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Thread: Ruger Mini-14 and 5.56 ammo

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    Member Bitter Muppet's Avatar
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    Default Ruger Mini-14 and 5.56 ammo

    Hello!!!

    This one's been bothering me for a while and I figure I'd bring it to the experts.

    We all know the Ruger Mini-14 is a chambered .223 and not 5.56. We all know that although they are very similar, the two caliber aren't exactly the same.

    The problem is that I didn't exactly know all of this back years ago when I bought the rifle and tons of 5.56 ammo.

    Now due to my location I rarely get to shoot the rifle and have probably only fired less than 500 rounds through it.

    So here's the question:

    Does firing 5.56 through a Mini 14 hurt the rifle or risk a catastrophic malfunction?


    It seems like the common answer I get from experts is that you shouldn't do it but they do it all the time and it really doesn't matter.

    Let me know what you all think.

    ThanX

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    AFAIK, the rounds are interchangeable with almost no difference. That is very interesting, that they experts say don't to it. Would like to hear more about this from other who know more than I.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bitter Muppet View Post
    Hello!!!

    This one's been bothering me for a while and I figure I'd bring it to the experts.

    We all know the Ruger Mini-14 is a chambered .223 and not 5.56. We all know that although they are very similar, the two caliber aren't exactly the same.

    The problem is that I didn't exactly know all of this back years ago when I bought the rifle and tons of 5.56 ammo.

    Now due to my location I rarely get to shoot the rifle and have probably only fired less than 500 rounds through it.

    So here's the question:

    Does firing 5.56 through a Mini 14 hurt the rifle or risk a catastrophic malfunction?


    It seems like the common answer I get from experts is that you shouldn't do it but they do it all the time and it really doesn't matter.

    Let me know what you all think.

    ThanX
    Look on your rifle. The biggest difference is that 5.56 can be hotter than a .223. For practical purpose is that they are the same in that most firearms will do both, but not the older ones that were only for the .223 (maybe).


    I think this is more a academic/techweenie debate than anything else. I have shot 5.56 out of my Ruger and have not noticed any ill effect. Look at the primer on a spent case, look for perforation, flattening, or dimpling.

    Also maybe best is to contact Ruger. if your concern.

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    Member Bitter Muppet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HOLLiS View Post
    Look on your rifle. The biggest difference is that 5.56 can be hotter than a .223. For practical purpose is that they are the same in that most firearms will do both, but not the older ones that were only for the .223 (maybe).


    I think this is more a academic/techweenie debate than anything else. I have shot 5.56 out of my Ruger and have not noticed any ill effect. Look at the primer on a spent case, look for perforation, flattening, or dimpling.

    Also maybe best is to contact Ruger. if your concern.
    That's a good idea to look at the spent cases. I'll be going out in the next couple weeks and should be able to test that out.

    Thank you!

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    Senior Member IMTT's Avatar
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    [*******black]I have used / carried the Mini-14 during the course of my employment for over 20 years and it eats everything stuffed into it to this point. Although not very accurate. I'm not of fond of the weapon but it feeds the 556 military 55 grn, blitz 52 grn, military green tip, 64 grn, 55 grn and everything else they have issued us during this period. This includes SAW ammo de-linked and thrown in for good measure. [/COLOR]

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    Quote Originally Posted by IMTT View Post
    [*******black]I have used / carried the Mini-14 during the course of my employment for over 20 years and it eats everything stuffed into it to this point. Although not very accurate. I'm not of fond of the weapon but it feeds the 556 military 55 grn, blitz 52 grn, military green tip, 64 grn, 55 grn and everything else they have issued us during this period. This includes SAW ammo de-linked and thrown in for good measure. [/COLOR]

    Glad to hear that. Honestly I know everyone complains about the Mini 14's accuracy (or lack there of) but I had some bowling pins dancing at 75 yards and that was a high-tuck with a laser. I know that's not an impressive distance but I doubt I'll ever have an occasion to go much further out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bitter Muppet View Post
    Glad to hear that. Honestly I know everyone complains about the Mini 14's accuracy (or lack there of) but I had some bowling pins dancing at 75 yards and that was a high-tuck with a laser. I know that's not an impressive distance but I doubt I'll ever have an occasion to go much further out.

    A little secret on accuracy, it is 99.99% the shooter.

    If you want accuracy, AI has some nice toys.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HOLLiS View Post
    A little secret on accuracy, it is 99.99% the shooter.

    If you want accuracy, AI has some nice toys.

    AI? Got a link?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bitter Muppet View Post
    AI? Got a link?
    http://www.tacproshootingcenter.com/...rnational.html

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    Senior Member StukaJr's Avatar
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    5.56 runs a lot hotter so the only problem will be faster wear and tear on your Mini. I would certainly replace gas port bushing for the tightest one they make and install a Wolff Xtra power recoil spring.

    John Baker of Great West Gunsmithing does a great job on Mini's keeping factory parts.

    http://www.greatwestgunsmithing.com/mini14.htm

    Accuracy Systems will make you a Mini-14 at the price of M1A

    http://www.accuracysystemsinc.com/index.php

    Perfect Union forum has a bunch of do-it yourself tricks that will get your Mini shooting sub-MOA groups as well...

    Mini's are fun!

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    Quote Originally Posted by HOLLiS View Post
    Look at the primer on a spent case, look for perforation, flattening, or dimpling.
    Or a dark ring around the primer / primer pocket.

    and if your really observant, look for an awkward extraction / ejection cycle. If there's an excess in pressure, you'll find there's a difference in the extraction and ejection cycle.

    Or perhaps that's just my M1a. I've noticed some hot loads coming from south african surplus, and I've noticed that the case sticks a bit in the chamber, causing stress on the extractor, and resulting in a awry ejection.

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    I've noticed a severe difference between some 5.56 ss109 and some fedral .223 I put through my Vepr. The 109 was alot flatter with a little more kick. The biggest thing I noticed was how far the rifle would spit the brass, a minimum of 10m each time where as the fedral would go about 3m.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BillySing View Post
    Or a dark ring around the primer / primer pocket.

    and if your really observant, look for an awkward extraction / ejection cycle. If there's an excess in pressure, you'll find there's a difference in the extraction and ejection cycle.

    Or perhaps that's just my M1a. I've noticed some hot loads coming from south african surplus, and I've noticed that the case sticks a bit in the chamber, causing stress on the extractor, and resulting in a awry ejection.
    You must be special to still have a M1a.

    Slightly off topic

    You would be the one to answer this billy. Will my Ruger M77 Mk2 throw 60-65gr ok? Or should i stick with 55gr. I think it has 1 in 12 twist, but i need 1 in 9 to better stabilize the bullet, is this correct?
    Last edited by T3ngu; 12-22-2007 at 03:05 AM. Reason: Twisting wrong?

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    I owned a Mini-14 for about three years, and fired a lot of 5.56 through it. It wasn't as accurate as an AR-15, but groups were somewhat respectable.

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    Ive got one (and an AR) and I feed my mini 5.56. It handles it just fine. Built as a gun that prison guards and police were intended to use it should handle the slightly hotter 5.56 round.

    Its not the most accurate gun out there, but it holds its own in reliability and functioning in every condition. Its a stout rifle and should get respect for being what it is. It was designed for sub 150 yard shots, and being able to function in dirty conditions and it does just that.

    x2 on the perfect union forum, lots of good mini info, links and owners on there

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