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· Browncoat
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Attic finds are always awesome; so imagine my surprise when I found this gem in my parent's house! It's a 183 model non-ranch version. Apparently it got misplaced in the move 20 years ago, and like all things misplaced, forgotten about eventually.

Well, since it hadn't been fired for 27 years or so; I took it apart, cleaned it thoroughly, and then took it to the range. I was pleased to find that it fired solidly and consistently. I was impressed! And so; I set my mind to make this Mini like Burger King does with it's burgers (ideally), my way.

I joined PU and started researching. Hardcore. I believe I have decided on an upgrade tree that works for me and my budget. I want you guys to come along with me and share your experience with me as I go through each step, because I am a mini-newb, and I respect each and every contributer thus far that has added to my knowledge in the multiple pages of forum I read through.

Background out of the way now; on to Phase 1:



Although I loved the classic look of the wood stock, I found it just a little too short to shoulder for me. I was lucky enough to score a used Choate fixed pistol grip for cheap; which I thought was perfect, because I prefer to shoot standing freehand.

Installation was a literal snap! Snap out, snap in. The foregrip does have that little bit of play that I see some people complain about (on youtube specifically), but if you find yourself gripping the rifle -that- tightly at the front; your shooting form needs work.

Picitinny Rail set/fasteners is in the mail to be attached to the underside of the foregrip. As the last owner had the same setup- but didn't leave it attached. As soon as they come in, I'm going to OSH to pick up some T-nuts to help me attach the rails.

Phase 2 is coming next month, which hopefully includes a OD Green stock paintjob, an SS amega scout rail and a SS accu-strut LT.

Which leads me to this question; I don't plan to put an awesome optic on this. A good economical holo/red-dot is fine for what I want to use this for. My friend is trying to talk me out of the Amega and to get a rear mount. As this is the non-ranch model; I can't get the popularly recommended GG&G without making serious modifications. Any suggestions from the peanut gallery? Or should I stick with the amega?
 

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Great find! You did good reading up on things, everything you found for the project will work. For mounting a holo type site I would go with the Amegaranges rail, it will be an easy bolt on and help the accuracy of the gun. Good luck!
 
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Aim2MB,

Thanks for joining the forum and you are about to be swamped with good advice. Unlike you, some come on to the forum barn storming with negative reviews based on ignorance not only on the Mini 14 but in firearms in general. Clips and bullets are taboo, they are magazines and cartridges. My advice is stick with iron sights. The Mini 14 is not a sniper rifle and was never intended to be accurate beyond 100 yds. Mo-Reaper front sight and Tech-Sights rear sight is on my setup. Many here on PU and other forums have acheived accuracy beyond 100 yards but only with substantial $$ investment.

GAMOVER
 

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Hi Aim2MB;

Great find and a nice project. If your heart is set on the red dot, then the Amega mount is probably your best bet. You could also try irons with the tech sights package if your eyesight is good. I'm with Gameover on this, the mini really shines with good irons, but you need good eyesight to go with it so if you want an optic then the replacement forearm seems the best solution to me.

Good luck on your project and the main thing I would suggest is that you stock on magazines and parts as well as ammo, when you can find it. We're not out of the woods on a magazine ban and Ruger mags are available straight from the factory.

Hope you kept the wood stock, since you can lengthen it by using a Choate buttstock extender and then use either the "boring" wood when you want to go low profile or the cool camo'd plastic when you want to go tactical. I used one of those extenders on my first mini 14 back in the old days and its a "must have" accessory in my book. It just screws on in place of the old plastic butt plate and adds about an extra inch of pull.

Best,
Grumpy
 

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Grumpy has good advice... I used a John Masen on the buttstock, money well spent. I also will follow the crowd recommending the Amegarange. That's a great addition and looks well either in a tactical or the wood configuration. The Amega is very solidly clamped when mounted and makes a good platform for all kinds of gadgets, including a decent scope.
 
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+1 on the Amega or UltiMak. The standard Mini is going to eject upward more than outward and this will leave the ejection "port" wide open and keep you running during rapid fire. Lightly sand and degrease thoroughly the stock before using a quality paint if you want it to stick. If you want better irons look to TechSights and XS Sight Sysytems, both make excellent parts. If you decide to add a sling to the stock install a swivel on the side of the forend and the pistol grip won't dig into your backside when carrying, and won't influence the POA/POI as much as the gas block sling mount when used with the Choate stock.

If you haven't already, go to my website and view the videos for the Mini14 and give the bolt a good cleaning and scrub up the other parts you have to take apart to get to. It shoots well, yes, but after 27 years greases and oils get very gummy - might as well start your adventure fresh and clean.
 

· Browncoat
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you for your words of encouragement and advice, everyone! I just wanted to say that your vids, Gundoc, is what I used to disassemble and clean my trigger group, bolt/action when I first recieved it from the folks. They're really invaluable to someone like myself.
And yes, I did keep the wooden stock, because laws are crazy here in california, I might find the need to go low profile; Because with the choate stock it now has 2 descriptors qualifying it as an assault weapon (Semi-Auto, Pistol Grip) I'm curious how uninformed people will take it once I add a Mo-Reaper to it.

Which leads to me to question; Is the Mo-Reaper really that shiny (as I seen on vids) or did they change the finish recently to match the finish of the original SS of the Mini?
 

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I have had both a black anodized and SS Mo-Reaper and decided to go with the black merely for the appearance. I never installed the SS and ended up selling it. The SS is has more sheen than the Mini 14 SS barrel. Go the Mini 14 picture gallery and I believe you'll see both in several posts. If you change both front and rear sights I would highly recommend you change them at the same time since they have to be aligned as a unit. A cheap laser bore sight is one of the best tools I invested in to accomplish the initial sighting.
 

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Hi Aim2MB;

Please don't take this the wrong way, its just a word of advice, but since you're in Kali, make sure about the legality of any modifications you do to your rifle to make sure you won't get burned on their damn' AWB. I'm sure you already have been careful and have not violated anything inside the state of Kali (my perhaps flawed understanding is that a rifle can be taken outside the state, fitted with any parts you want on a "gun vacation" target/competition shooting someplace like Nevada, then returned to Kali legal for the trip home - check with a lawyer before you do such a thing though). Just want to make sure everyone else knows not to give advice to someone from Kali who may get in trouble if he or she takes it without checking. My understanding is that their laws are extremely byzantine and I in no way profess competence in them. I am not a lawyer, nor am I an LEO. Just a tired old guy who likes guns and can't figure out why the left hates gun-owners so much.

Good luck on your project, the mini 14 is one of the really good ones!
Best,
Grumpy
 

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Most fun since Viagra was discovered

Great find, I was blessed to trade a Remington 597 .22 and some cash for a 186 series Mini 14 just before the New Town crime. The gun came from a friend who had bought it and fired less than 50 rounds threw it since year 2000. I found Perfect Union when I had an upgrade question and went for the all out do it yourself upgrade project. I just completed
the upgrade and went to the Okeechobee gun range today with my mini and my AR. The Mini is my new favorite gun. Here's a pic , I went for the M 14 look and it turned out nice
 

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Great find, I was blessed to trade a Remington 597 .22 and some cash for a 186 series Mini 14 just before the New Town crime. The gun came from a friend who had bought it and fired less than 50 rounds threw it since year 2000. I found Perfect Union when I had an upgrade question and went for the all out do it yourself upgrade project. I just completed
the upgrade and went to the Okeechobee gun range today with my mini and my AR. The Mini is my new favorite gun. Here's a pic , I went for the M 14 look and it turned out nice
Hi RohaWaha;

That is one sweet lookin' mini 14!

Did you install the Choate M14 style cage yourself, and if so how difficult was it?

Thanks for any info and again my compliments on a fine rifle!
Best,
Grumpy
 

· Browncoat
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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Hi Aim2MB;

Please don't take this the wrong way, its just a word of advice, but since you're in Kali, make sure about the legality of any modifications you do to your rifle to make sure you won't get burned on their damn' AWB. I'm sure you already have been careful and have not violated anything inside the state of Kali (my perhaps flawed understanding is that a rifle can be taken outside the state, fitted with any parts you want on a "gun vacation" target/competition shooting someplace like Nevada, then returned to Kali legal for the trip home - check with a lawyer before you do such a thing though). Just want to make sure everyone else knows not to give advice to someone from Kali who may get in trouble if he or she takes it without checking. My understanding is that their laws are extremely byzantine and I in no way profess competence in them. I am not a lawyer, nor am I an LEO. Just a tired old guy who likes guns and can't figure out why the left hates gun-owners so much.

Good luck on your project, the mini 14 is one of the really good ones!
Best,
Grumpy
Bullet Buttons/Mag-locks meets the requirements of the CA AWB when it comes to configurations like mine. This one doesn't require heavy modification at all; and only takes a minute or less to set or remove. And while top-loading sucks, it's doable and for myself, well worth the cost of modding a rifle my way.

mini-14 mag lock is here!!! and its free. - Calguns.net
 

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Bullet Buttons/Mag-locks meets the requirements of the CA AWB when it comes to configurations like mine. This one doesn't require heavy modification at all; and only takes a minute or less to set or remove. And while top-loading sucks, it's doable and for myself, well worth the cost of modding a rifle my way.

mini-14 mag lock is here!!! and its free. - Calguns.net
Great, glad to hear it! Sorry, I felt like I was p****** on someone's cornflakes when I posted, but I wanted to make sure no one would get the wrong impression. These damn' fora are open to all, and I have no doubts there are some gun grabbers who lurk these halls.....

Hadn't even thought of a bullet button solution (DOH!) but you're right that takes care of any features issues at all, so long as you stay with 10 bangers. Any impressions on the stock - how tight, more/less accurate than the OEM wood? I've never used the Choate stocks, though I've got a BC folder for one of my mini's. Still looking for a factory folder over here, just like the one I had in the mid '80's.

One of the things I really like about the mini is how quickly I can change its appearance and configuration. So in my older gen "goes (almost) anywhere" bag I kept a standard stocked stainless 580 series with the folder in an accessory pouch. Idea was that if I'm headed to a locale where its bad, bad, bad I can leave the folder. Just passing through, locked in the trunk not mounted on the rifle. And even where legal I've found it best sometimes to go low profile on the mini - it draws less attention in wood furniture. An AR will always be an AR but a mini is the master of disguise!

Best,
Grumpy
 

· Browncoat
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Without having put on the accu-strut or done any other accurizing modifications, I've found that my MOA is down from 6-10 to around 5-7 at 100 yards.. I feel that the pistol grip relieves some of the issues of holding/gripping a featureless rifle and lets you focus more on breathing and trigger control.

As far as the choate stock goes; at first glance the plastic is kind of cheapy looking. But it's feels very strong. I don't know how other models fit into it; but it fit my 183 like a glove, no rattling, or shaking of the barrel/action. The only problem that might bother some people is that there's just a little bit of a gap between the lower heat shield from the edge of the stock; less than an 1/36th of an inch by my estimate.

I just want to say that I know that this isn't a sniper rifle, nor am I trying to build one. I just want a fun gun to shoot; maybe shoot some hogs with (legally).

The reasons as to why I don't want an AR is because it seems like everyone has one. I'm a gun hipster. If it's super popular, I tend to shy away from it and look for other options. Unless of course, it's a gun that I really want. :p
 

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Bullet Buttons/Mag-locks meets the requirements of the CA AWB when it comes to configurations like mine. This one doesn't require heavy modification at all; and only takes a minute or less to set or remove. And while top-loading sucks, it's doable and for myself, well worth the cost of modding a rifle my way.

mini-14 mag lock is here!!! and its free. - Calguns.net
Well, I have to say that I disagree with you on the bullet button issue. It could be a non issue next year if legislation passes that don't exempt them anymore (highly likely).
Just a thought, have you considered a standard sporter configuration synthetic stock (ruger, hogue, even choate makes one, ramline) ect? They do come with slightly different lengths of pull, which would address that concern.
In theory, you don't need both a rail and strut since they both act as heat-sinks for the barrel. I would be more tempted to go with a rail. I really like the clean look of the ultimak, but thats your decision.

Good luck with your project.
 
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