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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone and thanks in advance for any help or advice.

Started on my second build, a stainless that will eventually have a BC folder and was trying it out with mags from my first mini.

Problem - while all mags work fine on my first mini, with 3 of 'em my second mini fails to hold the bolt back (2 actually will hold it back until you remove the mag, then "clunk"). While its far from the worst thing that can happen, I noted that none of my mags seem to push the bolt hold-open quite all the way up on my stainless. Only feed testing on this one is dry feeding, but I hope to get some range-time in the next week or two and rectify this.

Q1: Anyway, do you guys think it best to fix the magazines (3 out of a dozen) by getting a muffler shop to weld a little extra on the bottom of the magazine's catch surface, or see if I can find an oversize (over-long) mag catch for the rifle and hand fit it? What seems the best course of action?

Q2: Are Ruger mag catches a little over-long when bought as spares to allow for fitting (some of their other parts, like the bolt stop/ejector certainly are!), or would I have to go with an aftermarket part?

Thanks in advance,
Grumpy
 

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Hi Grumpy,

What series (first three digits of your serial number) is your Mini? This might help in getting some advice from those with the same series Mini's.

BTW, welcome to the PU! ;)
 

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if the magazines otherwise feed properly in both rifles, you can narrow the problem down by swapping the bolt lock/ejector between rifles and see if the same problem exists. if the old rifle now exhibits this problem you'll know that you need to make the bolt lock tab on the magazine follower longer or the bolt lock/ejector arm lower by bending it ever so slightly toward the magazine to increase its lift.

If you bend the arm, because lets face it - even with an ABS welder making the follower tab longer is tough, remove the bolt and color the recess where the arm rides and cycle the bolt several times. You can use a marker for this. Then remove the bolt again and make sure the newly bent arm isn't rubbing heavily anywhere. A little cleaning solvent will wipe permanent marker right away from the bolt.

If on the other hand the problem is solved and both rifles work, then check the bolts in both rifles to be sure no other problems will arise and consider it fixed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Gundoc!!

I will take a look at it asap. If it does turn out that the bolt hold-open's "arm" needs work, could a dot of weld metal on the bottom be acceptable, or would there be too much risk of pulling the temper out of the metal?

Thanks,
Grumpy
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Update and a question for Gundoc

Hi Gundoc;

I tried swapping parts and here is what I found:

bolt hold open/ejector = no effect
stock = no effect
trigger group = problem stays with the stainless trigger group.

Careful comparison of the magazines' feed angles shows that the blued rifle's magazines are being held higher in the back by something like 1/32 of an inch. Doesn't seem like much, but it shifts the bolt hold open just enough...

Should I look into replacing the magazine catch on the stainless mini? And if so, are the factory parts a little generous in dimension to allow for fitting, or will I just have to keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best?

Thanks in advance and all the best,
Grumpy
 

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There will of course be some tolerance issues that may allow the new to work better if you replace it.....but since we've brought up the weld issue I'd run a bead across the top and dress it down appropriately. No worries about temper damage as you know the bead will be a "hard face" on the only critical portion of the release. A little filing or stoning and you'll know you have exactly what you need.
 

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Per GunDoc:
"you'll know that you need to make the bolt lock tab on the magazine follower longer or the bolt lock/ejector arm lower"

I had the same problem on my 581 SS on all Ruger mags I purchased. I resolved this problem by taking an Exacto knife to the magazine follower & carving away some of the follower plastic that contacts the feed lip on the side of the bolt lock tab which resulted in the tab sitting higher when the magazine was empty.

Like you mentioned you only need to take away about 1/32 of an inch, however this fully engaged the bolt hold open lever and now they all work reliably.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks Gundoc and SGtheArtist;

I wonder if there is a tolerance issue at the factory with the stainless 581's now that I read SGtheArtists' post. If I had the time I would disassemble both trigger groups, swap mag catches, and make careful measurements; could be that some mag catch pivot pin holes were a little off on either the catch or the trigger housing. Too many papers to grade right now though! :eek:

SGtheArtist, I tried sanding with flat faced needle file, but was a little too chicken to take an Exacto to my mag followers. However, spare followers are available if I make a mess of it and it would be an okay stopgap measure - thanks for the tip!

One other thing I did do to try to ease the situation is pull the ejector and polish all contact surfaces where it rides in the receiver, then re-lube with CLP to lower the frictional coefficient. It actually made one of my misbehaving mags behave (barely) correctly, and brought the one that was completely failing to lock back to the point where it locks the bolt back but releases it when you drop the mag. However, I expect that if it were to get really grungy in there, it would have the opposite effect...

Probably see about ordering a replacement mag catch and get a pad welded on it if need be so I don't need to take the mini out of service except for the actual swap out. Not enough parts in my spares bin so I will use it as an excuse to order more springs and things.

Thanks again and all the best,
Grumpy
PS Gundoc, thanks for your posts on the ejector/bolt wear hole issue. My stainless definitely looked to have been a candidate for that on careful inspection. A bit of careful polishing took off the sharp edge that was dragging on my bolt and hopefully will prevent it from being an issue in the future -thanks!!! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks Gundoc!!

Thanks again everyone and especially to Gundoc.

I was snowed in today and spent the afternoon replacing the mag catch with a factory new example - all mags now lock up tight and every blessed one engages the bolt stop completely. Looks like it was just a part that was at the edge of "acceptable" tolerance. Dry feeding tests are a-ok and I am just waiting to get a little more time off work (without the 'snowed in' part) to get to the range....

All the best,
Grumpy
 
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