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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Folks,

I know the heating topic of the Ultimak has been discussed to death, but not this particular permutation, which will be the deciding factor of whether I purchase one for my Mini 14. First of all, I love the company Ultimak, not only because they make fantastic stuff and are super-reachable and helpful, but because they are based in Idaho, which is one of my favorite places. Back when I had Kalashnikovs, I was very satisfied with their gas block rails.

However, I put one of their Garand barrel-mounted scout models on an M1 of mine, and while it was a rock solid scope base and added almost no weight over the wood rear handguard, it became so hot so quickly that it made the rifle practically unusable after ~24 rounds fired at any decent rate. Any time my hand would make even passing contact with the mount, it would burn me, and after more than 64 rounds, it would actually make a sizzling sound if my palm would find purchase. The way the M1 is set up, too, it is almost impossible not to have regular contact between one's support hand and the rear handguard, because of how much real estate it occupies. Prior to this attempt with the M1, I had no experience with scout rails mounted directly to the barrels of rifles, so I do not know how issues like heating affect other platforms, but it was a huge letdown that scout mounting of scopes and red dots was untenable on my M1s.

Well, I am now on the hunt for a 5817 (stainless, ranch, synthetic stock, 20rd mags) at a reasonable price, and am hoping to have the option to scout-mount optics. I am not a big fan of putting a scope or red dot directly over the action on a Mini/M14 due to height, impacts by brass, and most importantly because I am very big on the versatility of loading using stripper clips as a backup/redundancy to detachable magazines. The Cogburn stripper clip guide seemingly makes this as much a reality on the Mini-14 as the receiver guide on the M14 does. The Cogburn unit attaches via the rear of the 2 receiver mounts on the Mini, making mounting of a scope or the included 1913 rail impossible, even if I found this method of mounting acceptable. Therefore, to have optics capability, the Ultimak is my only option.

Just by observing the M1 Garand and the Mini 14 in pictures when fitted with Ultimaks, I can easily see that there are 2 factors that aggravated the rail heating issue on the M1 and would mitigate it on the Mini, but to what extent is something I do not know and hope to find out from you fine folks.

The first is that on the M1, because the rear handguard makes up nearly half the circumference of rifle's gripping surface aft of the front handguard, it is almost impossible not to touch it a lot when shooting, and when that nearly-half is made of aluminum, it is going to get hot, especially with direct barrel contact along its entire length. When the Mini is fitted with an Ultimak, however, it looks as if it only takes up a very small area directly on top, and it seems at least feasible that one could engage in rapid-fire shooting in a practical way from all positions without actually touching the rail.

The second factor is that the way the stock is set up on the M1, it is essentially like wrapping the entirety of the barrel in a blanket, and as such the system retains heat ferociously, and a heat sink with such huge contact area with the barrel will absorb a terrific amount of heat. The Mini, on the other hand, lets a lot more of the length of the barrel breathe, and it appears that there is more inletting in the stock so there is more air inside it allowing for flow and convection cooling. As I have never installed an Ultimak on a Mini, or indeed seen on in person, I do not know whether this is the case, but I would guess that the Ultimak for the Mini does not have as much surface area in direct contact with the barrel as it does on the M1 Garand. As a bonus, the Ultimak model for the Mini contains vent holes, where the one for the M1 does not.

All these are things that one can observe empirically without ever actually using either weapon system. What I am hoping to learn, since it appears a good number of folks here have Ultimaks on their Minis, is whether incidental barrel contact, and thus burning one's support hand, is inevitable or indeed likely with the Mini 14. Moreover, when such contact inevitably occasionally occurs, is the Ultimak on a Mini that has been fired rapidly for a high round count get dangerously hot?

Even more, I am hoping someone with experience using the Ultimak on both Minis and M1 Garands can chime in, as on the M1 it is unacceptable to me, and I do not know to what degree the hand-burning and rail-heating issue would have to be improved before a barrel-mounted aluminum scout rail would become acceptable to me.

Thanks in advance!
 

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Formerly "raf"
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Painting the inside non-visible portion of any Ultimak scout rail with some hi-temperature, white paint may reduce the temperature of the rail a little bit. Doing so will reduce the radiated heat from the barrel, but most of the heat input into the rail is done by metal-to-metal contact.

The long-term solution is wearing some sort of appropriate glove(s), and proper training.
 

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Have not used a Garand that had an Ultimak, but I've never experienced any heat whatsoever with any of my Ultimak equipped Minis.
For the last 8 years all mine are Mini-30s, and I suspect the lower pressure x39 round doesn't run as hot as the 5.56mm.
First Ultimak I had was on a 195 series Mini-14, and I don't remember any heat with it either.

In a seige type situation, and you've been running a lot of ammo thru, I could see the Ultimak and barrel getting rather hot. But as AR-Tenner observed, the Ultimak sits mostly on top of the stock, not too hard to avoid holding that high if you need to.
Just your fingertips or thumb tip would reach up there, with a normal hold, and with the op-rod moving back and forth at high speed, I try to keep my fingers and thumbs low.

Having to carry your rifle like this would be warm to the hand, but at least if you are carrying it and not still shooting, it is cooling off.

This guy that worked at my Aunt's ranch briefly, despite looking like Curly from The Stooges, didn't have to be told to not give the fingertips the death squeeze on the fore end. Hold your fingertips ( or thumb, for a lefty like me), down, out, or forward enough to not interfere with the op-rod, and you'll avoid touching the Ultimak too.

Needless to say I like Ultimaks. Nothing gets the optic lower, out of the way of the action, and you get increased peripheral vision to boot.

 

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Looking at the pic above with the 3 Minis, I just noticed all 3 have different flash hiders.

The one on the left is a .30 cal version of the GI A2, effective, closed bottom and only about $13 at Brownell's and a few other places.
The middle one is a Choate, effective, $60 but comes with a nice winged front sight, easy to install. Does add more length to the Mini.
The one on the right has a Ruger Long Cage FH. Not closed on bottom, really breaks up the fireball nicely at night.
Man, that rifle shot great when it had that long FH. But is is rather long.

I bought a short cage blued Ruger FH that I was going to Cerakote to match the gun, but ended up using an A2 that I had instead, and have kept the A2 on it.
I did shoot one day with and without the A2 FH and noticed no difference accuracy wise. Maybe someday I should bring the Ruger short cage to the range and shoot the Mini with the A2, the Ruger and with no FH.
Since then that Mini on the right got the barrel shortening treatment, and for a while it had a strut on it, but I notice no difference with or without the strut used on my .625" barrels. It also got a two tone Cerakote treatment.

I wish I had long arms like some of you guys (knuckledraggers LOL) Then I'd move the FastFire Dots further up.
Better peripheral vision that way, and since dots like that have no set eye relief, you can put them where you like them.
I have to keep my dots closer to the receiver so I can comfortably reach the buttons on the left side of the sight.
Yeah, I know, there is an automatic light setting ( the first one when you turn it on ) but I seldom use it, the automatic feature doesn't turn the brightness down in bright sunlight, so I do it manually and have to reach the button for brightness adjustments.

Four of these rifles had wood handguards, CoSteves Mini-14, one of my Mini-30s, His M1A and M1 carbine all sported wood. I had to be different and have an Ultimak, but this was my third one. Eventually my wood stock gun got an Ultimak too.

This is my wood stocked Mini, "Maggie". The wood handguard it used to have on it was cool, but the Ultimak is so much more practical.
 

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first I've seen the sling swivel mounted atop the comb, guess it works.
I still prefer the wood covers.
who shot holes in the garbage can lids?:oops:
 

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Yeah, that was a 100 yard range on Forest land just south of Grand Canyon Park. The Forest Service had to chain down the tables and garbage cans so the A-holes wouldn't drag them out a few yards to shoot at them.
People can spend $3000 on a couple firearms, accessories and ammo, but they can't spring for decent targets to bring to the range. They brought out old microwaves, tons of cardboard and plastic, glass bottles, etc. and of course left all of it there.
We tried to clean up the range, it was too much for us to haul away so we put it in a big pile on the side.
These same Cretins would come back, drag out much of the riddled plywood, sheetrock and junk to shoot at again, and even bring out more trash to shoot at.

I thought you'd have seen my sling mounting before, Marlin. I mount the back one on top of the stock to help reduce the tendency of the Mini to want to roll way from you when hanging in the front ready position.
With that back one on the top, and the front mount on the side, you can still carry the Mini over the shoulder, do the African carry, carry with the Mini across your back so you have your hands free, or wrap your arm through the sling to steady the shot.
Same sling mounting as this:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the advice, y'all! I am thinking, once I have some time behind my new Mini (should be getting to my FFL before Christmas), I will get an Ultimak and try it out.

Also, it is uncanny that the sling mount discussion started, as I have just been studying how to tie an Israeli-style paracord adapter for a Magpul CTR buttstock on one of my ARs.

And here I was thinking I was already a big supporter of the U.S. military and the State of Israel...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I finally have my gorgeous new 5817, and am looking forward go getting it to the range and putting it through its paces. All the handling of it has made it clear, though, that there is no way I would be able to keep off of a forward rail. The reason for this is my hands are literally the biggest I have ever seen on a human (I'm 6'1", 175lbs, so not the biggest guy), but have to special order 4XL work gloves, and so even with the narrowest, most affected grip like I am cupping my support hand to fill it with water from a spring, each side of my palm is touching the handguard on my Mini.

Therefore, I have decided for optics mounting, I will go Warne QD rings on a Leupold Freedom or Aimpoint PRO.

Thanks so much for everyone's help!
 

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I finally have my gorgeous new 5817, and am looking forward go getting it to the range and putting it through its paces. All the handling of it has made it clear, though, that there is no way I would be able to keep off of a forward rail. The reason for this is my hands are literally the biggest I have ever seen on a human (I'm 6'1", 175lbs, so not the biggest guy), but have to special order 4XL work gloves, and so even with the narrowest, most affected grip like I am cupping my support hand to fill it with water from a spring, each side of my palm is touching the handguard on my Mini.

Therefore, I have decided for optics mounting, I will go Warne QD rings on a Leupold Freedom or Aimpoint PRO.

Thanks so much for everyone's help!
 

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Good choice and you will like the Warne QD rings a lot. The optic can be removed in about 10 seconds to get to the irons or to switch to another optic. I have a Tech Sight rear iron on mine and also have a red dot on one set of Warne QD rings and a Leupold 1-4X20 variable on another set which gives me three sight options to easily carry and switch between and makes for a very versatile rifle.
Air gun Trigger Shotgun Gun barrel Gun accessory
 

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Ralan, how does that trigger shoe help on your Mini? I have one on my Beeman RX-1/HW-90 but none on my firearms.
 

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Ralan, how does that trigger shoe help on your Mini? I have one on my Beeman RX-1/HW-90 but none on my firearms.

migyver - I have come to like it after getting use to the feel of it. The one in the picture is from Accuracy Systems and costs about $25.


It is about 1/2 inch wide which is very noticeable compared to the stock trigger, but still just within the width of the trigger guard which is important for safety. Because of the much wider area under your finger, you do get more control over the pressure you apply to the trigger and the feeling of a lighter and more controllable trigger pull, particularly if you have large or fat fingers, or even insensitive fingers I suppose.

Some people believe they decrease reliability if they fail during use or are unsafe if they are wider than the width of the trigger guard, so some issues to consider as a personal preference. I used medium Loctite on the set screws on mine.

I have been using a trigger shoe on a Remington 597 22LR, that while very accurate and reliable has a ridiculously narrow stock trigger, for over a decade and have had zero problems after thousands of rounds fired. As always, your milage may vary.
Wood Bumper Bicycle part Automotive exterior Household hardware
 

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IIMHO, and having used such "Trigger Shoes", the add-on trigger shoe "fools" the finger/brain interface into "thinking" that the trigger "pull" is reduced. It actually works.

Very common add-on with dedicated target shooters, who have mandated, minimum trigger pull weights, and which are measured by sanctionery authorities.

Naturally, the actual weight of trigger "pull" remains the same, even with the additon of the :shoe"..

IMHO, adding a "trigger shoe" on a Mini can be problematic. Specifically, it adds width to the trigger, which might lend itself to inadvertant discarges when wearing gloves.

OTOH, a temporary and insufficient substitute for a proper trigger job. Do thngs right and get a proper trigger job done.

IMHO, muchbetter a good, clean and crisp trigger on most Minis than a trigger shoe.

I used a trigger shoe on my Mini until I got the trigger group properly dialed-in at 4-1/2# weight of pull. Took it off afterwards. No need for it after geting the trigger group properly dialed-in.
 
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