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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Let's say you had the $$ and wanted to undertake an different kind of project.

I put off buying an AR for YEARS because every time I look, I gravitate toward a long barrel precision type rifle that gets real spendy, REAL fast. Now the ARs are under threat (along with other rifles).

This got me thinking. If I was to build a precision Mini (not saying I am), how would I build it?

My immediate thought was to obtain an old abused 18x Mini, and get it rebuilt (or get a receiver and start from scratch).

Bedded laminate thumbhole stock
20" fluted bull barrel w/ target crown and built in brake.
True .223 chamber
Custom trigger job
Titanium firing pin for faster lockup (Does such a thing exist for the Mini?)

So what ideas do you have?
 

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Well what would you use it for? Bench? Popping critters from a bench? Or will you be out in the field moving about with it for longer periods of time?
 

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Accuracy Rifle Systems pioneered this stuff quite a while ago. Also there was/is(?) a fellow called Chief A J and another outfit called Accuracy Systems that are doing similar stuff to make a Mini a 1 MOA gun. All it takes is dinero.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well what would you use it for? Bench? Popping critters from a bench? Or will you be out in the field moving about with it for longer periods of time?
When it comes to building precision rifles, weight goes out the window. I have a Tactical that gets it done mobile style. My current precision bolt action is a Rem 700 26" HB .308.....ANYTHING but light.

This is strictly a hypothetical build to see what people think. Ruger has their Target, but I dislike their stock, and hate that harmonic tuner.
 

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I'd start with a 180s rifle. Send it off to ARS (in TX, not the Colorado boys...) to get re-barreled and upgraded with their proprietary gas system.

Trigger group would go to GunDoc.

I have to say when it comes to laminate thumbhole stocks, I like the OE Target model the best. I'd snag one and bed it. (That sounds dirty, doesn't it?)

Top it all off with a S&K or Wichita Arms optic mount and probably a Burris 4-16xsomething with a mil-dot reticle and target turrets.
 
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When it comes to building precision rifles, weight goes out the window. I have a Tactical that gets it done mobile style. My current precision bolt action is a Rem 700 26" HB .308.....ANYTHING but light.

This is strictly a hypothetical build to see what people think. Ruger has their Target, but I dislike their stock, and hate that harmonic tuner.
I own the Target Mini 14. The harmonic tuner does tend to detract from the good looks. I sighted in my Target mini at 25 yards then dialed it in at 100 yards. I was shooting consistent 2 inch groups with cooling periods. I started turning the harmonic dampner back a quarter turn every three shots and it pulled my groups down to 1 inch. The sweet spot seems to be about 1/2 " from the end of the muzzle. I was sold. The rifle has capability way beyond my skills.

I have the Hogue overmolded stock and at 6' 5" it leaves a lot to be desired.
It also is not very conducive to a good cheek weld. A piece of pipe insulation fixed that for me, but the length of pull and hand position don't work the best for me. I am looking for the wood laminate stock with the adjustment pads. I would like to bed it.

A trigger job would be next.

That is about as precision as I need to get. Target mini does it for me.
 

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Mine went to the Colorado guys. I have what you are looking for except the thumbhole stock and fluted barrel. kwg
 

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When it comes to building precision rifles, weight goes out the window. I have a Tactical that gets it done mobile style. My current precision bolt action is a Rem 700 26" HB .308.....ANYTHING but light.

This is strictly a hypothetical build to see what people think. Ruger has their Target, but I dislike their stock, and hate that harmonic tuner.
Okay I getcha :lol:

If weight is no object I dont know if I would flute the barrel
 

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Bull barrel, adjustable gas block, send to a gunsmith that does lapping on the barrel or fire lap yourself. Stock may have to be custom fitted and bedded, maybe some built in dampeners. Gundoc trigger for sure, I would try to keep a fitted factory firing pin. The mini 14 does not break that often but once the gun goes custom, forget factory support.
 

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I think try the least expensive route first.A great trigger job goes a long way.Another thing would be buffers and or a different gas bushing to reduce the force or impact of the piston.

There are a lot of rifles out there that have thinner or similar barrels that shoot smaller groups.The M14 depending on the length has a similar sized barrel.I am basing this on the front sight dimensions ,as I am currently modifying one to fit my mini for the different sight options.I believe it is the weight and relationship of the piston to the barrel that detracts from being a precision rifle.The AR is inline and the M14 uses a smaller piston and two port system and if I remember correctly has a spring on both sides keeping it from slamming into the gas block.The movement is shorter and is adequate for operation,not way over gassed like the mini.
When you have weight like that slamming the receiver and gas block other then inline it can cause barrel to move/flex as the energy has to be absorbed.The barrel and gas block being weaker then the piston will be affected. I guess it's better to say it works like a first class lever.It the force being applied is greater then the strength of the barrel it will flex.
Would rather see the piston placed over the barrel like a sleeve.Even keeping the same type of gas system would keep the impact linear rather then at an angle.
 
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Even with computerized milling and cnc and all that, some guns shoot different than others for whatever reasons. Maybe it is in the combination of the parts. A lot of it is the shooter as well and it may be things as simple as how comfortable the gun feels in your hands. This is exactly why olympic shooters have custom guns made.

I would say that you will have to experiment with your gun to some extent and see what works, how much money you are willing to spend on it and what are your target objectives. Eventually you will get to making match grade ammo because the ammo makes a lot of difference.

I also am on a quest to accurize my mini 30 but I only want to get as much as I can practically get. I don't have a particular group size goal in mind. I have already reduced my group by 100 percent at 100 yards with some fairly basic things. The only basic things left that I haven't done is address the muzzle end of the gun and had a trigger job done.

Keep in mind that a lot of what you expend to get from 1 moa to .5 moa will be money lost because people won't pay for that if you ever decide to turn the gun over.
 

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Me, I think I'd go with the Mini builder in CO. I've experienced the builder in TX back in 1994. Needless to say, I was not happy with the end result and paid a bunch of money for very poor work.

Would start with a SS Ranch rifle. 20", 9.20" barrel, with threaded muzzle 1/2"-28. 1 in 10 twist. Adjustable heavy gas block, trigger job, Wolf Springs, action bedded to a Bell & Carlson stock, Burris optic's using Ruger rings. 1,500 round's and a road trip to Eastern Oregon!
 

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I started with a new Target mini (heavy barrel, tuner, etc.) Have done just about everything over the years to get this rifle to shoot to its potential. One MOA would be nice. However, it has never been better than an unacceptable 2-3 MOA since it came out of the box.

-Have tried several different rounds--both reload and factory.
-Moved the tuner in and out at 1/4 turn intervals.
-Just as inaccurate with the tuner completely removed.
-No consistency between cold-to-cold barrel or hot-to-hot barrel shots.
-Tried two different high end scopes.
-Tried the Ruger factory rings as well as a bolt-on rail and after market rings.
-Lapped all the rings and did precision scope mounts (level, ring alignment, etc)
-Everything torqued to specification.
-Bedded the action.
-2.5 lb trigger job.
-Careful and repeat placement on shooting rest.

I'm thinking there's unseen stresses in the metal in the barrel. What else is left?

Nothing works. 2-3 inches at 100. I don't claim to be an expert on the mini but I've been shooting for 40 years--mostly rifle, and for a time it was my profession (mil sniper). This mini has me stumped.

L
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
That is odd. The Mini Target is usually the one that is most accurate. Did they make Target models prior to the 580 series upgrade?

The only thing I could think would be to have the barrel nitrogen washed, and have the chamber cast to verify it is correct. Should not be required on a target, but I'm not sure what else might be going on.
 

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Gunguy, it may be your mag, I found that some will shoot better than others and will give the lips a slight bend up. Do you have different mags to test with? Be sure to mark them so you will always which one shoots best.
 

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Definitely would add an adjustable gas block. If I had to do now I'd go with the accuracy systems adjustable block with built in strut.

 

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GunGuy,
Is the crown perfect? (just guessing at what could be left to check)
 

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I've tried two different Ruger mags. Both new. Guess I could try another. As for the crown, I had considered having it redone. To the layman, it looks okay...and the rifle was bought new. I've never damaged it that I know of. May try an adjustable gas block. May have the crown looked at by a pro.



thanks.
 

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GG'62,
I was also wondering if there might just be a bunch of copper fouling in the bore? I've heard of 'smiths getting used guns "with the barrel shot out" that had fouling that once removed, the guns shot fine. Maybe something strong like Sweet's 7.62 and a busy bore snake would help if not already done. I'm not suggesting cleaning from the muzzle end as that can easily damage the crown and riflings.

Also, I wonder if fire lapping might help if there are rough spots.
 

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.45K20E4: Go here Mini 14 Accessories Ruger Rifle 30 Muzzle Brake Gas Block Compensator Steel Bedding System

This rifle has a .900" bbl of 20" or any length you want and with the necessary mods is about a $1200 conversion. It is a sub MOA rifle. The mods include, new bbl, gas block, bedding of action and Trigger job. Sights are extra. Available from Accuracy Systems.

Been trying to figure out a reason to spend $1200 on a $600 gun and haven't been able to yet.

I do like the looks of that gun and with my Gray Laminate stock it would look even cooler. This gun could also actually make use of a decent scope, however once again what would you use it for?

I guess you could shoot Prairie Dogs really fast with it.

I wonder if they would let you shoot Nation Match with it since the Bahamas used Mini's as Service Rifles. If so there's a use for it.

It would work best with a Stripper Clip Guide in place. I wish someone would make some.

Randy
 

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