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    Thread: Ruger Mini-30 (7.62x39R Rifle) - Opinions or Recommendations?

    1. Member
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      09-23-2012 09:14 PM #1
      EDIT: Title is wrong, Caliber is 7.62x39. x39R seems to imply either Russian or Rimless. Some say if it says R it is russian surplus, others say rimless.

      Hi Guys,

      I am looking to pickup a new rifle and have come across the Ruger Mini 30 (I personally really like Ruger firearms). It has an M1 style action rifle and shoots 7.62x39R cartridges. Having shot an old M1 carbine I really like the feel of it but wanted a bit of a modern update. I also have friends that own AK47 chambered in 7.62x39 so I can also reload with them and split some of the costs.

      Other guns I have recently considered are an AK47 and an AR15

      I have shot a few AR15s and while I like them I just feel like it's a super common rifle and doesn't excite me a whole lot... unless you put a supressor on it.

      I feel the same way about the AK47s and am just not really interested in them.

      I'm really looking for something that when I go to the range it's a bit different, still pretty neat looking and is a blast to shoot... I think i've shot everyone at my local range's ARs as mostly that and AK47s are what is there.

      All of my shooting so far is just range plinking. I don't really plan to compete in anything or do hunting, I just like guns for a hobby, enjoying with and making friends .

      So far I own and reload for:

      Ruger GP100 6"
      Henry Big Boy .44 Magnum lever action

      I should have my Ruger 22/45 Lite next week I hope!

      I also have a Remington over under for sporting clays, I forget the model but it has ducks engraved on it that are gold and the rest silver.

      Any comments or recommendations on the Mini-30 rifle or any others? I am really looking for a semi-auto at this point, I will get a bolt action eventually but that will be a bit later on. I want to be priced around $800-$1400.

      Here's the model I was looking at (Part No. KMINI-30/20P):

      Last edited by 1stRabbit; 09-23-2012 at 10:53 PM.

    2. 09-24-2012 12:17 AM #2
      I know the Ruger Mini-14's had some issues earlier (big issues with barrel overheating etc.).

      If you're looking for something different, sure why not. From a practical standpoint, I'd take a good AK anyday over it. Also, forget about reloading 7.62x39. It's mostly steel and cheap (by comparison).

      If you like it, go get one.

    3. Member personman's Avatar
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      09-24-2012 12:32 AM #3
      Quote Originally Posted by Elbows View Post
      Also, forget about reloading 7.62x39.
      Unless you're crazy!

      http://www.zombiehunters.org/forum/v...p?f=16&t=46874

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      09-24-2012 12:53 AM #4
      From what i've seen, the cheap ammo is steel (wolf, bear, etc). Nicer ammo comes with brass cases (I don't shoot Blazer in my pistols). Many people reload 7.62x39 without issues using brass cases just like any other rifle cartridge.

      I'm not looking to shoot really cheap military surplus ammo but will make good quality brass cased ammo. Most of what I can find in relation to the mini 30 is that some barrels were .311 then choked down to .308 to shoot foreign/surplus. It sounds like the newer ones might be .310. I'd just slug the barrel and buy the appropriate bullet.

      I've seen a couple postings (probably all derived from the same forum post ages ago) where milsurp ammo or wolf brand fails to fire due to hard primers. I know CCI are a bit harder but i've seen people using CCI large and small rifle primers for mini 30s.

      I am wondering if it's as fun to shoot as an M1 and if I get the feeling it is, i'm gonna buy it .

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      09-24-2012 01:13 AM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by 1stRabbit View Post
      I am wondering if it's as fun to shoot as an M1 and if I get the feeling it is, i'm gonna buy it .
      It's been awhile since I've shot either a Mini-30 or a Mini-14, but if I recall correctly, shooting them feels a lot like shooting a SKS. Not awful, but nothing spectacular either. I think my M1 carbines are a lot more fun to shoot. I think both of mine are "modern" enough - they're both wearing synthetic stocks, one folding one fixed with Burris fastfire red dot. I'd say if you want an M1, get an M1.
      Last edited by personman; 09-24-2012 at 01:18 AM.

    6. Member Vee-Dubber-GLI's Avatar
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      09-24-2012 01:45 AM #6
      At the last Sea Cadet training I instructed at, we had a M1 Carbine and Mini14 (older 187 series I believe) and I was very much able to draw a comparison between the two. With 762x39, the comparison is even more visible; carbine (though with an 18" barrel, more 'rifle'), .30 cal, effective out to a few hundred yds. Rugged, reliable, same action...

      Looking back, I should have not gotten my 581 Mini14 and gotten the Mini30 and not even needed an AK. The newer versions with better tooling and tolerances and heavier barrel are great and address many of the issues that 'plague' the Mini platform. Throw Tech Sights and an Accu-Strut on and you've got a rifle that handles all of the 'issues'.

      As for reloading 762x39,.... good luck...
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      09-24-2012 02:05 AM #7
      Have you guys done research on reloading 762x39 or done it yourselves? Everything I see is that it's straightforward as most other rifle cartridges. Of course you will run into issues trying to reuse milsurp stuff that's berdan primed and in steel cases.

      I see videos all over youtube of lubing, full length sizing, trimming, powder dropping, seating the bullet and crimping.

    8. 09-24-2012 03:27 AM #8
      You're missing the point.

      7.62x39 in steel case is cheap. So unless you can reload for less than $0.19-20 a round (depends on how you value your time)....you're wasting time/money. If you're making "nice" rounds because you want them to be pretty at the range, go nuts.

      The 7.62x39 is the wrong round/rifle if you're going to be out there trying to shoot dime sized groups at 100 yards. If you want, you can buy really nice (and expensive) Lapua 7.62x39 rounds, etc.

      If your Mini-30 can't eat steel cased ammo, then it's a stupid gun.

      1) Buy Mini-30.
      2) Buy a couple boxes of Wolf/Brown Bear/Silver Bear/Golden Tiger ammo.
      3) Shoot it.

      Skip the reloading unless you do it as a hobby. By the way, Hornady makes a nice 7.62x39 VMAX round if you want to use it for defense/hunting etc.

    9. Member Vee-Dubber-GLI's Avatar
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      09-24-2012 01:14 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by Elbows View Post
      You're missing the point.

      7.62x39 in steel case is cheap. So unless you can reload for less than $0.19-20 a round (depends on how you value your time)....you're wasting time/money. If you're making "nice" rounds because you want them to be pretty at the range, go nuts.

      The 7.62x39 is the wrong round/rifle if you're going to be out there trying to shoot dime sized groups at 100 yards. If you want, you can buy really nice (and expensive) Lapua 7.62x39 rounds, etc.

      If your Mini-30 can't eat steel cased ammo, then it's a stupid gun.

      1) Buy Mini-30.
      2) Buy a couple boxes of Wolf/Brown Bear/Silver Bear/Golden Tiger ammo.
      3) Shoot it.

      Skip the reloading unless you do it as a hobby. By the way, Hornady makes a nice 7.62x39 VMAX round if you want to use it for defense/hunting etc.
      This. It's not that it's tough, it's that the d@mn East Bloc still makes it so much cheaper. I got 2k rds of Golden Tiger shipped for roughly $.23 a round. That's tough to beat with reloading; now, for .223/5.56, .308, 30-30, etc, reload because you will see a definite savings even over a short period of time.
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      09-24-2012 04:51 PM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by 1stRabbit View Post

      Any comments or recommendations on the Mini-30 rifle or any others? I am really looking for a semi-auto at this point, I will get a bolt action eventually but that will be a bit later on. I want to be priced around $800-$1400.
      From all the things I have read the Mini 30 is a great American alternative to a Com-Bloc Rifle. The one bad thing is the light primer strikes on steel cased Russian ammo. Here's a great review on it back when I was looking into buying one (still am just picked up an Enfield though). http://www.weaponevolution.com/forum...ni-30-Tactical
      Quote Originally Posted by Mr Miyagi View Post
      And, if the situation calls for it, you could break out some drumsticks and play the xylophone on her ribs
      Quote Originally Posted by TheDarkEnergist View Post
      God dammit Miyagi, go to school. Who the f**k plays the xylophone with drumsticks?
      You use mallets. Idiot.

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      09-24-2012 05:43 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by GrkPranksta69 View Post
      From all the things I have read the Mini 30 is a great American alternative to a Com-Bloc Rifle. The one bad thing is the light primer strikes on steel cased Russian ammo. Here's a great review on it back when I was looking into buying one (still am just picked up an Enfield though). http://www.weaponevolution.com/forum...ni-30-Tactical
      The Wolf Extra Power Springs help with the light primer strikes. Only downside to the Mini-30 is the same problem that plagues the whole platform: expensive mags. However, once you accept that as a cost of doing business, you're all set.
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      09-26-2012 10:04 PM #12
      Well, I ordered the Mini-30 today. I appreciate everyone's opinions! Thanks!

      Quote Originally Posted by Vee-Dubber-GLI View Post
      The Wolf Extra Power Springs help with the light primer strikes. Only downside to the Mini-30 is the same problem that plagues the whole platform: expensive mags. However, once you accept that as a cost of doing business, you're all set.
      Thanks! I'll see if I have any problems and if I do i'll grab the springs.

    13. Member Vee-Dubber-GLI's Avatar
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      09-26-2012 11:39 PM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by 1stRabbit View Post
      Well, I ordered the Mini-30 today. I appreciate everyone's opinions! Thanks!



      Thanks! I'll see if I have any problems and if I do i'll grab the springs.
      No problem. Check out GunDoc and his videos on the Mini platform, especially with regards to taking the trigger pack down and springs. Also, check out Perfect Union, THE forum source for Mini info.

      EDIT: Did you order the model with the newer heavier tapered barrel or the older pencil barrel like the one in the pic you posted? Either way, enjoy!!
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      09-26-2012 11:49 PM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by Vee-Dubber-GLI View Post
      EDIT: Did you order the model with the newer heavier tapered barrel or the older pencil barrel like the one in the pic you posted? Either way, enjoy!!
      Ordered a brand new model . Supposedly the old barrels were .308 and liek you said, tapered. That would result in accuracy problems with any surplus ammo (As I believe 7.62x39 is going to be .311 or .310 diameter bullets.

      Looking forward to getting it in next week!

    15. Member Vee-Dubber-GLI's Avatar
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      09-27-2012 01:08 PM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by 1stRabbit View Post
      Ordered a brand new model . Supposedly the old barrels were .308 and liek you said, tapered. That would result in accuracy problems with any surplus ammo (As I believe 7.62x39 is going to be .311 or .310 diameter bullets.

      Looking forward to getting it in next week!
      Nice! My Mini14 with no work done shoots around 3-5" depending on how well I do my part @ 110yds. Adding an Accu-Strut tightens the groups more, even with the heavier barrel. Mine now shoots around 3" even after 80+rds of continual shooting. The heavy barrels make such a great difference.

      I will suggest getting a ventilated handguard; the OEM Ruger piece, despite having holes, is not ventilated and has a heat shield that reflects heat back towards barrel. Get a true ventilated one, I think Choate makes a black polymer one for around $15, and you will see groups stay small as heat doesn't build up as much.

      Mine (with 1959 El Paso Weaver K3):
      VW CEL Breakdown here.
      My GLI is dead, waiting for new headwork. AEM intake, APR R1, APR TIP, ST Coilovers, Eurosport Lower Front Stress Bar, BFI Stg. 1 Motor Mount Kit, .:R32/BFI LCA Bushings, Neuspeed 28mm RSB, Forge SS w/ S2S, 42DD shift linkage bushings, Verdict Motorsports shift bracket bushings.

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      09-27-2012 05:04 PM #16
      Is this the one you are talking about?

      http://www.midwayusa.com/product/744...ynthetic-black

      I'm ordering 2 20 rd mags from midway (They actually have the cheapest price i've found for factory 20rd magazines!
      Last edited by 1stRabbit; 09-27-2012 at 05:06 PM.

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      09-27-2012 05:53 PM #17
      Went ahead and ordered the upper hand guard, it was $15 as you said. Also ordered to 20rd magazines.

      Found a $10 off Midway coupon which covered shipping and gave an extra $3 off.

      Hopefully i'll get everything (including my 22/45 Lite) next Friday!

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      09-27-2012 10:12 PM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by 1stRabbit View Post
      Is this the one you are talking about?

      http://www.midwayusa.com/product/744...ynthetic-black

      I'm ordering 2 20 rd mags from midway (They actually have the cheapest price i've found for factory 20rd magazines!
      Yes! That is it.

      Quote Originally Posted by 1stRabbit View Post
      Went ahead and ordered the upper hand guard, it was $15 as you said. Also ordered to 20rd magazines.

      Found a $10 off Midway coupon which covered shipping and gave an extra $3 off.

      Hopefully i'll get everything (including my 22/45 Lite) next Friday!
      Nice!! Enjoy it. I was helping a buddy shop for handguns and Ruger worked their magic on me today, that SR40 is a soft-recoiling pistol and fits my hands perfectly... Must resist...
      VW CEL Breakdown here.
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      09-27-2012 10:17 PM #19
      Where do I get that Mini-14 top cover

      Now go get your shinebox

    20. Member Vee-Dubber-GLI's Avatar
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      09-27-2012 11:28 PM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by Señor Peligro View Post
      Where do I get that Mini-14 top cover

      The Choate one? He linked to it on the MidwayUSA page; $15 and truly ventilated. Or are you referencing mine?
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      09-27-2012 11:48 PM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by Vee-Dubber-GLI View Post
      The Choate one? He linked to it on the MidwayUSA page; $15 and truly ventilated. Or are you referencing mine?
      Yours. I saw the Choate already
      Now go get your shinebox

    22. Member Vee-Dubber-GLI's Avatar
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      09-27-2012 11:59 PM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by Señor Peligro View Post
      Yours. I saw the Choate already
      Ok, my bad. It is an older Federal Ordnance handguard, made in Japan. I was able to score one on eBay and another on Numrich, but now Numrich is out. Also, PM inbound.
      VW CEL Breakdown here.
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      09-30-2012 02:29 AM #23
      I have one in stainless with wood, Wold Springs, recoil buffer pad, stock sites. It's been a great little gun. Accurate, easy to shoot/operate, no recoil, rounds are easily available and affordable, fairly easy to strip and clean, fairly light...
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