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Old 04-24-2020, 22:44   #1
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New Mini-30 Tactical Report



Recently Picked up this new 584 series stainless steel Mini-30 Tactical
with 16” heavy barrel. I had a standard Mini-30 several years ago, but just did not warm up to it. Thought I would try it again, seeing how I have owned a few Mini-14’s and really like them. I like the 7.62X39 round having owned a few SKS’s. Anyway, on to the Review.

The Good:
Out of the box it looks great, very sleek and the stainless on black just goes together. Feels great in the hand, well balanced, comes to the shoulder nicely and the open sights are right there, love the rear peep.
Mags, the new 5 round and my old mags pop right in and out easily with no play and lock the bolt back perfect. Firing pin protrusion measured about .040 So I think I'm good to go with the cheap steel cased ammo. No metal protrusion on the bolt face.

The Bad:
Trigger pull measures #6.5
Upon removing the FH, the threads were rough and had metal shavings.
Got it cleaned up.
Cleaned the bore as it had a lot of copper fouling, looks great now.
Removed the action from the stock and disassembled everything.
I found a few metal burrs, at the factory buffer area and chamber exterior.
Also three of the four gas block screws were partially stripped.
And the kicker, the chamber is not smooth, was not polished, you can see and feel the rough cuts. I scrubbed it good with a 40 cal. brush and Kroil , I will see how it shoots and functions first before sending it back to Ruger.

Time for a few Mods:

Disclaimer: These are mods I did and are safe in my Rifle, do any of this to your rifle and you take full responsibility for the outcome.

1: Re torqued to #25 in. and evenly gapped gas block using feeler gauges.
2: Installed the Lighting secondary sear spring from ASI.
This spring is longer but a lighter spring rate, however this spring did absolutely nothing for the trigger pull as stated, Waste of money.
3: Installed front and rear Wilson 1911 buffers to tame the beating the rifle takes from metal to metal contact during recoil.
4: Being in Commiefornia a flash hider on this rifle is a no-no. I elected to install a Kaw Valley linear brake. I really like them as they direct the blast forward making the rifle much quieter than a flash hider.
5: Receiver had side to side play in the stock, so I made shims from .010 brass shim stock for both sides. Fits snug now.
6: Purchased a gas bushing set from ASI. Came with .060, .065, .070
Not installed yet, want to see how far cases eject with factory .100 bushing.

First Range trip:

Mounted a Nikon 3-9X40, shooting 8” round steel plates at 50yds to set scope.
First 3 rounds were PPU brass cased loaded one at a time in the mag., All went bang and ejected (Barely). Next were 3 Wolf loaded in the Mag., failure to eject each time.
Tried two other mags, still all failure to eject and stove pipes.
Fired a few more PPU still some failure to eject, but got scope centered on the plates.
Decided to remove the scope and set the Iron sights. Couple of revolutions up and it was on at 50 with a 6 o'clock hold.
Just kept feeding it Wolf and after about 50 rounds it started to function proper, the more I shot the better it got. Last 30-40 rounds all went bang and all ejected, however only 1-4 feet from me. Good news, I was nailing a pop can @ 100yds almost every shot and a spray paint can at 200yds at least 2 out of 3 shots. Also, I had zero failures to fire and no double taps.
Once back home I gave the bore a serious scrubbing removing all signs of copper fouling and lightly polished the chamber with 400 grit lapping compound and then finished with Flitz.
We will see next trip if the polishing helps or not. Also will be polishing all mating surfaces of the trigger group and removing another coil from the secondary sear spring to see if I can get this thing down to #4.5
Conclusion:
I am fairly happy, next range trip should be the deciding factor.
Also help me pick an optic, nothing to big and I also do not like reflex sights or scout setups.
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Old 04-24-2020, 22:45   #2
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Second Range Trip:

Started with Iron sights and Wolf Military Classic HP ammo shooting 8” steel.
First few shots were high, then I realized it was sighted for 100 and 200yds.
Made one full rotation of rear sight down and it was on. Fired several rounds and all seemed well. Moved my target to 100yds and mounted the Nikon 3-9 again. Once sighted for 100yds I tried for a group, was hard to shoot a group because I was using my shooting box for a front rest with no rear rest, still I managed about 3” groups.
Before leaving I shot off hand and was able to ring the 100yd 8” steel 2 out of 3 shots. This is Very good for me. Also fired a few PPU rounds.
So after polishing the chamber, rounds now eject 3-6 feet from me in a nice pile. Looks like no need for the bushings I bought.
I had zero failure to feed or failure to fire, also rounds fed flawlessly from all mags. One thing I did notice is this thing heats up quick, however so far it does not impact the accuracy that much.
Conclusion:
I am starting to dig my new M30.
Already placed an order for some Brown Bear HP. and also reloading dies.
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Old 04-24-2020, 22:45   #3
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Third Range Trip

Third Range Trip

Before hitting the range again I stoned the trigger group and got it down to a crisp #5, that is my comfort zone as far as Mini triggers go. I would love to have it at #3.5
Also took the whole rifle apart, cleaned and lubed.

Back at the range to get this girl on paper.
Started @ 50yds to set the iron sights. I fired 5 round groups waiting 30-60 seconds between shots, and waiting a good 5 minutes between groups.
Shooting from a solid bench with a rest in the front and sand bag in the rear.
First group with PPU was 2.100, Wolf Military Classic was 1.630
Went back to the PPU group and fired 5 more, all 5 were inside the first group of 1.60 so 10 shots total in that group. These are not to bad for me since it is hard for me to focus with Irons.
Moved the target out to 100yds., PPU group was 4.475 and Wolf was 4.400
Again, not bad for me, they were all centered and would be a dead Coyote.
Next I mounted the Nikon 3-9X40 @ 100yds.
First group with PPU was 1.640 with a flyer taking it to 2.700 I can live with that. Next group with Wolf was 6.25 Stringing high and right, Yikes!.
Checked the sights and the rear sight had loosened up.
Re-tightened it and fired 2 PPU, they were touching. Adjusted scope up 1 click and left 3 clicks, in the Bullseye. Again, no failure to fire and no failure to feed, brass ejects very well now and everything went great.
Conclusion: I think got a keeper
Can't wait for my Golden Tiger and Brown Bear ammo to arrive.
Side Note:
Firing Wolf ammo I noticed that several rounds sounded completely different than the others. Also noticed this on a couple of the PPU's. Each time I could call the flyer before seeing the target.
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Old 04-25-2020, 05:50   #4
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Sounds like you have been busy !
The bushing kit from ASI isn't going to do you any good, might as well sell it to someone with a full length barrel Mini-30.
If it barely is ejecting with a .100 bushing, smaller won't work well.

Keep shooting it, and as it breaks in, the .100" might be O.K.
Worse case scenario, you might have to open up the .100" slightly bigger.

It sucks to buy a new carbine and have metal shavings, rough chambers and other rough surfaces, Rugers have always been a bit rough as far as finish, but seem to get worse as time goes on.

If you love the rear Ruger peep, you'll really love the Tech peep, great improvement and a worthwhile upgrade.

The fact that PPU ejected and Wolf did not should tell you something about Wolf.
Your nice Mini deserves to be fed better than Wolf or Tula, don't waste your money on them.

Optics ? Well you don't like reflex sights and you don't like Scout set ups, so you've already ruled out the best sighting system for the Mini-30. Bepe will be along shortly to second my opinion.
The Nikon 3-9x is fine for range use and testing loads for accuracy, I use a Nikon 2.5-8x for those uses (but mine is a handgun scope on the scout rail).

But for serious use, a smaller scope is preferred, a fixed 3x is all that's needed, especially for the shorter range x39 cartridge.
The Primary Arms 3 x prism, the model calibrated for the x39, is awesome, I have one on my Palmetto x39 AR and can connect out to 500 yards without guessing on the holdover.
And for multiple targets up close they work well too, a large field of view, just put the chevron on the target.
Super bright and clear, lifetime warranty, tethered scope caps, adjustable diopter, ARD filter available, lit red reticle, but not needed as it's always there without batteries.

I like the PA prism so much that, if I ever give up my Ultimak rails and wanted to go back to mounting an optic over the action on my Mini's, that's what I'd use, no question.
They are compact, not real light due to the sturdy tube and thick lenses, but that makes them very rugged.
Here I tried using a Fastfire on top of the scope, but I found I didn't need it, the 3x Prism is just fine for close in without it.

It will sit up a bit taller, but if you are set on mounting over the action, you'll have to get used to that. This is how low you can expect with the Ultimak, with all the other advantages of not having an optic right over the action.

Just shoot your new Mini 400 or 500 times and let it break in, sounds like you're on the right track with what you've done so far.
Just don't be tempted to slap a 1 pound scope and rings on it, a red dot is perfect on a Mini, and won't weigh it down.
Only by mounting an optic on the Ultimak will you get the optic low where it should be.
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Old 04-25-2020, 09:31   #5
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Out the door price was?????

I want one bad but the price is very high.

IMO the Ultimak handguard is a excessive and poor way to mount a red dot.

IMO the correct low mount, compact and nice mount is the Burris mount with a Fastfire III mounted to the forward mount.

I despise the Ultimak as used for simple small red dots. There are better options than that ugly stupid beast.

https://www.opticsplanet.com/v/41033...ing-plate.html

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Old 04-25-2020, 12:16   #6
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Nice looking Mini-30. I like that combo of stainless with black stock as well.

Was this brand new from a gun store? The copper fouling and stripped gas block screws make me wonder if it's been through someone's hands and then returned. As does the failure to eject, especially PPU. It could already have a reduced gas bushing in it.

Or unusually sloppy QC from Ruger on this one, but I can't imagine them not cleaning the bore after test firing.

Odd about the ASI Lightening secondary sear spring too. I bought one in 2017 and it made my trigger pull almost too light. The ASI and MCARBO springs both have a good rep. But it may be that a Mini has to be broken in before you notice a difference. Mine was well broken in over years before I bought the ASI spring.

As for optics I've been a scout scope proponent for nearly three decades. My Burris 2.75X weighs only 7 ounces, but if you don't like scouts you have your reasons.

There are a lot of good conventional scopes out there. For the Mini I like something light and compact... 2-7X35 or 2-8x35ish seems about optimal. A Burris Fullfield II 2-7X35 mounted with Warne Ruger style medium height quick detach rings would make a nice setup for close to intermediate range. That's a budget setup. If you have money to burn you have plenty of options in the light and fairly compact scope class.
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Old 04-25-2020, 12:54   #7
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Originally Posted by mini14collector View Post
Out the door price was?????

I want one bad but the price is very high.

IMO the Ultimak handguard is a excessive and poor way to mount a red dot.

IMO the correct low mount, compact and nice mount is the Burris mount with a Fastfire III mounted to the forward mount.

I despise the Ultimak as used for simple small red dots. There are better options than that ugly stupid beast.

https://www.opticsplanet.com/v/41033...ing-plate.html
So how do you really feel about it ???
Ugly, stupid beast, excessive, poor way to mount, Wow.
I tried the Burris mount that mounts to the forward receiver scallop, I used it once and found it to be way too high, and it leaves the FF way too unprotected.
You're welcome to have my pair of Burris mounts if you want them. I've had them advertised in the classifieds for a few years with no takers.
This method, way too high and exposed:

This method, low, more secure, better field of view, away from the action and ejecting brass, cheek weld not a chin weld, helps stiffen the barrel and acts as a heat sink much like a strut, and can be used to mount more than a small red dot (scope).

Anyone on this forum that has purchased an Ultimak loves it for the reasons I mentioned.
You're the first to hate it, maybe just jealous ?
As I said above, I'll send you the Burris #410332 mounts just to be rid of them, I can't sell them to anyone.
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Old 04-25-2020, 17:35   #8
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Originally Posted by Bepe View Post
Well......you know what they say about opinions.



Couldn't ask for anything more beautiful.

Bepe
I like the wood, stainless, and black combo look. I also think the ultimak rail has added value to the performance of the mini with or without a scope mounted on it.
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Old 04-25-2020, 18:04   #9
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Street price is about $1,169, out the door price was less for me as I work at the LGS
Mine came from Davidson's so I know it was not a return, just sloppy QC from Ruger. Ruger does not clean guns after they are test fired as most manufactures do not, so they probably just fired more rounds though this one than most, However Ruger does fire about 3 full mags through their semi-auto firearms. I was hoping the ASI spring would do more but it did nothing as it was. However I just finished polishing up the trigger components and it is at #5 exactly and crisp with a smooth first stag pull, I will not attempt to go further because I think where it is at now is at my skill level for a Mini trigger job.
Not sure if I like the looks of the Ultimak, I'm on the fence.
I will most likely keep the stock guard and drill more holes in it to dissipate heat more.
I hate the Burris FF, I do like the Eotech but those are out of my price range.
I am leaning toward a 2-7X or so. I'll look at the tech Peep.
New Range report coming tomorrow.
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Old 04-25-2020, 20:17   #10
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If you're dead set against any forward mounted optics, a Choate ventilated handguard is about the best option out there. It's considerably lighter in weight than the Ruger factory handguard and it has the best air flow for cooling. Looks great too.





Can get them from Midway and a number of other sites:

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1006761976
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New Mini-30 Tactical Report-choate1.jpg   New Mini-30 Tactical Report-choate2.jpg  
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Old 04-26-2020, 15:34   #11
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Some benefits of the Ultimak:

- Easy installation.

- It doesn't weigh any more than the factory handguard and factory gas block top strap combined, both of which it replaces. About 5.2 ounces

- It acts as a big heatsink, pulling heat from the barrel. Aluminum has 4 times better thermal conductivity than steel. That's why aluminum is used for heatsinks in industry, from computer chips to space ships

- Once mounted you have more options for forward mounted optics of all kinds. So between the traditional mounts on the receiver and the Ultimak, the possibilities are endless

- It brings optics down low where they should be

- It looks good, IMHO, but yes beauty is in the eyes of the beholder

PS: I don't use an Ultimak, but I can appreciate its design and utility. I'm doing things the hard way... in the process of custom mounting a 4.5" length of Picatinny rail to my barrel. (Don't try this at home, kids)
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Old 04-26-2020, 19:09   #12
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At the moment I've got my scout scope off and the Choate handguard on until my Mini goes through the major surgery I'm planning for it. I forgot how light and handy it can be with only iron sights, even in my birch wood stock.

The Choate handguard is about half the weight of the Ruger factory guard, plus you get all that good air flow. I used the old factory handguard from the beginning, 1989, until I joined this forum and knew better.

When I finally track down a second Mini-30 I may leave it with irons only and a Choate guard. I could also use it with a conventional scope and Warne QD rings, which have a great reputation for returning to zero, no matter how many times you remove and remount the scope.

Then I'll keep my current highly modified Mini-30 in Scout configuration with the Burris 2.75x Scout Scope I've been using with it.

^^^^^ So many possibilities with two Mini-30s, I'm convinced we need at least two.
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Old 04-26-2020, 22:43   #13
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Range trip updates.
See post's #2 - #3
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Old 04-27-2020, 05:24   #14
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From reading your comments of the 2nd and 3rd range trip, the factory rear sight coming loose is common. Use some blue Locktite.
Even better would be to replace the factory sight and get a Tech sight.
You said you have a hard time focusing with irons, Tech makes a urethane rear insert that slips into the peep aperture. The smaller hole makes it much easier to get the front sight back in focus. I wouldn't be able to still use peep sights without the smaller aperture.

The limiting factor as far as accuracy with x39 ammo is bullet consistency. When you start handloading you'll be able to use more consistent bullets like Hornady and Nosler.
I'd get a really good group with PPU or Geco but there would be a flyer or two due to bullet voids. Ammo manufacturers these days just don't take much care with bullets for ammo that they figure will just be for range blasting.

Powder charges are very consistent though. I'm surprised you got different sounding reports with PPU, with Wolf I'm not surprised. When I chronographed PPU, Silver Bear, and a few others, I saw velocity variations that were no more than 20-25 fps, between shots.
If you want to see some really good accuracy with FMJ bullets, load some Hornady FMJ's.
They are as consistent, and shoot as good as the SSTs or Nosler varmeggedons.

30 to 60 seconds between shots is much slower than I shoot. I have maybe 10 seconds between shots, and after a 10 shot group, I can grab the barrel (and hold on to it) and it's barely warm at all. Your Tactical has an even heavier barrel, I'd think that it wouldn't be warm at all with slow fire ??
Maybe that's the heat sink advantage of the Ultimak (and no, the Ultimak doesn't feel that warm either after firing).

As far as the Ultimak, looks are not the main consideration with me. Sure I'd rather have a wood handguard if looks were the main consideration, but practicality is tops for me.
Face it, the Mini (or Garand, or M1 Carbine, or M1A) are not exactly optic friendly.
Yes, you can mount over the action with Ruger rings, Ruger or GG&G rail, or a rail that mounts in the bolt stop plate like the B-Square.
But there are too many disadvantages to those, so I'll gladly put up with a "hideous" mounting system like the Ultimak.
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Old 04-27-2020, 09:49   #15
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Thanks Sandog,
Smaller aperture only helps me a little, it is just my vision
I only went 30-60 seconds between shots just to eliminate any variables,
I usually do about the same as you 10 seconds.
Barrel never got past slightly warm. I may go with that Tech sight just for better field adjustment without tools.
Will probably keep the original hand guard and drill more holes in it.
What powder are you running for handloads? right now I have H-4198 and TAC that I think might work well.
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Old 04-27-2020, 15:32   #16
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Hylander, I was just going by your statement that your Mini heats up quick. They don't get near as hot as a 5.56mm barrel does.
H-4198 and A2015 are the very best powders for the x39. You hear over and over how A1680 is THE powder for the x39, but I've found the two powders mentioned above get full velocity along with the best accuracy.

Don't mess around drilling the fugly Ruger handguard, the Choate is only $15.
Lighter, much better looking, and it already has more cooling slots in it.
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Old 04-27-2020, 18:06   #17
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I concur with Sandog for the most part on his last post. H4198 and A2015 are great powders. But I still recommend A1680, not as a replacement for H4198, but in addition to it. Both H4198 and A1680 are able to launch a 125 gr projectile in excess of 2500 FPS from a Mini-30, accurately and with no pressure issues.

Other than that typical x39 bullet weight, each powder has unique strengths. Barrel length can be a factor. My M30 is still 18.5" and I'll only be taking a half inch off to recrown and get my pin-on flash hider better aligned with a new pin groove.

A couple other powders: A2200 is great for heavier bullets up to 150 gr. And the more recent CFE BLK is one of the greatest windfalls to 7.62x39 fans to come along in ages. It was developed for 300 AAC BLK, but whatever it can do in 300 BLK it can do better in 7.62x39.

And the Tech sight. If I had a newer Mini-30 I would definitely get one of those. I have an XS Sight Systems rear sight, which suits the older Mini-30 pretty well. But it doesn't fit the newer Mini-30.

Once you're shooting Golden Tiger and start experimenting with the Barnaul Bears, you may skip reloading altogether.
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Old 04-30-2020, 17:33   #18
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Hylander, did you report to Ruger on the issues you had at the outset ? I have known those guys since Bill opened his garage doors and started cutting metal...They don't intentionally ship those problems to the customers....They can't fix them either without your help.....Tom
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Old 04-30-2020, 18:33   #19
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Originally Posted by tomaustin View Post
Hylander, did you report to Ruger on the issues you had at the outset ? I have known those guys since Bill opened his garage doors and started cutting metal...They don't intentionally ship those problems to the customers....They can't fix them either without your help.....Tom
No, I like to fix stuff myself if I can.
I know Ruger would make it right, they have for me in the past without a question. If I have any other issues I will let them correct it.
But for now I am content.
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Old 05-01-2020, 16:27   #20
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Cfe blk

I have the same rig.
CFE BLK 28.6, CCI 250, Pravi 123 sp @ 2.18ish
Also RAS 8V3
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Old 05-11-2020, 15:46   #21
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More Modding

1: Installed a sling swivel stud to the stock.
The synthetic stock is not very thick where the stud is to be installed, so I added Acraglas Gel to this area to give it strength. Once the gel is setup I then cut the stud with a Dremel wheel cut off disc. The cut it flush with an end mill bit until it cleared the stock liner.
2: Wanted to give the barrel a bit more air flow for better cooling.
Since I don't really care for the looks of any of the aftermarket handguards, I decided to just drill some more holes in the factory guard.
3: Adding a bit tighter shimming in the rear of the receiver and added shimming at the front.
The rear sides are shimmed with .016 stainless shim on each side and the front sides brass shimming of .020 on each side. No more play at all.
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Old 05-14-2020, 10:53   #22
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You said Mini-30 Heavy Barrel. What is the Heavy Barrel model? I have never heard of this
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Old 05-14-2020, 18:24   #23
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Originally Posted by Aguy View Post
You said Mini-30 Heavy Barrel. What is the Heavy Barrel model? I have never heard of this
The barrel is thicker after the gas block @ .750 instead of I believe .625
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Old 05-16-2020, 04:31   #24
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Send your trigger assembly out for a Brimestone trigger job. They do great work as I love mine.

Mini Trigger Work - Brimstone Gunsmithing
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Old 05-16-2020, 21:07   #25
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Originally Posted by MOTOROLANUT View Post
Send your trigger assembly out for a Brimestone trigger job. They do great work as I love mine.

Mini Trigger Work - Brimstone Gunsmithing
Thanks,
I have actually been considering Brimstone, have read good reviews.
Right now I have my trigger at a smooth crisp #5 but would like it @ #3.5
I'll call and see what their turn around time is.
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