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12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Any help with this problem would be appreciated.

Ruger has always been great with help regarding their rifles and such, but I think that when I mentioned some alterations that I did the conversation went south.

I have a stainless mini with the fast twist (an early 90's gun)

I bedded the rifle (properly as far as I can tell - similar to an M1A)

I took 2 incles off of the barrel and crowned it.

I installed an eagle muzzle break/ front sight.

The load that seems to work best is the 77 gr sierra over about 23 grains of 4895.

The problem - the gun consistantly throws the first round out of a fresh mag.

There are two separate groups on the target regardless of a hot or cold barrel.

The first shot groups into about an inch at 100 from each first round and The rest go into about 1.5, but 2 inches to the right and an inch high.

I feel that the bedding is good and the gun headspaces very tightly (about .002 above 0)


Thanks in advance.

CK :usa:

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279 Posts
Try the same test using an unbedded stock, if you still experience the same issues, remove the muzzle brake. At times, those two things can be a common cause of HEAT INFRACTION. These infractions can change the harmonics of the barrel ever so slightly. I have yet to see a bed job I have done be what Ive paid to have done:mad: What to do, if that is the problem, is yet another issue, Bull barreling, fully free floating or barrel casing are some answers. All expensive for a somewhat accurate rifle.
Exceptional grouping at first though, I would be happy if I could recieve those results from my old mini!:usa:

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9,633 Posts
Welcome crokilr to the forum. From what you are describing,
The problem - the gun consistantly throws the first round out of a fresh mag.
This is typical from most autoloaders I have fired. This is do to the first round being manually loaded, and subsequent rds, are recoil loaded. There is a difference in the seating of the bullet. Most bench rest types fire the first round off target then you can reload mag to fire your 10 rd group, or whatever. Of course If you are a hunter You have to site in using the first shot, and knowing where subsequet shots will hit.
There is nothing wrong with your beding if the remainder group the 1" you mentioned. It is only the fact your mini is accurate that you even notice. If you were typical 5" groups, you would not notice the diff. Its just dealing with this autoloader idiosyncrasy. On my .308 Rem modl 4 deer carbine, I site in on the first rnd, and note where my follow ups go. On my mini, and 10/22, I do the opposite. Burn the first round, then shoot your tight group!

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11 Posts
I have had 2 ranch rifles and both would through the first round striped off the mag about 2"low and 2" left of the rest of the rounds in the group. Both rifles would group about 2" at 100yrds with loads it liked.(26gr. 748 with Sierra 55 flat base shot good in both guns) It seams to help to place the first round in the chamber and draw the bolt all the way back and let it slam home. I think it is the way it is head spacing the first round buy the differance in the way the action is cycling. It also seams to be getting better after a few hundred rounds. With some ammo it is worse than others , the mini is very ammo sensitive , just try to find a load it likes.

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393 Posts
I understand the first round deal though I havn't run
into this problem. I use ProMag 10 rnd'ers and have
great luck with them. I use Blackhills 50 v-max rnd's
and sometimes Wolf because their cheap. I have a
Shilen heavy barrel [ well sorta heavy from the gas
block to the crown] and the rifle shoots pretty much
.50 to 1" groups. Now I will say that this doesn't always
happen. I had the barrel installed with a tight headspace
and a extractor ramp cut tight. I did take the op-rod and
shaved it enough that it doesn't hit the gasblock when
it recoils. I also use a Wilson 45acp recoil buffer. They
fit good on my rifle and I have a few of them at the house.

I think a lot of the problem with the mini being a "spray&
pray" pc instead of a tack driver is the vibration from the
barrel as a rnd goes out the muzzle. I do agree the bolt
is a bit sloppy but they use this type system on Garands
and M1-A's and you have to admit, that some of the
shooting one can do with a Garand in any kind of shape
will make ya proud. I still havn't bedded my Choate
stock yet as I'm working with shim stock between the
action and the stock. I don't know if this will work, but
I kinda like doing things a bit different regarding this ole
mini-14. I guess we'll see how it pans out.

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393 Posts
BamBam, a local gunsmith did the work. Cost 165.00 for
installation, head spacing, and cutting the new extractor
furrow. I should have also mentioned I use a J.P. Enterprizes
muzzle brake on it. Which cut the recoil down to not much
more than a hot .22. I use the Blackhills v-max and also
the Blackhills 62 grain moly along with the Wolf. It seems
to open up just a bit when it gets hot, but very little. If
I get a group any bigger than 2" it means I'm not preparing
for the shot right. To get a tight group I take a few breaths
and hold the third. I sight the target, and hold the back of
the stock at the bottom with my L/ hand. I also use a Harris
bi-pod for the front as the rifle is really to heavy to shoot
a steady group. I then think of where I want to place the
bullet as I'm looking thru the scope, and before I know it
the rifle has gone off and there's another small hole.

This takes me sometimes up to 4-5 minutes to do. But when
I show the folks shooting other minis and some AR's what
it can shoot, seems they're impressed or just want me to
go away, I'm not sure which one, but probably the latter.

I should also mention that the barrel is a chrome-moly
with a 1/9 twist. Same as Ruger's. I guess I could have
gone stainless, but I keep it pretty clean as I do it one
every 2 weeks if I havn't been shooting and clean it
down to the last spring except the bolt right after I
get home from the range. I use a mixture of Sweet's
7.65 and JB Bore scrub to do the barrel and Gun Scrubber
from Birchwood/Casey for most the other stuff. I then
coat the barrel and action with BreakFree syn oil. I use
Moly wheel bearing grease for the op-rod and bolt travel.
This has always worked for me. I also run a patch down
the barrel every 20 rnds or so. Barrel cost 265.00 at
Brownells, along with the 165.00 for installtion etc.

When I get the dough to upgrade my desktop from a 75MHz
with 16mb of memory to something that can handle the stuff
I'm runnin, I'll post a couple pictures of it.
I have also installed a Blackhawk ck pc, which helps
with the high scope rings and scope.

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416 Posts
Thanks for info bg's. Sounds like you did real well with the Shilen.
I talked with the owner of Connecticut today and he said he would not recommend the Shilen barrel. He said he gets Mini's sent to him with Shilens on them, and the owners want him to replace them with match barrels, as they are dissatisfied with the accuracy.
I guess I will have him put the match barrel on, and not worry about the extra money, as opposed to worrying about the accuracy.
With the cost of the gun and work done on it, it will come to over a grand. :eek: Must start saving, it will take a while !

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393 Posts
I havn't had any problem with the barrel. I wish I had
a different scope, but the one I have now with discounts
and gift certs only cost about 75.00 + s/h. It's a Tasco
world class stadia 6x24-44. It works ok. I should of got
a Leupold vari-x-III in 4x18 or something like that but
after spending way too much on the rest of the rifle I
figured that's enough.

You might enjoy this site.

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9,633 Posts
Hey bg,
I still havn't bedded my Choate
With your .5" to 1.0", groups I don't know if you will see much improvement in beding your stock. It tightened mine up some, but the big diff was it eliminated the flyers. It won't hurt to try. That is outstanding groups (assuming 100 yds?) from a mini.

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12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I agree with Cajungeo regarding bedding Cg's rifle.

Whatever you have going on there seems to be doing the right thing.

I work on a lot of rifles, and if someone tells me that their getting small groups but they want them to be smaller, but upon looking at the piece I see that there is something totally wrong with the bedding I usually pass.

Sometimes the thing that is making your rifle shoot right may be almost impossible to reproducible.

Just as an aside: I have a friend who smiths as well. Fellow comes in with a Rem 700 in an HS stock that he had sold him. Tells him that the gun shoots into 3/4 at 200, but the bedding isn't right.
Now that the bedding is correct, he can't match the first group at 100yds and he's still working on it.
Turns out that the stock had a bedding point in the forearm and whatever amount of pressure was there before has become very difficult to match.


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393 Posts
Thanks for the kind words. I gotta repeat it might
take 15mins to half an hr. to get those groups.
And that's not all the time. But if I havn't stopped
off at my buddies the nite before, sat in the
garage watching him work on his off-roader while
drinkin his beer, the wind doesn't blow, and all
the " hail marys" I've said kick in, yea out to just over
a 100 I can get it done. I'm still trying different
things with the shim stock between the action
and the stock. Like I said I don't know if I'm
getting any where with this, but it sure has
tighten up the action-to-stock clearance.

My biggest problem is controling the rear of
the stock, breathing and believe it of not,
gripping the stock is a manner that allows
for consistint trigger pull. The trigger is VERY
lite. In fact I messed it up and was getting
double-taps. I had to go back into it and do
some different filing and smoothing to get it
to let off nice and still be safe. Now it's about

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9,633 Posts
Hey bg, I have been studying the BR shooters techniques. They say holding your breath drives up the heart rate, so they recommed when ready to shoot take 3 deeper breaths, with the 3rd breath on the last half, exhale slowely, this gives you 2 or 3 seconds to squeeze off the trigger. If you arn't ready, repeat the breathing. They also recommend using the middle of the end of the forefinger, to squeeze the trigger, not the joint. I have even tried pinching the trigger , and trigger guard, but it dosen't work as well for me. I make a fist with my left hand, with the rifle butt nesting in it, I can make minor adjustments by squeezing, or relaxing my fist.
The only way to check your accuracy is by averaging your groups. I shoot 5 rd groups, and like to shoot 8-10 groups. I measure these groups, and average. I deal with the overall average not individual best groups, that way I can see if the mod, or load is really an improvement or just a lucky group. There is nothing wrong about bragging about your best group if you mention your average group size.
On the trigger job, I will mention a safety test, incase someone dosen't know. If you have worked on your trigger group, test it for possible ram fires, by first clearing mag, and chamber, insert snap cap in chamber, hit rifle butt firmly on a hard floor, or concrete, several times, it should not go off. If it does it is not safel!!!!
crokilr Sounds like your friend with the 700 rem could use a Bug Tuner. I wish the mini's fore stock wasnt so full of gas system parts so I could put one in. It would be awsome. I am installing them in the 10/22's I'm building.

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393 Posts
Cajunego, I thank ya for the BR advise and the safety ck.
I have done the test and it appears to be fine. I think I'm
going to take the advise you and others have mentioned
and get a gasblock bushing kit from that fella up in Or.

I believe this will help steady things a bit and maybe
protect fellow shooters who are on the r/side of my
ranch from flying brass. I'm always a leary when I
shoot this thing and there's other people to the right
of me...ARMED...when the brass starts flying,
if ya catch my drift...;) lol, bg
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