I just don't know what to do with my Mini 30 anymore - Shooting Sports Forum


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Old 07-11-2011, 22:46   #1
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I just don't know what to do with my Mini 30 anymore

My Mini 30 has been frustrating me for the past several years. When I first inherited it from my dad, I remember it working flawlessly, even using berdan primed stuff. However, after several months of use, it got to the point where only 3-5 rounds would fire per 10 round mag. After cleaning out the firing pin channel, I was able to get up to 6-8 rounds to fire per mag. To this day, I'm still getting the 6-8 rounds per mag to fire. Still not acceptable, in my opinion.

I don't have much to compare from but I think the firing pin looks good... doesn't it?





Also, last time I took my Mini out, I noticed that the way I pulled the trigger had a significant impact on whether the round would fire or not. If I pulled the trigger quickly and aggressively, 9 out of 10 times the round would go off. However, when I slowly squeezed the trigger, the hammer would fall and I would get no bang. Any thoughts on this experience of mine?

Lastly, for those of you with the Wolff extra power hammer spring, did it have any impact?

I love the concept of the Mini 30 type rifle, but I would probably sell the thing if the best option is to stick with boxer primed stuff.

Heres the obligatory photo of the rifle:

[Click for mega sized pic]



Anyway, I'm just putting it all out there for you guys. I'd appreciate any thoughts or discussion on the matter. Thanks in advance.

Last edited by andrewj; 07-11-2011 at 23:37.
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Old 07-11-2011, 23:21   #2
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I would stop messing around and take the rifle to a gun smith as soon as possible. Something is ****ed up in your trigger/hammer assembly, no question. May be a very simple and inexpensive fix, who knows.
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Old 07-11-2011, 23:38   #3
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Originally Posted by Cole125 View Post
I would stop messing around and take the rifle to a gun smith as soon as possible. Something is ****ed up in your trigger/hammer assembly, no question. May be a very simple and inexpensive fix, who knows.
You don't know what your talking about. Ruger specifies American made brass ammo. Most foriegn stuff with steel cases have machinegun (Hard) primers (For AK's and such)The mini 30 was not made to work with that. My 30 will function fine with the yugo brass surplus. If you're unwilling to fire only brass/boxer then sell it to someone that complies with ruger instructions.
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Old 07-12-2011, 07:56   #4
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Your best option is to sell it.
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Old 07-12-2011, 18:09   #5
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Thanks for the comments guys.

Anyone with any technical sense care to address or speculate on this:

Also, last time I took my Mini out, I noticed that the way I pulled the trigger had a significant impact on whether the round would fire or not. If I pulled the trigger quickly and aggressively, 9 out of 10 times the round would go off. However, when I slowly squeezed the trigger, the hammer would fall and I would get no bang. Any thoughts on this experience of mine?
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Old 07-12-2011, 19:39   #6
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My guess, with time the main spring has lost a little tension. Just enough to make a difference as to whether it would hit the berdan primers hard enough to make it go off. You can put in a Wolf spring but you take the chance of breaking the firing pin. Or, the Russians are putting in harder primers so we Americans have to buy their Rusky guns and parts. They know who butters their bread. kwg
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Old 07-12-2011, 20:49   #7
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Originally Posted by 40nascar View Post
You don't know what your talking about. Ruger specifies American made brass ammo. Most foriegn stuff with steel cases have machinegun (Hard) primers (For AK's and such)The mini 30 was not made to work with that. My 30 will function fine with the yugo brass surplus. If you're unwilling to fire only brass/boxer then sell it to someone that complies with ruger instructions.
That could be part of the problem too. He said if he pulls the trigger hard the rounds go off, so that got me thinking something is not right in the trigger assembly.

Last edited by Cole125; 07-13-2011 at 00:33.
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Old 07-12-2011, 21:42   #8
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If he pulls the trigger slowly the sears drag across the hammer slowing it down. A quick pull and they are out of the way. kwg
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Old 07-13-2011, 02:54   #9
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Measure the pin depth v/s an SKS.

Then using prussian blue, or even a sharpie to see where the pin is "botteming" out on the bolt, and a small file, remove material on your pin where it's hitting the inside of the bolt untill your pin has the same depth as the SKS pin.

Then enjoy your reliable, and dependable stainless steel 7.62x39 rifle.

The pins are often too short from what I've seen. Ruger sets them short, as they are worried about poking a hole in a "soft" civillian primer.

SKS has no such worries.. (Same goes for the rest of the Soviet Bloc stuff.)
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Old 07-13-2011, 08:27   #10
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the fireing pin is heat treated - likely a file won't touch it. that's a good idea though if access to a lathe bed grinder w/a shaped stone was at hand, just take off a few (.010) off the shoulder of the pin body.
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Old 07-13-2011, 09:16   #11
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Hi andrewj;

FWIW, I think kwg020 nailed it and you should get a new hammer spring; a stock Ruger part will probably do fine, so long as it is new. From the description you posted, the hammer is not hitting comblock 7.62 with enough 'oomph' to get it to go reliably, which screams "wimpy hammer spring" to me.

I would NOT mess with the firing pin.

Good luck with your mini,
Grumpy
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Old 07-13-2011, 10:42   #12
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Originally Posted by grumpy_old_man View Post
Hi andrewj;

FWIW, I think kwg020 nailed it and you should get a new hammer spring; a stock Ruger part will probably do fine, so long as it is new. From the description you posted, the hammer is not hitting comblock 7.62 with enough 'oomph' to get it to go reliably, which screams "wimpy hammer spring" to me.

I would NOT mess with the firing pin.

Good luck with your mini,
Grumpy

+1

Also, I would contact Ruger with your problems and see what they say.
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Old 07-13-2011, 11:07   #13
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Hi andrewj,

My .02 cents...The bolt in the photo looks dry as a bone. I recommend you grease that thing up as it should be and try again. The Garand style action blocks the pin if the bolt is not in battery. You will notice that the rear of the bolt has a "safety bridge" with sort of a ramp/block for the tail of the pin that prevents the "OOB" firing. IF the bolt is not fully in battery, the hammer fall will or will attempt to drive it into battery and may or may not ignite the primer. Put a drop of oil on the extractor plunger and grease up the lugs and receiver track that the bolt rides in including the slide cutout for the RH lug and the "wings" and bumps of the slide where it rides on the barrel and guide so there is no question and report back in the morning.

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Old 07-13-2011, 14:38   #14
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Originally Posted by kwg020 View Post
If he pulls the trigger slowly the sears drag across the hammer slowing it down. A quick pull and they are out of the way. kwg
I had similar thoughts. Essentially the hammer is losing potential energy because something is dragging. I have considered sending it to a smith for a thorough trigger job. Perhaps polishing up the hammer and sear surfaces and possibly possibly lightening the disconnector spring would help. I don't know, I'm just thinking out loud, so to speak.

Originally Posted by grumpy_old_man View Post
Hi andrewj;

FWIW, I think kwg020 nailed it and you should get a new hammer spring; a stock Ruger part will probably do fine, so long as it is new. From the description you posted, the hammer is not hitting comblock 7.62 with enough 'oomph' to get it to go reliably, which screams "wimpy hammer spring" to me.

I would NOT mess with the firing pin.

Good luck with your mini,
Grumpy
I just ordered both the stock and extra power hammer spring. I'll start by replacing the current spring with the new stock spring. If it doesn't do the trick, I'll bump it up to the extra power spring.

But I agree that messing with the firing pin may not be the best idea. I'm fairly certain that giving what Adjuster and Marlin 45 suggested a try would make a noticeable difference but I'd rather avoid anything of that nature until absolutely necessary.

Originally Posted by edorfox View Post
Hi andrewj,

My .02 cents...The bolt in the photo looks dry as a bone. I recommend you grease that thing up as it should be and try again. The Garand style action blocks the pin if the bolt is not in battery. You will notice that the rear of the bolt has a "safety bridge" with sort of a ramp/block for the tail of the pin that prevents the "OOB" firing. IF the bolt is not fully in battery, the hammer fall will or will attempt to drive it into battery and may or may not ignite the primer. Put a drop of oil on the extractor plunger and grease up the lugs and receiver track that the bolt rides in including the slide cutout for the RH lug and the "wings" and bumps of the slide where it rides on the barrel and guide so there is no question and report back in the morning.

Ed
Thanks for the tip. The bolt is dry in the photo because I wiped it down pretty well when I was working on it.... but, I acknowledge that I probably should grease it up more than I have in the past. I'll definitely do that next time I take it out.
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Old 07-13-2011, 14:57   #15
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Trying to shoot Crap comm block hard berdan primed machine gun ammo and using an extra power hammer spring to do it. I foresee a broken firing pin in your future.

Hey, anyone that has changed a hammer spring, is there an easy way to compress it on the hammer strut and trap it?
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Old 07-13-2011, 14:58   #16
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Originally Posted by Jeff F View Post
Hey, anyone that has changed a hammer spring, is there an easy way to compress it on the hammer strut and trap it?
I was just going to ask that
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Old 07-13-2011, 15:27   #17
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I took my trigger group apart a year ago and trapped the hammer spring with a paper clip like a dummy. It was handy and seemed to work, it was sitting on the bench and the paper clip sheared and sent the strut across the room. I had to look for it for a couple hours. It was a real pain to get it back together. There has to be an easy way.
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Old 07-13-2011, 15:56   #18
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Hi,

I've used a cheap (cheap=thin) kitchen fork in a vise. Notice the rear tip of the strut in the vise jaw screw recess. HANG ON TO THE FORK! Use a block of wood or something to drive the fork off the setup...make sure the freshly installed pin doesn't come out with the fork.

Ed




Last edited by edorfox; 07-13-2011 at 16:17.
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Old 07-13-2011, 16:20   #19
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Originally Posted by edorfox View Post
Hi,

I've used a cheap (cheap=thin) kitchen fork in a vise. Notice the rear tip of the strut in the vise jaw screw recess. HANG ON TO THE FORK! Use a block of wood or something to drive the fork off the setup...make sure the freshly installed pin doesn't come out with the fork.

Ed
Cool, thanks for sharing Ed. I'll be using that method.
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Old 07-13-2011, 18:48   #20
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Thanks Ed, thats way better then the way I got it together.
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Old 07-15-2011, 15:03   #21
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You're on the right track, I discovered through trial and error many many years ago that extra power recoil and hammer springs are a necessity if you're going to shoot the hard primered Russian ammo.
Part of Rugers safety mechanism prevents the Mini's from firing if the bolt isn't 100% in battery and when this happens you'll note what looks like light hits on the primer. Replace both springs and that situation will disappear.
I find that recoil buffers slow down the cyclic impulse too much when I'm using Thermold mags, I've yet to pick up any of the new factory 20 rounders.
I've been using Russian ammo for over 18 years and I'm still using the original firing pin.
Plus, I shorten my Mini's to 16 1/4" O/A barrel lengths.





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Old 07-15-2011, 16:28   #22
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Originally Posted by MOUNTAIN WILLIAM View Post
You're on the right track, I discovered through trial and error many many years ago that extra power recoil and hammer springs are a necessity if you're going to shoot the hard primered Russian ammo.
Shooting hard primed Russian ammo will kill your firing pin, Using extra power hammer springs will kill it even faster.
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Old 07-15-2011, 17:00   #23
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First this...

Originally Posted by MOUNTAIN WILLIAM View Post
I've been using Russian ammo for over 18 years and I'm still using the original firing pin.
Then this...

Originally Posted by Jeff F View Post
Shooting hard primed Russian ammo will kill your firing pin, Using extra power hammer springs will kill it even faster.
Hmmm

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Old 07-15-2011, 19:39   #24
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Perhaps I should add that during the past 18 years especially, I've kept my guns spotlessly clean.
I've only seen one case of a broken firing pin and it was due to the owner not cleaning the varnish from around the firing pin hole. The goo eventually worked it's way in far enough to cause the firing pin to protrude just enough to catch the remaining cartridges in the mag. Eventually it snapped the tip of the firing pin off.
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Old 07-16-2011, 17:24   #25
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The parts I ordered came in the mail today. I just installed a new factory hammer spring and thanks to Ed, it was relatively simple. I noticed that the new spring's OAL was just slightly longer than the old spring. Perhaps a few years of repeated compression has taken its toll on it. Who knows, we'll see.

My local indoor range is allowing rifle shooters on Monday. I'm gonna oil up my rifle, pick up a few boxes of different Russian ammo (they don't allow Wolf though), and see what happens. If it is still unreliable, there are still a few more options out there.
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