Ruger Mini-14 223 or 5.56

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by stinger 327, Oct 31, 2014.

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  1. stinger 327

    stinger 327 Member

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    Are the new Mini-14's made today any different than the older ones made in April 1998?
    I bought a Mini-14 .223 Ranch Rifle with a composite stock brand new for $490 in 1998. Today they are double that price brand new.
    I noticed that after 5 or 6 shots the rounds were inconsistent in shooting groups. Basically it shot erratically with no pattern. I was told it was because the barrel got too hot.

    Would I have this very same problem with a new Mini-14 Ranch rifle?
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2014
  2. stinger 327

    stinger 327 Member

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    Ruger Mini-14 .223 Ranch Rifle

    Are the new Mini-14's made today any different than the older ones made in April 1998?
    I bought a Mini-14 .223 Ranch Rifle with a composite stock brand new for $490 in 1998. Today they are double that price brand new.
    I noticed that after 5 or 6 shots the rounds were inconsistent in shooting groups. Basically it shot erratically with no pattern. I was told it was because the barrel got too hot.

    Would I have this very same problem with a new Mini-14 Ranch rifle?
    Do they also make Mini-14 rifles that shoot 5.56?
     
  3. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Member

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    The Mini-14 has a fairly thin barrel, and after it gets heated the pattern will open up. But that will happen with most any barrel.

    Do more recent Minis shoot better than older ones? I believe so, at least that is what I have heard and read.

    And (almost) any Mini-14 has always been capable of shooting 5.56x45 ammunition, whether the barrel is marked .223 or 5.56x45.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2014
  4. stinger 327

    stinger 327 Member

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    Thanks for that info. I thought since the Mini-14 was .223 that it could not shoot 5.56. Is one caliber preferred over the other and for what reason?
     
  5. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Moderator In Memoriam

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    Same caliber. The main difference is that the leade of a chamber for 5.56 is a bit longer and thus won't cause a spike in pressure from the bullet's being too close to the rifling. SFAIK, all Minis are cut for a 5.56 leade.

    Generally, the Mini is more of a hunting or plinking rifle than a bench-rest target rifle. I'm more of a hunter. I've had four of the early "skinny" Minis. All were very reliable for the first two or three shots to go to the desired point of impact. I never missed a jackrabbit or coyote because of "inaccuracy". :)
     
  6. Ibmikey

    Ibmikey Member

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    Mini's are very well known for their lack of consistent shot placement, through the years I have had many and they were soda can accurate at 100. I purchased one of the new heavier barrel Tactical (gotta' love that title !) and true to form it is less than a tack driver. As Art indicated they are not target rifles but fun plinkers.
     
  7. MIL-DOT

    MIL-DOT member

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    I can also verify that the newer 580-series minis, with the heavier barrels, are still not that impressively accurate.
     
  8. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I have an old one that is a lot better than the "minute of pie plate" stuff you hear people say. That said, I rarely get it out and use one of my AR's instead.

    They throw your brass into the next county.
     
  9. BruceB

    BruceB Member

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    I will differ from the above opinions.

    A friend and I each bought new Mini-14s in 2010, and these rifles have the heavier tapered barrel.

    His is a stainless Ranch Rifle, mounting a 3-9X Leupold scope. Mine is a Davidson's special-run "Deluxe" model in a Circassian walnut stock and carrying a Leupold Mark AR 1-4X sight.

    BOTH of these rifles shoot very close to the one-inch mark at 100 yards. I once watched my friend fire five consecutive five-round groups, and all five were right at the one-inch span or slightly over.... maybe 1.25" maximum. My own rifle does much the same.

    ALL our shooting has used handloaded 55-grain Hornady V-Max bullets, with absolutely no factory loads fired to date.

    This is a good bit better than the performance I've had from earlier "straight-barrel" Minis in the past.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2014
  10. blahpony

    blahpony Member

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    The target version of the Mini-14 will shoot .223 only. All other versions will fire .223 or 5.56.
     
  11. stinger 327

    stinger 327 Member

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    What is the effective range of a Mini-14?:confused:
     
  12. Jackal

    Jackal Member

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    In 1998 gas was about $1.20 per gallon. Now its $3.50-$4.00. But remember, there hasnt been any significant inflation....:rolleyes:
     
  13. ridgerunner1965

    ridgerunner1965 Member

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    the effective range of a mini is how far away you can put the bullet in the kill zone on the desired animal you are hunting. this can be found out by testing your particular load at diff ranges.

    but you must use discretion, even if you can hit a deer in the kill zone at 500 yrds it may not be wise to shoot it at that range.your round must still be able to retain enough velocity to reliably expand the bullet a penatrate fully.

    for instance, myself, i would not shoot at a deer with any 223 at over 150 yrds. at that range with that small of a bullet you are really taking chances unless you can place it very precisely. minis, and i have several, are not known for being able to place a bullet precisely much over 100 yrds. you mileage may differ.

    hand loading may extend your accurate range but wont really extend the range that a certain caliber is effective on a certain game animal.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2014
  14. stinger 327

    stinger 327 Member

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    Is the AR-15 more capable as far as extended accurate range? It costs alot more even though it shoots the same caliber.
     
  15. Jackal

    Jackal Member

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    Are you located in the USA? Mini 14's here are around $700 and lower end AR's are about $550.
     
  16. JohnnytheRipper

    JohnnytheRipper Member

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    Some Mini-14s don't fit right in the stocks, assuming you have a wood stock version, take the action out of the stock and bed the contact points with some cork or brass shim stock until the screws torque as tight as they'll go. Also, as others have said, the barrels tend to be thin so the group opens up. At one point or another someone made an aftermarket barrel. May be worth looking into.
     
  17. Milkmaster

    Milkmaster Member

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    Minis are at the local Walmart here for $699.

    I have the 582 model. Ranch rifle is the accurate description. It is great for having around the farm for various uses. It is the handiest rifle I have and the most fun to shoot. So far I have hit anything I targeted. I did install an adjustable gas block. It makes it so easy to turn off when sitting at the bench or slow it down where I don't have to hunt my brass for reloading. I can use it single shot or make it eject and drop right beside me. I still like my AR15 as well, but for some reason people ask to shoot the Mini a lot more than the AR. Some day I will probably get a Mini 30 to go with my Mini 14.
     
  18. Milkmaster

    Milkmaster Member

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    Modern Mini 14 rifles have the Wylde Chamber

    Read up on the "Wylde Chamber" here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.223_Wylde
     
  19. Welding Rod

    Welding Rod Member

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    I have like new Mini from 1993. I am fortunate in that it is fairly accurate and stable as the barrel heats. Unfortunately it is not functionally reliable.
     
  20. stinger 327

    stinger 327 Member

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    The one I had with a Nikon scope couldn't hit the paper at 100 yards. If at least it could hit a soda can I would have been satisfied with it. At least it was super reliable and didn't jam but literally you could not hit the side of the barn with it and that is with a good scope.
     
  21. stinger 327

    stinger 327 Member

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    Are you referring to the Mini-14's that come with a wooden stock then you switch over to a laminated stock? Mine already came with the laminiated stock on it so the fit was great.
     
  22. Skyshot

    Skyshot Member

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    I have one of the newer 581 series minis, I have no problem killing coyotes out to 250 and 300 yards with my reloads. Not a bench gun, but a fine carbine.
     
  23. JDGray

    JDGray Member

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    This is what I shoot at off hand at 75yrds, hard to miss! Its 11" wide, and using peep sights, a wonder I can hit it at all. I'm very happy with the accuracy for what this thing is!
    photo.jpg
    My old Mini!
    IMG_2346_zps057903c9.gif
     
  24. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    The only thing that particularly bothered me about Mini-14's were the sights and the curved shoulder rest on the old wood stocks. Never liked military type sights or the stock. This stuff was replaceable if I wanted to spend some money which I didn't. Mine is still stock just like my Ruger 10/22.

    I believe (if I can recall my owners manual), that you can safely use either 223 or 5.56 in a Mini-14. I have one of the older ones. Shoots good enough for me... gallon paint can at 100 yds kind of accuracy for me.
     
  25. tark

    tark Member

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    My Mini is marked "5.56 NATO" over the chamber. I have put over a thousand rounds through it with only a couple of stoppages. (failure to feed). I am very happy with it. It is not as accurate as an AR, but then, what is?
     
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