Mini-14 14 trigger assembly :: Assembly

Mini-14 14 trigger assembly

Trigger group for mini 14

With the introduction of the Mini-14 rifle, Sturm, Ruger wrought a major coup in the field of firearms. This lightweight .233 caliber rifle displaced the M1 Carbine in the hearts and minds of many American shooters.

The scale, weight, and military presence of the Mini-14 made it an instant hit... the .223 cartridge being vastly superior to .30 caliber M1 Carbine ammo. Few firearms have so instantly filled a market niche as the Mini-14.

Over the years, shooters have come to realize a few shortcomings in the Mini-14. The factory corrected one of these when it brought out the Ranch Rifle by equipping it with scope blocks and low side ejection of fired cases. The other concern has to do with accuracy. The Mini-14 was never designed for match shooting and delivers 3 to 4 inch groups at 100 yards; throw in the usual "human factor" and that score reads 4 to 6 inch inconsistent groups.

The average Mini-14 owner is not necessarily an accuracy buff, but the latterday generation has come to expect smaller groups from all rifles. Many shooters are adept at doing minor repairs on their own guns, and tuning the Mini-14 for its performance potential makes a good weekend project for the off-season.

With appropriate references to "kitchen table" gunsmithing, there are three areas where work on the Mini-14 will pay off in tighter groups. This is a serious project that, while not overly difficult to perform, requires attention to detail from the amateur gunsmith.

Stock bedding, Trigger group modifications, and sights are the areas that best reward diligent attention. Tailored handloads can also contribute toward accuracy and will be discussed, but this is outside the reaim of a gunsmithing activity. Besides, a lot of Mini-14 shooters do not reload, and depend upon commercial or remanufactured ammunition and foreign military fodder.

A discussion of some Mini-14 design realities helps put this project in perspective. As was mentioned above, the Mini-14 was not designed as a match gun. It has a thin, low-mass barrel with gas-impulse actuation. The barrel will vibrate from firing alone, but gas impulses against the relatively heavy inertia operating slide cause further disturbances to barrel nodal movement.

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