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3/20/2017 5:03:23 PM
Posted: 7/4/2001 7:17:51 AM EDT
The AR-15 & AR-10 are both excellent rifles with the same basic design. The same can be said of the HK91 & HK93, some AK variants in 556 & 762, etc. So why is the M14 such an outstanding rifle, but the Mini-14 doesn't live up to big brother's reputation. The M14 and Mini14, to my understanding, are made from the same basic design, so where did the Mini go wrong?
Link Posted: 7/4/2001 7:24:43 AM EDT
Link Posted: 7/4/2001 7:32:22 AM EDT
Link Posted: 7/4/2001 7:43:16 AM EDT
the mini-14 uses a 1/10 twist barrel. For some strange reason, this twist produces some interesting groups. In addition, the front blade is also not to my liking.
Link Posted: 7/4/2001 7:49:19 AM EDT
I think one of the main problems with it is the crappy barrels they put on them. Why would Ruger want to make it any better? They already sell tons of them because they are relatively cheap and accurate enough for most peoples purposes. Most of the people that buy Minis use them for occasional plinking or use them for work/ranching rifles where they don't necessiarly need the accuracy of an AR or other accurate type of rifle. You have to admit, they are fun rifles just for going out and playing with. As a side note, the older Minis in my experience seem to be much more accurate than the newer ones. My father in law has a couple of them that are 20yrs old or so and we have no problem hitting coke cans out past 100yds with the iron sights. Maybe he just got a couple of good ones though. Ive shot a couple of the newer ones side by side with these two and the reduced accuracy is noticable. Just some thoughts... Michael
Link Posted: 7/4/2001 7:55:45 AM EDT
i thought about building a new mini 14 up by putting M1 carbine sites on them then rebarrel it to a 1/9 twist see what happens.
Link Posted: 7/4/2001 8:15:38 AM EDT
In the Ruger Mini 14 armorers manual, under general specifications, the barrel on all models is listed as a 6 groove, right hand twist, 1 in 9 inch twist (1:228.6mm) This is from the current manual. I have seen some that are pretty accurate, but most seem to suffer from a combination of problems. The worst is the barrel. They have a really loose chamber, helps reliability, but hurts accuracy. The fit of the cast receiver, certainly dosen't help. The M14 receiver is forged, the M1A is cast, but to really tight tolerances. The mini is just plain loose. You can get one re-barreled and tightned up to where it is a tack driver. It will end up costing lot's more than an AR, so what's the point?
Link Posted: 7/4/2001 8:19:30 AM EDT
Would be an ok cheap carbine for AR users "if" they only used AR mags. Unfortunately, who wants to start a mini mag collection? [sleep] M4-AK
Link Posted: 7/4/2001 8:21:16 AM EDT
That and Ruger thought it was proper to sell hi-cap magazines to LE only.
Link Posted: 7/4/2001 8:38:47 AM EDT
For people who live in California the mini is one of the last options for a semi auto .223. Has anyone tried the GBS by Clark Custom? They seem to have a good reputation and what I've read has all been positive, but I haven't run into anyone with direct experience.
Link Posted: 7/4/2001 8:46:49 AM EDT
Better weapons (ARs / FALs) available for comparable $$$. GCF
Link Posted: 7/4/2001 8:51:21 AM EDT
It sure ant an M14, but the mini's not that bad. The AR is just that good, thats is our measuring stick. I keep one around, thinking about sending it over to Kurt to cut the barrel back and put a flash supressor on to see what happens.
Link Posted: 7/4/2001 9:14:56 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Ponyboy: As a side note, the older Minis in my experience seem to be much more accurate than the newer ones. My father in law has a couple of them that are 20yrs old or so and we have no problem hitting coke cans out past 100yds with the iron sights. Maybe he just got a couple of good ones though. Ive shot a couple of the newer ones side by side with these two and the reduced accuracy is noticable. Just some thoughts... Michael
View Quote
My dad bought his in the late 70's and it was one of the most accurate guns I have ever seen. Not like mine. Mine is definitely not an AR.
Link Posted: 7/4/2001 9:15:48 AM EDT
Link Posted: 7/4/2001 9:25:13 AM EDT
Originally Posted By GCF: Better weapons (ARs / FALs) available for comparable $$$. GCF
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Not hardly. The AR's and FAL's are better weapons by far, but not for comparable $$$. I have not seen an AR for less that $600 in the last few years, whereas you can get a mini for $300-$350 all day long. I have quite a few AR's and a mini just for giggles and grins. It is a fun rifle to go shoot and I do like that it reminds me of the M1 Garand and M1 carbine, even more than it does an M14. For someone who can't afford an AR (even the new 180B at $590) or those who are forbidden by law (Kali) to have an AR, a mini will do the job. I also have an M1 carbine and it is intriguing to think of what might have been had they chambered it in a round similar to the 5.56/.223. It is a great little rifle and very light. You can get different stocks such as folders and synthetic for it. The only thing wrong with it is the round it fires. Don't misunderstand, it will still do the job as is, but can you imagine the M1 carbine chambered in 5.56?
Link Posted: 7/4/2001 10:28:03 AM EDT
I own one too and i do like it for plinking but prefer the ar for range duty or long distance shooting. The mini lacks in the barrel dept,and the choice of aftermkt mags.I have 3 factory and three pmis and have not had any jams whatsoever with these mags.But these mags are hard to come by and inserting them is not as good as the ar as these mags have to be put in at an angle.I do think that the barrel is a 1x9 also not 1x10.
Link Posted: 7/4/2001 10:30:20 AM EDT
Originally Posted By no ma''am: So why is the M14 such an outstanding rifle, but the Mini-14 doesn't live up to big brother's reputation. The M14 and Mini14, to my understanding, are made from the same basic design, so where did the Mini go wrong?
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acually i dont think the mini and m14 share the same bond shared by ar 10s and 15s or HK autoloaders. i belive it works somewhat diffrentally.
Link Posted: 7/4/2001 10:38:43 AM EDT
Several others have already mentioned this fact but the barrel is the main problem. I've heard it said but cannot prove that Ruger pays $8.00 for the barrel. Sent mine to "Accuracy Rifle" in Texas came back and shoots sub-MOA. (Sometimes I can too !) Per the guy at Accuracy good receiver, etc., rotten barrel.
Link Posted: 7/4/2001 3:16:09 PM EDT
In 1982 I put a Mini 14 on my Sears charge. Yes Sears paid $ 265 and it came with a case. Shoots great, never had a problem, it is now an extra or back up to my AR. My wife likes it better than my AR.
Link Posted: 7/4/2001 3:29:51 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ARMALITE FAN: That and Ruger thought it was proper to sell hi-cap magazines to LE only.
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This was not so in the early days. Ruger actually did begin to cultivate the mini line and offered high cap mags in various capacities (somewhat rare nowdays) The main downfall was the company`s "compliance" move with big brother back in 88-89. This pretty much killed any further refinement of a proven design, other than has been already stated here. actually, there are companies that will rebarrel and accurize your mini if desired, but, as also stated, quality ar`s already to go in that $ range! too bad Bill Ruger sold out, BUT, he was using foresight to save his company, which he did, AND he was one of, if not the first, to make a "deal with the devil"
Link Posted: 7/4/2001 3:35:29 PM EDT
It is very possible that due to the company`s cooperation, that the minis don`t actually appear on all of the "assualt weapon" lists.....they are definitly a rifle to enjoy. actually, i would not mind rebarreling my mini 30 to a h/b some day. fact is, right now, it is more accurate than most believe, and digests just about anything you want to feed it....has NEVER failed.....can`t say the same for the sks it replaced, which didn`t hit ANYTHING you pointed it at!!!!!!![shotgun]
Link Posted: 7/4/2001 3:38:45 PM EDT
One more note......prototype mini`s were made in 243 and 308......now that would be something to have.....it is probably true that the "sell out" issue killed these before anything else did!...[smoke]
Link Posted: 7/4/2001 3:39:15 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/4/2001 4:00:16 PM EDT
I have a 180 series rifle that has a 1 in 12 twist, and a new stainless rifle (186 series ??) that the manual doesn't state twist anymore. Both rifles, if let cool between shots, will shoot outstanding groups. But in rapid-fire I have to work to keep shots in same zip-code at 100 yds (about 6"). The early AR's had skinny barrels and were accurate, so I don't think it is entirely the skinny barrel's fault. I've been thinking that the recoil spring pressure against a skinny HOT barrel may have more to do with it. The heavy barrel "accurized" minis I haven't shot. But they seem to be too expensive with too long a barrel for my taste. My old mini would put five rounds of Black Hills 53 gr. h.p. in a quarter sized group at 100 yds. if let cool between shots. But, the horrible rapid fire groups don't seem to be a hindrance hunting jackrabbits??? Magazine prices suck for good ones, and Bill is an asshole for his mag. capacity ideas.
Link Posted: 7/4/2001 5:02:09 PM EDT
raf who sells good rear sights for the mini-14? Thanks
Link Posted: 7/4/2001 5:10:09 PM EDT
For Californians, an inaccurate Mini-14 is better than no .223 SA at all.
Link Posted: 7/4/2001 5:32:01 PM EDT
Isn't there anyone out there who has tried the gun barrel stabilizer (GBS)made by Clark? They are claiming 1.5 MOA for $215 out of the mini 14 (www.clarkcustomguns.com)with a stabilizer you can put on yourself. They have two articles listed on their web site with reports consistent with their claims. If anyone has experience with Clark, or the GBS I'd love to hear about it.
Link Posted: 7/4/2001 5:52:29 PM EDT
Actually, the mini 14 only "went wrong" in the area of accuracy, being a neat, reliable piece otherwise. The Clark barrel sleeve is supposed to correct "barrel whip" or flex during firing. The other accuracy outfit in Texas, if you read their material, also claims to fix the poor accuracy with a stiff bull barrel, so the concensus seems to be whippy barrel equals poor accuracy. I would be interested in an accurate Mini 30, which has an additional problem of a gradual taper in the chamber throat from 311 to 308 to allow shooting surplus 311 ammo in it, so it will never be accurate with a factory barrel. Too bad.
Link Posted: 7/4/2001 6:06:59 PM EDT
A couple of good accurizing articles on the mini-14: [url]http://www.survivallink.com/howto/excs71.txt[/url] [url]http://www.iea.com/~fgrig/gun/mini14.htm[/url]
Link Posted: 7/4/2001 6:34:44 PM EDT
To heck with all the technical stuff, I think they just dont LOOK as good as other rifles, and I have never been interested in them for that reason only.
Link Posted: 7/4/2001 6:43:49 PM EDT
I don't think Bill Ruger really intended for it to be a military-grade weapon. For police use back in the 70's, yes. For military/militia use, no. It filled a niche back in the survivalist hey day of the early eighties, but has since been outclassed and out-marketed. It still makes a nice "behind the seat" carbine for those of us living in rural areas (which is the only reason that I keep mine), but for everyone else it is no longer competitive in either quality or cost. Your money would be better spent elsewhere.
Link Posted: 7/4/2001 6:59:49 PM EDT
Originally Posted By tommyt: raf who sells good rear sights for the mini-14? Thanks
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I hear that people are successfully using M1 Carbine rear sights with just a little filing on the sight's dovetail plate.
Link Posted: 7/4/2001 7:04:02 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Fallschirmjaegar: For Californians, an inaccurate Mini-14 is better than no .223 SA at all.
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Exactly! It is kind of funny that because of it's wooden stock and non-AR appearance, it is legal in Commiefornia but uses the same ammo as an AR and functions the same. Just shows that those clowns don't know what they are doing and it's not about crime control or gun control, it's about visual control. Confederate, if you had one made before Sept 94 and had the evil features added to it before that date, they can be good looking. A Butler Creek synthetic folder and Choate front sight (military style) and A2 style flash hider make it look rather good.
Link Posted: 7/4/2001 7:37:32 PM EDT
Most of the inaccuracy reports seem to be related to "barrel whip". When I get a chance, I'm thinking of shortening the 18.5" barrel on one of mine to 13" or so, and permanently attaching a 3" or 4" flash suppressor to bring it out to a legal 16". I know it will lose velocity, and probably some of the accuracy will be lost by having a slower-moving projectile, but the advantage of a stubbier barrel might outweigh the disadvantages. A short barrel doesn't "whip" nearly as much as a long slender one. I'd either use a flash suppressor that includes a front sight(like the M14 one), or hope to find a GB style front sight. An experiment that might be worth a try. Any input?
Link Posted: 7/4/2001 7:46:46 PM EDT
Originally Posted By TREETOP: Most of the inaccuracy reports seem to be related to "barrel whip". When I get a chance, I'm thinking of shortening the 18.5" barrel on one of mine to 13" or so, and permanently attaching a 3" or 4" flash suppressor to bring it out to a legal 16". I know it will lose velocity, and probably some of the accuracy will be lost by having a slower-moving projectile, but the advantage of a stubbier barrel might outweigh the disadvantages. A short barrel doesn't "whip" nearly as much as a long slender one. I'd either use a flash suppressor that includes a front sight(like the M14 one), or hope to find a GB style front sight. An experiment that might be worth a try. Any input?
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When I put the one together that I mentioned in the previous post, I had a slip on flash hider (held in place by the front sight pin) and a wooden aftermarket folder (all done before Black September). A couple of years ago I put a Butler Creek synthetic folder and had the barrel shortened and a Choate front sight (military style with dog ears) with an intergral A2 style flash hider permanently attached for a total barrel length of 16 inches. No loss in function and the accuracy did seem to get a little better (though I never attributed it to the barrel shortening), so what you say seems very plausible.
Link Posted: 7/4/2001 8:07:51 PM EDT
Originally Posted By tommyt: raf who sells good rear sights for the mini-14? Thanks
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Williams makes a fairly decent aperture rear sight for the Mini-14 Ranch rifle.
Link Posted: 7/4/2001 11:36:24 PM EDT
I know a guy with a Mini-14 that shoots pretty well. But I imagine much of the accuracy complaints are due to problems with barrel vibrations caused by the gas system used. The AR gas system pretty much leaves the barrel alone to do its own thing, while the operating forces are contained within the upper receiver. The Mini-14 gas system, on the other hand, gives the barrel a big "twang" while the bullet is still inside it. Some rifles happen to be tuned well enough that they still shoot fine, others shoot badly. It's a lot better not to have to deal with those extra vibrations at all.
Link Posted: 7/5/2001 12:33:23 AM EDT
The Mini 14 was designed to be a light weight utility rifle for general sporting use and can provide the operator with some serious firepower and better than average accuratcey potential. I have been using these lttle guns for better part of twenty years with my Colt AR15's and they may not may be as accurate past 200 m as the hbar but, are a good quality investment. The only bad thing is original Ruger 20 and 30 rd magazines are getting to be real expensive and hard to locate. Thank god Thermold made a worthy 30 rd. replacement, but they are not cheap hitting the 40 60.00 mark. The 14 is one of the loudest shooting 223 remington auto loaders i own but with good optics old Wiley Coyotee runs for cover every time. The Mini 14 ad that wood stock have a real nice profile and a genuine look for the conservitive in all of us.
Link Posted: 7/5/2001 5:28:35 AM EDT
I have a series 185 made in Oct 1990, its a Stainless GB with the factory folder and blued bayo lug (which it was factory equipped with.) I got it on the board here a couple days ago. At first I bought it to just satisfy my curiosity as I never owned/shot one before. My first thought when I saw it was aawwww... how cute! I like how the stock is sturdy and folds all the way forward. I would rather of had a synthetic folder than wood but it makes it more "public friendly". For a tube stock it is comfortable to shoulder and I like the low sight profile. With the gun I got 3 20 mags and a 30rd, all ruger made. MUCH slower to insert and remove. My Ramline 30rd combo mag works great in it and goes in and out easier than factory mags. I have not shot it for accuracy but bought it knowing it would not be great, after all, it has a skinny a$$ barrel, so-so trigger, and a tube folding stock. All in all, I like it and will keep it for the time being. BrenLover
Link Posted: 7/5/2001 5:56:27 AM EDT
Originally Posted By semiauto:
Originally Posted By tommyt: raf who sells good rear sights for the mini-14? Thanks
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I hear that people are successfully using M1 Carbine rear sights with just a little filing on the sight's dovetail plate.
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I don't know if I'm the first person to do this, but there were/are pictures of my ranch rifle with M1 carbine sights on www.mini14world.com . Along with a M14 look-a-like front sight/flashhider, the M1 rear sight helped me to tighten up my groups. I also slickened up the trigger, wow, is it smooth!(unlike my AR's). My ranch rifle shoots 2 1/8" groups. That is all I need for rock chucks out to 150yds. They don't know the difference between 1/4" and 2" groups at that range. guns762
Link Posted: 7/5/2001 7:25:33 AM EDT
For what it's worth, I ran across this on the net and saved it to show a friend of mine. He's got a prety decent one, but don't tell HIM I said that, I'm always giving him heck about it! My Observations on the Ruger Mini-14 By Ed Harris Rev. 5-25-94 When I was at Ruger I tested hundreds of Mini 14 rifles of all configurations, conducting audit shoots of normal production, as well as R&D testing of the full-auto AC556, AC556 and the experi- mental XGI rifle in .308 Win, and assisting in the development of the Mini Thirty in 7.62x39. To be COMPLETELY honest I was disappointed with its accuracy when compared to the M16A1 and A2 rifles, with which I am very familiar. The Mini 14 gives reasonable performance for an American-made rifle in its price range, and is safe, serviceable and realiable. It just isn't all that accurate. You can find individual rifles which shoot well, but these are statistical aberrations. We tried to test a large enough sample of rifles to pick "good" ones, then painstakingly took them apart and gaged every part to see if we could tweak tolerances or make design changes which would significantly improve accuracy without increasing production cost. It couldn't be done. We did learn a few things, however. The long run average group size for standard Mini-14 rifles fired from a test stand is about 4-5" for ten-shot groups with M193 or M855 ammunition of "average" quality, producing an acceptance Mean Radius of 1.6-1.6" at 200 yds from a test barrel. The M16A1 or A2 do this at 200 yards from a machine rest. I believe the biggest factor in Mini-14 accuracy is irregular contact between the gas block and the face of the slideblock, welded to the slide handle (aka operating rod). If you disassemble the rifle and inspect the face of the slide block and the rear of ther gas block assembly, you may find that the face of the slide block strikes one side or the other of the gas block, rather than making a uniform and symmetrical imprint. This asymmetrical contact causes fliers. The fit-up can sometimes be improved by grinding 0.005-.010" off the face of the slide, so that with the slide fully forward, a .001" shim can be inserted between the slide block and gas block and be clear all the way around. This way the forward motion of the slide is stopped by the right locking lug in the cam pocket of the slide handle, rather than by the slide block slamming against the gas block, as is the case with the M1 Garand rifle. I caution against removing the gas block, because these are installed in a fixture at the factory to insure proper alignment. There is a small bushing in the gas block which locates it on the barrel. You must be careful not to lose this. This is why the gas block screws are staked in place on newer guns. The condition of the muzzle crown is important as well as the straightness of the barrel. Sometimes the barrels are bent when pressing the front sight on. Usually they catch this at the factory and they correct them if it causes fliers in the range, but since they only shoot indoors at 50 yards, for a 2" group, the accuracy standards are more in keeping for a plinking rifle than for the serious accuracy enthusiast.
Link Posted: 7/5/2001 7:27:31 AM EDT
FWIW, I found this on the net awhile back. Part 1 My Observations on the Ruger Mini-14 By Ed Harris Rev. 5-25-94 When I was at Ruger I tested hundreds of Mini 14 rifles of all configurations, conducting audit shoots of normal production, as well as R&D testing of the full-auto AC556, AC556 and the experi- mental XGI rifle in .308 Win, and assisting in the development of the Mini Thirty in 7.62x39. To be COMPLETELY honest I was disappointed with its accuracy when compared to the M16A1 and A2 rifles, with which I am very familiar. The Mini 14 gives reasonable performance for an American-made rifle in its price range, and is safe, serviceable and realiable. It just isn't all that accurate. You can find individual rifles which shoot well, but these are statistical aberrations. We tried to test a large enough sample of rifles to pick "good" ones, then painstakingly took them apart and gaged every part to see if we could tweak tolerances or make design changes which would significantly improve accuracy without increasing production cost. It couldn't be done. We did learn a few things, however. The long run average group size for standard Mini-14 rifles fired from a test stand is about 4-5" for ten-shot groups with M193 or M855 ammunition of "average" quality, producing an acceptance Mean Radius of 1.6-1.6" at 200 yds from a test barrel. The M16A1 or A2 do this at 200 yards from a machine rest. I believe the biggest factor in Mini-14 accuracy is irregular contact between the gas block and the face of the slideblock, welded to the slide handle (aka operating rod). If you disassemble the rifle and inspect the face of the slide block and the rear of ther gas block assembly, you may find that the face of the slide block strikes one side or the other of the gas block, rather than making a uniform and symmetrical imprint. This asymmetrical contact causes fliers. The fit-up can sometimes be improved by grinding 0.005-.010" off the face of the slide, so that with the slide fully forward, a .001" shim can be inserted between the slide block and gas block and be clear all the way around. This way the forward motion of the slide is stopped by the right locking lug in the cam pocket of the slide handle, rather than by the slide block slamming against the gas block, as is the case with the M1 Garand rifle. I caution against removing the gas block, because these are installed in a fixture at the factory to insure proper alignment. There is a small bushing in the gas block which locates it on the barrel. You must be careful not to lose this. This is why the gas block screws are staked in place on newer guns. The condition of the muzzle crown is important as well as the straightness of the barrel. Sometimes the barrels are bent when pressing the front sight on. Usually they catch this at the factory and they correct them if it causes fliers in the range, but since they only shoot indoors at 50 yards, for a 2" group, the accuracy standards are more in keeping for a plinking rifle than for the serious accuracy enthusiast.
Link Posted: 7/5/2001 7:31:01 AM EDT
Part 2: (cont'd.) The Mini-14 chamber conforms to U.S. dwg. #8448649, which is used for the M16A1 chamber. It has a .225" cylindrical ball seat with a slight freebore. I do not believe the GI chamber causes any inaccuracy in this type of rifle, because I have fired thousands of rounds in heavy test barrels with this chamber which gave fine accuracy. For an accuracy load I suggest 21-22 grs. of 4198 (either IMR or Hodgdon) with the 52 or 53-gr. Sierra bullets loaded to 2.25" OAL, or 23-23.5 grs. of H322. The 52-gr. Nosler solid base also is quite accurate. The Mini-14 Ranch Rifle was made in .222 Remington for the export market to France, Belgium and Italy where civilians are not allowed to own firearms of military caliber. Overruns were sold in the U.S.
Link Posted: 7/5/2001 8:27:03 AM EDT
Link Posted: 7/5/2001 9:09:24 AM EDT
I was told that the barrel is two thin in the area around the chamber and that it causes it to overheat the chamber in only a few rounds and that there is no way around it; And that this problem also causes erosion to the rifling where the bullet is seated. I read a review of a Clark customized mimi14 that was supposed to shoot nice groups for something like $ 750.00 on a rifle you provide. The best group on the rifle Clark sent was like 1 ½ MOA and that groups only got worse as the shooting session continued. To boot the mimi14 only functions reliably with factory mags and factory 20rd and 30rds cost big bucks; expect to pay over $ 100.00 for like new. THISISME
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