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Posted: 1/20/2018 1:16:18 PM EDT
Got it just like I want it. It's enough like it's 'Big Brother', my M1A so that they feel like a set. I'm headed to the range this afternoon to give it a go and see how it runs. I picked up some Hornady 62grn HPBT bullets from Mid-South Shooter's Supply that I'm going to give a go. I've heard good things about them accuracy wise as they have a BC of .355 vs the 62grn fmj's BC of .274 (per Hornady). Even though my Mini now weighs about 9oz more than a stock Mini with the addition of an Accu-Strut, Choate sight/FH, and the more beefy walnut stock, I like the way it balances with the 20rd mags installed. A nice, solid feel and the look . . . . . . . well, I'm in love with it all over again.

My tweaks include: Painted Choate HG, Accu-Strut, Wilson buffers, Mini200 rear Target sight and thinned Choate front sight blade/FH for a 'NM' set of irons, trigger job, shimmed action, Shortened 1" walnut stock for up close irons sighting, OE brand straight 20rd mags w/Ruger followers, reduced gas bushing, torqued gas block, M1 Carbine sling, and 'Lightened' safety lever all give it a definite M14esque feel. While that sounds like a lot of money, however, if one subtracts the $200 stock, all the other mods cost me about what a decent AR trigger would have. Couple the package with my handloaded 62grn Hornady fmj or better yet some 62grn Hornady HPBT bullets for even better accuracy and the package gives me a sweet Mini!
Link Posted: 1/20/2018 3:52:23 PM EDT
Nice looking rifle. I've been thinking about doing something similar to mine. I shot it a couple of weeks ago and quickly remembered the crappy trigger and flamethrower effect.

I like the little rifle though and should put some time and a few bucks into making it a better shooter.
Link Posted: 1/21/2018 12:21:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/21/2018 12:26:20 PM EDT by COSteve]
I should note that with the mods I mentioned above, shooting my 62grn Hornady HPBT handloads, this rifle will produce 1"-1" groups at 100yds. It's as accurate as my M1A with NM sights and my 168grn Hornady handloads for it. In fact to get an M1A to shoot better, you need a bunch of money for a rear lugged Super Match or step up to a M21 configuration and the whole bit. Then you're talking north of $3,000!! Heck, my Mini is more accurate than most of my rifles, including my hunting guns; Savage 99 in 300 Savage, Winchester 88 in .308, and Winchester 70 in 30-06!

And as I said above, the mods I made, less the $200 walnut stock and the straight mags, cost me about what a decent trigger set for an AR would cost (under $250) and we all know that an AR needs a decent trigger upgrade to be a MOA performer as well. My accuracy testing was performed with the original birch stock I shortened and shimmed as well. I got the walnut stock just because it looked so good, not because it shot any better with it.

It takes my scoped sub-MOA RRA A4 firing my 68grn Hornady HPBT handloads to out-shoot this carbine. My RRA mid-length carbine, even with it's 2 stage NM trigger, doesn't match the accuracy of this Ruger Mini. BTW, the straight 20rd OE brand mags are available from time to time from CDDN at a sale price of $12.99 ea.!! Just to be safe, I swapped in a set of Ruger brand followers and the mags have been 100% reliable.
Link Posted: 1/22/2018 9:31:32 AM EDT
Every time I see your pics of this rifle my itch grows. Love the looks of it. I am pretty sure you are going to cost me money
Link Posted: 1/22/2018 10:39:35 AM EDT
Got a source for those mags, by any chance?
Link Posted: 1/22/2018 5:05:44 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/28/2018 3:48:22 PM EDT by COSteve]
Yes. CDNN has them from time to time. They are OE brand mags and sold last time for $12.99 each! That's 1/2 the cost of Ruger brand 20rd mags on sale and they are better made than Ruger's!! I have 5ea of both Ruger's 20rd curved and OE's 20rd straight. I did swap out the OE followers with some Ruger brand followers 'just in case' but they have run 100% reliable. I did a write-up here recently about them in this thread right after I got my walnut stock but before I put on the Choate sight/FH.


Edit to Add: It looks like CDNN has OE's 30rd curved mags in stock right now for $14.99! At that price, if they work as well as their 20rd straight mags, they are a steal.

Link Posted: 2/3/2018 8:36:49 PM EDT
Sharp looking rifle OP. I've thought about doing a mini 30 in the vein but ended up going another route. Making me regret that decision...
Link Posted: 2/27/2018 1:01:01 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/27/2018 1:01:30 AM EDT by JJREA]
FWIW, I've put up sub MOA groups with my Loaded M1A. And it is stock other than the synthetic stock it rides in now. I don't think you need to add 3k to a loaded to make it shoot well. This was with factory match ammo. I think if I handloaded I could regularly do sub MOA with it. Now... whether or not it stays that way for long, I have no argument or data.

Having said all that, your mini is sweet for sure!!!!
Link Posted: 2/27/2018 12:39:47 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By JJREA:
FWIW, I've put up sub MOA groups with my Loaded M1A. And it is stock other than the synthetic stock it rides in now. I don't think you need to add 3k to a loaded to make it shoot well. This was with factory match ammo. I think if I handloaded I could regularly do sub MOA with it. Now... whether or not it stays that way for long, I have no argument or data.

Having said all that, your mini is sweet for sure!!!!
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Great to hear your Loaded is doing well. Many at our club have them and they too get right at 1 MOA with their handloads. The M21s I spoke to get well below 1 MOA with handloads for the extra 2K over your Loaded's cost so I guess it's money well spent. I was using my good shooting M1A as a comparison showing that my Mini can duplicate it's accuracy. The point was that no one claims that the M1A is a shotgun patterning rifle but many claim that the Minis are. My data shows that the new ones with a bit of tweaking perform as well as modern hunting rifles and M1As.

Sure, you can spend more and get a more accurate AR or M1A. Heck, my local gunsmith builds custom precision rifles. He won't consider a rifle decent unless he can reliably get under 1/4 MOA long range performance. He has redesigned the gas system in a Mini (currently pursuing a patent for his design) and has a prototype that has produced sub 1/4 MOA groups. Just goes to show that with enough money you can do most anything.

My Mini project was to make a reliable, fun, decently accurate, and in truth beautiful looking Mini and I think I've succeeded in my quest. It's fun to shoot and fun to look at. I've enjoy taking both my M1A and Mini M1A out to the range and shooting bowling pins at 200 yds with them.

Link Posted: 2/28/2018 11:19:56 AM EDT
COSteve, where did you get the straight 20rd mag?

your previous link just came up as "http:///"
Link Posted: 2/28/2018 3:54:33 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By 1NAVYCHIEF-RET:
COSteve, where did you get the straight 20rd mag?

your previous link just came up as "http:///"
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Fixed the link so you can see my review of them (this post includes a field report and picture comparison to current Ruger brand 20rd curved). However, in it you'll see that I got them at CDNN and they don't always have them in stock as they get them in sporadically. I've talked to CDNN CS about this and they say they always have them on order but they don't come in on a regular basis.

They currently don't show them in stock.
Link Posted: 3/1/2018 11:08:56 AM EDT

Which model is your mini.. ?

Link Posted: 3/1/2018 12:32:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/2/2018 10:22:27 AM EDT by COSteve]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By cviss:

Which model is your mini.. ?

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It's a 2015, 583 Series Mini-14 Ranch Rifle that started life as a Model 5801. That's a birch stock, blued, 18.5" long carbine with the thicker barrel. It started life looking like this:

I wanted a reliable, fun all around Irons Only shooter with decent accuracy that was reminiscent of my M14 in the Army and the M1A I currently own along with my M1s and M1 Carbines. I think I pulled it off well enough. BTW, my M1A with NM sights is a great shooter as well; producing near 1 MOA groups with my precision handloads or about 2 MOA with just my plinking M80 Ball handloads.

The list below shows what mods I made, how much they cost, and what they are for. In total (excluding my recently purchased walnut stock and the extra mags) they cost me $277 (the Accu-Strut was $80 when I got mine 3 yrs ago), about the same as a quality precision AR trigger.
  • Walnut Stock: $200 - What can I say? It just looks cool.
  • Barrel Strut: $100 - Accu-Strut (mine) or $105 Mo-Rod for dampening vibration and especially increasing barrel cooling by acting as a heat sink. Originally developed for the older 'pencil barreled' 18X and 19X Series to reduce barrel whip, they provide a bit of stiffening in the newer versions but their heat sinking a the 'cool M14 factor' is what I wanted.
  • Mini200 Rear Sight: $65 - Tech Sights' Mini200 rear sight. Add their $15 optional aperture package with 3 different aperture sizes and when you use the target .042" aperture, you have a NM like rear sight.
  • Trigger Job: $60 - It really helps your precision shooting and if you want small groups, it's money well spent or it you have the knowledge, you can do it yourself. I chose to have a trained gunsmith do the job right.
  • Choate Front Sight/Flash Hider: $51 - It just looks cool and along with the straight 20rd mags, gives my Mini that last bit of M14esque feel.
  • Gas Bushing Reduction: $25 - Swap out the overly large stock Gas Bushing with a smaller one. It reduces the cycling violence which improves accuracy on the Mini14. Ruger uses a larger one because some users want it to work with low powered, junk commie ammo.
  • Choate Handguard Swap: $15 - A Choate Handguard not only looks better but it cools the barrel much better than Ruger's. I painted it to match the color of my M1A's.
  • OE Brand 20rd Straight Mags: $13 - I found these at CDNN and they proved to be better quality, better fit, and even more reliable mags than even Ruger's. I have 5ea of these as well. At the price they can't be beat and with the rest of my mods, they really add to the M14esque look and feel. Or, if they aren't available, Ruger Brand 20rd Curved Mags: $24 For reliability, it's hard to top Ruger brand mags. I have 5ea of them and they have been solid.
  • Wilson 1911 Buffers: $6 (set of 6) - Added 2ea Wilson 1911 bushings (yep, pistol bushings); one around the gas pipe in the front to cushion the forward travel and one on the Op rod spring at the rear to cushion the rearward travel.
  • Thinned Front Sight: $0 - Thinning down the .075"-.077" thick front sight to .050", combined with a target .042" rear aperture gives you a 'National Match' equivalent sight set.
  • 'Lightened' Safety Lever: $0 - In keeping with the whole 'M14 Look' I was going for I drilled a hole in the Safety.
  • Gas Block Torque: $0 - We've found that torquing the gas block bolts to 30 in/lbs when reassembling and keeping the upper and lower halve gaps consistent aides in accuracy.
  • Shimmed Receiver: $0 - I found that shimming the action with a bit of plastic between the action and the stiffener plate really tightened up the action in the stock enhancing accuracy by keeping things solidly in place during firing.
A note for irons shooters: Even though Ruger advertises that the Minis have a 'normal' 13.5" LOP, I found that the 'Heel to Aperture' distance (top of the buttstock to the rear sight aperture) on the current Mini Ranch Rifles with wood stocks measures 15.5". This is as opposed to a 14" Heel to Aperture distance on my M1 Garands, M1 Carbines, M14/M1As, M16A1s, 1903A3, etc. This caused me to strain my neck forward trying to gain the same sight picture I use to with the other platforms. I found the stock Mini rear sight awkward to use. Adding the Tech Sight's great Mini200 rear sight moved the aperture back .5" giving me a 15" Heel to Aperture distance but it still didn't feel right to me so I removed the buttpad and cut down the birch stock 1" and re-attached the buttpad, then shaped it to fit the new contour. When I got my walnut stock I did the same thing. Now the Heel to Aperture distance is 14" and I couldn't be happier.
Link Posted: 3/1/2018 2:41:37 PM EDT

Thanks.. for the break down

i figured it was a newer model type..
Link Posted: 3/1/2018 9:47:44 PM EDT
Looks great I have a pile of Ar's and I still want a mini for some reason
Link Posted: 3/2/2018 9:55:12 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By Iowaredneck:
Looks great I have a pile of Ar's and I still want a mini for some reason
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I've got two ARs myself; one is a mid-length, lightweight 16" carbine and the other is a 20" A4 set up with a scope for long range (400 yd) shooting. Before I got my Mini three years ago, I would routinely take out a carbine and the A4 along with my M1A but in truth, since I got my Mini, the AR carbine sits at home. The more streamlined size, the wood and steel feel, the way it shoulders, and the more natural controls, just make it feel better. I'm not knocking the ARs, they have their place as well, but I just like the look and feel of my Mini better and shooting bowling pins at 200 yds with it is a hoot!
Link Posted: 3/2/2018 10:11:01 AM EDT
Not knowing when enough is enough, I'm considering getting a Mini-30 as well. Maybe a stainless steel version would be cool. Problem is that 7.62x39 as it's not one of the 16 calibers I currently handload. In addition, I need another 30 caliber cartridge like a hole in the head as I currently handload 30 Carbine, 30-30, 300 Savage .308/7.62x51, and 30-06 so there's no 'hole' it would fill in my collection. Ballistically, it performs about as well as the 30-30 but with considerably less recoil.

I've shot the Mini-30 out as far as 300 yds and confirmed it performs much like my 30-30 in the platform; not as flat shooting out at 300 yds as my Mini-14 but acceptable. It's recoil is much like the Mini-14's too; minimal at most. It's a compact semi-auto that's fun to shoot and seems like it would be a great hog gun but I don't hunt anymore so I don't have a need. Having a 'want' for one isn't good enough as that means I'd be torn between shooting my -14 or -30 for the same purposes so to date I've resisted the temptation.
Link Posted: 3/2/2018 10:25:47 AM EDT
That is a great looking rifle. It's also good to see that it shoots well.
Link Posted: 3/2/2018 10:35:47 AM EDT
For all their shortcomings, I've always liked the looks of the Mini. It's really the main reason I still have one.
Link Posted: 3/2/2018 10:57:24 AM EDT
Actually, the newer 58X Series Ranch Rifles with the thicker, stiffer barrel and improved action will shoot about 2 MOA out of the box with good ammo. That's considerably better than the accuracy the earlier pencil barrel designs could produce. Barrel whip and vertical stringing are pretty much gone in the new design. Compare that to any other conventional design semi-auto and you'll realize that the current Minis do well in the accuracy department.

The people who complain of poor accuracy with the newer designs usually are found to be shooting Wolf or Tula ammo in them and neither is anywhere near an accurate or consistent round. It's a great little carbine that's fun to shoot and decently accurate. The mods I made to mine reduce the group size from 2 MOA to near 1 MOA with my handloads as well as giving it the M14 look I like. They aren't necessary if you just want a fun plinker / small game hunter.
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