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Posted: 7/14/2003 6:19:43 AM EDT
Hey, got some range time this weekend. After bedding the stock my mini is shooting 2" 5 shot groups at 100 yards, 4x scope. WooHooo! Pretty good for generic whichester ammo w. me behind the trigger. I thought some of you would be interested.
Link Posted: 7/14/2003 6:29:18 AM EDT
Link Posted: 7/14/2003 6:33:04 AM EDT
The Mini-14 has an excellent action and can be made to be accurate. However, in 1994-1995, Ruger was using a barrel that cost them about $8.00 - don't know about now.
Link Posted: 7/14/2003 6:37:07 AM EDT
Yep, the barrel is a POS. I've cooked spaghetti bigger than it, but it works well enough. I don't shoot much better than 2" groups with my AR, though this mini had the benefit of a scope. I was happy with it. The thing is dead nuts reliable too.
Link Posted: 7/14/2003 10:14:44 AM EDT
I used to love Minis. I used to have two 14's and a 30(I still have one 14, it's a preban my father bought the year of my birth). I actually put about $1000(including the cost of the rifle) into the postban 14 trying to make it accurate. I eventually was able to make dime sized 5 shot groups at 100 yards. Then I discovered that I could do the same thing with an out of the box Bushmaster AR15.

It's too bad Ruger lets such a nice looking rifle(with a very reliable action) leave the factory with such shitty barrels.
Link Posted: 7/14/2003 1:00:44 PM EDT
I have had a Mini that I've had around here for a number of years. In fact, it was one of my first rifles. With proper mags they are very reliable and I get decent accuracy with the first few rounds. However, as previously stated, once you fire a few rounds through a crappy Mini barrel it seems that they start to pattern instead of group. Had Ruger used a decent barrel and made the rifle capable of using M16 mags, they could have had an excellent little rifle here.

-Charging Handle
Link Posted: 7/14/2003 3:50:52 PM EDT
Actually my 2" group was after firing about 100-110 rounds to set the scope and then 70 rounds quick fire for function check a couple of mags. Though I let it cool for about 15 before I fired for group size.
Link Posted: 7/14/2003 4:21:14 PM EDT
The thing that gets me, is ruger could do something about the mini's shortcomings, (they know what they are, too) and refuses to improve it, or at least offer a heavier barrled version of one, I'm thinking about a 18" wilson bbl,(.750 dia) .223 wilde chamber, drilled&tapped scope mounts, not their "built in" mounts, in a lamamated wood stock or plactic stock, they could do this and sell it for about $6-700 and make a helleva lot of money something like this should shoot very well, and would sell well, Don't know why they don't consider it.....
Link Posted: 7/14/2003 5:55:21 PM EDT
Congradulations!! Don't let anyone rain on your parade. Your ruger is a solid and reliable performer and you obviously have the skill to make it go!
Link Posted: 7/15/2003 7:14:20 AM EDT
Link Posted: 7/16/2003 5:53:19 AM EDT
I own an early 80's Ranch rifle. Is the problem with the barrel or something else. As steel heats up it expands.Could the barrel be getting in a bind with the front band as it heats ups and moves ? I would like to shrink my groups also. I have about 4-5 " groups with a heated up barrel at 100yards.That is very combat accurate,but would love to shrink it to about 3" atleast. Thanks WarDawg
Link Posted: 7/16/2003 6:39:10 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/16/2003 6:41:03 AM EDT by raf]
Link Posted: 7/16/2003 8:47:50 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/16/2003 8:48:25 AM EDT by fastang50]
raf is dead on. That's the site I got my ideas from. The thing used to do 5 to 6 inches at 100 yards. I had a gunsmith bed it and smooth the trigger for $125, and like I posted above it's now a two inch gun. I paid $350 for it, so for a total of $475 I'd say it's doing pretty good.
Link Posted: 7/16/2003 9:23:42 AM EDT

Originally Posted By fastang50:

The thing is dead nuts reliable too.




fastang50, do you know who designed the Mini-14 for Ruger ??
Link Posted: 7/16/2003 10:25:46 AM EDT
Nope, not a clue. Who was it?
Link Posted: 7/16/2003 12:55:10 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/16/2003 12:57:49 PM EDT by 5subslr5]

Originally Posted By fastang50:
Nope, not a clue. Who was it?



Guy named H. James Sullivan.

(Jim Sullivan and Bob Fremont were the actual designers of the ArmaLite AR-15/M-16 - not Eugene Stoner as is often reported. Stoner never believed the 5.56mm/.223 round was suitable for military use.)

Jim Sullivan also designed the Model 77 for Ruger. Both the Mini-14 and Model 77 have sold well in excess of 1,000,000 units for Ruger.

Mr. Sullivan is still alive and well as Mark Westrom (ArmaLite's President) just ran into him last week in Arizona.
Link Posted: 7/16/2003 1:48:06 PM EDT
Neat info, that's for the detail.
Link Posted: 7/16/2003 5:26:01 PM EDT
Yes, Jim Sullivan also designed the AR7, and a few other nifty rifles.

This fits exactly with my advise to replace the loose fitting wood stock. I have greatly improved accuracy of Mini-14's by adding the Choate Pistol Grip stocks.

With the Mini-14, the rear sight blade is loose. I remove it, and put a piece of silicone rubber under it (a little chunk of model airplane fuel tubing) and reassemble. Once so sighted it, it will hold zero much better.

Adding a scope is also an improvement!

But a tight fitting stock is the most important. With the Choate stocks and scope, 1.5" groups are easily obtained.

Other tricks, if using a B-Square or other mount to add a scope to a regular Mini-14 (not the Ranch), you will find that the Mini will beat the scope to death. Broken crosshairs are common, as are loose reticles. The culprit is the sharp slap of the operating rod/gas cylinder hitting the front of the receiver. (The Ranch Rifle version has a "buffer" of sorts here)

Before they became commercially availble by Buffer Technologies, I made similar buffers from 1/8" thick neoprene gasket material. Adding a rubber buffer will fix a lot of the scope problems.

Also, with the Mini-14 (not Ranch) brass will strike the windage turret on the right of the scope. Rotate the scope 90 degrees left so that the elevation turret is now on the left, your new windage adjustment. The windage turret is now on top, your new elevation adjustment.

BTW, I have never fired a Mini-14 with the Ruger 5 round mag. Never, in about 20 years of shooting Mini-14's. 20 and 30 round mags will not insert smoothly or drop free smoothly many times. Grind a light angle at the top of the rear tab on the mag, and it will allow easier insertion and drop free smoothly.

Ammo, same advise I give on the AR, avoid junky ammo. I like 55 gr FMJ, Win, Rem, Fed, Black Hills, SA battle packs, IMI. Oddly, Federal Am Eagle and UMC/Remington eject smoothly and consistently out at about the 4 o'clock direction. Without a scope on the regular Mini, Winchester white box will go everywhere, right, left, forward, straight up (sometimes lodging in the crook of your arm on the way down, down your collar, in your shirt pocket, makes for some excitement). Though the Mini-14 digests Winchester well, it is the strange ejection that makes me use this ammo on my other rifles instead. The Ranch version ejects pretty consistently.
Link Posted: 7/16/2003 5:38:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By A_Free_Man:

Yes, Jim Sullivan also designed the AR7, and a few other nifty rifles.




Not to pick nits but John Peck/Art Miller designed the AR-7. (Art Miller also designed the AR-18/AR-180.)
Link Posted: 7/17/2003 8:01:36 AM EDT
I though Sullivan was in on that one, too. I will check my sources again.
Link Posted: 7/17/2003 8:10:14 AM EDT
As A_Free_Man mentioned, the Choate stocks work wonders on a mini. I have a mini-14 and mini-30, both with Choate stocks. They both group very well. Minis are fun, reliable guns.

Thanks for the interesting info on the designers guys.
Link Posted: 7/17/2003 9:49:37 AM EDT
Any man that can get a Mini shooting like that has my full respect.
Link Posted: 7/17/2003 10:42:49 AM EDT

Originally Posted By A_Free_Man:
I though Sullivan was in on that one, too. I will check my sources again.



I too thought Sullivan was in on the AR-7 but, direct from Sullivan, he said he had nothing to do with that rifle and that it was designed after he (and Stoner) had left ArmaLite. Jim couldn't remember if John Peck or Art Miller designed the AR-7 and that's why I mentioned both.
Link Posted: 7/17/2003 3:23:35 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/18/2003 11:38:33 AM EDT by raf]
Link Posted: 7/18/2003 9:39:51 AM EDT
http://www.perfectunion.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=5530

I let the range officer shoot the black scoped one, third picture at the link above, and with his first three shots off the bench, did 1.5" at 100 yds. He bought a Mini-14 later that week.

Very simple, just a scope and the Choate stock. No other mods.
Link Posted: 7/25/2003 11:59:40 PM EDT
A muzzlebrake is a easy add on that tends to make em shoot better.
Link Posted: 7/27/2003 7:32:05 PM EDT
I have a ranch that I was able to get 1" out of with handloads, but was never able to repeat the performance. Before that day I was lamenting about how I normally got 4" groups and was getting ready to put the rifle up for sale. I used the same brass, had everything documented on recreating the rounds, but no luck. I tear the whole rifle down to clean it, so right now I'm attributing the accuracy to the stock fit, or it's inability to do so.
Link Posted: 7/28/2003 7:22:46 AM EDT
Yep, from the factory most of them seem to flop around in the stock like a fish in the bottom of your boat. But, bed the stock, or as others have had luck with, put it in a choate and the problem is solved. The mini doesn't have the advantage of being all metal and threaded together like an AR.
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