer Mini-14 mags are $10.86 each at Natchez. I've personally experienced and witnessed too many problems w/the AR platform to ever trust it (YMMV). Ever try to clear a double feed jam in an AR?... :barf:
    Tomac
     
  19. Beemerguy53

    Beemerguy53 Member

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    My Mini-14 is absolutely reliable, fits me very well, has a good trigger, and is easy to clean...but it is not that accurate. I would grab it in a heartbeat for defending myself or the homestead, but when I want to spend a day at the range punching little groups in paper, I take my AR-15 HBAR, my M1-A, or my Steyr Scout Rifle (which is, by the way, astoundingly accurate, easily sub-MOA).

    BTW, I agree with Shermacman, who pointed out that by the time you spend what it takes to make a Mini-14 what it was never intended to be (a tack driver) you will have spent enough to buy an AR or a good bolt-action rifle.
     
  20. colt.45

    colt.45 Member

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    you guys are underestimating the accuracy of the ar. most stock ars are easily 1moa guns, and a good majority of them are .75 moa. i can shoot a .85 group out of my dads stock colt ar-15 with good optics when i try hard.
     
  21. student

    student Member

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    If you always wanted a mini-14, then by all means get one. I suggest looking for a lower priced older model, stainless is my preference. What is wrong with it is that the rear sight in rather loose, the barrel is relatively thin and Ruger doesn't mass produce the high caps for civilians (which seems illegal to me since it is legal for us to own them, kind of like not letting blacks drink from waterfountains:confused: ). Despite all of that I love my mini-14 for what it is. 100% reliable with LEO factory 20's (25-30 bucks online) or Promags steel 20's, am soon to experience the polymer 30's but can't comment on their reliability. Accuracy has been about 3" at 100 from the bench with iron sights. Personally I can't outshoot the rifle offhand which is what matters to me. It is not a sniper rifle and I don't expect it to be. With the Butler creek folder in the folded position, my mini-14 is as long as my AK folder but with an 18.5" barrel plus a flash suppressor as compared to the 16" AK barrel. And with the .223 barrel length is key to reach the velocity needed for effective terminal ballistics. In my opinion it would have been great if the mini-14 construction had held more true to the M-14. The result would have been damning to the M-16/AR-15, or at least have ended such silly comparisons.
     
  22. 3rdpig

    3rdpig Member

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    I've had two Mini's and eventually got rid of both of them. They were both reliable and fun to shoot, but neither would shoot under 6" groups at 100 when new. I added a muzzle device to the second one, torqued everything, bedded the stock and got it down to 4" at 100. I've yet to see one with the stock barrel that would shoot under 3" at 100 with factory ammo. In fact, I've yet to see one period at any range I've ever been to that will shoot under 3" at 100. On the other hand, my $650 Olympic 20" AR will shoot 1" at 100 all day long with quality factory ammo. Stock, right out of the box. The 16" carbine I built with a RRA upper will shoot under 2" at 100 and consistently ring the bell at 500 meters.

    There's simply NO excuse why Ruger never put a better barrel on the Mini, it's not that much more expensive and with a heavier barrel, 16 inches long it would have shot 3" and under right out of the box. But as they are they're less accurate than most AK's I've owned, including the little 12.5" barrel AMD-65 I built.

    Mini's are fun, but they're a 100 to 150 yard gun and it's really not worth it putting much time and money into one, because you can't get it back when you sell it. When I was messing with mine everyone told me "Sell it and get an AR". It use to make me mad, but they were right.
     
  23. Beemerguy53

    Beemerguy53 Member

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    If you are buying Thermold polymer mags for your Mini 14 I think you will be very pleased with them.
     
  24. Tomac

    Tomac Member

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    I believe he's referring to the ProMag polymer mags for the Mini-14, not the Thermolds.
    Tomac
     
  25. jlucas45

    jlucas45 Member

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    Mini 14/30 gas block thermal stabilizer

    Check out www.aimstraight.net .

    This system actually works without spending a large sum of money, or adding a lot of weight and bulk to your rifle. I have shot a 1/2" group at 50 yards with it, and about an inch and a half at 100 yards with it. Basically, it cut my groups in less than half. It is also offered with accessory attachments if that is what you are looking for...check it out.
     
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