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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright, I am a little stumped.
A couple weeks ago my mini-14 started having trouble. When a round is chambered I cannot manually work the bolt. Which means I can only unload by firing!
I took it apart, cleaned it and it didn't make a difference. I am guessing something is bent or out of whack, but I am new to the mini-14 and can't on initial inspection find a part that seems out of true. I am going to take her apart again, any ideas?
Thanks!
 

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Make sure you have the operating rod rear spring locator in the correct position.
 

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You said "take it apart again" I just thought maybe something was mislocated. The part that will jam the slide is called the buffer guide rod. If it bevel is down instead of up is will restrict rear travel of the bolt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I only took it apart the first time to see why the bolt wouldn't manually operate with a round chambered. It was my second time firing this particular rifle. After this first I just gave it a quick oiling and barrel cleaning. I'm not sure if it was misbehaving then as I never manually ejected a round.
 

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When I got my Mini last month, I took it apart, cleaned it, lubed it and put it back together. What SR40Ken is saying, sounds like the same problem I had. When reassembling the recoil spring and guide rod, you want the flange of the end of the assembly to be closest to the barrel (up, if the rifle were right side up). I did it backwards and the bolt would only open a little way and was very rough. I had to essentially force the bolt closed by hitting the charging handle really hard with the palm of my hand and it would slam home.

Here's a screenshot from the Ruger video showing the correct orientation:



Assembled correctly, it should work smoothly and allow you to manipulate the bolt as you need to.

Do you have snap caps that you can put in there to test? I'd hate for you to end up with a gun that has a live round stuck in the chamber. If not, wait until you get to the range to test it. You'll know if it's wrong as soon as you take it apart though so you shouldn't need to test it with a round, unless you have the snap caps and want to check for proper ejection.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I actually ordered some snap caps today just for this.
Just to be clear though, this started before I ever disassembled it and it was factory when I got it. The bolt operates smoothly empty, and ejecting a spent cartridge, it just locks when a round is chambered. I did reassemble it the way I took it out, so if it was wrong way round from the factory, then that might be it!
Thanks, guys.
 

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Keep us posted on it!
 

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laquered steel case ammo ?? instant glue
Possibly, but doubtful. I've run some Brown Bear through mine with no issues at all. Plus, he said it runs fine if he fires it and if there's nothing in it. It's just when a round is chambered, he can't eject it manually.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I got a half dozen snap caps and loaded them in a magazine and cycled it. Worked fine. I was stumped a little bit and loaded them in a different mag and they worked. Loaded them in a third and they still worked. I have been firing winchester brand .223. It must be the ammo?
 

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I got a half dozen snap caps and loaded them in a magazine and cycled it. Worked fine. I was stumped a little bit and loaded them in a different mag and they worked. Loaded them in a third and they still worked. I have been firing winchester brand .223. It must be the ammo?
Strange... Maybe check the casings on that Winchester ammo and see if they look enlarged or have blemishes (burs, wrinkles, etc.). That's really wild though.

At least it's working. Next time you go to the range, just load up a handful in a magazine and try working the action by hand to see what it does.
 

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Make sure the bolt lock open mechanism is correctly installed. I bought my mini in April of 2011 from Big Five and it had problems from the get go. Had to send it back to Ruger. Give their customer service a call and they might be able to walk you through it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93XmX2IIjQQ&feature=my_favorites&list=FL1J3RDprHs5vGvgnWtdkZxw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPnDqy-p_qE&feature=my_favorites&list=FL1J3RDprHs5vGvgnWtdkZxw

These might help, if you haven't seen them before
 

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Have you been lubing it like a Garand? It takes some slightly heavier lube on the oprod channel, the slide where the op rod fits into the receiver and some lube on the bolt lug where it locks into the oprod. There are a couple of spots where the bolt rides in the receiver as well. I use some 90 wt. gear grease mixed about 50/50 with light weight Remoil. kwg
 

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The gun should cycle easily with absolutely no lube. In fact, lube in the chamber could very easily cause headspace issues, not to mention a bore obstruction. Have you tried any other ammo? Never assume anything on the basis of one lot of ammo. It's rare, but ammo can be distorted if mishandled. (You know, like being dropped out of a truck at 80 MPH.)

If it were reloaded ammo, matters involving case resizing and bullet seating depth would be the cause in almost all situations, but you say it's factory grade, so just be sure it has no obvious distortions.

Having eliminated ammo as the problem, it certainly sounds like a headspace issue that's seizing the bolt. Snap caps are not by any means GO/NO GO gauges and are not sized to SAAMI specs. Whether they feed bears on nothing and tells you only that you have a gun that will feed snap caps and nothing more. They are only for cushioning a firing pin. Headspace issues can be artificially created by oil or grease in the chamber, which is a very hazardous, life threatening situation in all regards. Never put any lube of any sort inside the chamber, or where it could migrate into the bore. Ever.

The operating rod and buffer bushing will jam even without a round if inverted, so that's not the issue. Clean the bore thoroughly and look into the chamber with an angled bore mirror light.

If you can't get it narrowed down in ten minutes, it's time to call Ruger so they can fix it, or at least they'll have a tech handy to speak with you.
 
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