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Discussion Starter #1
I have a Mini-14 that is currently getting about 6†group at 100 yards. I am trying to decide whether to have the barrel replaced, along with a little bit more work, for somewhere between $500.00 and $600.00 or replace it all together. I have a Springfield M1A that I like and I really like the fact that the Mini-14 is based on the same or similar receiver as the M1A, I just can not stand the lack of accuracy. If I replace it I may not even stay with the .223 cal, I might just look for a larger caliber carbine. I like the reliability and durability of the Mini-14 and am just not enamored by the AR design (I used the M16 in the military and it is a fine weapon, it just doesn’t do anything for me).

I have had this for several years so I am looking at the cost of replacing the barrel vs. replacing it, I am NOT considering the original cost of the Mini-14 because I already have it.

Basically I am looking to end up with a reliable and relatively accurate (1.5 MOA or better) for plinking and small game that will be “used and abused†in the field. I want a semi-automatic with detachable box magazine that has 5 rnd magazines and 20 rnd magazines available (I am not against a 30 rnd magazine, but I would be fine with a 20).

I am looking for opinions, I know everybody has one and by hearing all those different opinions I hope to get a better idea of what my options are.

So… What would you do? Would you stay with the Mini-14 and have it re-barreled or would you replace it with something else? If replacing it, what would you replace it with? Would you stay with .223 or go to some other caliber?

Opinions wanted……
 

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As I understand you, you're saying you would put an additional $500 into the gun itself, over and above the cost of the gun? That seems like an awful lot of funds to invest in a Mini-14. Seems to me you could sell your mini-14, take those funds and add the $500 you were going to invest and get yourself what you want. As far as accurracy goes, the 22-250 is a dead on caliber, but I don't know about it being available in semi-auto, or the availability of higher capactity mags. The .223 is capable of tighter groups than you have mentioned. Seems to me you could stay with .223 caliber, yet you may have to move into the higher priced .223 guns, such as DPMS.
 

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Thats too much money, I would add to it, and just buy a new one. I know there is a substantial difference but seems like I remember being able to get one for under a grand. I can't see over half for just a barrel.
 

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Before spending any money on it or ditching it please do one simple test fire.

Remove the handguard and fire it agian for groups from a steady rest and let me know how much if any the grouping changed to the good or bad.

I found over the years through trial and error that the sloppy way the handguards fit on the Mini-14 can be the greatest over looked cause for poor accuracy.

Think about it, you have something clamped to the barrel, by a spring clamp, that can vibrate and shift from side to side back and forth on average 1/8" during the firing cycle.
Unlike the M-14 or M1A there are no slots milled into the barrel to hold the sprinng clamp in place nor a slot for the front of the handguard to fit into the gas block assembly like that of the M-14
As a result you can, and in many cases have, a lot more inconsistant vibration going on from shot to shot for the Mini-14.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I thought about getting the target model, but ir runs $1035.00 MSRP and I just don't see it taking the kind of abuse it would see in out in the back country and mountains. I don't know how rugged the harmonic dampener is, but i would rather go with a heavy barrel and not have to worry about it.
 
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