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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't know if this is normal, but my Ruger Mini-14 Tactical Model 5889 acts very strangely when loading magazines with the bolt closed/forward. When I load in any magazine, if there is a cartridge on the right side of the magazine's feed lips, it will not push into the rifle. However, if I put a cartridge on the left side, it will push in, although with a modicum of force. If I then load a Ruger-made 30 round magazine with 29-30 rounds, it will not insert with the bolt closed, even if the cartridge on the feed lips is on the left side. If I take out bullets from my 30 round magazine until there's only 24 rounds in the 30 round magazine, it will fit in again, when the cartridge is on the left side. I tried putting an empty cartridge into the left side of the fully loaded 30 round magazine, and it fit well enough with very little resistance.

Empty mags fit in fine, under any circumstance.

I've used OEM 20 round magazines at the range and it feeds perfectly and runs well. Same with the 30 round magazines.

In all instances the magazine doesn't fit in, I can force it into the rifle, and it will click in place very softly and feed and function perfectly. However, the first round in the magazine is krinked, scratched, dented and bent slightly.

Is this normal?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
You know now I'm thinking the Mini-14 30 round magazine has too much friction, I'm going to see if lubricating it will make it fall back easier.
 

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IN 30 round AR mags I only load them to 28. The bolt doesn't always close on a round when I have 30 in. The rounds are stuffed in there just too tight. I put in 28 so it is dependable. This is just one of the Mini's idiosyncrasy's. As I recall from the owners manual it says to load a new magazine when the bolt is open. For a tactical reload this is a real negative. The Mini magazines just don't seem to insert when the bolt is close and the magazine is topped off or nearly topped off. If the spring has aged in the magazine and it is not so tight, this may help. Until then, I suggest you down load by 2 rounds.
kwg
 

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FWIW: I only have mini-30 mags for Ruger American Ranch 762x39. Never had a problem like this. Your left-right symptom is really strange, though may be a clue to someone like Ruger Customer service. Maybe the follower is getting pushed somewhat sideways enough to do that, but that's just a guess. Could also be a feed lip anomaly. Excess mag spring pressure can be a problem getting mags loaded to full capacity or getting rounds to load when mag is full.

Calling Ruger is safest course. They might send you another mag for free.

But if you feel comfortable trying something before calling Ruger, your post on lubing the mag would be worth a try. It might make things smooth enough to overcome the spring pressure. Clean the mag inside. I have had good luck using Hornady OneShot GUN cleaner (not the case lube) in cleaning magazines. Leaves a durable dry lube film. I've used it on metal and plastic with good results and no problems. While mag is apart, look for rough edges on the follower and feed lips. If you feel up to it, lightly sand off rough spots.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
FWIW: I only have mini-30 mags for Ruger American Ranch 762x39. Never had a problem like this. Your left-right symptom is really strange, though may be a clue to someone like Ruger Customer service. Maybe the follower is getting pushed somewhat sideways enough to do that, but that's just a guess. Could also be a feed lip anomaly. Excess mag spring pressure can be a problem getting mags loaded to full capacity or getting rounds to load when mag is full.

Calling Ruger is safest course. They might send you another mag for free.

But if you feel comfortable trying something before calling Ruger, your post on lubing the mag would be worth a try. It might make things smooth enough to overcome the spring pressure. Clean the mag inside. I have had good luck using Hornady OneShot GUN cleaner (not the case lube) in cleaning magazines. Leaves a durable dry lube film. I've used it on metal and plastic with good results and no problems. While mag is apart, look for rough edges on the follower and feed lips. If you feel up to it, lightly sand off rough spots.

Good luck.
Cleaning the mag didn't help. Ruger sent me a reply though, they want to see the gun for themselves. I'll keep this thread posted.
 

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IN 30 round AR mags I only load them to 28. The bolt doesn't always close on a round when I have 30 in. The rounds are stuffed in there just too tight. I put in 28 so it is dependable. This is just one of the Mini's idiosyncrasy's. As I recall from the owners manual it says to load a new magazine when the bolt is open. For a tactical reload this is a real negative. The Mini magazines just don't seem to insert when the bolt is close and the magazine is topped off or nearly topped off. If the spring has aged in the magazine and it is not so tight, this may help. Until then, I suggest you down load by 2 rounds.
kwg
With my 583 series Mini 14, all of my Ruger 5, 10, and 20 round magazines will insert and lock-in on a closed bolt when fully loaded. It is much easier to insert them on a locked-open bolt, though. Yes, the Ruger Mini series instruction manual states to insert loaded magazines with a locked-open bolt.

As for "tactical" reloads... Hmmmm.

UserMan100: you mention the difficulty with 30 round magazines. What about with Ruger 20 round magazines?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
With my 583 series Mini 14, all of my Ruger 5, 10, and 20 round magazines will insert and lock-in on a closed bolt when fully loaded. It is much easier to insert them on a locked-open bolt, though. Yes, the Ruger Mini series instruction manual states to insert loaded magazines with a locked-open bolt.

As for "tactical" reloads... Hmmmm.

UserMan100: you mention the difficulty with 30 round magazines. What about with Ruger 20 round magazines?
The same issue occurs if I fully load the 20 round mags. If I load only 18 rounds, it fits and clicks in fine closed bolt without denting any cartridge. If I load any cartridge in from the right side in the magazine, so if I put an odd number, it will not load in without significant force (and it dents the hell out of the first cartridge), and only loads in with a right-side cartridge when the magazine is near half or less than half full.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So I have some news. The 20 round mags now fit flush with a nice click, and a very tiny tiny insignificant dent on the top of the first cartridge. I've heard from others that it's a mag issue, so I kept my 30rd mag fully loaded to stretch it out. My first 30rd mag now can load 20 rounds without denting the cartridge, and I can load 24 cartridges too and it won't dent. So I'm going to keep them fully loaded for a while and see if they can finally let me carry at least 28 and click in closed bolt.

I also called Ruger and they told me I shouldn't ship it because I'm supposed to load it open bolt. I refuse to concede to that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The issue is resolved. The issue was the ammo itself. The ammo I was using was wolf brass 5.56, and apparently that ammo has really weak brass compared to lake city 5.56 or steel case ammo. I loaded a lake city green tip on as the first exposed cartridge after loading 29 other cartridges and it fit right in perfectly because it was strong enough to resist being dented. Same with the steel cased ammo.
 

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...I also called Ruger and they told me I shouldn't ship it because I'm supposed to load it open bolt. I refuse to concede to that.
I nearly always insert loaded magazines in to my Mini 14 on a locked-open bolt. All of my magazines can be inserted fully-loaded with a closed bolt, but it's easier to do it on an open bolt.
 
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