Perfect Union banner
1 - 20 of 33 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought a new Mini-14 Tactical Rifle in .223 a couple of weeks ago, and am getting ready to reload some ammo for it.

What are the 'tried and true' loads for this rifle? I realize it's not a sub moa rifle by any means, but I want something that will get it in the ballpark of a bullseye at 100 yds.

Thanks in advance for any replies, and I truly appreciate your help. The old "trial and error" loading doesn't sit well with me since I'm not a patient man nor am I rich by any means. :)
Please post your trial tested recipes for this rifle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
193 Posts
There are no best loads for the Mini-14. A load that works great in one rifle will not usually give the same results in another identical rifle. That is just the way it is. You will have to go the trial and error method with your rifle to find what it likes, just like any other rifle. Sorry. I have had factory ammo shoot almost MOA in one rifle and do terrible in another identical rifle. Take it from there..

No two identical rifles will shoot the same with the same ammo................................


Jim...........................
 

·
AC-556 Owner
Joined
·
740 Posts
I bought a new Mini-14 Tactical Rifle in .223 a couple of weeks ago, and am getting ready to reload some ammo for it.

What are the 'tried and true' loads for this rifle? I realize it's not a sub moa rifle by any means, but I want something that will get it in the ballpark of a bullseye at 100 yds.

Thanks in advance for any replies, and I truly appreciate your help. The old "trial and error" loading doesn't sit well with me since I'm not a patient man nor am I rich by any means. :)
Please post your trial tested recipes for this rifle.
MY Mini-14 likes 25.9 Grains of BL-C(2) Powder and Hornady V-Max 55 Grain Bullets.
 

·
Empty Member
Joined
·
290 Posts
Ive been workng up some loads for my 581 16" tach Mini for a few weeks now . Still working them up , but the best was shot today and came in a hair under MOA . 55 vmax 25.8gr Varget 2.250 oal . BLC 2 is showing some good results with vmaxes too .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
5.56 x 45 primers

Gentlemen

I have noticed some confusion on various forums about CCI #41 and CCI 450 primers and finally gave up and called CCI. BTW my go to powder is H335 or the military equivalent.

According to CCI, #41 and 450 are both magnum primers with some slight difference in the #41 for military use. Plus with H335 and 844, CCI recommends the use of magnum primers.

Now don't get excited and say that CCI is wrong. My personal experience w/my Mini 14 Tactical with 5.56 chamber has been good with the following loads:

25 gr H335 with both primers and Hornady 55 gr FMJBT. 2833 fps.
25 gr H335 with both primers and Nosler 6o gr BT. 2935 fps.
23.8 gr H335 with both primers and 69 gr SMK. Don't have velocity but no pressure signs. This is a max load according to my Sierra manual, so the normal precautions are appropriate. Workup your loads.

Yes the 60 gr Nosler is faster than the 55 gr Hornady as the Nosler has a shorter bearing surface.

I have some 65 gr SGK loaded w/the H335 at 25 gr and will report back if it ever gets cool enough for old people to be outside. :eek:)

I measure case head expansion and check for smoky cases and flattened primers.

Plus I buy Diamond K processed brass mixed commercial and military and check weights carefully for the 69 gr SMK to make sure of consistent brass weights since my load is considered max.

seabreeze
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,076 Posts
Give IMR 4198 21.5 Grains with Hornady's #2265 55 Grain Spire Point a try If you would like to come near the Bulls-eye. JMHO.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
210 Posts
My pet load for my pencil barrel Mini is 24.0 gr of W748, CCI standard small rifle primers in conjunction with both Sierra 52 gr HPBT and 55 gr SP. Also a good load for FMJBT M193 bullets for plinking. With the heavier bullets like the Sierra 63 gr SP and 68 gr HPBT Matchking, I bumped the load to 25.0 gr of W748.

Not a hot load by any stretch, but they should significantly reduce barrel whip in the rifles with skinny barrels. I put a Accu-strut SOCOM on mine in the last few years and it is still a great shooting load. At least for my rifle which just turned 30 this year. And as long as I hit what I am aiming at, I don't mind that takes a few milliseconds more to get there.:D

I should think it will do well in the latest Minis.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,234 Posts
Give IMR 4198 21.5 Grains with Hornady's #2265 55 Grain Spire Point a try If you would like to come near the Bulls-eye. JMHO.
I agree IMR4198 this is the best, I have used it in the Mini 14 for years...
 
  • Like
Reactions: A/J/S/USNRet

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,229 Posts
In case you haven't noticed in this thread,,, the operative points are 24-26 gr of BLC2/W748 or H335 with 55 gr bullets is what is being said.

Also note that 25 gr of just about any other "Similar Burn Rate Powder" will work.

As Steve stated above powders like Varget and other stick powders tend to be problematic when loading small mouth cases like these. (powder bridging the charging die.)

I once tried 5744 as it was originally developed as 4475 for 5.56 usage.

Nothing but a PITB! Powder bridging of the drop tube meant you had to check every single round for proper fill and beware of a short charge followed by a heavy one next. This happen 1 out of 5 rounds. so I abandoned it, and switched exclusively to ball powder for high volume loading.

And primarily BLC2/W748 or Surplus W846 which I have never been lucky enough to score.

I bought a 6000 rnd box of Hornady 55 gr FMJ's a few months back which worked out to .07 per round. I'm good on bullets for a while.

Net result is I am loading 25.0 gr of W748/BLC2 with a 55 gr FMJ bullet and usually a Winchester SMR primer.

This is my standard load and runs in all of my Carbines. It produces acceptable accuracy in all those guns, and since I am only shooting at Paper, and Steel Targets and Dirt Clods the type of bullet matters not. It obviously would work for thinning the herd as well if that need arose.

My process is to preprocess cases up to sized, deprimed, primer pocket swaged, then tumbled, and then primed. And then charge, seat bullet to cannelure, and then use a Lee FCD to finish the round.

This is all done on my D550B at a rate of 100 rnds per 15 minutes. I can't stand in front of the machine for an hour or I would have said 400 rnds. / hour!

I would whole heartedly suggest that anyone venturing down the road of reloading .223/5.56 for one gun or multiple guns settle on a load,,, and do that!

There is little to be gained by endless searching for the magic load for a gun that is not capable of delivering anything better than 1-2MOA in the first place. Also if the type of shooting you do most doesn't require pinpoint accuracy then it is a perfect waste of time to search the world for super accuracy. You simply can't use it even if you do find it.

This is a case where functionality and reliability is far more important than tack driving accuracy which you can't produce anyway.

Now if you have a varmint rifle using this round, that's another story, but for the kind of shooting most of us do with these guns a standard load that functions well and is easy to produce is where it is at.

Randy
 
  • Like
Reactions: Swampy

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,076 Posts
Another member falls from the "PURE FAITH" i.e. "This is a case where functionality and reliability is far more important than tack driving accuracy which you can't produce anyway."

I'll take a 1:12 or 1:14 Twist on a 24 Inch Barrel Bolt Action at 100 yards and a IMR 4198 Load of 21.5 Grains in an LC Case with Hornady's 55 Grain Spire Point #2265 and I'll give you Two Days to draw a crowd in the Town Square while I KISS YOUR A$$ if you shoot a better group against whatever sum of Republic Credits You Dare to Offer. How's that sound W.R. ? :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,234 Posts
21.0 grains of IMR 4198 55grn Speer or Sierra PSP bullets.

24.5 grains of IMR 3031 same bullets.

If you scale every load to 1 tenth grain you do not have to worry about using stick powders.
I only load 500 at a time use to be 1000+ but I do not shoot as much now.
Much more work but I enjoy the task...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,229 Posts
Another member falls from the "PURE FAITH" i.e. "This is a case where functionality and reliability is far more important than tack driving accuracy which you can't produce anyway."

I'll take a 1:12 or 1:14 Twist on a 24 Inch Barrel Bolt Action at 100 yards and a IMR 4198 Load of 21.5 Grains in an LC Case with Hornady's 55 Grain Spire Point #2265 and I'll give you Two Days to draw a crowd in the Town Square while I KISS YOUR A$$ if you shoot a better group against whatever sum of Republic Credits You Dare to Offer. How's that sound W.R. ? :p
WTH are you talking about?

USN: Note: Title of thread,,,, "Best Load for Mini-14 Tactical Rifle?"

You do realize that we are talking about loads for Mini 14's don't you?

We are NOT talking about bolt guns with match grade barrels.

Let me reiterate so you may come into agreement with us and I say agree with us as there is no intelligent argument against this fact.

Mini 14's are not capable of 1 hole accuracy even if God loads the ammo! This is reality! And you, yourself have commented on this fact many times here.

And I'll give you a week to prove different using the Stock Mini 14 of your choice. You do have one ,,,Right? :p

Randy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,234 Posts
"There is little to be gained by endless searching for the magic load for a gun that is not capable of delivering anything better than 1-2MOA in the first place."

A gain even a small one is still a gain, magic has nothing to do with it. For me it is about getting the best result with the weapon I am using. Using less powder is also a consideration, everyone like the weapons they use have different goals and different capabilities. Therefore I disagree with your analysis and will continue to handload as I have in the past with the goals I deem useful for my purposes. My Mini shoots my loads much better than any factory load I have found so far..
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bepe

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,076 Posts
W.R. you have several strong points in your rebuttal.

Yes I have started a thread on what it would take to make the Mini-14 a Near One Hole Paper Puncher at 100 Yards, and yes the majority of shooters/members stated or determined that it was a fools errand. But is that a reason to give up the quest?

Now COSteve brings up a good point, My "Best Load for a Mini-14" is solely based on accuracy, while His "Best Load for a Mini-14" is based on enjoyment and practical ease of powder measure while reloading. In all there is a point where these Goals overlap, as neither is exclusive.

I guess you can give me much more than a week as I abandoned the Mini-14 decades ago, and only purchased a Mini-30 when I determined that My Old 30-30 Lever with Iron Sights never needed a Scope, but the Old Eye's of the Nut at the End of the Butt Might.

So yes I'll continue to use extruded powders and Follow the Quest for the Grail in my .223 and 5.56 Loads, and reach out for the Rifles that Fulfill my Lust of accuracy. But before you toss in the Towel, it might behoove you to make up a small batch of the brew I've listed and see how it stacks up to your current Load. It might be to much trouble for to little gain, but wouldn't an Ace in the Hole be useful when your on the line next to someone like me? :lol:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,229 Posts
My Mini has been used for Front Sight 4 day classes twice, 400 rounds per trip, and I have ran our 3 gun Course in Santa Barbara about 6 times with it and the rest have been plinking at 50-300 yards. with targets like clays, steel swingers, dirt clods, shotshells, and various other bits of trash laying around the range.

The other guns are my Kel-Tec SU16 which has also done two FS classes, and my AR which has only done one. All my carbines shot the same ammo which I loaded on the Dillon, and a few hundred Wolf Steel Cased rounds I bought when Obama got elected the first time.. It's actually pretty good compared to the really cheap Tulammo that is going around now.

Off a rest I can hit an 8x10 steel target every single shot with any of those guns, and that's with Red Dot Sights!

The 8" round swingers I can hit every time also. These are all after shooting a paper target at 50 yards to verify windage. Then the 200 yard gongs to verify elevation.

We have 3, 300 yards targets up the hill. There is a 24" round swinger with a 4" on one side and a 8 " on the other. I can hit the 8" one about 8/10 with @ a 12" holdover.

The 4" one is luck, as by that time the barrel is hot and the gun is a 3 moa gun.

The AR is the best and the KT is second but since it's the lightest I prefer it above all the others.

Trying to get an ARES SCR to test out, but that's another story. But it will run the above load as well.

So for my uses I'm gonna stick with this load. It is real close to the M193 ammo,,, maybe about 1 gr light. But close enough.

I have never used 4198 in anything but I realize it is a useful powder, I just don't have any. The closest I could get is 4895, 4350 or 3031. Both the 3031 and 4350 are 30 years old! I use a lot of 4895 in my .308 and .30-06 loads.

Randy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,229 Posts
Steve: good post and I'm sure we are in the majority of Mini users with these feelings.

People here used to be obsessed with super accuracy until I showed up and started talking about reality and the obvious uses in that reality which are many and varied.

Even AJS conceded that his Mini30 had sufficient accuracy to take deer with.

I have long lusted for a tack driver Mini and I know they are possible, but putting $1200 into a $600 gun is kind of counter productive. I talked to the guy at AS in Colorado and after that I was pretty much unsold. All I wanted was a barrel change and a bedding job. The barrel alone was $750 and by the time we had all the other mandatory things done it was a $1200 Bill. I might add this took a total of 3 minutes to discuss.

I have dismissed the idea since as it is just not worth it, especially since you couldn't ever sell the gun for what you had into it. So what's the point.... Oh there is no point.!

You simply use the gun like it comes and learn how to get the best out of it,,, which will unfortunately never be that great. But to say it is not useful?,,, That is downright stupid.

Not all cars are Ferraris, but they will still get you to work and back.

Randy
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,076 Posts
W.R. if the .223/5.56 cartridge wasn't accurate folks wouldn't use it. Many more Mini-14's might be modified for accuracy if it wasn't for the AR Platform just flat out kicking it's butt. For years Varmint Hunters have used 22 Caliber Bolt Actions to Hunt the little Rodents at Long Distance (and short) and accuracy wise it's even more economical to use a bolt.

I don't believe anyone said that the Mini-14 wasn't useful, But I have no use for a Mini-14. Anything I want to do with a .223/5.56 works better from a Bolt Action or an AR. I do however have a use for the Mini-30, but it was driven by concessions of Advancing Age and a responsibility to Humanely Harvest Game.

While the Load's that Sparkie and I have offered may not be the most Convenient Tumbling Out of a Progressive Powder Loader, why ask others what their Best Load is if you aren't willing to try a batch to see what it can do? If your set in your ways and aren't willing to try things that others have labored in the attempt to improve, What's the purpose of the thread? It might as well be called these are the easiest loads to duplicate and I'm not concerned with improving them. If everyone has given up on Mini-14 Accuracy why the responses? JMHO.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,229 Posts
While the Load's that Sparkie and I have offered may not be the most Convenient Tumbling Out of a Progressive Powder Loader, why ask others what their Best Load is if you aren't willing to try a batch to see what it can do? If your set in your ways and aren't willing to try things that others have labored in the attempt to improve, What's the purpose of the thread? It might as well be called these are the easiest loads to duplicate and I'm not concerned with improving them. If everyone has given up on Mini-14 Accuracy why the responses? JMHO.
AJS; I hear what you are saying and I am not really advocating that the world follow all of my examples. I assure you it would be a very different place if they did!

My point is that if you look at the majority of the loads discussed here they are pretty much the same as what I put forth. A tenth of a grain here or there is not going to make any significant difference, and in Mini 14's it would be hard to see the difference in any event. Even my Kel-Tec and Bushmaster AR are not going to benefit any noticeable amount from a specialized load.

In a Bolt Gun you probably could see a difference, and as such your time could be well spent. Also your and Sparkie's load are "one at a time loads," that are essentially hand crafted. Nothing wrong with that and I do plenty of it as virtually all of my Silhouette Rifle Shooting involves loading this way with measured charges and either Cast or Jacketed bullets.. However those cartridges are all loaded in batches of 50 at a time and the .223's I load are done in batches of 500+ at a time. They are essentially glorified .22 LR's in use. IE; essentially plinking rounds which is exactly what most 3 gun shooting is. IE; Glorified Plinking on the clock with some running thrown in so the old guys don't do as good.

The problem with using stick powders in a small mouthed case like a .223 is the powder bridging aspect., and this can be dangerous if not controlled 100%, which takes a lot of extra work. When loading this way I toonce the powder funnel numerous times with every drop to make sure all the powder has fallen into the case below. I don't have to do this with ball powders and I load a lot of .44's with H110 so it is a good thing. My .308's, 45gr of 4895, .30-06, 45 gr of 4895, .303 Brit 42 gr Varget, and 16 gr of 2400 for cast boolit loads for all of the above, all get loaded one at a time with measured charges and an eye for powder bridging in the funnel. The tooncing technique works well to control this problem but the .30 cal hole in the end helps a lot. Bigger rounds obviously not being as susceptible to bridging as small rounds.

On another note:

I am buddies with Mark Gurney who is the Director of Marketing for Ruger.

At The SHOT Show this year he showed me a short slow motion video of a Mini 14 firing. The barrel whip and contortions that gun made during the event were absolutely mind boggling.

After seeing this I realized that other than a complete rebarrel and essentially a complete rebuild of the gun it was never going to be a super accurate gun. The investment of time and money just don't make sense here when you can buy an AR upper made anyway you want for $4-600 and get excellent accuracy right out of the box.

I am building another AR in the near future as I have an empty Lower in the safe. My intention is to build this gun as an inexpensive "Semi Target" gun for use in Local National Match shoots. I say "Semi Target" since I don't plan on spending a Zillion Dollars to make it a sub MOA gun. I will probably buy a Del-Ton Rifle kit and include the options I want such as a Chrome lined 20" barrel and Mag Pul furniture. I can do an acceptable trigger job on stock parts with only a Brownell's Spring Kit. It is not unreasonable to think this gun will shoot near MOA and as such the ammo for that gun will be loaded one at a time using premium bullets when it matters. When it doesn't matter like when we shoot short course which is all done at 200 yards It will probably get fed my standard loads which are still going to be less than 2MOA and thus good enough for the intended purpose. This gun will have a 1:9 twist barrel as I will never shoot anything bigger that about 70 gr from the gun. It will mostly get 55 gr Hornady's.

Another part of this generic ammo philosophy is not having to re sight in the gun everytime a new load is tried. This gets to be a PITB after a few times, and for the gains made in accuracy it is not worth the time to do. Even if your time is cheap!

My philosophy on load development for any given gun is, find something that works for the intended purpose using easily obtained components and be done with it.

Easily obtained components is another factor that we all have to consider and selecting bullets powders and primers that can be used interchangeably between several guns and even cartridges and still produce acceptable accuracy is prudent.

Along time I figured out that by consulting many loading manuals and interpolating their loads for a given cartridge you could determine what is going to perform well in a given gun. I use this method to pick a load for a given gun, and surprisingly a Winchester M70/.30-06 will have a just about the same requirements as a Rem 700 in .30-06 and both guns will perform very close to each other using the same loads. Obviously this is not a 100% proposition however it is close most of the time.

It is so close that for a given gun I can usually pick a good load the first time out, with few exceptions and especially with .30 cal rifles no matter what the brand.

One exception was my #4Mk1 Enfield. My Cast Boolit loads using 5744 were all abysmal failures with only barn door accuracy. A switch to 16 gr of 2400 fixed that, and the gun is now a joy to shoot Short Range Silhouette with.

So you can see by all of this that we do agree with finding and trying different loads in different rifles. I just don't do it for all of them.

Randy
 
  • Like
Reactions: Swampy and misser

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Mini-14 or not, I am much put off at the fireball that H335 and milsurp ball powders 844 and 846 launch with every shot. Varget doesn't do that nearly so much, so 25 grains (more or less) with either the 55 or 62 grain bullets is my standard load.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,076 Posts
" A tenth of a grain here or there is not going to make any significant difference, and in Mini 14's it would be hard to see the difference in any event. Even my Kel-Tec and Bushmaster AR are not going to benefit any noticeable amount from a specialized load."

That being said, guess there will never be any more need for any .223/5.56 reloading discussion. Take Aim at Rifle Reloading Data | Hodgdon Reloading
Select .223 Remington, Select Bullet Weight, Select CFE223.
There you go, all you will ever need again. Case closed.
 
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
Top