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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone tried a shok-buffer on the front of their mini-14 ranch rifle? I installed one on the rear and what a difference! The clang went away and perceived recoil as well! Now I want to install one on the front, but it looks like it might upset the cycling. Worse, the next round might not seat well.

Anyhow, I'm tempted to squirt a little RTV around the front gas block, just enough for the weight to bounce on.

But hey, I'm an engineer, not an artist, dammit!

Has anyone tried something remotely similar?


:sniper:
 

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Moved to the correct forum (it was in Garands?):confused:
 

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There is a lot of movement of the slide left after the bolt is locked. I dont think adding an 1/8" thick buffer to the gas block is going to hurt anything. Just have to try it out, see if it effects accuracy.
However there is a write up by Harris (use to work for Ruger) and he states that the forward movement of the slide should be stopped by the bolt not the gas block. In other words there should be a small gap between the slide and the gas block. It seems to me that having the bolt stop the slide would put unnecessary stress on the slide handle.
 

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Not at all!

The Mini-14 is based on the M1 and M14 action.

The op-rod in a Garand has NOTHING to keep it from going forward, except for its sliding connection to the receiver and bolt! The bolt stops in the barrel, and the op-rod is stopped by the bolt.

If you do it the other way around, you risk failing to have the bolt close all the way. The oprod MUST push the bolt all the way home before continuing on to stop.

The Garand design is VERY robust, and the Mini-14 inherits much of its reliability directly from its grandfather the M1, and its daddy the M14.
 

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Kalifornia Citizen: Let me know how that works out, please. I have tinkered with that idea in my head too. I just cannot think of a shock absorbing material that will hold up to the intense heat put out of the gas piston. That area gets pretty darn warm. Thanks.
 

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Someone way back suggested a bicycle tire inner-tube. Cut a patch of it and put a little hole for the gas piston, and viola! A thin, tough rubber bumper. Whether it will withstand the temperature or not, I don't know, but it might be OK.

Alternatively, something thin, made of nylon? Maybe if you go to [your favorite super store X-mart] and buy a nylon spatula and trim it to fit? That definately wouldn't melt at these temperatures.
 

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Just my 2cents, but I'd go the other way - along the lines of what bill said - I'd say grind the front of the op rod down to ensure it does not touch the front at all.
Too much cushion in the front would not allow the bolt to close and if the pin dropped, that would be a bad thing.
Before anyone does anything, we should probably figure out what Ruger intended to have it do and go from there.
 

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Agreed, anything too thick would cause the bolt not to lock, but, if that bolt is not fully seated, can the pin even be dropped? I don't think so...
 

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I don't think you see the point, though! It is NOT a problem for the oprod to be stopped by the bolt. If you are worried about it hitting the gas block, relieve the gas block OR the oprod (or a little of each) and you will not get it slapping that end.
 

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Bill:

If I look inside my Mini, I notice that there is metal that is very clean where the impact is, and it even looks as though it was intended by Ruger for this to happen and to "seal" the join between the gas block and the oprod innards. The oprod even has a slight bump cast into it so it hits first. Thus making the blast from the gas piston more effective.

The question is: If I grind off some of the oprod so that it doesn't hit the gas block, will this cause some malfunction of it's own (ie: not enough pressure to blow back the oprod and eject/reload?
 

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Hi Y'all
I did the work C.E. Harris discribed. It may have tightened the groups somewhat, the wind was kicking up at the range when I went so it's hard to tell. I was able to shoot below 2"@50 yards. I couldn't see any reason to shoot at 100 that day. The job is best done with a bench grinder as you must remove quite abit of metal. Not just from the operating rod either. I found that the gas piston was bottoming out in the rod so I had to remove metal there as well. You could use an end mill to deepen the cylinder in the operating rod but you must remember there's only so much metal in the bottom of that hole & that's where all the hot high pressure gas is hitting. I'm basically a coward so I shortened the gas piston. The bolt now locks up solid with around 0.010" clearence all around the front of the operating rod. Bushwack
 

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I would think that shortening the gas piston is the only viable option. Not only is it easier to do, but end-milling and making that hole deeper (and the metal thinner there) is just asking for a problem.

<<Later...>>

I took apart my Mini and looked at the hole. The bottom of that hole is about 1/4" thick!

Is that plenty? I don't know.
 

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OK, so maybe I'm overthinking this one, but: If you were to ADD material, thats right, ADD to the "ball" on the bolt (the part that fits inside the "slot" of the op-rod), it may not be necessary to remove material from the end of the op-rod.

You wouldn't need much, just enough material so the end of the slot would impact the ball when the bolt is fully forward, and before it got to hitting the gas block. You could even add some to the end of the slot cut in the op-rod.

Just spotwelding a tiny piece of metal there would be perfect. Millwrights! Can this be done?
 

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I have a 1/8" thick rubber pad between my slide block,& gas block. Works fine for me. You guys thinking of grinding on the end of your opp rod should read this from mini 14 world:
"You have the article attributed to C.E. Harris on your site about the accuracy of the Mini-14. The procedure that he describes to grind the front face of the slide, where it contacts the gas block will not work on the current Mini-14 Ranch and Mini-30. I don't know if the regular Mini-14 is different. The lugs on the slide are rounded and cannot restrain the slide on their own. What will happen if you grind down the front of the slide is the rounded lugs will slip out of the guide tracks. The slide will jam against the plastic handguard. I would suggest you edit this section out or include a comment. If someone follows this procedure, on their Ranch Rifle or Mini-30 they will just ruin the slide and possibly the lug guide tracks. This will effectively ruin the receiver. I have seen a used gun for sale where someone tried this and the slide just wouldn't work properly anymore. Lots of people want to improve the accuracy of their Mini, but this tip from Harris is out-of-date. Also, you have a section on making modifications to the gas block. As Harris says in the article, unless you perfectly align the block to the front face of the slide assembly, you can make matters worse rather than better. The newer manuals specifically caution against removing the block because of this. Perhaps you should include Harris' warning and the warning from the manual in this section of your website. Also, since the screws in the blocks are staked down on newer guns, removing them can damage the threads, so you would have to buy new screws. There are probably lots of new gun owners who visit your site, and I'd hate to have them ruin their guns."
^^^I might add to the latter comment: I have removed my gas block several times in adjusting the gas bushing, with no decernable negative results. It is advisable to gap the gas block halves evenly, and just snug down the screws evenly using loctite blue. Hope this keeps someone from ruining their mini.
 

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cajungeo---The mini I described doing the "Harris" modification on is a new 195 series Ranch model. I fired a couple of hundred rounds thru my mini after doing this modification & had no functioning problems. I'm not sure what rounded lugs you're refering to. The only place I removed metal was at the front face of the operating rod & at the end of the gas piston where it fits into the bore in the operating rod. I didn't remove any metal at the bolt lug where it fits into the caming area of the operating rod handle. From what I understand the very first lugs were roller bearings like are found on the M-14/M1A bolt. Ruger most likely changed this as it added cost to manufacturing the rifle which has to be passed onto us. Believe me if I'd of seen any safety issues with this modification I would of never begun. It's a lot of work for what might be just a minor improvement if any in accuracy.---Bushwack
 

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You are right bushwack, I apologize. I was in a hurry when I ran across the article, and read you guys were going to start grinding. I panicked, and just copy pasted without analizing the info. This AM I got my mini, and read the article. I believe the guy is ALL WET! or at least FULL OF BEANS. On my mini there is an impact bar cast into the fwd end of the opp rod aprox 1/16" thick. Mine hits a 1/8" rubber pad instead of the gas block. One would have to grind off maby 1/8" of the opp rod for the gas piston to bottom or the bolt to bottom out. I guess I just don't understand the theory behind the Harris article that grinding the front, or evening up the front of the opp rod will do anything for accuracy. I think I will leave mine as is for now. Sorry for passing on the BEANS.
 

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cajungeo---Believe me I understand your wish to keep everyone safe. I did a lot of looking & thinking before I ever began removing metal. I think that Harris believed that a solid lockup for the bolt would put each cartridge in the same position for each shot. When I get a chance to go to the range again hopefully the wind will cooperate & I'll see if the mod helped any. The day I went I did a lot of handgun shooting at the Cowboy shooting area which is pretty well protected from the wind. When I got to the benchrest area to shoot the Mini the wind was really blowing. I stapled up some targets & by the time I walked back to the bench one target had blown loose & was flapping in the breeze. I felt I was doing real well to keep the groups below 2"@50 yards.

Good shooting
Bushwack
 

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Cajungeo: What type of material did you construct your 1/8 inch rubber pad out of? Also, does the heat from the gas piston burn or melt the rubber pad? I desperately want to construct some type of cushion, but I don't want to have to pull the gas block off and scrape away a bunch of balled up rubber material after I shoot the rifle. Also, did your zero change after you installed the "shock absorbing material"? Thanks..............Brian
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Bushwack,
Did your modification cut down on perceived whack when the bolt closes? I'm hoping that some front shok buffering would let me acquire target faster for the second shot.

I've noticed that I can't see the target well during the cycling, I'm told it's the way our brains react to the recoil. By my reasoning, if some vibration and noise can be eliminated when the bolt seats, it might make the second round quicker and more accurate.

Any thoughts on this from the pros?:ar15:
 
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