View Full Version : Old Mini-14 advice

03-23-2005, 2:37 PM
Hi all,

Are the old stainless Mini-14s (182-810XX) 1981 date, better than some of the newer ones? I seem to have heard such things and am requesting opions. Primarily interested in if they're any more accurate and less prone to string shots when the barrel is hot.


03-23-2005, 2:37 PM
Hi all,

Are the old stainless Mini-14s (182-810XX) 1981 date, better than some of the newer ones? I seem to have heard such things and am requesting opions. Primarily interested in if they're any more accurate and less prone to string shots when the barrel is hot.


03-23-2005, 2:53 PM

Early Mini-14s had 1-in-12" twist bbls. Not sure of when they converted to faster twist, or if the stainless guns were ever in 1/12" twist either.

But heavy bullets don't work well in 1/12" twist. If you have 1/12", stay at 55gr or less...

Mini14s are not known for accuracy. There are some co's that do Mini14 rework like Accuracy Rifle Systems in Odessa, TX.

Bill Wiese
San Jose

03-23-2005, 6:59 PM
Most Mini's are not hyper accurate out of the box however there are things you can do to fix this.
Adding a muzzle brake/flash hider seems to lessen barrel whip and tighten groups.
Shortening the barrel also affects the harmonics and makes for a stiffer barrel.
There are other tricks as well. Bedding tends to reduce fliers, a smaller gas port reduces the pounding of the action making for less 'jump' and trigger jobs make for less movement just prior to firing.
Honestly however, for a SHTF gun 'minute of torso' is all you need and almost every Mini-14 will do that with ease right out of the box.

03-23-2005, 7:45 PM
I shortened my Mini-14 barrel down to 16". It is a solid 2-3 MOA gun now. Best part is no POI change as it heats up.

I have easily 5K rounds through it without one malfunction. Good gun.

03-24-2005, 12:18 AM
I have your guns brother. It likes 55 gr nosler balistic tips with either ramshot or hogdon extreme pwders. I would leave it as is except for a muzzle break and a side plate mounted scope. that alows you to still use the open sites. I put a cheap simmons scope on mine swearing to buy a better scope when this one broke, 13 years and counting. You will soon learn the point of aim for your mini and follow up shots are fast. If you want accuracy buy a bolt gun.

03-24-2005, 8:23 AM
An alternative to the side plate scope mounts is the handguard scout mount. I recently mounted an Amega scout mount and removed a B-Square side mount on a friend's Mini, and the Amega's a much nicer beast (though more expensive).

You can get them from www.ultimak.com (http://www.ultimak.com) and www.amegaranges.com, (http://www.amegaranges.com,) and they run around $100 or so.

The plus of these scout mounts is that they're rock solid, low profile, and look great. The return to zero when you swap optics depends solely on your rings. The downside is that you're limited to LER/scout scopes and red dot/holo sights, and you can't use high-mag standard scopes on them.

The side mounts let you use standard scopes, but I've had a lot of trouble with the return to zero when you take them on and off, and they're more difficult to get locked down in the first place. They're a good bit cheaper, though, from $40-50 for the B-Square to $20 or so for Chinese clones.

03-24-2005, 9:05 AM
The Ultimak is better than the Amega Ranges. The Ultimak sits lower to the bore. You can cowitness your iron sites with an Aimpoint Comp ML.

Both rails act as a heatsink and add rigidity to the barrel.

03-24-2005, 9:21 AM
My question was regarding a comparison of older mini-14s to more recent ones (not the 2005 version). Obviously a bolt-action will be more accurate. And I'm aware the minis aren't tack drivers. It seems to me (as a very general trend) that people with older minis seem more pleased than people with newer ones. People have speculated that perhaps Ruger's machinery wore out over time and thus the more recent the mini, the poorer it's construction. The 2005 version involved retooling (from what I've read) and one range report indicated it's more accurate than previous versions. By again, my question wasn't about whether a mini is inherently accurate or whether a benchrest bolt rifle will outperform it...I simply was curious whether any here had owned both an older and new one and noticed any difference.


03-24-2005, 11:45 AM
A good place for questions like that would be http://www.perfectunion.com/forums/, where there's a lot of focus on Mini-14s.

03-24-2005, 6:33 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by DRH:
Ivanimal, Just don't put a "muzzle brake" on like the one in your picture. It might hide the flash a little too much for the DOJ's liking. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yep, my understanding is that the DOJ may interpret "slots" like that as a "flash hider" even if it is just a muzzle brake and doesn't really hide any flash. http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

03-24-2005, 11:23 PM
Ah, point well taken! My mini has worn its brake for 13 years so I didn't think of that.

I do have a newer mini 30. I really dont see a difference in their inherent accuracy except that at close range the mini 30 out performs the 14 hands down. I shoot with guys who own the newer minis and they seem to be made better or tighter where the action is concerned. Fit and finish is relatively poor on all minis, take the tooling marks on the forward barrel. It would not take much to remove that, yet all minis wear that mark. These guns were made originally for pest control on ranches. The trimmings although not ugly are not refined for sure. Because it uses military calibers the ammo is available and cheap, the chambers on both guns are looser than a milspec chamber, that is so the will cycle more different types of ammo cleanly. If you really wanted to accurize a mini the barrel would have to go first. Chamber and all. A simple cut down only improves the harmonics. I really have never heard of the older models shooting better, then again my mini 14 is old. and shoots a minute of squirrel in about 2 or 3 rounds. http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

I love the forwad optics, or scout mount, that really seems like it would work well on follow up shots for this type of rifle. I still like to be able to use the open sights, so I will stick with the B-Square side plate mounts. I use locktite red on all hex screws and have had good luck on returning the scope to zero when removed. I try not to fudge with it too often, but have to remove it to take the front cover off.

03-25-2005, 8:49 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> Fit and finish is relatively poor on all minis </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Don't forget the "bed-of-gravel" trigger. This is what I hate most about my friend's Minis - that long, scratchy, bumpy trigger. They're easy enough to get fixed up, I'm told.

I tried using abrasive compound on one of his for a poor man's trigger job (worked great on my Ruger P95), but it didn't make any difference, and I didn't want to take tools to it since it wasn't mine.

03-25-2005, 9:33 AM
They smooth out after 10 years. http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

03-27-2005, 5:44 AM
The Mini trigger can be worked on for $25 by several good gunsmiths. They are certainly better than any S&W trigger out of the box.

03-28-2005, 10:45 AM
Talk to Gundoc over at Great West Gunsmithing, he did the trigger on my Mini and it is smooth as can be!