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

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Old 01-05-2010, 20:12   #1
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Cutting the Mini-14 barrel...

Hello PU Members:

When I first joined the PU, I ran into the following thread:

Mini-14 RR Project Results - 06/23

Within this thread Z-Man conducted an accuracy experiment with his 196-series Mini-14. I won't get into all of the "mods" he did to this rifle, but one of the things I found very interesting was that he tested cutting the barrel down at .25" increments and test-firing it each time for accuracy.

When the barrel finally reached 17.25" in length...as he put it...

"Little change in group size was observed until we got the barrel to about 17.25 inches, and it was at that point things started to get interesting. After removing 1.25 inches of barrel and recrowning the groups immediately shrank by about 1/2" and were now regularly approaching the MOA range."

So, here's my question...

Is 17.25" the "sweet spot" for the Mini-14's barrel?

Also, does this apply to the newer 580-series tapered barrel?

In short, I'm considering cutting my 580-series Mini-14's barrel down and getting it threaded for a flash hider. And, I want to know what length is most desirable for accuracy.

If any Mini-owners have done this, what length did you cut it to?

Thanks in advance for your responses.

Happy shooting!

~ alaj70
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Old 01-06-2010, 03:10   #2
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I noticed no change in accuracy after having a 580-series tapered-barrel model cut to 16.5" and muzzle threaded. Same for a 581-series 6.8 SPC.

I think the accuracy improvements from barrel cutting mostly apply to older thin-barrel rifles.
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Old 01-06-2010, 07:11   #3
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You probably won't notice much difference with the newer Mini's. You will however, keep the overall length down to carbine length when shortening the barrel then adding the brake.

Jim.....................
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Old 01-06-2010, 07:18   #4
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I am tempted to make a GB 16" OAL by cutting the barrel to 14.5 (right in front of the barrel mounted sight).

One day...
I need to buy another FF GB
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Old 01-06-2010, 09:59   #5
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I'm just guessing here but I can't see removing a 1/2" from the barrel having much of an effect. My thoughts are that the change came from the new crown. If you remove 2" you are in theory stiffening the barrel and probably making a better crown and therfore inproving the accuracy. Anything below 16" probably won't help in accuracy since you are dropping the velocity.
A lot of this will depend on the barrel twist and rounds.
I can't back this up but it makes sense to me.
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Old 01-06-2010, 11:52   #6
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alaj,

I cut my 95 series mini's barrel back to just past the machine mark which gave it an approx naked length of 14.25" give or take. Recrowned with a borrowed PTG cutter, dressed with a drill chucked brass screw/lapping compound and added a choate flash hider giving the barrel a total length of 17.25".

The flash hider was a tight fit... If I remember correctly, almost 10 thousandths difference between it's ID and the actual barrel diameter after cutting. I packed the barrel in ice for an hour and heated the flash hider before putting it together. Still required a mallet and wooded block to snug it up tight. I've not yet drilled and pinned it and wont until I see how it prints with the new changes.

Sorry to say, I've not had time to get to the range. I did pop a few off and empties are ejecting 5 to 7 feet. Also added a DMS-1 scope/GG&G mount/Burris tac rings so I'm anxious to put it on a target. I'll post as soon as I'm able to make a trip to the range.

Thanks,
Karl
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Old 01-06-2010, 12:46   #7
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You might try simple first, add a muzzle brake or a Limb Saver vibration dampener and sliding up and down the barrel.
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Old 01-06-2010, 13:57   #8
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Originally Posted by alaj70 View Post

So, here's my question...

Is 17.25" the "sweet spot" for the Mini-14's barrel?

Also, does this apply to the newer 580-series tapered barrel?
That may be the sweet spot for his rifle, but there are so many things going on with harmonics in a Mini who knows what it will do in another.
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Old 01-06-2010, 16:28   #9
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Based upon the many posts on this topic, cutting the barrel shorter seems to work only for those older Mini's built with the 9/16" OD barrel.

Try adding a flash hider onto the barrel. Won't hurt anything, but it's likely to help. And there are other mods which can be made without too much trouble.
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Old 01-06-2010, 17:43   #10
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Hi Gang:

Wow! Thanks for all the good responses.

Well, based on what I'm reading (especially Drifter's post), it looks like I will be keeping my 580-series at 18.5".

I do like the idea of adding the LimbSaver vibration dampener to see if that would make any (+) difference. Good one, tri70...I know exactly what you're referring to here. And, they're relatively inexpensive too.

Essentially, it looks like the older 9/16" OD barrels really are the ones that benefit from cutting it down.

I'm not so bent on a shorter barrel for ease of handling. Although, that said, I have been toying with the idea of finding a newer style Tactical Mini-14 without the flash-hider. I know they made them without the flash hider last year for a while, but I think ALL the brand new ones with 16" barrels include a flash-hider. Anyone got the 4-1-1 on this?

OK...so, if I don't cut and thread the barrel. And, I just decide to go with a flash hider and/or muzzle brake...

What flash hider / muzzle brake works best for the 580-series tapered-barrels with the winged front sight? I've read that it's sort of "hit or miss".

I've been considering this route already, but I don't want to buy a piece of cr^p that I will be cussin' about every time I pick-up or even look at my rifle.

Thanks (again) in advance for your suggestions.

Cheers,

alaj70
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Last edited by alaj70; 01-06-2010 at 17:46.
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Old 09-23-2012, 08:24   #11
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Hi guys. Im new to this forum and have a follow up question about shortening the mini barrel. I have a 580 series with match barrel and barrel weight. I want to shorten the barrel to around 16.5" but I am concerned about short-stroking since the gas pressure will be lower. Is this a big concern or is it enough to put on an adjustable gas block? I am not sure if the gas hole in the barrel is large enough to deliver enough gas even with an adjustable block.

I would think that this has been done before, but since I live in Norway there is not so much info on the subject here and the gun smiths I have spoken to are not sure if it would work.

Best regards
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Old 09-23-2012, 09:09   #12
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I have a 581 with a 16" barrel and it throws brass about 20-30 ft. Most people complain that the Mini is over gassed so shortening the barrel to 16.5" should not be a problem. As a matter of fact some people have shortened them to 14.5". You can always change out the bushing if it becomes a problem for about $2 to $4 or you can drill out the existing one to a larger hole.
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Old 09-23-2012, 09:15   #13
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Thanks for quick reply!
Did you get the barrel shorted or did you buy a gun that had 16" from the factory?
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Old 09-23-2012, 13:26   #14
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Originally Posted by Krieger View Post
Thanks for quick reply!
Did you get the barrel shorted or did you buy a gun that had 16" from the factory?
I got the 5820LE model which comes with a 16" barrel. It's basically a Tactical in SS without the flash suppressor.
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Old 09-23-2012, 15:04   #15
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I have a 580 series with match barrel and barrel weight.

If this is equivalent to our "Target" model, then I and at least one other member have cut them down with good results. Mine was cut to 18.5" and had the gas system softened and has zero cycling problems.
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