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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
UPDATE Brand new mini 14 problem

Before I begin let me just say that YES I did read a ton of other posts on this site and many others about my problem. Unfortunately I read a ton of troubleshooting post but none ever ended in the problem being completely corrected. I chose to sign up for this site because you all seem to be the most knowledgeable on mini 14's.

My problem:

FAILURE TO EXTRACT

History of gun:

Its brand spanking new!!!

I shot:

1 box pmc bronze 55gr
1 box Federal 5.56 M193 ball
2 boxes metal cased stuff (I cant remember the brand but it was the cheap russian berdan primed stuff)
1 box Remington UMC 55gr

Total of 100rds

Everything started out working just fine but after about 60rds I started to have failure to extract problems. The round would not come out of the chamber and the bolt would be held back by the next round jammed up. Every time it was an easy clear (drop mag, let bolt close and pull back on handle which extracted and ejected the case easily). In the last 40rds this happened about 6 times. However while shooting those last 40rds I did notice a few empties would roll over the edge and barely clear the action. All the cases I checked looked fine. There was some brass marks on the outside of the handle(i dont know if that is normal or not). When I got home I cleaned everything really good. After checking online I pulled the extractor off the bolt and inspected the plunger, extractor and spring. They all look "ok" but I don't know what i'm looking for really. The plunger did look marred a bit but everything seemed like it was how it should be.

I did do a good initial cleaning before firing.
Looking into the chamber nothing seems scarred or rough.
The rifle was flawless for the first 60rds including the metal stuff.
I never let it heat up to hot because I kept checking my target (sighting in).
It was a warmer when it happened but I wouldn't say it was super hot.
After I got home I cycled 20rds through it by hand and everything worked fine.
serial numbers start with 582
All Mags were Ruger Factory 1 5rd 2 20rd "pre-ban" :rolleyes:

I know other people have had this problem. was it ever fixed? What the hell is going on?

I'm 39 years old and have wanted a mini 14 since I bought my 10/22 when I was 18 years old. 21 years I waited for this gun only to have it be a lemon!!!!!!

HELP!!!!
 

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First, clean the gun.
Lube it properly including grease in the operating rod notch where the bolt mates with it. (Cam notch)
Go shoot it again with only one type of ammo, preferably brass cases.
If you have problems again, repeat the previous with one type of different ammo.

It sounds like the gun needs to "break in" and has a few burrs somewhere. At first 'glance' that is.

You will need to segregate the variables to find the root cause of the issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So is it just a dirty chamber?

I did clean the crap out of it when I first brought it home. i find it disturbing that after only 60rds this gun will start to malfunction due to a dirty chamber. I always thought mini's were known for their reliability.

This gun was almost $700. If I can't shoot more than 60rds between cleanings I'm really going to be upset and pissed!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes, had the problem with a 20rd and the 5rd. The other 20rd I didn't use at the end of the session.

This isn't my first rifle I scrubbed it and oiled it really good during my initial cleaning.

If it was a dirty chamber wouldn't it have the problem from the start? could it have been the russian stuff? It didnt happen till after I used it but it only happened to the brass ammo.
 

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This problem is not not to be unexpected until it is "broken in". If you have not already done so, field strip and clean your mini (Do it slowly and methodically according to the manual). Next time out use just one type of ammo to eliminate that variable, Your problem is also typical when shooting brass cased ammo after shooting steel cased ammo. Steel cased ammo typically shoots dirty (leaves alot of powder residue) becase the steel case does not expand upon firing and dirties up the chamber fairly quickly. Then when you shoot the brass cased ammo, it expands and sticks to the dirty chamber.The best thing to do is to only shoot brass cased ammo during break-in (up to 300 rnds). Clean out your rifle after every 40 to 50 rnds during break in. Hopefully this shoot and clean procedure will resolve your problem.
As an aside, my policy is to never shoot steel cased ammo in my mini. I think you will save yourself alot of functioning problems if you do the same. Sticking with one type of ammo in each shooting session (brass or steel) should minimize any ammo related issues.

The brass markings on your op-rod is normal in a Ranch Mini, It would be unusual in a standard mini which ejects spent cases straight up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
40nascar,

That makes a lot of sense. I will give it a try as soon as ammo becomes available again. Unfortunately both gun stores by my home are back ordered 8-10 months!

Thank You
 

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Mixing steel cased and brass ammo will create a stoppage. The steel cases let more carbon into the chamber making extraction more difficult. I use a bore snake to clean it after every 20 or so rounds, especially while new. This seems to go away with some use but steel will always be a little dirtier in the chamber.

I also lube the channel where the front (weighted) end of the op rod rides along with the grove on the side of the receiver where the receiver end of the op rod rides. The Mini will break in after a while. You need to give it 200 rounds. kwg

Read up:
http://www.luckygunner.com/labs/brass-vs-steel-cased-ammo/
 

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Yes, had the problem with a 20rd and the 5rd. The other 20rd I didn't use at the end of the session.

This isn't my first rifle I scrubbed it and oiled it really good during my initial cleaning.

If it was a dirty chamber wouldn't it have the problem from the start? could it have been the russian stuff? It didnt happen till after I used it but it only happened to the brass ammo.
Clean the action and spray it with electrical contact cleaner and let it completely dry. Use dry molybdenum disulfide and brush all over the action with a very soft brush. Do the same thing with one of your magazines and see what happens.
I have been using molybdenum disulfide on my Ruger 10-22 with Federal & CCI 22LR for 30 years with never a FTF, FTL or FTE. Regarding my 581 Mini 14 Ranch, so far I have had good luck using the same cleaning and molybdenum disulfide lubing regime using Remington Premier Accutip and American Eagle Tactical AE223 ammo with no fails. Give it a try, what do you have to lose, however, your results may vary.
Let us know your results if you choose to try molybdenum disulfide.
 

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Really? So its not a simple fix like breaking it in or an extractor or something?
Hi slazykz;

My vote is with a fouled chamber combined with "breakin period". I would clean the living beejeepers out of that chamber, ensure that the gas cylinder is clear of any fouling, and thoroughly dry chamber, bore, and gas assembly. Then lube the rifle with a grease rather than oil (oil tends to run, garand actions like the mini and the M14 were traditionally lubed with "plastilube" or "lubriplate" greases). The "GI cup grease" you can get surplus or on ebay (little yellow lidded cups of grease for the Garand, M14, M1 Carbine, etc) work fine, though I have heard of others using automotive grease. In a pinch I will use LSA (also a surplus item).

Anyway, clean it, grease it, and try it again with good quality ammo. Try some M193 loads if you can find 'em - they're a bit hotter than the other loads you were using.

Good luck and keep us posted on how its going,
Grumpy
PS Do a search and you'll get ideas of what others are using to lube their minis - I usually treat mine the same as a GI M14 or M1 Garand as far as lubrication goes and haven't had issues there. Did have a broken firing pin once, but that was an unrelated issue!
 

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As with any mechanical device, there is an operator learning curve. Clean it, oil it, and shoot it with one ammo other than steel until you feel it is completely broke in. Leave the steel stuff at home for the first 200-400 rounds then try it. Learn to reload the brass, it will be worth it. kwg
 

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Learn this mantra and you'll be good to go:
Steel before brass will bite you in the @ss.

As 40nascar and kwg020 have already said, it's most likely just a fouled chamber from all that communist ammo. :lol: Get yourself a 9mm bore brush, make a 90* bend in it about 2.5" from the tip (where the bristles are), and go to town on your chamber with your favorite solvent.

Clean your chamber this way any time you shoot steel-cased ammo, before moving on to brass.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thank you all for your answers. I did call Ruger this morning to ask about the problem. They said the same thing as a lot of you that steel ammo before brass is no bueno. However to be on the safe side they are sending me out a new extractor, plunger, and spring. I must say the customer service was excellent.

Thank you all for your answers. I will update this as soon as I can shoot again (whenever ammo becomes available).
 

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Thank you all for your answers. I did call Ruger this morning to ask about the problem. They said the same thing as a lot of you that steel ammo before brass is no bueno. However to be on the safe side they are sending me out a new extractor, plunger, and spring. I must say the customer service was excellent.

Thank you all for your answers. I will update this as soon as I can shoot again (whenever ammo becomes available).
I think you are being steered right. Did you really only have 100 rounds of ammo for your rifle?
 
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