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

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Old 03-20-2012, 18:56   #1
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Question Mini-14 Piston System Conversions?

Ok, so. I have spent the last 3 days scouring the internet generating a list of mods I want to do to my Mini RR. The one thing that I am most interested in is converting the gas system. This is something I have gone back and forth on for a long time since I have three big problems with the stock system.
1. It's wasteful/inefficient.
2. It's dirty as hell.
3. Due to 1 and 2, it holds a lot of heat around the barrel.

I find it hard to believe that someone hasn't tried to emulate the piston system used in the original M1s and M14s or even in the ARs and put something into the mini. With a tunable block a piston system would be able to be tuned to minimize recoil, muzzle lift, shock to the optics etc. It would also keep the barrel cooler, relatively.

So does anyone know of a project like this? I am curious to see how someone else may have done this. I am not sure that I will take the time to actually do this... more of a pipe dream right now
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Old 03-20-2012, 19:09   #2
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Just get an adjustable gas block from ASI!Otherwise-you'd better be a machinest!
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Old 03-20-2012, 19:28   #3
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I've got one, first gen. Still doesn't address the main issues I have with the system... I got it since I cut my barrel and it's had a problem cycling... it didn't even address that very well.
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Old 03-20-2012, 20:05   #4
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Why would you want an AR style piston system on a Mini? And why do you think it's dirty as is? All the residue sits up in the forearm, and never goes any place NEAR the receiver. I bought a Mini AS my "Piston 5.56". It's the cleanest shooting Semi I have EVER shot. I don't even field strip the thing unless it gets sand, or some other foreign debris, in it (Like it has right now). I just pull the bolt back and wipe the rails, clean the BBL and oil the bearing surfaces.
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Old 03-20-2012, 20:54   #5
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I would much rather clean a mini than an AR. Its alot easier to clean a gas tube and op rod than the chamber and bolt of an AR. Honestly I couldnt imagine cleaning an AR after shooting some filthy ammo like wolf or tula.

The heat has to go somewhere on every rifle. I would rather have my heat up front under the barrel and handguard than in the chamber and bolt. I think an AR would cook off a round before a mini would.

You might be right about the inefficiency of the mini. They do have a very large bushings but it makes the mini super reliable. You add 1911 style buffers and you drop the shock by a huge percentage. The accustrut stops barrel whip, aides in the harmonics, and acts as a heat sink to cool the barrel faster. It also makes mini's more accurate. Mine anyway.

Ruger addressed the biggest problem that mini's had in 2006 when they went with a larger diameter barrel and better sights. The mini was never meant to be a sub-moa shooter. It was made to be a tough, reliable carbine that you could depend on. Mine is capable of 1.5'' groups at 100yrds with good ammo and since Ive added the strut, buffers, trigger job, and gas block retorqing it will do it all the time and not just the first few shots like before.
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Old 03-20-2012, 23:20   #6
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Good points... I guess I'm just a prima donna about cleaning it. I don't deny that the Mini is a very robust gas system and it is about 100 times easier to clean than any AR I've ever cleaned.

@qwman68: I am aware of the many "standard" modifications that people do to address the many issues with the platform. It's just that as long as I have had my Mini I can't help but think that there is something inherent in the system that can be improved while still being able to maintain the characteristics that make the Mini a great rifle.


I did finally find something on AR15.com of all places, I actually vaguely remember seeing this before somewhere... most likely here years ago:

When an M1 and Mini-14 mate, you get: - AR15.COM

On second thought, for those of you too lazy/wary to go to ar15.com (I know I hate going there):





Last edited by bobgengeskahn; 03-20-2012 at 23:23. Reason: Add pictures
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Old 03-21-2012, 04:13   #7
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That's the first Garand cloned Mini that I've seen, usually they're M1A versions.
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Old 03-21-2012, 09:03   #8
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The mini is a Gas piston system. the mechanicals of it only really change where the gas is vented. I will attest any thing is possible, but your kinda driving the bus backwards. The mini system isnt ineffecient, its more effecient than the M1 or M14 systems based on the number of moving parts. ITs over gassed for sure, but thats not ineffecient.
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Old 03-21-2012, 09:44   #9
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lol I'm not arguing that it's not a piston system, just that it's inefficient. I can see and understand what you're saying about it being efficient, since it has very few moving parts. However, doing something like the above pics wouldn't necessarially increase the number of moving parts, just how those parts are designed.

It does bleed a lot of gas, but this is how I look at it: Expanding gas is energy, its going to go somewhere, either pushing the round or pushing the OP rod. In the very least, containing/minimizing the amount of gas required to cycle the OP rod, you would have more muzzle velosity. Having a piston set up simmilar to this one, you would a.) stabilize the barrel in a simmilar way to an Accu-Strut, and b.) have a higher muzzle velosity i.e. expanding gasses to manipulate (more effective muzzle brake, compensator, longer barrel etc. etc. etc.)

Again this is all hypothetical, not trying to argue anything about the operation or anything like that. I do love this platform, I am just wonderin what kind of an impact ya'll think that something like this would have.
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Old 03-21-2012, 14:41   #10
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someone on here was just saying how changing the amount of gas going through the gas pipe has very little effect on the velocity. I think it was in the 'internal ballistics' thread.
I think the simplicity of the mini's system is one of it's greatest strengths. Unless there is something significant to gain, i wouldn't change it. Unless you really just like to tinker.
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Old 03-21-2012, 15:02   #11
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I talked to Carl at ASI yesterday about my -14 and the mods I want done. He mentioned that the combination of the new adjustable gas block with the longer recoil spring he sells(about 18 bucks) and his split recoil pads would dramatically reduce the felt recoil.
The new, longer spring should help with your cycling. I'd give him a call and see what he has to say about it.
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Old 03-22-2012, 08:45   #12
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Originally Posted by shipwright View Post
someone on here was just saying how changing the amount of gas going through the gas pipe has very little effect on the velocity. I think it was in the 'internal ballistics' thread.
I think the simplicity of the mini's system is one of it's greatest strengths. Unless there is something significant to gain, i wouldn't change it. Unless you really just like to tinker.
Interesting, I don't know how I missed that thread before! So from the looks of that thread, it would appear that modifying a system like this would not be any more beneficial that getting an Accu-Strut... plus the bragging rights
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Old 03-23-2012, 00:31   #13
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Originally Posted by qwman68 View Post
You might be right about the inefficiency of the mini. They do have a very large bushings but it makes the mini super reliable.

While agree that the bolt velocity seems excessive with most Minis out of the box, the loss of "efficiency" can hardly be a serious consideration.

This post deals with the loss in bullet velocity due to energy used by the gas operated system: Interior Ballistics
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Old 03-23-2012, 00:48   #14
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Originally Posted by subscriber View Post
While agree that the bolt velocity seems excessive with most Minis out of the box, the loss of "efficiency" can hardly be a serious consideration.

This post deals with the loss in bullet velocity due to energy used by the gas operated system: Interior Ballistics

I read through that thread, very interesting stuff, thus my last post . From what I learned there I am leaning toward more of a modification to the Accu-Strut design. I ran an idea past Kkina that he said they had already thought of but sidelined for the time being. So I think I'll end up giving it a shot and see what I can come up with. More of a hybrid adjustable gas block and Accu-Strut instead of a full piston system conversion.

Edit:
Another thought I had as to an M14 styled system v. the Mini-14 styled system. The M14 probably doesnt have as much for from the forward motion of the Op-rod as the Mini does. How much do you guys think that the Op-rod slamming the gas block every shot effects accuracy? I have seen one or two threads recently here that have addressed this, but I believe that those were talking about bedding the block itself...

Last edited by bobgengeskahn; 03-23-2012 at 11:39. Reason: Additional thought...
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Old 03-23-2012, 21:54   #15
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The mini 14 platform is the most reliable gas piston rifle design that you can buy today! Don't fix what aint broken. Sure it can use a few minor modifications, but it doesn't need a redesign. It's a more reliable gas system than the M-14/M1-A. The mini's major flaw is less than optimal accuracy because of barrel vibration harmonics.
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