Magazine Interference with Bolt - Shooting Sports Forum

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

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Old 05-08-2010, 20:19   #1
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Magazine Interference with Bolt

Ok Guys: I have been fighting with poor accuracy with my 6.8 Mini, and have come to the conclusion that it is the magazine that causes my problem. The problem being that my rifle always sends the first round of the magazine 3" low. So today, I did some field testing, as follows, all this was done on a 5 round magazine:
1. Shot 3 rounds-no magazine, 75 yds, w/ scope, 1/2 inch group.
2. shot 3 rounds-magazine in, 75 yds w/scope, first round, 3" low, next 2 within 1/2" of each other.
3. Removed spring and follower from magazine, loaded and fired 3 rounds with magazine shell in place, 1/2" group.
4. Removed most of height of spring in magazine, in other words reduced spring pressure in the magazine, and fired 3 rounds same distance, 1" group!!!

I am thinking that if I can reduce the spring pressure in the magazine low enough, the magazine will interfere with the bolt a lot less and accuracy will "drastically" improve. I know I can't reduce the spring pressure too much or it won't load properly, but I'm going to reduce it as low as I can get it before my next session on the range.
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Old 05-08-2010, 21:28   #2
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You might want to adjust the feed lips down as little or even up a little (I'd start with down) and make sure they are even.
Mags are a problem with the mini and accuracy at times, You just have to play with them a little.
The first shot being off is common. Try using the mag release to seat the first round.
When shooting for groups, I usually fire the first round off to the side and then start with round two for the group.
I have a ,223 and from what I hear the 7.62 X 39 has more sensitive magazine problems.
A recoil buffer might help a little.
Try other mags also.
Maybe someone with a 7.62 X 39 can give a better answer.

Best Regards, John K

Last edited by dkac2; 05-09-2010 at 17:42.
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Old 05-08-2010, 22:20   #3
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When shooting for accuracy I have had much more consistent shot groupings with my 20 round factory Ruger mags loaded with 5 , than I do with my factory 5 round mags . I know they dont make anything bigger than a five for 6.8 , but I have seen aftermarket 20 rounders for the 6.8 . May want to give that a try , all though nothing comes close to the reliability or quality of the OEM units .
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Old 05-09-2010, 04:35   #4
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Thanks, but I have been tweaking these 2 magazines for weeks, 300 rounds fired so far on this new rifle! I have read the reports on magazine supporting the bolt, and after looking mine over, found that the lips on the magazine don't touch the bolt when it is in the battery position! That was when I started thinking that the cartridge in the magazine is the only part that affects the bolt. Am I wrong in that conclusion? And if that is true, how does the lip on the magazine affect the bolt? So I came back to spring pressure as being more likely to affect battery position of the bolt. So far I have found that spring pressure has a much bigger effect on accuracy of my rifle than any other variable.

P.S. Have bedded the action to the stock, have floated the barrel, and have two stocks for the rifle, and found the same effect on both stocks. Also, I am a hunter as much as a paper puncher, and as a hunter, I don't have the luxury of "wasting" that first shot!
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Old 05-09-2010, 07:06   #5
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I notice the same thing with my 5 rnd mag and I get better accuracy from my 20 rnd Promags, less spring tension. You may consider getting another 5 rnd mag and cut the spring down to see if it works or get some Promag 20's.

If you load only 3 shots in the factory mag does it still shoot low? I get the same results from my 5 rnd mag with 5 shots loaded, I may cut a coil down for better results. (Only with the mini 6.8 other 2 mini's work fine.)
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Last edited by tri70; 05-09-2010 at 07:15.
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Old 05-09-2010, 17:24   #6
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Hey, I appreciate the replies. I am going to try to reduce the spring tension some more, it obviously helped the little bit I was able to bend the springs. I will order some promag clips this week and work on them a little. My rifle shoots low on the first round no matter how many cartridges are loaded. 2-3-4-or 5. I haven't tried to load 5 at a time since bending the spring. Ran out of ammunition. Will test that next time


Last edited by jc43; 05-09-2010 at 17:26.
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