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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ruger sent me their new Mini-30 Tactical for testing and evaluation. Got it in yesterday. No time for a range session yet, but here's the out of the box review. I've owned two in the past but am not all that familiar with the Mini family as I'm an AR-type guy. My previous experience with the Mini-30 was limited - I had my first cut from 18.5 inches to 16 inches to make a short carbine. The rifle never functioned properly after the surgery and I got rid of it.

I later acquired a second, but didn't keep it long because high capacity magazines were hard to find, expensive, and never functioned reliably. I heard that Ruger was coming out with a revised model featuring tighter tolerances and military iron sights and let it go. This was several years ago, and in the meantime I pretty much gave up hopes of getting a Mini-30 configured like I wanted....

...until now



The 16 inch heavy barreled Mini-30 Tactical was exactly the rifle I had envisioned.

Specifications:

Manufacturer: Sturm, Ruger & Co
Model: Mini-30 Tactical
Caliber: 7.62x39mm
Overall length: 36.75 in
Barrel length: 16.1 in
Rifling twist: 1/10 in
Muzzle thread: 5/8 x 24 TPI
Weight: 6.73 lbs
Loaded magazine weight, (20 rds): 18.8 oz
Trigger pull: 5 lbs 11.5 oz



Included with the rifle is an owner's manual, one 20 round magazine, and a set of 1-inch rings. Also included is an action lock, already misplaced. Oh well...


This is an attractive little carbine. The sights are a great improvement.


Also attached to the heavy barrel is the AC-556 styled flash suppressor, which I like. The Ruger flash suppressor is unique among others in the industry and visually distinct.


Barrel diameter forward of the gas block measured at 0.782 in.


Barrel diameter aft of the gas block measured at 0.623 in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I disassembled the rifle for thorough cleaning and to familiarize myself with it.


I knew of the heat shield in the upper handguard, but was unaware of the one in the stock.


I really like that Ruger opted to use stainless steel for the hammer, trigger, and firing pin as opposed to using non-stainless components.


The Ruger manufactured 20 round magazine has witness holes in both sides. Magazine feels very solid and well designed.


The magazine floorplate is stamped for the Mini-30, but the markings are finely cut and not immediately visible. Nowhere on the body is the cartridge specified as 7.62x39mm. It would be beneficial for Ruger to mark 7.62x39 somewhere, preferably where it can easily be seen.


Five pull average of 5 lbs 11.5 oz.


The rifle looks like it means business.


Ruger's distinctive logo is inset on the pistol grip cap.



My overall out of the box impression is that Ruger has refined their Mini-30 into the rifle I always wanted; a short, handy, heavy-barreled no-frills carbine. It shows promise as a truck gun, a pig stopper, defensive carbine, and patrol rifle for law enforcement.

Range test soon to follow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I know Remington makes soft points and maybe Winchester also. I have a box of Double Tap 123gr Rifle Defense & 123gr Barnes Triple Shock X that should work great for hunting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Velocity Test

First thing I wanted to do at the range was run some ammo through the chronograph and get some velocity readings.


ShootingChrony F-1 Master was set at 12 feet for the test.


Ammo used for velocity test was Remington UMC 123gr FMJ, Winchester 123gr FMJ, DoubleTap 123gr Barnes Triple Shock X, and DoubleTap 123gr Rifle Defense.




DT Rifle Defense bullet diameter measured 0.3105 in.


DT Barnes Triple Shock X bullet diameter measured 0.3105 in.


Ruger Mini-30 Velocity Results

Rem UMC 123gr FMJ.....2228 fps
Win 123gr FMJ.....2298 fps
DT 123gr Barnes Triple Shock X.....2202 fps
DT 123gr Rifle Defense.....2171 fps

Rifle bore was cleaned before and after each brand was tested so as not to provide any advantage or disadvantage to any specific manufacturer. Cleaning also aided in the barrel break in process.


Primer strikes appeared sufficient.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
50 Yard range test with irons.

The BVAC 123gr V-MAX didn't arrive in time for the velocity test, but will be included for the accuracy test. Bullet diameter measured 0.3105 in.




The irons were pretty much on right out of the box. No adjustment was necessary.


My impression at fifty yards was that the military type iron sights are an improvement over the original style in respect to target acquisition and the rifle accuracy was up to expectations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Burris sent me their FullField II Tactical (2-7x35mm) for range testing with the Ruger Mini-30 Tactical. I figured 2x would be good for close-in work and 7x at extended ranges.


FFII TAC includes the TAC II knobs. Nice definite clicks when adjusting.




The FFII TAC also features the Ballistic Plex reticle, a bullet drop compensated type.


Also included is a BDC chart and stickers for numerous popular cartridges.


Here is my attempt to capture the Ballistic Plex reticle looking through the scope. My poor attempt is not indicative of the clarity of the glass.


Burris FFII TAC mounted on the Mini-30 Tactical with supplied Ruger rings.


The supplied scope rings sit a little higher than I prefer. However, the glass on the scope is clear and provides a crisp image. I like this Ballistic Plex reticle, it's simple and not cluttered.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
100 yard test

Temperature was 78 degrees. Three round groups as I did not have enough ammo left for 5rd groups. As I'm cheap, I used the same target for the scope sighting in and the 100-yd test, hence the white pasters.

Center group is Remington UMC 123gr FMJ - 2.474 in.


Winchester 123gr FMJ - 1.787 in.


DoubleTap 123gr Rifle Defense - 1.2445 in.


BVAC 123gr V-MAX - 1.755 in.


One of the tighter groups of the day. DoubleTap 123gr Barnes Triple Shock X - 0.953 in.


The tightest group of the day. BVAC 123gr V-MAX - 0.801 in.




Final impression is that the Ruger Mini-30 Tactical delivers best results with BVAC and DoubleTap. Both brands consistently produced tighter groups than ammunition from the larger manufacturers. During testing no malfunctions of any type were encountered. Overall I'm very pleased with the performance of this rifle, but I wouldn't complain if Ruger supplied an additional magazine. I think this is a positive addition to the Ruger Mini family of rifles.
 

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Nice writeup and photos! This is a very good looking rifle and it has certainly improved from the model I owned which was accurate and reliable with expensive brass ammo, but I wanted to shoot cheap combloc ammo, and it wouldn't do that, so I sold it. I'm smarter now though. That is plenty accurate for deer hunting in the vast majority of the country.
 
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