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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Because of the large number of Mini 14s is it safe to assume published 223 loads from the loading manuals are as safe in the Mini 14 as they would be in a bolt action?
 

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Formerly "raf"
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Because of the large number of Mini 14s is it safe to assume published 223 loads from the loading manuals are as safe in the Mini 14 as they would be in a bolt action?
The 'Official" word from Ruger, Pg 14 from owner's manual:

"AMMUNITION
RUGER®
MINI-14® RANCH rifles are offered in two calibers: .223
Remington (5.56mm) and the 6.8mm Remington SPC. 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
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. See “Warning - Ammunition” &
“Ammunition Notice,” below.

USE ONLY FACTORY AMMUNITION LOADED
TO U.S. INDUSTRY STANDARDS
AMMUNITION (CARTRIDGES) NOTICE
WE SPECIFICALLY DISCLAIM RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY DAMAGE
OR INJURY WHATSOEVER OCCURRING IN CONNECTION WITH,
OR AS THE RESULT OF, THE USE IN RUGER FIREARMS OF FAULTY
OR NON-STANDARD OR “REMANUFACTURED” OR HAND
LOADED (RELOADED) AMMUNITION OR OF CARTRIDGES OTHER
THAN THOSE FOR WHICH THE FIREARM WAS ORIGINALLY
CHAMBERED."

That said, there are a great many handloaders who have handloaded ctgs for the Mini over the years.

Not an expert, but I'm not aware of any factory-made .223/5.56 ammo that is unsafe in a properly-functioning Mini-14 which is chambered for the ammo being used. I strongly suggest not using any suggested loads which have any sort of caution or disclaimer concerning the Mini. Some Mini-14 users have reported occasional issues with "budget' steel-cased ammo, but whether that is due to possible defects in the individual Mini, or due to the somewhat questionable quality of the ammo is unclear.

What you might want to do is shoot your Mini a good bit, using factory ammo, just to ensure it's functioning properly, and there is no need for warranty work. Like all machines, the Mini can stand some "breaking-in", as well as proper cleaning and lubrication.

After that, use the linked chart below determine the Rate-of-Twist of your Mini's barrel, just in case one weight of bullet seems to perform better with your barrel. By all means, DO experiment; each rifle is a bit different. Take accurate notes, and lean towards what your Mini seems to like.


FWIW, I use mil-spec 55gn (M-193) and 62gn (M-855) ammo in my 1-7 ROT 186 series Mini-14 and the ammo is a little "hot" compared to most equivaleent civilian-made ammo. No problems, although I did reduce the size of the gas oriface (bushing) to reduce the well-known over-gassing of the Mini-14. This is an optional step.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
No problem. I learned something about the difference in mil spec and civilian ammo. Thanks for the info..
 

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All Gunmakers have a similar disclaimer included with all of their guns. They can not control your handloads, so they say "not to use your handloads or they will void your warrantee."
However if you do and your gun blows up then how would they know what you were shooting? unless you told them! Just as easy to say you were shooting Factory Ammo. And I have ran into more garbage Factory Loaded ammo in the last 5 years than ever before in my life! When production increases, so does the incidence of faulty products be produced.

The worst thing I have seen other than upside down primers or sideways Primers was a Sellers and Beloit.45 ACP round that had the bullet in backwards ! Don't know how that one made it thru the QC machine but it did!

I seldom fire a Factory Loaded Round. Virtually everything I shoot is a Handload. I have had exactly one Squib loaded Shotshell out of literally hundreds of thousands of rounds of every type loaded. It was in the first batch I loaded on my DL366 12 ga. Progressive Loader and it missed charging one round, and it Poofed when fired. Never had another..

My standard load for .223/5.56 is 25.0 gr of W748/BL-C2 with a 55 gr FMJBT bullet. It is not a hot load, but it cycles in all my Carbines. It is easily 10-15% below a max charge,

and that is how you stay safe while reloading.

Randy
 
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24.4 of IMR 3031 has been a favorite of mine. 24.6 is a max load of 3031 but only because that fills the case. 25 grains of H335 would be at the top of my Mini loads and is very accurate. At least in my Mini's. 25 grains of 748 would be a versatile load. To tweak your accuracy you could go up to 26.4 but I doubt you will need to go that high. Find your favorite loads and stick with them. The only issue is finding your favorite powder and primer combination..
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
24.4 of IMR 3031 has been a favorite of mine. 24.6 is a max load of 3031 but only because that fills the case. 25 grains of H335 would be at the top of my Mini loads and is very accurate. At least in my Mini's. 25 grains of 748 would be a versatile load. To tweak your accuracy you could go up to 26.4 but I doubt you will need to go that high. Find your favorite loads and stick with them. The only issue is finding your favorite powder and primer combination..
Thanks, 55 gr bullets?
 

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Thanks, 55 gr bullets?
Yes. I really like the Hornady 55 grain soft point. Their FMJ's are almost as accurate. I did get a 1" group with my Mini with the 55 grain soft points and 25 grains of H335. Unfortunately, the 1" groups were few and far between. I also shoot AA2015, AA230 and AA2460. All 3 are good powders. The AA2015 and RL10x have similar burn rates and are good powders with 55 grain bullets. Since they are fast burning powders the listed velocities are lower but I found both to be very accurate as well.

There were a lot of 2" groups with the powders I mentioned except the W748. I tend to use that powder for heavier bullets on 308. I have not found a sweet spot with the W748 in .223 with the 55 grain bullet but it appears that at least one other shooter on this forum has. My biggest problem like many of you is finding powder and primers. I have a large number of twice fired .223 brass that I could load up and put into my reserve boxes but I am down to my last 2 bricks of small rifle primers.
kwg
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the info. Agreed on the Hornady 55 gr SP. Over the years that's been a pretty consistent bullet in various 223s I've owned and their price is about as good as it gets.

I've been using Ramshot X-Terminator and Tac lately. A lot of shooters like Tac but I've had a little better better all around results with the faster X-Terminator with 40 to 55 gr bullets. Both powders burn very clean.
 

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A .223/5.56 round that will chamber into a Mini 14 will run fine in a bolt action. Not necessarily the other way around, though. Any loading for a Mini has to have an OAL that will fit into the magazine. Too long, no go. That can be limiting.
A bolt action can be loaded with the longer, heavier hitters, since there's no mag length to get in the way.
 

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I've been using very carefully-made milsurp M-193 and M-855 equivalent loads in all my 5.56 rifles.

No problems whatsoever and excellent accuracy, due to the great care in making them. Considerably better than actual milsurp. Same thing with carefully made 7.62 NATO ammo.

For the most part, GI surplus ammo is not far from the bottom of the barrel, as far as accuracy is concerned.
 

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A bit off topic but sincee 7.62 has been touched on I loaded 147gr fmj made for.308 win in x 39 cases set back so barely clear the magazine wall to shoot in my 30. I had also loaded those over mild powder charge for my .'06 loads (shot well AMOF). I'VE tapped the gas pipe of my 30 for a short set screw modedd into straight pull bolt action. Easy reversible. The loads shot quite well, better groups than the 150gr Speer FB SP I loaded for larger deer/hog/bear.
I stacked a couple of the old real concrete blocks filled with cement scavenged from demolition site sidexside busted through and buried in the berm. If memory serves powder was 4895 careful loaded to settle it down in the case. No practical use for I suppose but fun to shoot
 

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A .223/5.56 round that will chamber into a Mini 14 will run fine in a bolt action. Not necessarily the other way around, though. Any loading for a Mini has to have an OAL that will fit into the magazine. Too long, no go. That can be limiting.
A bolt action can be loaded with the longer, heavier hitters, since there's no mag length to get in the way.
Not quite
I have a Mini with lots of chamber room. The gun is very dependable but in order to get some more accuracy out of it I have resized it slightly longer than what will fit into my bolt action chambers. I use a Hornady Comparator and I have 2 different resizing dies. One for my bolt guns (and AR's) and one for the Mini 14. The brass resized for the Mini is too big for the bolt guns. It's only about 9 thousands longer (.009) but it does make a difference.

I can shoot fresh new factory ammo out of the Mini and the bolt guns. The new brass takes on the dimensions of the chamber. The difference is just how much I resize them.

kwg
 
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