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The new / old coyote gun... The Mini 14
By Popular Demand: Discussions related to Varmint Hunting
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SwampFox
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Joined: Jul 15, 2005
Posts: 1040
Location: Destin, Florida

PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 2:43 pm    Post subject: The new / old coyote gun... The Mini 14 Reply with quote

I was just about ready to go buy a new AR-15 for a coyote gun when I decided to see if I could make something out of my old Mini-14, which is a 181 series gun. The 181 guns have wood furniture including the hand guard, a 1-10 twist 18.5 inch barrel, which is thin by any standard, akin to a buggy whip. My particular rifle is a SS Ranch Rifle. I was shooting about 3 inch groups.

Well after a little work;
1) Removed the front sight and replaced it with a John Masen stainless muzzle break and front sight combo, which creates a long barrel shroud and weight to stiffen the barrel.
2) Replaced the factory gas block with an ASI adjustable block. This block is machined square and can be tightened to a perfect fit with equal openings.
3) Did a trigger job, reducing the 2nd stage trigger to 2.75 pounds.
4) Replaced the sling swivel studs to accept quick connect swivels. This was just part of the package with the gas block so I replaced the stock stud to match.
5) Removed the rear sight and installed a Wichita, Weaver style solid mount, scope base. This is an in-line scope mount.
6) Installed a set of Warne steel rings and a 3x12x50 mil dot reticle, scope.
7) Installed a stock extender by way of a long recoil pad that adds 1 inch to the Mini’s very short stock.

So Saturday I took the gun to the range at the farm and long story short ended up with 1-inch groups from Sierra 60gr Varmint bullets with 20gr of IMR 4198, using military brass and Winchester primers. I also tried some Black Hills 55gr SP reloads and they also shot 1 inch. So without spending a pile I have a nice handy yote getter.

But I am not quite satisfied with 1 inch and want to see if I can get a half-inch group from the Mini. So I am going to cut the barrel off about 1 ½ inches so I can mount the muzzle break with the back of it's tube pressed against the first step in the barrel. The effect should be to create a solid and much thicker barrel from muzzle to step. I will re-crown the muzzle with a target crown. If this fails, I will cut the barrel off at the step and mount the muzzle break on the gun to get 16 plus inches in total barrel length to keep the ATF happy.

If you have a Mini and want it to shoot better, you might try the items listed, they are not to expensive, not like a $1,000 ASI make over.
Best,
Ed

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The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessings. The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery.
-Winston Churchill
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Pumpkinslinger
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Joined: Sep 22, 2007
Posts: 5004
Location: NC foothills

PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 3:41 pm    Post subject: Re: The new / old coyote gun... The Mini 14 Reply with quote

Ed, good info there! I've been a fan of the Mini-14 for a long time, it was my first centerfire rifle. I've seen some 2" groups from mine, which is mostly stock. Maybe its time to break it out again, with your notes in hand.

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Mike

"I ain't no better than anybody else, and there ain't nobody better than me!" Ma Kettle
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SwampFox
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Joined: Jul 15, 2005
Posts: 1040
Location: Destin, Florida

PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 3:57 pm    Post subject: Re: The new / old coyote gun... The Mini 14 Reply with quote

Mike,
These are some places to look:

John Masen.com for muzzle break

id223.securedata.net/c...300000000&

Vidio of a trigger job

www.greatwestgunsmithi...ality.html

John or GunDoc as he is called also has a vid on stock bedding which is very good. The site is worth the price of admission, free.
Best,
Ed

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