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Mini 14 in .300 Blackout or Mini 30?

This is a discussion on Mini 14 in .300 Blackout or Mini 30? within the Ruger Semi-Auto forums, part of the Rifle & Shotgun Forum category; Good morning, chaps! New to the forum here, hope everyone's had a good weekend. I've had a Mini 14 for about 8 months now and ...

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Old May 15th, 2017, 05:02 AM   #1
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Mini 14 in .300 Blackout or Mini 30?

Good morning, chaps! New to the forum here, hope everyone's had a good weekend.

I've had a Mini 14 for about 8 months now and I love it. Been shooting it on my parents' property (they've got 80 acres outside town, better than a range). Haven't had any problems, seems accurate, etc.

Now, I'm also interested in getting either the Mini 14 in .300 Blackout or the Mini 30, but I'm having a difficult time making up my mind which to get. Decisions, decisions. I've been watching videos on YouTube, etc., but all I can come up with is the following:

1. The Mini 14 in .300 Blackout is fully functional right out of the box -- it doesn't have any trouble with ammo. However, that ammunition is pretty expensive -- it looks like the cheapest .300 Blackout is approximately 60 cents plus per round right now.

2. The Mini 30 uses 7.62x39. The problem is that the cheap ammo -- from Tula, etc. -- is steel cased and doesn't work well in this gun. The American brass-cased ammo is just as expensive as .300 Blackout. Now, I've heard that adding a stronger Wolff hammer spring can make the Mini 30 capable of firing Russian steel-cased 7.62x39 ammo. However, some YouTubers mentioned a theoretical risk of pierced primers in this case, though they had no direct experience of any such happening.

So, does anyone know if it's more effective to get a .30-something caliber Mini that --

-- uses expensive .300 Blackout ammo but is a reliable go from the box?


-- uses 7.62x39 but needs to be modified in order to use cheaper ammo?

Thanks in advance for any input!

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Old May 15th, 2017, 05:32 AM   #2
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I like the 300 BO because of the different ammo choices that are available. From 2100 fps 110 gr. to to 1050 fps 220 gr. As the 300 BO becomes more popular, ammo prices are coming down too. It is readily available for around 52 per round now. Look for S&B or Magtech. Or these Speer TNT hollow points for about the same price. I don't know if you can even find 7.62x39 in hollow point or soft point, so if you were going to use it for hunting, that would be a consideration. https://modernarmsinternational.com/...0-rounds-copy/

Ballistics for the two are very close and I don't know how accuracy compares, but my AR 15 300 Blackout is pretty darn accurate.

Two groups at 100 yards on the same 8" target. The top one is the first group. The bottom one is after I adjusted the scope down a couple of clicks. This is with a 3x scope.

BTW, welcome to the forum

Last edited by Bozz48; May 15th, 2017 at 05:46 AM.
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Old May 15th, 2017, 06:14 AM   #3
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That would be an easy decision for me, with that said, I vote 7.62x39. I own 2 mini 14's a 1988 standard, a 2008 laminate target. I also own a 1998 mini 30. All three are accurate rifles. I like the 7.62x39 for the reason that I feel its superior to the 300 black. Biggest reason more powder capacity in the case. The 300 was developed as its best use to be employed suppressed. Most are not gonna suppress a mini 300. Do not misunderstand me, their is nothing wrong with the 300, it has a strong following, its strong point is if your gonna reload, it can be easily made from 5.56 cases, and a wider variety of bullets than the 7.62x39. In my case I already have a 30 carbine which closely compares with the 300 black. The downside to the 300 for me is the ballistics, and shorter trajectories.

However the 7.62x39 allows you to shoot cheaply if you would like. They do make a soft point, vmax, and hollowpoint ammo for the 7.62x39, as well as the fmj. It can be used for deer pig, or smaller animals hunting. The ammo is practically everywhere. If you reload as I do, you can improve on the accuracy, I can get 1 moa out of mine. So my vote is the mini 30. The small mods you may possibly have to make, are worth the effort.

I am sure that some of the guys here will chime in, like sand dog with more input.

Here is my mini 30 at 100 yards with my 110 vmax reload, took the photo when I was zeroing it. Last 8 shots in the 1 inch square final zero, so it is 1 moa capable, no fluke.

Last edited by Tacky; May 15th, 2017 at 06:21 AM.
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Old May 15th, 2017, 06:49 AM   #4
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Reloading and suppression is a great help in making your decision. You can modify the M30 to shoot steel better. Personally, because I suppress and reload, I would grab the Mini 14 in 300.
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Old May 15th, 2017, 07:47 AM   #5
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While I don't own either caliber, I do own a nice 583 Series Mini Ranch Rifle and have shot a friend's Mini-30 and another friend's Mini 300. As I'm interested in obtaining a 30 cal Mini, I have recently researched the OP's question for myself. As I handload, I looked at available commercial ammo as well as the costs of handloading each caliber and my review leads me to these conclusions.
  • Both calibers are best enjoyed if the shooter handloads as the available commercial decent quality ammo is relatively expensive compared to the cost of handloading with one exception.
  • While 22-24 per rd steel cased Tula and Wolff ammo can be problematic in a Mini-30 due to their deep set primers, 22-24 per rd Red Army Std steel cased ammo has shown to be reliable in the Mini as it's primers are set more closely to American std depths.
  • No cheap (22-24 per rd) steel cased ammo exists for the 300 BO.
  • Decent quality brass cased and reloadable ammo costs about the same for each caliber (e.g. PPU at 44 per rd).
  • Handloading costs for good quality loads (Bullets, Primers, and Powder) for both calibers are the same. Bullet weights of 125grn class and 150grn class are available in a variety of options.
  • 300 BO Brass can be made from free 5.56 brass, however, the cost of HD trimmers and and forming dies offset the savings. Available new 300 BO brass cases costs the same as new 7.62x39 brass cases.
  • Surplus bullets in 125grn class are available for 7.62x39 and surplus bullets in 110grn and 147-150grn are available for 300 BO.
  • Plated 125grn bullets in 7.62x39 and plated 150grn bullets in 300 BO for plinking are available.
  • Premium bullets in the 125grn class for accuracy or hunting cost the same for both calibers.
  • As a supersonic round, the 7.62x39 shoots the same weight bullet about 200fps faster than the 300 BO out of the same length barrel.
  • The 7.62x39 rd produces better longer range (over 200yds) performance than the 300 BO.
  • Many Mini-30s produce sub-moa groups shooting handloaded 7.62x39 ammo.
Available Cheap Ammo:
  • Cheap Red Army Standard Commie ammo seems to eliminate the failure to fire as the primers aren't set as deep as the Tula and Wolff ammo.
  • A stronger hammer spring will not make the Mini-30 more reliable, it will cause the firing pin to break when the shoulder strikes the rear of the bolt face because the firing pin is set at American std making the firing pin a bit short for deep set primers of the Russian ammo.
  • IF the OP plans to shoot cheap commie junk 7.62x39 ammo in his Mini-30, then an aftermarket stainless steel firing pin is required to shoot Tula or Wolff ammo as the stock Ruger fitted pin is about .005"-.007" too short for reliable ignition.
  • PPU ammo makes excellent brass cased 7.62x39 ammo and their brass is very good for reloading.
  • Many Mini-30s produce sub-moa groups shooting handloaded 7.62x39 ammo.
300 BO
  • As a sub-sonic round, the 300 BO shines, however, to get proper cycling, Ruger states that a suppressor is required on the Mini-300.
  • Many Mini-300s produce sub-moa groups shooting handloaded 300 BO ammo.
Available Cheap Ammo:
  • Currently, there is no cheap surplus ammo available for the 300 BO. The only available options are to buy commercial ammo or handload.
If one is not interested in a suppressed, sub-sonic rifle, the 7.62x39 is a far better choice in the Mini because, with the purchase and fitting of a new firing pin, or better, std firing pin and the use of Red Army Std cheap ammo, or best, the use of handloaded ammo, the Mini-30 can be shot considerably cheaper and with better supersonic performance, than the Mini-300.

Last edited by COSteve; May 15th, 2017 at 01:11 PM.
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Old May 15th, 2017, 09:34 AM   #6
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Thanks very much for all the input, target pictures, and etc. guys! I really appreciate the friendly welcome to the forum!

While the .300 blackout still sounds interesting, I think that COSteve's post has persuaded me to go with the Mini 30. Also grateful for the heads up about the Red Army Standard ammunition, too -- a round that combines the ability to be used in an unmodified Mini 30 with reasonable cost is a very good thing to know about.

Thanks again!
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Old May 16th, 2017, 03:47 AM   #7
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Edmund, I am in agreement with Tacky and CoSteve. I love the Mini-30 and now have three of them.
Accuracy is great, that is if you use good ammo and good bullets.
I use Hornady SST's for an expanding bullet, but there are others from Barnes, PPU, Winchester and Remington.
I have never shot a 300 BO, wouldn't mind having one, but that's probably not going to happen as I like to keep ammo, magazines, reloading components, etc., the same so as to simplify things. I got rid of a perfectly good Mini-14 as I didn't want to keep track of different ammo and magazines.
PPU FMJ is my go to ammo for range use. I have shot a couple hundred rounds of Red Army Standard, and it is fast, decently accurate, and only two failed to go off ( the first time) out of my Mini's with stock firing pins.
I have fitted a longer aftermarket pin to two of them, it stays with the Mini in a butt stock pouch, along with some cleaning gear, a couple of other spare parts, and couple Allen wrenches for the Tech sight, Ultimak rail, and gas block. If I ever have to shoot Russian ammo on a regular basis, I can slip in those pins.
I don't recommend shooting steel case Russian crap, even the Red Army Standard, on a regular basis. They are somewhat harder on your barrel and chamber, and harsh on your extractor, as steel doesn't contract as much as brass after firing.
But it seems most guys are cheap and want to fire crap ammo when they get a Mini-30.
If you want to save money and shoot more, get into reloading. You'll have more accurate ammo as well.
Do NOT install a heavier recoil spring. All that does is slam the firing pin harder, without letting the firing pin go deeper through the bolt. You HAVE to fit a longer pin that will have a bit more protrusion out of the bolt face. Hitting the pin harder with a heavier will not make the firing pin go further forward, as there are "steps" on it that touch the ledges inside the bolt.
Here are some tests I did for velocity and accuracy with three different loads out of three different barrel length Mini-30's. Note that the highest velocities were achieved with the shortest barrel, which would indicate that the factories use powder that is optimized for 16" barrels.
Velocity Loss Vs. Barrel Length in the Mini-30 - Shooting Sports Forum
Mini-30 Velocity/Accuracy Test Redux - Shooting Sports Forum
.308 Diameter Bullets in the Mini-30. - Shooting Sports Forum
Unreal Expectations from the Mini Platform - Shooting Sports Forum
The Mini-30 and Import Ammo
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Old May 16th, 2017, 04:48 AM   #8
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If you do not handload 7.62x39 is far cheaper and maybe I have been lucky but I have had no problem with extraction or ejection with steel case ammo. I have used wolf with no problems and virtually no problem with tula.
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