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There seems to be a lot of discussion about how the Mini-thirty functions here, so I thought I’d share my experience.
I bought a factory new stainless mini-thirty this week. I took it to the range today. It functioned flawlessly out of the box (I lubed it first) with Norma brass, Wolf 123 grain FMJ and Soft points, brown bear FMJ and 154 grain soft points. All of them hit pretty much in the same place at 100 yards. I put about 200 rounds through it with no failures to fire or any other issues. Ran like a sewing machine. The sights were almost dead on from the factory. It’s got a little more thump than an AR, which I like. Great rifle. I had some trouble with the sights though. Old eyes and a biggish aperture. Any fellow old timers have luck with tech sights? Worth the money?

I love seeing and smelling the faint whif of smoke when you get a new gun hot for the first time and burn off the preservative oil. Smells like victory!
Tech Sights are GREAT & I would highly recommend them.
 

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interesting thread. once I get the app for 'photo transfer' installed correctly I'll show the gas block bedding to fore stock of my 30. unsure the benefit of since I did several other mods when that bedding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
The mail man brought me goodies this week. Tonight I put the tech sight on. It fits perfectly and looks like a much better unit than the factory sight. The area around the aperture is thicker and the standard peep hole seems to be a bit smaller, so the front sight is now in much better focus. The adjustments are much better as well.

I also received and installed a new, smaller gas bushing. I decided on the middle of the road .065 bushing for starters. It was pretty easy to install. The manufacturer of the bushing had instructions on how to trim it if it was too tall, which looked like a pain in the buttstock, but none of that turned out to be necessary, I measured the old one and the new one with dial calipers and they were exactly the same height, so I did a simple swap. I had no issues. I carefully tightened all four gas block screws, rotating between them as I went and I think it’s pretty evenly snugged down.

I put the scope back on, now loctited to within an inch of its life. My plan is to check the accuracy with the scope, then pop the scope off and sight in the irons, and then put the scope back on to see how removing and replacing it affects zero. I’m optimistic that things will be better. We’ll see.
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
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Here is the tech sight under the scope. It kinda looks like it’s touching in the picture, but it isn’t. It’s a leupold 1.5 to 4x VX-R Patrol on the rings that came with the rifle. You can’t use the irons with the scope on (Unless you’re Superman and you can see through steel) because the rings block the line of sight, but they’d be usable for back-up with the scope removed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
I got back to the range today. The good news is that the rifle functioned fine with the 0.065 gas bushing. Actually, I couldn’t tell the difference between that and the factory bushing.
the accuracy was a little better but not much. The scope mount worked loose again despite the loctite. The design is screwy, and I think the mount wasn’t seated evenly and slipped. Before that I got about 6” with the scope. Once the scope slipped, I ditched it.

The tech sights are very nice, much better than the factory sights, and I could see the front sight in clear focus. Best I could do at 100 yards off the bench was again, about 6”. The group is roughly centered around the point of aim, and I can live with it, but I’m not exactly excited about the performance. It’s a 100% functional, but the accuracy is sadly lacking. See typical 5 shot group below.
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My mini for years always shot erratic groups as you posted and I always felt it wasn't very accurate. Then my friend gave me 80 of his hand loads to try out and the mini really surprised me with 1.5" groups at 100 yards. So the rifle can shoot, but bolt action accuracy it does not have. It's more like battlefield accuracy or minute of man. I have a 580 and a 584 series and they both shoot exactly the same which leads me to use them more for pleasure and fun than shooting for groups. I've never had problems with my scope mounts coming loose, I just cleaned the screws and holes with alcohol and used a small amount of blue lock tight and everything has held. My 580 series has just open sights and the 584 series has a small 1-4.5 scope mounted. I also have a mini 30 583 series and it is very ammo picky also, but it sure is fun to shoot.
 

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Watch this You Tube. Near the end GunBlue 490 covers installation of the Ruger rings. Different than the "standard" ring installation.

My VX-R Patrol has a 30mm tube. Is Ruger supplying 30mm rings with the rifles now? My last 30 Tactical came with 1 inch rings.

Bepe
 

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One other thing that may be an issue. Just a thought here on the VX-R Patrol and not trying to insult you.

As I posted a couple of posts ago ....my VX-R Patrol has a 30mm tube. Your scope looks completely different than my scope near the ocular bell. Did you buy your scope from E Bay ? or a reputable dealer. If a Chinese forgery it may not be functioning correctly. Just a thought.

That said.....Iron sights and factory ammo considered ....you are pretty good for Minute of Mini. Get the scope mounted correctly and some good ammo and I'll bet the group will shrink.

I don't have a current picture of the VX-R. I can take one tomorrow if needed. I sent mine back to the Leupold Custom Shop and had it calibrated for the 7.62x39mm round. Currently it is not mounted on a gun.

Bepe
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 · (Edited)
It’s a 1” tube. I bought it ftf at bass pro. i May have the model mixed up, but it’s a genuine Leupold 1.5 to 4. I think the weird wedge mount twisted during install, and slipped under recoil. It suddenly shifted point of impact about a foot between strings, and then I noticed it wasn’t sitting right. I’ll watch the video. Thanks. Regardless, the accuracy was about the same with the irons.
It’s acceptable accuracy for my intended use, and the tech sights work really well. Just not what I’d hoped for. I’m shooting Norma ammo at an indoor range that doesn't allow steel case. Anybody else have experience with Norma in these?
I may try some hand loads and see if that helps. I had pretty good luck with silver bear in the bolt action, so I may try some of that next time I can get to an outdoor range.
 

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Discussion Starter · #52 ·
I found the box for the scope. It’s a VX-Freedom “Pig plex” which is a substantially less expensive scope than the Patrol. My error.
 

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I was wondering, because the VX-R Patrol was only offered in a 30mm tube. The Freedom is still a good scope. Leupold is the "only" scope I run. Any level Leupold is better than the majority of scopes out there on the market. Your scope was probably loosening up from the first shot. I'll bet once you get it mounted per the video you will be good.

Bepe
 

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Discussion Starter · #54 · (Edited)
Thanks Bebe. I hope you’re right.
i looked at the video, it’s very helpful. I definitely didn't do it the right way. We try and try again.
 

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I had to do some file work on the mounts due to the scallop wedge throwing the glass tube off the center line, the bore axis. also file down the front sight to zero the POI, a 189 series. I can understand where the 30 got it's reputation for poor accuracy. but once some tuning it does well, better than I'm capable of. installing the eagle HK style front sight and brake combo really helped iron sight accuracy.
 

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Thanks Bebe. I hope you’re right.
i looked at the video, it’s very helpful. I definitely didn't do it the right way. We try and try again.
While I don't agree 100% with GunBlues scope installation process in regard to insuring the rifle and scope are on the same level plane...... I'll take his Ruger ring installation directions as gospel. He resides in New Hampshire. He was a LE armorer and has attended the Ruger Factory for several armorer courses. I'm sure he got first hand instructions from the horses mouth.:geek:

His scope mount using the carpenters square on the buttstock is fine as long as the floor and the bench are LEVEL. If they are level than that process will set the rifle level. Then using a known level source to align the scope....all will be good. If the bench or floor are not level, aligning the scope with a window sill or such will have them misaligned.

I have the Wheeler scope mount kit. An invaluable tool and worth the price of admission.

Keep us filled in on the progress.

Bepe
 

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One factor that will have a profound affect on accuracy is the lateral movement of your action in the stock. My poly stock on my 30 Tactical was loose. I'll assume that most of the poly stocks have more than optimal play.

I purchased a 189 series wood stock. Shimmed the reinforcement bracket so that the action takes a rap from your palm to seat it into the stock. It is tight with zero movement. As Sandog stated......the poly stock can also be shimmed. Credit card pieces fitted until desired result then you can put a dab of Gorilla Glue or such on each to hold them in place.

If the action is not tight in the stock it will "shift" with each shot....destroying consistent accuracy.

Bepe
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Discussion Starter · #59 ·
Phineas, do you mind sharing what ammunition you were using?
Norma is what I was using when I took the pictures of the targets. I also tried Brown Bear, Tula, Barnaul, and Wolf. I used most of the same ammo in my Ruger American Ranch with good results.
I have some Hornady Varmageddon .311 projectiles coming so I can put Together some hand loads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #60 ·
One factor that will have a profound affect on accuracy is the lateral movement of your action in the stock. My poly stock on my 30 Tactical was loose. I'll assume that most of the poly stocks have more than optimal play.

I purchased a 189 series wood stock. Shimmed the reinforcement bracket so that the action takes a rap from your palm to seat it into the stock. It is tight with zero movement. As Sandog stated......the poly stock can also be shimmed. Credit card pieces fitted until desired result then you can put a dab of Gorilla Glue or such on each to hold them in place.

If the action is not tight in the stock it will "shift" with each shot....destroying consistent accuracy.

Bepe
View attachment 65886
The stock is pretty tight. It doesn’t move even when pushed beck and forth and you have to give the trigger guard a pretty good whack to get it locked back together. I’ll reinspect though.
 
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