View Full Version : who has experiance with a Ruger Mini -30?

May 31, 2007, 09:42 PM
I was going to buy an ak-47 model P.O.S. but am considering a ruger mini-30. I like the power of the AK-P.O.S. but not its accuracy,I Am a big fan of rugers and want to spend my money on an american riffle, Im too poor for a garand or M-1A2 but want more then a .223, Can anyone tell me the "Good The Bad and The UGLY" on this riffle? or somthin else in the rugers price range.

May 31, 2007, 11:06 PM
I have a Mini 14 in 223, not a mini 30 but they are the same essentially
not accurate as far as the 223 round goes, but a hell of a lot of fun to shoot, easily modified and overall a lot of joy has come from this purchase

June 1, 2007, 12:05 AM
I have a new this year Mini 30. It is the stainless/synthetic model. I put a Wolf (sp) heavy operating spring and smaller diameter gas tube in it to keep from throwing brass out of the county. With some Russian 125 and 123 gr SP hunting ammo it will do 2 MOA with 1 1.5-4X32 shotgun scope.
I like the rifle for what it is, not a bench rest gun but general use/truck type firearm. Also like the round. For aftermarket magazines I like Pro-Mag.

wayne in boca
June 1, 2007, 05:46 AM
I have a stainless/Ranch/synthetic stock Mini 30 I bought slightly used in 1994.Bought it the day they signed the AWB into law,with 2 50 round mags.Put a 4X scope on her,and she shoots pretty well (around 2-3 MOA).I did add a muzzle brake,which seems to make Minis more accurate.I like the rifle a lot,my favorite truck gun,and I have quite a few rifles.Always works,hits soda cans at 100 yds. every time.

June 1, 2007, 06:04 AM
I have both an AK and a mini 30. The AK I own is a P.O.S.... yes they are the most widley made rifle in the universe and will usually shoot a few rounds regardless of maintenance... but keep in mind they were produced for soon to be dead comrads.

One thing about a mini-30.. it feels like a rifle.

Keith Eckensviller
June 1, 2007, 06:44 AM
I had a Mini 14 and my buddy has a Mini 30. Neither of then are accurate past oh 50 meters (yards). I have an SKS that was a quarter of the price of the Ruger and it will shoot circles around it as far as accuracy any day. Also the SKS is a military desinge and it's quite rugged. I don't know why the AK would not be acurate. I've seen the groupings that a AK at full auto from the hip in the hands of less than well trained individuals can make. Very nice. Lucky for the guy on the reciving end he was behind armoured glass.

June 1, 2007, 07:43 AM
IMO, you're paying a lot of money for a rifle that's not even close to accurate as a $259 Saiga Sporter in the same calibers, either 5.56 or 7.62x39.

The minis were basically rifles made before they knew better, in my estimation. That's why the USED racks are full of them. People realize that it takes $1000 of work to make them as accurate as something less than half the original cost, and then the sum of the parts still isn't worth much at all. If you get an older one, the barrel is so thin that the already-poor accuracy goes completely to off-the-paper hell as soon as it heats up.

john in jax
June 1, 2007, 08:53 AM
I've owned two in the past and really like them. They aren't tack-drivers, but the two I had shot +/-2" groups at 100 yards with cheap 3-9x40mm scopes.

GOOD: Short, light, quick-handling rifle. Lots of accessories available for you to dress it up any way you want. Simple, reliable, durable action.

BAD: Any "rapid fire" heats up the bbl within just a few rounds trashing any accuracy. IIRC (and I might have this all wrong) The Ruger bbl's are (American or NATO) 7.62/.308 dia. while AK's and SKS's are (Eastern Bloc/Chinese) 7.62/.311 dia. Most of the cheap overseas ammo for the AK's and SKS's are mfg'd using .311 dia. bullets for the AK's and SKS's, not the .308 dia. bullets that the Mini-30 shoots best. You need to shoot the more expensive American/domestic mfg ammo for best results/accuarcy.

June 1, 2007, 11:38 AM
I traded my Mini-30 for a WASR-10 AK.
The mini-30 barrel was to light, it heated up fast after only 5 rounds causing accuracy to suffer. The factory stock was to small for my frame, and finding reliable after market mags was a serious chore. Scoping it was pointless, getting 2.5 MOA at 50 yards (yuck) was the best I could sweak outta the rifle from a bench rest, worse in normal conditions, so I found no benefit to running a scope other than it allowed me to see immediately how much I was missing by. I have qualified Expert Rifleman on the Army AQT system, so its not like I don't know how to shoot, I'm no super duper internet commando sniper, but I do know what I'm doing...
I did like the novelty of the rifle, with the lineage being the M1 and M14.
I howerver wanted a utility rifle, so I went with the WASR-10. Sure it looks like an AK, but WASR's were made strictly for import into the USA, these particiular rifles never were fired at us in anger, and I think that is a silly misnomer to not by an AK type rifle because the design was popular with alot of our "enemies" over time. Its akin to the anti's argument for gun control, that somehow the gun itself is to blame for the deaths of people, not the nut behind the butt.
WASR's are the cheapest of the cheap AK's. They work fine and were never intended to win the beauty contest. My WASR is a tad bit more accurate than my previous Mini-30, being statistically around 20% more accurate overall than I was with my Mini-30 according to my range books. Also, you cannot help but find reliable AK mags everywhere where mags are sold; not so for the Mini-30.
Just IMHO as I have owned and used both rifles extensively. Or you can go with an SKS, you upgrade the accuracy potential a small bit but your capping yourself at 10 rounds unless you go for Norinco models that take AK mags or roll the dice with junk hi-cap SKS mags that never seem to function like you think they will...

June 1, 2007, 01:30 PM
I just shot my buddy's new Mini 30 a month ago. I loved it. It was a bit picky about the laquered Wolf ammo he had bought for cheap, but it wasn't broken-in yet either. We were shooting into a hillside stump 250-300 yards away with the stock ghost ring sights, and it was like shooting at something 50 yards out. I was amazed. And I've always been a fan of the Mini 14.

June 1, 2007, 01:41 PM
I just shot my buddy's new Mini 30 a month ago. I loved it. It was a bit picky about the laquered Wolf ammo he had bought for cheap, but it wasn't broken-in yet either. We were shooting into a hillside stump 250-300 yards away with the stock ghost ring sights, and it was like shooting at something 50 yards out. I was amazed. And I've always been a fan of the Mini 14.

As others have said, try going rapid fire through even half a dozen rounds, and watch what happens to that accuracy.

I'm not sure what the point of a semiauto is, if that's what it does when you take advantage of that capability...

June 1, 2007, 01:57 PM
What are you guys smokin? Ruger makes great firearms and I own quite a few, but IMHO the Mini 30 isn't one of em.

If you want a reasonably accurate rifle that shoots the 7.62x39 round, then I 'd go with either the Saiga as mentioned or an SKS.

Even better, a Saiga in .308 - still about 1/2 the price of a new Ruger. They can easily and inexpensively be converted to pistol grip configuration and there are now 20 round mags available for these - check mine:
It shoots 2" groups at 100 yards with milsurp ammo.

I think you guys are all talkin about the WASR AK's - the Romanian modified from imported low-capacity rig from Century - yes, they are very rough and have problems. They can be just fine but its a crapshoot.

Check the AK's here: http://www.atlanticfirearms.com to see what is now available. You can get US-assembled AK's now that will reliably shoot 3" groups at 100 yards easily wth open sights - with 100% function.

Unless they have gone to a standard chamber and bore, the Ruger's long lead and .308" bore are very poor in the accuracy department.

June 3, 2007, 09:26 AM
There are reasons to prefer the Mini-30, especially a -30 in stainless steel and synthetic stock, over some other choices, and some reasons not to prefer it. I have either owned or operated all of the following: AR-15, M1A, Mini-14, Mini-30, SKS (Russian), and AK-47 (Russian). I have also posted about the Mini-30 numerous times on this forum. You may want to do a search because the same responses get posted over and over again by folks on this particular topic.

At any rate, for enjoyment purposes, I'd pick the following rifles in the following order:

AR-15, Mini-30, M1A, Mini-14, SKS, and AK-47

For SHTF purposes, I'd pick the following rifles in the following order:

AR-15 or M1A (tie), SKS, Mini-30, Mini-14, and AK-47

For me, I just can't get comfortable with either the SKS or the AK. The difference between the two is that I can hit almost as good with the SKS as I can with the -30, and the SKS is more rugged. As for the AK, it's as if the thing was intentionally designed to conflict with everything I do while shooting. The gun works against me in every way possible. Since I can't hit anything past 50 yards with it, I might as well use a bow and arrows.

(Regarding the M1A, I found the rifle durable, accurate, and powerful but very heavy and expensive to feed. I enjoy shooting my Mini-30 more than shooting my M1A, and the lighter weight is much better on my bad back. But I believe the M1A is a much better "battle" rifle for SHTF, at which point I would be more concerned with staying alive than in being easier on my back. Fortunately, my ARs give me a choice that I believe is better than either the M1A or the -30.)

For 7.62x39, if you are comfortable with either the SKS or the AK, that is probably a better choice if you want to shoot 7.62x39. If you are not comfortable with either the SKS or the AK, the Mini-30 may be a good choice for you. The -30 will require more work in the sense of getting good hi-cap mags and tweaking it to be more accurate, but all of those things can be done.

Many of the old problems with Mini-30s are now fixable, which means the standard complaints are becoming obsolete. Decent, current-production aftermarket hi-caps are available; you just have to find them (my other Mini-30 posts go into that). A Wolff recoil spring helps a lot. Also, a new product called the Accu-Strut helps improve the accuracy. I made my own version that is giving me 2-1/4" groups at 100 yards (Wolf 122-grain HP, polymer-coated ammo using iron sights). I've heard reports that the actual Accu-Strut works even better because it has an internal dampening control.

Still, I'd check out an SKS first. If you're comfortable with the SKS, you'll save yourself time and money.

June 12, 2007, 09:28 PM
To the original post:

Let me give you my rundown of the issue. I was thinking the like you are when I bought my Ruger Mini-30. I wanted an American-style weapon in something that hits harder than 5.56 at medium and short distances.

I'm a pretty negative person, so I'll give you the cons first.

1) Hi-cap mags. Expensive, and most of them are garbage. However, lately Pro Mag got their crap together and made some that actually work and for not -so- bad of a price.

2) Hammer spring. Replace it with an increased tension Wolf spring so you can shoot the foreign ammo without hearing the dreaded "click" followed by silence.

3) The barrel does heat up, but too many people on here make it sound worse than it is. My bore is crap thanks to the previous owner, and I can still put overlapping holes in a target @ 40 yards even after the barrel has heated up. (Yes, thats all the space I have to shoot because of the terrain in my yard.) Now, it's not designed for emptying a 30 round mag as fast as you can. If thats what you need to do, get an AK. If you intend to HIT your target, get a Mini-30.

As a matter of preference, I hated the sights and the finish of the wood on the stock, which I rectified by replacement. As a side project, I refinished the original wood stock with Dark Walnut and covered it with spar urethane. Beautiful.

Now for the good points:

1) It may not be minute-of-angle, but it it most certainly better than minute-of-torso and more accurate than an AK.

2) Ease of field strip - only requires something to stick in the hole of the trigger guard to pop it loose. I can break mine down in a matter of seconds.

3) Reliable - provided you have good mags. It may not be able to be buried in the mud for 10 years and still work, but it's nowhere near as finicky as an AR, or at least the ones I have shot (to include the M16/A1). Mine fires just fine in the rain and when it had gotten dirty. Just remember to clean and oil it within a reasonable amount of time afterwards.

4) Legal to hunt deer with. Now, granted, it's not the BEST for the job, but it is legal and will do the job if you're within reasonable range.

5) Doesn't attract negative attention from the overly-PC crowd or a king-$#!+ cop who finds it in your trunk.

6) It's American in both style and manufacture.

7) Factory and aftermarket parts are plentiful and reasonable.

Hold one at the gun shop. Heck, hold all the ones mentioned in here. Does it feel right in your hands? If it feels awkward, don't buy it, or ask if they have any with a different style stock. The bottom line is, if you really want it, get it!