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Ruger Mini-30: The 7.62x39 mm Mini-14

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    Ruger Mini-30: The 7.62x39 mm Mini-14

    Ruger Mini-30: The 7.62x39 mm Mini-14

    • GUY J. SAGI
    posted on September 4, 2021

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    When Ruger introduced its Mini-14 in 1973 it didn’t take enthusiasts long to become enamored with the nimble semi-automatic carbine so reminiscent of the M1 and M14. The versatile gas-operated, piston-driven guns were compact, built to the company’s rugged standards and chambered in 5.56 NATO. One of the few complaints, however, was the fact that cartridge limited the gun’s ability to be used during big game season in many regions of the country.

    The company has a tradition of responding to customers, so in 1987 a Mini-30 version of the Mini-14 was introduced, chambered in 7.63x39 mm. That .30-cal. bullet delivered more knockdown power downrange, which made it opening-day friendly. Its ability to digest inexpensive imported ammo was also a pocketbook bonus for those whose range sessions traditionally run longer than expected.

    Today Ruger’s Mini-14 family has three branches. the entirely 5.56 NATO Ranch line, the Tactical’s (which include one model chambered in .300 Blackout) and the Mini-30s, exclusively in 7.62x39 mm. All are popular, but as American Rifleman highlighted last year in a Gun of the Week episode, the latter models are something special.

    There are five models of the Mini-30 currently available from Ruger, and another dealer exclusive. All have hammer-forged barrels that are either 16.12" or 18.5" in length. Rifling is 6 groove, 1:10" right-hand twist.
    Two models wear wood stocks, including the one only available from Davidson’s. Magazine capacity in both is five cartridges.

    The four other versions wear black synthetic stocks and come with either five-or 20-round capacity magazines. Every model ships with a generous recoil pad, a ghost-ring aperture sight at the rear with blade up front, a receiver tapped for mounting the included Picatinny rail and a pair of magazines. Weight runs between 6.7 and 7 lbs. (including wood-stocked models) and overall length comes in at 36.75" or 37.5". Metalwork is available is stainless or blued, depending on the version selected.

    It’s the reliability that leads to word-of-mouth sales, though. All Mini-30s use the Garand-style breech bolt locking system with a fixed piston and self-cleaning piston. It’s a combat proven method of operation, one that thrives through the mild-by-comparison neglect enthusiasts dish out. MSRPs run from $1,279 to $1,399.

    Yup- Ruger was working on the XG-1, which was going to be in .308, but receiver cracking issues prompted developing the slightly less powerful 7.62x39 instead. Nice little rifle. Here's an issue I have found with them but not with the Mini 14:
    When stored improperly in a humid environment, there is a tendency for the end of the gas port to rust a bit, and if the op rod is over the gas port, it renders the action locked closed. placing a block of wood on the handle of the op rod and giving the wood a sharp rap with a hammer usually frees it up in a jiffy
    Take a young person shooting.... Take 2 or more if you can...


    • Barnslayer
      Barnslayer commented
      Editing a comment
      You are what you eat. In this case Ruskie ammo.

    seems like people either love it or hate it...
    Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock.


      I don't own a Mini in x 39, but I always thought that if reliable, it would be a great universal gun/caliber combo.
      "The Open Carry guy is my decoy."


      • NRATC53
        NRATC53 commented
        Editing a comment
        Very reliable, eats damn near anything. Accuracy typical of the platform, which means it's more accurate than 95% of the people using it

      M-14BULLETTS was selling one of these not long ago (I think)...


      • Dan 0351
        Dan 0351 commented
        Editing a comment
        I think someone mentioned trading a .223 for a x 39 and I was considering it. I've been traveling a bit so I didn't inquire about it. And believe it or not, I forget what Mini's I have that I would part with.

      • Dan 0351
        Dan 0351 commented
        Editing a comment
        Found it:


        Location: Wish I could leave
        08-23-2021, 08:59 AM
        Beretta 92FS is on my list. I also want to trade/sell my mini 30 for a mini 14

      I have both the 14 & the 30. Both have the Mo-Rod barrel stabilizers which I found to be a big help. Plus the look cool almost like an M-14.
      The 14/30 was offered in 300BLK by Ruger but has since been discontinued.
      I'm not sure if other calibers are available ..... I don't want to look or I'll feel obligated to buy one!
      I looked for one of the XGI's for a long time .... so now I'm building a .308 Garand instead.


        Originally posted by SemiAutoFetish View Post
        M-14BULLETTS was selling one of these not long ago (I think)...
        M-14BULLETTS if you are I know someone looking for one
        It's all the same, we're all ashamed of our children who can't read between the lies of their textbooks
        This world must bear witness to a revolution every now and then
        We clutched our quills to scribe the bills of this great nation
        Now show me you can hold a fucking pen


        • M-14BULLETTS
          M-14BULLETTS commented
          Editing a comment
          i have one i was thinking about disowning, is some one wanted it more than me