Originally Posted by Hogwild
As a stand alone item, has anyone documented whether or not the Ultimak rail has any verifiable impact on accuracy of the mini 14?
I'm going to give you a very lawyerly, two-faced answer. Yes and no. Yes, I believe the Ultimak appears to help with accuracy, because it clamps strongly to your barrel in two places and provides stabilization by reducing barrel whip. I've heard this repeated over and over among those who buy the Ultimak, that they noticed an improvement in group size after installing it, and I did as well. That's the "yes" part.
Now for the "no" side. No it has not been documented, nor has it adequately been "proven" to my satisfaction, that the Ultimak enhances accuracy. It may, or it may not. I THINK that it does, I observed a pretty marked improvement in my groups, using the same kind of ammo before and after installation.
To the credit of Ultimak, they do not make the claim in their advertising that it will improve accuracy. And I would advise that you NOT buy an Ultimak with the primary purpose of improving your gun's accuracy. Buy an Ultimak if, and ONLY if, you want to configure your Mini in a "scout" configuration, with a forward-mounted scope or red dot. Think this through carefully. As nice as the Ultimak is, almost no one finds that a forward-mounted scope gives you as good of long distance range and field of view as a scope mounted in the traditional position over the receiver. There are very few true "scout scope" options (Burris and Leupold are 2 that come to mind), and these are usually in the 2 to 3x power range, so very limited in power. You will be limiting your scope options by going this route. You could of course mount some kind of red dot sight with no magnification on the Ultimak, and if that's what you want to use permanently as an optic on your Mini, then the Ultimak would be ideal for you. Some guys know that all they ever want to mount on the Mini is a red dot, because they have no intention of shooting at anything at longer ranges, and for those cases, where you'd use the red dot premanently, the Ultimak is probably ideal.
Bottom line, ONLY get the Ultimak if you want to set up your Mini as a scout gun. The enhanced accuracy is a nice extra if it works, but it has not been documented, and there are no guarantees. My undocumented observation is, it does seem to enhance accuracy more often than not, when added to an unmodified Mini. But if a Mini has already been modified for accuracy, it's very possible you may see no change at all after adding an Ultimak.