Is a Mini-30 for me?


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19-3Ben
January 3, 2010, 02:02 PM
I really like my SKS-M. Love that it is a solid, nicely made x39 rifle and very reliable with standard AK mags.

The Problem with the SKS-M:
I just can't seem to get used to that whole motion of rocking the mag into place. I keep getting the darned 'ledge' on the front of the magazine stuck on the catch at the front of the mag well. It gets jammed in there and takes a good minute to wiggle it/smack it back out. It's annoying when this happens at the range. It's even worse thinking about the possible consequences if this happened in a time of dire need. I'm thinking that in its incredible condition and with the various accessories I have accumulated I could sell this rifle for ~$600 without a problem.

I already have a huge stock of x39 ammo, so I'm not thrilled about the possibility of switching calibers. Otherwise I might look at AR-15s.

The Question:
This leaves me with another option though. The mini-30.
I've never actually shot one, and only handled one once in the gun shop. Does the mag require that same back to front rocking action?
Would it be a reasonable replacement?


Extra rambling that you can skip:
At the gun shop I think it was right around $700-750. Something like that. I feel like that's a lot of money for a gun that probably does not offer much in the way of functionanlity over the SKS-M. Actually, I have to say I wasn't super impressed with the fit or finish for a gun in that price range either. For $450 it would have been a good choice. And this is coming from a guy who has a reputation for LOVING Ruger's products. For $750, it seems like a bit much. But what's the deal? Are they better rifles that I perceive them to be?

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NetJunkie
January 3, 2010, 02:03 PM
Why not just a nice AK? Something like an Arsenal?

briansmithwins
January 3, 2010, 02:13 PM
If you really want a sticker shock price factory Mini-30 mags.

Just practice with the mags. 50 million AKs lock mags exactly the same way.

BSW

19-3Ben
January 3, 2010, 02:17 PM
Why not just a nice AK? Something like an Arsenal?

I wish, but I'm in CT. AK's are a no-no here. The SKS-M is as close as I can get. (it also wouldn't solve the mag issue since I would still be locking in the mag the same way)

Brian-Local shop has factory 20 rd mags for $30. Higher than the AK mags I'm used to but not terrible. I guess I could use more practice. it just seems like for some reason, no matter how much I do practice it, that motion doesn't work for me. I'm some sorta AK-mag SpEd.

hogshead
January 3, 2010, 02:30 PM
Good luck trying to get a hi cap mag for a mini 30 to work. They too have a technique to get them in and out, seems harder than the ak clips to me.

wally
January 3, 2010, 02:32 PM
I wish, but I'm in CT. AK's are a no-no here. The SKS-M is as close as I can get.

Then the Mini-30 should work well for you. I love the handling and easy maintainance, but the lack of mags has held it back.

The metal Pro-Mag 10 rounders have worked well for me, all others except the Ruger 5 round have been useless garbage. Now that Ruger is selling factory 20 rounders I'm excited.

The Ruger 20 round mags are starting to come down in price. I got one at yesterday's gun show for $40 out the door, they were 2 for 75, so a good bit under the $50 MSRP, but still too high IMHO. I only got one as I want to be sure they work before I replace my 10 rounders. Hope to try it tomorrow.

--wally.

tju1973
January 3, 2010, 02:32 PM
CHeap AK? I use mine for knockaround AK stuff-- ie hogs and sometime yotes....and plinking...parts are cheap, the rifle is easy to work on and repair, and acessories abound...I like the Mini line, but Mini 30s have even less support than the 14s...IMHO.--sorry just read the CT part. I thought CT banned the 7.62x39 round and not the platform. Like you can get an AK in any caliber BUT the original-- I am probably wrong, but gun laws are kind of dumb, so it made sense when I heard it.

elmerfudd
January 3, 2010, 02:34 PM
Why not just take a couple of evenings, kick back and watch some TV or a movie and practice seating that magazine about 1000 times.

By the time you're done it will be instinctive and you won't have any more problems with it. Three or four hours practicing with your gear in your off hours is a lot cheaper than trying to buy the perfect rifle.

19-3Ben
January 3, 2010, 02:46 PM
Wally- Like I said, my local shop has the 20 rounders for $30 each. If you want PM me and I'll give you the shop name. I know they do orders so you likely can get them even cheaper than the $40 you paid for the other. Might be a good resource for you.

IMHO.--sorry just read the CT part. I thought CT banned the 7.62x39 round and not the platform. Like you can get an AK in any caliber BUT the original-- I am probably wrong, but gun laws are kind of dumb, so it made sense when I heard it.
Absolutely correct...mostly.

AK's in x39 are banned. It's not the round itself. It's the x39 round, when combined with the AK platform. 5.56, 5.45, and .308 AK's are still legal, although even many FFL's don't know this so they won't do the transfer even when you can find a dealer willing to ship one to the state (even more rare.) and good luck finding one on the shelves! Don't ya just love gun laws written by absolute ignoramuses. I can own a Saiga .308, but not the same thing in x39. I can even have a WASR in 5.45!!!
Even the PSL is technically legal in CT even though the Dragunov is not. But I've never seen a PSL here either.


Elmer- You're right. I think I was perhaps willing to give up on the rifle a bit too soon.

R.W.Dale
January 3, 2010, 03:02 PM
What posisition do you possibly envision yourself in that even half of a 30 rounder won't fix several times over?

elmerfudd
January 3, 2010, 03:04 PM
Dammit Krochus, you're interfering with my fantasy life.

w_houle
January 3, 2010, 03:16 PM
Is a Mini-30 for me?
Nope... off to read question.

What's wrong with loading it with stripper clips?

NetJunkie
January 3, 2010, 03:20 PM
What's wrong with loading it with stripper clips?

It's a SKS-M. Built for AK mags.

Golden_006
January 3, 2010, 03:37 PM
I'm assuming the hi cap thing won't be an issue for him since if he lives in a non-free state they will have some kind of a mag cap limit anyway, no?

I'd love to have an SKS M. If you want to sell the SKS-M let me know. Thankfully we don't register long guns in NY state -- and you can in fact sell within the tri-state area. i'll drive over there and get it. i don't know about $600 though.

Sam1911
January 3, 2010, 03:47 PM
Thankfully we don't register long guns in NY state -- and you can in fact sell within the tri-state area. i'll drive over there and get it.Just remember that according to federal law, ANY firearms transfer that crosses state lines must go through an FFL.

I'm sure that's what you meant to say, but it came across oddly.

-Sam

Onward Allusion
January 3, 2010, 04:41 PM
Sell the SKS-M & buy an AR. When the time comes, buy an AR 7.62x39 upper and mags.


19-3Ben (http://www.thehighroad.org/member.php?u=37886)
Is a Mini-30 for me?

W.E.G.
January 3, 2010, 04:53 PM
My nephew owned a Mini-30.

He and I took it to the range a number of times.

We equipped it with a scope, as it was to be used as a hunting rifle.
Even when we could get the proprietary-design scope mount to stay secure (which was not often), group sizes were disappointing.

Because of the lack of "evil features" like "the thing that goes up," the "Mini" still has a niche in states that have state-law "Assault Weapon Bans." Otherwise, it is simply a design that fell short of its objective, and is further overshadowed by firearms developments of the last 20 years.

jimmyraythomason
January 3, 2010, 05:05 PM
My Mini 30 was accurate and the aftermarket 20 and 30 round magazines worked great (AFTER adjustments). I would still have it but my daughter loved it so I gave it to her and her ex sold it. I have posted pictures of Sarah's first Mini-30 target on here somewhere.

Sebastian the Ibis
January 3, 2010, 05:12 PM
Before you change platforms, which you otherwise seem to be happy with, you might consider switching up your magazines, and or fiddling with them until you figure out how to insert them smoothly.

Try several different brands of mags, and if that doesn't work try slowly filing down whatever part of the mag seems to be sticking.

PUNISHER56
January 3, 2010, 05:19 PM
Hit the Indy 1500 this month. I purchased a complete 762x39
A3 upper from Model 1 at 475.00. C-Mags work perfect on any
AR platform. Best of both worlds, an AR15 with a 30 cal. round.:evil:

CosmicGrooves
January 3, 2010, 05:22 PM
I was going to get a Mini-30 but when comparing prices, I had to save some money and get a quality AK instead. SGL21

19-3Ben
January 3, 2010, 08:21 PM
Oh man there is a lot to think about here. Thanks for the advice guys. I'm taking it all into consideration.

Just a few things to address:

There is no mag capacity limit. Like I said before, I have 30 rounders.

Golden-
As for the possible $600 price tag, I'll tell you how I came to that number . I see the SKS-M selling for $500 on its own pretty regularly. This one is like new mechanical and cosmetic condition, has a nicely refinished (600 grit wet/dry sandpaper and hand rubbed BLO) stock, and would come with sling and 11 mags that are all either 20 or 30 rounders.

Krochus- When the zombie apocalypse happens, you'll be sorry you said that.:D

Thanks again to everyone who chimed in. Now time to go do my homework.

Maverick223
January 3, 2010, 09:00 PM
I like the Mini-30, but not stainless (especially on that rifle), and it is a little overpriced IMO, so I have decided to get a MSAR chambered in 7.62x39 when they are released. With your budget I think a Mini-30 or a Saiga would be your best option. FWIW I am not a big fan of the SKS (magazine variant or not).

:)

Ignition Override
January 4, 2010, 02:43 AM
Although accuracy is not the issue here, there is now a $50 rear peep sight attachment available for the SKS, which is reported to help very much.

MatthewVanitas
January 4, 2010, 03:07 AM
I like the Mini-30, but not stainless (especially on that rifle), and it is a little overpriced IMO, so I have decided to get a MSAR chambered in 7.62x39 when they are released. With your budget I think a Mini-30 or a Saiga would be your best option. FWIW I am not a big fan of the SKS (magazine variant or not).


Came here to post this, but since the E4s are running $1300ish that's a bit beyond the poster's budget.

Cool option though; last I heard the 6.8 versions were trickling out and they're working on the 5.45 versions, 7.62x39 to follow sometime early this year I think.

http://images42.fotki.com/v1466/photos/1/141020/531519/MSAR-vi.jpg

Maverick223
January 4, 2010, 03:37 AM
Came here to post this, but since the E4s are running $1300ish that's a bit beyond the poster's budget.Agreed, but something to consider nonetheless.

:)

Ryo
January 5, 2010, 02:43 AM
Mini 30? I use to own one. It was my first rifle.. Glad I got rid of it. Wasn't accurate enough for my tastes.

However, it was reliable on feeding ammo. Never had a problem with it.. but like I said, I don't miss it. Of course your tastes may be different, but I didn't like it.

jimmyraythomason
January 5, 2010, 08:22 AM
Mine for me was a joy to shoot. It was light,handy pointed well and was (GASP!) very accurate for the platform. I miss it terribly.

Taurus_9mm
January 5, 2010, 08:48 AM
I have one that I use for plinking. It's perfectly reliable with the 5 round factory magazines and not-so-reliable with the aftermarket 20 and 30 round magazines. I did see someone mention on another board the other day that Ruger is now offering factory 20 round magazines for the Mini-30 in addition to the ones they offer for the Mini-14 but shopruger.com was (and is) out of stock. http://shopruger.com/Ruger-Mini-30-Magazine-20-Shot/productinfo/90338/

www.gunnerforum.com www.taurusarmed.net

benEzra
January 5, 2010, 10:09 AM
I just can't seem to get used to that whole motion of rocking the mag into place.
If you don't like the AK style mag system, you probably won't like the Mini Thirty's, since it's pretty much identical. There's no ledge at the front of the magwell, though; the mag indexes on a pin at the front of the magwell that sticks into a hole in the front of the mag. It's probably as easy to miss the pin/hole alignment as it is to bungle an AK/SKS-M mag change, though.

Zach S
January 5, 2010, 10:37 AM
Before the panic buying spree, I saw used Minis for around $450, blued. I dont see stainless being worth $250+.

Why not just take a couple of evenings, kick back and watch some TV or a movie and practice seating that magazine about 1000 times.
I do this with my 1911s on occasion, had to do with with my Saiga as well. It works. I dont miss the magwell on my 1911 or have to deal with stuck mags in my Saiga.

If you don't like the AK style mag system, you probably won't like the Mini Thirty's, since it's pretty much identical. There's no ledge at the front of the magwell, though; the mag indexes on a pin at the front of the magwell that sticks into a hole in the front of the mag. It's probably as easy to miss the pin/hole alignment as it is to bungle an AK/SKS-M mag change, though. Agreed.

Dr.Mall Ninja
January 5, 2010, 10:49 AM
AK's in x39 are banned. It's not the round itself. It's the x39 round, when combined with the AK platform. 5.56, 5.45, and .308 AK's are still legal, although even many FFL's don't know this so they won't do the transfer even when you can find a dealer willing to ship one to the state (even more rare.) and good luck finding one on the shelves! Don't ya just love gun laws written by absolute ignoramuses. I can own a Saiga .308, but not the same thing in x39. I can even have a WASR in 5.45!!!
Even the PSL is technically legal in CT even though the Dragunov is not. But I've never seen a PSL here either.


wow im glad i dont live in CT, that is the dumbest law i have ever heard.

Sam1911
January 5, 2010, 11:15 AM
wow im glad i dont live in CT, that is the dumbest law i have ever heard.

Oh, CT can beat itself for stupid gun laws. Did you know that in CT, if you follow all the federal rules for aquiring a Title II machine gun, CT state law allows you to own one -- as long as it is full-auto only? CT law forbids select-fire guns. So, semi-auto firearms are fine. Full auto firearms are fine. Guns that can fire either way -- NO WAY!

That makes sense, somehow, right?

-Sam

19-3Ben
January 5, 2010, 02:45 PM
The only good thing I can say about CT is that at least we are the least restrictive of the local states. We are surrounded by NY, NJ, and MA.
We are 'officially' a may-issue CCW state, but in effect we are a shall-issue. Unlike NJ, we can own and use hollow-point, and we don't have a capacity restriction, or 'cooling off period'.
But yeah, we have some wicked dumb gun laws written up by some incredibly dumb politicians.

CZ223
January 5, 2010, 05:50 PM
and a Saiga(Russian AK with sporter stock). The thinkg that I don't like about the mini is the way that you have to pivot the mag in it seems harder than with the Saiga. If the Saiga is legal there I would think it a much better option.

NG VI
January 5, 2010, 07:26 PM
The only good thing I can say about CT is that at least we are the least restrictive of the local states. We are surrounded by NY, NJ, and MA.
We are 'officially' a may-issue CCW state, but in effect we are a shall-issue. Unlike NJ, we can own and use hollow-point, and we don't have a capacity restriction, or 'cooling off period'.


Don't you share a border with Vermont?

Frankl03
January 5, 2010, 09:09 PM
My son-in-law has an Ar in 7.62x39 and he loves it. He built it from a kit. I think it was $650 - $700 range. It will be more accurate than the SKS, Mini 30 or an AK. Plus you can add all sorts of extras if you want.

wally
January 5, 2010, 09:45 PM
Hit the Indy 1500 this month. I purchased a complete 762x39
A3 upper from Model 1 at 475.00. C-Mags work perfect on any
AR platform

Have you actually used the C-Products 7.62x39 30 round AR mags? Of my twelve, only one worked 100% out of the box. All the others suffered nose dives (not making it above the top of the mag let alone get to the feed ramp).

I appear to have fixed them by replacing the springs with the springs from real AK mags. The C-Products springs appear to be OK in the AK mags. But only time will tell for sure.

Ordered some 20 round Mini-30 mags for $30 each from: http://www.hoffgun.com/newarrivals.htm after the one I picked up at last weeks gun show for $40 was flawless in function.

I agree that my AR 7.62x39 upper proves that Wolf 7.62x39 ammo is not as inaccurate as the AK makes it out to be!

--wally.

Sudden Impact
January 5, 2010, 11:45 PM
Pardon me, but isn't the magazine design of the Mini-30 somewhat of a "rock-in" design as well?

I know the mini-14 mags have a hole in the front that is inserted first with the rear rocked back and up into place...at least the one I had did.

19-3Ben
January 6, 2010, 09:07 AM
Don't you share a border with Vermont?

No. Mass lies between CT and VT. The other state we border is Rhode Island, but I know nothing of their gun laws.

Pardon me, but isn't the magazine design of the Mini-30 somewhat of a "rock-in" design as well?


That's what it seemed like to me which is why I asked the original question.

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