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Yikes man, the price difference would be pretty big motivating factor in itself.

$240 for the shilen match heavy barrel for the mini 14 from midway + the gunsmithing costs to install it.

vs.

~$100 for a strut.

Which is more accurate would be very hard to find out. The accu-strut has a proven improvement range of anywhere from 0-33% on the new mini 14's with the tapered barrel. The new barrel could (depending on dia, length, chamber, etc.) do better or worse depending on what your particular mini likes. Things like variation in the individual machine work, barrel oscillation or "barrel whip", the barrel's sweet spot, ammunition preferences, etc.

Personally, I would put a strut on it and call it good. However, your money and your rifle.

So if you really want that new barrel then have at it man!!
 

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Pet-Rock covered it pretty well, but I'll add this:

A Shilen barrel won't live up to your expectations. IMO, if you're going to the trouble and expense, you need a full-heavy barrel, like the conversions ARS or ASI do. Then you're talking $700++.

What are you looking to do with your Mini? If you bought it intending to have a semi-auto 5.56 tack driver, hang on to your wallet...

On a good day, my 580 (tapered-barrel) Mini-14 with an Accu-Strut LT (~$100), Choate ventilated handguard (~$20), and Wilson Combat Shok-Buffs (~$15 for 6) will group under 2" @ 100 yds. from a suitable rest through a Simmons 2-6x32 scope. Typical groups are more like 2.5". But my Mini is my coyote gun, not a benchrest rifle, and minute-of-tennis-ball is suitable for my purposes. ;)
 
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Accu-strut

You might check out a Min 14 Target model. I like mine. The cost of the rifle, barrel, and smithing fee would be large. Maybe your taper barrel min would respond well to a trigger job and bedding with the accu strut which would come in way under either of what I mentioned above.

Good Luck
 

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Are talking a 58x series (tapered barrel) Mini?

I skipped the strut, but installed an Ultimak Scout rail, and I think THAT really helped to tie everything together, It clamps the rear of the barrel and replaces the top strap of the gas block.
 

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strut plus...

I too have a 580 series tapered barrel model, it consistently shoots 1 1/2-2" groups with no stringing with these changes:
(1) Mo-rod strut
(2) mo-reaper front sight/flash hider
(3)tech sight rear sight
(4)5/32 roll pin in gas bushing with gas block re-torqued
(5)wilson shock buffer
(6)choate stock with handguard
I used PPU 55 grn, ejects at the 2 o'clock position about 6', functions flawlessly
Total cost about $300... and worth every penny!
 
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