Reloading .223 for a Mini-14

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by bikeryoda, May 21, 2009.

  1. bikeryoda

    bikeryoda New Member

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    I started loading .223 today using bullets with the weights of 36 gr, 50 gr, and 55 gr. I am using H4198 and I found that my rifle would not cycle unless using a load of 22.5 gr of powder no matter what grain bullet I used. Are there any suggestions out there (which I am sure there are tons) about what the best powder/bullet weight combo for this particular rifle?
  2. gadsden

    gadsden New Member

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    I use 27 grains of Varget behind a 55 grain bullet (fmj or soft point) and get good results with my ranch rifle. If you still have some H4198 left, I have had very good results with that powder using 21 grains behind a 55 grain bullet.

    Are you using factory magazines? If not it could be that your gun is not cycling because it is getting hung up on some of the cheap magazines that are available for the mini-14.
  3. doug66

    doug66 New Member

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    I have had good results with 55gr. projectiles and W748 powder. Can't remember the charge weight, but it was straight out Winchester data.
    Last edited: May 23, 2009
  4. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    bikeryoda:

    You need to better define "won't cycle". Does it:

    1) fire and eject the round but fail to feed the next round?

    2) fire and not eject the case from the fired round?

    3) fail to lock open when only one round is put into the magazine and fired?

    Each type of failure leads to a different problem and solution.

    LDBennett
  5. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

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    H4198 is to fast burning for the Mini-14. It doesn't produce enough port pressure to cycle the action in some Minis. Switch to a slower burning powder and you should be fine.

    Unless your Mini has a reduced size gas bushing your brass should fly out of that action.
  6. bikeryoda

    bikeryoda New Member

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    Thanks for the help! As far as cycling goes, I am using a factory clip, the round will fire but will not eject and load the next cartridge. At times the bolt may go far enough back to stovepipe the empty cartridge.
  7. RustyFN

    RustyFN Member

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    Curious how you came up with the 22.5 grain load. From the manuals I looked at that load is anywhere from a max load to 2 grains over. Did you start low and work up or start at the 22.5?
    Rusty
  8. cycloneman

    cycloneman Well-Known Member

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    i agree, i like accurate 2460, win 748 or imr 4064. i have used all these in my mini and no problems.
  9. bikeryoda

    bikeryoda New Member

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    I did start with the minimum load just to play it safe. then i started to work up a load that would work in my mini. At 22.42 gr and below it acted up. The next round wouldn't load or the lower end would not even barely move the action at all. I worked up with each bullet weight from 36gr to 50gr to 55gr. and 22.5 seemed to work for all of them. what i am really looking for is a cheap target load that will function in my rifle and a deer cartridge @ about 125 to 200 yards.
  10. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

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    Tell us more about the rifle. Is it a new 580 series? If it's an older model what are the first three digits of the serial number and last, is this a used, new to you rifle?
  11. bikeryoda

    bikeryoda New Member

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    I bought it brand new about 8 months ago. It is a stainless ranch rifle.
  12. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

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    Ruger has had thousands if not millions of complaints about their mini's ejecting brass into the next county. To reduce the distance brass would fly many Mini owners would install reduced sized gas bushings. These have a smaller hole in the gas port bushing allowing less gas to get into the ejection system thus reducing the distance brass would fly. Ruger finally listened to it's customers and reduced the size of the gas port bushing on the New 580 Series Mini, which is what I believe you have.

    Now that the gas port bushing is smaller than the old brass chuckin Mini's you have two choices to make it function. Get a larger gas bushing http://www.ruger-mini-14-firearms.com/mini_14_30_accessories.php or switch to a slower burning powder.

    I like ball powders for my 223 for ease of metering and they fit though the little 22 cal hole better. If you can find them, I would give either 335, TAC, 748, 2230, BLC-2 a try. They are all ball powders and slow enough to give you the port pressure you need. My favorite is TAC.

    BTW, make sure your mini is clean and lubed.
  13. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

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  14. bikeryoda

    bikeryoda New Member

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    Thanks, I really appreciate it. As far as the 36 gr bullets go, someone gave me some of the 36gr varmint grenades and I just kinda wanted to try them out.
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