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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
An open question for you -all. Is there an optimum bullet weight that the Mini-14 likes better than others ? Did Ruger change the rifling twist rate i.e., 1 in 9, 1 in 12,1 in 7,like Colt did after the early years of Viet-Nam ? Does anyone have any hard evidence of this,and which twist rate is right for the heavier weight bullets in the Mini ? Thanks, BILL:2guns:
 

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they(ruger) have changed the rate over the years from 1/7 to 1/12 and 1/9. the 1/7 - 1/9 are for heavier (over 55 grn)and the 1/12 is for the 55's and lower like 45-40's. others please correct me if i'm wrong :cool: :usa: :usa: :usa:
 

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The current twist rate on the Mini-14 is 1/9 and in my opinion is the best. The 1/9 will stabilize the widest range of loads. This twist rate will stabilize the heavier 62 gr. stuff for you just fine. I also hear that the Winchester Powerpoint Plus at 64 grains will do ok from this twist. Not sure about the 69 gr. match stuff, but it may be ok too. But just because this twist rate will stabilize heavier bullets doesn't mean it will be inaccurate with lighter stuff. I have switched to all Lake City XM193 55 gr. stuff in my 1/9. I find it very accurate and in my opinion is superior to SS109 in many respects. First of all, contrary to popular belief, the M193 penetrates better at closer ranges of 100-150 yds. The SS109 was designed to offer better penetration in the 300-600 yd. ranges. The heavier bullet will retain more energy at those ranges than the 55. I suspect the use of the M249 SAW factored into the development of this load. But my standard round is M193 Lake City, love the stuff. I find it more affordable and versatile than the heavier rounds. Also, the 1/7 twists we see today on many Colt rifles actually came as a result of the M856 tracer. This longer round needs the faster twist to stabilize it. Military tests concluded that the 1/9 was satisfactory for M855 Ball. So my advice would be to use either 55 gr. or 62 gr. loads. Both will be plenty accurate from a 1/9 twist (unless you have an older rifle with a different twist of 1/12. In that case stay with 55 gr. Hope this has helped.

op-rod
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
op-rod, I really appreciate your dissertation on the weights vs. rates of twist,very informative ! So when did Ruger change the twist rate ? Specifically with what SERIES of Mini ? Can it be broken down with series or does serial number enter into it ? As I am a reloader of many years,I can load whatever the Mini needs,as far as weights go. BILL:2guns:
 

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Bill,

I'm really not sure what year the rate of twist was changed in the Mini-14. I'm sure that the serial # range would seperate the two. As far as I know the Mini started out with a 1/12 twist I think, then was changed to 1/9. This probably happened in the mid-1980's although I'm not sure about that. I think the newer M855 was introduced to the military in 1984, so I am sure the change of twist rates came around that time also. Maybe someone else here will know, as I have done countless searches on the net for info on this matter to no avail.
The Colt AR-15 entered military service with a 1/14 twist! It was so unstable that a 55 gr. bullet would sometimes yaw in flight! This was quickly changed to 1/12. Then when the newer round became available, the M-16's twist was changed to 1/9 and 1/7. Had it not been for the M856 tracer round (which uses a longer bullet), the military would have settled on a 1/9 most likely. Sorry I couldn't be of more help, but I'm sure someone here knows the answer.

op-rod
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks op-rod for info. you have. I too,have looked long and extensively to no avail on this matter. The only place I haven't researched is the Ruger factory. I'm not sure anyone would have the answer since Col Brophy has passed on ! I may write a letter to them one of these days to see if I can get an answer. Maybe someone here has the right answer on the twist rates running sequentially with the different series of the Mini. BILL:2guns:
 

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Bill: I believe that a telephone call to Ruger with your serial number will result in you being able to obtain your barrel twist and manufacture date. They are very accomodating to deal with in my experiences. Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
thanks,doorgunner,I think I will do that very thing.Guess info from the horses mouth is the best !:2guns:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Fri. afternoon,3/1/02 Just talked to Ruger records dept. on the phone.They informed me that: from start of production 'till 1985 the rifling twist rate was 1 in 10" , from 1986-1994 the rifling twist rate was 1 in 7" , from 1995 to the present the twist rate is 1 in 9". So,if you know when your Mini was made,then you can choose the bullet weight that is right for your rifle's twist rate,thus giving your Mini all possible edge in the accuracy dept. Thought some of you-all would like to know. BILL:2guns:
 

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Simply mark your cleaning rod & push a patch down the barrel. When the mark makes a 360° measure the travel of the rod. This will give you the twist rate of your barrel. 1 turn in 9" or whatever.

Good shooting
Bushwack
 

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I have a 188 series mini 14. To date I have only fired 55gr bullets. Has anyone fired the 62 gr or larger bullets though one and if so did it help or hurt accuracy. My M77 in .308 clearly prefers 165 to all lighter bullets. I am not sure of the rate of twist in my mini but since it is a high serial # I assume it is 1 in 9”. I wonder if that is enough to stabilize it since the military went from a 1 in 10” to a 1 in 7” to use the 62gr. All input is appreciated.

Jeff :usa:
 

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Hi Op-Rod, Am glad to hear that someone enjoys the M193 Ball as much as I do. I have been buying the Federal White Box stuff with lake city brass. Have seen it priced at 89.00 per 500 rounds. Is this what you are paying, or is there a better price than that? Even when I bought 1,000 rounds, they still charged me the 89.00 per 500 rate...I did see the other day that Match point 64 or 69 grain stuff from Winchester. It was about 1.00 per round. What exactly do you get for a buck a round. Is it different primer, lead, case, please explain to this novice....:)


Thanks


Larry:usa:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Tady-that's about right for the white box .223 Federal around here too. Last week I got some XM193,paid about .17 a round for it.I have to tell you that $1.00 a round is way out of line for anything ! I bought the cases for reloading mainly,ammo is fairly accurate,but would NEVER pay $1.oo a round for ANYTHING,no matter what it was !(except MAYBE .50 cal. BMG ammo,again only for the cases)My MINI was made in Oct.'79,so it has a 1-10" twist rate rifling.Check this site for other solutions for accuracy,as well as ammo-there are many on here who have found different things to help barrel whip problems,better trigger pull with less creep,etc.Looking forward to shooting the XM193,though.:2guns:
 

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I have only fired 4 different kinds of ammo in my new mini. The most expensive Federal Premium 55 gr, Remington 55gr, Winchester varmint 46 gr. and some cheep Rusian. The grouping seemed to be in proportioned to cost. Federal being the best grouping at 80 cents a shot, and the worst is the 22 cent winchester. The surprise was the rusian ammo 15 cent a rd. fired almost as well as the expensive federal in my mini. Am currently working up loads for nosler 55 gr varmint, and Serria 63 gr varmint to see which my mini likes best for about 17cents a rnd. Best advice I could give is buy a box of several types of ammo, and go to the range with a sand bag, and cleaning kit. I've read when you switch brands of ammo you need to clean the bore, as the mixing of different types of powder residue does some strange things in the bore affecting your grouping. Find ammo your mini likes ( each gun is different ) that dosen't cost much, then have fun.
 

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The Winchester 64gr. Power Point, is by far the most accurate load for two of my late model 1/9 twist barrels. The rifles do not like any of the 55 gr. stuff, and definately do NOT like the heavy 68 gr. Black Hills, or the 69 gr. Federal Gold Medal. It's just amazing how much more accurate this load is than anything else that I have tried. Your mileage may vary, but you should be pleasantly surprised.

One note: This stuff is expensive, and unless you've just won the lottery, it is NOT plinking ammo.
 

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I was given a link to this forum to answer a question I had about my Mini-14 yawing at longer ranges with the 55gr. I am very pleased with the information I have found here. I purchased my Mini in the late '80s and now believe the twist is 1-in-7 and should use heavier bullets like the 62gr. or 64gr. I will also try the tight patch and rod method to check this out.
Many thanks for the info. I love all of my Ruger firearms.:)
 

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armyrat---At times strange things happen when high power rifle bullets slow down or go subsonic. This could be what you are running into. The 1X7 twist barrel was designed to shoot heavier bullets but we're talking about a Mini-14 here so you might want to try a wide assortment of different ammo before you buy a lot of anything. Something else you might want to look at is the crown on the muzzle. The slightest damage to the crown can destroy accuracy.

Good shooting
Bushwack
 

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Welcome to the forum armyrat1970. You are on the right track, by trying different bullet weights, and powders. My 9" -1 likes 63 gr, not 55 gr, or 69 grn. The mini having the thin barrel that it has the Harmonic vibration (barrel whip) is more pronounced. Many of us have reduced this by hanging a $19.95 muzzle brake on the end. Most have relized groups about 50% tighter. Mine went from 4 1/2" groups to 2 1/4" average, at 100 yds. just by this one mod.

BTW what kinda range are ya talking about?
 

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I had an incredible reduction in group size (comparible to cajungeo's) after installing the Madsen muzzle brake.

One important thing to remember regarding barrel twist and bullet weight: It is the long bearing surface, not the weight of the projectile, that makes heavier bullets shoot well through fast twist rifling. An example would be that the bearing surface on a 64 gr. Winchester Powerpoint is equal to the bearing surface on a 55 grain soft point. How, you ask? The nose of the projectile is less pointed, because the extra 9 grains of mass are pushed forward. That is why most Winchester 64 grain Power Point loads shoot pretty well, if not great, through 1/9 and 1/10 twist barrels.

The Military M855 (62 gr.) load, has a very long bearing surface, due primarily becuase of the steel penetrator in the nose of the projectile. There is a lot of copper jacket touching the bore, in fact a whole lot more than on the 64 grain civilian bullet. Don't too caught up in the bullet weght vs. rifle twist argument without knowing the facts. Good luck and good shooting gentlemen.
 

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Originally posted by op-rod
Bill,

I'm really not sure what year the rate of twist was changed in the Mini-14. I'm sure that the serial # range would seperate the two. As far as I know the Mini started out with a 1/12 twist I think, then was changed to 1/9. This probably happened in the mid-1980's although I'm not sure about that. I think the newer M855 was introduced to the military in 1984, so I am sure the change of twist rates came around that time also. Maybe someone else here will know, as I have done countless searches on the net for info on this matter to no avail.
The Colt AR-15 entered military service with a 1/14 twist! It was so unstable that a 55 gr. bullet would sometimes yaw in flight! This was quickly changed to 1/12. Then when the newer round became available, the M-16's twist was changed to 1/9 and 1/7. Had it not been for the M856 tracer round (which uses a longer bullet), the military would have settled on a 1/9 most likely. Sorry I couldn't be of more help, but I'm sure someone here knows the answer.

I have a july 1976 model that has a 1 in 10 twist

op-rod
 
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