The Ruger All-Weather Mini-Thirty Rifle
By Carl Swanson
The Ruger Stainless Synthetic Mini-Thirty 7.62x39 caliber "all-weather" autoloading carbine comes with a matte stainless steel barreled action and black synthetic stock. I purchased this rifle for plinking and informal target shooting. Upon opening the shipping box, I found the rifle to be in perfect condition. Ruger had done a good job in the shipping preparation. There were no flaws in the rifle's fit or finish.
The plastic stock has a well-formed pistol grip and comes with a rubber butt pad. Sling swivels are provided. The action vaguely resembles that of the M-1 Garand and M-14 service rifles. The safety, located in the front of the sheet steel trigger guard, operates much like an M-1 safety. The Ruger 2006 catalog gives the following basic specifications for the Stainless/Synthetic Mini-Thirty: caliber 7.62x39 Soviet; blade front and fold down rear peep sight; barrel length 18 1/2"; overall length 37 1/4 inches; weight 7 pounds; MSRP $809.
Like most Ruger centerfire rifles, the Mini-Thirty features built-in scope bases that accept Ruger rings. A set of rings is supplied with every rifle at no extra charge. The little rifle's magazine release is an inch or so in front of the trigger guard, at the rear of the magazine well.
I initially sighted the rifle for 100 yards, using the stock Ruger aperture ("ghost ring") sight provided on the rifle. I was surprised to find it could easily deliver 2-3 MOA groups at this range when fired from a hasty bench rest. The front sight blade is protected by "ears," a concept evidently copied from the M-1 service rifle.
The Mini-30 peep sight presents a very good sight picture, equal to that given by my Garand. The little sight has maintained its ability to flip up and down with no weakening of its leaf spring. I store the rifle with the peep folded.
For me, the Mini-30 shoulders easily and points well. It is a little wobbly from the offhand position, especially if I've been active (such as cross-country skiing) and take a quick offhand shot. But this is characteristic of any short, light barreled firearm.
In summary, I have no negatives to report about this firearm. The positives have been reliability and accuracy--and those are good positives, indeed.
Note: A complete review of the Ruger Mini Thirty All-Weather can be found on the Product Reviews page.
Copyright 2003, 2006 by Carl Swanson. All rights reserved.