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Formerly "raf"
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3,287 Posts
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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Formerly "raf"
Joined
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3,287 Posts
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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