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I think that the "looseness" will vary from gun to gun, especially with respect to when it was made. Some guns will have obvious play, and others (possibly newer?) will lock up pretty tight without further mods. Some Minis are accurate right out of the box.

I'm tempted now to do some more work with buffers. I actually tried one once, but ended up taking if off again. I didn't like the "mushy" feel, somehow preferring the sharper metal-to-metal clanging. Didn't have it on long enough to notice if there was an improvement in accuracy or a reduction in flyers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
I've been cycling the oprod, watching it go up and down the barrel and trying to understand how any variance in the piston position/ gas explosion could affect the accuracy of the bullet... it just seems like the bullet would pass the gas port and exit the muzzle before any gas induced barrel harmonics would affect the accuracy...
oh well... its interesting to think about, and at the end of the day, it's not that big of a deal... its just a fun hobby trying to make it more accurate.

On the pics below, I've got the ASI gas block installed and the stock one next to it.

Could the metal to metal slamming affect my vortex lpvo's zero?? Would the slamming eventually start affecting the scope internals?

Does anyone have a picture of their front buffer installed?
 

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Solid Built, I just noticed something about your Mini set-up. Looks like you've got one of those integrated gasblock/strut units. That design can actually itself cause accuracy issues. Having too solid of a rear connection can produce weird stress pre-loads that may affect performance.

Accu-strut uses flex-clamps and a set-screw rear attachment for a reason- it anchors and stabilizes the strut but still allows free-floating of the barrel (as free-floating as a ported semi-auto gun can be). The strut is harmonically-coupled only to the barrel, not anything else on the gun, allowing it to act like a free-floated heavy barrel.

[I once had a customer who had to remove one of those block-and-strut products because the accuracy had actually gotten much worse, replacing with an Accu-strut. Problem solved, but unfortunately he was denied a refund on his original unit.]
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Solid Built, I just noticed something about your Mini set-up. Looks like you've got one of those integrated gasblock/strut units. That design can actually itself cause accuracy issues. Having too solid of a rear connection can produce weird stress pre-loads that may affect performance.

Accu-strut uses flex-clamps and a set-screw rear attachment for a reason- it anchors and stabilizes the strut but still allows free-floating of the barrel (as free-floating as a ported semi-auto gun can be). The strut is harmonically-coupled only to the barrel, not anything else on the gun, allowing it to act like a free-floated heavy barrel.

[I once had a customer who had to remove one of those block-and-strut products because the accuracy had actually gotten much worse, replacing with an Accu-strut. Problem solved, but unfortunately he was denied a refund on his original unit.]
Damn... I thought it was supposed to improve accuracy... spent over $200 on it... I thought the rigidity was supposed to keep the barrel from "flexing" when it heats up...
I understand the closer to free floating, the better...
I've also got one of those Choate flash hiders installed... would that have any potential negative impact on accuracy?
 

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Barrel rigidity is what we're after, but it must be accomplished without causing worse issues. A heavy-handed approach using solid billet clamps and firm gasblock attachment might sound like a great idea, but it actually just preloads the barrel with all kinds of internal stress.

This is the danger when someone tries to copy what seems like a good design, but has done zero R&D of their own and has insufficient knowledge of the theory behind it.

I don't see a problem using a muzzle device with a barrel strut, in fact I generally recommend doing both for maximum accurizing effect.
 

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Damn... I thought it was supposed to improve accuracy... spent over $200 on it... I thought the rigidity was supposed to keep the barrel from "flexing" when it heats up...
I understand the closer to free floating, the better...
I've also got one of those Choate flash hiders installed... would that have any potential negative impact on accuracy?
In my opinion a properly installed Choate device is likely to enhance accuracy, especially on a Mini-14 with a "Pencil-barrel". What is certain is that you will have a much better and protected front sight, and an effective A2 style flash suppressor.
 

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I've read in several places that the metal to metal banging of the oprod against the gas block affects accuracy. But, I don't understand how....
Trigger gets pulled, powder explodes, bullet shoots out, gas goes through piston and forces op rod back/ compressing recoil spring, recoil spring slams oprod forward, a new round is loaded, and the oprod slams home against the gas block long after the bullet leaves.
How does this process affect accuracy.... how could that projectile be affected by the slamming op-rod after its passed the muzzle?

(Also, my piston has a minute bit of play in it.. could this affect accuracy? Is the slamming op-rod changing the position of the gas port bushing?)

Let's keep these factors constant: good ammo, stock magazines,.050 gas port bushing, accustrut Harmonic barrel stabilizer, Solid bench rest, upgraded trigger job, great scope and seekins rings.... clean gun/ barrel and lightly lubed parts, 30 inch lbs and evenly torqued gas block screws, glass bedded stock.... and let's assume I'm a decent shooter ( I consistently get sub MOA on my Ruger American Hunter).

Please help me understand how the metal to metal slamming of the op-rod against the gas block affects accuracy?
I'm just trying to understand why the Mini-14 isn't consistently more accurate... I'm ok with it, I just want to know why.
"How does this process affect accuracy.... how could that projectile be affected by the slamming op-rod after its passed the muzzle?"

Good question. Giving this some thought, my opinion is it doesn't because there is no way it can affect the bullet once it has left the barrel. If, and I don't know if this is the case, the op rod is not moving before the bullet is gone, basic physics would determine that if there is no action, there can be no reaction. If the op rod does move before that bullet is gone that could have an effect on accuracy I suppose. The only way I can see the op rod affecting accuracy is if it changes the orientation/fit/alignment of the barrel, action or sight alignment after it slams forward before the next shot, or if there is a vibration that lingers in the barrel that affects the next round fired. There may be something inherent in the design of the action, barrel or even the trigger release or the striker hitting the firing pin/primer that introduces some kind of harmonic vibration/barrel flex just before or during the cartridge ignition, which could be why devices like the Accu Strut seem to work to increase accuracy in some rifles. I have a 582 series Mini and I tried the Accu Strut and didn't notice any apparent increase in accuracy for my use, so I took it off to reduce weight and keep the rifle uncluttered. Also, Minis are not known for having the tightest manufacturing tolerances which could also be in play, with the tradeoff being increased reliability which is completely acceptable to me. I accept the Mini for what it is and with ammo it likes I'm around 2-2.5 MOA at 100 yds which is just fine with me. Here is another opinion that makes some interesting points.
 

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To take the op rod out of play simply install a gas bushing without a hole. It is in effect a bolt action rifle after that. I have wanted to try that but it's on the "to do" list.
kwg
That really would be an interesting experiment and could give some interesting results if the same rifle and ammunition were used with the gas port blocked and the op rod not moving compared with a working bushing/op rod. I have my doubts about the op rod being a major issue if the bullet has left the barrel before it moves since no additional forces would be in play if it is not moving, but that's just me.
 

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Question why did Ruger stop using a roller bearing on the early Mini's bolt?
Was it because of an alignment problem or the didn't last?
 

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I've heard of the experiment being run, i.e. closing off the gasport completely (either replacing the gas bushing with a plug, or using an adjustable gasblock). It does pretty much confer bolt-action performance to the Mini.

I believe there's also a version of the Mini that can only be manually cycled due to legal restrictions (i.e. you have to pull the op rod back for every shot). I wonder how those models perform regading accuracy.
 

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I've heard of the experiment being run, i.e. closing off the gasport completely (either replacing the gas bushing with a plug, or using an adjustable gasblock). It does pretty much confer bolt-action performance to the Mini.

I believe there's also a version of the Mini that can only be manually cycled due to legal restrictions (i.e. you have to pull the op rod back for every shot). I wonder how those models perform regading accuracy.
I believe those models were shipped to the UK and perhaps other countries with similar laws.

Have you shipped many Accu-Struts to the UK? That might tell you something.

 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
I'm now taking the position that the slamming op-rod doesn't affect the accuracy as the bullet most likely passes the muzzle before gas blast can have an affect. Also, even if the op-rod lands slightly off kilter from the previous fired position, all that really matters is whether or not a new round was fed into the receiver.... once the round is in the receiver, you've got a new & "level" playing field..everything is reset to base level. when the firing pin strikes the primer, the main variables at play are ammunition inconsistencies and barrel harmonics (and shooter input). Our barrels must be affected by the gas block making it non free floating... that torqued down gas block must be the culprit.
If I'm wrong, which there's a good chance, I'd really like to know how slamming op-rods and different gas pressures/ charging handle positions can affect a bullets path ...
 

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IMHO, yes - the bullet exits the barrel before the op-rod is in play, but the bullet does start some barrel harmonics as it exits and those harmonics need to settle down before the next round is fired. Rapid-fire doesn't allow this, but kkina's Accustrut helps reduce the harmonics, as does a flash hider as an attenuation.

If I was into extreme accuracy, I'd just get a bolt gun (which I did), but I got my Mini(s) as a carbine - not a sniper rifle.

Let's not discount the condition of the crown for accuracy, and equal spacing and torquing the screws of the upper and lower gas block.

Nonetheless, this is an interesting thread and gets the intellectual juices flowing. There were similar discussions regarding the 1911 IIRC (the bullet left the barrel before the slide engaged).
 

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...The only way I can see the op rod affecting accuracy is if it changes the orientation/fit/alignment of the barrel, action or sight alignment after it slams forward before the next shot...
Yup! That's the way I understand it. The slide (op rod) impact can cause the action to shift in the stock after every shot. The Mini 14 receiver is very similar to the M1 rifle's. Most competitive M1 shooters only remove the action from the stock once a year, in the off season. After reinstalling the action in the stock, most of them need to shoot the rifle a bit before the action "settles" in the stock. For those who have used epoxy to bed the Mini 14 action in the stock, many report better consistency and tighter shot groups. It makes sense, as a rifle's "accuracy" is a lot of consistent repeatability (or is that repeatable consistency?). There are a few design features of the Mini 14 that act to reduce the consistency.
 

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Lots of interesting ideas being proposed.....................................As always, Correct initial assembly of the gas block on the barrel, and CORRECTLY aligning the gas block and Piston with the Op-rod is essential. Not so sure this "Correct assembly" was always done by Ruger, and some valued posters (sandog) have suggested gas block screw values of 25 Inch-Lbs are more likely to be "accuracy-inducing" than the much greater gas block torque values that Ruger specifies. Strongly suggest always replacing previously torqued fasteners with NEW ones.......................I hope the above blather is useful to most folks; I DO tend to be "windy" but I hope my comments might still be useful.
FWIW, I just received a new replacement gas pipe from Accuracy Systems (AC), my old one had pitted to the point of gas leaks so bad the op-rod would not go back far enough to pick up the next round.
In the instructions, AC says to torque the gas block screws to 40 inch pounds.
25 inch pounds vs 40 inch pounds......humm????
Don't know which is best for accuracy but will know next thursday if the temp is not in the 90's. Gee, more things to play with.
 
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