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Mini 30 Tactical-Buffers and Bushings

This is a discussion on Mini 30 Tactical-Buffers and Bushings within the Ruger Semi-Auto forums, part of the Rifle & Shotgun Forum category; Purchased 1911 buffers and reduced diameter gas bushings for my Mini 30 Tactical. Installing the 1911 buffers on both ends of the operating rod reduced ...


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Old January 12th, 2017, 08:58 AM   #1
 
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Mini 30 Tactical-Buffers and Bushings

Purchased 1911 buffers and reduced diameter gas bushings for my Mini 30 Tactical.

Installing the 1911 buffers on both ends of the operating rod reduced ejected case distance enough
so that the reduced diameter gas bushing was not necessary for the Mini 30 Tactical.



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Old January 12th, 2017, 09:54 AM   #2
 
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What Series is your Mini-30? Is it new or previously owned? What ammo are you shooting?

Each of these situations will effect how your Mini will respond to buffers only. A major element is the ammo one uses. Weak commie junk ammo such as Tulo and/or Wolf will give you one set of elements while full power quality ammo will give you another.
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Old January 12th, 2017, 02:23 PM   #3
 
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My M-30 is over 25 years old.....All i do is shoot it and clean afterward......Has NO aftermarket parts....Has never failed.....In the early days I ran cases of surplus ammo through it......Scoped now and has killed several deer..........
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Old January 12th, 2017, 07:44 PM   #4
 
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I guess I'm surprised that the buffers would slow down the op -rod anywhere nearly as much as a reduced bushing, the bushing will let a lot less gas push against the rod, lowering the cycle velocity and force of ejection.
The buffers ? They prevent the metal to metal contact of the front end of the op rod against gas block, and the other end of the rod against the receiver. I haven't seen them do much in the way of reducing ejection distance, but they do make for a softer shooting, less clangy Mini, and using buffers, especially the front one, will help ease the jolt on your optics.
The benefit given by the buffers is minimal compared to what going from a .080" or .085" in the Mini-14 to a .040" or .045" bushing, or going from a .100" or .85" in the Mini-30 to a .060" or .065". Guys running the shorter barrel Tactical like Lowkey's Mini-30 seem to need a little bigger bushing, like .070" or even .080".
You realize how overgassed these Mini's are from the factory when you can cut the gas almost in half, at least a third in some, and they are still very, very reliable, and don't send your brass 40 feet away anymore.
Lowkey, you didn't say how much your ejected case difference was before or after you did the 1911 buffers.
While it is not critical how far away they land, you don't want extremes.
If you have the brass landing at your feet, there's barely enough gas going to cycle the carbine. I feel comfortable with the empties going at least 8 feet away, but like 12-14 feet better.
When the same loads I normally use start landing more than 16 feet away, I plan on changing to a new bushing soon.
And did you get Wilson Combat Shok-Buff 1911 buffers or were they another brand ?
The blue Wilson's are tough and fit well, much better in fact than buffers marketed specifically for the Mini. Others might be too thick or other wise impede the free movement of the op-rod, kind of like how a bent or loose heat shield in your stock will slow things down.
I am feeding 3 Mini-30's now and apart from different sighting and stocks, like them shooting the same, so all use the same bushings, same trigger jobs, same ammo in all.
The one on the right is another 189 series I just picked up. Gun show find, $450, made in late 96 or early 97, so 20 years old, but it appears to have been hardly shot at all.

I changed out the despicable Ruger factory handguard on it today and put on an Ultimak.

The gas block screws were on VERY securely with the factory staking. Once inside, the gas pipe, inside of gas block and bushing were clean as a whistle, like new.

Bushing is the stock .100". They look HUGE after using ones in the .060"-.065" range.
It, and the gas port are pretty clean for a 20 year old Mini that had never had the gas block apart before today.

As, I said before, the reduction in a Mini-14 or 30 Tactical is not as much as a longer barreled one can realize. I included the .085" size above, as Ruger now uses .085" for all Mini's, both 14 and 30.
Us 30 shooters got a bit of a reduction from the .100" used previously. But buyers of new Mini-14's actually had the bushing size get bigger than the old .080" used on the Mini-14's.
So, Lowkey, it would be interesting to see what size bushing Ruger put in your Tactical, and what size reduced one you bought but didn't need.
If the new tactical M-30 comes with a .085", what were you going use, a .065" or .070" ?

Last edited by sandog; January 12th, 2017 at 07:49 PM.
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Old January 13th, 2017, 08:28 AM   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Happy Kaboomer View Post
My M-30 is over 25 years old.....All i do is shoot it and clean afterward......Has NO aftermarket parts....Has never failed.....In the early days I ran cases of surplus ammo through it......Scoped now and has killed several deer..........
Nice, it's no wonder that you are a Happy Kaboomer!
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Old January 13th, 2017, 09:05 AM   #6
 
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It's a new production Mini 30 "Tactical" Model 5854, Series 583xxx with a shorter and thicker barrel.
It's 3 months old, with about 200 rounds through it.

Ammo tested so far was Fiocchi 124 gr FMJ and Tulammo 154 gr SP.
The buffers were the blue Wilson brand.

With no buffers, casings were thrown about 10-12 feet in the grass.
Buffers were installed to hopefully extend scope life.
With both buffers, the brass only goes about 2 feet.
Not enough for reliability, so I might sand down the rear buffer to half thickness.

Because of the differences between the Tactical model and earlier model Mini 30s,
I've been doing the recommended mods one at at time to see what helps and what doesn't.

Bottom line is, does anybody need a set of bushings?
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Old January 13th, 2017, 01:50 PM   #7
 
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is one necessary
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Old January 13th, 2017, 04:45 PM   #8
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Lowkey, thinning the rear buffer probably won't affect the eject distance. It is the front one that might. A buffer up front doesn't allow the op-rod to fully seat against the gas pipe, so there is some gas pressure lost without the full seat. If you're ejecting only 2 feet with a full-thickness buffer, trim that one to half thickness and you should be GTG. The whole idea of the buffers is to eliminate metal-to-metal slamming. They don't need to be very thick - particularly the front one. I use vinyl baseboard material for my front buffer and it works fine in my Mini-14s. If you're using Wilson buffers, use the ones for the 1911 - not the Mini (!). The Mini ones are too thick for up front.
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Old January 14th, 2017, 03:15 AM   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwinters View Post
is one necessary
According to you, nothing is necessary. It would be a pretty dull forum if we all answered like you.
I have shot unmodified Mini's, all of mine were unmodified before I started in on them, and they are a joy to shoot now. I could place a very safe bet that mine are more accurate and "softer" shooting: and just as reliable than yours, b winters. Don't knock it till you've tried it.
Buffers, reduced gas bushings, trigger jobs, shimming the stock, shortening the barrel slightly, doing a re-crown of the muzzle etc., aren't necessary in order to make a Mini go bang.
Individually, any of those mods aren't going to show a noticeable increase in accuracy. Several or all of them together, along with ponying up for better ammo, will show a significant increase in accuracy. All of mine have shown a great improvement, going from 3 MOA down to 1 MOA.
Lowkey, 2 feet is crazily too weak for reliable cycling, as you probably already realize.
You can try sanding down a buffer, also what works well is using one of those little Dremel bits that looks like a tiny circular saw blade. I clamp half of the buffer and cut the other half, then flip around and do the rest. That polymer used in the Wilson buffers is tough, when I tried a new blade in a utility knife, it didn't cut that easy and was cutting very uneven. maybe if someone made a jig so the blade went straight the razor knife blade would be O.K.
12 feet would have been a nice distance, maybe just run a thinned buffer up front. That is where the most metal to metal contact is occurring, the back one doesn't seem to be as necessary, as the recoil spring has slowed the slide down considerably by the time the slide contacts the receiver.
Fiochhi ammo is good, PPU better, IMO. Friends don't let friends buy Tula! Shoot red Army Standard or M.F.S. Just as cheap, but much more reliable.
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Old January 14th, 2017, 06:03 AM   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lowkey View Post

Because of the differences between the Tactical model and earlier model Mini 30s,
I've been doing the recommended mods one at at time to see what helps and what doesn't.

Bottom line is, does anybody need a set of bushings?
The differences aren't many, the Tactical has a shorter heavier barrel and factory flash hider. More of a matte finish than the 2 older nicely blued ones I have. I believe all the new Mini's are shipped with a .085" bushing, and even the blued ones are coming with stainless trigger parts.
Ruger® Mini-14® Mini Thirty® Rifle Autoloading Rifle Models
The Tactical should be capable of great accuracy, as a shorter stiffer barrel has less "whip", and less tendency to heat up and string vertically.
All of the older Mini-30's, from day one in 1987, have had a thicker .625" barrel, better than the older Mini-14's .560" "pencil barrel".
One could say the difference is not so great as there is a .30 caliber hole in the barrel compared to .22 but I've found the older .30's to be very good as is.
Adding an Accustrut or Ultimak rail helps stiffen the barrel further and also helps dissipate heat. In effect, it's like you just made the barrel heavier.
In shooting both the wood stock M-30 ( which has only a strut ) and the Grey M-30 ( which has only an Ultimak ), with a scope mounted using the Ruger rings on both, I have seen no difference. hawkguy asked me on another forum if I was going to get struts for the 2 Mini's that have Ultimak's on them. I said the strut and the Ultimak do the same thing, I don't necessarily need both on the same gun.
They both do the same thing, but the Ultimak has the plus of being a great place to put a dot or scope.
If I had to fire a lot of ammo and warm the barrel up a lot, I'd probably be glad if I had both a strut and Ultimak. Or if you have one of the old pencil barrel Mini's, both a strut and an Ultimak will help it a lot.
Putting a strut and an Ultimak on a new Tactical model would be overkill, but would be one stiff puppy !
Lowkey, doing mods one at a time is the preferred way. Always shoot a few test groups use the same rest, the same ammo, etc. after doing each mod and you'll know if there is any improvement.
I tend to do all the mods at once now when I get a new Mini, knowing they all offer some improvement, and doing almost all of them has been a no -issue in terms of cost and time. The Cerakote I do myself, I'm o.k. with a trigger job, (but not awesome like Brimstone does a trigger), threading the muzzle for a flash hider, and crowning the barrel are done with easily affordable hand tools from Brownell's, and can be used again and again.
The costly "must have" Mini items are the Tech sights, Accusruts, and Ultimak ( or Amega) rail.
Man, I rag on bwinters for only typing 2 or 3 words in each reply just to get his post count up, and I am at the other extreme, typing up a couple rambling pages ! Makes me feel better, though, like I'm actually contributing to the pool of Mini knowledge.
Lowkey, you have more than ten posts now, you can put the bushing set in the classified's part section here.
I just ordered a set but wanted all three the same as I know from previous experience what I wanted.
Someone that wants to try different size bushings would want to buy your set.

Last edited by sandog; January 14th, 2017 at 06:13 AM.
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Old January 14th, 2017, 05:58 PM   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandog View Post
Lowkey, you have more than ten posts now, you can put the bushing set in the classified's part section here.
Done, thanks Sandog.

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Old February 26th, 2017, 06:41 PM   #12
 
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Hi,

New Mini-Thirty owner here. Took it out to the range for the first time and was suprised at how much it kicked. Good info on the buffers on this forum! I ordered a set from Midway. Looking forward to receiving them and getting them installed. If those buffers don't work, Lowkey I would be interested in your bushing set! Once I get ten posts on here I'll shoot you a PM.
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Old February 27th, 2017, 06:04 AM   #13
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Rhorton1, welcome to the forum from Central Virginia!

I don't own a Mini-30, but do own two Mini-14s: one is a 40-year-old 181 series with an 18.5" barrel, the other is a recent production (583 series) Tactical, with a 16" barrel.

My 181 consistently ejects 3-4 feet, with only running buffers. The bushing is the original factory one and I've never had the gas block apart. In the 30 years I've owned it, I have never experienced a failure of any kind. I primarily shoot M193 and PMC Bronze .223; both 55gr.

My 583 Tactical running only buffers fore and aft consistently ejects 10-12 feet - far less that a typical Ranch Rifle with an 18" barrel. I was prepared to get a reduced-port bushing, but that 2" shorter barrel certainly makes a difference.

The key thing for you is how far your brass ejects right now. If it is within the 10-12' range, a reduced-port bushing might make it unreliable. Beyond that, one will certainly make a difference.

The buffers won't really reduce the recoil (kick) much, but they will certainly change how it feels: for the better. Kind of like using a ball-peen hammer with a steel handle versus one with a rubber-coated handle: same force, but the rubber handle attenuates the felt impact. A front buffer might help the recoil and eject distance by not allowing quite as good a seat between the gas pipe and the op rod. It will also help out with optics' wear and tear.
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Old February 27th, 2017, 06:27 PM   #14
 
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'Nuther Newbie here. Been out of guns and shooting for a looong time. Been meaning to get back in for awhile and all the recent talk about restrictions, etc kinda gave me a nudge to get back involved. Not a fan of the AK or AR platform but like specs on the 7.62x39. Bought a Mini 30 582 series that had about 100 rounds through it and proceeded (after a lot of research) to put some mods into it. Initially it had a pretty thick block on the rod in front of the Steel Buffer which disabled bolt lock mechanism because it was too thick. Got buffers and heavier Guide spring from Accuracy Systems out of Colorado. Couldn't tell any difference because I hadn't yet shot the rifle. Seems to be pretty smooth at this point and the Bolt Lock is no longer an issue. As far as brass distance goes I installed Accuracy's Adjustable Gas block and strut combo. Got it adjusted pretty easily and brass now goes about 6-8 feet. Still have several critical issues getting this thing sorted out but those are subjects for another thread.
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Old February 27th, 2017, 09:14 PM   #15
 
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Thanks for the warm wlcome RJF!

It's good to hear your experience with the front and rear buffers... I have read mixed reviews of using a front buffer. I'll try both just to see how it works. If it doesn't jive well with my Mini I can just pop it out.

Mine is an older Mini 30 SS Ranch. 1997 vintage according to tor Ruger website. It surprisingly shot 3 different kinds of Russian ammo without a hiccup on my first trip to the range with it. And those steel cases flew at least 20 feet. Luckily I didn't knock down any low flying airplanes!

Have some brass case ammo now and a new scope. Looking forward to getting everything up and running with the buffers. Will report back.
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