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View Full Version : Thoughts on Mini-30


all torque
10-14-2012, 11:50 AM
What's the story with them? What is your guys experience with them? I searched the forum but couldn't find much. I would like to purchase one but don't what to look for.

Mossy Man
10-14-2012, 11:55 AM
I wouldn't get a mini 30. They have some issues with russian steel sometimes, and that's what you buy a 7.62x39mm to use. There are some remedies, however why gamble?

Get a Saiga 7.62 if you want a featureless 7.62 russian.

Mini-14 is GTG, though.

56Chevy
10-14-2012, 12:05 PM
I agree, get the Saiga 7.62 and 2000 rounds of Wolf ammo for about the same price.

3GunFunShooter
10-14-2012, 12:06 PM
+1 on what Mossy Man wrote.
For the best information on any Mini, go to www.perfectunion.com,
over 150,000 postings on the Mini,14,30,6.8. It is the source for all things MINI.

prob
10-14-2012, 12:25 PM
The mini 30 is a nice semiauto rifle that will work without fail. As long as you keep in mind the parameters that it was designed for and don't expect minute of angle accuracy, you should be happy with your purchase. The mini 30 is very similar to the mini 14, and in fact there are a number of parts that will interchange. If you'd like to do a little hunting, target shooting, or plinking, the mini 30 will acquit itself well. One thing I'd recommend would be to replace the gas bushing with one having a much smaller inside diameter. This will help prevent your brass from being thrown into the next county.

If you don't plan on rapid firing hundreds of rounds of lacquer coated ammunition at a session, you'll never have any problems with feeding or extraction. Remember, not everyone who has a semiauto rifle blazes away like they're in a battlefield.

I have both Saigas and minis, and although I enjoy them both, the mini 30 is a nice, relatively refined American made product that instills much more pride of ownership than the roughly finished Russian rifles.

Mossy Man
10-14-2012, 12:34 PM
Also, wolf extra power hammer springs will reduce light strikes on russian berdan primers, which is the most common problem with mini 30s.

If you like the mini platform, however, the mini14 is just a better gun.

Powerkraut
10-14-2012, 1:04 PM
Why buy a mini-30 when the SKS and Saiga exist? The latter two were designed to function with steel case ammo, are renowned for their reliability, a few hundred dollars less, and they both have history to them.

all torque
10-14-2012, 2:00 PM
I already have an SKS, just looking for something different in that caliber. I have no interest in the 14 because I already own an AR and plan on getting another lower for my extra upper. So steel ammo is a no go or just the coated stuff?

Mossy Man
10-14-2012, 2:40 PM
It will work relatively reliably, just get extra power springs if you have light strikes

cannon
10-14-2012, 3:09 PM
I never understood the Mini 30. It's a well made quality rifle so I'd hate to run cheap corrosive fourth world ammo through it.

I'd hate to buy a nice rifle and potentially ruin it with raggedy ammo.

Mossy Man
10-14-2012, 3:27 PM
I never understood the Mini 30. It's a well made quality rifle so I'd hate to run cheap corrosive fourth world ammo through it.

I'd hate to buy a nice rifle and potentially ruin it with raggedy ammo.

Thus we are presented with the enigma of the purpose of the mini 30.....a nice rifle chambered in a dirty third world cartridge.

The vast majority of 7.62x39 is russian steel. A lot of it is non-corrosive nowadays, though. They just have hard milspec primers and polymer coating.

The mjni30 itself was an afterthought..... Initially ruger was developing the XGI14, which was a scaled down m14. Riddled with reliability ajd accuracy problems, they eventually scrapped it jn. 308 and gave up. A few years later, the mini30 pops up. It was an answer for those who wanted a. 30 cal rifle but they could still use the original mini platform.

The only problem is that it was designed to run brass.

FiveSeven
10-14-2012, 4:35 PM
Mini 30 is not a very good rifle.
This is why. Its not milled or stamped (like AK, Saiga etc) but it's cast receiver.
Cast receivers can and will fail after extensive/excessive use. I've seen Mini 14's with cracked receivers that were sent back to factory. The most likely for receiver to fail is on the lower cross bar section.
There's absolutely nothing good about investment casting, if anything they should lower the cost just because of that.

In theory it looks like a decent rifle but I'd chose something else in that caliber as some already pointed out, 7.62x39mm is and should be cheap, no need for expensive brass ammo and not to mention it's rare as well.

durandal
10-14-2012, 6:26 PM
I bought one and found its performance subpar. It was not accurate with russian steel cased ammo. Apparently not designed for those rounds. May have functioned better with commercial stuff but i wanted it to shoot the cheapest .30 available in bulk-- the russian stuff. I found a crappy AK was more accurate and operated with fewer malfunctions. Mini had light primer strikes and some of the the third party magazines had feeding issues. Plus bill ruger doesn't think you deserve to own firearms.

CGT80
10-14-2012, 7:10 PM
I have a mini 14 target model (223 only). I love it and also love my Ruger 10/22 and Ruger Hunter pistol.

If I buy a 30 cal semi auto, it will be either an M1a or M1 Garand. I also happen to like 30-06.

I have heard less than great things about the Mini 30 as well. I also don't need 2 mini's, and I am not yet a big fan of AR rifles.

The above advice is all good. I used gas bushings from Gun Doc at perfect union. His smithing business is Great West Gun smithing. The medium bushing really helped keep the brass closer, but I am going to try the small bushing next weekend. The stock mini threw brass 10' up and 40+ feet to the right. It bounced off the underside of the metal canopy at lytle creek firing line.

sigstroker
10-14-2012, 7:35 PM
The Mini-30 came out at a time when the prevalent 7.62x39 ammo was Chinese with brass cases. Other than being slightly corrosive, it was pretty clean shooting stuff.

Why have one? It can use high-cap magazines. I don't know if you can say that about a Saiga.

Oneaudiopro
10-14-2012, 7:40 PM
Mini 30 is not a very good rifle.
This is why. Its not milled or stamped (like AK, Saiga etc) but it's cast receiver.
Cast receivers can and will fail after extensive/excessive use. I've seen Mini 14's with cracked receivers that were sent back to factory. The most likely for receiver to fail is on the lower cross bar section.
There's absolutely nothing good about investment casting, if anything they should lower the cost just because of that.

In theory it looks like a decent rifle but I'd chose something else in that caliber as some already pointed out, 7.62x39mm is and should be cheap, no need for expensive brass ammo and not to mention it's rare as well.

Complete and total BS.

Bug Splat
10-14-2012, 7:52 PM
Mini-30 is not even close to being as good as a Saiga. Don't waste your money on one. My LGS has at least 3 used Mini-30's on consignment that have been there for 8+ years. Never met anyone happy with their's.

Stardude82
10-14-2012, 8:00 PM
Seems like an awful lot of money for one of those things. Since you are already invested in an AR, what about an 7.62x39 upper? Seems you should be able to build one for less than a mini-30.
http://www.ar15.com/content/page.html?id=558

brianm767
10-14-2012, 8:36 PM
I'd take a Mini 30 over a Saiga any day, sorry but the Saiga just doesn't for any thing for me. Now as far as reliability with steel ammo I don't know about that. And I wouldn't worry about the cast receiver I believe even a Springfield Armory M1A has a cast receiver. .

FiveSeven
10-14-2012, 9:00 PM
Complete and total BS.

BS is when someone it making things up. I have little bit more experience with them and after seeing them at the armory and talking to armorer/smith I know what I'm talking about ( yes I shoot Minis as a job req). I clearly see what large amount of shooting does to them.
I'll go to say that Mini in general in POS rifle. Less accurate then AK nor better made.

Oneaudiopro
10-14-2012, 9:05 PM
BS is when someone it making things up. I have little bit more experience with them and after seeing them at the armory and talking to armorer/smith I know what I'm talking about ( yes I shoot Minis as a job req). I clearly see what large amount of shooting does to them.
I'll go to say that Mini in general in POS rifle. Less accurate then AK nor better made.

Even MORE BS. You obviously don't have a clue what you're talking about regardless of your job claims.

FiveSeven
10-14-2012, 9:08 PM
That's alright, I'm not on a mission to have you believe me.... Go buy another, it's your freedom.

Squid
10-14-2012, 11:38 PM
It is 'real world accurate' in that for quick off hand shooting it is "sick". Nicer to pull trigger with than AK.

It is nice fun shooting gun, more fun than mini-14 with its sharper 'crack'.

But like others have said, for serious gun...look elsewhere(IMO).

If I was getting good brass ammo for free, it might be a gun I'd keep on the porch just for fun.

RealFitness
10-15-2012, 11:58 AM
mini-30 is a no no

Its a good rifle but there are much better choices

IF you want 7.62x39 then the saigas or sks's are the way to go. The mini30 is finicky with steel ammo and hard primers (even with wolf springs)

IF you want the mini platform then the mini-14 is the way to go. 5.56/223 is a very good caliber too also it usually has softer primers which suite the mini. Its almost as cheap too, 5.56 fmj isnt expensive

I found the old minis are innacurate but the new ones with thicker barre are pretty good actually like 3moa-ish (the old ones like 8 lol)

My advice to you is a mini-14 with synthetic stock and newer model with slightly thicker barrel. I've had the joy of firing one and they are handly and more accurate than the old ones (like pre 09 i think). For best results load some Hornady TAP 5.56 and your good to go

famas619
10-15-2012, 12:04 PM
I had a Mini-30, i had a lot of problems with it. Sold it and got an SKS and ni issues with ammo now.

mpower
10-15-2012, 12:32 PM
same as above id take the sks over the mini.

i had a mini-30 stainless and had the firing pin break twice. the only saving grace was that ruger would fix the gun for free, they would even fix stuff i didnt know was out of spec...

a+ for ruger, but a c+ for the mini-30 . it was not reliable in my eyes,but was a good looking gun and shot well.

snypr
10-15-2012, 12:48 PM
I am embarrassed to admit this...but I have always thought the mini30 was 7.62x51 (of course Ive never shot one, etc)..., learn something new everyday...

bohoki
10-15-2012, 12:52 PM
i got one back in the day and mine works great with usa brand hi caps

but if i didnt have a bunch of hicaps i would have went with a saiga

21SF
10-15-2012, 1:23 PM
The Mini-30 came out at a time when the prevalent 7.62x39 ammo was Chinese with brass cases. Other than being slightly corrosive, it was pretty clean shooting stuff.

Why have one? It can use high-cap magazines. I don't know if you can say that about a Saiga.
If you owned them before 2000, they both accept them, the saiga can even be made to accept reg AK mags which are cheap and plentiful.

It is 'real world accurate' in that for quick off hand shooting it is "sick". Nicer to pull trigger with than AK.

It is nice fun shooting gun, more fun than mini-14 with its sharper 'crack'.

But like others have said, for serious gun...look elsewhere(IMO).

If I was getting good brass ammo for free, it might be a gun I'd keep on the porch just for fun.

I bet you its not better then the trigger on my AK by far.

gorenut
10-15-2012, 2:36 PM
While I like the Mini platform.. I think if I wanted to get something chambered in 7.62x39, I'd rather get a Saiga because it spits out the cheap ammo better. On the other hand.. I'd rather have (and do actually own) a Mini 14 over a Saiga in .223/5.56.

Mossy Man's explanation pretty much outline my opinions on it as well.

five.five-six
10-15-2012, 2:41 PM
I had a mini30 loved it, cheep to shoot, nice punch, ran fine with wolf.

acolytes
10-15-2012, 3:07 PM
I remember selling my mini 30 for $600, and buying an SKS for $300. I ended up selling the SKS a couple years later, because I fell on hard times. I sure miss the SKS.

Mossy Man
10-15-2012, 3:49 PM
Gonna chime in again on this thread...

If I were in the market TODAY in CA for a 7.62x39 using russian steel, it would boil down the the following options:

1. SKS
2. Saiga 7.62x39
3. WASR10 or Saiga Conversion

SKS because when combined with stripper clips, it complements CA's ridiculous laws perfectly. It will be easier to load, fire, and can be used the way it was intended.

Saiga 7.62x39 next because its less "cool" to me due to lack of historical significance.

And lastly, AK variant because, I wouldn't want to deal with more maglocks than i already do have to

prob
10-15-2012, 5:43 PM
Mini 30 is not a very good rifle.
This is why. Its not milled or stamped (like AK, Saiga etc) but it's cast receiver.
Cast receivers can and will fail after extensive/excessive use. I've seen Mini 14's with cracked receivers that were sent back to factory. The most likely for receiver to fail is on the lower cross bar section.
There's absolutely nothing good about investment casting, if anything they should lower the cost just because of that.

In theory it looks like a decent rifle but I'd chose something else in that caliber as some already pointed out, 7.62x39mm is and should be cheap, no need for expensive brass ammo and not to mention it's rare as well.

I don't think you know what you're talking about. Investment castings have revolutionized the production of modern firearms, and properly heat treated castings will provide yeoman service for a lifetime of service. I will concede that forgings are always more desirable, but if many of our modern firearms were made of forgings most of us would not be able to bear the cost.

How many people do you hear complaining about the cast receivers on M1A? Not too many is the short answer.

I personally don't care what anyone buys. As I said earlier, I have a Saiga as well as a Mini 30. I also possess an SKS. That said, the mini 30 is still the nicer of the three.

To the OP: Buy what you want, you'll be happy with a Mini and you'll be happy with a Saiga. They're both very reliable and reasonably accurate firearms.

all torque
10-15-2012, 8:05 PM
Looks like I'm going to keep looking. Still interested, but a lot mixed reviews. Like I stated, I already have a SKS. I'm just looking for something else in the same caliber. I almost jumped on the WASR that Turners had on sale for 499 the other week but it didn't work out. Not to crazy about the bullet button.

762.DEFENSE
10-15-2012, 8:08 PM
The Mini-30 is very picky on the ammo it will shoot, and magazines are very pricey, and hard to acquire. I'd recommend going the AK47, or SKS route (If you want a traditional rifle-like stock) rather than getting the Ruger Mini-30.

FiveSeven
10-15-2012, 8:48 PM
I don't think you know what you're talking about.
What I state is my observation, someones word who actually works on them and personal experience so from that stand point I know very well what I'm talking about.

I will concede that forgings are always more desirable, but if many of our modern firearms were made of forgings most of us would not be able to bear the cost.
Not that many firearms manufactures actually do receiver casting, only few, to save cost.

How many people do you hear complaining about the cast receivers on M1A? Not too many is the short answer.
It could be that its a different company with different recipe/formula and or different method. I personally would still not buy one as I have a mindset where "you've seen one, you've seen them all", not interested in potential future problems.

I personally don't care what anyone buys. As I said earlier, I have a Saiga as well as a Mini 30. I also possess an SKS. That said, the mini 30 is still the nicer of the three.
It might be "nicer" but it won't be any better. I agree that it looks & feels nice and at one point I nearly bought one (.223 for training purpose) but after seeing and shooting them over the years I don't have that desire any longer.

all torque
10-19-2012, 1:56 AM
Thanks alor guys. Looks like I might go the AK-47 or Saiga route instead

MrPlink
10-19-2012, 5:02 AM
When was the last time somebody here asked about an Ak pattern and people jumped in and told them to get a mini30 instead?