New Mini-30 Tactical HATES steel case ammo!! - Shooting Sports Forum


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Old 01-20-2012, 16:17   #1
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New Mini-30 Tactical HATES steel case ammo!!

Is this normal??

My new M30 Tactical fails to extract almost EVERY round if I am using steel case ammo . . in this case China Sports, have not tried other steel case schtuff. Fails to extract and drives the next round into the casing still in the chamber . . The spent case is NOT stuck because I can pull it out with my fingernail. If I remove the mag and close the bolt on the spent case then pull the bolt back it extracts the spent case. If I put a full mag of steel case in the rifle and cycle the action by hand . . it extract ALL of them. The chamber is smooth and free of defects. There are no unusual marks on the spent case.

It only fails to extract FIRED steel case ammo. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Over??

This stuff was given to me, FREE by a friend , almost 1K rounds, so wish it would work!!

My reloads are very reliable . . 27gr of H322 with a 123gr soft point, PPU brass. No FTEs.

Yugo surplus is very good with a FTE every 20-30 rnds or so. Still this is unacceptable.

I have maybe 200 rnds through the rifle so far. Are all M30s this fussy on ammo? Am I wrong to expect the Yugo surplus to be 100% reliable? I have over 3k rnds of the Yugo left after I got rid of my Tula SKS . .

Any input is appreciated!!
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Old 01-20-2012, 16:22   #2
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Old 01-20-2012, 16:32   #3
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The general problem with Min30's and steel case ammo is generally related to the smaller firing pin used by Ruger than an AK or SKS which causes failure to fire on beridian primed ammo due to light primer strikes.

Odd the steel case ammo wont eject but fires right? And you are seeing less issues with brass cased Yugo surplus. Try some American Brass to see if the same issue occurs and you may have to send back to Ruger if so. They will address it free of charge if you tell them American ammo is not ejecting every 20-30 rnds.

Ruger and I am sure some other folks on here will tell you that you should be shooting American made ammo out of your Mini 30 anyway.

I can tell you I have never had a failure to eject with my Mini 30 with about a 1,000rds mix of both steel and brass cased ammo
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Old 01-20-2012, 16:38   #4
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what steel case have you been using NJ?

Im thinking about starting some sort of poll to identify foreign steel case with/out issues for the mini 30.
But it seams Wolf military is the worst while silver bear being the best..
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Old 01-20-2012, 16:52   #5
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Tula is the only ammo I have had light strikes with. Unfortunately it seems to be what Walmart is selling now instead of the Uly they used to carry for $4.99 a box.

So far I have used Wolf, Uly, Silver and Golden Bear without any issues. The only brass cased rounds I have used were Lapuas and they had terrible accuracy. I bought a box of Winchesters for hunting but have not shot them yet. At $27.00 a box they will have to wait until next season. Silver Bear is my favorite for accuracy and price.

My Mini30 Tactical has never had a failure to extract or any sort of failure at all (other than the 3 rounds of Tula) after about 3000 rounds.
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Old 01-20-2012, 16:57   #6
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Originally Posted by NJ2ATX View Post
The general problem with Min30's and steel case ammo is generally related to the smaller firing pin used by Ruger than an AK or SKS which causes failure to fire on beridian primed ammo due to light primer strikes.

Odd the steel case ammo wont eject but fires right? And you are seeing less issues with brass cased Yugo surplus. Try some American Brass to see if the same issue occurs and you may have to send back to Ruger if so. They will address it free of charge if you tell them American ammo is not ejecting every 20-30 rnds.

Ruger and I am sure some other folks on here will tell you that you should be shooting American made ammo out of your Mini 30 anyway.

I can tell you I have never had a failure to eject with my Mini 30 with about a 1,000rds mix of both steel and brass cased ammo
The steel cased ammo fires but fails to extract. I had ONE FTF on the Yugo, and it fired on the second try.

What is the big mystery to fitting a Mini firing pin anyway . . is Ruger Firearms a control freak?? I don't see why one who has the skills cannot fit a firing pin to reliably fire the berdan primed ammo . .
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Old 01-20-2012, 17:54   #7
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My M30 hasn't any issues with extraction of steel or brass. Of course, I've had my issues with light primer strikes in Tulammo but Golden Bear as well as milsurp have been reliable.
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Old 01-21-2012, 00:06   #8
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Originally Posted by KingANuthin View Post
what steel case have you been using NJ?

Im thinking about starting some sort of poll to identify foreign steel case with/out issues for the mini 30.
But it seams Wolf military is the worst while silver bear being the best..
This has been my experience also, Silver Bear and Yugo have worked every time for me. Wolf...FTF every time but fires on 2nd time (usually). I also bought a couple hundred rnds. of S & B brass/boxer for $10/box delivered. It works every time and I use the brass for reloads.
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Old 01-21-2012, 00:21   #9
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Originally Posted by BugHunter View Post
Tula is the only ammo I have had light strikes with. Unfortunately it seems to be what Walmart is selling now instead of the Uly they used to carry for $4.99 a box.

So far I have used Wolf, Uly, Silver and Golden Bear without any issues. The only brass cased rounds I have used were Lapuas and they had terrible accuracy. I bought a box of Winchesters for hunting but have not shot them yet. At $27.00 a box they will have to wait until next season. Silver Bear is my favorite for accuracy and price.

My Mini30 Tactical has never had a failure to extract or any sort of failure at all (other than the 3 rounds of Tula) after about 3000 rounds.
I agree with you about Silver bear. I think it is the best performer for the money. Buy on sale at sportsmans guide for about $5.50/box delivered.
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Old 01-21-2012, 04:27   #10
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Everybody here seems more focused on the issues of the firing pin and berdan primers rather than the issue that you described to begin with.

So, if I understand, one and only one brand of ammo (which happens to be steel case ammo) is not extracting correctly, even though it IS firing okay. Yes? Furthermore, you indicate that the spent shells are not stuck forcefully in the chamber, because you can remove them with your fingernail. Yes?

So what could this have to do with the firing pin or primer? Nothing.

Obviously the problem has SOMETHING to do with the interaction between the extractor and the shells. Is there something different about the rim at the bottom of these cartridges? Is there anything that might cause the extractor to not grip the rim of the shell correctly? If extraction is taking place normally with other shells, then the extractor is not the problem, so something must be different about the portion of the shell being grabbed BY the extractor. I cannot imagine that anything else might be involved here.
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Old 01-21-2012, 04:39   #11
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For those curious about ammo in the Mini-30, I tested six different brands, one box each on a certain day. My Mini-30 has a Wolff XP hammer spring, but I doubt it really makes much difference.

1) Some brass case corrosive surplus Yugo ammo fired and loaded flawlessly.

2) Both Silver Bear (zinc plated steel) and Golden Bear (brass plated steel) loaded and fired flawlessly.

3) Both Brown Bear and Wolf (WPA) fired without failure, but these shells failed to load smoothly from the magazine on all occasions. Both appear to use identical polymer coated steel shells.

4) Tula had a very high incidence of failures to fire. Some would not even fire on a second attempt, but all fired successfully in my SKS. The primers appear to be slightly recessed.

Though I like the Mini-30, I am very disappointed in its fussiness regarding ammo, and I have told Ruger so. In my opinion, any rifle designed around a Russian caliber should be capable of firing that caliber, regardless of what factory it came out of.
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Old 01-21-2012, 06:27   #12
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So, if I understand, one and only one brand of ammo (which happens to be steel case ammo) is not extracting correctly, even though it IS firing okay. Yes? Furthermore, you indicate that the spent shells are not stuck forcefully in the chamber, because you can remove them with your fingernail. Yes?
Yes

So what could this have to do with the firing pin or primer? Nothing.
Exactly.

Mosinko, thanks for bringing this thread back on track . .

I disassembled the rifle and gave her a good cleaning. The bolt and extractor look fine with a bit of peening where the bolt contacts the hammer to cock it.

I have 6 brands of commercial ammo, they are:
  1. Hansen Cartridge Co, M67, Made in Yugo Non-Corrosive, Brass Case, Unknown FMJ bullet weight
  2. Norinco, Non-Corrosive, Steel Case copper colored, Unknown FMJ bullet weight
  3. Privi Partizan, Non-Corrosive, Brass Case, Boxer primed, 123gr FMJ
  4. Privi Partizan, Non-Corrosive, Brass Case, Boxer primed, 123gr RNSP
  5. ChinaSports, Non-Corrosive, Steel Case, Non-Corrosive, 122gr SP
  6. Yugo Surplus, Brass Case, Corrosive, Unknown FMJ bullet weight
  7. And my reloads, 123gr SP over 27gr H322.

I measured the rim dimensions on all of them. . . both the large and small outside dia, as well as the rim thickness; all are within .001 - .002 of each other. Visually and metrically I see no differences that should cause these problems.

However, with the bolt out of the rifle the extractor ~seems~ to have a firmer grip on the brass case stuff.

I will try to brave the great frozen wilderness here in Central NY and get to the range tomorrow and function test each of what I have. I will post my findings.

Mosinko, I agree with you, if it is made in a Rooskie caliber it should enjoy a diet of Rooskie ammo.
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Old 01-21-2012, 11:09   #13
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Originally Posted by Locutus_of_Borg View Post
Is this normal??

Mynew M30 Tactical fails to extract almost EVERY round if I am using steel case ammo . . in this case China Sports, have not tried other steel case schtuff. Fails to extract and drives the next round into the casing still in the chamber . . The spent case is NOT stuck because I can pull it out with my fingernail. If I remove the mag and close the bolt on the spent case then pull the bolt back it extracts the spent case. If I put a full mag of steel case in the rifle and cycle the action by hand . . it extract ALL of them. The chamber is smooth and free of defects. There are no unusual marks on the spent case.

It only fails to extract FIRED steel case ammo. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Over??

This stuff was given to me, FREE by a friend , almost 1K rounds, so wish it would work!!

My reloads are very reliable . . 27gr of H322 with a 123gr soft point, PPU brass. No FTEs.

Yugo surplus is very good with a FTE every 20-30 rnds or so. Still this is unacceptable.

I have maybe 200 rnds through the rifle so far. Are all M30s this fussy on ammo? Am I wrong to expect the Yugo surplus to be 100% reliable? I have over 3k rnds of the Yugo left after I got rid of my Tula SKS . .

Any input is appreciated!!


you problem is a little odd... have you tried a different mag?

sounds like the extractor is missing the case all together. like all things chinese, quality control is an issue. perhaps the cases are out of spec? do they load, fire, and extract properly in other weapons? have you seen any extra crud in your chamber or noticed excessive gas discharge from the magwell? are the unfired rounds in the mag sooty after firing one of these things? I'd hesitate to use them... if your gun works flawlessly with the brass stuff and eats yugo with a FTF hiccup or two. there is something really "not right" with that Chinese ammo.

Mini 30 can be a fussy beast on ammo - the trick is to feed it what it likes, not what you want it to like. for a cheap blastin ammo - Try Silver bear. mine likes it and mine isn't alone -Silver bear is becoming the "go to" cheap ammo for Mini 30 shooters around here it's also loaded hotter than wolf - and flies similar to 35 dollar a box federal... decent stuff. yeah - it's a little dirty compared to the expensive stuffs... but I clean after every range session or hunting trip, weather the weapon is fired or not.
mine shoots brass (pmc, federal, winchester whitebox, etc.) all day no problem. wolf black box is a 50% FTF rate, wolf military classic is a 25% FTF havent tried yugo surp, tula, or anything else.

also at 200 rounds down the pipe - she's just barely broke in
try some silver bear 123 grain SP I think you'll be pleased. buy maybe 100 rounds or so of it and see how you like it. it's a buck or so more a box than the wolf crap... but it's still pretty cheap.

as for the pile you have that you don't trust - sell it to a guy with an SKS or AK at a slight discount, and then buy a pile of something you know works.

I think the prime strike issue came up - mainly because we were just trying to find you a good cheap ammo to shoot instead of the cheap ammo you are having issue with.
your extractor may be out of spec - if it's not grabbing certain cases... but other steel loads fires and extracts without problem?

as for the "does not eat all x39 ammo" issue with the 30 -yeah it sucks. but it was designed to fire civilian (brass cased boxer primed) ammo. not full bull assault rifle ammo with heavy primers meant for the operating system of the SKS and AK 47. which can slam fire and runaway with light primers.

think of it like a car that was designed or performance tuned to run on premium high octane gas. you put the cheap stuff in it... and it'll ping like a mofo and damage cylinders. there is so much stuff on the web about the fussyness of the mini 30 on ammo, in a hour of checking things out you can find the real scoop so potential owners have been warned... research before you buy. if someone wants a "eat anything x39" rifle it's going to be an AK, saiga, or SKS.
I knew what I was getting into when I got My 30, and was OK with it -I was pleasantly surprised when I got Silver bear to run in mine, and stuck with it.
I guess I'm OK with the 30's quirks because my 30 isn't my primary defense rifle - it's a hunting gun. it gets plenty of range love sure, and if needed it can do the job as a defensive rifle, however My mini 14 fills the home defense/SHTF niche and is set up for that. and since FMJ 55 grain 5.56/.223 ammo is pretty cheap (and easy to get in Hawaii) it gets most of the blasting itch out.
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Old 01-21-2012, 11:14   #14
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Yugo is not any more expensive than the steel cased stuff..... It is probably better to simply stick with yugo.

my 196 mini30 doesn't like Tulammo at all; Occasionally will misfire on wolf, but shoots everything else ok. I only feed it Yugo and golden bear these days, though.
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Old 01-21-2012, 12:54   #15
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extractor claw mis-timing

Locutus,
I think the root cause of your one-brand FTEs is probably a sticky hinge or spring associated with the extractor claw(s) on your gun's bolt. I think the extractor claw should not be engaging the extraction lip/rim during discharge of the round, by design, but swing in under spring force and engage the extraction lip of the cartridge as the bolt unlocks and/or slides back. I think you have a timing problem ("sensitivity"). Maybe the FTE-prone ammo is a little "hotter" than the other loads (or the gas pressure-vs-time curve is a little early-time-weighted) and the bolt unlocks or or moves faster than the spring can swing the extractor claw(s) in. Thereby, the extractor claw misses the extraction rim of the cartrige and you get an FTE. The good-extracting ammo cycles the action a little slower and allows time for the claw to swing in and grip.

I am new to Mini-mechanics, so someone else could probably explain the mechanism more precisely. Regardless, I think you should pull the bolt out, soak the extractor end in solvent or degrease it with spray degreaser, then dry it and re-lube it. Also make sure the extractor claws swing freely and smoothly, with only the expected spring tension. And that there IS substantial spring tension(!). Then run some known-good-extracting ammo through the rifle to work the lube in, then shoot the suspect FTE-prone ammo again and see what happens. If I am wrong, no harm done.

Would anyone in the General Assembly second the motion?!
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Old 01-21-2012, 13:33   #16
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This thread is breaking into two separate discussions, but very interesting none the less.

It would probably be impossible for Ruger to design the M30 to work with all ammo. Consider how many different factories in different countries using material from different suppliers with different standards and it is simply unreasonable to expect. It was designed to be a deer hunting rifle, so it makes sense that it was designed for American hunting ammo. I'm just glad it also works with most affordable, steel cased ammo. I say its the best compromise for a hunting gun that's cheap to practice with.
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Old 01-21-2012, 15:13   #17
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ditto bughunter. my M30 is a good hog/deer rifle in the eastern bush.
with 10 rd 'American' brand mags my 189 series is 100% reliable - and I have several of the mags. I have made a bayo mount that clamps on the barrel, the 'loop' on the bayo fits over the flash hider/brake
it's one of my 2 primary 'big guns'. the other an '06 bolt - 500 yds capable.
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Old 01-21-2012, 15:58   #18
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Mr. Snuffalupagus said:
your problem is a little odd... have you tried a different mag?
No Sir, only the 20 rounder that came with it, good point though!! I have a Ruger 5 rounder I will try tomorrow. And being in the Peoples Republik of NY getting more 20 rounders is a challenge.

sounds like the extractor is missing the case all together. like all things chinese, quality control is an issue. perhaps the cases are out of spec?
Sir, I measured the ChinaSports cases and they did not differentiate from any other cases more than .002"

do they load, fire, and extract properly in other weapons?
I have no idea, the M30 is the only weapon I have in this caliber . . this ChinaSports ammo was given to me by a friend whose husband passed away about 5 years ago, about 800+ rounds. They feed and fire fine, just do not extract.

have you seen any extra crud in your chamber or noticed excessive gas discharge from the magwell? are the unfired rounds in the mag sooty after firing one of these things? I'd hesitate to use them...
The chamber is clean and smooth, no excessive soot or gas discharge. I shoot M1As ALOT, in the .308 a sooty spent case = low pressure.

as for the pile you have that you don't trust - sell it to a guy with an SKS or AK at a slight discount, and then buy a pile of something you know works.
Copy that!

Thank you Sir for a very well written and informative response!!
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Old 01-21-2012, 16:07   #19
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Originally Posted by Bill_Rights View Post
Locutus,
I think the root cause of your one-brand FTEs is probably a sticky hinge or spring associated with the extractor claw(s) on your gun's bolt. I think the extractor claw should not be engaging the extraction lip/rim during discharge of the round, by design, but swing in under spring force and engage the extraction lip of the cartridge as the bolt unlocks and/or slides back. I think you have a timing problem ("sensitivity"). Maybe the FTE-prone ammo is a little "hotter" than the other loads (or the gas pressure-vs-time curve is a little early-time-weighted) and the bolt unlocks or or moves faster than the spring can swing the extractor claw(s) in. Thereby, the extractor claw misses the extraction rim of the cartrige and you get an FTE. The good-extracting ammo cycles the action a little slower and allows time for the claw to swing in and grip.

I am new to Mini-mechanics, so someone else could probably explain the mechanism more precisely. Regardless, I think you should pull the bolt out, soak the extractor end in solvent or degrease it with spray degreaser, then dry it and re-lube it. Also make sure the extractor claws swing freely and smoothly, with only the expected spring tension. And that there IS substantial spring tension(!). Then run some known-good-extracting ammo through the rifle to work the lube in, then shoot the suspect FTE-prone ammo again and see what happens. If I am wrong, no harm done.

Would anyone in the General Assembly second the motion?!
Sir, this is something I did not think of and deserves some more thought and research. Upon the last dis-assembly I did thoroughly degrease the bolt with brake cleaner then lubed it well with CLP. I will disassemble again and check operation/timing with respect to your post.

Thanks!!
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Old 01-21-2012, 16:45   #20
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Locutus,

I look forward to following what you learn from the range.

For what it may be worth, I purchased a Ruger P95 second hand back in the fall. I had been wanting one for some time, the P89 having been one of my very first pistols. I had problems with it not cycling properly that turned out to be nothing other than a dirty extractor. A really thorough cleaning was all that it took to get the gun working flawlessly, like a P95 should. Sometimes, a thorough disassembly, cleaning and reassembly works wonders. But not always.

In this case, there seems to be something specific to this ammo. I just don't know WHAT. I'll be fascinated to see what you learn. Good luck.
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Old 01-21-2012, 17:21   #21
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I'm no expert on this. But I've been told pin depth is critical for the harder primer ammo. (IE: Most surplus stuff.)

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Old 01-21-2012, 22:21   #22
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Locutus said:
Upon the last dis-assembly I did thoroughly degrease the bolt with brake cleaner then lubed it well with CLP.
OK, so if you've already cleaned this area like I suggested, then either
1) As Mosinka said, it might just need a more thorough cleaning with special attention to the extractor areas OR
2) You might try to trace the extractor/claw actuation mechanism "upstream" one or two steps. What activates the claw to grab? Maybe that mechanism is sticking a little (or slightly out of mechanical machining spec), thus creating a "timing issue" with the pressure-vs-time curve of this one kind of ammo?

On the other hand,
Adjuster said:
Does the extractor get hung up on anything ... Fail to fully engage the rim for example? ... Is your bolt hitting on anything that might prevent that full forward movement, not just seating the case, but firmly allowing the extractor to clip around the rim, ready to extract that case after it's fired?
So Adjuster thinks the extractor is supposed to be fully engaging the extraction lip of the cartridge before the round fires. If that is true, then my initial idea about the extractor engaging while the bolt is on the way out is wrong. (I will disassemble my Mini-30 also and see if I can determine the design-intended sequence.)

If Adjuster's idea of the sequence of actions is correct, and it may well be, then I would start looking for every other possible irregularity with this brand of cartridges and how they are after firing. Is the overall length (OAL) or shoulder length preventing the cartridge from fully seating? And being crushed by the closing bolt? Is there any primer bulge after firing? Or base deformation, for that matter? Any strange nicks, splitting, stretch marks or other blemishes on the fired casing? Measure the diameter profile of the pre-fired cartridge down the length of the brass (OK, steel) casing; I think it might be under-sized. Do these rounds have a different felt recoil than other ammo? Basically what I am getting at is, within Adjuster's pre-firing-claw-grabs-rim scenario, what kind of weird detonation, vibration, movement of the cartridge, deformation or shifting might be going on that dislodges the extractor from the rim during or shortly after discharge of the round? Another related thing. Do you lube the walls of the firing chamber? These inner walls should be all but bone dry. The casing is supposed to swell upon detonation of the powder and momentarily "lock" the casing into the chamber, thus transmitting most of the shock (recoil) straight to the base of the barrel and preventing the bolt and lugs from having to bear those forces. Did someone accidentally dump oil on these casings? Is the polymer or lacquer coating on the steel case slick as eel doodoo? Anyway, you get the idea - some sort of detonation shock or movement might be momentarily opening the claws/extractor, just when/before the withdrawing bolt needs them to be firmly gripped.
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Old 01-22-2012, 12:33   #23
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Guys, thanks for all the great responses.

I took the rifle to the range today to test 5 different brands of ammo.

The problem is getting worse. I started with my reloads, FTE every 5 rnds or so whereas last week I shot 50 with no FTEs. Not a good start.

Then I went to Privi Partizan FMJ, FTE about 1 in 5. Then went to the Yugo Surplus, same deal. I stopped wasting ammo at that point.

I used 2 different mags, a Ruger 5 rounder and a Ruger 20 rounder.

I'm done mucking about with it, I am sending it back to Ruger this week.
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Old 01-22-2012, 13:24   #24
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well, at least you know it's not the ammo...
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Old 01-22-2012, 13:59   #25
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Originally Posted by Locutus_of_Borg View Post
Guys, thanks for all the great responses.

I took the rifle to the range today to test 5 different brands of ammo.

The problem is getting worse. I started with my reloads, FTE every 5 rnds or so whereas last week I shot 50 with no FTEs. Not a good start.

Then I went to Privi Partizan FMJ, FTE about 1 in 5. Then went to the Yugo Surplus, same deal. I stopped wasting ammo at that point.

I used 2 different mags, a Ruger 5 rounder and a Ruger 20 rounder.

I'm done mucking about with it, I am sending it back to Ruger this week.
Definately sounds like an extractor/bolt issue. You have done a good job troubleshooting. Good luck.
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7.62x39, 7.62x39 tactical rifle, ammo problems, mini-30 problems, mini-30 tactical, steel cased ammo, tactical mini-30

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