Mini 14 Question

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

  1. lonewolf204

    lonewolf204 Active Member

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

    mesinge2 Member

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    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 Active Member

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    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

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  5. Albtraum

    Albtraum Member

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    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 New Member

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    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

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    :yeahthat:

    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

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    Yep. the target models dont have enough throat for a 5.56 cartridge.
  9. lonewolf204

    lonewolf204 Active Member

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    Thanks for the info.
  10. Ledslnger

    Ledslnger New Member

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    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

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    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 New Member

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    ......................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:

    "AMMUNITION

    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."

    Source:

    https://ruger-docs.s3.amazonaws.com/_manuals/mini14-181-186.pdf
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2012
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