You are Unregistered, please register to use all of the features of!    
Firearm & Gun Forum - > Long Guns > Auto & Semi-Auto Discussion > Mini-14 Forum >

Can I use a Lee Loader in a mini-14?

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-08-2013, 07:27 PM   #1
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Poughkeepsie NY 12601
Posts: 12
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Default Can I use a Lee Loader in a mini-14?

I want to shoot my Ruger Mini-14, model 180..."made in the year 1976, the 200th year of the USA"...I am retired and work part time for $7.25 an hour to make ends meet so money is tight.
I have used a Lee Loader for years to shoot my Springfield 30.06. It works. However, after I received a Lee Loader in 223 cal from Midway...the instructions say,,..." for auto loaders you need to full length swage the brass...this die does neck re sizing only". Also the instructions say to crimp the case mouth, only on bullets with a cannelure. I bought some bullets, cheap, from Midway and they DON"T have a cannelure....
QUESTIONS:1) Does any one have experience using a Lee Loader for a mini-14? Will it work?...with out the full length re sizing...2) Should I crimp the bullets I have...( no cannelure) any way? I don;t want the bullets to get loose going up the feed ramp of the mini-14. I have added reduced sized gas reduce the slamming of the bolt via the recoil spring. I am aware that the original gas port slammed the bolt and some users have claimed the model 180 could have the roller shear off. I also have place recoil buffers on the recoil spring rod...ANY HELP WILL BE APPRECIATED...IF I CAN'T USE THE LEE LOADER AND NON CANNELURED BULLETS WILL RETURN THEM TO
anthonybarbuto is offline  
Reply With Quote

Join Today - It's Free!

Are you a firearms enthusiast? Then we hope you will join the community. You will gain access to post, create threads, private message, upload images, join groups and more.

Firearms Talk is owned and operated by fellow firearms enthusiasts. We strive to offer a non-commercial community to learn and share information.

Join Today! - Click Here

Old 12-08-2013, 08:45 PM   #2
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Lima,Ohio
Posts: 3,852
Liked 3947 Times on 1769 Posts
Likes Given: 3569


Best to full length size semi auto ammo. Otherwise you'll have chambering and feed issues.
rjd3282 is offline  
People Like This 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2013, 09:48 PM   #3
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
sandog's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Montana
Posts: 596
Liked 369 Times on 227 Posts
Likes Given: 249


I have used several different types of BTHP Match bullets in Mini's and AR's and have had no problems with bullet set back, but prefer a cannelured bullet that I can put a slight crimp into when I can get them. All of the 55 gr. and 62 gr. FMJ's have a cannelure, and for expanding ( violently expanding varmint bullet) those that can be had with cannelures are the Hornady 55 gr. and 60 gr. V-MAX, and the Nosler 60 grain Ballistic Tip Varmint. As rjd said, you should full length resize for a semi auto. Years ago people would tell you that you needed a special small base sizing die, but this was not found to be necessary and seldom is even mentioned anymore. One thing I do for any semi auto ammo, whether it be a 1911 pistol, AR or Mini is buy a case gauge ( some competition shooters call them a cartridge checker). They are a cylinder of steel with a SAAMI spec chamber cut into them for the specific caliber. I drop all the rounds I load into them, and if they don't go in and fall back out easily, I put them aside to use for fouling rounds. If they are really tight in the case gauge, they probably had missed the resizing stage, and get the bullet pulled and the case resized ( happened once in 35 years of reloading) My gauges are a mix of L.E. Wilson and Lyman. For hunting or self defense, I would run factory loads through the gauge also, I have found some that were oversized or had other problems( primers put in upside down) etc.
sandog is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2013, 10:08 PM   #4
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Rick1967's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Clifton,Colorado
Posts: 4,963
Liked 2818 Times on 1468 Posts
Likes Given: 1547


You can get set up pretty cheap to do real reloading. Lee makes a hand press that you don't even need a bench to use.

And a set of dies.

Once you buy the press you can buy additional dies for other calibers. I own both of the items I have listed here. They are what I started out with. The dies are $18.79. The press is $32.99. If you have already been reloading you probably already have something to measure powder. If not, the Lee dies come with a powder dipper in them.
Romans 1:16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
Rick1967 is offline  
Steel_Talon Likes This 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2013, 11:41 PM   #5
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
hiwall's Avatar
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Cleator,AZ
Posts: 4,232
Liked 1310 Times on 846 Posts
Likes Given: 316


using a Lee loader might work but you would have to use brass that you previously shot in that exact gun. some auto loading guns are very fussy about ammo. so no one can say with any certainty whether your mini will work with lee loader reloads or not. just try them. those bullets are pretty light and you might not need a hard crimp to hold them. again I would just try a box and see how it works for you.
Just walking on the edge of of my grave.
hiwall is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2013, 03:33 PM   #6
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
tri70's Avatar
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Siloam Springs,Arkansas
Posts: 1,324
Liked 541 Times on 324 Posts
Likes Given: 2178


I use a Lee turret press for my mini 14 reloading with no problems. Some guys only neck size and have no problems. I use full length dies for my set up.
Remember the battle of Athens, TN!

"Work as if you were to live 100 Years, Pray as if you were to die To-morrow." --Benjamin Franklin
tri70 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2013, 06:13 PM   #7
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
string1946's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Georgia
Posts: 6,806
Liked 1465 Times on 1028 Posts
Likes Given: 273


I have never used a lee loader but I would think if the brass was fired in that exact same gun it would probably work. You would just have to try and see if your gun is picky or if it will gobble up anything.

If your bullets don't have a cannelure then don't crimp them. Just kinda squeeze the mouth enough to straighten out any bell and let it go. Trying to crimp it will either deform the case or the bullet or both.
NRA Endowdment Life Member.....F&AM
Curio and Relics License Holder (FFL 03)

Gun confiscation will not happen in my lifetime.

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." C.S. Lewis
string1946 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2013, 07:06 PM   #8
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
gr8oldguy's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 1,117
Liked 695 Times on 404 Posts
Likes Given: 211


I can appreciate limited budgets. I used a lee loader years ago for 38 special. I was cautioned to only use brass shot out of my gun for reloading because the Lee loader does not resize the entire case. All that being said, Lee has a single stage press that is less that $30 and a set of dies for $35 or so. You'll have to get a shell holder for a couple of dollars, but you'll be good to go. To save money you can still seat your primers with the Lee loader tool. Check out Titan Reloading and good luck.
You don't have to remember the truth
NRA Member
gr8oldguy is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2013, 07:22 PM   #9
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Steel_Talon's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Cochise County,AZ
Posts: 1,766
Liked 990 Times on 653 Posts
Likes Given: 1274


Search for a used Lee (or any) single Stage Press the Lees tends to be very cheap. Even a used turret press will do you wonders.

Amazon with Prime free ship. NEW $29.99
'Steel cuts flesh / steel cuts bone / steel does not cut steel.'

Become steel or get cut.
Steel_Talon is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Firearms Forum Replies Last Post
Looking for mag loader for P85? unioncreek Ruger Handgun Forum 10 07-13-2013 01:22 AM
New loader Deuce Ammunition & Reloading 10 09-29-2012 03:04 AM
H&R .32 acp self-loader help? glitch Curio & Relic Discussion 4 03-31-2012 01:43 PM
AR-15/Mini 14 .223 Speed Loader Cope's Distributing Sponsor Display 0 03-15-2012 01:17 PM
Country Shed: Mini-14 / Mini-30 Mag Sale canebrake Firearm Accessories & Gear 0 11-22-2009 04:01 PM