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Just got a Mini thirty. I ran the numbers and it was made in 1987. It brand new and has never been fired and I have the box and every thing. Was there any problems with the Minis in 1987? Some read some had horrible accuracy and jamming problems with steel ammo. Should I sale it and buy a new one. It has a beautiful wood stock on it. The new ones only come in plastic. Are there any thing a new mini owner should know?
 

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American realist
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i just sold a 189 series that sat unfired for about 15 yrs. it was accurate & ran trouble free with all ammo that i cycled thru it. i would try it out first before selling to get a newer version as it just might surprise you. i loved mine & only sold it to fund a new mini 14 & condense calibers after getting a really nice AR a couple years back. figured it would be much easier to just stock up on 223/5.56.
 

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I don't own a Mini-30, but I have tried to keep up with any issues others have had with theirs. Here's my take, from watching the forum:

You're right about the steel-cased ammo. It can cause jams for numerous reasons, and some have had firing pin issues, mostly with Berdan-primed imported ammo. This applies to the 18X, 19X series and the newer 58X series equally, so trading for a new rifle won't really be "trading up" as far as ammo and functionality are concerned.

Having said that, there are many here who have run steel-cased and Berdan-primed ammo for years without a single hiccup. There doesn't really seem to be a rhyme or reason for the firing pin breakages, as even some who have shot American-made commercial ammo (Boxer-primed) have had a firing pin break. Same goes for the Mini-14, as well. But don't think that the FP issues are rampant -- a handful of members here have reported broken pins, but they're quite vocal about their issues (rightfully so...), and it makes it seem like it's a large-scale problem. It's really not.

If you're looking for some cheap(ish) ammo for range time, the most-recommended brands are PMC Bronze, Fiocchi, Sellier & Bellot, PRVI Partizan, and Golden Bear. Basically, anything but WOLF.

As for hunting rounds, IMO you're best to stick with American-made, commercial ammo like Hornady, Winchester, etc. Brass-cased is best.

Again, I don't own a Mini-30, I've just "read the mail," so to speak. Others will be along shortly to weigh in with their personal opinions and experiences. YMMV.
 

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this gun was made to shoot american ammo, so running brass ammo, you shouldn't experience any problems, 7.62 x 39mm brass is not cheap, 13-15 a box for the PMC/Priv stuff.
 

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I have an older 1991 185 series mini. i bought new in 92. It is a good rifle. It does not like some cheap ammo like Wolf mil spec. Cycles fine But has fail to fire (FTF) problems because the fireing pin does not strike the berdan primers hard enough Similar problems with most other mil spec 7.62 X 39.
Older minis had a .308 bore.it will still shoot imported .310-.311 7.62x39. But likes .308 the best. American 7.62x39 ammo is .308.
I have never had a Jamb with any ammo i have ever used. I really dont rember any stove pipes or fail to feed.(FTF) Except with aftermarket mags. Only mags i have found that are reliable are the Ruger stock mags and USA metal mags. But i dont think USA mags are made anymore. Too bad. They can still be found sometimes at gun shows. But you can get ruger mags in the stock 5 round and 20 round.
Golden bear works fine. Fiocchi. The green laquer coated russian ammo in brown boxes marked "hunting spec"s ammo also works good.
I reload for mine and it is very accurate with my .308 reloads. But it also does good with PMC, Winchester and Ficcohi. Golden bear, It even runs Tula ammo pretty good.
I would not sell your Mini 30 to get a new one. Find what ammo it likes to shoot and work with it. There is lots of info here on accurizeing your mini. The basic stuff costs very little to do and helps a lot.
Mine has Muzzle brake/flash hider. 1" thick recoil pad.(adds length to the stock and fits sholder better than stock butt plate) Bedded stock. Retorqued the gas block screws. For about 50.00 in parts, not counting the scope. I have a good shooter.
 

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There is no such thing as a 185 series mini- 30. My experience with my 1990 vintage mini-30 is that it was very inaccurate (12 inch groups with chi-com military) and 50-70% FTF's. I would sell your rifle to get the 580+ mini 30. With my 580 mini-30 I shoot less than 3 inch groups using silver bear softpoints and my reloads. New is good when it comes to the mini-30. The old ones it seems were really hit and miss.
 

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Sorry 5 was typo. I ment 189.
I still say take it out and shoot it with good Ammo. You might be surprized. My old mini will also shoot 3" acually its mor like 2" at 100 yards with my reloads all day long. Yes it will start stringing shots after quick repetitve shots and the barrel gets hot. But an accu strut will help that.
Might want to some research. New minis can be hit and miss also and can be particular with ammo. Altho generally they do better out of the box than the older ones.

As for Chi com mil spec ammo. Stay away.... far away. It is corrosive. The bullet is steel core with a very thin copper coating. Very very hard on the bore of any non chrome lined bore like Minis. Older minis were never designed to shoot that junk. Or any other steel core Mil spec for that matter.
I wont even use that crap in my Yugo SKS.
However my Norinco AK eats it like candy but is not very accurate. 5 gallon bucket MOA at 300 meeters.
 

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I have the 189 series M30. the 2 issues I had w/it were the front sight was aways too tall - easily remedied w/a file (since replaced with an Eagle brake/HK type front sight).
the other issue was the scope mounting ring exterior dovetail for the front was'nt cut deep enuff to center the scope on the horizontal bore-line again some fileing did the trick.
all the older Mini's can use some trigger work as detailed in a post here on the pages

and don't even try Wolf black box. Silver Bear does fairly well in mine but the real brass cased beats it by a mile.
 
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