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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy.

Back in the day, I owned one Mini 14 and while I loved the M1-style action, mine was never very accurate. It was a beautiful pre-ban with the skinny barrel. Both my AKs and M1 Carbine could outshoot it every time. Once I got my hands on an AR15 it was love at first trigger squeeze and I never looked back. To this day, I personally believe the M16/AR15 is light years ahead of its competitors, not only in accuracy but in function, take down method, repairs, you name it. But I digress...

Now I miss my ARs. I had a 20-inch HBAR, a 20-inch Colt "A1" and a 16-inch HBAR and loved them. But when my state passed a few laws requiring fingerprints and paperwork just to keep ARs you already owned, I put them up for adoption... and bought a new Mini 14.

So these days, I'm back to tinkering with the reliable rifle that suffers from excessive barrel vibrations and poor barrel heat dispersion again. This 583x is more accurate than my old one for the first 15-20 rounds but then she starts to day dream and the groups w-a-n-d-e-r. And I'm not talking about dumping three 20-round mags in two minutes here, I'm talking about 5-rounds at a time, paced, well-aimed fire at paper. So I'm looking into better ventilated handguards and those struts that supposedly improve barrel harmonics while also acting as a heat sink.

But one thing I always wonder is, why doesn't my beloved M16 suffer from this problem? I know it's not due to the heavy target barrels because, as I said, I spent time shooting not only those nice Bushmaster HBARS but the skinny Colt "pencil barrel" too, and both were far more accurate and consistent than the Mini. I'm not asking about the differences between the two platforms when cold- I know this is an apples and oranges question, as the ARs system is smoother and more conducive to accuracy in many ways. I'm just asking about the heat. It can't be due to the different handguards can it? Both the A1 and A2 handguards on my rifles stayed cool to the touch and covered nearly the entire length of the barrels.

Anyone know why the Mini has serious "heat stroke" and the AR does not?

Sorry for the long-winded post.
Thanks and be well.
 

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CantRe Member
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They do! Maybe not so much with what you see on the shelves today but the early models definitely had issues.

The Mini's have other issues aside from heat. Vibration tends to affect the barrel.

The AR has gone through several design changes and the Mini has only gone through 2.

There are some accurate Mini's out there, I have a 182 pencil barrel that gets 2 MOA with my reloads, stringing isn't bad either. Now I do attribute this to my reloads! I run a little slower burning IMR powder than ball and also my loads aren't as warm as factory loads

Thicker barrels take longer to heat up, they also take longer to cool down. There is a trade off

Mini 14's aren't tack drivers, neither are the AR's for the most part. Although they can be given the right amount of time and money.The thing with the Mini is the reliability.

My AR and M4 are finicky with reloads but not my Mini!
 

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The AR Blows most of the heat back into the chamber with direct impingement. I did cut my pencil down to 16" and put a flash hider on the end. That brought mine into usability. You sold your rifle because the guvmint? Shame on you!;)
 

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Direct impingement AR's have less "stuff" hanging on the barrel. If the barrel is free floated, even less. You don't see any high power or service rifle competitors using piston driven AR's.
Also, the bolt locks into the barrel, not the receiver. Whether this adds to accuracy, I don't know. I do know that my AR's don't move point of impact with barrel heat.
As far as "getting rid of rifles due to guvmint interference, Not a chance I would comply. Hell, those that create such laws, flying in the face of the constitution, should be very seriously worried about being dragged from their offices, and being strung up on the nearest convenient tree or light pole!
 

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Another thing that helped the mini 14 re. accuarcy was that I cryogenically treated the barrel & receiver. Shimmed the receiver with the stock and had the trigger worked on. 1 to 1.5 MOA depending on reloads.
 

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Direct impingement AR's have less "stuff" hanging on the barrel. If the barrel is free floated, even less. You don't see any high power or service rifle competitors using piston driven AR's.
Also, the bolt locks into the barrel, not the receiver. Whether this adds to accuracy, I don't know. I do know that my AR's don't move point of impact with barrel heat.
As far as "getting rid of rifles due to guvmint interference, Not a chance I would comply. Hell, those that create such laws, flying in the face of the constitution, should be very seriously worried about being dragged from their offices, and being strung up on the nearest convenient tree or light pole!
Not just a lot less stuff hanging off, a lot less motion going on in the vicinity of the muzzle. The vented gas is carried all the way back to the breech before any mechanical action takes place. No moving parts sliding around parallel to the barrel, , and impacting the barrel inches from the muzzle. None of that commotion can be good for accuracy.
 

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Largely it’s a question of barrel design (stiffnes/harmonics) and steel quality. The Mini barrel is simply too thin and of poor overall design. That being said, you can find AR’s with pencil profile barrels, particularly those of lesser quality, which will also shift POI and open group size when hot. You don’t need to add much weight to avoid those problems and manufacturing processes for proper stress relief will also help.

On top of that, there’s no way to correctly free float the barrel, and the heavy asymmetrical op-rod slamming around certainly doesn’t help. All of the same reasons why it’s difficult to keep an M-14 running accurately.

A Mini isn’t doing anything a decent AR isn’t doing better, and more efficiently.
 

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I agree, but the M14 is a different beast. The gas cutoff system doesn't begin to move the piston until after the bullet has left the barrel, provided that the right ammunition is used. My standard M1A is a legit 1.5-2.0 MOA rifle, using just standard M80 ball, or equivalent handloads.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The only M14 clone I owned was crazy accurate, even with a lot of miles on her and no mods. Miss that rifle. 😞
 

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M14/M1A’s can be made to be exceptionally accurate.

Getting them there and keeping them there takes an awful lot of work. That’s why they’ve been almost entirely displaced by AR’s in Service Rifle/High Power.
 

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Ontos, you are absolutely correct. No bedding issues, less parts moving around, etc. Plus, the AR is simply more ergonomic. Once the service rifle teams found out how to make them shoot, and score well at 600, they simply swept the m14's off the field.
 

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Swing weight of the M14 vs M16 or M4 is also a contributing factor
in target acquisition and accurate shot placement.
Faster acquisition on the battle field is a definite plus.
 
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