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Old 11-17-2009, 13:09   #1
 
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Mini 30 Review

Hello everyone. I'm new to the forum, and new to the Mini 30 as well. I purchased my SS M30 581series with tappered barrel a few weeks ago and I've put approx 1200 rounds through it. I figured now is a good time to post my personal finding.

First off I would like to say that I LOVE this gun. Its my favorite gun in my small collection, and its just a blast to shoot. I purchased the Mini 30 because I wanted a rifle I could use for hunting, so that excluded the Mini 14 and by the sounds of it the Mini 6.8 is a trial round and may not be around for long. When I picked up my Mini at Wholesale sports they had a whole pallet of 1120 round boxes of ammunition. The ammo came in a nice wooden crate and was sealed inside the wood crate like a can of tuna. The outside of the crate has only one marking and it says 7.62x43. The salesman assured me this is the ammo for the Mini 30, so I bought 2 cases. He told me it is Russian surplus and was made by a company called Sel & Bel. When I got home I measured the ammo and compared my findings to the Wikipidia dimensions for the 7.62x39 and found my bullets to be a perfect match...so I'm not sure why the box is marked as so. This ammo is steel cased kind of shiny grey in color with full metal jacket bullets. The primers are black.

The first day I received the gun I went straight out to my favourite shooting spot and fired off 180 rounds. I had no problem sighting in the iron sights, and found that I really liked the ghost ring sighting system. I found it very quick and easy to aquire my target, and although I wasent going for maximum accuracy I was surprised how well I was able to shoot with this gun. It immediately felt very comfortable and fit me well. Off hand shooting is excellent and the weight/feel of the gun is very nice. In some ways I wish the synthetic stock was 1" longer, and that would make it a perfect fit for me.

Now for a little of the bad news. Right out of the box with the Sel&Bel ammo I had all sorts of issues. Lots of miss fires, like at least 1 in every five rounds, which I can understand due to the hard primers. I would pickup the missfired bullets and feed them through again. They would always fire the 2nd go around. Quite often I would fire the first shot out of the five shot clip and the bolt lock would engage on its own so the 4th round would not load. Sometimes the bolt would just skim over the next bullet in the mag and nothing would feed. Othertimes a bullet would get "stove piped" and jammed sideways in the gun. These problems happend LOTS, and it was rare that I could get 5 clean shots off without some kind of issue. However, I could see lots of potential in the gun and took it upon myself to fix these issues one by one.

I started by adjusting the feed lips on the magazine, just a little at a time. I would adjust, then fire a few mags through. Adjust again and fire a few more mags through. Adjusting the magazine made a big difference and the problem with the bolt failing to feed a round disappeared. But very often the bolt lock would engage after the first shot was fired. So I ended up taking my dremal and grinding a bit of metal off the bottom of the ejection piece right where the bullet touches it when in the mag. I also took the bolt stop spring and stretched it a little to make it stronger. This completely fixed the bolt stop auto locking issue, and it hasent happened again since this fix. As for the misfires, I took the firing pin out of the bolt and filed down the back of the bolt just a little bit. I did this so that when the hammer strikes the firing pin it has a little more room to puch the pin before hiting the end of the bolt. This helped alot, but it didnt cure the problem. I now get approx 1 missfire in 15 which is lots better than 1 in 5. I ordered the Wolf hammer spring, but I havent received it yet. I'm hoping this fixes the misfire problem.

I'm very happy with the accuracy of my gun, but I dont care if it will thread a needle at 200 yards. I have no problem keeping a 6" group at 100 yards while firing and aiming as quickly as possible. I finding shooting with the irons to work well and I dont plan to put any type of scope on it.

Overall I love the gun but I'm disappointed with the reliability. If the Wolf spring fixes the missfire issue, they only other problem I'm still having is the occasional "stove pipe" misfeed issue. Trying different type of ammo is very difficult for me. I live in Northern Canada and all the local shops in my area havent even heard of the 7.62x39 round. I've tried to find a Canadian dealer to get other ammo, but I hevent had much luck yet.

I'll continue to post my finding on this gun, and I'm looking for any feedback on how I might solve the misfire and stovepipe issues. As well as find a Canadian dealer to buy "good" ammo.
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Old 11-17-2009, 13:32   #2
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I would find some better ammo and try it out before writing the mini off as unreliable. My experiences have shown that most of the time it's the ammo's fault. Then again, your mileage may vary.
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Old 11-17-2009, 14:27   #3
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which magazines are you useing? if factory don't bend them any at all.
seems the S&B may be underpowered is why it's not stripping a new round out of the mag.
good luck and welcome to the Mini Page!
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Old 11-17-2009, 14:35   #4
 
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Im using the factory 5 round magazine. Perhaps the magazine latch is not quite right and it should be sent back to Ruger. I'm really not looking forward to sending the gun back, since I want to use it before too much snow flies around here. Im hoping someone on here can direct me to a dealer that will ship some ammo my way. And I'm also hoping the Wolf spring kit fixes some of my problems.
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Old 11-17-2009, 17:55   #5
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Sorry about your problems, I have a 196 Mini 30 and it is great, shoots everything with no problems. Good factory ammo makes a huge difference on accuracy. I now have about 200 factory cases I reload for to hunt with. Never had a problem with magazines, have one factory 5 round, 2 19 round ones. I did glassbed mine and made sure the gap around the gas port was even, get 2 inch groups with my iron sights at 100 yards. I did put a Choate 3 prong front sight on it which cut my groups in half at the very beginning before I did anything to it later on. Tinker with it, it'll do better than 6 inches.
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Old 11-17-2009, 18:04   #6
 
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For now I'm concentrating on making the gun shoot reliably every time I pull the trigger. When I get it working well I will concentrate on accuracy. Is it really possible to get 2" groups with the iron sights at 100 yards? I find it difficult to hold the gun perfectly still while pulling the trigger and keeping the iron sight in the same place with each trigger pull. Practice, practice.
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Old 11-18-2009, 03:55   #7
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I should have added that is off a picnic table. I think you'll be pleased if you sandbag it just to see.
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Old 11-18-2009, 04:20   #8
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SOG in Ohio has a good buy on brass cased X39 ammo. Lapua, Sako and Yugo. will do better than the stuff you have which I'm doubtful is S&B, sounds Russki surplus to me and I'll bet it's corrosive primers so clean that M30 well with windex.
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Old 11-18-2009, 06:53   #9
 
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Where do you use the windex? Do you spray down the barrel and into the gas block? Will Hoppes #9 also work. How soon after firing should the gun be cleaned. Please specify. Thanks.
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Old 11-18-2009, 11:09   #10
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yeah, spray the bore and wipe couple times, the gas pipe too. make sure some fluid goes through the pipe and bushing too.
I've seen some guns damaged by the corrosive primerd stuff, best not to take a chance.
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Old 11-18-2009, 15:33   #11
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If you may be using corrosive ammo clean it asap after shooting, I wouldn't let it go over 24 hours.
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Old 11-18-2009, 15:34   #12
 
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Im wondering if windex is required. After each day of shooting I clean the gun with Hoppes #9 AND a spray gun cleaner that seems to be exactly like break cleaner. Will these cemicals remove the corrosive primer residue or is windex (with ammonia) required?

I would really like to hear from some experienced shooter as to what the possible cause of stovepiped FTF rounds would be. It doesnt happen often, probably 1 in 50 shots. Any ideas?
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Old 11-18-2009, 16:34   #13
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use the windex or windsheild washer fluid then dry and use bore solvent.
the ftf if failure to feed may be the underpowered ammo. try some different makes if possible Sako, Federal, Monarch.
you may have a magazine problem also. try another, a 10 rd 'American' if you can find or a ProMag. I would not shoot any steel cased, steel jacketed in my M30 unless emergency. get the good stuff.
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Old 11-18-2009, 18:08   #14
 
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I'm wondering why you need to use windex or washer fluid? Please explain the "science" behind this one to help me understand what is happening. How can you determine if your shooting corrosive primed ammo?
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Old 11-18-2009, 20:06   #15
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S&B does not use corrosive primers. And datatools, the ammonia in Windex neutralizes the salts in corrosive primes.

BTW, how many rounds have you put through this Mini-30? If it's less than 100, the action isn't broken in yet.

Jim
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Old 11-18-2009, 21:13   #16
 
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Hi Jim, thanks for explaining how/why the Windex works. I've put more than 1300 rounds through the gun, so it should be considered broken in. I really suspect that my issues are related to the low quality ammo, but it would sure be nice if the Mini would fire this stuff reliably!
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Old 11-19-2009, 06:18   #17
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jim is right data, the ammonia, soap and water all clean the mercuric salt residue left from corrosive primed ammo.
I'm suspect of any ammo packed in a 'sardine can' as being corrosive primered.
if you can find it there in Canuckitty there is some Yugo X39 ammo that has made it's way into North America at a great price - much better than anything Wolf makes but it's mil-surp and corro primed.
there is also Lapua and Sako available at a higher price - just slightly more than Wolf or Tula, Bear, Tiger and so on that is excellent ammo and non-corro. any of those 3 are gonna do better than what you have now. Privi Partizan is also available, again good stuff but higher priced although lower than any American made. as you I suspect low power ammo is at fault with your feed problem.
windshield washer fluid is also good for cleaning corrosive residue, it contains ammonia and alcohol which is another good cleaner of corrosive residue, plus it's cheaper than windex. get the winter mix it has more alky content. use liberally then wipe dry and of course then regular bore solvent. to remove any copper fouling residue.
good luck w/your M30.
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Old 11-19-2009, 06:58   #18
 
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Thanks for the advice Marlin45. I have another question. Is there any way to tell if the ammo Im shooting is corrosive primed? I mean, does it leave a peticular type of residue or something to watch out for. I asked the supplier who I bought the ammo from, but of course this guy didnt know anything about corrosive primers and told me not to worry. I clean the gun very well after each session, so I'm not too worried about it. I'll throw some winter washer fluid into my cleaning routine just in case. Im still looking for a Canadian dealer that supplies different ammo.
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Old 11-19-2009, 11:03   #19
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check any 'sardine can' ammo for a red ring around the primer. most times but not always that means mercuric primers.
even ammo not in a zip-can with it is suspect and it doesn't take much time to flush the bore and gas pipe anyway better safe than sorry.
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Old 11-23-2009, 15:12   #20
 
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I have some news regarding my mini30 issues. I received the Wolf spring upgrade for both the trigger and recoil. I installed the trigger spring and my misfires have almost completely disappeared! I get approx 1 misfire in 60 now, which is way way better than the stock spring. I also installed the Wolf recoil spring, but I found it to be much more powerful than the stock spring, so I cut a little off the end to reduce some of the power, but still more than stock. I also did a trigger job and now the trigger weight is much less and more predictable. My problem with the occasional "stove pipe" round has also disappeared! Over all I'm really happy with the gun now, and ready to concentrate a little more on accuracy. I'm wondering if the new minis with the tappered barrel will shoot more accurately with one of the struts, such as har-bar or acustrut? I'm also thinking of upgrading to the Hogue stock since learning that it has a 1" longer pull.
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Old 11-24-2009, 06:53   #21
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Great! Glad to hear you have an excellent result with the Wolff springs. I also installed them on my M30, now just waiting for a scope to arrive to take it to the range again. Why did you need to reduce the power of the Wolff recoil spring though? I found that there's barely any noticeable difference in functional operation of the rifle but it's definitely stronger than the OEM spring.
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Old 11-25-2009, 19:32   #22
 
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I cut the Wolf recoil spring a little shorter because it seemed to create more "forward" recoil than I thought necessary. The Wolf spring is much longer and stronger than the stock spring, and it seemed to be more than required. I'm curious what your results are with the new Wolf spring. Be sure to post your results after the next range testing is completed. Oh, one more thing I should add. I did a trigger job myself before adding the new Wolf trigger spring. Took the gun out and tested with the trigger modifications and it worked great! Then I installed the Wolf trigger spring and tested again. My gun now worked awesome and I experienced far fewer misfires than with the stock trigger spring. I then added the Wolf recoil spring and tested again. I shoot approx 120 rounds during my last test, and twice my gun double fired!!! I attribute this to the stronger recoil spring, so I cut it down a bit and will test again tomorrow. I'll let you know if the double fire issue happens again.
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Old 11-26-2009, 11:02   #23
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Well, the best way to deal with that Czech surplus ammo is to clean your gun immediately after shooting as it is very corrosive. Field strip your rifle and pour boiling hot soapy water down your barrel and over any of the rifle where the gasses from the rounds would have touched. The water will evaporate very quickly as it was hot to start with. After rifle is dry, the corrosive salts from the primers will have been effectively washed away. Clean your rifle with Hoppes or whatever flavour you use, oil, reassemble. You MUST wash the corrosive salts out even if you only fire one round of corrosive ammo through your gun. Corrosive ammo in 7.62x39 is the only surplus ammo available in Canada right now and you must use these precautions - even in stainless guns!
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Old 11-26-2009, 18:43   #24
 
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What will the corrosive ammo do to my Mini 30? Im curious to know all I can about this type of ammo and how it will affect my gun. I plan to continue shooting this ammo because it is readily available here in Canada, and its very inexpensive so I can shoot LOTS of it .
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Old 11-26-2009, 19:02   #25
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reference the 'windex' tips.
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