5.56 in a Ruger Mini 14?

Discussion in 'General Rifle Discussion' started by redneckbuckeye, Apr 18, 2009.

  1. redneckbuckeye

    redneckbuckeye New Member

    Any problems shooting 5.56 in a mini 14?
  2. JiroZero713

    JiroZero713 Active Member

    I'm not sure...I think a mini is meant for .223 specifically. I might be wrong.

  3. dunerunner

    dunerunner New Member

    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.
  4. JiroZero713

    JiroZero713 Active Member

    Well it is .223 and it isn't...it's pressured different and that can mean disaster on some rifles from prolonged shooting.
  5. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

    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...

  6. shoez

    shoez New Member

    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.
  7. alsaqr

    alsaqr Well-Known Member Supporter

    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 43-0001-27.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
  8. sinzitu

    sinzitu New Member

    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 :rolleyes:) to have used 5.56 rds.
  9. Gene Langston

    Gene Langston New Member

    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.
  10. Rex in OTZ

    Rex in OTZ Well-Known Member

    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.
  11. Laufer

    Laufer New Member

    Ruger Mini manuals are right at the Ruger website.

    They do state that both .223 and US 5.56 is acceptable.

    I just sold my Mini 14 because .223 ammo prices will continue to be so high.
    Have 1,800 rds. of Wolf to trade for an equal number of x39 (non-corrosive).
  12. 9RobertJ

    9RobertJ New Member

    either 223 or 5.56

    the 223 is a hotter load cause of the cases are thinner and the 5.56 uses a thicker case. I spoke with the armorer instructor for colt, he said the 5.56 is the exact same demensions on the outside. I guess the military had to come up with metric name for the round
  13. jeepcreep927

    jeepcreep927 New Member

    Internal case dimensions are not the same. The biggest difference is the longer leade of the 5.56mm, which affects pressure. Whether you can fire 5.56mm in a .223 chamber is an ongoing back and forth. Whether they are the same round or not is non debatable. They are not.
  14. mrm14

    mrm14 Active Member

    Both 5.56 or .223 shoot in the mini-14 fine. I've used both for many years now for this rifle with no problems at all. Seems the 63 gr. bullets are a bit more accurate then the 55 gr. bullets are, but other than that, shoot as much of either 5.56 and .223 that you want. Very hard to injure the mini's as they are a relitively close scaled down version of the garrand action which is very robust.
  15. denjask

    denjask New Member

    The steel case ammo supposedly has hard primers that have reportedly broken firing pins in mini 14s
  16. LexiconDevil

    LexiconDevil New Member

    5.56 Nato causes more muzzel jump then the tamer .223,puts more wear on the gun as well,but really,be it 5.56 or .223 its a scrawny ****y round thats under-powered and more often then not don't do what its supposed to.
  17. Hullcreature

    Hullcreature New Member

    No problem at all....other than the fact that the mini-14 wont shoot anything very accurately!
  18. Laufer

    Laufer New Member


    That must take lots of rounds. My Mini 14 was built in '90 and used about a thousand rounds since I bought it in Feb '08.

    But it will shoot more reliably than some AKs. All of my ammo was Wolf or a little S. Bear, and it never had a single ftf etc. Zero.
    Also, it never had a single mis-feed with a newer polymer 30-rd. Promag, despite the fact that it did not fit tightly.
    My Mini was 100% reliable :cool:, more than an AK with just forty rounds which I watched a buddy use.

    Having two Minis, only sold it to justify buying my first "Jungle Carbine".
    Last edited: May 9, 2009
  19. Glenn R

    Glenn R New Member

    Got my mini 14 in 1979. It has only been fed surplus 5.56mm ammo. No problems to date.

    If I am not mistaken the mini 14 was originally targeted for law enforcement and military. Makes sense that it would reliably feed and shoot 5.56 ammo.
  20. GoodGuy96

    GoodGuy96 New Member

    I just checked the manual online. It says "The mini-14 is designed to use either standardized U.S. military or factory loaded .223 (5.56) cartridges manufactured in accordance with U.S. Industry practice."

    I have been looking into investing in one, that pretty well answers it for me.