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Ruger Mini Thirty

This is a discussion on Ruger Mini Thirty within the Guns forums, part of the Gun Forum category; One day this week I'll be picking up a used Ruger Mini Thirty, chambered in 7.62x39. Based on the serial number it shipped from Ruger ...


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Old 09-14-2020, 04:49 AM   #1
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Ruger Mini Thirty

One day this week I'll be picking up a used Ruger Mini Thirty, chambered in 7.62x39. Based on the serial number it shipped from Ruger in 2007. So I assume this is a 2nd generation Mini Thirty based on they have two manuals, a pre 2004 manual and a 2004 and later manual.

New uncharted ground for me. The last Ruger carbine I owned was a 10/22, and that was along time ago, maybe 40 years. Is there any particularly odd behaviors that these have? Or any weak areas to fix or improve?

This model is a stainless steel with synthetic stock, I think 05806 is the model number. It has a scope mount and a scope on it, a 4x14x40 which I think is a bit optimistic of this gun, but maybe not. I plan to put a Burris 1x6 tactical scope that I have on it.
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Old 09-14-2020, 05:32 AM   #2
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I use to have one.. it was there target model...Ranch rifle.. heavy bull barrel thumb hole stock I had a mediocre scope on top... great smooth shooting.. but with that heavy barrel.. well it was heavy so I sold it..
You will like it..
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Old 09-14-2020, 05:40 AM   #3
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Thanks. I haven't heard any horror stories, but then one never knows.

The weight is a non issue. It's less than my H&K MR556 or my AK47's are. I just wanted a simple proven "beat around rifle".
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Old 09-14-2020, 05:43 AM   #4
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I have a newer one and out of the box it wouldn't reliably shoot steel case ammo. I ended up ordering a longer firing pin and now it's great.

Oh and yes stick with Ruger mags any others are junk
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Old 09-14-2020, 05:50 AM   #5
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Mine is from the mid-early 90's. 189-xxxxx serial. The 189 serial "Ranch Rifle" from that era came with a chintzy flip-up peep sight, single-blade front and integral scope mounts on the receiver. Was shipped with proprietary scope rings that clamp onto the integral mounts. Was designed to be used with a scope with the flip peep as backup.

Later versions have a more robust rear sight assembly with AR-type winged front sight.

I love mine. 7.62x39 is a formidable hunting round for medium size animals. Ballistics similar to the .30-30 Winchester.

I made some modifications to mine. Not particularly caring for the factory barrel shroud, I snapped on a more minimal shroud from Choate. I also put an ramp sight into the rear dovetail that is instantly adjustable for elevation. Using this aftermarket rear peep, I know where to set it for 25, 50, 100, 200, 300 yards. This rear sight was machined from an M1 carbine rear sight by a company specifically to fit the dovetail of the 189- Ranch Rifle.

Also somewhere along the line, I noticed that the thing threw empties way out there so I put on an adjustable gas block I got from Accuracy Systems. This allowed me to fine-tune the cycle speed to not throw empties so far away.

The coup de resistance on this particular sweetheart is my Armson OEG red-dot tritium top sight where one eye sees only the dot and the other eye sees the landscape. They still sell these but not with the side mount.

As for magazines, don't waste your time with anything but OEM Ruger 5-rounders and Ruger-branded 20-rounders. Aftermarket 30-rounders are unnecessary, unwieldy because of the size and can be unreliable. I've got some that are proven reliable made by USA Magazines but I never use them because of their size. You've seen the AK with the large banana? That.

This is the long weapon that I have decided to carry in the spare tire area of my vehicle just in case. Only until we get past this bumpy patch in our nation's history. Chosen because of the 30-caliber chambering, reliability, quick target acquisition with the tritium illuminated OEG.

I've never had a single malfunction in all these years except for some brands of 30-round mags which if I could not fix, I pitched. It feeds soft-point ammo reliably but I would stay with the pointed kind and stay away from the rounded stuff because of possible feeding issues.

My early 90's Mini Thirty is shown below in the chair on the right:





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Old 09-14-2020, 06:19 AM   #6
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a top performer chosen by many police departments across the country. it was typically the black syn stock with SS barrel chosen by the PD's. Others were all black. I had a 223 and liked it.

Most PDs are going to the M4 platform but you still see these at times used by marksmen (or markswomen).
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Old 09-14-2020, 06:30 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bitter Clinger View Post
Mine is from the mid-early 90's. 189-xxxxx serial. The 189 serial "Ranch Rifle" from that era came with a chintzy flip-up peep sight, single-blade front and integral scope mounts on the receiver. Was shipped with proprietary scope rings that clamp onto the integral mounts. Was designed to be used with a scope with the flip peep as backup.

Later versions have a more robust rear sight assembly with AR-type winged front sight.

I love mine. 7.62x39 is a formidable hunting round for medium size animals. Ballistics similar to the .30-30 Winchester.

I made some modifications to mine. Not particularly caring for the factory barrel shroud, I snapped on a more minimal shroud from Choate. I also put an ramp sight into the rear dovetail that is instantly adjustable for elevation. Using this aftermarket rear peep, I know where to set it for 25, 50, 100, 200, 300 yards. This rear sight was machined from an M1 carbine rear sight by a company specifically to fit the dovetail of the 189- Ranch Rifle.

Also somewhere along the line, I noticed that the thing threw empties way out there so I put on an adjustable gas block I got from Accuracy Systems. This allowed me to fine-tune the cycle speed to not throw empties so far away.

The coup de resistance on this particular sweetheart is my Armson OEG red-dot tritium top sight where one eye sees only the dot and the other eye sees the landscape. They still sell these but not with the side mount.

As for magazines, don't waste your time with anything but OEM Ruger 5-rounders and Ruger-branded 20-rounders. Aftermarket 30-rounders are unnecessary, unwieldy because of the size and can be unreliable. I've got some that are proven reliable made by USA Magazines but I never use them because of their size. You've seen the AK with the large banana? That.

This is the long weapon that I have decided to carry in the spare tire area of my vehicle just in case. Only until we get past this bumpy patch in our nation's history. Chosen because of the 30-caliber chambering, reliability, quick target acquisition with the tritium illuminated OEG.

I've never had a single malfunction in all these years except for some brands of 30-round mags which if I could not fix, I pitched. It feeds soft-point ammo reliably but I would stay with the pointed kind and stay away from the rounded stuff because of possible feeding issues.

My early 90's Mini Thirty is shown below in the chair on the right:





Looks good!

I had kind of thought along the lines of staying with OEM magazines. A lot of firearms don't like anything but the OEM. This one comes with a Ruger 20 round. I bought two OEM 5 round magazines cheap, they were used.

There tends to be a love em or hate em following from what I read online.

The scope mount on this one is like below. They say it still allows the use of the OEM sights below the mount.

I'm looking forward to getting the little Ruger and trying her out.


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Old 09-14-2020, 06:34 AM   #8
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My son liked it to tha's why I no longer have it. It fits perfectly into a scabbard we used on horseback years ago but now on 4WD ATVs. We used it with us mostly for coyotes on our property. I am not sure what scope he mounted but it is accurate at several hundred yards.
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Old 09-14-2020, 07:22 AM   #9
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Here's the aftermarket handguard which I prefer on my 30 and 14 guns. https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1006761976

It does away with the bulge/shield on the right side of the OEM handguard has which covers and prevents contact with the operating rod. I can see where some people would want it shielded and also why Ruger covers it. I prefer it not be covered like on the M14.
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Old 09-14-2020, 07:41 AM   #10
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Many have found that American made ammo works better in a factory mini-30. Like mentioned earlier, if you don't use American, the primers can be harder and require a different firing pin.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
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Old 09-14-2020, 08:21 AM   #11
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I have a Mini 14 Ranch and the single best improvement was an integrated adjustable gas block/barrel stabilizer. I got it from Accuracy Sytems. No more flyers and being able to adjust the gas block down to just enough to cycle smoothed it out a lot too. I'm not sure if these are also for a Mini 30 but it's worth looking in to.

https://www.ruger-mini-14-firearms.com/

I also love that is gas piston.

In any case, enjoy your new rifle and post pics when it comes in!
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Old 09-14-2020, 12:49 PM   #12
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Congrats on a nice rifle.

Not sure when Ruger fixed the "5 in 1" syndrome, but my mid-90s ranch version Mini Thirty has the tendency to double the group size about every 5th round. I stopped shooting it pretty much completely after getting an AK. IIRC, it would should about a 4" group at 100 yards if you didn't count the one round in five that opened it to about a 7 or 8" group. Don't think they all did it, but mine sure does. If I shot the Mini Thirty regularly, I'd probably invest in the stabilizer Poppastar mentions.

My Mini Thirty doesn't care for steel cases. I can't tell a difference in accuracy, but I start getting FTE's after a few dozen rounds of steel case.
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Old 09-14-2020, 02:32 PM   #13
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I have a Mini-14, 5.56/.223 I bought new in 1980 for $200 even. It still looks new except for some bluing worn off the bolt and slides.

By far, this gun has been shot more than any other I own including 22 rimfires. It will still put 5 rounds in a 1" dot at a hundred yards from the hood of my pick up truck with a folded up towel as a rest and the stock peep sights.

It is, by far, my most favorite gun. It has some pretty neat stories to tell if it could talk.

I would think you have a great gun. Mine hasn't shown any weak spots. I'm very surprised the barrel isn't worn out but the proof is in the dot. The barrel on this thing has gotten very hot but it apparently can take it.

Have fun with your Ruger.
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Old 09-14-2020, 03:48 PM   #14
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This is the mini that I have coming, sellers photo. I'll replace that scope with a Burris 1x6 tactical with illumined reticle.

UPS said delivered today. So maybe my FFL will get it logged in tomorrow.


pix761735735 - Copy.jpg
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Old 09-14-2020, 04:14 PM   #15
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I had one back in the 1990s. Decent shooter, but nothing to brag about. Mine shot Russian steel cased mil-surp ammo just fine. I got frustrated and finally sold it because at that time the only magazine that worked properly was the factory 5 rounder. Ruger only offered the 5 rd to us civilians back then and every aftermarket 20 rd mag I tried was completely unreliable.
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