Steel case ammo mini 14 - Shooting Sports Forum


Ruger Mini-14 and Mini-30 Ruger Mini-14 and Mini-30 family of rifles

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Old 05-03-2016, 12:34   #1
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Steel case ammo mini 14

I recently bought a ruger 582 mini 30 to find out later hard primer steel case ammo could damage the firearm. Does the same hold true for a 580 mini 14 ? I have a pending trade.
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Old 05-03-2016, 17:03   #2
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I broke my 582 Stainless Mini-30 in on Brown Bear & Silver Bear. Still shoots so if it hurt it I didn't know it. I've also got a Ruger Mini-30 Tactical on order & was wondering if it would be better to break it in on brass cased ammo.

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Old 05-03-2016, 17:40   #3
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I personally would never shoot steel ammo in a mini, not because of the steel case but because the bi-metal bullets erode the barrel. There was a study done on barrel erosion using copper bullets vs copper washed bi-metal bullets after 30,000 rounds there were no rifling left in the barrel and the throat was way out of spec. The study used multiple weapons of various types. I found the study on Google a couple years ago. On an AK or AR where the barrel is readily changeable is not a problem, a mini is more complicated and costly to re-barrel.
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Old 05-03-2016, 18:00   #4
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It mostly depends on how fast you shoot and heat up your barrel.

Barrel + heat = wear. Barrel + heat + bimetal bullet = faster wear.

As long as you aren't doing 30 round mag dumps on the reg, you should be fine.

On the other hand, my old 196 stainless seems to tolerate the steel case ammo much more than my newer 582 blued.
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Old 05-03-2016, 18:50   #5
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I found the article it is from LuckyGunner Labs. Search duckduckgo.com for Brass vs. Steel Cased Ammo An Epic Torture Test.

I prefer copper against steel vs steel against steel. It would be different if there were some sort of lubrication, a friend shot out the barrel of his glock 23 using bi-metal ammo took about 2500 rounds it still had some rifling but was not accurate any more...
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Old 05-04-2016, 18:49   #6
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http://www.luckygunner.com/labs/bras...mmo/#bookmark4
4 Bushmaster M4geries with chrome lined 16 inch barrels.
55 grain FMJ M193 type ammo as produced by Federal, Wolf, Tula and Brown Bear.
10,000 rounds of each fired through one of the above rifles. I believe the youtube videos of the test suggest Arizona desert in June to July, so 100 degrees F. Rate of fire suggested to be about what one would fire given a 10,000 zombie herd were approaching the shooter and only head shots counting.

Cut to the chase; the Bushie firing Tula did not finish the course. 24 malfs after 300 rounds. Remaining Tula was fired from several weapons, 6 malfs involving Spikes parts rifles, 3000 rounds through a HK 416 0 malfs.

Wolf had 15 malfs, BB 9 malfs, Federal brass case M193 0 MALFS.

Accuracy with Wolf and BB showed substantial loss at 4k to 6k rounds fired; from a base of 3.5 MOA to 8 to 14 MOA. Accuracy with Federal remained 3.5 MOA to 4 MOA.
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Old 05-04-2016, 19:35   #7
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The article did pressure testing of the rifles and discovered a likely explanation for Tula ammo's poor showing. All of the Russian made ammo showed some differences in pressure changes at cartridge ignition compared to Federal, Tula and Wolf a lot different.
I would suspect different powder being used to load .223 and I believe this likely.

7.62x39 as well as 5.45x39 are loaded with a powder akin to Accurate Arms 2200. It is similar but not identical to common .223 powders like BLC2 or H335. I doubt the Russians keep both powders on hand due to the possible confusion between the two. AA 2200 burns faster than the common .223 and function problems in reloaded ammo echo what one experiences with the Tula.
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Old 05-04-2016, 19:36   #8
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Another thing to consider is, steel case Berdan primed ammo is harder on your firing pin and extractor. Extractor's are easy to obtain and swap out, firing pins not so easy.
Brass cases, upon firing, expand to fit the chamber and prevent gas blow by. A miilisecond later, they contract slightly which makes it easy to extract them. Steel does not shrink back as much after expanding. Which makes them not as easy to extract as brass.
I've never seen or heard anything to substantiate that Berdan primers are harder than Boxer primers, but they are seated deeper in the case than Boxers. Your Mini firing pin is "bottoming out" inside the bolt and barely hitting the Berdan primer, that is harder on the firing pin, like dry firing. And putting in a heavier hammer spring is really slamming the pin into the bolt's shelves (inside the firing pin channel), without making it protrude outside the bolt face any more.
Someone just gave me 300 rounds of Tula 7.62 x 39. I don't want to shoot it in my Mini's, I think I'll give it to someone I don't like very much !
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Old 05-04-2016, 19:44   #9
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In view of the marked differences in wear patterns between brass and steel ammo and the challenges to replacing a barrel on a Mini (an AK isn't really that easy to install and headspace a barrel) I've largely reversed stockpiling steel case in favor of reloadable brass. I'm even saving my Yugo berdan brass planning to figure out a boxer conversion of the primer pocket.
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Old 05-04-2016, 19:49   #10
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"Proper torque values for this part are 30-80 ft-lbs. Once the components were properly reassembled, ten shot group sizes shrank to approximately 3.5 MOA, which is a realistic result to expect from standard carbines firing bulk ammunition."

So wait, wait, wait, wait, wait... these are AR guys tuning their rifle and say the groups went DOWN to 3.5 MOA??? This is curiously similar to Mini's, yet everything AR guys tease about.
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Old 05-04-2016, 21:03   #11
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Originally Posted by jor-el View Post
(an AK isn't really that easy to install and headspace a barrel).
Really the only hard part of installing a barrel on an AK is drilling the barrel pin.(and drilling pinning points for barrel population...unless you buy a populated barrel) Pressing it on is simple and cheap with an all thread and some bolts and washers! Heck I have a buddy that pressed his barrel on with nothing but love and a brass hammer!
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Old 05-04-2016, 21:25   #12
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Originally Posted by sandog View Post
Someone just gave me 300 rounds of Tula 7.62 x 39. I don't want to shoot it in my Mini's, I think I'll give it to someone I don't like very much !
Sandog, is there anything I could do to make you not like me very much, but only temporarily? I've never shot Tula and feel I should at least be able to say I tried so I can weigh in when people ask about it.
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Old 05-05-2016, 00:17   #13
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Originally Posted by Sparkie View Post
On an AK or AR where the barrel is readily changeable is not a problem, a mini is more complicated and costly to re-barrel.
Barrel vice, action wrench, and some heat. Takes about 10 minutes to change out. Or 90 bucks at the gun smith. So how is the Mini complicated and costly to change barrels?
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Old 05-05-2016, 04:56   #14
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Originally Posted by Coletrain View Post
"Proper torque values for this part are 30-80 ft-lbs. Once the components were properly reassembled, ten shot group sizes shrank to approximately 3.5 MOA, which is a realistic result to expect from standard carbines firing bulk ammunition."

So wait, wait, wait, wait, wait... these are AR guys tuning their rifle and say the groups went DOWN to 3.5 MOA??? This is curiously similar to Mini's, yet everything AR guys tease about.
Careful, Coletrain. Costeve did a thread about how AR's and Mini's weren't as far apart accuracy wise as some would think, and the thread vanished, almost as if someone complained, and the moderator deleted it.
Beck, you can have the Tula, just pay shipping ! PM me if you want it. I just ordered 2 cases (1000 rounds) of PPU FMJ, so the Tula will just gather dust.
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Old 05-05-2016, 08:13   #15
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Originally Posted by sandog View Post
Careful, Coletrain. Costeve did a thread about how AR's and Mini's weren't as far apart accuracy wise as some would think, and the thread vanished, almost as if someone complained, and the moderator deleted it.
You're right, we don't need that discussion again...

I wonder how much rate of fire would effect the wear. I wonder how much the velocity of the round effects it? (5.56vs7.62) Anyone willing to fund an experiment?

I dont think these factors would prevent wear, but if they prolong the barrel life, that could really effect people's decisions.
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Old 05-05-2016, 15:11   #16
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Originally Posted by sandog View Post
Beck, you can have the Tula, just pay shipping ! PM me if you want it. I just ordered 2 cases (1000 rounds) of PPU FMJ, so the Tula will just gather dust.
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Old 05-05-2016, 20:25   #17
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I recently purchased some really great priced brass 223 from wally world.

Perfecta .223 55gr FMJ.

They are boxer primed and annealed. Rumor has it, they are Fiocchi rebrands distributed by Tula.

50 rounds for $14.97. That's just about $.30/round, which is almost the same as steel.
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Old 05-06-2016, 03:48   #18
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I hope the Perfecta .223 is better than the Perfecta .45 ACP ammo I tried last weekend.
I fired about 3 dozen rounds, and every one failed to work the slide in my 1911 all the way. I had to push the slide closed the rest of the way to fire. That ammo was far from "Perfecta".
Some stuff is cheaper for a reason.
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Old 05-06-2016, 05:12   #19
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30,000 rounds whew I won't live long enough to shoot that much in a lifetime. Ya'll shoot that much ? Holy smokes ! That is a lotta miles on any gun , isn't it . Seriously.

That is testing data I guess . Time to kill and money to spend. Interesting data to see the effects of extremes .
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Old 05-06-2016, 10:07   #20
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Originally Posted by sandog View Post
I hope the Perfecta .223 is better than the Perfecta .45 ACP ammo I tried last weekend.
I fired about 3 dozen rounds, and every one failed to work the slide in my 1911 all the way. I had to push the slide closed the rest of the way to fire. That ammo was far from "Perfecta".
Some stuff is cheaper for a reason.
Have fired about 1000 perfecta 9mm and 300 45 with no issues.

If course, that was through a G19, G26, G30, and G36.

My Colt 1911 Combat Elite on the other hand is picky on ammo.

Not saying its your 1911 that caused it, but it wouldn't be the first finnicky 1911.
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Old 05-06-2016, 19:36   #21
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I've had that Kimber CDP for 14 years, and never had any issues with it being finicky. For practice, I buy 100 round boxes of Winchester white box hardball, save the brass and then reload it with Berry plated FMJRN. Shot all kinds of JHP through it as well, including the rather blunt Speer "Flying Ashtrays". My main carry load is 200 grain Gold Dot H.P.'s
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Old 05-06-2016, 23:46   #22
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Maybe you just got a bad batch.

I've gotten the worst performance out of WWB out of all MFGs myself.
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Old 05-07-2016, 14:16   #23
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My 196 would shoot anything. My 583 tactical has only had brass run thru it. I still have about 200 rnds of MFS ( silver bear ) that I'm slowly replacing with brass. I only by brass and in bulk if I can afford it. I try to buy 100 rnds a week to keep my stash up when I cant buy 1000 rnd case. I need to start reloading because I have a ton of brass. There are no 2 minis that shoot the same , find out what your gun likes.
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Old 05-11-2016, 10:53   #24
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berdan primed brass

Originally Posted by jor-el View Post
In view of the marked differences in wear patterns between brass and steel ammo and the challenges to replacing a barrel on a Mini (an AK isn't really that easy to install and headspace a barrel) I've largely reversed stockpiling steel case in favor of reloadable brass. I'm even saving my Yugo berdan brass planning to figure out a boxer conversion of the primer pocket.
Let us know how that works. Some of us have berdan primed brass that is hard to find or doesn't exist for boxer primers.
[anyone have 8x58DR--Danish Rimmed sources?]

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Old 05-13-2016, 21:25   #25
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Originally Posted by sandog View Post
Careful, Coletrain. Costeve did a thread about how AR's and Mini's weren't as far apart accuracy wise as some would think, and the thread vanished, almost as if someone complained, and the moderator deleted it.
Beck, you can have the Tula, just pay shipping ! PM me if you want it. I just ordered 2 cases (1000 rounds) of PPU FMJ, so the Tula will just gather dust.
I wondered what happened to that thread. I even had one of my rare replies in that one. Made me sad when it disappeared.

My Mini-30 digested a few thousand rounds of steel cased Wolf back when it was around $80 for a thousand rounds. My old 223 Ranch Rifle ate mostly South African battle packs, but I passed it on to my nephew when I picked up the Target model.

Cheap ammo was fun while it lasted, but now I mainly look for reasonably priced brass case stuff so I can reload it later.
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