NRA Gun of the Week: Ruger Mini Thirty Rifle

posted on February 14, 2020

In a world full of AKs and ARs, Ruger’s Mini Thirty stands out as just a little different, hearkening back to two of the most familiar and respected U.S. service rifle designs of all time: the M1 Garand and the M14.

Chambered for the ubiquitous 7.62x39 mm cartridge, the Mini Thirty takes full advantage of Ruger’s renowned investment-casting expertise with stout construction of either blued or matte-finished stainless steels and integral optics mounts.

More durability comes in the form of a hammer-forged 18.5” barrel featuring a 1:10” right-hand twist. Modern variants of Ruger’s Mini Thirty utilize a barrel groove diameter of 0.311”/0.312” to accommodate projectile offerings of the 7.62x39 mm cartridge. Prior to the early 1990s, Ruger employed use of six grooves with a diameter of 0.308” combined with a lengthened and tapered throat to safely allow projectiles of larger diameters to swage into the bore.

Operation of the Mini Thirty is by way of a fixed-piston and long-stroke gas operation system. With sturdy, fully adjustable iron sights and detachable, five- or 20-round steel box magazines, the Mini, like its smaller-caliber cousins, is a great all-around carbine for target shooting, hunting, predator control and personal defense.

Ruger offers its Mini Thirty with wood or black polymer stock construction, with a 13” length of pull, at no cost difference between these materials. Ruger catalogs six variations of its Mini Thirty semi-automatic rifle with options for threaded variants for those looking to utilize muzzle devices or sound suppression. Additionally, Ruger includes two magazines, a Picatinny rail and scope rings.

To learn more, check out this week's NRA Gun of the Week video hosted by Brian Sheetz.

Manufacturer: Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc.
Chambering: 7.62x39 mm
Action Type: gas-piston-operated, semi-automatic center-fire rifle
Receiver: stainless steel
Barrel: 18.5” stainless steel; cold hammer-forged
Rifling: six-groove, 1:10” RH twist
Magazine: five- or 20-round detachable box
Sights: fully-adjustable rear; protected, post front
Stock: hardwood
Weight: 7 lbs.
MSRP: $1,069 (current production)

Additional Reading:
Keefe Report: The Ruger Ranch Thirty

Five Reasons to Reconsider the Mini 14
Ruger Reinvents the Mini 14
NRA Gun of the Week: Ruger Mini 14 

M1A: The M14's Successful Sibling 












  







  





 

 

 

 

 

 

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