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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Much to my eternal aggravation I finally gave in to the voices in my head and bought myself a new Mini-30. I'd had a Mini-14 years ago and sold it due to its incredible inaccuracy. I'd heard new reports of better than old accuracy, and with my enthusiasm of the 7.62x39 round, ended up buying one.

As many of you may remember, I started out with the best one you could buy, (CZ 527), and learned through others that the Europeans know more about this cartridge than any American gun maker. Even the Russians make a good gun or two in this caliber. I bought a Saiga, and been impressed with its ability to digest just about everything but not heavy loads. Actually, it will shoot them, but by the condition of the brass that is shucked out, it won't ever be my favorite for that endeavor. I know many have had relatively good luck with the Ruger as of late, so as I said, i got one.

Taking it out this weekend was more than a little aggravation. I love this power level, and want to take full advantage of any offering in the caliber. I like a sporter configuration better than a pistol grip AK, so I needed to try it out What I found out was that many of these do not shoot the Ruskie ammo worth beans. Mine was a jammomatic with Bear and wolf. It did fairly well with Military classic. Non-USA ammo is not recommended, but if I'm going to own one of these, it better learn to shoot it. Right off the bat the gun didn't like anything polymer related. It shot fine with my hand loads including 50 rounds of ammo loaded with an improperly sized. .308 (Hornady 150gr. RN). The bullet is properly sized, but not for the gun. This gave an inch at 50. I was shooting the best groups with this when I went to my cast load of the NOE (Lee copy) of the 155gr. .313 sized with 20gr. of H4198. This gives a good idea of what the gun will do with cast. It does shoot this load like a house of fire, and I was dually impressed. It did better than an inch. Probably .6!.

I ordered some Silver bear ammo hoping it'll work, as I don't want to shoot only hand loads (or brass factory rounds, cause that just ain't gonna happen. I had learned the gun will shoot this, and not shoot Tula, and sometimes shoot the polymer and lacquer coated stuff. I'll settle for Silver bear, but if I don't get satisfaction with at least this ammo, the gun will have to go.

I do love the trigger, and like the accuracy with my hand loads. Heck, I got 1 inch at 50 yards with irons and that cast load several more times. I have yet to put a scope on it. I've cleaned and lubed, and considered putting a couple of more powerful springs on it, but will give it 200 more rounds before I consider it broken in. Any recommendations?
 

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I have heard that the mini's dont like the steel stuff. Not ever owning one, I cannot give you a recommendation.

I know you said your accuracy was good, but I have heard really good things about these:

The Original Barrel Strut for Mini-14s
 
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I have had a couple mini 14's every since they beefed up the barrels a few years back. Always wanted a thirty, but the price of either went through the roof like everything else. I would definetly give it time to break in then swap the springs as you said. Man the mini's are fun to shoot.
 

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Had one for a short while, remember it functioned 100% with Rem and Win factory and handloads, recall getting accuracy done to around three inches or so at at 100 yards with open sights. Never tried Russian ammo. The factory plastic butt plate was slippery for me, so I put a little of that stair tread traction tape on it. Recently sold a Ruger 96 (mini 14 based 44Mag), shot about the same, same slippery butt plate.
 
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I have had two older ones, neither were shooters nor reliable with the factory magazines. I shot a lot of Silver Bear match "Nipple" ammo in a Chicom SKS back in the 90's, it was very accurate ( 2" w/irons at 100) The newer Ruger Mini-30 "Tactical" looked good and felt good in my hands at the shop but the uncertainty of reliability/accuracy along with its almost $800 price tag put me off. Good luck with yours, its an interesting platform, but the odds are against you my friend! ha I had/gave my pastor buddy in Joplin one of those CZ 527s, you are right, it shoots everything you can put in it! The best 7.62x39 I've ever messed with, though a Romanian AK was 100% reliable, even with a 75rd drum magazine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hey guys!

I wanted the tactical, but settled on the newer thicker barreled stainless. Its what I could get. I do realize things are against me, but I can honestly say it does shoot cast very accurately. Hard to say how good, mind you, because I haven't put glass on yet, but I was able to get 1 inch and less on several groups with my token loaded lead load. (with irons at 50 yards) The gun did fine as long as it was not shooting that polymer steel cased stuff. It didn't particularly like the Brown bear ammo, but I'm told it likes the silver bear. The WPA military classic did OK. Just got some Silver Bear in and am itching to go find out what it will do. I do have a Saiga that is unconverted, so I have something like this already. I truly got this full knowing I might trade it off. I get ticked off thinking about how they make these knowing it won't shoot that steel cased ammo. Incidentally, there was a video present on the Ruger sight talking about how this gun did shoot that ammo.

I think I just have to try it out to satisfy my curiosity. I've had a good year, and in the absence of new marlins to buy, I'm looking at other possibilities. Giant guns no longer interest me. I'm not interested particularly in shooting over 400 yards for any reason. No more target varmint guns for me. I like target shooting (with lighter guns), hitting steel, and hunting. This would be a tree stand gun along with going down after hogs. I do love that CZ 527, and its smallness.

Not sure why I like them small, because i am pretty large, but I like being able to pack easily and not worry about large bulk. I absolutely loved hunting with that CZ 527. Its right up there with my 30-30's and the 357 1894.

As I indicated above, the thing shoots 150gr. 30-30 bullets with ease. They are sized .308, but worked just fine. I know my 50 yard target shots were very close together. Just not quite as close as the Lee 155gr. cast. My real intention is to have another hunter that can shoot relatively inexpensive ammo. If this Silver Bear doesn't work, I'll take this, and a double barrel shotgun I have and trade it in on an M1A, which I know shoots cast with good accuracy. They are just a little big for me right now.:flute::biggrin:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I think the main reason I've enjoyed these lighter, smaller guns, is because of the shortage of 22 ammo. I've always liked some recoil, and these guns basically take the place of shooting our 22's. My son really likes shooting 7.62x39 (as Do I).
 

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I like the look of the mini 30 so much better than the AR platform. YMMV. If it shoots well with cast then I'm good to go. But, I'll most likely buy a Remmy .308 pump before I get around to buying ta mini 30 because I already have the reloading dies and bullet molds.
 

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Your going to have to work that chamber over a little to loosen it up some. To shoot that cheap stuff. You are going to have to stick to the ruger mags or you will have feeding problems. Ive got a old mini 14. A 181 to be exact. Mine shoots pretty tight, Id shoot it with any of the ar guys . Of course Ive done a few modifacations to mine. Stabilizer on the barrel and a mussle break. A real good site for the minis is. Shooting Sports Forum its a great source of info for the minis.

 

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As noted - give it some break-in time. I've had new guns that choked on steel case at first but then functioned better once they got broken in. I also found back in the days of the lacquered ammo that lubing with RemOil resulted in better functioning in my guns than the Breakfree I had used for years. Suffice to say I use RemOil for my primary lube/cleaning now as well as some gun grease for special applications such as the bolt handle track on my Mini and M1A. A big plus on factory magazines as the after-markets can be very hit & miss. My Mini-14 actually gets very good accuracy and functions good with the Wolf 62gr FMJ loads - but less so with the hollowpoint and 55gr stuff. :flute:
 

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I like the looks of that barrel strut plumbinator! I could see where that would stiffen everything up. I had some Accuracy work done by a company on a mini-14 years back, but that first shot went 4" high and 2" right, then I could put 5 into an inch at zero! It did this from a cold barrel or when I jacked the first round in from a loaded mag, by hand of course. I had heard of this phenomenon, but it was too fickle for me....she went on down the road, ha. Dr a, I hope I wasn't too negative, I sincerely hope you get those bugs worked out in your Mini-30!:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I got into this fully knowing all of the negatives. I'm not sure why I was wanting one. I had a Mini-14 and was not impressed at the time. Perhaps its a stress relief, and I always have to have a project gun. I doubt I'll replace the CZ 527 as a primary hunting gun in this caliber. I'm pleasantly surprised that this gun actually shoots cast pretty well. I like the sights.

Many of my Marlins have been projects through the years. I just need another project. I may get one of the struts, but I want to achieve some measure of reliability first. If I'm still interested and think it has potential, I'll pursue it. As I said, I like the compact nature of the gun. Otherwise, I'm perfectly satisfied selling it at a slight loss if I feel its not going to do what I need it to do.
 

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I just got a CZ 527 in 7.62 x 39 mm last month. It is fast becoming a favorite and I like the Brown Bear ammo. Shooting some Romanian lacquered ammo makes it hard to close the bolt occassionally. There is no problem with the SKS shooting that stuff, however. I mounted a Weaver 1x3.5 Classic scope with CZ rings and it shoots quite well. I really like this gun and the round. While I have a Savage 99 in .300 Savage and a Winchester in .30-06, this light carbine is fun to shoot and I don't use up all the powder and bigger bullets with the Russian round. Eventually, I will reload it, but for now I bought a couple cases of Brown and Silver Bear. That seems to be fine.
 
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