Ruger Mini-14 and Mini-30 Ruger Mini-14 and Mini-30 family of rifles

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Old 12-05-2005, 17:55   #1
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Thought I should call Ruger before sending my mini-30 back for firing pin replacement. So I called today. The # I called was 603-865-2442, the service department # shown on their web site. Call time was around 1:15 mountain time.
Below is the content of the call, not to the exact words, but pretty much how the conversation went. A lady answered the phone.

Ruger: Service department, how can we help you.

me: Hi, I have a question. my mini-30's firing pin is broken, do I need to send the whole action back for firing pin replacement?

Ruger: yes, we need the complete firearm.

me: Including the stock??

Ruger: yes, with the stock.

me: how do I send the gun in? I have never send a gun for factory work before...

Ruger: you can take it to UPS or fedex, in this case it is a long gun you can use the post office too. Make sure you include a note showing what the problem is. We will send you an estimate after we receive it.

me: Do you have any idea how much it will cost?

Ruger: for a firing pin replacement, roughly $75


ME: I heard it should a free replacement?

Ruger: No sir, it is not.

me: oh.... thanks, bye.


So guys, I don't know where the hell you got the free replacement idea, I KNOW I didn't get the free replacement offer. Now you will want to say somehow I got the wrong person, or probably bad luck (well, quite possible), but as for a product service, if some people get free work and others have to pay $75 or more for a firing pin replacement (after the shipping and such it will be $90 and up, I suppose shipping/insurance is around $15 or more)), I'd say it is a rip-off. way to go Ruger!

Ruger first promoted a magazine capacity ban (to protect you )... now it is gonna cost you $90 (and up) just for a firing pin ? !

-----No honest man shall need more than 10 rounds in a magazine ( according to Ruger)------

now, according to me, no serious man should want a mini for any serious use. So much for using your mini as a SHTF weapon, you are taking a much higher risk than you think. If your pin break you are screwed! Both ways that is !

I am gonna take the pin out myself and probably make one out of a stainless steel bar.

Have fun
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Old 12-05-2005, 19:03   #2
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Thats the problem with warranties on guns. Even if the work is free, shipping is a minimum 30 bucks with a huge potential of the gun getting stolen. My local gunsmith is a certified warranty station for every company- except ruger- ! The mini is the only thing I like from ruger anyways, well the OUs are pretty nice but way expensive. Oh wells, parts are all over the place for minis anyways, screw ruger, DIY.

I feel ya on the hi cap ban. I like in Kalifornia and cant have anything fun. I dont get why you cant have a flash hider for the life of me? Also, we can have ARs, but cant sell/buy them? WTF is up with that? Its not like people arnt going to get what they want legal or not if they are going to commit a crime? DUH.
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Old 12-05-2005, 19:16   #3
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I remember asking Ruger about making spare firing pins, and they said $17 for pin, $20 for labor and $12 for shipping.

I think you got the wrong rep, try again.
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Old 12-05-2005, 20:28   #4
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I just replaced the FP in my Mini 14. I bought two from Numrich. Since Id never done it before,I got two just in case I screwed it up or the tip broke off again. The first one took me about three hours. The tough part was taking the bolt apart and putting it back together again,to test for function. The base of the aftermarket pins are a lot skinnier than the factory ones. The first ones tip broke off from only dry firing,just like the originals had! That was only because I noticed that the FP hole was peened and the tip was making contact with the bolt. So I reamed back the FP hole so it wouldnt contact the FPs tip,and the second one is still working well.
Im pretty sure I hit the firing pin hole when I let the cleaning rod slam into the bolt.
I usually protect the boltface for just such an event. I guess I just got lazy one day,and forgot to cover the bolt to protect it from the brush tip.
The Numrich pin was only $25. I sure wish I knew where to get a bolt to have as a spare. HTH,

Minimeister.
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Old 12-05-2005, 21:20   #5
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How often do these firing pins break?
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Old 12-05-2005, 22:13   #6
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Originally posted by Bam Bam@Dec 5 2005, 07:16 PM
I remember asking Ruger about making spare firing pins, and they said $17 for pin, $20 for labor and $12 for shipping.

* I think you got the wrong rep, try again.
Bam Bam, is there such thing as a "wrong rep"? all rep represents Ruger, and the lady really sounded like she knows what she is talking about, very confident. Product service is for All customers, there should not be such thing as a "lucky factor". Everyone is equal, right? Or, huh, maybe not!
Which rep is not important, the quote over the phone doesn't mean jack, what is important is the estimate/BILL they send you after the rifle got there.

Yes you were quoted $37 for a SPARE pin, and there are stories that Ruger "will fix the broken for free" ( what a great service oriented company huh ). Now are you willing to send the rifle to Ruger and let them play with the gun then give you an estimate? if it is not the price you quoted, how much are you willing to spend? or are you willing to spend $15 s/i to Ruger, then $15 s/i back to you if you don't want them to do it (too high a price)? you will be out $30 and your time for absolutly NOTHING... I am actually glad I got a straight answer. I can make it myself, I do have access to machining equipment (not a mechinest but is pretty capable of basic mechining), and I think I already have the suitable material. Now what about the average Joe who doesn't have the capability to do so?? if he doesn't call to figure the price out before sending the gun (now this is still only a quote, not the real estimate), he will find out that super nice price for a pin replacement AFTER the gun is already at Ruger, chances are:
a)Freebee! now nice! (if the stories were true);
B)$37 like BamBam was quoted;
c) $75, like I was quoted, so this "$75 firing-pin loser" will pay for a few "freebee lucky dudes"?

Roll the dice, huh!

and what is up with that "complete firearm with the stock" thing? what is the point of sending the stock and trigger group in, so they can replace your match trigger, bedded stock with brand spanking new Ruger factory parts, because your set-up is not "safe" (match trigger being to light) or "unfit" (bedded stock being too tight, they couldn't put the action back in easily)?
who is gonna pay for those new parts by the way?
roll the dice, huh!

If any of you have got your mini's firing pin replaced by Ruger (not quoted or such, I mean actual work done), would you PLEASE speak up? I'd like to get this Ruger service price thing clear. Would you please provide details such as time (approx years ), gun's age, reason for sending to Ruger (what kind of problems), and cost of the repair (please include itemized cost list for all repair done at that time). The more data points, the better!

Have fun if you dare keep shooting till the little pin breaks then send it back to Ruger so maybe you get a free one.....Roll the dice, huh!
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Old 12-05-2005, 22:24   #7
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minimeister, are they $25 a piece or $25 for both? Is there any trick on taking the bolt apart?

I don't use cleaning rod for mini, I made a few Otis type pull-through cables. Just get some brass adaptors and nylon coated steel cable, use good flux and solder them together (normal soldering iron will do). works as good as an Otis.

Nobody, mine mini-30 has about 5000rd through (or less, maybe only 4k?).
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Old 12-06-2005, 10:21   #8
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Was the firing pin damaged while using Russian ammo? I like the 7.62X39 cartridge…a lot. I am a plinker…and toyed with getting a Mini-30…specifically to fire the inexpensive Russian ammo. However…I had heard that the primers of the Russian ammo were hard (to prevent slam fires with the SKS and AK series)…and were a no-no with the Mini-30.

I had read reports of folks firing thousands of rounds with no trouble…and others firing relatively few rounds and then breaking a firing pin. I decided to get the word directly from Ruger…and was told to use only “domestic” ammo…which has softer primers. This, by the way, is essentially what the Mini-30 manual says. So…though I do own a 30…just because I love all things Mini…I have avoided firing Russian ammo through it.

Thus…I don’t shoot it very often…because I can fire the 14 much cheaper… that I am only punching holes in soup cans anyway. I don’t know if the “hard primer issue applies to Russian .223 as well…but I have avoided it…just in case.

So…to make the long story short….I wonder if Ruger is reluctant to replace firing pins for 30’s…as they are “generally breaking due to the use of improper ammo”. Ruger states very plainly in their manuals…”improper ammunition destroys guns” Just a thought?
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Old 12-06-2005, 16:10   #9
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guncats, I don't know what to say except you are the only one that has had this problem so far. Wonder if Ruger has changed it's policy? We have had about 6 members send in their Mini's with broken firing pins. None were charged, and were only out the $15 or so shipping/insurance, to send it to Ruger. I know they charge $75 for non warrentee work.

You might want to call again and ask to talk to the Service manager to see if this would be covered. Service Manager's name is Dick Bealieu or it was a couple years ago.
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Old 12-06-2005, 18:10   #10
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Just to add another data point, I inquired today about having a spare FP made up as I am sending my Mini in for a new factory barrel anyway. The lady ("Debbie") said $17 for the pin, and $20 labor. Ship back is $30.

EDIT: Just to be clear, this is not warranty work. I am asking for a spare pin, not replacing a broken one. I am not replacing the barrel under warranty either, it is shot out by having over 10K rounds thru it. The barrel will cost about $155 not incl shipping. Including this info for everyone's reference. Will report actual cost when they send me the actual bill.
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Old 12-06-2005, 20:16   #11
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so what made my repair a "non warranty work" ? what was the standard for that? Because mine is a mini-30 then the firing pin thing is automatically a "non warranty" repair?

read the conversation and determin yourself, where was "non-warranty" mentioned? When was "Wolf" or "military ammo" mentioned?

KKina, $17 for the pin and $20 labor for an EXTRA pin is probably right if it is done with other stuff together. If those are warranty work and they have to work on the bolt anyway, why not..........

"I had read reports of folks firing thousands of rounds with no trouble…"? you meant somebody finally decided to shoot thousands of rounds of UMC or Winchester, RIGHT?!

Russian ammo? is the primer any harder than the US MILITARY ammo? If using military or Steel cased ammo void the warranty, where on the Ruger web page did they say that? If Ruger won't waranty a mini-30's firing pin replacement, where on their web page say that? your -14 better don't shoot any Wolf either, it is that Russian hard primer, will break the fine pin.... so much for plinking with cheap 223 in your -14. So, the mini is more expensive to shoot (the Russian 223 ammo is a NO-NO, HUH!), less accurate, and potentially less reliable (oh no, don't use any military ammo, the primer might be too HARD for your mini's nice firing pin, it might break).

”improper ammunition destroys guns”, good advise, would any of you Ruger people please speak up and say "wolf ammo is inproper. Because wolf can be found in 7.62x39, and is often used, therefore we decided ALL 7.62x39 caliber firing pins breakage will not be covered by warranty" Give me a statement, please, please, please......I know you Ruger people are reading this, come on, speak up dudes, I just want a straight answer.

Have fun if you dare Shoot till the firing pin breaks then roll the dice and see If it is "a warranty repair", huh! If they say "no", have fun getting screwed.....

Which ever way, $75 for a pin is a rip off, warranty or not.
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Old 12-06-2005, 20:23   #12
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Got the pin out, east with the right tool (plier with sharp jaws), piece of cake. Tried to put it back in, easy too.

Now the problem is the pin is machined on a cast blank, the shape of the rear end is pretty weird. I am not sure if I can make one 100% identical using ordinary mill/lathe. if not I will either have to reuse the rear part of the old pin or order one from Gunpartscorp.

$75 for replacement............................huh
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Old 12-06-2005, 20:29   #13
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Originally posted by guncats@Dec 5 2005, 10:24 PM
minimeister, are they $25 a piece or $25 for both? Is there any trick on taking the bolt apart?


Yo Guncats,they were $25. a piece. The best way to take apart the bolt that I found is,to use LONG needlenose pliers to compress the extractor plunger. Put something on the underside of the circular part that goes in the op-rod,so as to not scratch it. Pay attention to where the tip of the needlenose pliers contacts the extractor plunger,because when U reassemble the bolt,youll need to position the pliers on the plunger the SAME way to get the clearance U need to let the extractor slide back into the bolt. Otherwise the tip of the pliers will get in the way.
Also,upon reaasembly, when U compress the plunger,be sure to orient the plunger so it will be resting against the extractor the same way it is normally. HTH.
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Old 12-06-2005, 23:50   #14
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Originally posted by jumpluff@Dec 6 2005, 10:21 AM
the “hard" primer issue
I posted this previously:

"Although I am aware of what many Mini owners shoot; and usually without any problems; I can't get myself to use anything other than what Ruger recommends.

Ruger advises against shooting anything with steel cases and berdan primers; they say that the firng pin can be damaged from the berdan primer and the chamber can be damaged from steel cases."

My primary reason for avoiding hard primers, is reluctance to sending my Mini to Ruger for repairs, considering all the modifications which have been made to it.

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Old 12-07-2005, 01:00   #15
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Someone should PM or email gundoc and see what he would charge to replace a firing pin? I bet you could get a lot of work done for a reasonable price. Also, did anyone read the 30 dollars return shipping from ruger the same way I did? GOOD LORD!!!
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Old 12-07-2005, 09:10   #16
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I second splinter's thought. If a gunsmith like gundoc or anyone else can make a factory quality firing pin I'm sure many would purchase it. I would buy four at least to add to my parts supply. There's a real need in the market for Mini internal replacement parts.
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Old 12-07-2005, 10:04   #17
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Mini firing pins are tough to make. Since the tail section is integral, a large diameter blank must be turned to size, then the tail and mid section milled, the nose shaped and everything hardened and drawn back before final polishing. After all is said and done, it has to be fitted into a bolt to check for proper protrusion and then it is ready.

That's for machining them. Now if they were made using a sand cast it would be a whole lot easier and cheaper, I think. There are plenty of plans and guides for sand casting available from places like Lindsay's Technical Books. This is something I would like to explore one day because gas blocks and firing pins could be made in quantity and with minimal machining. That's why Ruger uses investment casting with wax. I might be able to get set up for it. Be a nice way to make the AC556 sight blocks, too .

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Old 12-07-2005, 17:11   #18
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Thanks minimeister, got it out pretty easy, I just happened to have the right tool at hand.

Gundoc you are right, the hard part of making a mini firing pin is the rear portion, too many features to machine. Investment cast is a lot easier, but that is also probably why the mini pins are weak. If they are machined there shouldn't be any problem. Have anyone ever heard of an AK's firing pin break in 5000rd? Ak's are machined.

I am wondering if the Gunpartscorp pins are made from cast blanks also?
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Old 12-07-2005, 18:43   #19
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You have to wonder why Ruger complicated what should be a pretty simple part. You can buy the firing pin for an M14 for $9.00. The pin for the mini shouldn't have to be any higher or more difficult to manufacture.
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Old 12-07-2005, 20:00   #20
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Originally posted by kkina@Dec 6 2005, 06:10 PM
Just to add another data point, I inquired today about having a spare FP made up as I am sending my Mini in for a new factory barrel anyway. The lady ("Debbie") said $17 for the pin, and $20 labor. Ship back is $30.

EDIT: Just to be clear, this is not warranty work. I am asking for a spare pin, not replacing a broken one. I am not replacing the barrel under warranty either, it is shot out by having over 10K rounds thru it. The barrel will cost about $155 not incl shipping. Including this info for everyone's reference. Will report actual cost when they send me the actual bill.
Kkina...look at ebay for a used barrel. There is an individual selling take off barrels for minis, which are new or near new. They are selling for roughly $25. Go to sporting goods, and search for mini-14. Mark
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Old 12-07-2005, 20:21   #21
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Thanks Mark! Well, I already shipped the mini off to Ruger today. In fact, I am aware of inexpensive used or aftermarket barrels, but I actually need it to be a new factory barrel, installed by the factory. This is due to the experimentation I am doing for Accu-strut R&D. Most people have factory bbl's, so it is better to use that as my "baseline". If it weren't for that, I probably wouldn't be messing around with an OEM type bbl at all, but looking at my bull bbl options.
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Old 12-07-2005, 20:24   #22
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Originally posted by Metaldoc@Dec 7 2005, 07:43 PM
You have to wonder why Ruger complicated what should be a pretty simple part. You can buy the firing pin for an M14 for $9.00. The pin for the mini shouldn't have to be any higher or more difficult to manufacture.
No kiddin'. We can buy a replacement part for any part of the M-14. You would think the mini wouldnt be anymore difficult... but then ruger wouldn't make as much money and would carry more insurance....
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Old 12-08-2005, 16:37   #23
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I had the same thing happen to me. I have read lots of post about RUGER giving free replacement sights. When I bought my used MINI it didn't have a rear sight, it had scope rings. With this new shooting contest I wanted to try the open sight target. Sooo, here I am looking at my receipt for $15.00 parts, $3.50 shipping, $18.50 Total for what everyone else here gets for free. ( Maybe the good girl quit.& the new one has permanent PMS, or RUGER changed their policy.Either way I have two pistols, a 10-22 , and the MINI,all RUGER. I was wanting one of the 77 rifles in 308, but will have to rethink that now. ) I sure hope that the $18.50 helped their margin.
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Old 12-09-2005, 15:58   #24
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I was wondering if anyone has tried the ones made by Glend Arms yet. ? At Brownells.
"350-200-241
241, Ruger Mini 14 Series 181 $29.95"
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