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

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Old 03-26-2009, 04:38   #1
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Barrel-end Accessories: what are these?

Hello! I am about to send my 195-series Mini-14 Ranch to ASI for accurizing and accessorizing. I am a bit ignorant on some of the options. Specifically, I don't really understand the purpose/benefit/affect of the following items:

1. Flash Hider
2. Flash Suppressor (perhaps the same thing as the Flash Hider)
3. Compensator
4. Muzzle Brake
5. Combinations of the above

Can anyone reduce my ignorance on these? I use my rifle for hunting (mostly deer), but want it to also serve as a tactical weapon when needed. Well, looking "cool" is nice as well :-)

Thanks in advance ...
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Old 03-26-2009, 05:30   #2
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Basically items 1 & 2 are the same thing, as are items 3 & 4. Item 5 is a combination of the brake and flash suppressor.

The benefits of the flash suppressor is the reduction of muzzle flash. When using night vision equipment it prevents the amplification of the muzzle flash so it doesn't temporarily blind the wearer. Also it makes it more difficult to see the flash on the receiving end so you are not easily spotted and return fire directed at the flash.

The brakes purpose is to prevent muzzle rise. It is most effective with fully automatic weapons. Depending on the effectivity of the particular brake it can aid in better follow-up shot placement.

And a combination unit has benefits of both devices.

And lastly, as you say, there is the cool factor.
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Old 03-26-2009, 05:51   #3
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blfuller: excellent response (and thanks for being so quick!). If I can ask a follow-on question ...

My rifle is a SS Ranch. When ASI builds me a new barrel, should I have it threaded so that I can remove or change these accessories, or should I just pick one and have it permanently part of the barrel? And, do these items affect the level of noise to the shooter?
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Old 03-26-2009, 08:08   #4
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I would definitely say get your barrel threaded, and then have a few different barrel-end accessories to switch them off and on as you please. It's like having a shotgun that can interchange chokes. That is a very nice luxury to have. I don't think that it reduces noise to the shooter. My mini didn't seem any louder or quieter after I had a muzzle brake put on.
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Old 03-26-2009, 08:32   #5
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Originally Posted by cjconrad View Post
blfuller: excellent response (and thanks for being so quick!). If I can ask a follow-on question ...

My rifle is a SS Ranch. When ASI builds me a new barrel, should I have it threaded so that I can remove or change these accessories, or should I just pick one and have it permanently part of the barrel? And, do these items affect the level of noise to the shooter?
Depending on the muzzlebreak it CAN INCREASE noise substantially. 223's don't need brakes. Had a guy shooting a 223 w/ brake at the range and I left until he was done, to much presurre diverted to shooters on the line.
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Old 03-26-2009, 11:18   #6
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The main reason a lot of guys, including me, had installed these muzzle thingys on their stock barrel was that the Ruger factory barrel (older models) were so thin and firing the barrel caused a "barrel whip" condition. Installing a muzzle thingy would add enough weight to the end of the barrel to help reduce barrel whip and dampen harmonic resonance. End result is that is makes the gun a little more accurate. Thicker barrels may not need a muzzle thingy on it unless you want it for tactical purposes.
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Old 03-26-2009, 17:24   #7
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Originally Posted by cjconrad View Post
blfuller: excellent response (and thanks for being so quick!). If I can ask a follow-on question ...

My rifle is a SS Ranch. When ASI builds me a new barrel, should I have it threaded so that I can remove or change these accessories, or should I just pick one and have it permanently part of the barrel? And, do these items affect the level of noise to the shooter?
I would definitely have them thread it for 1/2"-28, same as an AR-15 barrel. This would give you plenty of choices for a muzzle device be it brake or suppressor. The brakes do sometimes enhance the muzzle blast to the sides. Sometimes the people in the lanes next to you at the range frown upon them. Just use adequate hearing protection and you will be fine.
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Old 03-27-2009, 17:35   #8
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Muzzle brakes ARE loud. I tell people to think of them as "stage monitors" for guns.
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Old 03-27-2009, 19:07   #9
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Originally Posted by kkina View Post
Muzzle brakes ARE loud. I tell people to think of them as "stage monitors" for guns.
You are so correct. My Mini has a muzzle brake, my son's LEO Mini has an M-14 type flash suppressor. Shooting side by side, using the same ammo, my Mini is noticeably louder.
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Old 03-30-2009, 20:02   #10
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Well, I finalized my order. An 18" barrel 0.625" dia (some part of this is thicker, but the 0.625" is to allow the Mini-30 hand guard to fit), threaded 0.5" x 28 with flash hider, fire sight (orange). Also tapping the stock for a (later) bi-pod. Adjustable gas block, UltiMak hand guard (piccatinny rail), 3.5# trigger, 3-point steel bedding, extended mag release, Bell & Carlson figerglass stock, sub-MOA 100-yd guarantee.

I will later replace the rear sight with the M1 style, and add a red-dot scope (that will have to wait for a significant financial windfall!).

There goes my money, but I know I'll like the results ...

Thanks to everyone for assisting.
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Old 03-30-2009, 21:01   #11
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Huh...I didn't realize that muzzle brakes make your gun louder. Mine didn't seem any louder at all after I put mine on. My tinnitus must be worse than I thought......
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Old 03-30-2009, 21:22   #12
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Originally Posted by GunnerDrummer View Post
Huh...I didn't realize that muzzle brakes make your gun louder. Mine didn't seem any louder at all after I put mine on. My tinnitus must be worse than I thought......

It can vary by brake. Heck, it can vary by each individual Mini...
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Old 03-31-2009, 05:57   #13
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Originally Posted by cjconrad View Post
Well, I finalized my order. An 18" barrel 0.625" dia (some part of this is thicker, but the 0.625" is to allow the Mini-30 hand guard to fit), threaded 0.5" x 28 with flash hider, fire sight (orange). Also tapping the stock for a (later) bi-pod. Adjustable gas block, UltiMak hand guard (piccatinny rail), 3.5# trigger, 3-point steel bedding, extended mag release, Bell & Carlson figerglass stock, sub-MOA 100-yd guarantee.

I will later replace the rear sight with the M1 style, and add a red-dot scope (that will have to wait for a significant financial windfall!).

There goes my money, but I know I'll like the results ...

Thanks to everyone for assisting.
How long are you going to have to wait??
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Old 03-31-2009, 06:48   #14
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He estimated 5 months, but I'm holding my rifle until they are ready (gave a deposit instead of sending the rifle yet).
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