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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Mini 30 tactical...has never malfunctioned. Put it in a factory wood stock and after some relief for the op rod it’s been 100%. Here is where it gets weird and I can’t figure out why.

Installed a 1911 buffer on the gas nipple and on the guide rod. Every shot the trigger group pops out. This has never happened. I removed the one from the gas block and left the one on guide rod now it’s fine.

Is this normal? Why would this happen? Which buffer is more important if I can run only one? Im guessing the rear as the forward movement would be buffered by stripping and chambering a round. Thoughts?
 

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Yes, ive seen this issue come up on an online mini 14 evaluation. Apparently if the thickness of the two buffers exceed a certain amount, it interfers with the function of the Op-rod. I only install a buffer on the reciever side. Installing one on the gas nozzle side gets chewed up pretty fast anyway because of the heat. Of course you are welcome to experiment on either side to see what works best in your mini.
 

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If your trigger group pops out, it's barely being held in, front buffer or not.
I'm at a loss as to why the trigger group is more apt to fall out when using a front buffer.
But I'd investigate why the hooks on the trigger guard are barely grabbing the receiver.

Many are afraid to run a front buffer, but I believe the front is far more important.
If anyone has different thoughts on this please share them.

Take your barreled action out of the stock, turn it upside down and cycle it slowly.
You have to hold the front of the op-rod while you do this to keep it in place without the stock.
The op-rod will contact the front of receiver when all the way back, and the back of the bolt kisses the inside top of receiver. (You'll see a rub mark there).
You've got a stout recoil spring that is being compressed as the op-rod travels rearward.
That slows the rod considerably so it doesn't slam back too hard.

Now look at the front of the op-rod as it goes forward. Slowing it down going forward, there is the bolt stripping off a round, and some friction of the round being chambered.
And maybe a small amount of friction from the op-rod glancing off areas of the heat liner in the stock.
None of those friction events are very significant.
That stout recoil spring is being un-compressed, and the op-rod slams against the gas block with a lot of force.

That slamming can be very hard on optics, not good as far as metal to metal contact (clangy and harsh) and not beneficial to good accuracy.

A front buffer is NOT going to prevent the bolt from going into full battery either, as some think.
Take your Mini again, with or without the stock, and cycle the op-rod, holding on to it as it goes forward.
After the bolt locks up fully, the op-rod will keep traveling a good 1/4' forward.

As 40nascar said, the combined thickness of the two buffers could cause problems.
So do what I do, and have done now for 8 years.
Slice your buffers down the middle, and use a half thickness buffer on BOTH ends of the op-rod.
You prevent metal to metal contact, still have some cushioning, and won't have any functioning issues.

That polymer that Wilson uses in their 1911 Shok Buffs is very tough, you won't be able to slice them very evenly with a razor knife, even if it has a brand new blade in it.
I clamp half the buffer in a vise, and use the Dremel cutter that looks like a miniature circular saw blade. Cut half, flip around in the vise, and cut the other half.
They won't be perfectly smooth, but that's fine.
As a bonus, you'll now have twice as many buffers as when you started.


I've never had a front buffer get chewed up. Not ever.
If you are getting front buffers chewed up, look at the front of your op-rod.
If it has sharp edges or a ridge or lip running across it, it needs to be smoothed.
Do that and you'll never have damaged buffers.

What does damage front buffers are the heat and carbon from powder gases.
Buffers will get charred, blackened and brittle eventually.
While rear buffers last almost forever, front ones will have to be changed out periodically.

Even though mine look fine, no splits or tears, if I feel them and they are hard with no give, I put a new one in.
Buffers are cheap, optics are not. And there are accuracy benefits to using a front buffer as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I can't explain why the group was popping out but it was...every shot. Very bizarre.

Agree on the optics. My M1as chew them up too. Ive found the best options for toughness to be SWFA at under 1k. Just grabbed a Burris 1.5-6...will throw that in rotation.

I run Warne QDs for the integrated mounts so its easy to swap em.
 

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My newest Mini 30 came with a laminate stock...very pretty and heavy. It kept dropping the trigger group every third or fourth shot, even after I checked the trigger guard lock and catch areas. I got to investigating and found the distance of the laminate stock from top to bottom in the trigger area to be almost 1/16th greater than my factory wood and polymer stocks!
I dropped the action and trigger into an extra poly stock and no more self-disassembly.
As to why the OP's rifle is only doing this when the buffers are installed has me puzzled too.
 

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I had that problem with the trigger group popping out. I unsnapped it from the assembly and gave the metal trigger guard more of a bend towards the buttstock and it solved my problems. You don't have to bend it that much, just enough to get it to engage better.
That was a couple hundred rounds ago.
 

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I am certain the mini series was designed to function just fine, with longevity, without any “buffers” added to them.
 

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I am certain the mini series was designed to function just fine, with longevity, without any "buffers" added to them.
I, and everyone else that runs buffers, will agree with you on the longevity part.
But I see no downsides to having a softer shooting, more accurate Mini, and one that is easier on your expensive optics.
"As long as reliability is not compromised".

If buffers are giving you issues, and you are certain that the buffers are the problem," then don't use them".
And those of us that have never, ever had a problem caused from the use of buffers, will continue to use them.

I've used stock Minis, and they go bang like they are supposed to.
But I much prefer to shoot my "modded" Minis over any stock Mini.
 

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I, and everyone else that runs buffers, will agree with you on the longevity part.
But I see no downsides to having a softer shooting, more accurate Mini, and one that is easier on your expensive optics.
"As long as reliability is not compromised".

If buffers are giving you issues, and you are certain that the buffers are the problem," then don't use them".
And those of us that have never, ever had a problem caused from the use of buffers, will continue to use them.

I've used stock Minis, and they go bang like they are supposed to.
But I much prefer to shoot my "modded" Minis over any stock Mini.
I doubt you would like one where the short-stroking causes a problem.
 

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I wouldn't like one where ANYTHING caused a problem.
Goes without saying.....
If you ever have a problem, find out what causes it and fix it.

Go back and read all the threads here and on Ruger forum where guys have problems with Minis right out of the box. Stock, brand new, unmodified Minis.
 

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I wouldn't like one where ANYTHING caused a problem.
Goes without saying.....
If you ever have a problem, find out what causes it and fix it.

Go back and read all the threads here and on Ruger forum where guys have problems with Minis right out of the box. Stock, brand new, unmodified Minis.
And yet people want to take a problematic gun and add uncalled for items to them, that make the bolt travel less than specified. Silly.
 

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I have had several Mini-14 and Mini-30's all with Wilson shock buffers.
Every single one ran better with them and not a single one has ever had an issue.
Silly not to run them and I have never seen a Wilson shock buffer cause a short stroke problem.
As Sandog said they save wear and tear on the rifle
and scope.
 

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And yet people want to take a problematic gun and add uncalled for items to them, that make the bolt travel less than specified. Silly.
Why would someone take a Mini known to be "problematic" and put add-ons to it ? Doesn't make any sense. That you would state that is silly.
What we are talking about here (and I guess you aren't on the same page), is improving a great rifle and making it even better.

Nothing problematic about any of the Minis I've had, unless it was something I forgot to do, like put in a bigger gas bushing after shortening the barrel.
Go home, open the gas block and put in the correct size, problem solved.

Bolt travel less than specified ?
As I said earlier, if you don't believe me, grab your Mini ( if you own one that is) and slowly pull back the charging handle, and watch the bolt as the rear of the op-rod makes contact with the receiver.
The bolt will come back plenty far enough to eject and be able to strip the next round in the mag, with or without a rear buffer.
No hindrance of the bolt travel.

Now do the same, keep holding onto the charging handle and slowly let it go forward. The bolt will go fully into battery and lock up, then the op-rod will keep going forward as much as 1/4".
Again no hindrance of the bolt travel.

If bolt travel and uber-reliability are that much of a concern, play on the safe side and use half thickness buffers like I do.
If you are going to have a problem in that regard, it is more likely when using a very thick buffer.
Like most things in life, don't get carried away and overdo it.

Reverend, if you don't want to use buffers, smaller gas bushings, shimming your stock, or any other mods, fine, no one will give you grief about it.
But insinuating that we are asking for problems by doing mods like this is a bit of a stretch, because we know better.
99.9% of us that use buffers don't see a downside, that the OP did is a bit of a mystery, which you aren't helping to solve by deriding out choices.

As I said above, the contact of trigger guard hooks into the receiver must be minimal with the stock he has, with or without buffers.
Even if he decides to forego the front buffer, I'd be wondering if the trigger group was going to fall out anyway every time I shot it again.
Fix that, and then try the front buffer once more.
 

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Why would someone take a Mini known to be "problematic" and put add-ons to it ? Doesn't make any sense. That you would state that is silly.
What we are talking about here (and I guess you aren't on the same page), is improving a great rifle and making it even better.

Nothing problematic about any of the Minis I've had, unless it was something I forgot to do, like put in a bigger gas bushing after shortening the barrel.
Go home, open the gas block and put in the correct size, problem solved.

Bolt travel less than specified ?
As I said earlier, if you don't believe me, grab your Mini ( if you own one that is) and slowly pull back the charging handle, and watch the bolt as the rear of the op-rod makes contact with the receiver.
The bolt will come back plenty far enough to eject and be able to strip the next round in the mag, with or without a rear buffer.
No hindrance of the bolt travel.

Now do the same, keep holding onto the charging handle and slowly let it go forward. The bolt will go fully into battery and lock up, then the op-rod will keep going forward as much as 1/4".
Again no hindrance of the bolt travel.

If bolt travel and uber-reliability are that much of a concern, play on the safe side and use half thickness buffers like I do.
If you are going to have a problem in that regard, it is more likely when using a very thick buffer.
Like most things in life, don't get carried away and overdo it.

Reverend, if you don't want to use buffers, smaller gas bushings, shimming your stock, or any other mods, fine, no one will give you grief about it.
But insinuating that we are asking for problems by doing mods like this is a bit of a stretch, because we know better.
99.9% of us that use buffers don't see a downside, that the OP did is a bit of a mystery, which you aren't helping to solve by deriding out choices.

As I said above, the contact of trigger guard hooks into the receiver must be minimal with the stock he has, with or without buffers.
Even if he decides to forego the front buffer, I'd be wondering if the trigger group was going to fall out anyway every time I shot it again.
Fix that, and then try the front buffer once more.
Obviously what you are stating is not true for everyone, lest this thread would not have happened. I guess your honesty, or comprehension, is an issue as well.
The guns I own that came with buffers still have them, those that didn't, including 1911's and mini's, do not. I think the designer knows more than you do about his designs needs.
Loads of shooters that don't subscribe to these forums have no idea that a buffer has even been suggested for their mini. And yet they all work just fine.
 

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No one has suggested that Minis that have never seen a buffer don't work as advertised.
Thank you for questioning my honesty and comprehension.
And I thought I mentioned that the OP has had a different experience that the other 99.8 percent of buffer users have had. He is the exception, not the norm.
His issue is not with buffers in general on all Minis, just the front one, with his particular rifle.

Some of us have been trying to figure out what the OP's issue is, I have not seen any input from you as far as help.
Or did you just come on here to bash buffer users ?

I have heard of a multitude of problems with new, out of the box, unmodified Minis due to lax QC at Ruger. Many more than those that have issues after installing buffers.
 

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I discovered the use of buffers right here on this forum and installed them (front and rear) on the 181 I've owned for over 40 years. Being a curious guy, I experimented with stuff I had around the farm for buffer material. First experiment was using vinyl/PVC baseboard material. I used a 9mm casing to punch the hole for the gas pipe (front) and the recoil spring (rear). That was six years ago and I must say it was like the difference between running on rims versus running with tires. That 181 still has them and I check them each time I clean for wear and tear - they're fine. I might add that the 181 (and non-ranch minis of that era) have a flat face on the op-rod, with no slicer/dicer lip to chew things up. There is also no metal "buffer" on the receiver, also just a flat face. It has been 100% reliable since I got it in early 1980.

For my 583, I tried it out with buffers fore-and-aft - after checking the travel of the op-rod and bolt engagement before and after installation. That stupid lip up front was a terror and fully disintegrated the front buffer; the rear buffer was just fine...

Not something for the faint of heart, but I could not figure out the function of that front lip (my 181 does just fine without one), so I CAREFULLY ground the front smooth. At the time, I had no idea this was not an original thought - it is called the "Harris Mod". It works wonderfully and I recognize I'll probably always need to run a front buffer at least the thickness of the former lip's protrusion, but they seem to last forever without that stupid lip chopping things up. The 583 has also never skipped a beat. The biggest QC challenge when I got it was the gap between the upper and lower gas block, which was very visibly off. Thanks to this forum, I knew to look for that.

I'm inclined to go with Sandog here: the problem is with the trigger guard...
 

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Obviously what you are stating is not true for everyone, lest this thread would not have happened. I guess your honesty, or comprehension, is an issue as well.
The guns I own that came with buffers still have them, those that didn't, including 1911's and mini's, do not. I think the designer knows more than you do about his designs needs.
Loads of shooters that don't subscribe to these forums have no idea that a buffer has even been suggested for their mini. And yet they all work just fine.
sandog is a well-respected, longstanding poster here. While we have had occasional differences in opinions, I have never known him to post anything objectively false.

Your contention that a firearm cannot be improved over the original design is demonstrably false. JM Browning had no access to modern polymers when he was designing firearms, just to take a single instance. Would JMB design the Gov't Colt pistol the same way today? I think not.

Jean C. Garand had many different iterations of his rifle ready for production until one was accepted. He could have made any of them work well, and was involved in the updating and improvement of rifles until his retirement from Gov't service. The many changes made to the M1 Garand during its' production history demonstrate that your "original intent" viewpoint is questionable, to say the least.

I respect the "Keep It Simple" approach, but sometimes there comes along some modern tweaks to most every firearm that prove useful, and reliable. Outright rejection of such "newfangled' devices can sometimes be wrong, especially when many other users report good effects from such Mods.

The problem with your statements is not only that you are wrong (IMHO), but needlessly insulting to sandog. As I said, he and I have differed in the past, and likely to differ in the future, but I believe he's an honest person.

I don't know sandog personally, but I take exception to your insulting him.
 

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I discovered the use of buffers right here on this forum and installed them (front and rear) on the 181 I've owned for over 40 years. Being a curious guy, I experimented with stuff I had around the farm for buffer material. First experiment was using vinyl/PVC baseboard material. I used a 9mm casing to punch the hole for the gas pipe (front) and the recoil spring (rear). That was six years ago and I must say it was like the difference between running on rims versus running with tires. That 181 still has them and I check them each time I clean for wear and tear - they're fine. I might add that the 181 (and non-ranch minis of that era) have a flat face on the op-rod, with no slicer/dicer lip to chew things up. There is also no metal "buffer" on the receiver, also just a flat face. It has been 100% reliable since I got it in early 1980.

For my 583, I tried it out with buffers fore-and-aft - after checking the travel of the op-rod and bolt engagement before and after installation. That stupid lip up front was a terror and fully disintegrated the front buffer; the rear buffer was just fine...

Not something for the faint of heart, but I could not figure out the function of that front lip (my 181 does just fine without one), so I CAREFULLY ground the front smooth. At the time, I had no idea this was not an original thought - it is called the "Harris Mod". It works wonderfully and I recognize I'll probably always need to run a front buffer at least the thickness of the former lip's protrusion, but they seem to last forever without that stupid lip chopping things up. The 583 has also never skipped a beat. The biggest QC challenge when I got it was the gap between the upper and lower gas block, which was very visibly off. Thanks to this forum, I knew to look for that.

I'm inclined to go with Sandog here: the problem is with the trigger guard...
Since the projection on my op-rod perfectly hits the gas block squarely, I elected to not remove it, but have trimmed the Wilson buffers to exclude being hit by it. I understand that some elect to remove the projection, but I am being a little conservative in this instance in retaining it. From what I understand, the projection on the op-rod, if it does not hit the gas block entirely squarely, can cause accuracy issues. Mine does, and my 186 Mini shoots fine (2 MOA) with trimmed buffers. The forward-mounted, trimmed buffers seem to last a long time (I think), and are not mangled by the projection on the op-rod, since they are trimmed to avoid such. YMMV.
 

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And yet people want to take a problematic gun and add uncalled for items to them, that make the bolt travel less than specified. Silly.
Ehem, Hey Reverend, at last count Sandog has three of the best shooting Mini-30s in existence and his character is above reproach.

I'm not a fan of front buffers myself, but I use a buffer on the receiver side. I've done a modified "Harris Mod" on the front, evening out the lip and filing it down a bit so the bolt takes some of the impact rather than the gas block taking the full hit. Sandog and I disagree on very little. His success is widely known and respected for good reason.

But yeah, front buffer or not, the trigger group shouldn't be falling out. The buffers aren't the reason. Changing from one stock to another is often the core of the problem when your trigger group is dropping out. That can be fixed.

Trying to blame the buffers because you don't like buffers is, well... silly! :D
 
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