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Military Self Defense Ammo for Mini 14

6431 Views 16 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  djskit
What is the best Military Self Defense Ammo for the Mini 14?
:usa: :ar15:
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What brand of FMJ would you recommend? The most readily available M193
equivalant (M193 is the military 55gr FMJ specification) is the
Winchester "Q3131" or "Q3131A" in the white boxes. FWIW, though, most
military units are now issued the M855 62gr steel-core ammo. I was thinking on getting the Winchester but I found this: ArmaLite has recently received complaints of poor extraction and ejection with some rifles, disfigured cases, and "blown" primer failures with some lots of Winchester Q3131 5.56mm ammunition. Close inspection of the rifles involved discloses no defect.

Review of Internet sites related to our rifles discloses that Q3131 is problematic in all brands of AR-15-type rifles. We conclude that the ammunition is suspect.

We therefore recommend against sustained use of Q3131. If you have any on hand, we recommend that you return it at the first sign of failure.

We absolutely recommend against using Q3131 in Law Enforcement or other applications requiring absolute confidence in ammunition.

We will provide more information as we get it

What brand and type would you recommend?
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How about that Federal AMMO. Is it any good? Has anyone shot the Winchester USA Q3131A? Any problems? Which would you recommend? Is the
any good. It looks like the Black Hills 55 grain Full Metal Jacket is remanufactured. I think I should go with the Winchester USA Q3131A to be on the safe side. Has anyone had any problems with it?
AE223 223 Rem. (5.56x45mm) 55 / 3.56 Full Metal Jacket Boat-Tail Target shooting, training, practice

Is this the same Lake City ammo as the ammo currently supplied to the military?

If it is then I will decide between the Federal and Winchester. If it isn't then I think I will get the Winchester American Eagle since they would be newer in production.

Hey I found this page that describes the military self defense ammo really good:

Also is there a small military scope that can fit the newer Ruger Ranch 196?

Q. What brands of M193 are available?

Lake City and Winchester are the primary suppliers of M193 to the US military.

Winchester M193 is available commercially in Winchester's budget military line. The model number is Q3131 and it comes in a white box marked USA.

Another good source is Israeli Military Industries (IMI), the sole supplier of ammo to the Israeli Defense Force (IDF). IMI makes M193 and they also supply their M193 as a subcontractor for Winchester, under Winchester's model Q3131A. IMI is approved to supply the US military with ammo and it is often used when troops are in the region, to save shipping costs.

Other M193 is commonly available as surplus from various importers, though that ammo is obviously not new-production. A recent example is the 1980's South African "battle-pack" ammo that is available from a number of sources. This ammo comes in 30-round boxes, packed 10 to vinyl sleeve. It is hot-loaded ammo that appears to be M193 spec.

Q. What's the best M193 to get?

Clearly you want to find new production ammo. Again, surplus is great stuff for practice and fun but for "serious" ammo you will want to find ammo that's less than 36 months old.

In the M193 class it's pretty generally agreed that the best manufactured ammo is from the Lake City Plant. 2000 manufacture Lake City (LC'00) and 2001 Lake City (LC'01) is outstanding ammo. It's assembled at the Lake City plant and boxed up by Federal. It is accurate for M193, is loaded quite hot and has great velocity as a result and it seems flawlessly reliable. Lake City ammo also has a reputation for storability and reliability. Several members have tested 15 year old Lake City and it often turns out to perform better than newly manufactured commercial ammunition. It's very much the gold standard of M193. Unfortunately, it's not being manufactured for civilians anymore. If you can find some recent manufacture for a decent price it would be wise to pick it up.

Lake City XM193.

Winchester Q3131A and Winchester Q3131 are considered close seconds, perhaps indistinguishable seconds to Lake City M193. Both are mil-spec M193 but many members have reported that LC is loaded a bit hotter.

Q3131 is the U.S.-manufactured Winchester M193, but since 2000 (and coinciding with the transition at the Lake City plant which left it shut down), Winchester's M193/Q3131 ammo has all gone to the military. Due to the demand during the Y2K scare, Winchester had subcontracted some of its civilian M193 production to IMI. Winchester has continued this contract, and the IMI-produced ammo is labeled Q3131A by Winchester.

Q3131A also is somewhat famous for its shining new cases. Lake City kept their production costs down by not polishing their brass before shipping. Since the military was their primary customer why bother making the rounds "pretty?" LC often has spots and other material on their cases (not that this seems to impact its stellar performance at all). Q3131A is much prettier looking. XM193 also comes in boxes with plastic spacers. Many people find these annoying.

As you can see, the complaints about the two types of ammo are so trivial as to be almost not worth considering.

Opinion: Some lots of 1999 Winchester Q3131 (but not Q3131A) had quality control problems. As a result many members avoid Q3131 entirely and prefer Q3131A.

.223 Remington chambers will give you slightly better accuracy, which is important for a match or varmint rifle. Any loss of feeding and cycling reliability and the restriction against shooting military ammo isn't as important as the accuracy gains for a rifle used in these roles, because for these rifles, accuracy is everything. People who just want to plink or who plan to shoot military ammo (such as most of the cheap surplus ammo available), and especially those who may use their AR as a weapon, should choose 5.56 chambers.

Despite what the media, Bruce Willis, and Arnold Schwarzenegger may suggest, the only certain way to incapacitate an attacker is to cause significant damage to the Central Nervous System, or cause enough loss of blood to shut down the attacker's higher (and potentially lower) brain functions. There are certainly psychological factors that might stop an attacker ("I've been shot!"), but depending on these is probably not a good idea, and discounts the possibility that the attacker's state of mind is altered chemically or emotionally to a point where being shot won't seem like that interesting a distraction. That means you want to:

Penetrate deep enough to get to major organs or blood vessels.

Punch holes in those structures.

Encourage profuse bleeding and/or CNS damage

Opinion: This question really comes down to how much ammo you want to purchase (cost) and how much faith you have in fragmentation (or which side of the fragmentation/controlled expansion argument you come down on). There are strong arguments on either side. The determining factor for you may be small. If you expect engagements inside your home, or under 50 meters, M193 and M855 will perform wonderfully for you. As ranges go out past 150 meters you may prefer heavier hollowpoint or softpoint rounds.

The authors tend to prefer M193 over specialty rounds and M855 because we believe it produces larger wound cavities and is more effective at likely defensive ranges (inside 150 meters), as well as easier and cheaper to buy in bulk-- making it cheaper to train with the ammo you use defensively. This is key, because no ammo is going to be effective if you cannot place shots on target.

Q. Is military ammo the best choice for defensive use?

M193 is probably the best choice for an all-around ammo selection, given its low price, wide availability, and the ability to be stabilized from any 5.56 rifle. For military-type operations, M193 should comprise the bulk of your 5.56mm ammo. However, other types of ammo may be better for a specific application, such as home defense or police work, or when using a 5.56mm gun with a very short barrel or when velocity is likely to be low.

Additionally, when encounters with automobiles are expected, FMJ rounds are much more likely to perform well through auto glass and sheet metal. If you expect that automobiles might be a factor in your engagement, make sure to select FMJ or heavier (69+ grain) JHP rounds.

The advantage of heavier (64, 69 and 69+ grain) JHP and JSP is that they will exhibit controlled expansion at slower velocities (and therefore have better wounding potential) than FMJ rounds at distance. This really starts to kick in after around 200 meters or so if you are dealing with a 20" barrel. After that distance, most rounds are below the 2500-2700 fragmentation threshold, and though FMJ rounds will tumble, it's not clear that this will be as effective as a good controlled expansion round.

On the other hand, JSP and JHP rounds probably aren't as effective after passing through a soft medium, like an arm. In these cases FMJ will usually retain more penetration ability than the light JSP and JHP rounds.

Q. What is "SHTF" ammo? What is "TEOTWAWKI?"

"SHTF" is an acronym for the "**** Hits The Fan," meaning a natural disaster, a catastrophic breakdown in civil service, a military takeover, a New World Order, or an invasion by brain eating zombies that makes life an exercise in "every man for himself." (Also known as "The End Of The World As We Know It" or TEOTWAWKI--easily characterized as akin to a third NSYNC and Britney Spears tour.) Of course, depending on your view of the goodness (or lack thereof) of man, you may or may not consider a SHTF scenario likely. It is worth noting, however, that the New York blackout, the LA riots, earthquakes, and other fairly recent breakdowns in social fabric have all made the prepared feel pretty good about having a little SHTF ammo around. It all depends on your tin-foil hat quotient™.

Regardless of your politics, SHTF ammo is a good term to use to refer to ammo stored away (perhaps underground), "just in case." Criteria for good SHTF selections are obviously: Storage/durability, cost, defensive performance as an antipersonnel round, reliability, reliability, and reliability. This is ammo that--quite simply--just has to go bang every single time without fail.

As a general matter, new manufacture (i.e., less than 3 years old when you buy it) military-spec ammo is probably the best for SHTF use. The bullets and primers are sealed, they generally have flash reducing powder formulas, they are loaded a bit hotter than commercial ammo, designed for storage under military (read: non-ideal) conditions, non-corrosive, cheap ($0.10 - $0.14 a round if you buy in quantity), and have good antipersonnel properties.

SHTF sort of supposes that you will be a lone actor, that engagements will be inside of 150 yards, and that you'll be in an urban or suburban environment. Of course, we tend to like M193 for these purposes. M193 has the added benefit of working in a wide variety of weapons and rifling twists, making it a good trade commodity, and flexible in whatever 5.56 weapon you're likely to get your hands on.
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I am trying to decide between these two:

Is this the same as the Lake City XM193:

Product Description: American Eagle Centerfire Rifle, .223 Remington, 55 Grains, Full Metal Jacketed Boat Tail, 20 Rounds Per Box, 25 Boxes Per Case
Catalog Item #: 65968 Mfg Item #: AE223

Product Description: USA Brand Centerfire Rifle Ammunition .223 Caliber, 55 Grain 5.56, Full Metal Jacket, 20 Rounds per Box, 50 Boxes per Case
Catalog Item #: 67962 Mfg Item #: Q3131A
Check this out:

Is it really alright to fire the M193 Winchester or Federal in the Ruger Mini 14 from the higher pressures? Maybe I should get the Federal American Eagle instead?

AE223 223 Rem. (5.56x45mm) 55 / 3.56 Full Metal Jacket Boat-Tail Target shooting, training, practice

What do you think?
Nevermind I found this thread:
Mini-14: SAAMI or Mil-spec chamber?

So I guess it is ok to shoot M193.

But how can a Mini 14 be built to handle Mil Spec loads and some AR15s can't? Here read this:

Would someone care to comment on shooting 5.56 mil spec ammo in a .223 SAAMI chrome lined AR? I've heard everything from yea to nay on other lists and am looking for the voice of reason here. I have an Armalite M15A2 on order that I was told by Armalite would have an M16 Nato chamber (I specifically asked this before I ordered). Now they say all their guns have SAAMI spec chambers but they are going to switch the chrome lined ones to Nato in the future due to customer demand. I know that SAAMI says not to shoot 5.56 in a .223 chambered gun, but Armalite says it's fine. --Chance


If we are talking about .223 Remington SAAMI-spec chambers in an AR15, OH NO!

Do NOT use such a chambering if you EVER plan on shooting any military NATO 5.56 ammo, which happens to be only the most common, least expensive and most widely used AR15 cartridge available in all the world. In other words, NEVER buy/use a SAAMI-spec chamber in a battle rifle, especially if the barrel and chamber are chromed, as you cannot fix it!

Here's the problem. Many NATO cartridges have bullets that will become jammed into the rifling of a SAAMI chambering (the throat is too short). This is VERY DANGEROUS, for a grat number of reasons.

Fulton Armory uses a "5.56 Match" chambering in its rifles/uppers/barrels (in fact our barrels are marked as such), which is a slightly modified SAAMI chamber with a tad longer throat to accommodate NATO bullets. The Fulton Armory 5.56 Match chamber allows for the safe and reliable use of all SAAMI and NATO ammo, while offering the accuracy potential of the SAAMI chamberings with match commercial cartridges. Remember, there's often a large difference between bolt guns and military rifles. This particularly true for the 5.56 vs .223; Fulton Armory is well known for the finest performance for any given platform, and our 5.56 Match chamber is one way we achieve that performance with the AR-15-type rifle.

So what should I go with? Should I take the Federal American Eagle instead of the Q3131A and the Lake City M193? I mean if you look at the American Eagle it reads the same as the Lake City M193. It's Full Metal Jacket Boat Tail. So is there a difference between the two in that the pressure would be less on the American Eagle Consumer ammo? So I guess I should go with the American Eagle to be on the safe side? What do you guys recommend?
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I am going to go with the Winchester Q3131A M193 since the Lake City is loaded a bit hotter.

Winchester Q3131A and Winchester Q3131 are considered close seconds, perhaps indistinguishable seconds to Lake City M193. Both are mil-spec M193 but many members have reported that LC is loaded a bit hotter.
Thanks. I will get the Winchester Q3131A because I read somewhere that the Lake City was made just for the military and not intended to be sold commercially, so it was never polished and sealed properly. Alot of the casings also had dings on it since they only intended it to be used for military purposes. Also the Lake City Boat Tail design is for long range shots and the Winchester flat-base bullet shape tends to be more accurate at short ranges.

BT stands for "Boat Tail" and refers to the base of the bullet. A "Boat Tail" is a sloping end which narrows gently at the base of the bullet, so that the cross-section resembles the shape of a boat's hull. The boat tail shape reduces drag on a bullet, helping it to retain velocity and resist deflection from crosswinds, but causes the bullet to take longer to "settle" after leaving the barrel compared to a standard "flat-base" bullet. Boat tail bullets are usually selected for long-range shooting, while the flat-base bullet shape tends to be more accurate at short ranges. A "HPBT" bullet is a "Hollow Point Boat Tail" bullet.
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