This is a guest post by Ezekiel M and entry in our non-fiction writing contest.
I am currently a licensed and acting Gunsmith and many times over the years I have heard many people tell me that the Ruger Mini 14, either Ranch Rifle or earlier versions are in accurate. So in the Mid 90’s. I decided to buy a used one for myself. It cost me a whopping 200.00 (I wish now that I would have bought everyone I had seen) and at the time it was maybe two years old. I had gotten it at this price because the gentleman I got it off of was having accuracy issues.
At the time I figured for the price why not. If anything I could take the parts and sell them if I couldn’t fix the accuracy issues. The first thing I did was make sure it was safe but I took it to my range and put about 20 rounds down range at 100 yards on 4 different targets. The reason why I do it like this is to pattern it properly. I used at the time 55gr American Eagle FMJBT.
The Pattern that I was getting was less than stellar. I would get 1 close to the Bulls eye and then I would have some up to 3 ½” off the paper. They were very bad groups.
So the first thing I did was simply clean the bore with a very Heavy Duty Copper and Lead Solvent called Sweets 7.62 Solvent. Shooters choice works very well as a replacement. I have unfortunately not been able to find the Sweets solvent for a few years but if you see a bottle around some where I highly recommend it. After that I did the normal routine of cleaning the action the gas piston etc.
After this I did something that most people would not normally due. I work as well for an Industrial firm and I remembered using at the time a type of molly spray. So I purchased a bottle of this as it comes in a spray can and it cost about $12.00. I re-cleaned the bore with alcohol getting rid of all the oil residue and I sprayed a very fine coat of the molly spray down the barrel making sure to rotate the gun as I go so I do not get any build up. I made sure I let the firearm rest for about 1 week to let the molly properly cure before shooting.
When you first go out to the range I found by doing what I did above, the first three rounds will be a little sporadic. And they will be spoilers after this I found the bullets stabilize very well. What this molly coat did was fill in any imperfections in the barrel, severely reduce metal fowling reduces wear due to corrosive ammo and it did help improve the accuracy. At this point it brought three round groups to about a 1 ½”. Which isn’t bad but I wanted better.
So a few years ago I came back to the inaccuracy issue with the Mini 14. I started looking into the design of the Ruger Mini 14 and it had a fatal flaw. The Barrels were too thin. (This was before Ruger came out with the heavy barrels for the Mini 14). What would happen in the most basic sense is after each shot the barrel would vibrate and move. This would cause the next round to exit the barrel at a different angel making the round inaccurate.
So I looked at stabilizing the barrel. I started looking around at a few other designs of firearms that had had similar issues and they always had a second rod or a rib to help strengthen the barrel and stabilize it better. So I tried a few things with limited success and the problem was that I would require machining equipment to make new parts and I wanted to do it at a low cost and in mass.
So I was looking at some other parts as I have been upgrading SKS rifles like mad and custom building them for a few people. Will one of my customers wanted to add an accessory I think it was a flash light. They wanted it to be a picante or weaver mount but they didn’t want the mount to be permanently attached to the stock so I started looking at barrel mount options. So I ordered a mount from Combat Hunting (MNT-BR002LP – Deluxe Tri Rail Barrel Mount 2 Slot) for the barrel. Will the mount was a double clamp design.
There was about $13.00. So I ordered two spares and put them on my Mini 14. I had an old messed up .22 Barrel off of an old Cooey sitting around so I measured up a piece cut it with the Chop saw and installed it with the clamps on the bottom of the Mini 14 Barrel. The front Clamp must fit snug against the front sight and the second as close to the stock as possible. Make sure to butt up the spare metal piece to the lower stock when you do this. It added an extra pound which to me is not a real issue. But is also gave me some spare accessory rails.
The next time I went to the range and I couldn’t believe the accuracy change. I was getting ½” Groups at 100 yards using some Winchester (Israeli) Mil Surp 55 grain ammo. So I tried some American Eagle 55 grain and I was getting comparable groups. The next I tried were some custom loads with some 52 Grain James Calhoun tips. I was getting better groups then the Mil Surp. So I would highly recommend this fix to anybody
If you don’t have an extra barrel kicking around just use a piece of SCH 40 ½” pipe, or even an old messed up tire iron will work. Really any piece of rigid metal without flex seems to work. This will cost you a grand total of about $35.00. Which is awesome?
As well I have been adding the moly coat product Moly Mist to my 300 Win. Mag, .270, 6.5 X 55, .308 exedra. I found that it helps to reduce fowling a lot and it improves accuracy. I can normally do about 200 Barrels with one can which is great. I have had very few issues and I highly recommend this product well.
This is an entry in our nonfiction writing contest – This contest will end on June 29 2013 – prizes include:
- First Place winner will receive – A $250 dollar gift certificate courtesy of LPC Survival that is good for $250 off anything on their site, A WonderMill Electric Grain Mill courtesy of Kitchen Kneads, and a $150 gift card for Winchester Ammo from LuckyGunner.
- Second Place winner will receive – Two Emergency Seed Banks (stored in military ammo cans) with over 33 varieties of non-hybrid garden seed courtesy of The Survivalist Blog.net from M.D. Creekmore’s personal seed stash. A $260 value.
- Third Place winner will receive – a one year subscription to Personal VPN service courtesy of unspyable and a copy of my book 31 Days to Survival: A Complete Plan for Emergency Preparedness.