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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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?
 

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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.
https://ruger-docs.s3.amazonaws.com/_manuals/mini.pdf

For older models:
http://www.ruger.com/service/productHistory.html#

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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
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.
 

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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.
 

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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 - http://www.firearmstalk.com/forums/f95/

Lots of great info there.
 

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The polymer coated steel cases work along with Silver and Gold Bear but do not shoot brass immediately after shooting steel. Clean the chamber first. The chamber gets much dirtier with steel since it does not seal as well. The crud will hang up the brass.
 
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