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CrazedJava 12-20-2012 02:28 PM

Will all Mini-14's handle 5.56mm NATO?
I was looking at the Ruger website and they have all Mini-14's listed as 5.56mm. Is that correct? I thought you needed the Tactical models for 5.56mm and all the others were only recommended for .223 Remington. Any Mini-14 owners with some insight?

Overkill0084 12-20-2012 02:40 PM

According to their literature, page 13:
(Mini 14 Ranch Rifle, 2005 to present)


The RUGER® MINI-14® RANCH rifles are offered in two calibers: the .223 Remington (5.56mm) cartridge and the 6.8mm Remington SPC cartridge. The Target Model uses .223 Remington cartridges only.

RUGER® MINI THIRTY® rifles are chambered for the 7.62 x 39mm
cartridge, and can use either standard U.S. military or factory loaded sporting
7.62 x 39mm cartridges manufactured in accordance with U.S. industry practice.
Do not attempt to use any other cartridges in this rifle, even though “7.62mm”
may appear in their names (i.e., 7.62 x 51mm NATO [.308 Winchester]; 7.62
Tokarev; 7.62 x 54 Rimmed Russian, etc.).

The Mini-14 Ranch and Mini Thirty Rifles are designed to use either standardized
U.S. military, or factory loaded sporting cartridges manufactured in accordance
with U.S. industry practice. Always be careful to ensure you are using the correct
ammunition for your rifle.

For older models:

The main problem I see is that they tend to use .223 & 5.56 interchangeably most of the time. Then on the Target model, they state ".223 Remington only."
So one has two interpretations (IMHO):
1. No 5.56 Milspec ammo should be used in Target models.
2. It's not available in 6.8 mm SPC, so see .223 (for Target models).
I'd tend toward option one. To me Target Model implies a different chamber setup that might be a problem if used with higher pressure Milspec ammo.
Other Non-"Target Models" should be good with 5.56 ammo
When in doubt, call Ruger.

rifleman1 12-20-2012 02:45 PM

my mini-14 ranch is listed for both the only mini i know of specific for 223 is a target model.

CrazedJava 12-20-2012 02:51 PM

No interest in the Target model, so it looks like I am all set. I've been holding out for a tactical and didn't even need to. Might be hard to find any Mini-14 now though.

rifleman1 12-20-2012 02:53 PM

they are fun rifles i love mine.

hiwall 12-20-2012 09:45 PM

Mine really likes the Winchester white box 556. :)

sierram37 12-21-2012 01:17 AM

Big 5 also only carries the .223 only model. Make sure the barrel is stamped for the caliber(s) you want. it has something to do with the cartridge shoulders being very slightly different and firing.556 in the .223 only models can cause jams or worse.

madmax83 12-29-2012 03:31 PM

Read the FAQ page on Ruger's website. I had the same question myself. Ruger says all Mini 14's EXCEPT the target model will fire .223 or 5.56. I have not run 5.56 in mine yet but plan to as the opportunity arises.

Bigp88 01-07-2013 04:17 AM


Originally Posted by hiwall (Post 1059723)
Mine really likes the Winchester white box 556. :)

i need to check that out i ran some 556 pmc through it and didnt really care for the added recoil i mainly shoot remington or federal 223 but both run fine with no problems in my 581 model

Vikingdad 01-07-2013 04:33 AM

I run both in mine, but stay away from steel case as the varnish used to prevent rust will gum up your rifle. It cleans out OK but I just don't use steel in mine (or any of my guns). I use mainly reloads but shoot lots of factory stuff for the brass.

There is a special section here for the Mini 14 -

Lots of great info there.

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