Mini 14 Question

Discussion in 'Large-Bore/Small-Bore Rifle/Shotgun' started by lonewolf204, Feb 15, 2012.

  1. lonewolf204

    lonewolf204 Well-Known Member

    Apr 10, 2011
    Why do people say not to shoot 5.56 ammo in a Mini 14? :eek:
  2. mesinge2

    mesinge2 Active Member

    Dec 4, 2009
    Central Florida
    The issue is that IIRC 5.56 is thicker at the neck and creates significantly more chamber pressure.

    I know for a fact that firing a .223 round in a 5.56 weapon has no ill effect. The converse is also true is that firing a 5.56 (repeatedly) will damage the .223 weapon (over time).

    As I understand it, and I may be wrong, but there are some Mini-14s that can shoot the 5.56 and some that can't.

    The only way I've heard to make sure is to look at the user's manual for your particular rifle.

    Mine states that I can use either and I do with no ill effect.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2012

  3. American Leader

    American Leader Well-Known Member

    Mar 1, 2011
    My mini will shoot 5.56 LW, what caliber is marked on your firearm? I think Ruger makes them both ways.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2012
  4. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    NW Florida
  5. Albtraum

    Albtraum Well-Known Member

    Jun 8, 2011
    Pretty sure all Mini's are chambered in 5.56 and can shoot 5.56 or .223 fine. Maybe steel cased ammo has issues?
  6. Snakedriver

    Snakedriver Active Member

    Mar 4, 2009
    SW. Florida
    All Mini-14's except the "Target" Model are good to go with 5.56mm ammo. See your Owner's Manual on Page 3 under "Ammunition". Ruger could save much confusion if they would change the stamping on the receiver to 5.56/.223.
  7. The Duke

    The Duke New Member

    Mar 11, 2006
    NW Louisiana

    I got a few thousand 5.56 down the tube of my 180- series Mini 14 with no ill effects what so ever..Most of it mil-surp hardball ammo...Great little gun.
  8. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    Yep. the target models dont have enough throat for a 5.56 cartridge.
  9. lonewolf204

    lonewolf204 Well-Known Member

    Apr 10, 2011
    Thanks for the info.
  10. Ledslnger

    Ledslnger New Member

    Dec 12, 2011
    I just read a cool article in a gun mag about this, although it referenced AR type rifles. An easy analogy is looking at compression and cylinder heads. If you have smaller ports in your heads it raises the compression of the engine. Same thing from my understanding of the article. A .223 barrel has less room therefore (more compression) so when shooting a 5.56 round which has more power you can end up with explosive results with the smaller and more restrictive area. So, the Mini 14 must have a barrel reamed out to accept the power of the 5.56.
  11. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    Sort of ledslinger. 5.56 chambers are throated, whereas the .223 counterparts usually are not. Throated in this context means long leade, or freebore, just like any other military arm. Has to do with the chambering reliability of dirty, beat up, out of spec ammo. And consequently 5.56 nato is loaded hotter to compensate to maintain the NATO spec for muzzle velocity which makes them a bit too hot for a precisely chambered .223.
  12. Snakedriver

    Snakedriver Active Member

    Mar 4, 2009
    SW. Florida
    ......................and since all the Mini-14's (except the Target Model) have always had a 5.56 chamber installed regardless of the receiver stamping, using 5.56 ammo in it is not a problem. The Ruger Mini-14 Instruction Manual clearly states this fact.

    My 183-series Mini has it on Page 3 under "Ammunition" but the more modern ones have it on Page 11 after the addition of all the lawyered up warnings. It says:


    The RUGER® MINI-14® RIFLES are chambered for the .223 Remington
    (5.56mm) cartridge. The Mini-14 Rifle is designed to use either standardized U.S.
    military, or factory loaded sporting .223 (5.56mm) cartridges manufactured in
    accordance with U.S. industry practice."

    Last edited: Feb 17, 2012
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