Mini 14 Recoil Buffer Thoughts

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dusty_dragon

Bearcat
Joined
Aug 31, 2012
Messages
28
dear mini 14 friends,
in the last month i read a lot 'bout putting buffers in the mini 14, so i too gave it a go.
i installed the blue 1911 shok buffers in front and back of the mini 14 ranch rifle.
first of all, the rifle runs like a champ and the brass is no longer flying to the next continent.
so far so good. don't get me wrong, i really love the way the rifle feels and operates with both buffers installed, it's just so much smoother than without the buffers, but:
some thoughts came up my mind, perhaps you can help me with those:
will the 1911 buffer in the front, near the gasblock, restrict the travel of the op rod too much (due too the buffers thickness), so that the locking time of the bolt is too short and so the bolt will open prematurely due to the op rod traveling only a shorter distance alone, before opening the bolt, which is a result of the thickness of the installes blue 1911 front recoil buffer?

will that reduced op rod alone travel and the so resulting earlier opening of the bolt (the way of travel of the op rod with a buffer on the gasblock installed is a little bit shorter before engaging the bolt and unlocking it) result in a significant larger amount of gas floating in the stock and destroying stock and/or rifle and bolt etc.?
 

dusty_dragon

Bearcat
Joined
Aug 31, 2012
Messages
28
nothing, just wanted to increase it's lifetime by sparing it's parts from (to much) recoil and, as a side effect, it's now no longer sending the brass to the next zip-code area
 

Voyager28

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jul 18, 2014
Messages
112
Location
Palm Coast, FL
I ended up removing the front buffer and installing a reduced size gas bushing. (.045). Kept the rear buffer to stop the bolt from contacting the rear of the receiver when cycling. Result? Much smoother operation with very little vibration and harmonics.

Brass now falls at my feet.

Bob
 

DGW1949

Hunter
Joined
Apr 10, 2005
Messages
3,638
Location
Texas
Voyager28 said:
I ended up removing the front buffer and installing a reduced size gas bushing. (.045). Kept the rear buffer to stop the bolt from contacting the rear of the receiver when cycling. Result? Much smoother operation with very little vibration and harmonics.

Brass now falls at my feet.

Bob

Mine came with a .099 and now has a .050 .
The vent hole in the barrel is .070 .

DGW
 

dusty_dragon

Bearcat
Joined
Aug 31, 2012
Messages
28
okay, i gonna keep an eye on the front buffer being damaged by time and round count.

why i use the xtra power wolf spring, well just to reduce the backward momentum of the bolt, the mini has so much gaspressure that the xtra power recoil spring and the rear buffer seemed a good idea.
of course a smaller or adjustable gasport bushing would do the same (even better) but is more expensive and not so easy to install as the spring and buffer(s).

what i can say so far (with both buffers installed) is, that the bolt turns fully into battery and the op rod still has play in its forward / backward motion where it moves alone without the bolt.
so there still is a certain distance where the op rod travels alone before contacting the cam lug/bolt and turning it and moving back together with the bolt after the shot been fired.
but this distance of the lonely op rod travel must be shorter due to the thickness of the front buffer, so i'm little concerned if this distance of travel (only op rod without bolt unlocking) is long enough and so takes enough time for the gas pressure to drop to a level where it's safe for the bolt to open.
perhaps i'm worrying too much, but the lonely op rod travel time before contacting the bolt (and then turning and unlocking it) is shorter with the front buffer in place, that's for sure.
also the rifle functions perfect, i don't wanna risk anything
 

TRanger

Blackhawk
Joined
Mar 7, 2007
Messages
799
Location
Florida
dusty_dragon said:
nothing, just wanted to increase it's lifetime by sparing it's parts from (to much) recoil and, as a side effect, it's now no longer sending the brass to the next zip-code area

It sounds like you have installed a needless item which has had a negative impact on your piece of mind. I have a Mini that is 30 years old and has been shot a great deal. Its parts are just fine. Nor is my experience unique. As with so many after market items, they are designed primarily to separate you from your money. Remove the buffers and relax. Believe it or not, Ruger probably knew what it was doing when it built the gun.
 

dusty_dragon

Bearcat
Joined
Aug 31, 2012
Messages
28
@TRanger:
you are absolutely right, for sure the buffers and xtra power spring are not really necessary and lead me to a "mind-problem".
but i also hoped i do something good to the rifle to increase its lifetime etc.
 

TRanger

Blackhawk
Joined
Mar 7, 2007
Messages
799
Location
Florida
dusty_dragon said:
@TRanger:
you are absolutely right, for sure the buffers and xtra power spring are not really necessary and lead me to a "mind-problem".
but i also hoped i do something good to the rifle to increase its lifetime etc.

I understand that and it is a common motivation. However, I put great stock in Clint Smith's comment that during the conduct of hundreds of classes, the firearms that fail to function properly are almost invariably those that have been "improved" by their owners.
 

dusty_dragon

Bearcat
Joined
Aug 31, 2012
Messages
28
roger that ;-)
it's just that the mini 14 was my first rifle (long ago) and i for sure wanted to keep it running my whole lifetime ;-)
 

DGW1949

Hunter
Joined
Apr 10, 2005
Messages
3,638
Location
Texas
dusty_dragon said:
@TRanger:
you are absolutely right, for sure the buffers and xtra power spring are not really necessary and lead me to a "mind-problem".
but i also hoped i do something good to the rifle to increase its lifetime etc.

Your "X-tra power" recoil spring is for-sure reducing the rearward force of the bolt and op-rod, but it is also for-sure increasing their forward thrust. Me personaly, that aint a trade-off I'd make.

DGW
 

dusty_dragon

Bearcat
Joined
Aug 31, 2012
Messages
28
that's exactly what i thought, so i'd never run the extra power recoil spring without the front buffer.

but i think, perhaps it's the best idea (i shoot 55-62gr ammo only) to get rid of the extra power spring (althouhg now probs occured with it installed at all) and leave the 2 buffers installed and closely watch them for signs of wear
 

DGW1949

Hunter
Joined
Apr 10, 2005
Messages
3,638
Location
Texas
dusty_dragon said:
that's exactly what i thought, so i'd never run the extra power recoil spring without the front buffer.

but i think, perhaps it's the best idea (i shoot 55-62gr ammo only) to get rid of the extra power spring (althouhg now probs occured with it installed at all) and leave the 2 buffers installed and closely watch them for signs of wear

On a similar note;
It aint a big secret nowdays that Ruger's Mini is (and has been since day one) over-gassed, which when ya think about it, is the underlying reason why folks sometimes resort to using various "band aids" in an attempt to tone it's action down a bit. I'm also guessing that that also has something to do with Ruger installing their own version of a "recoil buffer" on the newer models.
Thing is though, soft buffers are all gonna fail eventualy...and....there's already been reports (with photos) concerning failures of Ruger's factory (steel) buffer, which can actually break into pieces....both of which puts us right back to square one.....Namely, the dern rifle is over-gassed.

Just sayin' that ya might want to concentrate your efforts to addressing the problem, not the symptoms. Both Bob (Voyager28) and myself have already mentioned how to go about that but just in case ya missed it; The number one thing you need is a gas bushing with a smaller orfice-hole.

Hope this has helped.

DGW
 

welder

Buckeye
Joined
Sep 2, 2007
Messages
1,813
Location
western ky usa
What DB said.
I have had several Mini's and they are grossly over gassed. I tried the buffers and they made the rifle much smoother in operation. Brass was thrown closer and that clunk you hear went away for the most part. The rear buffer was no problem. I made mine out of very thin silicone like you see in the kitchen/baking wear stuff.
For the front I used a Wilson 1911 buffer that was thinned. I just sanded it down to about half thickness and installed it. Fast shooting got through them in short order, maybe 200 rounds and they were quite compressed and beginning to cut through. I just popped on another and kept going. I never experienced any problems with bolt timing, lock/unlock etc. and I believe the Mimi is quite forgiving in it's tolerances and timing. I liked the way the rifle softened up with them installed. These were only range guns and if I used a Mini for home defense or hunting I would leave the gun configured as it left the factory. Over gassing ensures sufficient operating forces with a dirty gun or the occasional weak round. If I still had a Mini I would invest in the gas bushing kit or maybe get the adjustable block. I currently do not own a Mini but still have a fondness for them and the operating system they employ. Good luck with yours.
 

dusty_dragon

Bearcat
Joined
Aug 31, 2012
Messages
28
welder said:
For the front I used a Wilson 1911 buffer that was thinned. I just sanded it down to about half thickness and installed it.

may i ask why you sanded it down?
didn't it fit, was it to thick to work?

i have a WC blue 1911 buffer in the front, but not thinned, it's OEM like for the 1911. and i seem to have no space/locking time issues.

did you sand it down 'cause you had locking issues with the full thuckness?
did you try the thick 1911 buffer or sanded it down before installing?
 

welder

Buckeye
Joined
Sep 2, 2007
Messages
1,813
Location
western ky usa
I sanded it down to avoid any locking issues and to use only enough buffer to quiet it down. The back one I left alone. I also wanted to make sure there was enough piston in the Op gas block to remain functional, which with the Mini was never a problem anyway. I did try a full buffer and there was still a good amount of slack in the bolt and op cam area. There were no locking issues at all as far as I could tell so it was probably unnecessary to sand it further. Just something I did. It did shorten the life of the buffers considerably.

Here are a coupe links you may want to watch. I found them interesting. When you see the op rod bouncing back and forth it may ease your worries about timing the Mini seems to be quite tolerant


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPy4ud7NaOc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqgPu9gSmVc&feature=related
 

dusty_dragon

Bearcat
Joined
Aug 31, 2012
Messages
28
welder said:
There were no locking issues at all as far as I could tell so it was probably unnecessary to sand it further. Just something I did. It did shorten the life of the buffers considerably.

That's my concern too, if i sand it down, i'll shorten the lifetime of the buffer dramatically. i saw many thinned out buffers which had just a lifetime of 50-60 rds, the non-thinned out ones last some 100rds.

special thanks for the links, very very interesting ;-)
 

welder

Buckeye
Joined
Sep 2, 2007
Messages
1,813
Location
western ky usa
I thought you'd like them. That Mini op rod rebounds off the block quite robustly. I'd run the buffers until I had a chance to address the gas bushing if you decide to do that. I have seen many Mini's go for thousands of rounds with nothing except their factory set up. I like the soft operation with the buffers and I'd definitely leave the recoil spring stock.

You probably have already been there but the perfect union forum has a lot of info and some sources for upgrades you may find interesting.

www.perfectunion.com
 

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