77 grain loads for Mini-14. Serious Thump! - Shooting Sports Forum


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

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Old 06-02-2020, 16:40   #1
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Exclamation 77 grain loads for Mini-14. Serious Thump!

I have long been a fanboy of the Black Hills MK262 MOD1 77 grain SMK OTMBT loads in the 5.56. For practice, I have been cloning them, as a buck a round is too spendy for practice. I am loading Nosler Custom Competition 77 grain OTMBTs, which are nearly identical to the SierraMatch King that Black Hills, CBC, and IMI use in their MK 262 MOD1 loadings. The published velocity from a 18" barrel is around 2750 fps.

I load the Nosler CCs with 24.9 grains Hodgdon BLC (2). which gives about the same 2750 fps, and is just under .223 max pressure, and way below 5.56 max pressure. Primers show a slight flattening, but no cratering or other signs or excessive pressure.

My 563 I had a couple years ago gave me 1.6 NOA at 100 yards, and easily stayed on the 12" 200 yard gong from a rest with zero misses. I think the void in the nose of the OTM and the weight to the rear allow it to stabilize like a shorter 69 grain bullet. I know others that have had the same luck with the heavy bullets in the 1/9. This same phenomena is similar to the fact that the stubby W-W 62 grain soft point stabilized in a 1/12" twist, where the longer, steel core M855 62 grainers are dismal from the 1/12".

Here is an article about the Nosler CC bullet and an equivalent load.

https://www.ar15.com/ammo/project/Se...077gr%20CC.htm

Penetration is 13", though it totally comes apart, expending all energy in the target within the 13". Should be a great Zombie/Troll/Goblin/Felon/Raving Insurrectionist whacker load for the Mini. I do know that my AR with its 1/7 twist can do MOA with this load when using a scope. I do use factory MK262 MOD1 as my "duty load". Not that I don't trust my reloads, just an old habit from 7 years military and 20+ year as as an LEO.

Here are some vids about the MK262 MOD1. Arguably teh most effective 5.56 round. I learned about it from my Marine Sgt. nephew, who used MK262 MOD1 in Afghanistan to take out Mujahadin at 300 yards and farther with a 20" M16A2.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iF6v34gC2Ag&t=233s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YJbpPCc2VM

A couple articles:

https://www.shootingtimes.com/editor...1-review/99098

https://gunstreamer.com/watch/5-56mm...chIInfOyx.html

It might surprise you that my second choice is the lowly Lake City/Federal M193 with its 55 grainers. It tumbles, yaws, and fragments on impact out to about 250 yard or more from the Mini-14s 18" barrel. (threshold is 2550 fps to yaw and come apart)

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Old 06-02-2020, 17:12   #2
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The 62 grain M855 was a dismal step backwards in 5.56 development. From the M4s short barrels, the yaw/fragment threshold is only about 75-80 yards. Froman M16A2 with a 20" barrel, it was good to about 125-150 yards. Past that it "icepicks" through the target. MK 262 MOD1, on the other hand, is lethal from the M4s to 200 and beyond because of bullet construction. That's why it is the load Seals and SF and other Spec Ops use in their M4s.
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Old 06-02-2020, 19:07   #3
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The slowest powder I have ever tried in my Mini is AA2520. I fired some 62 grain HP's out of it today trying to find the "perfect" load. I was 2" at 50 yards with them. I have been liking IMR8208 and the same 62 grain Nosler Varmageddons HP's with around 1" at 50 yards. I do have some 75 grain HP's but I have not loaded them yet.

Another favorite is the 63 grain SMP's but I can't seem to find the load for them from my Mini. They work very well in a 1/9 twist AR. Today was a really hot day and the Mini heated up quickly. I test fired about 60 rounds today of various loads. IMR 3031 and Benchmark were my best shooters in addition to the 8208. My all time best has been 55 grain Hornady soft points in my Mini. But, I have not given up on the 63 gr. SMP's. I have heard to many good things about them. I'm sure the spec ops guys really like the 77's but I'm trying to put together a load for pigs and not the Taliban.
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Old 06-02-2020, 23:06   #4
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77 grain loads for Mini-14. Serious Thump!

Accurate LT-32 seems like a fantastic powder for ARs and Minis, with 53gr OTM, 55gr GMX, 75gr OTM, and for 1:8 or faster twist 70gr GMX, 73gr ELD and 75gr ELD. It is essentially faster 8208XBR, it meters really smoothly by its smaller cut length.

Hornady 75gr OTM BTHP

20 AR 223 Wylde chamber
21.0 gr LT-32
2.221 OAL

# FPS FT-LBS PF
5 2707 0.00 0.00
4 2719 0.00 0.00
3 2732 0.00 0.00
2 2727 0.00 0.00
1 2730 0.00 0.00
Average: 2723.0 FPS
SD: 10.2 FPS
Min: 2707 FPS
Max: 2732 FPS
Spread: 25 FPS


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Last edited by lordmorgul; 06-03-2020 at 01:17.
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Old 06-03-2020, 04:59   #5
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For some "serious thump" from a Mini try a 123 grain .310" bullet at 2500 fps.
It has a good 400 ft lb. advantage over any 5.56mm load not to mention the increased mass and frontal diameter.
In an expanding bullet like the Nosler Varmeggedon, Hornady SST or V-Max or one of the Russian soft points.

I doubt you are going to get any expansion with a 77 grain OTMBT bullet, the hollow point tip in a Match bullet isn't there for expansion, but for flight stability.
You won't have to shoot someone several times to put him down with an expanding bullet in a 7.62 x 39.
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Old 06-03-2020, 08:25   #6
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My go to hunting load for my mini is the Speer 70gr semi-spitzer over
25 gr Varget powder. On game I've only recovered 1. That was on a large whitetail
buck taken @ 265 paces. I held even on his back and the hit was solid thru
the heart. Split it literally into two. The slug was under the hide on the off
side. He kicked out at the shot like a bronk coming out of a chute and ran
maybe 50 yards and piled up. I have his rack on the wall
very heavy 5pt 25"+ inside spread. I watched him around the farm for
several years before taking a poke at him. I have his 4pt sheds from the
year before...The poachers would have got him if I hadn't.

I've used several other types of 223 bullets on game but this is by far the best. The
recovered slug was a bit over 60 grains and expanded like a nosler to over .3"..
I always have a 10rd mag of those with me. Try some, you won't be disappointed
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Old 06-03-2020, 10:09   #7
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If you look at the pics in the article the Nosler and Sierra 77s do expand and actually blow up in the target. Transferring all the energy within 13 inches. I agree that the 7.62x39 is superior to the 5.56 as a whole but if you have a 5.56 the 77s are incredibly effective. My nephew, who was a Marine rifleman in the truest sense, used to pick the insurgents off at 300 yards DRT when their AKs were spraying the area.
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Old 06-03-2020, 10:55   #8
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Originally Posted by sandog View Post
For some "serious thump" from a Mini try a 123 grain .310" bullet at 2500 fps.
It has a good 400 ft lb. advantage over any 5.56mm load not to mention the increased mass and frontal diameter.
In an expanding bullet like the Nosler Varmeggedon, Hornady SST or V-Max or one of the Russian soft points.

I doubt you are going to get any expansion with a 77 grain OTMBT bullet, the hollow point tip in a Match bullet isn't there for expansion, but for flight stability.
You won't have to shoot someone several times to put him down with an expanding bullet in a 7.62 x 39.
you are exactly right. I brought a 223 mini and my SKS in the woods where I shot around 70 yards at a vertical rock face cliff. picked a flat spot sprayed orange paint and shot the mini with 68 gr bullets. I was a little surprised that it hit pretty hard. then I shot the SKS. I was stunned how it blasted the rock. powder dust all over. I would say it hit 4 times harder then the 223. the Germans had it right with a 125 or so gr bullet over 2500 FPS as the best combat round ever made. Russians copied it with same weight bullet at almost the same speed. best blend of enough power with hardly any recoil. bullet design if improved would be great
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Old 06-03-2020, 11:58   #9
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Member CoSteve came up to visit me in Montana a few years back and we had about 12 rifles out at the range. I had just bought one of those "jumping" targets made out of AR500 steel that looks like a jumping jack.
The 5.56mm and .357 Mag and .45 Colt would rock the target slightly but never flipped it.
The x39 flipped it around with authority just like the .308 did.
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Old 06-04-2020, 13:40   #10
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LOL I have a Henry Arms 45-70 single shot that shoots HSM's +P 45-70s designed for Marlin Levers. I bet that would make the target jump a bit! I keep that handy as a camping bear gun.
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Old 06-04-2020, 15:44   #11
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For awhile, I used an original Civil War 56-56 Spencer (converted to centerfire) for cowboy action shooting. It shot a 375 grain, .56" diameter heeled bullet with about 45-50 grains of black powder. I got in trouble for knocking the 25 yard rifle plate @ss over teakettle when I hit them. They eventually told me to shoot over the top, and just gave me credit for the hits.
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Old 06-04-2020, 16:15   #12
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Originally Posted by imarangemaster View Post
LOL I have a Henry Arms 45-70 single shot that shoots HSM's +P 45-70s designed for Marlin Levers. I bet that would make the target jump a bit! I keep that handy as a camping bear gun.
a single shot 45-70 has to kick the hell out of you with hot loads . I have a JB marlin 45-70
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Old 06-04-2020, 18:09   #13
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I once had a .45-120 Sharps (650 grain bullet over 120 grains of FG (cannon) black powder. I was a 9 pound rifle, but it was absolutely brutal to shoot. It sounded like General Hood's field artillery when it went off. Quigley's Sharps was only a .45-110! I even tried downloading to 90 grains using fiber wads, but the accuracy was dismal down-loaded. It hurt my damaged back too much to shoot it, and I eventually sold it after it languished in the safe a couple years.

My cousin had a .50-140 Sharps (750 grain 50 cal slug over 140 grains of FG), but only fired a couple rounds. His first shot almost made him p*ss his pants. He immediately traded it towards a nice minty WW2 Johnson Semi-auto.

I also had an original Rolling block in 44-77 Sharps. 370 grain bullet over 77 grains...much nicer to shoot.
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Old 06-05-2020, 06:39   #14
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[QUOTE=imarangemaster;1631518]For awhile, I used an original Civil War 56-56 Spencer (converted to centerfire) for cowboy action shooting. It shot a 375 grain, .56" diameter heeled bullet with about 45-50 grains of black powder. [/QUOTE

I've wanted a Spencer for years. I farm a piece of ground that was
originally used to pasture oxen from the supply trains that were used to supply the nearby gold camps in the 1860's. We've found a few ox shoes over the years along with other historical artifacts. Tilling a piece of farm ground gets tedious and to help with that I got so I could spot things on the
ground pretty well..I have a couple of cigar boxes of indian knives
arrrow heads ect. Just surface finds.

One afternoon I spied something unusual and
got down to see what it was and it was a rifle case. No primer.
So on the next trip to town I stopped into a gunsmiths and showed
him it.. His asked me if I had the gun it was used in... I wish...
56-60 Spencer is what he told me it was... So out came the metal
detector and a sweep of the area found a couple more. I also have 2
black powder spent 45-70 cases from that property..There are several
unmarked graves along with the ruins of a early Chinese settlement.
I have found several used opium vials around the place..I bet it was
an interesting place back in the day. MM
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Old 06-05-2020, 07:57   #15
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Originally Posted by imarangemaster View Post
I once had a .45-120 Sharps (650 grain bullet over 120 grains of FG (cannon) black powder. I was a 9 pound rifle, but it was absolutely brutal to shoot. It sounded like General Hood's field artillery when it went off. Quigley's Sharps was only a .45-110! I even tried downloading to 90 grains using fiber wads, but the accuracy was dismal down-loaded. It hurt my damaged back too much to shoot it, and I eventually sold it after it languished in the safe a couple years.

My cousin had a .50-140 Sharps (750 grain 50 cal slug over 140 grains of FG), but only fired a couple rounds. His first shot almost made him p*ss his pants. He immediately traded it towards a nice minty WW2 Johnson Semi-auto.

I also had an original Rolling block in 44-77 Sharps. 370 grain bullet over 77 grains...much nicer to shoot.
I shot those Sharps rifles they were a lot heavier then a single shot henry. the recoil did not bother me much being they were so heavy with 32" barrel. also black powder recoil to me was a push rather then a sharp rap from smokeless powder
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Old 06-05-2020, 19:38   #16
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I was walking my dog in a ravine near my house about 8 years ago. At the other end of the valley about 18 miles away was the site of Camp (Fort) Verde, one of the Army outposts built in the late 1860's, first to protect Gold Miners and other white settlers from the Apache, then later during the campaigns against the Apache.

I spotted a darkened cartridge case on the ground, for a second I thought it was a .45-70.
When I bent down to pick it up, I saw it was shorter and fatter than a .45-70, it was a .50-70. I looked at the base for a head stamp, and there was nothing, and no primer either.
It had a central firing pin hit though. Looked like a big .22 rimfire but with the hit in the middle instead of the rim.
I did some research on it, and at the end of the 1860's a guy working at Frankfort Arsenal named Allyn developed a priming system for muzzle loading Springfield Civil War surplus muskets that had been converted to breech loaders.
The priming goodies were held in the bottom of the case by the crimp band that went around the base.

This was about 5-6 years before the Army adopted the Trapdoor Springfield and centrally primed .45-70 cartridge.
This cartridge had been ejected by a trooper from one of those Allyn conversion rifles almost 150 years before I happened to find it. It was a copper case, perfectly preserved in the Arizona sun except for the darkening.

I happened to go through the Camp Verde Army Post Museum ( now a state park) again a couple years ago, and saw on display a couple of the Allyn conversion rifles but no cartridges for them. I took the cartridge case in and told them I wanted to donate it, provided they displayed it along with those rifles.
The curator was so happy she gave me a lifetime (veteran's) State Park pass.
I had told her that much better than getting an Allyn case from some cartridge collector a thousand miles away, that this one had probably been fired and dropped by a trooper assigned to this very post.
I've been working up by the Grand Canyon the last year and a half, but now that I'm back in this area I'll have to go back to the Fort and see the display.



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Old 06-05-2020, 20:26   #17
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Bennet internal primer. US Ordnance even used it on early .45-70,.45 Schofield, .45 Colt, and even .44 Martin cartridges. They often get confused for rim-fires. There is an iron ring inside (held by the crimp) that has the primer in the middle. That was a great find, as they are very rare now.
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Old 06-05-2020, 20:29   #18
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Originally Posted by SPQR70AD View Post
I shot those Sharps rifles they were a lot heavier then a single shot henry. the recoil did not bother me much being they were so heavy with 32" barrel. also black powder recoil to me was a push rather then a sharp rap from smokeless powder
True, but when you have 120 grains of cannon powder and a 650 grain bullet, it is more than push!
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