Ruger Mini 30 and steel cased Russian ammo (ie, Wolf)


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Balrog
December 5, 2010, 10:23 PM
Is it ok to shoot steel cased berdan primed Wolf 7.62x39 ammo through the mini 30? I have heard some say it is not because of firing pin issues and that the mini 30 will not feed steel cased lacquered ammo.

What is the opinion on this?

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PR-NJ
December 5, 2010, 10:30 PM
My Mini-14 eats anything. I assume this is also true for a Mini-30...but can't say for sure.

Jeff F
December 5, 2010, 10:48 PM
According to Ruger You can shoot steel cased ammo in the Mini 30.
Heres a link to a video on Rugers web site. http://ruger.com/products/miniThirty/extras.html
Watch the video Mini 30 tactical features.

Balrog
December 6, 2010, 11:46 AM
thanks for the video

wally
December 6, 2010, 02:36 PM
My Mini-30 is has never shot anything but steel cased ammo. Other than the occasional dud round (most go if you try them a second time) its function is 100% with Ruger factory mags. All the third party mags are crap. Thankfully Ruger makes 20 round mags for the Mini-30 now, although the price will not make you happy.

Ignition Override
December 6, 2010, 03:35 PM
My Mini 30 ('04 vintage: arrived here '08) operated with only Wolf and Monarch steel ammo.

There have been about ten misfeeds with both (ten-rd.) Promag metal magazines, but this is averaged into about 1,500(+) rds.
I've seen a buddy's nice WASR "AK" clone misfeed after just eighty rounds.

As for misfires on the first pin strike, the Ruger has had about a dozen in 1500(+) rds., and does fine on the second.
Unless somebody plans to go to the Middle East and fight alone against Al Qaida or Hezbollah with it, no sweat.

nalioth
December 6, 2010, 06:12 PM
It's the same answer that it always is (https://encrypted.google.com/search?q=%22mini-14%22+%22steel+cased%22+site:thehighroad.org) when folks ask this tired, tired question.

Any quality-made modern firearm is quite capable of running steel cased ammo without damage.

Redbeard55
December 6, 2010, 06:52 PM
If the gunsmith journals are to be trusted, Steel cased laquered ammo will eventually scratch and ruin match barrels. The Russians always chrome lined their chambers. If you have a chrome lined chamber, the Wolf should be safe to shoot. If your chamber is not chromed lined, I would view it as somewhat risky. Guess it really depends upon how much shooting will be done. Might not notice a problem at first, but could develop a problem with time. I simply refuse the shoot steel cases. Since I reload, it really isn't a big issue.

Balrog
December 6, 2010, 07:34 PM
It's the same answer that it always is when folks ask this tired, tired question.

Any quality-made modern firearm is quite capable of running steel cased ammo without damage.

First, I apologize for asking such a tired question.

Second, I would point out that the Ruger manual states to use only factory loaded ammo made to US industry standards. Berdan primers and steel cases are not US industry standard.

Third, there is a video on the Ruger website that discusses the Mini 30, and says it is OK to shoot steel cased ammo, and they show a guy shooting a Mini 30 with Wolf ammo.

So, I believe there is some confusion and conflict between what the manual says and what the Ruger video says.

I actually just got back from shooting my Mini 30, which I just recently got. It is the new Tac-30 model with the factory flash hider. I fired about 150 rounds of Wolf ammo through it, and had one misfire. The primer was adequately dented but it did not fire, and the primer strike looked just like all the others so I am not sure if this was just a dud round or what. I put a red dot on it, and was getting 2"groups at 50 yards offhand, so I don't think that is all that bad for the first time out.

stubbicatt
December 6, 2010, 07:46 PM
Berdan primers and steel cases are not US industry standard. saith BAlrog

Please... allow me to retort... (http://www.hornady.com/store/Steel-Match-new)

Balrog
December 6, 2010, 08:04 PM
Please... allow me to retort...

Industry STANDARD??? or just one product line from one manufacturer?

wally
December 6, 2010, 08:13 PM
If the gunsmith journals are to be trusted, Steel cased laquered ammo will eventually scratch and ruin match barrels

What "journals" would these be? I'd be sure to avoid "gunsmiths" that read them.

Pick up a steal case off the deck and take it home. Crush it and a brass case of the same caliber with a pair of pliers, I think you will find the steel case is even softer than most brass cases. Or you might try an informal "Rockwell" test with an automatic center punch and compare the creators.


Hornady is staring to load their V-max bullet in 5.45x39 and 7.62x39 steel cases. Presumably they are getting the cases from Russia.

Redbeard55
December 14, 2010, 06:40 PM
Wally: Steel cased ammo also has a lacquer which can build up over time. Not sure as to the journals. My best friend is a school trained gunsmith. He advises the gunsmithing journals he subscribes to have described the problem in detail. If you don't like the answer, go ahead and shoot as much steel cased ammo as you like. There is a good reason most people don't clean the bores of their firearms with a steel brush. Sure, they sell the brushes. Most people buy the bronze brushes - which are very similar to the brass cases. If your confident in your option, I would advise you start cleaning your bores with steel brushes. I won't.

MythBuster
December 14, 2010, 06:49 PM
What does the steel case have to do with bore condition? NOTHING.

It also does not effect the chamber in any way that you will ever know.

While it MAY be true about the lacquer over time but that is solved by a quick blast of carb cleaner and a bore snake or any good cleaner and a chamber brush.

I have fired possibly a million rounds of steel case ammo and I have never had the lacquer cause a problem.

FMJMIKE
December 14, 2010, 08:43 PM
The hard primers of the steel case ammo has been attributed to many Mini-30 broken firing pins. That's why I never bought a Mini-30. Ruger also says you should not shoot steel case ammo in their Mini-14s. Many people do though without any problems. Just remember not to mention to Ruger you were shooting steel case ammo if your firing pin breaks. Only Ruger can replace the firing pin. lots on Mini information here.....
http://www.perfectunion.com/vb/ruger-mini-14-talk/

MythBuster
December 14, 2010, 09:28 PM
If that is true it shows Ruger's firing pins are weak because you seldom see a broken firing pin on an AK or SKS that has shot thousands of rounds of Wolf.

Also I have not see any broken AR firing pins that i know was caused by Wolf primers.

jeepguy
December 14, 2010, 11:07 PM
first i wonder how many of those broken firing pins were caused by and extra power hammer springs, to try and beat the occasional failure to fire rounds.
second most steel cased ammo to day is poly coated.
i do love these rifles, i have a mini 14 and would love to get a mini 30 tacticle.

lwsimon
December 14, 2010, 11:41 PM
My Mini-14 has run everything I've ever thrown at it. The Minis are not known for accuracy, but they're also not known to be picky eaters :)

CornCod
December 15, 2010, 12:20 AM
If you are rich enough to afford a "Match" barrel, you are not going to be shooting steel-cased ammo out of the rifle anyway.

I read a long article on the subject of lacquered ammo. I think the only time it is a problem is when you fire a "bazillion" rounds of lacquered ammo out of a rifle without cleaning it AND then proceed to fire brass cased ammo out of the same weapon. The lacquer causes the brass cases to rupture. Just stick with with one type of ammo for each range trip and clean the barrel and chamber area well after shooting. With normal maintenence, steel-cased ammo should not be a problem.

jeepster63
December 15, 2010, 09:05 PM
Ok, so I'm confusd. Yeah the brass stuff works great - but I'm using cheap Hungarian stuff which is non corosive. I've tried the steel stuff but I get a LOT of duds. They load and eject fine and I always clean it after with a brass brush so I'm not too worried about build up. So, why so many duds? I see the guy in the Ruger video plinking away and NO duds (it is a tactical though). I got the SS version as I would be hunting deer and yotes with it so I didn't want to look like a storm trooper on the tree stand - HELP? PS: Ruger says use only $15.00+ per 20 ammo - am I missing something?

Domino
December 15, 2010, 11:45 PM
I have fired many thousands of rounds of steel case ammunition in "American" guns without any issues. The idea that steel cases will damage your weapon is a complete myth, and I doubt that it causes any additional wear at all. Even if it did "damage an extractor" or "bend a firing pin" those are all cheap parts that can all be easily afforded with the savings of buying a few dozen boxes of steel cased ammo rather than brass cased ammo.

As far as the Laquer goes, I have never had any problems with it but many say they do when they try to shoot brass cased ammo after firing laquer coated steel cased ammo. If this is a problem then use either polymer coated, zinc coated, or brass coated steel cased instead. I prefer the zinc coated Silver Bear myself but I still shoot plenty of cheap laquer coated Brown Bear. For a Mini-30 I woudl recommend Silver Bear 125g SP as it performs awesome for the price. Shoot steel and be happy with the savings!

Redbeard55
December 17, 2010, 06:26 PM
CornCod: You would be surprised at the people with high dollar guns shooting steel cased ammo. I help each year at the gun club for hunter sight in days. One guy came in with a fancy Merkel double rifle and the cheapest ammo he could find. Went to the range one day with a group of friends. Somebody pulled out a Colt Gold Cup National Match and Wolf or some other steel cased ammo. Such ammo won't do a thing to the bore, but can damage a chamber. When I reload some cases aren't all the same length. Some get taper crimped into place, but not all. If you have the forward edge of the steel case exposed, the chamber could get scratched. Chances are it wouldn't happen very often. However quality control on the Wolf ammo and other steel cased ammo leaves a lot to be desired.

Don357
December 19, 2010, 12:27 AM
"The hard primers of the steel case ammo has been attributed to many Mini-30 broken firing pins.",...What has the case got to do with how hard a primer is? I tend to agree that most broken firing pins are caused by excessive "dry-firing", or by "Hopping-up" a rifle with extra power hammer springs, as stated by Jeepguy. Trying to over come the weakness of one part usually exposes the weakness of another. This is why you should change all related parts when "hopping-up" a firearm. Or you could leave it alone. To quote my dad..."If it ani't broke, don't @#$% with it!!!"

Rshooter
December 19, 2010, 01:12 PM
Buy an expensive rifle and shoot cheap ammo. :uhoh: Even though I am poor I only shoot brass in my american rifles.

wlemay
January 13, 2011, 06:25 PM
I almost exclusively shoot brown bear(lacquered) and silver bear(zinc plated) in my 581 series mini-14. At about 100 yards hitting a 2inch spinning target is no problem.

Just clean your gun after every time you shoot, steel case ammo will leave lots of carbon in your chamber and around the piston head.

Zanad
January 13, 2011, 06:43 PM
my mini 30 wont digest it. T took 2 boxes of tula and brought back home 28 cartridges with dented primers. this was after some of them had been fired up to 3 times ea. apparently, my rifle either has a worn firing pin or the pin is too short.

tsooner
February 14, 2011, 07:53 PM
I watched the video, but I didn't see or hear anything about steel cased ammo.

T Bran
February 14, 2011, 08:17 PM
My ss mini 30 dont like wolf i bought a case and paid return postage to get rid of it.should have bought a box first! That being said it will shoot brown bear fine go figure. The wolf would chamber fine but 1 out of 3 were duds it could have been a bad batch but im soured on them!

Marlin 45 carbine
February 14, 2011, 09:19 PM
there is good - shooting brass cased berdan primered 'mil-surp' available at good price, it's a bit sooty but shoots out of my 189 series M30. it's mostly corrosive primered.
just flush and wipe well with windex or my favorite winter mix windsheild washer fluid it has alky in it and really cuts the crud. good for muzzle-loader clean up so you know it will do for corrosive primed cartridges.
again get the winter mix for the additional alky which keeps it from freezing and makes it an effective solvent. spray down good, let set a few minutes and repeat. then do the wipe/scrub down finishing by re-lubeing.

jeepguy
February 14, 2011, 10:00 PM
i saw a min 30 tactical at a gun show on sunday for $710, and am seriously considering buyng it. that dealer will be at another local show this weekend. i am still having reservations about the light primer strikes and broken firing pins. im not paying $16 for a box of 20 rounds of american. it is either this or buy an ak. if i lose 3 out of 100 i could live with that as long as the firing pin stays intact, decisions, decisions.

Double Vision
February 14, 2011, 10:26 PM
My Mini-Thirty doesn't like the steel Wolf ammo, so I won't buy any more.

nalioth
February 15, 2011, 12:58 AM
just flush and wipe well with windex or my favorite winter mix windsheild washer fluid it has alky in it and really cuts the crud. good for muzzle-loader clean up so you know it will do for corrosive primed cartridges.Myth.

It's the water content in the windex or "windsheild washer fluid" that "cuts the crud". There is nothing magical about windex or its peers when it comes to cleaning after shooting milsurp ammo (you will get the same results with a windex bottle full of tap water).

TylerPearce
February 15, 2011, 01:57 AM
I don't know if it is true, but I remember hearing somewhere that the wolf 7.62x39 uses .311 bullets, while "American" 7.62x39 uses .308. If that is true, I am sure that could be a problem.

nalioth
February 15, 2011, 02:35 AM
I don't know if it is true, but I remember hearing somewhere that the wolf 7.62x39 uses .311 bullets, while "American" 7.62x39 uses .308. If that is true, I am sure that could be a problem.Not quite.

American 7.62x51 uses the .308 diameter projectile.

American 7.62x39 uses the .311 diameter, because that's what the design spec calls for.

There's a thread somewhere on all the "30 caliber" rifle cartridges around and their actual bullet diameters (they're all over the map).

Jeff F
February 15, 2011, 11:04 AM
I watched the video, but I didn't see or hear anything about steel cased ammo.

It looks like they took that video down or changed it. I think theres been a lot of issues with the Mini 30 and berdan primed ammo breaking firing pins. I've shot a bunch of steel cased .223-5.56 in a Mini 14 with no issues but it is all boxer primed.

Jeff F
February 15, 2011, 11:20 AM
I don't know if it is true, but I remember hearing somewhere that the wolf 7.62x39 uses .311 bullets, while "American" 7.62x39 uses .308. If that is true, I am sure that could be a problem.

I believe the first Mini 30's had .308 barrels on them then they changed to .310 or .311. I have never herd of any problems with the .311 bullets going down a .308 bore in the Mini 30. If I was going to buy a Mini 30 I would want one of the older .308 bores because of the good selection of .308 bullets for reloading. Might have to have a custom sizing die made but could be worth it.

Usagi
February 15, 2011, 11:27 AM
I'm going to quote the best, most accurate post of this thread, and so many like it:

Any quality-made modern firearm is quite capable of running steel cased ammo without damage.

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