Modding a Mini 14 Ranch Rifle

This is a discussion on Modding a Mini 14 Ranch Rifle within the Rifles forums, part of the Sniping Related category; I bought a stainless mini 14 ranch rifle in .223 in the early 90's. I forget the reasons why I chose the mini over an ...

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  1. #1
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    Modding a Mini 14 Ranch Rifle

    I bought a stainless mini 14 ranch rifle in .223 in the early 90's. I forget the reasons why I chose the mini over an AR at that time, but nonetheless that's what I did. I quickly found out that I could not print at 100 yards very well at all. At that time I had no formal rifle training. Now I have had extensive training and shoot quite well. I was also shooting once fired reloads that I bought from a gun show back then, which I am sure contributed to the lacking performance.

    Around 1998 I was forced to sell some things off. The mini was one of those things. By that time I had an infant son and felt really bad selling what was to be 'his' rifle one day. I sold it to a co-worker along with some hi-cap mags. This particular co-worker and I do not share the same job assignment so I have only seen him 2-3 times since selling him the rifle. I last saw him at our range on Monday. We had casual conversation and I asked him about the rifle. He said he groups quite well with it using good ammo. In passing, and really not expecting much to result from it, I told him if he ever wanted to sell it to look me up first. Well, he did and he wants to sell it back to me for $100 less than I sold it to him for. The rifle has a max of 300 rounds through it at this point.

    I am going to buy it back from him so my son can have it. I know the inherent accuracy issues associated with the mini's and I know it will not measure up to my current AR. I do want to upgrade it though and improve its accuracy. What are your suggestions? Can somebody nudge me in the direction of a Mini 14 specialist?

    Thanks
    8) 8)

  2. #2
    Sponsors Orkan's Avatar
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    http://www.accuracysystemsinc.com/index.php

    The phrase "polishing a turd" comes to mind, but take a look there.

  3. #3
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    Here's a cheap way to reduce that barrel flopping.

    http://www.accu-strut.com/index.htm

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orkan
    The phrase "polishing a turd" comes to mind, but take a look there.
    A buffing wheel with jeweler's rouge is best...

    In all seriousness, sir, why would you KNOWingly handicap your son's development as a rifleman when you can clearly do better? YOU own an AR, and know it to be a better platform, so... what are you waiting for?

    Off to the gunshop's trading bench with you.

    -Nate
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  5. #5
    Senior Member FluffyTheCat's Avatar
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    The Mini-14 is not a very accurate piece. But it does have one redeeming feature--it is a miniature Garand. So before you buy your son a Garand, maybe you can use the Mini-14 as his training rifle.

    I really wish that Ruger had tried harder. The Mini-14 could have been a great rifle. The Mini-14 was a great idea that suffered in execution.
    I'm a genius. And you are not.

  6. #6
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    I've seen Mini-14's shoot 1-inch groups without any real work being done to come up with a sweet load.

    They're heavy. They don't have the range of after-market options that an AR does. And they take expensive magazines instead of the ubiquitous AR mags.

    But if 1 - 1.5 MOA is good enough (as in a combat or hunting rifle, not a benchrest or sniper rifle), the Mini-14 is not bad. And it's still significantly less expensive than an entry-level AR.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the information guys. So just what is it about the Mini 14 design that makes them less accurate than we would like to see?

  8. #8
    Senior Member madgunsmith's Avatar
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    I had one back in 1982. I still remember the serial number--182-70772.

    Anyhow, it would spray rounds every where. I think that the problem is the way that Ruger attaches the barrel. I read somewhere that Ruger used a fixture that somehow stressed either the gas block or the barrel.

    I can't remember.

    But as the gun heated up, the group would disperse. For some strange reason I still liked the rifle. I only sold it because I needed the money.

    Mad.

  9. #9
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    A friend of mine has a reasonably accurate Mini. It is an older one, late 70's perhaps. I guess back then Ruger's quality control let a few accurate rifles out the door.

    Anyways, keep the Mini for nostalgic reasons, but get your son something else to learn with. Anything else. An AR or a bolt action .223? A nice .22?

    Erik
    Just a civilian who enjoys shooting

  10. #10
    Senior Member ekaphoto's Avatar
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    Here are a couple of thing you can DIY to help.

    First. Loosen the gas block then retorque to an even setting all the way around using the cross tenique.

    Second. get a trigger job. and get the muzzel recrowned.

    There are lots of thing you can do just do an internet search.

    http://www.firearmstalk.com/forums/f95/
    John

    1.Humans are more important than Hardware.

    2.Quality is better than Quantity.

    3.Special Operations Forces cannot be mass produced.

    4.Competent Special Operations Forces cannot be created after emergencies occur.

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