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

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Old 03-05-2012, 22:31   #1
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Mini 30 malfunction

I am new to the mini 30/14 platform. Just picked up a mini 30 at local gun show. Gun was very dirty. I spent 2 days getting it clean, but when I went to the range today, and fired 3 different types of ammo, the gun would short stroke and return the fired case to the chamber. What did I miss?
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Old 03-05-2012, 22:37   #2
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edit: Oh...Welcome to PerfectUnion Old Jim!

Make sure the recoil spring guide rod pointed tip is up...closer to the barrel.

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Old 03-06-2012, 04:39   #3
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If edorfox tip is not the issue, you might have to see if there is obstruction in the gas block.
Ruger doesnt always put the gas block on nice and square, so you might want to do this anyway.
I'll see if I can find the detailed link on this.
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Old 03-06-2012, 04:43   #4
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here we go. a video by a pro: Ruger Mini 14 gas port bushings by Great West Gunsmithing
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Old 03-06-2012, 07:00   #5
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Cycle by hand and see if there is something binding the action, then check the guide rod and spring for propper alignment. Could be an extra power spring installed with the too small of gas block bushing.
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Old 03-06-2012, 13:22   #6
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Originally Posted by KingANuthin View Post
King - that was a good video...although he didn't state why one might want to change out their gas bushing. Is this for when a gun is malfunctioning (such as the OP's issue) or do some people tune the bushing to their style of shooting? I note that the gunsmith sells replacements in sets of 3...why would I want 3 and not just one?
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Old 03-06-2012, 13:52   #7
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Originally Posted by wahoowad View Post
King - that was a good video...although he didn't state why one might want to change out their gas bushing. Is this for when a gun is malfunctioning (such as the OP's issue) or do some people tune the bushing to their style of shooting? I note that the gunsmith sells replacements in sets of 3...why would I want 3 and not just one?
The main reason guys change their gas port bushings is to reduce the 100-yard brass chucking, avoid damage to optics (I've always heard about this, but never witnessed it...), and possibly reduce barrel harmonics due to the double beating the rifle takes.

Most places sell sets of gas port bushings, because every shooter is different, and every load is different. American surplus ammo tends to be loaded hotter than commercial .223, which is hotter than the imported stuff. So if your rifle is reliable with a .042" bushing on American 5.56, it may not cycle with imported ammo. In that case you'd want to run a slightly larger bushing (say, .045"). If it still doesn't cycle, a .050" bushing may be needed.

To the OP: Try a different brand of ammo. If a previous owner has installed a smaller bushing, your ammo may not "have enough ass" to cycle the action. If it's a factory bushing (trust me, you'll know -- the holes in those things are ginormous...), then there's something else wrong.
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Old 03-07-2012, 14:27   #8
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LOL, I make my gas port buffers from Earl's automotive hose scrap I had in my garage.

I tried the 1911 buffers, but they only held up for about 100 rounds, but the short "ring' of hose was free, and holds up over 500 rounds... (I've only changed them because I can, not because it failed, you could see it was beat up, but the Earl's blue silicone hose is bonded with cord, and the stuff is pretty tough, so far, no failures.)

I suppose any automotive gas/fuel line might work. Just get it ID so it will slip over the gas port, and spring guide rod, cut two 1/8" rings of hose, slip one over the gas port, and the other as show on the buffer end where the guide rod fits into the reciever, and go shooting.

The rifle will not slam as much, will eject brass not as far, but should still cycle fine, and the bolt hold open should work too. (If not, shorten your buffer thickness on either end as needed.)
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Old 03-07-2012, 15:29   #9
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ive heard a scrap of leather works good too
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Old 03-07-2012, 17:41   #10
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Originally Posted by Adjuster View Post
LOL, I make my gas port buffers from Earl's automotive hose scrap I had in my garage.

I tried the 1911 buffers, but they only held up for about 100 rounds, but the short "ring' of hose was free, and holds up over 500 rounds... (I've only changed them because I can, not because it failed, you could see it was beat up, but the Earl's blue silicone hose is bonded with cord, and the stuff is pretty tough, so far, no failures.)

I suppose any automotive gas/fuel line might work. Just get it ID so it will slip over the gas port, and spring guide rod, cut two 1/8" rings of hose, slip one over the gas port, and the other as show on the buffer end where the guide rod fits into the reciever, and go shooting.

The rifle will not slam as much, will eject brass not as far, but should still cycle fine, and the bolt hold open should work too. (If not, shorten your buffer thickness on either end as needed.)
Originally Posted by KingANuthin View Post
ive heard a scrap of leather works good too
For buffers, yes. But I thought the question was about bushings...
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Old 03-07-2012, 21:29   #11
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Originally Posted by COBrien View Post
For buffers, yes. But I thought the question was about bushings...
no.. the question was about the mini not cycling and possible causes. I thought the buffers was brought up because if you have them and they are too big, your mini could fail to cycle.
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Old 03-08-2012, 04:55   #12
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I think the answer he is looking for is the bushing size has the most influence on how far your brass is launched. My mini was doing the same thing yesterday. First FTE I have had with this gun but the reason for my errors I think is because I was trying Tulammo. Steel cases were sticking in the chamber. What type of ammo were you using?
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Old 03-08-2012, 05:40   #13
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Originally Posted by glenwatkins View Post
I think the answer he is looking for is the bushing size has the most influence on how far your brass is launched. My mini was doing the same thing yesterday. First FTE I have had with this gun but the reason for my errors I think is because I was trying Tulammo. Steel cases were sticking in the chamber. What type of ammo were you using?
I was referring to the question by the original poster, the one who created this thread.

"I am new to the mini 30/14 platform. Just picked up a mini 30 at local gun show. Gun was very dirty. I spent 2 days getting it clean, but when I went to the range today, and fired 3 different types of ammo, the gun would short stroke and return the fired case to the chamber. What did I miss? "

Just trying to stay on his topic..
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Old 03-08-2012, 07:03   #14
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So was I. Not directed at anyone just trying to answer his question!
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Old 03-08-2012, 07:22   #15
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Originally Posted by KingANuthin View Post
no.. the question was about the mini not cycling and possible causes. I thought the buffers was brought up because if you have them and they are too big, your mini could fail to cycle.
This is the question I was answering in that particular post...

Originally Posted by wahoowad View Post
King - that was a good video...although he didn't state why one might want to change out their gas bushing. Is this for when a gun is malfunctioning (such as the OP's issue) or do some people tune the bushing to their style of shooting? I note that the gunsmith sells replacements in sets of 3...why would I want 3 and not just one?
Anyhow, yes, buffers could be an issue. Bushings could be an issue. Ammo could be an issue. We need some more input from the OP here...
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Old 03-08-2012, 09:37   #16
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Originally Posted by COBrien View Post
This is the question I was answering in that particular post...



Anyhow, yes, buffers could be an issue. Bushings could be an issue. Ammo could be an issue. We need some more input from the OP here...
lol.. i was thinking the same thing.. Hello?? You there?
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