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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have a 1982 Mini-14 Ranch Rifle and I want to put a new barrel on it to improve its accuracy. Can anybody give me advice regarding the best route to take to do this? (replacing this gun is not an option - it's a member of the family!) :)
 

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I hate to step on Tacky's toes, but I recently made a video on the subject. And Dixie Precision Rifles out of Brandon, MS re-barreled my Mini for me.

Barrel: Shilen Match Heavy Barrel Ruger Mini-14 Pre-580 Series 223 Remington 1

Dixie Precision Rifles: Dixie Precision Rifles, LLC

And please visit my youtube channel. I have many Mini videos. here is one of them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzzaIZ7WrcY
No problem KB, no offense taken. I didn't know about Dixie Precision Rifles, I am gonna check them out as well. You hear alot about ar rifle shops, but few mini capable shops, glad to add another to the list. Shilen aye, start of this year I built a 6.5 grendel ar around a service contour 20" shilen barrel. Simply marvelous accuracy. ;)
 

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No problem KB, no offense taken. I didn't know about Dixie Precision Rifles, I am gonna check them out as well. You hear alot about ar rifle shops, but few mini capable shops, glad to add another to the list. Shilen aye, start of this year I built a 6.5 grendel ar around a service contour 20" shilen barrel. Simply marvelous accuracy. ;)
Yeah that Shilen Barrel is something else.The gunsmith at DPR even said Shilen makes a good barrel. People want to talk trash about it and say that it is not a Krieger, but if you look up the top 10 barrel makers, Shilen is always number 7 or 8 in the list. And that is the top 10 out of god knows how many barrel fabricators.;)
 

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Yeah that Shilen Barrel is something else.The gunsmith at DPR even said Shilen makes a good barrel. People want to talk trash about it and say that it is not a Krieger, but if you look up the top 10 barrel makers, Shilen is always number 7 or 8 in the list. And that is the top 10 out of god knows how many barrel fabricators.;)
I agree, love my shilen, and I have found that its a very nicely machined instrument. Here is the results from the bench, 100 yards, 123 amax bullets handloaded for it. I don't know if I can out do that.:D



 

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Just put an Accustrut on it ( and an Ultimak). Unless the barrel is shot out, a strut will work wonders on the older pencil barrel Mini's. The strut (and Ultimak) will help accuracy and keep the barrel from getting as hot, and reduce vertical stringing to almost nothing. Also do a trigger job if it needs one, reduce the gas flow with a smaller bushing, and use Wilson 1911 buffers. reducing the violent cycling will do wonders for accuracy gains.
Here is my 197 series Mini-14 with Accustrut and Ultimak, went from 2 1/4" groups with my match loads to 1" at 100 yards.
When I first got it, I added an Accustrut right away, and saw the biggest improvement:

Chopping an inch or two off the barrel, doing a better crown, and threading the barrel, and hanging a flash hider off the end all help stiffen the barrel and make it shoot better. The Ultimak stiffens it up even more:

Got a green Hogue to replace the grey one, added a Tech sight, and FDE Cerakote finish:
 

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Just put an Accustrut on it ( and an Ultimak). Unless the barrel is shot out, a strut will work wonders on the older pencil barrel Mini's. The strut (and Ultimak) will help accuracy and keep the barrel from getting as hot, and reduce vertical stringing to almost nothing. Also do a trigger job if it needs one, reduce the gas flow with a smaller bushing, and use Wilson 1911 buffers. reducing the violent cycling will do wonders for accuracy gains.
Great advice from someone that knows a great deal more than I do about Mini's. But Sandog, your gonna have to get one of those barrels one day, it is a game changer. ;) Fashion some iron sights on it, and it will still be a pretty lite rifle.
 

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I would like to shoot your Shilen barreled Mini one day, I'll bet it is a tack driver. I just thought I'd give the OP another option, rather than rebarrel to a heavier ( muzzle heavy ?) barrel that he'd have to fit iron sights to. Speaking of barrels, weren't you going to send me your old barrel, Kame ?
 

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I would like to shoot your Shilen barreled Mini one day, I'll bet it is a tack driver. I just thought I'd give the OP another option, rather than rebarrel to a heavier ( muzzle heavy ?) barrel that he'd have to fit iron sights to. Speaking of barrels, weren't you going to send me your old barrel, Kame ?
OMG! Sandog, I totally forgot about that. Yes, yes I am lol. I've been pretty busy lately, been hard to keep up. Everyone wants there rifle or shotgun re-finished.

 

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I have 2 ASI Mini's. ONe has a .750 gas block with a .825 barrel past the gas block and the other is a .625 barrel. Both shoot much better than what was on them from the factory. I had these done before the Accu Struts came out. Hers is a picture of the Economy .625 barrel on an early stock with a Choate hand guard.

Here is also a picture of the heavy barrel.
 

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I would like to shoot your Shilen barreled Mini one day, I'll bet it is a tack driver. I just thought I'd give the OP another option, rather than rebarrel to a heavier ( muzzle heavy ?) barrel that he'd have to fit iron sights to. Speaking of barrels, weren't you going to send me your old barrel, Kame ?
I gotta' chime in here. I laughed my po po off when I saw sandog's comment about the heavy barrel! First chill and now sandog. I think your barrel is just fine,although it does make your butt look big!!!
 

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I have a question for sandog what is a Ultimak?? I have a Mini 14 with the pencil thin barrel mine is a Ranch Rifle & my gun is scoped. I have currently a older Redfield Widefield 2.5-7 on it now. Right now its just bore sighted with this scope I haven't fine tuned it in yet. My thoughts for now is to at least get a accustrut for it. I am not looking to get groups under 1 inch etc but I would be very satisfied with 2 inch grouping at 100 yds. Appreciate any information you can provide thanks!!!
 

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gqucool, the Ultimak is an aluminum hand guard (they come finished in a matte black Cerakote) that has Picatinny rail slots on it. It mounts very securely as at the front it replaces the top of your gas block, and bolts to the lower part of your gas block. At the receiver end there is a stout clamp that goes around the barrel just ahead of the chamber.
It helps stiffen the barrel a little and keeps the barrel cooler, same as using a strut under the barrel.
They are a great place to mount a red dot or scope, although the scope will have to be a longer eye relief one like a pistol scope or Scout scope. You can get the scope very low and have a good cheek weld on the stock, whereas mounting a scope over the receiver puts the scope pretty high up, and you are lucky to get a chin weld.
Having the scope out front might seem weird at first, but it is out of the way of ejecting brass, easy to remove your bolt for cleaning without a scope in the way, and clearance with your rear peep sight will never be a problem.
I find the balance is improved having some weight out over the skinny barrel, and with the proper technique of shooting the scout scope with both eyes open, you can see more of what's going on downrange with out the scope being right up against your eye like a conventional set up.
My pencil barrel Mini went from 2 inch groups with good ammo to 1 inch, but also helping that was a trigger polish, smaller gas port bushing and reloading my empty NATO brass with Sierra and Hornady Match bullets.
Pics of 197 series Mini-14 scoped with a Nikon 2.5-8x pistol scope, and 189 series Mini-30 with Burris FF III dot, both on an Ultimak railed hand guard.


 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
This is great information - thank you all! My mini-14 is a series 182, made in 1981. After reading everybody's opinions and advice, I'm leaning toward trying out the accu-strut and having a trigger job done on it. We'll see how that goes.
By all means, please continue to offer any advice you feel helpful, I can always change my mind...
 

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One more question guys. As I was researching the Accu-struts, I ran across something else called a Harmonic Stabilizer. Here's a link to one for sale on Midway USA:

Accuracy Systems Harmonic Stabilizer Adjustable Gas Block Ruger Mini

Has anybody had any experience with one of these on his mini-14? I'm wondering if this is a better choice?
Well if it is from ASI you cat bet your best dollar it works great, But I'm really not sure about that $249.00 sticker price. You can get a new barrel for less money.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
That's my main concern, that really seems to be a lot of money for the part. I'm taking my mini to the gunsmith tonight and he's going to do a trigger job on it this weekend while I decide what to do with the barrel...
 

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Adjustable gas blocks are nice if you have a lot of spare cash. I don't feel they are really necessary though. All of us pretty much only shoot full power 5.56mm ammo or the slightly milder plinking ammo like American Eagle or PMC. It's not like you are going to ever shoot greatly reduced power ammo out of a semi -auto.
I suspect most that buy an adjustable gas block get it set at one place, then it doesn't move from there.
Just get a reduced bushing, or set of three. Most likely the .045" is what you will go with. It will do fine for hundreds, maybe closer to a thousand rounds before the hole will get bigger and start throwing your brass a little farther away, and even a little farther away is o.k.
An Accustrut will set you back $95 but is the best single thing you can do for your Mini. The strut and a reduced gas bushing will do wonders for your old Mini.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
An Accustrut will set you back $95 but is the best single thing you can do for your Mini. The strut and a reduced gas bushing will do wonders for your old Mini.
Thanks sandog - an Accustrut it is! I'll be ordering it tonight. My gunsmith is also doing a trigger job. Once the strut is installed, I'll take it to the range and let you guys know how it goes.
 
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