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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Later this year I am considering buying a new firearm but with certain calibers being hard to find I have pushed off buying an M1 Carbine until the next year in hopes of 30 Carbine coming back into circulation. I also considered getting an M1911 but 45 ACP ammo is still very expensive and hard to find. What I really wanted for some time is a DMR chambered in 5.56 or 7.62x39. Ideally I want a 20" AR-15 with a nice optic but that is serious money, beyond what my minimum wage job can afford so that's going to be a far future purchase. However a nice 7.62x39 weapon with an optic seems to be in my reach with many rifles in this caliber costing $600 or less. That brings me to the Mini-30.

I'd like to get one with a black stock, a good rail for an optic and stock up on 20 rounders. With the Accustrut I feel I could easily get 3 MOA at 100 yards which I would be thrilled with. However I hear this rifle has issues firing surplus ammo. I have a WASR-10 now and I keep Wolf/Tula ammo in stock to feed it and it hasn't failed me in the 100's of rounds I fired so far. This rifle seems to have weak springs/firing pins which make it very unreliable when firing Berdan Primed ammo. This here will stop me from purchasing the rifle as steel cased ammo is my lifeblood, especially surplus 7.62x39. I even feed steel 223 through my Colt AR at the range and steel 9mm through my S&W M&P.

So does the latest 581 Series Mini-30 work fine with imported, steel cased x39 ammo? At the very least do they make stronger, aftermarket firing pins/spring combo's that I can install to make it reliable? Thanks. :)
 

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The mini 30 will work well with Silver or gold bear (BARNAUL) , Yugo surplus ammo, and not much else on the import steel case ammo. Of course it is utterly reliable with brass/boxer U.S. made or import. My 580 will group 3 moa without a strut or any other modifications using silver bear softpoints. The new mini's (582+) are shipping with a rail that can be attached at the scope base.

Mini 30's are not made to fire ammo with hard machine gun primers, which most of the imported steel case ammo has (Wolf, Tula, ect.) AK's and SKS's are made to fire machine gun primers. Don't buy the mini 30 if you only shoot the cheap stuff. I have learned to live with not shooting crap ammo in my mini 30. The ergonomics and the easy optics mounting capability of the ruger are good enough for me. I dont do 100 + rnd ammo dumps with my mini, it is a hunting and target gun, not an AK, so that works for me!
 

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Chrisofpa, I purchased my Mini 30 in Mar, I have purchased many different boxes of ammo to test and see what works in my Mini. This is what I have found:

Silver & Gold Bear = Works great, no issues at all (160 rounds).

Tula = 1 or 2 FTF out of 160 rounds, no load or extract issues.

Wolf (black box) = Will not buy again, tried 20 rounds, only 2 fired first time through, I finally got the last round of the 20 to fire after 5 times through. Got 9 more boxes for sale as my wife bought some when I was out of town working, she tried.

Herter's Select (Brass) = Works great, no issues at all (60 rounds).

Herter's (tula stamp on the case bottom) = I have run about 120 rounds thought without any issues and I just bought more.

I did 20 years in the Navy and was deployed with my Marines many times. I knew I did not want to get a 223/5.56 from what I had experienced when I was out and about on my annual out of country trips. Love the Mini 30, I was worried when I first purchased the weapon, as I heard everyone talking about the issues and the hard to find ammo. From the little experience I have with it, I wish I had it when I was active duty. I am really glad I purchased it, the only issues I have had with it is with the Wolf ammo and when I bring it to the range, my 11 year old son wants to trade me his 10/22 for my Mini, in his dreams. I have put about 500 rounds down range with a ATI stock & Vortex Crossfire II 9x50 BDC scope and I have been getting 2 – 3 MOA at 100 yards every time. Besides the stock the only thing I am going to add is a trigger job by GunDoc, I just do not want to give up my Mini for the time it will take to get it sent out and back….LOL The Mini 30 is a perfect weapon for me. Just my 2 cents.
 

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^ What nascar said above. I usually shoot silver bear through my Mini 30, never had a FTF or FTE yet. If you have no other option but to shoot the pure steel cased ammo, I would suggest getting a wolf firing spring or ASI sells one as well - Rifle Accuracy Systems Inc Custom Accurate Rifles Barrel Conversions Ruger Mini Remington 700 7400 750 AR10 AR15. I recently put one on my Mini but havent shot any pure steel cased ammo so I cant comment.

From the whole SK,AK vs Mini argument, what I understand is that most AK/SK have chrome lined barrels which make it last longer when shooting steel cased ammo. The mini 30 isnt chrome lined so you dont want to shoot that many steel cased rounds though it. The upside is that the Mini 30 is ALOT more accurate than a AK/SK (mine gets around 1.5 MOA with accustrut, sometimes less) and generally made to last a long time.
 

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From the whole SK,AK vs Mini argument, what I understand is that most AK/SK have chrome lined barrels which make it last longer when shooting steel cased ammo. The mini 30 isnt chrome lined so you dont want to shoot that many steel cased rounds though it.
That's what stainless steel barrels are for :yes:
 

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Since I've had such good luck with the Mini 14, I also thought about the Mini 30 as an alternative for a larger round. In the end, I decided it's not for me. Almost everything you see these days in 7.62x39 is import steel case. If I was stuck on that round, I'd go for a nice AK.

Instead, I opted to go with the .308 round. I'd love to get a SCAR 17S, but my cheapness bone is keeping me from dishing out $4K. As a compromise, I decided to go with the Sig 716. I've seen a few around town at retail ($2200), but I'm waiting to see if some better deals come back. As long as I can get it before the end of the year, I'll get in under any potential bans by the clowns in Sacramento.

I still might manage to talk myself into a SCAR though, if I can find one closer to $3500 before the end of the year. If the political broken winds keep blowing the same in Sac, it may very well be my last chance, ever.
 

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I have put Tula and Herters through my SS 582 Mini-30 without any problem. I had some hangups with PPU SP's but that was a magazine problem and I was able to fix it fairly easily. I really like my Mini-30 and it is a blast to shoot.
 

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Instead, I opted to go with the .308 round. I'd love to get a SCAR 17S, but my cheapness bone is keeping me from dishing out $4K. As a compromise, I decided to go with the Sig 716. I've seen a few around town at retail ($2200), but I'm waiting to see if some better deals come back. As long as I can get it before the end of the year, I'll get in under any potential bans by the clowns in Sacramento.

I still might manage to talk myself into a SCAR though, if I can find one closer to $3500 before the end of the year. If the political broken winds keep blowing the same in Sac, it may very well be my last chance, ever.
DO NOT dish out 4000 for a SCAR 17. There isn't a chance in hell I'd pay that much for them. Before the "scare" I'd see SCAR 16s priced around 2200 and 17s priced around 2700. You can find SCAR 17s on Gunbroker right now for $2800 or less.
 

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Thanks. I didn't know they went that low new. I haven't been pricing them seriously for now. The plan is to wait a few months and see what the best value is at the time.
 

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I bought a mini 30 back in late 2002, sold it in 2005. The firing pin shattered firing surplus ammo after about 1500 rounds. 400-500 of this count was U.S. made ammo.
Although I liked the gun for a plinker that is about all its good for (with premium ammo).

The big kick I have with Ruger, is you HAVE to send back to the factory for service. They do not even sell parts to gunsmiths.

This makes Ruger weapons definitely not a sh*t-hits-the-fan weapon.

I would go with an SKS/AK depending where you live. price is close and seems like a no-brainer if you are gonna put rounds through it.
 

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I've had Minis for the past 30 years, and currently have a 581 series. In a SHTF scenario, I'd take one SKS over two Rugers.
Sorry to all the Ruger fans (I'm one of them).
My Norinco SKS has a chromed barrel and will ignite any military surplus ammo. That's a big deal. Secondly, the Norinco has a usable bayonet, another plus in a survival situation. And, the SK is a lot less expensive.
And I can reload the SKS very quickly with inexpensive stripper clips.
All in all, the SKS is the superior weapon in a TEOTWAWKI.
And everything I've said about the SKS goes double for an AK-47/AKM.
 

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Consider the SKS

I have never had a mini-30 but I did have a very problematic Mini-14. Even after two trips back to the factory in never extracted reliably. I did buy it used. After that last factory repair I sold it without firing it.

I have owned four different AK's and I have sold them all. My last one was an Arsenal forged receiver rifle that was super reliable. I just got tired of AK's. I still have a fine Yugo SKS that does everything I want in a 7.62 x 39. It does not have a removable protruding mag and only holds 10 rounds so it is unlikely to be banned as an assault rifle. It is more accurate than any of my AK's and absolutely reliable. They are still more economical guns to buy than AK's and they are C&R eligble. If you want an inxepensive rifle that shoots Steel cased 7.62 x 39 all day long save your money and buy an SKS. You won't regret it.
And, hey, the Yugo shoots rifle grenades and you can skewer your targer if you run out of ammo.
 

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chrisofpa - if you want a rough and tumble piece look for an AK folder. Love mine. Did my usual hiss removal and now it works great. There are a couple pieces I would take if I could only take a couple and the folder AK is at the top. MINI-30 is great fun love mine and shoot it with great enjoyment. If I had to stake my life on whether it would go off - AK time. Shoots ANYTHING i can load into it. I am not into looks but into works. Breaking parts - finicky operation - AK

Z
 

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I once considered the Mini-30, but decided on the Mini-14. Haven't shot it much since last year since the ammo is almost non-existent or way over priced. I have deer hunting rifles in 30-06 and 30-30, 3 scoped bolt actions and 1 pump. I went another route for a SHTF gun in addition to the Mini-14: Marlin 336 lever action in 30-30. I can buy Remington ammo at Dick's Sporting Goods every day of the week. $17.99/20 round box. I buy 3 boxes per trip there or 6 if my GF is with me. Also been stocking up on 30-06 too so my kids and I can hunt deer for our life times.
 

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97th Signalman made an excellent suggestion.

The SKS has been a solid value, in my opinion, long before this panic began.
My TS 200 Tech Sight makes it a good bit more accurate:).

It requires No permanent alteration, only requires some muscle to remove the leaf sight, which can be put back on.
I enjoy the power of the 7.62x39 round more than .223 and it is already a fair bit cheaper.
A grisly, color photo of a large TX feral pig's single (fatal), opened-up wound:eek: from an SKS convinced me of the x39 jhp's potential.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks guys, I have decided against getting a Mini-30 based on what was mentioned here. If a better, aftermarket firing pin existed I might take my chances but since none are available it's too risky. I really wanted a DMR type weapon in 7.62x39 and the Mini 30 seemed ideal until I learned of this issue. I think instead I might get a RPD styled AK and put a Russian optic on it, with the longer barrel and heavier receiver I will probably get decent accuracy.
 

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I went with the Mini 30 in stainless because of the issues mentioned here.

No need for a chrome lined stainless barrel.

And the pin has worked fine on all the steel cased ammo I've used except some very hot loaded Egyptian AP rounds. There it failed to fire a few times in 100 rounds, but all went bang on the second time through.

At that point, I looked at the firing PIN DEPTH and discovered it's not the pin that's too weak, or the hammer spring that's too light, it's that Ruger sets the pin depth too shallow for some surplus ammo.

The deal is, SAAMI loads have a less recessed, and softer primer, so a longer pin might puncture them, and cause a gas leak back into your face upon discharging the weapon.

I've never seen it happen on the Mini 30, but I have read up on how to file the pin shoulder where it hits INSIDE the bolt, so the pin depth is deeper, and you will get reliable ignition on anything you shoot. However, go too deep, and you might puncture a soft primer, but I've never seen it happen, and don't hear about it on the SKS, or AK's with their deeper pin depth either, so I doubt if you keep the pin depth in that same range, the Mini 30 will shoot anything you feed it.

I've done a polish and lighter trigger job on my Mini 30, love how easy it is to clean/maintain, and being stainless, it's very resistant to corrosion, and very durable.

I think the wolff high power hammer springs are often what breaks the pin, you don't need more power, the inertia of the stock hammer and pin is plenty to fire off any primer, you just need more depth.

Just a thought, if you did change your mind.

Mine shoots the steel cased "Herters" brand ammo I buy at Cabellas for cheap, it's new "military" style stuff, and the other military surplus I've shot has worked fine, other than the one spam can of Egyptian AP. (And then only a few rounds in 100 failed to fire, and I've not set my pin depth deeper yet, but know it will solve the problem.)
 

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Well, every gun has ammo it likes and doesn't like...

Point here is that the M30 doesn't like junk ammo, and I'm ok with that because I want it to perform decently well, and all the variants of Silver and Gold Bear will do that every time. It's not much more than the cheap stuff.

I don't really see an issue. Why buy an $700+ rifle and complain when junk won't work well in it???

Wil
 

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