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Anyone bought a new, Mini-14 lately? I’m curious if the new production models have any better accuracy or if they are still about the same. I had one in the 90s and sold it. I always liked the way they handled compared to an AR but without going custom, the ones I shot were lacking in the accuracy department. They can make a great truck and ranch rifle.

A buddy had one built by Accuracy Systems and it’s a shooter but heavy and long, which is counter to what I want in a mini.

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I have one purchased a few years ago, a SS Ranch. I degassed it with a port kit and added buffers to the op rod. Accuracy is adequate for its purpose. The last time I had it out was when I changed (again!) the optic, installing a Sig Romeo 5. That is the best setup yet for my use. Five shots with Norma tactical and some Nosler 64gr bonded were a bit over an inch at 50 with the red dot. I see guys all the time with various AR carbines and especially AKs that can’t do better or even as well, whether due to ability or ammo or rifle, I can’t say. I have another .223 if I need to shoot something in the eye.

I prefer the Mini’s form factor, and like the option of flush-fit magazines. Just got my first 20-rounders and like them better than the 30s. I really like its dependability. Haven’t had a single malfunction since I finished testing the gas port options. I’d like a better trigger, but am not sending it out for that. Had a decent AR for a bit and just couldn’t like it, especially for toting around the woods. ARs definitely have some serious advantages for some uses, but not for mine.

If you get one, avoid aftermarket mags like the plague. Multiple reports blame those for alleged Mini reliability problems. Ruger and CDNN are good sources for genuine Ruger mags.

One seldom mentioned, possible advantage of the Mini Ranch is that it’s specifically exempted on the ban list that the Dems have been recycling for years and years. I doubt anything will ever come of that, but still it’s there. Tried selling it a time or two but the only interested parties were out of staters tryin to avoid a background check and others looking for a low-ball price. Most stores seem to have one on the rack for about a grand, but usually blued ones.


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That’s good intel. Thanks for the details.

I like the 20 round mags too. They look balanced on the rifle.

My ARs shoot and I enjoy them but you are right, the ergos on the Mini are justified. I just wish they were more accurate than the ones I have been around. I like the idea of the .300 blackout Ruger is offering now with a threaded barrel. Since the minis aren’t really long range rifles anyway, that could be a perfect setup for me. I’m going to keep investigating.

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That Norma ammo comes in 30 round loose boxes and is often on sale from Norma and others, at about $15 a box. If you can get free shipping too, that’s more better. I still have a bit of Fed American and Fiocchi, but will be buying the Norma from now on. The Nosler stuff was $21 for 20 from SPS, but availability is very spotty, and it’s usually a lot more expensive.

Really like that Romeo 5 on the factory rail. Has a motion switch to save the battery and a clear 2moa dot with more settings than the FF3s I usually buy.


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I've got a stainless Ranch model from the 90's that was used as my truck gun until I got a few ARs. Still in the safe and haven't shot it in years.

Most recent one I got was pre bat flu when Walmart was closing them out for $399. With Brickseek I found a store close by with two in stock. As luck would have it the guy in front of me in line had the same idea. He got the one on display and a nice young lady scoured the back for the last one.

We opened up the box and found the stock was broken at the wrist and a different gal who was the sporting goods mgr offered up another 10% off. Got it at $359 and a call to Ruger netted a new stock.

Given that deal a trip to Accuracy Systems for a trigger job, bedding and a adjustable gas block with strut should make for a good shooter for way less than msrp.

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I have a couple newer ones. Accuracy is better than the old ones but you will still get random flyers that will drive you crazy.


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Originally Posted by JRS3
That’s good intel. Thanks for the details.

I like the 20 round mags too. They look balanced on the rifle.

My ARs shoot and I enjoy them but you are right, the ergos on the Mini are justified. I just wish they were more accurate than the ones I have been around. I like the idea of the .300 blackout Ruger is offering now with a threaded barrel. Since the minis aren’t really long range rifles anyway, that could be a perfect setup for me. I’m going to keep investigating.
you have to shoot the ARs enough to get rid of the notion of the mini. In the end the
ar wins hands down.

Wife and I started with M1 garands. Switched over to M1A and M14s on the state teams to Perry. Shot the M14 platform for many years and loved it. hated when we switched to the AR because it was different and felt different. But the AR was beating the AR everywhere but 800/1000 yards at the time. Even that changed later on.

Once we shot the AR enough our M1As remaining have not been fired in years. Many years actually. Probably since 2000 or earlier. T he AR fits better. Feels better. More accurate. Remains accurate longer. Better trigger options. You can make the gun fit you rather than you fit the gun like the M14 and the mini. You can have a folding stock. you can have flush mags or big ones. The list just goes on and on.

That said if I had to have a mini, It would be rebarreled first thing off the bat. Not heavy if thats the goal, but a decent barrel. And since Ruger screwed all ar owners in the 90s I don't buy much if any of theirs and could care less who is on the ban or not. If you allow the AR to be banned but dont fight for the AR then you are as much a hypocrite as the anti gun folks IMHO. But I digress. Neimoeller....


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Yes, the newer ones with the heavier barrels are a lot better. The old ones aren’t even close.

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I just sold mine. Those things have skyrocketed in price! I got $700 for it. A little more than what I paid for new. I liked it and could occasionally get a 1 1/2" 5 group out of it. Not great but good enough. I just needed a little extra cash to get another "bucket list" pistol. crazy


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Another mod I did to mine was to drill out the swivel studs so it will take standard QD swivels. That steel is pretty dang hard.


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I recently had a skinny barrel removed and one of the improved fatter barrels installed by Accuracy Systems on an early 580 series Mini. It's my 3rd Mini they have done for me. I have not had a chance to shoot it yet. I am not a fan of Ruger factory mini barrels. I hope it doesn't come back to bite me in the butt accuracy wise.

My favorite Mini is a 184 series that had the skinny .562 diameter barrel on it. I had Accuracy systems put on one of their .625 barrels. It looks a lot like a standard skinny barrel Mini but the .625" barrel is more accurate and it takes longer to heat up. It's the heat that really causes accuracy issues, especially with the skinny Ruger factory barrels.

I swapped out the wood stock for a gray laminated stock which added close to 1 lb to the total weight. I also clamped on a short rail to act as a heat sink in front of the gas block. For another $200 I can have Accuracy Systems pillar bed the rifle to the stock. I may do that at some point but it's not something that needs to be done anytime soon.

I have a heavy barrel Mini that shoots the best but it is just too heavy to pack around. I had them put a 21-inch, .820 diameter 1/8 twist barrel on with the intentions of making it a pig sniper. But, carrying it around just isn't any fun. In retrospect I don't know what I was thinking. I guess I didn't realize just how heavy it was going to be.
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Most of the inaccuracies are solvable without a gunsmith except for heat build-up if you're going to shoot a lot.

We have killed a truckload of coyotes with them. For that they are they shoot well enough.


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Just checked the Accuracy Systems site. Looks like my trigger group will be taking a trip…….


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Originally Posted by viking

If i had an old one, I’d definitely look into that. They say the best-case improvement on the newer ones is much less, average improvement is so-so.

Making it easier to shoot well via a trigger job looks like the best bang for the buck, in my case anyway.


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Some dudes have installed adjustable gas blocks too. That mod is a bit comprehensive….

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I bought a kit containing a variety of ports. Used the smallest that had 100% function. Reduces the distance it tosses brass, and combined with the buffers on the op-rod, reduces group sizes. Cheap and easy. That adjustable one would be handy if one wanted to shut it off to keep brass from flying around. Have a suspicion it might help accuracy, but no proof.


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Originally Posted by Pappy348
Just checked the Accuracy Systems site. Looks like my trigger group will be taking a trip…….
All 3 of mine have had the basic trigger job done. It makes for a nice 2 stage trigger pull of around 4 lbs give or take a few ounces.

kwg


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I've owned both older pre 580 #s Mini 14s and newer, a 583. I've done a lot of "accuracy" mods to both. I'd say my 583 out of the box was more accurate than the pre 580s but still nothing great. The average decent bolt action 223 is easily more accurate or has the potential to be. I still like the Mini 14 though. IMO it's adequate for what it is and I enjoy shooting it but if your looking for or expecting consistent MOA accuracy because it's a newer model, IME you'll probably be disappointed.

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Originally Posted by kwg020
Originally Posted by Pappy348
Just checked the Accuracy Systems site. Looks like my trigger group will be taking a trip…….
All 3 of mine have had the basic trigger job done. It makes for a nice 2 stage trigger pull of around 4 lbs give or take a few ounces.

kwg

That’ll work. Mine’s 6lbs, and not so nice.

Thanks.


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