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

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Old 09-23-2011, 22:17   #1
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Will hard primers break mini 30 firing pin ?

Recently I obtained a case of Eastern Block 7.62x39mm ammo to shoot in my Mini 30. Because of their hard primers I have had a lot of misfires. I ordered a Wolff XS hammer spring in order fix this problem, but am now concerned the extra spring power will break the firing pin on the Mini 30. Does anybody have experience with breaking the firing pin on a Mini due to hard primers?
Any ideas would be welcomed.
Good shooting to you, dgang
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Old 09-24-2011, 01:30   #2
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I had bought a new All Weather 30 a few years ago (581 series) and my experience has not been very good with the Berdan primed Russian ammo, especially Wolf (Black Box). I did put the Wolf X Power hammer spring in and it seems to improve a little. I will not shoot Wolf Black box out of Mini 30 anymore (seems to have the hardest primers). Brown Bear was not too bad. Now maybe 1 or 2 out of 20 will FTF. Typically if I chamer the round again it still does not fire. The round will fire in my SKS. I just fired 20 rds of some MFS with Berdan primers and no failures. I now have 400 rounds through my Mini 30 (all Berdan primed) and no issue with firing pin breakage. Hope this helps.
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Old 09-24-2011, 09:48   #3
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It helps very much. Thanks for your input. dgang
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Old 09-24-2011, 11:29   #4
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This has been an ongoing discussion on this site for years. Eventually your firing pin is going to break if you give it a steady diet of eastern bloc hard primer ammo (as reported by multiple owners). It has been recorded to occur with as few as 1500 rnds. The addition of the more powerful spring will likely just speed up the process, but you will get fewer hangfires anf ftfs. I have had good results with yugo surplus, and russian Silver Bear. These go bang every time. I also mix in some S&B and PMC brass, boxer primed to give the rifle a break, and save up some brass for 130 gr. bullet hunting loads. Good luck, and consider getting rid of that spring. My 2c.
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Old 09-24-2011, 13:00   #5
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Hard primers vs. corrosive

Originally Posted by dgang View Post
Recently I obtained a case of Eastern Block 7.62x39mm ammo to shoot in my Mini 30. Because of their hard primers I have had a lot of misfires. I ordered a Wolff XS hammer spring in order fix this problem, but am now concerned the extra spring power will break the firing pin on the Mini 30. Does anybody have experience with breaking the firing pin on a Mini due to hard primers?
Any ideas would be welcomed.
Good shooting to you, dgang
dgang:

Do you know if the ammo you have is considered having "corrosive" primers.
I believe this also adds to FP tip failure.

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Old 09-25-2011, 09:43   #6
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calif mini, I usually shoot Wolf and Silver and Golden Bear ammo, all claim to be non-corrosive. The batch I am having the hardest time with is Hunting Shack ammo who put together V-max bullets with the cheapest, dirtiest, hardest primers steel cased ammo they could find, these could very possibly be corrosive. When I bought them they were about $4.50 a box, so I stocked up. The indoor range I shoot at during winter only allows copper and lead bullets. Now I see them advertised for well over $10.00/ bx. They had a great idea if they hadn't scimped on the cases , primers and powder, they really scraped the bottom of the barrel to come up with these components. I will clean the Mini the best I can when I shoot this fodder. Dgang
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Old 09-25-2011, 10:05   #7
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40 nascar, I was all set to install the Wolff spring, but after reading your post it is back to the drawing board. Maybe some more imput is necessary. Thanks for your thoughts. dgang
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Old 09-26-2011, 18:06   #8
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Originally Posted by Rifleman30 View Post
I had bought a new All Weather 30 a few years ago (581 series) and my experience has not been very good with the Berdan primed Russian ammo, especially Wolf (Black Box). I did put the Wolf X Power hammer spring in and it seems to improve a little. I will not shoot Wolf Black box out of Mini 30 anymore (seems to have the hardest primers). Brown Bear was not too bad. Now maybe 1 or 2 out of 20 will FTF. Typically if I chamer the round again it still does not fire. The round will fire in my SKS. I just fired 20 rds of some MFS with Berdan primers and no failures. I now have 400 rounds through my Mini 30 (all Berdan primed) and no issue with firing pin breakage. Hope this helps.
RM, How many of the Hungarian MFS have you shot and what is the failure rate of the MFS load? From what I can see the MFS is the only CIP berdan load on the market and this is what Ruger OK'd last year....
So just curious as to its reliability in your experience?
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Old 09-26-2011, 19:25   #9
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"USE EITHER STANDARD U.S. MILITARY OR FACTORY LOADED SPORTING 7.62 X 39MM CARTRIDGES MANUFACTURED IN ACCORDANCE WITH U.S. INDUSTRY PRACTICE."...........
This is the statement in the Ruger manual for the Mini 30 in its use of ammunition. It seems to me two thirds of this whole forum is whether this gun can or can't shoot cheap, ****ty, crappy Russian ammo!!!! If this gun was purchased by YOU ( all ) just to shoot cheaper ammo, well shame on you, if your unhappy it doesn't.....I bought this rifle and I buy Remington,Winchester,Federal etc..It goes bang first time all the time...I have no FTF,FTE or any issues to complain about other than the price of this AMMO!!...
Buy this rifle, shoot this rifle, this rifle is a FINE rifle as is right out of the box.
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Old 09-26-2011, 22:20   #10
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Originally Posted by bpartwthog View Post
"USE EITHER STANDARD U.S. MILITARY OR FACTORY LOADED SPORTING 7.62 X 39MM CARTRIDGES MANUFACTURED IN ACCORDANCE WITH U.S. INDUSTRY PRACTICE."...........
This is the statement in the Ruger manual for the Mini 30 in its use of ammunition. It seems to me two thirds of this whole forum is whether this gun can or can't shoot cheap, ****ty, crappy Russian ammo!!!! If this gun was purchased by YOU ( all ) just to shoot cheaper ammo, well shame on you, if your unhappy it doesn't.....I bought this rifle and I buy Remington,Winchester,Federal etc..It goes bang first time all the time...I have no FTF,FTE or any issues to complain about other than the price of this AMMO!!...
Buy this rifle, shoot this rifle, this rifle is a FINE rifle as is right out of the box.
Well said,

Iv'e been trying to tell this to people. The problem is the cost of saami spec us made ammo. 7.62x39 ball ammo shouldn't cost the same as 30-06 hunting ammo. The manufacturers are ripping us off here. I don't blame people for looking for less costly alternatives. The good thing is that some have been found. I do have to agree with you that people shouldn't get ****ed of when thier 7.62x39 mini doesn't function well with non US made ammo as Ruger so clearly states in thier manual.
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Old 09-27-2011, 13:32   #11
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"USE EITHER STANDARD U.S. MILITARY OR FACTORY LOADED SPORTING 7.62 X 39MM CARTRIDGES MANUFACTURED IN ACCORDANCE WITH U.S. INDUSTRY PRACTICE.".
I looked this up on Ruger's web site just to double check what I was reading. This is certainly what it says in the NEW manuals, but it is not what the older ones said. This list of acceptable ammo is also clear as mud.

First, there is NO such thing as "US Military" ammo loaded in 7.62x39. Foreign Military, of course, US Military NO. Why would Ruger put this in the manual as acceptable ammunition if it doesn't exist? Maybe to muddy the waters as to what ammo will actually work in the Mini-30?? What else could it be?

Second, "Factory Loaded Sporting ...."?? Doesn't say US Manufactured Factory ammo, just that it should be loaded to US Industry Practice. What the hell is "US Industry Practice"? US Industry Standards, SAAMI and the like I can understand, but US Industry Practice?? Again nothing but nonsense and jibe-rush by Ruger. The waters are getting muddier.

Third, US Manufactured Factory Ammo loaded to US Industry Practice/Standards (SAAMI) with Berdan Primers is available and manufactured by Hornady. Steel cased, Berdan primer and made right here in the good old USA. Is this ammo going to work in the Mini-30 or is it going to break firing pins and cause misfires like other Berdan primed ammo even though it meets Ruger's short list of acceptable ammo? Lots of mud in the water now.

When I first thought about getting a Mini-30 several months ago I watched a video on their Web site about the Mini-30 Tactical. In this video they clearly stated that the Mini-30 could shoot Foreign Military and steel cased ammo. The video even showed the young man loading Wolf and another brand of steel cased ammo into the mag and blasting away. This video has recently been edited to omit the steel cased ammo comments. Why? Now the waters are really muddy. At least my waters are.
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Old 09-27-2011, 16:23   #12
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CZDiesel, I have only fired 20 rounds of the Hungarian MFS. Zero failure rate and good accuracy. In my experience Wolf has been the worst, Brown Bear has not been too bad.

I would like to see low cost providers like Wolf, Bear, Golden Tiger and other to make Boxer primed alternative like they do with .223. Why won't anyone make it? I still think the rifle should have been designed to fire Berdan primed loads.
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Old 09-27-2011, 17:19   #13
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LNisa1911, I too have hit a dead end finding out what Ruger considers acceptable ammo. Now I am trying to find out if the case of ammo I bought a few years ago from Cabela's produced by The Hunting Shack with steel cased and primed ( BXN stamped on the rim, I think Sellier & Bellot )loaded with a Hornady V-Max bullet is corrosive? A call to Hunting Shack confirmed nothing, although the tech was quite pleasant. I hate to throw away a case of ammo unless it is corrosive. ( no decent way to clean the firing pin ). Thanks for your imput. Dgang
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Old 09-27-2011, 17:20   #14
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I also have fired several boxes of MFS no issues, I have also shot the Hornady steel cased no issues...In the case of the Hornady WHY? Maybe because it is U.S. made...I inturpreted Ruger's statement that U.S. made, manufactured under saami conditions is what shoots RELIABLELY in this rifle. And it DOES!!!!! I will state again I have had NO FTF,FTE or any issue with this rifle...I have shot it all Remington,Winchester,etc.etc. This is what the rifle was MADE for... If I wanted to shoot Wolf, Tula,or Uly I would have bought an AK or SKS or something that was MADE for cheap RUSSIAN ammo....I'm not a gunsmith or nor do I load my own ammo. I read up on this rifle the Mini-30,I like the way it looks and the way it handles. It has gone bang the first time everytime I have pulled the trigger, It has been a FINE rifle as is right out of the box
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Old 09-27-2011, 17:26   #15
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bpartwthog, I do reload ( 12 diferent loads ) but got into the Mini 30 so I would not have to. The cost of the components are sky high, more than I would pay for American made ammo That is the reason a lot of people buy Mini 30. Don't like the Commie guns but like the ammo. Good shooting to you, dgang
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Old 09-27-2011, 19:37   #16
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.I inturpreted Ruger's statement that U.S. made, manufactured under saami conditions is what shoots RELIABLELY in this rifle
SAAMI Specs? Please take the time to explain what the SAAMI specs are for the 7.62 x 39. Of all the SAAMI specs I have read, I have yet to see one that designates a Boxer/Berdan primer. Case dimensions, Chamber Dimensions, and Max Pressure in either CUP, CIP or PSI, but never a stipulation on type of primer.

I'm all ears/eyes.
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Old 09-27-2011, 21:20   #17
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a while back there was a nice Ruger video ad claiming the mini-30 tactical will "of course eat steel cased ammo", done by some smooth talking Ruger rep demonstrating excellent shooting skills.

Then they retraced the ad.

so... what Ruger said before doesn't mean too much you see, it can all change tomorrow. (Except that "no honest man should need more than 10 rounds in his magazin" kind of statement (the one that suggested the mag capacity ban, remember? no? huh? ))


The mini30 will shoot most berdan rounds just fine. If the firing pin happens to break, Ruger will change out the pin for ya. (and A LOT OF people here claim the repair is free).
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Old 09-27-2011, 23:00   #18
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Originally Posted by Lisa1911 View Post
I looked this up on Ruger's web site just to double check what I was reading. This is certainly what it says in the NEW manuals, but it is not what the older ones said. This list of acceptable ammo is also clear as mud.

First, there is NO such thing as "US Military" ammo loaded in 7.62x39. Foreign Military, of course, US Military NO. Why would Ruger put this in the manual as acceptable ammunition if it doesn't exist? Maybe to muddy the waters as to what ammo will actually work in the Mini-30?? What else could it be?

Second, "Factory Loaded Sporting ...."?? Doesn't say US Manufactured Factory ammo, just that it should be loaded to US Industry Practice. What the hell is "US Industry Practice"? US Industry Standards, SAAMI and the like I can understand, but US Industry Practice?? Again nothing but nonsense and jibe-rush by Ruger. The waters are getting muddier.

Third, US Manufactured Factory Ammo loaded to US Industry Practice/Standards (SAAMI) with Berdan Primers is available and manufactured by Hornady. Steel cased, Berdan primer and made right here in the good old USA. Is this ammo going to work in the Mini-30 or is it going to break firing pins and cause misfires like other Berdan primed ammo even though it meets Ruger's short list of acceptable ammo? Lots of mud in the water now.

When I first thought about getting a Mini-30 several months ago I watched a video on their Web site about the Mini-30 Tactical. In this video they clearly stated that the Mini-30 could shoot Foreign Military and steel cased ammo. The video even showed the young man loading Wolf and another brand of steel cased ammo into the mag and blasting away. This video has recently been edited to omit the steel cased ammo comments. Why? Now the waters are really muddy. At least my waters are.
Actually, I remember reading somewhere that the Lake City arsenal did make 7.62x39 ammo back in the early 1970's, so our guys could use the captured AK's and SKS's during the vietnam war. Not sure if the military is contracting for this ammo now, but wouldn't be surprized if they are doing it secretly.
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Old 09-28-2011, 07:29   #19
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FYI, the Hornady Steel ammo is made from Russian Berdan-primed steel cases. Hornady buys them in bulk and loads their powder and bullet. Same FP issues will doubtlessly occur. I shoot steel only in my AKs.

M
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Old 09-28-2011, 09:11   #20
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Why " shame on you "

Originally Posted by bpartwthog View Post
"USE EITHER STANDARD U.S. MILITARY OR FACTORY LOADED SPORTING 7.62 X 39MM CARTRIDGES MANUFACTURED IN ACCORDANCE WITH U.S. INDUSTRY PRACTICE."...........
This is the statement in the Ruger manual for the Mini 30 in its use of ammunition. It seems to me two thirds of this whole forum is whether this gun can or can't shoot cheap, ****ty, crappy Russian ammo!!!! If this gun was purchased by YOU ( all ) just to shoot cheaper ammo, well shame on you, if your unhappy it doesn't.....I bought this rifle and I buy Remington,Winchester,Federal etc..It goes bang first time all the time...I have no FTF,FTE or any issues to complain about other than the price of this AMMO!!...
Buy this rifle, shoot this rifle, this rifle is a FINE rifle as is right out of the box.
I bought this rifle to shoot a Russian cartridge, the 7.62 Russian short. Maybe the most efficent .30 around. What is the reason I should be ashamed if I buy Russian ammo. Is this not the ammo Ruger intended to shoot in it? Just because American manufacters also produce this round ( for highly inflated prices for ammo and the components ) it is still based on the Russian ammo, which has been and will always be steel cased and Berdan primed It is like buying a Ford and then being told it only runs on aviation fuel.
Good shooting to you, dgang
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Old 09-28-2011, 10:52   #21
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Believe me do I wish my mini 30 would shoot more cheaply, yes!! I went to the SAAMI.ORG web site to get some knowledge but it is alot of thousands of inchs this and a thousands of inchs of that... So I'm going to interpret that this a process or standard of manufacturing that U.S. companys have to abide by. Maybe not so by our overseas counterparts. Believe me my knowledge is what I have learned from reading what is on this forum. So when I read that two/thirds or three/forths of people have issues with reliability shooting the russian round, I choose to buy american! Once again I will say I have not had any issues......I remember reading else where on this forum that primers whether berdan or boxed were set lower into the Russian cartridge, which I would imagine would create light firing pin hits if the gun was made to shoot something different. Like i said I am no guru when it comes to the tech in of all this. What I do know is that anything that I have shot whether Hornady steel cased or Remington ,Winchester,American Eagle has all gone bang. There are way to many threads on the shortcomings of the Russian round in the mini for me to want to try.......Good shooting to you as well! nothing like the smell of gun powder in the morning!!
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Old 09-28-2011, 17:24   #22
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I installed a 7.62X39 on my friends AR15 receiver a few years ago. I recall his brass cased factory and reloads worked fine. Russian steel cased stuff was pretty unreliable and had light primer strikes.
Our first thought was to get a stronger hammer spring. Then I noticed the primers seemed to be seated deeper in the steel cased stuff. Since he had a spare firing pin, we modified one to protrude a little more and sure enough, no more problems.

I don't own a Mini 30 but can't help wonder, if Ruger hand fits those firing pins, it may not be protruding quite enough, resulting in the pin hitting hard on the inside of the bolt and eventually breaking the tip? Adding a stronger hammer spring may help at first but could eventually do more harm than good.

Maybe one of you with the right tools can compare the firing pin protrusion on an SKS, AK4 and Mini 30, I'd be interested in the results.
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Old 09-28-2011, 22:34   #23
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Originally Posted by bpartwthog View Post
"USE EITHER STANDARD U.S. MILITARY OR FACTORY LOADED SPORTING 7.62 X 39MM CARTRIDGES MANUFACTURED IN ACCORDANCE WITH U.S. INDUSTRY PRACTICE."...........
This is the statement in the Ruger manual for the Mini 30 in its use of ammunition. It seems to me two thirds of this whole forum is whether this gun can or can't shoot cheap, ****ty, crappy Russian ammo!!!! If this gun was purchased by YOU ( all ) just to shoot cheaper ammo, well shame on you, if your unhappy it doesn't.....I bought this rifle and I buy Remington,Winchester,Federal etc..It goes bang first time all the time...I have no FTF,FTE or any issues to complain about other than the price of this AMMO!!...
Buy this rifle, shoot this rifle, this rifle is a FINE rifle as is right out of the box.
First off if you know anything about me here, which you don't, I have been almost banned and takin to the moderators section more than anybody defending both Ruger and the Mini-30....
All I was asking if there might be a load that steel cased shooters might be able to look to in their pursuit.....
Now I have shot MFS but only their brass cased/boxer primed stuff.... My M-30 has over 2000 rds without failure but I only shoot brass/boxer... Either manu or reloads of my own. Having said that..... wouldnt it be nice to find a nice cheap alt?
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Old 09-29-2011, 13:10   #24
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FWIW, I get the impression that Ruger's position on steel-cased Com-bloc ammo (both 7.62 and 5.56) is "yes, but no." In other words, the rifles will fire it, but Ruger neither endorses nor recommends it.

As to the ammo recommendations in the manual -- that's exactly the same verbage used in the Mini-14 manual. Seems to me that they just used the same wording, without consideration of whether or not the U.S. Military uses that particular caliber. I'd bet you'll find the same warnings in the 6.8SPC manuals, too. That is, if they even provide a different manual for Mini-14s, Mini-30s, and Mini-6.8s... Give 'em a break!

My $0.02? Fire corrosive/Berdan-primed/steel-cased/foreign ammo at your own risk, and be thankful when Ruger replaces your broken firing pin for you. You know that the possibility of breakage exists (by virtue of reading threads here at PU). I understand the lure of cheap ammo, I do. But isn't it reasonable that you have to trade some reliability for a lower price?
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Old 09-30-2011, 14:35   #25
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most all the Russki x39 ammo is made with the AK in mind and it is notorious for 'slam fires'. therein is the reason for the tougher primers.
the SKS isn't nearely as bad for this but still has a vigorous firing pin strike which could conceivably puncture less robut primers. I won't shoot any Russki x39 ammo in my M30.
I haven't had any problem with other european makers x39 including the mildly corrosive Yugo brass-cased berdan primed now widely available at a good price - at least for now.
also no problems with any Chinese (no longer available due to Billary's restrictions)
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