.308 Diameter Bullets in the Mini-30. - Shooting Sports Forum


Ruger Mini-14 and Mini-30 Ruger Mini-14 and Mini-30 family of rifles

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Old 05-07-2017, 13:40   #1
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.308 Diameter Bullets in the Mini-30.

I prefer to use correct-for-the-barrel diameter bullets, in this case, 310.5" for my Mini-30's. But I got some .308 diameter bullets as a bonus in a trade (Thanks Bepe!) and was curious as to how they'd do.
They are Remington .308 diameter 125 grain JSP's with a cannelure.
Seating them to the cannelure made for a stubby looking x39 round (2.078" OAL).
I used once fired PPU brass, A2015 powder and W-W WLR primers.
My sweet spot with 123grain .310-.311 bullets is between 26.8 and 28.6 grains of A2015. Those two loads get 2275 fps. and 2475 fps., respectively.
So I loaded 5 rounds each from 27.0 to 28.5 grains , progressing .5 grain at a time.
Loads were shot out of my "Grey" Mini-30 with 2.5-8x Nikon scope mounted on the Ultimak. scope set at max 8x and shot off bench rest at 100 yards, 5 shots each.

27.0 grains-- Average Velocity 2236 fps. Lo-2231 fps. Hi 2241 fps. Variation 10 fps. Group size 2 inches.

27.5 grains-- Average Velocity 2219 fps. Lo-2178 fps. Hi-2260 fps. Variation 82 fps. Group Size 2 1/8"

28.0 grains-- Average Velocity 2273 fps. Lo-2269 fps. Hi-2277 fps. Variation 8 fps. Group Size 1 1/2"

28.5 grains-- Average Velocity 2300 fps. Lo-2280 fps. Hi-2360 fps. Variation 80 fps. Group Size 1 3/4"
Accuracy was way better than I was expecting, the rifling must still be getting a good bite on the under size bullets.
Velocity was low compared to my loads with .310.5 bullets, so there must be some gas blow-by occurring.
I guess if you shot enough of them there might be some throat erosion, but they are certainly good enough for plinking, or hunting as they are a Remington soft point, but perhaps their 125 grain .30 cal was meant for varmints, as it is a bit light for .30 caliber.
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Old 05-07-2017, 14:42   #2
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Yes, I'm gonna load the rest of those bullets up with the 28.0 grain load, best accuracy and only 8 fps. variation.
Not sure why the 27.0 and 28.0 grain loads had such a low spread, while the 27.5 and 28.5 loads didn't. I guess those Remington bullets like even charges and not half grain ones !
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Old 05-07-2017, 18:02   #3
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Thanks for sharing the good info sandog. Last year I shot some .308 Hornady 150 grain Interlocks out of my SS Mini 30 & was very surprised by the the results. One group was a 4-shot 1 & 3/4" group with 3 of the 4 holes under 5/8". The other was a 3 shot group under 2". Maybe it was just a one time fluke but sometimes you just have to try things & see what happens. The results may surprise you.
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Old 05-08-2017, 02:51   #4
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Since I have the .308 bore on my Mini-30 all I can do is add that from the other end of the bullet diameter equation everything from .308 to .311 shoots fine in my Mini.

I'm not surprised that a .308 shoots well in a .310 to .311 bore. I have a couple NOS boxes of Remington 7.62x39 PSP ammo and it is indeed loaded with .308 bullets.

I don't worry too much about bullet diameter with that little variance since bullet diameter will vary slightly from bullet to bullet in the same box, same as grain weight will. I'm sure it's a factor and a competition target shooter would want to hand select bullets so every one is pretty much right on the money. But like you said in the Velocity/Accuracy Test Redux thread, "A man size target is going to be in trouble." Probably the same holds true if we're shooting anything between .308 and .311 out of .310 diameter bore M-30.
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Old 05-08-2017, 04:59   #5
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I have loaded and shot .308 bullets in a couple of my .303's. They use the .310 ..311 .312 dia bullets. I found a couple very accurate loads by paper patching some of those .308 bullets and only paper patch my hunting rounds.
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Old 05-08-2017, 08:16   #6
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Originally Posted by Jeff F View Post
I have loaded and shot .308 bullets in a couple of my .303's. They use the .310 ..311 .312 dia bullets. I found a couple very accurate loads by paper patching some of those .308 bullets and only paper patch my hunting rounds.
Try the lapua brand 123 fmj's. They have a hollow base, and bump up nicely, also, hornady 123 soft points work well too.
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