Stainless Mini-30 from 1993

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Teddydogno1

Single-Sixer
Joined
May 10, 2013
Messages
212
Last week I purchased a like new older stainless Mini-30 rifle. It arrived at my dealer the other day and it is as good looking in person as in the pictures. Too bad it has to stay in "gun jail" for 10 business days due to Washington's stupid "Semi-automatic rifle" law. The rifle also came with a contemporary Action Arms scope of some type that I have not had a change to examine or research yet. The factory scope rings are in the box.

Here's one of the seller's pics as I don't have any of my own yet.
C52312A__04640.1656443695.jpg


The rifle came with just the original 5 round magazine, but I was able to secure some Ruger 20 and 10 round mags before our even more stupid magazine restriction went into effect on July 1.

I remember back when we were all waiting for Ruger to release the "XGI" rifle in .308. Then the ads disappeared from the gun mags and the project was dead. As I recall, not too long after that they released the Mini-Thirty instead. I have owned a couple of Mini-14 rifles over the years, but never kept one very long. This is my first -30.

I read a copy of the manual online and it says to use US-spec ammo and says not to use corrosive foreign ammo. But I don't think it said anything specifically about not using steel case ammo. That said, I remember hearing back when these first came out that Ruger used .308 bores in the the barrels and standard .311 bulleted ammo was not a good idea. Is this correct/accurate? Or old-timey false lore from the days before the 1994 AWB? I have plenty of Wolf, Tula and other steel cased non-corrosive and quite a bit of Fiocchi, Igman and Norma brass cased, but I don't think anything I have has .308 bullets. Since getting the rifle, I have ready lots of Internet chatter that guys shoot everything in theirs. Does the early age of this rifle change anything?

Anyway...just wanted to share my new pickup and see if there is any truth to needing to be careful what I feed it (will it turn into a monster if I shoot it after midnight?). Or anything in particular I should know about this almost 30 year old new rifle. Any and all comments are welcome.

Rob
 

Teddydogno1

Single-Sixer
Joined
May 10, 2013
Messages
212
No comments so far??

Here's more info about the scope that came with the rifle...

The scope is not mounted to the rifle and doesn't looks like it has ever been mounted to anything. It seems to be basically "new in foam".

micro_dot_full.jpg


The scope is labeled on the bottom "Action Arms" and has a manual that says Action Arms Micro Dot (I brought the scope home while the rifle is in gun jail, but not the manual). The bottom of the adjustment body says "Japan".

micro_dot_tube.jpg


The eyepiece is labeled:

micro_dot_marking.jpg



The foam box also says "Oakshore Electronic Sights".

The scope is a 3 x 9 variable and appears to have a 40mm objective lens (just under 1 7/8" outside diameter). It has a duplex crosshair reticle with a small electronic red dot in the center of the cross. Yes, the battery is still good in it (and has brightness adjustable to 11!).

What little info I have found about Oakshore seems to indicate that they were well make scopes from a US company that was having them made by a small Japanese optics company. The glass seems to be clear, but I have not mounted it or shot with it obviously.

Does anyone have any more info about this scope? Is it a contemporary with the Mini-Thirty from 1993? Both the rifle and the scope seem to be "as new in box". Should I mount it up on the Ruger? Seems like the Ruger might do better with a more compact scope.

Thoughts and comments are welcome!

Rob
 

57springer

Buckeye
Joined
Aug 6, 2012
Messages
1,231
Location
Central Pa.
I love the mini 30 as well as the 14 , nice purchase . I have a stainless 30 with synthetic stock from 2008 . Bought it new and have put some "commie " steel ammo through it as well as my brass reloads and never a problem . I do know if you scope it , expect the ejected cases to hit on the scope . As for the bore, I am not sure ?
 

Tom-R2

Bearcat
Joined
Jan 16, 2017
Messages
49
Location
Central Ohio
Years ago when the XGI advertisements stopped and the Mini-30 advertisements started, I called Ruger. I was so poor I couldn't pay attention, but I really wanted the XGI. They put me through to one of their engineers who said they couldn't get the short action to function reliably with the bigger .308. He said one out of twenty would work. I offered to drive from Ohio to New England where they were at the time to pick up one of the ones that worked. He chuckled, and said that wasn't possible. So, I bought the Mini-30.
 

hittman

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jan 16, 2008
Messages
10,874
Location
Illinois
About the ammo …. I’ve heard that many of these don’t function well with anything other than factory brass cased ammo. Evidently, it’s “hit or miss” on whether you’ll score a Mini 30 that works without the more expensive ammo.

I don’t have first hand knowledge of that but …. Those MANY stories is what steered me to the AK platform.
 

57springer

Buckeye
Joined
Aug 6, 2012
Messages
1,231
Location
Central Pa.
It is hit or miss on the ammo . I have Aks and sks , And a stock of Vietnam era steel ammo to shoot in them . I ran several mags through my 30 to see for my self if any issues , none .
 

WranglerAz

Bearcat
Joined
Mar 23, 2022
Messages
2
Location
az
I have a mini 30 as old as yours, and have used Russian and Chinese ammo in it and have not had any problems.
 

Pauerpilot

Bearcat
Joined
Jun 29, 2015
Messages
78
Location
Mesa, Arizona
I have a newer Mini 30 Tactical with the heavy barrel. No issues with any ammo fed through. With my hand loads, easy 1.2 MOA at 100 yards. Shot two deer thus far. Both under 150 yards. Very effective and very pleased with performance of soft point 7.62x39 projectiles. Very little blood shot meat equates to very little waste. Despite what reports may have been presented, the Mini 30 is a fine rifle. I do not know what expectations shooters are placing on the rifle but, it is very capable and reliable within its envelope. I have done several mag (4) mag dumps with the rifle. Not a hiccup or burp. It gets hot! I can still ring a gong at 300 yards immediately after that shooting string. What more do you want from the rifle?

As for the scope, I added a Primary Arms 1x8 LPO with the 7.62x39 ACSS reticle. Works great. Such an easy solution for this rifle. It is not the lightest scope but very effective. It will not break the bank as well. It comes is matte silver to match your rifle.
 
Last edited:

McIII

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 26, 2022
Messages
14
Location
texas
I love my 1990's SS Laminated Stock Mini 30, but I would be lying if I said it was accurate. Best I can do is around 2 1/2 to 3" at 100 yards. Trigger feels like two pieces of sandpaper rubbing together. I know a trigger job would improve accuracy. Any recommendations?
 

BearBiologist

Blackhawk
Joined
Dec 4, 2021
Messages
527
Yeah, that "semi-auto" waiting period is ridiculous! I bought an AR556 and had to do the wait locally. Then bought a PC9 and Sportsman's Warehouse was all screwed up=took 15 days. Then bought a 10mm Glock and had no semi-auto wait, just the normal and my clearance came in 6 days (?).

The on-line "course was ridiculous. Beware, some people want $25 or so for the course. There are several places you can do it for free!
 

40nascar

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jan 2, 2022
Messages
196
Most mini 30's choke on steel case ammo. The cause is that the firing pin protrusion is too short ( about .030) to fire military com-block ammo.

This issue is fixed by replacing the pin by one produced by firingpins.com. The protrusion on that one is between 0.045 and 0.050.

It's possible that a previous owner already did the replacement. Which is why some posters here have no problems with ammo in their mini 30. Every mini 30 that I have purchased new has been unreliable with steel cased ammo. The replacement firing pin fixed the issue.

As for bore diameters, a majority of the pre- 580+ prefix mini 30's came with a bore that started at .311 at the chamber and tapered to .308 at the muzzle. Ruger did this because when the mini 30 first came out, bullets for reloading in .311 diameter in the proper shape , and weighing 122-125 grains we're not available in the USA market.

The only domestic ammo available at the time, that was made to Ruger's criteria were made by Winchester and Remington ( PMC also made Brass/Boxer ammo that worked). Winchester and Remington did not sell their projectiles on the market, for reloading components.

So the bore diameter that Ruger came out with was a compromise, so that their mini 30 could be used by hunters, reloading with .308 cal bullets.
Remember, that for the first 20 yrs. of production, Ruger only made 5 rnd magazines for the mini 30. It was marketed, and made for hunters, not for high volume shooting with surplus ammo.

Current production mini 30's ( 580+ ) have .311 bore diameter from the chamber to the muzzle.
Best wishes on your mini 30.
 

harley08

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jan 9, 2014
Messages
209
Last week I purchased a like new older stainless Mini-30 rifle. It arrived at my dealer the other day and it is as good looking in person as in the pictures. Too bad it has to stay in "gun jail" for 10 business days due to Washington's stupid "Semi-automatic rifle" law. The rifle also came with a contemporary Action Arms scope of some type that I have not had a change to examine or research yet. The factory scope rings are in the box.

Here's one of the seller's pics as I don't have any of my own yet.
C52312A__04640.1656443695.jpg


The rifle came with just the original 5 round magazine, but I was able to secure some Ruger 20 and 10 round mags before our even more stupid magazine restriction went into effect on July 1.

I remember back when we were all waiting for Ruger to release the "XGI" rifle in .308. Then the ads disappeared from the gun mags and the project was dead. As I recall, not too long after that they released the Mini-Thirty instead. I have owned a couple of Mini-14 rifles over the years, but never kept one very long. This is my first -30.

I read a copy of the manual online and it says to use US-spec ammo and says not to use corrosive foreign ammo. But I don't think it said anything specifically about not using steel case ammo. That said, I remember hearing back when these first came out that Ruger used .308 bores in the the barrels and standard .311 bulleted ammo was not a good idea. Is this correct/accurate? Or old-timey false lore from the days before the 1994 AWB? I have plenty of Wolf, Tula and other steel cased non-corrosive and quite a bit of Fiocchi, Igman and Norma brass cased, but I don't think anything I have has .308 bullets. Since getting the rifle, I have ready lots of Internet chatter that guys shoot everything in theirs. Does the early age of this rifle change anything?

Anyway...just wanted to share my new pickup and see if there is any truth to needing to be careful what I feed it (will it turn into a monster if I shoot it after midnight?). Or anything in particular I should know about this almost 30 year old new rifle. Any and all comments are welcome.

Rob
Just remember to clean you gun after firing. A friend gave ne his Mini 30 to fix, It was froze shut, He must have used corrosive ammo because I had to hit the op handle a couple of times with a rubber mallet to open it
Rocko Rizzo
 

Uncle Howie

Buckeye
Joined
May 28, 2004
Messages
1,192
Location
MN
Does anyone have any more info about this scope? Is it a contemporary with the Mini-Thirty from 1993? Both the rifle and the scope seem to be "as new in box". Should I mount it up on the Ruger? Seems like the Ruger might do better with a more compact scope.

Thoughts and comments are welcome!

Rob

Rob-

That scope is from what seems to be the parent company(?) of UltraDot. Related somehow, anyway…

I remember these being offered, but never really looked at them. I bought my first UltraDot new in 1991, so I think this scope would be a contemporary to your rifle. My LGS steered me to the UltraDot, said it was the greatest thing since sliced bread. “They were not wrong.” 😆 At that time, the Tasco Pro Point seemed to be the UltraDot’s primary competition (in the same price range).

The UltraDot line of tube-style red dot sights has many devoted fans, including some here. They’ve been extremely popular with the Bullseye pistol shooters. They have a reputation as being a quality sight, with good longevity.

The UltraDot sights also come with a Lifetime Warranty. I would expect this scope to be of similar quality, and possibly with the same warranty. Since it’s brand new, I expect it’ll be just fine. (Assuming that there’s no battery that has leaked in it.)

It might well be a really good scope! 👍
 
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