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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings all-
It seems like there's a great Mini 14 forum here.

I recently purchased a pre ban through an auction site. It's great! It functions cleanly & all, seems it never saw that much use. But (there's always a catch!) it seems to group the rounds low & to the left of the aiming point (about 6" over 25 yards) beyond the adjustment in the sights.

Could this be a bent barrel? How do you test for such a thing? The previous owner did disassemble the rifle, so I've retorqued the gas block screws (evenly this time!) but haven't been out to see if that's the cure.

Anybody have any other Ideas?

I really like the rifle, but just wish it would shoot straight!

Thanks for your help.
 

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Don't take this wrong, but if you are shooting right handed, "low and left" is the classic point of impact for new shooters. We tend to jerk the trigger sometimes and that pulls it down and left.

If you are a new shooter and want to improve your shooting, try having a friend load a dummy round or two in the magazine. That will tell you quickly if you are jerking the trigger.

Again, this is not meant to be insulting, but did you adjust the sights correctly? Sometime shooters adjust the opposite of what's needed. I've done it myself more than once. For instance, if you rounds print low and left, you adjusted the rear sight to the right and higher, correct?

If the two things above don't apply, you might change your sight. You might want a glass scope or red dot sight, or even different iron sights. Those will give you more "leeway" to adjust. I have had one or two pistols where that was required. I never could figure out why one shot so far off (10 inches at 25 yds), but the new sights fixed that.

I am not a rifle expert, so there may be some 'rifle specific' things others might have you check. I don't think you have a bent barrel though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
No insult taken. As you guessed I am a new shooter.
I'll try the dummy round thing. The funny thing is I'm shooting left handed (left eye is dominate)
I'll also try to readjust the sights. What clues me in to a potential problem is that the sights were alreadt maxed out to correct for this when I recieved the rifle.
I do hope you are right ant it's in the technique.
Thanks for your reply
I let you know how it turns out.
 

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Goodorbit, good luck with your attempts to get your new rifle to shoot where you want it to! I hope someone chimes in with 'rifle related' tips, as I'm a real novice when it comes to rifles.
 

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goodorbit,

Are you using sandbags or some kind of rest for the gun?

If so, be sure the forearm is supported as well as behind the trigger guard. If you aren't using sandbags or some kind of a rifle rest, I suggest you do. Especially for sighting the gun in.

I find it hard to believe that the barrel can be so far out of whack to have the impact point beyond the sight-adjustment ability.

The first thing I would do is to center your sights and start from scratch. When you shoot at a target, keep the same aimpoint for 3-5 rounds. Then go up to your target and look for a pattern. Imagine a weighted average for an impact point, (for example, if your three holes make an equilateral triangle, your weighted impact point is in the very center of that triangle) and adjust your sights accordingly. Repeat as needed. I have been repeating for the last 20 years or so. :D

To move your impact point to the LEFT: Move the rear sight to the LEFT. To move your impact point UP: Move the rear sight UP, etc.

Some people suggest sighting in your mini-14 at 200 yards, as this provides your best zero and bullet drop compensation. I have mine set for 100 yds, since I am old and I'm not really concerned with targets that are that far away.

Once you get it sighted in for your style of shooting, it should compensate for whatever problem there is. Of course if you are pulling down/left then the gun may not be sighted for other shooters. A true 'zero' is zeroed for all shooters (at a given range), and not compensatory for your style.

If you cannot get it zeroed, I suggest taking it to a gunsmith and having him look at the condition of the barrel and its relation to the sight alignment.

You will learn with experience... Above all else, have fun!
:ar15:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes it seems practice is the key......:ar15:

The tip from DKR - randomly loading dummys was very helpful. with some work I was able to consistantly hit.:p
Lots & lots of fun

Thanks for your help.:D
 

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Originally posted by goodorbit
Yes it seems practice is the key......:ar15:

The tip from DKR - randomly loading dummys was very helpful. with some work I was able to consistantly hit.:p
Lots & lots of fun

Thanks for your help.:D
Loading dummy rounds is a good way to find out if you are 'flinching'. I've used that tactic for years, and it just about always works. I've even used it on ME a couple of times. :D

So the rifle is now hitting where you're aiming? Great.

I'm even more blind and "limited" than Mr Satan. I have my Mini sighted in for 50 yards. I can run away from any aggressive 'target' with that much of a head start! :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I do not claim to be past the flinch but once you know it's happening (see post by DKR) with some concentration & practice it does get better.

If anybody has a magic bullet i'd be interested!!!;)
 

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Carlos Hathcock described his mental state at the firing line as being in a 'bubble'. Build a solid position and turn everything else off. When he was shooting to win the Wimbleton Cup in 1965 you could have walked up, stood on him and shouted his name and he would have probably never noticed.
The keys to consistent shooting, ie good shooting, are sight alignment, breathing, trigger control, and follow through. I like to throw in comfort too. Not all shooting positions are comfortable, but you shoot better when you're comfy and you learn better. Trigger control boils down to a long, slow, even, neverending squeeze on the trigger with the fleshy pad at the near tip of your index finger, to insure you are pulling straight back. It is a neverending sqeeze because it is the last concious effort you make behind the rifle until you regain your sight picture and start breathing again. That is follow through. You ride the rifle through recoil as part of it. Keep the cheek on the stock. Dealing with recoil is a mind over matter thing. Not a battle of will, but a simple task of letting go. Concentrate on the sight picture and the squeeze through the shot. Anticipation of recoil causes flinch. (That's as close to your magic bullet as I can get) Finally, practice is THE key. Through practice you learn your trigger, your rifle, and yourself...and through knowing these three elements intimately you will learn to shoot better every time. Now, enough zen. Go shoot something.
 

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Originally posted by Drupa
What is the technique for getting past this beginner's flinch?
There are a couple of ways.

One way is I'll put a dime or penny near the end of the barrel of an unloaded gun, and practice squeesing the trigger for 15 minutes or so. You can do this in your living room sighting at something across the room. This would works best with a self-loading handgun with a flat top. It might work well with a rifle having a similar top. It's REAL apparent if you're jerking the trigger or whatever as the coin will fall off.

The other way is what I suggested earlier; at the range load a dummy round somewhere in the magazines at random. It helps to have someone else do that so the shooter doesn't anticipate which it is. I've done this many, many times, and shooters ALWAYS are amazed how they are "pushing or jerking or flinching". Again, it's VERY apparent when you pull the trigger and there's no BANG but the barrel is moving all around when it ought to be steady!

Have fun!
:cool:
 

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Originally posted by reloader
....enough Zen.....
Great post. I agree with everything you wrote.......so it MUST be great, eh? ;)
 

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I just finished reading "Silent Warrior" by Charles Henderson. It's content compliments the original book about Carlos Hathcock entitled "Marine Sniper". Both books are excellent.:usa:
 
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