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

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Old 08-19-2012, 13:40   #1
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Removing bolt from Mini14

I have owned a 183 for 25 years and just bought a 581. I clean my guns after every shooting session. In all those years I have never removed the bolt or op rod. I don't see any need to remove them since I can get to everything for cleaning without removing them. Am I missing something?
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Old 08-19-2012, 14:44   #2
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I am a Ruger newbie, with experience limited to the M30 ranch rifle, so YMMV.

the dirtiest part of my rifle is the gas block area. I dont see how to clean that area without a field strip.

After a few times, you find the Rugers come apart and back together pretty easily. The Ruger site has wonderful vids on how to do this in their support section.
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Old 08-19-2012, 14:48   #3
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I swear the guy on the Ruger site video is a Las Vegas card dealer. He slips the bolt in and out like a regular card shark. It takes me forever to fumble mine out. Easier shown on the video than done.
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Old 08-19-2012, 15:08   #4
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Originally Posted by Pier23 View Post
I am a Ruger newbie, with experience limited to the M30 ranch rifle, so YMMV.

the dirtiest part of my rifle is the gas block area. I dont see how to clean that area without a field strip.

After a few times, you find the Rugers come apart and back together pretty easily. The Ruger site has wonderful vids on how to do this in their support section.
To clean the gas block all I do is lock the bolt back,squirt it with WD40, hit it with a tooth brush and Q-tips and I'm done. Still don't see why the bolt or op rod need to be removed. Not saying I can't do it, just never had a need to try.
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Old 08-19-2012, 15:43   #5
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I'm meticulous when it comes to cleaning my weapons, so I strip them down after every range session to clean them. I tend to scrub and pick at every nook and cranny, so having the parts out makes my life easier.

Besides that, it's easier to oil and grease everything when it's all apart.

As always, YMMV.
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Old 08-19-2012, 17:13   #6
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I cheat. I separate the action from the stock. I spray it down with Walmart carb cleaner and then re-oil. I run a bore snake threw though bore for good measure.

I do a take down clean at least once a year and do everything from stem to stern but, in between, I'm a slacker. My Mini's are also stainless steel models. kwg
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Old 08-19-2012, 18:15   #7
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Originally Posted by kwg020 View Post
I cheat. I separate the action from the stock. I spray it down with Walmart carb cleaner and then re-oil. I run a bore snake threw though bore for good measure.

I do a take down clean at least once a year and do everything from stem to stern but, in between, I'm a slacker. My Mini's are also stainless steel models. kwg
This is pretty much what I do as well with the exception of the annual takedown. I use WD40, grease, and boresnake. Both of mine are SS as well and my 25 year old 183 is still like new. I'm not looking for more work, but was wondering if I'm missing something. My question is when you do your annual takedown, do you find anything that was missed durng your regular cleaning?
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Old 08-19-2012, 18:30   #8
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Originally Posted by Hellgate View Post
I swear the guy on the Ruger site video is a Las Vegas card dealer. He slips the bolt in and out like a regular card shark. It takes me forever to fumble mine out. Easier shown on the video than done.
I cheat and look at the bolt assy from underneath, looking thru the mag well. You can see how the bolt nubs have to be aligned.
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Old 08-19-2012, 21:48   #9
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Question: After you take the gun apart for cleaning (bolt out, action out of the stock) do you have to re-zero the rifle? I'm used to keeping my guns together and not taking them out of the stock so I don't have to keep sighting them in again. I'm talking bolt and pump guns. My mini is a different beast altogether.
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Old 08-20-2012, 04:41   #10
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Originally Posted by wxl View Post
This is pretty much what I do as well with the exception of the annual takedown. I use WD40, grease, and boresnake. Both of mine are SS as well and my 25 year old 183 is still like new. I'm not looking for more work, but was wondering if I'm missing something. My question is when you do your annual takedown, do you find anything that was missed durng your regular cleaning?

The only thing I'm finding is the carbon around the gas block. It's on hard and takes a little more scrubbing. I also take my bolt out and spray it down and lube the firing pin without taking the bolt apart. That means I put thin oil in the firing pin hole just to keep some oil in it. It's very little more work.

Another extra I do is scrub the barrel good with Brasso to keep the bore shiney and remove copper. kwg
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Old 08-20-2012, 05:54   #11
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After 25 years I would definitely spend the time to remove the bolt, disassemble it and clean it thoroughly. My website has a video showing how to do it with simple tools and you can use a small brush and Q-tips to clean the inside and scrub the firing pin clean. Even using Gun Scrubber won't flush everything out of the bolt body as most of the oils have turned to varnish after this long. Clean the extractor and extractor spring/plunger for the same reason. Reassemble and take comfort that the bolt is nice and clean and ready for (probably) better action.

BTW - I use small brushes for paint guns and pipe cleaners to provide the scrubbing action. although a cleaned mascara brush would work well, too.
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Old 08-20-2012, 08:47   #12
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Thx Gundoc, you are probably right plus it sure won't hurt to look. As far as doing it everytime I clean, I guess it's a personal preference whether to do it or not. I haven't heard any compelling reason to do it and it's worked for me for 25 years.
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:18   #13
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I wouldn't do it everytime you clean, but I do recommend an annual or bi-annual clean and inspection. Just like the lubricants in your car, gun oils wear out, gum up, brass shavings build up...good maintenance will ensure another 25 years of use and enjoyment. I also recommend doing the gas block at the same time. Corrosion inside the gas block can form that you can't see or clean without disassembly.
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Old 08-20-2012, 20:54   #14
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Thanks Gundoc, sound advise especially concerning the brass shavings. I've read where this could cause the firing pin to jam and cause doubles.
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Old 08-20-2012, 21:18   #15
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Old 08-21-2012, 12:39   #16
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Originally Posted by Hellgate View Post
I swear the guy on the Ruger site video is a Las Vegas card dealer. He slips the bolt in and out like a regular card shark. It takes me forever to fumble mine out. Easier shown on the video than done.
Try standing the receiver on end (muzzle facing up). then you can look down into the action and see the grooves the bolt must fit into. I was doing it the way the ruger video guy demonstrated and was fumbling for way longer than i'd like to admit... Now i pop it out and drop it back in place in a flash...
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Old 08-21-2012, 13:33   #17
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My problem was getting it out.
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Old 08-21-2012, 18:37   #18
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Took the bolt out the first time ever. Had no trouble taking it out. No trouble putting it back in once I lined up the firing pin with the slot by looking at it from the bottom. Took the bolt apart and found a small amount of gunk and one small sliver of copper. Gave it a thorough cleaning and put it back together. Couldn't have done it without your video Gundoc. Also used your video to do a partial trigger job. Really improved the trigger a lot. Thanks.
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Old 08-21-2012, 19:05   #19
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I take mine out cause there not much to it. do it once then after that its pretty easy.
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Old 08-21-2012, 19:23   #20
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First few times I took the bolt out I struggled to get it back in. I have a .22 conversion kit and now I can swap the bolt with the lighter one in a few seconds.
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Old 08-22-2012, 07:14   #21
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A lot of carbon builds up in the hole in the op-rod, I would definitely clean that out. Oh and loose the WD-40, get some hoppes #9 and break free.
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Old 08-23-2012, 07:55   #22
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Originally Posted by greyeyezz View Post
A lot of carbon builds up in the hole in the op-rod, I would definitely clean that out. Oh and loose the WD-40, get some hoppes #9 and break free.
+1. WD-40 is not for firearms. The most crud in a Mini 14 is around the fixed piston and the hole in the Op Rod. Easy to clean, and I believe it should be done after every shooting.
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Old 08-23-2012, 09:39   #23
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Originally Posted by Rogervzv View Post
+1. WD-40 is not for firearms. The most crud in a Mini 14 is around the fixed piston and the hole in the Op Rod. Easy to clean, and I believe it should be done after every shooting.
I've done a lot of reading on the use of WD40 for firearms and there is a lot of disagreement. Some people swear by it and others think it's the root of all evil. I've been using it for 35 years on all my firearms and 25 on my Mini without any issues. I like using it because of the extended spray tip allows me to flush out all the small cracks and crevices. The small tip also allows me to flush out the bolt in place from both the firing pin hole in the front and the firing pin opening in the back. After flushing everything out, I wipe it off and apply oil or grease. I also clean out the piston and hole after each session, but this can be done in place with a 38 cal brush and either WD40 and every so often with Hoppes without removing the bolt or op rod. I might try the carb cleaner next time to see how that works.

On another note, I just finished removing and cleaning the bolt on my 581 and found that a little more difficult than the 183 having to remove the side plate and bolt hold back clip before the bolt would come out. Any insights on why the 581 is different?
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Old 08-23-2012, 09:54   #24
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Only thing WD 40 is good for is a water displacer, it is not a good lube and it will turn gummy in time. It can be used as a penetrate to break loose rusted nuts and bolts but there are way better products on the market for that.
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Old 08-25-2012, 15:07   #25
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Originally Posted by jackblack86 View Post
I take mine out cause there not much to it. do it once then after that its pretty easy.
The first time I disassembled and cleaned my mini was difficult. It's not any trouble to do after a few times.
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