I've been thinking of adding one of these to the fleet and curious about the "blue" model. Is it blue in a traditional sense or melonited? FWIW, live coastal Va. and plan to be in FL(west coast) hopefully by next year. Don't worry FL, not a yankee.
I believe it is blued steel, not melonite.
The Mini Thirty is blued.
SS and Blue almost same price.
When given the choice SS is for me.
SS, threaded with hider model is nice.
I've Cerakoted both of my Mini-30's just because I like Cerakote, not because I think I'm ever going to live in a humid state.
Even a stainless gun will start to rust in a humid environment.
In a salt chamber test, a bare SS part started to form rust within 24 hours, almost as fast as a blued part. The Cerakoted part went half a year before starting to have surface rust.
My Dad came back from Vietnam with a SS S&W snubby that my brother had lent him. My Dad didn't look at it till he got back here (it was stainless right ? What could happen to it ?), and it was covered in rust.
The Mini-30 here on top, started out as a SS Mini but was Cerakoted (Tungsten), as I don't like how bright bare SS is.
Stainless inside and out, even down to the pins and springs, then Cerakoted, and has a synthetic stock. About as weatherproof as you'll ever see in a carbine.
The bottom one was a blued model, than covered with Sniper Grey Cerakote, a nice matte grey.
Obviously, it needs to have a light coat of oil in the bore when put away, and checked from time to time, as inside the bore is the one place you can't Cerakote.
You don't Cerakote springs, as the curing heat can damage the temper of the spring, but all the springs in a Mini come stainless anyway.
Everything else can be done, extractor, bolt, gas block, even hammers and triggers, as Cerakote goes on so thin, it doesn't impede proper function.
I find cleanup of fouling around the gas block and gas pipe is easier as well, as the finish seals off the pores of the metal.
Both Mini's were Cerakoted almost 5 years ago, and have had several thousand rounds through each. I took them apart recently and took pics to see what wear of the finish had occurred.
1) Receiver: the only wear whatsoever was the tip of the little nub that holds the front of the magazine in. Even where rounds hit the barrel ramp going in was fine.
2) On the back of the bolt, there is a tiny wear mark top and bottom from where it contacts the receiver, and the bottom of the bolt has some wear from sliding over countless rounds in the mag.
3) both carbines have a tiny spot here and there on the op-rod where there is contact with receiver or bolt.
P.S. On both Mini's the Ultimak railed hand guard was added after I did the Cerakote, so they don't yet match.
But Ultimak sends them out in a Graphite Black Cerakote, so they're protected, just a different color for now.
Every other year or so, I meet up with a retired LEO friend who lives in Yuma, and we go camping and exploring along the Mexican border in the desert east of Yuma. It is some rough country, all rocks or cactus.
We were setting up camp one evening, and I leaned my SS/FDE Mini against the rubber fender flare of my friend's Jeep. Of course, it slid off and my FastFire red dot hit against a rock. I have a Burris Protector mount that wraps around the dot to give it, well "protection". Where the rock hit on the Protector mount, it just left a smudge, no scratch at all. You'd really have to try if you wanted to put a scratch in that finish, like a chisel or screwdriver.
So OP, if you like the looks of the blued Mini-30 better, you could get one and have it Cerakoted. Graphite Black Cerakote would look similar to a blued gun.
I like Sniper grey best. Heck you could also do one in Purple or Zombie Green if you want.
Just remember to run a patch through the bore once in a while, as it will be unprotected by Cerakote.
You might want to read my post further down in this section called "My Mini-30 Experiences". There are some tips about ammo selection and other things that might be useful to a new Mini-30 owner. Also, go over to perfectunion.com and check out their Mini/14/ Mini/30 section. It is by far the best place to learn about how to get your Mini running sweet.
Here's my daughter shooting one of mine, she has one of her own that I gave her last year:
SD, Thanks for your input, seems you have a solid working knowledge on these. How do you like the Ultimak rail for a red dot verses the short rail supplied? Any issues with accuracy with the ultimak? I saw in another forum your side mount QD sling point, could you provide close up pictures and details of install/equipment?
Oh-I helped a buddy run his monthly match yesterday and I was running a stage that had his SS mini 14 incorporated into it. Well, helped last month also and had it in a course, was raining then. Well, as I removed it from the bag, he didn't do a thing to it and guess what?-yep, bolt rusted at chamber area, had to spray some MAN on my palm as I struck it hard to free it, but ran thereafter. Yes, stains less! That's a a lot of abuse though.
Thanks in advance.
Mark, the Mini was originally designed without an optic in mind. It ejected more up than to the side.
The redesign (Ranch rifle) changed the ejector so it now ejects more to the side, but some guys still have brass hitting their optic.
Putting the scope or dot on the Ultimak eliminates that problem.
Sometimes the rear sight is in the way when scopes are mounted over the action, so the owners just remove the rear sight., not a good idea.
Having nothing over the action makes it easier to clean, and remove the bolt.
I find balance is improved and the carry point is unobstructed with a forward mounted optic.
Scopes mounted over the action necessarily have to be high, to clear the rear sight and flying brass. Nothing is more awkward than a too high ( or too big ) scope on a Mini.
A Mini's stock has some drop to it, because the sights are mounted nice and low. You want to mount the optic so there is a similar cheek weld on the stock.
Mounted over the action, there is only a "chin weld". It feels awkward, and is slower to get into action.
When I put the Mini up to my shoulder, I'm looking right through the middle of the scope or dot.
With an optic mounted over the action, when you mount the carbine you have to take another second to scoot your head up a bit to be able to see through the center of the scope. That's why many guys have to use a strap on cheek riser. If and when they go back to using the irons, they have to take the riser off.
Nothing gets the optic lower than the Ultimak:
Just like an Accustrut, the Ultimak helps accuracy by further stiffening the barrel, and acts as a heat sink to disperse barrel heat. And no, they don't even get warm on the outside when shooting. Maybe if you did 10 or 20 mag dumps in a row.
Older Mini-30's have never had the vertical stringing or heat issues that plagued older Mini-14's as they've always had a thicker .625" diameter barrel, so the 30's aren't helped much by a strut. I do have a strut (short one clamp Socom model) on my wood stocked Mini, but it is more for the M1A gas system look.
My other Mini that has an Ultimak and no strut, but it is just as accurate as the other one.
The best thing by far though, with a forward mounted optic, is greatly increased peripheral vision.
Having an optic right up against your eye, and with one eye closed no less, is about as tunnel vision as you can get.
With that scope or dot mounted close to a foot away, you can see additional adversaries, or maybe that much bigger buck off to the side, that you'd miss with a scope or dot right up against your eye.
A T.V. screen dot like the FastFire III I use, is even better than a tube style red dot for downrange awareness.
For sling mounting, the side mounted sling has numerous advantages. A bottom mounted sling, like the factory provides, is good for casually carrying the carbine, but that's about it. If you want to sling the Mini across your back and have both hands free to do other tasks, that 20 (or 30) round magazine will be digging into your back.
And having the Mini slung on your shoulder is not very quick to get into action, like the front carry.
With a side mounted sling, you can use the sling around your arm as a shooting aid, or carry over your shoulder, but you have much better carry options.
Carried in front, all you have to do is raise it up:
Every soldier and Marine in the U.S. military carries the same way:
I started out putting a Q.D. sling socket on one side ( the right side for me cause I'm a lefty), and a short piece of rail on the other for a flash light.
I used a Noveske flush mount shown here on a Hogue stock:
Or a Magpul one:
That set up is O.K., but I now just put the short rail on both sides. If a right handed friend, or my daughter visiting wants to use one of my Mini's for the day, I just switch the sling over to the other rail, using a swivel mount that clamps onto the rail.
This Magpul one is a bit more expensive, but is Melonite coated steel, and has a dual button to prevent accidental release. (I've never had an accidental release with the single button ones though):
The Magpul polymer rails are plenty strong, and lighter and half the price of their aluminum ones.
They come with little T-Nuts, they have to be slightly countersunk to clear the heat shield inside the stock.
On a synthetic stock, there is just enough room for the flat part of the nut to clear the heat shield.
Here the nuts are on a Choate pistol grip stock, heat shield is not put back in yet:
One last thing, if you mounted the rear swivel on the side of the stock, the carbine tends to want to roll away from you. Mounting the rear swivel at the top of the stock greatly reduces that:
On the synthetic stock shown above, you just remove the butt pad, and can reach inside the hollow stock to secure the T-nuts. On a wood stock you'd just drill a hole for the swivel screw.
For guys that have the old style Ruger wood stock, you can mount the swivel without drilling a new hole, just take out the top buttplate screw and replace with the swivel, same coarse wood screw thread:
As far as slings, my favorite is the Vickers Blue Force Gear, I have them on all my AR's and Mini's.
I have a thread on perfectunion's Mini section called "Sling Mounting Options for the Mini" for more reading on the subject.
Excellent! I certainly appreciate the wisdom and pictures. I just have to get the carbines now! Christmas is soon--
Found this, looks great for this
For me a righty anyhow. light and sling in one