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Discussion Starter #1
I'm thinking about getting a Ruger Mini-14 "Ranch Rifle" in .223 for informal/bang-around use. I've read that Ruger changed some things around '03? and they're supposed to be more accurate now. Any opinions or comments on this rifle would be appreciated.

If handloading for the Mini-14 would I need to crimp bullets or could I not crimp them as if it were a bolt action rifle? Meaning, is there a danger of a bullet being jammed deeper in the case during cycling?

Should I use CCI's mil-spec primers or is slam-fire not an issue?

Could I expect at lest 2-moa accuracy?

Is the aperture sight on this rifle mainly for plinking or is it suitable for field use?


Thanks,
 

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The newer mini's have better barrels than the older ones. I have an older one and would say 2 moa is about right for the older mini's and you should do better with the new ones.

The 223 is one of the few cartridges I don't handload, so I can't answer those questions.

The aperature is pretty good. I drilled mine out as it's too small for my old eye's and had good luck with it. However, I now have a Millet red dot on the rifle, which is very nice for only about $60.
 

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Hard-Ball,......To answer your question I believe you can get 2.5 inches from a NEW Mini-14 Ruger!!! I purchased one for my wife early last summer and it will shoot 2 inch groups all day long, with the aid of a 3 X 9 Leupold rifle scope on top the barrel.

I am hoping to cut this down to 1.5 inches with some reloading but school is still out on that posibility as of yet. The extra Ruger clips are very expensive too! It makes a great rifle for the youngsters or women of the house. Soldier Of Fortune magazine ran a test on the Mini-14 and they all seemed to shoot under 2.5 inches from the bench with military ammo.
 

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$25 per mag isn't what I'd call very expensive, try getting a Mauser magazine.

That said, I'd only use Ruger magazines in them, although I have some Triple K ones that work well too.

You don't need to crimp, but you can if the bullets have a canellure, otherwise you risk crushing the neck. Mini's have a pretty generous feed path.

You don't need to worry about the slam fire in the Mini, go ahead and use whatever SR primer you want.

I'm not sure of the year, but the Prefix is 580- on the "improved" models. I don't really know how much they have improved, my late 90s 197- series is accurate enough for me. I use it in 3 gun competition with a Leupold 2-7x33 scope. Its always been 100% reliable.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the replies guys...

After hearing that Ruger had changed their manufacturing process and improved on the accuracy of the Mini, I started getting interested in it. I've never owned a semi, except for rimfires, so I figured if I'm going to own a brass flinger it's going to have to be one that shoots .223 since brass can be had relatively cheap.

Unfortunately, I'm having trouble locating SR primers...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I forgot to ask about the trigger; Would you guys say that the trigger is "acceptable" or should I plan on a little trigger work? Is it a 2-stage military style trigger or is it just a little creepy?

I'm sure yet whether to get the standard "Ranch Rifle" version with matt blueing and wood stock or their "All Weather" version. I like the wood/parkerized look for it's WWII mystic but this rifle will spend a good bit of time mounted across the front rack of my 4-wheeler and/or being drug around the woods during off season scouting/exploring activities. I would think the stainless, plastic stock combo would be a better fit for drag-around use but I'm nervous about the weight/balance of a plastic stock for off hand shooting... Any opinions on which version to get?



Thanks again.
 

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Primer availability has been hit of miss... in the big towns I can't get any... here in my small town, I can get anything I want and they are cheaper...
 

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I have an older model, bought direct from Ruger back in about 1994 or 5. The trigger is not Iterrible, but it is a little creepy.

I recommend stainless, with plastic or wood stock. Mine is a stainless LE model with flash suppresor and birch(?) wood stock. A very attractive rifle. It will shoot about 2" to 2-1/2" at 100 yards even with the factory sights. Once you get used to removing and reinstalling the bolt for cleaning, then nothing beats a ruger mini for simplicity and function. Nice rifles.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Gees, you guys are talking about 2 to 2-1/2 MOA with older Mini's, I thought that was only possible with the newer ones. A buddy had one from the mid to late 80's and he said that it would do "about" 2-MOA with military ammo but I figured he got lucky and got a good one.

I'm getting excited... It looks like I'll have a good chance at a 2-MOA, or better, shooter.
 

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There are just a lot of haters out there that spread the filth... My iron sighted mini shot right alongside my iron sighted AR. They will both shoot better if you put the money into them. ASI can make you a 1/2 MOA Mini for $1200.
 

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I bought a Stainless Mini-14 back in 1980. I replaced the stock with a Choat stock and bedded te action in the same manner that ASI uses, and installed a Flash Suppresor/ front sight combo. Then did a trigger job. and even with the original barrel it will hold 1" groups at 100 yards if I do my part. ASI claims 1/2" groups with the same mods and their heavier barrel. I have considdered sending mine off to them for a heavier barrel with a conversion to the 6mm barrel, but right now I am pleased with what I have, and I don't have to form brass.
 

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I am sure you are pleased! I had one about the same time you bought yours, and despite applying every trick then in the book it never shot as well as the worst AR15 I've shot. Nowadays, there are better techniques. I am particularly intrigued by some of the various barrel "struts" I have seen, all of which have seemed to account for some accuracy improvement.
 

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I am sure you are pleased! I had one about the same time you bought yours, and despite applying every trick then in the book it never shot as well as the worst AR15 I've shot. Nowadays, there are better techniques. I am particularly intrigued by some of the various barrel "struts" I have seen, all of which have seemed to account for some accuracy improvement.
Before I decided to try everything I did, I was ready to throw it in the lake and use it for a boat anchor. 3-4" was best it would do at time of purchase. I added the flash hider/sight first, and it seemed to help, then added the stock, bedding and laping the barrel then I could do around 1 1/4-1 1/2". I think the trigger job was the trick to getting inch groups. One thing that I noticed is that it prefers 52-55 grain bullets best, as anything heavier seems to open up the groups.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for all the input, guys!

I've got a Mini-14 (standard, wood/matt-blue configuration) ordered- should be here Friday.
 

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I have a mini in 6.8, and love it. Had a mini 30 but got rid of it. I reload for the 6.8 and dont crimp with no probs. BTW the trigger is as creepy as a mime.
 

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I have a mini in 6.8, and love it. Had a mini 30 but got rid of it. I reload for the 6.8 and dont crimp with no probs. BTW the trigger is as creepy as a mime.
I had a mini 30 years back.

Fed everything, took my very first deer with it.

Fairly accurate, and never a stoppage.
 

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I Would like to get a mini-14 for myself. My Question is qould it be safe to shoot Ammo marked 5.56X45mm (military ammo) through it.

There is that problem that 5.56 marked ammo has higher pressure if sho t through rifles marked .223? The mini-14 I've seen are all marked .223.
 

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5.56 isn't higher pressure, but the Mini has the necessary reaming in the throat for the longer tracer round if you decide you ever want to shoot it. That is the only difference between the .223 and 5.56.

Besides the Mini is way stronger than any AR 15, its made from Steel.
 

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5.56 isn't higher pressure, but the Mini has the necessary reaming in the throat for the longer tracer round if you decide you ever want to shoot it. That is the only difference between the .223 and 5.56.

Besides the Mini is way stronger than any AR 15, its made from Steel.
Thanks for the Info.
 

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I have owned both the Mini 14 and the Mini 30. Both are good shooters, great for hunting. I traded the Mini 14 off for another rifle I wanted and still have the Mini 30. My Mini 30 has a .308 bore, instead of the .311, so I only shoot my reloads threw it.

Jerry
 
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