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New Mini 14 Range and Accuracy?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by JCooperfan1911, May 24, 2021.

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  1. Rex B

    Rex B Member

    Apr 5, 2006
    Fort Worth TX
    Sounds like the OP needs to look at bolt guns. Wood stocks and accuracy, plus they take a scope easier than a mini.
  2. ilmonster

    ilmonster Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    I bought a new Mini-14 (580 series) a few weeks ago. Wood stock and stainless receiver/barrel. I've only taken it to the range and shot it out to 50 yards so far (about 80 rds to sight in and break in barrel). With the stock peep iron sights, I was able to get 5 shots around 1 1/2" at 50 yds. with 55gr. PMC bulk ammo. Pretty impressed. Don't think I can shoot better than that with any rifle with peep sights.

    One thing I did before shooting it was to get a gas bushing kit from ASI (it's overgassed from the factory for reliability reasons) and installed a .040" gas bushing in lieu of the stock .080" gas bushing. This is supposed to enhance accuracy as the bolt doesn't slam back as hard, moving the receiver relative to the stock. It also does make it shoot super soft. Highly recommended.

    As an aside, you can easily mount a scope to the new Mini's as they come with rings and even a picatinny rail from the factory. I have an old Leupold I'm going to mount soon and take it to my 100/200 yd. range to see how it shoots. Will report back. As for magazines, the Ruger mag's are steel and appear to be super rugged like combloc AK magazines. Yup, they cost more than AR mags, but appear to be worth it (and feed flawlessly).

    All in all, I've been super pleased with my new Mini-14. Not as scary looking as my AR (to those who get scared by steel and plastic), and a lot of fun to shoot!
    Last edited: May 25, 2021
    Speedo66 and LoonWulf like this.
  3. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

    Nov 5, 2007
    Rural, far beyond the beltway, Northern Virginia,
    When I read that, finally, 30 years after they were introduced Ruger decided to fix the Mini-14 accuracy issue by changing the barrel spec, it brought a smile to my face.

    Despite the tiny-person LOP and "over-zealous" extraction, I like the original Mini-14s. I like the look of it and the feel of it ... accuracy after heating the barrel? ... eh, not so much.

    I bought my first Mini-14 new & blue, a 181-, in the late '70s. Traded it a few years later. Replaced it with a gently-used, stainless 184- several years after that. I still have that 184-. A decade ago I installed a smaller gas port bushing to civilize the case ejection. EXCELLENT mod, btw.

    I have never been a mag-dump kinda guy. Shooting rifles at paper, except when sighting-in, holds no interest for me either.

    While walking the hills/woods/fields if I come across something that I feel needs to be shot, I expect to put it down in one, or maybe two, shots.

    In the past ~30 years I have only rarely shot my Mini-14 more than 2-3 rounds at a time. Under those conditions, it is acceptably accurate. If it were not for my slowly-increasing presbyopia, I have no doubt that I would still have no problem taking down a varmint at up to 150yds over the default irons (assuming a decent "rest" or "lean-against" availability ;)).

    As much as I like the Mini-14s, I would not buy one now as they, long ago, passed into the range of what I think of as Stupidly Expensive.

    Acoupla years ago when I built my last AR Uppers & Lowers, I realized that I could build 2 decent ARs for the cost of 1 NIB Mini-14.

    My 184- is still a fine companion for farm walkabout, however. :)
    JohnB-40 likes this.
  4. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 15, 2012
    I had a Mini-14 for many years, but never shot it much. By "never shot it much," I mean probably less than 300 rounds in ~30 years. Probably 200 of that was shot in the first 3 years that I owned it. Then it sat in a closet for about 25 years. I liked my Mini, but I didn't love it. When I first got it, my dad warned me to watch my fingers or the slide "would take my fingers right off." So that was in the back of my head every time I shot it. About a year and a half ago, I took it to a gun show to sell and ran in to a friend who happened to say "Man, I've always wanted a Mini-14!" So we made a deal.

    If I were in the market for a semiauto .223 right now, I'd have to go with an AR. Price, modularity, aftermarket support, etc., all go in its favor. With that said, there's still one perfectly good reason to own a Mini: To feel like Colonel John "Hannibal" Smith:
    Oh, and by the way, he's about to get his fingers taken right off.
  5. loose noose

    loose noose Member

    Feb 22, 2012
    Southern Nevada
    Well, here I go again, I've got a 186 Series, I bought a brand new one, back around 1992 a mini-14 with the wood stock and definitely not the ranch model. After shooting approximately 200-250 rounds thru it, decided to make it a safe queen, due to the Minute of Barn accuracy and the terrible trigger pull. Then around 2010 or so, I took it out, due to an article I had found on the internet about somebody getting the pencil thin barrels to stop the terrible stringing of so called groups down to 1.5-2.0" MOA at 200 yards, simply by doing a trigger job, as well as tightening up the barrel, using an Accustrut, and also repositioning the the entire firearm into the stock, and adjusting the gas pistons. Sounded like quite an ordeal to me but what the heck, I figured all I've got is time, and some extra money. So first I did the trigger job, and ordered a Hogue Over Molded stock, and set the firearm into the stock with just a few adjustments to make sure the barrel had just a light touch on the fiber glass and metal insert (or whatever the material is made of), and then using my Torque Driver loosened all 4 screws on the gas piston and re-secured them to I do believe 35 inch pounds. Last but not least I ordered a 6" Accustrut off the internet along with a flash suppressor. After taking it out to my personal range, test fired it using factory Federal 55grn FMJ rounds (.223) and noted that they were holding 10 rounds into about a 2,5" cluster without any stringing. After testing various hand loads, I finally settled on 52-53grn Hornady/Sierra in front of IMR4198 using once fired Federal brass. After removing the rear sight, in order to accommodate the scope mount I ordered from Brownell's , and placed a 2X7 Vortex Crossfire scope on it, due to my eyes getting much worse with age: I went back to my personal range and was able to shoot MOA from 100-250 yards with 5 shot groups. Note this was using my portable bench. I do know that this is not bench rest competition accuracy, but it sure as heck isn't too shabby either, for varmint shooting.
    benEzra and Demi-human like this.
  6. Crosshair

    Crosshair Member

    Mar 25, 2005
    Grand Forks, North Dakota
    Don't get discouraged with old wives tales. The new Minis can be plenty accurate for a rifle in its weight class.

    If you're bolting it to a bench? No it won't hold up against someones 12 pound varmint AR.

    If you're going out and shooting over the hood of your pickup? A properly tuned Mini will be just fine.

    I never went super into finding the most accurate loads for mine, but with a 4x scope, new gas bushing, extra power recoil spring, barrel strut, and mixed brass handloads I could get groups a hair over 1" wide and about 2"-2.5" high. From sandbags, of course.

    The new ones the strut is less important. I havn't put them on any others besides the one. People do see accuracy improvements with them though.

    The big thing is to tune the gas system. (How well do ARs run when not gassed properly?) Minis are overgassed from the factory for reliability. (Which is why they chuck brass into the next county and will cycle 22 Hornet level loads.) Replace the gas bushing with a smaller one. Accuracy Systems sells a $30-$40 kit that has several sizes.

    I could go on for pages, but you've already been pointed towards PerfectUnion.
    Last edited: May 26, 2021
    ilmonster, JohnB-40 and LoonWulf like this.
  7. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

    May 31, 2008
    Company called Samson is making those stocks again from Ruger blueprints.

    Ruger is selling them, too. The model is called the A-TM. lol
    Spats McGee and LoonWulf like this.
  8. Robert

    Robert Administrator Staff Member

    Jun 7, 2006
    Texan by birth, in Colorado cause I hate humidity
    I have my dad's 80s vintage Mini 14. It's fun, handy, and accurate enough so long as you don't over heat the barrel. Once the barrel gets hot accuracy goes right out the window. My AR does not have an over heating issue, but they are both fun. One is my go to, the other is for fun.
  9. DairyVet

    DairyVet Member

    Dec 19, 2010
    That is far and away the most attractive "AR" I've ever seen! I'd never heard of the company before, and unfortunately when I checked their website the only models listed with wood are carbine-length - not nearly as pretty...
  10. natman

    natman Member

    Feb 11, 2007
    Nice. Who makes that stock or is it a one off custom job?
    LoonWulf likes this.
  11. somethingbenign

    somethingbenign Member

    Dec 23, 2017
    The Fightlite company sells the lowers with stocks already fitted. The one in the photo was a custom job. It is common for guys to take Rem 1100 stocks and do the fitting by hand, apparently it is a pretty simple job.
    LoonWulf likes this.
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