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Ruger Mini 30 accuracy

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by mrvickery, Feb 5, 2004.

  1. mrvickery

    mrvickery Member

    I was wondering if anyone out there has any experience with a mini 30?
    I have been told that it won't shoot worth a dang and I've been told that it shoots OK. Will someone please tell me the truth? I'd like to use one on deer out to 150 yds. with a 4X leopold compact scope. would I be wasting my money or not?
  2. JohnMc

    JohnMc Well-Known Member

    "Minute of paper plate" is probably a good description for the accuracy level of a Mini 30. Mine does 4-5" groups.
  3. dbshabo

    dbshabo Well-Known Member

    I had one a while back but sold it. I put a 4x scope on mine and could get 3" - 4" groups @ 100yds, that is till the barrel heated up. The hotter the barrel got the larger the groups got. I would have kept it but I found that I couldn't get the bolt out of the gun without taking the scope off. I bought a Marlin 30-30 to replace it.

  4. Swamprabbit

    Swamprabbit Well-Known Member

    I shot a friend's Mini-30 several years ago and that is the reason why I never bought one.
  5. jpthegeek

    jpthegeek Well-Known Member

    bought one, still have it

    I got one at the recommendation of a friend. It was the first weapon I had bought in several years and the first semi-auto rifle (other than a .22) I had ever owned.

    I shot it for about a year with iron sights and its factory 5 round mag. I could get 4 to 5 inch groups at about 75 yards until the barrel heated up. Last year I put a scope on it and have been able to do about the same at 100 yards with the same results.

    Also bought 6, 30 round mags. Can't begin to tell you what kind they are though. 2 of the 6 work but needed major modifications. I hear there are ruger fullcaps out there but have never seen any.

    The only ammo that has ever been through it is Wolf. Sometimes I have had problems with the bolt actually jamming and getting off the carrier. Have to kind of wrench it back into place.

    Since I got my AR and AK, I havent even taken it out of storage. If I thought I could sell it for what I paid for it, I would, but after getting rid of a cheap Ruger 9mm several years ago for no good reason, I have a problem selling weapons.

    Cheap to shoot, but why would you want to? Buy an SKS and ammo and optics for a third of the cost.

    Hope this helps.
  6. BamBam-31

    BamBam-31 Well-Known Member

    Do some reading here: www.perfectunion.com. They have good advice on inexpensive ways to get the Mini's to shoot better.

    Mine shoots 2-3" groups at 100 yds, until the barrel heats up. Then my groups start moving south. I end up with an oval-shaped group about 2-3" wide and 6-7" long.
  7. mrvickery

    mrvickery Member

    SKS accuracy

    Wow, thanks for all the input on my mini 30 questions. I got a few comments about the sks and was wondering what kind of accuracy I can get out of one with a scope. I actually owned one about 10 years ago but could not afford a decent scope. I used a mount that straddled the reciever and screwed to the side but could never get the gun to keep its zero. It shot good with open sights about 1" to 1.5" at 50 yds and about 4 at 100 yds. I wish the ruger would shoot better because it is lighter and shorter than the sks. So I guess my question is, has anyone mounted a scope on one and got it to stay sighted in? Does it shoot signifigantly better than the mini 30? I don't plan on making multiple rapid shots, if a gun is sighted in and shoots straight I can hit with it and don't usually require more than one sometimes two. Any more info will be greatly appreciated............
  8. BamBam-31

    BamBam-31 Well-Known Member

    I've been able to get 2-3" groups at 100 yds. with my Yugo SKS shooting American Eagle off a rest. Barrel's stiff enough that there's no vertical stringing, either. I doubt it'll do much better if scoped.

    At www.simonov.net, there's lots of info on the SKS. IIRC, he concludes that most of the cover mounts don't hold zero. You gotta poke holes in the receiver if you wanna scope it properly.

    I don't think the 7.62x39 round, the SKS, or the Mini, are known for being uber-accurate. I think the SKS and the Mini are about the same in terms of accuracy, but the SKS does it for less money and w/o the whippy barrel.

    If you're looking to hunt, why not look into a bolt action? I've heard of people taking deer with SKS's (w/in 150 yds, it's prolly accurate enough), but for the price of a Mini, you can get a pretty decent bolt that's more accurate and scope friendly. Savage in .308 comes to mind.

    Or maybe you're looking for a more multi-purpose rifle, hence the semi's?
  9. Onslaught

    Onslaught Well-Known Member

    I personally owned a Ruger Mini-30 Stainless Ranch rifle for several years. Because of the cheap ammo, I shot it all the time. Accuracy was just terrible. First in the wood stock, then in a Choate stock, then with a shorter 16" barrel and Choat flash supressor... Never did anything to improve accuracy.

    I would get a 12" paper plate and draw a big 1" red dot in the middle and place it on a saw horse at 100 yards. Then, with a Tasco Compact 2-8x32 scope mounted on it using the factory mounts, I never ONCE actually hit the red dot. I'd hit the paper plate every time, but it was very disappointing.

    My buddy had an SKS, and he could hit all around the red dot in what actually resembled a "group", while I never knew if I was going to hit 3" high, 2" low, 4" left, or 6" right of that dot...

    Ammo was just whatever surplus stuff was cheap back then.

    That was my one and only non-.22 rifle back then, so I wasn't at all happy with it. I wanted it to be a hunting rifle, SHTF rifle (hey, I was 19 :) ) Sniper rifle, etc. Accuracy was terrible, and I never found a single 20 or 30 round mag that would work reliably. With the 5 round factory mag, it was 100% reliable.

    Now that I have several rifles that fill different roles, I did consider buying another one just for fun, but for the price, it's still not worth it for me. I will probably end up with a Saiga since I don't care about full cap mags for it any more than I would have wanted hi-cap mags in the Mini.
  10. tex_n_cal

    tex_n_cal Well-Known Member

    I had a Mini-14 some years ago before moving to CA...then sold it thinking they were illegal here (they're not). I had previously cleaned it up, relieved some pressure points inside the stock, and assembled some carefully put-together handloads.

    It had a Leupold 1.5x4 Vari-X III scope, an original 20 round Ruger mag(previous owner was a deputy) and a trigger job.

    I loaded five handloads, sent them down range, walked down and found all five in a 1" group at 100 yards:eek: on the first try.

    I still kick myself for selling it, and will get another. I think it likely they aren't that hard to get them to shoot.

    One thing I have noticed on other Rugers, is that the slick plastic buttplates slide around a lot in recoil, which does nothing for accuracy. Brownells sells a steel model, and you can also coat the factory model with rubber to make it stay put on your shoulder. The all-weather models have rubber pads, and also stay put. I think I am likely to buy one of those.
  11. natedog

    natedog Well-Known Member

    I like mine. I have a Mini, the .223 model. I liked it better than an SKS that I handled (too heavy and long for a 7.62x39mm). My Mini shoots about 2-3". If I was outside of California I probably wouldn't have bought it though (AK, or AR instead).
  12. Onslaught

    Onslaught Well-Known Member

    For the record... ALL the Mini-14's I have fired (three total) were significantly more accurate than my -30.

    Supposedly something about the "forcing cone" needing to handle american .308 bullets and foreign .311 bullets or something... It's been years since I read the explanation.
  13. deputy tom

    deputy tom Well-Known Member

    Mini 14's are very accurate.Mini 30's are not! As far as the original post re:mini 40 vs. SKS,I believe the SKS wins.I've owned and fired both.I still own an SKS and a Mini 14 but no more mini 30's.tom.
  14. Mannlicher

    Mannlicher Well-Known Member

    While the mini 30 would work well as a close quarters rifle, neither the gun, the 7.63 X 39 cartridge, or the 4X scope is up to the task of deer hunting at 150 yards.
  15. deputy tom

    deputy tom Well-Known Member

    Mannlicher,I'll agree with you on this.I'd prefer a .308 or an '06 for meat or money.I regulate my Mini 14 and SKS for paper work.tom.
    PS I like your signature line.
  16. hooker67

    hooker67 New Member

    mini 30

    I own a mini 30 and have gotten good accuracy out of it as long as i use the wolf ammo the russian stuff is .311 diameter as apposed to american .308.There made for the 308 but if you start to shoot the russian stuff you can't go back it will shoot sloppy with american ammo i get one inch groups sitting down and using a sling at 100 yds. There is no such thing as a high capacity mag for the mini thirty never seen one that worked aftermarket and if Ruger makes them then they dont offer them to the civilian population. never had a problem with the five rounder's anyway. The one i have Ive had since it was made in 1987 works great on whitetails here in tennessee
  17. Snapping Twig

    Snapping Twig Well-Known Member

    Mine is accurate. I call 2 ~ 3 inch groups at 100 yards good.

    Try 150g bullets as the 1 in 10 twist is just right for heavier bullets. 125g rounds are inacurate in my rifle, perhaps yours too?

    Go to Perfect Union as linked above and get the gas block torque info. Mine shot horribly, I torqued the gas block, it dialed right in.

    Depending on the vintage of your rifle, you may have an older .308 bore or a newer .310 bore, this is important for accuracy issues. You can reload for the older rifle with many bullet selections in .308 or select .311 bullets for a newer rifle.

    Gundoc on Perfect Union can do a trigger job for you that is outstanding. He's fast and the work is superb, you'll still have a two stage trigger, but it will break @ 3.5# and feel more like a bolt gun than you can imagine. This alone makes the rifle more accurate.

    Torque and trigger, select proper ammo and take the X right out of the target at 100 yards.

  18. BlindJustice

    BlindJustice Well-Known Member

    A friend in Texas just traded a Mini-30 for a bolt action in .22-250 because the Mini-30 wouldn't hit where he was aiming until he
    warmed it up with about 35 rounds. With a cold barrel it was off the
    1.5 x 1.5 foot target at 80 yards.... it was great warmed up but he
    wanted it for a first shot kill on Deer so bye bye.
  19. 351 WINCHESTER

    351 WINCHESTER Well-Known Member

    Never owned a mini 30, but had 2 mini 14's. If I did my part I could keep all shots on a pie plate at 75 yds. I sent the second one back to ruger with a nice letter and they did something right as it came back with a test target at 50 meters that you could cover with a dime. I'ts not my most accurate gun, but at least it's much better than it was.

    Maybe if you send it back they can "tweak" it for you too.
  20. aka108

    aka108 Well-Known Member

    I've heard the new ones are fairly accurate but have no first hand knowledge that this is factual. I bought one about 12 to 15 years ago. It was the least accurate firearm I ever owned--even less accurate than a old 1909 Mauser with a sewer pipe barrel. Sold it two years ago, told the buyer it was no good but he wanted it anyway.
    at least I didn't feed the guy a lot of BS and he got it with his eyes open.

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