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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone, I am new here as most of us are and have some questions involving a re-barrel of my Mini-14 that prints about the same as my full choke shotgun. Most do the same as I have been told. My question is after locating and before drilling the gas port hole into the new barrel, do I need to worry about where it is in relation to the lands or grooves. (Timing the hole.) Also how to champher the hole (inside the bore) after penetrating the barrel. Somehow it does not feel right to shoot it out. DUH

All this is because I would like to surprise a few people at the range with a Mini that can shoot well. Previously I fabricated a barrel stabilizer out of a 1/4" 6061 aluminum tube and it helped a little but I would like a lot better target to hang on the shop wall.

I also tried reloading a couple different bullets and several powders/loads without much success. I suspect the freebore to the rifling has something to do with accuracy and so the thought of a new barrel. Considered ASI but the cost is a little more than I want to spend and I also wanted to have a project to do on something I enjoy. Guns/shooting.

Thanks for listening to me and I hope you have a safe and productive day of shooting.
Ed Roberts
 

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Hi Ed,

Well, I don't know how to say this, but trying to get a high grade accuracy out of a Mini-14 is like putting a dress on a pig.

The Mini-14 was designed to be thrown behind the back seat of the truck and pulled out once in awhile to pop a coyote. One inherent weakness with the mini is the barrel diameter. It is a skinny little thing. Once it starts heating up, it tends to wiggle all over the place. That is why the sleeve you installed helped. You are correct in your assesment of the free bore. There is not much, if anything, you can do about that. Except take a barrel blank and cut the chamber yourself. The gas port to the grooves and lands is probably no big deal, I would try to hit it in a groove because I am a picky ******* like that. When you drill the port, pick up about 5 or six brand new good quality drill bits. Take a couple bites, change it to a new one, keep going until you are through. Use plenty of cutting oil and when you start breaking through, let the drill bit do the work, don't ram it home. This will minimize the tear out. You could also stuff a properly sized brass rod down the barrel to act as a backer. Again this helps in preventing tear out and leaving burrs. If you really want to get crazy, hand lap the borel using Cerrosafe and lapping compound.

Another thing you could try is pull the rifle apart, swab down the receiver and barrel with lamp black or bedding dust. Put it back together, the pull it apart again. Look at the stock and see if the barrel is rubbing more to one side or the other. Then check out the way the receiver sits in the stock. I would not be surprised that the reciever is pressing to one side or the other, same with the barrel. Carefully relieve the stock material to ease that up. Once you have all that done, and you are sure everything is sitting dead nuts straight, glass bed the receiver and about 1/2 the length of the barrel. This will help stablize everything. The front half of the barrel that is past the hand guard is a lost cause.

FWIW, I know what you are doing and probably why. I did exactly what you are trying to do with an old $75 SKS. I was able to take the 100 yard pattern down from about 8" to about 2" by doing all this sort of stuff. In the long run, I worked on it all summer put a good deal of time into the gun and it still came out as a so-so shooter. Definitely better than when I started, but nothing that impressive. Some guns are just not meant to be tack drivers.

Oh, I just remember, how's the trigger? A good number of accuracy issues can be helped with cleaning up and lightening the trigger pull and break.
 

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A friend of mine just bought the new Mini 14 target model. It will shoot 1" groups at 100 yards all day long. You may want to see if you can order a barrel and a stock from Ruger and install them on your current reciever.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks to all who replied to my question. I am starting to wonder if this re-barrel may be more than I should try at this time with this particular weapon.

Maybe I'll just get a 700 R...........?

Anybody have anything against the 223R or is the 22-250 really better at 200 yds. or less?

223R, I already have dies, cases and loader all setup ready to go.

Thanks again and have a safe day shooting..........
Ed Roberts
 

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The Mini-14 is not the rifle to learn DYI barrel swapping with. A barrel swap, requires a barrel vise, an action wrench, chamber reamer and headspace gauges and in all honesty a metal lathe. Setting back and finish reaming a barrel is best done in the lathe. Timing the Mini barrel is pretty easy. There is a witness mark (a flat) located on the barrel that once it is properly aligned indicates the barrel is where it should be with the gas block in the proper location. If you get lucky and find a barrel that indexes and headspaces right the first time you win. I never been able to do it with this style of rifle. Everyone I have barreled needed some major tweaking.

The 223R vs the 22-250 is pretty much a personal preference. The 22-250 has a bit of an edge especially if it coming out of a bolt gun. They both do well out to 200 yards. I am a believer that guns are like any other tool. You pick your rifle for the application. If you are punching paper, just about anything will do.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi just a couple of things, first check the rifle bedding - thats the first thing any good range officer
would tell you. Next take a long look at the last 2" of barrel, if its buggered it will ruin your accuracy. Snow or mud in the bore at some time in the past befor you got the gun is a likely.
Its a easy fix with lapping compound. I have 2 folding stock Min. 14 & they both shot 1" groups
RET. Viet Nam Vet PS Thats with a scope & bench

:-B-:
 
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