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Old July 31, 2010, 04:34 PM   #1
ScottNKy
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Brand New Mini 14 Cycling Problems

Ok, so I just got a brand new Mini 14 (with ATI tactical stock), which I took out for the first time today. Much to my dismay, from the very first magazine, I had problems with it not cycling. Basically, it just won't reliably eject the spent casings. I tried it with PMC Bronze .223, and Remington UMC, both 55 gr., and 9 times out of 10, it either stove-piped, or it just barely spit the spent shell out but did not feed. It's as if the bolt is just not kicking back hard enough. A guy at the range gave me some Federal 5.56 to try (also 55 gr.), and it worked ok. No jams.

I should mention that before I took it out, I disassembled it, and cleaned and lubed it thoroughly. And, while at the range, I drenched it down pretty good with Breakfree to see if that would help (it didn't).

So, what's the deal? Is it because the gun is brand new? Will it loosen up? Should I send it to Ruger?

I was really looking forward to having some fun with this thing. I don't want a gun that's finicky about ammo.

I'm a little bummed right now
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Old July 31, 2010, 05:52 PM   #2
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Quote:
PMC Bronze .223, and Remington UMC
Those may be the two most underpowered varieties of .223 on the market. If not, they are certainly in the running.

If it likes XM193, feed it some more XM193. After it is nice and broken in it may eventually cycle the wimpyloads.

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I don't want a gun that's finicky about ammo
Other than my Colt AR, I think every rifle I own has ammo it loves, and ammo it hates. Get used to it, rifles have varying tastes and some ammo sucks.
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Old July 31, 2010, 06:43 PM   #3
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don't judge the rifle untill you've put a few hundred rounds through it, sometimes a little break in is necessary to make it work right
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Old July 31, 2010, 06:46 PM   #4
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Send it to Ruger. They're good about CS. And mini's aren't supposed to be finicky about ammo.
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Old July 31, 2010, 06:49 PM   #5
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i have fired 100's of rounds of pmc bronze and remington 55gr. mc through my mini without any problems. actually the pmc is pretty accurate ammo in my opinion.dont know what might be wrong with your rifle but i doubt it is the ammo. i bought mine new and have never had any problems with it. if it didnt straighten out soon i would send it back.
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Old July 31, 2010, 07:39 PM   #6
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Sounds like a weak extractor spring or it's dirty. (meaning; the bolts has some thick crud or cosmoline built up in it. Once you've determined that everythings is squeaky clean and lightly lube go back to the range and try it again. You should'nt have to drench the action, however sometimes an action requires a lot of "break in" or action cycling to get the burrs and rough edges smoothed out. I'm of the opinion that a rifle should properly function on most types of commercial ammo. Also take a good look at the spent brass!!! (could be a burr-problem). I have a friend that bought a Mini way back in 1980 or 81, we took it to the woods and commenced to break it in. My father was at the time a very knowledgable gun-man, and he told us to take break cleaner or another proper degreaser, and spray that action thoroughl;y and scrub the barrel as to remove all traces of the cosmoline it came drenched in. We did just what he said and blew it out with an air hose. We were totally confident of or thoroughness, however the rifle jammed on the very first shot, I hollered "Beginners Luck", he cleared it and fired again, it jammed Then it got kinda tense. to make a long story short bad burr in the action causing it to catch the spent cartridge instead of releasing it properly. My father fixed it and my friend (is still my friend) still has this rifle as his ground-hog and possum shooter!!!! Happy shootin dude!!!

Thanks for coming!
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Old July 31, 2010, 07:57 PM   #7
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I've lost count of the 55 grain FMJ UMC my 580 has digested, but the whole of it has run just like decent reloads and everything else- flawlessly.

If that's a new Ruger, call the company. Something ain't right, particularly if it isn't slinging brass into the next zip code. Let the maker sort it out.
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Old July 31, 2010, 08:05 PM   #8
the rifleer
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I assume you cleaned it well and oiled it? i know thats the obvious answer that everyone gives, but it really does make a difference. I have a friend who i went shooting with and he brought his mini and it had trouble every couple shots and i looked at it and there wasn't any signs of oil what-so-ever. Use a little bit, not a lot.
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Old July 31, 2010, 08:57 PM   #9
ScottNKy
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I appreciate all of the advice and suggestions. Yeah, I think I cleaned it really well, but I'm going to break it down and try again before I get too alarmed. As some have said, I think the rifle ought to be able to operate correctly on pretty much any commercial ammo. I shouldn't have to feed it really hot stuff to get it to work.
Quote:
Something ain't right, particularly if it isn't slinging brass into the next zip code.
That's exactly what I was thinking. At one time, I had a early '80's vintage Mini, and I'm pretty sure you could wound a person by turning the gun sideways and hitting him with the brass But, like I said, I'll break it down, clean it again, lube it up, and see what happens before I send it back to its birthplace. What I won't do is tolerate a rifle that I have to fuss with.
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Old July 31, 2010, 09:50 PM   #10
Jamie Young
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Check to see if you see any abnormal wear near the gas block. It is possible the stock may not be fitted properly and it is hitting the gas block while it is cycling.
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Old July 31, 2010, 09:56 PM   #11
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Your recoil spring guide rod is probably installed upside down. Pull the spring and rod forward out of the receiver slightly and rotate the guide rod 180 degrees. Then see if the gun cycles easier.
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Old July 31, 2010, 10:35 PM   #12
ScottNKy
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DKJBama, nope, the guide rod was installed correctly. But, Jamie, you may have something. I took it apart, cleaned it up, and it feels like it might be cycling a little easier. Might just be my imagination though. I won't know until I go out and shoot it again.

BTW, is it just me, or is the bolt a PITA to get in and out? After about 30 minutes of trying, I finally had to resort to the Ruger instructional video
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Old August 1, 2010, 05:19 AM   #13
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PITA is an understatement. It's like a blacksmith's puzzle.
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Old August 1, 2010, 08:12 AM   #14
ScottNKy
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PITA is an understatement. It's like a blacksmith's puzzle.
Ok, good. It's not just me then. Friggin' Rubik's cube.
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Old August 1, 2010, 09:52 AM   #15
ScottNKy
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I wonder if someone with a Mini close at hand could verify something for me...

Should my gas pipe be a little "loose"? That is, when I have the rifle disassembled, should I be able to wiggle the gas pipe back and forth a little bit, or should it be tight?
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Old August 1, 2010, 05:37 PM   #16
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Mine wiggles a bit, probably around a few thousandths of an inch back and forth.
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Old August 1, 2010, 06:07 PM   #17
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Yeah, getting the bolt in or out is hit or miss for me. Sometimes I hit it just right on the first try, and others I am sweating and swearing for 10 minutes. The Ruger instuctional video is a great tool, but that guy makes it look too easy. My Mini has never failed (only 300 rounds through it. ALL Wolf), and the brass flies into the next county.
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Old August 1, 2010, 06:18 PM   #18
ScottNKy
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Regolith, thanks. Yeah, a few thousandths sounds about right. I figured it was probably normal, but I just wanted to be sure.

Quote:
Yeah, getting the bolt in or out is hit or miss for me. Sometimes I hit it just right on the first try, and others I am sweating and swearing for 10 minutes. The Ruger instuctional video is a great tool, but that guy makes it look too easy.
I was definitely swearing, and I was starting to get a little hot under the collar by the time I finally got mine back in. It would be nice if the instructional video would point out that it can be kind of tricky. I was beginning to think I was a complete idiot.

I won't have a chance to get my Mini back out until next weekend. Hopefully I won't have any more issues with it.
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Old August 1, 2010, 06:23 PM   #19
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LOL... we were just breaking down our Mini last weekend (wife bought it for protection on the boat over 20 yrs ago-ss- but rarely used)-watching the Ruger vid- and my son noticed that the guy was sliding the forefinger of his other hand underneath the bolt at the same time and pressing up slightly.

It worked
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Old August 1, 2010, 06:27 PM   #20
ScottNKy
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and my son noticed that the guy was sliding the forefinger of his other hand underneath the bolt at the same time and pressing up slightly.
Yeah, that's what finally worked for me too.
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Old August 1, 2010, 09:46 PM   #21
hagar
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Mini's need grease. not oil! But I did not know that 20 years ago when I shot my Mini-14 on a regular basis, and it is one of my semi-autos that never malfunctioned on me.
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Old August 1, 2010, 10:19 PM   #22
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Mini's need grease. not oil! But I did not know that 20 years ago when I shot my Mini-14 on a regular basis, and it is one of my semi-autos that never malfunctioned on me.
Manual says to use oil. In either case, I've shot mine dry without any extraction problems.
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Old August 2, 2010, 07:02 AM   #23
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I think you had the recoil rod spring thingy .... in wrong...

let us know what happens when you try it next....

I'm going to say it... even though just about everybody will disagree...the mistake you made was taking the gun apart and 'cleaning & lubing' it before shooting it.... I've never done this on a new gun... the three brand new guns I've bought over the years were all Rugers and everyone I've taken out of the box and shot... with out a problem. check to make sure the barrel is clear... load and fire... yes the barrel is going to smoke 'a little' after the first few rounds... but you will know if the direct from the factory gun works.
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Old August 2, 2010, 07:28 AM   #24
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I'm going to say it... even though just about everybody will disagree...the mistake you made was taking the gun apart and 'cleaning & lubing' it before shooting it.... I've never done this on a new gun... the three brand new guns I've bought over the years were all Rugers and everyone I've taken out of the box and shot... with out a problem. check to make sure the barrel is clear... load and fire... yes the barrel is going to smoke 'a little' after the first few rounds... but you will know if the direct from the factory gun works.

Same here never take a new gun apart, I do minor cleaning if necessary without disassembling, lube and load, I want to know if gun functions prior to my work then I have a starting point after 100 rounds I disassemble check and clean, works for me.
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Old August 2, 2010, 08:58 AM   #25
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These problems are fun to diagnose, but the fact is, it's brand new. You shouldn't be the one to troubleshoot this problem. The Mini is an extremely reliable rifle, and yours has a problem right out of the box. Let Ruger take care of this for you. They have great customer service, and I'm sure they will resolve it in short order...

(BTW...This Mini has no extractor spring...The bolt stop ejector serves two functions, and has no spring. The guide rod may, in fact, be inverted. The tongue should be nearer the barrel...a quick check...)
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