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Porch Captain
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm the proud owner of a 187 series (thin barrel) Mini-14. It will never be sub-MOA and I'm fine with that. It's not an AR-15, and I'm fine with that too. I'm not worried about the accuracy or reliability of the Mini, since it has always performed for me. My only concern is this: what happens if I find myself in a fight requiring sustained high rates of fire? I've seen the guys on Guns and Ammo TV run a thousand or more rounds through an AR--as fast as they could pull the trigger--with no problem. If I empty one 20-round mag at a moderate rate, the barrel on my Mini gets hot enough to brand cattle. Could the Mini handle a firefight requiring more than a few shots without cooling down?
 

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Not To Reason Why...
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I've got the same mini, mines a 187 I've done several 30 round mag dumps out of it in a row for shi*s and giggles and I cleaned it barrel was find, yea it gets hot as hell, but it was just fine once it cooled down. Last range visit, I dumped 6 30rounders, and 2 40rounders in a row, non-issue. Your in good hands, if you need more rounds than that, your SOL anyway with an AR or not.
 

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Porch Captain
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've got the same mini, mines a 187 I've done several 30 round mag dumps out of it in a row for shi*s and giggles and I cleaned it barrel was find, yea it gets hot as hell, but it was just fine once it cooled down. Last range visit, I dumped 6 30rounders, and 2 40rounders in a row, non-issue. Your in good hands, if you need more rounds than that, your SOL anyway with an AR or not.
It's good to hear from another Mini owner, especially a 187. That's a lot of shootin', and it's good to hear that the barrel was no worse for the wear.
 

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im not a mini 14 expert and i dont claim to be one , but what about aftermarket barrels ?? is someone manufacturing barrels with better heat dissipation proprieties ? just askin'.
 

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Porch Captain
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
im not a mini 14 expert and i dont claim to be one , but what about aftermarket barrels ?? is someone manufacturing barrels with better heat dissipation proprieties ? just askin'.
I have seen some barrels for the Mini while flipping through the Midway catalog, so it could be an option. For me, though, I'd have to dump my Mini if I thought the factory barrel couldn't handle emptying a 30 round mag without overheating. Some change to point of impact would be okay, but not damage to the barrel.
 

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PatriotPoke, there is always damage to the barrel. They wear out. That's why there are threads on the end that goes into the receiver. The Mini is relatively easy to rebarrel, as such things go, so when you wear it out, put in a new one. It isn't much more difficult than putting in a section of black iron pipe in your gas or plumbing.
 

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Years ago, in the mid to late 1980's, I had the same question. I wrote to Ruger asking about barrel wear because I was firing several hundred rounds a year and had been doing so for a few years. They wrote back about some Special Response Unit in New York which they'd supplied with Mini 14's and these firearms were used extensively in training. The letter informed me that despite several thousand rounds being fired from these firearms, they were still acceptable.

I think it was this month's American Rifleman mentioned the bore erosion and gave a rate in 1000th's of a inch per 1000 rounds that is normal, then they mentioned that they'd seen rifles with a good portion of the bore eroded that still shot with acceptable accuracy because the rifling still engaged all the way out.

An armorer once told me that he was less worried about barrel wear due to firing than damage done by bad cleaning techniques, especially at the muzzle end where accuracy is greatly affected...but he was also inclined toward MOA type shooting which is less relevant with Mini 14's. The one great thing about my remaining Mini 14 GB, is the flash suppressor protects it from my cleaning.
 

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Throat erosion is whats at issue with a high round count down the barrel. As long as accuracy doesn't drop off I wouldn't worry too much. Though rebarreling is something to consider. More rifles are rebarreled due to improper care and neglect than from being shot out.
 

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OK first off the thickness of your barrel has no bearing on how fast your barrel gets shot out. It has only to do with the overall weight of the firearm, cooling and how fast the barrel expands while shooting.

Also your barrel would have to become red hot before you have to worry about shooting the rifling out of your mini during sustained fire. It would take approximately 5000 rounds before you even start to see even a minor degradation of accuracy do to barrel wear.
 

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I know of several mini 14's (GB model) that have had thousands if not tens of thousands of rounds down the barrel, and they still provided acceptable accuracy. I'd be more concerned that the head space may have opened up on an older mini (due to wear), than concerned over throat erosion. Thats the first thing I'd look at on a mini with a high round count.
 

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The hotter a barrel is when you fire it, the faster throat erosion and wear occurs. Those guys doing the 1,000 round dumps from their ARs are indeed wearing the barrel at an accelerated rate. But barrels can be replaced. It's more effort to replace one on a Mini-14 than it is on an AR. Personally, I just don't heat my guns up like that unless I have no choice.
 

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Porch Captain
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
if it's an older 187 series, do you still have the wooden closed top fore end?

Putting an open top plastic fore end on it will "help" reduce the heat.
My 187 has the plastic fore end, which does help. I also put an accu-strut on the barrel. It's supposed to reduce the barrel flex as heat builds up, and it seems to help dissipate the heat as well.
 

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that's like, your opinion
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My 187 has the plastic fore end, which does help. I also put an accu-strut on the barrel. It's supposed to reduce the barrel flex as heat builds up, and it seems to help dissipate the heat as well.
the accustrut (and as i have on mine, the ultimak rail) doesnt really dissipate heat as much as they are a heat damper, which means that once the heat soaks in, you have alot more hot parts... but they also increase the available surface area for cooling, so all in all i dont think they make much difference in terms of overall thermal stress concentrations.
 

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Weed 'em and reap
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I'm the proud owner of a 187 series (thin barrel) Mini-14. It will never be sub-MOA and I'm fine with that. It's not an AR-15, and I'm fine with that too. I'm not worried about the accuracy or reliability of the Mini, since it has always performed for me. My only concern is this: what happens if I find myself in a fight requiring sustained high rates of fire? I've seen the guys on Guns and Ammo TV run a thousand or more rounds through an AR--as fast as they could pull the trigger--with no problem. If I empty one 20-round mag at a moderate rate, the barrel on my Mini gets hot enough to brand cattle. Could the Mini handle a firefight requiring more than a few shots without cooling down?
Do bear in mind that there is a full auto version of the Mini called the AC556. It fires as fast as most full auto assault rifles. Maintaining a high rate of fire will, as it always does, cause more erosion than a slower rate of fire, but I believe you will find that your mini will hold up just fine. :thumb:
 
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