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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
HEY! I just measured my barrel, I expected a slight normal taper, but at the gass block, .559, just aft of the machine mark (2 1/2 inches aft of sight) barrel measures .575, then just fwd of the machine mark .562, and just behind sight .562. ***Is anyone elses barrel lumpy ? I can run my finger & thumb down the barrel and feel it! Like a chicken snake just swalled a chicken! My mini is a 196 series SS Ranch. How about yours?
 

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I hear ya brother. I have the same series SS Ranch and it measures the same as yours at all the points you mention. At least they're consistent, eh?
 

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I just bought another 196 series ss Ranch two weeks ago. Mine also measures the same. My Burris Ballistic Plex 3X9 arrived on the big brown truck today. I have it mounted, and plan on zeroing it on Friday. Either of you two guys had much luck in the accuracy dept., or can I expect the standard "ho hum" 4-inch groups? I put a Buffer Tech pad in it, and installed a Masen brake/flash hider. I'm just praying for anything under 2 1/2 inch groups (pipe dream, I'm sure). Thanks guys.:sniper:
 

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A gunsmith I've used for FAL work measures the run-out on every barrel that passes through his hands.

He says that Ruger Mini-14's have the only run-out that has multiple maximums along the barrel. In other words, they don't just have one high spot, they have multiple. More like an S shape than a single curve C shape.

Runout is normal. It's all a matter of degree. I think what you are measuring here is a different dimensional issue, that of varying radius. It may, perchance, be by design based on what all of you are reporting.

The barrel quality is definitely the weak spot on the Mini.
 

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Goodorbit: Your exactly right, regarding the hit or miss comment. I'm on my 7th personally owned Mini-14 (which I have not fired yet), and I have come to the determination that one in three will "shoot". By that, I mean 2.5 inch or less three-shot group. I guess statistically, I should be due for a shooter. I just cannot give up on these little rifles. They are too well designed and engineered to be as overall inaccurate as they are. Thanks for the moral support....................Brian
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks guys for checking, I guess if missery likes company, I feel better. I'm still not giving up on my 1 MOA goal. Still have to load up my lap bullets, and get a glass kit to bed the action. I took out my trigger group, and the action had a lot more movement in my stock than I thought. I guess under recoil the action moves around quite a bit. We'll fix that, smooth up the bore some, and develope a paletable load for it, thats about all I have left to do. I've already cut my groups in half. Come on, just a little more baby!
 

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Doorgunner-

Aw, bummer you mean I have to go out & buy another 3 rifles:rolleyes: !

There does seem to be an awful lot of inconsistancy in the results everybody reports....

... might be the lumpy barrel?

It might be interesting to compare barrel sizes to MOA results. I'll bring home the calipers tomorrow just for comparison.
 

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Well, I have the following loads to test on Friday:

Black Hills 68 gr. Match
Remington 55 gr. HP
Winchester 64 gr. PP
Winchester Ranger 64 gr. PP (Same as above except crimped)
Federal Classic 55 gr. SP

I had to stock up on Hoppe's Benchrest Solvent and patches, as I may be there a while.

This rifle is gonna shoot, I don't care how much work I've got to put into it. Hell, who knows, this one may be the Holy Grail of Mini-14's. Thanks again for the confidence..............Brian
 

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Originally posted by doorgunner
Well, I have the following loads to test on Friday:

Black Hills 68 gr. Match
Remington 55 gr. HP
Winchester 64 gr. PP
Winchester Ranger 64 gr. PP (Same as above except crimped)
Federal Classic 55 gr. SP

I'm going to place my penny-wager on the lightest bullets.

General wisdom gleaned from the Mini-14 email list I used to run was that American Eagle 50gr flat-base was the best in the "run of the mill" fodder. Significantly better than 55gr. The Mini-14 tends to like the 50-55, and actually shoot pretty bad with 68gr.

Then again, your mileage may vary (grin).
 

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hmmmm... I have some Hornady VX Varmint Express ammo, "Loaded with VMax" (whatever that is). They're 40 (yes, 40) grain, moly coated, with the plastic dummy tip.

Says 3800fps. Don't know if I believe that, but...

I wonder the kind of accuracy I will achieve with these? I haven't shot any yet, since its kinda expensive ammo... I suppose I should try one or three?
 

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Regarding barrel break-in: (I'll try to conceal my lack of enthusiasm), I have found no significant gain in accuracy by utilization of the conventional "shoot, clean, shoot" method of barrel break-in on either Ruger Mini-14's or chrome lined AR15/M16 barrels. This is my theory, based on tinkering with my rifles and the government owned guns that I shoot and maintain.

Bill: I have seen 1/7 twist Mini-14 GB's that loved 55 grain stuff, and 1/9 twist barrels that love our 64 gr. Winchester Ranger. I'm not sold on the concept of either of the twists (on Rugers) cater to the heavier or lighter bullets. I just believe that there too many inconsistancies in Ruger production barrels (mini-14 only) to get me too "wrapped around the axle" about what a rifle is going to like. I can say that our government weapons have digested contract 62gr IMI's, 55 gr. Win, Rem, and Federals, and now 64 gr. Ranger Power Points. I am seeing the best accuracy with the Ranger stuff. The rifles are a mixture of 1/7 and 1/9 twist.

Not an expert, just relaying my experiences. Please feel free to fire back some feedback. Thanks...........Brian :ar15:

By the way: Thanks guys for all of your comments and thoughts. I truly enjoy visiting about this stuff.
 

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Wow! I guess I was statistically due a Mini-14 that would shoot. I am super pleased with my results.

Platform: 196 series Ranch Rifle, SS with factory synthetic stock, Masen ss double muzzle brake, Buffer Tech pad, Burris 3X9 Fullfield II with Ballistic Plex reticle.

Ammo used: (All factory loaded)

Remington 55 gr. HP
Winchester 64 gr. SP
Winchester Ranger 64 gr. SP (law enforcement load)
Black Hills Heavy Match 68 gr. HP

Results: (obtained averaging three-shot groups at 100 yds.

Rem 55 gr. HP- All over the paper, unable to average, smallest group was 4.7 inches center to center. Very unpredictable point of impact.

Winchester 64 gr. SP- 2.3 inches, very consistent groups. Best group was 1.6 inches, center to center.

Winchester Ranger 64 gr. SP-2.6 inches, and all groups were consistent. I actually fired more groups with the two Winchester loads, since I had so much on hand. I just averaged four groups though on the others.

Black Hills 68 gr. Heavy Match-WEIRD! The gun seemed to like this load, but would ALWAYS throw a flyer on the first round, and it was always at 11 o'clock from the other two rounds. I tinkered with this for a while, but couldn't figure it out, or correct it. Possibly bullet setback due to recoil while in the magazine caused the inconsistency.

I measured all the groups with a ruler, as I didn't have confidence that I would need calipers on hand. I did the best that I could as far as measuring and averaging group sizes, always rounding down. Overall, I am extremely happy with the accuracy of the rifle, especiall considering it's LUMPY BARREL (LOL). The big question is whether it will retain this type of accuracy over the "long haul". Interestingly, there was very little copper fouling in the barrel, and I only cleaned after about every 30 rounds. One failure to feed (Win 64gr.) Bolt only locked back after last round on about half of the groups (Due to recoil buffer).

One last thing: The op rod beat the hell out of my brass, and each case was dented. There was a lot of brass transfer on the front of the op rod handle. It didn't affect reliability, but I have never seen this before.

Thanks for letting me share this information, especially since this got a little "off topic". Later..................Brian
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
doorgunner, my mini did the same thing i.e. threw brass 60 ft., and the opp rod beat the brass up, till I put in a smaller gas bushing, now she's smooth, brass lands about 10 ft.
 

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Cajungeo: Thanks for the information. Since the rifle currently wants to shoot, I think that I will just leave it alone. I don't reload .223, so it's really not too big of a deal to me. I have just never seen brass this beat up out of a mini before. I have to say that most of my experience has been with plunger ejector Mini's. Later..................Brian
 

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I just measured the barrel diameter of my M1A for Bushwack. Just behind the flash suprressor the OD is a whopping .579! :eek:
That contrasts dramatically with the Mini just behind the front sight of a tiny .563" :rolleyes: For students that missed that lecture, the M1A has a .308 bore. so the wall thickness is...well...a heck of a lot thinner than a mini 14 (I must have missed the math lecture :eek: )
So, if an M1A can hande a .308 round of 168 grains zapping along at over 2500 fps, why cant the mini, with a much THICKER barrel wall handle a measley 68 grain bullet with out "whipping" too much.
We all know that a thicker mini barrel helps accuracy, but this is only a symptom of a larger problem. There must be some type of design flaw that causes exess stress on the barrel (surely the gas system banging away against the block) that is not present in the M1A/M4/M1 system.

:confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
djdkit, did you measure further back toward the gas port area? I don't know, but I would bet it is thicker there, which will stiffen up the barrel. The mini is smaller there making it flimsey.
 

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I will when I get home and let you know. But I don't think it'll be that much bigger.
I did the math and the wall thickness of an M1A just behind the flash supressor is .1355" ((.579-.308)/2).
On the mini behind the front sight the wall thickness is .1695" ((.563-.224)/2)
Or, the mini barrel wall is 25% thicker than a M1A! :eek:

My point is I think the problem really is the front of the slide bashing into the gas block. That force bends the barrel because the gas block is clamped to the barrel. The barrel is in a different place after every shot. That must be why making the contact with the gas block even might help, or padding if that works or not hitting it at all. An ultra thick barrel is more rigid and can resist the bashing movement.
But then why would a muzzel brake work?
I'll field strip my M1A tonight and see what exactly makes the op rod stop moving foward. But my guess is that its not the piston banging into the gas plug.
But, then again, I could be wrong! :eek:
 

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The MIA barrel is the same dia just after the gas port, and much thicker (about .630) just before the gas port.
Also, yes it its the gas plug that stops the op rod going foward via the gas piston that is in between the op rod end and the gas plug.
With that in mind, it would seem to me that grinding down the front of the mini op rod to not bang would be maddness, transferring all that stress to the bolt, where it was not designed to take.
And the barrel should thickened before the gas block, not necessarliy after. That Shilen after market barrel has is backwards!
Hmmmmm,
:eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:
 
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