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

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Old 05-07-2020, 03:30   #1
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Mini 30 goto war ammo

The decision to go with a Mini 30 as a primary fighting firearm is not an easy one. I love my mini 14's also. The mini 14 was my first long gun purchase when i was in my early twenties. I haven't looked back since, or seriously considered another platform as my primary survival arm, weather it be defensive, militia, or a fighting weapon. I shot C.M.P. qualification rounds with my first mini 14 ( which i still have). With recent parts and gunsmithing upgrades, along with Ruger design and Variation upgrades, the Mini 30 has become a viable do-it-all carbine. With the firingpins.com upgrade i would also be comfortable with the Mini 30, as a short range Hog slaying machine. That firing pin upgrade, an ASI reduced gas pressure bushing, and 1911 bushing, and reduced trigger pull gunsmithing, have all combined to make this Ruger an ultimately reliable, and relatively accurate carbine that i can Trust. I would choose it over an AK variant any day of the week. With those considerations in mind, i have found the following ammunition ( Ranked in my preference) to be reliable and accurate.

1) R.A.S. 124 gr fmj, or HP. Manufactured by Vympel in Russia, it goes bang everytime, has a sealed primer and bullet case mouth ( good for long term storage considerations), shoots clean, and has excellent quality control. This results in reliable and accurate function,and clean burning. Cost at 30 cents per round or less, this round is a bargain compared to near equivalent quality 5.56 rounds that are double or triple the cost.

2) Barnual Silver Bear 125 gr. Fmj or S.p. The equivalent quality control goes into this brand. One thing i really like is the zinc coated cases. This aids in smooth chambering and extraction of the expended round. This little quality upgrades are reflected in a slightly higher price than the R.A.S., but still no more expensive than green green tip 5.56. Cost considerations bring this down to #2 on my list.

3) PPU FMJ or SP. Cost is definitely higher here, about 50c per round. What you get is relatively high quality contol ( good accuracy) along with reloadable good quality brass cases. If you are a reloader, this is the way to go. Also, if your concerned about shooting steel cased ammo, this would probably rate as the best newly manufactured brass cased ammo for the money.

4) Yugo military surplus - This is a very good quality brass cased, berdan primed ammo that functions well and price wise usually sells about midway between the steel case choices (1,2) and the PPU. What drags it down to #4 is the fact that this is a mildly corrosive ammo to fire, and the fact that much of this ammo is about 40 yrs old. That said, i have not had one round fail to fire for more yet. Just remember to clean your bore and gas system after the days shooting is over.

5) Hornady SST steel. This stuff is not cheap. About 70c per rnd. But you get top notch quality control and the excellent SST bullet. In many 7.62 x 39 rifles/carbines, this is the most accurate ammo. The downside is that Hornady uses imported steel cases that are not reloadable. Relatively high price, but top notch ammo.

Also rans:

Geco - Brass case( reloadable) , about 40c per rnd when it is available. Shoots reliably in my Mini. I have not had time to do accuracy testing of this round, but since im a reloader, would gamble on up to a case of this brand, just to get the reloadable brass at a good price.

S&B - Brass case ( reloadable), about 50c per round. I like this round. It is well made, shoots well, and is reliable. The best thing about this round is how clean this shoots. There is literally no visible powder residue left in the fired cases. Another strong point is that this round seems to be readily available. The downside is that this round seems a little under powered compared to the PPU, which is the same price. I have not done extensive testing with this round because i am more interested in testing the R.A.S, Silver Bear and PPU, and my own handloads.
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Old 05-07-2020, 04:52   #2
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Gun & Ammo Combat Arms June 2016 (dam time flies) edition had one of the best articles I have read on the 7.62x39mm Russian.

The sub title about says it all. A required read, if you can find a copy.

RAS....Hornady Steel....PPU.....a case of Federal brass (just because) ..... are in the stash.

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Old 05-07-2020, 04:59   #3
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Interesting posit. I owned a "modern vintage" Mini 14 for a while, but I didn't want to spend a lot of $$$ on it to make it more accurate. I figured that for what it cost me new, it should have been darned close to perfect right out of the cheapo carboard box Ruger uses. So, I sold the Mini 14. I don't believe Ruger firearms are inaccurate or unreliable, generally, because they are not. I own several -rifles and pistol- and they all perform just fine.

You said, "With recent parts and gunsmithing upgrades, along with Ruger design and Variation upgrades, the Mini 30 has become a viable do-it-all carbine. With the firingpins.com upgrade i would also be comfortable with the Mini 30, as a short range Hog slaying machine. That firing pin upgrade, an ASI reduced gas pressure bushing, and 1911 bushing, and reduced trigger pull gunsmithing, have all combined to make this Ruger an ultimately reliable, and relatively accurate carbine that i can Trust."

That's a lotta pieces, parts, work, and $$$ to make a modern rifle reliable. And don't forget the aftermarket strut, if it needs one, to stabilize the barrel.

For what they are, the Minis are interesting rifles. They look good, their "mechanics" are interesting, et cetera. I suppose for shooting hogs (you mentioned that), they are ok. But to choose a Mini of either caliber as a "primary fighting firearm" seems a stretch.
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Old 05-07-2020, 06:42   #4
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I live in a restricted state where i cannot buy an AR or AK varient unless it is bastardized. It ruins the ergonomics. The M1A's and Ruger mini's are mostly unrestricted. Inside of 200 yds, the 7.62x39 cartridge has a power advantage over the .223. Although i own an M1A, at my age and shape, i would not want to carry an M1A and the heavy ammo, magazines they require in a survival or combat situation. I like the Ruger minis alot and am willing to spend the time and money to tune them to my preferences.

You are financially well off. Why wouldn't you spend an extra couple of hundred bucks extra to get your rifle just right for you?

The mini 30 comes from the factory in need of gunsmithing just like 1911 Colts did in the 70's and 80's. Ruger decided to go with new SAAMI specs on the 7.62x39 cartridge for thier Mini 30, instead of C.I.P. specs ( European, Russian) and that is the Achilles heel of the mini 30. Long discussian that i won't go into here. The main point is that when the firing pin issue is fixed, and the over gassing issue resolved, barrel harmonics are reduced which aids in accuracy. Lopping off a couple inches of barrel, or adding a flash-hider/muzzle break also helps. The mini 30 barrel is good to go otherwise, and doesnt really need a strut. If you do the gunsmithing yourself, the only extra expense is a $50 firing pin. You can add a muzzle device and buffer(s) for another $50 or less. Now my mini is just the way i want it except that i haven't 100% settled on optics yet. I get to spend more time with her to figure that out, and thats a good thing.
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Old 05-07-2020, 09:55   #5
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Originally Posted by 40nascar View Post

You are financially well off. Why wouldn't you spend an extra couple of hundred bucks extra to get your rifle just right for you?

Probably because I expected a rifle at its price point to work properly out of the box and not need extra parts or the intervention of a gunsmith to be accurate and reliable. I have a Ruger MPR semi-auto that works perfectly and is one to one and a half MOA accurate. I just got a Ruger American Ranch that works perfectly and I'm already shooting 1-1/4" groups with it after two brief excursions to a friend's farm "range." I have three other rifles that work properly, and only one of them was more expensive than the Mini-14 I owned. Just bought a Magpul bipod for the new Ruger.


As I stated, I think the Minis are interesting rifles from several aspects. I would think, however, that after all these years of being in production with several models Ruger would have addressed the issues.


I do own a half dozen Mini Thirty mags...for my American Ranch in five, 10, and 20 round varieties. They all work properly, though the 20-round is really stiff to load.
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Old 05-07-2020, 11:37   #6
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Bepe... I’m really not interested in your name-calling and nonsense. Please limit your spilling of bile about me to the political forum. Have a nice day and wear your mask!
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Old 05-07-2020, 13:05   #7
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I'll wear my CSA mask in honor of your state!
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Old 05-07-2020, 13:13   #8
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Originally Posted by 40nascar View Post
**snip**

I have found the following ammunition ( Ranked in my preference) to be reliable and accurate.

**snip**

3) PPU FMJ or SP. Cost is definitely higher here, about 50c per round. What you get is relatively high quality contol ( good accuracy) along with reloadable good quality brass cases. If you are a reloader, this is the way to go. Also, if your concerned about shooting steel cased ammo, this would probably rate as the best newly manufactured brass cased ammo for the money.

**snip**

Also rans:

Geco - Brass case( reloadable) , about 40c per rnd when it is available. Shoots reliably in my Mini. I have not had time to do accuracy testing of this round, but since im a reloader, would gamble on up to a case of this brand, just to get the reloadable brass at a good price.

S&B - Brass case ( reloadable), about 50c per round. I like this round. It is well made, shoots well, and is reliable. The best thing about this round is how clean this shoots. There is literally no visible powder residue left in the fired cases. Another strong point is that this round seems to be readily available. The downside is that this round seems a little under powered compared to the PPU, which is the same price. I have not done extensive testing with this round because i am more interested in testing the R.A.S, Silver Bear and PPU, and my own handloads.
Thanks 40nascar. As I am partial to brass in my Mini-14 and Mini-30....I found this bit of information of particular use and interest!
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Old 05-07-2020, 13:39   #9
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The publicly accessible ranges hereabouts do not allow "magnetic" bullets, so brass it is. I bought 200 rounds of the brass GECO for 40 cents a round. In the past two months, I also scored 200 rounds each of brass PPU and brass S&B for the same 40 cents a round. Price on the latter two has gone up a few bucks for a 20 round box.
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Old 05-07-2020, 14:42   #10
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Ruger should have addressed Mini issues, but just because they haven't doesn't mean I won't address them.
The Mini-30 is the Primary Fighting Rifle for not only myself, but the choice of several other knowledgeable guys on this forum.
It is rare to have such a combination of power, acceptable accuracy, reliability and ergonomics in such a light, handy package.

The cartridge itself has proven itself on the Planet Earth's battlefields for more than 70 years in FMJ form. With expanding bullets like the SST, Russian HP and SP, the 7.62 x 39 is even more effective.
Is it starting to sound like I'm a fan ?

40nascar, I like your choices. RAS, Silver Bear, PPU and my own handloads have been the bulk of my stash for the last 6 years. Silver Bear HP is the one that I will stack deep.
Any unabashed endorsement of the Mini-30 should include pics, comradskis.




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Old 05-07-2020, 18:48   #11
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My only ammo regret is that i didn't stash away more Silver Bear H.P. it seems to be difficult to get in the peoples republic. We have to have an ffl order it for us. I do have a nice little stash of Silver Bear 125 gr SP's, but they seem to be down a little in velocity compared to the fmjs and hp's.
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Old 05-07-2020, 20:25   #12
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Originally Posted by 40nascar View Post
The decision to go with a Mini 30 as a primary fighting firearm is not an easy one...
Good, well reasoned post!

The Mini-30 is a great primary fighting, and do-all carbine/Medium Rifle. It's been that for me for 30 years.

Your first choices in ammo, 1) RAS (Vympel made) 124 gr FMJBT and HPBT, and 2) Barnual Silver Bear 123 gr, and 125 gr SP are also my first choices in factory ammo.

I'm having plenty of fun with reloading for specific uses, but the factory stuff you have listed takes care of about 95% of my needs. I tweak my M30 around the RAS and the Silver Bear so they work best in it.

Nice setup! Good choices! Hard to beat!
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Old 05-07-2020, 21:24   #13
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The People's Republic forces me to use unleaded for hunting, so i almost have to roll my own for that purpose. Otherwise, yea, for 30c or less per rnd for RAS Vympel, reloading for 7.62x39 is almost not worth the cost in dollars and time. And for the education of Mr Crapstirror here, The Vympel made RAS is range legal because the bullet is lead/copper. Only the Case is steel. The bullet should easily pass the magnet test.
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Old 05-08-2020, 05:47   #14
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Beck, you mention tweaking your Mini around the ammo you have stocked.
Something I've been meaning to try is a trick that our old buddy A/J/S USN Ret had talked about.
His favorite load was a Russian HP, Brown Bear I believe. He said he reloaded for all his rifle calibers like 7.62 Nato, but didn't reload for the x39.

He had said that instead of tuning a load for his Mini, he "tuned" the Mini to the load he has chosen.
He claimed that by trying different gas block screw torques, he had tightened his groups using that particular load.
It's something that has been in the back of my mind to try out one day.
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Old 05-08-2020, 06:10   #15
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Originally Posted by LousyShot View Post
Bepe... Iím really not interested in your name-calling and nonsense. Please limit your spilling of bile about me to the political forum. Have a nice day and wear your mask!
hey do not come to the mini forum and start your B/S your post here has nothing to do with this thread get a life and leave us the hell alone moron.
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Old 05-08-2020, 06:56   #16
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Lousyshot, I was glad to help out with ammo info for your ranch rifle.
But understand that this is the one place where we who like ( and prefer) the Mini can come to, without having others tell us how lacking and inferior the Mini is, or how superior the AR is.
Yes, Ruger dropped the ball with the Mini, they could have done things better.

I used the M16/M4/AR15 for nearly 40 years, starting in 1975.
But about 10 years of that was my own choice, the rest forced on me by the government.
The AR platform has many positives, but for me the negatives outweigh the positives.

I have had a lot of guys I work with brag that their AR will shoot 1/2 MOA, but when I finally get them out to the range they are lucky to hold 6 MOA.
It's painful to watch most of them handle their AR, without a few years of familiarity with the platform, they are like a virgin experiencing boobs or a vagina for the first time. All elbows and contortions.
I feel the manual of arms is much easier with the Mini. No stinkin' forward assist or frail charging handle necessary. No need to spend $80 to $200 on BUIS, the Mini already comes with good sights.

I'd rather be a 1/2 MOA shooter with a 3 MOA carbine than a 6 MOA shooter with a 1/2 MOA carbine. For casual shooting when you have a rest or table handy, the AR will win in the accuracy dept. every time.
Men are bigger than prairie dogs though, and for actual field use, the Mini is more than accurate enough for it's intended usage.
I find the ergo's much better on a Mini, a low line of sight, and they run much cleaner and with less maintenance. More lefty friendly without having to spend $$$ on ambi controls. All these things factored together, make up for the lack of benchrest accuracy.

Minis aren't for everyone, they can take a bit of work to get right. But we all feel that the effort is worth it.
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Old 05-08-2020, 07:39   #17
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I have often considered the bolt action Ranch rifle but I just haven't found a real need for it. Yet. Between the Mini's and the AR's I'm all gunned up for any occasion. I have several Mausers in 7x57 and 8x57 so I believe I'm covered. But, that Ranch rifle still beckons me. Alas, but so does a lever action in 41 magnum. If I were 20 years younger I'd have several of each.

kwg
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Old 05-08-2020, 07:47   #18
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Another chapter of the Zombie Apotcalypse. The" Go to war" meme is not my thing. Big predators is my deal..see attached pic of recent trail cam shot. I'm now looking at either modifying a BAR in 06 with a detachable mag or the new
BAR dbm in 308. The 06 I think would be better for grizzly encounters..
I agree with SD on his AR views. My biggest gripe with the mini is it's too
hard on scopes and I won't risk a high end NV on it and I need NV. And
it's not enough gun for the big bears. But it's still my truck gun for
now. If anyone has any insight on putting a detachable mag on a BAR
I'd like to hear about it.. MM
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Old 05-08-2020, 08:46   #19
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Originally Posted by sandog View Post
Lousyshot, I was glad to help out with ammo info for your ranch rifle.
But understand that this is the one place where we who like ( and prefer) the Mini can come to, without having others tell us how lacking and inferior the Mini is, or how superior the AR is.
Yes, Ruger dropped the ball with the Mini, they could have done things better.

I think I mentioned more than once that I liked the Mini-14 I had. It was small, relatively light, and fun to shoot. I just thought that for the price it sold for new, some of its long-standing deficiencies should have been more adequately addressed by Ruger.
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Old 05-08-2020, 09:00   #20
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Originally Posted by kwg020 View Post
I have often considered the bolt action Ranch rifle but I just haven't found a real need for it. Yet. Between the Mini's and the AR's I'm all gunned up for any occasion. I have several Mausers in 7x57 and 8x57 so I believe I'm covered. But, that Ranch rifle still beckons me. Alas, but so does a lever action in 41 magnum. If I were 20 years younger I'd have several of each.

kwg



I'm just, for want of a better term, a "hobby shooter." I do have a suppressed pistol handy for in the house protection, but mostly my shooting is done at formal and informal ranges. I also enjoy the mechanics of firearms. I don't hunt. I've been through a lot of firearms in the last 20 years, buying and selling as my interests change. I am interested in accuracy to the limit of my skills and eyesight. The American Ranch appealed to me because it was lightweight, reportedly accurate (it is) and ready to go, as it were, out of the box, but for sights.
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Old 05-08-2020, 09:01   #21
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Originally Posted by LousyShot View Post

That's a lotta pieces, parts, work, and $$$ to make a modern rifle reliable. And don't forget the aftermarket strut, if it needs one, to stabilize the barrel.

For what they are, the Minis are interesting rifles. They look good, their "mechanics" are interesting, et cetera. I suppose for shooting hogs (you mentioned that), they are ok. But to choose a Mini of either caliber as a "primary fighting firearm" seems a stretch.
And yet the firearms industry is making money hand over fist by "Fixing" various brands of ARs. I'm happy I don't belong to the AR fraternity. I've never seen so much after market this and that to, "Make your AR Better." Half the freakin' catalog from many vendors is full of all sorts of things to get your AR up and running as God intended.

In comparison the Ruger Mini-30 needs very little in the area of tweaking and moding.

The Mini is a robust design, and 7.62x39 is a battle proven cartridge around the world for many decades, and still today. No need to go into the details about that. Everyone knows it.

7.62x39 was being used for hunting since before Ruger introduced the Mini-30 as a deer rifle, and since has become very popular for hunting CXP2 Class game. It's suitable for some CPX1 and CPX3 as well.

The original and current production mini-14s are mighty fine for many uses, but the Mini-30 is the mightiest.
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Old 05-08-2020, 09:33   #22
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Originally Posted by sandog View Post
Beck, you mention tweaking your Mini around the ammo you have stocked.
Something I've been meaning to try is a trick that our old buddy A/J/S USN Ret had talked about.
His favorite load was a Russian HP, Brown Bear I believe. He said he reloaded for all his rifle calibers like 7.62 Nato, but didn't reload for the x39.

He had said that instead of tuning a load for his Mini, he "tuned" the Mini to the load he has chosen.
He claimed that by trying different gas block screw torques, he had tightened his groups using that particular load.
It's something that has been in the back of my mind to try out one day.

Yeah, basically find the factory round that performs best in your Mini-30 and sight it in as your Mini's "Standard" round. Mine became Vympel Golden Tiger and RAS 124 gr after it gave me better groups than Lapua.

To my mind it should be the best compromise between velocity and accuracy. Happily for me at least with my rig, the Vympel 124 gr is smoking hot, averaging 2450 fps and 1.75 inch groups @ 100-yards at this writing. My irons and 2.75 scout scope are zeroed @ 200 yards, and that distance is easy to hit with either.

As for the gas block I just tweak it down in criss-cross pattern until all the screw are torqued evenly @ 40 in-lbs. I have the aftermarket ASI top strap for the gas block, and 40 ft-lbs is what they recommend for it.

I'm also getting in to tweaking factory rounds by pulling bullets checking powder charges and reseating the bullets.
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Old 05-08-2020, 09:39   #23
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Originally Posted by mini-mizer View Post
Another chapter of the Zombie Apotcalypse. The" Go to war" meme is not my thing. Big predators is my deal..see attached pic of recent trail cam shot. I'm now looking at either modifying a BAR in 06 with a detachable mag or the new
BAR dbm in 308. The 06 I think would be better for grizzly encounters..
I agree with SD on his AR views. My biggest gripe with the mini is it's too
hard on scopes and I won't risk a high end NV on it and I need NV. And
it's not enough gun for the big bears. But it's still my truck gun for
now. If anyone has any insight on putting a detachable mag on a BAR
I'd like to hear about it.. MM


A mini-30 would drop that beast DRT.
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Old 05-08-2020, 10:12   #24
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Originally Posted by Beck View Post
And yet the firearms industry is making money hand over fist by "Fixing" various brands of ARs. I'm happy I don't belong to the AR fraternity. I've never seen so much after market this and that to, "Make your AR Better." Half the freakin' catalog from many vendors is full of all sorts of things to get your AR up and running as God intended.

In comparison the Ruger Mini-30 needs very little in the area of tweaking and moding.

The Mini is a robust design, and 7.62x39 is a battle proven cartridge around the world for many decades, and still today. No need to go into the details about that. Everyone knows it.

7.62x39 was being used for hunting since before Ruger introduced the Mini-30 as a deer rifle, and since has become very popular for hunting CXP2 Class game. It's suitable for some CPX1 and CPX3 as well.

The original and current production mini-14s are mighty fine for many uses, but the Mini-30 is the mightiest.

..........A World War was fought and won with the Garand and this idiot thinks it is a stretch to use the Mini as a primary rifle. No need to say any more.

A miserable troll who's only joy in life is to try and make others miserable. I'm out of the loop now because it is on ignore.

Not any NEED to modify the Mini. It will work just fine out of the box. Modify it to suit your needs and performance. Not too complicated.

Sorry for the drift.

Bepe

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Old 05-08-2020, 10:43   #25
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Beck---"A mini-30 would drop that beast DRT."



Yep it would, butyou have to get it in the crosshairs first..which is not as easy asyou might think.. the wolves are making a big impact on wildlife and livestock around here. Hike a ways into the mtns near dark and set up predator calling with NV and start with a fawn in distressed after dark...by yourself if you like outdoor adventure. :-) hate it when the batterys go dead on the way out.

I've told guys about checking out
predator killed carcasses in grizzly country in the brushy bottoms and then
ask them if they want to come up and do it for me next time... no takers
so far....MM
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