The Mini-30 is a lightweight semi-automatic rifle manufactured by Sturm, Ruger & Co. used by law enforcement personnel and civilians.
History and design The Mini-30 was first introduced in 1987 by Sturm, Ruger & Co. The Mini Thirty is chambered for the Russian 7.62×39mm cartridge, used in the SKS and AK-47, as many states prohibit hunting of deer with calibers smaller than 6 mm (.243 in). The 7.62×39mm has ballistics similar to the well-known .30-30 Winchester. The Mini Thirty shares many of the same design and accessory options with those of the smaller caliber Mini-14 Ranch Rifle, including a Mini Thirty Tactical Rifle variant released in 2010 which closely mimics the Mini-14 Tactical Rifle variant.
The name Mini-30 was coined because it resembles a smaller version of the military M14 rifle. Designed by L. James Sullivan and William B. Ruger, it incorporated numerous innovations and cost-saving engineering changes. The Mini-30 rifle employs an investment cast, heat-treated receiver and is mechanically similar to the M1 Garand rifle, with a self-cleaning, fixed-piston gas system.
The design was overhauled to improve accuracy and update the styling while at the same time reducing production costs. The standard Mini-30 was discontinued and the name became the family name for all Mini-30 type rifles. As of 2005, all Mini-30 type rifles are now based on the Ranch Rifle design, with integral scope bases, a non-folding ghost ring aperture rear sight and a winged front sight similar to that used on the Ruger Police Carbine. These upgraded rifles have serial numbers beginning with 580 and are sometimes referred to as 580 series Ranch Rifles. They have new iron sights and a modified gas system designed to reduce barrel vibration and are capable of shooting 2 inch groups at 100 yards or 2 minute of angle (MOA) accuracy.
Sometime between 2007 and 2008, Ruger added a heavier tapered barrel to the Mini series. The heavier barrel had an overall larger diameter with the barrel visibly becoming thicker in the final inches as the barrel approaches the gas block from the muzzle. These changes combined with tighter tolerances result in greater potential accuracy. All Mini-30 type rifles are available in stainless steel or blued finish with hardwood, synthetic, or laminated stocks with 16.12-inch (409 mm) or 18.5-inch (470 mm) barrels.
- Ranch Rifle
The Ranch Rifle is a basic model offered in a wood or synthetic rifle stock paired with a blued or stainless steel receiver and a standard 18.5" tapered barrel (1:9" RH twist rate). These rifles feature an adjustable ghost ring rear sight and winged front sight, and they are sold with a detachable scope rail mount and a choice of two 20-round or 5-round detachable box magazines to comply with some U.S. states and other countries which have laws restricting magazine capacity.
- Tactical Rifle
variant released in 2010 which closely mimics the Mini-14 Tactical Rifle variant. The Mini Thirty is available with a 16.12" (Tactical Model) or 18.50" barrel having a twist rate of 1:10" RH, and is sold with two 20-round or 5-round box magazines. Ruger does not currently produce 30-round Mini Thirty magazines.
- Straight-pull action
A small number of straight-pull only (a.k.a. bolt-action only) Mini-30 rifles were manufactured for sale in the United Kingdom as a result of legislation which banned semi-automatic centerfire rifles in 1988.
There are a wide range of aftermarket accessories available for the Mini-30, including numerous stocks, magazines, weaver and Picatinny rail mounts.