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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good afternoon! I am a new mini owner and while browsing online I found this wonderful site! Just in time, it seems, as well. I received my NIB mini about two weeks ago. The first outing with it I shot maybe 75 rounds and had 4 fail to eject. The cases were extracted but not ejected. So I cleaned the gun a little more and shot 50 rounds yesterday. The first ten rounds had two fail to eject. I then oiled the extractor claw with rem oil and didn't have any more failure to eject, 40 rounds straight without any troubles. However, the ejection does seem to be inconsistent regarding direction and distance. Some go about 5 feet, some 15-20 feet. Some fly from one o'clock to four o'clock.

My question is, is this normal? Does it just need to break in a little? Did I not get all the factory gunk/grease off well enough? Please help.

Thanks in advance for your help.
 

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Yes, this is normal. The new mini's have tighter tolerances and the finishing of the parts are a little rougher. It takes a couple hundred rounds to break in a Mini. You can speed up the process a little by buffing some of the contact surfaces. I used a scotch brite pad, others use some kind of polishing compound. I also stored the gun a couple of weeks with the bolt back to weaken the springs a little.
 

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I had some ejection problems when my 581 series Ranch Rifle was new also. Then I learned how to really clean this rifle right. Here is a link for you and also make sure the chamber is good and clean especially after shooting steel cased ammo! Worked for me and you came to the right place.

M1 Garand (Lubrication)
http://www.amazon.com/Otis-Tactical-Cleaning-System-Brushes/dp/B0000C52A5/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1350854741&sr=8-1&keywords=otis+tactical+cleaning+system
http://www.cjweapons.com/aspcart45/default.asp?page=306&start=1
http://www.amazon.com/Otis-Tactical-Cleaning-System-Brushes/dp/B0000C52A5/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1350854741&sr=8-1&keywords=otis+tactical+cleaning+system
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Wow. Thanks for the quick replies. Glad to hear my experiences are normal. I'll definitely take the advice from both posts. I do enjoy the gun and if there is anything I need to know about the mini 14 I'm all ears.
 

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I would echo glenwatkins recommendations.

Many people neglect the Garand action chambers. (Mini-14's, Ranch Rifles, M1 Carbines, M1 Garands, M-14's).

I use an M-14 chamber brush to really clean the chamber in my Ranch Rifles and Mini-14's. It is oversized (designed for .308 instead of .223), and only lasts for several thorough cleanings, but is well worth it, IMHO. I don't clean the chamber after every trip to the range. Generally about every 1000 rounds. Especially if I've been shooting steel cased ammo.
 

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Welcome Rich

The fact that all cases extracted suggests the extractor is working, unless it was too good :) and would not let go of the case. The fact that oiling the extractor (pivot and spring plunger?) helped is interesting, suggesting things will get better by themselves with use.

One question is what ammo you were using - if underpowered ammo is used it may cause eratic or non-ejection. Avoid Wolf ammo as it is underpowered, especially in a new rifle.

You should also look at the way the ejector projects into the bolt nose - it needs to have decent overlap with the casehead. You can also manually run ammo through the gun and see if ejection is positive - do this in a safe place, in a safe direction with the safety on - dummy rounds may also be useful, if their extractor grooves are correctly shaped.

The Mini comes with many rough and sharp surfaces, many of which affect friction. That said, I would be careful about using scotchbrite or sand paper to break edges - these are not controlled enough in my opinion.

I have used a needle file and a 1/2" square cutting stone to break chosen edges in a controlled manner - you do not want to accidentally touch surfaces such as the locking lug engagement faces of the bolt or the receiver - their corners may need tiny chamfers or radii if the factory did not do a good job here.

The bottom line is that you should not blindly sand or buff mating surfaces or you could distort their intended shape. If you are mechanically inclined you can figure out what and how to smooth things out - look for polishing marks cause by the rounds already fired. The idea is to have the parts smooth each other, rather than gouge each other.

Unless you can feel extreme roughness in operation, or have seen one sharp edge cutting, rather than polishing a mating part, I would oil the action liberally and shoot full power (5.56) ammo in it to break it in before assuming it needs fixing.

Here are videos of my new stainless Mini shooting Federal 5.56 and PMC .223 ammo respectively, somewhere in the first 200 rounds - the noise, flash and recoil are very different, but ejection is strong with both.

Huge muzzle flash from Stainless Mini-14 when using Federal XM193 5.56 x 45 mm ammo at indoor range - YouTube

Stainless Mini-14 using PMC .223 ammo - YouTube
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks, to all. I should have noted that the first 75 or so rounds was Fiocchi 223 and the second 50 was Hornady, both 55 gr FMJ. Manually, all live rounds cycle great and eject. The 6 mishaps I couldn't tell if the bolt was short stroking or, as Subscriber said, the extractor was working too good. The fact that more light oil on the extractor seemed to eliminate, at least for the next 40 shots, any trouble tells me there must have been some cosmoline or something in there causing some stickiness. I'll keep shooting and see what happens. I have used some grease (very, very lightly) in some friction areas I noticed around the bolt and underside of barrel. We'll see if this helps next trip out.
 

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It took mine about 200 rounds before it really smoothed out.

Keep in mind, also, that you're using new magazines with that new rifle. I've noticed that some mags tend to be finicky when they're brand new, even in my 580 with >1500 rounds through it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks. I do appreciate the feedback.

One more question, am I safe in using grease on underside of barrel or will this tend to gum up?
 

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Thanks. I do appreciate the feedback.

One more question, am I safe in using grease on underside of barrel or will this tend to gum up?
I put grease on the underside every time I clean the Mini without any issues. Last weekend I attended a carbine class, shot 300 rounds in 4 hours with several (3) 20 round mag dumps. When I cleaned the gun the grease on the botton of the barrel was baked on, but a little fuel injector cleaner on it removed it right away. I also grease the slide and receiver and after 300 rounds both were spotless.
 

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Thanks. I do appreciate the feedback.

One more question, am I safe in using grease on underside of barrel or will this tend to gum up?
In short: It depends.

Grease is safe, and in fact, the recommended lubricant on most parts of the Mini-14/30. However, I'd be concerned that grease would tend to catch lots of powder residue.

Will it hurt anything? Not if you clean your rifle after each range trip.

Will it hurt anything to not apply grease there? Nope. I've never greased the underside of the barrel or the top of the slide/op rod in that location. Sure, there's a little contact, but it'll polish itself soon enough. :lol:
 

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You should really use both grease and oil on the Mini the same as you would on an M1 or M1A. If it slides grease it, if it pivots on a pin give it a drop of oil. Don't over lube.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Sounds good. Thanks for all of your help. I'll keep y'all posted if I continue to experience trouble and it does feel good to know that I have found such a wealth of knowledge regarding firearms as I have here.
 

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For what it is worth, I have been shooting Minis (and AR15s) for decades and I have never used grease on anything. Almost never have feeding or other issues. I do not believe that grease is necessary for user-level maintenance of either the Mini 14 or the AR15 (my two rifles of choice :p).
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
And I agree, in my mind that's a good point. While I'm new to a mini, I do own many other guns. Never have I greased the first one. And I have never had any jam on me, unless of course you count the time I put an 18 pound wolf spring in my colt national match and attempted to shoot light wad cutters. My concern, and I guess this can has has been answered by others on here, is how many have had a new mini fail to eject but later found it to smooth out and function normally? I have several A-5's, both Belgian and Miroku, Colts, Browning BARS, etc., you get the picture. So naturally I was somewhat frustrated when the mini didn't kick the empties out. Even my Mark II has functioned flawlessly regardless of the loads I've fed it.

Anyway, my last 40 shots with the mini were uneventful and I'm hoping things have moved to normal operation with it. Now I just have to find the chance to get out and shoot some more. Hopefully I'll get an opportunity sooner than later. The week before I purchased the mini I went back to my family's farm in Georgia (I now live in Alabama), and saw four coyotes just in the front hayfield. I'm thinking another trip there would be a perfect chance to test the 223 against some varmints. Should be fun!
 

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I use a home made recipe, a little 10w-30 synthetic motor oil, some atf fluid, and some hoppe's #9 solvent. It hasn't failed me yet, and it sucks up all the powder residue and carbon on the underside and in the chamber, I pretty much just wipe the excess oil off and its clean. I would recommend it highly.
 

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The mini is pretty tolerant of any lubricant. I used 3 in 1 oil, Hoppe's gun oil, Rem oil, motor oil, synthetic motor oil, gun grease, lithium grease, a lot or a little, the mini keeps on running. The action seems the smoothest when I grease it and then add a drop of synthetic motor oil. I personally don't think you can over lubricate a mini. The Garand action just throws any excess off and the receiver stays spotless no matter how many rounds I run through it so the lubrication doesn't get all gunked up in the receiver. My 183 is 25 years old and after over 10,000 rounds it's still like new and is smoother than my 582.
 

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Interesting, my 581 Mini 14 was flawless out of the box new, now I've got over 2k rounds through it without one malfunction of any kind in the guns life.

I guess some rifles need to be broken in and some don't.
 
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