Frustrated with new 584 mini 14 - Page 2 - Shooting Sports Forum


Ruger Mini-14 and Mini-30 Ruger Mini-14 and Mini-30 family of rifles

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Old 12-30-2019, 16:13   #26
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“Did you break the barrel in? NO! Did you even clean it?”

Well, that’s certainly a subjective topic that ranges all over the map. With all due respect, I don’t buy the statement that any firearm requires 2k rounds to be broken in. However, yes i am of the persuasion that break in is a real thing and beneficial, just not at 2k rounds. Prior to my 5 year old interest in semi auto rifles (AR, AK, mini, have atleast 1 of each), I loved my bolt guns. Still do. They are all factory Rem 700 barreld actions, nothing else factory. I performed a dreadfully long break in procedure for each. I hand load each one and all are sub .5 moa in cold temperatures with my hand loads that took weeks of testing to develop per rifle. Honestly i just didn’t feel like doing all that with the mini 14. I don’t believe any semi auto has the inherent accuracy potential as a bolt gun of good quality and that is really my primary reason to not go too overboard with it. My hopes were to do a few mods and test different factory ammo and come out with a 2 or 2.5 moa rifle.

First thing i did with this mini was shoot 5 or 6 different mfg of ammo through it, primarily for testing the ammo, not the gun. I was shooting it all through a chrono to check velocity and looking for ftf or fte. Several groups of 5 of each and i used Montana Extreme to strip all copper between each group, again wasn’t checking for accuracy yet. So that was a good number of 5 shot groups between a clean barrel. I didn’t go 5 shots with my bolt guns. Those were series of 1s, 2s, 3s, etc. Real pita if you’re the antsy type. Im still not implying its fully broken in, just saying i don't think thats my issue.

Im not a former military marksman or instructor but at 40, I have thousands of dollars invested over the years on reloading equipment and components for many, many guns and countless hours behind a chrono and tape measure checking groups. Break in is not my horizontal stringing problem. Please don’t be offended, I appreciate your input.
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Old 12-30-2019, 16:14   #27
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And very sharp looking mini btw
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Old 12-30-2019, 19:45   #28
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I've had modest horizontal stringing when the sling was under the forearm of my mini. Loosening the sling and moving it to the side stopped it. I might have been canting the rifle, I don't know.... I just no longer let anything between the stock and the sandbag when shooting for groups.
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Old 12-30-2019, 20:06   #29
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Originally Posted by sandog View Post
The Mini wasn't designed for a front buffer, but it wasn't designed with a rear buffer in mind, either.
What Ruger calls the buffer is the cylindrical steel bushing that holds the cross pin, and contains the end of the guide rod for the recoil spring. I can't see that part doing any real "buffing".

If you cycle the carbine manually, you'll see that after the bolt is fully forward and locked, the op-rod will continue forward a good 3/16".
So a front buffer isn't going to cause bad things to happen.
I don't know how most guys figure rear buffer=good, front buffer=bad, and only want to run a rear buffer.

As I've said before, the bolt will contact (barely) the inside of the receiver due to the op-rod coming back, but the recoil spring being compressed will absorb most of that.
There is very slight contact.
When the op-rod goes forward and slams against the gas block, there is NOTHING to absorb that impact, and the only thing that slows it down is a tiny bit of friction from a round being chambered, and a bit of friction from the op-rod touching the heat liner here and there as it travels forward.

That op-rod is a heavy piece, and the long spring is wanting to "un-compress".
Your gas block is getting battered.
If you feel that buffers are necessary at all ( some don't) run a front buffer as well as a rear one.
I don't claim to be an engineer, so feel free to correct me if I am wrong
I donít use a front buffer because from my understanding, especially with the newer op rods with a step, they get beat up quickly and need to be changed much more often... seems like more of a headache than what itís worth... if I feel like my gas block is in jeopardy, Iíll just put new gas bushings in instead... with that said, thereís nothing wrong with it if youíre willing to keep up the maintenance.
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Old 12-30-2019, 20:16   #30
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Originally Posted by Steak n eggs View Post
I don’t use a front buffer because from my understanding, especially with the newer op rods with a step, they get beat up quickly and need to be changed much more often... seems like more of a headache than what it’s worth... if I feel like my gas block is in jeopardy, I’ll just put new gas bushings in instead... with that said, there’s nothing wrong with it if you’re willing to keep up the maintenance.
You say people just need to keep up with the maintenance, yet you think changing out a buffer is too much of a hassle?

Gonna have to call you out on that one.
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Old 12-31-2019, 03:46   #31
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Originally Posted by Steak n eggs View Post
I donít use a front buffer because from my understanding, especially with the newer op rods with a step, they get beat up quickly and need to be changed much more often... seems like more of a headache than what itís worth... if I feel like my gas block is in jeopardy, Iíll just put new gas bushings in instead... with that said, thereís nothing wrong with it if youíre willing to keep up the maintenance.
I've taken my gas block apart to change bushings dozens of times on all the Minis I've owned, and never considered that a "headache".

Changing buffers is less of a headache than taking apart your gas block to put in a bushing.
Smoothing the face of your op-rod to ensure your front buffer doesn't get chewed up is also less of a headache than taking apart your gas block to put in a bushing.

If you own a newer Mini and want to run a front buffer, just check the face of the op-rod fer Christ's sake. If there's a lip and/or sharp edge, file it off, smooth with some Emery paper, and be done with it.
Do a search for "Harris Mod".

Or just continue to gripe about how front buffers are bad, and should never be used...Ö.
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Old 12-31-2019, 04:18   #32
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This is a very interesting thread. It seems what works for some doesn't work for others. I haven't done anything to my mini yet. I have over 1k rounds through it and basically I'm still testing it. I found it consistently has a first round low left flyer with each mag reload and will start stringing high right when hot but I don't usually get it that hot so it's a non issue. I did find it does like 62 grain ammo better then 55 so that all I use in it. I only shoot cheap American Eagle ammo in it and have gotten 1" groups at 50 yards but not consistently. I'm sure better ammo would have better results. My gas block looks even so I haven't messed with it yet. Someday I might play with some mods but if I can hit my 3" target at 100 yards, I'm happy with that.
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Old 01-01-2020, 06:57   #33
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Originally Posted by sandog View Post
I've taken my gas block apart to change bushings dozens of times on all the Minis I've owned, and never considered that a "headache".

Changing buffers is less of a headache than taking apart your gas block to put in a bushing.
Smoothing the face of your op-rod to ensure your front buffer doesn't get chewed up is also less of a headache than taking apart your gas block to put in a bushing.

If you own a newer Mini and want to run a front buffer, just check the face of the op-rod fer Christ's sake. If there's a lip and/or sharp edge, file it off, smooth with some Emery paper, and be done with it.
Do a search for "Harris Mod".

Or just continue to gripe about how front buffers are bad, and should never be used...Ö.
I researched the harris mod a few weeks ago and was real close to doing it then decided not to. Im sure theres no ill effects because ive read where many, including yourself apparently, that have done it. What I never came across was what purpose exactly does Ruger machine that lip on the op rod for? Just looking at the area myself, I couldnít determine.
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Old 01-01-2020, 07:31   #34
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SEHunter, my guess is that the lip reduces the surface area that contacts the gas block.
Maybe reducing the surface area would only concentrate the impact force on a small area of the gas block, making things worse. Who knows ? We'd have to get the answer from a Ruger engineer.

I do know that Ruger cares not that some of us like to run buffers, and would also rather we didn't mess with their design and modify their product.
Maybe the sole purpose of the lip is to discourage use of the buffer by the end user ???

I can't see a downside to having a smooth op-rod face, maybe someone can enlighten me.
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Old 01-01-2020, 22:11   #35
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Originally Posted by daddyusmaximus View Post
You say people just need to keep up with the maintenance, yet you think changing out a buffer is too much of a hassle?

Gonna have to call you out on that one.
I said, if youíre willing to do the maintenance thereís nothing wrong with it...

I donít detail clean my rifle all that much, so I consider it a hassle to have to check the front buffer every time I shoot it to make sure the buffer hasnít or isnít self destructing.
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Old 01-01-2020, 22:23   #36
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Originally Posted by sandog View Post
I've taken my gas block apart to change bushings dozens of times on all the Minis I've owned, and never considered that a "headache".

Changing buffers is less of a headache than taking apart your gas block to put in a bushing.
Smoothing the face of your op-rod to ensure your front buffer doesn't get chewed up is also less of a headache than taking apart your gas block to put in a bushing.

If you own a newer Mini and want to run a front buffer, just check the face of the op-rod fer Christ's sake. If there's a lip and/or sharp edge, file it off, smooth with some Emery paper, and be done with it.
Do a search for "Harris Mod".

Or just continue to gripe about how front buffers are bad, and should never be used...Ö.
I never griped or said anything about how bad it is, just that I wouldn't do it and donít see much reason for doing it... Iím not having accuracy nor stringing issues so why would I?... as I stated above, I donít detail clean my mini a lot, having a buffer up front just requires me to check it to make sure itís not falling apart which is more of a hassle than what I feel itís worth...reread my statements, you appear to be getting defensive for no reason.

If or when I change gas bushings, I will put whatever the smallest bushing is that cycles the rifle reliably and leave it at that.
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Old 01-01-2020, 22:59   #37
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Originally Posted by Steak n eggs View Post
I said, if you’re willing to do the maintenance there’s nothing wrong with it...

I don’t detail clean my rifle all that much, so I consider it a hassle to have to check the front buffer every time I shoot it to make sure the buffer hasn’t or isn’t self destructing.
Detail clean?
Hassle?

It's 60 seconds or less to yank off the trigger group, pull the action out of the stock, so you can pull back on the charging handle an inch or so, and take a peek... then put it all back.

OK. I guess your definition of "detail", and "hassle" are different than what's normal.

And "every time I shoot"?

You shoot enough in one session to wear out a buffer?

Sound like something one of those "my" truth" in preference to "the" truth people would say.
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Old 01-02-2020, 03:26   #38
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Steak and Eggs, my apologies if I am sounding defensive. It's just that I'm firm in my beliefs that a buffer is not going to self destruct, provided the person who installed that front buffer take the time to check the front of the op-rod for smoothness.
Just slap one in there and not look at the front of the op-rod for a sharp lip, yes, then you might have problems.

I can understand if you don't want to use a front buffer, but those of us who do use them have no problems whatsoever.
Reliability is my number 1 requirement, and if I had any qualms about the front buffer failing I just would go without.

8 years now and a few thousand rounds in several Mini-30s and no problems at all.
I look at the condition of the buffer when I have the stock off a few times a year, but the ONLY reason I would have to put in a new buffer is when one becomes too charred and brittle from hot gas. And it certainly isn't "every time I shoot" or even once a year that I will replace a front buffer.
Those Wilson 1911 buffers are tough.

As I said before, all my recent Minis have been 189 series, back when Ruger QC was much better, and I didn't have to do a thing to the face of the op-rod, they were baby butt smooth from the factory.
If I got ahold of a new 580+ Mini, I would take the 5 minutes needed to smooth the end of the op-rod if need be, and be done with it, no more hassles.

Just putting in a smaller bushing is helpful, but bushings don't do the same job as buffers. Less gas means less of an impact against the gas block, but there is still an impact and metal to metal contact, which a buffer will reduce significantly.
You say you have no accuracy or stringing issues, so don't feel the need for a front buffer. Buffers aren't going to help those issues anyway. That's not what buffers are for.
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Old 01-02-2020, 08:29   #39
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i would be frustrated as well. but it continues to be hard for me to understand such extreme problems with the mini as i have had 2 that don't seem to be anywhere near as bad, even without mods.

my mini ranch had vertical stringing problems (not as extreme as 5"), but only after the barrel got scorching hot. read the advice here, purchased an accu-stut for $80 or so....and that pretty much ended that. some basic tweaks like adjusting the gas block and ammo experimentation got my mini shooting as good as any auto loader not named "AR."

i'd give the same advice i've given everyone in your position. SELL IT. why on earth should you have to spend that kind of time and money on any firearm? if my experience with a mini had been your experience, i'd have sold it, bought another AR (which you obviously seem to prefer) and moved on.

but i just didn't have the same experience (my mini shoots good) and i certainly wouldn't waste countless hours and funds trying to make a lame horse a race horse.

tweaking my mini to edge a bit accuracy was fun. i got mine should pretty solid 2-3" groups with minimal cost and effort and left it alone. if it had been shooting shotgun patterns, i would have sent it down the river.

if you invest in a strut, you might be surprised. if you don't want to work on it anymore, i would understand.

guess i'm not one of the more helpful posters.

Originally Posted by SEHunter View Post
Beating a dead horse here and simultaneously asking for recommendations based on experience. Iíll preface with the disclaimer that I'm frustrated and the first paragraph is a rant. A request for extra grace is appreciated from the faithful purists.

Miniís get the pass for poor accuracy because they are designed first and foremost to be reliable....blah, blah, blah. So is an AR, except most of them, even budget models, shoot 1.5 moa or less out of the box. My personal opinion is itís frustrating that a major firearm mfg wont fix a 30 year old problem while simultaneously asking $800 for the gun. Its not the fault of the action design, its the fault of the mfg. Im not one that enjoys spending additional money and an unreasonable amount of time tinkering with a brand new $800 gun in order to get it to shoot. If this firearm cost $300, this thread wouldnít exist.

My mini is an 18Ē ranch that was bought new 2 months ago. Ive done the following mods.. credit card shimming between the receiver and metal stock support, including between the trigger assy forks and stock (I'm sure glass/epoxy bedding is better but the action is TIGHT), buffers on both ends of op rod (no ftf or fte), trigger job performed by Accuracy Systems, new Accuracy Systems non adjustable gas block, .045 gas bushing, gas block gap is even via feeler gauges and torqued to 40 inch lb per AS instructions for their HD gas block. Ammo Iíve tried: Hornady superformance 53gr vmax, Federal 53gr predator/varmint vmax, Prvi Partizan 55gr SP, Hornady superformance 55gr GMX, PMC x-tac 55gr FMJ.

Vertical grouping at 100yds using a new Leupold scope and factory Ruger rings (all hardware is torqued to mfg spec) is acceptable to me with all ammo at anywhere between 1Ē and 2Ē. Horizontally however is a different story. Horizontal ranges anywhere between 3.5Ē and 5Ē average. These are 5 shot groups from a cold barrel. This gun has horizontal issues and Iím not sure what direction to take. The only thing i can think of now is trying to bed the fore end and gas block. Of course then theres a whole nother can of worms debating whether to bed or float. I just hope thereís a few knowledgeable people that I havenít offended too much that will still offer suggestions or provide experienced insight....
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Old 01-02-2020, 08:31   #40
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My Ranch 187 had a flat front end, but I removed some metal because the bottom end was making contact with the gas block.
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Old 01-02-2020, 09:17   #41
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Have a new 583 Ranch, with that nasty lip. Ground it off of my older 583 with zero problems - other than recognizing I'll probably always require a front buffer (no problem - they last forever without the slicer/dicer lip).

Due to VA proposed laws, my older 583 (and some others) may need to move to FL due to "evil features". My new 583 is "clean". Ruger should thank Ralphie Northam for that...

I did the "Harris Mod" to my first 583. May swap op-rods with my new one just to save myself the trouble. Same with swapping the factory rear sight on the new one with the Tech Sights one on my older 583.

Or I'll just get a boat, have an accident, and do the same improvements to my new 583 Ranch.

Still un-decided, but certainly leaning one way (you can figure out which way).
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Old 01-02-2020, 11:16   #42
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Originally Posted by daddyusmaximus View Post
Detail clean?
Hassle?

It's 60 seconds or less to yank off the trigger group, pull the action out of the stock, so you can pull back on the charging handle an inch or so, and take a peek... then put it all back.

OK. I guess your definition of "detail", and "hassle" are different than what's normal.

And "every time I shoot"?

You shoot enough in one session to wear out a buffer?

Sound like something one of those "my" truth" in preference to "the" truth people would say.
I will typically shoot anywhere between 200-500 rounds a day out of the mini when I take it out, usually every 2-3 weeks during the warm season... I usually come home run a brush down the barrel, clean the bolt face and add a few drops of oil, then go to my next gun. I got my mini because itís a rifle that you donít need to feel bad about for not detail cleaning like an AR (Yes, Iím aware ARís don't need to be cleaned so often, but they become a bitch if you wait) I detail clean the mini once or twice a year and know that anytime I separate the stock from the action that itís getting a detail clean. (Thats how my brain is wired)...

So yes, for me itíd become a hassle that doesnít justify the means. If somebody else wants to do it and doesnít mind, then as I said from the get go, thereís nothing wrong with it. Never attacked it, just stated it wasnít for me.
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Old 01-02-2020, 11:29   #43
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Originally Posted by sandog View Post
Steak and Eggs, my apologies if I am sounding defensive. It's just that I'm firm in my beliefs that a buffer is not going to self destruct, provided the person who installed that front buffer take the time to check the front of the op-rod for smoothness.
Just slap one in there and not look at the front of the op-rod for a sharp lip, yes, then you might have problems.

I can understand if you don't want to use a front buffer, but those of us who do use them have no problems whatsoever.
Reliability is my number 1 requirement, and if I had any qualms about the front buffer failing I just would go without.

8 years now and a few thousand rounds in several Mini-30s and no problems at all.
I look at the condition of the buffer when I have the stock off a few times a year, but the ONLY reason I would have to put in a new buffer is when one becomes too charred and brittle from hot gas. And it certainly isn't "every time I shoot" or even once a year that I will replace a front buffer.
Those Wilson 1911 buffers are tough.

As I said before, all my recent Minis have been 189 series, back when Ruger QC was much better, and I didn't have to do a thing to the face of the op-rod, they were baby butt smooth from the factory.
If I got ahold of a new 580+ Mini, I would take the 5 minutes needed to smooth the end of the op-rod if need be, and be done with it, no more hassles.

Just putting in a smaller bushing is helpful, but bushings don't do the same job as buffers. Less gas means less of an impact against the gas block, but there is still an impact and metal to metal contact, which a buffer will reduce significantly.
You say you have no accuracy or stringing issues, so don't feel the need for a front buffer. Buffers aren't going to help those issues anyway. That's not what buffers are for.
From my understanding, one of the reasons given for using the front buffer is to not only soften the blow to the gas block to prevent gas block damage but also that the softening also affects barrel frequencyís transmitted from the blow... That is all that I meant when talking about accuracy benefits from a front buffer.

I agree with you that the buffer isnít going to cause any harm provided itís properly installed and checked on.
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Old 01-02-2020, 12:20   #44
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Originally Posted by RJF View Post

Due to VA proposed laws, my older 583 (and some others) may need to move to FL due to "evil features". My new 583 is "clean". Ruger should thank Ralphie Northam for that...
Call me a pessimist, but I'm not so sure. It can still accept a magazine of over 10 rounds. The way I read it, it didn't matter if you had any or not, just that the gun is designed to be able to still accept them... if you did.
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Old 01-02-2020, 13:03   #45
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Originally Posted by daddyusmaximus View Post
Call me a pessimist, but I'm not so sure. It can still accept a magazine of over 10 rounds. The way I read it, it didn't matter if you had any or not, just that the gun is designed to be able to still accept them... if you did.
Yeah, the bill as written will likely change. But as is currently written, I'm good with 5 or 10 round mags. 'Been investing in those of late...
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Old 01-02-2020, 18:11   #46
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If i had to guess, Iíve got around 300 rounds through the gun, all with the same front wilson 1911 buffer. Thereís an imprint of the sharp op rod lip on the buffer but no cut in the buffer. It does seem pretty tough. Im probably going to grind off the lip. Im assuming the face of the op rod isnít as critical to be perfectly squared as say the bolt face of a bolt gun (especially with a front buffer in place that could help to be forgiving of a not perfectly square op rod face) I have nothing to base that on, just seems realistic. For those that have grinded off the lip, did you just use a belt sander or should it be taken by a machine shop to be perfectly squared? Since theres so much natural slop in the op rod, I'm thinking carefully using a belt sander with a good eye is sufficient.
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Old 01-02-2020, 18:22   #47
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I’ll update the gun performance eventually. I put the factory gas block back on but decided to remove the scope and sent it back to Leupold to be checked out. Ive got brass marks on the horizontal windage cap as well as a couple other places on the side of the action. I had #4 Ruger rings but when i get the scope back I’m remounting it with #5s to try to eliminate brass contact on the scope. I like the cross hair being as close to bore axis as possible and the 4s worked well but I don’t like it getting smacked by ejected brass. Whether or not that is a factor, I won’t know until i get the scope back. If the factory gas block and higher scope rings don't change anything, I’ll decide if i can live with it or would sell it. I want a mini 14 in my arsenal so I would still probably get another one. Ill be optimistic for now that ill get it worked out. The more i fool with it, the more insistent i am to get it right.
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Old 01-03-2020, 04:42   #48
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If you flip your scope over the brass won't hit it. It just makes it a little confusing to adjust as the windage knob becomes the elevation and vice versa. Good luck with your rifle.
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Old 01-03-2020, 18:30   #49
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Originally Posted by SEHunter View Post
Iíll update the gun performance eventually. I put the factory gas block back on but decided to remove the scope and sent it back to Leupold to be checked out. Ive got brass marks on the horizontal windage cap as well as a couple other places on the side of the action. I had #4 Ruger rings but when i get the scope back Iím remounting it with #5s to try to eliminate brass contact on the scope. I like the cross hair being as close to bore axis as possible and the 4s worked well but I donít like it getting smacked by ejected brass. Whether or not that is a factor, I wonít know until i get the scope back. If the factory gas block and higher scope rings don't change anything, Iíll decide if i can live with it or would sell it. I want a mini 14 in my arsenal so I would still probably get another one. Ill be optimistic for now that ill get it worked out. The more i fool with it, the more insistent i am to get it right.

I must of missed it. I understand this is a new Mini as in a 583 or 584 series ?? This should be shooting the brass out the side. I can understand if there are some brass skid marks on your scope but this would NOT be a full impact on the scope. Just a glancing blow.


I have Ruger rings mounted on a 2-7 Nikon. I find no brass skid marks on the scope. I can't tell you if the rings are mediums or highs and I am leaning towards highs. I only know they are not lows or extra highs. I find no other descriptive number on them. I do know that the objective lens bumps into the rear sight when I have the eye relief set which requires me to remove the rear sight if I want to mount the scope.


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Old 01-03-2020, 18:46   #50
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Its a 2 month old 584. I don’t anticipate the scope is an issue but just trying to cover all bases. If I could attach pics I would. There’s brass marks on the bottom of the rear scope ring base as well as on the op rod just ahead of the finger tab.
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