Is the Ruger Mini-14 accurate? This is a question that has dogged gun owners since the rifle first appeared on the market in 1973. Some say it’s got excellent accuracy, while others say it’s rubbish. Being the proud owner of a Mini-14, I wanted to find out.


Nosler Trophy Grade .223 Rem ammunition. (Photo: Ben Philippi/

Of course,  to make a gun shoot straight, you need to use good quality ammo. So, for this test, I picked up a box of Nosler Trophy Grade .223 Rem -- high-quality stuff.


As a test rifle, I used my own personal 580-series Ruger Mini-14. With less than 500-rounds through the tube, it’s still fairly new, and the rifling is in excellent condition. The 580-series is Ruger’s 2007 upgrade to the original rifle design. They added a heavier, larger-diameter barrel that visibly tapers from the gas block. This, along with tighter tolerances, was meant to increase its accuracy.

The author's Ruger Mini-14 in his custom lead sled minus the cinder blocks. (Photo: Ben Philippi/


Not having an official lead sled, I fashioned my own. I used a solid metal vice grip in which I fastened my Mini-14. The vice was solidly mounted to a reinforced wood table. After a few test rounds, I noticed the table moving slightly so I placed four large cinder blocks to weigh it down. Two more test rounds confirmed the table and mount were solid.

I drove two metal fence posts, each a foot into the ground, 50-yards downrange. Between them, I duct-taped a large piece of foam core. Despite a little wind, the target held rock solid. I aimed the Mini-14 at an unused part of the foam core.

Although I agree that my test is not 100 percent scientific, I did my utmost to eliminate all movement and, thus, I believe it deserves merit.


The Ruger Mini-14's 50-yard group firing the Nosler Trophy Grade ammo. (Photo: Ben Philippi/

I fired five rounds a few seconds apart from a cold barrel at the target and then went to inspect the foam core. I saw an excellent grouping. Don't forget, there's definitely a little give in my lead sled; so, the grouping could be better than this. I think this is a good indicator that the Ruger Mini-14 is an accurate rifle, though.

I could have stretched the test out to 100-yards but I was worried about wind. Not to mention, I was also out of Nosler ammo.

I'd love to hear what you think about my test and if you think the Mini-14 is accurate. Share your thoughts in the comments below. If you're interested in Ruger Mini-14, I did a more in-depth review a few months ago, so check that video out below. 



revolver barrel loading graphic