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Time to redefine accuracy...Mini 14 surprise

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So was at the range with my Mini 14 again yesterday. Hooked up with a shooting buddy, and one of the targets he brought along was a 12" steel gong that he set at the 300 yard line. I was playing around with my Mini at the 50 yard line, while he was banging away with his 7mm-08 on the gong. Seemed like just too much fun, so I said I wanted to try it. Now, I have a 2 MOA RDS on my Mini, and it's sighted in for 50 yards. At 300 yards, I could barely see the gong, and the dot covered most of it. But after a couple of shots to figure out just where it was hitting (surprisingly, pretty much dead on), I was ringing steel like I knew what I was doing :cool:.

Now I realize some of you are saying no biggie, but the truth is, guys, I've never tried shooting anything at 300 yards before, longest has been 200, and most of that was with a magnified sight. Granted I was shooting from a rest, but the idea that I could consistently hit a 12" target at that range with the "horribly inaccurate" Mini 14 just blows me away. To say I'm pleased with my Mini would be a serious understatement. And my shooting partner was mightily impressed, too, he's an AR guy, but felt he couldn't have done any better with one of his AR's. He also felt there was just something about the Mini that was more enjoyable to shoot than his AR's, I suspect he'll be shopping for his own Mini 14 soon :D.

So for those of you that have avoided a Mini due to its bad accuracy press, you might just want to give one a second look. And BTW, mine is a 181 series, built in 1979, so it's a 40 year old rifle. Although I have an aftermarket rail on it, I haven't added a strut. The only other mods are a smaller gas bushing and an extra power recoil spring. That setup gives me consistent 1" groups at 50 yards with a red dot, and I suspect that that's my limit with a non-magnified sight. I'll be putting a scope on it for my next trip just to find out. Later.

Dave
 

Goosebrown

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So was at the range with my Mini 14 again yesterday. Hooked up with a shooting buddy, and one of the targets he brought along was a 12" steel gong that he set at the 300 yard line. I was playing around with my Mini at the 50 yard line, while he was banging away with his 7mm-08 on the gong. Seemed like just too much fun, so I said I wanted to try it. Now, I have a 2 MOA RDS on my Mini, and it's sighted in for 50 yards. At 300 yards, I could barely see the gong, and the dot covered most of it. But after a couple of shots to figure out just where it was hitting (surprisingly, pretty much dead on), I was ringing steel like I knew what I was doing :cool:.

Now I realize some of you are saying no biggie, but the truth is, guys, I've never tried shooting anything at 300 yards before, longest has been 200, and most of that was with a magnified sight. Granted I was shooting from a rest, but the idea that I could consistently hit a 12" target at that range with the "horribly inaccurate" Mini 14 just blows me away. To say I'm pleased with my Mini would be a serious understatement. And my shooting partner was mightily impressed, too, he's an AR guy, but felt he couldn't have done any better with one of his AR's. He also felt there was just something about the Mini that was more enjoyable to shoot than his AR's, I suspect he'll be shopping for his own Mini 14 soon :D.

So for those of you that have avoided a Mini due to its bad accuracy press, you might just want to give one a second look. And BTW, mine is a 181 series, built in 1979, so it's a 40 year old rifle. Although I have an aftermarket rail on it, I haven't added a strut. The only other mods are a smaller gas bushing and an extra power recoil spring. That setup gives me consistent 1" groups at 50 yards with a red dot, and I suspect that that's my limit with a non-magnified sight. I'll be putting a scope on it for my next trip just to find out. Later.

Dave
Nicely done!
 
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Accuracy is hitting the spot you are aiming at. It involves the whole system - the firearm, the sighting system, the ammo and the human. The human has to take into account drop and windage and where the sighting system is pointed.

Precision is the ability (or inability) of the firearm itself to create small groups at a distance - regardless of where the groups are hitting.

These definitions have been around for quite a while, but people misuse the terminology most of the time. They speak of MOA as accuracy - MOA is precision.
 

Stomper

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Bullets, shells, cartridges... magazine, clip... potāto, potato... there, their, they’re... you, your, you’re... isn’t, ain’t... ‘taint.
 
OP
D
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Accuracy is hitting the spot you are aiming at. It involves the whole system - the firearm, the sighting system, the ammo and the human. The human has to take into account drop and windage and where the sighting system is pointed.

Precision is the ability (or inability) of the firearm itself to create small groups at a distance - regardless of where the groups are hitting.

These definitions have been around for quite a while, but people misuse the terminology most of the time. They speak of MOA as accuracy - MOA is precision.
Nicely summarized, H, and a perfect synopsis of my post. The Mini is NOT a precision rifle, but I think that for most folks and the reasons they'd be interested in buying one, it's accurate enough to do the job. I think too often we DO get mixed up with the difference between accuracy and precision, and get hung up on unneeded precision for the job at hand. If it's not under 1 MOA out of the box, it's junk, or at least that seems to be a common consensus. This Ruger's primary job will be amusing me at the range, maybe whacking the occasional garden raiding varmint, and on a really bad day, might be called on for self defense. In all of those roles, it's definitely good enough. Icing on the cake, it's NOT an AR ;). Later.

Dave
 

Alexx1401

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So was at the range with my Mini 14 again yesterday. Hooked up with a shooting buddy, and one of the targets he brought along was a 12" steel gong that he set at the 300 yard line. I was playing around with my Mini at the 50 yard line, while he was banging away with his 7mm-08 on the gong. Seemed like just too much fun, so I said I wanted to try it. Now, I have a 2 MOA RDS on my Mini, and it's sighted in for 50 yards. At 300 yards, I could barely see the gong, and the dot covered most of it. But after a couple of shots to figure out just where it was hitting (surprisingly, pretty much dead on), I was ringing steel like I knew what I was doing :cool:.

Now I realize some of you are saying no biggie, but the truth is, guys, I've never tried shooting anything at 300 yards before, longest has been 200, and most of that was with a magnified sight. Granted I was shooting from a rest, but the idea that I could consistently hit a 12" target at that range with the "horribly inaccurate" Mini 14 just blows me away. To say I'm pleased with my Mini would be a serious understatement. And my shooting partner was mightily impressed, too, he's an AR guy, but felt he couldn't have done any better with one of his AR's. He also felt there was just something about the Mini that was more enjoyable to shoot than his AR's, I suspect he'll be shopping for his own Mini 14 soon :D.

So for those of you that have avoided a Mini due to its bad accuracy press, you might just want to give one a second look. And BTW, mine is a 181 series, built in 1979, so it's a 40 year old rifle. Although I have an aftermarket rail on it, I haven't added a strut. The only other mods are a smaller gas bushing and an extra power recoil spring. That setup gives me consistent 1" groups at 50 yards with a red dot, and I suspect that that's my limit with a non-magnified sight. I'll be putting a scope on it for my next trip just to find out. Later.

Dave
Many of the old Minis did not suffer from the same problem of making patterns instead of groups. Ruger at one time took some that were quite good and did all kinds of measuring to try to see why. From what I heard they came up empty. So you may well have gotten hands on one that was quite good. Only way to tell would be to put a decent scope on it and see what it does. Back then the "normal" with them was in the area of 5 MOA at 100 yards. For many that was fine. One of the biggest problems was not so much the far from great accuracy as much as the way the POI would start to move as the rifle got warm. Many of them were all but impossible to site in due to this.
Now I have heard that they have re done the Mini and they no longer suffer from this but have not seen one in person to have it tested.
 
OP
D
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Many of the old Minis did not suffer from the same problem of making patterns instead of groups. Ruger at one time took some that were quite good and did all kinds of measuring to try to see why. From what I heard they came up empty. So you may well have gotten hands on one that was quite good. Only way to tell would be to put a decent scope on it and see what it does. Back then the "normal" with them was in the area of 5 MOA at 100 yards. For many that was fine. One of the biggest problems was not so much the far from great accuracy as much as the way the POI would start to move as the rifle got warm. Many of them were all but impossible to site in due to this.
Now I have heard that they have re done the Mini and they no longer suffer from this but have not seen one in person to have it tested.
Actually, it was mostly the earlier ones like mine that had accuracy issues, for a variety of reasons that include the skinny barrel that moved around when it heated up, being seriously over-gassed, and just have really loose tolerances. The skinny barrel was dealt with by the invention of the Accu-Strut, it helped with the heat induced stringing, and also helped settle down the horrific harmonics created by the violence of the action. A smaller gas bushing also helps settle it down, and in my case, the dramatic change was a heavier recoil spring. Just changing that cut my groups in half, but I have no solid idea why, although I do have some theories. Ruger was also trying different barrel twist rates, and depending on the twist of a particular rifle, that could make them very ammo sensitive. A lot of the older rifles do better with a heavier bullet, mine shows a marked preference for 62 vs. 55 gr. bullets, although I haven't experimented with anything else yet.

Ruger did a major overhaul of the Mini in the mid-2000's, went to a heavier barrel, tightened up the tolerances a lot, and just generally updated the design. Even though they market a Target Model, it's still not a precision rifle, but apparently it's a significant improvement over Mini's of yore. Ruger still made a huge mistake with the later model rifles, they priced them stupid high :eek:. You can buy a couple of entry level AR's for what one Mini currently sells for, and that's just ridiculous, since that should be the same market group they're aimed at. And there's no reason for the cost, it's really a much simpler rifle than the AR, with much looser tolerances even with the new and improved models. Even the used market tends to be pretty silly, although there are bargains to be had. But hey, I'm either preaching to the choir or my words are falling on deaf ears. That's for you @Stomper, I get it, you don't like the Mini 14 ;). Later.

Dave
 

Kruel J

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Glad you enjoyed it. Comparing the Mini to an AR isn't apples to apples though. They are two completely different platforms that just happen to shoot the same cartridge.
 

Stomper

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Actually, it was mostly the earlier ones like mine that had accuracy issues, for a variety of reasons that include the skinny barrel that moved around when it heated up, being seriously over-gassed, and just have really loose tolerances. The skinny barrel was dealt with by the invention of the Accu-Strut, it helped with the heat induced stringing, and also helped settle down the horrific harmonics created by the violence of the action. A smaller gas bushing also helps settle it down, and in my case, the dramatic change was a heavier recoil spring. Just changing that cut my groups in half, but I have no solid idea why, although I do have some theories. Ruger was also trying different barrel twist rates, and depending on the twist of a particular rifle, that could make them very ammo sensitive. A lot of the older rifles do better with a heavier bullet, mine shows a marked preference for 62 vs. 55 gr. bullets, although I haven't experimented with anything else yet.

Ruger did a major overhaul of the Mini in the mid-2000's, went to a heavier barrel, tightened up the tolerances a lot, and just generally updated the design. Even though they market a Target Model, it's still not a precision rifle, but apparently it's a significant improvement over Mini's of yore. Ruger still made a huge mistake with the later model rifles, they priced them stupid high :eek:. You can buy a couple of entry level AR's for what one Mini currently sells for, and that's just ridiculous, since that should be the same market group they're aimed at. And there's no reason for the cost, it's really a much simpler rifle than the AR, with much looser tolerances even with the new and improved models. Even the used market tends to be pretty silly, although there are bargains to be had. But hey, I'm either preaching to the choir or my words are falling on deaf ears. That's for you @Stomper, I get it, you don't like the Mini 14 ;). Later.

Dave


Whoa, whoa, WHOA!! I never said I didn’t like the Mini-14, I just said it was awesome for shooting around corners! ;):D





This is an excellent video in the matter...

 
OP
D
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Glad you enjoyed it. Comparing the Mini to an AR isn't apples to apples though. They are two completely different platforms that just happen to shoot the same cartridge.
No argument there, but they really are aimed at the same market segment, and are designed to do the same type of job. Based on that, Ruger really should make the price competitive with the AR market IMO. Later.
 

Alexx1401

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You can buy a couple of entry level AR's for what one Mini currently sells for, and that's just ridiculous, since that should be the same market group they're aimed at.
Dave
Back when I had a couple (70's, early 80's) and many I knew had one, that was why. The Mini at that time was about 1/2 the cost of the AR. They were still a little harder to get mags for as back then Ruger would not sell the normal mags. Those out there were quite high in price. Some after market worked great but often took some trial and error. Other down was the way they tossed the brass 20 feet. There was fixes for the accuracy and brass even back then but by the time you did it you had spent as much as a nice AR so few bothered. The couple I had and finally sold I was disappointed I could not get them better. I always liked the way the Mini looked much better than the Black rifles. Now that they have improved the thing a lot the damn price compared to an AR is amazing. Notice the Mini's still sell very well, even the old ones with all the known downsides always sell quite well. So has to still be a lot of people who like the way they look.
 

Alexx1401

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Truth! I'm a total sucker for wood carbines. Been looking for a reasonably priced decent M1 for a bit now...
I always loved those little rifles. Still kick myself that back long ago when I would buy and sell I sold off a couple really nice examples of Mil-Surp. Damn things are quite pricey now days to lay hands on one.
 
OP
D
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People been doing that with AKs and their crappy irons for years so... o_O

New Minis aren't as bad as the old ones though.
Actually, I probably should have said the thought that I could makes hits at that range with ANYTHING using a non-magnified sight, much less the "horribly inaccurate"... I just don't shoot at longer ranges much, mostly because I never felt that confident doing so, even with a scope. That started changing with my AR, and continues to do so with the Mini. Nothing like success to breed confidence, which tends to lead to even more success :cool:. As to AK's, I've never even held, much less shot one, so I'll just take your word for it :). Later.

Dave
 

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