5.56 in a Ruger Mini 14?
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Old 04-18-2009, 02:00 PM   #1
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Default 5.56 in a Ruger Mini 14?

Any problems shooting 5.56 in a mini 14?

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Old 04-18-2009, 06:32 PM   #2
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I'm not sure...I think a mini is meant for .223 specifically. I might be wrong.

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Old 04-18-2009, 08:57 PM   #3
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I've been shooting 5.56 x 45 55gr FMJ Olympic in my Ruger Mini ever since I got it with no ill effects. 5.56 x 45 is .223 BTW, although perhaps a little hotter round than the domestic .223.

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Old 04-19-2009, 12:00 AM   #4
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Well it is .223 and it isn't...it's pressured different and that can mean disaster on some rifles from prolonged shooting.

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Old 04-19-2009, 12:30 AM   #5
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Okay, here is the deal.

5.56mm is a bit hotter of a round and actually produces more pressure than the civilian .223 hunting style round.

In a bolt action rifle, this is not a big deal, because you have the locking lugs of the bolt in place to protect you from the extra pressure.

In a semi auto, like the AR or the mini, that uses that gas pressure to cycle the action, you CAN do damage to the weapon with the extra pressure.

Now, I have never personally seen anyone have a problem, but the Internetz is Sirris Bidness and there are plenty of people that claim to have had a kaboom because of the extra pressure.

Having said all of that HOWEVER:

If the chamber was cut for a civilian .223 ( or vice versa and was cut for the 5.56 Nato round ) using another length ammo will hamper your accuracy.

The Mini-14 isn't exactly a tack driver to begin with, so you are compounding that problem by not using the correct length ammo for your chamber.

But, for shooting across the street, Minute of Bad Guy type of shooting, it will hit meat all day long...

JD

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Old 04-19-2009, 04:56 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dillinger View Post
Okay, here is the deal.

5.56mm is a bit hotter of a round and actually produces more pressure than the civilian .223 hunting style round.

In a bolt action rifle, this is not a big deal, because you have the locking lugs of the bolt in place to protect you from the extra pressure.

In a semi auto, like the AR or the mini, that uses that gas pressure to cycle the action, you CAN do damage to the weapon with the extra pressure.

Now, I have never personally seen anyone have a problem, but the Internetz is Sirris Bidness and there are plenty of people that claim to have had a kaboom because of the extra pressure.

Having said all of that HOWEVER:

If the chamber was cut for a civilian .223 ( or vice versa and was cut for the 5.56 Nato round ) using another length ammo will hamper your accuracy.

The Mini-14 isn't exactly a tack driver to begin with, so you are compounding that problem by not using the correct length ammo for your chamber.

But, for shooting across the street, Minute of Bad Guy type of shooting, it will hit meat all day long...

JD
The part about the bolt action in not completely true. I had a Winchester Model 70 in 223 and fired some white box Winchester 5.56mm not knowing any better a few years ago. Result was primers completely blown out of the case upon opening the bolt. Obvious sign of way too much pressure. I fired two with the same result, figuring the first was a fluke. (not a good idea, but no injury to me or gun). However, according to Ruger, they say that the mini 14 is suitable for any standard 223 rem or 5.56mm. If I remember correctly they do specify domestic 5.56 though.
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Old 04-19-2009, 11:51 PM   #7
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There are several myths about 5.56 mm ammo.

Myth #1: 5.56mm ammo is loaded to 60,000 psi.

In fact, it is loaded to 52,000 psi. See page 10-3 of TM 43-0001-17(1)

http://www.amsd.ch/products/ammunitions/tm%2043-0001-27.pdf


Myth #2: 5.56mm brass is thicker that .223 brass. Wrong. I weigh my cases.

Some commercial .223 brass is a lot thicker than military brass.

AR15BARRELS.COM - Technical Documents


A gunsmith tells me that no current maker of .223 rifles uses a SAAMI chamber. There are over a dozen different 5.56mm/.223 chambers. Do not fire 5.56mm ammo in a tight match chamber.

AR15BARRELS.COM - Technical Documents

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Old 04-20-2009, 12:34 AM   #8
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The manual that came with my Ruger Mini 14 Ranch rifle states:

"Mini-14 Ranch Rifles are chambered for either the 223 remington (5.56mm military) cartridge, or the 222 Remington cartridge." ...

"The Ranch Rifle chambered for the 223 Rem is designed to use either standardized U.S. military, or factory loaded sporting .223 (5.56mm) catridges manufactured in accordance with U.S. industry practice."

I would believe either is acceptable based on the owners manual. Though Dilinger is certainly correct in that accuracy may vary from .223 to 5.56mm military rounds fired through the Mini.

I have not fired any military 5.56 rds through my rifle so I couldn't attest to what might happen. I find .223 to readily available (or at least used to be that way ) to have used 5.56 rds.

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Old 04-21-2009, 01:42 AM   #9
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I don't think there is any difference dimensionally in the 5.56 and .223 rounds. Reloading data is the same. At least for U.S. ammo.

Chambers are a different matter. The 5.56 military rifles (NATO, but including countries who don't belong to NATO) have more room, generally, than the Wylde chambers of commercial ARs which are tighter for accuracy. I don't know about Minis, but do know we've fired a lot of mixed ammo thru them, back in the day when you could find surplus 5.56 ammo. U.S. ammo is generally SAMMI standards, but foreign stuff may not. But that's true for all military ammo, from the .308 to the 7mm.

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Old 04-21-2009, 03:13 AM   #10
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Default Mini-14 owners manual 5.56 chamber

I do believe seeing the 5.56 being stated in my old Mini-14 owners manual
I'll have to see where I put the stinkin thing to conferm fo shure.

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