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While in an emergency you probably can use it, you really should stick to .223.It may not feed as well in your rifle too. The chambers are slightly different and the 5.56 is loaded to a much higher pressure. That is why you can shot .223 in a 5.56 but should not do it the other way around. There is NO real benefit in using 5.56 unless you have a hoard of cheap surplus ammo. Just one mans opinion.
 

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Yes, a standard and Ranch mini 14 can easily handle either cartridge. The factory chamber shape is close to a Wilde chamber, so no problem. The only mini not recommended to shoot 5.56 ammo is the target model ( Has the big weight on the barrel near the muzzle), it is .223 only.
 

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5.56 NATO
Slope Rectangle Font Parallel Pattern



.223 Rem

Rectangle Slope Font Parallel Pattern


Both diagrams above created by Francis Flinch. You can see above, the only difference is the radiused shoulder-to-neck transition for the 223 Remington cartridge (sharp for 5.56 NATO). This difference does not affect function in any of the common 223-variant chamberings including 5.56 NATO. The case capacity is also slightly different:


Mag

EDIT .............................................................................................

" A gun guy on the radio said the COAL of the 5.56 is longer than that of the .223. The case dimensions of both are the same but the bullet is seated farther out with the 5.56 and therefore requires a longer free bore ahead of the rifling than is needed for the .223. So chambering a 5.56 in a .223 only chamber could force the bullet of the 5.56 cartridge into the rifling of the .223 chamber and cause excessive pressure upon firing.
Says a guy on the radio.
He also said people fire 5.56 in .223 only chambers all the time and it seems to work so.... "

Mag

EDIT: So much for what "a guy on the radio said". ☝ . Lol
 

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5.56 NATO
View attachment 13487


.223 Rem

View attachment 13488

Both diagrams above created by Francis Flinch. You can see above, the only difference is the radiused shoulder-to-neck transition for the 223 Remington cartridge (sharp for 5.56 NATO). This difference does not affect function in any of the common 223-variant chamberings including 5.56 NATO. The case capacity is also slightly different:


Mag

EDIT .............................................................................................

" A gun guy on the radio said the COAL of the 5.56 is longer than that of the .223. The case dimensions of both are the same but the bullet is seated farther out with the 5.56 and therefore requires a longer free bore ahead of the rifling than is needed for the .223. So chambering a 5.56 in a .223 only chamber could force the bullet of the 5.56 cartridge into the rifling of the .223 chamber and cause excessive pressure upon firing.
Says a guy on the radio.
He also said people fire 5.56 in .223 only chambers all the time and it seems to work so.... "

Mag

EDIT: So much for what "a guy on the radio said". ☝ . Lol
They are not the same cartridge. Period. The 5.56 has slightly different dimensions for chamber length /leade and uses heavier brass and is loaded to a higher pressure. It amazes me how the arm chair ballistics experts know more than the Engineers, Ballisticians, and Scientist that developed these rounds! The .223 can be fired safely in a 5.56 but the 5.56 is NOT designed to be fired in a .223. It is what it is. IMHO
 

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Whether .223 and 5.56 are the same "Cartridge" is irrelevant to the Mini-14. From Page 11 of the Mini-14 Owner's Manual linked above:

"The RUGER® MINI-14® RIFLES are chambered for the .223 Remington (5.56mm) cartridge. The Mini-14 Rifle is designed to use either standardized U.S. military, or factory loaded sporting .223 (5.56mm) cartridges manufactured in accordance with U.S. industry practice. See “Ammunition Notice” & “Ammunition Warning”, below."

AFAIK, the exceptions to the above are the Mini-14 Target model, which specifies .223 ammo, and those rare Mini-14s chambered in .222 caliber. AFAIK, those Minis have their correct ammo imprinted on them, so a mistake is on the user.
 

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Whether .223 and 5.56 are the same "Cartridge" is irrelevant to the Mini-14. From Page 11 of the Mini-14 Owner's Manual linked above:

"The RUGER® MINI-14® RIFLES are chambered for the .223 Remington (5.56mm) cartridge. The Mini-14 Rifle is designed to use either standardized U.S. military, or factory loaded sporting .223 (5.56mm) cartridges manufactured in accordance with U.S. industry practice. See “Ammunition Notice” & “Ammunition Warning”, below."

AFAIK, the exceptions to the above are the Mini-14 Target model, which specifies .223 ammo, and those rare Mini-14s chambered in .222 caliber. AFAIK, those Minis have their correct ammo imprinted on them, so a mistake is on the user.
If the chamber is such, that it is designed for both, then it is fine. Usually the chamber is a bit ovesized in order to allow the 5.56 round to be fired. In a std .223 chamber, especially anything made for target shooting, the chambers are "tight" and it is not acceptable. I have a CZ 527 Carbine in .223, and the Chamber is done based on European CIP stds which allows both 5.56 & .223. to be fired through it.
 

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The 5.56 has slightly different dimensions for chamber length /leade
A quick search resulted in the cartridge case dimensions I posted. It was the first source I found and I stopped searching there. I included the link where the diagram and story can be found.
Here it is again:
The author states the only difference is the radiused shoulder-to-neck transition for the 223 Remington cartridge (sharp for 5.56 NATO).
Is that incorrect?
I suppose my old reloading manuals would also give cartridge case dimensions but they are in storage as I no longer need, or buy them because reloading data is now on-line.
If the chamber lengths are different wouldn't the case dimensions need to be different too?
If the leade (new word for me, I always called it free bore) is different wouldn't that require a different COAL to accommodate that difference?

It amazes me how the arm chair ballistics experts know more than the Engineers, Ballisticians, and Scientist.
I view of your amazement, do you have knowledge that the story I quoted is incorrect and that the author is nothing more than an arm chair ballistics expert ?
It could and he could be because as I said, It was the first source I found and I stopped searching there...

Mag
 
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