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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I did a 2 day Practical Rifle Class at Front Sight last weekend, and took the Mini 14, and my Ruger PCC.40

Ammo was tight and I didn't have enough to run the PCC for the whole class so I brought the Mini 14 along for a second gun.

The gun ran fine but did something I'd never seen. It stuck a round in the chamber and we had to Butt Stroke It to get it running again. Never seen that before. Didn't happen again. I attributed it to a dirty chamber or just the dirt flying around everywhere as the wind was blowing 50 mph the whole second day of the class.

It took me 2 hours and a can of Brake Cleaner to clean all the dirt and dust out of that gun.

I had one other problem that I am going to make you aware of.

Prior to this trip my Tapco 2nd Gen Mags had worked perfectly. However cooking for 4 days in the car in 93* weather allowed the feed lips to expand when loaded and that made it so the Magazine would NOT go in the Magwell. It was too wide at the top! So I couldn't load the gun.

Back to Ruger Mags for the duration.

Mind you,,, those same Tapco Mags are just fine now that they have been allowed to cool back down, and resume their original shape.

Just a heads up on the Tapco Mags. Don't let them get hot.

Randy
 

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That sounds like Mini-14 Frozen Bolt Syndrome. It happened to me once. If the buttstike doesn't work, or you don't want to shock your expensive glass, you can usually free up the bolt with a drop or two of CLP.
 

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That sounds like Mini-14 Frozen Bolt Syndrome. It happened to me once. If the buttstike doesn't work, or you don't want to shock your expensive glass, you can usually free up the bolt with a drop or two of CLP.
Is there a problem with the Mini bolt? Is there a way for the user to alleviate/prevent such issues
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Bob, This was an Anomaly! Nothing to worry about.
It has happened only once in Approximately 5,000+ rounds fired thru this gun. The Instructor Judo chopped the charging handle, and it cleared the gun which I hadn't thought of doing, but now I know what happened, I would put pressure on the Charging Handle and then butt stroke it on my knee.

I fired another 100+ rounds after the incident with no problems.

The problem with the Tapco Magazines worried me more. The top two rounds bulged the top of the mags out so much they wouldn't go in far enough to lock in place. I'm going to try them at my monthly 3 gun shoot and see if they work in cooler temps. Luckily I had my 3, 20 round mags with me and 4, 10 rounders, so I was covered.

Randy
 

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Any plastic mag will be susceptible to heat-induced deformation. The more heat induced, the more likely the deformation.

Very few plastic mags have steel reinforcements molded-in to their upper body/feed lips, such as Israeli Orlite AR mags. Unaware of any plastic Mini Mags having such.

Suggest that folks living in hotter climates take care to not expose plastic mags to high temps. OP makes mention of storing loaded mags in Hi-Temp trunk of his car. Maybe not store them in such a Hi-Temp environment, or down-load them to reduce internal pressure on upper mag body/feed lips.

OP was wise enough/fortunate enough to have some reliable Plan "B' mags. He made it through, and so can you. Always have a Plan"B'.
 

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I did a 2 day Practical Rifle Class at Front Sight last weekend, and took the Mini 14, and my Ruger PCC.40

Ammo was tight and I didn't have enough to run the PCC for the whole class so I brought the Mini 14 along for a second gun.

The gun ran fine but did something I'd never seen. It stuck a round in the chamber and we had to Butt Stroke It to get it running again. Never seen that before. Didn't happen again. I attributed it to a dirty chamber or just the dirt flying around everywhere as the wind was blowing 50 mph the whole second day of the class.

It took me 2 hours and a can of Brake Cleaner to clean all the dirt and dust out of that gun.

I had one other problem that I am going to make you aware of.

Prior to this trip my Tapco 2nd Gen Mags had worked perfectly. However cooking for 4 days in the car in 93* weather allowed the feed lips to expand when loaded and that made it so the Magazine would NOT go in the Magwell. It was too wide at the top! So I couldn't load the gun.

Back to Ruger Mags for the duration.

Mind you,,, those same Tapco Mags are just fine now that they have been allowed to cool back down, and resume their original shape.

Just a heads up on the Tapco Mags. Don't let them get hot.

Randy
The gas block nozzle can be a close fit in the hole at the end of the operating rod. When crud or corrosion or carbon builds up on the outside of the nozzle, the action sticks closed. I have opened it with a mallet. But to avoid the issue I clean the nozzle well (and the hole it goes in) and I store the gun with a chamber flag to keep the action slightly open. Then I don't have the problem.
 

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Is there a problem with the Mini bolt? Is there a way for the user to alleviate/prevent such issues
It's not a problem per se with the bolt. It usually happens because there's a buidup of old oil. In the OP's case, it was the harsh environment he was shooting.

Keep your Mini receiver clean and lubed, and it shouldn't be a problem. Also keep a bottle of CLP handy.
 

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Another issue could be that rare oversized round.
With a pistol you can remove the barrel and do the plop test, drop each round into the chamber to ensure you won't have problems later, either in competition or on the battlefield.

With a rifle like the Mini, you'll need to buy a case gauge like the Clymer or Wilson for your specific caliber.
While this is more of an issue with reloads, the factories can also let a round slip through that has a case that is oversize.
I had several boxes of Sellier & Belloit 5.56mm that had oversized cases that wouldn't chamber, and several of the primers had been seated upside down.
 

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With a rifle like the Mini, you'll need to buy a case gauge like the Clymer or Wilson for your specific caliber.
While this is more of an issue with reloads, the factories can also let a round slip through that has a case that is oversize.
I had several boxes of Sellier & Belloit 5.56mm that had oversized cases that wouldn't chamber, and several of the primers had been seated upside down.
Upside down primers, YIKES !!!!! In the past I have fired several thousand rounds of S&B ammo, and had never had a problem with them, but it was all 6.8SPC ammo. I have about three thousand rounds left, so I think I'll choose a rainy afternoon to inspect them for oversized cases, and upside down primers. I wonder what would happen if one of the rounds, with an upside down primer, were chambered and the trigger pulled ? Probably nothing, but it's a test that I won't be doing any time soon. Thanks to Sandog for the heads up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Randy, were you shooting factory ammo or reloads ??

kwg
Winchester. Like I said above this was an Anomaly. I have fired thousands of rounds thru this gun and this has happened once. I had it happen several times on my Mossberg 500 Tac gun. also with Factory Ammo.

I think it was just the environment along with a hot day and who knows what else might have caused it.

I have seen upside down Primers in several S&B .45 auto rounds. Also have had several FTF's with that ammo and found abysmal accuracy in my PCC .40 with S&B .40 that turned out to have bullets that were .395 in dia. instead of .401 like they should be. Solution for me is to not use S&B Ammo unless I can't get anything else.

Randy
 
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The problem with the Tapco Magazines worried me more. The top two rounds bulged the top of the mags out so much they wouldn't go in far enough to lock in place. I'm going to try them at my monthly 3 gun shoot and see if they work in cooler temps. Luckily I had my 3, 20 round mags with me and 4, 10 rounders, so I was covered.

Randy
That is concerning. I ditched plastic mags many years ago and only use steel in my Mini-30. We don't know what the future holds as for what type of environments we may find ourselves in. If a mag fails in extreme heat or extreme cold I wouldn't depend on it. Granted, plastic mags have come a long way from when I first bought my Mini, and people run them in most cases without issue. But when life depends on it, Ruger steel mags are my front line choice. I have other good mags of different brands, but they're all steel.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Please note that the Tapco Mags have performed flawlessly for me in all the places I have shot except the brutal temps of the Desert around Pahrump NV. Also they were in a Black Car which was probably 120F inside during the day. They also may have been in the direct sunlight some of the time. I will be using these mags at my next 3 gun shoot in 2weeks and will see if I have any problems with them at that time. I will report back then.

Randy
 
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While mag ambient temps are of concern with plastic mags, sometimes the temps to which plastic mags are subjected can be reduced by simply covering such mags, if exposed to full sun, with light-colored fabric.

A simple spray-painting of black mags with a much lighter color (terrain-appropriate) of paint might make a significant difference.

I don't suggest keeping one's plastic mags in a "cooler", although some do. No expert, but most decently-made, modern plastic mags hold up pretty well, unless exposed to significantly high temp storage, and/or direct sunlight.

FWIW, there are some plastic mag users who suggest downloading plastic mags for one reason or another. Such down-loading ought to reduce heat-induced "Spreading" of mag feed lips. Folks wiling to test plastic mags in hot climates might comment, as their testing allows.

Magpul incorporates "Dust-covers" with all their mags. IMHO, such covers have little to do with "dust" but much to do about keeping the mag feed lips properly aligned during storage. I might be wrong, and will listen to credible users
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
All the Magpul mag covers do is push the top rounds down away from the feed lips so there is no tension on them to distort them. I wish the Tapco's had a similar clip.

As Far as downloading I have been doing it for a long time. My PCC .40 will Double Feed everytime with a full 22 or 31 round magazine, Downloading by 2 ended that problem. With those mags there simply isn't enough room left in the mag for the top round to be pushed down. It is bound up so when it tries to feed the top round as you cycle the bolt it takes the top round and turns the next one up behind it. Neither one makes it into the chamber and since the bolt can't close you just have to fix it before you can continue. And you just wasted two rounds so you might as well have just kept them in your pocket to begin with.

None of my 10 round Ruger Mini14 mags will seat against a closed bolt if full. They will run if you insert them with an Open Bolt. But they bottom out if trying to lock them in place when the bolt is closed. So 9 rounds in those is the order of the day. 20 rounders also get shorted one.

All of my Magpul mags for AR's adn the like run perfectly no matter what. I think they left a little room in the mag's body so that they could swallow all 10-20-30 rounds. I can also leave them loaded indefinitely as long as the clip is in place.

All of this comes under the heading of the "Manual Of Arms" for any given weapon as they all have idiosyncrasies. We just have to figure out what works for a given weapon and that usually occurs during training with that weapon.

I was just training with my weapons last week. Found out about the Mini 14 Tapco Mag's issue that had not reared it's ugly head previously. So I learned something new.

Randy
 
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Some of this thread reminds me of the "Bad Old Days" when it was necessary to re-habilitate questionable mags in order that they work properly.
 

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Good point about the failure of some steel mags. I ditched my two factory Ruger 10-rd I bought for my Mini-30. I really wanted to like them, but couldn't get them functioning reliably. Others have them running fine in their M30s, so it's often hit or miss.

My 12 Ruger factory 20-rd all work perfectly with no alteration. Same with all my older USA brand 30, 20 and 10-rd. One later production 20-rd mag that was advertised as USA could not be fixed. It was configured quite a bit differently than the old ones. USA mags are very roomy. Some people convert the 20-rd to 25-rd, and the 10-rd to 15-rd. I leave them as is.

My two older steel ProMag 10-rd have always worked without issue. The three newest ProMag all needed attention. The main thing was shortening the springs. It looked to me that they had enough spring for a 20-rd mag. One would only take 9 rounds. I've got them all running smoothly now. I took enough spring out so they would almost take an 11th round, but not quite.

Two of my nine KCI steel 30-rd needed a little trimming of the springs. The rest always worked fine right out of the box.

The nice thing about steel mags is you can bend and shape the lips if need be, and they stay that way.

I was turned off by plastic mags early on because they would eject 2 or 3 live rounds along with the spent brass with every squeeze of the trigger. No way to adjust the feed lips.

I don't mind fine tuning steel mags if I have to. What's worse is when the material makes it's impossible to rehabilitate the mag.

All my mags insert with a closed bolt. That's my red line. And ideally the last round bolt hold-open should work, which all mine do.

Anyway we like what we like, people have different approaches, and it works for us. I prefer the look of steel as well and that's just a preference... nothing technical.
 

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I have found that on rare occasions the downward-pointing, central "leg" of the follower can be too long, and so cause various issues. The "leg" is there primarily to prevent the spring from being over-compressed and so getting mechanically bound up on itself. Having almost enough room to insert an additional ctg over nominal capacity is usually a good sign that the follower "leg" is not too long, and also a good sign that the spring itself is not too long. Magazines which are fully-loaded to nominal capacity and which don't have about 1/2 ctg diameter in additional follower downwards movement often need some attention to follower, spring, or perhaps both.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
That might be an issue and I will look at it. Never thought of the follower bottoming out but if anything bottoms out that would be the thing that bottoms out first. Only other thing would be the spring getting coil bound.

Thanks for the tip!

Randy.
 

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Some of this thread reminds me of the "Bad Old Days" when it was necessary to re-habilitate questionable mags in order that they work properly.
I had some mags that I was never able to rehabilitate and are now in the steel scrap pile. We dealt with some real junk in the last 40 years. Especially in the "banned" years.

kwg
 
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