Most of the parts for the undorking of my Mini-14 are in (even optics). However, I wanted to see if there was a measurable difference between the ATI Strikeforce stock and the Hogue overmold stock. So before the undorking starts, I took the dorked up Mini-14 out for one last spin.
To get a good measurement, I decided to buy some extra .223 ammo from BulkAmmo.com. So I ordered up some plinking-grade American Eagle AR223 and some match-grade Hornady to supplement my cache of Remington UMC and PMC.
And off to the range I went. So here is the test. I used the rifle slot on the benches at Blue Ridge Arsenal to rest the front of the stock (not the barrel) and shot a 25 yard target with iron sights with each brand of ammo, after first warming up the barrel with 3 rounds. I waited about 3 minutes between each grouping to account for barrel heating issues, a supposed problem with Mini-14s. The results:
The middle group is the warm-up, ignore it. Starting from the lower left and working around clock-wise to the lower right is Remington UMC, PMC, Federal's American Eagle, and then Hornady. I expected the Hornady to perform the best, and it did. But the surprize in the group was the American Eagle. I was expecting it to do no better than the other plinking-grade ammo.
So I took out another target to see how well the American Eagle would do.
The first shot group is on the lower left, working around again to the lower right. Ok, so things started getting stupid. By this point I could have been experiencing the Mini-14's famous barrel heat problem. We'll have to see when this project is done. But I ordered an Accu-Strut LT based on this last test. I'll run it through its paces too.
If you are wondering why I'm testing accuracy based on the stock, here's why.
The ATI Strikeforce stock has a scout rail mounted to the heat shield. So that the iron sights can still be usable, the rail has a cut-out down the middle so the front post can be seen through the rear peep sight. That's the theory anyway. Here's a picture of the actual sight picture.
Yes, the front post is visible but the picture is so cramped that focus is difficult. And forget about fast shots. You can't do that with this setup.
With the new stock I'll be reverting back to a Chaote heat shield. There is no iron-sight compromising scout rail on that, and so I will be interested to see if that makes a difference in shooting this gun.
One last thing. I was so impressed with the American Eagle AR223, I went back to BulkAmmo.com to get more only to discover they have 500 rounds on sale right now. If you need some .223, I think that is good deal.