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New Mini-14, weird cycling issues

This is a discussion on New Mini-14, weird cycling issues within the Ruger Semi-Auto forums, part of the Rifle & Shotgun Forum category; Hello, New to the forum. Finally got a long gun permit, after having had a pistol permit for a few years. As my name suggests, ...


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Old February 24th, 2020, 03:00 PM   #1
 
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New Mini-14, weird cycling issues

Hello,

New to the forum. Finally got a long gun permit, after having had a pistol permit for a few years. As my name suggests, there are many,many obstacles to gun ownership here. Been eyeing minis for a long time, as I wanted something in 5.56 and can't own anything too scary looking. I went with a wood stock / stainless combo, for minimum scariness. It's my first ruger and my first rifle (owned a few shotguns), so bear with me if my questions or terminology are newbish.

I bought the rifle in September of last year. Finally brought it out to the range to start breaking it in. Issues ensued.

We ran 150 rounds total, of Federal 5.56 65g FMJ.

First 50 rounds or so cycled fine. Then we started getting Failure to Feeds and Failure to Fires. When it fired,it did not have problems ejecting the spent brass. However, it was creasing the openings on the spent brass, and denting the cases fairly severely.

The bolt wasn't seating properly on a number of rounds cycled. When I'd ride it home, it didn't seem to be sliding into battery particularly crisply or with any force. I'd heard people talk about Garand thumb, and while I didn't test that theory by sticking my finger in the action and letting the bolt hit it, I wouldn't say that getting hit by that bolt would hurt very much.

Alshad a number of "double loads." Might have been my fault. Pull the trigger, round fires, action cycles. Pull trigger again. Nothing happens. Rack the bolt, and it turns out there was a round chambered, so you've just shoved another cartridge up the first one's ***.

I bought it from a local shop, and they've been good so far - I'm bringing it to them this week, and they're going to send it to Ruger to see what's going on and get it fixed.

I'm posting more to introduce myself and get your thoughts - I don't plan to open it up or take it to a smith, as Ruger apparently has great customer service post sale.

Happy to hear your thoughts.
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Last edited by EscapefromNY; February 27th, 2020 at 07:34 AM.
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Old February 24th, 2020, 03:02 PM   #2
 
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More creased brass.
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Old February 24th, 2020, 03:16 PM   #3
 
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Welcome to the forum.
Did you take it apart and then give it a good cleaning before range time ?
You want to get any factory preservatives off, then lube the bolt rails with some light grease, just like a Garand or M1A.

If you did take it apart, it's possible if you don't know any better to get the guide rod that fits inside the recoils spring upside down, that will cause very rough cycling.
The little tip on the guide rod should be facing up towards the handguard., If it is down, that is not good.

How far was the brass ejecting ? Dented and creased brass is common with over gassed Minis. Tone down the excess gas, and the creases and dents disappear.

You shouldn't ride the bolt forward, and that applies to all semi auto firearms. Pull it back, get your hand out of the way and let the bolt go forward naturally and at full speed.

Last edited by sandog; February 24th, 2020 at 03:18 PM.
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Old February 24th, 2020, 03:36 PM   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandog View Post
Welcome to the forum.
Did you take it apart and then give it a good cleaning before range time ?
You want to get any factory preservatives off, then lube the bolt rails with some light grease, just like a Garand or M1A.
I did not. I assumed it the factory used lube and grease as a preservative, rather than another substance that would need to be removed prior to use.

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How far was the brass ejecting ? Dented and creased brass is common with over gassed Minis. Tone down the excess gas, and the creases and dents disappear.
Couldn't tell you. We were in an indoor range and it was simply bouncing off the port walls.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandog View Post
You shouldn't ride the bolt forward, and that applies to all semi auto firearms. Pull it back, get your hand out of the way and let the bolt go forward naturally and at full speed.
That I'm aware of. When I realized it wasn't in battery, I wondered how much force it had behind it as it traveled. I'd have to jam it into battery after it cycled a few times to seat it. Otherwise no bang.

You really think it's as simple as a cleaning and a lube?
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Old February 24th, 2020, 03:37 PM   #5
 
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Quote:
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Welcome to the forum.
Thanks. Couldn't figure out how to edit my post above.
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Old February 24th, 2020, 04:50 PM   #6
 
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It needing a first cleaning wouldn't be causing the issues, but that's something that should always be done with a new Mini. Some, but not all, come from the factory with a gunky preservative that needs to removed.
If you said that you had disassembled it to clean it, then I'd suspect the guide rod in the recoil spring had been put back in upside down.

Hard to say what is causing the rough cycling with out being able to handle it.
Maybe check the extractor to see if it is able to move freely. If it is having trouble snapping over the rim of a cartridge, that could be one reason why you're having to jam it into battery to get the bolt seated. Take a small screwdriver and see if you can push the extractor outward away from the bolt. It normally doesn't move much, but if yours doesn't move at all, that is not normal.

The first 50 rounds that fired fine weren't dented up, and after that the denting and creasing started ?
It shouldn't be an ammo problem, Federal is good to go, they make the Lake City stamped 5.56mm for the military.
To be sure though, it wouldn't hurt to try a different brand before you send it back to Ruger.
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Old February 25th, 2020, 03:18 AM   #7
 
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New Mini-14, weird cycling issues

Couple questions and believe me Iím a rookie with minis.

Are you using Ruger mags?
Are you shooting the rifle with anything pressing against the bottom of the mag?

Two things I have read that can cause issues with the mini. I just bought a mini and the only thing i had issues with is finding my brass after they were sent flying lol.


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Last edited by Mamiela; February 25th, 2020 at 03:21 AM.
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Old February 25th, 2020, 06:01 AM   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamiela View Post
Couple questions and believe me Iím a rookie with minis.

Are you using Ruger mags?
Are you shooting the rifle with anything pressing against the bottom of the mag?

Two things I have read that can cause issues with the mini. I just bought a mini and the only thing i had issues with is finding my brass after they were sent flying lol.


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THIS!!!

Using the magazine as a forward hand hold has long been proven to cause feeding problems as pressure on the magazine changes the feed angle.
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Old February 25th, 2020, 06:34 AM   #9
 
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Pressure on the bottom of the mag could cause a bobble in feeding, or shoddy aftermarket mags, but wouldn't explain why the OP has to ram the charging handle forward to seat a round.
The OP is in New Yorkistan so probably is limited to 10 round max mag capacity.
Usually resting the mags on a bench or hand pressure if you are holding them becomes a problem with the extra leverage afforded by 20 or 30 round mags.

Mini is fairly new so I doubt chamber crud is a problem this soon, perhaps a slightly undersize chamber could cause that. Or the extractor being seized up as I mentioned earlier. Could be a bad batch of ammo (oversized) which is why I suggested trying some different ammo.

Dented and creased brass is the result of the brass hitting the op-rod on the way out, usually the result of an overgassed Mini. Not a real big deal unless you are saving the brass for reloading.
I'd prefer not to have the brass hitting something ( op-rod, edge of receiver or scope) on the way out for reliability reasons, but until the OP can shoot outdoors and we know the distance it is ejecting, we won't know if his Mini could use reduction of gas to cure the denting problem.
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Old February 25th, 2020, 08:17 AM   #10
 
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Appreciate the thoughts. No question too basic as I’m learning them myself.

I am using factory mags. Have heard factory and pro mag are the only options for reliability.

I have five rounders as I’m in the lions den of manhattan nyc. Ten rounds would be a luxury unless I can get pre ban mags? 1993 I think?

We were bench shooting on a rest. I don’t think we were applying undue pressure to the mag but I can’t be sure. The five rounders are flush to the stock so it shouldn’t have been a crazy amount of pressure in any case.

I honestly wasn’t paying attention to the first slew of cartridges. It went bang and we were putting some nice groupings together so I was happy. Didn’t think to examine brass as part of a break in analysis. Only took a look as things went sideways.

I did not disassemble it clean or lube, but that doesn’t mean someone at ruger qc didn’t put the guide rod in upside down. I’ll take a look at that.

I’ll also take a look at the ejector and run the test as prescribed.

Thank you again for the welcome and for your thoughts.
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Old February 25th, 2020, 08:21 AM   #11
 
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Which lubes and greases are recommended for these things?
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Old February 25th, 2020, 09:19 AM   #12
 
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Originally Posted by EscapefromNY View Post
Which lubes and greases are recommended for these things?
Mine will run just fine with anything or even no lube. However with no lube the bolt tends to be hard to open after sitting a while.

I use Froglube now because it doesn't attract dust if properly applied. "Properly applied" are the key words...most people don't follow the directions and then complain when it gums up.
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Old February 25th, 2020, 03:41 PM   #13
 
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Sorry your rifle is finicky. Hopefully it is just"breaking in " try some differnt ammo, clean it, lube it, thats all good advice and a place to start. After a few hundred rounds, if no better, I would send it back to Ruger. They will fix it for FREE....rifles get shipped to Newport ,New Hampshire, not too far from NYC, so turn around time should be approx. 7 days. Good Luck
PS I have the same rifle model #5802 and it is a beauty to look at imo
You have good taste!
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Old February 25th, 2020, 07:11 PM   #14
 
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I like to take a bore snake with me to the range. Occasionally the chamber and the throat get carboned up and with a new barrel it will cause the ammo to feed poorly. When things start to jamb up, use the bore snake to clean out the barrel. Everyone has their choice of lube oil. Hoppes makes a good gun oil. I use 90wt gear oil cut with RemOil with Teflon. The Teflon RemOil is really light so I don't recommend it straight.

The bore snake may not be the perfect answer to a carboned up barrel and throat but it's easy to pack around. ONe of the pull through cables with a brush will also work. I think your problem is a simple solution. Clean it, lube it and then go back to the range.

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Old February 26th, 2020, 03:38 AM   #15
 
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Yes, a Boresnake or Otis cable will clean out the bore, but your chamber is larger than the bore, a Boresnake won't even touch the sides of the chamber.

You can make a chamber brush from a $3 flux brush from a plumbing supply store.
Places like Home Depot and Lowes should have them too.
Put a bend in the flux brush as shown.
The first time you put it in the chamber you'll have to cram it in to bend the bristles down to fit your chamber. After that it will have a custom fit for your chamber, be it 5.56mm or 7.62 x 39mm.
The flux brush is the one in the gun, the other one had bristles that were too soft to do any good.
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