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What weight bullet do you typically use in your Mini-14?

  • Lighter than 50 grain

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 50 to 60 grain

    Votes: 32 62.7%
  • 60 to 70 grain

    Votes: 18 35.3%
  • Heavier than 70

    Votes: 1 2.0%
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
In the next week or two I will be headed out with the mini to test what my mini can really do.

From the bench with iron sights I was able to get 0.89 groups at 50yrds with PMC Bronze 55gr ammo. I eventually put a Burris XTS-135 on it, but the 5moa red dot made it useless for precision accuracy.

Since I have a 3-9x Nikon floating around I put that on the rifle with the factory rings and will be headed to the range for accuracy tests.

To really do this right, I have several types of ammo I will be using:



The 55gr ammo is of course cheap ($6+ per box) which is why most of us shoot stuff like this. I also believe it is also why some complain of accuracy. Newer minis were designed to fire heavier bullets, which of course are more expensive. This match ammo costs between $15 (Fiocchi) to $19 (Hornady). The test isn't to compare ammo brands so much as it is bullet weight.

I plan to video document the shooting, and use an IR temp gun to keep barrel temps consistently warm.
 

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For what it's worth, my new Mini preferred 62 Grain ammo over either the 55 Grain stuff or the very pricey 77 Grain Match ammo.

Matt
 

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My Mini 14 ranch with a 1:9 twist loves the 62 gr gives real nice groups, I still have a bunch of 55 gr bullets gonna do some reloading soon to get rid of them (about 1500).
 

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there are many different twist rates used in mini's over the years.

you might want to change it to "what grain for 580 and newer mini's"
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I am headed to the range in the morning, so I should have some in depth reports Sunday night.
 

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I handload for my mini's and have noticed I get the best groups from 55 Nosler ballistic tip and 55 gr Sierra spbt, they are boat tailed and I have done well with 65 gr Sierra spbt. The Hornady 60 gr Vmax does well in my target model and Savage Stevens bolt, it's flat based.
 

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Two loads for your consideration:
(1) Winchester (factory) 55 gr Silvertip
(2) Handload: 55 grain Hornady # 2265 (FB, SP) or Hornady #22271 (FB, V-max) over 27 gr Varget in Winchester cases, Fed 205 Primer.
As described in my first post this morning, these loads do well in my three minis. The handload is a local favorite "go to" for whistle pigs and targets in all kinds of rifles - bolts, ARs and Minis.
 

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I handload for my mini. I load 55,60,65,and 69gr. sierra bullets. They are very good bullets at a great price. I have achieved 1.25'' accuracy using the 60gr. varmiter bullets although they all shoot well in my mini. I never load them to the max.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
First Outing

First, I didn't really do much shooting at 100 yards. Most of my testing was at 50 yards due to the range being very busy. I did find it very interesting how the different ammo reacted. I did get a little shooting done at 100, but by then I had been out in the heat for a couple of hours and I wasn't able to keep the rifle steady enough to get useful data.

- I was able to verify that I can switch optics (Nikon with Ruger rings -> Burris XTS on Ultimak) and they both seemed to hold a respectable zero when reinstalled..so that is good news.

Max temp observed on the barrel was 114 F.

I plan to remove the Ultimak and go back to a stock gas block top to see if there is an accuracy change. In general the 55gr seemed to perform far worse, even at 50, than it did back before the Ultimak. I am curious to see if retorqing it will make a difference, or removing it completely. I can't help but think that if the metal of the Ultimak expands at a different rate than the barrel as it heats up, that it could push the barrel out of alignment.

The most dramatic change was from the heavier bullets. The Fiocchi Match 69gr resulted in the tightest groups of the day, with the FGMM 77gr and Hornady SF 75gr leaving larger groups (but still smaller than the 55gr varieties).

All targets are 2 inch green bullseye with 3 and 4 inch outer circles (disance between each ring line is 1/2 inch).







My only useful 100 yard group. No point in shooting if you can't keep the rifle steady.
 

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Not bad shooting. PMC and XM193 looks nice for 55gr. The fiocci match group is sweet at 50yrds. and not too bad at 100. Judging from the 50yrd. fiocci group you and your mini are capable of better. Keep em coming.
 

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Nice job testing different ammo. Did you use the same mag everytime? I can see a pattern of in the groups, 2 shots group on one side and 3 shot groups on the other about 2-3 inches apart. Some mags will give better results, even loading a 20 rd mag with 10 shots will make a difference.;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I was using two different mags, each loaded with only 3-5 rounds. Never thought it would make a difference. :huh:

I went to remove my gas block and might have found one tiny issue..Apparently I put it on WAY too tight. I am picking up an in-lb torque wrench tomorrow to install the gas block properly (and some Green Loc-tite). I will retest with both the factory gas block and the Ultimak Rail using the same ammo (maybe the 193).

My new rifle rest needs to be cut down too. At it's lowest adjustment it's just too tall, which made it very uncomfortable to shoot. Nothing I can't fix in 20 minutes with a cutoff tool and a welder.

 

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I’m not a group shooter, and most of my shooting with my first Mini-14 was with PMC Bronze 55 grain FMJ. The gun was a jam-o-matic, and Ruger finally replaced it. First time out with the new gun a couple of weeks ago, I did some free hand shooting at 100 feet with 3 different ammo. All FMJ. Iron sights.

PMC 55 grain. Everything was in the center and above to the right and left of center within two inches.

Fiocchi 62 grain. Pretty much the same, except what wasn’t in the center was below and to the right within 2 ½ inches.

Lake City XM855 62 grain 5.56. Much tighter group. Most in the center, with maybe half above and to the left within 2 inches.

I found the results interesting enough so that I intend to try it again from a bench rest.
 

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Cool thread. I am looking to scope my mini for the first time soon, and do similar testing. 45K, what do you use for a bolt release? Also, if you decide to get rid of that Ultimak, keep me in mind. :D I'm having a hard time pulling the trigger on one for full price.
 

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We used to say it would take about 10-15 shots before a mini would shoot good groups. Re-test 55 gr ammo after some fouling shots.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Tri -I fired 30 rounds of Remington through it while sighting, and to bring the barrel up to temp before doing tracked shots.

Crow - I modified the bolt catch by installing a small release lever that protrudes through the cover plate. I'll keep you in mind for the rail....need to decide what direction I want to go first.





BOLT RELEASE VIDEO LINK

ANOTHER BOLT RELEASE VIDEO LINK
 
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