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Ruger .44 Carbine, Security-Six, Service-Six, Mini-14, .30 Carbine Blackhawk
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My Love/Hate* relationship with my Mini-14 took a turn yesterday.
I have a 182-series, pencil barrel, 1/10 twist Mini-14 (1981).
It's always been a 6-8MOA rifle.

After seeing that I got better accuracy with Wolf .223 than LC XM193,
I shot some Winchester .223 45gr Varmint ammo I bought years ago.
Group size at 100 yds was half of M193. More like 2-3MOA.
Barrel still gets hot fast, though. % rounds and its pretty warm.

On my way home, I remembered that I have box of Barnes 50gr Varmint Grenades that I grabbed in a Cabelas Bargain Cave years ago.....
I going to have to load some up and see how they do.

Ah yes,
Cabelas Bargain Cave in the good old days......
Font Line Rectangle Material property Magenta

I really found some good deals in there over the years.

ETA: * Love/Hate .... Love the mechanicals/Hate the accuracy.
 

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Yeah, the old ones are pretty terrible, accuracy wise. I have owned at least 6 over the years, and none of them would shoot worth a crap, until I got the one I currently own, one of the newer ones. Now, it sure wont win any benchrest matches, but it will run rings around any of the old ones I had. At least when it heats up it will still throw them in the same general direction! I routinely get 2 inch groups, and have had a few get pretty dang close to an inch (5 shot groups), but it's rare. Most of the time it's closer to 3, but at least it will be together and not vertical stringing like the olds ones are notorious for.
 

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Ruger .44 Carbine, Security-Six, Service-Six, Mini-14, .30 Carbine Blackhawk
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, the old ones are pretty terrible, accuracy wise. I have owned at least 6 over the years, and none of them would shoot worth a crap, until I got the one I currently own, one of the newer ones. Now, it sure wont win any benchrest matches, but it will run rings around any of the old ones I had. At least when it heats up it will still throw them in the same general direction! I routinely get 2 inch groups, and have had a few get pretty dang close to an inch (5 shot groups), but it's rare. Most of the time it's closer to 3, but at least it will be together and not vertical stringing like the olds ones are notorious for.
I bought this used/cheap back around ‘86 because I couldn’t afford an AR.
 
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In the 1980’s, I just had to have a Mini14…
Sold an M1 Carbine I loved to make it happen. First range visit, I found out about Mini14 inaccuracy. My new stainless Mini shot bigger groups at 50yds than the old M1 Carbine did at 100…by far.
That, and third party mags of spotty quality (OEM unavailable) soured me on the Mini. Sold it in favor of a Hungarian AK, which was much more accurate.
Still, the Mini14 is an attractive gun. When a friend recently got a late model Mini14, the type with synthetic stock and heavier 1 in 9:barrel, I was glad to bring him to my rifle club and give it a try.
While the new Mini shot much better than my old one, I still managed to easily outshoot it with my 5.45 Saiga AK, a stamped steel rifle shooting military surplus Russian ammo. Even my AR carbine, a collection of cheap parts thrown together randomly with a used upper, is easily more accurate.
The only Mini that interests me today is the Mini30…
 

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Years ago the A-Team had me wanting a mini, but I’m glad I never bought one…..6 to 8 MOA, it’s getting launched into a lake, 4 MOA, it gets thrown against a wall, 2 MOA I’d sell it to someone I didn’t like. I don’t know how you guys do it, it would drive me nuts. Y’all got way more patience than I do.
 
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My Love/Hate* relationship with my Mini-14 took a turn yesterday.
I have a 182-series, pencil barrel, 1/10 twist Mini-14 (1981).
It's always been a 6-8MOA rifle.

After seeing that I got better accuracy with Wolf .223 than LC XM193,
I shot some Winchester .223 45gr Varmint ammo I bought years ago.
Group size at 100 yds was half of M193. More like 2-3MOA.
Barrel still gets hot fast, though. % rounds and its pretty warm.

On my way home, I remembered that I have box of Barnes 50gr Varmint Grenades that I grabbed in a Cabelas Bargain Cave years ago.....
I going to have to load some up and see how they do.

Ah yes,
Cabelas Bargain Cave in the good old days......
View attachment 169922
I really found some good deals in there over the years.

ETA: * Love/Hate .... Love the mechanicals/Hate the accuracy.
Them days is gone.....
 

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I've never owned a mini-14 that wouldn't shoot under 3.5 MOA. That includes 2 180-series guns... Trigger, sights, buffer, lubrication, cool barrel! and shooting good ammunition!

I also stop reading as soon as a comparison to an AR15 begins...

NEWS FLASH:

THEY ARE TWO DIFFERENT RIFLES!
I am curious if they were stainless. I heard tell the 180 stainless rifles had a better reputation for accuracy. My first blued one was horrendous and strung diagonally 6”-8” at 100 yards on a bench.
 

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I am curious if they were stainless. I heard tell the 180 stainless rifles had a better reputation for accuracy. My first blued one was horrendous and strung diagonally 6”-8” at 100 yards on a bench.
i have (and have had for over 40 years) a stainless 181 series mini. it pretty much hits what its aimed at as long as what its aimed at is a few inches wide. that has always worked for me. my scoped 10-22 is far more precise. it's a small sledge hammer....not a scalpel.
 

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"The Real Deal"
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Have an 1988 mini 14, accustrut socom, with a vortex strikefire on top of an ultimak. I found it does way better with handloads, 75 hornady bthp and h4895 than any lighter ammo no matter commercial or military type. Im with corndog, its not an AR, and its Not an AK and every gun doesnt have to shoot .500" to be good at its job.
Its fun to shoot something other than my ARs. or AKs at the range.
 

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"The Real Deal"
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Ya know, I have never fired a mini. 14 or 30. I have seen them, I think I shouldered one once in a store. But I have never shot one that I can recall.
Its a fun little gun, i have a 14 standard, 14 target, and mini 30. All have been great guns if you know their limitations. The target i have with a 40 gr vmax handload can equal and most times one up several of my target ar's. You dont usually hear many talking about them, but they are awesome shooters.
 

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Have a 181GB. As it left the factory in 1977 (early S/N) it has been a 3-4 MOA shooter that reliably dropped ½-silhouette pop-up targets at an Army range at 300m using M193 with iron sights and an impatient shooter (me). That is all I ever intended for it. It still is as it left the factory (other than buffers and a side-mounted P-Rail that is empty).

Every Mini-14 is different! Mine is a treasure and my favorite (although I got a 583 to give it a break). Accustruts can bring some new life into older Mini-14s that have a problem. Mine never needed one for my purposes, and "irons" are what I use.

In the 42 years I've owned it, I've never had even a hint of a malfunction. It was my first firearm and is my "go-to" gun for SHTF. It is more accurate than my aging eyes or the M193 I shoot...

I got a Savage Axis II+ in .223REM should I ever need a "sniper" rifle, for just a little more than it would cost to get a Mini to that capability (while transforming it into something other than a light carbine).
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I never really compare my Mini-14 to an AR. As pointed out, they are completely different systems that share a common caliber.
I have mentioned in other threads that I originally purchased this Mini-14 used, at a gunshow in '86 after I got out of the army because I wanted a 5.56 rifle.
I was going to college and working part time at Radio Shack and simply couldn't afford an AR-15.
Price comparison is about the closet I get.
I love the Mini design, and I don't ever remember having any type of malfunction shooting any .223/5.56 ammo.
Reliability wise, it's an A+ rifle.

My only issue has only been the accuracy of MY Mini-14.
I bought it used, so I have no idea what the person(s) before me may have done to this rifle.
Whether it deserves it or not, the older Mini's have a reputation for inaccuracy. If it was just me, the accu-strut and mo-rod would not exist. :)

At 25yds, its great, at 100yds it's always been about 5-6MOA.
I have never been much interested in adding an accu-strut, mo-rod or cutting down the barrel.

This thread is simply a range report about my rifle. I find it interesting that changing to a lighter bullet has changed MY Mini from a 5-6" MOA rifle to a 2-3" MOA rifle, at least according to the Ballistic-X app.

It's the 5th shot of a 5rnd group that seems to be the real MOA killer, probably due to the barrel temperature.
Groups open up after shot #3, shot #4 is still pretty good.
Even shooting these Winchester 45gr Varmint bullets the barrel is too hot to touch by round #5.

100yds/5rd group - Winchester .223 45gr Varmint - Vortex Strikefire II (which is a 4MOA dot)
Precision sports Recreation Circle Font Gas


This is way better than groups I get with with M193.

First 3 shots are great (1.261MOA). Shot #4 is the lower right (2.11MOA) and shot #5 (3.596MOA) is the upper right.

I'm happy with this accuracy. Unfortunately shooting <5rnds at a time doesn't make for much blasting fun times. :ROFLMAO:
 

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The Mini-14 was designed as a lower cost minut-of-coyote farm gun useful for running varmints. It was also meant for informal target shooting and plinking fun. The department of Corrections used them in some states where shots were at man sized targets about 75 yards or so away. They fit into some of the devices originally made for shotguns quite handily.

San Diego Police Department even allowed them to be carried as a patrol rifle for a short time.

I hope the system continues to developed and improved,
 

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"The Real Deal"
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So do i, i hope it keeps on trucking off the production line.

I think adding a 6.5 grendel to the lineup would be beneficial.

A full heavy barrel 20" version with the larger gas block. .750". .875", .920" threaded of course.

An adjustable gas block option with detent locking positions.

Think those things would improve its accuracy, its ejection distance, capability, and demand.
 
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