How well does the Accu-strut (6" model) really work?
Specific performance enhancement will vary from rifle to rifle, and depends on multiple factors. These include other modifications that have been made to the rifle, ammunition selection, frequency and thoroughness of cleaning methods, and shooter skill.
The Accu-strut addresses the principal weakness of the Mini-14 platform, namely a thin barrel very prone to complex vibrational modes. This modification will usually result in the best improvements in accuracy. For example, one of our bone-stock test rifles went from an average 4 MOA shooter to 1.5 MOA. We have another more modified rifle, but still with a factory barrel, that does in fact shoot sub-moa with premium ammo.
Most rifles with the earlier, thinner barrel show a 50-75% reduction in group size. With the new thicker tapered barrel, we've seen up to 33% reduction, but sometimes it is much less, or there is no noticeable improvement at all. As always, YMMV.
Since only individual rifles can be said to perform at a certain level, and due to the many factors affecting accuracy as mentioned above, we cannot guarantee specific results for your particular firearm. We do guarantee you will be satisfied with the positive improvement on your rifle's accuracy; if you are not satisfied, we will refund your money.
It may or may not. If a rifle is already shooting at an optimal level, then by definition nothing can be done to improve it. If it is close to optimal then the Accu-strut may eke out a bit more accuracy.
As an example, careful selection of ammo or careful handloading may bring a Mini to the smallest groups that particular rifle will ever produce. Strutting the barrel will not really have much of an effect in that particular situation. However, it might also be found that this rifle with a strut can achieve similar levels of performance with a wide range of different types if ammunition, rather than one particular load. So the improvement in this case is one of greater flexibility.
Couldn't be simpler! The Accu-strut nestles onto the front of the gas block and is secured to the barrel by two sturdy clamps. 4 screws and you're ready to go. Contrast that with having a gunsmith install a heavy barrel or barrel sleeve.
The Accu-strut weighs in at about 8-1/2 oz. including mounting clamps. We find the little extra weight is not overly noticeable. Compare that with the couple pounds of weight a heavy barrel can add.
Some folks notice that the forward clamp (the one nearest the muzzle) is positioned a little back from the end of the barrel, and wonder if it wouldn't work better closer to the muzzle where the bullet actually exits. In fact, tests show that the forward clamp is optimally positioned 3 inches or so back from the end. Gunsmiths too have noticed that adding weights about 3-4 inches back from the muzzle end of a semi-automatic rifle significantly improves accuracy. It is theorized that the point of highest waveform amplitude occurs at exactly this area, and is the best place for an anchoring device.
Some have wondered whether a 3rd (or more) clamp would not increase barrel stability even more, or provide a means of "tuning" the barrel by adjusting the position of the extra clamp. In fact tests have shown no improvement by using multiple clamps.
Certainly, you could fabricate yor own strut. In fact early versions of the Accu-strut were little more than lengths of pipe clamped securely to the mini's barrel. You would not benefit from the internal dampening system of the retail version, however, and would have to machine one end to fit over the gas block securely.
The Accu-strut is constructed of only quality materials, such as gunbarrel steel, which comes at a price. The clamps were designed especially for the Mini. Similar clamps on the market today retail for around $20 each. Add to that machining cost, hot-blue finishing, assembly, and you've doubled the cost over materials. We hope that for the quite reasonable price we have set, you'll consider our product for your rifle.
Our clients are reporting fantastic results with the Mini-30 as well.
The Accu-strut is not designed to fit other Ruger products, only the Mini-14.
While the technology behind the Accu-strut was developed specifically for the Mini-14 platform, it is possible that other rifles would benefit also. As part of our ongoing research effort, we will probably look at other firearms at some future time.
Several factors can and do affect the accuracy of a rifle. Try reviewing our sections on accurizing, cleaning, and special shooting techniques.
Yes, it certainly is. The current trend toward free-floating rifle barrels (essentially nothing touching the barrel from the receiver forward) has certainly produced results, but realize that it is not the only approach to accurizing. Free-floating has been most useful with bolt-action rifles, and not as effective with lighter-barreled semi-automatics, where more stabilization seems to be better. Also realize that the Mini cannot be truly free-floated anyway, due to the gas port at the middle of the barrel.
Barrel vibration is dependent on, among other things, the weight of the bullet being used. Changing this variable tends to have profound effects on group size and point-of-impact. The Accu-strut dramatically reduces both of these parameters, allowing the user a lot more freedom in choosing different cartridges. Handloaders especially will appreciate the reduction in POI shifts when testing different bullet weights, minimizing the inconvenience of making large re-zeroing adjustments.
Why are you guys always out-of-stock?
We're still a relatively small company and have some production limitations. Demand for the struts tends to be greater than our ability to produce (such a nice problem to have!).
Which model should I get for my Mini?
In general, get one of the 2-clamp 6" models for the greatest accuracy potential, and the shorter single-clamp models for 16" barrels, or where weight is a concern.
Have you thought about incorporating a tactical light or laser into your strut?
Yes, we've considered that idea, but for the time being have decided to keep the strut a dedicated accurizing device. A large part of this consideration has to do with increased slippage risk from extraneous inertial mass (see question below also).
Can I attach other aftermarket accessories to the strut?
This is a bad idea. Adding any amount of inertial mass to the strut virtually guarantees clamp slippage. Even the tiniest amount of slippage can completely negate the accurizing effect of the strut. It would be risky even after performing the Optional Security Procedure (countersink dimples for the rear set-screws).