Who Knows Mini 14's...Need Some Help/Advice

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The Preacher

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Looking for someone here who has some working knowledge on Mini 14's.

Here's my story:

I bought a 581 Series Ranch Rifle in 223 a couple of years ago. Before even shooting it I sent it out to one of the better nationally known Mini 14 'Smiths around for a trigger job. What happened was, while the trigger was great, maybe too great. What it would do was after the first shot was fired it would eject the empty, and chamber another round BUT...at the same time the trigger would release. I would then end up with a live round in the chamber and the trigger was already released. I would have to jack out the live round chamber another - it would fire but in returning to battery I would end up again with a live round in the chamber and the trigger already released. I sent it back to the 'smith twice, and finally it seemed okay. I've shot it once since then, maybe 20 rounds, and it seemed to be fine. Today I went out and to my dismay it was doing the same thing again with factory Hornady FMJ loads as well as my handloads. Oh...and the gunsmith has since given up the practice. I'm at my wits end as I dearly love this little rifle and need it reliable.

I'm assuming that the sear engagement is to light, but I really don't know.
So...two questions:

Is there a gunsmith out there who can do me a good reliable trigger, even if it means just replacing parts and giving me a "factory trigger"?

And...If I call on Ruger to stick factory parts back in and just live with a crappy but reliable trigger can I send just my trigger unit or will they want the entire rifle. I'll eventually get around to calling Ruger I guess.

Thanks. The Preacher
 
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Since it's not firing the round in the chamber the hammer is probably getting hung up on the secondary sear(see pic below), recycling the slide could knock the hammer back onto the primary sear. You should be able to duplicate the problem with the trigger group in your hand to see if the secondary sear is sticking, just remember to keep pressure on the hammer when pulling the trigger. Without seeing where he took material away it's a little tough to say what's actually occurring though.

0.jpg
 

The Preacher

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Okay, Got the trigger unit in my hand. If I cock it with the safety off and pull the trigger the hammer stays on the secondary sear and it won't fire. If I then put the safety back on, while its still cocked, and then push the safety off again, the hammer moves to the primary sear and will fire. What am I missing?

The Preacher
 

The Preacher

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So...if I have the uncocked trigger unit in my hand with the safety off and I cock it, the hammer should be resting on the primary sear...right?

The Preacher
 

DGW1949

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Simply put, your trigger group has been modified to the point that it's disconnect function no longer works as designed. You can look 'n check all you want, but that's the bottom line.
My guess is that since it's already been messed with three times (read that as whacked-on), by now it's going to need a new hammer and sear, and possibly both sears.....none of which will Ruger sell to anyone except a factory-trained armorer.

Yep, if you want Ruger to fix it, you'll have to send them the entire rifle.
An alternative to that would be to send your present trigger group to an authorized repair station. ASI comes to mind, mainly because they'll likely have the needed parts on hand.....plus they are quite capable of doing a safe "trigger job" while they're at it.

Sorry for your troubles.
Hope this helped.

DGW
 

The Preacher

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Water over the damn. I'll cut my loses and move on. I need this thing 100% reliable. The problem is that the hammer is hanging up on the secondary sear as said above. Just a touch on the side of the secondary sear will snap the hammer into place on the primary sear. It looks as though the secondary sear isn't sitting square in it's position. I know Blackhawks and Vaqueros, not Minis so off it goes, likely to ASI in the event I need new parts. Guess my "good deal" of a few years ago ain't so good now...lol.

And for anyone wondering the original 'smith came well recommended from another forum known for it's Mini 14 knowledge and with many satisfied customers so I don't know anything more except he's gone out of business and I'm in for another trigger job and maybe parts.

Thanks guys for all your help.

The Preacher
 

DGW1949

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I hear ya Preacher, the over riding goal for any type of gun-work should always be "100% reliability". Having said that, here's a couple of suggestions:
ASI's Mini-14 trigger work can be had with or without their extra-cost trigger stop. T'were it me, I'd insist that it be omitted.
I'd also steer clear of the recoil buffers and extra-power springs they sell.

And just in passing; I'm perty-sure that I know who did your "trigger job". I'm also perty-sure that Carl (from ASI) knows him too. My point there being, if you mention it to Carl, he MIGHT know how he can still be reached.....that is, IF you'd care to pursue the matter with him any further.
Not suggesting that you should....just sayin'.

DGW
 

coach

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I had Brimstone Gunsmithing lighten up my 10/22 trigger only using the original parts. I couldn't be happier with the results. It took about a week not including shipping time. I saw on their website they also work on mini trigger groups. Thinking about sending mine in since the 10/22 results were so good.
 

The Preacher

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Thanks again for all your help folks. Was considering Brimstone but changed my mind to ASI per DGW's advice in regard to parts. Figure on getting a "Duty Trigger Job". Oh, and DGW, I appreciate the info on trying to track down the previous 'smith but I figured he's had it three times...that's enough. lol

The Preacher
 

The Preacher

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Just a quick update on my Mini 14. Sent it off to Accuracy Systems, Inc. (ASI) a few weeks ago and got it back in quick time. Friendly, courteous and understanding. Needed both sears replaced and got one of their "Duty" trigger jobs. Took a bit of a bite out of my wallet and although it took me a few weeks to give it a shake-down cruise I just got back from the range and the trigger is great, functions 100%, and I couldn't be more pleased. Again I thank you all for your help and can highly recommend ASI for any work you might need done on your Mini 14. A class act all the way around.



The Preacher
 
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Whew.... just caught this thread.... what a mess, but it least it has a happy ending to a point.

I think Accuracy Systems is the guy who did the trigger job on one of my mini-14... there was a short time a number of years ago when he/they were located her in S.C. just up the road from my parents house. I also had them do the receiver tighten up thing (which I don't think did anything other than making it much harder to dismantle ) and I also had them shorten the barrel... which also didn't help with the accuracy of this rifle... but I'm not blaming them... it was a dog to start with and once a dog it's hard to change.
 

pjinak

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@DGW - you stated "I'd also steer clear of the recoil buffers and extra-power springs they sell"...
Please explain why as I'm preparing to order a gas bushing kit to calm things down and was thinking I'd get the buffers & spring too...
Thanks!
 

DGW1949

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pjinak said:
@DGW - you stated "I'd also steer clear of the recoil buffers and extra-power springs they sell"...
Please explain why as I'm preparing to order a gas bushing kit to calm things down and was thinking I'd get the buffers & spring too...
Thanks!

While adding an "extra power" recoil spring will certainly reduce the battering of the factory "recoil buffer" and/or receiver, as well as reduce the rearward recoil force being exerted on things like sights, mounts, and optics...it will just as certainly increase battering of the gas block due to the increase it causes in forward recoil forces. In other words, the decrease in force which it provides in one direction doesn't simply disappear, it gets added to the other direction.
Plus, it aint a big secret that "extra power" recoil springs have been shown to be a factor in slam-fires which have occurred in other rifles which share same rotating bolt/retracting firing pin design.

On a similar note, I know of no good reason to increase hammer force either.
From what I've seen, it is most often done in a misguided attempt to make the Mini reliably fire cheap com-block ammo, and I'm saying "misguided attempt" here because of 4 reasons:
1) "harder primers" or not, the basic reason that the Mini will not reliably set-off com-bloc ammo is because it's firing pin protrusion is much shorter than that of the com-bloc weapons which com-bloc ammo is designed for.
2) By design, the forward motion of the Mini firing pin is halted when it reaches the (hand fitted) mechanical-limit to it's travel. In other words, it slams to a stop at a preset point within the bolt, and no amount of additional hammer force is going to alter that.
3) Simple physics tells us that the more force being exerted during motion translates to more force having to be obsorbed when the object slams to a stop. What I'm getting at here is that the (rather dainty) firing pin which is found in the Mini was only designed to withstand a certain amount of force, and that that "certain amount" was/is most assuredly tied to the design of the factory-supplied hammer spring. Given that, I don't think that it's a coincidence that nearly every report of a broken Mini FP which I've seen also involved the use of an extra-power hammer spring.
4) My own testing relative to reliability VS hammer spring force has shown that the force of the factory hammer-spring can be reduced by some 15-20% and the dern gun will still reliably operate when feed US made, boxer primed ammo.....so no, there's nothing about the factory spring which indicates to me that it needs to be "improved" by making it even heavier than it is.

As for the aftermarket buffers which ASI sells....the last time I looked, they are much thicker than needed, which means that they are often too thick to allow enough op-rod travel in some guns, which in turn has lead to ejection problems and/or a failure of the op-rod to latch back when the last round is fired. Plus, they aren't made from the best material to start with, so then there's that.
To me, if you just gotta use an after-market buffer, a much better choice would be the thinner but much better constructed 1911(pistol) buffer which Wilson markets. I base that on that particular buffer being the one that a lot of guys are using these days, and that the one which I installed for torture-testing in my own (582-series) Mini-14 has presently seen over 1000 Rds with no ill effects.

Hope something here helps in your upcoming decisions.
Do bear in mind though, that I certainly aint an expert...meaning that all I know is what I know.

DGW
 
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