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Discussion Starter #1
Just picked up a new Mini 30 this morning, and except for a few rounds of 7.62x39 ammo that a friend gave to me, I haven't really had much of a chance to try it out yet.

This is my first semi-auto centerfire rifle (except for a PC4 in the 90's). I have to admit that it's really a lot of fun to shoot. I've got the SS version with synthetic stock.

I do have a few questions about the rifle, and I'm sure I'll probably come up with more in the months to come. I'd sure appreciate any help with some of these questions.

Ammo...Steel-cased Russian ammo ok for practice? Age of rifle...although I bought it new, the cardboard box it came in has a 2010 date on it. Any way to find out the date of mfr? Can I dry fire the rifle without damaging anything?

I'm just going to be shooting this for fun, mostly, and won't have the $$ to stockpile thousands of rounds of ammo. I've bought handgun ammo from Ammo to Go and Wally World, and was wondering if there might be other sources of practice ammo that will work in the Mini 30?

Using (I think it was Iowegan's) "momentum" calculations, the 7.62x30's 123gr bullet moving along at around 2500-3000fps goes way off the "effective" self-defense range of values (20-30), and I was wondering if this might be a good "go to" gun for home defense...or is it just too strong a cartridge for this use? I live in a brick, single family home, but do have neighbors less than 15 yards away.

Thanks for any help with these questions, or for any suggestions you all could give to me in using my new Mini 30.
 

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I have a MINI-14 I shoot steelcase ammo in haven't had any problems. My 7.62x39 is a SKS. I think it is a bit much for HD. I use 12ga turkey loads or pistol for HD.
 

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I have a Mini-30, tricked out a bit and shoot a lot of Russian ammo thru it. It is a fun gun for outdoor use. I would urge caution using it inside, expecially with your neighbors so close. My cloest is 150 yards away from my homes outside walls...and I still would close something else for HD... a 12 or 20 gauge, a handgun with 38 or 44 special ammo. The concept of one gun or caliber works for ALL situations is not true , and you need to rethink the HD part of your needs.
The Mini-30 is a good hunting and general shooting rifle.
AL
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for your replies. The more I think about it, the more I have to agree that a 20 or 12 guage, or one of my non-magnum handgun calibers would be more useful for HD.

I guess I asked the question about the Mini 30 because of a post I remembered some time ago where people were discussing which handgun caliber would be ideal for HD use. The poster mentioned that he apparently considered all handgun calibers 'anemic', and that the he'd only use his 40- something caliber handgun to fight his way to his rifle in a home defense scenario.

I kind of wondered about that statement, considering that many on these forums actually recommend .38 spl wadcutter loads as ideal for home defense.

Please, my intention here is not to start a caliber war, but only to look at the best use for my new Mini 30.

Thanks again.
 

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if you're looking for bulk 7.62 x 39, look no further than SGAmmo.com. any of the russian stuff there will work great.

stock up now because this stuff is getting more and more scarce. if you can manage a 1000, do it. more if you can.

the tulammo from walmart that runs 4.97 per 20 is great too. there's some old wives tales about not using russian ammo in the mini-30. ignore it. buy what you can. remember the adage--buy it cheap, stack it deep.
 

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I have an older Mini 30 ranch rifle, and I also have a stainless Mini 14. They are both fun rifles to shoot but my 30 seems to group a lot tighter over iron sights than my 14. I usually run a middle of the road brass cased ammo through my guns. I'm not to wild about steel cased ammo, but that's just my personal preference. As a collector of vintage and antique firearms, I've made it a habit of never dry-firing any guns. I know some guns are safe to dry fire, but I don't want to take the chance on which is which. Broken firing pins and strikers for old guns can be hard to find and costly. For home defense I still prefer a pump shotgun. Just racking a round will send all but the dumbest baddies packing.....
 

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I have trouble with TULAMMO, takes two strikes to fire most of it in my mini-30. WPA however works just fine, no trouble. I was cautioned not to really heat up the gun using steel cased, I don't know how big a deal that is but I've heard of laquered cases getting "glued" in. My understanding is this applies to rapid fire, bump, full auto mod (not that anyone would do that) etc... With casual/normal shooting it should not be an issue.

Enjoy! I love mine, look at shootfastfun on YouTube to see a vid of mine being fired.

Dang... Now you got me itching to shoot, I feel a new video coming on. :)
 

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Kal,
I think you are forming a good plan for your HD situation. A short-barreled shotgun or the 38 Spl/ 9mm handgun that you feel comfortable using in 'stressful' situations will work well for you.

It is easy to 'overgun' for HD, but the real need is for practice, practice, and more practice, to gain the skills to master the stressful situation.
Good Luck
AL
 

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Hi Kal. As a fellow
'newbie" I was a bit overwhelmed at first by the amount of "stuff" you can do with accessories for these rifles. Though the newer Mini 30s are said to be more accurate than earlier models, I went ahead and invested in an Accu Strut for mine. I plan to do some shooting without it first and then after I install it I will make comparisons. Regardless, it is kinda neat looking. : ) Hope our anticipation is well rewarded with good performance. Seems to be a solid rifle.
 

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I just got a new Mini 14 this week and I tried three different types of ammo (Wolf and American Eagle in .223 and one other in 5.56). The steel-cased ammo shot just as well as the others and the gun ran very clean. From what I understand and from all I've learned with my internet research (I know, not everything on the internet is true), the Minis will eat anything. If I were you (and I did this myself), I'd go buy 20 or 50 round boxes of 5 different kinds of ammo. See which ones it likes and which ones it doesn't. Get anything from $5 to $12 per box (25-50 cents per round) and see what it likes. If something jams or doesn't work as well, cross it off the list. Find the cheapest possible ammunition that gives you reliable results. You're not trying to win competitions with this thing. Otherwise you'd be shooting custom hand loads with a harmonic dampener. You're shooting tin cans and rocks. Get it to shoot minute-of-squirrel with a 35-cent round and plink away. That's what I'm doing with my Mini-14.

As for HD, I'd probably not go using that rifle. For one, you may penetrate more than just your bad guy and you don't want the darn lawyers throwing that thing up on the evidence table as an "assault rifle" and saying you went all rambo on the guy.

Just my 2 cents.
 

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if you're looking for bulk 7.62 x 39, look no further than SGAmmo.com. any of the russian stuff there will work great.

stock up now because this stuff is getting more and more scarce. if you can manage a 1000, do it. more if you can.

the tulammo from walmart that runs 4.97 per 20 is great too. there's some old wives tales about not using russian ammo in the mini-30. ignore it. buy what you can. remember the adage--buy it cheap, stack it deep.
My mini30 will not fire wolf, tulammo, golden bear or any russian ammo. Even bought heavy spring kit from accuracy systems, no luck. It will fire the shit out of hornady sst steel but can't afford that stuff and brass i can no longer locate for a bulk reasonable price.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Ok then...I've got some ammo on order for my Mini 30, I think I can get it apart and back together again for routine cleaning/lubrication.

I can see I'm gonna want to eventually set this rifle up to make it easier for me to handle and shoot.

First I need a source for stuff like maybe a folding stock, mounting a dot sight (my aging eyes are having trouble with the aperture/post setup from the factory...I can't focus on the front sight really well.

I have an inexpensive Tasco dot sight with a 30mm tube. Is the best method for mounting sights/scopes on this rifle by using the Ruger mounting milled onto the receiver, or should I be looking to mount something more forward?

If I use the existing ring mounting points, I'm gonna either need a sight with a 1" diameter tube, or get some 30mm rings (mine are buggered up from over tightening in the past 15 years). I have a Weigand base that I bought for my PC4, and if I remove the rear sight, I could use that mount with any weaver-style rings.

I think I'm gonna need a part time job to start paying for any changes I want to make in the future, but for now, I'd be happy to be able to see and hit a target by adding a dot sight. Since I won't be doing any hunting with the Mini 30, and my back won't put up with any long treks up and down hillsides to set up and inspect targets at long ranges, I think a dot will work out ok.

Oh, by the way paddlesport, have you come on any really good accessory sources for the Mini's?

Thanks.
 

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Ok then...I've got some ammo on order for my Mini 30, I think I can get it apart and back together again for routine cleaning/lubrication.

I can see I'm gonna want to eventually set this rifle up to make it easier for me to handle and shoot.

First I need a source for stuff like maybe a folding stock, mounting a dot sight (my aging eyes are having trouble with the aperture/post setup from the factory...I can't focus on the front sight really well.

I have an inexpensive Tasco dot sight with a 30mm tube. Is the best method for mounting sights/scopes on this rifle by using the Ruger mounting milled onto the receiver, or should I be looking to mount something more forward?

If I use the existing ring mounting points, I'm gonna either need a sight with a 1" diameter tube, or get some 30mm rings (mine are buggered up from over tightening in the past 15 years). I have a Weigand base that I bought for my PC4, and if I remove the rear sight, I could use that mount with any weaver-style rings.

I think I'm gonna need a part time job to start paying for any changes I want to make in the future, but for now, I'd be happy to be able to see and hit a target by adding a dot sight. Since I won't be doing any hunting with the Mini 30, and my back won't put up with any long treks up and down hillsides to set up and inspect targets at long ranges, I think a dot will work out ok.

Oh, by the way paddlesport, have you come on any really good accessory sources for the Mini's?

Thanks.
You might want to look into these: Ruger Mini 14 Scope Mount Weaver Picatinny

You could then attach any weaver-style rings to it with any optic you want. Your other option is to get a set of 30mm Ruger rings. If your Mini came with the 1" rings, Ruger will swap them out for free. Just call them and tell them you want the 30mm rings and they'll have you send in the 1" ones and send you a replacement set in 30mm.
 

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I'm new to the mini 30 mini 14 was service rifle in Az. and Nv. Department of Corrections. Ireally apprciate the info Thx guys
 

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I have owned my Mini 30 for about 6 years now. I shoot mostly steel cased ammo in it. That stuff is plenty accurate for what I do. I reload 123SP for deer hunting. We have shot many deer with the SP ammo, out to 150 yards. This gun is a really good deer gun. The gun is topped with a red dot scope. The set up works very well for hunting and plinking.
 

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I like the Tulammo 223. It is boxer primed, so it's easier on the firing pin. My Mini 14 has never had a problem with it. If I had a Mini 30 I would stick to boxer primed vs. berdan due to the firing pin problems some have had. IDK if the 7.62x39 is berdan or boxer primed.
 

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Norinco Steal Jacket

I have just picked up a good quantity of Norinco Steal Jacket Lead cored bullets for my SKS. I picked it up as it was labelled lead core. When I did the magnet test it faile. Will it hurt my Mini 30?

Thanks

Kenner
 

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I am another Mini 30 Owner too, but I have extensively researched this gun and have the following conclusions:
1) We have 3+ SKS's that have run at least 3-4 cases (1k-1.2k ea./10k total?) thru each without a single misfire remembered. I would expect the AK guys would attest to the same. My Mini 30 has fired around 500 rounds with about 1/10 misfires).
2) The finish on all of these rounds varied from no finish at all to a variety of painted(?) or coatings. None all of the rounds (including those in tin cans) showed any corrosive damage but some might have some oil coatings.
3) The foreign ammo suppliers seem to always be steel cased.
4) When the 7,62x39 ammo craze started, the ammo was around $80/1220 or something like that. We didn't know anyone that really cared to reload because nobody could reload anything that cheap. We reload a LOT but it doesn't make sense to reload with the cheap ammo so cheap. We have shot SKS's for almost 20+ years.

When I purchased the Mini 30 3 years ago, we were very excited to have this rifle, and a Mini-relative of the 14!!! While I wasn't able to shoot the gun for over a year after the purchase, we EXPECTED the SKS ammo to be usable. Usuable does NOT mean with random dead rounds. The industry would never accept failure rate even 1/500 or more and I except 10k+ would be required.
What is left is the gun......NOT the ammo.
The gun is very clean, and is operating as designed (except for the firing pin problem). The firing pin "erection" is really too short to work for all ammo and appears to be minimal towards the minimum required to do the job. Secondly, the firing pin is limited by the housing that limits the amount of protrusion. Installing a heavier spring (Acc.Systems) won't push the fining pin farther but might hit slightly harder. At best, that is a minimal solution to a bigger problem. Blaming coatings or laquer/finish on the cartridges is also a ruse. This hasn't been a problem on the other guns either. My research on others attempts to return the guns for corrections/repairs/fix leaves a result in a (new) requirement to only us US made/brass cartridges.
For me, this is a NO-GO solution, with a requirement that wasn't provided at the sale.
Look guys, very few if ANY would buy a Mini 30 (or any other gun) knowing the factory won't let the usual and customary ammo to be used.
I spent 2X the price of a SKS or AK hoping the better quality and price would be ensured. I have to tell you, this has been a real disappointment.
For the record, The SKS's were used and virtually every gun we own was purchased new (including the Mini 30). I have a Mark 1 and Mark 2 target guns and several 10/22's among other Ruger products. I have been a faithful "salesman" for Ruger products but this is a definitely not what I was expecting.

Possible solution?
a) Manufacture a slightly longer (perhaps .0015-.002") firing pin or,
b) slightly enlarge the fining pin hole (to allow the fin to move slightly forward) or,
c) a combination of a&b together.

Please spare me the foreign ammo comments. I didn't change the meaning of 7.62x39, and my intent was the same as almost everyone else I studied/researched. We don't have any problems with any ammo in any of our AR's from whatever the sources (5.56/.223/etc., foreign or domestic).
 
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