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Mini 14: 5.56 Harmful or not

This is a discussion on Mini 14: 5.56 Harmful or not within the Ruger Semi-Auto forums, part of the Rifle & Shotgun Forum category; I know it has been discussed here before but after searching I can't find the thread. Does anyone have a Ruger Factory document/reference on 5.56 ...


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Old October 13th, 2009, 08:56 AM   #1
 
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Mini 14: 5.56 Harmful or not

I know it has been discussed here before but after searching I can't find the thread.

Does anyone have a Ruger Factory document/reference on 5.56 use in the Mini-14?



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Old October 13th, 2009, 10:56 AM   #2
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Holy,

Can't help you there other than to say I've owned a .223 Mini since 1982 - I've always shot 5.56mm Nato out of it since I never knew there was a difference. I can say I've never had any problems with it.

Have you tried looking online at the Ruger website for manual documentation?

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Old October 13th, 2009, 11:45 AM   #3
 
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Holy,

Can't help you there other than to say I've owned a .223 Mini since 1982 - I've always shot 5.56mm Nato out of it since I never knew there was a difference. I can say I've never had any problems with it.

Have you tried looking online at the Ruger website for manual documentation?

TJB

Yes but without success.

Thanks for the response.

I've heard conflicting opinions that's why I'd like to see something in writing from Ruger or at least hear from a gun smith that has attended a Ruger armorers class.
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Old October 13th, 2009, 11:56 AM   #4
 
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I thought .223 Remington is exactly 5.56 NATO?

And here's the Tech Note from Armalite to this point:
Tech Note 45: 5.56 NATO vs SAAMI .223 Remington Chambers

But this seems to contradict it? SAAMI 2006 Unsafe Combinations

Last edited by mouse07410; October 13th, 2009 at 12:36 PM. Reason: Adding factual information.
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Old October 13th, 2009, 12:19 PM   #5
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I thought .223 Remington is exactly 5.56 NATO?

And here's the Tech Note from Armalite to this point:
Tech Note 45: 5.56 NATO vs SAAMI .223 Remington Chambers
To the naked eye, yes. There are very minor differences in the bullet's dimensions.
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Old October 13th, 2009, 12:37 PM   #6
 
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Hmm. The only relevant question IMHO is - can one use these rounds interchangeably, or not?

Seems that technical experts are at odds with each other?
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Old October 13th, 2009, 01:01 PM   #7
 
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Hmm. The only relevant question IMHO is - can one use these rounds interchangeably, or not?

Seems that technical experts are at odds with each other?
IIRC 5.56 is thicker at the neck and creates significantly more chamber pressure.

I know for a fact that firing a .223 round in a 5.56 weapon has no ill effect. The converse is also true is that firing a 5.56 (repeatedly) will damage the .223 weapon (over time).

What I don’t know (for sure) is whether the Mini 14 is truly a 5.56 weapon.
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Old October 13th, 2009, 01:20 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Holy Avenger View Post
IIRC 5.56 is thicker at the neck and creates significantly more chamber pressure.

I know for a fact that firing a .223 round in a 5.56 weapon has no ill effect. The converse is also true is that firing a 5.56 (repeatedly) will damage the .223 weapon (over time).

What I don’t know (for sure) is whether the Mini 14 is truly a 5.56 weapon.

^ This. ^

I don't know about the Mini 14, but I'll share this little bit of info. Many AR receivers are stamped w/ the wylde designation 223/5.56, meaning it can shoot either, but the barrel indicates what caliber the weapon is intended to shoot.
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Old October 13th, 2009, 04:26 PM   #9
 
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As I understand it, and I may be wrong, but there are some Mini-14s that can shoot the 5.56 and some that can't.

The only way I've heard to make sure is to look at the user's manual for your particular rifle.

I think that's what I read here once.
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Old October 13th, 2009, 05:36 PM   #10
 
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I've owned a 186 and a newer model (post 2004). Both owners manuals said that they could shoot either.

Jon
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Old October 14th, 2009, 07:32 PM   #11
 
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From what I have always heard is that with a rifle chambered in .223 it depends on the tolerences of the individual rifle. If it is on the tight side you will have problems, on the loose side you are fine.
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Old October 15th, 2009, 04:45 PM   #12
 
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My 580 series will shoot either according to the manual. 5.56 is slightly different from the .223. I believe any weapon that can fire a 5.56 can safely fire a .223.
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Old October 15th, 2009, 10:09 PM   #13
 
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The new Target Mini's are .223 Remington only. The others can handle 5.56 no problem.

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Old October 21st, 2009, 01:41 PM   #14
 
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I was looking at the NEW 2010 Ruger catalog and ALL Mini-14 are listed as .223 Rem. This was a surprise. I wonder if this is a miss print or are they chambering them for only the .223 Rem.

Could they be chambering them as .223 Rem to get around states like Calif.
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Old October 21st, 2009, 02:17 PM   #15
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Nam62, Ruger uses the civilian nomenclature, which is 223 Remington. 5.56 NATO ammo shares exactly the same outside case dimensions as a 223 Rem. Military 5.56 NATO ammo is loaded to 58,750 psi chamber pressure (measured at the neck) whereas 223 Rem ammo is loaded to 55,000 psi (52k CUP) and is measured at the mid point on the case body. When 5.56 NATO ammo is measured like SAAMI civilian ammo, it works out to about 62,000 psi chamber pressure.

Crazy Ed got it right .... only the Mini-14 Target model is restricted to 223 Rem ammo. All other Mini-14s will shoot 5.56 NATO ammo without damaging the gun.

The leade in the throat of the chamber is typically 3 degrees in most 223 Rem bolt rifles and works much like a forcing cone. In all Mini-14s except the Target Mini, the leade is 5 degrees and a bit deeper, much like AR-15/M-16s. The Target Mini has a shorter 3 degree leade more like a bolt gun to optimize accuracy with civilian ammo. Shooting 5.56 NATO in a Mini Target will erode the throat and cause a loss of accuracy but otherwise, the Mini Target is plenty strong enough for the extra 5.56 NATO pressures.

Last edited by Iowegan; October 21st, 2009 at 04:56 PM.
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