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

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Old 06-18-2020, 22:53   #1
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New Mini14 problem

Ok, so I shot my 583 mini 14 for the first time yesterday, and had some problems.
Iíll backtrack and say that I bought it a month ago, cleaned it etc. but noticed that when cycling the action, a lot of times the bolt had a tough time going into battery. A lot of times. This is my first Mini, so I thought maybe it was normal..
So yesterday, I started shooting Wolf Gold. 70 or so rounds.
I had numerous instances where the case would not eject. It ALWAYSgou stuck in the same place. ( the picture shows steel wolf, but it did it on the brass and steel the same.
Then twice, my damn bolt got stuck in battery. The first time, after 4 or 5 tries, I was able to cycle it to eject the live round. The last time took a dead blow hammer to free up.
Then lastly, twice, on the last round, the magazine follower took a dive. Iíve never in my life seen anything like it. Come to think about it, it coincided with the bolt being stuck forward.
Ideas?
Attached Thumbnails
New Mini14 problem-4c04790f-9a57-475a-bb0e-3a486411ce66.jpg   New Mini14 problem-4fc80f5c-c086-427b-9fce-d505b44a5bbb.jpg   New Mini14 problem-061e4989-326c-4d29-a56d-e6b8438248c9.jpg   New Mini14 problem-9fb1f0ed-f6ab-4fef-ae08-4a3136f216d6.jpg  
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Old 06-19-2020, 03:33   #2
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I would say it is a mag issue not a gun issue. Put a good mag in it and see what happens.
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Old 06-19-2020, 04:50   #3
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Originally Posted by PFerris View Post
I would say it is a mag issue not a gun issue. Put a good mag in it and see what happens.
Make sure to try it with the mag(s) that came with your Mini.

Lube where the bolt slides, and the locking lugs and their recesses in the receiver with a light film of grease. Synthetic CV Joint grease is ideal, and cheap, from many different vendors.

Also put a little grease where the op-rod touches the underside of the barrel.

Don't slather-on the grease, though. A light film will do. Wipe off excess after manually cycling the action a few times.

Try different, brass-cased ammo.
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Last edited by RIBob; 06-19-2020 at 05:18.
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Old 06-19-2020, 05:47   #4
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Welcome to the forum, jabski !

First, was the bolt having a hard time going into battery with the chamber empty or when trying to chamber a round ? You could have got a bad batch of ammo that is oversize, but not likely.

Your bolt and op-rod look pretty dry. The (non) roller on the bolt, and where the bolt and op-rod rise in the receiver should have some grease in those locations.
Here you can see a black area behind the bolt handle, that's from grease:

If you had the Mini taken apart for cleaning, it's possible that the guide rod inside the end of the recoil spring was put in wrong. The pointy tip on that short rod has to be UP, or malfunctions and a rough traveling bolt will muck things up. See pic:


New Mini's need a break in of several hundred rounds and that should be done with good brass case ammo. Once broken in, go ahead and shoot steel case, but Wolf or Tula would be my last choice.
In all my testing (Mini-30) Wolf/Tula was the bottom of the barrel, dirtier, less accurate, lowest velocity and hardest for Minis to ignite reliably. Save the Tula and Wolf for the SKS and AKs. Good Russian ammo like the "Bears" made by Barnaul isn't any more expensive than the crap made by Tula or Wolf.

Good choice on the Ultimak railed hand guard, you are already ahead of the game.
What magazine are you running ? If that's not a Ruger factory mag, toss it and get Ruger mags. Life is too short to run iffy mags and/or crappy ammo.
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Old 06-19-2020, 07:28   #5
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Hello jabski
I understand you shot some Wolf ammo ? The steel cased ammo leaves a lot of carbon soot behind. Then when you run brass ammo the brass gets caught in the soot mostly by the neck of the brass. This means you have to get ugly with the rifle to get the ammo or brass out. Don't mix steel and brass in the same shooting session. If you do you need a bore snake or a rod and brush to clean the barrel and the throat.

I personally suggest you not use steel ammo at all but if you do use only steel until you clean the barrel and the throat. Once the barrel and rifle is completely broke in you might be able to mix the 2 but I stopped using steel long ago. Too many issues with steel.

kwg
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Old 06-19-2020, 10:16   #6
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Thanks for the suggestions.
Believe it or not, the bolt had grease, it’s just not that visible in the picture.
I DID spray some WS2 Dry lube on the bolt , mags,and Op rod, then buffed them with a dremel wheel. The bolt and lugs etc. were then lightly greased and oiled.
Every magazine I own is factory Ruger.
So, is it a characteristic of the mini to have the bolt “ lag” when going back into battery when manually cycling an empty rifle? Like I was saying, before it was ever fired, I cycled the bolt many times, oiled and Un oiled, to start wearing in the metal. Even when oiled, on returning to battery, it was very “ sticky” feeling, obviously so. I’ve had tight tolerance pistols, Kahrs to be specific, and never noticed that kind of behavior. I’ve never had that happen on any semi auto rifle I’ve ever owned.
I know it’s apples to oranges, but still....
The 2 magazines that, on the last round, the followers and bullet took a dive is troubling too. And like I said, that’s when I had the locked bolt problem too...
I DID shoot 70 rounds of brass FIRST, then the steel, because I had read on here to not do it the other way.
At this point, I’ll disassemble the magazines again to clean the dry film WS2 , then just add a very light film of CLP, I guess.
I may end up taking some 600 grit wet dry sandpaper and lightly polish where the bolt slides on the rails to see if that helps any.
I’m going to buy some more brass ammo, and will only shoot that for a while exclusively.
Any more ideas a very welcome, and thanks again for the help?
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Last edited by Jabski; 06-19-2020 at 16:47.
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Old 06-19-2020, 10:24   #7
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** answering Sandogs post***
No, it was having a hard time going into battery when empty when I was repeatedly cycling the action. Lubed and dry, it felt the same. I’ve never had a mini before, and didn’t know if it was a characteristic of the rifle. I’m not a firearm novice by any means, and really didn’t feel right. When shooting, besides the times the empty would get stuck on top, it had no problems.
What makes the empty case eject normally some times, then just get stuck some other times? Brass and steel both. And every mag is factory.
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Old 06-19-2020, 11:00   #8
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So did you check the tip of the guide rod that goes into the end of the recoil spring ?
If that is put in the wrong way that will cause very rough cycling and the bolt will not go back all the way in the receiver.

Good call on the dry lube inside the mags, I do the same with Rem-Dri. I wouldn't put any CLP in the mags though, it will attract gunk.
I'm not sure how a Ruger mag follower could even tilt that far down, there isn't enough play inside the mag for the follower to get pointed that far down. Weird.

The bolt not cycling smoothly is not normal for a Mini, if you have the guide rod in correctly.
Only other thing I can think of, is it's possible to not get the op-rod where it should be in the receiver channel.
The op-rod will go back and forth, but it does it very roughly. It has to be down in the channel it rides in completely.

If we can't help you figure it out, it might need a trip back to Ruger.
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Old 06-19-2020, 13:08   #9
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So I took a stone that I have, and very lightly ran across some rough surfaces on the rail.
Sandog, maybe I did have the Op rod in upside down. But would it have even ran as good as it did, minus the failures to eject and the bolt problem.
Picture of the Op rod, on both sides it was obviously buggered up. Very rough when running a fingernail across.
I polished it up, and Iíll shoot again Monday to see if I have better luck.
Thanks for everyoneís ideas....
Attached Thumbnails
New Mini14 problem-2f3538f5-1413-4aa4-91d9-6f06c185f531.jpg   New Mini14 problem-6d5dc1b0-1b5f-4eb3-95a4-2891d5e7bd9f.jpg  
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Old 06-19-2020, 13:26   #10
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Originally Posted by Jabski View Post
So I took a stone that I have, and very lightly ran across some rough surfaces on the rail.
Sandog, maybe I did have the Op rod in upside down. But would it have even ran as good as it did, minus the failures to eject and the bolt problem.
Picture of the Op rod, on both sides it was obviously buggered up. Very rough when running a fingernail across.
I polished it up, and Iíll shoot again Monday to see if I have better luck.
Thanks for everyoneís ideas....
What I think I see are some casting defects which appear to be depressions, and not raised areas. Doing a little polishing there won't hurt, but probably does not address your original problem. Installing the op rod spring guide upside down might well explain it. As another poster said, take a look where the op rod handle slides along the side of the receiver. Make sure the op rod handle is running in its channel.

To test this, take the unloaded rifle apart, and remove the op rod spring completely. Now, open the bolt completely (pull on the op rod handle just enough to fully open the bolt), and tilt the rifle muzzle up. The bolt and op-rod should slide to the rear from their own weight. Now, tilt the rifle muzzle down, and the bolt and op rod handle should slide forward, and the bolt should lock-up. This test works best if there's a little CV Joint grease thinly spread where the bolt contacts the receiver, and also where the op rod and op rod handle touch the receiver and the underside of the barrel. A thin film is best; do not over-do applying the grease. Wipe off excess after cycling the action a few times, by hand.
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Old 06-19-2020, 14:25   #11
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It looks to me like the op rod spring guide is jacked up. Likely due to it being installed upside down. That would explain the problem.
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Old 06-19-2020, 16:55   #12
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No, the op rod had abrasions on both sides, from maybe where I had it in upside down ( not really sure I did though) It was at the very end of the rod, where it slips into the bushing.It was so rough, it felt like someone raked 50 grit sandpaper across the metal.I DID sand the abrasions down to a very shiny finish.
What I was talking about using the stones, was on a few places on the frame rail where the bolt slides,and lightly on one part of the bolt.
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Old 06-19-2020, 18:50   #13
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Originally Posted by Jabski View Post
No, the op rod had abrasions on both sides, from maybe where I had it in upside down ( not really sure I did though) It was at the very end of the rod, where it slips into the bushing.
That was your problem. You can get a new guide rod from Midway. I think their about $8.
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Old 06-19-2020, 20:23   #14
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Wait - you put the Ultimak on before shooting it stock? How did the action feel before that? If you didn't get the gas block seated correctly, the op-rod might be hanging up on the "piston". You might want to check that. Are there drag marks in the cylindre end of the op-rod?
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Old 06-19-2020, 20:36   #15
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Yep, a big cluster. Some guys can't help but fix something that aint broke. Even before break in..
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Old 06-19-2020, 21:36   #16
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Before I did a god damn thing to it, it cycled roughly when cycling manually. My lack of experience with a mini made me wonder if it was supposed to be that way, but common sense said it wasn’t. Maybe the damn thing was in wrong when I bought it, but I doubt it, and since it’s been a while ago, can’t recall for sure. I just know from the first time I cycled it, it felt wrong.
And yeah, I took the time to make sure the Ultimak was torqued and spaced evenly when it was finally put on.
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Old 06-19-2020, 21:41   #17
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40nascar, why would I need a new guide rod when It’s sanded smooth, problem fixed? Ha ha
Thanks for your help bud.
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Old 06-19-2020, 22:36   #18
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Good point. Why would you want a machined part that is made to used within its manufacturing toletances? Your welcome. An by the way, the op rod is the part that slides back and forth on the side of the reciever, is propelled by the gases coming from the barrel, from the gas nozzle, FYI.
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Old 06-19-2020, 23:42   #19
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I use the wrong terms, and yous cants spell and.
Right back at you Einstein. Lol
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Old 06-20-2020, 00:12   #20
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Yea, terminology in identifying firearm parts is kind of important. Your thread makes it sounds like you don't know what your doing, how to identify and fix your gunsmithing problems, or heed the advise of highly experienced posters on this forum. Don't ask a question if your easily offended by the answer.
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Old 06-20-2020, 00:40   #21
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So... I had a similar issue with my new 583 series Mini 14 in 2016. The upper front area of the bolt (where the extractor fits in) was rubbing heavily on the underside of the receiver. This slowed the movement of the bolt inside the receiver, causing some balky functioning. Three things fixed it: 1.) I slightly ground down and then polished the upper front area of the bolt. 2.) I heavily polished the inside of the receiver where the bolt slides in it. 3.) I shot several hundred brass-cased handloads through the gun.
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Old 06-20-2020, 05:31   #22
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Having the gas block slightly canted shouldn't matter, that's why the gas pipe had some "wiggle " built into it.
The guide rod doesn't leave the steel "bushing" it nestles into when the carbine is fired, so it's not a big deal if it has some roughness on the end. Good that you smoothed it up though.

Only reason for rough cycling, as I said before is the guide rod tip being upside down, or the op-rod not being completely down in the receiver channel it rides in.
Jabski, have you had a chance to shoot it again, or hand cycle it, since you checked these two things ?
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Old 06-20-2020, 09:33   #23
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Firescout, interesting. Iíll pay attention to that the next time I can get to the rifle.
Could be something similar. Again, being new to the mini, Iím not as familiar with its workings. Sounds like Ruger needs to check for the little things like that.
Sandog, no, I havenít shot it yet.Iím hoping to shoot again tomorrow.
I HAVE cycled it , and it does feel smoother.
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Old 06-20-2020, 11:41   #24
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Jabski, you've gotten some good support here from knowledgeable and experienced folks. At some point, there is a life-preserver called Ruger who will do things right should it come to that. The customer Service folks are better than the QC folks in my experience (and of many on this forum).

Just know that should it come to that, Ruger will either repair (free) or replace your Mini (free for current models), but any after-market mods you have made likely won't be returned to you: it will be a stock Mini as it left the factory. That includes trigger mods and UltiMaks and Accustruts.

Just know that most new Mini owners don't have this challenge, so perhaps you should go out and buy a lottery ticket!

Keep us informed. Sandog's posts are particularly relevant.
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Old 06-20-2020, 18:21   #25
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Thanks. Will do. Iíll probably try shooting it again Monday, maybe Tuesday.
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