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What can I do with a Mini-14?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by WoodyTX, Mar 7, 2011.

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  1. WoodyTX

    WoodyTX Member

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    Back when I was broke, and couldn't afford an AR, I stumbled on a good deal for a pre-ban stainless Mini-14. It is drilled and tapped for a scope, but it's not a Ranch Rifle.

    Currently, it has a Butler Creek folding stock, and a couple of Ruger magazines (everything else sucks, IMHO).

    It's not a solid shooter; 6" at 50 meters is about all I can get from it currently. I'm getting a bit older, and can't shoot iron sights like I used to.

    Given the lack of accuracy, the lack of Ranch Rifle mounts, the fact that I now have a much more fun and accurate Rock River AR, and my stubborn unwillingness to sell firearms, what would you do with it?

    I've considered shortening the barrel and adding a soldered brake to keep it legal, but that would probably cost more than I paid for it initially.
     
  2. essayons21

    essayons21 Member

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    Truck gun.
     
  3. Roughneck08

    Roughneck08 Member

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    Agreed, put it behind your seat.
     
  4. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    A red dot sight is well matched to the rifle's capabilities, and an Ultimak forward rail is a good way to mount one. The folder makes it compact to store as well.

    Depending on funds, you might also consider having a gunsmith cut and recrown to 16.1" and move the front sight back accordingly; making the barrel less whippy and recrowning often helps inaccurate mini's. Threading for a flash suppressor and adding one (especially a fairly heavy one like a Smith Vortex) might also help accuracy by adding mass to the free end of the barrel. But merely adding a decent dot on an Ultimak will probably shrink your groups a good bit, and you could just have the barrel recrowned at its current length if the existing crown is bad.
     
  5. Z-Michigan

    Z-Michigan Member

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    Truck gun. Ideal candidate.
     
  6. essayons21

    essayons21 Member

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    I haven't used it, but I've heard this thing - Accu-strut works well. Cut down and recrown the barrel, add the accu-strut, and you will have a super compact and handy carbine.
     
  7. epijunkie67

    epijunkie67 Member

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    I'm all about fun truck guns but an inaccurate rifle is nothing more than an expensive noise maker. It doesn't have to be a match grade shooter but 6" at 50 yards is unacceptable in my opinion. I've got pistols that shoot better than that.

    If you are determined to not sell it then I'd try to do things to improve the accuracy. Shortening and recrowning the barrel. Maybe some stock work. Look at your scope options. If you could shrink your groups down to 2-2.5" at 50 yards or 4" at 100 yards then I'd consider it a great truck gun.

    .223 has great potential. It's silly to consign it to being a 50 yard rifle due to it's inaccuracy. If that's all you're going to get out of it you might as well go trade it in on a hi-point carbine.
     
  8. GigOleTrees

    GigOleTrees Member

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    I realize Minis aren't tack drivers, but...

    you can get them to shoot pretty-well easily and affordably. I'm certain that your rifle can group better than 6" at 50 yards.

    Its a good idea to make sure the upper and lower sections of the gas block are bearing on the barrel uniformly and that the screws are torqued evenly. Locktight them in place afterward.

    Make sure the rifle's crown is undamaged.

    Properly bedding the stock, given the "drop-in" nature of the receiver into the stock, can greatly affect Mini 14 accuracy.

    Try different ammunition, as these rifles can be fussy about what they like: I have a Mini that shoots much better with 62 gn bullets, and another that shoots much better with 45 gn bullets.

    Should you want to spend money to get is shooting better, their is alot you can do, and most of it is relatively affordable. However, I'm pretty confident you can get your Mini to shoot well by trying out these few things
     
  9. ScottieRussell

    ScottieRussell Member

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    You can try to tighten up the groups by modifying the weapon or just enjoy it for what it is...
     
  10. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    I'd never suggest buying a Mini today, but can remember the days when they were a LOT cheaper than AR's and they were a solid rifle for the money. Today you can get a good AR for less than a Mini-14.

    I have no idea what used Mini-14's will bring used now, but it is quite likely you can sell it for more than you paid for it if you have had it since they were cheper than AR's. If so I'd sell it in a heartbeat and buy something I would use. Using it as a cheap knock around truck gun is not a bad option if you don't want to part with it, or if you'd lose too much money selling it. I'd not put another dime into it however.
     
  11. henschman

    henschman Member

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    Make it a SBR and suppress it. Cutting down the barrel might make it more accurate, and if it's a close range suppressed carbine, who cares if it isn't MOA?
     
  12. brnmuenchow

    brnmuenchow Member

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    Truck, you can at least use it to scare the crap out of something, or someone.
     
  13. lencac

    lencac Member

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    Using it as a pry bar is always an option :neener:
     
  14. Zzyzxx

    Zzyzxx Member

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    There isn't much you can do with it other than waste a lot of ammo. I keep mine for "home defense". I put a hogue black synthetic stock on mine.
    I tried scoping in, but that wasnt worth a hill of beans.
    The iron sightss kinda suck in low light. put a flash suppressor on it.
    Accuracy, has mine is a early version, it's not too bad. I can hit a coyote standing still at about 200-250 yards out.
    AR's are much better.
    If you are inclined, you can "build" your own 30 round mag's by changing out the follower and drilling a very well placed hole in a AR magazine. There not that much different. Just keep in my you may not get the first mag to convert just right. The converted mags are great for blasting away at the range.
     
  15. husker

    husker Member

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    Last edited: Mar 7, 2011
  16. Jake Tyler

    Jake Tyler Member

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    someone will dispute this Im sure but my old series 180 can do 2 moa with 55gr I hear they group better with 62s

    having an extra automatic rifle around shouldnt be a burden to anyone.

    let me know where I can pick it up WoodyTX I'll take it off your hands!
     
  17. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I use the one I have to take up space in the safe more than anything else. You can make it waste a lot of ammo with a staple in the right spot. Fires upon pull and reset of each pull...

    That being said 6" is pretty bad, and AR they are not but they can (or should) do better than that. 6" at 100 yds makes a good truck gun. I wouldn't spend the money on SBR and suppressor, my 10.5" AR is more accurate than my mini.
     
  18. FMJMIKE

    FMJMIKE Member

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    If you don't want to sell it then give it to me !!! That will save you tons of frustration...........:rolleyes:
     
  19. WoodyTX

    WoodyTX Member

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    I may just have to take it back to the range and see what I can get out of it. I don't recall if it strings or is just all over the place.

    Once I get this resolved, I've also got a Sako 7mm Rem Mag with an 18" barrel that might need replacing. If the bullet misses, the fireball gets 'em.
     
  20. cottonmouth

    cottonmouth Member

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    6" at 50 yards? Open up that rear sight some, if your eyes aren't what they once were it'll help. No mods will help if you can't see the sights.

    J.B.
     
  21. Malamute

    Malamute Member

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    I had a ranch rifle many years ago that was pretty bad, about 8+" @ 100 yards. The stock was sloppy loose. I bought a replacement stock that looked like the factory stock but was black plastic. The action was tight going into it. With nothing else done, it shot about 2 1/2"-3" groups afterwards.
     
  22. kelo4u2

    kelo4u2 Member

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    I had one like that I fianilly sold it and will never buy aanother one.Worst gun I ever owned and I would never by one again no matter what they do to them
     
  23. Ignition Override

    Ignition Override Member

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    In addition to the many excellent ideas here, have you looked at "Perfectunion"?

    They specialize mostly in the Mini 14, even some 6.8 and Mini 30 topics, but have other categories.

    For other people who (also) don't like the large post sights on older models, the flash hiders ($40?) have a thinner post, similar to the front sights on the new Minis.
     
  24. Sheepdog1968

    Sheepdog1968 Member

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    Two suggestions.

    If your eyes are not up to snuff, there is nothing wrong in using a fixed power scope say (3x) on your weapons. Also, scopes give you one focal plain to deal with and it helps. Some folks I know even go with a 1-5x varriable scope.

    Firstly, take an Appleseed 2 day course. Will cost you around $80 and will teach you fundamentals of shooting. About 75% of those taking it are using 22 LR.

    After Appleseed, I'd try that Ruger again to see what you can wring out of it. If it is still shooting as you say, call Ruger and see if they will fix it for you. I've know others who have done this and Ruger has taken care of them. Worse case scenario is they say no. Also, might charge some small fee and you would end out with a more accurate rifle out of it.
     
  25. Megiddo

    Megiddo Member

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    jmorris: "Today you can get a good AR for less than a Mini-14."

    Any idea where you can find a good AR cheaper than $680? Cause I've been looking hard.
     
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