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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Update to the Choate Pistol Grip Stock thread:
So I got the Choate flash hider installed on the 189 series Mini-30 I picked up a few weeks ago. I cut the barrel right behind the old blade front sight, so now it's a 16 inch barrel. Didn't re crown it, as most of my gunsmithing tools are already down in Arizona. But the flash supressor will protect the muzzle for now.
I replaced the factory .100" gas bushing with a new .060" one I had on hand, but had doubts before I even went to the range that it would let enough gas through. Guys on the forum that have Tactical Mini's seem to need a bigger bushing like a .070" or .075", and this Mini is now basically a Tactical (16 inch barrel and flash hider).
I put in some buffers, and mounted the cheapo Centerpoint 2-7x scope that gets moved around from rifle to rifle for load testing.
I wanted to see how this latest Mini-30 would do with the loads that do so well in the other two Mini-30's.
Namely, PPU factory FMJ, and also my handloads consisting of the 123 gr. Hornady SST under 28.6 grs. of A2015 in PPU brass.
I shot the PPU factory ammo first, after zeroing the scope, and rifle would not eject the empties.
Next I shot my SST loads, and they all ejected about 3 feet from the gun.
Not nearly enough gas getting through, so I'll put the .100" back in for now, and try a .070" bushing next.
The PPU FMJ's are pretty good for a factory load, but nowhere near as good as the SST's. Watching through the spotting scope, the first three shots looked like they were all going into the same hole.
Pretty consistent for a mid priced deer hunting bullet. Someone else here in another thread was complaining that he sent a couple boxes of SST's back to Hornady because of varying weights. They're not supposed to be a Match bullet, but they do alright. They're certainly not gonna be used out of a Match grade rifle, so I'm not gonna be weighing each bullet.
I'm not sure what would be better in the 7.62 x 39, maybe a W-W soft point, or Barnes copper bullet.
But the Barnes are too expensive for anything but loading up a few hunting loads, and I don't like using exposed lead tip bullets in semi autos.
I'm glad this third Mini-30 seems to like the same two loads that the other two Mini's like, especially since I have a good quantity of them.
The trigger, which seemed O.K. when I dry fired it, seemed too heavy when I was actually shooting, and trying to keep my cross hairs centered on the bullseye. So the trigger unit will be going to Brimstone.
I'm going to cut a slot near the top edge of the buttstock to thread a Vickers sling through, that'll be simpler and more sturdy than putting a swivel back there. Front swivel attachment will be a MagPul M-Lock Q.D. mount on the side of the fore end.
Now I'll work on getting a Tech sight, Socom strut and FastFire in a Picatinny Protector mount to go on the Ultimak.


 

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Wow is right! That second group looks like what my Target Mini can do! Jeez Loueez Sandog, What do you do, sleep with that thing?:D
 

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That gun and you are good shooters!! Really what a nice shooting caliber. I like the mini in 30 cal better than 223 but nothing wrong with 223 just my preference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks grayfox. I've always found that a handload tuned to the gun, with a decent bullet, will give groups about half of what even a good factory load will produce.
It would have sucked if this Mini didn't like my usual load, and I had to work up a different load for it. I've been trying to reduce the number of calibers I own ( why I sold my Mini-14) and find loads that shoot well in all of them, so I don't have to keep track of several different loads.
 

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Sandog I might have to try some A2015 in my Mini-30's & see how it does. So far I've tried H4198, H335 & H322 in my stainless. I've not had the time yet to test the new blued tactical like I want but last trip it seemed to like the H4198. Yea it would be great to have both shooting good with the same loads. I don't post a lot but I read the Mini forum pretty often. Thanks for sharing your results.
 

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Just saw the post. Good job on the new 30. Exact same experience I had with my 30 Tactical. PPU was stove piping with the .060. I put the .100 back in but still haven't gotten it to the range for eval. I think the .080 is the ticket. I emailed Lee at the Arms Room and he made me an .070 and .080. A couple inches in barrel length seems to make a bigger difference with the lower pressure x39 than the 5.56. Accuracy with the new gun is excellent. Looks like you found a keeper.
Bepe
 

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Nice job. Sweet looking rig!
 
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Nice all around SD. I kinda like that stock. You found a great combination and without a trigger job, that takes discipline to group like that. Did you let her cool down between shots?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm liking that pistol grip stock more and more. It points really nice and the grip seems more secure and comfortable. Now when I pick up one of the others with a semi pistol grip, it feels like a downward twist of your hand that's not as comfortable and natural.
I was holding the two Ruger stocked ones in a cross the chest carry, and I found myself wanting to grab for the pistol grip that the Choate stock has.
Blizzard for 24 hours. then high winds last night and this morning, so there were some big drifts. I spent part of the day clearing snow with the tractor and hand shovel, and the other part trimming, chamfering and polishing 550 rounds of 7.62 x 39 brass, so now it's ready to prime. Got the Mini's out and cleaned them.
All three are 189 series Mini-30's, and originally came with wood stocks.
Top one was a blued Mini, now finished in Sniper Grey Cerakote, barrel length 17".
Middle one is still blued, but will be done in FDE or Coyote Tan Cerakote. 16 inch barrel.
Bottom one was/is a stainless Mini, now finished in Tungsten Cerakote, 18 inch barrel.

I had the Spectre Gear mag pouch on the wood stocked gun for a while. It will carry a 20 round magazine, but I usually keep a loaded 5 round magazine in there, are there is enough room left over for a bag with Otis cable and cleaning gear and a few spare parts.
I saw on Midway's Military Surplus section (yeah, I didn't know they had surplus gear either) G.I. issued mag pouches meant for a buttstock. They are Coyote brown/tan and hold a 30 round magazine, but the lid can be Velcroed down further to hold a 20 rd. magazine. They had them listed for $5.99 each, and I now have them on the other two Mini's.
Inside the pouch, there is a "Spectre Gear" tab, so they were the supplier to the govt. contract. I can't remember what I paid for the first Spectre Gear pouch, but it was a whole lot more than $5.99.
I checked their website again a couple days ago, and now they show the G.I. pouches are $14.99.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Nice all around SD. I kinda like that stock. You found a great combination and without a trigger job, that takes discipline to group like that. Did you let her cool down between shots?
They weren't fired very slowly, I was starting to get cold when the sun went away, as we had walked the last half mile through a foot of snow to get to the range. So maybe a shot every six or seven seconds.
I'm ready for spring, shoveled enough snow the last few days !
 

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Sandog, Just curious as to why you cut down the length of the barrel to 16" (personal preference, barrel end was damaged or other reasons)? Along that same line I'm wondering if you've had a chance to touch up the crown since the cut down. I'm a huge fan of keeping the crown, of barrels, in pristine shape as I believe that the crown is one of the most overlooked factors between an "excellent" shooting barrel and a "good" shooting barrel (just my opinion). Nice looking build.
 

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Sandog, Just curious as to why you cut down the length of the barrel to 16" (personal preference, barrel end was damaged or other reasons)? Along that same line I'm wondering if you've had a chance to touch up the crown since the cut down. I'm a huge fan of keeping the crown, of barrels, in pristine shape as I believe that the crown is one of the most overlooked factors between an "excellent" shooting barrel and a "good" shooting barrel (just my opinion). Nice looking build.
Thin barrels perform better when they are shorter. Like a stick. two of the same diameter one three feet long will whip more than one a foot long. And a flash suppressor aka a dead end to absorb the vibration of the whip.
 

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That's an enviable collection. I'm starting to feel the pressure to pick up a second 189 Series Mini-30. :D The one I have I bought new but it's 27+ years old. Rather than buy new I'd like to find another 189 lightly used. I don't know if it was good luck or that's just a good series for the Mini-30. I don't have any of the problems I've read about over the years that people have with other Minis. I want to keep the one I have stock as far as barrel length, but it would be fun to have a second one to experiment a little.
 
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Thin barrels perform better when they are shorter. Like a stick. two of the same diameter one three feet long will whip more than one a foot long. And a flash suppressor aka a dead end to absorb the vibration of the whip.
I understand the technical reasoning behind a short barrel, but I was interested to hear what "Sandog" had to say about cutting down his barrel, as I have the utmost respect of his opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The Choate stock isn't as stiff up front as I first thought, but having the Ultimak up there helps greatly
Just like chill said, a thin barrel that is shorter will have less whip, and having a flash hider out there will slow the whip down faster.
Not sure as I haven't weighed them, but the Choate feels lighter than the Ruger polymer stock.
Gary, I looked at my 870, and the front rail screw is in a meatier place, the thinner spot is the second screw back. Let me know how the drilling and tapping turns out.
 

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That's an enviable collection. I'm starting to feel the pressure to pick up a second 189 Series Mini-30. :D The one I have I bought new but it's 27+ years old. Rather than buy new I'd like to find another 189 lightly used. I don't know if it was good luck or that's just a good series for the Mini-30. I don't have any of the problems I've read about over the years that people have with other Minis. I want to keep the one I have stock as far as barrel length, but it would be fun to have a second one to experiment a little.
That is exactly the reason I bought a second Mini-14. The 181GB I bought in 1980 is my first firearm and I keep it as stock (and reversible) as I can, with only buffers front and rear, a Choate hand guard, and a side-mounted P-rail. And I got a new Ruger wood stock for it, as the original stock wasn't original at all, but a Choate folder (bought it used). Still have the Choate folder and original hand guard, as well as the bolt-stop cover plate. The gas block screws are still staked. Eject distance is 3-4' reliably using PMC Bronze .223 or M193, from a prone position and the ejects clear the P-rail and red dot. And, it is accurate enough for me, at about 3-4 MOA using a 3 MOA TRS-25. Because it is a GB model, it doesn't string as much as non-GB models and I seldom heat it up that much anyway.

My 583 Tactical is still new in its synthetic stock, but I have already done the "Harris" mod on the op rod and replaced the rear sight with a Tech Sight. It will probably get an UltiMak, too. And I use buffers front and rear (the front one is far more survivable with the Harris mod). With the exception of the Harris mod, I could return it to its original condition in 30 minutes or less.

Had considered a reduced-size gas bushing, but it ejects reliably at 10-12' from a standing position using the same ammo, so I'll leave that alone.
 
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