Probally a silly accuracy question

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NOTPARS

Bearcat
Joined
Aug 27, 2007
Messages
37
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Lee's Summit, Missouri USA
Ruger produces two mini-14s with a harmonic balancer. Once adjusted properly, it is supposed to "balance" the vibration or whip effect of the barrel which has a negative impact on accuracy. If one acquired a stainless steel ring, drilled it for an allen head screw, coated the screw end in rubber, would it be possible to slide this along the barrel and obtain the same effect? How to get it over the sight? Another problem.
 

Daveboone

Single-Sixer
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Feb 22, 2008
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Tug Hill, NY
The principle is so simple. When I worked in a machine shop we always intended to fine thread the end of a barrel and install an adjustable sleeve on the end to try it out. I am sure the ring on the barrel has to match very smoothly for an appropriate affect, but it would be fun to experiment with. I was surprised after Browning came out with the invention that it didnt become more popular if it worked as well as they touted it.
 

Sig685

Single-Sixer
Joined
Oct 21, 2003
Messages
177
Location
Texas
In my opinion all we are trying to accomplish with these "dampeners" is trying to make up for an inadequate barrel. Yes, barrel whip and vibrations exist in all barrels but some are more affected than others. If you develop a load and use the same bullet every time, you should be able to get predictable impacts, or in other words, good groups. Another bullet may simply impact at another location, but the should group at that location.

But all this presupposes that the barrel is thick enough and/or has been properly stress relieved. The Mini-14 has had a pretty crappy barrel installed on it from the beginning and has suffered from the problem of barrel shift after a few rounds. When you then design a new Mini-14 and call it a Target Rifle but you keep the same crappy barrel on it, then you have to do something to try to justify the use of the moniker, Target. Enter the "harmonic dampener." Now you get to play with another variable trying to get the rifle to group properly.

When I tested the Target-14, I found it to be somewhat more accurate than a run-of-the-mill Mini-14, but I did not detect ant beneficial effect from th dampener. I tried it at different positions and it made little to no change. It's been a few years since the intro of the Target-14 and by now, Iwould think that people would have reported if they had found benefits for different positions of the dampener with various ammo. For instance, if it really worked I would expect to read "when you use heavy bullets, like 68gr or more, the dampener should be at its maximum setting, almost falling off the barrel. When you shoot the 45 gr bullets, it's the other way, the dampener should be as close to the receiver as possible." Or some variation on this. Now before you come back and say something like "every barrel is a law unto itself," let me just answer bullshit. While there may be some slight variations between barrel if they were that unpredictable, barrel makers would not be selling barrel and competitors would not have anything on which to rely. By the time I ahd found some type load that would work fine in my new barrel, it would be old and in need of a change.

If the harmonic dampener thing really worked, you would see them on competition rifles everywhere. If you think cost would be a gating factor, think again; serious competitors have no problems dropping some money if that would make a difference in the scores I have never seen one on the line. All I ever see are straight stainless steel unfluted barrel with perhaps a mirage shield velcroed on it; we don't put crap on the barrel.
 

NOTPARS

Bearcat
Joined
Aug 27, 2007
Messages
37
Location
Lee's Summit, Missouri USA
Wow, that is a lot to think about. I did read one review of the target rifle, and, for the money, there was not a big enough difference for me. If it was a simple fix, then I might experiment but it sounds like it might be a waste of time. I wonder if the shorter 16" barrel does any better.
 

pisgah

Buckeye
Joined
Apr 17, 2006
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1,633
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Upstate SC
The harmonic thingies can work, and dramatically so, on some rifles. And, yes, they are dead-simple -- just sliding weights, no magic.

Normally, a handloader tunes a load to work in the rifle, and sometimes that doesn't work out very well. With the dampener, you have a way to tune the barrel to the load, too. They are not guaranteeed to help every rifle, but the ones they will help are helped a LOT.

A buddy had a tang-safety Model 77 in .270 for years and never found a load that did better than about 1.75" at 100 yards -- not the worst, but he wanted better. With a dampener that he made up in his neighbor's home machine shop, he tested his best load, and after experimenting with the weight position he now consistently gets 1/2" 3-shot groups with that load.
 

NOTPARS

Bearcat
Joined
Aug 27, 2007
Messages
37
Location
Lee's Summit, Missouri USA
Thanks, that is a good explanation. On some forums the posters really trash Rugers saying they shoot "minute of barn." I have had quite a few and found them better than that. I bought a younger brother a Ruger P90 and was told it was not accurate. I was pleasantly surprised by its trigger and accuracy. For the mini-14, what I wanted was "combat" accuracy and had paid a huge amount to buy a special model. It is way more accurate than I need or want and not a defense type piece. This will help.
 

Snake45

Hawkeye
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NOTPARS":1bwkd658 said:
It is way more accurate than I need or want....
In almost 40 years of reading about guns, I don't believe I have ever seen those words put together in that order before.... :shock:
 

NOTPARS

Bearcat
Joined
Aug 27, 2007
Messages
37
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Lee's Summit, Missouri USA
You're probably right. It has to do with what I was looking for. I have always loved the mini-14 and let myself get spooked by the talk about how bad the mini's accuracy was and how badly the AR platform jams. So, I decided to order a mini-14 from ARS in Texas. It came with a tack driving Walther-Lothar stainless barrel and many other mods. Even with a cheap Tasco scope, it was putting the rounds into mostly one hole at 100 meters! That is great, but what I wanted was an accurate "combat" or defense piece. This rifle is way too pretty and accurate to use for such a mission profile. I target shoot with it mostly.
 

Sig685

Single-Sixer
Joined
Oct 21, 2003
Messages
177
Location
Texas
We have left reality for parody now. If you feel the Mini-14 is way more accurate than you need or want then by all means stay away from ARs. Like Snake45, I had never seen those words in that order in the same sentence. Your car probably goes faster and has way better gas mileage than you need ot want.

The Mini-14 gets trashed here also, and it really is minute of barn, provided you shoot it from inside the barn. On the other hand I am very pleased for you that you like your Mini-14 with a trash driving Lothar Walther barrel. Those high-volume button-rifled barrels are a definite step up from the regular Mini-14 noodle barrels. If you just want "combat" accuracy, shoot some surplus ammo, or maybe Wolf. What "mission profile?"

As for the AR jamming, do you actually believe everything you read on the Internet?

Final question, if your Mini-14 is currentlya reliable sub-1/4 MOA rifle and is too accurate for your needs and wants, why are you looking at adding a harmonic dampener to it?
 

NOTPARS

Bearcat
Joined
Aug 27, 2007
Messages
37
Location
Lee's Summit, Missouri USA
I'm afraid I don't understand why you suggest my post was a parody. Perhaps it is because you're not familiar with the term "mission profile?" Each tool in my garage has a purpose for which it is intended. It may work employed in a function for which it was not intended but this will not be the optimum use of that tool. The same principle can be applied to firearms. I was looking for a rifle that could serve as a defense tool especially in a post-Katrina/New Orleans scenario. I had been mislead to believe that AR15s were problematic on the one hand and mini-14's very inaccurate on the other. Because I had not established a solid "mission profile," why I wanted the rilfe and what for, I did not spend enough time researching what would satisfy the profile. I wanted something more accurate than "minute-of-barn" but it did not have to be a tack driver. Had I developed a profile first beyond an idea, I would have spent more time ascertaining not only if the mini-14 was accurate enough, but how did it function during prolonged shooting? Did the barrel heat and whip effect lead to unacceptable stringing of shots for example. The answer to those questions suggests that the AR might be a better choice because that is what an AR, not a mini, is built to do...its mission profile. Once I had established that the AR was a better candidate to satisfy the profile, then I would have to determine if its operational problems were legit or simply legendary. Once once develops a solid mission profile, the selection process becomes easier and sometimes even obvious. I hope that helps clear up any confusion.
 

6mmsl

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jun 8, 2009
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Location
Utah
It is my opinion that at the point you think you need to attach/add devices to the barrel to increase or improve accuracy you are already in a bad place.

NOTPARS -why a rifle sounds as though a shotgun make fit your needs perfectly?

Good shooting-Steve
 

NOTPARS

Bearcat
Joined
Aug 27, 2007
Messages
37
Location
Lee's Summit, Missouri USA
After evaluating what I posted and the responses, you are correct. It is a waste of time and money. I do have a shotgun for that purpose (Mossberg 590 that holds 9 rounds). I was considering obtaining a rifle with a folding stock that I could "hide" under a coat where I go hiking. Although it is somewhat remote, I have encountered many coyotes, bobcats, and one mountain lion (thank God she ran away). Many mountain bikers use the extensive trails as well. Although nice folks, they tend to be somewhat hostile toward hunting, firearms, and so forth so I keep everything low key. It is the two legged predators that concern me. Some are poachers. When I encounter this type, it is usually during bad weather (sleet, snow, cold...my favorite), I am almost always alone, and I am way far from any road let alone help. I was thinking of the Ruger mini 14 with ATI stock but there are always so many who question its accuracy. Again, thanks for a great post.
 

pisgah

Buckeye
Joined
Apr 17, 2006
Messages
1,633
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Upstate SC
> I was thinking of the Ruger mini 14 with ATI stock but there are always so many who question its accuracy.

Criticism of Mini-14 accuracy is legitimate, but really irrelevant for self-defense purposes. Most I have seen would shoot little better than saucer-sized 100 yard groups, but that'll accomplish what needs doing inside 100 yards. Heck, many millions of battle-tested AK-47s won't do any better. Beyond that range it's sort of tricky to justify self defense, anyway, especially in the woods where just gittin' gone is usually going to be the best defense.
 

NOTPARS

Bearcat
Joined
Aug 27, 2007
Messages
37
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Lee's Summit, Missouri USA
Pisgah, you make an excellent point and this is what helps define what is right for the parameters I have established. In fact, the likely range the mini-14 I am interested in would be employed is from 1 to 50 yards. Your post makes sense and I appreciate it and all the others who are helping me refine my decision. Like I said, what got me off track before was going based on notions of what I thought this or that rifle would do, not reality.
 

Plinker MKII

Bearcat
Joined
Feb 16, 2008
Messages
49
Location
Nevada Desert
The Mini-14 suffers loss of accuracy when the barrel heats up and with that in mind, when the rifle first came out it was designed with a 5 round magazine. They didn't have a 20, 30 or drum mag, it was a 5. The rifle was kind of a utility piece, varmints or maybe a coyote and within that first 5 rounds the barrel doesn't get a chance to heat up and accuracy is very acceptable for it's intended purpose.

Did the military version, the Ruger-GB fare any better as far as accuracy went? or did it even matter since they were selective fire and accurate enough to combat? aren't they still used today in Central America?
 

Sig685

Single-Sixer
Joined
Oct 21, 2003
Messages
177
Location
Texas
I don’t have a”mission profile”, I have a life.

In my life, I have a wife, children, pets, a house and a career. All these are in a real setting, called Earth, where bad things can and do happen, so I take precautions.

You talk about a post-Katrina scenario, I really doubt you have any idea of what happened and what the aftermath was like. You seem to live in a Jerry Ahern or Richard Matheson novel, rather than the real world. If you got your information about Katrina and its aftermath from the mainstream media, including FoxNews, you are clueless. I suggest you read this and find out a little about real life:
http://www.popularmechanics.com/science ... 15076.html

Pay special attention to page #7, if you get that far.

I live in the Houston area. In September of 2008, we were hit by Hurricane Ike; my house was in the eye wall of the hurricane for 5+ hours. The neighborhood was without water for 2 days, power for 3 days and cable/Internet for over 2 weeks. I ran my generator for 3 days straight, and did not run out of fuel for it. We have a pool and we filled the various bathtubs in the house ahead of time. My family and I were comfortable and the children were not even bored but this was not by accident.

Do you have a generator? Do you know how to start it? Do you know its rating and what it can run? Do you have days of fuel for it? Do you know how to flush a toilet without running water? Did you know you can’t easily siphon modern cars? Do you have drinking water for several days, and for every one in the house? Do you have a chainsaw with fuel? Do you have axes and so on? Do you have batteries for your flashlights? Medical kits, flashlights, portable radios, TVs, DVDs? If you answered no to several of the above, you are what many of us around here would call a victim and a liability.

I have many other such questions, but you will notice a few I did not ask.

If you need to worry about flooding, wildfire and mudslides, or if you need to worry about firearms as a top priority in your neighborhood, you need to make moving your family out of there your top life priority.

If you think that all you have to do is arm yourself with your Mini-14 and simply wait for the government to come clean up your neighborhood and bring you food, you’re toast but simply do not know it yet. You are a first responder as we all are in such situations, but after several hurricanes, blizzards, tornadoes and earthquakes, I can assure you that weapons are way down on my list of priorities of items to have on hand.

But they are not at the bottom of the list. On the other hand, I did not go shopping for a firearm with a “mission profile” in my mind. I can assure you that just a handgun and a .22LR rifle are plenty for your scenario. A high-capacity 9mm with a few spare mags and a Ruger 10/22 with a brick or two of .22LR ammo are all you need. I have a CHL to go with the handguns, do you?

I have everything that I need to keep my family safe and comfortable for several days or longer. Do you?
 

NOTPARS

Bearcat
Joined
Aug 27, 2007
Messages
37
Location
Lee's Summit, Missouri USA
You express a contentious tone and make a lot of assumptions about someone you don't know. I can't for the life of me understand why you have failed to understand what a "mission profile" means. Because you are ignorant of this term suggests I don't have a life? How would you know what sources I have researched on Katrina. The fact that you assume I know nothing makes you sound like a pompous blowhard which I suspect is not far from the truth.

Why was it necessary to explain that you live on earth? Do you think the rest of us inhabit another world? Perhaps it is you who need to remove your head from fiction novels. Since you chose to insult instead of pay attention to what I was saying, let me straighten you out. I was an LEO for many years, including in California, and saw the aftermath of earthquakes, forest fires, and riots. I saw the results of the breakdown in law and order and what happens when people aren't prepared. I also have not made that mistake but you wouldn't understand that because you were too intent on insulting me with your almost incoherent post. The reason you are so offended by the term "mission profile" is because you are apparently clueless and instead of taking the opportunity to learn from someone who knows, you chose to engage in a really juvenile and immature post. I was that first responder you mentioned Sig, and my main rifle is an AR10. You might try learning something about the people with whom you dialogue before adopting your narrow minded and ill-informed assumptions.
 

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