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Discussion Starter #1
Ok. I helped a friend dial in his Mini-30 in the fall and I must say, I'm a little giddy. All other debates aside, the mini-30 will be a good addition to the family and will be coming home soon.

Here's my dilemma. I have a WASR with plenty of steel cased ammo (Herters from Cabelas -free with points- and Golden Tiger from a local gun shop). On the front page of the owners manual for the Ruger, it states to use only brass casings.

My question: Does anyone have a suggestion for a brand of brass (preferably non-corrosive) that will fire in both rifles?

I have heard that the WASR/AKs like to chew brass shells, so I never bought any. I'd like to just find one that'd work in both and load up on that. It makes storage much simpler keeping one caliber.
The local wally world sells Winchester brass for $28/40 rds. (Golden Tiger is $4.99/20). He did fire about a dozen steels through the mini and they all went bang, so I don't doubt they'd work. I just don't know if there'd be any long term damage issues by firing steel through it.

Thanks for your thoughts!
 

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A WASR would eat cement -cased bullets if they made them. They are like junkyard dogs, they have a nasty bite and they will eat just about anything you care to feed them.
The mini-30 favors a more refined diet.
 

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Aim surplus usually has some brass cased 7.62 ammo. It is corrosive though.
 

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A WASR would eat cement -cased bullets if they made them. They are like junkyard dogs, they have a nasty bite and they will eat just about anything you care to feed them.
The mini-30 favors a more refined diet.
If you have a Dunham's you can get to, they sell surplus Yugo M67 7.62 x 39. Brass cased, but corrosive primers so you'd want to clean out the gun when done. That said, the corrosive primer is a salt that will create some rust in the barrel, gas tube, etc. So on a Yugo SKS for example, which has a plain steel barrel one wants to be prompt. Your WASR has a chrome lined barrel so it's less of an overall issue at the end of the day. You want to clean it, but it's not an emergency.
 

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Try looking into golden bear 7.62x39mm. It is brass coating over steel, might feed decently in a mini for less than fiochi or winchester.
 

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There has been speculation whether the older min-30 rifles had a .308" bore or a .310" bore. I can't tell you either way on that one. If I owned a rifle I did not know what the bore was, I would slug it. Take a soft lead round ball and hit it with a wooden mallet down the barrel crown. Push the cut lead ball down the barrel, and then measure the bore diameter and groove diameter (raised portion). This will tell you what you have.

Brass cases versus steel. When a gun fires the chamber expands and then contracts. A very small amount, but it does. Steel takes much more force to expand the same amount versus brass. The steel cases take more extraction force to leave the chamber after being fired. Ruger might be covering their kiesters on extractor damage.

7.62x39 and 5.45x39 ammunition is designed to be steel cased. The casing has more taper to it than most other rounds. This helps make extraction easier due to the steel cases.

I know several mini-30 and mini-14 owners that fire steel cased all day long from their rifles with no problems.

Brassed cased ammo in SKS or AK-47 rifles is just fine. Some guns do put a dent on the side of the case, but it can still be reloaded. Not all brass cases can be reloaded, well atleast easily. Modern reloading uses cases that accept boxer primers. Most surplus ammo is berdan primered. Look down the hole of the spent case. See one hole for the primer ignition channel, it's boxer primed, keep it. See 2 holes, it's berdan primed, throw it out after you shoot it.

Surplus yugo brassed cased ammo is mildly corrosive. Clean the chamber, barrel, bolt parts, and gas piston parts when done shooting. A spray down the barrel and wipe down of the parts of windex usually does the trick.

I prefer brass cased ammo throuhg my rifles, because I reload some quality stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
A WASR would eat cement -cased bullets if they made them. They are like junkyard dogs, they have a nasty bite and they will eat just about anything you care to feed them.
That's why I never bought brass, figured it'd chew them up real bad.
 

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I buy Winchester Olin brass, boxer primers, Olin psp bullets and load all my ammo in 7.62x39. Cost about $ 0.17/rd.

What does your cheap junk cost again?
 

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Winchester and Fiocchi(they're the cheapest @ $10 a box) and a few other company's that make new production brass cased ammo. Winchester has major quality control issues on there ammo the past few years, I'd maybe steer away from them.

Golden Tiger is not brass cased, it's steel cased that's been brass plated to make retards feel better about themselfs.

Anyways, Mini30 will eat steel case all day anyways... I would not worry about it. The steel cased ammo thing is mainly myth fed by a small handful of bad story's that ruin steel cases rep for the other 99.99% of users.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I buy Winchester Olin brass, boxer primers, Olin psp bullets and load all my ammo in 7.62x39. Cost about $ 0.17/rd.

What does your cheap junk cost again?
If you'd be interested in manufacturing, boxing and shipping it at double your cost, I'd love to keep you busy!
 

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Never heard that brass ammo in AKs was bad. I have fired it many times never had an issue.

But Ruger is going to say that, steel cased is not likely to hurt anything. Unless they are somehow implying the steel used in a Mini-30 is inferior to the stuff made in Russia or China. Gun companies say all sorts of things, like never ever ever use reloaded ammo. High point says shake your ammo to make sure they all have powder in them, like anybody has ever sat down and shook every individual round in a box, somebody would say you are OCD.
 

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Doubts Most Everything
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... On the front page of the owners manual for the Ruger, it states to use only brass casings. ...
There is no such warning on current manual, for models 2005 to present, only a caution about corrosive ammo.

https://ruger-docs.s3.amazonaws.com/_manuals/miniThirty.pdf

Matter of fact, here's the old manual, and there's no mention of steel cased ammo in it either:

https://ruger-docs.s3.amazonaws.com/_manuals/miniThirty-old.pdf

Are you sure you didn't read "corrosive" and think "steel"?

Also, somewhere either on Ruger's site or elsewhere there is a video where the fellow that does their product videos mentioning that steel is okay.

I assure you I shoot beau coup steel cased through both my Mini14s. Polymer cased, lacquer, whatever I get cheapest.

- OS
 

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Discussion Starter #15
There is no such warning on current manual, for models 2005 to present, only a caution about corrosive ammo.

https://ruger-docs.s3.amazonaws.com/_manuals/miniThirty.pdf

Matter of fact, here's the old manual, and there's no mention of steel cased ammo in it either:

https://ruger-docs.s3.amazonaws.com/_manuals/miniThirty-old.pdf

Are you sure you didn't read "corrosive" and think "steel"?

- OS
I'm not sure which version manual he had, I'll give him a call. We both read it and it did mention brass casing only, that's what prompted our discussion. Might be an older version???

Glad to hear other 30 owners putting steel through it, puts me in a better state. :thumb:
 

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The main problem for Mini-30's was breaking firing pins or failing to fire on the harder berdan primers. Wolf sells a spring kit to improve that, maybe even a better firing pin, I can't remember.

Extraction isn't really any worse with steel than brass, steel obdurates less than brass, so the characteristics of the two sort of annul each other. Biggest problem is firing brass after gumming up the chamber with lacquered cases, THAT can be a problem and rip the rim off of a brass case, leaving a case in the chamber. Steel cases are soft steel, shouldn't even really hurt your extractor any more than brass.
 

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I'm not sure which version manual he had, I'll give him a call. We both read it and it did mention brass casing only, that's what prompted our discussion. Might be an older version???...
Well, the two manuals I referenced are the only two Ruger shows since the Mini30 was first made, so I just don't know.

... Wolf sells a spring kit to improve that, maybe even a better firing pin, I can't remember.
I've never seen any credible claims that there is any non-Ruger firing pin for Mini30/14 that holds up very long. They seem to be l ProMagish at best.

Biggest problem is firing brass after gumming up the chamber with lacquered cases, THAT can be a problem and rip the rim off of a brass case, leaving a case in the chamber.
FWIW, the only rims I've torn through have been on steel cased stuff, two with Mini14 and one with AR. But none of the cases were really stuck in chamber either.

- OS
 
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