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Shooting the Mini-14

 

Our research has shown that special marksmanship techniques can make a significant difference when shooting this enigmatic little rifle. Again it comes down to vibration control, and the shooter can play a part. We assume the reader is already acquainted with basic riflery technique. We lean towards the following methods for handling the mini: Rear stock: should be firmly supported. Firm but comfortable grip on the stock. No deathgrips, just firm and secure. Nice "cheek-weld" on the stock. Shoulder limiting rearward travel. Free-recoil methods not recommended for this gun. Front stock: try using it, even when shooting from the bench off a sandbag or bipod. Using a somewhat lighter pressure, grip the forestock with even force all around. The more your rifle has been accurized, the lighter is your grip (and in some cases, you may do better without it). Your entire arm becomes a convenient dampening system all by itself! Unlike other rifles where the non-trigger hand may not even be touching the firearm, with the mini the more vibration absorption the better. Both hands: Remember to grip the rifle in exactly the same manner each time, with exactly the same pressure. Experiment to find out what works best with your particular rifle.

other tips

Cold versus warm barrel: Speaking of barrel temperature, realize that most guns exhibit different points-of-impact when the barrel is cold vs. when it's warmed up. This is particularly true in the case of the thin Mini barrel. One of our test rifles has about a 3 inch difference between its cold and warm POI. Experiment and find out what yours is like.

Be cool: Built-in thermal stresses can cause significant warping of the barrel as it heats up, and the thin barrel does heat up pretty quickly. Allow some time for the barrel to cool between shots. If you're shooting for accuracy, you will be taking a minute or three to set up a perfect sight picture anyway, or allowing your heartbeat to settle. If you do need to "rapid-fire" frequently, it is strongly recommended that you get the barrel cryogenically treated (see our accurizing section).