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Brethren,

I was wondering if there are #580 series Mini-14's with the thin barrel. I know that this is not a scientific experiment, but look at the two links back to back.

http://www.ruger.com/Firearms/FAProdView?model=5801&return=Y
http://www.ruger.com/Firearms/FAProdView?model=5816&return=Y

This is the Mini-14/5 and the Mini-14/20. I have a pinch of OCD so I spent about 5 minutes clicking back and forth between the two links. I know, I know - I'm crazy. But that is beside the point.:D Notice that one of the barrels is thinner than the other. They are both currently on the Ruger web sight so it is presumed that they are both in the #580 series. So why does one have a thin bbl and the other a thicker bbl? Or am I seeing things?

Heavy
 

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heavyshooter, No, you're not seeing things. Ruger finally stepped up to the plate and made some much needed changes. The biggest complaints with the "old" mini-14 was poor accuracy when the barrel heated up and magazine capacity. The "new" Mini-14 has an improved receiver, a much thicker barrel, and comes with a 20 round magazine.

On of my friends bought a new Mini recently so we had a "shoot-off". My old Mini will shoot 2.5" groups at 100 yards if I keep the cycle rate down to 1 round every 5 minutes. When I go to 1 round per minute, about the 4th round starts to open up and by the time I shoot 10 rounds, my group has expanded to 5" or more. The new Mini was shooting about 2" groups with the same ammo and a 5 minute cycle rate. The impressive thing was at 1 round per minute, the new Mini still shot 2" groups. We increased the cycle rate to 1 round every 30 seconds and the groups opened up to about 2.5". We did not test the new Mini in the rapid fire mode but I'm betting it will hold decent groups.

Our conclusion was ... The new Mini-14 is a tad more accurate with a cold barrel and way more accurate with a hot barrel. We only fired 55 gr bullets loaded to factory standards. The new Mini might do even better with different loads.
 

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Thanks Iowegan,

This was very helpful. It seems that the accuracy issues are a thing of the past. In fact, 2 1/2 inch groups at 100 yards more than meets the requirements of a "Ranch Rifle."

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Sure was glad to see this post, so I will immediately ask for more info, greedy creature that I am. I’ve never owned a mini-14, but I’m presently beginning to shop for one. My local vendors don’t have personal experience with the rifle and are therefore not able to answer most of my questions, so I’m here seeking help.

1) I’d like one with the composite stock and blue finish, I think. (read somewhere that stainless is more prone to heat/accuracy loss issues; true/untrue?)

2) Are the ghost ring type of iron sights standard?

3) Are the receiver scope mounts standard (picatinny type rail that would accommodate a red dot type scope?)

4)have seen some advertised with folding and telescoping type stocks. How sturdy/comfortable to use, are these types of stocks on a mini? I’m pretty sure I want just the standard composite type of stock, but just curious.

5) Are there barrel length/weight options that are preferable?

6) What is a reasonable price to pay for a new one? Lightly used?

7) Is the right model designation simply 580 … or?

Okay … hope there’s someone patient enough, or just generous enough to tackle these inqueries. Any guidance here is much appreciated.
 

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Not all 580 series rifles have the new barrel profile. There was a post on another forum with the serial # range at the changeover but unfortunately I can't find it anymore. The first 580 series guns came out in late 06 I believe, with the old style pencil barrel. The first .223/5.56 rifles with the new thicker barrel were the NRA editions, hitting the market in early 08.

All of the Mini series rifles coming from Ruger now have the new barrel profile, the same one for all calibers with just a different bore being drilled. However, it is entirely possible to order a new 580 series Ranch Rifle sight unseen... and end up with the old style pencil barrel on a new rifle manufactured a year or more ago.

Ruger has no official model or serial distinction between the two barrel profiles. It is up to the buyer to do the homework.

Make certain the people you are ordering from know what you want and expect, or just buy locally so you can check the gun out before you pay.
 

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Has the Target Mini 14 always had the "right" barrel you guys speak of?
I am looking to buy one...
Should I just make sure the serial number starts with 580?

Thanx!!

Keith
 

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I'm sure this has been up for a while. I have a 580 Mini 14 from 2006 with a skinny barrel. I had also but an accuracy systems stabilizer on it as well. It has the newer sights and shoots both .223/5.56 just fine. It does get really hot really fast. I've put over 500 rds down the pipe in a couple of hours, and everything still functioned smoothly. I've used several types of oils and lubricants to help dissipate the heat better. I found white lithium grease and synthetic motor oil to work the best. What tips and tricks do you guys recommend for better performance out of the older minis?
 

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Good, old post!

Sometime during the run of the 580-xxxx series, Ruger switched over from skinny to tapered barrels: early '580s had skinnies, later 580-series had the improved tapered barrel. I'm not sure where the xxxx break-off was. That would be a useful S/N!

So short answer: some early 580s had skinny barrels and some (later) did not. For certainty, 581 and above have the tapered barrel; it's a crap-shoot without physically looking at a particular 580-xxxx mini.

I have both a 181GB (low s/n skinny-barreled built in the first year of production of the 181 in 1977) and a 583 Tactical built in 2016. Both are pretty much as they left the factory. They both - even while hot (30 + 20 round mag dumps within a minute) are within 3 MOA, from a crappy rest in a prone position using factory ammo (PMC Bronze) being shot by an impatient shooter (me). The 181GB was with a funky side-mounted P-Rail using a TRS-25, in bright sunlight, with a max setting, and loosening up with each shot due to the lack of use of Blue Loctite. Yet still, that 181GB - heated up - gave me the equivalent of 3-4 MOA, into an afternoon sun. Good enough for me as I never envisioned it as a sniper rifle.

Manage your expectations! 3-4 MOA will still hit a BG (or even a bowling pin) at 100 yards. My 181GB: will it give me a clover leaf shot group at 100 yards? Probably not, but it is not my particular thing. My 583 Tactical is probably good for 2 MOA (calculated from 50 yards with 1" groups), which is all I expected of it to begin with.

Have read horror stories of skinny-minis not hitting the side of a barn, from inside. That is all pure unadulterated BS, IMHO. Plenty of AR sites will carry on that BS.

To be sure, my 181GB has a flash hider and bayo lug, which may serve to attenuate barrel whip - depending on what internet lore you choose to follow.

In short, yes, the tapered barrels are likely to provide more consistent returns, but my skinny 181GB, VERY heated up,with a loose red-dot mount and an impatient shooter (me) on a crappy rest, still gave me 3-4 MOA.

I have a bolt gun for 1 MOA out to 300 yards, in the unlikely even I should ever need to to dispatch humanely a rabid 'yote or fox. Could do it with either of my Minis, yes!, but perhaps not as humanely. I love animals and pray I never have to test these capabilities.
 

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I don't know where I read it but it is my understanding that the .625" barrel was added around serial number 10,000. Most 580 serial number rifles with 4 digits have the skinny barrel. You either need a strut or simply have the barrel replaced if you have the skinny barrel. The up side of the skinny barrel is the rifle is very light weight for a steel receiver rifle.

kwg
 

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Ok guys I’m reading this thread and I’m hoping I can get a straight answer from ya’ll Ruger gurus because I am getting mixed information for the two sources. I am wanting to install the Accu strut to this rifle. I have a simple question and please forgive my ignorance, I do have a mini 14 580 Series. So my question is can you visually see a tapered barrel versus a pencil barrel right after the gas block (the tapered barrel being fatter Then the pencil barrel)? The only taper I see on the barrel is about midway down to the muzzle that is an extremely small taper and if you wasn’t looking you wouldn’t pay any attention to it. So from that I am assuming i have a pencil barrel. From the pictures I’m seeing on the internet I would think I would be able to see the difference. Thanks in advance.
 

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Ok guys I’m reading this thread and I’m hoping I can get a straight answer from ya’ll Ruger gurus because I am getting mixed information for the two sources. I am wanting to install the Accu strut to this rifle. I have a simple question and please forgive my ignorance, I do have a mini 14 580 Series. So my question is can you visually see a tapered barrel versus a pencil barrel right after the gas block (the tapered barrel being fatter Then the pencil barrel)? The only taper I see on the barrel is about midway down to the muzzle that is an extremely small taper and if you wasn’t looking you wouldn’t pay any attention to it. So from that I am assuming i have a pencil barrel. From the pictures I’m seeing on the internet I would think I would be able to see the difference. Thanks in advance.
From the gas block to the muzzle, you should see a visible taper; wide to much skinnier. If it's a pencil barrel, the diameter will remain the same from the gas block to the muzzle.
Post a pic. We can easily tell you which barrel it is.
 

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Both of these Mini's have the newer, tapered barrels. You can plainly see the taper in front of the gas block.



This picture is of an older, pencil barreled Mini. Note that there is no taper in front of the gas block.

 
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From the gas block to the muzzle, you should see a visible taper; wide to much skinnier. If it's a pencil barrel, the diameter will remain the same from the gas block to the muzzle.
Post a pic. We can easily tell you which barrel it is.
From the gas block to the muzzle, you should see a visible taper; wide to much skinnier. If it's a pencil barrel, the diameter will remain the same from the gas block to the muzzle.
Post a pic. We can easily tell you which barrel it is.
Thanks, I will get a pic tire ASAP.
 

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Nothing wrong with having a thin one........thats what my wife told me!
I happen to think all the Minis look good.
I really appreciate all off ya’ll information. It from what I’m seeing I definitely have a pencil barrel!
 
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