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

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Old 08-28-2011, 16:33   #1
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Thinking about a Mini 30

I'd like to get into the 7.62x39 realm. I love the mini 14 and am planning on picking up a 30 at the next show. Living in MA I need preban mags. How's the availability? Is there anything I should look out for? I don't want an AK or a new AR15 upper. I was considering an SKS for durability, but I'd like to stick with the Mini platform.

Thanks, Drew
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Old 08-28-2011, 17:36   #2
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I just got a Mini 30, a 189 series, at Gunbrocker.com. I looked to Gunbrocker and didn't see any pre-ban mags to speak of. The 5 and 20 rd Ruger mags are all I use for the Mini 30, there are the 10 rd mags by other companies, you being up in MA kind of limits you to 10 rd mags unless you can get a hold of pre-ban, I think the only differance is the logo on the mags, but not sure. There are not as many after market parts available for the Mini 30 as there are for the Mini 14, but many will work with both (stocks, handguards, sights etc). I don't know how well my 30 shoots yet haven't had a chance to get to the range to break it in, it never has been fired, but it should be as reliable as any 14, so there shouldn't be anything to look out for. Use good ammo, right now I have some factory Winchester ready togo and about 1200 new brass cases ready to be loaded. Go for the Mini, I have yet to have a problem with a Mini of any kind.
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Old 08-28-2011, 22:04   #3
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If you get the 30, be advised that generally speaking, she only likes to be fed brass cases. As for pre-ban mags, anything stamped "USA" brand mag on the bottom of the floorplate is pre ban. They didn't make good mags for .223/5.56, but I never ran into a bad mini 30 mag from them. They made 20 rnd and 30 rnd mags. Dont buy the 10 rnd pro-mags, they are crap (at least in mine) Look for mags that have curvature like the AK style, even in 10 rnd mags, they always seem to work out O.K. Dont buy any straight mags (like the 10 rnd promags), I can usually only get it to work with 7 rnds. More than that, they jam up. Good luck.
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Old 08-29-2011, 05:45   #4
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Originally Posted by 40nascar View Post
If you get the 30, be advised that generally speaking, she only likes to be fed brass cases. As for pre-ban mags, anything stamped "USA" brand mag on the bottom of the floorplate is pre ban. They didn't make good mags for .223/5.56, but I never ran into a bad mini 30 mag from them. They made 20 rnd and 30 rnd mags. Dont buy the 10 rnd pro-mags, they are crap (at least in mine) Look for mags that have curvature like the AK style, even in 10 rnd mags, they always seem to work out O.K. Dont buy any straight mags (like the 10 rnd promags), I can usually only get it to work with 7 rnds. More than that, they jam up. Good luck.
Why is this?
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Old 08-29-2011, 14:31   #5
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Mini 30

My 196 series Mini 30 handles Wolf, Silver Bear, and Herter's steel cased ammo with out a hitch. Several thousand rounds have been through it with no problems.

Mike
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Old 08-29-2011, 18:22   #6
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I have a 851 series, mine likes silver bear for cheap ammo, and any boxer primed brass for the good stuff. it also runs flawlessly with my promag 10's

the factory 5 hangs up on the last rounds when running soft point ammo sometimes... so I prefer the promags to the factory 5 round mag.

I don't have any high cap mags for the 30 - it's a more of a hunting gun for me.
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Old 08-29-2011, 18:50   #7
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Originally Posted by Mike Wazowski View Post
My 196 series Mini 30 handles Wolf, Silver Bear, and Herter's steel cased ammo with out a hitch. Several thousand rounds have been through it with no problems.

Mike
Great! So why do others here say the Mini-30 doesn't like steel cased ammo? What gives?
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Old 08-29-2011, 19:59   #8
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The only steel case ammo that works consistantly for me is silver bear and some of the old chinese copper wash over steel cases. I've had two Brand new mini 30's, a 189 and a 581 and they absolutely will not fire Wolf brand ammo on the first try (Light primer strikes). Some here have their trigger groups sent in to have a more powerful hammer spring installed (or do it themselves) to fix the problem. Most surplus military 7.62x39 ammo was made to fire in full auto AK's, and have "machine gun", or hard primers. Mini 30's were specificly designed by Ruger to fire US made brass case hunting ammo. This commercial ammo uses standard boxer primers which use a much softer primer metal compound that indents more easily when hit by the firing pin. This is the very brief version of the story. I'm willing to live within the limitations of the mini 30's diet because even with the hammer spring fix, shooting the cheap steel case ammo has been reported by many members here to lead to broken firing pins after a relatively low number of rounds fired. I hope this adequately answers your question.
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Old 08-30-2011, 06:41   #9
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AHHH, so it's not the "steel" case that's the problem, it's the primer. So, steel cased ammo would work fine if it had a better primer. Does anyone make steel cased ammo with a boxer primer?
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Old 08-30-2011, 07:59   #10
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Tula puts a boxer primer in it's .223. I reload the case for my son. I don't care if he throws away the steal case so I reload them for him. I just don't want him losing my brass stuff. kwg
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Old 08-30-2011, 09:33   #11
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Originally Posted by kwg020 View Post
Tula puts a boxer primer in it's .223. I reload the case for my son. I don't care if he throws away the steal case so I reload them for him. I just don't want him losing my brass stuff. kwg
True for the .223, but the Tula 7.62x39 is Berdan primed.

I shoot a ton of Tula in my SKS and Mini-14, but would be wary of using it in a Mini-30.

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Old 08-30-2011, 11:10   #12
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Originally Posted by Lisa1911 View Post
AHHH, so it's not the "steel" case that's the problem, it's the primer. So, steel cased ammo would work fine if it had a better primer. Does anyone make steel cased ammo with a boxer primer?

try Silver Bear, it is berdan primed but it seems to have a softer primer
it's about the same price as wolf and goes Bang every time for me.

my problem is it's hard as HELL to get it in Hawaii.

( I had to hand carry 10 pounds of it in on my last mainland trip)
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Old 08-30-2011, 15:23   #13
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mini30 will shoot berdan primer ammo just fine.

(until the pin breaks, of course).

The only good pre-ban mag I am aware of are the old 28/45rd extendable Thermolds.
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Old 08-30-2011, 15:29   #14
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If there is one rifle I miss, it has to be my mini-30.

Pick up a 30, and you will not regret it.
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Old 08-30-2011, 16:14   #15
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Originally Posted by guncats View Post
mini30 will shoot berdan primer ammo just fine.

(until the pin breaks, of course).

The only good pre-ban mag I am aware of are the old 28/45rd extendable Thermolds.
Shoots fine until it breaks? Are broken pins a common problem in the Mini? I don't need that, I always thought they were considered reliable and worry free.
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Old 08-30-2011, 16:39   #16
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I bought one, a 196 series. Im very happy with my choice!
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Old 08-30-2011, 18:19   #17
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Thanks for all the replies. I'm gonna postpone the 30 for now. Looks like I'll be getting a PTR. Trading a Glock and some extra cash for it. $1100 and change new so I'm getting a decent deal. I really like the idea of using the extremely abundant AK mags and the H&K design.

-Drew
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Old 08-30-2011, 20:42   #18
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I'm thinking maybe I will forget about the Mini-30 as well. I mean what good is it if it breaks with something as simple as the type of primer.
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Old 08-30-2011, 21:46   #19
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Seems like this topic was explored in depth (to death) recently and the consensus was that the reason the Mini-30 has a problem shooting berdan primer ammo is that the firing pin doesn't protrude as far as an AK firing pin does. The problem apparently isn't that the Mini-30 firing pin doesn't hit hard enough.
Can a good gunsmith adjust the depth the firing pin protrudes to be the same as it does on an AK?
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Old 08-30-2011, 21:47   #20
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Originally Posted by Lisa1911 View Post
Shoots fine until it breaks? Are broken pins a common problem in the Mini? I don't need that, I always thought they were considered reliable and worry free.

Maybe you will get lucky and get one that lasts tens of thousands of rounds, you never know . The pin problem is usually considered as non-existen until it happens.

On the bright side, if you only shoot boxer-primed ammo it will likely last a long long time, especially considering the price of boxer-primed ammo now-a-days.
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Old 08-30-2011, 23:29   #21
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Originally Posted by Lisa1911 View Post
AHHH, so it's not the "steel" case that's the problem, it's the primer. So, steel cased ammo would work fine if it had a better primer. Does anyone make steel cased ammo with a boxer primer?
Yugo surplus is pretty good. Its brass case, berdan primed, cheap and fires every time. The bad news : Its corrosively primed, so field strip and clean every time you shoot with it.
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Old 08-31-2011, 01:38   #22
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Originally Posted by 40nascar View Post
Yugo surplus is pretty good. Its brass case, berdan primed, cheap and fires every time. The bad news : Its corrosively primed, so field strip and clean every time you shoot with it.
Corrosive? I don't like the sound of that. First you tell me these primers will break the firing pin, now you tell me they are "Corrosive" too? What exactly is a "corrosive" primer?
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Old 08-31-2011, 11:42   #23
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Originally Posted by Lisa1911 View Post
Corrosive? I don't like the sound of that. First you tell me these primers will break the firing pin, now you tell me they are "Corrosive" too? What exactly is a "corrosive" primer?
a primer that uses potassium chlorate in the primer charge - when detonated this chemical leaves a residue of potassium chloride (a salt) in the barrel. most salts are hygroscopic in nature. (they attract and retain moisture) in a humid environment this can cause rusting inside the barrel.

if you are the kind of guy that likes to put his guns away dirty, and cleans them once a year then it's problem. if you are the kind of guy that strips and cleans his guns after every range outing or hunting trip then it'll be fine, if you have been shooting corrosive ammo just add two extra steps to your cleaning routine and you can't go wrong: - just use a warm freshwater flush on all the metal parts that come in contact with combustion gasses to dissolve the potassium chloride salt - shake them dry, spray it liberally with a water displacing compound (WD40 was invented for this sort of thing) then clean it with brake cleaner to get rid of any WD40 residue that may have gotten into the nooks and crannies - then lube the gun per manufacturer's spec.
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Old 08-31-2011, 12:25   #24
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Mr. Snuffalupagus is right on.
5 minutes with a bore snake and a spray can of carburator cleaner will fix that corrosive primer problem for the short term. I would not wait a year between a good cleaning but I won't run straight home and throw the rifle in the bathtub.

Use common sense. If you suspect you have shot the corrosive primers, spray out the barrel and then run the bore snake through it a couple of times. I suggest that anyway even if you are NOT shooting corrosive ammo. kwg
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Old 08-31-2011, 16:18   #25
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Originally Posted by wmass762 View Post
Thanks for all the replies. I'm gonna postpone the 30 for now. Looks like I'll be getting a PTR. Trading a Glock and some extra cash for it. $1100 and change new so I'm getting a decent deal. I really like the idea of using the extremely abundant AK mags and the H&K design.

-Drew
The PTR weights about as much as the HK91 ((10 LB loaded, vs. Mini-30's 8.5LB loaded.), has no last round hold open, and doesn't work with steel mags.
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