Ruger Mini 14 older model 5.56nato?
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Thread: Ruger Mini 14 older model 5.56nato?

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    Ruger Mini 14 older model 5.56nato?

    Sorry if this has been answered a million times. But I have an older model Ruger Mini 14, I think it's from the 1980's. In good shape, I bought it from a friend 15 years ago and have hardly shot it. Can I put 5.56 nato through this?

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    No. 5.56 NATO operates at a higher pressure.

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    I'm not familiar with the older models but I'm betting it's a .223. If that's what's stamped on the barrel then NO!
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    Google-fu be your friend.

    I've got a similar gun.

    P. 11. of the linked manual says -- 'Yes'

    https://ruger-docs.s3.amazonaws.com/...14-181-186.pdf


    ETA: In deference to the 'no' answers above, in general they would be absolutely correct. But the 181-186 series Mini-14 was made to handle the 5.56.
    Last edited by 230JHP; 07-27-2019 at 05:27 AM.
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    I have a 181 series and I have shot 223 and 5.56 through it for years. 80% has been 223 Blackhills ammo and the rest has been 5.56. It was my coyote rifle for years until I got a AR15
    Hang together or Hang seperately

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    Well everyone, the Mini-14 is a 5.56 GI spec chamber. The reason it is marked .223 Remington is for international sales where civilians are not allowed to own guns in military calibers. It's a loop hole. In short, there was a time in Europe you could buy the mini and it was as close as a civilian could own a military rifle. Possession of ammo with the NATO stamp (circle with crosshairs) is illegal, but 9mm Luger, .223 Remington, and .308 WIN, are legal to certain areas. South America had/has similar laws.

    However, some Mini's in the past did not like .223 Remington if it was at the low end of the spec. It wasn't always reliable for cycling.

    Now here's where the other shoe drops, M193 and M855 ammo is and was the standard NATO round as well as the SS109. There is the 5.56 US GI chamber and the NATO chamber. Both are the same with the exception of the tolerances. A true NATO chamber will cycle steel just fine.

    So what is lost with NATO vs GI? just a little accuracy that most people would never notice. Some Mini's will run steel (Mostly later ones).

    My Mini is the closest I own to a GI chamber. It's a transition model with the pencil barrel, but has the later prefix. One AR I have is a true NATO spec chamber. It will cycle any commercial .223 through the crappiest 5.56 ammo and work in all weather. In short, it has given AK's a run for their money in reliability and still has the edge in accuracy. Another AR I have has a full 20" bull barrel, and a .223 Wilde chamber with 1:8" twist. Not so good with steel cases. However, it handles NATO spec ammo as long as it isn't steel, and will shoot M193 Federal sub minute of angle. It also favors the heavier Swiss military ammo.

    Maloy
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    Thanks to everyone!! I always go to this web site with any gun questions, and always get great info. My Ruger mini serial starts 187-88 which means it was made in year 1989. FYI. I have only shot .223 through it but was wondering.


    Last edited by vboy36; 07-28-2019 at 11:29 AM.
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    The general consensus on the Ruger forum is that all Mini-14's are chambered for 5.56, even if it's marked as .223, except "Target" models. Ruger kind of breaks the caliber-markings rule on this one, but go ahead and shoot 5.56.

    https://rugerforum.net/ruger-semi-au...556-round.html
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    I have two of the older 185 series Mini-14's, and I've run 5.56 M193 through them with no issues. My favorite loading being Federal Lake City M193.
    They will also run the Wolf Russian Steel cased ammunition, but I don't particularly care for it, accuracy-wise.

    I do have some newer 5.56 M855 Surplus FMJ, but I've not run it in my Mini-14's as yet. I generally save that stuff for my AR15A2.
    M855 does run at higher pressure, so that might be of concern in older Mini-14's, but yours probably could handle it.


    185 series Ruger Mini-14 with Choate Stock and Burris 2x Scout Scope in Chief AJ mount
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