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

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Old 05-02-2012, 22:42   #1
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Need help diagnosing the source of my Mini30 problem...

So, here we go.

My Mini 30 is a 581 series, stainless steel, with the thicker, but not the newest barrel profile. I bought it from a guy on Calguns and paid damn near full MSRP for it. Off to a bad start already!

I bought it as a 'modern garand' that could shoot cheap .30 cal ammunition. Retro and thus classier than the AR 15, american made and more loveable than the SKS or AK. Little did i know how different it was from the M1.

When I first took it out to shoot I found it harder to get any kind of consistent group out of the gun with my rudimentary rifle skills. The M1 at that time yielded decent patterns, acceptable anyway, but the Mini gave me no such love. It shot low and made big groups, if you could even call them groups.

I decided I wanted adjustable sights, an accustrut, wood stock and a ventilated handguard, to not only make it shoot 'better' but also customize the gun a bit and improve its looks.

I bought all those upgrades, got tech sights, OEM ruger wooden stock, fed-ord handguard, SOCOM accustrut,


And also added wolff springs and a recoil buffer. OK, all decked out!

I went out to the range, only to find that even though I brought the sight down all the way, the gun's point of impact was about 4 inches high at 50 yards. it groups about 8 MOA at 50 yards but to be fair that was while i was holding low, and that is not a precision shooting method, so im sure the gun can do better than that.

I tried going back to the stock furniture to no effect. Im considering going back to the stock rear sight... As awful as it is. Any advice?

After having given it the benefit of the doubt and buying so many upgrades for it, Im quite disappointed with this thing and I'm about ready to bash it against the pavement.
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Old 05-02-2012, 23:08   #2
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Originally Posted by kwansao View Post
So, here we go.

My Mini 30 is a 581 series, stainless steel, with the thicker, but not the newest barrel profile. I bought it from a guy on Calguns and paid damn near full MSRP for it. Off to a bad start already!

I bought it as a 'modern garand' that could shoot cheap .30 cal ammunition. Retro and thus classier than the AR 15, american made and more loveable than the SKS or AK. Little did i know how different it was from the M1.

When I first took it out to shoot I found it harder to get any kind of consistent group out of the gun with my rudimentary rifle skills. The M1 at that time yielded decent patterns, acceptable anyway, but the Mini gave me no such love. It shot low and made big groups, if you could even call them groups.

I decided I wanted adjustable sights, an accustrut, wood stock and a ventilated handguard, to not only make it shoot 'better' but also customize the gun a bit and improve its looks.

I bought all those upgrades, got tech sights, OEM ruger wooden stock, fed-ord handguard, SOCOM accustrut,


And also added wolff springs and a recoil buffer. OK, all decked out!

I went out to the range, only to find that even though I brought the sight down all the way, the gun's point of impact was about 4 inches high at 50 yards. it groups about 8 MOA at 50 yards but to be fair that was while i was holding low, and that is not a precision shooting method, so im sure the gun can do better than that.

I tried going back to the stock furniture to no effect. Im considering going back to the stock rear sight... As awful as it is. Any advice?

After having given it the benefit of the doubt and buying so many upgrades for it, Im quite disappointed with this thing and I'm about ready to bash it against the pavement.
with out shooting it My advice is 50%. have you tryed "good" ammo silver/gold bear or anything USA made?

I would go back to 100% stock. start there. the gun should hit 9-8 ring maybe 7 at 100 yards.
I know my mini when i first got it i could not hit a house if i was standing in front of it.
then with time and some (old school EX-mil) help. i started getting better. now i can pick off coke cans at 100yards with not to much problem. at 50 yards i can put 3 in the X back to back.

My first bit is make sure you have the ice cream cone picture site. also i "kiss" my recever. or my cheek is on my thumb. try that with a stock gun. if your still way off. have some one else try if there off send it in to ruger.
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Old 05-02-2012, 23:38   #3
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My mini was silly loose in the stock. Consider bedding the stock if the receiver just falls out without the trigger group.
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Old 05-03-2012, 01:01   #4
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It is hard say, how does it shoot in stock config? Sights how are they adjusted and how do you hold it? They can shoot bad but never had one that could not hit a paper plate @ 100yds. Something is way wrong as you got all the gear and cool stuff?
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Old 05-03-2012, 03:46   #5
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I would suggest to adjust the gas block screws to an even torque. This is the 1st on all minis to check, the factory will not put the halves together with an even gap and torque, it creates a pressure point on the barrel.

Like the others said about the ammo, get some decent stuff to start with so you can have an expectation of accuracy.

If you have more than 1 mag, mark them and see which one shoots the best. I have found that my 20 rd mags shoot better than my 5 rd.

Check to see if there is any movement in the stock, you can take some thin metal shim stock and wrap around the recoil lugs to give a temp bedding effect. This will tighten up the groups and then you can look at glass bedding for the future.

The strut may need to be positioned in a different spot on the barrel for best dampening results. Try moving forward or backward 1/4" at a time. I have seen my best results about a 1/4" from the front site.
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Old 05-03-2012, 05:45   #6
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If these Mini 30's are anything like the 14's you should have 3 or 4 hundred rounds through the gun with proper cleaning and maintenance performed along the way before you start looking for good consistent groups. IMO
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Old 05-03-2012, 07:42   #7
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Ive used ulyanovsk/tula and brown bear polymer coated, and old wolf laquered 7.62x39. No FTF with the new hammer spring, but accuracy is consistent across the 3 brands.

It holds a decent group, now, it just shoots too high.

I hold it the way i shoot my m1. The same day i achieved 2" at 100y with my m1, centered around the x, so i doubt its my shooting method that's throwing the shots on the mini.

I could adjust the gas block, thats a good idea. The accu strut is loctited in Place so im reluctant to remove it but i guess there is no reason not to at this point.

The wood stock fits well and i doubt its the fit that is throwing the shots around. The synthetic stock is pretty loose by comparison.

The mini has been broken in by its previous owner, who fired plenty of rounds out of it. I am pretty good about cleaning my rifles. Not exactly white-glove clean, but definitely more than is necessary.
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Old 05-03-2012, 15:30   #8
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Check the retorque of the gas block. If the two sides of the gas block are un even do the retorque and keep in mind to keep the gas bushing centered. Since you can't see the gas bushing it's done by "feel". It can be done.

I like to smooth up my barrels with Brasso. Yes, the stuff you used when you were in the Army to clean your brass. There is also J B compound that is used to smooth up the barrel as well. I prefer Brasso. Remington makes a barrel cleaner that is similar to Brasso as well. I think it's called 40X or something like that. Brasso has what ever is in it that gives it it's distinctive aroma and seems to dissolve carbon and copper. Just use a nylon brush.

I shoot Tula out of my AR's and Mini's. It's a plinking round and will not get you 2" at 100. It may get you 4 inches at 100. I can't tell you about Brown Bear, I have never shot it.

I have used aluminum tape to shim up a Mini receiver in a plastic stock. It seems to work. Nothing beats glass bedding a wood stock.

I have a 581 Mini in .223 and I really like the factory sights. I'm reluctant to say there is ANYTHING better, but there may be.

My opinions. YMMV. kwg
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Old 05-03-2012, 17:37   #9
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it shot low with the factory rear sight and high with the tech-sight??
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Old 05-03-2012, 18:26   #10
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Originally Posted by Marlin 45 carbine View Post
it shot low with the factory rear sight and high with the tech-sight??
Yes. Between range visits i added all the extras. So maybe its the wolff spring, or recoil buffer, or accu strut??? Or the tech sights arent suited for the rifle?
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Old 05-03-2012, 19:05   #11
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Originally Posted by kwansao View Post
Yes. Between range visits i added all the extras. So maybe its the wolff spring, or recoil buffer, or accu strut??? Or the tech sights arent suited for the rifle?
I dont what to come of bad but Im thinking user error not rifle. with that said it took me a good bit of time to understand my mini.
Use handloads/reloads, USA, or gold/silver bear ammo. take off everything to make it 100% stock. if you want that tech sights are probrobley fine to leave on.

make sure you see the "ice cream"

...... 0
..... \ll/

Its the best i can do real quick but you get the idea shoot 5 rounds mark them shoot another 5 rounds then post a pic of the target. start at 50 yards. easy to see for all eyes and cuts down on things like wind and what not.
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Old 05-03-2012, 19:34   #12
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I'd recommand installing a scope, see if it still shoots bad.
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Old 05-03-2012, 21:22   #13
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My M30 groups 2.5 to 3" MOA, but that is with a good scope off the bench. I noticed that I really had to concentrate, and pull through with a smooth strong trigger pull. The Stock trigger is pretty gravelly, and having it smoothed out and lightened is going to be my next upgrade to it. Good luck.

P.S. my good groups came with silver bear S.P. and Yugo surplus ammo.
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Old 05-03-2012, 23:32   #14
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Originally Posted by Viperrt1 View Post
I dont what to come of bad but Im thinking user error not rifle. with that said it took me a good bit of time to understand my mini.
Use handloads/reloads, USA, or gold/silver bear ammo. take off everything to make it 100% stock. if you want that tech sights are probrobley fine to leave on.

make sure you see the "ice cream"

...... 0
..... \ll/

Its the best i can do real quick but you get the idea shoot 5 rounds mark them shoot another 5 rounds then post a pic of the target. start at 50 yards. easy to see for all eyes and cuts down on things like wind and what not.
To get the rifle to hit the center of the target i had to hold low on the very bottom of the 8" bullseye. (50y) That meant the poi was far above the poa.. Very high above the front sight post.

That being the case i dont think one's sight picture preference for the target being above the front sight post or directly aligned with the front sight post, is the cause of this accuracy issue...

I probably won't get a chance to take pictures of my targets at the range because i'd be out there all day waiting to change the targets...

I guess i will change back to original sights first, then remove the accu-strut if that does not solve the issue. I used a LOT of loctite so its not something im looking forward to...

And im not an experienced shooter by any stretch of the imagination, but i was able to get 1 inch groups out of an AR 15 and an M1 Garand at 50 yards and 2-3 inch groups at 100 yards on the same range trip. So, thats a lower power rifle with a chunky front sight post and stiff, heavy trigger, and a high power, heavy rifle, that i somehow got to shoot straight,

the mini is lighter than the m1 with a better trigger than the AR, so i was fairly frustrated that i got the performance i did. I really doubt it was my shooting, im sure it is all the CRAP i put on the gun..
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Old 05-04-2012, 09:14   #15
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Originally Posted by kwansao View Post
That being the case i dont think one's sight picture preference for the target being above the front sight post or directly aligned with the front sight post, is the cause of this accuracy issue...


I guess i will change back to original sights first, then remove the accu-strut if that does not solve the issue. I used a LOT of loctite so its not something im looking forward to...
1. True eather one will work. I didnt relize it was that high shooting.

2. some sweets 7.62 will take loctite of in seconds. ask me how i know. i have the rear site come off many times due to this fact.
windex will most likey do the same. just remeber to heavy oil after.


You may just have to send it to ruger for the fix.
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Old 05-04-2012, 11:29   #16
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Originally Posted by Viperrt1 View Post
1. True eather one will work. I didnt relize it was that high shooting.

2. some sweets 7.62 will take loctite of in seconds. ask me how i know. i have the rear site come off many times due to this fact.
windex will most likey do the same. just remeber to heavy oil after.


You may just have to send it to ruger for the fix.
Why are you getting sweets 7.62 on your sight? That stuff is pretty strong and the only place you should be using it is in the bore.
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:14   #17
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I know when I was cleaning the patch made contact with the end of the receiver. The rear sight is a though hole on mine. Just the tinny bit of contact un did the factory locktight and my sight came loose. So I dont use sweets on my mini any more. Also found better ways of cleaning it when in use with Russian ammo.
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Old 05-04-2012, 17:54   #18
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Am I seeing a problem with the POI because i attached a short SOCOM Accu Strut to the full length barrel?
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Old 05-04-2012, 17:58   #19
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the socom strut does nothing good or bad. this isnt my opionion it fact the makers of it even say it does nothing its just for show.

I have all kind of things strap to my barrel ad may shift poi but small bits and has never affected grouping.
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Old 05-05-2012, 00:01   #20
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Just read an old thread from 2009 about recoil buffers changing the point of impact..

Recoil Buffers Changing Point of Impact

None of the tests were with a similar setup or rifle, but one member had a 5" poi shift up when using a rear buffer. Different series rifle, different caliber, different buffer type, but it makes me think i should just truck out all my OEM mini accessories to the range and selectively switch them out until i find the culprit.
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Old 05-05-2012, 06:19   #21
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Hmm after reading through that thread you posted it sounds like the front buffer has the most impact on POI.
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Old 05-05-2012, 06:20   #22
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if the front sight is pinned on try a higher front post. a smith likely will have to do this. sorry to hear of your trouble w/this mini
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Old 05-05-2012, 06:31   #23
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Originally Posted by Marlin 45 carbine View Post
if the front sight is pinned on try a higher front post. a smith likely will have to do this. sorry to hear of your trouble w/this mini
Been looking for one...
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Old 05-05-2012, 10:20   #24
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Originally Posted by glenwatkins View Post
Hmm after reading through that thread you posted it sounds like the front buffer has the most impact on POI.
From that other thread:

For the second group, I removed the front buffer, leaving the rear buffer in place. From the zero point, the group was 5.5 high and 1.5left, group size was 3.5.

For the sixth group I removed the front buffer, leaving the rear buffer in place. The group was 5.25" high and 2
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Old 05-06-2012, 19:45   #25
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Gas block problem..



Took it off and re tightened it tonight... The gas block is still lopsided. I think the threads for the screws are off at a slight angle resulting in the lack of symmetry you can see from the picture.
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