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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been intrigued with the Mini's since they came out in the '70's, when I shot a brand new one belonging to a buddy of mine. But I also became aware of the rifles' less than stellar accuracy, and being in my late teens at the time, I just didn't have patience for such things. My rifles needed to be shooters, and right now! So my interest in Mini's went on the back burner.

I had a hip replacement surgery four weeks ago, and have had a lot of time for reading and research, so my interest in Mini's got renewed. I've learned how they've evolved, and been improved upon over the years, and about all of the ways they can be tweeked to make them better yet. And although I still enjoy hunting a great deal, over the last 40 years I've matured out of the killing phase of my relationship with my weapons, and have come to really appreciate and enjoy shooting them, just for the pleasure of shooting. Along with that has come the patience it takes to enjoy investing the time and $$ in doing the tweeking to make them better.

So last week I bought my Mini, a NIB model # 05843, Stainless Ranch Rifle, wearing factory wood, and according to the serial # chart on ruger.com, built in 2008. I bought it on GunBroker, and although I gave enough for it, the guy threw in enough very high quality accessories and ammo to make it a deal that will more than hold it's money together at cuurent retail prices. Plus, I got the stainless, tapered barrel, wood stocked rifle that's no longer made.

So far I've pulled the Boresnake through it, and fired one round, in an effort to see what it's going to do with empty brass. I guess the fact that I couldn't find that one round of empty brass gave me the impression that it's going to be pretty wild with it, but then it's kind of hard to fire the rifle, and keep track of the brass at the same time. It sure enough did shuck out the empty, and chamber the next round from the factory five round magazine with no issues whatever, and the ammo was Wolf, 55 GR. HP.

My son mounted a new Nikon ProStaff 3-9X40 BDC scope on the rifle for me the other day, and I don't want to risk banging up or damaging the scope, so I've stripped the rifle down again, and I have a set of the Wilson 1911 recoil buffers coming from Brownell's, shipped yesterday.

Now, in regard to the gas block, and the gas port bushing, I've gleaned a load of real world information from here, and other forums, on the adjustable gas blocks, the downsized bushings, and using roll pins to downsize the bushings. The roll pin deal seems like a good place to start, in terms of being a simple, least cost solution. So yesterday morning I went to town for physical therapy on my hip, and then with all of the information I thought I'd need, made a trip out to the Fastenall store to explore roll pins. On several threads I've read, folks have talked about putting a 5/32" roll pin in their factory gas port bushing, to reduce the bore size of the bushing. My question is this, are they literally putting the roll pin inside the bushing, or are they using an equal length piece of roll pin to replace the factory bushing? What I ran into was that a 5/32" roll pin is not quite as large in outside diameter as my factory gas port bushing, but it won't even come close to fitting inside it either.I don't know how knowledgeable the gal at the parts store is with what she was doing, but I believe the inside bore measurement she came up with on my factory bushing, using a digital micrometer, was .07723. Is there this much variation in the size of these bushings? Is this why GunDoc, if you choose to buy his downsized bushings, requests that you either send your factory bushing in to him, or send him very precise measurements, so that he can custom build bushings for your rifle, rather than selling you something generic? I did find that a 3/32" roll pin could be pressed into my factory bushing, and would probably fit very well, but I guess that's gonna make it somewhat of a crap shoot on what the results will be. But maybe you're gonna end up in that crap shoot situation one way or the other?

The recoil buffers should arrive in the mail in the next couple of days, so I think I'll put the gas bushing mod back on the shelf for now, install the buffers when they get here, put the rifle back together, and see what happens.Does this sound like a good plan to you folks that are in the know? :unsure: And to those of you who've messed with, and/or used the roll pins, and possibly experienced what I have, sharing what you've learned, and how things have turned out for you, would sure be appreciated! Thanks a bunch!!:D
 

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As long as the pin will stay and not creep up, you should be fine. The good thing about ordering a kit from Gumdoc or ASI or a member he named Walking Bear, they are ready to drop in and shoot with 3 size options. If the pin doesn't work it becomes a guessing game and you may order a set anyway.

Welcome to the board!
 

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I have done the tension pin in a Mini for my son. It fit tight and based on the way it fits in I don't think it will ever move. But, if you can get a bushing from Gundoc I'd give it a try. I used pin as an experiment and it seems to work. It left a hole about .050 in the bushing and the gun throws the brass around 10 to 12 feet. Between my son and I we have only put around 100 rounds through it since putting in the pin. I want the gun to be dependable so leaving a larger hole in the bushing seems to works good for me.

When I say "pin" I mean a short length of pin the length of the bushing so I'm not talking a full length pin. Since the pins are hardened spring steel they have to be cut and ground to length.

Others have chosen a smaller hole and the brass drops closer to their feet. With a light loaded round the gun may not work (cycle) dependably. I'm a bit of a cheapskate so I don't load my practice rounds too hot. My hunting and "social work" rounds get loaded hotter. I don't think Walkingbear is doing much bushing work anymore due to a busy schedule but Gundoc is doing bushings. kwg
 

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gas bushing

I also have a 580 series ranch. I used the "roll pin" solution, re-torqued the gas block, and also used the Wilson shock buffer. I have had no FTE's using a variety of factory ammo. My cases are ejected about 6-8 Ft. at the 2 o'clock position. Utilize whatever size roll pin that will result in a "snug" fit inside the factory bushing and grind to appropriate length. Additionally, I also have the Mo-reaper strut, front sight/ flash hider, Tech sight rear sight, Choate stock and ventilated hand guard. The rifle is eminently reliable and much smoother... and here's some fuel to the fire on the AR vs. Mini rants: My business is building custom AR's... I shoot a Mini!
 

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Since you asked - Once upon a time gas port bushings were pretty easy as for the most part there was one OD and two lengths depending on model and they were pretty much set in stone. Then came the 580 series. The early 580 series were a hodgepodge of sizes with two OD's and a lot of +/- on the length. As the 580 series progressed it started to become more uniform again. Now, depending on the series there are two OD's and roughly 4 lengths. There's still the odd 188 series that doesn't conform to the rest of the series, but it's getting better.

I could take the route of some others and sell a universal type bushing, but it leads to problems such as excessive gas leakage and peening the barrel port out of round. Maybe it's just me, but I believe the port should be a good fit and the bushing should be moderately hardened. Anyone who has sent their gas block to me to remove a mushroomed gas port will tell you what a PIA that can be. After experimenting with several materials I have settled on O-1 drill rod as my choice of raw material. Properly sized and hardened they will last nearly forever.

Will driving some roll pin in the factory bushing work? Sure. It has some drawbacks and potential issues but for the most part anything that will reduce the volume of gas flowing through the part will reduce the action's vigor. Bear in mind that the factory bushing is so large as it's designed to be self-cleaning. Reduced bushings may need cleaning from time to time based on use and ammo selection, and your mileage will vary between cleanings. Why do most of us making bushings offer them in 40, 50 and 60 thousandths? Drills. Not only do these sizes work well, but the sizes fit nicely with wire drills 60, 55 and 53 as an example of close enough to round off the figure considering drill tolerance and the fact that drills do not make perfectly round holes. I've also made "blank" bushings that turn the Mini into a single shot rifle for different purposes.

Adjustable gas blocks work by restricting the flow through the gas pipe the bushing fits into. I have seen machinist drawings dating back to 1978 so it's hardly a new idea. Drill the gas block and gas pipe, tap one, add a small screw and tensioner (usually a spring) and then run the screw in and out to restrict the gas flow. There are flaws in this setup which is why until ASI started marketing them no one really messed with them in quantity.

So in your quest to tinker with the gas system think it out thoroughly. Choose appropriate materials and consider the open flow design of the gas system and the amount of "wiggle" the gas pipe requires to ensure reliability. Even though the mating surfaces of the pipe and oprod are beveled, those parts rely on a little slop to mate reliably and prevent peening. There's a lot more to this tiny part than meets the eye and a whole lot more to the dynamic principles of tapping gas to initiate action cycling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks!!

Thanks to all for the replies and advice! Especially to John for sharing how things have played out from the beginning with the manufacturing of the rifles, and with folks making various modifications to the gas systems. I also appreciate your frankness in regard to using "will fit" parts, and the idea that you want to sell your customers something that you know will fit and work, and not just something that "may" work, and "may or may not" damage your rifle. I've been a rancher/farmer for 35 years, and understand and appreciate what the consequences of using "will fit" parts can sometimes be. Been there, done that. :angry:

In regard to what I've done with my rifle, I did try to press the roll pin into the factory gas bushing, and it turned out to be a smidge to big to fit anyway. I'm canning that idea, and will order a set from John if I decide at some point that it's necessary. I installed the 1911 recoil bushings on both ends of the op rod, and put the rifle back together. I still had concerns about spent brass hitting the new scope, so I made a wrap of bubble packing around the scope immediately above the ejection port, and took it out to shoot. My wife went out with me to observe where the empty cases were landing. In firing 5 rounds in fairly rapid succession, they all landed at 8'-10' and 2-4 o'clock. I think with just the recoil bushings installed as the only mod so far that I'm pretty happy with that for now. I may do something more if things change significantly when I get to shooting hand loads, but so far I can't even get my hands on any components for that. Hopefully things will loosen up with that stuff before I've burnt the 450 rounds of steel case stuff I have on hand. I also could see or hear no evidence of the cases hitting the bubble wrap around the scope, so next time out, I'll try it without that. Pretty easy and cheap insurance against scope damage at any rate. I did shoot at a NRA air rifle target @ about 35', rather than just lobbing 5 rounds off into the country air, and as a dumb luck bonus, with no bore sighting or any other adjustments to the scope, all 5 shots were on the paper. :D Further sighting in should be relatively quick and easy.

Thanks again for the help. This forum is a wealth of information, and I'm glad to be here! ;)

Scotty
 

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On one of my minis, 6.8 spc I used electrical tape to protect the bottom of the scope. It has a reduced bushing but I don't know what brand. I may have to get another set from Gundoc.
 
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