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Old January 10, 2013, 02:56 PM   #1
Join Date: March 13, 2010
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Ruger Mini 30

Curious about the use of 7.62 x 39 Russian ammo in the ruger as the russian is .311 and the ruger barrel is .308. Is it safe to use this in the ruger? Have heard that it is but would like second opinion.
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Old January 10, 2013, 03:01 PM   #2
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I believe they changed that after a certain point, depending on your vintage. However, my problem with it was not being able to ignite the primers reliably.
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Old January 10, 2013, 06:20 PM   #3
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The early ones were .308. The newer ones are .311 or .312. At least that is what I was told. I have a new one and it does not group .308's well at all but is pretty good with Hornady .311 (or .312, I can't remember exactly).
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Old January 10, 2013, 08:56 PM   #4
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We kick this around a good bit. The early rifles were .308 but had a long, tapered throat/leade and could digest .311 ammo accordingly. Ruger had a warning in their manual that called for "either STANDARD MILITARY (my caps) or factory loaded sporting x39mm ctgs manufactured in accordance with US industry practice." Some folks interpreted that to mean no .311 import ammo. Ruger does discourage corrosive ammo.

An article ran in the "Rifleman" describing the throat/leade issue and dispelled any concerns for me regards .311 ammo in the early .308 dia rifles. Ross Seifried (?) shot .311 ammo through his test rifle in a "Guns & Ammo" article when the Mini-30 first appeared too.

Mine (.308) has digested a fair quantity of steel case from Norinco and Wolfe, but I have pretty much stopped shooting import ammo through the Mini these days.

Carried mine deer hunting today! Cannot advise when the change was made to .311 barrels.

I have not experienced the fail to fire, and broken ejectors that some report.
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Old January 12, 2013, 04:29 PM   #5
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I would shy away from the steel cased Berdan primed ammo. I'm absolutely positive there are people that have fired thousands of rounds of it with no issues but there are enough reports of broken firing pins that I wouldn't use it. My reasoning is this, if you break a firing pin in that rifle you will have to send it back to Ruger to be fixed. I'm not sure I'd want to be without my rifle that long if it could be avoided. Also Ruger will remove any modifications you may have done to your rifle and set it back to factory specs, this means if you've had a trigger job done they will replace all those parts and you will have to have it done again. Also Ruger may not cover the repair under warranty if they know that you were using the steel case Russian ammo. The firing pins in the Mini rifles must be fit to the bolt so Ruger will not sell them they are a factory only part. The only aftermarket firing pins that I know of are the Glend Arms pins which are reportedly not as good as the original firing pins and must still be fit to the bolt of the rifle which for most people will require a gunsmith. Go over to perfectunion forums and do a search for broken firing pin in the Mini-30. Then again maybe I'm just a little over protective of my rifles.

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