Question On Bullets For 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 05-11-2020, 08:52   #1
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Question On Bullets For Mini 30

Has anyone tried .308 dia. bullets in place of .310 dia. in the 7.62x39. Have a friend that wants to know.
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Old 05-11-2020, 09:56   #2
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Originally Posted by Richard Coss View Post
Has anyone tried .308 dia. bullets in place of .310 dia. in the 7.62x39. Have a friend that wants to know.
Years ago when I got my first Mini-30, I did not know it was a .310 bore when I bought it.
Hand loaded .308 Bullets and it would not hit a pie plate at 50yds. "Seriously"
Just my one time experience.
That being said, I will probably give it a go with my new Mini-30 that is .310
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Old 05-11-2020, 11:08   #3
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Yes absolutely. .308 bullets can be as accurate or more accurate than .310 or .311, but it depends on the bullet. Some work better than others. People have been using .308 bullets in the Mini-30 since it came out, and still do. Groove diameter vs bullet diameter is complicated, and not simply a matter of initial Bullet diameter.

I don't bother with handloading much in the way of .310/.311. My focus in handloading is .308 for the Mini-30. I can buy so many different types of good factory x39 ammo.
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Old 05-11-2020, 14:51   #4
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Yes, i load 130gr Hornady flat base soft points, i beieve it is bullet #3021, but im not home to look at the box. They shoot very well. Start your loads about 10% less powder than when using 122/123 gr. Bullets, then work from there.
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Old 05-11-2020, 15:11   #5
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You can get decent accuracy from using .308 bullets in a .310 bore. That being said, it's always better to match the bullet diameter to the bore the best you can.
A regular diet of undersize bullets, even if they are slightly undersize, could lead to premature throat erosion from gas blow-by.
https://www.perfectunion.com/vb/ruge...mini-30-a.html
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Old 05-12-2020, 04:12   #6
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Mini's were made in both .308" and .310-.311". Find out what yours is by slugging the barrel, and use the appropriate projectile. You will be rewarded with better accuracy, and longer throat life.
There was a question about this very subject in handloader magazine 1 or 2 issues ago.
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Old 05-14-2020, 10:50   #7
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All valid points from everyone who's commented.

Matching bullet diameter to grove diameter is the theoretical ideal, but there are so many other variables in practice that it shouldn't be thought of as an absolute rule applied broadly to all firearms.

The Mini-30 like most semi-auto rifles has a longer throat (Freebore + Leade) than bolt guns in the same caliber typically do. So even when using .310/.311 bullets there's significant gas blow-by before the bullet fills the grooves and seals. The difference between the groove depth and bullet diameter in the Mini-30 is less significant in terms of accuracy and throat erosion than it is in other types of firearms.

I think it's time for me to post the mammoth thread on the Mini-30 and bullet diameter I've been working on for a while. It's mostly done, so look for it by tomorrow or no later than Saturday.... complete with references from old periodicals and recent inside info from Ruger.

If I put all that here as a reply it will just get buried and lost.
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