Ruger Mini-14 and Mini-30 Ruger Mini-14 and Mini-30 family of rifles

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Old 10-02-2004, 17:33   #1
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Page 1
Installing The M-1 Carbine Rear Sight on the Mini-14/30 (Ranch Only)

This is a very good improvement for the Ranch Model Mini's. Replacing the flimsy, hard to adjust fold down rear peep sight with a Rock Solid M-1 carbine sight which, is easily adjusted for windage and elevation. The elevation graduations are 100-150-200-250-300 meters. The sight will not interfer with your Scope!

Note:The M-1 carbine sight is a combat sight with rough 50 meter increments. The scale was laid out for the 30 cal rnd. Don't expect the elevation graduations to be accurate on your 5.62 or 7.62x39mm mini. The sight has a lower height to bore than the Ruger flip sight. Mine shot dead on at 50 yds using the 250 meter setting. We can correct for this by lowering front sight blade so 100 yds = 100 meter setting using your favorite ammo.

Note: From this point on we will use the Yard instead of Meter. Important - I'm using the first "detent" for 100 yds. You can also use it for 50 yds or 150 yds. Do not use the fwd stop since under recoil, the sight will move back to the first detent and lock. So we will use it for the 100 yd. This will give us 100, 200, 250, 300 yds settings.

The work will be done on the sight base only! Do not modify your Mini's Receiver!
It took me 1 hr to do the Dremel work, fitting and checking as I proceeded. Do not rush take your time.

I ordered the "milled" sight from Numerich gun parts. It cost around $26. There is a "stamped" model for $13. If you don't feel confident to do this, ASI sells a drop in for the Mini for $59. If you choose the drop in, proceed to the "Adjusting Elevation" section.

This may be difficult, but do-able for the average kitchen gunsmith. Read all the way thru this Mod before attempting. Some of you have done this already. A Dremel tool and assorted bits is needed.

Looks Good doesn't it!
Attached Thumbnails
M-1 Carbine Sight For Ranch Mini's-post-55-1096937416.jpg  
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Old 10-02-2004, 18:10   #2
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Page 2
Grinding The M-1 Sight
1. Remove rear sight using a 2-mm Allen wrench. Remove oil from new sight.

2. Measure and scribe a fine line in location shown by the red line in upper pic. which measures .100". This is the material we will remove from the rear of the dovetail. Use reading glasses or bifocals to protect your eyes, and to see the very fine work you will be doing.
Note: The faint line at the bottom of sight is an error. Watch it when you flip sight over, you don't become disoriented.

3. Insert a piece of steel metal, steel-banding strap, even piece of bean can will do. I used a part of a chip chaser. Insert this piece of metal as shown in upper Pic to protect the under side of the "sight slide" from tool marks.

4. Tape the jaws of a vice so as not to scratch the sight. Do not tighten too hard or you can damage the sight.

5. Always anchor your hands against the vice while grinding to prevent "slips" and a ruined sight.

6. Carefully Dremel down to the scribed line. You will have to cut a new dovetail after this is done.
Note: I chose to leave the edges of the original dove tail to give me a nice look from the side view, but you can go all the way across if you want.
Tip: Adjust windage to move slide over to allow you to do corner work.

7. If you choose to cut a notch as I did, make sure to use the "holding clamp" to check your progress. (The "Holding Clamp" simulates the "Rear Receiver Clamp") You want the notch to be a little wider to allow some adjustment room. Also make sure the notch is centered. Don't worry if it doesn't look as pretty as mine. It will be touched up and hidden when sight is mounted anyway.

8. Now you need to use a Dremel stone bit that has a reverse bevel on it so you can cut a new dove tail in the area you have ground down until the "Holding Clamp fits, and looks even. You will have to blow out, or brush away the steel dust, and remove the piece of scrap metal to check fit.

9. When you’re metal work is done Clean all the metal dust from sight, and adjustment screw threads. Don't worry about painting it or bluing it just yet.

Ref Lower Pic.
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Old 10-02-2004, 18:59   #3
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Page 3
The hard work is done. Looks pretty good doesn't it!

Crude Windage Adjustment

1. Center "Slide" in sight with "Windage Knob". Do not use the rear marks. (Don't worry about that scale just yet.) Measure the side to side distance of the sides of the sight with dial calipers or accurate scale.

2. Mount sight on receiver. Check final fit. Redo if needed. Center sight on center of mounting screw. Do not center on the Receiver. This is because the receiver is not centered with the sight path. Tighten setscrew.
Note: Before mounting sight, clean fwd dove tail with alcohol. Apply release agent on the sight hold down clamp (all way around), and area of receiver under hold down and sight. ( I used a thin film of gun grease) This will save us some work later!

3. It looks good so grab some ammo, targets, sandbag etc, and head for the range! Don't forget to take the 2 mm Allen wrench!

4. Set up target at 25 yds. Standard sight in with 3 rnd groups. Set elevation to 250 yds, and make all windage adjustments moving the entire sight. Do not use the windage knob. Leave it centered. Run target back to 50 yds. Don't worry about elevation at this point. Just use the 50-yd increment to get it close. I shot these groups at 50 yds, on the 250-yd mark. Yours may be a little different. We will adjust sights for elevation a little later.

Note: Correcting for Elevation Error of the M-1 Sight Data ( Page 5) , can be gathered while you are at the Range. It will save you a trip.
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Old 10-02-2004, 19:15   #4
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Page 4
Rock Solid Installation. Making the M-1 sight bump proof.

Now we get back from the range. Some work remains, but it will be worth it. We can make the new sight bump proof, by bedding it with JB Weld. Yep another bedding job.

1. Since our sight has been prepped for bedding, (Ref Note:, Page 3, Step 2) mix equal amounts of JB Weld. It won't take much as we are only bedding the front dovetail grove, on either side of hold down clamp.

2. Use a thin flat piece of banding material, plastic or wood stick to apply JB. I used a 6” steel scale. Apply JB in the fwd grove on both sides of the hold down clamp.

3. Clean off excess especially any on the windage slide, and the surface it slides on.

4. Let set up over night. zzzzzz

5. Remove rear sight. Clean it up, with alcohol.

6. Mask off sight numbers and other areas, and touch up with Rustoleum or similar matt black paint. I used a generic Rust coat. Same stuff but cheaper. Don't forget to hit the inside of the new dovetail you cut to protect from rusting. Just hit it with a couple of light coats. Let dry.

7. Install sight, use 1 drop of Loctite blue to hold down screw. Your done with the M-1 Sight.
Note: Don't worry about the sight "seeming loose" as you begin tightening the screw. The Counter sink, will center the Hold down clamp, and since the sight is bedded the sight will center on the hold down clamp nice and solid.
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Old 10-02-2004, 19:26   #5
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Page 5
Correcting for Elevation Error of the M-1 Sight

Note: Use first detent for 100 yd. If you want to you can use the same detent and set up for 50yds or 150 yds. I chose to use first detent for 100 yds.

Note: Full fwd the peep will rest on the stop. Do not use the stop, use the first detent. Under recoil the peep will slide off stop, and seek nearest detent. It will cause a flier.

You have noticed that the range scale on the M-1 sight doesn't match your actual range. To adjust we will have to take some off the top of the front sight blade. Again the Dremel comes in handy.

Use 3 shot groups and use center of triangle to measure distance to center of bull. This is the amount of Elevation error we will correct for.

Note: The M-1 carbine sight is a combat sight with rough 50 yd increments. The scale was laid out for the 30-cal rnd. don’t expect the elevation graduations to be accurate on your 5.62 or 7.62x39 mini. What we are doing is correcting for the “sight-in range” i.e. at 100 yds at sight’s 100 yd setting, for your favorite ammo. It will be up to you to know how much hold over to use at different ranges vs sight setting. If you switch ammo or POA the POI will change.

Note: If you haven't found your Mini's favorite ammo yet, then do not proceed until you have. Once you've ground your sight, you can't add back on.

Formula
Amount of Error X Sight Radius divided by Distance to Target in inches = Sight Correction Needed
Tip: For sight error you must figure the difference between your initial POI and where you want the POI to be. "Not POA". Your POA will be consistent. My POA will be 3 inches lower than POI at 100 yds with my 63 grn Serria handloads. This allows me a large field of view. Shooting at a 6" bull I will aim at the bottom, but impact will be dead center (hopefully ). Hunting it will allow better view for varmints. Yours may be different. Main point is keeping your POA consistent and only figure your POI.

POA = Point of Aim
POI = Point of Impact

For example:

With the M-1 sight you will be shooting low. You will have to shorten your front sight. If you were shooting high, then you would replace your front sight with a taller sight. Add or subtract the number of thousandths needed to the actual height of your sight and this is the amount of material you will remove.

Example with sight set at 100-yd setting:
At 100 yards, mine shot is 5.5" low and the distance between the front and rear sight is 21.375"

(5.5" X 21.375")/3600" = .032"

Since in this example we are shooting low, we would need to lower our front sight by .032".

Note: If you want your first detent to be set at 50 yds, then substitute 1800" in the Formula for the "Distance to Target". For 150 yds use 5400", and the corresponding amount of "error" at that range. (Or aprox .006" of material removed will raise POI - 1" at 100 yds. This is only aproximate!)

Note: I will adjust my front sight to compensate for 5.5" of error with the 63 grn Serria. The lighter 45-grn Winchester had an error of 9". By correcting for the heavier bullet which has less error, my POA will be 6:00 to a 6" bull for the POI to be dead center. The POA for the 45 grn will be same as POI. This allows me to correct major error for 2 different bullet weights. Simply stated, my 63 grn will shoot 3" higher than my aim point, and the 45 grn will shoot dead on.

I cut a small piece of aluminum tape and attached to my front sight at .032". I then fired a second group using the top of the tape as the new top of blade. It raised POI 6" as you can see in the attached pic. I suggest you do the same to verify your calculations before grinding the sight. Once material is removed it is difficult to put it back!
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Old 10-03-2004, 10:33   #6
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Page 6
Safety Factor For Margine of Error

Add a piece of tape to front sight blade and shoot at range to verify your calculations. Once you have verified amount of material to be removed Proceed with grinding of sight blade.

Grinding the Front Sight Blade

1. Measure front sight height as shown in pic. Using dial calipers as a depth guage. You are measuring in a radius so press caliper tang against sight blade with your thumb. Measure several times until you are consistant.

2. Mark a line at top of blade. I used a felt tip marker using my finger tip as a guide. Make this line parallel to top edge of sight blade. It doesn't have to be exact but make sure it is parallel to blade. Use the line as a guide. Use caliper to measure material removed.

3. Use a dremel, or drill motor with sanding disc or a file to remove materal. Do a little at a time and remeasure often.

4. When you have removed proper amount of material, dress down sharp edges and radius the fwd edge of sight blade for a natural shape.

Final Touches
No need to polish, I finished mine with a smooth file. It looks good. For stainless you are done.

Note: For Blued Mini's touch up with Cold Blue. Avail from Walmart.

We now have a superior replacement sight for the Mini-14/30 Ranch. You can shoot with the sight, or leave it inplace and remount your scope. I will shoot mine for a while, then replace my scope.

All that remains is to see what POI will be for the longer range settings.
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