Overview Weights & Measures
||Blued Carbon Steel
||Fixed Piston Gas -
7.62 x 39mm
|| 20 Rounds - As
Ghost Aft - Blade Front
||Integral Mounts -
|Length of Pull
lbs 12 oz Empty
||7 lbs 8 oz
This particular Mini-30 ships with a 20 round
mag, 1" scope rings and sling swivels included. A five shot mag
can be purchased through the
Ruger store, along with a variety of specialty tactical and
hunting stocks and other widgets. If you want to seriously
personalize a Ruger Mini-14 or Thirty, of course Brownells has:
adjustable triggers, adjustable gas blocks, barrels, thirty
round magazines, a variety of hunting and tactical sighting
systems, etc. The Mini Thirty is a very mission adaptive
Easy take down...
like firearms that are easy to disassemble to a meaningful
degree for a couple of reasons. First, I'm not that bright so
the last thing I need is an endless stream of firearms that have
their own.. combination locks to figure out. Second, I am old,
so I can barely lift the remote to switch on a NY Giants game to
watch them lose... except to the Chicago Bears, apparently.
I need a gun that is easy to take apart or it
will never be cleaned and it will eventually be rendered
inoperative by an overabundance of carbon deposits and a carbon
footprint mandate from Al Gore (aka The Snore), or the U.N. With
the exception of popping the trigger guard with anything that
has a blunt tip and is ¼" diameter cylindrical, disassembly is
easy and requires no tools. Ruger indicated that a bullet is not
to be used to perform this task. I concur, but I bet there are a
lot of guys who would look at the hole in the guard, look at the
tip of a 7.62x39mm bullet and think "Hey?". Bent and lose
bullets are not advantageous to safety or accuracy.
The trigger assembly is... robust and logical in design. There is
the trigger hooked to the underside of the hammer with a secondary
sear on the opposite side of the hammer. The secondary sear catches
the hammer as the gun's bolt moves rearward after discharge. The
primary sear on the trigger locks into the sear hook on the hammer
as the trigger is released and allowed to move forward.
This Mini Thirty example came in a little heavy in pull and with
some small amount of creep. Not enough to impact function, but it
could be a little more crisp and a little bit lighter. Again, in
keeping with the theme of personalizing a Mini Thirty, there are
ways to address these issues. Brownells offers a three way
adjustable trigger that is listed as requiring gunsmith installed.
They also offer a Wolff extra power Slide/Hammer spring set. It is
an area that can always stand improvement, but not an area to play
around in without appropriate training as reworking the hammer, sear
and secondary sear means managing metal removal and surface
finishing. Done correctly, the result is a slick 3 - 3.5lb trigger.
Done incorrectly, the gun will double, it won't get repaired under
warranty and you will need a fresh
supply of trigger parts. Before I complete the live fire portion of
this project, I'll clean and lube the trigger assembly and see what
a little use does to trigger pull.
The Gas system of the Ruger is much simpler than an AR's system.
No long gas pipe or combustion gases make their way to the gun's
bolt. The short gas pipe, left inset, channels gas pressure to the
front of the slide to cycle the gun. The forearm has a steel liner
that protects the stock and shooter from any gas or gas born
residue. For the handloader looking to optimize cycling for a wide
variety of loads, Brownells# 054-000-002 can add the feature of an
adjustable gas block.
"In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man
There is a tendency, these days, for mass produced firearms to
have less than exciting sight systems. Manufacturers install just
about anything to meet the perceived obligation, avoiding the cost
of good sights and assuming the customer will find something more
personally suitable. Ruger took a different route. They put a good
set of sights on the Mini Thirty, very much appropriate for the
rifle's typical application.
The rear ghost ring type sight is fully adjustable for both
windage and elevation. Each full turn of the windage adjustment
results in a 5" shift at 100 yards. Each half turn of the elevation
adjustment, the aperture, results in a 1.25" shift at 100 yards.
Adjustments are locked in place with a lock screw. Adjustment
requires the use of a 5/64" hex wrench. Adjustments are precise and
settings remain in place under recoil. In use they worked well and
were very fast in getting on target. Both front and rear sights are
well shielded with brush guards, so I am happy to report that all of
the thick scrub branches that swatted me on the face never disturbed
the Ruger's sights.
Conclusion... for now
The Ruger Mini Thirty has the utility of of an AR-15 without the
associated weight or... clunkiness. The Mini Thirty is quick
handling, accurate and it is chambered for a significantly more
The Thirty is durable. The selection of materials and finish make
this a gun that can serve under adverse conditions while retaining
its aesthetic appeal. It has a reliable operating system and it is
accurate. Stay tuned for Part II; live fire and reloading the
Ruger's Mini Thirty Tactical Rifle Part I
Ruger's Mini Thirty Tactical Rifle Part II