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

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Old 03-28-2020, 12:19   #26
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Originally Posted by hylander View Post
Mini-30:
1: I have no reloading components for the 30 except H-4198 powder
2: Factory name brand ammo is not that plentiful, easy to find or cheap when you do find it.
3: The last one I had which was many years ago, could not hit paper 8.5X11 at 50yds (Seriously) even with hand loads
4: But I just want one, but don't want to be disappointed after shelling out $1,000, I'm kind on a budget.
The reloading thing , as I mentioned earlier, isn't difficult to get set up for , especially if you have the basics, like a press... and you've got at least one of the good powders for 7.62x39. Get a set of LEE dies and you're done. There are too many types of bullets to name for loading x39; from 95 gr to 150 gr, and from .308 to .311.

I buy most of my 7.62x39 factory ammo online. Very inexpensive and plentiful until recently with all the COVID-19 panic buying. It will get back to normal in the future. The most accurate ammo in my Mini-30 is 20 cents per round. That's the stuff made by Vympel, Russia.

It's imported by two different companies, so you'll find the same 124 gr FMJ or HP boat tail branded as either Golden Tiger or Red Army Standard. Silver Bear made by Barnaul, Russia, is pretty close in accuracy in my Mini. They both have higher velocities than domestic rounds do, and thus more thump.

If you want to stick with brass case you've got lots of cost effective options, like Geco as low as $6.99 a box and PPU as low as 8.99 a box, depending on where you buy it. So many brands and types of 7.62x39, we're swimming in it. At the moment during this Coronavirus insanity is not a good time to link to ammo deals, because prices have inched up for all calibers, but they'll come back down sooner or later.

If you couldn't hit typing paper at 50 yards with your last Mini-30, it needed to go to Ruger for service. Something was wrong and it shouldn't be seen as representative of the Mini-30 as a species. You can come across a dog in any model from any gun maker. The later model Minis have a good rep. Even older ones can be tweaked to near MOA and have been by people on this forum.

I'm kind of on a budget too. I have one older Mini-30. When I lay down a chunk of change for a second Mini it will be another Mini-30. I've been anything but disappointed.

I had my hands on a Mini-14 first. I had borrowed it from a friend for a couple months while deciding whether to buy one or not. It was a skinny barrel ranch type but shot pretty well with Remington UMC 55 gr 223. I still have two boxes of that left from 1988. I was also looking at M1 Carbines at the time. Then I came across a Mini-30. It's been nothing but good ever since. It's one of two of the best gun purchases I've ever made. The other was a S&W 5900 Series 9mm pistol. I still have that too.
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Old 03-29-2020, 11:21   #27
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Mini 14

I just took delivery of my brand new, Mini 14, wood stock/blued, 584 serial #mfg. VERY impressed! Having never owned a Mini 14, or even shot one before, the accuracy is Fantastic! I'm not an open sight shooter, but the rifle groups exceptionally well with stock sights, at 50yds. I only shot 40rds thru, but gun has good attributes, solid trigger, accurate, full size stock/LOP", nice peep sights. Ruger certainly stepped up there game, after reading about earlier model misgivings. I would buy another and recommend to anyone!
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Old 03-29-2020, 11:41   #28
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Great your happy with your new rifle. Like some things it will get better with age.
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Old 03-29-2020, 13:45   #29
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Originally Posted by hawkguy View Post
not sure why there is so much much doubt of the 5.56 capabilities lately. reminds me a bit of when everyone was down on the 9mm...a mindset that quickly changed when people starting demonstrating its capabilities with the right ammo. 5.56 is a very, very nasty and effective round. unfortunately, current tragedies have only reinforced how nasty it is
.223/5.56 is good for a lot of things, but that doubt and trouble with the round has been with us from Vietnam to Iraq and Afghanistan. Some vets come home never wanting to see an AR or 5.56 again. Others come back chomping at the bit to get a civilian version with full confidence in the round. It really depends on the war and nature of the combat they've experienced.

Remember, it was the less than stellar performance of 5.56 in the Middle East that had the military looking into changing the standard to something more potent like 6.8 SPC. And 6.8 SPC has been adopted to a limited degree, but not on a grand scale like many of us had hoped.

The problem in Iraq and Afghanistan was failure of 5.56 to penetrate enemy chest rigs and heavy clothing at range. Unfortunately for our guys, the enemy's 7.62x39 had no such difficulty with penetration.

We have a family friend and mentor to my sons who was at the The Second Battle of Fallujah. He said there were times he might as well have been using a BB gun. When my youngest son went into the service he gave him a lot of pointers and a few useful accessories he could use on an M16 or M4.

I'm sure I'll get a Mini-14 one of these days, because I like the format regardless of caliber. But not before I get a second Mini-30, and most likely an M1 Carbine to replace the one I had in high school and stupidly sold.

If I were to get a Mini-14 it would be something friendly to 62 gr and 77 gr projectiles.

One other thing about the Mini-30 that's maybe already been mentioned is that many states don't allow hunting with .223. But any state that allows centerfire rifle hunting will allow 7.62x39. I'm not saying .223 can't be effective on something like Whitetail, but many states have decided it is not.
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Old 03-29-2020, 14:24   #30
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i hear ya. i've heard the mixed stories in combat (no experience to speak of though). but then, the military also abandoned heavier penetrating rounds (30-06, 308) in combat....claiming them ineffective or impractical at different points as well, due to various reasons.

there is NO "do all" caliber. i think we'd agree on that.

5.56 is pretty nasty and seemingly very accurate, the small round is probably pretty weak at cutting through thick brush though. 7.62X39 is probably a bit nastier within 100-200 yards, probably penetrates obstacles better at limited range. 7.62X51 makes em both look like chumps, at any range.

if i had to shoot it out, my choice would be 7.62X51. the extra weight of the ammo would only make me stronger. between 5.56 and X39, i feel like it's mostly "give and take."

i will again mention my "no expert" status..... this is a debate that is older than me, that is for sure....


Originally Posted by Beck View Post
.223/5.56 is good for a lot of things, but that doubt and trouble with the round has been with us from Vietnam to Iraq and Afghanistan. Some vets come home never wanting to see an AR or 5.56 again. Others come back chomping at the bit to get a civilian version with full confidence in the round. It really depends on the war and nature of the combat they've experienced.

Remember, it was the less than stellar performance of 5.56 in the Middle East that had the military looking into changing the standard to something more potent like 6.8 SPC. And 6.8 SPC has been adopted to a limited degree, but not on a grand scale like many of us had hoped.

The problem in Iraq and Afghanistan was failure of 5.56 to penetrate enemy chest rigs and heavy clothing at range. Unfortunately for our guys, the enemy's 7.62x39 had no such difficulty with penetration.

We have a family friend and mentor to my sons who was at the The Second Battle of Fallujah. He said there were times he might as well have been using a BB gun. When my youngest son went into the service he gave him a lot of pointers and a few useful accessories he could use on an M16 or M4.

I'm sure I'll get a Mini-14 one of these days, because I like the format regardless of caliber. But not before I get a second Mini-30, and most likely an M1 Carbine to replace the one I had in high school and stupidly sold.

If I were to get a Mini-14 it would be something friendly to 62 gr and 77 gr projectiles.

One other thing about the Mini-30 that's maybe already been mentioned is that many states don't allow hunting with .223. But any state that allows centerfire rifle hunting will allow 7.62x39. I'm not saying .223 can't be effective on something like Whitetail, but many states have decided it is not.
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Old 03-29-2020, 17:22   #31
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Good points about the .223. Luckily mine likes 62 grain the best. I've killed a number of deer with a .223 but all of them but one I shot in the head. Not a mini though, a very accurate bolt gun. Last one I shot in the head went right down then lifted her head up when I went to get her. Had to shoot her again. That was the last one I shot with a .223. I also had to pass on a nice buck as the shot was iffy with a .223. Ended up selling that gun. It was the only rifle I had at the time. Love the .223 caliber but I'm not gun poor anymore so I got better stuff for Bambi and things that need more firepower. Like shooting the mini the best though.
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Old 03-29-2020, 17:32   #32
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BECK and SandDog:

Now I am starting lean toward a Mini-30 Tactical in SS /Synthetic.
Just the regular synthetic stock.
How does the Steel case ammo run through the Mini-30?
Do you notice any extra wear on the bolt or chamber?
I would need to find a place to ship ammo to CA. as a lot of dealers won't ship here (No Reason) and the ammo like Red Army and Silver Bear are not available local, no one carries it.
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Old 03-29-2020, 18:56   #33
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Originally Posted by hylander View Post
BECK and SandDog:

Now I am starting lean toward a Mini-30 Tactical in SS /Synthetic.
Just the regular synthetic stock.
How does the Steel case ammo run through the Mini-30?
Do you notice any extra wear on the bolt or chamber?
I would need to find a place to ship ammo to CA. as a lot of dealers won't ship here (No Reason) and the ammo like Red Army and Silver Bear are not available local, no one carries it.
Many vendors will ship ammo to California through an FFL dealer. So if you are an FFL or have an FFL you work with, you can have ammo shipped to CA. Vizards, Midsouth Shooters, and LAX Ammo do it that way. Your local FFL will charge you a small processing fee, which varies based on the dealer's discretion. However you can buy brass and bullets for handloading and have it shipped to your door in California.

I've used mostly steel case with bi-metal jacketed bullets over the 30 years I've owned my Mini-30. It has no appreciable wear. It's in near safe-queen condition. Steel cases and bi-metal bullets are made of very soft metal. The parts of of a Mini-30 or Mini-14 that make contact with the cartridge are hardened steel. The inside of my Mini-30 barrel looks shiny and new with sharp, well defined groves. I've never had a part break.

Word is that newer Minis are even better with steel case, but I would upgrade the firing pin nonetheless because they still vary. Some Minis have no trouble at all with steel case and Berdan primers, while others will experience an occasional failure to fire. And again, not all steel case is created equal. You may have some FTFs with one brand and none at all with another brand.

By the way, LAX Ammo is in Inglewood, CA. They have all kinds of 7.62x39, including the Vympel made Red Army. It might be worth a day trip to drive down there and stock up.
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Old 03-29-2020, 19:36   #34
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hylander, you'd have to shoot tens of thousands of rounds to see any wear.
The one area where steel might be harder on your Mini is the extractor.

Brass fills the chamber upon firing, then a millisecond after contracts for ease of extraction. Perfect material for a cartridge case.
Steel is a cheaper case material but doesn't contract as much, so "theoretically" is harder on your extractor. But in real life, I've yet to hear of broken or chipped extractors. You'll hear more of that occurring with AR's.

Still it would be wise to keep a spare extractor and firing pin on hand, and be familiar with changing them out.
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Old 03-29-2020, 19:40   #35
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Originally Posted by hylander View Post
..I would need to find a place to ship ammo to CA. as a lot of dealers won't ship here (No Reason) and the ammo like Red Army and Silver Bear are not available local, no one carries it.
Do you have any idea of the new (relatively) ammunition sales restrictions in California?
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Old 03-29-2020, 20:05   #36
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Originally Posted by firescout View Post
Do you have any idea of the new (relatively) ammunition sales restrictions in California?
^^^^^ California is a rough place for legitimate gun owners, but a great place for criminals who don't follow laws anyway. California has done about everything but secede from the United States. And I wouldn't be terribly shocked if they tried that at some point. I was born there, but I could never go back. Sandy beaches and sunshine are no substitutes for liberty.
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Old 03-29-2020, 20:13   #37
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Originally Posted by sandog View Post
hylander, you'd have to shoot tens of thousands of rounds to see any wear.
The one area where steel might be harder on your Mini is the extractor.

Brass fills the chamber upon firing, then a millisecond after contracts for ease of extraction. Perfect material for a cartridge case.
Steel is a cheaper case material but doesn't contract as much, so "theoretically" is harder on your extractor. But in real life, I've yet to hear of broken or chipped extractors. You'll hear more of that occurring with AR's.

Still it would be wise to keep a spare extractor and firing pin on hand, and be familiar with changing them out.
Yeah, that's true. One exception to brass vs steel case is 7.62x39, which was designed with that exaggerated tapered case for ease of cycling and extraction. For the most part it works well. I've never had a stuck case (knock on wood).
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Old 03-29-2020, 20:41   #38
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Thanks,
Looks like LAX is out of stock on most.
Will check them later.
Midway is also out.
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Old 03-29-2020, 20:43   #39
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Originally Posted by firescout View Post
Do you have any idea of the new (relatively) ammunition sales restrictions in California?
Yep, know all about them.
Just some dealers out of state do not want to ship to California.
I see you are in Norcal, where about?
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Old 03-29-2020, 21:42   #40
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Originally Posted by hylander View Post
Yep, know all about them.
Just some dealers out of state do not want to ship to California.
I see you are in Norcal, where about?
Bay Area.

I was stocking up on the ammo that I don't handload for (.22LR, .32 ACP, shotgun), from 2016 through 2018.

I ask about knowing the ammo purchase restrictions, as there are still some people who go to buy ammo (after not buying any in the past several or more years), and then go: "Whaaa?"
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Old 03-29-2020, 22:28   #41
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Originally Posted by hylander View Post
Thanks,
Looks like LAX is out of stock on most.
Will check them later.
Midway is also out.
Yep, about everyone is out of most common calibers and prices are up for what people do have in stock. At SGAmmo the Red Army 124 gr HPBT #2458 7,62x39 has gone up 30% for a case of 1000, from $199.50 to $259.50. I'm glad I bought a half case of that a few months ago and haven't even opened it yet.

I sent Sam a note saying I was none too pleased. A $60.00 jump in price seems opportunistic. He wrote me back and said his suppliers have raised their prices and he's running on a skeleton crew while still paying the employees who can't come into work. He characterized our present circumstances as about 10X worse than the ammo shortage of 2013.

I've always liked and recommended SG. We'll see how things look after the smoke clears and things get back to normal. But honestly, I'm trusting fewer and fewer people all the time. I've seen cases of the same stuff sell for a bit less than SG wants on Gunbroker in the last couple days, and Gunbroker is typically more expensive.
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Old 03-30-2020, 07:50   #42
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Originally Posted by Beck View Post
Yep, about everyone is out of most common calibers and prices are up for what people do have in stock. At SGAmmo the Red Army 124 gr HPBT #2458 7,62x39 has gone up 30% for a case of 1000, from $199.50 to $259.50. I'm glad I bought a half case of that a few months ago and haven't even opened it yet.

I sent Sam a note saying I was none too pleased. A $60.00 jump in price seems opportunistic. He wrote me back and said his suppliers have raised their prices and he's running on a skeleton crew while still paying the employees who can't come into work. He characterized our present circumstances as about 10X worse than the ammo shortage of 2013.

I've always liked and recommended SG. We'll see how things look after the smoke clears and things get back to normal. But honestly, I'm trusting fewer and fewer people all the time. I've seen cases of the same stuff sell for a bit less than SG wants on Gunbroker in the last couple days, and Gunbroker is typically more expensive.
Yep,
Cheaper than dirt raised some of their prices by 300%
I have sent them a couple of strongly worded emails (no response).
Hopefully things will cool down in a few weeks.
Glad I reload.
Well I am off to the garage to load up some 45 ACP on the Dillon 650
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Old 03-30-2020, 12:11   #43
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Glad I don't need any ammo right now but I would get some anyway if it was around at a decent price.
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Old 03-30-2020, 18:51   #44
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Originally Posted by hylander View Post
Yep,
Cheaper than dirt raised some of their prices by 300%
I have sent them a couple of strongly worded emails (no response).
Hopefully things will cool down in a few weeks.
Glad I reload.
Well I am off to the garage to load up some 45 ACP on the Dillon 650
And Cheaper Than Dirt has been among the priciest places I know of in normal times. I've quipped a time or two in the past that dirt must be very high quality and expensive where they are. What's in a name? Nothing! It's like "The Most Trusted Name in News" or the "Honest John" character in the childrens classic movie, Pinocchio. Who gave him the name, "Honest John?" Well he did of course, and he was anything but honest.
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Old 03-30-2020, 19:02   #45
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Originally Posted by Timberdog View Post
Glad I don't need any ammo right now but I would get some anyway if it was around at a decent price.
That's where I'm at too. I have enough x39 for 10 years of normal range time, and probably about 2.5 years of all out world war. Same with toilet paper. If I see ammo or toilet paper for a reasonable price I'll grab some, but otherwise I'm good.

I'm pretty well set in my other calibers as well, with 357 Magnum being my second and 9mm my third most stacked and stashed. 12 ga shells of various kinds for my Remington 870 are in pretty decent shape... probably enough for its role in my plans of action for defensive use of force.

I remember the days when I thought 1000 rounds of 7.62x39 was a lot, and wondered if I'd live long enough to use it. Now I see that much as a bare minimum.
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Old 03-31-2020, 16:57   #46
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First, thanks for all the input.
However, I am now starting to lean back to the Mini-14.
Reason being, I am thinking about getting a 7.62X39 Upper for one of my AR's.
But then I may just freak out and buy a 30 and a 14
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Old 03-31-2020, 17:02   #47
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Originally Posted by hylander View Post
First, thanks for all the input.
However, I am now starting to lean back to the Mini-14.
Reason being, I am thinking about getting a 7.62X39 Upper for one of my AR's.
But then I may just freak out and buy a 30 and a 14
Saw this on the forbidden site. Do these spark your interest?

https://www.ar15.com/forums/Armory/K...ed-/52-509148/
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Old 03-31-2020, 17:05   #48
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hylander, I myself would not get another x39 upper unless your lower will take AK mags.
I had a Colt upper in x39 once but mags were problematic. The mag being straight before it can curve doesn't work out so well wit the rapid taper of the x39.

My Palmetto KS-47 is awesome, the lower takes AK mags, plentiful, cheap and reliable.
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Old 03-31-2020, 17:37   #49
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Originally Posted by sandog View Post
hylander, I myself would not get another x39 upper unless your lower will take AK mags.
I had a Colt upper in x39 once but mags were problematic. The mag being straight before it can curve doesn't work out so well wit the rapid taper of the x39.

My Palmetto KS-47 is awesome, the lower takes AK mags, plentiful, cheap and reliable.
welcome to the 21st century.

7.62X39 CProducts Defense mags and no problems. Mags are zero issue for like 10++ years now. Where have you been.
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Old 03-31-2020, 17:42   #50
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Originally Posted by mini14collector View Post
welcome to the 21st century.

7.62X39 CProducts Defense mags and no problems. Mags are zero issue for like 10++ years now. Where have you been.
I've been shooting Minis for close to 10 years now, and I'm in a better place.

Tired of waiting on production delays (over 2 years) from CProducts is why I sold my Colt upper. Glad they finally got their **** together.

I still would prefer to have my x39 AR use AK mags. AK mags have worked well for close to 70 years.
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