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Hi guys,
I recently bought a Mini 14 Tactical and had a chance to shoot it briefly last weekend at the family farm. I was mostly punching paper with it and getting it sighted in with a few different kinds of ammo (all of which shot flawlessly). I took it out to the club with me for our monthly dinner tonight and we were plinking with it outside at the rifle range. I put a 20oz plastic soda bottle out at about 50 yards standing straight up. I shot the bottle with open sights at 50 yards standing and got nothing. I changed my POA and still nothing. I tried sitting, nothing. Handed the rifle over to a friend, nothing. Anyway... The range went cold and I walked down to retrieve the stupid bottle so I could bring it in and set up a paper target to try my luck with sighting the rifle again (I thought I mucked something up and didn't sight it in properly). Well lo and behold, that bottle was RIDDLED with holes. I don't know exactly how many of the 20 rounds contacted the bottle, but there were at least 2 dozen holes in it (entry/exit tells me about 12/20 hit the bottle). I did a little research and I was shocked to see that the rounds I was shooting were rated at 3270 fps muzzle velocity (2800 and change at 100 yards). Apparently it's such a small round at such a fast pace that it passes right through the bottle without disturbing it at all.

I'm really new to rifle shooting (I only have the Mini 14 and a Ruger 10/22) and have never researched ballistics or velocity.

It's got my curiosity up. I see me renting a high speed camera at some point and playing Mr. Scientist at the range. I just HAVE to see what a bullet does to a bottle at that speed at about 1000 frames per second slow motion.

Sorry for the random post, but I'm sort of geeking out about it at this point. I need to crunch some numbers, I think...
 

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Hi guys,
I recently bought a Mini 14 Tactical and had a chance to shoot it briefly last weekend at the family farm. I was mostly punching paper with it and getting it sighted in with a few different kinds of ammo (all of which shot flawlessly). I took it out to the club with me for our monthly dinner tonight and we were plinking with it outside at the rifle range. I put a 20oz plastic soda bottle out at about 50 yards standing straight up. I shot the bottle with open sights at 50 yards standing and got nothing. I changed my POA and still nothing. I tried sitting, nothing. Handed the rifle over to a friend, nothing. Anyway... The range went cold and I walked down to retrieve the stupid bottle so I could bring it in and set up a paper target to try my luck with sighting the rifle again (I thought I mucked something up and didn't sight it in properly). Well lo and behold, that bottle was RIDDLED with holes. I don't know exactly how many of the 20 rounds contacted the bottle, but there were at least 2 dozen holes in it (entry/exit tells me about 12/20 hit the bottle). I did a little research and I was shocked to see that the rounds I was shooting were rated at 3270 fps muzzle velocity (2800 and change at 100 yards). Apparently it's such a small round at such a fast pace that it passes right through the bottle without disturbing it at all.

I'm really new to rifle shooting (I only have the Mini 14 and a Ruger 10/22) and have never researched ballistics or velocity.

It's got my curiosity up. I see me renting a high speed camera at some point and playing Mr. Scientist at the range. I just HAVE to see what a bullet does to a bottle at that speed at about 1000 frames per second slow motion.

Sorry for the random post, but I'm sort of geeking out about it at this point. I need to crunch some numbers, I think...
Congrats and thanks for the range report. I did the same thing w my Mini. Those rounds zipped right through!!! One the same subject(sort of) The American Rifleman tested the Windham Weaponry AR 16" barrel. Last time at Bass Pro's range my lowly Mini beat thier group! With my reloads.
So keep shootin that Mini, brother!! They're keepers for sure!
Man, if you do that science project keep us posted!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Congrats and thanks for the range report. I did the same thing w my Mini. Those rounds zipped right through!!! One the same subject(sort of) The American Rifleman tested the Windham Weaponry AR 16" barrel. Last time at Bass Pro's range my lowly Mini beat thier group! With my reloads.
So keep shootin that Mini, brother!! They're keepers for sure!
Man, if you do that science project keep us posted!!!!
Thank you! I'm really, really loving the Mini so far. I knew I wanted a .223/5.56 rifle and I really liked the feel of the Mini's in the store, but I bought one without ever having shot one (I've shot ARs but didn't like them as I found them to be uncomfortable for me, personally). I'm freakin' hooked! I've shot factory brass, factory reloads, Brown Bear, Wolf, TulAmmo, Winchester and Federal. Every round fired flawlessly except for the first two rounds I fired tonight. The firing pin just barely struck the primer. I know because I checked. I reloaded them in the next magazine and fired them again and they went off without a hitch. I put the gun in a Hogue Rubber Stock today at lunch and I don't think I'll do another thing to it (except maybe a set of tech sights for the adjustable aperture).

It's a darn nice rifle and I just can't get enough of it. TONS of fun to shoot. And it won't really break the bank. My 10/22 is jealous. :)

I'll see if I can't get my hands on a high-speed camera of some sort and make a video. I'm really interested now...
 

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Yep, that happens. Excellent round and excellent rifle. I have the tactical with the regular synthetic stock, it shoots great. I like it better than the SIG 556 that I had because it cost less, shoots just as good, and is better balanced. The SIG sure does have a sweet design to the piston, and bolt carrier group for sure, but the Mini 14 is just sweet.
 

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I put a 20oz plastic soda bottle out at about 50 yards standing straight up. I shot the bottle with open sights at 50 yards standing and got nothing. I changed my POA and still nothing. I tried sitting, nothing. Handed the rifle over to a friend, nothing. Anyway... The range went cold and I walked down to retrieve the stupid bottle so I could bring it in and set up a paper target to try my luck with sighting the rifle again (I thought I mucked something up and didn't sight it in properly). Well lo and behold, that bottle was RIDDLED with holes.
Hehe.
I had the same thing happen with my M1 shooting at a pumpkin with ball ammo. I gave a friend of mine the rifle loaded with a clip, he fired 7 shots offhand at the pumkin from 100 yards but couldn't seem to hit it, he handed it to me for the last shot, and unbelieveably I missed, even though the shot felt right on. We walked down to look at the pumpkin and found 8 holes in the front side and 8 neat little holes on the back. The next shot we fired was a HP, and it finally exploded.:p
 

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Same thing happened to me, the first time out with the .223, shooting paper targets mounted to the side of a box.

I had to have a spotter check the target with binoculars.

The .223 is Verry streamlined, and a rocket powered 22.

Where as the 22LR is less streamlined, and more like V8 powered.
 

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I realized how fast that little sucker was traveling when I saw those little puffs of dust coming off the berm behind the 200 yard targets.
 

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That happens with .22LR rounds, too. My 11-year-old grandson was discouraged that the plastic 16 oz. Coke bottle he was shooting at didn't fall over after a cylinder-full out of my Taurus 992. He was pleasantly surprised afterwards when he saw 5 holes in the bottle when he went to check it.
We switched to shooting Oreos off the target stand instead. :D
 

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I read some interesting information about the 5.56 round online last night after writing my original post. Apparently the higher pressures in the 5.56 round will do a SERIOUS amount of damage to the human body. I hope to never find out first-hand, but supposedly, that's why the round was developed and adopted by military forces. It has a significant level of stopping power.

As GFW said, it turns lungs into mush.

I've got a recipe for some ballistics gel (not the good stuff the FBI uses, but good enough). I'm going to run some rounds through that. Also, it's pumpkin season and a church behind my house sells them as a fund raiser. They have great prices on all the little pumpkins (4-8") at about $1-4 each so I'm going to pick up a trunk full of those, too.

Now to find that high speed camera...
 

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Congrats on the purchase! I'm a new Mini-14 owner myself, and like you, new to rifle shooting. I've only had it a couple of weeks but I'm a bit surprised just how much fun shooting the thing is. I just took advantage and purchased 20 boxes of PMC Bronze .223 from Cabela's yesterday. ($5.99 per 20, Free shipping with Cabela's VISA plus I had about $15 in club points) I've had good luck with this ammo so far. I also have some PMC X-TAC 5.56 I was shooting as well. I think the biggest surprise to me as a rifle newbie was how little recoil the gun has. I have the tactical with the ATI folding stock.
 

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heymatthew - congrats again on your Mini-14 purchase! They are definitely sweet rifles with a very distinct "feel." The first time I ever picked one up - when I was about 12 years old - I was hooked. I really like ARs as well, but I love my Mini!

I've had the same thing happen when shooting cans/bottles with the .223/5.56. Very frustrating when you think you're not hitting anything and quite a laugh when you see the true results. Definitely super fast bullets!

Keep enjoying your new gun. Please post some pictures if you have a chance!
 

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Now to find that high speed camera...
That's something I'd love to see.

I picked up my Mini for similar reasons. I have shot a few ARs and AKs, but I just like the Mini more, and it was cheaper. I picked up my LEO model from a state that doesn't allow it's subjects the same rights as free men. I put on an Aimtech scout rail that let me run a Bushnell Banner 1.5-4.5x32 and factory irons at the same time (I pushed the scope further forward since the photo), making it versatile for close quarters and up to ~150 yards (mine's the earlier 197-series with the thinner barrel, so 200 yards doesn't end up being consistent once the barrel is hot). $4.99/20 locally for steel at Academy makes it more fun to feed too. Maybe I'm just too old to get into modern firearms like ARs, but this is just right for me. After maybe a thousand or two rounds down it's throat, I'm glad I went with the Mini.

 

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If you really want to see something impressive, find some videos on YouTube showing the damage a .223 or 5.56 round can do to non-hardened steel plate. Punches nice neat round do holes right through it.

Have been debating which center fire rifle to buy. Mini 14 looks really attractive right now.
 

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If you really want to see something impressive, find some videos on YouTube showing the damage a .223 or 5.56 round can do to non-hardened steel plate. Punches nice neat round do holes right through it.

Have been debating which center fire rifle to buy. Mini 14 looks really attractive right now.
You probably won't regret purchasing a Mini. I know I don't. It's my first centerfire rifle that I've owned. I've shot others and have yet to find one as fun to shoot as my Mini.
 

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts and photos guys! I'll try and get some images of mine shortly. Pretty slammed with work at the moment, but I'll get around to it ASAP.
 

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sprale, I am thinking about doing the same scout setup you have. Do you like it? Probably a dumb question as you are posting pictures of it. Do you still use the iron sights occasionally?
 
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